[CoFD] Sir Night Compiles Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes (In-Character Let's Read)

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
EDIT: OOC Warning: Salty demon ahead with something of an axe to grind and a personal grudge. Believe me, I won't be this negative throughout the Let's Read.

This note was found taped to the underside of a van painted deliberately to resemble an unmarked CIA one. A quick glance inside will show that is not the case-it's a normal van, albeit packed with fast food bags on the occasions its owners need to displace the hunger)

The things I do for knowledge. You win, but my conditions still stand. Everyone I bring into the network has been already briefed. You start nibbling around my jurisdiction, I will alert the Temple to those threatening Bellevue with their diets. Don't abuse my trust.

-----​

deals with the devil squared.zip

Why, oh why, did I ever agree to this?

First of all; hello, unknown viewers, I am Sir Night. I am given to understand that your "elder siblings" wanted you into the network, and while I feel my dragon-slaying arm itch whenever I have to deal with the self-righteous gluttons, I haven't quite given up the shambling corpse of building an inter-esohuman (my little term for us seemingly mortal supernatural beings) network, dial down the cold war tensions. You can read the sordid results of my first, misguided attempt here. Suffice to say, I don't like talking about it. And yes, I am indeed a fallen angel-which as I have been repeatedly informed, are not Kin to the Children of Dark Mother, as they will not stop reminding me. Don't worry about my Cover; your Collector discovered that, apparently, the Hive in the Seattle area emits a field that confuses the Temple; so long as the server I am storing these zip files on remains in the Primordial Dream, I can be open about what and who I am.

For my regular network members; After the tragedy caused largely by what was my own overconfidence, I decided to settle down for a bit. I realized that I had effectively abandoned the humanity I sacrificed so much to gain during my Fall, and since my Knights of the Clockwork Heart are up and running semi-autonomously, I decided to reconnect with my Cover a bit. Even found a spouse, and that, along with her gender, is all I am permitting you to know (I have already admittedly publicly I am heterosexual, so there's no point in disguising that). But during the morning process, I revisited Mr. Hill's grave, and discovered a very personal note to him was missing.

As you may have guessed from the acerbic tone of this file, there was something left behind; a greeting card, thanking me for my thoughts, commenting on how sweet and delicious they were, and contact information for a certain brood of Beasts who dwell in Seattle. Somehow managing to regain control of my temper and not alerting every known Hero in the tri-state area (mostly for the sake of the less loathsome esohumans), I called them up and had a reasonably polite conversation where the Collector responsible for the desecration told me they (if they do not wish to publically announce their gender identity, that's fine, I will remain vague) respected my abilities as a researcher, and offered me a trade; my expertise in compiling the backstory of Heroes known to pose a threat to their tech-savvy, paranoia-feeding Brood, and in return, I would receive their accumulated lore on Kinship Nightmares, those strange mental powers born of copying the techniques of other esohumans to increase fear (it will be useful to developing my knights' Endowment farther), and "assurance that you are not nearly as foreign to the family as you think." Seeing as how a Beast's approval fills me with shame, I managed to convince them to allow me to compile data publicly on Beasts I consider to be a threat to public and mental safety, Dark Mother's lesson plan be damned.

You may also get the sense that I don't particularly like Beasts. You would be perceptive; while I understand that they have a biological need to cause pain and terror, lest their own souls eat them from the inside out, it's the justification that bothers me. Beasts, known among themselves as the Begotten, consider themselves the firstborn children of the Dark Mother, a primordial nature deity (who is probably real, I'll grant) who was the first esohuman to exist. This makes them the elder cousin/sibling to every esohuman on the planet, barring we Unchained, as we are, I'll admit, alien machines who are good at pretending to be totally human instead of a transformed human. That is all fine and dandy, except Beasts attempt to sell their Hunger for fear as a good thing; they phrase everything they do as a potential moral lesson to be beaten into the people they're feeding from through terror.

