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- 'Nymph' is the general term. Major classes of nymphs are those of water (naiad), vegetation (dryad), land (oread), caves (lampad), and fire (igniad).
- 'Nymph' can have nudge-nudge-wink-wink connotations, so they're alternately called elemental humanoids by the politically correct and the stuffy.  
- Are traditionally referred to with female pronouns though they're not inherently gendered beings.
- Technically they're not a race or even a species, because they have no hand in the creation of new nymphs and existing nymphs have nothing like a social society or culture. If anything, they are a sporadic natural phenomenon that happen to be self-aware.  

- Nymphs are sentients that come to be in places of concentrated natural magic. (Such places are the result of the Network's closely overlying neighbor dimension- which leaks the mad alien physics and energies into the Network the inhabitants know as magic- lying uncommonly close.) The theory goes that passing soul stuff catches in these places like driftwood on riverbanks or cotton on brambles, condensing over centuries, causing an area to become distinctly 'eerie' as creatures begin to perceive it as a living thing. Gradually, so does the place. At some point the environment takes on full consciousness and can project itself as a physical thing. We call that thing a nymph, and the place its site.

- The nymph (the being of concentrated magic) is the mind and the site (the grove, reef, etc.) the body. The mind is tethered to the body and the body is tended by the mind. A nymph feels everything that happens in her site and will be notoriously protective of it. They're not known to leave their sites willingly and long absences are lethal.

- It was once believed nymphs were related to humans, that they were humans risen or fallen to a state of nature. In truth, nymphs have no 'true' physical appearance and only copy what creatures they come in contact with. Those who have never encountered human beings do not know the shape.

- In antiquity, nymphs were frequently taken as goddesses and they, being naturally self-centered and gullible, didn't play along long until they believed it themselves. In a way, the system worked. Humans protected their goddess' territories and gave them what they desired. (Usually one and the same. Nymphs aren't into material possessions but they're obsessed with their domains.) In turn the nymphs would share their sites with their worshipers, instead of trying to drown them or drop trees on them. On the downside, these nymph-centered cultures were stunted technologically as nymphs frown on things like waterwheels in their lifeblood or butchery of their trees for building material. Fortunately for humanity, nymphs are fairly guileless and simplistic and rarely made any demands beyond protection of their sites. That is, they never became power-hungry tyrants because there was no appeal, and the idea of dominion beyond their site probably never occurred to them.

- Rare and almost always solitary. An exception are sea naiads who form social clusters around certain islands and reefs.

- Features, abilities, and needs depend on the class of nymph, their location, and the magic backing their existence. Some generalities:

- All nymphs shapeshift but are limited to things they come in contact with. Often they take no form at all, just an influence in the area. They take shape to interact with the denizens of their sites- the birds, beasts, insects, and fishes- which have no fear of them, often mimicking the animal they are attending to, with some creative elemental flare.    

- Because they're made of soul stuff, nymphs are able to perceive the thoughts of others to some degree. They understand and quickly learn any language spoken to them by observing the thoughts conjured by sounds as they're used. (The act of speaking focuses thought- it's otherwise difficult to pick anything out of the churning stew that is a mind.) This would also make them aware of ill intent, except that as one lies one is strongly aware of the truth and this confuses nymphs, merely putting them off instead of on full alert.          

- The traditional belief is that nymphs are female, and very female at that, because they have a strong tendency to appear so when encountered by men. There's a theory why this is. Firstly, statistically it has indeed been men who are tromping around unexplored wilderness. And nymphs, which love the creatures of their domains more than themselves, are not unfamiliar with sex as a bonding ritual. When they encounter men (or indeed any new creature), offering a highly desirable form and encounter is both a hello and a peace treaty. It really can't be denied the nymphs enjoy it as well. There are thousands of stories of men who spend a peculiar amount of time off in the forest or wherever, who might be followed by their wives one morning and thrashed, and of men getting in fantastic rivalries over nymphs, and generally a whole world of accusations and denials and shame the nymphs themselves are not concerned with in the slightest.  

- They extend a similar offer to women, who are merely less likely to brag about their adventures afterward.  

