• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[CofD] Sir Night Compiles Night Horrors: The Unbidden (In-Character Let's Read)

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
Term I've come to enjoy for brevity: Schmuck Bait. Lot of people have self-destructive curiosity, and I imagine it's that much worse for the Awakened, especially when they have access to more intriguing forms of destruction. Definitely a favorite tactic for the Gentry and hobgoblins. Sometimes even a sales pitch at Goblin Markets. I've got my own stories as well.
right_there_with_you.zip

I understand perfectly. Really, I believe the man just hated people who would fall for it, honestly. To irrational degrees.
 

Master Planner

Registered User
Validated User
From:jamescalloway@gmail.com
To: Group

Why do people always touch the dangerous artifact which screws you over. I can understand why normal people do it since they don't know the dangers but why do the supernatural hold these artifacts with a death grip while being stabbed by it.
 

ZiggyZapf

Sorcerer of Autumn
Validated User
From: Dingbat@FontsByThePound
To: Group

From:jamescalloway@gmail.com
To: Group

Why do people always touch the dangerous artifact which screws you over. I can understand why normal people do it since they don't know the dangers but why do the supernatural hold these artifacts with a death grip while being stabbed by it.
Lot of varying motivations:

1. Addiction/compulsion effects: Taps into the primal portions of the mind, and a lot of the time, people's higher functions are more about rationalizing those needs and desires than analyzing the situation. See: The One Ring
2. Hubris: You've survived long enough that you can convince yourself that you've got it under control. (Insert "This is Fine" Dog)
3. Crutch: Sometimes people wind up feeling like the outsider or weakling, and the cursed artifact works like a hammer to power their way through life, and their ego gets wrapped around it as a result.
4. Novelty: Sometimes people just get disaffected with their lives and will use cursed items to find a new identity, way of life, or whatever. Sometimes sticking with it despite the drawbacks is an act of rebellion. Think about a lot of wannabe vampires.
5. Stubbornness: For many people, admitting they made a mistake is the hardest thing to do, and they'll just keep walking down the same road, rather than change their behavior. People who make their own artifacts are probably more prone to this, especially if the artifact is seen as (or literally is) offspring. Sprinkle in Sunk Cost Fallacy a lot of the time.
6. Legacy: Sometimes the artifact is all they have left of a loved one.
7. Ambition: Sometimes people value their goals more than their life and see the drawback as an acceptable cost. Particularly common when their ambition is revenge.

I've got a Contract for analyzing magic items called Smith's Wisdom that I use to hopefully avoid problems, but I have to stay wary of going into Hubris... and ambition.

-Ziggy Zapf
 

ZiggyZapf

Sorcerer of Autumn
Validated User
Spoiler: Show
_
From: CourierNew@FontsByThePound
To: Dingbat@FontsByThePound
Subject: Motley Crew's spirit

Sent the new guys the research I dug up on the spirit haunting their bar. Think I've got the Ban nailed down, and going to keep digging for the Bane. The Ban fits with what you told me, and with your guess that it's a spirit of absence: It has to flee if someone acknowledges its presence. Still not sure if it's as weak as the Ban implies, since it remained manifested. I'm worried the local spirits have gotten some easy means of Claiming people or something that breaks the usual formula.

-----

From: Dingbat@FontsByThePound
To: CourierNew@FontsByThePound
Subject: Re: Motley Crew's spirit

I agree. Definitely something abnormal(er) brewing. I've neutralized a Locus that was in the bar, so hopefully they won't be entertaining more guests from the Shadow. I've got a hunch as to how they might be Claiming people: Remember that frog man I told you about? His friends had a book on them about getting in touch with their spirit animals. The frog collector was the one who got away. I suspect there might be some other books like that circulating around.

Here's a creepy part: I've noticed more graffiti in the area, painted in titanium white and ivory black acrylic paint: Empty set symbols, of both the curly braces {} and circle/slash ∅ variety. To add to that, the nearby empty storefronts have titanium white silhouettes painted on the walls, presumably of the former contents and residents. To add to things, "symbols for nothing" seemed to be the unifying theme for the latest bit of anonymous art donation at our local MoMA. I think we have to look into the possibility some group decided to get too in touch with void spirits, and at least one of them was an artist. I've got some new info of my own to look through. Given that void and animal spirits aren't connected, and the local Gauntlet seems to be weakened, I think we've got someone or something facilitating these spiritual shenanigans. I'm putting together a presentation on non-Fae threats to the Freehold. I need more eyes out there, so spread the word. An empty set is a set with no members, and my gut tells me the graffiti might double as marking territory for a gang of void spirits and Claimed that are very good at not being seen.