This is the kind of phrasing that makes me, as a former angel designed to protect children's dreams from the menace of hostile oneriovores, start reaching for my Contacts list of protection agencies and abuse counselors. Combine that with a truly inhuman mindset (I do not mean offense, for once-it's basic biological fact that Beasts have an animalistic Astral entity born from the most primal id of humanity for a soul) and advice to "Kin" that I frankly do not agree with (embracing our natures is all fine and dandy, but then we have the fact that slashers, I know for a fact, are considered Kin) and you have a recipe for everything I dislike about many esohumans and why my Hell involves forming a corps of monster hunters. Combine that with the fact that my first real contact with Beasts ended up making one of my knights a supernatural serial killer of children who loved to play mental games with the parents because the Begotten I hired thought that his "fae-like urges" were something to be embraced, and I will be honest; dealing with you, my patron brood, leaves a sour taste in my mouth, and I feel like a complete and utter hypocrite for continuing to do so.

But, I will admit; part of the reason (part) that I dislike vampires turned out to be a misunderstanding, an evil and traitorous action by one Kindred that I took as emblematic of my biases holding true. I still have most of those biases, but having dealt with the Carthian Movement and, oddly, the Circle of the Crone (who have a similar ideology to the brutal lessons of Beasts, but apply it to themselves more frequently so I can chalk that up to a differing culture I just don't get rather than self-righteousness and rationalization). And I'll be frank-I didn't meet the Begotten I asked to help me with the future Night Goblin again, so I don't know what actually happened beyond my old knight's ranting. So, I will do my best to remain neutral.

Emphasis on neutral. I understand that Heroes, those human children of the Primordial Dream, are usually even more egotistical and violent than Beasts, but inherently a Hero is working to remove a potential danger to humanity's mental health. So, I will do my best to play devil's advocate (no pun intended) for them and attempt to explain why at least some of their actions are admirable, even to my patron Brood.

...Though I will admit, there are some terrible individuals who I will not make excuses for. Evil cannot be destroyed with evil, only managed, and all Heroes can do, a lot of the time, is destroy.

First up, I examine the transformation of a child therapist into the Hero who hunts a child, and I examine their psychology.

OOC: I've decided to go with my idea and make Sir Night Reads a series, where anything I can turn into an in-character dissection by a somewhat hotheaded Saboteur/Integrator Guardian Unchained who thinks of himself as a monster hunter with big dreams is written into an in-universe computer file as part of his other job as a librarian, and talks it over with whichever characters insert themselves into his network, with his permission or not, as said other characters often explain what they are from their perspective (and maybe someday getting my own page on TV Tropes, mostly because the CoFD needs a fanfic page and not be so neglected-and partially because it's nice to be appreciated). I left the Collector gender blank so that any interested RPer who wants to play the thieving client can take that spot and customize them. Or not. Choice is yours.

Note that while I was being a bit caustic about Beast: The Primordial, that's largely Sir Night. The fact that his reasons are based on a common criticism of the game are an IC reflection of my own gripes with the game, but the reason I chose Conquering Heroes was that it removed one of my biggest, and I want to explore the book and game with new eyes now that I don't feel like I'm picking on people with mental disorders every time I fight a Hero. EDIT: Just to be clear, Sir Night here is a callback right now to where I was before a long series of revisions and clarifications. He currently thinks Beasts are self-justifying abusers for reasons that may or may not be valid, depending on whether you agree with a set of frequent criticisms levied at Beast. I am trying to write him as angry, but open to other voices-only not in his IC text right now for story reasons. If you have a problem with how angry and caustic he gets, let me know OOC, PEACH and all that.

In fact I welcome in-universe call-outs of his temper; he's supposed to come off as ignorant and prejudiced; he needs a swift kick in the ass sometimes. As the original plotline shows, this is actually an exaggeration of his dislike, but that doesn't make it right. Feel free to throw tomatoes at him IC.

You may also notice I didn't mention the Insatiable. There's a point to that, namely Sir Night doesn't know about them-just yet. Suffice to say, he's realized how terrible he is at network security-but following up breaches in his security is something he's quite talented at. There's one particular Insatiable I have plans for-if you've read the book you know who she is. So I ask, don't tell him about them; I have a different plotline in mind. As a hint; Sir Night is normally more polite, and demons can control how polite they sound consciously.
 