- While nymphs attempt to present themselves as strikingly beautiful, so far as they can read the desires of the person in front of them, their idea of beauty is completely defined by their site. They attempt to remedy our ugliness with good doses of their beloved environment. A naiad in a forest pond may have reeds and moss for hair, opalescent skin, and duckweed freckles. A sea naiad might have a watery body dark as the depths, floating with glittering flecks of sand and trailing sprays of water from wrists and ankles. Igniads are always unsettlingly on fire. (Igniads are not often laid. Or care.)

- A nymph's power depends on the magic backing her site. Very saturated areas have very powerful nymphs. Most have only mild manipulative abilities and all have the possibility of exhausting their magical store, which kills them and renders their site mundane.

- Decimating a nymph's site will also kill her. If you drained a naiad's pond she'd die with it, like everything else that depended on it. Natural causes sometime destroy a nymph's home (tectonic plates snuffing out her volcano, for example) and that's life. She'll do everything in her power to protect it, though, and after a rampant fire you might see a patch of land that survived completely thanks to a resident nymph.

- Most can leave their sites temporarily. Weaker nymphs can venture further and stay longer while stronger nymphs get woozy just stepping out of their grove. It's reputably hellish (and, like organ transplant, iffy), but nymphs can relocate if they quickly find a suitable place. The survival rate is low and they become a bit messed up.    

- They don't need to eat, sleep, or breathe (but will sometimes for fun). They can get sick in the sense that they suffer when their site is suffering. To hurt a nymph you'd attack her site, because 'she', the amorphous spirit thing which inhabits it, can become invisible, intangible, and invincible. There are magical methods of attacking a nymph proper, and people who are trained to do so, in which case she's in a whole new kind of trouble.

- Nymphs don't age. When they're not interested in certain types of attention, they might appear quite old or young depending if they're trying to spook, comfort, or intimidate a visitor, again borrowing from our minds and biases.

- And pissed-off nymphs rarely look anything like pretty young maidens.  


- Nymphs have almost as bad a reputation for being licentious as humans. It's humanity's fault for encouraging their lust, but they don't help by appearing as beautiful naked ladies as soon as they learn what you get by doing such. It's a rarity and a mystery, but nymphs sometimes conceive. You can bet they have little interest in their offspring.

- So half-nymphs usually begin life on the doorsteps of their fathers' houses. Because nymphs have no genetics to pass on, half-nymphs are full humans built from their fathers' genes with some erratic bonus features inherited from their mothers. They're all female, for reasons unknown. (It's suggested that nymphs may not grasp that male humans can be born from female humans, or something. Or they might just be terribly sexist.) A typical half-nymph will have some manipulative influence over her mother's element and some form-altering ability. Their powers are infamously half-baked and more nuisances than boons.

- Not to mention the social stigma. Half-nymph heritage basically makes public that your dad was loose with a kinky magical hippie tree lady in the woods. Sometimes the dads can't handle this reflection on themselves and won't acknowledge their kids. Go figure.

- The unkind term for a half-nymph is a hymph.  

- Bound to springs, ponds, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, reefs, bays, glaciers, portions of ocean, and marshes. The most common class.

- Along with dryads, naiads usually have quite a lot of plants and animals depending on the health of their site. If a nymph's existed in a place for many years local animals will know where to go when sick or injured. Nymphs are never happier than when they're taking care of their space, even its living components. Through their control of liquids, naiads can halt bleeding and purify blood of poisons and wounds of debris.

- Sirens are another name for ocean naiads, specifically obnoxious ocean naiads who lounge naked on cliffs during storms and loudly place bets on if the ship will make it through the cliffs instead of maybe doing something about the freaking storm wouldyougetoffthefreakingcliffsanddosomethingaboutthefreakingstormwillyou?!?! They don't actually bring about sailors' dooms but they don't impede them either, hence they've earned an understandably poor reputation. Guess what? They don't care.

- The sites of sea naiads are vast, ambiguous, and not easily disrupted, so they tend to have the least concern for them. Their domains are so general they often overlap, and this ability to congregate and the relative stability of their sites allows them to have something like a social group. Whether they're bored or just tidying up, these groups have a tendency to horde shipwrecks and other human junk and treasure into big communal piles on which they grow reefs. They're reasonably safe to go diving around, but do not take things. It's not the shiny yellow metal the naiads will punish you for disturbing, but the precious little barnacles growing on it.

