Species: Kitsune, of the Weaver clan.
Height: 6 feet / 183 cm.
Build: Thin, but moderately muscular, with a generally healthy and "fit" appearance.
Eyes: Hazel-blue; usually appear green.
Hair (mane): Auburn, and long. It goes to about halfway down his back, tied back in a ponytail.
Physical appearance: Anthropomorphic fox; specifically, North American red fox. Tails are about 4 feet long and bushy, with a good amount of white at the tip; his fur is a little darker under his whiskers, and his white fur has more sparkle to it than normal. (Alternate forms)
Clothes and Accessories: He usually wears a pair of blue denim jeans, and a jacket (either denim or buckskin). He wears the jacket open, unless it's really cold. Around his neck is a chain, on which hang a key and several small charms, all silver. He often wears a pair of aviator-style goggles on his forehead, when they're not in use. Sometimes he'll wear a pair of headphones, connected to a PDA; sometimes this breaks the fourth wall, but mostly in chat. (more on accessories)
Tail Count: Varies. It's a matter of etiquette.
One most of the time, especially around normally tailed people.
Three oftentimes around other multi-tailed critters, especially foxes.
Five if he's surrounded by overly-tailed characters, like Vasrii.
If he has more than five, he's just having a bit of fun, at the expense of his sense of balance.
Occupation: Mechanic and "chaotic energy" researcher. Lab is under construction (see home thread).
Abilities: Physically fit, high endurance for running or carrying (50 lb / 25 kg for hiking gear). Moderate survival fighting and hunting ability with staff, spear and bow. Mentally, excels in memory and especially learning, with good skill in technical, mystical and scientific areas.
Powers: He doesn't use them blatantly all that often, but he has a good variety, and he knows how to use them intelligently if he needs to.
Standard kitsune powers include shapeshifting, telepathy, spirit powers, self-healing and illusions; more 'real' illusions are handled by weaving.
His elemental powers are wind-based, with a focus on storms. It can simulate telekinesis, and let him control electricity. He's immune to electric shock.
Finally, his weaving ability lets him reshape anything made of threads, which includes everything. He's limited in what he thinks he can do, but geometric designs can act as foci, letting him get around this. Some of these include traditional talismans.
(Powers in more detail)
Weaknesses: Insatiably curious, sometimes too much so. He's also slightly overconfident, which gets him into trouble if he's over his head. If he focuses on one target, he can use a good amount of power and track their movements easily, but it's a form of tunnel vision, leaving him open to attack from other angles. Finally, as a kitsune, there are certain things one can do to negate his powers, if you have the ability; this includes certain objects of faith, and talisman seals.
Special Effects: Angus's powers often have no special effects, but he can add them if he likes. Sigils and charms he makes might glow, make ringing noises, or do other strange things while in use. Also, his eyes may glow, lose their irises, etc. as a power's special effect.
Personality: In contrast to his old self, Angus is warm, approachable, and maybe a little too talkative at times. He'll gladly join a party, and you might even get to see him dance. He doesn't have trouble with small crowds, but big cities are overwhelming; thus why he lives in the country.
Angus is at his best when he's working on something new and interesting. He's assertive, focused, and very enthusiastic; unfortunately, he won't think about much else, and asking a question about his work might get a longer answer than you'd like. Also, he's picked up a habit to apologize for the smallest things (especially his perceived faults).
His year or so of court life in the Grand Library grant him a business-like attitude when things need done, especially when under stress. He knows to be careful with wording and decisions in any dealings, bureaucratic or otherwise, especially with other kitsune or similar-minded beings. He doesn't often get visibly angry anymore, he just gets clipped, withdrawn, and almost paranoid in being careful. If he is angry, you know you've really done something wrong.
Brief History: (linked)
Ambition: "To keep learning."
Pretty short list, really.
(has a shiny version)
This is a badge that came as quite a surprise! A gift from Alec Hart / Doric Iranor's PG, by way of Kit Chen, in appreciation for helping to get threads moving again in the dream in 2008. One of a set.
Here's the badge thread (with guessing game) and the original challenge.
A very old gift image by Lynne Stephenson. (from his teenage years, no less)
I won't link to his cards. The site does that already.
Note: I'm still open to any gift art, of course. If I get my pen in gear again, I could even do trades.
Alternate forms: Angus's most common alternate form is, of course, a fox. Non-anthro, four-legged, small, and some might say cute. He can take that form as he wishes, and shrink his necklace down to a collar, to fit.
For travel, Angus can sprout enormous (20 foot wingspan) silver-feathered wings, and soar on thermals high in the air. His bones are lighter and more fragile in this form, as his mass has to spread out. Wearing shirts or jackets is impossible with these wings. He will always morph back when he's done flying, if possible.
Many other forms are possible, of course, but rarely seen.
- A set of "aviator-style" welding goggles on his forehead. Besides protecting his eyes, they can also act as a computer monitor.
- Around his neck is a chain, with several small, silver charms, and a silver key. The chain isn't just for show; he stores items on it by tying them to stamped silver charms. This is really just a warped version of a kitsune's space-hiding ability.
