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  • Malfeas Dancing, Like it or dislike it

    Over here http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...ar-performance
    a side topic popped up, practically in the OP. While I don't have a lot to say about Malfeas dancing other than I thought it was one of the best lines in all of 2e. I do want to see how this discussion plays out. Also don't want to see a potentially fruitful discussion on Performance charms be derailed.

    Discussion so far
    Originally posted by Jen View Post
    will Malfeas still be THE dancing Yozi instead of every Yozi being dancer and musician without peers (the whole Ligier hating dancing Malfeas always feel a little silly for me TBH)
    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    Care to elaborate on why? I take it more as being embarrassed to know the guy that prances through the streets on a daily basis - it's unbecoming of royalty.
    Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
    Ligier being embarrassed of Malfeas dancing is one of the worse 2e-isms.
    Originally posted by Godjaw View Post
    I disagree. It's an interesting way of depicting Malfeas's shame for his own current state, while contradicting this by emphasizing Ligier and Malfeas are separate entities.
    Originally posted by Jen View Post
    The whole thing about Malfeas being happy while dancing + Ligier hate Malfeas dancing + Ligier is Malfeas heart => Malfeas hate himself just make the Yozi-fetich relationship look so mundane. I prefer if the book doesn't say what Ligier think about Malfeas at all.
    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    I mean, what would an ideal yozi-fetich relationship look like? Third Circle demons are separate beings after all. They probably have thoughts/opinions on their progenitors (or even aspects of them).
    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    Well, it's probably the most misunderstood bit of text in the game anyway. Personally I thought it was fantastic - one of my favorite things in 2nd edition. I'd been playing since First Edition, but that line was the first time the Yozi ever clicked for me, and I was finally able to understand them, what they had once been, how far they had fallen, and the relationships that they have with their own souls. It was probably a little too subtle however.

    First, keep in mind that what Ligier looks down on is the times when Malfeas dances through himself in wild abandon. He doesn't look down on Malfeas when Malfeas dances elegantly or formally. He looks down on Malfeas when Malfeas throws off his clothing and rushes through the streets, doffing off his mask of kingship, forgetting his own dignity and baring his inner turmoil to anyone who watches. For Malfeas, the once untouchable ruler and center of the universe to do such a thing, to admit that reality is too much for to handle... yeah, there is a bit of shame in that.

    Remember when Malfeas does this, he isn't dancing because he's happy. Malfeas does this when he can no longer handle reality anymore, when the knowledge of how much he has lost becomes impossible to bare, he tries to close his eyes and escape from reality. And he escapes through wild, ecstatic dancing. When he does this, it isn't because he's having a great time. It's because he's so mournful of what he has become - a broken, twisted, horrifying monster who exists in eternal agony and elicits only fear and terror where he once was given respect and adoration by everything the universe. His dancing isn't supposed to be cute or funny. It's supposed to be tragic - a grand, terrible, tragic affair, no different than King Leer escaping into madness in order to deny the reality that was in front of him.

    And when Malfeas debases himself before the universe and admits that he is broken beyond repair, Ligier feels a sense of shame in this. Ligier is, after all, the heart of Malfeas, the heart of the king of the cosmos, and Malfeas' literal pride and ego given form. It's also important to remember that Malfeas also feels a sense of shame when he dances through the streets. It's the metaphorical equivalent of getting so drunk you pass out and puke all over yourself. Malfeas is still a king, even in exile, and he still has his pride, and when he sacrifices his pride like this, of curse he feels a deep sense of shame. Ligier as the living embodiment of that pride, naturally shakes his head when Malfeas takes an action so incredibly unbecoming of someone of his stature and grandeur, and Malfeas feels ashamed of his behavior when that happens.

    It really sets the tone for understanding how the Yozi's see themselves in light of what they once were, and how their Third Circle Souls can see them.

    *EDIT* Also, very cool picture Jen. Sorry for the off-topic bit. I'm going to bed, but I'll come back to your actual question when I wake up tonight.
    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
    I'm going to wager that Malfeas, if reverted back to the Games of Divinity description he had, would probably be far better known for the flavors of bastardy formerly attributed to the Ebon Dragon than for song and dance.
    Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
    Must... resist urge... to drag this thread off with Malfeas dancing arguments... not fair... basically everything Anubis said is headcanon... DAMMIT!!!

  • #2
    I don't have a problem with Malfeas dancing or have a problem with part of him finding such displays shameful. Can anyone here honestly tell me they don't have a guilty pleasure that they love doing but kinda feel ashamed of?




    Exalted Whose Name is Carved in Leaves of Jade

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    • #3
      Yeah, I think the portrayal is fine.

      In fact given the complexity of Primordial beings I'm surprised that these sort of mixed feelings aren't a lot more common.

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      • #4
        I think the portrayal that they are more than just horribly broken monsters is part of what makes them interesting...also shows how truly broken and monstrous they truly are.

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        • #5
          While I like all of the Yozi to be able to get their dance on, it makes sense that their king would be the danciest of the dancers.

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          • #6
            As a piece of information about an NPC it doesn't really go anywhere and without full context leads people to view the Ligier/Malfeas relationship as that of a son and his embarrassing father
            I don't hate it, but I'm sure there's people who absolutely cannot take Malfeas seriously because that was their first exposure to the character.


            Onyx Path Forums Moderator

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            • #7
              I agree with AnubisXY on this subject.

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              • #8
                We have Theion and Malfeas and Ligier to compare - and can see clearly how diminished he is (such that many of Malfeas' charms are crippled versions of Theion charms).
                And some things (like doing things in a show-off or over-kill fashion) certainly go with Ligier's pride and self-adulation --- demanding respect mixed with blighted fury.

                I've always seen it less like a "son and embarassing-father" and more like a king whose entire identity is wrapped up in being royalty - but he has this secret pleasure, a sort of wish for normalcy (dancing amongst his subjects and such).

                It's kind of like a super-religious kid who still gets drunk periodically and fucks some random dude - they regret it the morning after, because they have some hang-ups about their sexuality.

                Or like a guy trying to be a super-macho alpha-male - but he secretly loves arranging flowers or some shit - and he gets super paranoid or upset when someone discovers his hobby.

                .

                This isn't a family relationship. It's an internal one. I always liked the fact that his behavior didn't reflect his heart-of-hearts, just like most of us will deviate from our "core" as well here and there. And it says a lot more about Ligier than Malfeas (Malfeas remaining rather mysterious and requiring further inquiry into his other souls and overall soul-structure).

                And in so far as it says something about Malfeas, I believe since 1st Edition the Yozis have been described as penultimate performers -- all of them -- which makes extra sense for those who see their origins as from the Wyld (such that as the Unshaped form living-story-environments with lesser Raksha embodying Virtues; the Primordials are a further step toward cohension and order, those who could sustain their internal "story" against the Wyld; this also jives with the idea of Lunar tattoos recounting their "story" after various trials, and thus implying that the artifact-tattoos reinforce their "internal narrative" against the outside influence of the Wyld).

                Woo! That was long.

                My point is, each Yozi is said to be a grand performer in some sense --- so it's super-cool to see Malfeas performing via dance. As befitting beings consisting of souls consisting of souls, requiring a certain internal cohesion ---- his mass-dances are proof of his sway, his influence, his ability to lead and unify others. It's a tiny vestige of his old self. And like a Buddhist mandala, dance is ephemeral - it exists only briefly, in the moment, and is gone after it's performed (unlike Ligier who crafts wonders that endure).

                So where Ligier is arrogant and prideful and wants others to kneel or covet his wonders.....

                ......some fragment of Malfeas can put away his hate, put away his grudges, put away his self-absorbed aspects and just lead others for the joy of it, creating no lasting monuments to his own glory, just an experience to be enjoyed by others around him. It's the most Zen-aspect of Malfeas.

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                • #9
                  Another bit from GoD describes how Malfeas's shame is, in general, greater than the others. It does not specify dancing, so one would imagine that it encompasses pretty much everything about his current state, and leaks out in the form of being extra-cruel to all things of Creation, the gods and their champions. Additionally, while the Yozis aren't malicious in their singing and dancing, those acts of Primordial art are described as not being malicious in the same sense that a tornado or earthquake is not malicious, because such acts are apparently capable of some pretty weird things. The book gave the example of being capable of destroying as well as healing. Yozi concerts are a danger to life even if the Yozis don't mean for them to be.

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                  • #10
                    I think it's fine for a being who is composed of a bunch of smaller beings. Those kinds of contradictions are to be expected of a person who is also a small nation.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JimB View Post
                      I think it's fine for a being who is composed of a bunch of smaller beings. Those kinds of contradictions are to be expected of a person who is also a small nation.
                      A part of me loves cake.
                      A part of me wants to lose weight.
                      A part of me wants to study and learn things.
                      A part of me rather play video games or watch movies.

                      None of these parts is less-me or not-me.

                      ‚ÄčEven people-sized persons are given to contradictions and inconsistencies.

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                      • #12
                        Already said what I had to say in the other thread. The important thing to remember is that Ligier looks with disdain on Malfeas when Malfeas and dances through the streets without restraint. So long as Malfeas' dances are restrained and fitting for someone of his station and grandeur, Ligier isn't going to dislike it.

                        That's because it's important to remember that the relationship between Malfeas and Ligier is more one between a king and his personal dignity than that of an embarrassing father and his son.

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                        • #13
                          Well the Brass Dancer did do my favorite let's play of Five Nights at Freddy's (not a video).

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                            Already said what I had to say in the other thread. The important thing to remember is that Ligier looks with disdain on Malfeas when Malfeas and dances through the streets without restraint. So long as Malfeas' dances are restrained and fitting for someone of his station and grandeur, Ligier isn't going to dislike it.

                            That's because it's important to remember that the relationship between Malfeas and Ligier is more one between a king and his personal dignity than that of an embarrassing father and his son.
                            Hmm, it is really more like the relationship between yourself and a fragment of your mind/personality that has split off and become an entire person while simultaneously being in your skull so that the unified whole of yourself exists.




                            Exalted Whose Name is Carved in Leaves of Jade

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mizu View Post
                              Hmm, it is really more like the relationship between yourself and a fragment of your mind/personality that has split off and become an entire person while simultaneously being in your skull so that the unified whole of yourself exists.
                              Yeah. Each Third Circle Demon represents an important "personality trait" of the Primordial in question. Generally speaking the Fetich is going to be the most important personality trait. Ligier is noble and grand, and he generally embodies the "lordly qualities" in Malfeas. When Malfeas doesn't act like a grand, stately, tyrannical emperor of the universe, Ligier is going to be a bit disappointed.

                              I imagine that when Malfeas takes actions that his other Third Circle souls don't approve of, they too will be a bit disappointed.

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