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  • The Deathlords

    Seeming an abandoned thread of a similar theme, I find myself a bit curious about the Deathlords and what they're likely to be "themed" after concerning the whole "themes of the deathlords inherent in Abyssal charms" this edition. So let's chat about it.

    Here's my thoughts; what're yours?

    The Lover Clad in a Rainment of Tears- Classic Succuvamp sort of undead critter. She's clearly a ghost all about jealousy. The source of what I imagine will be the Socalize "Succubus Arts" after they've been toned down to be less squick.

    The Mask of Winters - Freaky Asian body-horror meets The Lich. Ambitious, powerful, this is a ghost who wants domination over the living. I mean, hell, Behemoth is forced to crawl on hands and knees under the metaphorical boot of the Mask's own citadel. The Uber Nephwrack in a way. I'm guessing Presence and Occult here.

    The First and Foresaken Lion - The classic "Ghost in a suit of possessed armor" meets Sauron kind of thing. Very typical sort of mad evil overlord. Likely the source of much of this whole theme of noblesse oblidge and Abyssal armor/Resistance charms.

    The Bishop of the Chalcedony Thuribule - Biiiiig on Nihilisim. The ghostly archetype he aligns to, I have no idea. Probably Performance (Prayer charms anyone?) especially Oratory.

    The Bodhisattva Anointed by Dark Water - A more subtle take on "The Dark Lord on his Dark Throne" sort methinks. Bureacracy charms almost surely, especially with the whole "bargaining" thing he does a great deal.

    Princess Magnificent with Lips of Coral and Robes of Black Feathers - "The Creepy Child" perhaps? Ringu yet moreso than the Shoat of the Mire? Honestly I'm not sure.

    The Walker in Darkness - He seems to be the "refined" sort of feature of vampires and malevolent yet apparently composed ghosts. He's also the sort of "Vampire General" archetype. War charms?

    Eye and Seven Despairs - The ghost of betrayal and murder. Presumably themed around the idea of the Revenant, the animated body of a murdered and slain foe who returns to haunt his murderers. The possessor and the deciever, so a deep connection to the Nemissary arts I'd imagine. Larceny and Socialize/deception charms? Stealth and disguse perhaps? Especially to seem unthreatening.

    The Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils - The sort of "transformed by rage" ghost. Sort of modern horror movie, lots of slime and smeared blood. A connection to Mortwights maybe? Apparently very petty and savage. Maybe Brawl and Melee charms to channel da raeg?


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  • #2
    Originally posted by Arian Dynas View Post
    The source of what I imagine will be the Socalize "Succubus Arts" after they've been toned down to be less squick.
    ​Comparing to the Solar Charms, they actually seem a lot more like Presence.

    ​For my own bias, I would want the Lover to be less about sex specifically and more about a kind of craving for life and vitality crossed over with a desire to undermine the credibility of things that motivate life and kinship.

    ​EDIT: Plus, I'd like it if they might draw in some of the more martial elements from the description provided in the First Edition core book, partially because I liked some of the imagery in its own right, and partially because there's something unfortunate about the way gender divisions are expressed in the Deathlords.

    Originally posted by Arian Dynas
    The Bishop of the Chalcedony Thuribule - Biiiiig on Nihilisim. The ghostly archetype he aligns to, I have no idea. Probably Performance (Prayer charms anyone?) especially Oratory.
    ​The preview had a list of suggestions for him: dark evangelism, infecting people’s Intimacies and Virtues, cultforming Leadership actions, magically binding suicide pacts, brainwashing torture, and blood-drinking/soul-eating/cannibalism.

    Originally posted by Arian Dynas
    Eye and Seven Despairs - The ghost of betrayal and murder. Presumably themed around the idea of the Revenant, the animated body of a murdered and slain foe who returns to haunt his murderers. The possessor and the deciever, so a deep connection to the Nemissary arts I'd imagine. Larceny and Socialize/deception charms? Stealth and disguse perhaps? Especially to seem unthreatening.
    ​A lot of this seems to stem from elements of backstory and conduct that aren't likely to be carried forward.
    Last edited by Isator Levi; 02-02-2018, 06:33 PM.


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    • #3
      I think it would be more informative to compare Deathlords to mythological gods of death, rather than to archetypes from ghost stories.


