Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Spectres in the big picture

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Spectres in the big picture

    Has it struck anyone else as ironic that the Villians of Wraith would have the moral high-ground of the setting if they weren't given the "Evil Race" texture.

    I mean, as opposed to stygia's political hierchy, spectre society doesn't practice slavery, has upward social mobility based on merit, and their one joining goal is to slay those corrupted by oblivion(IE people with the tendency to become serial-killers, rapists, and politicians). All these elements would make for a morally ambiguous enemy that could be a foil to stygia, with the whole "Killing those marked by oblivion" thing also meaning anyone with dark passions they actively resist in order to be good people would still die, but stygia has the entire purposely killing mortals to serve as slaves thing going on as well.

    From another point of view, they actively remove large amounts of evil from the world in a way(other than the evil they generate corrupting innocent people and wraiths to oblivion). They act to destroy wraith society(which honestly, is firmly in the darker end of grey morality), down tainted persons(which in a crossover include low humanity vamps and wyrm creatures), and seek their Own destruction. All of which makes them a weird engine of crazy, Evil-Seeking missiles with a self-destruct feature.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
    and their one joining goal is to slay those corrupted by oblivion(IE people with the tendency to become serial-killers, rapists, and politicians).
    Huh?

    Granted, it's been a while since I read the core, or any of the spectre-focused material, but this has never been my interpretation. Can you back this up?
    (not trying to be combative, just very confused).

    Spectres also can't be the good guys, as they actively seek to further the cause of Oblivion and ultimately threaten Existence with a capital E itself. I'm basing this mostly on Doomslayers.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
      Huh?

      Granted, it's been a while since I read the core, or any of the spectre-focused material, but this has never been my interpretation. Can you back this up?
      (not trying to be combative, just very confused).

      Spectres also can't be the good guys, as they actively seek to further the cause of Oblivion and ultimately threaten Existence with a capital E itself. I'm basing this mostly on Doomslayers.
      I base my interpretation on the perspective presented in Dark Reflections - Spectres. Granted, I don't interpret the spectres as "Good Guys"(they're individually Evil with a Capital E) but think of them a lot like the Wyrm in Werewolf, IE a massive force of balance that's job is to destroy things that have become non-functional to the current system(which it might still be, only having decided gaia herself is hamstrung and dysfunctional, or might actually be crazy as the popular interpretation paints it. The difference is only semantic though.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Prometheas View Post

        I base my interpretation on the perspective presented in Dark Reflections - Spectres. Granted, I don't interpret the spectres as "Good Guys"(they're individually Evil with a Capital E) but think of them a lot like the Wyrm in Werewolf, IE a massive force of balance that's job is to destroy things that have become non-functional to the current system(which it might still be, only having decided gaia herself is hamstrung and dysfunctional, or might actually be crazy as the popular interpretation paints it. The difference is only semantic though.)
        Except the Wyrm is unbalanced. Likewise, Oblivion seems to be growing more unbalanced too. Neverborn are stirring, and Onceborn are meddling with humans across the Shroud.

        There's a running theme throughout the World of Darkness that the natural order is out of sync.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

          Except the Wyrm is unbalanced. Likewise, Oblivion seems to be growing more unbalanced too. Neverborn are stirring, and Onceborn are meddling with humans across the Shroud.

          There's a running theme throughout the World of Darkness that the natural order is out of sync.
          Eh, I never really understood how the wyrm was "unbalanced" in the greater scale of things. It was destroying human society, but in the current WOD timeline human society was already choked with stagnation and political corrruption. It was Trying to destroy the Fera, but they already crippled themselves war of rage. It was trying to kill Gaia, who was honestly already Losing to the weaver at this point.

