Undercone - to those that have not studied beastiology, it might seem that there are surprisingly few creatures that actually live underground. Those that did however, are quick to point out how it’s a result of simple dependency- you need advanced mana organs to move underground. How is it relevant you ask? Oh it’s simple! Pretty much any creature that develops such advanced mana affinity, decides to move to places where it feels more pleasant.. Which means more earth-related mana, which means deeper underground!
As a result, the only creatures that stay close to the surface, are those that do not to give something specific up, for example members of intelligent societies (like molekin, or earth draconids) who enjoy the sights, dwarves who just can’t get enough alcohol, or, like some monsters, those that just can’t live without the sight of scarred and screaming faces, gore, and pleasure of the hunt.
Enter, undercones. Lovers of killing, murdering, and slaughtering. About 2 m tall, in color ranging from grayish brown, through grayish green, to gray. The most characteristic trait of theirs is obviously the head, a powerful mana emitting organ used to break apart earth and even pierce rocks. Some subspecies use it to deliver poison, or to emit petrification beams (powerful combination with their stone-breaking skills) On their sides two arms, used to help with traveling through dirt, as well as stabbing little puppies.
They tend to live in very hierarchical herds, controlled by the top cone. Every other member is allowed to challenge the top cone for an often bloody duel, but the looser has to pay a price - being forced by the winner to bear their child for at least one mating season (fact made easier due to their species not having sex separation)
Readers beware- they never fight “fair”. Don’t be misled by their smiling faces! It’s a sneer! Their preferred methods are ambush, poison, and sometimes, even taking hostages. Surprisingly, they do seem to let their hostages go (after eating their surrendered comrades in front of their eyes)… only to tail them, and catch them just before they reach safety of other members of their species.
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Mind interference is a general name for the effects of a group of skills that affect the decision making process of the target. Whether positive (like calm, fear resistance, motivation) or more famously negative (charm, fear, enrage). Those effects are notoriously difficult to resist using outside means, as any potion or item that disables the negative effects, necessarily also blocks the positive and neutral ones.
Why is that a problem you ask? Imagine fighting a dragon, and it uses a confusion spell on you. You might think the best solution would be a mind clearing potion (remember, potions are controlled substances in many countries, contact your lawyer before transporting them between borders) and so, thinking yourself a well prepared adventurer you drink “Soul of crystal” to remove all mind interference skills, and become purely rational being.
And now, in the middle of a life and death battle where, to increase your chances of survival you should only concentrate on fighting, you suddenly realise
Ergo: It’s better to kill yourself in a quick and painless manner
In the past, a group of guild masters believed that exactly because of those cases, we should force all adventurers to drink “Soul of crystal” before taking up any quests at the guild, to make sure takers are aware of all the risks and make rational decisions. After it ended up with all adventurers under the effect just stopping being the adventurers instead, selling their equipment, and joining another, safer guild instead (this is exactly how the city of Sagerde rose to become the Holy city of scribbles and accountants)
As if that wasn’t enough, sometimes items, or even skills can cause their own type of interference on them. When a sword gets used by a legendary warrior over many years, and soaks their soul in, or a new branch of magic is created by a wizard with very strong feelings towards something, their will might somehow survive in the world, interfering with anyone who dares to use them.
This effect is especially common with magic, where over time other powerful users of the art, first inheriting slight dislike or passion towards something, grow strong enough to infect the world with their will, amplify the originally slight effect with their own feelings toward the matter, creating a feedback loop. It’s widely believed that this is the cause of the famous hatred of fire magicians towards insects, a cause of many historical city-wide fires, after someone over eagerly disposes of a catroach.
The advice of this humble scribe is simple: