Monday, August 19, 2013

All Must Change - The Chimera

The Chimera makes her home in a massive, spired fortress known as Turris Atra. Unlike other fortresses, however, the Chimera’s home does not long remain in any one place. With each dawn, the inhabitants of Morden discover Turris Atra and its surroundings in a new locale. Though it only stays until the following midnight, the Witch’s fortress invariably spreads sorrow and grievous loss before it departs. The Chimera is the tower's mistress. Whenever she visits a new site, she promptly abandons her completed experiments and begins gathering up the living components to begin anew. Any nearby life could potentially be drawn into her next project—to their eternal dismay.

Among the Witches of the Grand Coven, the Chimera seems to be the one most interested in knowledge for its own sake. Specifically, she seeks a better understanding of all living things. The precise basis for her quest for information is unclear, but the methodology and the consequences are certainly obvious. The Witch eagerly gathers test subjects for her experiments, and combines them into new and blasphemous creations. She then abandons her creations, so that they might inflict whatever depravities are in their nature upon the unsuspecting nearby populous. Some legends indicate that the Chimera monitors these creatures, to see how her creations behave, though others believe that her studies are completed before she releases them. Their activities after they depart Turris Atra are of no interest to her.

During the war effort, most of the Witches made use of the Morrigan's cauldron-born to form the majority of their armies. The Chimera, however, preferred to use banes of her own creation. While most of the cauldron-born were mindlessly obedient, the Chimera could directly control her own banes—and her Witchmarked—through the techniques involved in their creation. No matter where they might travel, she could instantly interact with them, assess their situation, and issue new commands. Alliance commanders believed that this communication made use of a continuous link between the Chimera and all of her creations. Some believe that it was always possible for the Chimera to watch and study those she has created or modified—including those Accursed whom she had abandoned. Others—particularly those affiliated with efforts to overthrow the Witches—suspect that this link could even be bidirectional. If their theories were correct, the connection could be used to monitor the Chimera's activities, possibly even predicting the next location where Turris Atra was due to travel.

All of the Chimera's banes were distinctly recognizable, both because of their living nature and their combinatorial appearance. While her Witchmarked and her experimental subjects were always unique creations, many of her banes were duplicated numerous times. Combinations that proved particularly effective in battle were repeated, so that the Chimera could fully exploit their abilities against the forces of the Alliance. In this way, the soldiers of Morden came to recognize the inherently destructive capabilities of her Stench Goblins, Maggot Hounds, and Swamp Krakens. Each of these creatures took full advantage of their mixed ancestry, and used these abilities to devastating effects.

However, the Chimera is also eternally compelled to change and develop new techniques, to improve the effectiveness of her creations as well as to combat the developments of her foes. The Witch is never static in her philosophies or her decisions. Instead, she constantly revises her believes and her strategies. A Slug-bat that she—or more likely one of her lieutenants—crafted recently is certain to have a different appearance and fighting style than one created during the war.

This metaphor extends further as regards the Chimera's actual appearance and physical composition. For the Chimera is almost a literal mother to the Mongrels. In the same way that they are composed of different creatures, the Chimera regularly performs surgeries upon herself to implant various organs and limbs. These can include tentacles, claws, protective hides, and even unusual sensory organs. Her appearance can changed dramatically from day to day, leaving some to speculate that Turris Acta travels through time as well as space, while others just suppose that she has some means of rapidly exchanging—and preserving—her implants. What is clear, however, is that the Witch never exposes her face to observers, always hiding it behind a hood and a scarf. Some believe that this is a means of keeping her identity secret, while others venture that her modifications are now so extreme that her face is no longer even recognizably humanoid.

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