Age of Wonders thread IV

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Libra
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:16 pm

Will do, Libra. Thank you for your thoughts. I'll pass them along to Kat.


Just keep her purring and you should both be alright. :wink:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:19 pm

Libra wrote:
The Titans love fairy tales.

They don't like the modern Disneyfied ones, except maybe as a source of irony, but are individuals who live and breathe the glory dark ones.


I have this horrible mental image that, on Earth-Cabal at least, Mr Walt Disney didn't get very far in show business due to a sudden, terrible case of murder (to be more precise, being offerred up to the Ancient Ones as part of that years sacrifices), at least unless the Hollywood chapter or equivalent of The Knights Charming looked sharp and moved swiftly (it's probable that even if they retrieved him Mr Disney might have had to spend his life in hiding, all the while subject to scrutiny from unmentionable, unfriendly THINGS).

Goodness me, a crossover between Disney and Lovecraft; now there's a mental image of suppress!


I don't know, I see it more like this.

For some reason, I think pulp heroes like Doc Savage, the Shadow, Tarzan etc. would be interesting foe for Cthulhu. They tend to be resistant to mindscrews, and their reaction to the whole "Humans are insignificant bugs" thing would be less horror than annoyance ("The lousy so-and-sos, who do they think they are?...").


That or something heavily reminiscent of the later part of Final Fantasy VI.

Welcome, friends! I knew you'd make it here, so I've prepared some suitable entertainment for you!

How long are you going to let the destruction continue?

Kefka: I've tapped into the ultimate power. Observe...!

Kefka: Such magnificent power! You are like insects to me!

Kefka: I will exterminate everyone, and everything!

People will keep rebuilding the things you take from them!

Kefka: Then I'll destroy those too. Kefka: Why do people rebuild things they know are going to be destroyed? Kefka: Why do people cling to life when they know they can't live forever? Kefka: Think how meaningless each of your lives is!

It's not the net result of one's life that's important! It's the day-to-day concerns, the personal victories, and the celebration of life... and love! It's enough if people are able to experience the joy that each day can bring!

Kefka: And have you found your "joy" in this nearly dead world of ours?

Yes!

Terra: I know what love is...!

Locke: And I have learned to celebrate life... and the living.

Cyan: My family lives on inside of me.

Shadow: I know what friendship is... and family...

Edgar: It is my dream to build a kingdom in which I can guarantee freedom and dignity.

Sabin: I have come to experience anew the love of my brother...

Celes: I've met someone who can accept me for what I am.

Strago: I have a special little Granddaughter!

Relm: And I have a brave Grandpa who'll stand by me through it all.

Setzer: My friend's airship... and her love!

Mog: I have my friends here!

Gau: You my friends! Me uwaooo all of you!

Kefka: This is sickening... You sound like chapters from a self-help booklet! Kefka: Prepare yourselves!

Kefka: Now, for my next trick, I will make you all... disappear!

Kefka, you don't know what you're doing! Stop!

Kefka: I command the greatest power in the universe! Kefka: You are all helpless before me!

Kefka: I will destroy everything... I will create a monument to non-existence!

Life will go on! There will always be people, and dreams!

Kefka: No! I will hunt them down. I will destroy it all! Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!!

We will not allow you to harm another living thing.

Kefka: Hee, hee, hee!! But what fun is destruction if no "precious" lives are lost?

It's over, Kefka!
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:31 pm

The Knights of Charming

Love is a peculiar emotion. For most people, it is devoted to a very small group of people. Their parents, their spouses, their children, and possibly a rare friend. For others, it is a greater emotion devoted to the world as a whole. During the chivalric period, the knights of Europe attempted to drag themselves out of barbarism by celebrating love as a means of elevating themselves. Romance was intimately tied to fantasy and idealism.

While the founder of the Knights of Charming's story has been told already, it was actually his son who started the order. A man who ALSO started the unfortunate tendency to mirror the Forsworn Knight's tragedy. Said man, Alfonso Dante (not his real name but the alias he used in love-letters), was love-sick knight who seduced a nun, compelling her to suicide, and who promptly spent the rest of his existence atoning by fighting the Titans influence on Earth-Cabal. While a Christian warrior, he found himself breaking away from the Church due to the use of empathic magics.

