Lord Aini's Essay
I won’t lie. I am bored out of my head. So I do the only thing I do when I have nothing else to do; write down my thoughts and ideas.
This time though, I have some things I want to talk about, so I decided to write those down instead, and share them with you.
This Essay about our game has three parts: Our characters as they are (through my eyes, at least), our characters as monsters, and the nature of the setting and of all involved in it.
It will all become clear in a while.
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST
So far, four Deathknights have grown in an outburst of power, making the shadowland tremble in anticipation of all that is to come. Yet, as personalities, the changes are subtle.
Still, they are all bound to their roles for the time being, though some of them feel it to a lesser extend, while some feel it more.
Here is my idea of these characters, as unique beings with unique identities, each encompassing a different aspect of the Abyssal Situation.
1. Let’s start with Bleak Apothecary of the Soul-Consuming Wonders. Apothecary is capricious and intemperate, her behavious is childish on occassion, but she has a mature mind. She is ruthless, callous, and, although she is hiding behind her aluring appearance, she is a monster.
Luckily for the others, she finds no real thrill in killing and maiming mortals. It is too easy, and Apothecary gets bored. What she really loves is making something that can either do that for her. The flesh is a crude material, but she will work with it to perfection, because, like the maw of the abyss, her hunger for perfection is ravening. And the arts of the dead are another tool for her to achieve perfection.
Apothecary is the Obsessed side of death. It is the end that will and must be achieved. Because, after an end there are always new beginings. This is exactly what she represents: the relief that follows acceptance of a loss. The hope that follows the obsession over a lost loved one.
2. Thorn of the Black Rose appears as self-righteous and regal. He is not reckless or ruthless, and he considers his options before he acts. He seems unapproachable, but because of his dark radiance rather than his character. He still glings to the needs of the living, mirroring them like the ghosts mirror their former lives in the underworld. He feels the need to control, and to rule everything, because it is his right.
Thorn could be easily described as the Mourning. He still clings to the past, because death always help men to see things around them in a different way. He is the righteous cause, the oath of vengeance, or simply the acceptance that allows those left behind to move on.
3. Inevitable Executioner in the Halls of Blood and Chains seems emotionaly dead, but with a strong feeling of purpose. He is neither calous, nor regal. He accepts his fate, and this acceptance brings moral liberation. Because he has no connections to the past, he does not make connections to the present. He also seeks perfection, but only as a path to enlightment, so that he can serve his cause better.
Executioner is akin to the feeling of acceptance. He severes attatchments, even good ones. He is the inevitability of Death, and the realisation of this fact, that removes the fear from the lives of those left behind.
4.Forsaken by the Dragons craves arcane power. He does not want it for any higher cause; he just needs it, for that is his nature. He has no uce for control, the way Thorn has. He cares nothing for earthly glory, power or wealth. He needs to delve into the deepest secrets, for death is the biggest secret of all. He and Apothecary are a good example of how two people of the same Caste can vary, while in the same context. He still acts like a mortal, but instead of jaded from all the wonders and horrors he has witnessed, he is now even more mystified and hungry for all he can attain.
Forsaken could be said to be alike denial, if only in a few aspects. His path does not stem from a denial to accept loss. Instead, his hunger for power is like the sudden turning of a man towards religion after losing someone precious; they both search for something to relieve them.
CREATURES OF DARKNESS
Each of the four is unique. But to me, each one resembles something made of death. What I mean will be clear in a moment.
Literature, movies… they are all infested with creatures that either live off death, or are made of it. After reading an article about it, it suddenly became apparent to me, that they all resemble one of these creatures or ideas.
1.Thorn’s current plotline with the Vampires, is somehow very appropriate. He could just as well be one. He is a creature of death that belongs and needs the living. Should he be on his own, with noone to command, hunt or kill, his excistance would be meaningless. His family has darker secrets still, and he is the result of centuries of haggling with the dead. He is dead, yet he needs the living, while his family were living that needed the dead. A sudden turn of events, perhaps an artifact that enslaved the living to his will, or a charm that did just that, would be a nice addition to the character.
2.Forsaken is like a ghost. He still has humanity in him, but he wanders the world because of his passions. Given either a completion of his gials, or a permanent inability to fulfill them, his excistance would be without a meaning. He haunts this world, until his goal is fulfilled, or until he is destroyed.
3.Apothecary resembles the zombies she is so good at making. With just one thing in her mind, she almost midlessly rushes forward, hunting it, unable to satisfy her thirst for perfection. When she finds a goal, she makes sure she will achieve it, and nothing will stop her.
4.Executioner is like the grim reaper. Only thing that matters is doing what he has to do, without feelings or remorse, for his duty is unquestionable. There is no reason to change anything, because everything will eventualy become undone.
Accordingly, I think a small attention to small details in game will make the image of each character better. I can really imagine everything that has to do with Thorn as vampiric, everything about Forsaken is hazy and shrouded in mystery, everything about Executioner as being simple, spartan even, but purposeful, and everything around Apothecary being raw gore.
WORLD OF DARKNESS
So far, we have seen an awesome Exalted game. The storyline is catchy, the plot is very interesting, development goes at an interesting fast pace, and overall it is a great fantasy game.
However, I believe that Exalted is not just a fantasy game. It is not just “what the characters do”, but also “who the characters are”. I think we can make it more personal for everyone, without any extra effort by the ST (apart from some game time, in which to act more like our characters). If we try to give more “internal” descriptions, a psychological insight into the character and even have a couple of uneeded by the plot dialogues amongst the PC’s, I believe it will enrich the game.
Same goes to the world built around them. We, the players, as much as the ST, shape and change everything we touch, in every way. While a description of one’s manse is needed, I think a description of the feelings, ideas, thoughts, one might have as he enters it, will help all of us embrace the world and connect with it on a different level.
Just some things I was thinking about. I don’t care if my view on the rest of the characters is the same you have. These are the thoughts I have while thinking about them.
In a word, Epic. This overview of the characters involved in out Abyssal game encompasses almost all aspects of their behavior. An astute set of observations indeed!