In role playing games (RPGs), I tend to gravitate toward certain kinds of characters. I have my rogues, my witches, and a couple of fighters. Today I’d like to introduce the first of my magic-wielding characters: Negora.
Negora (neh-GOR-ah) was my second LARP character (preceded by Talitha Vashti, and succeeded by Sabrien Gale).
She was a dryad, a kind of humanoid with plantlike features or growths. Dryads, in our game, had been dormant for ages, emerging mysteriously asexually from forests, marshes, and prairies (or wherever else a good number of plants might naturally be found), and could theoretically live thousands of years or more.
Dryads were broken down into three general groups: the spores, the reeds, and the barkskins. You can maybe guess what plant species these dryads were related to. Barkskins most closely resembled trees, potentially having (as the name would imply) patches of bark on their skin. They might also have leaves, vines, and flowers in their hair or wrapped around their bodies. Reeds were grassy–I don’t know that I ever met a reed dryad personally, come to think of it. They remain somewhat of a mystery to me. Think plains, prairies, wetlands, savannas: these are the environments from which a reed might emerge.
Negora was a spore.
I modeled her after possibly the most common and simultaneously most awful fungus I could think of: black mold. Known for its toxicity, and instantly recognizable in urban settings.
Negora, the story goes, first appeared in an abandoned little shack in the woods, filled with spiders, moss, and fungus of varying sorts. She was happy to inhabit the crumbling shelter, and there she lived for a fairly long time. The nearby town eventually found out about some stirrings in the old cabin in the woods. Some said it was haunted. Others thought a witch had moved in. They were both right, and not quite. A superstitious lot, the townsfolk would often leave little offerings nearby, in an effort to appease whatever haunted the shack, and to prevent any ill will from descending on the town itself.
You would think that Negora, well cared for by superstitious offerings and entertained by daring children, would have been quite content to stay in her ramshackle abode indefinitely. She might have been, but some event took place which drove her away from there. Regretfully, I… don’t remember what.
Despite her moldy goth-witch vibes, Negora was more of a skewed sort of hippie than anything. On the whole, she was wistful and good-natured. Pleased by little things. Unnaturally accepting of death: Death was just another part of the life cycle, and as long as matter was getting recycled, all was well with the world.
Negora valued balance, and to her that meant the equal applications of both healing magic and necromancy, which, in the rules of the world, were essentially two sides of the same coin. Necromancy was, of course, heavily outlawed, and it seemed to be the only morally ambiguous thing the adventurers as a collective would not stand for.
Ridiculous laws, in Negora’s eyes. Necromancy, magic which encompassed things like reanimating the dead and turning old scars into fresh wounds, was simply another useful method of recycling. Repurposing old bones for new goals. (I once knew a trio of liches Negora would have loved to meet.)
One of Negora’s goals had been to establish an underground support network for necromancers. She hoped they could band together under one umbrella (whose acronym was KIND and whose correspondences would always be signed by the illusive character Agnes), which would offer protection from law enforcement in exchange for aid in a common cause: protection of the Sheltered Lands from forces far worse than necromancy.