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My reaction to Lilith

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  • My reaction to Lilith

    So I just finished reading the Heroes and Monsters section of the Lunar previews. Among other good and bad points, which II might get into elsewhere, one of the most profound reactions I had was to Lilith's writeup.
    Specifically the part where the Admiral..... was not a thing.
    At first, I thought this was a copout. Part of Lilith's story, for as long as I had known it, was about her relationship to D, how abuse influences social and mental health, and how recovery is a slow, tricky process, especially when nobody helps you out of a toxic relationship.
    And yet, I also felt.... relieved. Like finding out somebody you care about has, in fact, escaped a toxic relationship, and we never have to say his name ever again. Like we're moving on from something.
    Don't get me wrong, Lilith's story is still sad, but it's almost a ?comfortable? sadness?
    I'm just curious how everyone else felt about it, if anything.


    Popping in from time to time.

  • #2
    I'm fine with it.


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    • #3
      I guess because i’ve been a fan since the 1E Core Book, this was a lot easier and less shocking for me, because I remember Lilith BEFORE her narrative was built around domestic abuse, and I appreciate the return of that story. I’m not opposed to a thoughtful exploration of partner abuse and survival in the setting - but a) i’m not convinced Desus and Lilith were that, and b) I think it should be with new characters rather than hijacking and overshadowing someone’s existing story.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
        I guess because i’ve been a fan since the 1E Core Book, this was a lot easier and less shocking for me, because I remember Lilith BEFORE her narrative was built around domestic abuse, and I appreciate the return of that story. I’m not opposed to a thoughtful exploration of partner abuse and survival in the setting - but a) i’m not convinced Desus and Lilith were that, and b) I think it should be with new characters rather than hijacking and overshadowing someone’s existing story.
        I agree with this but I do think the relationship being an issue near the end was an important detail. Also, she's no longer "one of the best martial artists in creation" anymore.

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        • #5
          I like this Lilith better. Desus really was overused in previous editions.

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          • #6
            Desus was a trash character, the details of whom truly added nothing of merit to the setting, much like many of the characters fleshed out in DotFA.

            The life of Lilith that was fleshed out pre-DotFA told an interesting story about a terrible, complicated relationship only prolonged with a magical, unbreakable bond, and DotFA made the smiling god-monster bound to Lilith...gross and frankly boring in a "banality of evil" way and seemingly written for mAxImUm EdGe in the same vein as a lot of old White Wolf stuff that also didn't age well for the same reasons.

            Good fucking riddance.


            "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Zelbinnean View Post
              Desus was a trash character, the details of whom truly added nothing of merit to the setting, much like many of the characters fleshed out in DotFA.

              The life of Lilith that was fleshed out pre-DotFA told an interesting story about a terrible, complicated relationship only prolonged with a magical, unbreakable bond, and DotFA made the smiling god-monster bound to Lilith...gross and frankly boring in a "banality of evil" way and seemingly written for mAxImUm EdGe in the same vein as a lot of old White Wolf stuff that also didn't age well for the same reasons.

              Good fucking riddance.
              Before DoTFA he was pretty good show of Solar how messed up he had become, swan attributed some hideous stuff like trading souls for favors with the fae, I would still prefer Desus despite the shadow of Dreams of the first age. Whether they should be together or not, well they weren't before. I'm not sure they should be again.

              Also, I will say while DotFA did go overboard, they didn't shy away from solars becoming monsters.

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              • #8
                I’m of two minds, on the one hand the flagrant abuse played for spectacle bugged me— on the other I kind of feel like the third edition kinda took what little complexity was present with the issue of the usurpation and stripped it out. It no longer, to me feels like a potentially justified action that did indeed curb the excesses of a hegemonically dominant and nigh omnipotent regime (albeit replacing it with a different imperialist hegemony restricted more by its lack of power than by Its commitment to moral behavior) and I feel like lillith’s pure bliss, more or less happily married for a couple centuries backstory exemplifies that for me.