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Nicholas Jacob Underwood

Prehistoric cavewerewolf
Validated User
(OOC It's young man in the cafe, I figured I would join in, playing Charlies Garcia, an Anakim Tyrant Beast famous, even among mortal, as a studio executive/director responsible for both the best and worst, yet highest grossing movies in recent memory. I am deliberately playing him as something of a douche. and again, his movies are either masterpieces, or they're so utterly bad that they wrap back around to being a masterpiece, so feel free to make up movies he made that you or other participants in this might have seen or heard of if you need to.)

Well, not all of us do those sorts of justifications to help ourselves feed. Some of us are just lucky enough to work in career where we can feed our hungers in the course of an average day, as I do by dominating my storyboard artists, writers, set designers and other such poor bastards, and have it be seen as normal by society.

Greeting, Sir Knight, My king of Swing, My Duke of Dance, my Ayatollah of rock ‘n rolla. My name is Charlies Garcia, yes that Charlies Garcia. I took me a while to find you, but after that little stunt your hunters pulled at the premiere of Ape Race 2, I did a little digging, found out about your project here and figured that since my career in Hollywood has given a rather deep understanding of how heroes think, I would offer my services as a means of offering an olive branch. Also, I believe that one of the heroes you're researching is one that has become one of the biggest pains in my ass, and the collective asses of all my kin in Hollywood, in my long ass-pained life and I would like to compare notes and do a little brainstorming on how to resolve the issue.
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
Data Voice Log, Nondescript McMansion with several rooms converted into hidden data centers and barracks:

Sir Night: ...Reading what I just wrote.

Juanita Alvarez: Gee, Tim, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

JA: Seriously though; honey, tone it back. You've made your point; I'm pretty sure he'll think you're the weak link, now.

SN: Quite. I want an opposing debate team, not angry commenters.

SN: Even if Mr. Snyper feels more at home among them.

----​

i get it.zip

Good for you. And to be frank-while I don't like your bullying, better you and your perfectionism than other methods I could name *cough*Luca Rohl*cough*.

Also, I wish to apologize for how rabid I came off in the original file. I was still upset over the theft of the note and the apparent defilement of Mr. Hill's gravesite. I want to make clear; the only Beast I've ever truly talked to was the person who turned Jonah Marshall into a serial killer who got off on playing riddle games for the lives of children, and I don't know her side of the story-she left before the Night Goblin kidnappings started. Whenever else I've met a Beast, it's usually in the context of removing one who feeds primarily via murder or supporting other esohumans that are notably corrupt. One of whom seemed to be corrupt largely because of the Beast's influence.

To put it bluntly: part of the reason I'm sympathetic to Heroes is that my knights and I often served as a substitute Hero in my day. Suffice to say, most of my perspective on the Children of the Dark Mother comes from that perspective. It's incomplete, and I know it.

OOC: Added a bit to the OP about how I'm RPing Sir Night; he is not supposed to come off as an author avatar, but a misguided individual who only knows the worst about something he doesn't understand and is deliberately dialing up his acerbic nature for (SPOILERS).

Suffice to say, I am perfectly fine with people attacking him for his bigotry and temper. That's actually what I want to happen, both because he's planning on it and I want to deflate his pride a bit. He's learned a lesson from the first thread, but he's still rather big-headed.
 
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Nicholas Jacob Underwood

Prehistoric cavewerewolf
Validated User
Don't worry about it. I've been in Hollywood long enough to know that first impressions matter a lot and a loud misbehaving minority is a bad first impression for the whole group. As for your opinion of heroes, I would like to point out that many heroes don't put much thought into preventing collateral damage and harm to innocents in their "quests". A Beast like me can at least try to limit the harm we do, but most heroes aren't capable of that, so if your experiences protecting children's dreams made you sympathetic to them, then I would hate to meet the men and women those kids grew up to be.
 

ZiggyZapf

Sorcerer of Autumn
Validated User
From: Dingbat@FontsByThePound

Well, I'm getting a deeper look into Night's wounds. Hang in there, buddy.