          Unless you subscribe to the train of thought that the wyrm is responsible for said events happening in the first place(which I don't, It cheapens the story if you make the antagonist responsible for all the evil in the world.), It really looks to me like the Weaver is the one that went power made after humanity rose up and the wyrm is just taking it's job to the logical conclusion as a result.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Prometheas View Post

            Eh, I never really understood how the wyrm was "unbalanced" in the greater scale of things. It was destroying human society, but in the current WOD timeline human society was already choked with stagnation and political corrruption. It was Trying to destroy the Fera, but they already crippled themselves war of rage. It was trying to kill Gaia, who was honestly already Losing to the weaver at this point.

            Unless you subscribe to the train of thought that the wyrm is responsible for said events happening in the first place(which I don't, It cheapens the story if you make the antagonist responsible for all the evil in the world.), It really looks to me like the Weaver is the one that went power made after humanity rose up and the wyrm is just taking it's job to the logical conclusion as a result.

            Except the Wyrm got wrapped up by the Weaver and went grade A insane from its captivity, splitting itself into smaller and smaller parts to try and escape its bonds. And none of those parts properly remember what their original job was and most of them are too angry and insane to care other than lashing out.

            So yes, Its definetely all the Weavers fault but its not like the Wyrm can be left to its own devices these days.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Prometheas
              Eh, I never really understood how the wyrm was "unbalanced" in the greater scale of things.
              Well, if you ask in the Werewolf forum I'm sure they will be glad to explain it to you.

              It was destroying human society, but in the current WOD timeline human society was already choked with stagnation and political corrruption.
              Was it? I was of the impression that Pentex was feeding corruption to the system while contaminating the environment, causing the destruction of other species. I was under the impresion that humanity was a tool for the Wyrm. It certainly seems that way when one considers that The Scar it's ruled by both the Weaver and the Wyrm, and it represents industrialization which was fundamental to human development. In the end the Wyrm may (will?) destroy humanity, but right now it's feeding it and using it to extinguish other animals and life. That, I imagine, must be a lot more stagnant and corrupt than humans if they merit such a hastly dispatch

              It was Trying to destroy the Fera, but they already crippled themselves war of rage.
              Was it?, But the Wyrm it's the first to extend a hand to the corrupted and power hungry among them if they want to switch sides.

              It was trying to kill Gaia, who was honestly already Losing to the weaver at this point.
              At what point was that?.

              We don't even know *what* is Gaia. We know much less about Gaia than about the Triad. As far as we know it may be a big spirit (a Celestine), the sum of all spirits (The Triad Working in Harmony), or the Sum of All Life(tm).

              So, I'm not sure how to assess Gaia's situation other than the Fera are sure it's dying (and the Fera are sure the Wyrm it's unbalanced too...soo.)

              Unless you subscribe to the train of thought that the wyrm is responsible for said events happening in the first place(which I don't, It cheapens the story if you make the antagonist responsible for all the evil in the world.).It really looks to me like the Weaver is the one that went power made after humanity rose up and the wyrm is just taking it's job to the logical conclusion as a result.
              A third option would be to think that he's partially responsible. Responsible for some of the evil in the world but certainly not the only force that's to blame. A fourth option would be to say that he's a victim of the corruption and unbalance of the world that's harmful because it has destructive tendencies (as per Damian May).

              None of which requires the antagonist to not be bad in the big picture...

              I don't get why you need the antagonists to be unjustly vilified good people in order to make your story "expensive", so to speak.

              Correct me if I'm wrong, but Specters, in the big picture, serve the Neverborn and Oblivion. Which seek the destruction of ALL THAT *IS*.



              How it's that good in the big picture?.

              Perhaps if they fail to acomplishtheir goal, yet cause more damage to evil people than to good people in the process (which it's debatable)...

              Who knows? Maybe GOD has calculated that Specters are going to endlessly fail at their end goal and do more good than bad in the long run

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                Well, if you ask in the Werewolf forum I'm sure they will be glad to explain it to you.



