Age of Wonders thread IV

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Libra
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:30 am

Voltron, as an ancient, decaying power that somehow continues to bestride vast domains after centuries of byzantine civil strife and scheming, animated by religious obsession and superiority complex, defended by outlandish soldiers and copious amounts of flaming chemicals (to the point where ashes are ruled over as often as good green earth) one might very well argue that The Imperium ALREADY bears a strong resemblance to the very late Roman Empire (Eastern OR Western). :wink:


Charles, a few comments;
The Stone, being a creation of the End, rested in the crown of the Roman Emperors before moving to the Chinese then to the British and finally unto the Americans.
Possibly as part of a diplomatic gift from the British to the Americans to celebrate the Arrow Incident (the first time British and US military personnel are known to have fought alongside, rather than against one another, however unofficially); either that or the local version of the US was mad enough to declare war on Great Britain during the 20th century, reviving an old antipathy better left buried along with that hatchet under a gravestone dated 1812 (metaphorically-speaking).

In its closest historical counterpart, the corporate forces of America seized control and created Earth-92 while a Titan warped everything else into Earth-Greenworld.
One might argue that - prior to the revival of a certain unfortunate Person of Mass Destruction - Earth 632 had found itself somewhere in the middle between Greenworld and E-92 insofar as the outcome of all this misfortune had played out; Bad, but on the whole it could have been EVEN WORSE (just look at E-92, which I keep feeling some impulse to rescue if only because as it's creators we seem to have done far too good a job of working it over).
The revivalism of the faith also bore a sharp similarity to another cross-universal cult that, of course, no one on Earth-632 knew about.
Does the name start with an 'S' and will it hopefully be put to an end with a massive purge?!?
The Church of America was a nice remedy for the Great Depression, offering an exceptional white-power treatise that was flexible when it needed to be in order to provide the necessary troops and support to take over everyone's enemies.
One imagines that it ended up being more invested in SUPERHUMAN supremacy before The Sovius got bored with the opiate of the masses and decided to go cold-turkey.
By the end of the 1940s, the world was neatly divided between Joseph Stalin and President Pendleton's supremely vile philosophies.


PERSONAL philosophies, to be strictly accurate; there's nothing innately wrong with Marxism in theory, but in practice Stalin seems to have regarded idealism as something best left to sissies like Hitler and settled for The Politics of POWER (as most long-lived despots tend to).

One imagines President Pendleton as being slightly more congenial in person than Josef Stalin, but just about as warm-hearted (although I find it hard not to see him as a collection of the least attractive personal traits of Theodore Roosevelt and FDR, with a few extras).
The situation in the former Soviet Union was marginally better, though not much, so The Singularity attempted to alter time in order to fix things.


Would I be correct in deducing that The Singularity was a Soviet cosmonaut who actually had to travel back in time to try fixing history by joining The National Pledge?
Pendleton survived every single change he made or was martyred and his values infected everything.
Probably due to the nature of his existence as a fragment of a more powerful being turned into a psychic parasite 'Pendleton' was not actually bound to either a single body or to a single lifetime (making him at least partially immune to changes in The Timeline); one wonders how many such individuals are out there making Creation miserable as we speak?
That day came when the Outrageous Order dueled with the Knights of the Abyss and the Black Arbitrators came for the head of Pendleton. The Usual Suspects and Swan King were there too, seeking to steal the Stone for themselves.
It seems to have been a very busy day!
Pendleton, in fact, was nothing less than the Titan-Arbitrator Ravana and former War Chief of the Empire. A clone of the Emperor, Ravana was the template for all future generations of his genetic supermen.


I imagine that the first generation of his own 'progeny' swiftly became known as The Allfathers for reasons that should be readily deduced from their theoretical sterility and the material existence of Columbia (which argues either that they were NOT all reduced to shooting blanks in their private time or that Red Jade really IS a magician ... albeit one who exacts a high price for her services to imperious types looking to breed armies of supermen).
The Arbitrator, confronted with the ancient enemy of their kind and one of the few individuals to be labeled irredeemable by the Sealbreaker, harnessed the pure psychic power of his incorruptible spirit and against a being nearly as powerful as the Titans themselves, SOULKILLED him with a single blow.
I imagine that he was much helped by the fact that his King-of-Kings had already started the job and half-finished it for him half the life-span of a universe ago.
So she gave a simple command to the Sovius Empire that depended on her to power their tanks, starships, and warpgates.
One can imagine the consequences, but would prefer not to keep that sort of mental image lingering in my mind for very long.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:38 am

I would like some clarity on this, was Red Jade a Neo-Concordian or from Earth-17?