I wish Brownie's Boon applied to sleep, not just work.

Additional concern: Apparently the previous owner of the bar was a Thyrsus mage, or at least proficient with Spirit magic. I want to know how a Supernal mage was operating in Buena Vista without the Autumn Court's knowledge. He's (supposedly) dead, but mages tend to form cabals, and they might still be around.

--Ziggy Zapf

-----

From: CourierNew@FontsByThePound
To: Dingbat@FontsByThePound
Subject: Re: Motley Crew's spirit

So, are you going to let the new guys handle it? They're still fresh from the Hedge and haven't joined the Freehold, yet. Is there some scheme to get them to join going on with this?

-----

From: Dingbat@FontsByThePound
To: CourierNew@FontsByThePound
Subject: Re: Motley Crew's spirit

Despite what people think, I'm not that great a chessmaster (well, except for actually, literally playing chess), and I'm trying a hands-off approach. Also, keeping some distance and advising since I think I'm competing for a Mentor role against Exocet. The absence spirit is looking like a possible Threshold Guardian, and given that they're looking for cures for cancer and being a changeling, it's shaping up to be a Medicine Journey for their story arc. I also think they're tired of being spied on, so I'm not keeping a direct eye on them. Better to let them come to me than wear myself out trying to fix everything.

Delegating is a skill I'm still working on, and I figure I can delegate some of that. So, help me find some people with time to spare.

--Ziggy Zapf
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
(OOC: Looks good. I'm trying to make another entry, but that one's going to focus a lot on the growing Contagion Chronicle side of things, and I'm being inundated by tests.)
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
hubris_squared.zip

It is official. I have only crossed blades with the Contagion twice, here and during my inaugural mission in the Congo, and I am already sick of it. [It doesn't help that it seems that he was right on that thing loving to infect the God-Machine. Which Tim is partly made of. Took him weeks to decontaminate.] (I never want to be infected again..).

On the plus side, what the Crucible Initiative's goal is here, is starting to take form. And I have been fully accepted as a member of the Synod of Seeking for my efforts in drawing up a competent scheme for curing the New Beth strain with the data we captured from the Congo strain; the particular bloom (which is personal Synod terminology; it refers to a location that is a major hot zone of a strain and affected by dimension warp) occupying Ashward Heights has been cured and sterilized; the city is still shifting, but a major source of metastasis has been excised, purified, and the remnants seized for a cornucopia of research. We should be developing a vaccine for this in the coming months, and I now have stable and very interesting territory to settle into. I'm growing quite fond of it, though Nita has requested (demanded) that I retain the theoretically nicer house for the kids. [Both because we're decontaminating it, and because I really have come to enjoy the looks of fury on the faces of would-be KKK members at the mixed race couple settling in and the non-idiot contingent warming up, however slowly.]

What's more, I think the Contagion explains some of what Ashar'Arif was able to do. It explains why his Marvelous Clockwork Mystery was able, despite no echo of Supernal magic at all, to open portals outside the Fallen World. Except that none of those portals lead to somewhere anyone wants to go.

First of all, an anecdote: I have a great deal of information on how the Mystery, a clockwork puzzle box, was constructed, largely because I have the unredacted copy of Ashar'Arif's treatise, Understanding and Building of Fantastical Machines, that was previously hidden at its core; he didn't explain his exact reasoning for his various creations within it, mostly his theories on Awakened horology, but the sheer amount of information on that alone is liable to begin wars between Convocations of mages.

I have it not because I solved the puzzle and opened the chest, but because I took a crowbar and screwdriver to it. I have the putrified remains of a gulmoth from trying to solve it legitimately. Yes, a gulmoth, an invader from the Abyss. There is little to mourn in the loss of the Mystery, {I have my disagreements, but they're minor. Mostly it's because it looked bloody pretty. - Cichol}

From what I understand, Ashar'Arif made the Mystery as part of his final act of spite towards mages he regarded as lacking in his idea of Wisdom. The world was meant to be learned through experience, according to one of his few personal asides in Understanding, and thus any mage who tried to escape both the world and social duties by finding an easy path to the Supernal, deserved only to find their way to Jahannam, the Islamic image of Hell - which to him, was the same as the Abyss. [Also how he justified leading mages there, as Jahannam is also Purgatory; you usually are not there forever, just long enough to make you regret everything and then some.] So as it was with the Mystery; a box offering an apparent easy way to the Supernal Realms, and indeed leads about half of the way there. Just enough to let in the bits of the Abyss that incarnate as pseudo-living phenomenon once in the world. [And summoning forth what he thought was demons from hell for a lesson apparently was an act of humility and enlightenment. Sure, Ashar'Arif, whatever you say. We'll leave out the fact you yourself wrote in a footnote you thought nobody would actually destroy the thing and keep attempting to solve it.]