- Are bound to portions of forests and jungles, with sites as broad as valleys to as small as a single tree. Considered the second-most common.

- The most vulnerable to humans, in the sense that their sites are most frequently in the way of development and most simply destroyed. However, dryads can do frightening things with roots, vines, poison, thorns, and giant falling trees, and have been known to be so violent in defending their sites they've actually fought off armies.

- They can also heal, taking full advantage of all medicinal qualities of the vegetation at their disposal. Some say eating fruit offered to you by a dryad will enhance your love life, while others say it will paralyze you and the dryad will feed you piece by piece to her trees. What to believe, what to believe...

- The catch-all class, these nymphs are bound to stuff like cliffs, canyons, mountain tops, and old ruins (often mistaken for ancient ghosts). Their sites tend to be less easily disturbed short of dynamite blasts, and so they're among the most passive about visitors. Often dormant. Animals tend to be more sparse in these places, and these nymphs are less used to contact. They are not known to approach people, but will watch, possibly as a tall, rippling shape in the distance or a stone that's always just six meters behind you. Described as creepy and surreal.

- Cave-bound nymphs. Very mysterious. They're the only nymphs not known to take physical shape. Spelunkers inevitably carry a light source, which fascinates lampads into appearing as a floating light. They don't like it when people come to mine out the precious magical minerals that brought them into existence, and snuff the problem by collapsing their tunnels.

- Igniads require an area of constant fire. Basically, we're talking volcanoes. There's a region of the Network that is one freaking huge volcanic mountain range that's been blistering the land for millenia. It's where dragons evolved from weedy six-limbed lizard things to massive monsters which incorporate fire into their very biology, consuming the mineral-rich magma and boulders igniads hold dear. The two have had a long and tenuous relationship. Dragons are to igniads as humans are to dryads.

- Humans and igniads don't often cross paths. Dragons are pretty much the only threatening thing to a igniad, otherwise they're difficult to upset. You try messing up a volcano. They don't care if you build right up to their lava flows. They know who'll win.  

- There are still tribal groups which worship a local nymph. There are also pagan-style religions which hold that nymphs are nature goddesses. Otherwise...

- Nymphs, specifically dryads and naiads, are suffering from something that's a mix of poaching and habitat destruction. Legally, they and their sites are protected under Network law as sentient beings with innate ownership of their land. In practice, the trouble begins when somebody wants to, say, turn a valley into a vineyard, but there's a nymph in one of the groves. A nice person would approach the nymph and attempt a deal of some kind, like leaving a decent perimeter around her part of the valley and offering regular compensation for any trouble the vineyard might bring her. A less nice person might just start clearing and building in hopes the nymph will tolerate it. This is of course a gamble, and the nymph might go psychotic and cause as much regular damage on the developers as possible. A really nasty person might go straight to the nymph's site and get it and her out of the picture permanently, possibly with dynamite. This is disgustingly not uncommon. There's a reason nymphs in modern times tend to be either very shy or very violent towards people.

- The law considers killing a nymph (directly or by destroying her site) murder. But many don't see nymphs as anything more than kinda-sorta sentient elemental matter on par with animals and killings go unreported.

- Another awkward scenario is the possibility for nymphs to develop in urban and rural areas. This is complicated. The difference in these nymphs is that they've been pulled together not only from the soul stuff and magic of the area, but also have something of the residents of the place in them. They're more intelligent, more innately human, their 'element' includes mankind. They're usually 'raised' by people in the area, work well with human(oids), and both sides can form an agreement to share the space. Ancient city parks and fountains are often the sites in question.  

- For example, the river through Gallyheim produced a naiad, christened Sionainn, sixty years back, who's part of the reason the city has such sterling water management, sewage treatment, and above all, very, very clean riverbanks. Having a tentacle of water lash up and strangle you for pitching your beer can in the bushes is a great disincentive to litter.


Márie Branagan | A half-nymph born of a marsh naiad and a young tailor in Thurmun'dheel. Despite her origins, she was cherished by her father and later by her stepmother and younger half-sisters. She was apprenticed to her father who intended she take over the family business as she was kickass at the work.

