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    Dec 29, 2022 -YES - ITS BEEN A WHILE
    Toril Njordhagen
    Toril Njordhagen


    Differentiating a Gargoyle from a Grotesque


    Grotesque is a style of art characterized by ornamentations that typically use scrollwork, mythological beasts, architectural elements and a playful, imaginative manner. The word does mean ugly but it is also applies to those varieties of stone statues found on gothic buildings. A gargoyle by definition differs from a grotesque in that it also serves as a rain spout (the mouth acted as a spout for a gutter system that passed water flowing from the rooftop, into a trough, and lastly, out of the mouth of the statue). A gargoyle can be in the shape of a grotesque-looking creature but it can also be in the shape of something more attractive, such as an angel statue.


    Most statues that are commonly thought to be gargoyles (of ugly, winged creatures, usually perched on the sides of buildings) are actually grotesques because they do not serve as gutter spouts and are merely decorative.


    All such sculptures were originally created to distribute run-off water and were known as Gargoyles. They were also common place fixtures in places that may have needed to ward off ill-intentioned spirits or provide some form of protection. At one time they were carved to illustrate what awaited sinners at the end of days and keep evil outside of sacred grounds. Pagans also used Gargoyles as a revered vessel of the Green Man though they often anthropomorphized them. When the carvings stopped serving a purpose, other than decoration and art, they were classified as a grotesque which was largely due to the displeasing characteristics of their faces.


    Nevus Event


    After the Nevus of 2010 the myth of the Gargoyle-Grotesque became a reality. They serve much of the same purpose of protecting specific structures or warding off anything that might do harm to the property, and by extension, those dwelling there. The stone sculptures are not creatures in themselves but merely the vessel of a spirit that was drawn to the stigma of protection and warding.


    Essentially these 'beings' are non-corporeal spirits gaining form by inhabiting a stone simulacra which has a propensity to house them. Spirits which in fact lack Human intelligence but are able to follow basic commands and carry out their purpose of protection. Some naturally form, others are conjured by those gifted with the ability to enchant, some are created by other means, not unlike golems.


    Grotesques animate when inspired by their soul purpose which is either protection or warding. Their forms become pliable yet remain hard as stone but cannot move in direct sunlight. All Gargoyle-Grotesques slumber in the sun, only semi-conscious of the world around them.


    Protective Grotesque:


    These sculptures are similar to popular stories in that they will only come to life once the ground they guard has been damaged or desecrated They do not detect intentions in people and only concern themselves with the well-being of their specific homes and any that may live there.


    Warding Grotesque:


    Unlike their brethren that keep homes and buildings safe, a Warding Grotesque will actively stop anyone with ill-intention or spirits that mean to do harm to the ground they watch. This kind of Grotesque is always alert or 'awake', constantly waiting for any sense of ill will; though they do not have to move to do so.


    Abilities and Powers


    All Grotesques are only able to perform acts that are directly related to the limitations of their bodies. No Grotesque can breathe fire or discharge lightning, though one with wings would be able to glide or fly. A Grotesque with the body of a snake cannot slither up a wall but the range of movement would be greater than that of a Grotesque with the body of a lion. Humanoid Grotesques are also limited to the range of motion any normal human would have.


    Grotesque are at their strongest when whole; at that point it is possible a Grotesque can be up to seven times stronger than the being(s) that make up the stone host. The strength of each Grotesque will be dependent upon its size and the condition of its body, though it will maintain all of its strength until the spirit is torn apart or fractured. All Grotesque are susceptible to the wear and tear of the stone they were carved from. Naturally occurring damage such as erosion and rotting rock will take their toll.


    Physical and intentional damage has the same effect except that in addition, it will tear the spirit apart leaving any severed parts active or “alive” for a few minutes before that shard of the spirit dissipates. Killing a Grotesque isn't limited to removing or destroying the head, as the spirit inhabiting it has no central nervous system. The damage done to the Grotesque host body must be irreparable in essence tearing the spirit apart. The sudden removal of a large portion of the host body will also fracture the spirit within and render the Gargoyle useless, and the spirit will have to be destroyed.


    Naturally occurring Grotesque will always be stronger than magically created ones.


    Naturally Occurring Grotesque


    These are commonly lesser spirits whose only desire to do one thing and have bound themselves to the carvings in order to accomplish their tasks. The two most common varieties of spirits that inhabit a Natural Grotesque are: Those that simply wish to safeguard and those that wish to maintain the sanctuary of their choice. As such they do not care who or what they are protecting so long as they do their jobs. Stopping bad deeds or evil might be the same as stopping the cops from raiding a drug lord's house, as the cops would bear ill will against their charge.


    The second most commonplace Grotesque has a spirit that attaches itself to certain grounds like a church, graveyard, town, or valley. This second kind of spirit has a strong connection to the area it lives in or the people there and cannot leave on its own. It must be removed by faith, magic or physically. Such a spirit doesn't have any desire other than to remain in the area it's attached to. Like the aforementioned, this spirit has no ability to reason between right and wrong, enabling it to feed off of the general aura of its home, those who live there and develop very minor personality traits.


    Magically Bound/Conjured Grotesque


    Grotesques can also be made by forcibly binding a spirit to the carved stone body of choice, provided the conjurer or enchanter has sufficient skill in the task. It is a labor intensive endeavor since most Magus have a specific task in mind and carve out a purpose-built Grotesque before binding it. After that comes the intensive chore of summoning or capturing a spirit and binding it to the carving. Most magically bound spirits are more sophisticated than the natural spirits that take root and do not want to be constrained inside of rock making this part of the process very difficult.


    Only about one in eight magically induced bindings succeed, while the spirits in all other attempts are destroyed in the process. Any increase in the sophistication of a spirit exponentially increases the difficulty of the binding. Only with a sufficiently intelligent spirit can the Magus outline a basic task other than guarding something; often times the amount of work and chances of destroying so many spirits aren’t worth the Magus' time.

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