More Flames

A continuation of this post. Let’s get freaky.

Liar’s Scourge

Color: Normal, but difficult to look at directly for most humans
Owner: None

A flame that feeds off of lies, and also the people telling them. People who attempt to lie around this flame will feel excruciating pain, while the fire grows and turns white. No effect on those lacking empathy/conscience, except the cancer. Exposure causes cancer, by the way.

Contraction Flame

Color: None, but it makes the area it affects take on a reddish hue
Owner: None

This one burns/consumes space itself as opposed to physical material. An area that has caught will literally shrink until nothing is left. Adjacent areas will rearrange themselves to accommodate the shrunken areas, no holes in space. The material within the alfame area will eventually be shunted out, often quite violently as the walls buckle and spew their material.

The Imitator

Color: Normal, but throws off a lot of sparks
Owner: Unknown, formerly magician/Spell-thief Letario

First, find an animal and feed it to the flame while it’s still alive. Then keep the flame low and stored safely. When you need it, just expose it to a regular amount of oxygen, and the flame will take the form of the animal you fed, and mimic its behavior and mannerisms. It’s just mimicry, the fire-animals only respond to the most basic stimulus (objects in their way) and won’t respond to commands. It’ll survive a couple of hours.

Making the flame kills the animal, but as long as the flame is kept low you can split it off an use it again and again. Most often used on mice, rabbits, and small doves, because kids love it when street magicians roll this one out. Just keep in mind that they can still definitely catch things on fire. Once a magician on the island of Gambor accidentally released an entire flock of doves at once in a town with mostly thatch-roofed buildings. This resulted in the destruction of town, over a hundred dead, and the island-nation’s first state execution in three decades.

Delver’s Flame

Color: Pure molten orange, very dim
Owner: Mulis

A very, very dim flame- to actually see it you need to be in pitch blackness. No moon, no stars, not even the comfy glow of cave fungus. The reason you want to see it is because the dim low flame will point towards what you want most in that moment, whether that be treasure or a way out of the dungeon.

The fire needs special oil to burn. Oil that only a few people know how to make, chief among them Mulis. Mulis is a dirty, skinny older man in a straw hat, what appears to be a burlap sack for a tunic, and a walking stick. He also usually has a large pack. From this pack he is capable of pulling out all sorts of wonders, amongst them the flame and its oil. He will exchange these for a night by your campfire during which your rest will be ruined by vague anxieties, or people who are comatose or mad or otherwise willing to follow him (and no mentally sound person will agree to this. It is part of his curse. His very presence causes others to be ill at ease) into the depths of the underworld, which is where he can be found, or more likely where he will find you. He’ll also take silver (no gold or other metals) and flawed gems, but he’ll grumble about it and ask for stories as a supplement. He likes stories.

The fire can also spread on natural unworked stone, where the flame spreads as a series of curvy whirling lines, moving towards the thing you wanted when you put them down. However, experienced delvers know that about a sixth of the time the fire (both on stone and in the oil) doesn’t actually point towards what you want, and instead leads you somewhere else. No one who follows those flames is ever seen again.

Un-Wildfire

Color: Black
Owner: Unknown

Imagine a candle, but instead of burning a wick, the top of the wax burns. Also instead of burning down the wax, it burns up, building more wax as it goes. Now imagine that but as a tree, and you have and image of what Un-Wildfire is. It was created as part of an ill-considered attempt at environmental restoration. This flame can be spread over ashen areas to repopulate them with trees, sort of. The trees that result will have no leaves, incredibly wide-spanning branches, and anemic root-systems. In fact, most of them will rest at an angle, supported by their branches touching the ground because the roots can’t hold them up. An Un-forest is a tangle of slanting tree trunks and jutting branch systems that is a plain bitch to navigate. Very little else will grow in an Un-forest, although in a couple of older, larger Un-forests unique (and deadly, but also pretty goofy) ecosystems have started to form.

The wood of the Un-trees is valuable, as it is flame-resistant, stronger than normal wood, and a rich, deep black. It’s also pleasantly warm to the touch. The trees only have papery-bark of any color (it seems to depend on soil and atmospheric qualities) or none at all.

Mutation Fire

Color: Normal
Owner: None

A fire that mutates you as it burns you. It mutates you about as fast it burns you, so if you want to know how long getting mutated is too long, just figure out how long being on fire is too long and you’ll be in the right ballpark.

Those subjected to the fire gain several deadly (to other people) mutations (in addition to dozens of useless and cosmetic ones) and go insane before the fire kills them. Any surviving victims of mutation fire will be incredibly dangerous in addition to being fire-immune. This is unfortunate, because fire is usually one of the best ways to cleanse mutants, and mutant-hunters very much like to use it, and they will be upset and confused if they can’t.

Mirror Fire

Color: Normal
Owner: None

Only burns in the Mirror Realm(s) or things from it(them), no effect whatsoever on our world. Very helpful if you have an evil twin from an alternate dimension that needs dealing with.

Moundmaker Flames/Swarm Flames

Color: Cool, phosphorescent colors
Owner: None? See below

A flame that mimics the actions and society of eusocial species. They were originally named after termite like examples that built large mounds out of singed or burnt material, but it appears they can imitate ants, bees, wasps, and aphids. The search for a imitation of a mole-rat colony continues, but is thus far unsuccessful. The metaphysicians have corrected their nomenclature, but everyone else calls them moundmakers.

Some metaphysicians suggest this is merely a form of The Imitator, but that doesn’t explain the relative permanence of specimens, or the color, or the intelligence. The moundmakers are just as intelligent and active as their living counterparts, with a couple of important differences. The first is that they don’t seem to set up separate colonies very often. The second, discovered in a moment of inspirational genius on the part of Leading Swarm Metaphysician Investigator Delaflent (on medical leave, wishing her a speedy recovery), is that they communicate with each other instantly, apparently with the queen as a conduit. The bruit runs that each colony queen is actually a platonic flame. Verifying this has encountered…setbacks, as the colony is just a defensive of their queen as their physical counterparts, and far more effective (again, wishing Delaflent a quick recovery). But if it’s true, who or what the hell is making them? Really, the metaphysicians are at a loss for this one.

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