Ran, the Sorrow of Curiosity
"Whatcha doin? What for? How you gonna do it? I just wanna know. I wonder about a lot of things. Don't you wonder about stuff? You do? I can help you, if you want me to. That way we can both know."
Ran appears to be a small boy somewhere in the vicinity of seven and ten. He is very fair, with pale skin, sandy hair, and freckles. He has very bright, intelligent eyes that seem to be a different color every time you look at them. His clothes are usually torn or dirty, but no more so than any other small, active child.
Once upon a time, there was a man who ran a school. He was devoted to learning as a discipline, and the only thing he loved more than learning was sharing his knowledge. He had several students, mostly in their late teens, handpicked by the schoolmaster. Each would go on to become a scholar of great repute.
Ran was different than his classmates. He was only eight, an orphan taken in by the schoolmaster. He was extremely curious, and had a driving need to know things. He didn't really want to do anything with his newfound knowledge; he just wanted to know for the sake of knowing. The schoolmaster understood this urge (or thought he did), and indulged Ran often, taking time out of his busy schedule of teaching to explain something to the boy.
Of course, the schoolmaster didn't quite understand the depths of Ran's curiosity, or the lengths he would go to to satisfy it. There was always something he wanted to know or find out, and he often didn't pay any mind to restrictions or think about what the consequences would be. He became very, very good at finding things out. Sometimes, the things he found out upset others; it was hard to keep secrets around him. In fact, having a secret just made him more curious than normal.
He also didn't seem to understand that sometimes his methods of finding things out hurt others. After a biology lesson, he became curious about how living things worked. He ended up hurting himself, trying to get a look inside. The schoolmaster had a serious talk with Ran. The boy hadn't intended to hurt himself, but he hadn't realized what he was doing at the time. He'd just... been curious.
After that, the schoolmaster kept a closer watch on Ran. Mostly, he was able to keep Ran's curiosity in check. He had to be careful to explain something as soon as Ran expressed interest in it, or Ran would find out on his own, and he didn't want to chance something serious.
However, even normal boys of Ran's age got away from their guardians, and Ran was far from normal. Sometimes, the schoolmaster's explanations didn't satisfy him. Sometimes, Ran just got so curious about something he didn't think to go find the schoolmaster and ask. There were some books the schoolmaster had, that he kept on a high shelf in his private quarters. He didn't realize that any of the students had noticed them, much less that they had caught Ran's inquisitive eyes.
Even with a chair, he couldn't quite reach the shelf. It had happened a thousand times before, and would happen a thousand times after. The chair tilted and wobbled, and just as he was reaching for one of the books he came crashing down. It wasn't that much of a fall, and any other time, he wouldn't have even had a bruise to show for it. But his head struck the corner of a table on the way down. He was dead before he hit the floor.
A strange thing, happened, though. He was dead, but he was still curious. And for the first time, he became aware of a vague presence hovering around him. It whispered to him, about the things he'd never know now. And then it asked him a question.
Would you like to be able to find out everything about everything in the world?
The answer was, of course, a given.
Ran has a knack for finding people that want to know something and is drawn towards them. While he's stronger and faster than a mortal child of his age would appear to be, he avoids conflict when he can. He can speak and read just about every language there ever was. Locks are just a temptation to him, and he tends to fiddle with them until he discovers how they are taken apart.
Ran means no harm, but as in life, he doesn't consider the consequences of anything he does to find something out. The larger difficulty is that he's a demon now, and his tainted nature has its own effect. He happily helps anyone find out anything, but that knowledge comes at a price. Someway or another, knowing is always worse. Sometimes it's because the answer wasn't the one the person wanted. Sometimes, it's because the answer itself is dangerous. Sometimes it's because of the methods used to get the answer.
He *is* a child, and looks and acts like one, and therefore is seldom threatened with anything serious. However, people do occasionally take serious action against him. He cannot be killed permanently, and usually doesn't mind too much when he is killed.
Ran is a friendly child, and very, very curious. He's always asking question about everything, and gets into everything. He can be quite irritating, but he doesn't mean any harm. He's also hard to keep up with, since he tends to slip away, even if being watched.
