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Old Nov 9th, 2021, 10:56 PM
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Icereach Icereach is offline
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The House of Ejlvajn



A Door
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Bare feet slapped the worn, dirty cobbles as the child sprinted down an alley. They didn't know where they were anymore; they'd gotten lost several turns ago. They were getting hungry, they were exhausted, and they hurt. The rough stone underfoot wasn't kind to their tender feet and the gash in their arm throbbed though it no longer bled. And none of that compared to the hurt they felt deep in their heart - the betrayal that sundered their childish world in two.

Their brain was a bundle of bright images. Mother in soft cloth that draped around her form. Father stern and eager. Something shiny that the child had seen a few times but never been allowed to touch. Then came the fire down the child's arm. The surprise on their parent's face that paled in comparison to the surprise in the child's heart. Finally, a blur of buildings and intersections sped by on terror's wings.

Now they were here. They froze. They stared.

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The pale blue door set into the alley wall was just a door. It didn't look special, just a door too big for a child so small to open. They didn't know why they stopped. The compulsion had been sudden and immediate, powerful enough to draw the child's attention from their wounded feelings. Even now they felt a desire to approach it. They hesitated, however, and glanced back the way they'd come.

Silent on well-oiled hinges, the right-hand portal opened slowly inwards.

"How you convinced the house to come here, to Pangolais," a decidedly male voice rose from a near room as the child tentatively stepped over the threshold, "I may never understand. It is, however, time for us to go. The Midnight Lord is very jealous of his territory." The child had never heard a voice like it, somehow both warm and utterly lifeless, hollow in more ways than one. The urge to flee back into the street spiked and then vanished entire as the child felt something claim them in some unidentifiable way. They rocked back on their heels, eyes flying wide.
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"I didn't convince it o' nothin', Creyton, and you know it."
A shadow darkened the end of the hallway as the child struggled to muster some sense of self-preservation. The voice crunched through its words like thick gravel. It suited the lurking blackness that suddenly towered over the child. They felt their heart seize up. Their feet were frozen to the worn wooden floor.

The pale, heavy-boned face that peered out of the eclipse of his hood was battered, scarred, and ugly by any good measure. It was not, however, unkind. Peering up into the clear blue depths of his eyes, the child felt their emotions surge like a tidal wave. Without reservation, they flung themselves at the dark figure's steel-clad shins and began to weep with all the heartbreaking ferocity they had struggled so mightily to contain.

"There, there," the hulking man murmered soothingly. As he pat the child's back, he raised his voice and called, "Better get in here Creyton. The House brought a new one."

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"Yes," the voice echoed, rapidly moving closer, "I know." When he appeared in the nearest doorway, it became apparent immediately why the man's voice sounded as hollow as it did. He seemed to be wearing a bucket on his head. Both the bucket and what little of the man the child could see peeking from the black and white covering it wore gleamed like the still frame in the child's memory. Their voice sailed louder in protest as they gave vent to every terror they'd ever known in their short life.

"There, there, you get used to him, I promise." The kindly man gave the child another moment to sooth themself, his hand a constant, comfortable pressure on their back. All too quickly however, he found himself firmly pressing the child back and away. "You'll have to, I'm afraid. The House claimed you the minute you set foot inside. And he's the master here, not me... If anyone is."

"Indeed," the hollow man replied tonelessly, as all his speech had been. "It is time Basil. If you are to stay in Nidal you must exit the house now." He floated into the hallway, closing the distance between himself and the kindly man.

The child noticed with a start that the man's legs faded into a mist just above the ankles. Now that he was closer, they noticed he didn't gleam exactly the same as the wounding streak. The child took a few hesitant steps forward and waved their chubby hands directly through the hollow man's legs. This drew a sudden guffaw from Basil, whose eyes flashed up at Creyton and back to the child. The man's heavy hand fell lightly on the child's shoulder one more time before he winked and turned to the blue door. The portal already stood open. "Until the House calls, Creyton."

"Honor your bonds and listen for that call," the hollow man replied in a manner even the child instinctively recognized as formal. He turned his head suddenly to give the child his fullest regard, the battered man seemingly forgotten. Behind them the child heard the door close and felt the air go suddenly still and somehow... Heavy.

"I am Creyton. Do you have a name?" The child shook their head mutely and glanced back over their shoulder. The blue door stood there, just as it first had - only now it seemed to beckon in the other direction. Creyton made no move to restrain them as they walked slowly forward. The latch clicked and the heavy portal began to creep open...

