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WIP A Practical Guide to Evil by Erraticerrata - T - Original Fantasy

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by DvorakQ, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Imraefi

    Imraefi Second Year

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    [​IMG]

    Don't tease us like that, Ryuugi.


    I'm waiting for the Sherlock-esque explanation at the end of these chapters, because taking the 'rational' approach isn't really working. There's some degree of power creep in the story, but I also think that the side of Good has some heavy hitters (Saint, Pilgrim) that would be brought out to deal with this kind of monster.

    Papenheim's survival in your quoted passage may very well be the work of Providence rather than any earthly intention.
     
  2. Ryuugi Shi

    Ryuugi Shi Jazz Hands!!!

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    Sorry, maybe I should have highlight this bit:

    Yeah, so apparently, not only do the Horned Lords turn their attention towards Procer--although we knew that, because it was repeatedly stated that the Ratlings constantly needed to eat and that they turned south to do so--but apparently it's to the point where they had a Horned Lord one year, at least one Ancient One the next, and a hundred battles and skirmishes in just that twenty year period. Hell, the Augur's first act as the Augur was to predict a ratling raid.

    No, seriously, what the hell? Back when ratlings were these savage nobodies with barely a mention, stating Klaus rode against one of their Lords with two hundred men was kind of just a meaningless statement, and therefore fine--but that means some shit now. If this is something that happens on a yearly basis, even if most of the time it's just raids by foot-soldiers, then this is at least a big a deal as Callow vs. Praes.

    Baby, you know I don't play. It's really just the opener and I need to actually get around to writing stuff for it, but there you go.

    Maybe, but honestly, Skein has done way more to wow me so far then all the heroes in the Crusade put together, so it's a bit hard to buy--he's been fighting for a fraction of a chapter and he still has the better feats. I mean, goddamn, he's not even seemingly a combat-focused Named, but when Cat threw her domain at him, he ate it.

    But hell, between the Champion killing Sabah off-screen, the Pilgrim knocking out Cat and Masego off-screen, and not Hannoven holding back these motherfuckers for untold centuries off-screen, I'm starting to to think the Heroes draw their powers from Weeping Angels, and it's whenever you aren't actually looking at them that they turn into gods. So maybe they can take on the Horned Lords, too, when no one is looking.
     
  3. someone010101

    someone010101 Groundskeeper

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    It get the feeling they'll come out of the loverly complicated, bumbling plan to witness an anticlimatic, blunt ending.

    Your Dread Empress is in another castle

    or Hakram and Archer offscreening Malicia

    or the plan was Malicias mind control and the Dead King accepts her offer

    or Malicia surrenders and leaves. Her primary objective is getting the Dead King to attack Procer, Cats offer would do that as well

    or they stalemate the Skein, the Dead King & Malicia come to gloat, Thief shoots an invisible crossbow

    The cleanest ending would see the Dead King taking Malicias offer and chasing the Woe out of Keter. That way Procer is distracted and Catherine doesn't have to ally with the Dead King, so Callowans can boast about her adventures in Keter.
     
  4. Xarlor

    Xarlor First Year

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    I am pretty sure the Longtooth Lord was only an Ancient, because I can't see how they could have hold the border otherwise. Like 60 feet and can eat anything? Your walls simply don't matter against stuff like that. Oh and you only have mortal soldiers? Well thats your problem isn't it?

    I would say that both the Spellblade and Skein are formed named and while they do not have their full name anymore, they are probably stronger physically then when they were alive and still have all their race advantages. Even Cat was a lot stronger as an undead than as a non named mortal. And if those two are normal and non named members of their species, why would the elves ever flee into Arcadia? How could Triumphant ever have hoped to beat them? And why on earth haven't the Ratlings eaten everything.

    Also it kinda feels strange how much Cat gets kicked around these days. I would have thought that with the full might as the last Entity of Winter and its Queen she wouldn't always be the underdog. Is she still holding herself back? Because I can't see Sulia or Lariat getting their face kicked in that badly.
     
  5. Lamora

    Lamora Definitely Not Batman

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    A lot of that is because Cat is fundamentally not Doing Winter Right.

    It's even referred to in Akua's Kaleidoscope chapter - Cat has nearly all the power of a Winter royal and the only things she's using is the conceptual regeneration, super strength, a little cryomancy and once in a while things like the Lake Portal thing. Compare that to what she could have: she could have an entire court of Named-level soldier-sorcerors with essentially a snap of her fingers. She could be hurling glaciers or raising entire armies as wights like Akua.

    Imagine if someone got all of Superman's powers, and all they used them for was flying into good sniping positions, being bulletproof and fighting with a mundane rifle.