Since childhood Márie has had the ability to control small amounts of water directly touching her skin, which has mostly been useful for flicking tiny water balls at people and drying off instantly after getting soaked. Any sort of water plant grows better in her presence and she has to turn all the houseplants in the house once a day because they begin leaning towards her bedroom. She's immune to water hemlock and many other toxic plants but has never had occasion to discover this.

Not bad. But when she hit fourteen the last of her haywire nymph traits kicked in, and it was crippling. Márie is obliged to become a creature of the marsh for long stints several times a week. A great blue heron, specifically. She was highly put-out by this bizarre handicap but with a lot of support and straight faces from her family and friends she was ready to march on with her suddenly much complicated life. She continued working in her father’s business on her days with fingers and took up delivering mail on days with feathers.

In her mid-twenties she teamed up with a family friend trained in alchemistry (Master Brogan) to set up a specialty tailoring business in Elarg for shapeshifters and other beings of varying and complicated dimensions. Today she directs their small pack of tailors and wrangles the business end of things. Along with Brogan, she is kinder than most people have any business being.  

Márie's father, Todd, had a sweet way of explaining to a young and bright-eyed Márie about why she didn't have a mommy. He told her that her mother was a beautiful and kindly spirit of nature, who could make the leaves and the animals dance with her laugh, and who had a duty to the marsh from the tallest trees to the tiniest sprout, and that is why she can't be here with us. But children like you are rare as diamonds, you're here to do something special.

Adult Márie loves to give her father crap about the whole nymph incident, which they both have a laugh about. I don't think Márie's ever tried seeking out the naiad. Surely the nymph's long forgotten them both and wouldn't understand why Márie would want to meet her. Which she very much doesn't.        

Neridia | A young naiad residing in the overgrown fountain below the central dome of the Altalamatox Library.

Probably Neridia had only come into being for a few months before she was severed from her spring, thrown in a truck, and gotten neatly out of the hair of whatever company wanted her land. Normally nymphs are just killed, but her captors were enterprising and wanted to see if they could sell the naiad off in the city as a pet, or to be melted down for raw magic, or whatever they could get a few bucks off her for. But within a day or two she was withering and obviously dying so they dumped her in an alley and were gone.

Alan, the Librarian who handles deliveries, had been in the habit of riding his horse along alleyways to avoid traffic. He saw this blue child curled pitifully in the gritty puddle under a drainpipe, and, only vaguely knowing what a nymph was, got her on Augusta's back and sped her to the Library. They placed her in the fountain for the night while they tried to contact some sort of help service. But by morning Neridia had bound herself to the fountain.

Nymphs that survive relocation are not likely to be stable, even by nymph standards. Neridia almost never, ever speaks. She is incredibly timid, rarely takes form around strangers, and only trusts some of the Librarians, some of the time. One of the only people to earn her friendship is Eric Thedrial, frequent Library visitor, because he has an extremely old and gentle soul and Neridia is soothed and intrigued by this. She fears Vra'kriss in particular because he is unpredictable and loud. She gets along well with Shad, because words are not their strong suites, and they just attend their work happily and quietly together.

The fountain was once a slab of stone in a pool with water pouring from the top. Under Neridia's influence, a good plot of the central lobby under the big dome is now misty, ferny, mushroomy, butterfly-and-bird-infested, bouldery forest, in the middle of which there is a pond floating with lilies, leaves, duckweed, and frogs, with a rock spire jutting out of it draped with little waterfalls. Neridia spends most of her time spread out through the water, tending to her little domain and its inhabitants, making it rain, muffling outside noises. At night she pads off trailing a little rivulet behind her and waters all the Library's plants.

When dire battle breaks out with wicked bookly apparitions, Neridia keeps her distance, ghosting around to heal the wounded. On just a few occasions invaders have blundered into her forest patch to hide. The Librarians never find the bodies, but if they thought to look they might notice a few more fish in the pond.

Most nymphs are only ever about as mature as human children. Neridia is very much a young child, but growing up in a building with regular human contact, a family almost, she is destined to become an unusually intelligent nymph. As a literal force of nature and tapped into the ungodly immense magical reservoir that is the Altalamatox Library, she is potentially the most powerful Librarian, but has no knowledge of this and wouldn't think anything of it if she did.