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      • #4
        Ooh ooh ooh! Please tell meone of those gods is Kelemvor

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        • #5
          Princess Magnificent as she currently is could provide Stealth Charms given she is "out-of-the-way/ hardly seen or heard". She is likely manipulating things behind the scenes that no one is aware of.

          MAYBE she is like a "final destination" type of death - things happening with little reason behind it. Disaster and accidents with seemingly no cause. Very assassin like.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Robert Vance View Post
            I think it would be more informative to compare Deathlords to mythological gods of death
            ​Could you give us an example?

            Besides Hel of Norse Mythology.


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            • #7
              If Eye and Seven Despairs inspires any abilities, it's got to be Craft and Medicine. That's what he did in 1st ed, anyway.




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              • #8
                One needs to be very wealthy and use wralth as a tool, as per Pluto (the Roman god. Not the PLANET! or former Maiden)

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                • #9
                  Ehhh, Death Gods. These are the ones I could think of off the top of my head:

                  Hel, Izanami, Hades, Pluto, Osiris, Yama.

                  ---

                  So I googled it. Here's a wiki list:

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_death_deities

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NullApostle View Post
                    Ehhh, Death Gods. These are the ones I could think of off the top of my head:

                    Hel, Izanami, Hades, Pluto, Osiris, Yama.

                    ---

                    So I googled it. Here's a wiki list:

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_death_deities
                    Lords Xibalba informed a member of the Stygia council(Thirteen Death I think...).


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vampire hunter D View Post
                      One needs to be very wealthy and use wralth as a tool, as per Pluto (the Roman god. Not the PLANET! or former Maiden)
                      If that doesn't sound like the Silver Prince I don't know what does.

                      Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                      If Eye and Seven Despairs inspires any abilities, it's got to be Craft and Medicine. That's what he did in 1st ed, anyway.

                      On what logic do you think?

                      Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                      ​A lot of this seems to stem from elements of backstory and conduct that aren't likely to be carried forward.
                      Oh I dunno. I got this from the 1e interpretation, and him using his own apparent murder as a "teaching tool" to show the ultimate futility of trying to defy him and the sort of "weight of Oblivion" kind of thing seems absolutely "Deathlord-y" without needing to dip into the "Eye and Seven Despairs is a loser" thing. It shows him as an arch manipulator, a cool operator, and a downright vicious planner.

                      And concerning the Bishop, I knew that stuff ;p I was more talking what kind of "Ghost Story Archetype" he was. But since that seems to be a flawed way of thinking... I get kind of the impression of Osiris from him; a slain king, his body mutilated, sitting in judgement upon the earth? Or maybe Pluto/Hades? Given his nihilistic dispassion? Then again he's a histrionic sort when he's speaking about his evangelical pursuits, so....
                      Last edited by Arian Dynas; 02-03-2018, 04:50 PM.


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                      • #12
                        Hmm... aren't all of the Deathlords supposed to be kind of rich? At the same time that material wealth is kind of irrelevant in the Underworld compared to being able to reap blood and prayer?

                        ​I feel as though drawing on that particular element of Pluto or Hades doesn't quite work, because in their case it was a consequence of how they believed that the Underworld was literally underground; he had mastery of mineral deposits because everything below the surface was his domain.

                        ​Still, it doesn't quite need to be one-to-one... something more like the idea of one of them having a special dispensation over the substrata of the Underworld, and the mythical resources that arise out of the Neverborn.

                        ​With the Bodhisattva, I would imagine that his main material benefit comes from having engineered a society in which the living are subservient to the dead; I imagine a lot of light and life and colour gets poured into the coffers of honoured ancestors, in a way exceeding most other places where they're worshipped, or even where they dominate.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                          Hmm... aren't all of the Deathlords supposed to be kind of rich? At the same time that material wealth is kind of irrelevant in the Underworld compared to being able to reap blood and prayer?
                          Considering who they used to be and how important they are, I'd be surprised if the even had material concerns in the first place. Bodhisattva is the only one who explicitly traffics in wealth to the best of my knowledge, and that's so he can use his silver to leverage control over the West


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sorcerous Overlord View Post

                            Considering who they used to be and how important they are, I'd be surprised if the even had material concerns in the first place.
                            ​You probably have people working under you, they need to be paid, and that money needs to come from somewhere.

