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The Namtaru and the Immortal

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  • ArcaneArts
    started a topic The Namtaru and the Immortal

    The Namtaru and the Immortal

    So I wrote up the first half of the Namtaru back in that fateful July 2019 before "I have wasted everyone's time" hit, and it's been sitting in Google as a tantalziing follow-up. It won tonight's little vote on virtue of being half-finished, so Hey.

    The Whole and the Perfect strikes me, having written up the Immortal tonight, as approprate moniker, but honestly, the Immortal seems more evocative and Protagonisty. And hey, stick around for a post-post regarding ye old boogeyman on everyone's mind.
    The Namtaru, Nightmares of Revulsion
    It’s one of our most primal flinches. The rotting peach is the festering wound is the maggots and flies surfacing from the putresance to give the report-He’s dead, Jim. Rot, disease, imperfection of form-it’s not enough to say that our sources of revulsion remind us of death, it’s enough to say to us, to remind us that our forms fall out, that this flesh too will fail us-that it always will fail us, that it always has failed us. The grotesque is here to speak to us in sibilant whispers that our frames are made of weakness, a house of gory cards waiting to be knocked down. The biology has just got to fail on us somehow, and then, what, we have autism? Swine flu? Parkinsons’s? A cleft lip? Cancer? Alzheimer’s? Spiders laying their eggs in us? The Death Within, The Failure Beyond Our Control?

    Disease, Poison, Infestation-these are their own fears, and they likewise begin to seep into our imagination and abstract thoughts. THings can rot all on their own, go from whole to rancid black liquid without help, but the bugs that sting and the snakes that bite, the Lord of Flies’s foul miasma slithering up your nose and into your lungs, that foul blackness Joe Camel sews into our lungs from our long sensual kisses with his ashen tongue-these things rush the process, and we get to see our hands fall from our arms and scuttle away, bones glaring balefully from between the floorboards as we cry at the fact that crying has caused our jaws to fall off and yet we still can’t stop as the jelly of our eyes start to slip.
    It’s spiritual, too-there’s a rot, a foul miasma that can kill your chances with the afterlives, a foulness in the airwaves and the LAN parties that corrupt our youth and make them shoot up schools. There’s all this sex, drugs, and rock and roll going on now, and if your kid doesn’t get AIDS from those parties, they still think the gays should get married. Or maybe you didn’t properly immunize your American people, and now the Beckies and Cleduses of the Heartland have dumped their bubonic ridden heart into the Oval Office and it’s got this nasty pale hair growth at the top of it, and boy howdy does it have ideas for the shit that should be spreading from ass to face and into the blood. Truth is, some things are only toxic because you think they are, while some will genuinely kill you, but the revulsion is all the same. You could come down with a plague that will condemn your immortal soul and your nation and whatever else you care about as much as your life and limb.

    At the heart of it all is the fear of dying, the fear that the form will fall apart, that it will rebel against you and fall apart from you, that you will be left a prisoner in this decaying, rotting, traitorous form.

    And that’s all right.
    Symptoms are often never pretty to look at, but the fear they instill in us is important because they tell us we need to act-often, act now. From outside of ourselves, revulsion warns of food and water that is bad for us, places it’s not safe to walk in, entities that might sicken us. From within ourselves, revulsion warns us that something has gotten into our systems and needs to be taken care of.
    Our sense of something being wrong indicates a problem to deal with, and all of them require care and attention. It involves learning what is actually going on with the situation and dealing with it accordingly-and how to keep you and yours safe in the process. You learn what’s life-threatening, what has time, and what’s actually just a difference in how people live.

    By learning to appreciate that some changes to forms are just things, we learn how to accommodate them, how to facilitate them, and how to foster the people who have them. Several disorders, both physical and mental, aren’t going to make things worse somehow-harder in some cases, sure, but worse, no. And in learning how to deal with that, we begin to learn a key point to people. The same continues onto what are merely perceived diseases and actual diseases in the minds of people-yes, AIDS is a problem we need to deal with, no, homosexuality is not, yes, bigotry supported by concepts of eternal judgment is a problem that should be deal with, no, not all brands of Christianity are bad, yes, fascist nationalist strains are bad, no, being German or American isn’t bad. By learning why we think of some things as revolting and what is not, and facilitating life where it stands, we build a safer world for ourselves, where more people can work on the actual problems.

