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A female Sidar leader, aka Unit's dormant roleplaying genes acting up.

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Cuteunit, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Cuteunit

    Cuteunit Danse Macabre

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    I see her as somethingnotIND/Arc, to offer a completely differrent playstyle than Sandalphon. The writing I've supplied might hopefully explain these choices.
    If possible, It would make a certain sense for her to replace the sidar's Body mana with Shadow when she's picked as leader.

    I've left certain things open to interpretation, particularly the ending. It's more fun that way. I'd rather leave the reader with more questions than answers.

    I worked pretty hard on this, and I enjoyed the process. I'll stab someone if nothing comes out of this. *glare*

    Picture: *Edit* New picture I prefer greatly to the old.
    Spoiler :



    civpedia background: *Edit* Added extra detail and expository dialogue.
    Spoiler :

    "It is a common misconception, you see."

    His words pierced the awkward silence that had been ever present since their introduction the day before. Sitting beside her as they watched the stately waltz conducted upon the stage below, Sandalphon's words had such a strange quality as he spoke. At times seeming a distant whisper, at others no differrent than the middle aged man he seemed to be, and yet always audible to her above the stately sounds of the music being conducted in unfeeling, perfect meter, as everything in the city seemed to be done.

    "Men who have given up the things many would consider essential to merit that description. To sacrifice mortal form, mortal pleasures. Truly, we must seem monsters to the few who know us. Even to our friends."

    "As you can see below", he said, gesturing to the dancers below their vantage within the theatre's balcony, "We are far from it".

    Years of courtly graces made the response of Sandalphon's veiled companion almost automatic, her soft and well practiced voice having none of the ethereal qualities of the other. "I assure you, noble Sir, that the court of our lady Valledia the Even.."

    "What do you fear?"
    Sandalphon's sudden interuption was abrupt, it was outside the protocol with which her every dialogue, every thought had been conducted.

    "I do not know you, Myriel Lethlehaime, but I know of you. Jewel in the crown of a few well considered magisters, and glimmer on the brooch of many a petty beaurocrat. You have never served in their wars yet you have insinuated yourself into many a courtly appearance in their strange aristocracy on the arm of someone influential."

    "Yet now you are here, and you are alone. None in your homeland know of this, and if they did none would admit it. You are fleeing something Myriel, and here my knowledge of you is incomplete."

    Confusion, panic, deception, and resignation all made fleeting appearances across her face. The former dispelled by Sandalphon's sudden casual placement of his hand across her wrist, his presence in this world suddenly seeming very real, the latter banished by her own lifelong curse: pragmatism. Thoughts raced in an instant through a quicker mind than any knew to accredit her, intendedly so. Think, plan, adapt with a smile and a curve of the spine, be soft and unchallenging. You know who sits next to you. He has what you want. Consider your options, Red Lady in Passing, become Grey...

    With a sigh heavy upon her bosom, Myriel Lethlehaime for the first time resigned herself to honesty in the face of no other option, there beside the not-man in the place of his power. When she did speak, her voice came softly.

    "Gracious sir.." said Myriel. "Ah, damned with graces.. I fear exactly what all women fear, and I most of all. I fear the withering of age. I fear the decline of my mind. I fear the time to come when I am worth nothing to those around me, a crone to be secretly mocked by the young. I fear the coming struggles my nation faces with the Infernals, where no sorceress who cannot be a tool of war will be anything but a burden. Most of all I fear my leader, and the things I know she has done in the name of country. Secrets are a currency in the Capitol, and there is so much I know, Sandalphon. I drown beneath that wealth. Always present but quickly disregarded in the clamor, so many dirty dealings and dark secrets meet my ears across a scented pillow. That has been my life and my security.. until now".

    What had once been a picture of feminine curve worthy of any sculptor's eye began to crumple beneath the weight of emotion.

    "She knows that I know. What's left of good in me, almost forgotten in the lies I've lived as truths hopes that she doesn't know how I learned of it. There is no home for me among the Amurites any longer, Sandalphon. Death likely seeks me even now. I came to you because I am already a corpse, no matter where I run."

    A glimpse of iron found it's way into her figure as she spoke further.
    "To be left to rot in the pitiless sun with none who remember me but for the assassin who snatched away my life as he wipes clean his blade! That is the most I may hope for now, with far worse fates seeming more likely the more they are contemplated. I would do anything, give up anything, to escape those ends."


    With that, all else was left to sobs as Sandalphon sat in silence beside her. His form had become almost tenuous with the shadows of the theatre now, as may often occur when a Shade's concentration is harvested to other ends than his place in the mundane, before solidifying once again. None may know the mind of one so ancient as he, who endures and husbands the strength to lead where others find resignation and melancholy in the face of endlessness. The many layered machinations of such a being surely form a puzzle whose final appearance may not even be clear to the craftsman himself, but within at least one such place in the mind of the not-man, a piece fell into place to join the others.

