|Alderic | The Templar (alderic) wrote,|
@ 2012-12-13 04:38:00
|What Darkspawn are like:|
Tl;dr notes: Darkspawn skin is rough and wrinkly, covered by puckers and ulcers, and most often dark-colored. They smell of rot normally, and their blood is even more rancid-smelling than their flesh. Their blood is also black and thick, and unlike human blood, it's cold to the touch. They wear mismatched armor, most of it dark and rusted from being covered by corruption.
They have extremely sensitive hearing, and can see in the dark. Only emissaries are able to speak, the rest communicate with hisses and rattling. Because of their hivemind, they have little need to speak anyway -- what one knows, the rest immediately know as well. If one spots you, the entire group knows where you are.
When they are traveling in a group, they hum constantly, either a solid note, or rising and falling in volume rhythmically, likely due to their hearing the Old Gods' song. It's loud enough to be heard from a distance, and up close it can even be felt physically, because of it's volume.
EDIT: HEY WANNA CREEP YOURSELF OUT? While reading The Calling, I realized I could picture the humming perfectly in my mind, but I couldn't find any clips that fit what I had in mind. So, I made it myself. Here is what I imagine Darkspawn humming to sound like.
"It was a hideous mockery of a man, skin puckered and boiled with bulging white eyes and a toothy, malicious grin. It wore a mishmash of metal armor, some rusted and some of it held together with scraps of frayed leather, and in its hands it carried a wicked-looking sword, all points and odd angles. [...]
The deep humming was coming from it. The creature was moaning softly, almost chanting, and this moan built upon the sounds of many others behind it in the shadows. They hummed in unison, a hushed and deadly whisper the creatures spoke as one."
"He could faintly make out the sounds they made, the unnatural rattling and the dry hiss that had haunted his dreams ever since the Joining, when he had taken their dark essence inside himself."
"It was an emissary, a Darkspawn who might have been mistaken for a human were it not for its corrupted flesh and wide, fishlike eyes. It had no hair, and its lips were peeled back from its sharp fangs to reveal a permanent, hideous grin."
"Already he heard the hue and cry beginning around him, angry hissing and the sound of creatures running in all directions. The Darkspawn were connected to each other by the same dark force that the Grey Wardens used to sense them."
"It fell, clutching at the black ichor that fountained from the wound."
"The smell of flowing ichor was pungent, overwhelming even in the stink that surrounded him."
"He stared at the Darkspawn, this creature with its diseased flesh and its razor-sharp teeth, its dead eyes and the black talons on the ends of its spindly fingers, and he didn't know how to respond."
"The flesh on their bald heads looked almost rotted, he thought, withered and covered in suppurating sores."
"All Maric could hear was their ragged breathing and the droning hum of the approaching horde. There was a hunger to it, the sound rising and falling almost rhythmically."
"The Architect turned to him, its milky eyes wide and unreadable. 'Do you see?'
'No, there's not enough light. But I--'
His objection died on his lips as the emissary lifted up it's dark staff. A deep purple glow surged forth from it, and suddenly Bregan saw the entire cavern clearly. It was vast, a great underground chamber that stretched out further than he could possibly see, and it teemed with Darkspawn. Thousands upon thousands of the creatures toiled, all so closely intermingled it seemed as if a mass of black maggots writhed in some festering carcass. The organic stands covered everything, great hives of it strewn like nerve clusters and dangling amid the horrific workers the moved among the shadows below.
Were they digging? He had the impression that the masses of them were all engaged in some sort of industry, all united in moving great portions of rock out of the cavern and expanding it even further. Yet there were no sounds of tools crashing against stone, no hammering sounds or grunts of exertion. All he could hear was a rhythmic groan, a keening pitch that it seemed each of the darkspawn contributed to. The sound of it made his skin crawl, and he realized that the chorus in the distance responded to it. Like a cat arched its back to meet a brushing hand it became ecstatic; it surged and almost overwhelmed his senses."