James Colly | An intrepid volcanologist (if that's not redundant), James and his team were working on the slopes of the Network's largest nymph-controlled volcano when he stepped on unsafe ground and plunged into the scalding magma below... to find himself saved by the grace of the resident igniad. Fascinated and thankful, he was surprised that she was interested in remaining in his company and built up a friendship with her. She fell deeply and secretly in love with one of the other volcanologists.

Some time later she approached James and told him she had grown curious of the world beyond her lava. He was thrilled she'd come to show this level of interest in the outside world. She reminded him of his debt to her and revealed she had a way of temporarily exchanging states of being with another. She could spend a weekend as a flesh-and-blood human being while James could transcend merely loving and observing volcanoes from a distance, to actually be one. He never stood a chance.

Of course, you can guess what happened. The igniad took off with her lover with no intent to return to her lonely existence as a mountain full of fire, and James... well, he's hasn't been quite himself for almost a decade now.

Colly is an extremely unique case. He's become among the most powerful single entities in the Network, being a cunning, innovative, vengeful human spirit in full control of an enormous volcanic mountain. To occupy his time, justify his reason for being, and to secure wide financial and social influence while under the handicap of being physically confined to his magma, he's erected a very profitable company around Mount Brisancer.

In the beginning, a factory was built on the mountain's outskirts which collected its lava, rich in molten magical minerals, for cooling into raw magical physicals, like great chunks of ore for refining into glass, oil, and powder and shipping all over the Network for production into magical items. When this began to thin his lifeblood, Colly found that old, battered, unwanted magical objects could be fed into Brisancer's seething crater by the ton to enrich the lava and replenish his strength. Factory buildings, pipes, canals, conveyor belts, scaffolding and machinery now cobweb the mountain from foot to crown and even plunge within the awesome crater itself.

Mt. Brisancer is the single largest employer of dragons in the Network, who withstand, indeed thrive in, intense heat and are pro at heavy lifting. Dragons also constitute a large portion of his company's consumers, as larger dragons can no longer draw the substantial amount of magic they need to function from their environment and require a steady diet of magic-enriched ore.

James never got the hang of most igniad tricks and the closest he's able to manifest himself as human is as a smoky phantom. If he feels like being terrifying he can slop around his crater as a colossal dribbling magma thing or coil in the air as a thick black smoke thing. He's mostly a consciousness which speaks and breezes around his domain. He has direct control over all the magma, lava flows and falls, smoke, and fire of his hellish body and can physically feel everything that goes on around it and in it.

He's still hellbent on scouring the Network for the igniad and her lover and has taken great pleasure in detailing the punishments which await the pair when he gets his molten mitts on them.

The perky, self-confessed nerdy volcanologist has long since become a severe, brooding, meticulous man whose (admittedly deserved) self-pity and general anger have given him a sadistic streak, while his serious personal immobility fuels the relentless building of his corporation. Stupidly wealthy, Colly has styled himself as genteel and hosts formal functions and dinners in an elegant, heat-shielded chateau above the churning lava lake within his crater.

On the nicer side, James is a huge music lover (jazz, blues, and old rock in particular, and pop when no-one's listening) and a die-hard record fan, enjoys old movies and new podcasts about myriad things which interest him, and he loves to listen to stories. He's a hauntingly good singer. He's not exactly mired in self-pity even most of the time, honestly, and is often as not in a friendly, chipper mood, if a little business-y.      

He has a Barbossa-like obsession, with water. A tall crystal decanter of it lives on his desk. James attempts not to look horribly intent when people sip their glasses during meetings.

Speaking of his desk, he's constantly frustrated by his lack of middle gears, in that he has the raw might to blow acres of mountain and valley straight into the upper atmosphere but lacks the dexterity to hold a pen, turn a doorknob, or operate a mouse. Manipulating warm air, he can barely turn the pages of a book. He does much of his computer work via voice commands. There's a crucible in the center of his desk glowing with coals which provides hot air he can use to flip through memos or operate the tiny fans which active many of his things, like toggling the voice capture on his computer system or answering the phone.

Many of the rooms James spends any amount of time in have unobtrusive contraptions tucked in corners which, when initiated by fan, ignite a powder and spew the heavy smoke he forms into his ghostly shape.

