Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Scroll Gourmands (Thysanurians)

Six-limbed, well-armed instrumental rationalists, The Scroll Gourmands stalk libraries, bookstores, and record halls. They are blind. They consume books, scrolls, maps, meeting minutes, legal and business records, sheet music, and legislation. Their mandibles will devour anything printed on papyrus, rice paper, or cloth paper.

The Scroll Gourmands comprehend and remember what they eat. All texts are fair game for them, but these silver creatures preferentially consume magic scrolls, spell-books, atlases, maps, texts on comparative anatomy, and taxonomic classification. (Thus the rational decision to name themselves Thysanurians.) 

Self-help literature, memoirs, and biography are particular favorites. They prefer these over any kind of poetry, fiction, or mythology.

Philosophical texts are a mixed bag for The Scroll Gourmands. Works of analytical philosophy, especially those with well-constructed syllogisms or using symbolic logic, are particularly choice. They detest works by philosophers from The School of Unravellers - especially those devoted to "overturning violent semantic hierarchies and oppositions."

They learn the magic they consume. These creatures can use invisibility spells or shapeshifting to pass by human monitors undetected. Mature Scroll Gourmands have usually learned spells to silence, blind or even unbind the Shelf-Bound Spirits that protect the Library of All Worlds.

They are born from eggs placed carefully behind bookshelves with particularly appetizing books. More Thysanurians are born than can possibly survive. Whether they do or not is irrelevant. Even those who don't survive will do a great deal of damage to the written word.

A few Thysanurians have been found to have functioning compound eyes. Those have tended to be vampiric specimens, although it is not clear whether their vampirism is an undead state or whether blood is a natural food source for them. What is clear is that these particular specimens have the ability to ingest through their victim's blood the knowledge that their brethren have obtained from consuming texts.

The Scroll Gourmands in Everway: 
  • A few of each generation of Thysanurians learn how to spherewalk. They piece it together slowly and rationally, figuring out how to open gates by brute force. Some gates never work the same, their traditional spherepaths broken forever. Thysanurians have learned that gates can be re-purposed to open on strange new vistas.
  • Heather Scratch, the head of Collections in the Library of All Worlds, has embarked on an ambitious new effort to reorganize and re-catalog the collection. Hundreds of books and scrolls are missing. While this is not surprising in the course of a reorganization of this scale, some of the missing volumes and scrolls where held in very secure secret locations. She suspects something is amiss in the Library and needs a discrete group to investigate what is happening.
  • Light Scratch, better known as The Red Scribe and the head of Acquisitions in the Library of All Worlds, wishes to interrogate one or more elder Thysanurians. Can you find one for her? She believes they may be able to assist her in restoring rare and ancient texts.The Red Scribe also wants to secure a clutch of Thysanurian eggs. She believes these creatures could be useful for aggressive Field Work in other realms' libraries. 

Everway Mechanics:

Thysanurian (Creature)

The Elements:
  • Fire 4 - Multi-Weapon Combat (5) 
  • Earth 5 - Exoskeleton (6)
  • Air 6 - Art of Memory (7)
  • Water 5 - Sense Magic (6)
Powers:
  • Consume Knowledge 3 point power - All Thysanurians
  • Invisibility (2 pts.) and/or Shapeshift (3 pts.) - Mature and Elder Thysanurians
  • Spherewalking  - Elders only
Magic:
  • Juvenile: Magic 1-2
  • Mature: Magic 3-5
  • Elder: Magic 6-8 



Thysanurians were created by Jim and Jody Garrison of Hereticwerks, and are used with their permission. Thysanurian image by Jim Garrison.

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