Alfonso used his lost love as a channel for the holy power of YHWH and later, "Saint Aphrodite" and "Saint Cupid." The combination of Jewish mysticism with Roman paganism ultimately resulted in the knight being burnt at the stake but his example resulted in the creation of a secret order of gallants who believed that love was the only power capable of defeating the Titans.

Alfonso Dante, should be noted to have been one of the biggest badasses who ever lived. While many found his love poetry dreadful and his focus on romance over demon hunting idiotic, they generally stopped their cricisisms when they found out he slaughtered his way through the Titanverse to rescue his lost love's soul. Say what you will about love as a weapon being stupid, it fricking WORKS.


Part of the reason for the Knights of Charming success is that their magics are specifically designed around defense of those they care about as well as striking at those who have no love in their hearts. As a result, the Titans usual tactics of targeting loved ones or corruption through seduction fail miserably since "rescuing their lost love from a terrible monster carrying them off" is precisely what the Knights of Charming DO.

The nature of their magic also compels the minions of evil to try and take their captives alive whenever possible, not to mention unspoiled, as long as the Knights love remains pure. This has lead to hundreds of hostage situations where the Knights knock down their enemies like bowling pins before heroically waking their loves up with a kiss.


The Knights of Charming generally come in two varieties with the actual knights and Mystics of Venus. The latter are wizards devoted to the cause of love rather than warriors. It is, traditionally, a role for women but has just as many male members. The Mystics of Venus are capable of great feats in terms of healing, curse-breaking, and banishment. They're even capable of raising the dead, though this feat is not something they can do consciously.

The Knights of Charming do not discriminate against the forms of love which take, provided it does not harm anyone, though this is more due to the fact the majority of the organization was destroyed with Earth-Cabal and a more liberal chapter is all that remains. Gay members of the Knights have often been discriminated against and this actually weakens the powers of the group as a whole when it happens. Even women have been known to have difficulty joining the group outside of the mystics due to chauvinism being something the group has been occasionally corrupted by.

With the destruction of Earth Cabal, only a single chapterhouse of the Knights of Charming remains. Of the dozen remaining knights, eight have chosen to remain in Grimmsbrooke with two of those having been immobilized. The four which escaped Grimmsbrooke, however, have been attempting to spread the secrets of their order abroad. The four are viewed as somewhat quixotic figures since chivalry is really most sincerely dead on Earth-0.

On a somewhat salacious note, while every Knight of Charming has a "true love" this does not generally prevent them from romance with others. While every Knight of Charming is completely faithful to their loved ones if that is what they desire, they tend to marry in their group and it's resulted in a somewhat libertine attitude to sex.

Given their abilities enhance their Charisma spectacularly, with some literally possessing supernatural beauty, it is generally very easy for them to find partners. Even more noteworthy, said partners seem to always seem happy with them no matter how brief the affair.

Virginal and chaste Knights of Charming certainly exist and are a very visible minority. It's just their way is considered significantly less fun--if perhaps more 'pure.' The most common path for a Knight of Charming, however, is to serve as a dashing romantic with many romances before one finds one true love, settles down, and remains faithful ever after. The children of said unions are often numerous as well as extremely well-cared for.


In addition to slaying monsters related to the Titans, Knights of Charming defend the defenseless with children and those being abused by a loved one particular targets. They don't necessarily kill these targets but often brutalize them before using magic to forcing the abusers to confess their sins to the police. Curses are also popular. The Knights of Charming are particular enemies of Rapine and Abuse Daemonites and hunt these monsters down ruthlessly.

Knights of Charming lose their powers when they harm their true loves, destroy a couple's happiness, or generally act in a manner which undermines love. Given they're roving Casanovas as often as chaste Galahads, this is a rather peculiarly fine line to walk.

The Knights of Charming make use of armor, swords, and other noble attire. However, they're quite capable of modernizing themselves as well. Still, guns and explosives are generally considered to be unromantic weapons. At least a few disregard weapons entirely and beat their way through opponents Double Dragon and River City Ransom style. Whatever the case, as long as they have love in their hearts, their attacks are lethal to Titan-based creatures.

