The exact truth of how a Stray comes to be is unknown, and a hotly debated subject by those devoted to study of ethereal things. The most widely accepted explanation is that they are the result of a sentient creature's consciousness inhabiting a condensed pocket of ether. If a person's attachment to the living world is strong enough upon death, their consciousness may remain behind as an ethereal being, producing a Stray. During this process, memories regarding the Stray's living identity are completely wiped. It is then the goal of most Strays to recover these memories in order to "pass on."
The appearance of a Stray is relative to the consciousness it possesses. The result depends on a number of factors, and can vary drastically. Usually a Stray appears as a projection of their living selves, at a time an age significant to them in some way. Because of this, most Strays resemble normal humans, however there are cases where exceptions can occur.
A Stray's incorporeal body is entirely composed of ether, as such, they can manipulate it to attack. When a Stray is "born" into the world, their bodies become associated with a certain form of matter, which Strays can then transform into. The possibilities are varied, and in certain cases even abstract. For example, a Stray associated with "fire" will be able to conjure flames from their bodies, while a Stray associated with "rope" be able to form a rope-like material. The nature of this transformation, like many things about Strays in general, is shrouded by mystery. A theory suggests that the form of matter a Stray associated with may have something to do with circumstances surrounding the death of their living selves.
Using such powers is not without consequence for a Stray. Since they must utilize their own bodies, a Stray's ability actively drains their supply of Ether. Alone, a Stray can very well destroy itself with excessive use of their powers. While the neutral ether in the air can be absorbed for regeneration, this happens at an exceptionally slow rate. For a Stray, it is ideal to perform a Bonding Pact with a Crosser in order to survive. When linked with a Crosser, a Stray has access to the Crosser's ether flow, allowing them to utilize their abilites to their full extent without the fear of wasting themselves away.
A Stray may "lend" their ethereal bodies to a Crosser, allowing them to manipulate it. This type of teamwork can result in creative, and often strange tactics in battle.
Strays can transform their body into one specific material. This can be something elemental like "fire", or something conceptual like "cloth" or "rope.
Affinity With Material ThingsEdit
As ethereal beings, Strays cannot interact naturally with material objects under normal circumstances; they must expend ether in order to do so. However, the affinity to performs such feats differs from individual Strays. Some can manipulate physical objects with relative ease, while there are some they cannot lift even the tiniest of objects no matter how hard they try.
A Stray's affinity to the physical world also extends to several peculiar idiosyncrasies. A Stray that displays more prowess with handling material objects may also feel the need to walk upon solid ground or enter through appropriate entrances and exits, even though they are not affected by gravity, nor bound by mundane obstacles. On the other hand, a Stray who is further distanced from the material world may feel completely comfortable with floating about freely through the air, or phasing through solid objects.
The Stray is a class that can convert their bodies into different forms of matter. The system that governs this is their Ether Capacity.
Ether Capacity refers to the total amount of ether that a Stray can store inside their bodies. This differs from individual to individual. The higher a Stray's ether capacity, the more they can afford to use their powers.
Every Stray also has what is called an "over limit", which is a supply of ether that can be safely expended without fear of any harm to themselves. Once the over limit is used up, any action a Stray makes is done at the expense of their own vitality. The exact capacity of the over limit has nothing to do with the capacity of a Stray's actual body; a Stray can have a high over limit but a very small bodily ether capacity, or vice versa.
Both the vitality and the over limit of a Stray recharge over time, but the latter recharges much faster than the former. When using up ether, the over limit is always expended first. Conversely, a Stray's body always regenerates before the over limit. Damage taken by a Stray is always applied directly to their vitality. Any remaining over limit can still be used, but once recovery won't begin unless health is replenished first.
When a Stray bonds with a Crosser, the regeneration rate of their over limit is increased dramatically. In principle, a Stray's over limit regenerates so fast that they almost never have to worry about expending their actual health for their abilities. The fundamental mechanics still apply, however. It is still possible to drain the over limit by either excessive use of powers. In fact, the regeneration of the over limit is actually the only thing that is passively boosted by bonding with a Crosser. Actual healing to bodily damage must be actively performed by the Crosser themselves.
A list of default skills inherent to the Stray class (subject to changes). Skills labelled "Bonded Skill" are only available to Strays who have bonded with a Crosser:
A Stray's body is made purely of ether. They can only be detected and affected by ether-sensitive beings or other sources of ether. Strays are also unaffected by laws of the physical world. They can float freely about, and pass through material objects with ease. Not all Strays are keen about doing this, however.
A Stray's primary ability is to convert their bodies into other forms of matter. Each Stray is associated with a particular kind of matter, although the applications of such are not limited by anything.
Crosser Empathy (Bonded Skill)Edit
A deep connection to a Crosser formed by the incitation of a Bonding Pact. It transcends the bounds of the physical plane and functions regardless of distance between partners of a bond. It can be strengthened by the level of trust between a Stray and their Crosser partner. At the weakest level, the connection allows a Stray to sense the whereabouts of their Crosser partner without having to explicitly see where they are. Eventually it is possible for a Stray and a Crosser to communicate telepathically, share senses and intentions, detect each others' emotions, and even view subconscious visions such as dreams.
Empower Crosser (Bonded Skill)Edit
Grant a Crosser partner your ethereal strength, infusing their enomena with the added effect of your form conversion.
Unlock Soul Stream (Bonded Skill)Edit
Tap into the inner powers of a Crosser partner's life force, providing them with a massive boost to all parameters for a limited duration of time. The boost can also be extended to the Stray at the Crosser's discretion.
List of StraysEdit
- Main category: Strays.