Plus I have an idea for what the greatest city in all of Neo-Concord (or was it Neo-Concordia?) was called.

Lexington. :wink:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:45 pm

:lol:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:29 pm

Voltron64 wrote:I would like some clarity on this, was Red Jade a Neo-Concordian or from Earth-17?
Red Jade was a mortal rather than a demigod. Specifically, she was a sword-princess hero fighting against the corrupt warlords and evildoers on Earth-17. Later, she and countless other heroes across time and space were taken back to the Primordial Era of the Nexus to do battle in the Death Zone and other eldritch locations. There, she learned magic from a number of superheroes and legendary figures as well as became friends/lovers/brothers with them. *

Of those who survived the war, the Neo-Concordians evolved to become Archons while others were banished to become Pax Concordians. The majority of mortal superheroes who came back in time had their memories wiped and were returned with no change to their bodies. Red Jade, however, and the Repairman were almost unique in maintaining their full memories. *

Note: The Order, HED's heroes, and virtually every other major group is also a veteran of this conflict.

* Which is part of the reason she's so friendly with many heroes and romantic despite being a time-spanning despot as she remembers things they may nor or haven't happened yet.
** The Repairman's willpower is Hal Jordan meets Adamantine proportions as not only does he wield the Tool without downsides but is relatively sane despite witnessing the horrors of universes burning like paper on a regular basis.

It's more or less the "Time War" of the setting and changed everything. It's also something you can't really pin a date on. It happened "in the past" only in the context of a very linear perception of time and the only reason there's so many survivors is because the Archons who "won" resurrected everyone. In fact, all the heroes died at least 10,000 or so times along with the majority of Creation.

In a very real way, the Titans and the End escaping's biggest danger is unraveling the fact the conflict NEVER happened as a lot of the horrors they teamed-up with are trapped in a state of nonexistence. It's why the Titans shouldn't be defeated again. It's why they should be somehow TRAPPED ETERNALLY because even a brief return could be a horror beyond reckoning.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:33 pm

I did figure the Primal War would be like the Time War.

Also, I bet it breaks the Repairman's heart seeing what Red Jade turned into.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:37 pm

Voltron64 wrote:I figured the Primal War would be like the Time War.

Also, I bet it breaks the Repairman's heart seeing what Red Jade turned into.
Yes, though perhaps not to the level people expect. He's as probably likely to try and recruit or redeem her as stop her--which to many is like trying to get Genghis Khan on your team. He's quite probably the only person in the world who GROKS why she would want to build a Multiversal Empire and seize the power of the Pantheon for herself. *

* Let's face it, the Pantheon is doing a **** job maintaining the End and the Titan's prisons.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:29 pm

Libra wrote:Charles, all your information regarding the Universe of E-000 has been taken on board and prompted me to wonder if the more archaic elements of the setting could be based on the ancient empires of Persia or India instead of Medieval Christendom - in some ways a little like the setting hinted at in Mr Grant Morrison's 18 Days more or less.

I also wonder if the local version of the Padishah King-of-Kings might have managed to make a Human Webway possible before becoming stuck on Terra Prime maintaining it (I cannot help but suspect that being able to avoid entering Hell just to get from point A to point B could only improve The Imperium).
The important thing to remember about Earth-000 is not its similarity to Warhammer 40K or its knock-offs (charitably, "those inspired by it"). The importance of Earth-000 is primarily the sheer staggering antiquity of the civilization. Before it became lost in the invasion from countless other realities, it was a the absolute height of human civilization possible without achieving complete transhumanism*.

* I.e. to the point one ceased to think like a human being.

Such was a conscious choice after Butlerian Jihad-style events, Skynet, and various Beware the Superman style happenings. In the end, the glorious High Human Culture may have been yet ANOTHER spawning point for the Neo-Concordians (or merely a parallel history) but ended with their limitations on ascension failing them.

