UserName: Death Count Character name: Gadd Skorne "The Little Bad Finger" Age: 34 years Mageblood type: Natura Favoured Magic Class: Geomancy Previous Magic training: None, he only knows he has mageblood for geomancy right now. Race: Dwarf (Rhulic) Appearance: A little over 1.2 meter tall (like 4 feet high) and almost as wide, Gadd is a stone as though carved in a dwarf's likeness, and he weighs just as much (200 kilograms / 441 pounds). His black hair, moustache, and beard are short and wiry, very coarse, and will rake soft things up. His skin is very white and flinty, like breaking stone. His blood veins are black. There is no white in his eyes, only endless black. His pupils are red and faded, but sometimes glow as little embers. His left arm is larger than his right, is like rough black onyx, with dark grey metal patches, with silver veins. A golden birthmark shaped like a maw is on his left hand, behind his knuckles. He wears the black smooth-fur of bugbear hides and a hood, over dark green gator-man leather, a giant toad-tongue belt, and has a pair of white spider fangs on a necklace. Various bits of armor of different styles, not all dwarvish, are worn. Iron pauldrons, gauntlets, and chestplate, as well as a pair of spike kneepads, all hang onto him as if they needed his protection.
The RhulicThe Rhulic are a mixed clan of dwarves that became exiles from the dwarven capital, Ironstead. In ancient times, they were called Under-Dwellers and were forever banished to the deep, abandoned caverns far below the earth. Their history has much blood, darkness, and curse with them, due to the strange deity Armok, God of Bloodshed, Magma, and Curses. They are his slaves for all time. It has been believed for generations by dwarves that the Rhulic have died away, that Armok is a false god, and that the old lore are bad myths. But in the last 5 decades, rumors of their existence surface. They have been surviving all of this time. Their presence unsettles all peoples of Ironstead, but the rulers of the capital keep their secret away from foreigners. It is illegal to speak of the Rhulic in public. At first, the rulers tried to send warriors to destroy them. Only their equipment were sent back by the Rhulic, with an unreadable note. It was hard to read but the gesture itself was a sign of peace, they believe. So the rulers seek a delicate peace with the Rhulic, in the form of a benefiting relationship for both of them. It turned out to be that this is the Rhulic's desire. Yet this is a most hard thing to believe. Indeed, this could be impossible because the Rhulic are very, very hard to understand. It is written the Rhulic thrive on hatred, hardship, and hunger. The ideas of love, soft things, and moderation are not good to them, and they despise that kind of thing. For the Over-Dwellers peace in their mind, the Rhulic at best are indifferent at love, they harden soft things a little, and they show moderation for a little time. It is hard to understand how this can be, for a society as them to survive. Even a family will hate each other, the mother will hurt their sons, and fathers will destroy daughters. Yes, they give birth to multiple dwarf child and as a sacrifice to Armok, the runt is broken, beaten, and tested to survive. Yet in spite of this type of treatment, they all live. Everything in their world is hard, covered with earth and metal. Even the water they drink must become with mud before they like to drink it. They eat all of the food and nothing is saved for future. Yet they live and thrive. It is because of these three main attributes, Ironstead Over-Dwellers believe Rhulic Under-Dwellers are stupid, not smart, and not creative. But that is not true. The Rhulic have a great understanding of earth things, metal, and stone. Their primitive inventions are surprising and advanced, this even hints at the intelligent mind behind the work. So it is written, that Rhulic contraptions can be said to rival Over-Dwellers' achievements that the rest of the world knows. But nobody knows yet. There has been no contest. But it does not stop the Over-Dwellers from learning what they can from the Rhulic. Ironstead rulers are not content, though, to be equal with the Rhulic. They think it is their right to rule over them so they seek an advantage. It is in Magic that they first tried to find a secret way, but it was a path paved with failure. For all the magic used on the Rhulic, it only made them harder. But this eventually gave to success, but only carefully kept. It did, though, lead the Over-Dwellers to learn that Mage can come from Rhulic, but they do not know the percentage except that it is probably much lower than regular dwarf kind. So it is extra ordinary that a Mage could come from such deep depths.