    I suspect that not leaning into her Mantle both depowers her on a basic level because she's going against the grain of the story, and is weakening in the same sense that using a pipe wrench to pound in a nail is - it might work, but is certainly isn't what it's designed for.
     
  6. Ryuugi Shi

    Ryuugi Shi Jazz Hands!!!

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    It couldn't have been an Ancient One, though, at least as far as we know--according to Akua and Masego, when the ratlings grow old enough, they metamorphosis from humanoid bipeds with observed sapience to what amount to really large animals without that awareness; the only other source we have, Ranger, also calls them 'dumb brutes.' The ratlings 'just' use them as siege weapons--though since they're still thirty or forty feet tall, it's still goddamn crazy that Klaus and his men fight those motherfuckers. What's more, that quote differentiates the Longtooth Lord from the Ancient One a year later.

    The Horned Lords are why I compared the ratlings to Hollows before; Ancients that eat enough quickly enough change again, going back on two legs, regaining sapience, etc. Combied with the fact that he was called the Longtooth Lord...

    Well, you see my confusion. Because yeah, how the fuck has Procer dealt with this for millennia? Supposedly there are often times where thousands of ratlings attacked each and every year and Ancient ones and, seemingly, Horned Lords go with them--how do they deal with that shit? Are they invincible while dodge-rolling? Do they respawn at campfires? How the hell are the Legions even considered dangerous when they have to deal with shit like this?

    Also, they're both Named--the Dead King can raise Named with a shadow of their former power, which back in Ranger's chapter meant that the Sage of the West could still punch through steel, which a normal human wouldn't be able to. Now, however, he has at least two former Named that seem stronger in a fight than anyone we've ever seen fight except Ranger. Like, holy shit.
     
  7. Cxjenious

    Cxjenious Supreme Mugwump

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    Definitely. In the last chapter against the elf she mentions how she can move the ice faster than her body, and I thought, 'How?' Her body is made of the same power. Hopefully Akua will show her some mental-fu so she can shake her self imposed limitations.
     
  8. Legacy

    Legacy Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    With some luck the most recent chapters will finally get rid of the last notions she is mortal with mortal limits. I understand self restraint and denying her powers are just as much a part of her narrative as mouthing off but still. Time to start using her brain again and find the limits of her powers. I'm getting tired of watching a self imposed underdog story.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  9. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Trying to bullshit the Skein like that reminded me a lot of Harry trying to bullshit Elder Gruff. I almost expected The Skein to go get Cat a donut.
     
  10. mmm

    mmm First Year

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    The mantle is a double edged sword though. It gives her fancy ice powers but it also makes her a lot more vulnerable to being locked down into a story. I mean, Cat managed to kill a duke mostly because of a bullshit father-daughter story and there were a ton of fae monologuing despite themselves.

    Since her main opponents are the Bard and Grey Pilgrim, I'm not sure any extra power would be worth becoming more fae-like.
     
  11. Stealthy

    Stealthy Sixth Year

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    Part of it is that Errata just doesn't want to let Cat revel in her power, apparently. Went back and reread her encounters with the lesser Heroes of the Crusade and she slaps them around appropriately. Does fun shit like ripping a Hero's arm off and throwing it into another one's face, and that was without Winter. It just never means anything, because she can't beat Saint yet and so both times Saint waltzes in, throws some swords around, and sends Cat packing.
     
  12. Ryuugi Shi

    Ryuugi Shi Jazz Hands!!!

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    So I've stated multiple times that this whole plan was dumb, but the Skein made an utter joke out of it, because if a dozen impossible to predict things hadn't lined up perfectly, everyone would have died, even with all their back-up plans--not least of which being Masego gaining exactly the right Aspect at exactly the right time.

    Which, on that note, I said I'd pull this quote out whenever this happened and I damn well meant it, so:

    Because yeah, Masego can copy Aspects, or at least weakened versions of them, on top of just breaking reality into piece that fall into the all consuming void below and just generally warping reality to his whim. He's not the solution to all the Woe's problems however, because...? I don't know, but let’s be generous and assume there’s a reason.

    Meanwhile, the Skein, a mere shadow of his former self, has made an utter joke out of every villain we've seen before now, which makes Procer holding back the Ratlings even more insane*--don't think I didn't notice that part where the Skein casually wiped his tail through half a tower's worth of Winter's ice or the part where Cat needed magical blades to even scratch him because his hide was stated to be magical. And that fucking Aspect, holy mother of God.

    *Something I hadn't remembered until someone pointed them out to me:

    -Book 3 Chapter 35 Questions

    This was Cat thinking about why the Winter King didn't dare pick a fight with Procer--because he would have been in a great deal of trouble. Explain please, because again, unless everyone in Procer gains fifty levels while off-screen, how the fuck does that work?
     