Though, honestly, given they had PL 16 Primarchs slaying stars-system sized Swarms with a single blow of their GOD swords--the idea they were anti-supertech is sort of excrement.
Libra wrote:I'd argue that this is a somewhat unkind summation of the Human condition in WH40K, even if it is probably far too close to being fully accurate for my comfort (but then I have a bad habit of defending fictional characters, even those whom I like more due to shared Humanity than for any particularly good reason).
Amusingly, thanks in large part to Dan Abnett and Sandy Mitchell, the Imperium has become something much more balanced. Instead of being a Catholic Space Nazi of stupidity, they became a functional (if authoritarian) theocracy with many heroic and noble individuals. The darkest ends of their time are more like those books than their predecessors.
Libra wrote:It's quite simple really; his lady wife was the descendent of several generations of warrior-women on a distinctly Amazonian planet who'd been having a high old time killing devourers but a somewhat more difficult time making sure they STAYED dead - The Arbitrator and his brethren arrived, helped them
Love the origin.
Libra wrote:One wonders what his reaction to ... bah, I've forgotten the number of Captain Carpenter's Homeworld again ... The Arbitrator's reaction to Earth-617 was and perhaps more interestingly what the reactions of the varying natives of that particular version of reality on being confronted by The Arbitrator and his ilk were?
The Arbitrator finds Captain Carpenter's universe woefully naive but simultaneously inspirational. The inhabitants of said world look at the Arbitrator and reassure themselves they could NEVER become that violent or paranoid.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:28 pm

Libra wrote:Does the name start with an 'S' and will it hopefully be put to an end with a massive purge?!?
I'm afraid so.
Libra wrote:One imagines that it ended up being more invested in SUPERHUMAN supremacy before The Sovius got bored with the opiate of the masses and decided to go cold-turkey.
Much like Bioshock Infinite, Pendleton created a Christianity with no need for God or Jesus.

He was the Father and had preparations for his heir to replace the Son.
Libra wrote:One imagines President Pendleton as being slightly more congenial in person than Josef Stalin, but just about as warm-hearted (although I find it hard not to see him as a collection of the least attractive personal traits of Theodore Roosevelt and FDR, with a few extras).
Pendleton had a saintly patriarch figure demeanor but, in his heart, he was a embodiment of raw chaos and evil which had once required a massive 14ft tall suit of magical adamant rune-armor to contain the raw power of.
Libra wrote:It seems to have been a very busy day!
Eh, thirty gambit pile-ups are pretty common.
Libra wrote:I imagine that the first generation of his own 'progeny' swiftly became known as The Allfathers for reasons that should be readily deduced from their theoretical sterility and the material existence of Columbia (which argues either that they were NOT all reduced to shooting blanks in their private time or that Red Jade really IS a magician ... albeit one who exacts a high price for her services to imperious types looking to breed armies of supermen).
Before Ravana's betrayal where an almost Miltonian third of the Arbitrators chose to follow them, the Emperor's clones were capable of replication as well as wielding their psychic abilities. The massive devastation of their Nexus powers (imagine Superman with a Green Lantern Ring) which almost destroyed Creation. Sadly, the war slew ALL of the Emperor's descendants other than the second generation clones and he had them all vow to suppress their psychic powers and sterialize themselves.

This did not sit well with all of them and one chose to work with Red Jade to conceive a child magically (with technology to help since their sterility was enforced with multiple methods). The Arbitrators WERE capable of sexual congress, however, unlike as your story says. It just took, uh, rather tall and formidable women to do so with less injury happen. :oops: :| :shock:

Most contented themselves with drive suppressants, monastic mind-focus techniques, or a little TOO much relish in combat.

The Arbitrator, by himself, is less celibate than largely uninterested in the subject after close to 38,000 years of life. Much like the Doctor he's danced, he's danced well, and he's danced in ways that would make you blush in ways you can't comprehend but it's a pretty baroque sexual experience that tempts him from his meditations and study of the Imperial texts nowadays.

