Agent Firebird's Gravel Pit
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Paper Ones of Seeking

Origami Familiars, Unfolders, Gift of Folded Life, Paper Ones,1 Companions

Conspectus

For the longest time Man has held the dream of bestowing the gift of life to an inanimate object. Certain mages over the years have studied and practiced this art, eventually managing to give animal properties to origami.2 The expertly folded creatures not only are the live paper manifestation of the represented animal, but when within a certain range of what is deemed ethereal, they unfold to take on that form, providing hints to those who seek the being.

Illustration

paper_familiar_by_inhumanshield-dbb7fhs.jpg

One of the Paper Ones. Usually they choose to manifest in a form small enough to fit in the palm of a human.

Knowledge

Traits: The Paper Ones of Seeking, as their name suggests, are made of paper and may vary in size, usual form, and color, depending on what the creator chooses. Their form of preference is small enough to fit in the palm of an average human being, though there have been some recorded instances of larger ones being created.

The creator must keep in mind the form that will be most convenient for not only their skill level in origami, but the type of paper as well. If the paper does not suit the lifestyle of the creator, the Paper One will have difficulty adjusting to its newfound life, subject to hazards such as water, tearing, and being destroyed in the rifts between time and space.3

Nature: Paper Ones, when bestowed with life, act as though they would if they were made of flesh. As origami is a representation, in this case, of that which is living, the Paper One always displays behaviors similar to that of the represented being.4 The sole exception is when in a certain range of what is deemed abnormal by human societies,5 as it will completely undo its own folds and remake itself to match the form of the being.67 When in this form, it will act as the being acts, presumably to assist its creator in identifying what they are near. If taken out of this range, it unfolds to take on its original form once more.

When the wear of paper becomes too much for the Paper One, it will unfold itself entirely. When set on a new sheet of paper of the same size and color of the original, the previous sheet will burst into a self-contained flame, transferring the life energy to the new paper. That will then begin to fold itself into a crisply folded replica of the original host.

History & Associated Parties: The creation of the first Paper Ones were discovered by Sir Fafnir Wright, an enchanter and origami enthusiast. His failures and anger issues led to him burning his origami models in an everlasting fire, in which they "sucked the life from it" and ran rampant through his home. Due to their ability to drain energy from certain objects deemed magical, they took on the forms of certain pottery, furniture, and even each other.

Throughout the years, they have assisted many travelers and adventurers with their special properties, warning them of hidden beings that may have been of use or harm. Some of the most famous adventurers have had a Paper One by their side through their journeys, avoiding some life-threatening obstacles because of the extra help. Some ill-meaning beings have lurked behind walls and in the shadows undetected, causing many untimely deaths, making the companions a useful addition to adventuring parties in both past and present because of their ability to warn their creators of such beings.

Approach: Paper Ones are to be handled delicately to prevent tears or unwanted creases. Usual wear of paper is to be handled by setting down a new sheet of paper and setting the Paper One on top to allow it to refresh its form.89 Be certain to set it on a surface that isn't flammable for the safety of not only yourself, but the surroundings as well.

Paper Ones are not under any circumstances to be treated as pets. They are companions of those who seek the unknown. While they don't complain about finding lost keys or the other stray everyday object, expect to get a paper cut or two on your neck for that request.

Creation of a Paper One is simple, as all you will need is an enchanted fire10 and meager origami skill. Fold a model, then place it over the fire until it begins moving.

Other Detail: The created Paper One will form an immediate attachment with its creator; however, there has been one case of a Paper One being given as a gift. How this was managed is a mystery, as its creator11 went missing years ago. The recipient12 and his companion are currently journeying together in an unknown region of the Multiverse.

Observations & Stories

"Upon a dark and stormy day
A wanderer, he made his way
Down through the villa, to the end
Of the forest with his friend.

His friend, he paid no mind at all
To the noises behind the wall
But the wanderer, he was smart
And brought a living work of art.

His companion took the form
Of a large and dangerous worm,
Warning them of dangers ahead
So the travelers would not be misled.

Still the wanderers traveled behind
The massive wall, only to find
A lovely lady, beckoning them
To take her treasure, a healing gem.

The wanderer's friend, he was a fool
And succumbed to the trap of the wormy ghoul,
But the wanderer took the advice
Of his folded paper, the warning device.

The wanderer mourned his friend's death
But as he sat and caught his breath,
He thanked his folded dragon pal
And left with a certain boost in morale,

For who needs friends who are brain dead
When you can have the Gift of Paper Life instead?"
-An excerpt from The Paper and the Flames by David Flameworth1314

"There have been multiple issues with the Paper Ones taking on the form of their creators, which led to complaints and a decline in popularity with many people. However, with extensive study, I've discovered they can be trained not only out of these sorts of things, but to react to certain phrases. For example, you can get them to find your house keys using a reward system of some sort, similar to training a dog, but in a more acquaintance-y way." -Johannes Fliegen15

"Cute? Yes. Turning into my furniture on my furniture? Horrible. I've gone through two stacks of paper in less than a week (Joloran standard time), not to mention offended it. They don't enjoy being sat on." -Drohend Doomsday

"Advice for the creator: if you travel a lot, use small paper and a simple model. They can warn you of creatures to avoid and the like, if you tell them to, and considering they know what danger means. For one to help at the house? Don't do this at all. They get squashed rather easily when left to their own devices." -R. J. L.

Doubt

It is still unknown why and how the Paper Ones know who their creator is or why they have such undying loyalty. This could be due to a metaphorical spark being created from the literal one they are born of, but this still has yet to be confirmed. Some people are studying why it is specifically an enchanted flame that brings them to life and whether or not other alchemical elements will work as well, though they often become secluded in their work.16

There is also dispute over whether or not Gareth, David Flameworth's companion, is a dragon or a bird. The creator described it as a "dragon-bird" and nothing more. The debate is ongoing, and if Aaron Flameworth is ever located, he is to be questioned immediately.

Another question is why this works solely with origami and how they know which animal they represent, as well as knowledge of the existing behaviors. Why do they choose to help their creators, considering they do choose at all?

Finally, because Sir Wright hid his opinions on what it means to be human or not, it remains unknown whether or not the ideas imbued into their mentality were intended to be a jab at the existence of other creatures or whether they see things in a view related only to one Earth's humans. Although there are no recorded instances of anyone too offended by this,17 some debate has risen, which may cause some unwanted unrest and possible accusations specifically pointed at either Sir Fafnir or the Paper Ones themselves.