1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Balseraph History and Culture

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by thewyrm, Mar 9, 2008.

  1. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,139
    Totally random, but my brain was wandering when it ocurred to me... Ethne the White and Keelyn have something in common. Both are princesses who were originally sheltered from the outside world. The details differed; Ethne's father was overprotective, Keelyn's had forgotten she existed. But Ethne was relatively unaffected by her being sheltered for so long, and indeed became a just and merciful ruler. Keelyn... not so much.
    There's also the difference in how they ended up in the real world and on the world stage. Ethne was following a wounded animal out of the kindness of her heart, and were it not for that bird, would have probably lived in her dream world indefinitely. A girl who knew nothing of evil would have made a poor ruler. I'm thinking her old man wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer... Keelyn, meanwhile, blasted her way onto the world stage with a Balor. Say what you will about Keelyn, she is clearly not someone you should trifle with.
    Of FfH's two princesses, I think I like Keelyn more than Ethne...
     
  2. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    They are my two favorite characters in all of FFH'dom. Ethne could be a very interesting character if treated well. Perhaps I'll work on something starring her, if only to contrast the dark places writing about Keelyn seems to take me.

    If I get really brave perhaps I should envision the two of them meeting? . . .
     
  3. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Messages:
    2,002
    It's because one of them had demons whispering into her ear during her entire childhood and the other didn't.
     
  4. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,139
    Many thanks, Captain Obvious. :rolleyes: :p
    Although, for having had demons whispering in her ear, Keelyn has done pretty well. Take your average small child, and let loose a pack of demons upon their mind, and what comes out usually can't even string together a coherent sentence, save for the occasional obscure demonic prophecy. Keelyn, meanwhile, manages to run a country, perform magics that are usually associated with wizened archmages, and control massive demons with a level of skill that would make even the Amurites stare slack-jawed.
    EDIT: And then, of course, there's the thewyrm theorem... [looks down]
    If she's as smart in the lore as she is in-game, I wouldn't discount it...
     
  5. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Who says it wasn't her whispering to demons?
     
  6. Mknn

    Mknn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Houston
    I would think that, in terms of the flavor of the society, the biggest difference between Perpentach and Keelyn would be stability. Perpentach doesn't have an inner circle to speak of: he has a chaotically changing series of advisors, a near random juggling of strategies and proclomations.

    Monday: "Have you ever really looked at a cow? There's no udder animal I like more. You! You didn't laugh! Quick, skewer him over the fire, we shill have meat tonight, boys! Mmmm ... boys. Maybe we should have them instead?"

    Wednesday: "Here are the plans for the Bovine Palace. Anyone found mistreating a cow should be sacrificed for its production. They really are remarkable. Did you know they have seven stomachs each? Think about that ... we are all, you know, moving through the world, from stomach to stomach, our parts being separated, being moved to where we can do the most. And watch them eat. It's bliss, just pure, undiluted bliss. Cows. They're really where it's at."

    Thursday: "No, no, no, you whoreson! From the diaphragm. Feel it! You need to own this scene, this is the climax of the whole thing. You must capture it all ... do it with me ... Mooooooooooooooooooooo."

    Friday: "It's Bar-B-Que Time! Hamburgers for all! Better than that chicken like crap we served on Monday."

    Sunday: "Wow ... nobody loves me like my doggie."

    It can't be like this all the time, but I think that _nobody_ in Jubilee is safe: rich, poor, noble, common, nobody. This may mean that the true landed gentry of the Balseraph own wineries in Hexam or in one of the other later cities--far enough from the gyrations of Perpentach's madness to retain some continuity. And absolute terror at visits from the man himself.

    Keelyn, though ... ah, Keelyn knows what she wants, and will find a slightly twisted, slightly horrifying path to it that she will pursue relentlessly until victory. And if it requires finger painting with the viscera of those who oppose her, all the better.
     
  7. Kenjister

    Kenjister Swimmer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    SoCal
    This is actually a necro worth necroing!

    I agree totally with the stability side, and also with the rich Balseraphs living as far away from Jubilee as they can.
     