    "There is a way, and you will exist to remember who the person Myriel Lethlehaime was when none else remain."

    "It is a common misconception that we are monsters. We are not, because we choose to remember where others struggle to forget. Take my hand, I will show you this life as a memory of mortality. Tonight we begin a Waning. Then, we will speak further, and of many things."

    Shadows filled the empty spaces as both figures left the theatre hand in hand. He intent on the Waning to come, she quietly satisfied that at least one final deception had proven effective after all.
     
  2. xienwolf

    xienwolf Deity

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    No way to change the Mana of the Civ Palace based on which Leader you select. Didn't particularly see why it is so appropriate for her to have Shadow Mana, just because she thinks she is tricking Sandalphon?

    She keeps herself might "gussied up" for someone who is completely detached from Worldly cares :( Either she is VERY newly a Shade, in which case it makes little sense for her to have so much power she would be a leader option, or she has fully Waned and even though she may have become a Shade out of Vanity, she would have long ago forgotten what point there is in it.
     
  3. Cuteunit

    Cuteunit Danse Macabre

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    Shame about the mana.

    Who says a Shade can't be gussied up? My view of sidar, based on how I see human natures, is that they keep from becoming monstrous unfeeling things because they have that aspect of melancholy remembrance. Dancing because you remember the steps, not because it's thrilling. They can settle Shades as Great Bards, remember? Think Mozart, creating brilliant music even though he can't even hear it himself, a great example of how detatchment from something doesnt mean you lose all notion of it. Maybe she could be a Cre leader for the sidar. That whole aspect of them is completely unexplored in the pedia.

    The deceptive part is what I left open. What was she lying about? Her goal was obviously to become a shade and get close to Sandalphon, but for what purpose? Is she furthering her own goals, or does she work for some external power seeking influence inside the Sidar? TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR THE EXCITING CLIMAX ONLY ON UPN!
    errrr... where was I?

    That's how I see it, at least. I wanted a powerful woman who wasnt powerful because she had primarily male qualities ( ala Capria or Valledia) and wasnt a well meaning ignoramus like Arendel Phaedra. Strong women are just that, strong WOMEN. Thessa's the only one that really comes close and even then she struck me as more "slave of angst in the name of duty" and is too tragic for someone I could emotionally invest into from a character sense. ML's cerebral, cunning, and manipulative. She gets things done in ways other than picking up a sword or telling someone else to. Maybe she really is just a court flake trying to use the Sidar as a way to protect herself from Valledia while she increases her own power base, maybe she has other motives, maybe not.

    I pictured her as a leaderhead in the same fashion Amelanchier is one.
    Was the writing ok, did you enjoy it?
     
  4. CyberChrist

    CyberChrist You caught my attention

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    I must admit that I fail to see the logic behind the Sidar not having access to Shadow Mana by default from Palace. Shades that doesn't understand/harness the power of Shadows? Makes no sense to me.

    Imho they would be best fitted with Spirit, Body and Shadow mana.
     
  5. Mortenart

    Mortenart Steampunk

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    Enjoyed your spoiler, very atmospheric :) Needs a little more explanation about why she has turned towards Shadow I feel, what has driven her to do this (she still looks young and frisky in the portrait!), but maybe that could be explained in a further piece.
     
  6. zxcvbnm

    zxcvbnm The Nobody

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    The deaf composer was Beethoven, not Mozart. He wasn't detached from it just because he couldn't hear it, as he knew exactly what which note would sound like. But imagine losing not your hearing, but your feelings, of music. You hear it but it means nothing. It sparks no memories, no feelings, as you have lost them all. When all you had, has become a shadow to you, and only shadows will ever be anything to you. That is the price you pay for immortality.
     
  7. Cuteunit

    Cuteunit Danse Macabre

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    Poetic but I don't think Shades turn into Data from star trek when you can settle them as Great Bards.
     
  8. Arwon

    Arwon

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    I quite like it.
     
  9. Silverkiss

    Silverkiss NekoChan

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    I'm sorry Cuteunit, but as far as I know Shades in FfH lose *every* emotion, exactly as said by zxcvbnm (really unpronouceable name there, lol). I don't know Star Trek, so can't coment on that, though.

    And on the leader herself, I think her flavor overlaps some with that of Faeryl's... After all, deception and such are the theme for the Svartalfar.
     
  10. Cuteunit

    Cuteunit Danse Macabre

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    That isnt really exclusive to what i was suggesting though. Sidar obviously have culture, and they do get great bards. I'm saying that it may become a thing about rote and memory, and less about feeling and creativity. Making beautiful music because you've been studying it's forms for the last two hundred years, not because it still stirs you. Does that make sense?