Finally, it should be noted Knights of Charming pay a price for their abilities. As long as they serve the cause of love, they will lead interesting lives (in the Chinese sense). The Aeons of Love which inspired the various love-goddesses of the world guide love-sick couples, vampires seeking to become human for their loved ones, and sleeping princesses right to the knight's doorsteps. Their true loves are often guided to them as well, frequently people in staggeringly bad situations with a tendency to get kidnapped. Those married to Knights often find themselves having to get used to an almost Princess Peach-like lifestyle.
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:48 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:35 pm

Awesome Libra!

Thanks!

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:43 pm

What are the prime thematic difference between Grimmsbrooke and Deerford anyway Charles?
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Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:03 pm

Voltron64 wrote:Personally I still wonder how the High Aeons have responded to Torment curb-stomping them?

Not to mention how did he manage to pull it off in the first place?


The important thing to remember is Torment's victory was NOT matching raw power for raw power. That is the mistake virtually everyone makes against the High Aeons. The High Aeons can more or less throw down with everyone in a fight. However, they're out of practice throwing down with anyone who can actually fight back. They're not ENTIRELY so as their achievement in Germany shows but even then it was their team-work which won the day. A team-work which was distinctly lacking when they drastically overestimated their chances against Torment.

He employed a combination of psychological tactics, extraordinarily well-designed robots based on the Order, and his own knowledge of both science as well as mysticism to defeat them. He also divided and conquered.

Really, his goal was not to kill them (which would have sent them back to the Aetherium) but shatter their confidence. Which he did handily.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:06 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:
Voltron64 wrote:Personally I still wonder how the High Aeons have responded to Torment curb-stomping them?

Not to mention how did he manage to pull it off in the first place?


The important thing to remember is Torment's victory was NOT matching raw power for raw power. That is the mistake virtually everyone makes against the High Aeons. The High Aeons can more or less throw down with everyone in a fight. However, they're out of practice throwing down with anyone who can actually fight back. They're not ENTIRELY so as their achievement in Germany shows but even then it was their team-work which won the day. A team-work which was distinctly lacking when they drastically overestimated their chances against Torment.

He employed a combination of psychological tactics, extraordinarily well-designed robots based on the Order, and his own knowledge of both science as well as mysticism to defeat them. He also divided and conquered.

Really, his goal was not to kill them (which would have sent them back to the Aetherium) but shatter their confidence. Which he did handily.


With the exception of Marduk, who knew damn well what Torment was trying to pull.
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Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:06 pm

Note, Inanna has a vested interest in the Knights of Charming.

Who knows what her reaction to Grimmsbrooke will be.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:17 pm

Voltron64 wrote:What are the prime thematic difference between Grimmsbrooke and Deerford anyway Charles?


More or less the difference between Twin Peaks/Silent Hill and Grimm. One is more or less a creepy town full of normal people living on the edge of a Stephen King nightmare. The second is a town full of the supernatural that is fully capable of taking care of itself. Deerford is probably doomed but Grimmsbrooke is a nice place to live if you can avoid being hexed.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:19 pm

Charles Phipps wrote:Note, Inanna has a vested interest in the Knights of Charming.

Who knows what her reaction to Grimmsbrooke will be.


Bad sh*t will happen, of course. After all, she's not a goddess of love, she's a goddess of lust.
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Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby greycrusader » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:38 pm

The case files of the Esoterics since the Red Riding Hood incident and the reformation of the team under Hell Dragon (Lucien Drake from the Patriots Unlimited Universe):

Wiped out a squad of aquatic undead Nazi commandoes near the Bimini atoll, having tracked down their existence from an old journal of a surviving victim of their attacks.

In a similar vein, they journeyed to Scandinavia and summoned an army of Partisan zombies to destroy a platoon of Nazi zombies who were being sustained by cursed gold coins. Hell Dragon afterward melted down the coins to forge a mystic crucifix.

Dealt with a Giant Troll infestation while still in the northern climes; the Trolls were a lost tribe from Middle Zoth who meant no real harm to humans, but their tremendous stature and irascible nature made conflict inevitable. They managed to gather the creatures and send them back to their home universe.