This is unlike the Justicar who is simply uninterested in sex unless it involves mind-control pheremones, being about a 2 on the Sexuality scale of 1-100.
Libra wrote: I imagine that he was much helped by the fact that his King-of-Kings had already started the job and half-finished it for him half the life-span of a universe ago.
Soulkilling is actually comparatively rare in the universe and has only happened three times total. All of whom were "Irredeemables" since that is the only way to make it so a soul doesn't regenerate. A soul must prefer oblivion to redemption.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Phrozen » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:24 pm

Well, Justicar 0 usually spends his time rolling around Los Angeles taking on Rampart. He considers Rampart even worse than the Necro-Justicars who have a higher body count but are much less insidious.

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:51 pm

Good call!

:mrgreen:

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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:22 pm

I will not be posting anything tonight, but may have something ready by tomorrow.

Stay well everybody! :mrgreen:
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Voltron64 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:49 pm

One thing I think really sums up on how to be a great hero in Age of Wonders and how No Plan Survives Contact With the PCs can be used awesomely.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0931.html

8)
Last edited by Voltron64 on Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:31 am

How could we possibly disagree? :mrgreen:

I have to admit that I really DO hope that General Tarquin is wiped from the playing field by Captain Julio Scoundrel, because quite frankly this is one of my favourite moments in Order of the Stick (and I love this particular webcomic), but also because I frankly LOATHE Tarquin - not least for subjecting his children, Elan AND Nale to such abuse for the sake of his own Pride.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Charles Phipps » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:24 am

The KOA's Fellowship of the Fallen

The Knights of the Abyss have a rather lengthy history given the King in Shadows has been working for the End since the end of the Primordial War. This is less impressive than you might think. Given the End was imprisoned after the Primordial War, this means the King in Shadow has actually been free for large epochs of the Nexus' history.

Many of the End's more recently born/corrupted lieutenants have actually served him far longer due to the ridiculousness of time travel. Humorously, the King is the youngest of the group as well as its leader despite and because of being an immortal god.

The Knights of the Abyss have gone through numerous iterations in the direct service of the King in Shadows but have served as the inspiration for similar teams under the command of his rival members of the Nine. Their comparative unknown status in the modern era is because the last incarnation of the team is lost to antiquity. Beings like Rozarak the Undying, who served at length in one of the team's incarnations, know of them as do some of the evil-doers on the Satrap Earth.

For the most part, though, the Knights of the Abyss are a story which has mutated across the years. Its members entering stasis or dwelling in the Dark Dimension ruled by the King in Shadows.
This is a false claim as the Dark Dimension is neither ruled by the King nor a product of his sorcery. In fact, the Knights of the Abyss are based out of The Seething Place controlled by Golgothika the Reaper.

The Reaper was long a Titan secretly allied with the End and has long held a truce with that being. He has hoped to study the End's powers and immortality to seize for himself as well as create a new dimension the Titans rule by plunging all of reality into the Seething Place so they can "end death" by living in an immortal "paradise" ruled by him.
The original Knights of the Abyss were nine but whether that number was coincidental, inspired by Rozarak, or inspired by the End (who may have been inspired by others) is anyone's case. Five of its number have fallen through the years, however, in its latest incarnation and their names are still remembered. While death is usually final in the Nexus, such may not be the case for its greatest advocates.

The Lost and Forgotten: This is not a title so much as a state of being. The King in Shadows is a hard man to horrify. The Lost and Forgotten has had a thorough removal of his presence from the Nexus. Every record of him (or her) has been destroyed. Every reference has been deleted. Every memory of tnem has been eradicated, even from the King himself. Finally, somehow, they managed to hijack the World Tree in order to eradicate his true name. This means the being, theoretically, not only doesn't exist but never has existed. Only the telling absence in the heads of those who know what to look for bespeaks that the being has ever existed at all.

The Forsworn Knight Who Betrays Their King: The Lancelot legend is a fabrication by French poets and never actually existed. However, there WAS a knight who did something quite similar to their King and wife in such a way that ended their kingdom. The Forsworn Knight complicated the issue a good deal more because this particular figure was also a Saint blessed by a set of Catholic Aeons called the Circle of Thorns to protect The Chalice. As long as SHE was true to Arthur, her love, and celibate servant of said cause--the Chalice of the End would bring life rather than take it.

