Perhaps it was the expediency of their transition between worlds, maybe it was their potential as mages, or possibly even just the safety it would grant your followers in death. Either way, despite some initial hesitation, you elect to make your servant into an Eldritch type. You watch with admitted fascination as Servant morphed and twisted into a body that mortals would struggle to describe.
The body was like a serpentine jellyfish, with the translucent skin revealing its internal body. It was filled with a blue substance that produced an eerie glow as bolts of magic danced through its length, like lightning in slow motion. All along its body were many short, insect legs, arranged like a millipede's. The head was like that of a shell-less nautilus, with a host of thin yet lengthy tentacles about its beak-like maw, but with twelve eyes: three on each of the upper left, lower left, upper right, and lower right. All twelve were like hollowed stubs that twitched about to stare at one with a physically hollowed slit. The tail was...not there, the creature appearing to continually move from where it was emerging, as if it became a ghost at that end.
In the very center of it was a black...spine of sorts. One that moved with a ripple through it when it spoke. "Master, I am formed," Servant said, apparently happy with its completed self as the many legs danced against the air. You had to admit, whereas Chaos was overwhelming, your servant was more...not exactly beautiful, but awe-inspiring was a word you felt comfortable using.
All the same, you nodded to Servant before turning to keep your attention on the hunting Hunter. By this point, Shaded Gold had taken to the trees, leaping from branch to branch. It was a much quieter way to travel than one might expect, if one knew how to land properly by judging both the distance and the intended branch. But one misstep risked falling at worse and at best drawing a lot of attention to one's self. It was something only someone as skilled and experienced as Shaded should try out here, deep in unknown and hostile territory.
Turning you focus briefly back to camp, you deduced that Shaded was at least a mile away from the clearing, probably more. And, by the looks of it, Frozen Meadow and Quick Blade were getting a group ready to come searching for Shaded if he took too long. And that group included Thicket, which was good: If this DID turn into the first battle with the natives, the Kirin would need their heavy hitter. And if worst came to worst, AKA Shaded Gold dying out here, you could use Servant to order in the cavalry, hopefully.
You needed to give Servant a name, for your own sake if nothing else, which also highlighted your own need for one. But that could wait, this couldn't.
You come to a halt even as Shaded continued on, looking off to the side with surprise. Unless you are a hundred and ten percent wrong, you just found your missing Kirin. You call to Servant, whose form phased through physical matter without care, just as you could. "Yes, Master?" it answered dutifully. You give directions to grab Shaded's attention towards where you could sense his comrades. "As you will, Master," Servant responded with far more resolve than needed.
You observed your creation at work, its unseen body curling around the Kirin as it did something you found quite clever. Servant forced its magic into the physical world while remaining in the spiritual world. It wasn't much, but it was enough to cause Shaded to stop in alarm. And setting off his instincts from the right angle got his senses exactly where you wanted them to be: The softest flicker of light smoke in the distance, an even thicker and more distinct smell in the air of things both fruity and foul, and...
Something you both just noticed. The trees were...more in this direction. Not more as in the swamp was denser, but as in the plants themselves were thicker, and covered in more vines and moss. Which really didn't make sense. No matter how in tune with nature a race was, the flora should lessen towards their settlements and outposts, not increase. Unless they were completely primitive without civilization, maybe?
Servant released itself from Shaded, but remained close to him, sensing your wariness from the bond between servant and god. The Leader of the Hunters moved forward again, at a much more cautious pace, keeping to the lowest branches to avoid ambushes from above. You scowl, perceiving how boggy it was becoming below. Sneaking about down there would be hard without leaving evidence, if it came to that for Shaded.
Said hunter slowed his pace the closer he came to the light, noticing how the vines became thick and tangled the further he went. Not to mention little scuffs and dents in the bark, obviously a sign that some creatures frequented this location, sapient or not.
Being what you are, you are not bound by the same rules of distance and senses that Shaded is. With an idle command to Servant to keep an eye upon the Kirin, you pressed forward and reach the clearing and found...a mixture of things that you did and did not expect.
The group of Kirin were here, all five of them. And better yet, unharmed! But they were unguarded, or so it appeared. You were positive their captors were nearby, but none of your divine senses were screaming "trap" to you. However, they were bound with vines at the hooves, and a sap-like substance covered their horns. You examined it, sensing it was...not magic proof, per say, but magic resistant. Which, like this, was as good a magic-blocker. Still, even odder than all of that was, despite being bound and unguarded, they seemed to be well taken care of: they had been given food if the leftovers on the ground was anything to go by and they were laying upon logs around a camp fire. If not for the swamp's humidity this night, you'd expect them to be covered in blankets.