The SkorneThe Skorne family is the current lineage of Mages in the Rhulic. They are most hated in all of Rhulic clan. As it is tradition for newborns to be hurt and harden for Armok, it is that point where Gadd, the 5th grandchild of the first Skorne Mage, enters our story. He was the runt and his mother knew this immediately. She sought to hurt him while the family bear witness, but little Gadd grabbed her arm-curse (all Rhulic are born with a metal arm that grows with them) with his little arm-curse and used his unique ability, "Metallic Sliding". Their metal arms became connected and Gadd slid up her arm and with one blow, took out her eye with his free hand's finger and cried so loudly. This event was a sign, that he was of the mage lineage. For no Rhulic can manifest an ability so early if Armok did not hate him greatly already. So Gadd became known as her favorite child, who she hates very much; the first ever babe to be titled "The Little Bad Finger." For the rest of his childhood, Gadd was tormented and hated by all Rhulic teachers, and given all opportunities to be killed and maimed by hungry creatures. He was trained in all things needed for survival on the surface, and he was even tossed into a forgotten beast's stomach, full of vile acid and eye-melting gases. But he lived in all of this. The amount of hatred poured into him like magma that eats the slain and heats the metal, but it made him stronger, smarter, and ready to accept his Mage mantle, like his father and grandfathers before his time. It was a destiny to strike the world asunder. Then the Rock of Five Faces was moved and Gadd surfaced to Ironstead's lower sewers, his family and friends are left behind and wielding the legendary Skorne heirloom, called "The Five Hands of Armok". Like all Rhulic mages, he would return when his beard is gray, and his knowledge and wisdom full of personal hatred, hard tragedies, and great adventure unlike any others. With a olm-skinned map and some spoken directions, he left Ironstead to find the Mage College to begin his training there, knowing that he had to be passed off as a dwarf and keep his Rhulic identity secret except from the people he would hate to trust. Along the way, he found himself to be in friendship with a snow elf. Gadd was indifferent to this pest for a good year as they traveled together, but now he has come to really hate it. Sometimes he forgets he is traveling with the elf and sometimes he tries to eat him. It is a surprise to most the elf stays with Gadd, even to Gadd himself.
1. Travel Pack Gadd wears a gator-skinned backpack that carries all of his belongings, like leather clothes, camp equipment, extra food, drink, and drugs. Anything even a dwarf would need for traveling long distances on foot for many months. Additional weapons are a pair of large metal hammers and two throwing axes that can be hung at his belt. It also carries tools for metalworking, family history books, and documents for passage through most surface cities. Gadd has been jailed a few times for failing to show his passport, but he is usually released a few days after they realized they don't know what to do with him and half of their jail cell had been nibbled away. 2. The Five Hands of Armok An heirloom passed down from Skorne to Skorne, and only trained in if they are Mage. It is a Geomancer's weapon after all, although Rhulic invention makes it a dangerous thing already. It is a large black hammer with a red axe blade on the opposite side, and a sick green spear point coming out between them. The weaponheads are actually 5 in 1, that means they slide onto each other and can come off. It is like a poleax that humans used, but it has a very short white handle. The whole thing is made of chiseled dark stones and bright metal parts. It weighs 230 kilograms (507 pounds) and has unreadable Rhulic runes engraved on its frame. These runes are mostly decorative, but some believe it helps Armok channel his will into the weapon if he wants to. There have been times that Gadd felt like someone else was holding it with him. The Rhulic mechanisms inside it are based on magnets and special stone properties, and these respond to the energies in the Rhulic's arm-curse. There are pressure plates in the handle and a balance system measuring its position, and these allow it to perform one thing, and it looks like magic. The magnets propel the heads in a line and never bend or sway, always staying straight with the handle. It allows the Rhulic mage to attack with this weapon at a distance. As they mature, the energies in their arm-curse become more potent and the distance can increase between each head, which also increases total reach. There is no real limit to the distance between them or the weapon's total reach, but too far a distance can cause aiming to become very hard and they can even lose the weaponhead, which can cripple the weapon's raw effectiveness. However, it is a Geomancer's weapon for a reason. Without good, proper training, no Rhulic can ever master the Five Hands of Armok. They are more likely to hurt themselves then do any real damage to their targets. While their arm-curse increases distance, mastery of Geomancy increases the number of weaponheads they can use at one time. Right now, Gadd can only use two weaponheads and his total reach is only a few meters away. The use of Geomancy can allow extraordinary attacks with the weapon, but it is up to Gadd to master them.
