monerelluvia's corner

Arcusios

General information
Species
Undead creature; hybrid of bear, horse, and wolf species
Gender
Prefers to be seen as a male or undefined
Age
~120 years †
Birthday
Around the Imbolc festival, break of Jan/Feb
Height
~1.80m at the withers

My own fantasy, pagan setting happening around 400-300 BC, “Europe”. The times of Iron Age, continental Celtic history, but with mythical beasts and gods actually existing at the fringes of civilization.

Magic also plays a much more real role in the world. Although it is extremely hard to master by mortal beings like regular humans, people have learned to employ some of its essence into everyday life. For instance, “magic” is used during rituals, while praying and interacting with the gods, and as very minor protective spells. An essence can be embedded into a bronze torc in order to protect its wearer by granting them safer (but not entirely safe) passage through the wilderness or greater resilience in battle. Magic is very closely connected with the surrounding nature and people’s bonds with the land and its other beings.

An undead hybrid created magically by a powerful, experienced druid. The function of this creature was solely to protect the tribe’s village and its people. It could not eat, it could not breed, nor have a mind of its own. It could only be commanded by its creator, or by a person the druid has chosen. The hybrid’s life was supported only by necromantic magic, an anti-energy existing alongside the natural magic essense of living beings.

Due to an unforeseen incident, at one point the creature was bonded with a human soul and achieved consciousness, developing a distinct personality.
After the bonding, although his body could now regenerate better, he also became mortal (with a long lifespan, but still, very much mortal). He far outlived his people and was later left to roam the land, becoming a reason for many local legends. He was feared by some, and worshipped by others. Previously reffered to as “the guardian”, or simply “the monster”, he was eventually granted with a new name by other tribes – Arcusios.

Arcusios has features of a few creatures: the height and general posture of a horse, strong hind legs that let him stand upright, long-fingered front paws almost able to grab, and a mostly bare, white skull of a horse with long canines. His body can be covered in scars where previous animals had them (or where the sections were connected), but it’s not entirely necessary. There are three feathers attached to his mane – originally given by his tribe, later replaced with new, painted ones by the people who worship him. He could have more of them, as well as other decorations and paintings on his body applied during festivals.

The creation of Arcucios was preceded by a number of failed experiments. The village folk never admitted to having done these, because necromantic magic was feared and condemned among other tribes. These failed creations died either instantly, or only after a short period of time. Arcusios became the first and only (as it is commonly believed) “working” hybrid that served its purpose. When not in battle with other tribes, it was put to sleep in order to await the next calling.

During one of the attacks, the village could not hold its position. Even with the help of a necromantic beast, the enemy peoples wiped out the village. Arcusios tried to save his creator, but in the moment of his death, the essence of his life seeped into the creature. The price of toying with necromancy was to have his soul become undead as well.

His consciousness and personality melded into one. For a long time after that, Arcusios kept wandering the wilds, feeling lost and broken. He experimented, knowing he was now mortal, but he was too curious of this form in the end to cut that lifeforce away. Additionally, he became more connected to the spiritual dimension of the world around him. Magic became more apparent, more accessible, and way more obviously dangerous.

Throughout his remaining life he met with a number of smaller communities, at first trying to communicate his story and achieve some peace. However, his ability of speech was taken from him, though.

 

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