Neráidos par Kindra Nikole Via Flickr : Brand-new image created for Antler Gallery in Portland, Oregon. This piece is now available through Antler for their Unnatural Histories V annual group show, opening this evening! For inquiries on adopting this piece, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This annual show asks artists to create imaginary creatures or visit mythological creatures from any genre, and then write a description for their creature. I made mine up, based loosely off of fae and dryads. Here’s my description I wrote for this imagined creature!
“The solitary and nomadic Neráidos dwells deep within the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. This mystical creature travels from forest to forest, feeding on local fauna before moving on. All Neráidos are herbivores. They subsist on the detritus of decomposing vegetation found on the forest floor but have been known to eat fungi, moss, and fresh ivy as well. Although Neráidos prefer to live in isolation, forest rats are drawn to them and often travel many miles alongside their dryadic companions. Scholars speculate that the two share a symbiotic relationship, although no one has gathered enough data to confirm this theory. Catching sight of one of these mysterious forest dwellers is incredibly rare, as they have the ability to shapeshift—and will do so the moment any human comes within a few hundred feet of them. When they sense danger or an unfamiliar presence, they rapidly assume the form of a mossy tree, tangled with ivy. Their limbs become rooted to the earth, and in this form, they draw nutrients from the soil, allowing them to remain hidden for as long as a year, if necessary. Due to deforestation, Neráidos settle into their tree form less and less frequently. It seems that Neráidos are migrating farther north, perhaps due to reckless logging, as fortunate hikers (and unfortunate loggers) have reported Neráidos sightings as far north as the Yukon Territory.”
This kinda came to me in a vision... Reactions to The Sole Survivor becoming a ghoul in a freak accident.
We actually had two requests for this- one new and one old. The newer one was more specific, so I’ll try to respond to that one separately, although I think I have the gist of how the companions would react in general here. Anyhow, enjoy! -Moss
CAIT- She probably breaks some stuff when she first hears the news. Cait, especially if romanced, is worried that now that Sole is a ghoul, they’ll want to be off spending time with “their own kind” rather than her. She’s never had the kind of friend/lover Sole is, and she couldn’t stand to lose them, so she’s overjoyed when she realises that Sole is still Sole- and honestly, the realisation comes easy, because she’s not the kind of person to abandon someone who means so much to her.
CODSWORTH- At first, Codsworth is distraught- he hasn’t had a lot of exposure to ghouls, what with waxing Sole’s floors for 200 years, so he still views it as something tragic. He’s at least glad that all that radiation did this, though, instead of the alternative- a ghoul is better than a burial. He fusses over Sole’s health after the change, worrying that they aren’t taking care of themselves properly.
CURIE- Ghouls have always fascinated her, so her first reaction is scientific. She’s concerned about Sole being in pain, and she starts working on ways to ease the transition. As a Nurse Handy, she would have been able to compartmentalise better, but as a synth, seeing Sole in pain (whether it be emotional or physical) tears her up, and she does her best to (somewhat awkwardly) comfort them. Seeing people treat Sole badly as a ghoul helps her exercise a new emotion she’s been feeling more and more ever since the change- anger.
DANSE- Learning his true identity changed him- he now knows that it’s not what someone is that defines them, but rather what their actions are. As far as he’s concerned, Sole hasn’t changed. He’s not going to be forced to kill a friend again just to adhere to standards he’s since shed. This doesn’t mean he’s super happy about it, and Sole (or someone else) probably has to kick his ass when he says something anti-ghoul, but he’s learning, and they know that.
DEACON- To comfort Sole (and on some level, himself), Deacon tries to make them see the silver lining. No more Radaway, right? And hey, now Glory can take a break from infiltrating rad-heavy areas. He’s always been a master at reading people, so he uses his new observations about what Sole is feeling to help them the best way he can. If they’re scared, he’s there to distract them, and if they’re depressed, he’s there to remind them that he’ll always have their back.
DOGMEAT- He sees the transition firsthand, so he recognises Sole even when they’ve gone full ghoul. It doesn’t matter much to him- Sole is Sole, even if they smell a little bit more like leather.
HANCOCK- Well, shit. Hancock’s been there, and he knows the kinds of emotions that come with it, whether or not it was intentional like his transition was. He spent most of his time back then in suspense, torn between regret and fear at seeing his body fall away and satisfaction at knowing he’d never have to look himself in the eye again. He helps Sole with both the physical and emotional parts of the change, and whatever they’re feeling, he knows enough to let them feel it without his own opinions getting in the way.
MACCREADY- MacCready prays that Sole turns ghoul when they take that lethal dose of radiation- and then when it actually starts to happen, he prays that they turn into one of the friendly ones. He avoids Sole for a while for that reason, but eventually realises that supporting them is more important than being afraid. He makes a couple of off-color jokes about ghoul anatomy, and if anything he says bothers Sole, he’s quick to admit he fucked up.
NICK- Nick tries to make light of the situation, a little like Deacon, but it’s clear that he knows what a grave situation this is. He’s been there- he’s had to deal with learning how to live in a new body, one that doesn’t necessarily hold up as well as the last one. Hey, on the bright side, at least they can keep this going until judgment day now.
PIPER- She’s scared at first, but she hides it under a mask of positivity, since she knows Sole needs someone to be strong for them now, and she doesn’t want to make them feel like they have to comfort her. She helps Curie with research, but for the most part, she’s Sole’s first defense against the people who might want to treat them badly for being a ghoul. She’s got Sole’s back 100% and she’s always there when they need something.
PRESTON- Preston’s scared that he’s lost Sole when they take that kind of dose of radiation- so when they crawl out alive, he doesn’t care that they’re scarred, or that their eyes are slowly changing. He makes sure to re-establish the Minutemen’s policy on who’s allowed in settlements (Everyone with a capital E), and he’s always the first one to step up and defend Sole (politely at first, unless the offender refuses to cease and desist).
STRONG- He’s kind of disappointed that they became a ghoul instead of a Super Mutant- they would have made a good Super Mutant.
X6- At first X6 treats Sole as if they’ve lost all worth- surely a ghoul couldn’t be suitable as Director of the Institute. Ghouls are everything that’s wrong with the Commonwealth- human beings so sick with radiation poisoning that he’s not even sure they’re human anymore. But he finds he’s not ready to abandon someone that he has so much respect for and decides to look into some of the research/observations they’ve collected on ghouls. He’s still not the best person to go to if Sole is looking for emotional support (was he ever?), but he has a newfound respect for them and their ability to go through as much pain as they did and come out on the other side alive.