Thursday, April 16, 2015

Four Thorks Because I'm Drinking

1. First off these things are clearly made. In Yoon-Suin Rhokugan or similar locales they adorn the gardens and ponds, squawking tin-box tick-tock music (and on request bad poetry), and are also living tea kettles. They are named after the variety which they brew, such as Jasmine or Lilac, and they drink in areas according to specific ritual requirement algorithm. You begin by making a crane into a clockwork thing, piece by piece, and replace more and more of the crane, keeping it alive, over the course of a year, until you've disposed of all of the original crane. You cannot just construct a Thork, or a Steep, according to a blueprint and without the crane: you MUST go through the whole process, or the creature will sit inert and will only expel human blood, which from a Steep becomes a powerful sleeping poison. It is considered polite to reassemble the original crane as you go, to create the Twinsteep, creating two living creatures from one. This is considered blasphemy by some, and frowned upon, and feminine by others, and super frowned upon.

2. The thork doesn't bring babies, it barters babies. They are drawn across all reasonable distance to infant cries, where the people who know it place coins on the eyes of their children, as they would for the dead. The Tallycraw is the Usherbird in these lands. Fail to pay proper tribute for your newborn and the bird will take their eyes and drink their spirit. Fail to pay for your dead and the bird will, again, take their eyes instead, and pour into the corpse like a mother the spirit of one of these infant dead, the blind and desecrated rage of unlived years in a mind that never knew restraint or reason. The bird seems to eat these coins but merely contains them, later puking them up and adding them to its magnificent wings or long, kite-like tail, streaming sometimes for a mile behind it. It has a breath attack which animates the dead and causes everyone else to flee or retch for three rounds. It does this because it seeks a mate, but all Tallycraw are male, and so they just do this forever. This was someone's idea of a joke once.

3. Copper thorks spew, instead of boiling water, molten iron. There are other denominations of thork, whose breath attack is composed of one metal worse, in dnd terms (silver thorks spew copper, electrum thorks spew silver, etc) all the way up to the diamond thork, who spews platinum and can only be harmed by magic weapons. It is an instance of a monster both BEING treasure and MAKING treasure. These creatures are living rewards, bestowed upon the armies of sorcerers, elf kings, and otherworldly agents. You want your payment, go catch it. It represents a real danger because the longer it takes the 'contractor' to 'cash in' on their reward, the greater the potential yield in lesser precious metals. However this is also more dangerous for three reasons: the obvious fact that these breath attacks can be lethal; the fact that the creature can itself be dangerous and hard to kill should it get loose; and, less obviously, for every day the creature lives it gains more health and better AC, growing stronger in its existence, until the full moon when it becomes a fully vested money elemental of tremendous spellpower and diamond breath, who speaks in all the civilized tongues and is immortal until moonfall. At dawn, should this trapsnire, it and everything it created becomes mud.

4. They are powerful living bio-zords summoned by devoted sentai jellyfish with unsurpassed underzanshin, powered by the souls of the drowned and overheating more and more the longer they are out of the water, their cooling system. After ten minutes they will explode. They are filled with a powerful neurotoxin and their breath paralyzes indefinitely on hit, killing within an hour unless Healed or Cured.