[SECRET WORD: REBIRTH]
The 3 racial knacks begin with a small effect, but as Gadd grows up and matures, they change 2 times and become better, and the bad effect becomes worse. The GM group decide when it is okay for him to advance, and it is to be a great event that triggers them. Personal knacks were gained through Gadd's personal experiences, and his mind and body developed them as a result. They do not progress the same way as racial knacks.
Racial Knacks1. ARM-CURSE Good Effect: The Rhulic are cursed by Armok, but even his slaves get a blessing, and this is their arm, which Rhulic believe is squeezed hard before the infants are ready to be born. Simply called an 'arm-curse', it is the trait most obvious to dwarves and foreigners. From birth, a Rhulic's body grows from the arm-curse (left for males, right for females) and it gets a greater density than the rest of their body. As the arm-curse grows, old layers of skin is pushed away from it, onto other areas. This makes Rhulic very tough but also so ugly. As a Rhulic mature and test their arm-curse with hardship, it becomes more like gemstone with metallic sheen and silvery veins. The flesh and bone can become so dense that they can actually forge weapons and carve into wood and stone without the need for tools. Literally with their bare hand, the Rhulic shape metal, cut wood and carve stone, and add detail with a steady fingernail. A Rhulic's arm-curse possesses strength equal to twice that of a strong dwarf while their grip is like a metal vise that can crush bone with little effort. The arm-curse is so durable that when they fight, they use their arm as a shield and can grab the blades of weapons without pain. As an arm-curse grows, it becomes harder and harder to make it better. Rhulic often seek out threats greater then themselves and anything they possess to counter this slowing of growth. Furthermore, each Rhulic that fortify their arm regularly and worship Armok without wavering can manifest a single ability that is unique to them. It is common for them gain abilities that assist with metalwork and invention in some way, resulting in creations made almost as if with magic. Some abilities are combat styled. Some Rhulic can give off a great heat to burn a foe and others can shoot hard rocks off of their arm like some kind of slingshot without the sling. In Gadd's case, he is able to connect to any source of metal with any part of his arm. Examples are armor, weapons, or a fortress's wall. If the metal object is smaller than him, he can manipulate it with a great dexterity not known to Rhulic. However if it is larger then him, then once connected, he can slide around on the metal surface, as though he was weightless. This means his weight does not slow him down, but it also means his enemies can manipulate his body if he's not careful. Metallic Sliding is an ability completely new to the Rhulic, but the elders deemed its nature to be more for utility than combat or creation. It would be up to Gadd to find how it can be used best, besides just moving around quickly. There are two milestones in maturity for the Rhulic's arm-curse. Their arm-curse is always growing tougher and stronger the more that it endures hardship, whether it be in combat or forging material. But the hardened area of the arm-curse can grow up past their shoulders to protect their neck and their side. Secondly, a Rhulic elder's arm-curse becomes sensitive to the presence of metal and ore. This perk has been used for many different situations, but it is often used in mining like a dowsing rod. It can only detect such material if the elder is very familiar with that material or has a piece of it with them. There is no limit to the dowsing range, but once they are close, they are not able to pinpoint an exact location. Bad Effect: A Rhulic's arm-curse can be severed at the shoulder where it meets flesh. If this happens, the arm-curse immediately loses all properties and becomes little more than a hunk of shrinking iron vaguely shaped like an arm. Believed they are forever cut off from Armok and his hatred, most Rhulic cannot survive this experience for very long because they endure severe bouts of depression, rage and emptiness. Suicide is a common method to end the torment. It is very, very hard for a Rhulic to consider living single-armed. When a Rhulic's hardness of their arm begins to spread, it affects their body's dexterity, make them slower and harder to turn. Some Rhulic don't like this growth and actually have it chiseled off before it can harden. It is no different than shaving, one might say. When a Rhulic elder learns how to dowse, it means they become closer to Armok, which is a fact most Rhulic hate. They welcome the experience, but it means they might become subject to the strange god's immediate control. Any Rhulic can be taken by Armok at any time, but it is just common for elders to be chosen. Every now and then, a Rhulic elder falls victim to a strange kind of mood that forces them to ignore everything and everyone in pursuit of creating some kind of item or statue. Until this process is over and complete, they will not stop to eat, drink, sleep, or even run away from dangerous creatures. Any kind of material can be called for, and they will usually dowse, if needed, to find any ore and metal needed for their creation. The creations are often admired for their high quality, sometimes even sold at a high price, but this is not really something to rely on. Nobody knows when Armok will strike, and sometimes, even one's friends and family are used in the creation process if the mood is a fell one. 2. DARK-SENSE Good Effect: The Rhulic cannot understand life without living in the darkness. Their eyes, ears, touch, and other senses are all specialized to live in the deepest, dankest underground