By Moe Lane
|Corporeal Forces: 1
|Ethereal Forces: 3
|Celestial Forces: 3
Skills: Artistry/3 (Writing), Fast-Talk/6, Fighting/1,
Knowledge (History/2, Literature/1, University of
Songs: Daydreams/3*, Entropy (Ethereal/3), Harmony
(Ethereal/3), Lending** (Corporeal/6), Memory
(Ethereal/3), Shields (All/1)
- Leave an offering (worship rite; +2)
Vessels: Three bronze turtles/6
*It is unknown how Testudo managed to learn this Song.
**Normally a Song restricted to Cherubim/Djinn:
Testudo apparently knows it as part of his specialized
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for
humanity to engage in superstitious activity without
it spawning an ethereal. The practice of students at
the University of Maryland is a case in point: there
are several large bronze turtles at various places on
campus, and it's become a habit to rub said turtles'
noses for good luck. This sort of thing happens all
the time, and nothing ever comes of it.
However, when people start leaving offerings, well,
that's another story...
Testudo is a fairly young ethereal, but it's got a
nice spot at the metaphorical table. Young humans
always seem to have so much belief sloshing around
inside them that it's practically exuding from every
pore, and most are more than willing to spend a little
of it on something that might help them pass a test.
Testudo is happy to help with that. If you go to one
of his statues right before a test, rub its nose and
leave an offering (candy, roses, Dr. Pepper - he
especially likes that one - or anything else of small
but real value to you), well, it's amazing how well
you do that day. Possibly you may be a little more
tired than normal, but then, that's to be expected
from staying up all night the night before studying,
Essentially, what happens is that you've performed
Testudo's 2 Essence Worship Rite. The ethereal keeps
one, and uses the other one to fuel the performance of
the Corporeal Song of Lending upon you. If it works,
it works: if not, well, he tried. For the most part,
Testudo grants Fast-Talk, as the ability to BS well is
usually what a student needs most when taking a test.
The ethereal is picking up other skills from osmosis,
though. After all, you can't hang around a campus for
thirty years without learning something.
The ethereal also provides other boons for the
Essence: he can calm jitters (Ethereal Song of
Harmony), reaffirm someone's hopes (Song of Daydreams)
and, if he likes you, even help you in a debate
(Ethereal Song of Memory). It's also probably not a
good idea to commit a violent crime in front of him
(Ethereal Song of Entropy).
Testudo is really one of the good guys: he likes
humans and considers himself to be in a symbiotic
relationship with them. Honestly, most of these kids
already know this stuff. They just need a little
boost to their self-confidence from time to time,
that's all. Testudo gives them that, and in exchange
gets the use of some Essence that they'd certainly
blow anyway on answering just one question correctly
on a test. He's there to serve, and he serves well.
He also gets to catch all the home football games,
which is nice.
His existence is a bit problematic for the Host.
Testudo is, after all, fairly obviously hanging out on
the corporeal plane. Granted, he's doing nothing but
help out humans, but rules are rules. Unfortunately,
it so happens that there are Soldiers of God with
University of Maryland diplomas, and they have all
rubbed Testudo's nose at least once in their college
days. They tend to be vehement about leaving their
alma mater's mascot alone. Add to that the story
about the time Yves wandered by, looked over the main
statue-vessel of the ethereal for a moment, smiled and
patted Testudo on the nose...
... Well, in a Bright campaign that'd be enough to
make the Host quietly ignore any random ethereal
bronze turtle manifestations that they might see.
There are more important things to worry about,
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