Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

UltraRob

Warrior Nymphs

Recommended Posts

[Note: These are loosly based on the Spirits from the new anime series Sword of Aseria, but my expanded take on them since I have only seen a single episode. These are just my brief notes, which I thought I'd share.]

 

Warrior Nymphs

 

Warrior Nymphs are used by a kingdom with a fairly low population as a way of surviving against the hostile powers around them. Essentially they are magical tree nymphs which appear as young women when they take physical form and have been trained and taught to act as warriors. This has several advantages, including that they neither eat nor sleep normally as people do, but by returning to their tree self. They also have some magical abilities, both dependant on the type of tree they are, and as a Nymph in general, the greatest of these abilities is that they can materialize or dematerialize at will. (Although it’s costly for them to do so, energy-wise.)

 

There are several kinds of Warrior Nymphs:

 

Maples: Appear as short, energetic red-haired women, they are battle mages, not strong, but with offensive and defensive magical spells in addition to their swords.

 

Willows: Appear as pale-skinned women with (usually long) blonde hair, they are nimble ninja-like fighters who can dodge around enemy attacks and strike with scary accuracy.

 

Oaks: Large muscular women with (usually short) brown hair, they are frontline fighters, big strong and tough. A little slower then the others, but they hit hard.

 

Cedars: Appear as emotionless white-haired women with green eyes, they are archers, they can hit the smallest target at a distance, and excel at finding weak points in armour.

 

When they appear, they tend to wear uniforms made of leaves tightly matted together to almost form a kind of scale-mail armour, but which of course to them weighs almost nothing. Each type has a slightly different style and colour of armour, red and orange for maples, green and black for willows, brown and black for oaks and green and white for cedars.

 

They can withdraw weapons from any tree around them, the wood morphing into a blade as sharp as steel and light as a feather. It only lasts as long as they’re holding it, and then begins to decay after about 15 minutes into dust.

 

The only disadvantage of Warrior Nymphs is that they must sleep inside their trees once every three days, so they have a very limited range. If they don’t do this, they will get weaker each day they go without sleeping inside their tree-self and eventually both they and the tree will die. If anything happens to them, their tree-self also dies, but usually produces a seedling which can be used to grow a new magical tree with the spirit of the original when planted. This is why they’re often referred to as Guardian Nymphs as well, and that may have been their original purpose.

 

Each Nymph appears physically the same as her sisters of her type, but they tend to customize themselves a little in terms of their hair, their uniform or other small ways, sometimes even tattoos. They also have individual names they call themselves, usually poetic descriptions of nature scenes.(Blue Falls, Eagle Against the Sun, Whispering Grass, etc.)

 

If a kingdom wanted to use them to invade a neighboring territory it would be possible, but it would also require their tree-selves be grown near the borders, which takes a few years. It would be a very slow invasion, at least if the Nymphs were expected to HOLD territory, however, as strike troops and special mission troops, they would be extremely effective and terrifying on the offense. (Especially since they can walk through walls…)

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Some obvious questions that come to mind:

 

1. What is the level of free will possessed by these beings? If you abuse them, will they turn against you?

 

2. Can they pass for human, and would they wish to?

 

3. Are they any more resistant to damage than a normal human? And are there specific things that don't affect humans but do affect them?

 

4. What happens to them if their tree is destroyed (by accidnet, fire, careless beavers, termites or deliberate action) while they are out and about? Can a stranded nymph save herself by finding a new tree of the appropriate age and type?

 

5. What does society do with these warriors when there is no war for them to fight?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Some obvious questions that come to mind:

 

1. What is the level of free will possessed by these beings? If you abuse them, will they turn against you?

 

I think that's not really an issue. Both because of the way they're raised and their link to their tree they're effectively warrior slaves who have total loyalty and duty to their masters. However, if you had one that was raised away from the community, it would probably be a little more....spirited.