From The Tabletop RPG:
"Darkspawn are malicious creatures, regarding all species not their own as slave labor, sport, or provisions. They tend to even look upon their fellow darkspawn with disfavor and even when they travel together in force, they will group together with their own kind (genlocks with genlocks, hurlocks with hurlocks, and so forth). Fortunately for the other sentients of Thedas, darkspawn despise the sun and their vision is impaired in daylight."
Genlocks: "Most numerous of the darkspawn by far, genlocks are tough and stocky fighters with a penchant for wickedly
hooked axes. Unlike the majority of their brethren, they are swift to take up the more complicated weapons of their enemies, employing siege engines in battle and using clever traps to defend any terrain they control. Ferelden’s Circle of Magi believes that their propensity to mine the Deep Roads for lyrium has given genlocks a resistance to magic, for they’ve been known to shrug off spells in battle with little effect. Genlocks tend to be slightly shorter than dwarves with pale white or yellowish skin. They are invariably bald, with deepset eyes and sunken cheeks. Their voices are low and harsh, punctuated by occasional grunts."
Hurlock: "The shock vanguard of the darkspawn, hurlocks are burly soldiers far stronger than the average human. The hurlock are so arrogant they even look down on other darkspawn, convinced that they are truly the chosen race. They are deadly fighters who wield massive two-handed blades in battle, and scar or tattoo themselves regularly to denote their kills. They typically have to wear patchwork armor, as few full sets that can fit one of them exist. Their skin tone ranges from pale white to dark brown. If they are not bald, which is common, then their hair is always black."
What sensing Darkspawn is like:
Tl;dr notes: Grey Wardens can sense Darkspawn without effort -- it's a faint sense at the backs of their minds whenever Darkspawn are near. With effort, though, they can reach out their minds and sense exactly where Darkspawn are, and even track individuals. This does not seem to alert Darkspawn to their presence, but Darkspawn can use the same sense to track Grey Wardens.
More experienced Wardens can, apparently, even track other Wardens using the same sense.
"Bregan closed his eyes and carefully reached out with his senses. There were Darkspawn all around him. Not in the same room, but nearby. He could feel them tickling at the edge of his mind. As always, the sensation came with a feeling of foulness, as if a poison had seeped under his skin."
"His attention was focused on expanding his senses, trying to discern where the Darkspawn were moving. It was difficult. Their taint was all around him here, and every time he tried to push outward with his mind, the infernal humming noise just became stronger. Homing in on individuals when he was surrounded by such filth, it was as if every breath of it flooded him."
"They were at the edge of his consciousness, lurking in the shadows far out of sight. It was that same feeling when someone was standing behind you, and you didn't hear them or sense them in any way; you just knew."
What the Taint is like:
Tl;dr notes: Wardens are not especially able to sense the Taint in their bodies until their Calling approaches. Once it begins taking over, their blood feels thick, their flesh loses feeling, and they ache and feel cold. It spreads black veins across their skin, and eventually large blotches of Darkspawn flesh appear and spread. If they suffer a wound in this state, it heals almost immediately, but it heals over with Darkspawn skin. Eventually, their hair turns white, and falls out.
When the Calling starts, they're able to hear the Darkspawn humming in their minds, and are less able to block it out. The closer they get to transforming, the more the humming begins to sound like an actual song.
People who contract the corruption through a bite become gravely ill, become delirious, and are corrupted physically before dying. Wardens, and those are not killed by the corruption, eventually become ghouls. They still resemble their former selves, but with the rotten skin, bald heads, and fangs of Darkspawn, and have red eyes rather than the normal white. Wardens who become ghouls still behave and think like their previous selves, their change only a physical one.
"He could feel the greasy slickness of the taint inside him now; it permeated every membrane and filled every orifice. He wanted to scratch at his face, peel off the flesh from his bones." (Sounds like crackporn.)
"The fangs sunk deep into his flesh, and he could feel the dark corruption oozing into his blood. If he were anything other than a Grey Warden, that would be the end of him right there. He would contract a wasting illness, bringing madness and delirium and eventually an agonizing death."