    From there, we learn prevention-what we must do to actually make things safe. We learn immunizations and pills and diet and exercise, we learn counseling and community and approaches and care, we learn caution and awareness and testing. We get into taking care of ourselves, and learn of the connection between our bodies and our minds, and from there how the care of others contributes to our own wellness, the keeping of our place reflexively keeping the care of ourselves.

    And in the process of learning what poisons our myriad, expansive bodies and forms, we learn how to treat them. Often, it involves rotting and deforming them in their own way, a weakened plague here we can win against, a bit of poison to mute the cancer, a little deformity in the jaw to keep a preacher from ranting. Minds entertain bits of heinous reality, and the resulting gag reflex gets them cleaning up society, because the truth as it is is a disgusting thing, and no one wants the foundation to be foul Revulsion becomes the tool that consumes the revolting, that keeps it at bay. Ah, but how to keep that plague from becoming it’s own demon?

    The final lesson of revulsion, the long reconcilitation-though the form is part of the self, the self is not wholly the form. There is a dignity to any and all life, that affliction of form and the rot of meat from bones and the gnawing of the mind by disorders and illness do not render a person less than those who are hale and hearty-at all times, they are our peers, and at their best, they are our guides and sages down into that all too scary valley of the shadow.

    Forsworn of Revulsion, the Immortal

    Some people don’t seem to get touched. Let them drink and eat all they want, they’ll never gain weight. Let them eat or drink whatever they want, they’ll never hurl it back up. Let them tumble down a mountainside, get tossed off a motorcycle, smash into a stone bench-the worst is a minor bruise. Let the flu season waltz in and take down an entire office, watch some fuckers get, at worst, a headache. Instead of withering, some people just become silver foxes with time and time. There are some people who lives their whole lives, look out on a beautiful day in contentment and satisfaction, sit down on a bench, and fade off to meet death as their next companion, neither awaited nor rejected, simply as the next guide in the course of things*. Some of these people work for it, some luck into it.

    It doesn’t matter if the Immortal is one of these people-one of those blessed to stay whole of frame and mind throughout their life-or not. THe problem of the Immortal starts with the fact they think of themselves as one of those people. It doesn’t matter if they put in the work to be physically fit and healthily cohesive or just kind of coast on biologies quirks-the point is that they don’t believe they can be poisoned, diseased, disabled, crumpled up, withered, broken down-they don’t believe that anything will make them less than Whole, less than (at least within the realms of acceptability) Perfect of Body and Mind. Allergies, ADHD, food poisoning, arthritis, decreasing alcohol tolerance-these are things that happen to other people.

    And it does not take long for the Immortal to get some opinions on why it happens to other people.

    It’s hard to decide which starting attitude is worse as the Heroic mentality sinks in-whether it’s a matter of actions taken or essential nature. The former is quick to advise others of what they could do to avoid sickliness, poisoning, deformity disability. Maybe you eat too much meat, maybe you don’t eat enough meat. Maybe you sit around too much, maybe you care too much. Maybe it’s because you’re gay, maybe it’s because you’re homophobic. Maybe you never went to school, maybe you went to school. So on and so forth-the point for the former kind of Immortal is is that if you were, you know, more like them, you wouldn’t get the hangover or the flu, or maybe that bee sting wouldn’t have made your face half melted and your brain struggle to make the connections it used to. THe essentialist Immortals will instead ask question about why you were always going to be subject to this sort of shit, taking a long term view of what brought you to this blindness or autism or shortness of breath-maybe it’s a legitimate genetic problem that’s likely to continue, or maybe it’s because you’re Jewish of Latinx or what have you.