 

2. Can they pass for human, and would they wish to?

 

The intent was always that they look like young human women, so if the person they met hasn't met a Warrior Nymph before they would probably mistake one for a human. It's a bit like meeting a clone of a particular type.

 

3. Are they any more resistant to damage than a normal human? And are there specific things that don't affect humans but do affect them?

 

If I were writing them up, I'd give them a vulnerability to iron weapons because they're really just coalesced energy in solid form. (When they make themselves solid.) Except for that, treat them as normal people because they can already generate the leaf armour quickly enough and even go desolid, so it would be a bit much to make what should be a type of soldier tougher.

 

4. What happens to them if their tree is destroyed (by accidnet, fire, careless beavers, termites or deliberate action) while they are out and about? Can a stranded nymph save herself by finding a new tree of the appropriate age and type?

 

If the tree becomes sick and weak, they will have to spend more time "sleeping" in order to restore themselves every few days. If the tree was full-up destroyed by fire or cut down, the Nymph will live another few days, then get weak and die. They can't attach themselves to new trees, this is done on purpose to keep them as guardians to certain areas and limit their mobility. If you wanted them to be more mobile you could say they can temprorarily perform a ritual on a tree where they are and then use it to sleep in instead to restore their energy. That tree would be covered in glowing runic symbols while they're in it.

 

5. What does society do with these warriors when there is no war for them to fight?

 

They are warriors and guardians, their society probably resembles that of a military camp with ranks, strict order and hierarchy. They spend most of their time training under their human commanders, doing drills, going on patrols, practicing their skills. They're warrior slaves, so they don't have much sense of life outside out of the army.

 

They were never intended to be PCs, more like the scarey elite troops of a isolationist state, but of course they can be modified to taste for your own campaigns. ^_^

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Actually, it occured to me there should probably be a "medic" Nymph type as well, any suggestions for what tree would suit a healer type?

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Actually, it occured to me there should probably be a "medic" Nymph type as well, any suggestions for what tree would suit a healer type?

 

Rob

 

Well you could use Rowan, Ash or Yue. All have been called mystical at times. Rowan and Ash are suppost to be magically helpful with many forms of magic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Actually, it occured to me there should probably be a "medic" Nymph type as well, any suggestions for what tree would suit a healer type?

Well you could use Rowan, Ash or Yue. All have been called mystical at times. Rowan and Ash are suppost to be magically helpful with many forms of magic.

Dang, beat me to it!

;)

 

The balsam fir (Abies balsamea) and related species; the balm of Gilead tree (Commiphora meccanensis) or any other species in that genus, Populus gileadensis, Populus balsamifera and related species, various members of the genus Myroxylon (which may not be a tree) --- or any tree that gives a resin/sap used in healing.

 

PS: it's "yew"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Ideas for a few more types:

 

Beech: They have perfectly white skin, and pale hair. They are the record-keepers, planners, and technicians. (Beach bark has been used to write on.)

 

Thorn (aka Hawthorn): These appear as old, short, bent women with dark brownish skin and white hair. These are the mages of the warrior nymphs, with a wide-ranging command of "witchcraft-ish" magic (you may want to remove the "battle-magic" of the maples, and make them simply the commonest warrior). ("By Oak, Ash, and Thorn" is an ancient invocation, and you've already got Oak and (potentially) Ash covered.)

 

Yew: (If not using for healing). These tallish, supple nymphs are archers par excellence. (Yew has been used for bows for centuries.)(I don't know any connection between cedars and archery. However, cedar-wood is great for defending against insects and other pests; perhaps Cedar-nymphs work with Olive-nymphs [see next].)

 

Olive: These "wide" nymphs are the cooks, sutlers, carters, etc. of the warrior nymph army. If it has to do with logistics and supply, Olive nymphs are the ones doing it. (The connection to food and cooking is obvious.)

 

(Douglas) Fir: These are the giantesses of the nymphs. They have dark brown, rough skin and long, shaggy hair. Give them 4 to 6 levels of Growth, with "reach" Stretching and +'s to STR. (The Douglas Fir is the second tallest species of tree, and other (Old World) Firs are tall, too. Good one to use if the redwood seems to "out of place" in a fantasy world for you. Also, they are not so limited in range and ecological niches, nor so delicate, as redwoods.)