But...now that you thought about it, this scene still didn't add up. While the horn was important for magic, Kirin didn't need it to take on their Nirik forms. Could they have just been too worried about burning the whole area down in the fight, or causing an explosion?
Too many questions. Questions you could look into their minds for if your focus wasn't also on Shaded's approach and figuring out where in your undecided name were the natives lurking about? That was your one inherit disadvantage in this marsh. There was so much life, too much! Being so new to it, it was hard to find a sapient life form if you didn't actually know what you were looking for.
Your entire being twitched and jerked as you felt...something stir in the swamp. No, not stir. React. To you. The longer your direct attention lingered in one spot, the more your presence grew in it. While nothing divine, strictly, these beings had some form of sense for gods and such.
Which gave you a very wonderful, crazy idea.
You looked up towards where Shaded was watching and studying the site for traps that you knew didn't exist. Unknown to him, Servant was next to him, half floating and half curled around the branch. Servant, sensing your intent, cocked its eldritch head in confusion, but followed your desire all the same.
Just before Shaded was about to embark down, Servant flexed a bit of its own magical power, just enough to put Shaded on edge and give him pause. You, meanwhile, decided to flex massively.
Immature yet potent waves of your divine power washed over the spiritual side of the given area. The prisoners began to stir, your young bond with them already giving them the vaguest awareness of you. But they weren't your target.
All at once, the swamp came alive. Literally, in fact.
From the trees and swamp they rose, creatures of pure plant life given a form that imitated the life of more flesh and blood variety. You sensed Shaded's alarm, but ignored it for now as at least two dozen of these natives made their appearance. What caught your attention was the lack of fear from the prisoners at their captor's arrival.
Their forms shifted and differed, but they had the same general shapes and themes about them: They had the vaguest of equine forms. Some were too long or too tall, others too rounded in the wrong ways or scrawny in others, but the shape was definitely there. Their barrels were made of, or at least covered in, tree bark. A few even had branches and leaves upon their backsides. Their legs and necks consisted partially of twigs and sticks, filled with a semi-translucent, green material. Their faces appeared to be like a Kirin or pony, but the texture was like that of a fruit skin, and framed by manes of leaves.
They moved into the campsite, looking about with both curiosity and caution. They couldn't see you, but their eyes did linger on your spot sometimes. A lot of things made sense to you now. These...Treequines were by definition in tune to plant life. Generations of them living here probably not only gave them a sense for the forest itself and the divine, but there might actually be a proto-godling formed from the ages of Treequines living and dying here. Something to look into later. For now, you had a situation to control and possibly diffuse.
You can tell just by knowing who Shaded is that he will go for a surprise leap to catch the Treequines off guard and attempt to free his comrades. From here your options are limited.
You could keep Servant on standby, jumping in when and if Shaded is in need of back up. After all, Shaded had skill, instinct, and his Nirik form, but the Treequines had the homeland advantage, numbers and hostages.
Conversely, Servant could emerge immediately before Shaded has a chance to attack, and make the first blow itself, possibly settling the issue before Shaded even needed to be involved.
Of course, given Servant's ability to appear nigh instantly in the material world, it was possible to join the fray right when Shaded made the first move, forming a more unified front- assuming Shaded didn't assume Servant was an enemy from the get go.
But...was there another way? Something else you could try? After all, no one was hurt yet. Did a show of force need to be a show of death? After all, Servant wasn't just your warrior, but in many ways, your messenger...
Hey guys, sorry for the long wait. Holidays are worse than normal this year due to...many things. Any way, yeah, these are basically MLP Dryads, and could be considered a relative of the Timberwolves- or at least in the same magical-animal kingdom. And this being a swamp gives them a bit of an advantage. Kirins being nature attuned mitigates that a bit, but still.
Anyway. here's your options:
A. Servant on Standby
B. Servant attacks first
C. Servant-Shaded tag team attempt
D. Servant the Messenger
ONLY If you picked D:
Open Ended: What should the message be. You may type out exactly what you want Servant to say. Most common theme/idea will be picked, and I will make the final result based on those.
Final results from last poll:
So, what type of servant shall you have?
If you voted C, also vote here:
Weird, I was sure feral would have a bit more. Oh well, see you all next time.
PS Don't know if I mentioned this before: My uncle went in for heart surgery a bit before Halloween. He's doing great now though!