Storytime: Various Rita Stuff
This was an idea that popped into my head as I was actually working on a different story. I just suddenly got this idea to talk about some of Rita’s gear and equipment, and other peculiarities. And even reveal some of my inspirations behind things, if applicable. Stuff not big enough to deserve a whole post of its own, but which could make something all together.
We will start with what is probably the most curious of all of Rita’s possessions. The Trunk. Yes, capital T. As a big fan of Discworld, and the Rincewind books in particular, I was quite fascinated by the Luggage ever since I first read Eric ( yes, that’s where I got started ). The Trunk isn’t quite the same, but it’s where I got the inspiration. The Trunk has no legs, nor does it exhibit any malevolence or any other obvious sign of sentience or mobility. In appearance it looks something like this. A large wooden chest with a flat lid. Not especially ornate, but clearly well-made. The only thing that might look unusual about it is that its size is a bit larger than you would typically expect. The thing with the Trunk is that it does move. No one (that we know) has ever seen it move, or how it does so. But somehow it is always where Rita wants/needs it to be. And wherever it is currently located, it gives off this feeling that this is where it belongs, and where it has always been, and you just didn’t notice it until now. It also will not open for anyone besides Rita, or those she has given permission. Inside it is a pocket dimension. Or maybe several. Whenever it is opened, it displays the part of its inside that contains what Rita ( or the person she permitted ) is looking to find. If they are not sure what exactly they want, it’s possible to enter the Trunk. Among other things, there’s a vast armoury, massive pantry, and a huge wardrobe in there. Rita has stocked the Trunk with pretty much anything you could need, and quite a lot of random stuff she just hasn’t had anywhere else to put. It’s her own little deus ex machina object. And of course there’s also a vault for dangerous objects, since the Trunk is virtually impossible to break into. ( And even if you did, there’s no guarantee you’d find what you were looking for, or get out again. )
Speaking of the armoury, I suppose I might as well move onto Rita’s weapon of choice. Rita’s preferred weapon type is spears, though polearms in general also work. There is essentially three reasons for this. First off, she comes from a time and place where a spear was basically the most advanced weapon they had, and it’s what she was trained in while still human. So there’s a bit of sentimental attachment there. Secondly, I wanted to make her something else than just another sword wielder. Thirdly, she already has her claws and teeth, so when picking a melee weapon, she would rather have something with a bit of reach. Part of me would have liked to say she has some epic, legendary weapon with a name and fancy attributes, but no. She owns a series of well-made, effective weapons, and doesn’t really have a favourite among them. If it comes down to it, she can use pretty much anything. While in general she doesn’t really get mechanical stuff or any sort of modern technology all that well ( and anything she does get too close to has a curious tendency to break or malfunction ), weaponry has always been an exception. It’s like she has a sort of instinctive understanding of nearly any type of weaponry she gets her hands on, and even how to make weaponised use of certain non-weaponry.
When it comes to what to wear into combat ( or potential combat situations ) the Wulf clan has developed a sort of uniform. When you’re a family comprised entirely of shape-shifters, finding suitable clothing to wear into situations where you’re expected to morph a lot poses a problem. So the body-suit was thought up. Comprised of a material derived from magically treated fibres, the Wulf body-suit is a form-fitting outfit that stays form-fitting regardless of what form you take, while also providing a measure of protection from both harm and elements. It’s a literal one-size-fits-all, so long as you don’t expand to ludicrous degrees. Its colouration is a specific shade of dark grey that seems to meld into shadows with far better efficiency than anything pitch-black could do. It takes special effort to pay attention to, even if you know it’s there. The only consideration to form over function is the family emblem, a wolf’s head, situated on the right side of the chest. So placed because it might present a target, but it’s not over the heart. A chest wound that leaves the heart intact will not impair your average Wulf to any real degree, and will usually heal within moments.
