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<DEMONS> representing the effects of time!

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When the time comes when demons end,

prefers multiple endings does this friend,

rather than a cut-scene costly and well,

static pictures with many narrator tales.

or instead of more VO

for the narration

let text show

for the duration

of story-slides backed

by a kickin soundtrack

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Since the idea is that Demons embody the effects of time of our world, than a more interesting question is: What is their weakness?

I think this is a great question! If demons represent Time, then what weapon do we have against Time?

I think of concepts like history, society, civilization, togetherness, knowledge, and peace. The kingdom uniting together, recording history, training the next wave, and ensuring future generations is their weapon against time itself.

Still pretty abstract, but might be useful for theming. Like, your squad united together in battle and then recording that history of battle and training the next generation is how it further's the fight.

Also, fruit. :D

If the demons represent the destructive effects of time, which they do going from Brad's list, then the "weapon" against them would be the positive impact humans can have with time: discovery, knowledge, children. Which sort of ties into the systems that have been shown so far where subsequent generations of heroes, if managed correctly, will become more powerful than the preceeding ones.

I have been following this in silence for sometime, however I think you guys are giving typically western views to an otherwise hodge podge of central asian art style and history.

Time is a force of nature, and as such there it is seen as more of a tide than a wave that can be stopped. A thief not a warrior or a monster as such.

Ever since I first saw the concept drawing for the world map, as a sort of a Terry Pratchet's disk world, I was left under the impression it was more of a crumbling Noah's ark than anything else.

Therefore a weapon to fight time would not be a force to resist but to ride it out. Surf on it and minimise loses as you go, as a more of an attrition. So whilst you are looking at battles with daemons that represent it you seem to be focusing on the sword, whilst the most important weapon, at least in my opinion is the person holding it. As such its is much more about the ephemeral and the moment itself than about a permanence.

I imagine in gameplay terms that is simple to translate - keep as many people alive. That is really the asset of the game, that I have found to be unique over say XCOM, where your aim is to make better and better weapons to kill the aliens.

In this game on the other hand, the best way to fight time would be to sustain a critical mass of manpower, since its not a battle for survival but for existence. At least it is what I was sold on when I backed this.

So for instance formations can be quite important. Resisting fade based demon can be about staying in a group of characters so you don't disappear. Or needing help to oil up your armour after being attacked by a Rust demon. Or having a single character trigger a pressure demon whilst the rest flee. So on and so forth.

I hope that help, whoever needs it.

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typically western views to an otherwise hodge podge of central asian art style and history.

What central asian art or history?

What western views?

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typically western views to an otherwise hodge podge of central asian art style and history.

What central asian art or history?

What western views?

1. From some of the teamstreams I was left under the impression it was a more of a central asian and eastern european hodge podge directive and art, when it comes to representing the people, as per the guidance posts. Maybe I am wrong, but I particularly remember and intentional avoidance of typical western fantasy.

2. Western views:

Step one: Find weapon

Step two: Kill it with FIRE! :D

Extermination has always been the go to western view of combating problems. That being said other societies do so as well, but general views abroad with the British Empire and later US has affixed a view of the west as puritan or otherwise destructive in a rather Black and White fashion. Very clean cut we are the good guys, they are the bad guys. I imagine that has something to do with clear game design, which to me sounds like you are dressing up your characters as Polish warriors or Nomadic tribesmen from the Tundra, whilst in you are discussing them behaving as standard US Marine grunts.

Whilst more in Eastern Europe and Central Asian societies, and as a matter of fact part of the Turkish nomadic tribes, your enemy is always seen to be part of you. Tatars for one wore the beasts of the wild that were at the same time the bane of their existence by destroying their flocks. More so people from Central Asia and Eastern Europe, to this day dress up as demons on celebrations, outfits they would have otherwise brought to war.

More so these kind of societies also hold beliefs even in modernity, that forces of nature are not to be resisted. To them there wouldn't be a weapon to fight against it. At the same time they hold strong beliefs of togetherness that can withstand everything.

