You can recall having a strange dream. It is vague. A man was in your bedroom. Something about lenses. Your bed is warm and extremely comfortable, which is odd because it's the middle of the cold season. You open your eyes, the world is bleary as you clear the caked-on crust of sleep. You feel panic, alarm, this isn't my house, you realize. It smells like burned flesh and something else. You're in a tomb or crypt of some sort. It is dark, but you can see. Flickering light, like many candles, surrounds you.
"Welcome, Scorch-born." Says a voice from beyond the ring of dancing flames, "Are you hungry? Or just confused? Let me fetch you some breakfast. Do not worry about disturbing the candles. Their purpose is fulfilled and there is nothing more for them to burn. I shall return"
You realize you've been holding your breath; listening intently to your surrounding, as muffled as they may be. A breath of ash turns to a horrifying scream as you inhale the scorched carbon dust into your charred lungs. You can feel the fire within you, and know that it is going to be painful to move. Even lifting a finger seems like an impossible task in this state of head-to-toe blackened skin.
"Ah, you tried to move, I hear." You can sense a tone of amusement. "I would like to tell you it gets better with time, but that would be a lie. Forever more, every move will bring piercing pain, but I'm sure you'll learn to grin and bear it. They all- Well, most of them- Do.
One way of getting here, The Concave, is through conflagration of your Soul. When The Whispered Blaze touches you in the night, for reasons known only to the Cult of Blackened Churches, you are born again... Down here. The Scorch-Born are a rare event that usually coincides with The Yellow Streak, when the Sun briefly touches our skies. They usually wake screaming, as they peel their own charred flesh out of a pod of breathing magma. The Scorch-Born are easily spotted, due to their fried black and bleeding skin that crunches sickeningly where they bent. They are otherwise just like you, newcomers, fresh meat, though well-done.
The Cult of Blackened Churches & The Whispered Blaze
To tell the tale of a Scorch-Born is to tell of the Legacy of the Whispered Blaze...
'The deepest river is one that carves its own depth" Say the Burning Eidolons, the High Priests of this cult. Who are we to contest them? Down below even the Fogs of Rigor, lies the Magmaholder's Cathedral, where the Burning Eidolons hold their fiery services and demand endless practices of ritualistic branding and torching live sacrifices. The Cult of Blackened Churches revolves around incinerating everything that will not willingly face the flame. With a love, no, obsession for all things fire, these cultists believe in the purity of flame and relish the feeling of blood over ashened skin as if it were revitalizing.
The Whispered Blaze is a figure of speculation. Some say he is the first Scorch-born, others are certain he is simply a lava flow, intelligence is unknown. Only the Burning Eidolons are allowed to speak of the Whispered Blaze openly, all others who do so are heretical and will be snuffed as soon as possible.
The Yellow Streak
When the Triple-Moon shifts of sixty cycles, the Yellow Streak will be seen.
An omen of great importance to many in The Concave, but only the Blackened Churches profit from it. Using their unnatural fire magic to create life from a conflagrant Soul on The Convex, or Other Side, they birth new and powerful members of their cult to do their bidding. Most of them are hardly what they used to be and grow to trust the Blackened Church members as family and friendly aides. Help can be deceiving, and everything has a price...
Notes of Role-Playing and their Abilities -
Scorch-Born are completely immune to any heat or fire effects that do not originate from themselves or from Burning Eidolons, as they are creatures born of magma, but the Burning Eidolons specialize in "Adding fuel to the fire" and are capable of magnifying the pain and causing actual damage.
Scorch-Born tend to be grim and serious, with little humor in them. They take things very seriously and enjoy very little in their miserable lives. The exception is Friendship. Scorch-Born takes debts, honor, loyalty, and friendship very seriously. Enough so to sacrifice themselves in some way to repay a favor.
They are typically like piles of smoldering ash, given human shape, and not very agile, but when "Fired up" they increase drastically in temperature and can cause serious burns and are backed up by inhuman strength. Scorch-Born are also, seemingly, somewhat resistant to the Fogs of Rigor. Not as much as a Witch, who controls the Fog, but more-so than the average being.
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? Responses (7)
Sort of Urn Beastish.
Ok major things I wish to learn more about...
Who is the Witch, or a witch as it seemed a title to me and not just a position.
The Fog of Rigor... very intriguing name...
The Conclave and the Blackened Church...
ll in all though... damn good job. Very colorful in flavor.
The Witch referred to another type of being living on The Concave. They would be a sort-of Hag-like creature, but Hags are slightly different. They possess innate abilities regarding the Fogs of Rigor. The Fogs of Rigor have been most detailed in the main Concave submission, which is still in work, here:
There is a forum topic with my musing on the setting, here:
Feel free to comment there with ideas, dislikes, and any confusion. Glad you liked it.
I love it! This is shaping up to be a truly new and creative setting. Good language, excellent imagery. I look forward to reading more.
Thank you for the kind words. I am also looking forward to delving deeper into The Concave, I could certainly use some more feedback regarding my ideas in the forum thread, though. They're kind of festering for a bit, but eventually I'l pick them open and let the juices flow once more.
Definitely a scary creature - and a brutal one at that. A good way to flesh out an elemental religion.
A good addition to the Conclave setting, which has an overall macabre feel. Not a fav with me but there's definitely sth different about it.