Evil to Explosives
Evil - an almost tangible force for players involved in EOW.
*****Miscellaneous Thoughts Below Persand, July 30, 10037,***** Transcribed by January Barron. *Pike: It's interesting that you never see Egyebrech fighting off the immense Evil of this place; one might conclude that they were part of the returning Evil and not "innocent" dupes. *Obez: Of course, one doesn't see the drow helping out either but we believe them not to be evil. Are the eck working with them? *Pike: What if Evil just means extremely foreign? *Ben: And dangerous? *Barron: If it destroys what is home, then I'm going to call it Evil. *Pike: What if it is foreign and doesn't even understand what it is doing? *Ben Then it's still Evil. *Pike: Why are the egs taking over our world? Do they want the land? Who knows? Why did the orcs form an empire? They have the best way of life; they are bringing culture. Empires come out of Greed. *Ben Pointless greed. *Nick Why did Artaxerxes do it? Greed? Expansion? *Pike: Manifest destiny. Belief that your system is the right way. Life will be better for all if all adhere to this, more advanced, system. But what about the balrogs? They're not spreading balrog culture. *Nick. To what extent are they in charge or working with? *Ben Nazgul and balrog and egs are tools of something, but what? Another, bigger balrog? Mycroft. Is something engineering this whole thing? Developing life to suits its whims? *Pike: Evolution seems to be a recurrent theme. *Barron: Something evil is spilling out of the ether, pushing through the cracks in Persand. An intelligence is slowly evolving. *Ben. Evil seeps into it...two independent events. A soul taking an available body. Transmigration? *Barron. It acts like its alive, but this is a coincidence. It doesn't really make a big difference. *Pike. What's really important is what's going on magically and ethereally "behind the scenes." That caves are forming is not important.
*Time to prepare for the moment...gather information. Actual actions are rather irrelevant now. Nexus points of decision making. Separate branches separated by deterministic periods. Ben. Stupid, but rather romantic. Kind of like an "end of the world." The world as we know it is going to cease. *I can see that these eg are dupes. Nick *I am kind of relieved that its just eg. *Where have we seen the tattoos/possession and ass-kicking in literature. Time-warp group. Definitely not linear. Could they control our minds for long periods of time? Warrior-psionicists who pop around to groups?
*What has been affected by the Bermuda Parallelepiped?
Brian *Turtles and grendels sort of disappeared. Could grendels have been guardians designed by ancient orcs? We saw one kicking Eck asses. Were they tricked into living there? No, they're too intelligent. Grendels took the fallen meteor. After this they became really wierd and intelligent. Ben. They were always like that.
*Awfully convenient that that reef protects you from sailing right up to the edge [of what?]. Nick. *Could an earthquake of that magnitude have poisoned the water? [What earthquake? the one that opened Grendel's cave?]
*******************From Brian F. Allen:**********************
"I've got a pretty funny feeling inside," Tim said to Da Reaper.
"Er, what do you mean?" Da Reaper asked.
"Well, remember earlier, a couple days ago, when we grounded that boat and all?"
"Sure. Sorta. It was a while ago..."
"Well, yeah, but anyway. The talk with the wraith has really been getting me thinking. Here's what I managed to get out of it. First, they have a big preoccupation with strength and ability. No surprise there, another meritocracy. El Ouhd's ways come to mind. Next, he basically said that they were fighting just to fight. As in, no conquest motive, no greed motive, nothing but a lusting after death of others. Now, I was trying to give this being a fair break, I mean, most people seem pretty against these guys just 'cause they don't have a normal form and all. So, I listened to him. He said this was our battle ground. That _this_ world [Totdham?] was somehow different from EOW and Vorn. [Brian: Compare with the Captain's view - whenever asked, the Sword has been unable to see Vorn and EOW as different places.] This wasn't our place. Well, anyway, there was a bunch of stategy stuff in there, but I think more importantly, there was a bit of philosophy. I mean, this guy is basically saying that all he wants to do is kill stuff..."
"Er... Like 'conquer, conflict and kill'?" Da Reaper prodded.
"Yeah..... Oh shit." Tim said, remembering [The Captain's] words of so long ago.
"Yep. Now we're getting to something interesting."