- The silver key on the necklace lets him teleport and open gateways over long distances.
- When working, he keeps a toolbelt full of odd tools and sundry things around his waist.
- For sentimental reasons, he keeps a flint knife on this belt. It's also a decent spirit focus, as it's charged with fortune from a sacrifice to a wilderness god. He's used it as a spirit knife for healing, in the past.
- He has weapons ready on his necklace: a bow and buckskin quiver, a two-meter staff, and a flint-tipped spear. These are rarely needed, fortunately.
- He owns a blue motor-scooter (similar to a Vespa), useful when he doesn't want to fly. It's not seen very often, as he keeps it in hidden space on the necklace.
Affiliations: Yaodema, his goddess and founder of his clan.
He hangs around with a few folks (mostly in chat), among them Dispea, Mezzo D'Octieve, Orpha, 'Looter, and many others besides. Then there's the Fullin sisters (Krinele and Molly), though he doesn't understand them all that well. There's plenty of others he calls friends, but listing them all would be tough.
Morathi, Peter Johnathan White, Snarf, To'prak Maeko and Vanilla Ermfield are helping him out with the construction of CERL.
Huang Xiao Zai's connection to him is... complicated. She's one of the few other kitsune he's met, and they've been through some rough times. Though he still doesn't know her name, he might help her with a project or two in the near future.
Starzy, Dispea and Mischa have all helped him with nuances of his powers and/or devices.
Angus has a number of powers, divided into three categories for ease of explanation. None of these powers are really magical or psychic, though they might have properties of both.
- Shapeshifting - practically unlimited in shape-shifting. He must stay living, red-blooded, and have no more than his normal mass in the end (don't ask where it goes when he's smaller). He may learn to fake mass using his weaving power, but it'll take time.
- Illusions - Can be mental or physical, either messing with another person's senses, or actually making sensations -- though that's usually done with his weaving. Complex illusions are possible, but take focus.
- Spirit powers - He can "see" spirits and auras, and project an astral body with great difficulty. He can also channel others' energy and perform bindings, summonings and banishings, but he prefers to leave well enough alone.
- Telepathy - "talking" to other psychics is easy, non-psychics are a little harder to reach. Requires line of sight or familiarity. Works best with eye contact. He can manage some emotion control, and walk into other's dreams, at close range.
- Healing - Angus can heal just about anything, slowly. Bleeding stops in seconds; soft, simple tissues take minutes or hours; bone and nerves, etc. take hours to days, as do diseases. Weaving and his energy transfer powers can let him heal others, but genetic conditions can't be fixed, at present.
- Wind - He can make gusts of wind in whatever direction or strength he likes. Manipulating weather is possible, but very slow for any big effects. Coaxing rain one way or another is fairly quick, but raising or calming a major storm would take a long while.
- Ride the wind - Angus can teleport to any point within line of sight, or any point within quite a distance when in open air, so long as there's a direct line of open air between those two points. He can take about half a ton of matter with him, including people. Combined with weaving, the right glyph, and the silver key on his necklace, he can open gateways to almost anywhere, even between worlds, given enough time.
- Air Telekinesis - He can form defensive shields for himself, or bind targets slowly into a super-strong "foam" of air particles, by binding them together. Can be combined with weaving to bind with the ground below, fixing the barriers in place.
- Lightning - Very good control: creating arcs of lightning, magnetic fields, jump-starting cars, stunning, or creating foxfire are all possible. Controlling electronics is not, and would take lots of practice. Angus is also immune to electric shock; it just passes around him harmlessly.
- Literal - He can reshape anything made of threads, but slowly, and at close range. This now includes cloth, paper, synthetic fibers, wood, and even space-time itself (though very limited).
- Metaphorical - This power is potentially unlimited, but he has limits to both power and technique. At present, he knows how to shapeshift other beings, even permanently, though he needs to be touching them. He also doesn't like doing that against their will. Also, he can hide space (as with his necklace), create talismans with special designs on them, use the other three elements to a small extent, get assist to lift very heavy loads by binding "threads" of force to an object and the ground, and just about anything else he chooses to learn...
- Lucid Dreaming - aka "dream weaving," this lets him reshape a dream's reality as he sees fit, but big changes take time. Other lucid dreamers can stop him, or make changes of their own. Only useful in his own dreams, when dreamwalking, or when in a weak area of the Napping Cat's Dream (such as chat), where it acts like a souped-up version of his normal weaving ability.
- Glyphs - Angus can use special geometry as foci or talismans to amplify or mimic his own powers. This lets him project illusions, form large gateways to other places, send telepathic messages to old friends over vast distances, and so forth. It's easier for him to make a new glyph than to try a new use for weaving on the spot, though it takes a lot more time.
Brief History: Angus was actually born human-shaped, in a world much like our own Earth (that is, where magic and furred humanoid things are just fantasies). However, his mother Dianne taught him the basics of thread-weaving, and some Western magical practices as a base. She never told him what he really was.