                            ​Is their situation very different from the Scarlet Empress, whose material wealth concerns form a sizable portion of the last chapter of Manacle and Coin?

                            ​But with ghosts, it's a bit different, because they don't have physiological needs, and even a modest funeral is likely to translate into luxurious creature comforts. The things that ghosts need and value are not necessarily the same as what the living do.

                            ​That being said, I now recall that part of Skullstone's deal is that it's supposed to be quite wealthy owing to a combination of low overhead from zombie labour, and being able to dredge a lot of goods from the ocean floor.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                              Hmm... aren't all of the Deathlords supposed to be kind of rich? At the same time that material wealth is kind of irrelevant in the Underworld compared to being able to reap blood and prayer?

                              ​I feel as though drawing on that particular element of Pluto or Hades doesn't quite work, because in their case it was a consequence of how they believed that the Underworld was literally underground; he had mastery of mineral deposits because everything below the surface was his domain.

                              ​Still, it doesn't quite need to be one-to-one... something more like the idea of one of them having a special dispensation over the substrata of the Underworld, and the mythical resources that arise out of the Neverborn.

                              ​With the Bodhisattva, I would imagine that his main material benefit comes from having engineered a society in which the living are subservient to the dead; I imagine a lot of light and life and colour gets poured into the coffers of honoured ancestors, in a way exceeding most other places where they're worshipped, or even where they dominate.

                              Well obviously not from a literal standpoint; material wealth is very meaningless to the Exalted, living or not. But less the idea of "This guy has the most bling" and more "Men value the power of silver. I see its hollowness and its meaninglessness and will use that to draw men to the plans I desire." like Torak and his red Murgo gold, if you've ever read the Belgariad.

                              So not a "mineral wealth" sort of thing, but wealth, power and a sort of social control are definetely big themes of the Bodhisattva.

                              That being said; death gods. Let's look at themes. We can probably ignore most Aztec and African tribal gods for example since they don't have the cachet in Western culture that, say Osiris does. So speaking of;

                              Osiris - Vengeance on behalf of a slain father, mutilation, judgement, rulership over the dead, I say Eye and Seven Despairs has some associations here, especially with the "mutilation" and "judgement" bits.

                              Nergal? - Obvious "Lion" associations, also identified with the sun, lord of war and pestilence... perhaps a connection to the Great Contagion? The Princess Magnificent maybe; FaFL seems too obvious. She has a great deal of association with the Contagion from what I remember. Either that or an association with fire, given Nergal's own.

                              Yama/ Yan Luo - greater focus on warped sun themes? Punishment? (Being the king of Naraka/Jigoku) A connection to the Bishop? Either that or it seems more like the Lion, given that he's in his own personal Naraka. Athletics? Reflecting eternal torment?

                              Hades - Invisibility as an obvious theme what with the magic dogskin cap. So, stealth charms, an obvious ringer as some god with alot of resonance (HA!) an especially big focus on the unseen. A fous on a balance of life and death, cold and stern, a firm law-giver. I still see The Silver Prince here but maybe The Mask of Winters? As something stern and unseen? He's the most obvious among his fellows though.The Walker, perhaps, given his certain kind of "poised" and hands on nature; he's a gentleman by his own estimation, and he comes and goes as he pleases.

                              Kali - Destruction of the self to enable enlightenment, the Bishop perhaps? A sort of nihilistic moksha? "The Release"? The change of fair form to something terrifying? It could also be the Dowager given the associations with violence and blood (The Thugee, anyone?) I feel like the Bishop would have stronger associations here though.

                              Izanami - Simaltaneous creation and death, betrayal as a big theme, a creative force warped into something terrible, but with the underlying idea that they were always secretly warped? Rage and love? The sensation of being unwanted? The Lover in a Rainment of Tears seems apropos.

                              Ahriman (Angra Mainyu) - Duality, a force of destruction, willful malevolence, contempt and disgust, The Mask perhaps? Given his apparent desire to be "The Villain" for the Scavenger Lands but that seems a stretch. Maybe someone more familiar with Zoroastrian thought than I will show up.


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