They wandered into a street in the middle of a culture entirely alien to anything they had ever known. The noise and bluster forced them back post haste, spinning on their heel, only to find Creyton hovering in the door frame. "Ah," the hollow man noted, "Almas, in Andoran. Interesting. Well, come along then. The House will have made you a space of your very own. Best to discover it early and not give the House a chance to sulk."





Woven throughout the fabric of Golarion (and, perhaps, even further), the unknowable House of Ejlvajn transcends the bounds of time and space in an effort to fulfill a purpose shared only with those held closest to its heart.


General Information
The artifact known as the House of Ejlvajn defies explanation and the conventional laws of physics besides. This is, at least partially, because the House actively discourages any form of study. Of a certainty it is old; the first stories of the House emerge just after the raising of the starstone. In the House's main library, on a table placed prominently near the center of the room, is a compilation of these sightings. The House likes collecting stories about itself.

With so much lost during the Age of Darkness, it's possible the House dates all the way back to ancient Azlant or even further. If anyone knows for certain it's the House's caretaker, the ghostly automaton Creyton, and his lips are sealed - both figuratively and literally. It certainly displays abilities more commonly ascribed to the gods than to mere houses. Not only are the House's innards constantly in a state of flux -appearing and dissipating at need-, but the House also has the ability to appear anywhere on Golarion with the locals none the wiser to the new building in their midst.

The House seems to have direct control over whom can see and enter it. Further it has a propensity to claim those it chooses; the House seems to have a particular affinity for orphans. Those so claimed by the House are bound to it, and each other, in strange ways. Few have had the opportunity to study the impact of those bonds and if Creyton knows anything, he's as silent as the grave on the matter.
Creyton
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An automaton of glimmering steel, whether Creyton truly lives or not is a matter of convoluted debate. Metaphysical arguments about consciousness and artificial intelligence aside, he appears to be a ghost. He does not allow the minor inconvenience of past termination to prevent him from tending to the House and its occupants, however. Observation has yielded a strong suspicion that though he cannot leave, while within its walls he controls absolutely his own level of tangibility.

Creyton serves the House in a myriad of ways from cleaning, to serving, to repairs, to childcare. As a parental figure he sorely lacked in nurturing your emotional development. He did, however, provide excellent training and guidance in more skillful pursuits. Creyton's hollow voice, while human-like, lacks any of the warm subtleties associated with being human. The ghostly mechanical being seems to understand the House's messages the best, though what he chooses to pass on is solely at his discretion.



Friends of the House
Though the only permanent residents of the House are its most recent crop of foundlings and Creyton himself, it has ties to others outside of its walls. Over the course of the foundlings' lives these radically disparate personalities often served as mentors, teachers, and spiritual guides, though rarely for any regular length of time. Their connection to the House and Creyton is as obvious as it is obscure; the House doesn't make rooms for just anyone. While some are more forthcoming about themselves than others, all share a similar disinclination to talk about things that touch directly on their connections to each other or the House itself.


Basil, the Kindly Man
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Basil is, perhaps, one of the most hideous half-orcs on Golarion. A thick mat of scars covers the man from head to toe, ever visible - even in bad light. The flesh, however, is just a mask to hide his beautiful soul. Many years ago, by his telling, Basil found freedom in the worship of The Song of the Spheres. It's one of the few areas of his past he's completely unguarded about. Basil's defining characteristics are patience and empathy.

When away from the House, the half-orc seems to operate largely in Nidal. When visiting Ejlvajn he serves as the foundling's primary instructor in spiritual power and matters of faith. His depth of knowledge in religious lore and arcana is seemingly encyclopedic. He's also quite handy with a longsword and has helped many a foundling don their first set of armor.

Basil stands at about six foot and four inches tall. His skin is extremely pale and covered in heavy scarring. He has dark hair and pale blue eyes. Despite his generally uplifting personality, he favors blacks and greys in both armor and wardrobe. On his left forearm and down to his hand is tattooed the entire text of The Eight Scrolls in ever-shifting script. The text is anchored by a livid purple butterfly-shaped birthmark.


Isaralta Hildet, Esquire
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There are few things this tiefling lady hates more than having her time wasted. She is, after all, one of Hell's finest lawyers. She is least likely of all the friends to visit the house for any length of time so her attention is immensely valuable. There is no subject of higher learning she can't speak about, at length, from the subtle nuances of a Gothic buttress to the names of Hell's many devils.

Isaralta is an extremely talented wizard and summoner. While she struggles to win any popularity contests due to her exacting and critical nature, she is an excellent instructor in the art of tapping into the weave of reality. She expects her students to reward the investment of her time with the mastery of what she has to teach.

