Thursday, June 11, 2020

Captured in brass, hidden among sand

Travelers from far off lands, wealthy Veshkin traders sometimes carry vessels that contain only a wise and ancient spirit. These spirits are called Genie, born untold aeons ago and living in forms crafted by flame. Many of them hold long-forgotten secrets and can share this information, and they must grant one wish to a mortal before they may leave whatever body they inhabit. Of course, they can only grant a wish within their power, and if they have found a comfortable vessel they have little need to grant wishes.

Magic Crystal Lamp by Yulia Matveeva

No human knows how new Genie are born, or even if they are. The gollo scholar Myerish claims definitively that there are precisely 888 Genie and that is all that have ever or ever will exist. Others claim that they were created by ancient masters as a precursor to golems, and still others claim that they were an ancient precursor to liches, perhaps even that a lich could become one given the right expertise. A chilling theory, to say the least.

Desire - Ceramics Sculpture by Olja Sofronijevic

The possessed armor Naril has famously guarded Leyler manor for generations. They consider him part of the family, and have even drafted a writ of nobility for him should tragedy befall their house. Travellers in Kajhar sometimes tell of meeting the Smelted Knight, known as Ayan Varim, and sometimes being saved from bandits by the clay warrior. Most veshkin could tell you about Maladesh Shattermouth, the eater, often spoken of in folk tales and nighttime stories to frighten unruly children. Any Genie would caution against such tales, as they know that Maladesh yet remains free.

Guardian Puppet by Raymond Chen


  1. An interesting proposition. By widening the range of habitable vessels for genies, the chances for interactivity are expanded in curious ways. Perhaps, given enough time, the genie starts to identify with whatever vessel contains it and develops strange behaviours and desires. Can they be hosted by the flesh of a mortal? Or are they doomed to the hardness of metals? Are their wish-granting powers limited to some spehere of influence? They could even become a playable race/class at some point, and your powers and abilities would be determined by your vessel. Of course you could free yourself at any time by granting a wish... but why would you? Then the game would be over... that would make for an interesting sacrifice scenario.

    Anyway, my mind wanders. I feel like writing a random table of vessels now, with all their quirks and excentricities.

    Thank you for the post!

    1. I sat on this post for too long and just felt the need to upload something, so there were a few things that got left out. For one thing, they can occupy certain cooked food like bread or roast meat, and there is an order of veshkin warriors who ritualistically burn one arm so that a genie may inhabit it. Genie die if they spend too long outside of a vessel, or if their vessel decays too badly. In my setting they can only grant wishes that they are physically capable of granting, and will try to negotiate you down to something easy. There's also a city of genie with living clay gates and professional human wishmakers, who will request a simple wish for payment to allow genie to change vessels as needed, and prisons full of water where evil genie are locked away.