 

I'm trying to think of a tree that is associated with seeing long distances, detecting the hard to see/smell/hear/etc., and other spy-like activities.

 

BTW, this is a very cool idea. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

You know, the more i think about this the less i think of these as "artifical" beings (created by the kigndom's mages for a specific purpose) and more as a race of beings that were always there and has, for some reason, chosen to ally itself with the humans and/or the royal house of this particular kingdom.

 

which means that each nymph, like each human, is a person with a personality.

 

I know this diverges from the original concept, but it is an avenue to explore.

 

It also raises the question of what bthe population of the kingdom uses for construction materials and fuel, since this setup means that cutting down trees is generally a bad idea and is going to get important people (not to mention dangerous warrior nymphs) very angry at you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Going with Michael's idea -- the Warrior Wood Nymphs could be a form of homunculi brewed up from some sort of magical process involving the wood specified. In fact... ooohhh... Warrior Wood Nymphs are grown in groves! So you have these dedicated tree farms used to create armies of Warrior Wood Nymphs. Might be a little too modern seeming... but nothing says the grove has to be organized into straight rows or anything. It might also be possible to run with the idea that a single tree produces warriors like fruit. Complex magics are used to make a tree produce nymphs -- in fact, there's a nymph mentioned in AB I that works like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Ideas for a few more types:

 

Beech: They have perfectly white skin, and pale hair. They are the record-keepers, planners, and technicians. (Beach bark has been used to write on.)

 

Something no army should be without.

 

Thorn (aka Hawthorn): These appear as old, short, bent women with dark brownish skin and white hair. These are the mages of the warrior nymphs, with a wide-ranging command of "witchcraft-ish" magic (you may want to remove the "battle-magic" of the maples, and make them simply the commonest warrior). ("By Oak, Ash, and Thorn" is an ancient invocation, and you've already got Oak and (potentially) Ash covered.)

 

Well, the Maples could be be sorcerer-type mages (raw mana bolts and such) while the Thorn are Druid-types who can control spirits and plants and such. That would balance them out against each other, since both would be needed.

 

Yew: (If not using for healing). These tallish, supple nymphs are archers par excellence. (Yew has been used for bows for centuries.)(I don't know any connection between cedars and archery. However, cedar-wood is great for defending against insects and other pests; perhaps Cedar-nymphs work with Olive-nymphs [see next].)

 

The truth is I know very very little of the symbology of trees (looking back I should have researched that first, but live and learn) and just slapped tree names on what I thought might be cool. Yew should definitely the archers, not Cedar, who as you say could be a kind of support-mage type, perhaps the Quartermasters of the army.

 

Olive: These "wide" nymphs are the cooks, sutlers, carters, etc. of the warrior nymph army. If it has to do with logistics and supply, Olive nymphs are the ones doing it. (The connection to food and cooking is obvious.)

 

Hmmm...As I conceived of them, they wouldn't need to eat, but that's something I could play with. Also, there are humans with the army as it's led by human officers, so they would definitely need to eat.

 

(Douglas) Fir: These are the giantesses of the nymphs. They have dark brown, rough skin and long, shaggy hair. Give them 4 to 6 levels of Growth, with "reach" Stretching and +'s to STR. (The Douglas Fir is the second tallest species of tree, and other (Old World) Firs are tall, too. Good one to use if the redwood seems to "out of place" in a fantasy world for you. Also, they are not so limited in range and ecological niches, nor so delicate, as redwoods.)

 

I just had a vision of Firs battling a squad of Trolls. Now THERE would be a really nasty fight!

 

I'm trying to think of a tree that is associated with seeing long distances, detecting the hard to see/smell/hear/etc., and other spy-like activities.