                Was it? I was of the impression that Pentex was feeding corruption to the system while contaminating the environment, causing the destruction of other species. I was under the impresion that humanity was a tool for the Wyrm. It certainly seems that way when one considers that The Scar it's ruled by both the Weaver and the Wyrm, and it represents industrialization which was fundamental to human development. In the end the Wyrm may (will?) destroy humanity, but right now it's feeding it and using it to extinguish other animals and life. That, I imagine, must be a lot more stagnant and corrupt than humans if they merit such a hastly dispatch



                Was it?, But the Wyrm it's the first to extend a hand to the corrupted and power hungry among them if they want to switch sides.
                I guess this line of thinking leads to a sort of "chicken and the egg" thing. I still vote the egg, because I like the idea that Triat/Gaia changed in response to the physical world changing. Though I guess that's an unpopular opinion.

                Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                At what point was that?.

                We don't even know *what* is Gaia. We know much less about Gaia than about the Triad. As far as we know it may be a big spirit (a Celestine), the sum of all spirits (The Triad Working in Harmony), or the Sum of All Life(tm).

                So, I'm not sure how to assess Gaia's situation other than the Fera are sure it's dying (and the Fera are sure the Wyrm it's unbalanced too...soo.)
                Point taken about not having the full picture of gaia. I do reference the fact that the "Gaia is Dying" sentiment is do to the influence of human technology(and thus the weaver) re-shaping the natural world and replacing it with artificial constructs.

                Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                A third option would be to think that he's partially responsible. Responsible for some of the evil in the world but certainly not the only force that's to blame. A fourth option would be to say that he's a victim of the corruption and unbalance of the world that's harmful because it has destructive tendencies (as per Damian May).

                None of which requires the antagonist to not be bad in the big picture...

                I don't get why you need the antagonists to be unjustly vilified good people in order to make your story "expensive", so to speak.
                I believe we have a miscommunication. I Don't believe the wyrm is good, I believe that it's still taking it's job to the its natural conclusion given the circumstances and that while it has to be stopped from destroying the world, "Beating" it won't do anything to fix said world as the problem lies with the world itself. My conclusion is the wyrm isn't responsible for the way the world is, the people living in it are, the wyrm just exacerbates an existing problem because of its nature.

                It adds value to the story I believe to force characters to have to own up to their flaws rather than blame the villian for everything.

                Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but Specters, in the big picture, serve the Neverborn and Oblivion. Which seek the destruction of ALL THAT *IS*.



                How it's that good in the big picture?.

                Perhaps if they fail to acomplishtheir goal, yet cause more damage to evil people than to good people in the process (which it's debatable)...

                Who knows? Maybe GOD has calculated that Specters are going to endlessly fail at their end goal and do more good than bad in the long run
                My point exactly. They're made out to be completely corrupted individually, but do as much damage to their side as wraith society and specifically attack the oblivion-tainted of humanity. I find it Ironic that the villians are less of a damaging force than the, er..... "Good Guys" ?(or "Grey guys" maybe, wraiths aren't really so much good as just deeply-flawed normal people who happen to be dead)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Prometheas
                  I believe we have a miscommunication. I Don't believe the wyrm is good, I believe that it's still taking it's job to the its natural conclusion given the circumstances and that while it has to be stopped from destroying the world, "Beating" it won't do anything to fix said world as the problem lies with the world itself. My conclusion is the wyrm isn't responsible for the way the world is, the people living in it are, the wyrm just exacerbates an existing problem because of its nature.
                  Oh, well, yes. I misunderstood your approach. I think there's a lot of evidence to that, albeit it is a chicken and the egg argument and a little more:

                  In Werewolf the Umbra has as much or more influence in the physical world than viceversa, to the point that killing the spirit of something kills the thing in the physical world, but killing the phisical being may not kill the spirit but only weaken it (the spirit can keep on living for milenia). The Egg argument it's more compatible with Mage, where humans have created whole Umbras with their actions, and to kill a spirit you need to first eliminate it's ties with the physical world (or employ super-powerful-magick. Of course. It's Mage).