"Ok... so... who are the good guys? I mean, I was all ready to damn this nasty vermin because of words that were very, very close to those. Wait a minute. I don't think those wraith dudes are in charge. They are just tools. Like The Swords. Conscious, deadly, but in the end, pawns of something else."
"Well, what did he say? It was something like, 'Soon, the big daddy music is gonna play, then you'll understand, dumbass.' So who the hell is in charge? And what the hell does it want?"
"And how are we so sure that that isn't what we want?"
"Well, first off, I like life. I mean, life is just cool. And people. People are cool too. Sure, they can be assholes (like these "noble" types on this trilked world), but mostly they are cool to have around. I mean, I hated the EOW glacier. So barren and cold and just so dead. Yep. I like life. This soul destroying stuff is bad. Bad Bad. Lopping a head off ain't so bad, but the soul slaying stuff is nasty bad." [Why? what souls be doing otherwise?]
"The OrcStuds [ancient orcs?] gave us that soul destroying dagger. So they are nasty evil too?"
"Well, they also said a lot about how it should only be used in the most severe cases. Nah, I think they saw it as a necessary evil. Where as the wraiths seem to love to run around chopping down people.
Damn near tried it on me. Too bad Commander didn't want to get out that dagger and nail the bastard. Oh, wait. Nevermind. Still, I think that the wraith dudes are bad. Bad because they want to kill and to kill permanently."
"Ok, so you're saying that the Wraiths are bad becuase they cleave randomly, but the Orc Studs are OK becuase they are a bit more restrained?"
"Yeah. That's basically it."
"So what's important is the preservation of life in general and not the worth of that life? Like quanity over quality?"
"Well, these wraiths are fighting, at least in some sense, to better the quality of those who have life. Remember that old crusty guy's notebook we found so long ago? That Zakath dude? Well, remember how he said that multi-racial crew of orc killers explained themselves? That they were out to keep the world from stagnation. That the orcs were just letting it sit without any progress. They said that they were stronger and so better and so rightfully could kick the shit out of the weak orcs."
"Yeah. But of course, since the fall of the "weak" orcs, the dumbshits have lost all kinds of technologies. Hydromancy, Telemancy, et al. The biggest testament to all that is that everybody is racing to grab the artifacts left behind by the "weak" orcs. Sure, they couldn't hold up in a fight, but they sure weren't stupid..."
"Indeed. So, now the "strong" are grave digging to find the secrets the "weak" left behind. Ironic."
"Ok, I'm convinced. Life is cool. The Stud Orcs liked life and the "Evil" which rears its head in several different places is bad because they are into destroying life, despite their claim that they are some how making it better."
El Houd walks in, "Yep. Almost as if this evolution type thought will only take us so far. After that, we have to get into new thoughts to advance, else we keep hitting this cycle of advance-stagnate-die-advance. So where did the Ancient Orcs trilk up? They coasted in the stagnate phase and got killed."
Da Reaper says, "Ok, mister Ouhd, So how do we fend off the evil when we hit this stagnation phase?"
"Think dork. And don't assume the Ancients were as stupid as you. Look around you. The Orcs knew what was coming. I don't think you're comprehending how much they left you.
"Ok," El Ouhd continues, "look around. We've seen EOW, Vorn, and now this place. The Ancients are everywhere. And most importantly, even though their bodies are rotting, their souls are waging a war against the Evil. That's better than you traitors deserve."
"Ok, so, strength in soul is the next level of evolution after strength in body?"
EO's disembodied voice says, "Yo, trilkhead! Time to wake up, Tim. Time to hit the road."
Tim slowly yawns, stretches, repositions his mask. "What a fucked up dream that was... What's for breakfast?" And he promptly forgets about the voices in his head...
