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  • "Non-Malicious Durances?"

    Sorry about the title; I'm honestly not sure how to quickly phrase it. But mostly, this thread was inspired by this post by Arc. And it got me thinking; how would you do this sort of thing? More importantly, how would you do it and keep the core concept of "Never Go Back!"?

  • #2
    I'm pretty sure something like this would apply:



    It's the origin of a player character from Bareness Nerak's Malibu Dream House actual-play, and is by far the most benign of the origins. Not to say that it wasn't violent, but so long as you behaved and were a good pet, you didn't really have much to worry.

    Well, save being sold perhaps, or stolen.

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    • #3
      One of the characters I want to do sometime is one where the changeling and Stranger agree to go on a quest together, and they actually go at it as equals(more or less-Strangers are still alien creatures, after all), and when the quest is done, the changeling has freedom to go back home-but goes home to find out that the Stranger hadn't mentioned a damn thing about the time shifts.

      The changeling would be bitter about the time lost, some of the lies, but it's mixed in with the camaraderie and even the good times they had. Enough problems to not be a loyalist, but enough familiarity to not hate the True Fae.

      And you know, that can happen. Arcadia itself doesn't have to be terrible, but Never Go Back can be rooted in an experience still being intense, or in the lies that were told, or in what, ironically, another Stranger did to your own Keeper. Bittersweet durances are definitely a thing that can happen.

      There's a lot of flexibility in these things, just so long as the idea of going back is painful. By the time you return, something should hurt, even if it isn't necessarily anyone's fault.

      Going back might mean having to own up that you actually did it, as an example, whatever it is.

      Now, that said, I wouldn't advocate these things as the norm. But they can happen.
      Last edited by ArcaneArts; 02-28-2016, 01:24 AM.


      Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
      Feminine pronouns, please.

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      • #4
        Going to the Pevensies, as an example. They aren't quite a good example of the standard PC, but consider their experience, for a second.

        You were a king or a queen over fantastic lands. You have fought many wars, and you have reigned in several more eras of peace. You were loved, adored, and in tune with your people. But then, you remembered the places beyond the lamp post, and you were excited to go back, and you went-and now you're young and awkward again. You have all this experience that no one will ever be able to relate with you on. You have trouble dating, because the lovers you've had were just so much more mature and charming than this teenage rabble. Even the freshly returned soliders can't quite empathize with your own war experience-horseback and sword is so different from mustard gas and bullet. You're a little lost.

        You're glad to be back, of course. As amazing as the world beyond the wardrobe was, it wasn't quite home. You're glad you didn't give up on family and friends. Life is getting better, you're adjusting and enjoying the simpler things again. You forgot the simpler joys. There's something about home that feels warmer than Cair Paravel.

        You miss Narnia, of course. But in a strange way, you also resent it, because you're at home here, but you'll never fit in again here, until you forget enough. You don't know if you'd go back. You probably would, if you're honest, but in the mean time, you kind of hate it-it's the fault of that place that, as much as you're glad to be back, it will never quite sate you the same way now.

        Yeah, the Pevensies could be PCs. Even non-loyalist ones.


        Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
        Feminine pronouns, please.

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        • #5
          Also, while it runs the risk of completely destroying the point of it being a fiction, consider something of the opposite scenario from your average Durance.

          Your character had an abusive figure in their life-but despite that, your character still loved this person a lot. Still, one day, a Stranger decided that they couldn't stand the sight of you being hurt, so it took you away. It explained, it gave you a full picture of what was going on. You knew it had done right, but in your heart of hearts, it drives you crazy that you were taken away. So you go home, and time has changed, and that person is dead or nearly dead, or you just managed to lose the childhood you might have had if you stayed with them, the what-ifs of them becoming better.

          Can you hate your Durance? Maybe not for what was done to you-you were taken care of, loved and raised as well as the Stranger could. But you've come to understand that while your important person was at fault, they were dealing with really hard circumstances-maybe a series of strokes had muddled their memory and affected their patience and such. Even if none of that was true, it was your right to leave, your right to say "I don't want to be with this person anymore", not the Stranger's. You might not hate it for what was done to you, but you still feel bitter over what you lost anyways.

          Maybe, one day, you can forgive your Keeper. It only had your best interests at heart. You know that. But for now, it hurts, and going back before it stops-you can't do it.

          Sometimes, you get traumatized because someone had good intentions.


          Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Feminine pronouns, please.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post
            Sorry about the title; I'm honestly not sure how to quickly phrase it. But mostly, this thread was inspired by this post by Arc. And it got me thinking; how would you do this sort of thing? More importantly, how would you do it and keep the core concept of "Never Go Back!"?



            Meow! Meow meow meow. Purrrrrr.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ZealousChristian24 View Post
              Sorry about the title; I'm honestly not sure how to quickly phrase it. But mostly, this thread was inspired by this post by Arc. And it got me thinking; how would you do this sort of thing? More importantly, how would you do it and keep the core concept of "Never Go Back!"?
              So the first thought that pops to my mind is "He's a LOYALIST!! Kill him!!!' (Second thought is "Whoah! Don't kill him, that's hasty. Let me torture him for answers first." Needless to say my first two thoughts are either an Ogre and a Darkling, or maybe an Darkling and a Fairest or some combination there-of) Can only gain Clarity if those Seemings have their way.

              Yeah talking about how your durance wasn't so bad is... well to be honest the immediate real-life comparison that comes to mind could be considered crass and insensitive to even bring up the comparison.

              So instead of making a comparison, I'll paint a picture with words.

              Imagine helpless people being violated gruesomely and strung out on mind-melting addictive traumas in the worst ways imaginable and then make it beyond the bounds of all reason where there are no physics to limit the suffering or trauma they can feel. Then picture those people in a support group drinking coffee and introducing themselves like in a 12 step program, having carved a chunk out of their own psyche to escape like a coyote chewing off its paw to escape a trap.

              Now picture someone nonchalantly coming in, taking the last doughnut, spitting in the coffee pot, and tells everyone else that "Hey, I went through what you guys did, but it wasn't that bad and I prefer not being human. Wouldn't mind going back to Arcadia for vacation if I get a chance... Meh..."

              Okay You have that all pictured, hold it in your mind like a video on 'pause'. Now factor in a good chunk of the populace chewed off their impulse control that inhibited violence, betrayal, impoliteness, and the ability to standby when the welfare of others is being threaten. That person who just walked in obviously trivializes all their trauma and seems like he has no reason to be against their most dangerous foe.

              What do you think happens when you 'unpause' that mental picture?
              Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 02-28-2016, 02:37 AM.


              “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
              "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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              • #8
                Well, yeah, if someone was that much of an asshole, you'll get the response you're thinking of.

                But it's not like changelings don't get the allure of Arcadia. It's not like they can all say strictly bad things about their time in Arcadia. Autumn and Spring were built very heavily on the idea of sympathy for the people who miss Arcadia, or even have an awkward relationship that can't be quite summarized as pain and anger and fear.

                Something has to make returning to Arcadia painful. It can't just be "Oh, everything was sunshine and roses". That's not the story. You don't stay back if everything was fine, if you ever leave in the first place.

                But trauma takes many forms. To pretend that there aren't some bittersweet versions of a Durance is to diminish the effect of trauma.

                One of the three most traumatic moments in my life was when my mother separated from my father. No one was at fault, really(it was just a bad hand), and my life did not suddenly become hell, I wouldn't even dare call it harder than it was before. But that didn't stop my life breaking the day I realized we weren't moving back.

                Changeling can tell those sorts of stories.


                Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                Feminine pronouns, please.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think the question that the player needs to answer when thinking about a non-malicious durance is, why haven't you already gone back. For that matter, why didn't you stay in the first place either?

                  A Changeling who want's to go back but can't. Who finds that they no longer fit into the mortal world, you could tell a good changeling story about that. You could even have Huntsmen if their old Keeper's enemies make a move on them.


                  “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                  My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                  Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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                  • #10
                    This thread reminds me of this article that I recently read: https://medium.com/@emmalindsay/what...6cd#.4ud5nhjf0

                    Instead of commenting on the article, I'll instead point this out: a part of what makes a Durance traumatic is that you end up having to fight yourself to maintain your agency. Agency isn't some magical spell that happens to you one day and suddenly you're doing everything of your own free will forever and always. It's choosing to choose for yourself, every day. It can be very exhausting, being your own person.

                    You have to remind yourself why you left. Why your reasons were good reasons. Because it's not necessarily obvious all the time. Even if it was hell, you look back and think, well... maybe I could have changed things. Couldn't I have done something differently, to make it better? Wasn't it, really, my fault? Shouldn't I go back? Make it better? I know now; couldn't I just... be aware of it and be stronger and more insistent this time around? And you have to remind yourself. Over and over and over. And you have to choose yourself, and choose to choose, and not just get swept along. Again.