But I guess I should get to business: I'm Ziegfried Zapf, Sorcerer of the Autumn Court of Buena Vista. If you want to go casual, "Ziggy" will do. I joined in on Night's previous endeavor, providing a Changeling perspective. I'm a Beast Seeming Changeling (I'm kind of a white rabbit/dog person with circuit board markings, underneath my Mask), and being a champion of the Autumn Court, I had enough similarities to make Night uncomfortable for a while. I shelved a project that involved giving nightmares to kids who tortured animals over concerns raised by Night and Hill, though part of it was also getting higher priority issues to deal with.

I do think there are worthwhile lessons that can be taught using fear, since I've seen a lot of dangers and atrocities born of complacency, but I recognize that fear has limits on what it can do. It's also very easy to teach the wrong lessons, awakening bigotry and unreasoning, self-destructive panic. I'm hoping we can have some reasonable discussion on how to use fear effectively and ethically.

Psychologically, my Seeming's given my own id a boost, and I have to wrestle with it. I may not have destructive hungers like the Begotten experience, but I can relate to having socially unacceptable needs to manage. I'm so glad I've got (relatively) safe ways to indulge them... I wish they'd invent another Halloween. It's hard holding it in for a whole year.

Mr. Garcias: I just have to ask. In "Field of Green," were all those z-list actors just naturally that bad, or did you intentionally give them instructions to drag the theoretically dull movie into the uncanny valley of nightmares?

--Ziggy Zapf
 

Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
Night --

We all look for justification when we hunt. The vampires feed their hungry hearts for one more night, and they tell each other stories of godly intent, natural selection, thinning herds and tending cattle. The werewolves chase and howl, sniffing at the edges of tree lines and growling out ill will at those who despoil their pure lands, given to them by old spirits and dead fathers. The sorcerers... well the sorcerers find justifications behind every thing and anything, feeling their minds and souls grow fat on knowledge and power. The lost find their way, siphoning off a little grief or anger or love, even fear, looking for a home to hollow out and curl up in while their hunters trample the pathways and release hounds to harry them.

Even your kind, I'm led to understand, find their justifications as they tear off bits and pieces of men and crawl into lives, fleeing from your lord. Do you justify yourself to fight back, or justify to walk back into their waiting hand when ready?

About the only men I've seen who didn't look for a justification, beyond their own wants, were real and truthful men who belonged to an 'abbey'. Those men knew their desires were what drove them, their wants what fed them, and who see the shadowy realms as simply a great and joyous game to idle away the hours with.

Those men were perhaps the closest to my heart, even if I know my brothers and sisters would like me to become a tutor.

I simply desire a bite... the bite, feeling venom course through me into incautious hearts, the ones who stepped off the safe paths and into shadows. If my brothers wish to see that a 'lesson' about trust, if my sisters choose to interpret it as a 'lesson' about prudence, then it is no lost skin off my back. I get my fill and can be... something approaching a person for a while, a little while, until I need to eat again.

Still, the ones who chase my families and my kin, they have their justifications for their acts. Good and noble acts, done forthrightly and by lordly men and gracious ladies. My siblings dance about the issue, are the hunters villains for the self-interest buried under their altruism? Are we goodly folk for knowing our black hearts drive us rather than it being fully our crime?

I never know. I can say I do good acts too, sit with lost children until their frantic mother arrives, help doddering old ladies with groceries as they ascend an apartment stairwell, but I know my heart would just as quickly bite them and crush them and drown them if its hunger were strong enough to drive my hand. Is it enough that it doesn't in that moment?

We look for justification, knowing without it, we are only in our own company.

Still, still, what of the doctor? What are his crimes against us, what are our crimes against him? As an outside judge, we await your thoughts with bated breath.

-- Lamia
 
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Nicholas Jacob Underwood

Prehistoric cavewerewolf
Validated User
From: Dingbat@FontsByThePound

Mr. Garcias: I just have to ask. In "Field of Green," were all those z-list actors just naturally that bad, or did you intentionally give them instructions to drag the theoretically dull movie into the uncanny valley of nightmares?

