Ogre in the Playground
Re: Heroes of the Fall OOC 2
Forgive the double post. As this is a new OOC, I thought I would re-post what the Jongoscion are.
Alternate Names: Jongoghet, Jonget, Jongospawn (derogatory), Jongoborn, Dopplegangers
Gaunt, grey-skinned, genderless humanoids with a penchant for mischief and the ability to be anyone, at any time. The only remarkable feature about them is they have dazzling green eyes, or sparkling grey eyes -- and that is in any form they take.
Like trying to grab water in your hands, Jongoscion will only show a little personality at a time. While in their natural grey-skinned form, Jongoscion are friendly and playful, a left over from their divine evolution from Dolphins.
However, their ability to shapeshift and take on any humanoid form of roughly medium size makes their personalities erratic. They can perfectly mimic someone to the point that not even most godlings are able to tell if it is a Jongoscion or not. So while in the midst of a mimicry, a Jongoscion's personality completely matches the form they have chosen. A little bit of that personality persists in the Jongoscion after they change back, slightly altering them and also making it easier to take that form again.
So just like other humanoids, Jongoscion have varied personalities... in fact, the varied personalities are EXACTLY like other humanoids. Because that's where they came from.
Jongoscion were divinely evolved from Dolphins, Jongo's favorite aquatic mammal. As such, they retain the slick grey skin a Dolphin had, and when they smile in their natural form, their teeth are large and round. They have no nose to speak of, and their grey or green eyes are normally quite startling to look at, almost mesmerizing. Each Jongoscion is unnaturally thin, as the mass of the Dolphin was squashed and stretched to Jongo's liking.
Between each finger and toe is a small membrane, allowing for easier swimming. On the back of a Jongoscion's neck is an airhole, that can suck in a large quantity of air and store it so a Jongoscion may dive deep into the ocean waters. At the top of a Jongoscion's head is a small and sleek dorsal fin, usually covered by hair, but sometimes proudly displayed -- it's difficult to say if this is an affection brought about by status in the Jongoscion community, or if it's just each individual's choice. Only Jongo knows.
All in all, to other races, a Jongoscion in its natural form looks vaguely monstrous, and they can be quite unsettling if not prepared for them. Thankfully, their actions are quite goofy and fun to watch... much like the Dolphins they came from. Doubly thankful, Jongoscion are rarely seen in their true forms unless you go looking for them in the Sea of Jongo. Usually a Jongoscion outside in the world spends their time mimicking another form, and spends months - even years - perfectly copying their chosen personality.
Jongoscion may copy any form, but do not gain special abilities. They can copy the looks of a Nightborn down to the finest detail, but do not gain their ability to see in complete darkness. They may copy a spellcaster, but without intensive study themselves, Jongoscion cannot cast spells in the same way. The ability to copy a chosen humanoid is astoundingly accurate, and the small spark of personality left over makes it easy for the Jongospawn to remember any form they have mimicked, even it was decades ago.
Encouraged by Jongo to be friendly, the Jongoscion as a race try to be nice to all other humanoid races. This is partly out of respect and partly in the hope to allow the Jongoscion to study how someone behaves and moves. Jongoscion see other races as stagnant and unevolved, but rarely say so - and even then, usually in a joking manner. Most Jongoscion find no issue with deception, and indeed, enjoy the complete mimicry that they can do. However, unless commanded by Jongo Hir-self, a Jongoscion in mimicry would only do minor mischief to those that they live with. Practical jokes and small pranks are common ways that Jongoscion deal with people who are being too uppity or are too full of themselves. To preserve the peace, however, a Jongoscion is very mindful of local governments and laws; they may completely disregard these laws in favor of a good jest, but above all, a Jongoscion endeavors to stay "in character" as much as possible.
Other races, however, generally view the Jongoscion with a hefty deal of suspicion. Creatures that can assume any form are difficult to trust. It is only through the Jongoscions' continued actions of kindness and propensity towards wanting to have a good time are they accepted. And the fact that they stay in the Sea of Jongo helps. At least... while in their natural form.