    THere’s a period where, while still dangerous, an Immortal is inclined towards guiding people towards better. The bias in an Immortal fighting to solve cancer or what have you is whatever they are weighing against, it can’t be anything explicit or inherent in themselves, because they just don’t decay, they have no personal fear of revulsion-any reaction towards a decaying form speaks to something outside of themselves. Not all Immortals are motivated on figuring out what’s wrong with others, let alone how to fix it, mind, but the better of the Immortals are found in this phase who do, even in their blindness, maintain an interest in making more people like them-in the sense of no longer succumbing to failure of form.

    That all changes when an Immortal becomes significantly sick, poisoned, disabled, or otherwise physically/mentally inhibited. When an Immortal meets this threshold, all bets are off. Whatever hostility was there before the fact will likely only magnify. Whatever magnaminty, however self-aggrandizing and pretentious it was before, enters a whole new realm of shaky ground.

    Because when something like this happens, it’s still not the Immortal’s fault. It’s something else’s-someone else’s-fault. When this happens, something-someone-wants to drag the Immortal down to their level, to bring their wholeness into imperfection, to bruise an apple shining brightly in the sun and break up an unclodden snowfield for no other purpose than wholeness must be offensive to someone. There are people out there to drag you down-to poison you, to disease you, to disable you, to make you lesser.

    An Immortal so afflicted is quick to start drawing the lines between them and us, finding the people who would be so miserable as to afflict, as to infirm, as to besmirch the frame of others, and finding those who do not succumb to such assaults. It’s a circle that cuts closer and closer as time goes on, and more so aggressively both outwards and inwards. Lovers become suspect as they express “Hey, that’s girl’s kinda cute”, enemies become more repulsive when they say “They all deserve to live”, the middle becomes sorted out based on where and when they sneeze or admit a drink was one too much. The failure has many forms, and all encroaching failures must be purged, because the Immortal will not fall.

    And this is why the Immortal is, miserably, immortal. They recognize failure of form as a prelude to dying, and they will not greet death on any terms less than their own. Taken too long, they’ll be alone, hateful, disdainful of all reality, and only take death because the world is so damned determined to destroy them, so they’ll do it on their own terms. Any situation before that? Must be resisted, must be fought, must be conquered and laid low, made to realize that they, who they are, could never be laid low.

    Like any sickness, there are shockingly multiple answers to the sickness of Immortality. Immortals who can be reasoned with before the fatal affliction hits can be possibly be swayed around to the flawlessness of a person who is still afflicted, Beasts hoping to reveal this left to rely on a Job’s gambit to persuade an Immortal of their buried humanity. Immortals post-affliction are harder to reach, and can often be reduced to isolation and still being afflicted before they can be forced to admit that nothing about them frees them from the cruel-fair, yes, for it’s utter impartiality, but cruel-dominion of the world. Namtaru who would seek to guide their brethren through the valley of the shadow of death, sadly, are also the exact sort of people the Immortal expects to guide them through the valley of the shadow of death.

    *So, fun fact, in June I had cousin die basically this way. Just sat on a bench after a long full life with another cousin of mine to rest after some walking, and never woke up. No implication he was struggling or fighting or in discomfort, just. Tired, then dead.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 07-19-2021, 01:53 AM.

  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Thanks folks!

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  • TerrorCooper
    replied
    Originally posted by Cleverest of Things View Post
    Arc, I have always been a huge fan of yours. And I must say, I wish your write-ups of the Families were what was in the books. You've helped me grok them so much better. I can't wait for Ugalu and Inguma. You are a treasure. All of this deserves to be Canon and outright stated.
    I wholeheartedly agree on sentiments 1, 2 and 4-6, with #4 being expanded to include the Tallasii.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cleverest of Things
    replied
    Arc, I have always been a huge fan of yours. And I must say, I wish your write-ups of the Families were what was in the books. You've helped me grok them so much better. I can't wait for Ugalu and Inguma. You are a treasure. All of this deserves to be Canon and outright stated.