So for game design for instance, back to the pressure daemon from the previous post. Say you got to send one of the group to trigger it, it being a sort of infernal fiery explosion type of deal. The western presumption would be if it gets close it basically becomes a creeper and takes out half your squad. A more eastern approach would be that it would be a sort of a parasite, where as the victum's life is shortened and is otherwise neutered, and down to 1 hp permanently, but deals tremendous damage. And you can take that hero after the mission and he always will be like that irreversably till he dies. Or, you can trigger it in that mission by attacking it. Not pleasent either way but it doesn't need to be an outright killer for instance.

Hell you can see it in popular Eastern culture. Have you ever seen Princess Mononoke?

Does that explain it? Or am I forgetting to elaborate on something?

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1. Ah reckon you're thinking of talks of incorporating Polish wings into the armor or some features of steppe peoples style. This wouldn't necessitate the cultures of the setting be straight Polish; they could be merely aesthetic. It sounded like the team was looking for inspiration to keep their european armor from looking like every other bit of Euro armor.

http://thumbnails.visually.netdna-cdn.com/helmets-their-kinds-and-development-during-the-centuries_51a0dce1b881e_w1500.jpg

2. Western views:

Step one: Find weapon

Step two: Kill it with FIRE! :D

What a gross over-simplification. Talk about a black and white us and them division.

Firstly, there is no singular "western" view. Europe was composed of many peoples and cultures with their own philosophies.

Secondly, killing your enemies is a universal need of all living things, not a feature particular to Europeans.

Thirdly, if there's any observable difference in the destruction caused by European peoples compared to other peoples it's a result of technological development, not morality.

Fourthly, there're examples of magnanimity and incorporation from "western" nations atleast as great as any contemporaries. You talk of extermination when to the contrary the British Empire and US have spared the majority of foreign peoples it was within their power to eliminate.

Whilst more in Eastern Europe and Central Asian societies, and as a matter of fact part of the Turkish nomadic tribes, your enemy is always seen to be part of you. Tatars for one wore the beasts of the wild that were at the same time the bane of their existence by destroying their flocks. More so people from Central Asia and Eastern Europe, to this day dress up as demons on celebrations, outfits they would have otherwise brought to war.

Speaking of hodge podges, the things you list in support of your conclusions have naught to do with them.

Beasts you hunt aren't enemies, they're food. Wearing pieces of animals isn't a unique trait of Tartars or Bedouin. Totem animals, eating animals to gain their power, etc. are also not practices restricted to Tartars or absent from Europe.

Dressing as demons to celebrate is done in the form of Krampus, The Wild Hunt, and I'm sure practices of which I'm ignorant. Dressing as a demon does not mean you're identifying it as part of yourself. Such costumes can be to ward away or appease evil spirits, instruct children in good behavior, or for plain old fun.

You seem to be romanticizing non-European peoples and attributing to them beliefs you like out of a rejection for "western" culture.

There doesn't need to be permadeath.

Permadeath has been one of the features touted since the Kickstarter. I like your parasite idea which the player would have to decide to leave on or possibly harm the hero by killing it. Since there's no plans for additional monster types, it could be a crippling gene-trait embedded as a cascade life-form which can be removed in a random event but risks the health of the hero it's removed from.

Don't attribute your ideas to some east/west duality. You're not persuading anyone with, "The east is so much wiser than the west and here's what the east thinks..." rhetoric. Just be honest and say, "here's my idea for a game mechanic...".

Have you ever seen Princess Mononoke?

Yes.

If Massive Chalice's story turns out to be, "the cascade are only attacking us because we've been harming their homeland with our evil industrial pollution" I will hate it for being hippy bul­lshit. Still enjoyed Princess Monoke but it's easier to tolerate a story you're not involved in (playing).