                It also kinda bugs me that she entered a centuries long fugue state because her man left her— its the sort of thing that you rarely see Hetero-male characters doing even in progressive fiction and a trope often ascribed to women. It’s not a big deal though I guess and its a big improvement over the uncomfortable way her story was handled in 2E (especially DotFA).

                On the whole though I do like the character and the fact that they made her self imposed exile a gradual thing rather than an abrupt transition, allowing her to be important in the founding of the silver pact— even if not as important as some of the other elders.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JiveX View Post
                  It also kinda bugs me that she entered a centuries long fugue state because her man left her— its the sort of thing that you rarely see Hetero-male characters doing even in progressive fiction and a trope often ascribed to women.
                  An interesting perspective. I would have said the opposite,though I suppose maybe my mind went to "epic sulk" more than "fugue state". Any female characters in particular you were thinking of?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JiveX View Post
                    I’m of two minds, on the one hand the flagrant abuse played for spectacle bugged me— on the other I kind of feel like the third edition kinda took what little complexity was present with the issue of the usurpation and stripped it out. It no longer, to me feels like a potentially justified action that did indeed curb the excesses of a hegemonically dominant and nigh omnipotent regime (albeit replacing it with a different imperialist hegemony restricted more by its lack of power than by Its commitment to moral behavior) and I feel like lillith’s pure bliss, more or less happily married for a couple centuries backstory exemplifies that for me.

                    It also kinda bugs me that she entered a centuries long fugue state because her man left her— its the sort of thing that you rarely see Hetero-male characters doing even in progressive fiction and a trope often ascribed to women. It’s not a big deal though I guess and its a big improvement over the uncomfortable way her story was handled in 2E (especially DotFA).

                    On the whole though I do like the character and the fact that they made her self imposed exile a gradual thing rather than an abrupt transition, allowing her to be important in the founding of the silver pact— even if not as important as some of the other elders.
                    People never moving on happens pretty often in fiction, most characters just don't have the opportunity to spend centuries not moving on (but conversely they also can't usually say the relationship they are mourning lasted centuries either). And usually their not moving on also involves them dealing with it in an amazingly unhealthy way on top of never finishing the dealing with of it. For a prominent plot central example involving a male from recently that is Naruto spoilers (select to view) we have Obito Uchiha trying to destroy the world to turn reality into a dream world where the girl he loved never died despite having decades to move on and being a grown ass man still yearning for a 12 year old end spoilers.

                    Edit: Another less spoilery example is Robert Baratheon never getting over Lyanna Stark even decades later (and after siring numerous children and getting married to another woman)
                    Last edited by Mizu; 03-13-2019, 11:35 PM.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Blackwell View Post
                      An interesting perspective. I would have said the opposite,though I suppose maybe my mind went to "epic sulk" more than "fugue state". Any female characters in particular you were thinking of?
                      Who suffered mental breakdowns as a result of the actions or death of their partner or another male figure or who react with mental imbalance to events that male characters take in stride?

                      Clytemnestra, Tamora, John Connor’s mom in the second terminator movie, Emily Watsons character in breaking the waves, Ophelia (from hamlet), the character who is not Rebecca in Rebecca, the female lead in 13 reasons why, a whole bunch of female comic book villains, to many to mention (poison ivy depending on the incarnation, Harley Quinn), though to be fair male super villains get similar treatments, this is a scattered and poorly organized list.

                      What I meant more is that reacting to tragic external stimuli with mental illness or behaivior often related with mental illness is something I feel happens more to female than male protagonists in fiction.
                      Last edited by JiveX; 03-14-2019, 02:23 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I didn't read Lunars. Don't have it either.

                        What did I miss?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Accelerator View Post
                          I didn't read Lunars. Don't have it either.

                          What did I miss?
                          Short version they changed a 'classic' (in that the tale was rather iconic and an exemplar of the 2e mindset, for better or worse) character from a person that went rather insane from suffering horrific abuse at the hands of a monster, to a character struggling to cope from the end of a deeply unhealthy (though not explicitly abusive) relationship.