    Leave a comment:


  • TerrorCooper
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Uhhhhhh.

    Probably never?

    Again, I'm not fangirling or homebrewing here, I'm checking thought processes for making books, both supplements and new (semi-/) editions. The plan for anywhere from one-to-seven books would need to be accepted and a lot of progress done depending on the plan accepted before I would want to spend time thinking about explicit fanmade things in the same way I think about those books. In the meantime, things like this are tuning and lowkey drumming up public support, and on an even shorter timeframe just saving myself explanation for other projects.

    Sorry if that sounds dismissive, it's just-like, I have my priorities here, and I have enough on my plate with trying to coherently express the above in a marketable way that dealing with fan works is just....not on the plate.

    Now, if Cinder becomes the Beast Dev and gets the Irkalla in there, obvious exception, I find that highly viable, but that comes when that comes.

    Eh, was just checking.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by TerrorCooper View Post
    Just thought of something; would it be possible for you to give this treatment to some of the homebrew families on these forums, such as the Irkalla, Kishin and Typhon (Nightmares of the End, Conflict and Chaos respectively)?

    It doesn't have to be now, or even for a while. I was mostly just wondering...
    Uhhhhhh.

    Probably never?

    Again, I'm not fangirling or homebrewing here, I'm checking thought processes for making books, both supplements and new (semi-/) editions. The plan for anywhere from one-to-seven books would need to be accepted and a lot of progress done depending on the plan accepted before I would want to spend time thinking about explicit fanmade things in the same way I think about those books. In the meantime, things like this are tuning and lowkey drumming up public support, and on an even shorter timeframe just saving myself explanation for other projects.

    Sorry if that sounds dismissive, it's just-like, I have my priorities here, and I have enough on my plate with trying to coherently express the above in a marketable way that dealing with fan works is just....not on the plate.

    Now, if Cinder becomes the Beast Dev and gets the Irkalla in there, obvious exception, I find that highly viable, but that comes when that comes.

    Leave a comment:


  • TerrorCooper
    replied
    Just thought of something; would it be possible for you to give this treatment to some of the homebrew families on these forums, such as the Irkalla, Kishin and Typhon (Nightmares of the End, Conflict and Chaos respectively)?

    It doesn't have to be now, or even for a while. I was mostly just wondering...

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Yeah, the Forsworn still have Gifts, Heroic Traits, Heroic Tracking/Stalking, and especially Anathema-the goal is to expand Heroes as they are into a version that groks better thematically. Mechanically, the Forsworn would add Lair, Satiety*, and [REDACTED]-which is what happens when Heroic Lair, Heroic Tracking, and Anathema come together as a Hero turns their eyes against a Beast or a Brood.

    "Can you not feel the world, turning in my direction already?", as if Lair wasn't bad enough already.

    *obviously, though, Heroic Lair and Satiety operates differently from Beastial and Insatiable Lair. Hero is a term of consequence.
    Thank you! Also, from the quote and "Heroic Lair", I'm thinking it's something that allows to a Hero to use the environment (the Beast's own Lair traits) to their own advantage (as is classic in stories)

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
    Arcane, the Forsworn still have the power of Anathema, correct? I love the writeups, but id be very sad to see such a staple power go
    Yeah, the Forsworn still have Gifts, Heroic Traits, Heroic Tracking/Stalking, and especially Anathema-the goal is to expand Heroes as they are into a version that groks better thematically. Mechanically, the Forsworn would add Lair, Satiety*, and [REDACTED]-which is what happens when Heroic Lair, Heroic Tracking, and Anathema come together as a Hero turns their eyes against a Beast or a Brood.

    "Can you not feel the world, turning in my direction already?", as if Lair wasn't bad enough already.