Isaralta is rarely seen out of her specially designed foot-wear and so appears to be around six feet tall. A crown of spiraling horns reaches even higher, the tips of her bat-like wings when spread higher still. She wears her ghostly white hair in a long, single braid down her back, contrasting sharply with the deep cinnamon burnish of her skin. She favors primly tailored suits and slacks in muted colors, strongly emphasizing her bright and otherworldly beauty.


Argady, Walker in the Woods
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Argady the skinwalker visits the house only when directly summoned to do so. It seems to be a point of pride for this fierce hunter, that the House needs him more than he needs it - much like the conceit of always wearing his lupine form. The Witchwolf is most often found in the wildest places of the world when the House comes to call.

Argady has a deep and natural connection to the planet and hunts and tracks with the instincts of his distant werewolf kin. If he has a circle of his own, he's never revealed it to any within the house. His strength as a druid, however, is uncontested. For training Argady often took the foundlings out into the wild spaces for weeks at a time, to varied success.

The skinwalker never leaves his shifted form and is a solid, six foot mass of lanky muscle, a werewolf in miniature. His pelt is snow white but certainly not from age - he appears in all regards in the prime of his life. He has distinct green eyes. Living in the wilds has roughened his edges with other sentients but after a time some folks find him tolerable in his fashion.


Benjamin "Benny" Hamish, Detective
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Benny is the only being in all of the foundlings' combined experience that can get away with smoking inside the House. Benjamin Hamish is rarely without a thick, well-chewed cigar stuck between his teeth. Anyone besides the heavy shouldered simian caught smoking quickly found themselves on the House's -and by extension, Creyton's- naughty list.

Benny is also the only known person that can slip inside the house and escape Creyton's attention. A scarred, suit-wearing chimpanzee suddenly appearing in your living room, smoking a cigar you're just now noticing, can be a very intimidating prospect. He uses this ability freely when he stops by to teach, keeping his students ever on their toes. The great ape is a master of many practical skills like lockpicking and observation. He serves as an adept alchemist, as well. He's known to be more conversational when he's had a little beer from the House's restricted stores.

The chimp has a tendency to subconsciously stretch for every inch when at rest, though this only nets him about five and a half feet or so. His dark brown eyes are hard to see distinctly within the deep caves of his eyes. The suits he wears are always immaculate but of a strangely cut fashion. This could be due to his apparent association with Numeria and its otherworldly artifacts.


Gander Elden, Tyrant of the Ring
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Few that walk Golarion truly deserve the title of Sword Saint; Gander Elden of Ustalav is among that refined company. This came as a surprise to the foundlings, who first encountered her peacefully gathering flowers in that haunted country. Her warm smile and calm demeanor can be instantly disarming, and she affects a certain naivete.

While Basil is handy with a particular length of steel, Gander is an artist with any blade placed in her hands. The sparring ring made manifest by the House is her undisputed domain and she readily trounces her pupils backwards and forwards across it. Gander fights for the thrill of the sport and never rises to anger, no matter the provocation. While a talented instructor, she generally shuns casual company, preferring her quite meadows.

Gander is tall and compactly muscular, just under six foot. She favors little armor and light, fast weapons, though she always arrives with a heavy breastplate and grieves in her carry-all. Her hazelnut eyes burn with a strange inner light and betimes the foundlings have noticed a strange shimmer to her pale yellow hair. Gander likes to travel and therefore, despite her lonely nature, has spent almost as much time in the House as Basil.


Daniel Nightcaller, Jacka-er... of-all-Trades
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There is no peace to be found in all of the infinite House of Ejlvajn when Daniel Nightcaller resides within. Like a nattering magpie, the man never stops talking once he's given leave to start. He takes his own flaws in stride, however, and his generally devil-may-care attitude makes him attractive for some types. Several types, if he's to be believed.

Nightcaller has travelled far and wide earning his surname as a talented musician and bard. The breadth of his skills and his facility with a variety of languages is hardly surprising. However, the disorganized chaos that runs his mind makes him a horrible teacher most days, imparting a gift of random knowledge more by luck than by any conscious effort on his part. Fortunately he has an ill-gained insight into magic that runs in the blood. That, at least, he has some knack for communicating.

Daniel manages to cast a long shadow at five foot and eight inches tall. He's the type of man with a ready smile and a party plan hidden in his saphire gaze. Even without his alarmingly vivid color schemes the man can draw attention. One would be tempted to think he's lived a life of indolence but he's traveled most of Golarion on foot, usually catching up to it in this city or that to stop and exchange tidings. Daniel never lets a moment to announce himself as loudly as possible pass him by.
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Last edited by Icereach; Nov 9th, 2021 at 11:05 PM.
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