Transcendents

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  Transcendents are found throughout Qet, they are humans who— through alchemical mutation or other means— have entirely replaced their human physiology with that of something else. Becoming greater beings as a result. They are often wise and well respected, sought out by people seeking answers and guidance throughout the world.  

Made of Many

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Transcendents can take on many forms. Transcending merely requires a replacement of physiology— what, exactly, one replaces their physiology with can be nearly anything. Via alchemy, this would mean that of animals, monsters, flora, and minerals.   One transcendent may have the body of a fish, fifteen legs from several different mammals arranged in a ring, a head of stone, and the mouth of an ape— while another may have a snake's body with greater mass, the carapace of a beetle, and the arms of a cichetet. Some are formless, some appear as if they were statues— there is no standard form for a transcendent.   Transcendents, while found throughout the world— are few and far between. Most commonly, they transcend via myriad alchemical mutations— and due to the nature of alchemy, mutations become more and more dangerous as one transforms themselves further and further. This means that, those seeking transcendence more often than not perish or are severely disfigured in the process. Those who survive long enough to transcend are few in number, often being either incredibly lucky or alchemical prodigies. Most are nigh immortal.  

Abilities

The powers held by transcendents are as varied as their mutations. Of course, there are base strengths and abilities granted by their transformed bodies— while one may have great wings and be able to fly, another may have a jaw of stone— enabling them to bite through the toughest of metals.   Beyond this, many also posses the ability to utilize manipulative magic— naturally having distilled enough magical energy to do so via the veritable amount of potions they have consumed. Those who have transcended through eldritch means may possess abilities relative to their origins, instead of manipulative magics.

The Hunt

After Dor Tzetz's recent rise to power in Louh he ordered the extirpation of any transcendents that may stand in his way— or against his own ideals.   Many of those living within Louh fell shortly after, some were able to escape via their own power, by hiding their presence entirely, displacing themselves elsewhere, fleeing, killing their attackers outright or convincing them to peacefully leave— some of their attackers even agreed to pretend as if their job was finished, out of respect.
 

True sight

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All transcendents do share one particular strength— that of true sight. True sight is both inward and outward, offering great wisdom and the ability to see that which average humans cannot. Having replaced their human physiology it is as if a great veil has been lifted from their hitherto limited perception of the world.   Great wisdom, as if previously having been tucked away somewhere in the corner of their minds suddenly comes to them— including an understanding of the world, how it works, and the forces that change it. Regardless of whether or not their new bodies possess eyes, they can see clearly— for miles around them— through both objects and living beings. They are also able to see partially into other planes of existence— those that exist simultaneously with the physical realm humanity was born into. This allows them to see beings and objects that most humans may have only felt or been affected by— but never truly witnessed.  

Notable Figures

Cipol Zetachklio

Once, a vicious and feared warrior— one who brutalized their enemies and civilians alike. Following the loss of an arm, she began to study and practice alchemy— refusing to lose such an essential tool. What was first simply a means to recover something lost to her soon became a means through which to acquire more power— before long she had been ostracized by her former friends, family, and colleagues who saw her as weak for using power that was not her own.   And so, she became a bandit— who terrorized the countryside for a short few years as she continued to mutate herself. Eventually, she would transcend— her attacks steadily decreasing shortly before this event, and ceasing entirely afterwards. She no longer saw a reason to fight— and instead dedicated the rest of her life to philosophizing. Those looking for answers to life's mysteries or advice on bettering themselves may find her welcoming, should they successfully scale the side of the cliff she resides within first.

Poulilitzol

Formerly a devout follower of Zytex, Poulilitzol heard whispers in the dark which they believed to be from their ancestors— telling them to begin to practice alchemy, and eventually begin to mutate themselves. They obediently did as they believed they were told, slowly but surely transforming themselves until they transcended.   Through their newfound true sight, they came to the unfortunate realization that their ancestors were no longer there— and never were to begin with. With the faith that had founded their entire reason for being now shattered, they desperately sought for new purpose— eventually realizing that they did not know what the whispers beforehand truly were.   And so, they began to hear the whispers once more— and after some time were able to convince their family of their existence. A small but sizable cult would soon grow, and Poulilitzol's name would eventually become feared as horrible acts of violence were carried out in the name of the whispers.
 

Tliouch Ytan

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In their human life, they were a renowned scholar— who secretly dedicated a significant amount of their time to studying the occult. These works were not published, for fear of punishment, while their public writings found their way to the libraries of Lliaq and influenced generations of scholars.   They lived alone on a hill, in the northern grasslands of Romtol, overlooking the Xhloui River. This offered them ample privacy to experiment— and plenty of live subjects to practice with. It was through one such experiment— and a deal struck with a particularly amicable eldritch being— that they found themselves transformed entirely.   Though they were elated to find their newfound wisdom— and immediately began to expand their already veritable store of knowledge— their colleagues were less enthused by the change. After an altercation with the authorities, they fled to Louh in the north— where they have continued to live for decades, always in search of new knowledge. Those willing to trade for knowledge— be it with exquisite goods or their own knowledge— find themselves quite welcome in the great scholar's abode.  

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Cover image: by Garrett Lewis (Timepool)

Comments

Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!


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Grandmaster Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
22 Oct, 2020 13:26

This is a really fascinating article, and I LOVE the artwork. I enjoyed watching you draw some of it and it looks so good now it's fully finished.   The examples of Transcendents were really cool - I really liked how varied they were. I think my favourite is Cipol Zetachklio, because of how much her personality changed after becoming Transcendent.   I noticed a typo in the first paragraph - I think you have a full stop instead of a comma before 'becoming greater beings'.   Really great job, Timepool! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
22 Oct, 2020 18:06

Thank you for the kind words!   Glad you like her, she is one of my favorites too— something about Lliaqeu who realize the flaws of their culture I just really like...   Not a typo, on purpose— were I to conjoin the two with a comma then we'd end up with a run-on sentence, unfortunately.

Grandmaster Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
22 Oct, 2020 19:16

That's cool, as long as it was intended! :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!