    *obviously, though, Heroic Lair and Satiety operates differently from Beastial and Insatiable Lair. Hero is a term of consequence.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Arcane, the Forsworn still have the power of Anathema, correct? I love the writeups, but id be very sad to see such a staple power go

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by TerrorCooper View Post

    The Foresworn are different types of Heroes, each arising from a potential member of the Begotten rejecting their Family-to-be's fear in a manner that's got a real high potential to become toxic.
    More specifically, it's a draft attempt to contextualize Heroes in a way that brings who and what heroes are into focus-as equal and opposite assholes to Beasts, as a deconstruction of the heroic paradigm to really get at the toxicity that exists within the paradigm, as one of the foremost expressions of familial struggle, as a way to keep the psychological element in the forefront.

    It's my answer for solving thematic and mechanical problems for Heroes as I sit here trying come up with an outline to pitch to Richard Thomas for at least the Beast Storyteller's Guide and at most a whole set of supplements and tenative Second Edtion. I put it up to see if I was on the right track. So far, it seems like the vision matches the ambition, as least in the edge of the sound it makes.

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  • TerrorCooper
    replied
    Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
    So, Forsworn are Heroes? and the idea is that this is a conception of Heroes where they have traits that directly conflict with specific Families?
    The Foresworn are different types of Heroes, each arising from a potential member of the Begotten rejecting their Family-to-be's fear in a manner that's got a real high potential to become toxic.

    Leave a comment:


  • Master Aquatosic
    replied
    So, Forsworn are Heroes? and the idea is that this is a conception of Heroes where they have traits that directly conflict with specific Families?

    EDIT: I just realized what's going on. Between my last few "mark all as read" clicks because of new thread density, a new project from two of my favorite essay writers was started. I'll look for it myself, but if someone wants to link me to a good starting point anyway, I would appreciate the gesture.
    Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 07-31-2021, 05:35 PM.

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  • TerrorCooper
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    I'm probably gonna talk about Hunger when I return to the Corebook review. I have the principles of thought down(Security to Desire to Excess, the lines between taking, destroying, returning, gifting to others, or keeping it), but I haven't found a flow for those principles I find satisfying.


    Well then, I'll happily await that time.

    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    This tickles the notion that the Three Children aren't just types of the Dark Mothers most direct offspring, but that they also represent the major philosophical stances of all three Children-Beasts are the most fluid and open to being Heroic or Insatiable instead of Beastial, but it's not impossible to find a Heoric or Beastial Insatiable or a Insatiable or Beastial Hero.


    Huh... Mind explaining, elaborating and extrapolating on that later? I think I get it, but i'd like to see what more you have on the subject.

    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    With due respect, the linked projects don't fit with the material Cinder and I are working into supplemental/second edition outlines.
    *Shrugs* Oh well, it was just an idea.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by TerrorCooper View Post

    Still, I'm completely loving these! Maybe you could move onto the Hungers after completing the Families? After taking a suitably long break of course! It'd just be interesting on how you develop them.
    I'm probably gonna talk about Hunger when I return to the Corebook review. I have the principles of thought down(Security to Desire to Excess, the lines between taking, destroying, returning, gifting to others, or keeping it), but I haven't found a flow for those principles I find satisfying.

    Though I can't help but wonder what would happen if seven Beasts (each 'born' to a different family) and seven Heroes (each Foresworn from a different fear) were to wind up all talking and conversing with each other enough to realize all of this, and subsequently decide to team up to help teach these lessons to all they can...
    This tickles the notion that the Three Children aren't just types of the Dark Mothers most direct offspring, but that they also represent the major philosophical stances of all three Children-Beasts are the most fluid and open to being Heroic or Insatiable instead of Beastial, but it's not impossible to find a Heoric or Beastial Insatiable or a Insatiable or Beastial Hero.

    Also, just thought of something; would you and Cinder be willing to start working together with me to try and cobble this 'series' of threads with these four other threads which also try and revamp heroes? I might not be the fastest, or most mentally agile, of folks, but I'm persistent, and willing to try and take things through to the end.
    With due respect, the linked projects don't fit with the material Cinder and I are working into supplemental/second edition outlines.

    Leave a comment:

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