  8. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    1,139
    I've always imagined Perpentach as actually being a bit more in control then people give him credit for. Insane. Whimsical. Sadistic. Unpredictable. But not by any means stupid. If he was stupid, he'd have ended up an ice cube in the Age of Ice. (The timeline is unclear a timey-wimey ball that would take a Time Lord to figure out, but IIRC he left the tower in the Age of Magic, and presumably led the Balseraphs as a small tribe when Mulcarn took over.) He may be wild and unpredictable because his mind is perpetually changing as he debates the various individuals he shares it with, but he's not likely to take a genuinely idiotic course of action because he very much intends to survive to see more suffering and mayhem. And many of his seemingly random and bizarre actions probably have root in some grand, wild, comic-book supervillain type scheme.
    Agree with smart nobles moving away from Jubilee, though. You'd have to be insane by even Balseraph standards to do otherwise. And about Keelyn.
    EDIT: Man, I miss thewyrm. Anyone seen him around lately?
    EDIT 2: And Lord of the Balors has officially given credence to the Thewyrm Theoerm. Or would that be Thewyrm Theorem? *Scratches head.* The latter sounds better, but the former is more technically correct...
     
  9. Mknn

    Mknn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Houston
    I don't think it's an either/or. Clearly, Perpentach has the mental acuity needed to lead, and to lead well: at best, though, his focus would be on keeping the big plans moving along, keeping the most important wheels turning. That means that things on the edges--minor squabbles, those petty laws that govern everyday interaction, the arbitrary choices as to what a culture values or despises--are less firmly anchored.

    Hence, in the centuries (???) of his rule, incest has been at different times a sin against natural order and an attractive way to nail your cute cousin. And don't even get started on the different statues he's had placed at the center of the royal gardens!

    I think we're actually mostly in agreement, though: I would certainly agree that the difficulty in writing/playing Perpentach is to not lose sight of his brilliance, and to not become overly enamored of the cheap joke (like the cow riff above).
     
  10. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    I'm still here! I have just been doing a lot of traveling lately that has kept me from posting.
     
  11. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,527
    Location:
    Dancing in the Dark
    Thanks for necroing this thread, I had missed it (and that is a shame, cause I really love the Balseraph!)... I need to write some Balseraph stories once I am done with my Sheaim Elegy and get some time off school.

    Oh, and Thewyrm, did you ever get around to any of those cool stories you mentioned? I clutched to one about an adept passing a riddle to enter the ranks of the mages or summat, is that written?

    And Balseraph Somnium house rules! Brilliant! I simply must try that :lol:
     
  12. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    I never did write that out in story form, but in my head that is still how a Balseraph Adept passes to mage status.
     
  13. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Messages:
    8,973
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    I could have sworn i'de read this story.
     
  14. Mknn

    Mknn Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    Houston
    From the even when very wrong, the AI is right department:

    Keelyn has a city very near me that is isolated from me by mountains. Because the AI is stupid, this city (size 3) now has over 300 troops stationed in it. As of the last turn, the city contained:

    22 Taskmasters
    4 Canon
    113 Mimics
    84 Chariots
    1 Crossbowman (?)
    196 Diseased Corpses
    27 Horse Archers
    1 Hunter
    8 Harlequins

    and, I sh*t you not,

    1 very tired, very sore Courtesan. Ahem.
     
  15. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,527
    Location:
    Dancing in the Dark
    Spoiler Entering the ranks of the mages: Frill's story :
    Frill was nerveously tripping through the corridors of the palace. The fancy colours and beautiful flourishes on his best outfit did not please him like it usually did, and his puppets were slowly lacking behind him, carrying his spellbook and magic lexica. He stopped outside of the door to the great throne room for a moment, wiping the sweat off his forehead and smoothening back his hair before refitting the hat. It's bells ringed, somehow too loud for his serious situation. His puppet finally caught up with him, and he picked the books up off it before turning to the guard.

    The guard was a huge man, draped in long yellow and red robes. In his hand he held a crude tool that Frill was quite sure would horribly rend anything trying to enter unasked for. The guard took a single look at him. "No Books. The Momus has decreed that no-one can bring magical effects into the throne chamber."