"All he wore were his bloodstained and filth smallclothes, and every part of his skin that wasn't covered by the greyed cloth bandages was corrupted. It was like a network of black mold working its way across his entire body, and everywhere it touched he could feel a hot buzzing underneath the flesh."
"He felt chilled, and the strangeness of his skin made him wooden. For a moment, he was almost overcome by the desire to claw at his flesh, and to keep clawing at it until he peeled it back and scraped his way past whatever sludge had made its home just under the surface."
What the corruption is like:
Tl;dr notes: Anywhere Darkspawn are present, or have been present, becomes covered in corruption. It's not explained where exactly it comes from, only that it appears when Darkspawn inhabit an area. The prominent element to it is a black film that covers every surface, but areas where Darkspawn have been for a longer period of time will have wet sacs hanging from the walls and ceiling, pools of rancid water, unusual growths, and various fungi -- some of which is luminescent and glows in the dark. Areas taken over by corruption smell foul, like rot and spoiled meat. It is also light-sensitive, and is effected by certain kinds of enchantment.
"As if in answer to their question, one of Maric's swings brought the longsword close to the wall. In response, the black foulness that clung there crawled to move away from the blade. He paused and touched the sword to the wall directly, and the rot moved away even more quickly. It made a faint unpleasant keening sound, and after a moment the stone where the sword touched was bare."
"The powerful stench in the air reminded Bregan of rancid meat. There was a strange humming off in the distance, a sound he could just barely hear but which filled him with dread. He felt around blindly and found he was lying on stone. It felt oddly grimey, however, as if covered in a layer of soot and grease."
"The hall was worse than the cell, overgrown with what looked like organic tendrils and sacs of black mucus. There were other doors, some rusted shut or all but covered in strange, barnacle-like growths."
"It was warmer inside, he was thankful for that much, but the cold had been replaced by an unease the he just couldn't shake. It was like slowly walking into a pool of filth, the stink of it filling your nostrils and turning your stomach so that you had to will yourself to take another step."
"They followed the stairway for what seemed like hours when the first signs of corruption became visible along the stone walls of the passage: spidery tendrils of black rot, along with a shiny film that covered everything like oil. Duncan touched it, curious, and found that the film wasn't actually wet. It was dry, with a texture like snakeskin."
"Many hours passed as they pressed further into the Deep Roads. The signs of darkspawn corruption gradually became worse. Pools of brackish water filled portions of the halls, and Kell warned them not to touch any of it. [...] There were bones of... things... floating in those pools. Something moved in the water that might have been worms, but he didn't want to think about it too closely.
The funguslike growths on the wall got thicker as well. There were mounds of it, some looking like great misshapen beehives with dark tendrils radiating outward. The growths were covered in the same slick substance, like a putrid oil. Sometimes the stench of it got so thick it clouded the air and all but choked the torches."
"They trudged through portions that were flooded with shallow, brackish water and others that were so think with corruption they needed to cut a path through the black film."
"She used the torch to light her way initially, but as she progressed farther into darkspawn territory she found that more and more of the tunnels were lit by the phosphorescent lichen that lined the walls like mold."
"Once this had been an impressive sight, perhaps a temple honoring some ancient dwarven deity, but now it was blackened with decay and corruption. So much of it lined the floor leading up to the stairs that it had gathered into black clusters, twisted sacs as large as a man. The clusters hung from the ceiling as well, slowly oozing filth down to the ground, where it collected in stagnant green pools. [...] The filth was deep enough here that in enveloped Maric's boots and made a wet, sucking sound each time he pulled them free. The rancid stench stirred up by their movements was overwhelming."
"Fiona raised her staff up high and it began to flow with such a dazzling brilliance, the entire cavern was lit up. Maric almost thought he could detect the horrified cringing of the corrupted foulness down there. Indeed, a faint hissing noise erupted from the chamber, and some of the tainted clusters exploded in a display of dark green goo."