James may be an unintentional antagonist in the modern portion of Eric Thedrial's story, whose underlings would find the shapeshifting immortal, properly interned, silenced, and fed, an unimaginable source of raw magic for James' enterprise. The unspeakable bastards. James himself is not exactly evil, and being wrongfully imprisoned himself, as it were, there would be hell to pay if he found out part of Brisancer's input was coming from some sad captive his managers did not see fit to inform him of. But where it all breaks down with James is his precious RRREVENGE, and while he wouldn't honestly keep Thedrial on the mountain, he would certainly threaten to do so in exchange for some detective work by his friends, who have recently had a brush with a girl who should be an impossible being... a half-nymph igniad. Which makes James' metaphorical blood run to ice.  

Referring to Mr. Colly as a nymph is a really good way to find out exactly what 1000°C feels like.

Races of the Network
:bulletyellow: Centaurs
:bulletgreen: Lurigadaun
:bulletred: Dragons
:bulletblack: Ru
:bulletwhite: NYMPHS
:bulletpurple: Monsters
Add a Comment:
Sehvrin Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2014
Interesting. As always it is very enjoyable to read about your world :)
MaxiMaster Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2013
What would happen to an Igniad if all the lava in its site cooled and turned to rock?  Would it just die, like with draining a Naiad's lake or something, or do you think it may actually become an Oread, a rock nymph?  After all, the magic that gives the Igniad life would still be there inside the solidified lava, right?  In fact, could something similar happen to a Naiad by freezing the water in their site?  Would such a thing be more likely if it happened over a slow period of time?

Lastly, can a Nymph form in a desert, or does the sand get moved around too much by the wind?  Can ocean currents move a Sea Naiad's site around?
Heretofour Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013
Thank you, I've just been educated. :) (Smile) 
carrie-lou Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
very interesting, thankyou for sharing!! :D
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013
Thank you for reading! Glad you enjoyed this! :)
carrie-lou Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah no worries! Thankyou
Im actually been doing some research for my scifi mermaid story and focusing elemental supernatural creatures well known in folklore, so this was very interesting, so cheers again :)
X-I-L2048 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is, bar none, the most extensive, interesting, detailed bits of worldbuilding I have read in a long, LONG time. The way you described how nymphs work and their roles in society is incredibly fascinating and make the world of the Network come alive even more. =D

Marie is a character I'd love to see more of, along with Brogan. =D Does she know when her feathery episodes are going to hit (like do they come on Sundays and Wednesdays from 9-5), or are they completely spontaneous?

Neridia sounds utterly adorable. :heart: When you say nymphs who are transplanted are "unstable" do you mean they get "brain damage" as it were? Is that why she doesn't speak hardly ever, or is she just that shy? Also, how did her captors end up capturing her in the first place? Can't nymphs dissipate into magical energy when they want to? Also also, why does she choose to appear to everyone as a young child (at least, that's what her human form most resembles, but I could be wrong)? Don't they appear as what the person/being observing them most wants to see? Or do they have "default" forms, as it were? Her relationships with Shad and Eric sound adorable, though. :) I'd love to see her interacting with either/both of them if you ever get the inclination. ;)

Lastly, James is shaping up to be a fascinating antagonist, to be sure (that last line tho XDDDD). The idea of your bad guy literally being a sentient volcano is incredibly badass, though I'm sure he'd give it all up in a heartbeat if it meant he could be human again. He's sure to be something of an oddity among the denizens of the Network though, even among all the weirdos who already inhabit it; is his, er, predicament common knowledge among the general populace (i.e. "Poor sod traded places with an igniad, can you believe it?") or do they all think he's just an enterprising nymph who also happens to favor taking on a male form? And oh no, poor Eric! :tears: Would having all that magic constantly leeched away from him be painful, you think? :worry: An interesting plot twist to be sure, though. It'd be so cool to see you develop it/James further! =D
Phageous Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh man, I just read about Eric's past and then I come over here and find out what fate awaits him in his present story arc... What a cruel punch to the feels!

But that aside, James sounds like a fun character. I always dig the villains who aren't really evil. :D
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
WELL, take it with a grain of salt. I don't really do plots... that would mean, like, writing something someday, what a travesty. I may never use James and Eric in this way, but it seemed like a plausible turn of events. If Eric ever gets a real storyline of his own in the modern Network, it better involve-- and by 'better' I mean WILL AND MUST-- involve the end of his curse, although not necessarily the end of his life. That curse has GOT to be undone, some things need closure!