caverns. Their ability to navigate is very rarely confused in these environments. Armok even blessed their senses with his hatred, and so they can even see through supernatural darkness. As a Rhulic matures, they can even learn to see through solid matter, if it is in darkness. The world around them becomes black and white, with lines that illustrate the boundaries. It would be like looking at a canvas with no paint on it. When studied closely, a wall that is transparent will start to show what things are inside it, too. The distance of this see-through trait begins at 1 meter thickness, but will later become several meters. Skilled Rhulic miners often use this part of their senses to avoid the den of monsters and forgotten beasts, and locate pockets and veins of ore. Rhulic elders are even more adept with their senses. This only works in dark environments, but now they can see heat signatures left behind by creatures, as well as warm gas hiding in the walls, waiting to explode if a spark is struck alive with a pickaxe. Furthermore, this helps them find magma, which is considered an aspect of Armok that is to be worshipped. This trait does not make cold or ice creatures invisible to them, because the extreme lack of heat stands out to them, too. Bad Effect: As they have lived their entire lives underground, Rhulic cannot stand the sunlight. Their cave adaption syndrome makes them very sick to a single ray of light. It makes them vomit and unable to concentrate. With time and practice, a Rhulic can learn to tolerate normal light for brief periods, but it is not something that can go away. This racial knack also makes the Rhulic nocturnal, although this only means something on the surface where time is counted by the sun. As a Rhulic's dark sense improves to see through walls, they become very vulnerable to flash attacks, whether it is a magic effect or normal thing. Their eyes become blind, although their ears and sense of touch are not affected. However, because of the close location of their brain and eyes, flash attacks completely erase their spatial memories recently gained. In other words, they forget where they are, what's around them, and how they got there. Practice can allow a Rhulic to regain small parts of the memories, but there is no promise that they will remember things completely right. When a Rhulic elder is able to see heat in a dark environment, they become intolerant of light in any other environment. Their tolerance of light in their youth's training might let them endure sickness for a time, but their ability to control their emotions starts to fade quickly. Their hatred of light becomes so engulfing that it consumes them if exposed to strong light for even a second. The meaning of friend and foe blur greatly. It is not hard to see how this bad effect can be use for advantage by an enemy. 3. DIGESTIVE SYSTEM Good Effect: Rhulic have an inner furnace in their body, as well as two stomachs. It is one for storing little things and one for eating. Any Rhulic can eat some kind of organic material (rotting eggs, notebook paper, coal, etc) and get sustenance out of it. Any water source, no matter how bad or polluted, can be drunk for their survival. Poisons or toxins, germs, these things all die in their stomach and cannot hurt them. They are still effected by airborne toxins and drugs injected into blood's stream. As a Rhulic ages and expands his eating experience, he will soon become a devourer. Any liquid that can exist at room temperature can sustain them like water does. Even things like gasoline, tar, blood, soapy things, or lab chemicals. The same is true for food now. As younger Rhulic must eat organic things, this upgrade lets them skip the organic part. They can get nutrient out of things like sand, instruments, and needles. Of course, stone and metal is the common dessert chosen after this upgrade and Rhulic are happy to consume such hard things. But this knack does not give them a special power to chew or tear up pieces. But anything they can fit in their mouth and swallow is fair game. At a greater age and life experience, a Rhulic elder has an internal refinery and can now swallow poisons and toxins, or diseases too, in order to develop a single dose of antidote or solution to cure the afflictions. Their spittle, if added to a potion, will become a life saving boon to hazardous substances in a person's body. It does not heal any damage to the body, but the toxic effect is purged instantly and they cannot be affected again for a day or two, depending on their body's metabolism. A Rhulic can store their doses in their second stomach, inside the little sacks. Telling the difference between different spittles is tricky, though. Bad Effect: It is known among Over-Dweller scholars that the Rhulic dislike modern medicine. They don't really need it, but at the same time, they cannot benefit from helpful potions. Anything that is meant to be consumed and enhance a body's ability cannot help a Rhulic. When Rhulic learn to devour, their hunger per day multiplies by a factor of 3. For example, if they ate 3 meals a day, they must now eat 9 meals a day to stay healthy. It is not extra fatal for them to starve this way, but they will become sluggish and almost useless until they eat and drink to a state of fullness. Rhulic elders who develop an internal refinery, struggle with staying active simply due to old age. They are not as energetic as they were. Still, the internal refinery demands that they stay active, whether it could be through body or mind. The penalty could be very bad, for Rhulic elders that neglect stimulating activity find themselves lost in a "waking sleep". It is like a coma and if they stay in it, they will probably die. Rhulic elders all know that being trapped can be a death sentence.