--Ziggy Zapf
They were that bad by virtue of me casting the created in every role. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement, they met some of their milestones and I got an award in the horror gene and a tax write off. But I too want to hear about this doctor
 

RdMarquis

Registered User
Validated User
OOC: I'd like to chime in on this, but I wanted to ask if you're all okay with a homebrew splat. The character I had in mind was a Grace of Mirrors (from Princess). Also, what is the medium through which everyone is communicating? Is this a chatroom, or something?
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
thank you.zip

Mr. Zapf, thank you for the sympathy. Ms. (I think?) Lamia, I understand that, it's just that I have to purchase Cover. As far as I know, Beasts can gorge themselves until their souls are asleep (which may be wrong, it was something I listened to from Hero chatter) at which point they are functionally human. Why doesn't a Begotten do that and just not wake up their other halves? I can't get around the soul trade, but I can be generous with how I pay for it-why can't a Beast just chose the path I know leads to not victimizing others?

I think I know about the doctor you're referring to; believe me, Stone is not a person I feel like defending, if the early logs are any indication. Suffice to say our psychologist is akin to cobbler with no shoes, and not in any sympathetic way.

I quietly dread some of the Heroes I'm going to find already, Mr. Garcia. I know who you are referring to, and all I can say in her defense is "there's worse." How much worse? Also: Prometheans? Thought that would cause a Wasteland, or you would be vulnerable to Disquiet-too vulnerable for an all-Created cast.

Well, let's start with one of the better ones, Candy Rasmussen, the Voice of the Victim. She's a good case study in how stereotypical Heroic motivations of ego can corrupt an otherwise fine endeavor.

First of all, a brief explanation of what a Hero is. In short, a Hero is, like a Beast, a child of the Primordial Dream, the pseudo-layer of the Astral Realms that separates humanity's universal subconscious of beliefs and ideals (what mages call the Temenos, Beasts the Bright Dream) from the Dreamtime, the subconscious of...everything, actually. From the birds in the skies to the rocks in the ground to the bacteria that dwell between, I had it described to me once. The Primordial Dream, I suppose, can be considered the universal id; the embodiment of primal, biological desires such as the need to reproduce, to form a territory, to interact with others of the same species. It's the domain of emotions, and the first emotion, it seems, was fear. Hence, why the Horrors of Beasts dwell there between reincarnations, and why Beasts build dimensional pockets they call Lairs from particular powerful sense-memories of fears that coagulate in the Dream (and by that, I mean that many of said fears usually left long-term psychological damage to individual people). Heroes are humans who sense the Dream tensing and shifting in response to Beasts being in the area, and more acutely the traces left by Begotten devouring nightmares (which I am given to understand is actually a failure state of some kind. Care to explain?). This also results in Heroes drawing power from primal archetypes of mythical hunters and warriors, leading to an increased healing factor and immune system, as well as a supernatural charisma among those most affected by the Begotten, creating a ready source of "followers."

The trouble is, they can't shut off their senses, and something about being constantly exposed to the source of humanity's worship of strength causes an ego problem. To put it simply, the average Hero develops a classic messiah complex and a disturbingly large minority become outright malignant narcissists who care more about showing off their skill in the quest to slay ever more Beasts, and tend to regard followers as expendable help. Ms Rasmussen is an example of a pure messiah complex without the narcissism or the callous attitude, but I will admit, said messiah complex causes her and much of esohumanity enough trouble.

[He says that only now after I forced him to actually watch the videos-Juanita Alvarez, the spouse mentioned, who is not your princess to be hidden in a tower, Night]

Before you ask-she knows what I am, and she's also serving as my editor after that screed in the first post. I need to calm down, she says.