Think we've had this conversation. ;) Yeah, not-really-villain villains are the very best things!   
Phageous Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha I see. Someday I hope to actually write plots for my characters, but for now I totally understand the "maybe this could happen but I don't really know" sort of thing. ;P

I'm glad, Eric probably deserves it by now!

*Flails arms excitedly because you remembered that old conversation* Aaa, talking about your characters is making me want to go draw my own. I haven't really been working on them very much lately. Life's been... a thing. -_- Also sorry for taking so long responding! I swear SOMEDAY I'll get back to being a regular deviantART person. (By the way, I still adore the commission you did for me. Corias lives right above my bed where I can see him every morning. <3)
Jane-Martin906 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
I really love how you write. This feels so real and tangible I would swear that the Network was a real place.

Also, to solve James' problem with not being able to hold things, turn knobs, type on computers, or answer phones, maybe he should hire a secretary?
TORVUSANDFRIENDS Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Now THIS is high quality!!! OMG - Watch that I hope you don't mind, but I'll be looking at this for references I could use for stories I'll be writing.
CalliScribbles Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
"It's not the shiny yellow metal the naiads will punish you for disturbing, but the precious little barnacles growing on it."
This struck me as adorable for some reason.

City nymphs are awesome!
Synaesthetic1 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
... why do you feel the need to do this to people? You know, that thing you do where you take the tropes and the fun and the fantasies and put them in a blender that does not follow the usual rules of physics. I think the kids on the street call it "mind blowing" now...
artst04 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
Wouldn't it be amusing if James ended up with a naiad in his office. Perhaps a gift? Impossible?
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
Hah! Given the hair-curling, skin-cracking dryness of Mt. Brisancer, it'd be a pretty cruel place to drag a naiad. But you know, you've got me thinking now. As I say, James is a reasonably nice guy, but has some generous loopholes in his moral code when it comes to righting the injustices against him. And he has no particular love for nymphs. It could be that he's had a few ripped up and brought either to him personally or to his research team for interrogation. After all, if that double-crossing pahoehoe of an igniad knew how to do this form-swap thing maybe other nymphs do as well, and could free James from his molten mess.

I suspect the igniad's lover was the one who taught her how to perform the swap. So killing a few innocent, clueless, frightened nymphs probably hasn't helped James' mood or self-esteem much.  
artst04 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013
Oh James can have dinner guests in his Chateu but he can't keep a water Fae?!!  COME ON! :-p I don't know what rules you have for fae in your world but there are ways to capture one without killing it. She'd be really really angry though... might find it to be like a sauna in James living quarters the first night or two.

Can you imagine the arguments they would have? The discussions, the all out laughable confrontations. With every evil dead there is some good that can come out of it... somewhere...
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
On the nicer side, James is a huge music lover (jazz, blues, and old rock in particular, and pop when no-one's listening) and a die-hard record fan, enjoys old movies and new podcasts about myriad things which interest him

I admit I've never really gotten a bead on what the technological level is in your stories. Sometimes it sounds current, other times Renaissance-era.
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Ah, it might be you're mixing the two. There are just the two. And a half.

The Network (with the nymphs and James and all this above)  tracks our world in many respects. Relative to us, magic has retarded the growth of some sectors (long-distant transportation via portal tech negated the need for the plane, alchemistry competes with chemistry), while damn Dr. Destastiel and his sci-fi type cyborg tech means the Network may have a hundred years on us in certain aspects of computers and robotics. Tom, because I love him and the concept behind him and I could never get rid of him, is single-handedly the reason the Network is kind of a sick modern-fantasy-science fiction mutt. So, yeah, the Network is with us, just ahead of us, just behind us, but to put it simply, yes it is modern.

Hellecker (Morgan and Magda) looks like the Renaissance, yes, exactly. Not on purpose, and again not a perfect mirror, but simply: sure. They have better guns and some machinery that's a bit advanced for our own 15th-ish century. Magic is more rampant (and ridiculous) than in the Network and it's definitely filled niches the would have otherwise advanced tech. Electricity is unlikely to be widely explored in Hellecker, and they won't miss it. So 15/16th century tech level for this storyverse.