    Not much comments on my writing. Feels like being naked in class.
     
  11. Mailbox

    Mailbox King

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    Arcane as a trait for a Sidar leader is pretty obscene. Adepts are already free shades in time, the arcane trait makes that even more powerful.
     
  12. Humakty

    Humakty Happy Goblin

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    Your writing is nice, but sandalphon seems a bit naive for a thousand years old chap, don't ya think ? Or is he recruiting a powerful sorceress for his cause ? (she can learn to him many things about amurites plans)

    I'm not against her implementation in the game, she will never be able to oppose Our Mistress Master Plan ! AH AH AH !!!
     
  13. Cuteunit

    Cuteunit Danse Macabre

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    I figured him for doing it because she droppped all those hints about knowing all the dirty on the Amurites. Everything she said was calculated.

    I'm for a nerf to Wane in that Adepts and Disciples shouldnt be able to Wane. Mages on the other hand should be allowed to. No adept should count as a weary soul.
     
  14. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    I like the quality of the writing. But I dont think that Sandalphon would be swayed by an emotional plee.

    Also, fleeing your country (especially because of the immortality of its leader) isn't a good reason to become a shade. Though the story implies there is another reason I don't think Sandalphon would buy it.

    But I do agree with Cuteunit's impression of the Sidar. The people that become shades are incredably passionate about their lifes work. So much so that they are seeking any path possible to extend their lives to continue it. Dancing many be a bad example as it's so transient, but Sidar painters, poets and musicians are fairly common. And exactly as Cuteunit said, as the decades roll on that very passion that drove them to trade their soul is squeezed from them, going from fanatic devotion to their art (where their greatest works are produced), to uninspired repetition (technically amazing but without heart), to unfeeling eternity.

    Most, if not all, don't understand this process when they become shades. Its the difference between a childs excitement at recieving a present at christmas and an adult, the passion fades.

    A talented painter may hear stories that a painting legend, a man he has modeled his life after, went into the Sidar lands to pursue immortality. Following his path the painter goes in as well. In the Sidar cities not only does he find evidence of the painter, but masterworks by him that surpass anything he has seen before. He also finds an abandoned tower at the edges of the city that that is painted from top to bottom, inside and out, every square inch covered with designs and intricate patterns that were the hallmark of that painter. Thats when he decides to research the method of becoming a shade himself and stay in the city. What he doesn't know is that the painting legend is still in that tower, sitting in the shadows of the upper chamber staring out into the city. The young painter had walked right by him as he examinded the room, but hadn't noticed him sitting there waiting for eternity to end.
     
  15. Cuteunit

    Cuteunit Danse Macabre

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    Woot kael likes it. Might you use it? I'm willing to make retcons.

    I figured Sandalphon was doing it for access to the things she knew, primarily. I would have explained that more clearly but I wanted to leave that up to interpretation, so you had to wonder at the motivations of both of them. ( the best answers are always your own, imo).

    A bit like the style of a spy novel where nobody says what they mean, but they're always leaving hints.
     
  16. Mesix

    Mesix One of Porg

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    I like the idea, but I agree with Mailbox. The Arcane trait is a bit overpowered for the Sidar. Adepts are already mass produced shades, allowing them to mature twice as fast is borderline obscene.
     
  17. Kael

    Kael Deity

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    Probably not. It would take a pretty significant gameplay reason to justify a new leader at this point. As was mentioned the arcane trait is very powerful in the hands of the Sidar (thought if you wanted to try it you can always play Valledia of the Sidar).

    The only leader we have ever added since the design docs were origionally written is Keelyn. And in her case it had a very specific gameplay reason, so that people could play the Balserphs without being subject to Perpentach's Insane trait. If we added another leader it would have to fix a similiar hole.
     
  18. Cuteunit

    Cuteunit Danse Macabre

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    Now I feel so sad...
     
  19. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    Cuteunit you weren't expecting it to get into the proper game were you? Make a modmod for it and upload it to the forum.
     
  20. Mesix

    Mesix One of Porg

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    I think it would fill a hole nicely. The Sidar currently have only one leader. They are one of the few Civs that lack a choice of leaders. The traits would have to be balanced out, but having a second leader for the Sidar (and other civs) is nice.

    I find that with the AI weaknesses, it is often fun to group the AI into teams. Sometimes I group them into random teams with strange results. Sometimes I group them into teams by alignment, selecting the AI civs, but leaving the leader selection random. Sometimes I like to group two of the same civ together onto a team (i.e. two Calabim players). The Sidar are left out of these games.

    Edit: If you make a mod with this leader...I'll give her a try.
     

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