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Hits: 8710
Comments: 27
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.7273
Condition: Normal
ID: 3597


July 30, 2009, 7:33 pm

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Cheka Man
Murometz (2x)
Dragon Lord

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Tohm Bones


I would have never had thought one could come to like a rattling pile of walking bones, but Tohm simply grew on me.  Watching him play checkers with Formuro was always amusing - whenever he took one of Formuro’s pieces he would rattle his jaw in joy..  From the diary of Professor Ethric, faculty of Divination.

I would have never had thought one could come to like a rattling pile of walking bones, but Tohm simply grew on me.  Watching him play checkers with Formuro was always amusing - whenever he took one of Formuro’s pieces he would rattle his jaw in joy..  From the diary of Professor Ethric, faculty of Divination.


Articulated skeleton with small leather and metal joints holding the bones together.  Sometimes he wears discarded clothing and hats, often ridiculously mismatched.


Originally, the skeleton which now forms the main part of Ol’ Tohm was a convicted criminal who had willed his remains to the Royal Academy of the Thaumurgical Arts.  There the bones were used in teaching anatomy.  Not being ones to settle with lifeless bones, the skeleton (after being articulated with metal and leather links holding the bones together) was animated by magic to carry out various common movements.

The skeleton was adopted by the students as a mascot and it quickly became a fixture at many social events, and additional ‘routines’ were added to Tohm’s abilities. It is not known exactly when a spirit decided to occupy Tohm Bones.  Some believe the spirit is that of a student who was killed in an odd laboratory accident, while others think an unauthorized ritual was performed to invest the skeleton with intelligence.  Regardless of the truth, Tohm Bones now shows a level of intelligence far above what one would expect of a simple construct.  An investigation was made by faculty to be certain that Tohm had not actually became undead, but they found that clerical magic had no hold on Tohm.  So, the faculty reported that Tohm is merely a very smart bone construct with no apparent evil or malicious intent. 

Tohm still plays his part demonstrating in anatomy classes, and as a mascot.  In addition, he has began sitting in on classes, watching the instructor with his empty sockets, and scrawling incomprehensible text on scrolls and slates.  Since he is unable to speak a word, none believe he will ever learn to spellcast, but then again, none can explain his current behavior either.

He does manage to communicate a bit primarily through gestures and pantomime.

He has also been spending a great deal of time in the company of Formuo and they seem to have established a fast friendship.  Formuo seems to be able to understand Tohms gestures and jaw-clacking better then anyone else and they have protracted conversations.

Special Equipment

Tohm usually does not carry anything unless en route or in a class, in which case he will have appropriate materials on hand.

Roleplaying Notes

Tohm is quite intelligent, but lacks the ability to speak.  He cannot communicate by writing either - his writing is comprehensible only to himself. He is able to understand spoken words as well as written language.

He has no dark motivations - the spirit which inhabits the bones is a very old and curious one and is enjoying exploring this particular existence. 

Tohm is NOT undead, merely animated bones, and is more akin to a golem then anything else.

As time advances, Tohm may learn to cast spells that require no verbal aspect, and then might even be found accompanying Mage Academy sponsored expeditions.  In those cases, his skeletal appearance may be hidden by illusions.

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Comments ( 27 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
February 9, 2007, 22:36
I like him.
Voted MoonHunter
February 10, 2007, 0:58
Okay. Yah. THis is great.

It is just so darn odd that it is perfect. It is well explained (even while not really explaining anything). His back history and his odd abilities make him a wonderful color character for a magical academy.
Voted Scrasamax
February 10, 2007, 2:38
whenever he took one of Formuro's pieces he would rattle his jaw in joy

That line did it for me, this is a great submission as it is both simple and bizarre and has that certain something that makes it entirely believable in a magical setting.
Voted manfred
February 10, 2007, 7:26
This guy is actually entertaining!

A loveable skeleton ("No, it is a constructed lifeform!" corrects you the pretty female student) with amusing quirks and a big question mark following him - there's bound to be students and teachers that to figure him out now and then.

