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Bracken Balechild

From Phe’s Shipping Squares
Name Bracken Balechild
Age Young
Personality Bracken is still trying to figure out who he is. Is he someone who ambitiously wants to become a power, to rule a corner of the Nexus in death and destruction, or is he someone who wants to play, to cause chaos and mayhem and attach themselves to someone else who can do the heavy lifting? He is young, attracted to the shinies and the unknown and he doesn’t quite know what he is yet. But Bracken is very sure that he will figure himself out, and when he does it is going to be simply glorious.
Balefire Breath, The ability to spit a gout of bright green corruptive balefire.
Corruption Powers, Mastery over the corruption of anything around them, organic, inorganic, and magical alike.
Immortality, The cessation of physical aging upon reaching maturity and possession of eternal life thereafter. Can still be killed by lethal injuries.
Realm-Travelling, Above and beyond simple teleportation, the ability to realm-travel and cross into dimensions separated from the Nexus by more than mere space and time.
Shapeshifting (Human-Dragon Spectrum), The ability to shapeshift anywhere on a spectrum between their natural shape and a human form that tends to retain the coloration of their natural draconic form.
Sizeshifting, The ability to change one’s physical size.
Toxic Moss, Their bodies are capable of growing mosslike foliage that contains their natural corruptive essences. The rashes that result from touching this moss could expand into corrupted mutations.
Telepathy, The ability to communicate mind-to-mind.
Teleportation, The ability to teleport anywhere within sight or that can be strongly visualized in the mind.
Verbal Speech, The ability to communicate in spoken words
On his best behavior at Planet Zar.

Karma and the Balechild – the story

From the hatching

With the last of her peers bonded, the okapi doe sprang into action. She swung around and raced away from the group, heading toward the back of the rec room where it adjoined the cafeteria. Krum cursed and hurried to follow her, motioning for a few of her staff to follow.

The cafeteria was dimly lit with a haze of green flame flickering at the end where Bracken Balechild entertained a group of soldiers, awaiting the call for the hatching bay.

Krum frowned. She did not want one of her soldiers bonding a noulicorn. Perhaps one of the scientists or support staff, but not the <>soldiers. What was a tiny little unicorn going to achieve in battle?

“Stop her,” Krum hissed.

Security rushed past. Some of the soldiers at the bar realized there was a commotion and jumped to their feet – parade rest first as they spotted Krum, then a burst of motion as they saw the tiny, striped thing streaking toward them.

This was that Karma again. Getting in the way of Krum’s plans.

The fawn was quick. She zigged away from reaching hands, zagged between legs, avoiding everything that approached her.

Krum realized what was happening and stopped.

She didn’t want any of the soldiers. She wanted-

Bracken!” The fawn screeched and leapt for the bar. She was far too small to make the jump, but Bracken reached over and grabbed the scruff of her neck, hauling her up to the counter. Her sides heaved as she tried to catch her breath, but she met Bracken’s eyes with a determined gleam.

“My name is Letharia, like the moss. I don’t care that you’re supposed to be dangerous, we were meant to be.”

And dangerous he was. Already, from that simple touch, from the formation of a bond, green licks of balefire crawled along Letharia’s spine. She shivered but otherwise remained steadfast and stubborn.

“I think you’re right,” said Bracken with a grin.

Krum sliced the air with a hand and her soldiers fell back. She strode between them, eyeing Bracken and the doe with curiosity.

“I think we could adjust her resistance to balefire if you think that would be useful. There’s nothing to be done about what’s already there, but we could slow the process of corruption.”

“Could you?” Bracken asked with an arched eyebrow.

Krum smiled, slick. “With the samples you gave us I’m certain we could create a remedy.”

No need to mention that such a thing had already been in the works.

Name: Letharia
Gender: Doe
Color: Okapi dunskin overo snowflake pintaloosa
Genotype: AA Ee BB PP Cc dzd Oo nLp
Adult Height: 2’8″ at shoulder
Adult Git: Fungal
Abilities at Birth: Verbal Speech, Telepathy (bondmate only)
Bond: Bracken (Naeodin)

Abilities at Maturity:
Balefire Resistance: while not entirely immune, Letharia has more resistance to most to balefire corruption thanks to a bit of fiddling from Dr. Krum and her geneticists.
Spore: the user releases a cloud of fungus spores that quickly disperse in the air
Bud: by allowing a fungus to grow on them, the user can communicate with other fungi of the same species
Ferment: the user causes fruit or fruit juices to immediately ferment

Quiet and soft-spoken, but never shy; Letharia is a curious doe whose got her eyes open to the inner mechanisms of the world. So many people crawling with ambitions, willing to fight and sacrifice to get what they want – Letharia observes but she doesn’t feel the same drive. Letharia loves acquiring new experiences and has hopes she and Bracken will manage quite a bit of travelling together. She finds people to be endlessly entertaining, but Letharia lacks a real sense of empathy. She appears kind and generous as she’s often willing to lend a  helping hoof to those in need, but she does so primarily to view people’s reactions. She thrives in social settings and loves to people-watch. Whatever Bracken decides to make of himself, Letharia will be happy – as long as they’ve got ample company during their journey.

Letharia grew up on the fringes of the Barrens, just outside of Homewood. Her parents were both wanderers and would leave Letharia in the care of Homewood nannies if they felt their next journey would be too dangerous for a young fawn. Letharia volunteered of her own accord to answer Grandfather Tree’s summons. Her parents are likely still alive on Vykeli, but she feels no urge to be reunited with them.