Intelligent Species
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Rating: 4.125
Condition: Normal
ID: 3942


August 12, 2007, 3:27 pm

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Cheka Man

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Of fire, but not elementals. Short-lived, yet intelligent. Bound to this world they are, more than most of its mortal inhabitants.

"A fireling is born when a wizard exhausts all of his magical power into a potent fire spell and fails horribly, usually dieing in the process. This shows how dangerous these spells really are, and why they should be kept from the hands of the inexperienced."
(From a discussion on pyromantic magic.)

They are… fire. The shape is not important.

Composed of fire, they need something to burn on at all times to survive; once they run out of fuel they cease to exist, nothing but a whiff of smoke remaining. Even with some measure of sentience, or cunning present from their birth, and a well-developed instinct of self-preservation, few manage to survive for long enough to become truly intelligent. Many die with the first rain, the rarest would survive a winter.

While they can produce a fire of verily gigantic proportions they would travel freely and enjoy, they can only control it up to their maximum ‘body’ size (the size of their creator, actually). Those that survive beyond the first moments of feeding on everything at hand, soon develop an uncanny sense for the way things burn, and how to use them for maximum fuel. As they are effectively immaterial, they can travel fast and slip through tiniest cracks… if they have something to burn on.

Existential questions:
There is no such thing as a fireling society, and never will be, they are too rare. They are a new discovery (or rather a side effect) of the field of Fire Magic. Since their birth is accidental (and most likely fatal to their creator), few magic-users seem eager to research the creation of such a thing.

Still, they make a fascinating conversation piece, and a fine addition to any collection of the bizarre. A specimen could be therefore found in the care of a wizard, fed and protected from the (other) elements. And no, it is not an elemental itself… or maybe is, that topic is still hotly debated among the experts.

Their behavior is from the first moment shaped by the drive to survive. They are not ‘evil’, the few that become old may develop in any way desired. Fire-like properties are fine (like hasty, aggressive, or playful), but alternatives may be as interesting (imagine a philosophically bent fireling, or a chronically depressed/fearful one). I leave it open whether they can learn to communicate, or even to speak.

Plot hooks:

Another one is born
- oh no, wildfire! And we just can’t seem to stop it!
- the wizard that produced it was a (presumed) bad guy. He’s dead, but the divinations show something of him remains… and there are fires showing up in the forest he died. To the arms, brave heroes!
- the wizard that produced it was a (presumed) good guy. He is dead or heavily wounded, but cannot be healed/raised/pass on peacefully, because something of his essence is missing.
- quickly, you must get it for me, before it dies!

I know what you did last weekend
A wizard of note was harmed of killed by somebody, but no one knew he kept a fireling in his care, that escaped in the chaos. Now it is mightily pissed that something happened to its protector… introducing a very strange creature hunting the culprits.

And be good to Fluffy
The heroes inherit the tower of their deceased mentor, on the condition that they water the flowers, and take care of all his pets… which includes an intelligent fireling, that would _love_ to have a more certain existence.

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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

August 12, 2007, 15:27
Updated: Out with you from the stubbed state of being! I can't make you any better, let's see what the others can make of you.
Voted Cheka Man
August 12, 2007, 18:55
Beautiful if dangerous creatures.
Voted Scrasamax
August 13, 2007, 12:43
The idea is interesting, semi-sentient fire is fun.
Voted MoonHunter
August 13, 2007, 15:38
A good solid creature with an explanation for its existance and some nice plot hooks.
Voted epsilon
August 13, 2007, 21:36
Nothing better than to conjure up, and spark, in the recesses of the players minds, the fear of fire. But the fear of fire as a being or simply as a pet?!!
I just love it.

While others toil away at their flint, Jermain removes from a small metal box a flame that dances with delight as it is placed upon the pyre. It wildly breaths in oxygen and consumes the camp fire wood in a feeding frenzy. Providing light, comforting warmth and the intense heat needed for cooking. The happiness if finds in providing for its protector is only surpassed by the joy it gains in its own feeding. The initial gluttony passes and the fireling returns to its controlled state. Jermain found this smoldering , dying, ember in the stone fireplace of a completely burnt out house some weeks prior to joining up with this party of adventurers. The house was entirely gutted, black, burnt to the bare rock that made its walls. Whisps of smoke were all but left and even they only emanated from the last remaining source of fuel left in the buildings fireplace. Jermain, cold and weary, fed the ember, carefully and attentively. Breathing new life into the dying charcoal remains. And life it was! Astounded at the eventual eruption of flame, Jermain threw himself backwards, away from the pending conflagration. But the flames sensed his fear and although it was still thirsting for fuel, it subdued itself. Jermain did not know it then and still even now is unsure of what he has but a learned wizard would recognise this, as a fireling. Jermain only feels some bond, a closeness that goes beyond the warming touch, a coalition with this fire, a desire to maintain and keep it .....alive!
August 14, 2007, 11:12
Thank you for the great addition! The imagery fits right in there. The fear of fire, or at least a healthy respect to it should be mandatory to all that intend to use it. And who knows, maybe other magics can produce similar side-effects... they are just not as well known. :)

And yes, it can be a nice (even useful) pet. Just don't forget that it will grow up one day...
Voted Chaosmark
August 13, 2007, 22:08
I like this submission. A creative lifeform, one that opens up new RPing opportunities.
Voted valadaar
August 14, 2007, 19:58
Quite nice Manfred!
Voted Murometz
August 15, 2007, 15:35
what Scras said. Creative concept, manfred!
Voted Kassil
November 7, 2008, 7:23
I could easily see a chronically depressed fireling; they are, after all, creatures doomed to be extinguished eventually. One might live in eternal fear of exhausting the fuel it has available to it, and succumbing to the Dark and Cold.

I could see these existing in a steampunk setting, though; fed with the alchemically enhanced coals, they might well find a place as sentient tenders of the furnaces that drive the steam engines all around the larger cities. Perhaps, for the more curious ones, even driving the engines of the tinker-trains as they meander lazily across the world, getting to see and learn more about the world even as they help the tinkers themselves.
December 18, 2008, 11:48
Semi-sentient fire. Great concept! So, BUMP.

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