Like him from the spirit thing up to the bones rattling. :)
Voted Siren no Orakio
February 10, 2007, 16:00
Voted Pariah
February 10, 2007, 23:14
Today's WI'DTOI Award
Voted Strolen
February 11, 2007, 9:02
The skeleton gaining intelligence on its own at some point was my 'sold' point. Fun idea!
Voted Ancient Gamer
February 11, 2007, 11:02
Fun NPC. I must try him once!
Voted Iain
February 11, 2007, 15:45
Voted Demagogue
February 11, 2007, 18:11
Gives an interesting personality to the standard mage academy
Voted Murometz
February 12, 2007, 10:46
Watching him play checkers with Formuro was always amusing - whenever he took one of Formuro's pieces he would rattle his jaw in joy.

Yep, thats the line that did it for me too! beautiful! one sentence which manages to colorfully evoke walking bones Tohm.

Love the ambiguity in this piece, and love how you made him lovable! :)

great work, val! ACES!
Voted Jarons20
February 13, 2007, 16:14
This is brilliant, especially that he has begun taking classes, what is the writing, and who inhabits him, for good or bad

Love the idea, Val
Voted the Wanderer
February 15, 2007, 19:47
Now here is a bit of color for almost any storyline! He definitely gets the "print & file" recommendation from me!
Voted Dragon Lord
February 16, 2007, 11:21
Just have to agree with all of the above

Plus I’m gonna add my “wish I’d thought of that” award, just for good measure

Original and wonderfully quirky, but still somehow believable

I just love this guy – 5/5 and a Hall of Honour vote
February 16, 2007, 11:37
Thanks All!

I am happily surprised by the reception this fellow has recieved!
Cheka Man
February 16, 2007, 13:20
This is one of the best posts on
Voted Mourngrymn
February 16, 2007, 15:36
Innovative. Definately a different, and humors look at an animated skeleton. It has uses, an NPC instead of a basic creature, and plot behind it as well. What could be his end all motives and can they be forced? Interesting. Good job val.
March 17, 2007, 22:19
I don't want to see Thom as a Jax, he seems too intelligent and has a kind of soul i would hazard to guess, I like him as a real identity not a created automaton like the marionettes and constructed golems
but hey it is your creation, just disappointed with the choice, he loses a lot of what interested me in the first place
March 18, 2007, 6:17
He doesn't have to be! How you use him is of course on you, but even a connection to the -jacks is not necessary a bad thing.

You can keep his uniqueness, and pronounce instead, that he is the original inspiration for the whole concept of -jacks. So a whole school of magic (and a very useful one, at it) was based on this creature. But no matter what the most skilled of wizards will try, they just can't create anything resembling Thom...

How about that?
March 18, 2007, 7:31
Technically, he was a -jack (in the first paragraph of his history) _until_ he was occupied by the spirit that gives him his personality.
Voted Chaosmark
March 18, 2007, 16:37
Only voted
Voted EchoMirage
June 11, 2007, 15:50
Only voted
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
August 19, 2008, 14:11
Wow, have not seen this before. Will use him as soon as possible Valadaar. Thumbs up.
Voted Kassil
October 22, 2008, 21:47
This is absolutely awesome; while I had a similar character turn up in a story once, this is by far the better production of it; Astrolith was nowhere near as interesting or as potentially complex as this fellow is. I could see him becoming a kind of strange sage over long periods of time, wandering across the world long after the civilization has fallen, helping people out in the dark times and perhaps a popular kind of figure in the civilizations that follow.

I'm picturing a sort of thing where a family of refugees are huddled in a small cave or stuck in a tree to escape some menace - an angry bear, an ogre, some bandits - when this skeleton looms from the darkness... Then smacks the troublemakers around, or casts some spells to drive them off, and accompanies the family to the nearest true settlement. With the youngsters, by the end of the trip, calling him something like 'Unca Skellington'.
Voted sverigesson
September 28, 2009, 23:37
An exquisite sub. A lifeless construct that develops intelligence, and begins to study the magical arts, despite his shortcomings. His quirks make this more than just a run of the mill bone golem.
Voted Silveressa
January 18, 2011, 10:06

Another lost gem worth returning to the forefront, (especially in light of the recent quest poll) While not overly detailed, it serves the purpose of "local color" for a magi institution flawlessly, and makes any rather un-noteworthy academy suddenly very memorable,.

Voted axlerowes
September 4, 2015, 16:56
"Tohm is merely a very smart bone construct with no apparent evil or malicious intent. "
Yay, what is so strange about that? He just a reannimated human corpse. Stop being so judgey!

I found this charming, I was little dissappointed we didn't get a story out of it or a little depth. But overall thought this was a solid and fun idea.


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