That value system has been pushed in a lot of material from Fern Gully to Avatar, The Lord of the Rings, Wall-E, other Miyizaki movies and Anime, etc. Saying humans are evil because of pollution isn't profound. Claiming is somehow better with less technology is romantacism at its' worse and odiously hypocritical when the story's told using modern technology. If you're going to damn man's progress then draw out your tale on the ground with sticks.

http://images3.alphacoders.com/185/185697.jpg

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Wow, you got some butthurt and wild extrapolation going on. Plus I didn't appreciate you doctoring my post in your quotes to fit your argument. If you can't take another person's point of view you really shouldn't be on a discussion forum.

More so, your striking point was null because traits in my examples were not unique to them specifically? Come on that was the entire point.

Furthermore, I am in some way a hippy for pointing out a difference in culture and beliefs associated with a different value system, society even body language that comes with it?

These are all questions you need to answer for yourself.

I am just expressing my point of view that in this simple discussion about charactarisation, where I am pointing out the mismatch between existing art directives and the game mechanics discussed carrying different values, which in my opinion is in an important aspect of the atmosphere of the game, since to it risk the danger of appear as a sock puppet show to anyone that is even slightly more diverse than arian, which happens to be majority of the world.

Whilst I am at it - Tatars are in Europe, Hell you can find them in North America since they are nomadic, to a degree at least. Poland is Europe. Divided to Eastern Europe since the Iron Curtain. And many of them do associate with animals and demons, which you can in the most basic form in the west find in myths, legends and children stories. Animal dieties are common for the same reason. This is an area you do admit you have profound lack of knowledge, as you do admit, which still doesn't change the fact I am describing diversity in Europe. Neither have in any way indicated any mention of pollution in my argument.

However that doesn't mean that if the game were to be in some imaginary fashion be changed to fit these values, it would still relate to you all the same, since you probably won't be able to pick up on them anyway since values in entrainment are half imposed by the consumer.

For your sake, take a chill pill.

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There doesn't need to be permadeath.

Permadeath has been one of the features touted since the Kickstarter. I like your parasite idea which the player would have to decide to leave on or possibly harm the hero by killing it. Since there's no plans for additional monster types, it could be a crippling gene-trait embedded as a cascade life-form which can be removed in a random event but risks the health of the hero it's removed from.

Don't attribute your ideas to some east/west duality. You're not persuading anyone with, "The east is so much wiser than the west and here's what the east thinks..." rhetoric. Just be honest and say, "here's my idea for a game mechanic...".

Above mentioned example of said doctoring.

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Wow y r u retorting my beautiful point about how eastern culture is so much beautifuler than barbaric westerners chill out pls

Since your edit date on your post is well after when the quote was made, I can't confirm whether it was a doctored quote, but you're in a real twist about it. Whatever, he disagrees with your romanticism of eastern culture, gave concrete counterpoints, and in so many words expressed his repugnance for exoticism. That makes him a person on a forum on the internet treating you on his own level, not a hysteric trying to silence your opinions.

If your point about a mismatch between the game's style and message or whatever holds up without romanticizing "the East", then state that case.

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Where did the "There doesn't need to be permadeath" point come from? I think we all agree that permadeath is necessary since it was pretty central to the original pitch.

Aside from that, I kind of agree with Blood Bridle (for a change) in that this distinction between eastern and western values seems really artificial and overly simplistic. When BigFatFlyingBloke said "the 'weapon' against them would be the positive impact humans can have with time: discovery, knowledge, children", it's pretty unfair to read that as a western view that everything needs to be killed with fire.

Eastern/Western values aside, what exactly is the alternative mechanic to fighting the demons? The demons must be fought and doing that requires weapons.

Ever since I first saw the concept drawing for the world map, as a sort of a Terry Pratchet’s disk world, I was left under the impression it was more of a crumbling Noah’s ark than anything else.

Therefore a weapon to fight time would not be a force to resist but to ride it out. Surf on it and minimise loses as you go, as a more of an attrition. So whilst you are looking at battles with daemons that represent it you seem to be focusing on the sword, whilst the most important weapon, at least in my opinion is the person holding it. As such its is much more about the ephemeral and the moment itself than about a permanence.