As for clothes in general, Rita will basically just put on whatever she feels in the mood for. She is bad when it comes to keeping up with fashion, as it’s not really one of her fields of interest, but she likes picking outfits that make her look attractive. Or sometimes stuff that deliberately enhances her motherliness. And if she’s going on some sort of adventure or excursion, she quite enjoys dressing the part, even if it’s completely unnecessary. Of course you need a pointy hat and a robe to work in the lab. The one item of clothing she doesn’t like in the least is shoes. She has never liked shoes, or understood shoes. At best she might sometimes put on some woolly socks or fluffy slippers, but if she can at all avoid it, there will be no shoes. She prefers the sensation of walking barefoot on practically any surface. If she wears a disguise for whatever reason, she will reluctantly put on shoes that go with that, but that’s only because she believes in doing things right if they have to be done at all.
Considering she can teleport or open portals to virtually anywhere at will, you might find it strange that Rita has her own personal spaceship. But what other reason for having your own personal spaceship do you need than “because I can”? It was named the Lyngbakr, after a giant whale monster from Norse mythology. In essence it’s the space version of a yacht. Made for cruising around space in search of exploration and adventure. While it does have a few weapons, it is not meant for combat. But should worse come to worst, it does carry two of Gate Inc’s iconic Wulf Fighters. While Rita needs help flying the Lyngbakr, even she can handle a Wulf Fighter. Possibly on the basis that it is essentially a flying weapon, or just that she’s put a lot of training into it. While the Wulf Fighters carry conventional weaponry as a backup, their main ‘cannon’ is a magical focus. Based on the focus-plate meant for field use, which allows up to four mages to easily combine their power to create a devastating beam, the Wulf Fighter has five channels, or funnels if you will, leading into the tip at the front. The four outside funnels are meant to be fed with the four magical elements; fire, water, air, earth; while the central funnel is fed with pure spirit as a trigger. With the aid of the enchantments in the funnels and the Fighter as a whole, this will produce a powerful beam that could prove a threat to most things. And the stronger the mage, the stronger the beam. Yet even a novice mage can be quite devastating in one of those.
I suppose I can also talk about Rita’s weaknesses as her type of werewolf. These usually apply even more so to the others in her family, as her age and exposure has granted her increased resistance and control over these things in most situations. The first item on the list is fire. It’s not necessarily that fire is immediately crippling, and she doesn’t really have any sort of allergy to it, but injuries caused by fire are much harder to heal. Typically her high metabolism and shape-shifting abilities will fix and repair any injuries caused quite rapidly, even going so far as to regrow limbs and organs. Heavy injuries might take more effort and time, but she is rarely out for very long. Yet anything caused by fire will be much harder to heal. There’s something about fire that screws up the self-healing ability, maybe even so badly that it won’t heal faster than it would on a human, unless it gets special treatment.
The second is the one that werewolves is most famous for being weak against: silver. It should be mentioned right away that due to some outside interference, neither Rita nor the rest of her family reacts quite as badly to silver as they used to, but it’s still bad. It used to work much like a toxin, gradually shutting down their bodies from the point of impact. After a benevolent being decided to try, and partly succeeded, to remove this vulnerability, it’s been less deadly, but still dangerous. Now it basically messes with their powers. The healing ability goes away first, but it’s also a major drain on their physical and magical power, and screws up their shifting. If silver is stuck in their bodies, it needs to be removed before they can recover. Even if it doesn’t quite burn to the touch as it used to do, it is still something they are unlikely to be able to do on their own. There’s also the issue of the smell. To Rita, or any werewolf of her kind, silver smells like rancid corruption. Even if they’re not touching it, just having it closeby will be a distraction.
Other strong smells can also be an issue. Not so much for Rita any longer, as she has had a lot of time to get used to filtering such stuff, but even then it’s hard to ignore strong spices, pungent aromas, and most especially of all: blood. For young Wulfs, being able to focus and concentrate while smelling blood can be quite the challenge, and even for those as experienced as Rita you always notice it’s there, you just learn to not have it distract you. A new, strong scent can still throw her a bit, but she’s usually good at hiding it.
There’s probably more things I could write about, but I really just wanted to go over the ones that tended to show up the most often back in the RP days, and might be relevant for any future stories I write.