Well, things went pear-shaped and the Forsworn Knight drank from the newly corrupted Chalice to embrace emptiness as a way of dealing with her grief. The Forsworn Knight ended their career of genocide and destruction with the Charming Knights reuniting the Forsworn Knight with Arthur and Guinevere's spirit as the pair gave her the strength to rebel against their master. The Forsworn Knight perhaps didn't earn her way into Heaven but she turned against the King, attempted to slay him, and died trying to do the right thing. As a result, the Circle of Thorns welcomed her soul into the Archon Gate to join the rest of the fallen Knights who wore the militant cross for protection than conquest.

The Silver Prince Who Conquers the World: Alexander III of Macedon has many alternate doubles of himself. Only one of them, however, dwelled in a God of War-esque world where his legendary exploits and deification were really the least of his adventures. The Alexander of this world took his assassination by his 300-esque super-powered Greek martial arts warrior Generals badly--considering it bad form to slay one's ruler even if they had taken the habit of treating you as lackies.

Pledging himself to Thanatos, the Silver Prince received a second chance at life at the hands of the King in Shadows. The Silver Prince remained a perpetual thorn in the sides of his fellow Abyss Knights from day one. His loathing of Weeping Jade (motivated by jealousy over her place of affection in the King's heart), contempt of the Amazon, disdain for the Champion's fallen morality, and more won him few friends. Still, his power-lust and strategizing quickly made him the strongest of the Knights. He cast down the King in Shadows, assumed his place, and began plotting his takeover of the Nexus.

In the end, the Knights of the Abyss couldn't stand being "led" by him. So they ganged up with the Nine Lords of Death to rescue the imprisoned King in Shadows before slaying the Silver Prince en masse.

The Sorceress With Burning Eyes: As has been mentioned, Earth-Cabal was not the only stomping ground of the Titans. Sadly, their influence had been leaking through for some time by the period Pendulum lead to said world's destruction. The Sorceress with Burning Eyes was the result of a Sanctity cult successfully conjuring an avatar of Omnicide to impregnate one of their own.

Raised as the messiah of said cult, she quickly found herself repulsed and horrified by their sick rituals. Joining with a group of heroic freedom fighters, albeit young ones, she worked against the Sanctity on a dozen worlds--fighting against the Daemonite Carnalvore, Knight of Torment and the Vanguardeon.

Unfortunately, not all stories have a happy ending and Omnicide revealed he could possess her at any time late in her career. Slaughtering her friends and teammates, he opened a Dark Gate with a series of monoliths and devoured the entirety of her homeworld. As a final insult to injury, Omnicide left the Sorceress with Burning Eyes alive and the full power of a Titan.

It was simplicity to convince her to join the Abyss knights for a chance at the power to slay the Titans forever. The Celestial Conductor, the incarnation of her "good side" eventually obliterated her completely as a mercy killing.

The Lord of Blood and Damnation Who Rules With An Iron Fist: Dracula. Specifically, an incarnation of Vlad the Impaler who was given enough magical power and supernatural hinkiness by the King in Shadows to be full-Castlevania rather than "merely" Bram Stroker. Dracula was an eternal rival with Lord Ruthven on Earth-Cabal and while the latter was an underdog due to the End's magic running through Vlad's veins--he was never quite able to defeat his opponent completely.

The Lord of Blood and Damnation was, surprisingly enough, a fairly congenial sort. With the exception of a wicked desire to murder every single Muslim in the Caliphate and strange Zamar with his own entrails, Vlad got along with every single member of the team. Even the Silver Prince and they were bosom companions. A cultured and pleasant chap, it was only rarely he revealed he was a genocidal maniac out to slaughter the world so they could build a newer and better reality.

The Lord of Blood and Damnation ended his mortality with his soul being trapped by Mister Arcane, his "true" body (a massive bat-monster several hundred feet tall and long) eradicated in a grandiose manner by a collection of vampire-hunting heroes from a variety of timelines and worlds. Mister Arcane has hidden the ring containing Vlad's soul very well but not so much he couldn't be restored if it was found.
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Re: Age of Wonders thread IV

Post by Libra » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:42 am

YIKES! :shock:

I shall have to think a bit about these characters before I can make a sensible reply, but I think we can safely say that you would not have wanted to cross any of them without EPIC back-up!
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