I imagine in gameplay terms that is simple to translate - keep as many people alive. That is really the asset of the game, that I have found to be unique over say XCOM, where your aim is to make better and better weapons to kill the aliens.

Well... okay. Clearly, you do want to minimize losses. The people holding swords are your most valuable assets, but they're still holding swords and they're going to do more with them than just dodge attacks until a timer runs out. I'd counter your X-COM point by saying that in that game, humanity really is just trying to hang on as it loses territory bit by bit, whereas one of the earlier ideas for MASSIVE CHALICE was that humans could regain ground that had been lost to demons. Does it make sense that humans can regain ground lost to time? Maybe, maybe not, but it would be a more rewarding experience, which trumps philosophical motifs.

But back to the "eastern views" point, I don't think there's anything in eastern philosophy that suggests that humanity should whither away over time. Clearly, humanity is trying to do more than not get wiped out. And the game's not meant to reflect eastern views anyway, it's a fantasy world made by an American studio with inspiration (and backing!) from many countries.

More so these kind of societies also hold beliefs even in modernity, that forces of nature are not to be resisted. To them there wouldn’t be a weapon to fight against it. At the same time they hold strong beliefs of togetherness that can withstand everything.

I think that regardless of a culture's feelings on the forces of nature, they'd find a weapon to resist them if those forces manifested themselves as literal demons. Could togetherness be such a weapon? Sure, "friendship power" has often been used in fiction as a real magical force and co-operation is certainly one of humanity's greater strengths to stand the tests of time. However, getting units to work together in a strategy game seems like a fundamental aspect of the tactical system and not something that needs an explicit set of togetherness benefits.

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Does it make sense that humans can regain ground lost to time? Maybe, maybe not, but it would be a more rewarding experience, which trumps philosophical motifs.

"Rewarding" in what sense? If you simply mean, more people would be happier with that ending, I don't think that is a good enough reason. I doubt that Massive Chalice is necessarily going to be a philosophical masterpiece, but I'd rather it do the right ending than the one it's supposed to because it'll make people happy.

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Does it make sense that humans can regain ground lost to time? Maybe, maybe not, but it would be a more rewarding experience, which trumps philosophical motifs.

"Rewarding" in what sense? If you simply mean, more people would be happier with that ending, I don't think that is a good enough reason. I doubt that Massive Chalice is necessarily going to be a philosophical masterpiece, but I'd rather it do the right ending than the one it's supposed to because it'll make people happy.

I'm not talking about endings. The game's not supposed to enforce a "right" ending and it'll definitely be possible to lose the game and have the demons defeat everyone. I'm talking about the fact that Brad's said he wants it to be possible for humans to regain ground. I think it's more rewarding in the sense that you're literally working for a reward (regained keeps) instead of just avoiding penalties (lost keeps). In theory, the act of not losing a keep should be equally rewarding as regaining a lost keep (in both cases the outcome is you have a keep you wouldn't have otherwise), but preventing a loss never feels as good as getting a new reward. If that's not a good enough reason for you, then you could see it as a matter of player choice, you're being given more options by having the ability to take the fight to the demons instead of waiting around for them to pick you off. If you're of the opinion that the "right" ending for the game is to never let the humans win (maybe the game just keeps going until everyone dies) then that's a different story, but the team's made it pretty clear that the campaign is supposed to be winnable.

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I think you're focusing too much on the word "ending". I'm disagreeing with your core point. I'm sure territories can be regained and that's part of Brad's vision, which is fine, but I can still imagine a great game where your borders close in around you all along the way with no way to fight back. The fact that that game wouldn't be about active offense and wouldn't be as rewarding in the sense you described doesn't mean that it wouldn't be the exact right approach for that hypothetical game. I also don't mind being open to the possibility that Massive Chalice could become that sort of hypothetical game, either.

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Where did the "There doesn't need to be permadeath" point come from? I think we all agree that permadeath is necessary since it was pretty central to the original pitch.

