Smoke // Dust

Rök knew he was caught redhanded, the guards of Leaston had him just where they wanted him: At a dead-end, with no exit possible. The daring journey of the heartbreaker coming to an end, finally. The avian smirked upon seeing the signs of satisfaction running along with the lizards' faces, they had him! They would get a pretty penny for his head, the gentleman thief caught, imprisoned.
Or that was what they believed, thought Rök with an even wider smile. They didn't know what he was truly capable of. He lets his talon run along the brick wall behind him and knocks once. An echoing sound! Just what he needed. He relaxed and opened his arms preparing a deep bow while winding up the muscles in his legs:
 
"Brava, brava. You caught me, gentlemen.
May I congratulate you? You did what none, pardon, everybody managed before ... barely not catching me."
 
A brief moment of confusion regarding his words, enough to unleash the wound-up jump jumping with a slight twirl against the wall behind the birdman. No crack, no shattering bones, not even an 'ow', and he was gone. Only smoke remained to waft around, which condensated after a few seconds into discarded feathers. The heartbreaker was gone, vanished through the wall.

Smokescreen // Ashen body


Being masters of smoke and dust every sudden move of their body could release a fraction of their regenerating body as a small cloud of thick smoke. The sorcerer is limited in their amount, as they temporarily sacrifice parts of their body to create distractions. Popular usage of that shedding fog is using it to get cover in an open field throwing a smokescreen towards the prosecutors or releasing a thick cloud around them like a mushroom releasing spores.
This technique tends to not get used offensively due to obvious reasons but provides very good support in many cases.
 
A far more advanced variant of the smokescreen, utilized only by very few Fumancers, is very dangerous for the user. Going one step further the caster turns parts of their body into an ashen substance to let for example bullets pass through them. This requires great precision and timing as the Tainted has only a brief window to keep up that form, especially in vital regions.
There are records of a famous thief, who went even further beyond having achieved such control over his body, that he can phase that way through thin walls. But that rumour did never got confirmed and remains therefore pure assumption.
 
Rök grit his beak when looking to the side. He misinterpreted the wall and attempted to pass with his left talon through a thicker part of wood failing to resolidify his feathers. He breathed heavily recuperating from his impossible feat and watched his feathers slowly regenerate getting formed anew out of ash and dust. It hurt like hell, but he remained silent keeping his voice down until the guards spread out searching for him on the rooftops.
Not wanting to risk meeting anybody in this house, he phased back again through the outer wall and into the dark alley.
A grim grin was decorating his handsome face, his wing now merely an ashen representation of his body.

Veil of dust // Ashen storage


Smoke magic is very popular with thieves of all kinds due to its practical usage in their craft. You can never tell if that face of a fumancer looking at you is even their real face, have they ever shown you their true identity? Via small reconfiguring of their facial structure smoke mages never appear the same if desired, their identifying features are in a constant shift of form. Some even say, that those, who have once discarded their own face to become a different person, will never manage to fully return to the original having forgotten how they even look. But this appears to be merely a rumour spread by authorities to prevent criminals from using that power.
As their body appears to be made of regenerating smoke and ash, fumancers quickly discovered ways to smuggle items within their own body encapsulating all sorts of tools for example within their bones. Never assume a smoke sorcerer is unarmed, even if they are wearing nothing at all!
 
"I will see you soon, my beautiful face, but it is time for a clean getaway."
 
The avian mumbled to himself as his face grew ashen and rebuilt itself into an older variant of his. A few minor alternations with his spine to grew a hunchback and the disguise as an old man was perfect. He was only hoping, that nobody decides to rob the thief in this filthy neighbourhood, as he had now sacrificed most of his mobility to dislocate his spine and weaken his muscles. But his heist was a full success; the item in question was safe and secured being stored in the most secure place he could think of.
Right below his very heart. His contract will be pleased.
Fumancer Rök Bedroven by Soulwing
Aquired Through
Symbiosis with a @cloud
General Name
Fumancer
Related School
Common manifestation of the gate of corruption
Related Element
Strong association to the Wind element / weak association to the earth element
Effect Duration
As long as smoke needs to settle down, dependant of the way the ability is used.
Major body alternations can be only kept up for seconds at best,
Effect Casting Time
Vastly dependant of the users reaction time and speed and limited by it.
Range
0 - 5 meter radius: Fumancers can only dust themselves and nothing else. Each spell acts as a temporary lifeforce sacrifice.

Regeneration


The symbiosis has a huge effect on the host's body turning them essentially into living dust. They regenerate by absorbing particles out of the air being able to replace even missing limbs if the situation called for it. Fumancers, who went above and beyond mutilating their body by huge amounts tend to hang around facilities to filter out the soot of the dirty air to boost their regenerative capabilities.
Some might even use that unique quirk to act as an air purifier elevating the air quality to ultrafiltrated degrees.
"Don't worry about me, Mr Opilio, I am used to it.
Give me a few hours and I have regathered enough dust particles to fully regrow my talons.
Important is only, that I got what we came for!
 
(...)
 
Yes, I will fix my spine in these hours as well ... SIr can't even appreciate my method acting sacrifices."



Cover image: by Vertixico

Comments

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4 Apr, 2022 20:36

I love this! The ability to hide tools inside oneself is incredibly intriguing, and I cannot wait to read more of these articles!

Check out my competition entry!
4 Apr, 2022 20:41

I am glad you enjoyed the read and yes, this is a hella useful ability. A bit restrictive, but I heard that restrictions only boost creativity :3   If you want to read more, I just dropped a small journal with all current entries into the spellbook ^^

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker   Check out my tavern entry The divine Basknut
Master Watchman Deedly
Watchman Deedly
14 Aug, 2022 00:22

I enjoyed the story elements you wove into the description of Fumancer Rök Bedroven. Intriguing. Your work has given me a few new ideas. :)   Cheers!

Watchman Deedly
"Death before Dishonor!"
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14 Aug, 2022 14:14

I am glad I was able to spark your inspiration. Feel free to look around some more :3   And feel free to sate your curiosity asking stuff in the comments ^^

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker   Check out my tavern entry The divine Basknut