The Mystery itself was a large cabinet about the size of a wardrobe; apparently Foetia disguised the inherent trap by putting actual coats in it. Of course, that isn't actually the thing's purpose; the intricate designs on it contained within them a series of highly varied hidden switches, panels, escapements, and other devices that, when solved in the correct manner, provoked the magically preserved clockwork within the Mystery to activate and reveal hidden compartments of the wardrobe. Said puzzles often involved the High Speech and a strange series of sigil-like lettering unlike any language I've seen, that from the writings were Ashar'Arif's security against anyone but a mage solving them. I was able to memorize a working lexicon of the High Speech runes, a la the Chinese Room thought experiment (I can't speak it, but I learned how to simulate speaking it) but the fact I was able to develop a coherent use of the unidentified sigils at all, when everyone but Cichol reported a mental block trying to analyze them, and even Cichol just reported "a feeling" about them, leads me to believe that they may be related to the Contagion; a common form of it is "memetic hazards", sigils of corrupted Temple source code (which I have never actually seen myself, for the record) for which the very process of thinking about creates a minor reality warp the microbial form can thrive in, infecting the reader. While I was not infected by the Mystery, the fact of the matter is that I run on corrupt Temple source code myself, and was able to relate those symbols to my own subconscious. [Neferyah says the fact he was able to do that at all, even through guesswork, is a reason she went from "ease into recruitment" to "find a Sworn group he likes before the False get him."]

But I digress. The idea is that for every puzzle solution, the natural Obsessions of mages would feel pleased, but in addition, the activation of the gears would also invoke a spell inherent to the device; to a mage's Supernal Sense, this causes pleasing hallucinations that often evoke their Awakenings and the sense of victory they felt, enticing them to solve ever more difficult levels of the puzzle. In fact, the spell was actually using the mage's own Nimbus to form a growing pocket of "elemental Paradox", the pleasing hallucinations caused by the Nimbus being "massaged" into the proper spiritual configuration to release the chaotic energies. [Having your soul's soft tissues kneaded causes you to get high. Holy shit, the hippies were right.] The more stable the Nimbus, because the mage in question is more wise, the less energy could be harvested before reaching a level that would trip the Mystery into attempting to use the Paradox to open a portal to the Abyss, and the less stable it would be (an intentional safety feature; Ashar'Arif felt that a truly Wise mage deserved clemency for mistaking his machine for something worthwhile), but assuming it remained stable, eventually one solution would provoke the Paradox into ripping open the fabric between reality and the Uncreated World, letting in a minor-to-moderate gulmoth using the Mystery as a portal to attack the unsuspecting mage.

The fact that it still did that despite the fact I am not a mage is the other reason I suspect the Contagion; I never saw anything, though my Aura Vision sensors would often pick up bizarre anomalies as I solved the various layers, but somehow I tripped the "summon" function. Because I am obviously not a mage, however, the hole so formed was malformed, and the gulmoth came through mortally injured from squeezing through a hole too small - or at least that's Cichol's theory. By all rights, this should be impossible, but the Contagion is known in Synod lore as the Venom of Ammut for a reason (I'm not sure if it actually has anything to do with the primal Iremite goddess of chaos, but it's what Neferyah believes; it's part of our charter to respect that). It changes the rules all the time, usually for the nonsensical and hostile. But the Mystery, at least, is no longer a threat.

Next time, we finish up Ashar'Arif's work with the one creation of his I actually enjoy, the Tick-Tock Creatures.
 
Last edited:

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
a_brief_detour.zip

Actually, while I am working on that, I have been informed I need to create a dossier for the Sworn factions I am aware of. Well, Sworn ur-factions, actually; the commonly accepted terminology for a group of Sworn who have become their own version of one of my kind's rings. [Which doesn't get confusing at all.]