  13. mmm

    mmm First Year

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    Well, all the talk of Cat not embracing the mantle and the next chapter she dives too deeply and too greedily. Hopefully she doesn't find any Balrogs on the way down.

    I'm unsure about this chapter tbh. It was awesome in that Catherine was forced into a deep end and had to adapt, but at the same time it felt like there was too much mind-fuckery. It was too... cluttered? I dunno.

    The impression I get was that the chapter was meant to feel like Cat's apotheosis, with all the crazy things as a side dish. Instead, all the world bending shenanigans with the Skein and Masego meant that Cat realizing she can tell gravity to fuck off felt more like a side note. That's how it felt to me, anyway.

    Since she's falling, I predict next chapter will be spent in deep retrospection and the chapter after, she'll return as Catherine the White.
     
  14. Stealthy

    Stealthy Sixth Year

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    My question isn't "why did this plan work for as long as it did", because that's how the story works with these things. As I said earlier, the trope has the plan fall apart at the end, while all lining up to work until that point. There's variance in how exactly the plan will be foiled, but it was a guarantee that somehow the Skein would do it. And now we see how. All their plans had his lair as a common destination, so it didn't matter how many they had if he could rely on that fixed point. The Skein is a horrifying threat on top of that, and broke the big magic device they were relying on.

    Instead, the question I'm waiting to have answered is "why did Cat think this was a good idea in the first place?" She's smarter than that, and frequently wondered exactly that as this thing went on. If the Skein ruining her plan was inevitable, then what was the damn point?

    Best guess is that - for whatever reason - she wanted the wheel to be broken and tricked Creation by sealing off that memory. But I don't get how that suits her purposes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  15. Legacy

    Legacy Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    That artifact is what ties the threefold reflection of the palace together. If they had captured it they could have plotted a direct route to Malicia, the optimal ending. But as long as the artifact was destroyed then the three overlapping spaces would collapse in on each other. Either way they technically achieved a win condition as they can now find Malicia.

    This isn't a Cat plan. This is an Akua plan with multiple win conditions like we saw at First Liesse.
     
  16. Ryuugi Shi

    Ryuugi Shi Jazz Hands!!!

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    Another verse revealed:

    Referring, I suppose, to the room of heads. Gotta say, of the three verses we know, the first is still my favorite, but we now have one through three. The current poem as it stands is:

    Not much else to say, honestly; the plan continues to not go well and may have fallen apart already. Masego and Akua are down and out from fighting the Skein, so it's up to Cat, Hakram, Thief, and Archer to take down the Dread Empress without drawing too much attention to themselves. Cat says she's unworried about the Sentinels but is concerned about Wasteland mages, given her new nature.

    She has not, however, mentioned being concerned about Malicia, which I swear to God seems more unwise by the minute. Like, check it:

    Like, Cat, I get that Malicia isn't exactly the deadliest seeming foe in a fight--but you're still walking into a fight with a Dread Empress here, and you know literally none of her Aspects, which she has a full write up of you and all you're dudes. This is the time where you go 'Also, the Dread Empress,' because you are walking headfirst into a danger that by all accounts you're dismissing. Like, if nothing else, we've heard repeated mention of there being tons of nasty things in the Tower's vaults; now seems like a good time to try and worry about that.
     
  17. Legacy

    Legacy Unspeakable DLP Supporter

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    Completely agree with you there. This entire plan has been a mess from the start and not worrying about the empress herself seems foolish. Aspect of Malicia's maybe? She is the scheming dread empress of Praes, wouldn't surprise me if she had an aspect that made you underestimate her. Though that would feel like terrible writing.

    Maybe Cat just doesn't have a high opinion of Malicia or her defenses? After all, Cat hasn't ever seen her outside the tower or in a situation where she doesn't control everything around her.
     
  18. Seratin

    Seratin Proudmander Prestige DLP Supporter

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    To be honest I still really don't believe Malicia is in Keter.
     
  19. Lamora

    Lamora Definitely Not Batman

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    The biggest thing I'm concerned about is how Catherine talks about the poem, and what she points out.

    Not only is it not well known, it apparently cannot even be heard by certain people. And also comes out of people's mouths unbeknownst to them.

    My personal fan theory is that the poem/song is some sort of memetic prophecy on the side of Evil for the rise of an Empress, that only they can hear said. Would make sense for Cat, Akua and Black (having heard it around Malicia) to know it. It would be a neat little bit of Name stuff to show up.
     
  20. Redsayn

    Redsayn Second Year

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    Each verse of the song actually includes significant events from each respective book:

    The title is The Girl Who Climbed the Tower. Especially with the final verse not every prediction came to pass, which could imply that the song isn't completely correct.

    Or maybe I'm completely wrong. Probably this, to be honest.