Cleansed the waters of the Rhine, which had been tainted with ZaAt, a product of dark alchemy which was transforming fish into walking horrors; they tracked down and eliminated the human-Piscean hybrid responsible for the carnage, arriving just in time to save a female scientist whom the creature was changing into a suitable mate.

Located and destroyed a set of V/H/S tapes which drove viewers to madness, death, and rebirth as
murderous revenants. The Daemonite who previously caused the tapes to propagate (and reconstitute if damaged in any way) was exorcised.

Rescued a group of tourists in a Louisiana swamp from a vicious, hatchet-wielding corporeal ghost; the Esoterics then razed the cabin which anchored the ghost to the material world and rendered proper last rites to the young man's bones, setting his soul at rest.

Battled a winged monster in the American Midwest, a creature that targeted teens and twenty-somethings, stealing body parts to regenerate its' own grotesque form. The Estoterics dismembered the thing, dropped the head into a vat of molten lead, and buried the other body parts across the far ends of the Earth.

Cleansed an apartment complex in Toulouse, France of mass Daemonic possession, rescuing all the remaining living residents. The building remains under quarantine due to a heavy overflow of ectoplasm

In Italy, they closed a gate to a hell-dimension which had been opened by the Titans, slaying the fiends set to guard the portal and freeing a pair of innocent people trapped in a nether realm. Before leaving Italy, the Esoterics also ended the threat of the Witches Three, a coven which had escaped from Cologne.

Travelled to Mexico and lifted the curse of lycanthropy from a man identified only as 'N"; as his nature would soon bring the curse or one like it back upon him, they transported him to a parallel where the supernatural holds only a feeble sway.

(Figured the Esoterics had to pull even with the Whisperers' exploits, and under Drake's leadership they have the drive to do so).

All my best.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Phrozen » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:50 pm

Looks like Grey has been watching a bunch of horror movies.

I do believe that the spirit they put to rest in Louisiana required some jazz to be played.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:53 pm

Bravo!

Great stuff, greycrusader!

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Libra » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:00 am

Thank you for the kind words Charles; please know that I continue to send out my best wishes for Mrs Phipps recovery and your own health by all suitable frequencies.


Grey Crusader, thanks to that well-written articles of yours I can see that Herr Mueller has been taking it easy during his working retirement on E-0. :wink:


At this point I must admit to having recently devoted more of my time to working out what I want to post next than to typing up articles! In the interests of my own peace of mind I would appreciate you fellows helping me break the tie - would you rather see me post something about Earth-51* or something to do with Middle-Zoth?**

The choice, as the man said, is YOURS.

(I'm not really feeling any particular inspiration to post the second-generation Lamplighters, since I'm not sure my take on them is sufficiently distinct from their inspirations so that will have to wait on another burst of creativity leading back to E-86).

*Concerning the field-team of Unique Special Assets and the world across which they are employed to keep the rad-madness (and Reds) down to manageable levels.

**More generally concerned with that world and my take on some of the ideas concerning it posted across the last few AoW threads.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Postby Voltron64 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:01 am

Libra wrote:Thank you for the kind words Charles; please know that I continue to send out my best wishes for Mrs Phipps recovery and your own health by all suitable frequencies.


Grey Crusader, thanks to that well-written articles of yours I can see that Herr Mueller has been taking it easy during his working retirement on E-0. :wink:


At this point I must admit to having recently devoted more of my time to working out what I want to post next than to typing up articles! In the interests of my own peace of mind I would appreciate you fellows helping me break the tie - would you rather see me post something about Earth-51* or something to do with Middle-Zoth?**

The choice, as the man said, is YOURS.

(I'm not really feeling any particular inspiration to post the second-generation Lamplighters, since I'm not sure my take on them is sufficiently distinct from their inspirations so that will have to wait on another burst of creativity leading back to E-86).

*Concerning the field-team of Unique Special Assets and the world across which they are employed to keep the rad-madness (and Reds) down to manageable levels.

**More generally concerned with that world and my take on some of the ideas concerning it posted across the last few AoW threads.


You know the answer is gonna be both, Libra. :wink:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra


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