                  My point exactly. They're made out to be completely corrupted individually, but do as much damage to their side as wraith society and specifically attack the oblivion-tainted of humanity. I find it Ironic that the villians are less of a damaging force than the, er..... "Good Guys" ?(or "Grey guys" maybe, wraiths aren't really so much good as just deeply-flawed normal people who happen to be dead)
                  Well, it depends. On one hand, I think it makes sense: The Specters are more the consequece of damage than the cause. You drop a nuclear bomb, you create Specters. Murder people in horrendous ways, you create Specters. Torture a Wraith playing with it's fether or destroying it's Corpus, get a Specter for your effort.

                  In that sense Specters are a sort of karma.

                  On the other hand: The problem of Specters it's that they perpetuate the damage.

                  If I get them right, Specters don't just get atracted to evil people but also to evil places. The classic haunted building where terrible things have happened long ago. And those places are where they're more free to act. If (when) someone good enters these places, it's in deep trouble. A Wraith may do the same, but Specters surely will. Nihils can be a real problem in that sense. If they fall upon serial killers and such all the better, but when Oblivion takes a hold in the shadowlands it's never for good. You don't want Specters in your neighborhood.

                  As for attacking Wraith society...yes, they do, and yes Wraiths are assholes. But by doing so they perpetuate the bad practices of said society. For instance: Wraiths have no choice but to haunt the living or accept a life in Stigia-like places because Specters haunt the Tempest and thus it's not safe to be in the Dark Umbra unless you have military might. Thus a lot of Wraith Haunts are indirectly caused by Specters and Stigia forms its rank and file with what are basically refugees.

                  I think that Wraith society it's terrible, but at least some of that has to do with the hardships of living where they live. It's said that in the old times the Dark Umbra was a lot clearer, the Tempest wasn't so bad and people went to the final resting places designated by their belief to un-live among Relics and the products of human faith. Maelstroms (and their Specter debris) changed that destroying their faith fueled homes, forcing Wraiths to build their houses and arm themselves with the only thing they had at hand (other Wraiths) while living in a constant state of siege. The main reason the horrific sea of souls of Stigia was built (with the Corpus of thouzands) was to keep the Maelstrom (and it's Spectral riders) out.

                  Specters are the horrible consequence of a flawed world with flawed people. I don't think they're a force of good because they cause their fair share of mayhem. But they are victims (of themselves, but also of their lot in life and un-life) They're the villans because they're the dark side of the soul, but that dark side exists also as a reflection of the world. Had there been less wars and crimes, we would have a lot less Specters and perhaps the Underworld would be a better place.
                  Last edited by Aleph; 08-01-2018, 10:55 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                    Oh, well, yes. I misunderstood your approach. I think there's a lot of evidence to that, albeit it is a chicken and the egg argument and a little more:

                    In Werewolf the Umbra has as much or more influence in the physical world than viceversa, to the point that killing the spirit of something kills the thing in the physical world, but killing the phisical being may not kill the spirit but only weaken it (the spirit can keep on living for milenia). The Egg argument it's more compatible with Mage, where humans have created whole Umbras with their actions, and to kill a spirit you need to first eliminate it's ties with the physical world (or employ super-powerful-magick. Of course. It's Mage).
                    I thought that only applied to Celestials and incarnae? High order spirits existing as both the thing in question and the very concept of said thing existing at all. Even then, Destroying the physical form would destroy the spirit(I don't think Luna would survive the moon being destroyed, As I believe happened in the ragnarok Time of Judgement suppliment). With the lesser spirits able to move from object to object because they're just aspects of said physical thing, meaning you'd have to destroy every example of said object in the physical world as well as the concept of them existing in order to kill them from our side(though doing so would wipe All said spirits off the board).