While the idea of cross-subspecies alliances are not unique, the Contagion is one of the oldest forces that provoke cross-esohuman lines. To be frank, it's often only noticed by esohumans of different breeds working together; while it almost invariably has something to do with the Temple malfunctioning and allowing it a compromised area to pathologies, once the Contagion manifests in a specific strain it very rarely needs to keep treating Infrastructure as its only vector. The Congolese strain, for instance, manifests as an animalistic but cunning sentience that appears within an otherwise biologically normal strain of Ebola, one capable of seizing direct control of its hosts at the cost of speeding the infection to the point where they are dead men walking without immediate medical attention. [All of the terror of zombie apocalypses, none of the moral ease of them being truly undead or stupid! Seriously, that thing learns from its hosts, and it learns well.] The notorious Denmark strain manifests as an infection of mystical energies, especially Resonance associated with the living days of Prince Knud. [Formerly King Knud, or Canut - yes, Scandinavian scholars, that one; someone Embraced him, or he had an immaculate Embrace, the moment he was supposed to die, and he's quite pissed off about being supposed to die.] Already different enough, but the symptoms manifest as a progressive, overwhelming depression that invariably ends in suicidal impulses. [More accurately, a complete loss of will to live, but by the time it's run its course, you literally aren't capable of anything except feeling numb. So...total catatonic depression that leads to the inability to see the point in feeding yourself isn't that much different, and if you have enough of you left, what's left is begging for the misery to just end. I'm not joking. If anyone shows these symptoms, call someone. It's likely not the Contagion, but depression is depression. Help is needed.] All are caused by that strange, RNA-based microbe, as far as I can tell; I have samples from across the world, and thanks to the Synod's alliance with the Recon, Research, and Containment Directive, I know the RNA code and secondary structure of riboenzymes for each strain is different, a biological rune. But RNA is literally something nobody was aware of until the 20th century, and once outside of a warped environ, the cells destabilize due to succumbing to normal laws of chemical entropy and reactions. So Sworn form as a response to bizarre anomalies in the world that turn out to be Contagion infections. (Well, they and False, but the only False I know details of are the Crucible Initiative; there's at least two others, but data is more scarce on them).

Once they do form, and perform the initiation rituals of their ur-faction, all members of a Sworn faction also develop a unique shared ability called a Vector, which I believe is the result of taming a strain of the Contagion as a vaccine, as Vectors invariably mutate depending on the person wielding them, and all involve unique and variant self-rituals that achieve the same overall effect. [Don't let some factions hear him say that, though.] Beyond that, little can be said; Sworn ur-factions are less societies akin to vampiric Covenants and more alliances of micronations that share the same governmental system and founding philosophy. My new peers in the Synod of Seeking are Jeremiad-aligned, for instance, but we are vastly different from the Virtuous Fools in Maine, despite sharing a Vector. [You should have seen Neferyah arguing with their leader, the Ignorant Sage. We thought there was animals fighting, but nope, they were just having a heated theology debate that ended with them shaking hands and planning on when the next get-together was.] Even the ranking system is different (and often ceremonial; I'm now called the Canon Vindictive, because the Synod likes to remind its members of the initial sins that lead them to chase redemption in the first place; I call myself a Canon because it sounds fitting for a scholar, it does not carry actual authority). At the core of each, however, lies an answer to a question; what is the ultimate cause of a Contagion outbreak?

The five large ur-factions are currently:

Cryptocracy: Sometimes known as the Majestic, though "Men in Black" is considered flippant (I suspect it's because it mocks them by claiming that deep down, they want to rule everything as the actual government and not something that organizes itself like one), the agents of the Cryptocracy believe the core of the Contagion is social entropy. Without people trusting each other or any degree of larger-scale empathy, the Temple grows strained and toxic Essence is produced that the Contagion can use as a point of infection and fuel. Thus, it falls to the agents to manage humanity, mortal and esohuman, to restore order - in a better form that won't be as prone to the Contagion. A...bit eye-raising, if you ask me, but to them, great power equals great responsibility, so I can't say I'm too plussed about them, though I am keeping an eye on them. [I'm given to understand that a False ur-faction called the Machiavelli Gambit were originally agents, but left in disgust when the rest called them out on being selfish, cynical, sociopathic bags of dicks who wouldn't know responsibility if it bit them in the ass.] Their factions, fitting with the governmental theming, are called bureaus, and their Vector is Authority; at some point in their history, the Cryptocracy merged a tame strain with a computer system called Caliber, and to initiate into the Majestic, one willingly merges with a fraction of it to become a living node; when invoked, the Vector can use Caliber to usurp control of surveillance networks, assume rank in any mundane organization for a limited time and expect its members to believe the agent, access truly obscene amounts of wealth when need be, turn any living person into a surveillance drone, and manufacture entire news stories and be believed for a moderate period of time if pushed (though that invokes a backlash; it's a supplement to covering up an entropy-inducing incident or needed cover for an operation, not the ability to decide what news is fake - and in truth, many agents I've spoken too are offended personally by "fake news" as an excuse for doublethink).