You may have heard of her already if you pay attention to the internet activist scene. She runs an investigative video blog/opinion piece website called the Voice of the Victim. Its primarily local to her area, but she's good at uncovering abuses of power and explaining who the perpetrators are. It's also not a big secret among the Hero community (the logs of which promptly made me realize just how ironic a title "Hero" can get-it's like the worst kind of bodybuilder forum in the hidden URLs) that much of her skill with investigation comes from the fact she can attune herself to the Primordial Dream and follow the fears released by monsters oppressing people (though everything I read suggests that most Heroes are only subconsciously aware of the Dream if at all-many don't even realize their visions are caused by mystic influence). As far as I can tell, her power awoke during her freshman year as a political science and communication major; before she became a Hero, she wasn't particularly charismatic or just plain unlucky when it came to vlogging. One of the few viewers she attracted, though, was a Begotten, a Collector (Hunger for a Hoard of some precious thing) named Jess. Jess approached Rasmussen with his ideas for staging and new issues, and they were a perfect team-until Rasmussen's power awoke and she saw a vision of Jess' monstrous form. In a panic, she backstabbed her friend, to her eternal and everlasting regret (my knights retrieved her private data from that time-she has a habit of pouring herself into her diaries).

In a brighter world, that might have been the end of it, but instead a Child banker who had weaseled his way out of a corruption charge was interviewed by her next, after her senses alerted her to his true nature. She wanted to prove to herself that the man was in truth what she decided Jess was, and he passed her test with flying colors; seeing the interview as an excellent way to indulge his Hunger, he turned it into the stage for a truly magnificent bout of gloating, causing Rasmussen to unleash quite the heartfelt speech that unintentionally invoked her follower recruitment; the banker became swamped under a tide of harassment, and when his firm sued her, all she got was something else to fire up her growing viewership. The viewership, it should be noted, included her peers; the Web Weaver (the Children know who I'm talking about) realized she may not be any good in a fight, but she's an excellent scout and first assault against mortal infrastructure protecting their shared prey.

The rest, as they say, is history. One time a brood she was setting her sights on tried to abduct her, but-stupidly-broadcasted their plans in public, and someone did the noble thing and warned their victim. and all they managed to do was cause a riot in which Rasmussen rightfully came out looking like she had a point, and some extreme chutzpah given how she made her mockery of them over the riot footage an episode. She's an expert at selling herself, especially since she realizes exposure and ratings means more security, as people are reluctant to kill the journalist. She's not particularly adept with supernatural power, especially since she actively avoids violence (Heroes get stronger and more varied abilities when they kill Beasts), but she has a legion of mostly independent followers and other Heroes watch her blog for coded signals. She's also a Kinslayer, a Hero who can track other esohumans who have a friendly relationship with Beasts, so she's known to be a thorn in the side of many other esohumans as well. Even more than that, she's one of the only Heroes I've researched who's friendly with a genus of esohuman; vampires have approached her, specifically those of the reformist Carthian Movement who like her style-I have an email that suggests one even approached her to offer the Embrace! [Before you ask, no she isn't an ex-ghoul despite the myth I hear being passed around; she's just really charismatic. We checked.]

My main problem with her is that she's...spectacularly gullible. Well, okay, she's something of a sadist when it comes to being invited along with more physical Heroes on hunts; she's got a bunch of video [Snuff films, really] on a USB my knights managed to clone, but if you watch without the sound, you can see a bunch of body language that implies she's trying not to vomit [Actually, I noticed that weird bouncing effect, and I didn't think Candy was a fan of shaky cam. We got a mage to examine the trace of emotional resonance]. That isn't the main issue, however. The main issue is that she believes any story about corruption and villainy that she thinks she can write about and direct her perpetual mob at. She instantly assumes Beasts are behind it and shuts down communication with anyone who is trying to convince her it isn't what it looks like, or even that she may not have heard the whole story. I ran an experiment to see exactly how trigger-happy she's become and suggested that a warehouse I needed to burn (with nobody in it; it was a host to some kind of bizarre mystical curse that made it tempting and easy to sell and purchase narcotics) [It's still there, but it's much smaller and contained now while we figure out what the hell it is] was a clearing house for a literal Satanic cult, and left indications that the devil they worshiped was a Beast. Two days later, she makes a certain episode about real-life cults and how corrupt authority lets them get away with things (to her credit, she never mentioned the devil-worship, and I got a response gently telling me I may have scared and mistaken about the idol, though not about what I saw). She's so desperate for villains to expose and defeat she'll lunge at anything that looks like one, or even what she's told looks like one. And then she either calls in a Hero or unleashes a tidal wave of her fans, without much in the way of concern for their safety; they're martyrs for the cause, so who's she to judge? [Remind you of anyone, honey?]