(1) The ringwraith on Todtham told Tim Da Reaper that this was not his world, and not his fight. (Remember who these ringwraiths are, i.e. on the ultimate power trip. The nazgul by this time are merely fingers of the ring-power, which is good for nothing but destruction.) Now, before we get too philosophical about that, let us remember that neither is this the Eckyebrech's world, nor is EOW, nor is Vorn, and in precisely the same sense it is not *their* fight. The fight in EOW truly belongs to the Drow, the Humans, the Gnocks, the Elves, etc. [even though they are all relatively recent immigrants?] The Eggo-breath, the Nazgul, the Belryg, and The Evil, 'whose home is no world and who comes from one we have not seen' (LOTZ II) are trangressing nature just the same; therefore, we have to look at our role in a different light. We cannot, as the wraith suggested, look at "our fight" as being the defense of EOW from the Ickyblech incursion, but rather the defense of the multiverse from The Evil, which may or may not be connected in the end with The Ring. In some sense, fighting the Ickybreath is only peripheral to our mission. The Eck are mortals like us, and can do no more evil than we can and do ourselves. The point of the Eck invasions of all the various worlds is merely to keep other mortals (i.e. us) from being able to get at the artifacts and so on which we would need to stop the corruption of the multiverse purposed by The Evil. We could save the world in every important way, and the Eck might still end up taking over most of the worlds. Invasions happen. The humans (in EOW, as in Middle Earth) have been steadily outpacing all the other civilisations; in time the humans will probably even outpace the Ickybeasts. What we need to do is cut the Ickybutts off from the power of [Evil] which uses them now. Our mission is (ultimately) just as benevolent towards the Eck as towards our peoples; the connection with The Evil can only be a corrupting and stunting influence on the Eck.
(2) Why doesn't The Evil just go right in and take the Ancient Orcish Stuff? We've tended to assume that it's just because They're Evil and We're Good and the Orcs only want to talk to Good people. I'm beginning to think that the reason is actually something completely different. I suggest that even the powerful artifacts of the Ancient Orcs are useless to The Evil, who already commands power of a truly awesome and equally incomprehensible magnitude. There is no reason to believe that the corporeal, "mundane" powers of even the Swords are redundant to The Evil's capabilities. The more important qualities of the Ancient Orcish stuff (the cultivation of real virtue) are of no interest to The Evil because he's not in this business to do Good or become more Virtuous! Restorative, creative, wholesome power is exactly what the Evil is not interested in. I suspect that the Echobreakers could find among them a party of adventureres who could go hit a Ziqqurat and pick up some cool ancient orcish shit just as we can-- only they are prevented from actually doing so by the central command of The Evil, who knows that, given some actual contact with the Ancient Orcs, his tools could become a threat to him just as we could.
(3) In the northern forests of Todham, The Evil is in process of what he accomplished long ago in Vorn-- the creation of a natural barrier of evil creatures to keep mortals from getting at something valuable (Sayadhapuram on Todtham, Diomachus Maximus in Vorn). [How about on EOW? Persand? The Sprinal Tap? the Glacier?]
(4) From The Reaper's (and a visionary El Ouhd's) thoughts on evolution: Evolution in EOW has clearly driven civilisations *away* from the power of the Ancient Orcs, even though it be toward a more advanced kind of 'mundane' technology. However, consider the poverty of technology compared to what the Ancient Orcs had! While it allows us to do some fairly cool things, technology does nothing whatsoever for the spirit, and by its materialism is even somewhat poisonous to the spirit. It gives people a kind of power, but somehow that power only turns out to be useful to 'conflict, combat, and kill'-- to paraphrase both the Sword and the ringwraith. [But is magic any more noble? Or does it just engender other, more elitist, power abuses?] Think about the evolutionary process; its very engine is a universal strife between brother and brother, between kingdom and kingdom, between world and world. Division and conquest is the core of evolutionary 'progress'. [But cooperative strategies are evolutionarily important, too!] The ringwraith commented on strength and combat for its own sake as its ideals (whether or not it was sincere, who can say?) and guiding lights. Evolution. The perilous cycle is not advance-stagnation-death-rebirth, but rather a spiral of increasing materialism and increasing poverty of virtue. Er, something.
According to ?ancient orcs on Vorn?: Ages ago, a great Evil arose and was beaten back. It's lieutenant survived and resurrected a somewhat lesser Evil, and was beaten back... and this is our true adversary in these times. [Or something like that.]
The fabulously dressed orc with a jewelled crown, in the Friendship Temple gave the following information:
Long ago there was a battle between an evil far greater than that we face today and a far greater good than any extant today. The evil was defeated, but there was then another battle between the lieutenant of the first evil and a lesser good. The evil was again defeated, but later one of the servants of good became subverted by the evil, and this is what we face now.
The Evil right now is a Great Wizard, unmatched by any other. His home is no world, and he resides in one we have not seen. Only now has he been able to move forth in strength.
"Never despair, for you will find friends in strange places and power where there only seems to be reason."