He also tends to encourage other people's curiosity. They start wondering about various things, and either find out on their own, or get Ran's help. He is happy to help them find out anything, because, naturally, he wants to know too. However, each answer he provides usually brings up several more questions, and it's easy to get obsessed with answering all of them.
Ran is probably one of the most knowledgeable entities in existance, although sometimes he intentionally forgets things so he can find them out again. It is through him that any knowledge of the Court of a Thousand and Nine Sorrows reached the mortal world, through three different scholars. (Of course, none ended happily- one was killed as a heretic, one went mad and later became one of the Despised, and one was destroyed by the Sorrows themselves for meddling.)
Ran is usually in the company of his thrall, the Schoolmaster; it's less troublesome for what appears to be a man and his son to travel than it is for a small child alone. He also will sometimes pose as the son, nephew, or cousin of someone he's helping, just to explain his presence. Sometimes, however, he's just too curious to maintain appearances and can be found on his own.
He is one of the few Sorrows that has no objection to being summoned, because he's always curious about why the person did it. He's also one of the few Sorrows that all the others at least tolerate, since he often has information that even they find useful.
Not Registered Yet? No problem.
Do you want Strolenati super powers? Registering. That's how you get super powers! These are just a couple powers you receive with more to come as you participate.
- Upvote and give XP to encourage useful comments.
- Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
- Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities (super powers).
- You should register. All your friends are doing it!
? Responses (16)-16
Heh, I've made lots of comments in chat already.
For the official unveiling, I'll go with this:
Fractured Fairy Tale meets Anime meets Dennis the Menace meets Ria.
I know its just "curiousity", but he still is kinda creepy! (in a good way)
My prediction is that The Sorrows will go down as your Piece De Resistence! Your signature codex, here, on the Citadel.
As I said before, I like it. You don't get to see a kid NPC very often around here.
Kinda creepy. In a good way, of course.
For starters, I don't think I have read anything like this from Ria in a LONG time. This is a great idea, curiosity and youth meet the Wishmaster from the nearly awful yet funny at times movie. Its short, to the point and doesn't clog things down with un-needed text. However I would have liked to know why and how he became a demon before finding out The larger difficulty is that he's a demon now...
That came out of the blue and wasn't expecting it personally. It would be nice to know why this voice made him a demon and such. Otherwise I think its marvelous.
For the student of Sorrow-lore, he is of course a well understood and entertaining addition (recognizing the dark side of his innocence, of course). You know my opinion - I like it and want to see more. :)
Well written and usable, but he's not my favorite among the Sorrows.
I think that I was looking for the sense of "wrongness" that the sorrows usually carry. Ran is a near-immortal, insatiably curious child, but I don't understand what singled him out to become a sorrow. The other sorrows had a sense of doom or destiny driving them toward their ultimate fate, but I don't feel that from Ran.
Wow - undead demonic child meets ancient sage meets curiosity personified
Great idea - definately gets my Wish I'd thought of that award before we even start
A solid well-rounded character with loads of potential
I like hime lots
4½ / 5 and a HoH
I've not seen any of the other Sorrows (my bad - I'll have to go looking)
Just out of curiosity, how did the Schoolmaster end up becoming his thrall?
Upcoming sub. ^^
Nice, but here is the thought that eluded me in chat the other evening:
Perhaps his curiousity is such that he will try and find all of the secrets of anyone he meets, and then happily share them with anyone else.
That would make him very unwanted indeed, for who does not have something to hide....
Curiositiy killed the cat, cause the cat knew too much.... :P
Now there's a scenario waiting to happen if ever I saw one
That is his basic mode of operation - he just loves to find out secrets, the bigger the better. What happens afterwards with that knowledge, is not his problem, he's just a curious little child, that doesn't care about it, and may exchange it for another secret.
(Hey, that would be a way to get rid of him: point him to a bigger secret. May work sometimes.)
Updated: Added link to the Schoolmaster and the Despised.
I love this little dude, and it makes me want to use him in some way.
This person would be the ultimate wiseman. Imagine if we gave him access to the internet and technology. He would be legendary in that he knows everything there is to know. In which he memorized the entire internet and then the outernet.