                    Though I do like the concept of spirits in mage(where they're more of a parallel reflection of our existence), as in mage things don't necessarily need spirits to exist and spirits don't necessarily need our world in order to exist. They can interact, but aren't animistically co-dependent like in Werewolf. It makes them a mysterious and alien form of life(which fits mage more than werewolf)

                    Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                    Well, it depends. On one hand, I think it makes sense: The Specters are more the consequece of damage than the cause. You drop a nuclear bomb, you create Specters. Murder people in horrendous ways, you create Specters. Torture a Wraith playing with it's fether or destroying it's Corpus, get a Specter for your effort.

                    In that sense Specters are a sort of karma.

                    On the other hand: The problem of Specters it's that they perpetuate the damage.

                    If I get them right, Specters don't just get atracted to evil people but also to evil places. The classic haunted building where terrible things have happened long ago. And those places are where they're more free to act. If (when) someone good enters these places, it's in deep trouble. A Wraith may do the same, but Specters surely will. Nihils can be a real problem in that sense. If they fall upon serial killers and such all the better, but when Oblivion takes a hold in the shadowlands it's never for good. You don't want Specters in your neighborhood.

                    As for attacking Wraith society...yes, they do, and yes Wraiths are assholes. But by doing so they perpetuate the bad practices of said society. For instance: Wraiths have no choice but to haunt the living or accept a life in Stigia-like places because Specters haunt the Tempest and thus it's not safe to be in the Dark Umbra unless you have military might. Thus a lot of Wraith Haunts are indirectly caused by Specters and Stigia forms its rank and file with what are basically refugees.

                    I think that Wraith society it's terrible, but at least some of that has to do with the hardships of living where they live. It's said that in the old times the Dark Umbra was a lot clearer, the Tempest wasn't so bad and people went to the final resting places designated by their belief to un-live among Relics and the products of human faith. Maelstroms (and their Specter debris) changed that destroying their faith fueled homes, forcing Wraiths to build their houses and arm themselves with the only thing they had at hand (other Wraiths) while living in a constant state of siege. The main reason the horrific sea of souls of Stigia was built (with the Corpus of thouzands) was to keep the Maelstrom (and it's Spectral riders) out.

                    Specters are the horrible consequence of a flawed world with flawed people. I don't think they're a force of good because they cause their fair share of mayhem. But they are victims (of themselves, but also of their lot in life and un-life) They're the villans because they're the dark side of the soul, but that dark side exists also as a reflection of the world. Had there been less wars and crimes, we would have a lot less Specters and perhaps the Underworld would be a better place.
                    Huh, point taken.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
                      I mean, as opposed to stygia's political hierchy, spectre society doesn't practice slavery, has upward social mobility based on merit, and their one joining goal is to slay those corrupted by oblivion(IE people with the tendency to become serial-killers, rapists, and politicians). All these elements would make for a morally ambiguous enemy that could be a foil to stygia, with the whole "Killing those marked by oblivion" thing also meaning anyone with dark passions they actively resist in order to be good people would still die, but stygia has the entire purposely killing mortals to serve as slaves thing going on as well.

                      From another point of view, they actively remove large amounts of evil from the world in a way(other than the evil they generate corrupting innocent people and wraiths to oblivion). They act to destroy wraith society(which honestly, is firmly in the darker end of grey morality), down tainted persons(which in a crossover include low humanity vamps and wyrm creatures), and seek their Own destruction. All of which makes them a weird engine of crazy, Evil-Seeking missiles with a self-destruct feature.
                      Cancer is egalitarian, too. That doesn't make it anything other than fundamentally bad. The basic truth of Spectres is that they've lost themselves to Oblivion, and whatever remains of their existence will be filled with pain in every moment, from which they may find momentary relief by spreading misery and destruction to others. Every Spectre's story must end in the ruin of its protagonist, and the only uncertainty is how much harm they get to do along the way.



                      Bruce Baugh <*> @BruceRedux on Twitter See my wonderful cats: https://www.instagram.com/brucebaugh/
                      Co-author: Doomslayers, Wraith: The Great War, Ends of Empire, Wraith 20th anniversary edition
                      Co-developer: Book of Oblivion

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X