                    For a lot of people, this is easy. The freedom is intoxicating, and it fits with them naturally. Agency just clicks. For others, it's more like a poorly-sized piece of clothing. It's just never comfortable, even though you've gotta wear something. It's always just taking up space in your mind.


                    I call the Integrity-analogue the "subjective stat".
                    An explanation how to use Social Manuevering.
                    Guanxi Explanations: 1, 2, 3.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                      But trauma takes many forms. To pretend that there aren't some bittersweet versions of a Durance is to diminish the effect of trauma.
                      I agree. There are many sources and types of trauma. Even things that feel amazing at the time can be sources of guilt, shame, and addiction. Cults frequently use intense "love bombing" as a way to tear down emotional walls to leave the recruit feeling safe while they're actually at their most vulnerable, just to turn off all affection if they recruit steps out of line. Being surrounded with affection, attention, seeming acceptance and praise are all amazing things but even good things can make you hurt when they are taken from you.

                      Imagine being in love with someone who when they're happy the sun shines in a perfect vanilla sky and the birds twitter around as they sing with joy, whose kiss is like honeyed dew on rose petals and every word out of those rose petal lips makes your heart ache with contentment. Now imagine you accidentally didn't profess you love fast enough and the sky darken with storm clouds, the rain beats on you ever pushing you further from your beloved as you shout your apologies into the roaring winds. The water surges and you are swept from her ivory tower and the clouds part and the sun and birds are once again as they had been. You look up and see someone else in your place, someone else making your love happy and you are forgotten. You are in the tangled thicket where the strange creature prowl looking for meat dropped from the tower and you realize that YOU are the meat this day...

                      Is that the kind of thing you mean? If not, would you please list an example.


                      “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                      "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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                      • #12
                        It's entirely possible to have the most diehard anti-Arcadia changeling that still had the best Durance ever, simply if their Keeper was "killed" by another Stranger. It's a thing that happens in the Feuds of the Gentry. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and in order for everyone to stay alive and relevant, some of the True Fae have to lose Titles. So when the Keeper "dies", the changelings escape. They aren't Loyalists because they loathe the other Gentry, the assholes who killed the person they loved so much. For those changelings, Arcadia is ruined. It will never be the same, now that it's defiled and spoiled with such a heinous "death." The changeling feels terribly uncomfortable in the material world. They can't go back to Arcadia, because it's ruined, they don't like the Hedge, because it does Weird Things, and the material world is just so hollow and bland.

                        Alternatively, maybe the Keeper just left or disappeared. Maybe the Arcadian realm was too fragile, and was absorbed and changed by another, so things just weren't the same anymore.


                        My homebrew hub.

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                        • #13
                          Another example could be a Durence that you enjoyed, at first, till one day it dawned on you what a horrible person you'd become, cruel and selfish with your Keeper encouraging all your worse traits.

                          I can see this being common with certain Kiths.

                          Then there are the honey and stick Keepers they horrible brutalize you when your "bad", the punishments are a pure hell, but when your "good" the rewards are just heavenly.

                          Then there are Keepers whose Changelings,
                          experienced pleasures so intense they became more then the Changeling could endure.

                          Changelings who had pleasant, but lonely durances.

                          Then there Changelings who had absolutely horrible durances, with no redeeming qualities , but who enjoy the perts of being a Changeling.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                            You're glad to be back, of course. As amazing as the world beyond the wardrobe was, it wasn't quite home. You're glad you didn't give up on family and friends. Life is getting better, you're adjusting and enjoying the simpler things again. You forgot the simpler joys. There's something about home that feels warmer than Cair Paravel.
                            To be fair, I doubt most people would ever want to leave Narnia. While there were some spots of grave danger, most of them were treated extremely well by their keeper. They had to 'accidentally' stumble back into the human realm in the first place, and desperately wanted to go back.

                            Reminds me of that Oglaf comic strip where the gentleman turns down paradise in exchange for turnips.

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                            • #15
                              I was trying to spin a version that wasn't loyalist. it also occurs to me that Susan shouldn't be the only one with a *cough cough* problem. I think there's a lot of room for conflict for the Pevensies on the whole between books. Some just have them deeper than others when confronted with Narnia again.


                              Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                              Feminine pronouns, please.

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