Should we find any of the Rings, DO NOT USE THEM! You must be the source of all your power. [Tolkien Tolkien Tolkien!]
Magos Hamilcar has been judged unworthy in the extreme by the Ancient Orcs. They regard him as utterly within the power of evil, (and he's got two or three rings... hmmmm), and when he had The Captain, he did "nothing but evil" with it.
Geoff says in 1994: "I see the 'saving the world' thing as being about virtue. Virtue on the cosmic scale must, I think, have a great deal to do with freedom on the individual scale to cultivate virtue. The Nazgul, and whatever stands behind them, are creatures of evil; they are nourished by despair, fear, hatred, and so forth-- the opposites of virtue. (Eutriv) Global warfare is all about breaking the hearts and spirits of many, which is nourishment to Evil. With the power to travel from world to world, and the benefit of each technology, they can spread this war everywhere, and prolong it indefinitely.
True, the evil and corruption of our world's governments is not to be overlooked, but sowing virtue in the people and leaders is the only real approach to that poblem. The Nazgul forces would of course wish to oppose this in every way."
Anaphora reflects on the state of the world:..Long ago separated from her old adventuring companions, and finding herself deeply embedded in service to Ghenjar, Anaphora spends more and more time reflecting on the state of the world...
The Eckyebrech invasion is nearly forgotten. The waters around the mysterious and ominous Persand (she wonders if anything ever became of that odd bit of musical manuscript they found there) seem almost as quiet now as they did six years ago when they first visited. Battle rages on, it is true, but principally in the sprines with the deep gnomes, lava gnomes, and their occasional Drow accomplices, and rather than being a battle over the whole world, it seems principally to be a squabble over access to the strange magical oddities to be found in the Sprines.
Her mind returns to the snippets she had been able to gather from her companions about the impending End of the World, and the prophecies about the conquest of the world by some Great Evil. Everyone seemed to assume that the Eckyebrech were, or represented, that Evil. Yet after their initial and explosive entry into Sudebin lands, their warfare seemed entirely conventional-- and quite stoppable. Not that they were easy to beat on the field-- she had seen this directly-- but one would think that if their strength was the strength of an ancient, foretold, and world-destroying evil, they would not have been repulsed at all. Eckyebrech still hold much of Vyrica, but they have been driven out of Ilico and from most of the seas; the course of this war seemed not to differ in any important way from previous wars of history.
And what of their dark overlords, and their anti-magic warfare? Again, no signs have been obvious of otherworldy aid or technology for some time. Assuming those dark overlords were connected with the world-consuming Evil, it seems as though this Evil is not especially concerned with Eckyebrech military conquest. What could the deep Gnomes or the Drow seek in the Sprines that belryg and nazgul could not provide them if they chose? In the main, the current war is between peoples of our world (which now seems to include Eckyebrech) using the materials and resources of our world.
But then, muses Anaphora, what if taking over the world militarily is not the point? If the forces of Evil are interested in our world's unique resources (things that they can't easily get elsewhere), perhaps all they need is to control the Sprines, Uchebnik, and certain particularly interesting spots in Vyrica. For as much as it matters to them, perhaps the humans, elves, and dwarves can just go ahead and sit on Ilico, while they gather the Interesting things. Anaphora wishes she knew more about Magic.
Or else, perhaps even this is unnecessary to this dark Enemy. Perhaps all that is really important is to plunge our civilisation into a protracted war with itself. The killing, the destruction, and the transformation of societies everywhere. She recalls the occasional news stories of martial law and "special wartime provisions," increases of irrational prejudice and hatred, restrictions on speech, travel, trade... if lives can be subjugated and life so stifled, perhaps the Evil has already taken over this world.
Anaphora sighs. Of all people, she feels especially helpless against this more profound evil."
Excelsea Gravestone Co. - involved with the Forsythia Cemetary Exploration.
Owns the Carrera. Made the Dukas tomb. Known or suspected members: John
Baliol, Hector, Jerald, Jim, Lithera Nasbe, Tarquin.
Excelsior, Archibald (Jack) - shortsword wielder and member of SOAK.
Disappeared while living at SOAK house; no trace discovered. Missions:
Explosives - boom dust, Bysshe bombs, "Persand" footballs, torpedoes/pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails... See also Demolitions.
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