Still, other people are careful in how they treat anyone who is Jongoscion... for it is entirely possible that the Jongoscion they scorn may in fact be the God/dess of Chaos hir-self, Jongo, the Everchanging.
Most Jongoscion would be considered to be neither good nor evil; but certainly they are chaotic. They will not sow discourse without good reason, but neither will they go out of their way to do good things when shapeshifted... unless it is within the accepted character of the person they are mimicking.
In truth, because of Jongo's request to help foster the Disk into being a better place, most Jongoscion start out as good creatures. However, after years and years of picking up personality quirks, it is not uncommon for a Jongoscion to start having issues with what is good and what is not. When they recognize this themselves, they know it is time for the Ritual of Separation.
For most of their lives, however, they remain erratic, playful, and prone to whimsical acts of kindness. They may portray others with different alignments from their own - and do so nearly perfectly - but it is just an act.
Jongoscion call the Sea of Jongo their home. They have received a promise from Jongo that one day a great nation will rise, and the Jongoscion may live there. Until then, they guard the waters of the disturbingly calm sea, and live in peaceful harmony with all who wish to treat with them.
That said, Jongoscion view the rest of the Disk as an open playground and find it difficult to recognize things like borders. While they will not actively try to take over or invade, it can be hard to guess at just where a Jongoscion will show themselves. They certainly would not replace an authority figure and assume power without anyone ever suspecting any change... or so they have calmly and carefully told anyone who has asked.
Jongoscion all revere their divine progenitor, Jongo. The Everchanging has set down His/Her rules for how the Jongoscion should live, and each Jongoscion follows them... in his or her own ways. When asked, each Jongoscion has given a slightly different response as to what Jongo actually wants from the Jongoscion as a race. The basic idea, however, seems to be that each Jongoscion should live their lives to the fullest, protect themselves and their friends whenever possible, and when they become too erratic, it is time for the Ritual of Separation.
Beyond Jongo, each Jongoscion knows quite a few interesting tidbits about the other deities. Either Jongo chose to teach them, or they learned in order to better copy others.
Jongoscion seem to have evolved with an unusual ability to speak in the same sort of aquatic language of Dolphins. Their basic language is a series of clicks and squeaks, but those with enough magical ability have been known to speak mind to mind. Jongoscion have an amazing ability to learn new languages, in order to better mimic new races and peoples. Their mastery of shapeshifting seems to also copy over to phonetics, as they imitate accents with ease.
Jongoscion find names to be undeniably important. They each have a unique name, gifted to them during their birth from their parent. Usually, it is a name that is indistinguishable between genders. However, such names are only used when a Jongoscion is in its natural form. Otherwise, they assume the identity of the humanoid they are mimicking, and treat the name of this person as something akin to currency. Many Jongoscion have been discovered due to their irrational reverence of "their" own name.
Common Names: Gene, Charlie, Roe, Vick, Matti, Samm, Erin, Rione
Jongoscion are naturally suited towards adventure. They love traveling, finding new things, and are jovial and friendly. Usually, however, they have assumed a humanoid form from one of their previous duplications - maybe changed a hair color here, a nose there, grew or shrank a few inches - and choose to adventure as a whole "new" person. Some choose to be travelling entertainment, some choose to be priests of Jongo (utilizing the astounding powers of Wild Magic), some are crafty tricksters, and a very few are skilled practitioners of other kinds of magic.
The more clever Jongoscion, however, just show up in town as beggers. They sit in the middle of a town, asking for food and drink, and just wait for someone to be helpful. The Jongoscion then rewards this person however they can.
Society and Culture
Jongoscion tend to live in shallow waters, near the surface of the waves within the Sea of Jongo. They go where the currents take them, and over the years, tiny underwater huts have been spotted among the coral and caves. These rest stops seem to be the most permanent type of home that Jongoscion have. This makes them nomadic by nature, but each "pod" of Jongoscion has an almost innate sense of where it is in relation to other pods.