 

BTW, this is a very cool idea. :)

 

Thanks, your ideas are equally cool. I will definitely use them. I posted this "seed" :P of an idea here for exactly this reason, to see what other people could make of what I thought was a nifty idea.

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

You know, the more i think about this the less i think of these as "artifical" beings (created by the kigndom's mages for a specific purpose) and more as a race of beings that were always there and has, for some reason, chosen to ally itself with the humans and/or the royal house of this particular kingdom.

 

which means that each nymph, like each human, is a person with a personality.

 

Hmmm, taking that to it's logical extreme, you end up with a race of effectively Elf-types which would probably work to replace "Elves" in most fantasy settings.

 

I did have an idea floating around in the back of my head that the Nymphs weren't made by the people making use of them. They're either naturally occuring, or were made by some greater magic users/gods at some point in the past to act as guardians for some area. At some point humans found them and convinced them to work with the humans, perhaps against a mutual foe. Over time, they formed a kind of symbiotic relationship of the humans acting as caretakers while the Nymphs act as defenders. However, given human nature this symbiotic relationship has reached the point where the Nymphs are virtual slaves to the humans, having been bent to their will for so long and having no cultural identity except as defenders of the human kingdom.

 

A very real story for Nymph emancipation could come from this. :)

 

I know this diverges from the original concept, but it is an avenue to explore.

 

It also raises the question of what bthe population of the kingdom uses for construction materials and fuel, since this setup means that cutting down trees is generally a bad idea and is going to get important people (not to mention dangerous warrior nymphs) very angry at you.

 

That assumes they hold "normal" trees in equal value with themselves, which might not be necessarily true. If you take it too far, you end up with a race of eco-tyrannist types defending the plant world! :eek: Can you imagine how the Nymphs would feel about us EATING plants for food?

 

That said, the humans could easily make use of rocks, metals and ceramics, or they could say special prayers before they actually cut down trees or harvest crops out of respect for the Nymphs.

 

Cool questions!

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

Going with Michael's idea -- the Warrior Wood Nymphs could be a form of homunculi brewed up from some sort of magical process involving the wood specified. In fact... ooohhh... Warrior Wood Nymphs are grown in groves! So you have these dedicated tree farms used to create armies of Warrior Wood Nymphs. Might be a little too modern seeming... but nothing says the grove has to be organized into straight rows or anything. It might also be possible to run with the idea that a single tree produces warriors like fruit. Complex magics are used to make a tree produce nymphs -- in fact' date=' there's a nymph mentioned in AB I that works like this.[/quote']

 

Sounds like the people of Twelve Kingdoms. Hmm, I have been going more from the idea that they're spirits than physical beings, except for their tree-self.

 

That said, the idea of groves dedicated to certain types of Warrior Nymphs is a good idea. They'd probably be strategically located throughout the kingdom, and a good target if you wished to eliminate the kingdom's defenses with a little black ops.

 

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

That said' date=' the idea of groves dedicated to certain types of Warrior Nymphs is a good idea. They'd probably be strategically located throughout the kingdom, and a good target if you wished to eliminate the kingdom's defenses with a little black ops.[/quote']

 

The groves could be of mixed trees as well -- and one type of tree (and nymph) could be dedicated to raising and training other Warrior Nymphs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Warrior Nymphs

 

It also raises the question of what bthe population of the kingdom uses for construction materials and fuel' date=' since this setup means that cutting down trees is generally a bad idea and is going to get important people (not to mention dangerous warrior nymphs) very angry at you.[/quote']

Simple to solve: not all types of trees have/produce nymphs, and not all trees of the right types produce/have nymphs. Thus, most trees are available.

 

Also, when a nymph dies, her tree will soon die, so it might as well be used; however, only certain "exalted"/"high-class" objects can be made from the tree of a dead nymph.

 

As for people eating plants: all animals eat plants, either directly or indirectly. And, a nymph would not think that highly of mere grass, grain, and herbs. After all, they're so small, so un-tree-like, it hardly matters, now does it?

 

 

;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...