Sunday, September 11, 2011

Deception - An Atlan Power

What would you do if you could Deceive other people that you were someone else?  Deception is one of the universal Atlan powers in my world, meaning that all Atlans can do it to some degree.  Some Atlans can walk into a large city fully armed - two swords, bow & arrow, several knives - and everyone in that city will see her as a half-grown boy, or a one-legged beggar, whatever she wants them to see.  This is a useful skill to have, for an Atlan scout can mingle with other groups and learn what’s going on.

The one thing about this power that the Atlans don’t want to admit is that it’s not perfect.  In a group of 100 people, one of them might not be fully convinced by what they see.  Ever had the feeling that someone you just met or who you saw across the street was ... off?  That’s what this person would feel. 
Whether that person would say anything to anybody or would simply turn back to what they were doing ... that’s another thing entirely.

Other Atlans don’t have this power so strongly.  They can change their appearance, so long as they remain female.  Or perhaps they can only change their hair color, not their entire appearance.

Korla has scars on one side of her face from a childhood accident.  She isn’t sure she can erase those scars, even using Deception.  But then, she’s never tried.  Atlans use whatever they can to appear fierce to their enemies, and until a particular person proves they are not an enemy, Atlans assume they are.
A soldier might not think an army of women would be anything to worry about.  But if he is facing a well-armed woman who has been disfigured, whose mouth is pulled upward on one side into a blood-lust grin, he just might have second thoughts.  Some of Korla’s sisters use Deception to disfigure their face, too, when facing a potential threat.

Just one of the ways Atlans can be tricky.

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