He made it up from somewhere, probably from my example as to how the pressure daemon might work i.e. Not an outright kill on the field but more of a parasite damaging on the global map, with buffs and boons to be had.

Eastern/Western values aside, what exactly is the alternative mechanic to fighting the demons? The demons must be fought and doing that requires weapons.

I apologise if you found it offensive, simplified for the purpose it allows me to then point things out.

As per the weapons, my point in large is that if you focus on weapon based mechanics, you lose the attachment that the characters themselves give you since, since my opinion they are more important. Sure a mega fire sword of death might be a thing, but I don't think it should be the driving factor for winning. That should be about the tactics on the field and how you arrange and synergise the characters. The Banner Saga is a good example but any enemy design that forces you to move away from the turtle overwatch of XCOM, since enemy design also inevitably changes character behaviour.

Such as say a fade daemon forcing you to stick in a group since it causes straglers to slowly disappear as an AOE, rather than say confuse your character for 2 turns. A rust daemon that causes a character to be trapped until a friendly pulls them out. Or might even be beneficial in certain scenarios as that pressure daemon, which whilst neutering the character and lowering it's health and maximum agedramatically it grants attack benefits, rather than being just a creeper in disguise.

I am saying it really is the different side on the same coin. The daemons make the humans behave in a certain way and the humans make the daemons behave as they do. Which is more of an Eastern philsophy that also kinda matches the art directive. Rather than a magical pixie dust of friendship and hugs.

157f_song_of_ice_and_fire_golden_dragon_coin_set_blackfyre.jpg

Does it make sense that humans can regain ground lost to time?

It sort of does, but I am talking about it in a Super Atom Zombie Smasher kinda way - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_Zombie_Smasher . In that game you start losing ground immediately and inevitably, so the map is coloured only in your territory that you have lost and can regain. I reckon you should try it, it is quite good and costs coins :D .

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I think you're focusing too much on the word "ending". I'm disagreeing with your core point. I'm sure territories can be regained and that's part of Brad's vision, which is fine, but I can still imagine a great game where your borders close in around you all along the way with no way to fight back. The fact that that game wouldn't be about active offense and wouldn't be as rewarding in the sense you described doesn't mean that it wouldn't be the exact right approach for that hypothetical game. I also don't mind being open to the possibility that Massive Chalice could become that sort of hypothetical game, either.

Okay, I wasn't sure if you had just misunderstood me, or you were disagreeing with the basic idea, but that's a fair position too. I agree that the game could work with the borders constantly collapsing (it does work for X-COM).

My point was that that's not the direction the team seemed to want to go and that I think they have valid reasons for wanting to do something different. Mentioning "reward" in discussions about game design is always tricky because sometimes that's taken to mean "the game must go out of its way to coddle players' feelings" which I find puzzling. When I say "rewarding" I'm using it almost interchangeably with "fun". It can be rewarding to fight off demons in a shrinking territory, it can be rewarding to be repeatedly crushed in an ironman mode as you learn from your mistakes, and it can be rewarding to experience a good story even if it ends in all your characters being dead. If one design of a game is "less rewarding" than another design, what would make the less rewarding option "the exact right approach"? Perhaps there are things that can't fit under a reasonable definition of "rewarding" that are important to a game, but if so, what are they and why are they not present when humans can regain ground?

I apologise if you found it offensive, simplified for the purpose it allows me to then point things out.

I'm not at all offended, I just didn't get the argument (and I still don't think an East/West split is relevant to the following points).

As per the weapons, my point in large is that if you focus on weapon based mechanics, you lose the attachment that the characters themselves give you since, since my opinion they are more important. Sure a mega fire sword of death might be a thing, but I don't think it should be the driving factor for winning. That should be about the tactics on the field and how you arrange and synergise the characters.

We seem to agree on this. However, I would add that the weapons and skills that you do have could still be inspired by the concept of resisting the effects of time (or simply responding to them, if you prefer that view).