A pod is usually twenty to thirty Jongoscion at once, with leadership taking on specific titles. A "Dorph" is the generally accepted leader of the pod, making decisions of when it is time to move on, or who should do what during the day. A Dorph is also typically the warrior-protector. A "Gwenie" is usually the caretaker and spiritual leader. Skilled Gwenie have access to Wild Magic and can command the very waters around them. Finally, a "Lors" is a social entertainer. It is up to a Lors to decide what games should be played that day, and each Lors appears to be chosen for their ability to pull pranks and practical jokes. Curiously, in the rare times that battles have occurred, a Lors is the first to charge into the fray.
Superpods are made up of multiple regular sized pods. Superpods can get as big as two hundred Jongoscion all in the same place. This is a time for celebration among Jongoscion, as it gets quite chaotic and it is hard to say just what happens. But with enough Jongoscion gathered in one place, Jongo hir-self has been known to show up.
Jongoscion live at peace with Mermaids, Dolphins, and many other sentient aquatic creatures. Sharks are hunted for their body parts, which are used as weaponry and primitive shields. Jongoscion respond well to those who are trying to be friendly, but can turn aggressive in an instant if attacked. Superpods have been known to form for war, and unfriendly ships or coastal villages have been rumored to be wiped out in retaliation to aggressive actions without any one realizing that a fight has started... or has already finished.
As the story goes, one village headman awoke one morning to find that his entire village was perfectly normal, and a giant feast had been prepared in his honor for chasing away the unwanted Jongospawn and slaying their "Lors". Only after he had eaten his fill did every member of the village change back into Jongoscion and surround him. The next day, the villagers were returned to their home, to find the village headman alive - but his mind broken forever more.
More common, however, is the tale of how a Jongoscion saved someone from drowning. Or how a Gwenie has helped sailors who are dead in the water to move their ships. Or a dying village, with no food or water, suddenly finds a pod of Jongoscion walking onto land, hands full of fish and fresh water.
Jongoscion merchants are rare; but they do happen. They usually sell exotic tasting fish, or fishing gear. In exchange, they ask for the strangest thing... a name. Any name will do. But it must be the name of someone you know.
In a rare moment of clarity, Jongo was once asked, "How do Jongoscion reproduce?"
The God/dess of Chaos reportedly laughed and responded with a detailed explanation about birds and bees not being needed. The condensed version is what is called:
The Ritual of Separation
When a Jongoscion has lived their life, and gathered a full set of idiosyncrasies and quirks from all the forms they have taken (usually reaching into the hundreds) they start to have trouble keeping their natural form and overnight can find themselves shapeshifting into other forms. When this starts happening, it is time for the Ritual of Separation.
A Jongoscion goes into seclusion, and travels towards the great Rim of the Disk. The Ritual requires this migration to prove to the Jongoscion that they are ready. When they reach a certain spot, to the east of the Sea of Jongo, within unfamiliar waters, the Ritual really begins. Entering a deep state of mediation, a Jongoscion selects it's favorite personalities, mixes them together, and imbues them and all their knowledge into two different parts of themselves. For truly powerful Jongoscion, it can even be three or four parts. These new personalities are given names by their parent, and then through the process of Wild Magic... a Jongoscion dies, and separates. The newly named personalities become new Jongoscion, smaller and less full of unneeded quirks. Together, they swim back to the Sea of Jongo, and join with the next pod they come across, to grow, learn... and live life to the fullest.
"Fear the Gerbils, lads! For they will destroy you!" ~ DOOM
I've only seen a character at anything resembling this level of absurdity thrive exactly once, and he/she/what-the-jongo had the advantage of being written by Gengy, who I look up to as a writer.
Before you insult someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, you'll be a mile away, and have their shoes!
~avatar by myself