Jeremiad: My ur-faction, the one which the Synod of Seeking is a sect of. [Never call them cults. They're about as much fans of being called cults as the next faith.] Some call us fanatics, and it's not considered that offensive, but I prefer the term "guru" or "Penitent." We believe that the Contagion's continued thriving and seemingly random manifestation is a sign of divine wrath; too much deviation from what we should be opens the way for the Contagion to exploit the weakened spirit for its lifecycle. Most seem to regard it as an act of intentional divine disfavor, but while I am not so idealistic or naive to believe in a fully omnibenevolent God, I do believe that too much hubris and denial of the better nature creates imbalance, and from there a breeding ground for true monsters - not an act of deific sadism, which would obligate me to be that god's enemy. I should know; my own hubris and shortsightedness produced a doppleganger from me that acted out the most self-destructive impulses of my id and superego. Overall, though, the Jeremiad is less about purging with holy fire except as a last resort; we wouldn't have so many hunter gurus if we were - tolerance and finding the proper harmony to drown out the discordance of Contagion is the name of the game here. Not to say we can't - out Vector is Fervor, unique for its focus on personal relationships with sophias, our name for our personal spiritual beliefs, to the point of the initiation invariably involving a confession of how we have not lived up to it. [For examples of sophias: Pilgrimage, Code, path of Wisdom...] Perhaps uniquely, we can send the Contagion into remission directly with just our words and a willing audience - and for those Contagious, truly lost to the will of the Contagion to spread and cause chaos, we can unleash the strain we tamed as cleansing flames that feed on the eldritch disease itself to destroy it, invoke freeform divine miracles at a severe mental cost, or even assume the form of a divine avatar briefly.

Rosetta Society: Called exegetes or oracles when being polite, conspiracists when not. The Rosetta Society believes that the basal cause of the Contagion is honestly not malevolent - or perhaps even intended. They believe it may be a side effect of something extradimensional or similar trying to speak to humanity in a friendly or at least non-hostile manner, but the complete incompatibility of its language to reality causes glitches the Contagion breeds in. While they fight it, they also seek to understand the fundamental meaning of the recurrent patterns in Contagion strains - its tendency to target the Temple, blending realities, tendency to stick to a vector reminiscent of the strain's bloom event, and the fact Fervor Vector is a universal booster shot (my experience with them) - and as fitting their academic and secret society nature, their factions are called chapters. Their Vector, injected in the form of a bite from a sacred serpent [Which pretty much means I'm never joining, thanks.] is Semiotics; the oracles believe that one of the core basal tongues of the Contagion messenger is the source code of the Temple, and while they're nowhere near designing a working lexicon of it, they've gleaned enough for their own meta-language. The base ability is the ability to speak or inscribe in that language, in any conceivable form, which allows record-keeping and communication between all chapters present and future, as well as a universal language ability similar to my own (though it works on dead languages too). At more acute levels, they can access the universal unconsciousness of all exegetes past and present for details in researching a specific item, infect enemies with a language virus that makes it damn near impossible to communicate or use language in any form [He had them try it on Steve as a test; even Tim started getting results like "my hovercraft is full of hagfish" when trying to translate the gobbledygook by ear, so it effects meaning itself - Steve earned that bonus.], infer the true names of individuals related directly to a query from trace, often unrelated evidence, and at the pinnacle invoke primitive occult physics (in the sense that the discovery of fire is primitive to chemistry; it's hardly unimpressive) to redefine the nature of an individual to create a Ban they designed as a curse for that individual. [Steve lucked out of testing that one.]