Such as say a fade daemon forcing you to stick in a group since it causes straglers to slowly disappear as an AOE, rather than say confuse your character for 2 turns. A rust daemon that causes a character to be trapped until a friendly pulls them out. Or might even be beneficial in certain scenarios as that pressure daemon, which whilst neutering the character and lowering it's health and maximum agedramatically it grants attack benefits, rather than being just a creeper in disguise.

Interesting ideas. I'd be cautious about things that are intended to induce a particular group strategy for the player. I'd prefer to have co-operative dynamics emerge from interactions between different types of demons, player classes, and the environment. Simple systems that work well together can be very powerful. I do like the idea of rust trapping characters and allowing other friendlies to break them out; it's simple and could have many different tactical implications.

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My quote about permadeath from Hired Mark was meant to identify the point of one of his paragraphs rather than be a strawman. It wasn't a verbatim quote and I wasn't trying to misrepresent him but rather distill his post into something more succinct.

This thread's more about fluff-wise, how does the cascade represent time, the story arising from it's conflict with man, and issues which arise from this manifestation (reproduction, immortality, destruction, manner of opposition, etc.).

Specific combat mechanics for the cascade in the game are more the theme of this thread

http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/10841/

or this one if you're skilled enough to render your ideas in art-graphic form

http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/10766/#303220

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My quote about permadeath from Hired Mark was meant to identify the point of one of his paragraphs rather than be a strawman. It wasn't a verbatim quote and I wasn't trying to misrepresent him but rather distill his post into something more succinct.

Failed at that dramatically, maybe the blunt explains that.

Anyway-

Discussion - noun

[mass noun]

1the action or process of talking about something in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas: the committee acts as a forum for discussion the EC directive is currently under discussion

Courtesy of the Oxford Dictionary

I am not here to dictate how the game design should be, which is what a lot of people seem to have gotten into their head. Neither am I going to create more threads to design their game for them. Rather, my brief stay here was to point out different holes in the discussion.

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There is no blunt.

The image depicts time separated by panels, as is common in western art, popularized by such scenes as triptychs. In eastern art it is more common to have a single image depicting multiple moments in time. For example, in the relief below from the Sanchi Stupa's North Gate we are shown Mara, her father and his army. The human figures on the left and the ogres on the right are the same beings. On one side we see the illusions of beauty they cast to tempt Buddha. On the other side we see their true forms revealed when they came to attack him.

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Immortal King Idea 0

http://www.playerattack.com/imagery/Blizzard-OrcStatue.jpg

The Everemperor's a statue in the most magnificent palace of the capital city. Whomsover rules de facto is only an administrator de jure for the statue-emperor.

The original* Emperor of these human lands never died. Sometimes he comes alive: shooting lasers from his eyes, animating, regaining flesh, or weeping blood. Invaders have successfully established foreign dynasties in the Ever-Empire and the statue has stood idle. Other times new rulers are killed as soon as they enter the statue's presence with some eyeball zappy-zappy. For periods of the country's history the statue has been sacrificed to as a god, the nation a theocracy glorifying the statue, other times the nation has been more militaristic and left the statue become overgrown with moss.

Does the Everemp only care about martial prowess and hate underhanded power-grabs? This interpretation is some monarchies explanation of why invaders were allowed to rule but native usurpers were slain immediately. Must one believe in the statue to be affected by it, so the usurper was acted upon by his own guilt and the foreigners indifference reflected. Does the Ever Emperor save the faithful? For he has routed armies in times of great poverty and oppression. Is the Everemperor a god, with motives beyond men's ken? So all explanations are absurdity. Is its' power limited or astrologically dependent as court astrologers and warlocks have tried to prove by making cross-referenced timelines between the amount of statue activity and solar events?

The statue rests for hundreds of years unmoving. Giving no word of its' intentions. Yet in minutes it acts decisively. Once a disrespectful group of pirates sailed to the abandoned palatial grounds. They sought to take the statue as booty, breaking it into pieces for transport if necessary. Chisel wouldn't scratch his stone nor explosives crack his limbs. The palace ruins collapsed, burying the crew alive. Some men say it was the Everemperor avenging himself. Others that pirate gunpowder damaged building integrity.

