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Our wisdom flows so sweet. Taste and see…
TRANSMIT - initiate the suture signal - RECEIVE - initiate the revivification process - IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE! - illumine the Reanimated - WITNESS - The Familiars.
We do not speak of the familiar spirits of witches and warlocks, but of the simulacrum of life created by certain occultists. The formula and spells come in endless variety and potency. Some familiars live for centuries, others know existence for only seconds.
Through a window of time, we spy the great alchemist Paracelsus penning notes detailing the creation of a homunculus -- the semen of a man who has been hanged to death is collected and baked into a mound of horse manure. The resulting creature will serve the magician who creates it.
This is only one recipe. Some ancient, some new. Some ingredients gory, others synthetic. The discovery of proteins, fibres and other materials actively involved in the process have been discovered and synthesised, making the creation of familiars considerably easier and quicker. Familiars are used by magicians the world over as servants and bodyguards. Other, stranger uses have been put to them. Pleasure companions, inhuman dance troupes, and fleshless carnivals have all been constructed.
Dimly intelligent but not sapient, familiars are useful creatures to have about. Often, they can be cheaply mass produced. They also learn, albeit very slowly, so that they can eventually be trusted with more and more complex tasks. Mages from every culture throughout human history have learnt how to make these creatures. While they aesthetically vary widely, as does the specifics of the rites to make them, familiars are basically the same creature everywhere: a kind of magic servitor, or, when made in a group, an egregore of gross matter.
Familiars who have survived for centuries often edge from simply well-trained to genuinely sapient. Often, they strain under their slavery or abominate their origins. Some go on to become monsters, filled with hate for themselves and their human masters. Rarer, but known, are those that wish only to live with human freedom and dignity. Oddly, familiars seem to have some in-built detestation of others of their kind. One magician's familiars, left alone, will attack another's. Other kinds of constructed life, such as scarecrows, seems to infuriate these apparently emotionless drones.