The half story is Ben's homeland, Berenger, a place in the Network isolated from the rest for over half a millenia. They look like every other Medieval high fantasy world. Tech there is craaaaap since magic is ridiculously abundant and they use it to solve most problems. They are also really behind technologically because the two major races, humans and dragons, have been locked in a never-ending war that chews up everybody's time and energy. So tech's settled at High Middle Ages for Berenger.            

And I am almost always talking about the Network on dA, unless Morgan's involved. Sorry, it is kind of confusing. :)
Phageous Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahhh good to know, I have been wondering about this! So... Hellecker is in a completely different storyverse then? No chance a portal could ever erupt between it and the Network?
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
Nope! Whoooole different compartment in the brain. (:

Maaan, I have been re-thinking the portal/multiverse thing for the Network. I kind of wish it was all one planet much of the time. I mean, our world, for example, is huuuuuge! It is! Holy crap! I kind of feel like it's greedy or overkill to do the many worlds thing, and that's a LOT of planets to fill, and how convenient they all happen to be life-supporting and the same size, composition, and gravity. I feel like maybe that's sci-fi territory I don't need to stick my fantasy fingers into. There would be growing pains, but maybe it'd be worth it to collect everything together onto one sphere, like I collected all (or most of) my stories into the Network a few years back. Dunno. Thoughts? Is the several-planets-linked-by-portals thing a significant appeal of the Network stories, or could we turn worlds into continents without losing much?   
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013
I've thought about that myself once or twice, and it does kinda seem like "overkill" as you put it, raising more questions about, indeed, how so many planets gave rise not just life, but sentient life that can communicate and interact with each other, and how they all found this portal network in the first place. Narrative-wise, knowing that the story takes place on five planets instead of five continents probably won't win anyone over if they weren't already interested, but it will lead lots of people to ask questions like that, that you could easily avoid. What are you worried about not making logical sense if you shift the story to a single planet, if I may ask? I can't recall anything.
Phageous Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well generally my story advice is, if you keep wanting to change something and the desire doesn't go away, you should probably change it, because it's going to keep bugging you if you don't. ;P After all, it's your story, so you can do what you want! As for my opinion, I don't think you'd lose too much by turning the worlds into continents. Technically, you could even set it up so that the continents were initially colonized by people from other worlds that came through portals, if you wanted to still maintain some multiverse flair. The portals might not even have to still be functional at the current time of the story, if you wanted to make sure those complicated other worlds were out of the picture. ;P

But really even if you do get rid of the multiverse thing altogether, I don't think it would hurt the appeal of the Network too much. I think its true appeal is in the extremely varied cast of characters you have, and also the Library, which is kind of a baby multiverse in and of itself. C:
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
Can the separate universes interact?
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
Nope, not in canon, anyway. Though I have thought about cameo'ing Morgan and Magda's story as a book in the Library for my own lulz.
FieldsOfFire Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
I see. Thanks for the info!
Weaver8 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student Writer
I'm looking forward to seeing more of your character James Colly. I really feel sorry for him, though he would probably rather unnerving to deal with. The nymph's in general sound amazing. You must of had these guys floating in your head for quite some time.
loverofmythology Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
love this!! and omg, i love the idea behind sirens, too funny xD
InnocentStranger Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student General Artist
O my Din being a nymph sounds so fun!
ferabird Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Love seeing a more traditional notion of nyphs, as well as recognition for more than just dryads!
Lady-woods Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is really well thought out!!! Found it interesting, funny, weirdly scientifically possible (in the way science-fiction works, that is). Makes you want to find out more about your story. :)
kittyelfie Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Well-written and fun to read.  It gives some nice depth to the nymphs.
Racesolar Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I love how this is like a documentary for the most part, and then there's an unexpected joke that pops up out of nowhere. :la:
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Haha, good to hear! Hey, thank you! :D
Racesolar Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student Digital Artist
No problem!

ohmygod you actually replied
Altalamatox Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
Aw! Sorry, I do that sometimes. XD :hug:
waterdrup Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I really liked reading this! The humor you use and the way you describe things is great XD
(I laughed when you mentioned Oreads could be watchfull stones that follow you around haha)  
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