    Frill seriously considered arguing with the man for a second, but eventually turned around and returned the books to the puppet, who walked off towards his chamber. He took a deep breath as the guard opened the door.

    The throne room was amazing. It arched up to the very height of the palace, with spangled banners hanging from it. The throne of the jester king was of ivory, and placed on a small elevation, three stairsteps high. On it sat Perpentach, smiling to himself. A small table was situated in front of the king, and the tablecloth was in emerald green, with golden snakes brothered onto it.

    The room was unnervingly empty. In fact, only one person besides the king and Frill was present; a tall, Balmesque man who Frill recognized as the Mimic captain. He stood perfectly still, not even blinking, hands clenched into fists and his muscular arms down his sides. Perpentach seemed not to notice the man and turned to Frill as he neared the throne.

    "I come regarding the magic school, King. The council told me that I was ready but that you wanted to talk to me first?", he asked with more confidence than he felt. Perpentachs face was that of a man who is suddenly reminded of the forgotten coin in his backpocket. A small smile showed.

    "Aye, that is true,
    you see what I do,
    is ask you a riddle now,
    and then take your vow,
    providing you solve it of course,
    if not you will spend your life feeding my horse."


    Frill nodded, despite the knowledge that the king had not owned a mount for years. The job sounded boring, but getting access to the mage guild would be worth the risk. He nodded. "I understand, my king."

    "Very well then, here we go,
    keep your ears peeled though,
    I will not repeat and I will not reply,
    and you have one and only one try:"

    Frill felt a drop of sweat fall run down across his left temple as the king spoke out the riddle:

    "Draped in the gown of sorrow I ride,
    From my eyes no mortal man can hide,
    I have seen the tallest peak and the deepest pit,
    And though I do not care one bit for it,
    I am often preceded by my dreadful fame,
    I ask you now, what is my name?"

    Frill concentrated on remembering the riddle, but the presence of the paralyzed mimic and the gaze of the king distracted him. He felt Perpentach easily sink into his mind and reading it as his thoughts formed...

    The name of a rider that has crossed the entire world and who cared not for his fame... His dreadful fame, infact. He had to be an evil person... Frill thought of the legend of Rosier the Fallen, but realized that he did not fit the description perfectly well... He remembered Perpentach having used the word "mortal"... perhaps the rider himself was immortal?

    Frill thought about the riddle for almost half an hour. In between, he was distracted again as the mimic captain loosened his positure and left Perpentach a short comment before exiting the room: "That concludes my demonstration of the luchuirp battle golems. I hope it can be of some use."

    Finally, Frill raised his head to look at the jester. The king was already smiling, surely having read the answer Frill had concluded from his mind. The thought unnerved Frill alot, but he did not let his emotions shake his decision. Sweating heavily now, he looked up at the king and replied: "My name, king of jesters, is Ars."

    The king's smile widened. It seemed to Frill like an eternity passed, before the king finally nodded.
    "Your answer is right, adept.
    know my word will be kept:
    Sink to your knees and give me your oath,
    and the title of mage is yours to hold."

    Frill felt ecstacy overwhelm his mind as he fell to his knees and absent-mindedly gave the king his oath. He was thinking of his future. More than all, he was thinking of how to celebrate the occassion. He would go to the Theatre of Wonders, and then, perhaps later, he would see if he could find Pozzia and pay her for some of her Sundown Weeds, or perhaps just her company for the night....

    He felt embarrassed as he realized that he had finished the oath already, and that Perpentach was still reading his mind. But the king seemed to be in a good mood today, because he merely smiled and dismissed Frill with the following words:

    "Go and enjoy the lights of Jubilee tonight,
    but remember your word in times of fight,
    Get some Sundown and laugh or cry,
    and if you see Poz, tell her I said hi."

    Dazzled, but smiling, Frill left the throne room
     
  16. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    Great story! But now we need one showing us what happens when the poor guy answers incorrectly.
     
  17. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,527
    Location:
    Dancing in the Dark
    Haha! If I feel like it, I could write that one... Later, though :p
     
  18. .Arawyn.

    .Arawyn. Perp's Lil' Helper

    Joined:
    May 14, 2011
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Jubilee
    heh heh, just like me :D
     

Share This Page