One last thing-most of her psychology comes from her journals. Many of those same journals talk about Jess, occasionally writing his spirit. The timbre when she scribbles about him never changes; she's always trying to convince him that what she was doing when she killed him was self-defense. I don't think she's ever truly confronted the fact she killed her friend because she was frightened of his Horror's ugliness, and I think the day she does will be...explosive.

---​

SN: Gadget privileges says Rasmussen will be part of the mob.

JA: Twenty dollars says I'm part of a drug cartel in her special report.

SN: And possibly some variety of homosexual slur. They're...petty like that.

JA: Thank Tezcatlipoca for proxy servers. And the fact I don't live there any more.

EDIT OOC: I suppose it is; Night used to use plain group email, but since the new host server is safe in the Dream somewhere, he keeps these as comment sections on his .zip files. Previously he used "voodoo USB", but that kind of led to the whole Sower fiasco, so he's done with sharing physical copies that can be stolen.

This method is also more insecure, but as I'm hinting at, he wants that for [REASONS].
 
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Patkin

ougikawa
Validated User
Night --

For most of our family, the idea of simply gorging until our heart falls asleep is... troublesome, at best. So many of us grow up with the other half of the equation that I wager most of us would simply be bad human beings regardless of if there was the push of our heart. We know no other way to be, so our bad habits tend to remain. I can guess that doesn't sound like much of a defense to you, that we would simply remain predators with or without our beating heart, but it is what it is. I know, for instance, based on the one time I had to dislodge my restive other, that I still had what you would call... an oral fixation. Even if I no longer was in need of biting unwary prey, I still had a teething problem.

This is somewhat of a bother in romantic entanglements. Not always, depending on how we set out boundaries, but still. It was a compulsion, a guilty pleasure that I imagine I will carry whether or not my spirit needed it. Those of us with more... grandiose criminal inclinations probably wouldn't get very far before long. Not to mention the knights and chasers you're accounting have a spectacular opportunity to slaughter us in our beds at the time. We are not human enough when it comes to that and concern of being killed even at our weakest moment sends many of us on a quest to reawaken ourselves.

But, personally, the reason I dislodged my heart finally was this.

We do not dream, Night. Not like we used to, not like our parents and friends and common clay of the land do. I don't even know, do your kind dream at night, or do you just count seconds, staring at stucco ceilings or whorls in wood grain? Regardless, we fall asleep and roam about in our heart's stead, and when our very heart is asleep as well... well, it's very boring, isn't it. Night after night after night of a snoozing beast, I imagine for most of us it just gets on the nerves. We jump from bed and find a way into our dreams, alone for the first time in its confines. And then we trek, defenseless and, my brother and sisters deny this but, frightened, we jar our hearts into motion.

Or we nearly die. A sister told me that's how she freed herself once. I personally like to avoid near-death experiences, thank you.

Not least because when our heart is asleep and we die, really and truthfully... well, it just wanders off! I think the quote is 'so long, and thanks for all the fish'. Trust me, as badly as you consider us abusers, our hearts are... amoral on a scale that reminds you we are the chain about their neck. Once it's out and about in the whole of humanity's headspace, metrics of harm go a bit out the window.

On the other side of the binge-purge cycle, you bring up the aftermath of when one of our kind starve ourselves. Honestly, it's more dangerous to most of humanity not eating than it is eating. Well... most of the time at least. I know there's some ruin-seekers who chase their bliss into a natural disaster of sorts and the scale gets a bit... banged out of shape. But I wander away from the point here.

We starve, and our heart goes looking for other game. And it's fairly... lazy about where it hunts game. Parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, the delivery boy from the Vietnamese place, the sap we drove to wet themselves out of fear two weeks prior. Thrashing about their brains each night until it gets fed.

Our heart rarely gets fed that way.

And of course, there's the point that while it starves, we starve. No matter what we stuff into our bellies, no matter how much we drink down, we get weaker and weaker until we die of deprivation. It's cruel to die that way, I think, perhaps crueler than our own base cruelties. At least a vampire that starves merely goes to sleep.

-- Lamia
 
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