The player character could be regarded as a prophet or mad-man, as he claims to have communicated with the Ever-emperor no one else has heard. Many doubt the PC's powers were given by the Ever-emperor but there's no denying their reality. Even the skeptics obey.

*some documents survived purges and mention earlier rulers

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@Blood Bridle - that is a rad backstory, man. :D

Stuff like this really helps as we're starting to construct the exact fiction of the Ruler, the Chalice, and the Cadence! Thanks!

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Alternate take on the Everemp.

Swabaharjaz Schlageter, general for King Berthier, and his wife Ava Matrashi wanted a baby more than anything in the world. It would be the manifestation of their love, proof that each loved the other so much they wanted more of one another in the world and to be comingled in that creation. But the gods had cursed Ava with a fallow womb. Swabaharjaz tried eating more onions and garlic, hunting and participating in sports more to get his blood up, but he failed to sire a child. Ava left more of the housekeeping to their staff, moonbathed, and was visited upon by physicians from across the lands who prescribed everything from hanging upside down for an hour before bed to mercury. No morning sickness came.

One turbulent night, Ava dreamt of being a woman in a nomadic tribe, she came to love the leader of the hunters yet never knew him. She wanted to ask her parents to ask his parents about a union but became sick after eating a new fruit. She died without seeing him again. The following morning, troubled by these memories, Ava told her husband what ailed her. He had dreamt he was the hunter. He had planned to propose a union next season when he returned to the village but a neighboring tribe encroached upon their gamelands and bashed his skull in with a rock while he slept. The couple were convinced these dreams were a message from their ancestors of a love which failed to come to fruition. They prayed and made offering to their ancestors, seeking their blessing in the creation of a child. They dreamt oncemore of being the hunter and his desired but this time they lay with each other. Upon waking the couple found they had made love in their sleep. Soon Ava was pregnant and in 8 months 3 weeks gave birth to Cngwn Schlageter.

To most people, the coup of Cngwn Schlageter over King Berthier II came suddenly as a thunderclap in a clear blue sky. But he had spent years readying the stage for his ascension, having garnered the allegiance of officers from his youth, during which tales of his martial prowess become the stuff of folklore. He only awaited the passing of his father, at which time he formally took over his office of general, to begin his infamous career with propriety. The details of his subsequent conquests of surrounding kingdoms are detailed in Henry Brar’s Military Histories Volumes 1&2.

Cngwn is remembered for his militarization of the lands. Every man of fighting age was required to own and be proficient with a longbow. Were his aim tested at any time and found wanting he would be fined. Taxation increased, more greatly burdening the common farmer, and Cngwn’s advisers saw no purpose to the buildup and development of new keeps since no nearby armies remained with the force to invade them.

When merchants to far-off lands ceased to return, the kingdoms were heading towards a minor economic crisis. Yet Cngwn left such matters entirely to regents while pursuing a personal project in the cave network of the world’s largest mountain. His acts had taken such a course for the weird palace gossip painted him addled. He’d had a fortress dug into the mountain large enough to fit thousands though it stood empty. He’d begun beekeeping. Dendrobium Hubei, a flower only known to grow on Mt. Merun, provided honey for Cngwn’s perverse activities. He had recalled several ladies to his fortress, all of them with child. They were fed on a diet mostly consisting of Hubei Honey. During their deliveries, Cngwn burned native flora which induced visions in these women of great warriors in their bloodline.

By the time rumors of Cngwn’s distasteful actions had spread wide enough conspirators whispered of revolt, the cascade came from the borderlands taking guardposts and watchtowers. Petty nobility fought losing wars on the edge of the kingdoms. Cngwn offered shelter and stored foods to any peasants or aristocracy who abandoned these lands. For years the cascade progressed while Cngwn’s prepared children grew…

[game starts]

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