Ship of Theseus: These people... I honestly don't understand them. I get what they're trying for, but they honestly believe the Contagion is a good thing, or at least trying to be. I have my doubts, shall we say. [I don't, but then Tim and I aren't a single mind.] But I digress. Theseans, aka the Anagenetic or hellions when they're being frustrating, believe the Contagion is, in truth, an opportunistic infection that is a side effect of evolution; they believe that esohuman abilities are attempting to mutate into a form that has a better niche in the modern world, and the conflict between what is now and what could be weakens reality and allows the Contagion - what is supposed to be a symbiont - through as a marauding parasite. It's that first bit I disagree with, because I've found my niche - I like how I am, and I feel I've thrived. But then again, anecdote's plural is not data. [Me, on the other hand? I remember my childhood. I'm glad I mutated into a form that just winged away from that mess and into real power, not empty status obsession.] In any case, an agora (or scrum, the names are synonyms) of Theseans initiate new members by a renaming ceremony, cutting ties to an aspect of their old lives, which awakens their Realignment Vector, the induction of chaos primed for extropy, a random new state that is better than before. Realignment starts by being able to target weak points in organizations of unified purpose to provoke anarchy, then moves on to universal gateway opening and being able to use the dimensional wake by someone who just shifted worlds to follow them (and if normally impossible to escape infects fate so that they find a way back in at most a day), and from there fast healing (and adapting immune systems to purging the Contagion from themselves; they aren't stupid enough to believe the infection itself is a good thing), and from there sharing skills and later supernatural abilities amongst themselves.

Zero Hour: The other favorite for my membership in the Sworn, and close allies of the Synod, or at least the RRCD, this ur-faction is united by the belief that the Contagion is a weapon of interdimensional war. Called Operatives, the Cavalry, or hawks if trying to start a fight (as they believe they are trying to defend against aggressors, not provoke a war), Zero Hour takes their name from the fact that by necessity, they are always reacting to what appears to be probing assaults from whatever extradimensional force, or forces, that seek to use the Contagion to weaken society and universal barriers in preparation for a full-scale colonization and conquest effort. Ironically, they're actually the only ur-faction that makes it a point to try and recruit the fully Contagious they believe can be saved; while we in the Jeremiad recognize the disease isn't its hosts fault, we believe that a true Contagious has embraced its power or is so consumed by the plague that death is a mercy. The Cavalry believes they are more akin to native mercenaries or forced helots by the real invading force, and besides the fact this also has less negative implications than "demonic thralls", they also believe flipping one of them is invaluable sources of intelligence on the enemy, whoever and whatever they are. (Really, I'd have joined them, but I believe redemption is something that I must do; I did spawn a crazed image of myself from my inability to deal with grief or neutrality healthily.) A unit recruits new members by, fittingly, undergoing basic training and swearing oaths to the cause and the unit. Contrary to the utterly incorrect idea of militaries as brutes, the Vector of Zero Hour is Intel, the ability to process and react to a battlefield situation at supernatural rates. At its beginning, it simply provokes mild hallucinations in response to unnoticed supernatural threats, then supernatural visual ability to perceive the true nature targets [Think D&D True Sight.], then the formation of a low-level group mind among the unit that allows superhuman physical coordination, coordination of the previous visual ability to form a deductive supercomputer, and eventually the ability to "consult the universe" for actionable intelligence, though I'm given to understand that's a bit straining.

I'll do a dossier on the False later, once I have a handle on who the Machiavelli Gambit and whatever the "Saturnalians" are and how they differ from the Crucible Initiative. I am a little vexed by how much the Synod has been focusing on a conflict with Foetia's faction of the Initiative for so long, if only because Foetia has never stopped being their nemesis; I suspect she may have been more hurt by Neferyah leaving her behind than she cares to admit. But I will admit, I do like the overall effect this has had on the Synod; being exposed to real fanaticism for so long has tempered the sect's impulses by quite a bit, especially since many of its members are victim's of Foetia's crusade.
 

Leliel

SJ Road Warrior
Validated User
(OOC: Are the pseudo-religious titles a bit much? The idea is that each member of the Synod, due to Neferyah's particular hang-ups about the power of names, gives themselves a title relating to the quality they and the Synod feel led to their worst moments; she calls herself the Hireophant Complacent due to her guilt about her part in some of Irem's nastier actions. The religious title is an affectation, but the reason it exists is because they study that quality in themselves and others, try to spin it into something better, or at least a source of empathy. What they are Seeking is, ultimately, their best selves, and from there an answer to what the Contagion is. Compassion is a key to this; Neferyah regards cruelty as a refuge of those too weak to feel safe being kind. Better strong and occasionally taken advantage of than weak and running yourself ragged chasing imaginary threats. Still, it's a bit comic book-y - tell me if I should change it.)
 
Top Bottom