He didn't think much of these powers, as they were all fairly subtle. That is, until he did something stupid with it in a dream-like state, helping a friend's ghost to take vengeance on her killer, and taking power from the result. The sudden surge left his power uncontrolled, and he wound up catapulted into the Dream, forced to shift into a half-fox form.
His power remained uncontrolled and dangerous, even working when he was sleeping (somnomagism, though it's a bit of a misnomer). Fortunately, he got some help from powerful people in the Dream, as well as Dianne and Yaodema, helping him to quiet things down and get control.
Even so, it took him years to get used to this world, his powers, being a kitsune, and all of this being real at all. He spent a lot of time wandering in the forests. At one point, his power surge faded; he was locked in one form, with no special powers to speak of. He eventually made it to civilization with the help of local gods, and became a photojournalist for a tabloid, the Dream Times. This led to him meeting his now ex-girlfriend, who first helped him to get over his leftover pointless angst, then set off a chain of events leading to his windfall, now existing as a fair sum of Anycity Credits.
For about a year between the windfall and arriving in the Dream proper again, Angus was in the Grand Library with his fellow Weavers. He reached the rank of Clerk of Physical Sciences through hard work and dedication, earning the rep for three tails; but it tired him out, and he had to leave to keep sane. This eventually led him back to the Dream, though it's not easy for him to travel back; the way is long, twisting, and may not even be there anymore...
For now, he's turned his mind to science. Though he'll likely have much more to discover, adventures to follow, and strange goings on getting in the way, he's hopeful that he can learn something along the way. And maybe he'll learn to make technology that does what magic, psychic powers, and his own weaving can accomplish. Of course, the lab he's building will also act as a mechanic's garage and technical shop, so he can make a living at a more practical profession; he doesn't get grants for his research, just now.
What is a Weaver?
A fully detailed thread will be linked both here and to the Bestiary later. For now, here's the short version.
Weavers are an extended family of kitsune, the oriental shapeshifting foxes known in myths and legends of the Near Earths (known in China as Hu Lijing). Their patron goddess and founder, who goes by "Yaodema,"* is an ascended kitsune herself. The power available to all weavers is the same as she herself had, and the same goes for their longevity.
There are only a few differences between weavers and most kitsune. Their power to re-weave reality's "threads" is just a different paradigm from a kitsune's general "illusion" powers, and serve the same purpose. These might be affected by sufficient faith, owing to their "true" source.
Besides that, to make sure the clan would survive even in distant universes, the union between a weaver kitsune and any mate (preferably another fox) will produce either another weaver kitsune, or nothing. They can hide their offspring as the other creature even before birth, but this can be cruel to keep up too long. Their blood will show one way or another, and it can come as a shock to the child.
Yaodema hoped that giving the weavers the same path she followed, some would become fellow creator gods and goddesses, or "Spinners," to follow in her footsteps. Thus far, over a millennium after she formed the first 1080 Weavers, there might well be hundreds of millions of them throughout the multiverse -- and not one has come back as a Spinner yet.
Past that, they retain the elemental focus common to other mystical creatures (mostly Earth, Wind, Fire or Water, with some side elements attached to each). Each weaver only has an affinity with one element, though the others aren't off limits; just more difficult.
A note on tail count: The number of tails borne by a weaver kitsune, due to their shapeshifting powers, is whatever they want it to be. However, there are social rules limiting the number they show, by reputation and power. Mostly, this depends on their rank within the Weaver Court, a clan body dedicated to collecting, categorizing and maintaining information in the Grand Library. Those without an official court position have whatever number of tails their reputation demands.
Regardless of "rank," among non-kitsune, they generally show only one tail.
Ranks and their meanings in the Court:
2: Initiate; basic clerical duties
3: Clerk, with a specialty.
4: Only borne by "Editors," a euphemism for executioners and (to some extent) mid-ranking military.
5: Curators of a specialty, and Advisors of others.
6: Curators of exceptional reputation.
7: Governors; protectors of some section of land or space.
8: Governors of exceptional reputation.
9: Beyond the Court. If they still have positions, their governed areas are probably the size of countries, or even planets.
Tail ranks below 7 aren't well correlated to age, though the older you are, the more likely you are to have larger numbers of tails. Ranks of 3 and below are possible at ages well below a century. At 7 tails and beyond, weavers generally have just under 100 years per extra tail (so a 9-tail would be around 800 years old at the very youngest).
Note that the Nines have immense power, but a far different sense of time from ours. They could move entire continents, or perform even more impressive feats, but it will take hundreds of years at the least. Such amounts of time just don't matter to them anymore. Effects they could perform at our time scale are much less impressive.
*In other parts of the multiverse, Yaodema also acts as a muse. While her current charge on Earth can be frustrating at times, it's obvious he's still paying attention.
What's with Angus's surname?
Clan kinship and convenience, really. The name "Weaver" doesn't seem that out of place in an English-speaking area of a world, as plenty of people had surnames based on professions (Carter, Smith and Porter, to name a few). A weaver is both a clan and a calling, in a way, as they "weave and bend" the threads of reality; thus, when a surname is needed, they will often fall back on "Weaver," or some derivative thereof, no matter what language they're speaking at the time.