                          The original story has her as the partner of the wildly abusive Desus, who at one point beats her so viciously she has a miscarriage. He controls her with solar charms so powerful they are basically mind-control, including one that would force her to kill herself. The new relationship is much more vague, in that Lilith and Andamani are said to have at one point been passionately in love, a love they fell out of but never left each other. When Andamani dies, Lilith abandons the world and lives for centuries as an owl. She comes out of the Fugue because she senses that her Solar mate has been reborn. Its never really stated, but this implies at the very least a highly-codependent relationship.

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                          • #14
                            For my own take, while I am not going to miss the abuse-as-shock factor that always pervaded Desus and Lilith in the past I do think that something has been lost. I don't really know if this was cannon, but I always played Desus when he appeared as very much being under the effect of his own charms. Desus himself can't quite comprehend that his whims might be wrong, in fact they must be right because he had them. It gave a sense of moral ambiguity to him since its hard to say how responsible someone is for actions they are incapable of assessing as wrong. This is why I also disliked the idea that the Silver Prince was Desus, because the Silver Prince is a cartoon-villain and completely undermines any thoughtful element that might have existed in the story.

                            I didn't like DoTFA since it really did paint the Solars as irredemable monsters, when I think a more thoughtful alternative exists. I always saw the first age ending not because the Solars are inhuman, but because the very things that can make people great and heroic might also make them dangerous under the right circumstances. Desus for instance needs to be loved, by everyone all the time. This need for adulation drove him to do great things on behalf of his people, but eventually also led him to try to insulate himself from the idea that he is not universally adored.

                            I agree that at the moment we don't really know the context that caused the Sidereals to end the First Age, but I hope that when we do its because the First Age was a time of god-kings that were dangerous because of how deeply human they were, as opposed to generic decadent monsters that delighted in cruelty.

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                            • #15
                              To clarify: the description was that they had a happy union largely but that they lost some of the passion and both did things that hurt eachother (sort of a normal relationship hardly implied to be unhealthy) and when he died she gradually lost interest in the world to the point she used her magic to give herself the mind of a bird for s couple centuries.

                              My objects, which aren’t strong, have little to do with my missing the abuse angle and a slight annoyance that two of the major explicitly female shanaya are willfully inhuman and have to a degree “opted out” or taking a meaningful role in the setting, and in lilliths case it’s only the return of her lost love that gave her back the will to be a human again. It’s just a bit prosaic to me. And I feel bad being negative because I don’t feel negatively in general about her, I’m just explaining a minor complaint.
                              Originally posted by Nabirius View Post
                              For my own take, while I am not going to miss the abuse-as-shock factor that always pervaded Desus and Lilith in the past I do think that something has been lost. I don't really know if this was cannon, but I always played Desus when he appeared as very much being under the effect of his own charms. Desus himself can't quite comprehend that his whims might be wrong, in fact they must be right because he had them. It gave a sense of moral ambiguity to him since its hard to say how responsible someone is for actions they are incapable of assessing as wrong. This is why I also disliked the idea that the Silver Prince was Desus, because the Silver Prince is a cartoon-villain and completely undermines any thoughtful element that might have existed in the story.

                              I didn't like DoTFA since it really did paint the Solars as irredemable monsters, when I think a more thoughtful alternative exists. I always saw the first age ending not because the Solars are inhuman, but because the very things that can make people great and heroic might also make them dangerous under the right circumstances. Desus for instance needs to be loved, by everyone all the time. This need for adulation drove him to do great things on behalf of his people, but eventually also led him to try to insulate himself from the idea that he is not universally adored.

                              I agree that at the moment we don't really know the context that caused the Sidereals to end the First Age, but I hope that when we do its because the First Age was a time of god-kings that were dangerous because of how deeply human they were, as opposed to generic decadent monsters that delighted in cruelty.
                              I agree there is a happy medium— but I also think even absent the great curse, A person given unlimited power and a lifespan in the millennia will inevitably become at the very least inhuman in their outlook and also very likely incredibly dangerous to humans around them— like how even very compassionate human’s are dangerous to insects. Kind of always felt this “ring of gyges” angle was missed. Still sort of feel that way.

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