Personal Knacks1. SUBTERRANEAN PRIDE Good Effect: Although Gadd has been trained in all manners of Rhulic skill, he responded to combat better and developed a knack for dealing with monstrous creatures and deadly abominations that live under ground. Anything from giant olms to giant cave spiders, gremlins and imps, and even molemarians, he knows them. Even the unstoppable Forgotten Beasts are familiar to him. He has learned everything about his people's encounters with them and has a lot hands-on experience with exposing their weakpoints and killing them dead. This does not mean he will always win against them, but he will almost always have an advantage if he fights them. Whether or not other people benefit from his knowledge depends on how they've treated him and if he can muster the proper words to explain things. Bad Effect: It is a different story on the surface world. Gadd often misunderstands even the most basic parts of regular animals and creatures, and what they can do. In battle, he even under-estimates them and often gets easy injured due to this. You would think that after the first few times he would learn his lesson. But you would be wrong, because Gadd is very biased against surface creatures and their "inferior nature", regardless of how deadly they have proven to be. If a surface creature is similar enough to a underground type, Gadd might be able to guess, but it is up to the GMs to say if he is correct. 2. MOLEMARIAN REFLEXES Good Effect: Since he has been trained to react to creatures that can kill you instantly, Gadd has become so quick on the draw that even a surprise attacker is not safe from him. If someone attacks him from surprise but he fails to notice it in time, Gadd will still attack his attacker back at the same time. This counterattack is so lightning quick that it catches the attacker off guard as if he were also being caught by an unexpected attack. Gadd himself sometimes does not realize he's made an attack back at them until the ambusher's attack has already hurt him. Bad Effect: Gadd does not make being friends very easy. He is very indifferent to these things simply because he is Rhulic. This knack of his, though, makes him very unpopular. Friends who surprise him completely wind up getting slapped in the face, headbutted in the groin, or even worse, get gutted on the spot by his arm-curse. Gadd used to find these incidents just annoying, but with time, he learned that he could stay off wanted posters by just keeping his hands in his pockets. Extra Bad Effect: He loses sleep over this kind of thing. Nightmares cause their own problems, but a wandering critter or even a fly that lands on Gadd or touches him, causes him to explode with anger and cry out, fists flying, and legs kicking. Many tents have been destroyed before Gadd went back to sleeping with his face in the mud. Because there seems to be no solution to this nightly terror and it just increases his lack of energy in the morning. 3. SURFACE SUPERSTITIONS Good Effect: Gadd, despite his Rhulic background, has a strong drive to see the world as fair and that people deserve their fates. His sense of karma makes him more intelligent than the average Rhulic, he believes. So he will often do good things, believing that good things will happen to him in return. This is very true when the cases involve surface dweller customs and social rules. Gadd does his best to not be indifferent to them, and with time, he will grow to hate people as best as he can. In a practical view of this knack, good things tend to happen to Gadd when he follows through with surface-dweller superstitions, even if the surface-dwellers themselves consider to be silly or false, and especially if the good things that happened were actually the result of something else completely. Bad Effect: Anything bad that can happen to Gadd will most likely happen to Gadd, but not for the reasons he believes. Explaining this to him is a feat worthy of a god. So, while surface-dwellers have their own superstitions, Gadd simply cannot stand to do something that will make his row of bad luck worse. This means that even the most obvious, rational actions can appear to be death sentences to him. It can stall plans, delay departures, mess up first impressions. You name it, it can happen. Extra Bad Effect: Gadd's mind believes so strongly that soft things will do him all kinds of harm that the placebo happens. In the case of silk and other soft fabrics, he will break out in horrible rashes and hives, and be very miserable and unruly to anyone who happens to stand there next to him, even if they were not actually involved with the silk at all. The afflictions go away as soon as he destroys the silk somehow, or just goes away hollering at the top of his lungs.