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Author Topic: The Book of the Fallen - The End  (Read 2781 times)
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Kane
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« on: March 15, 2010, 04:47:46 AM »

This ends the second serial. I hope you enjoyed it and understand how I see the Sahi in the later Third Age.  I also hope that you didn’t realize I was talking about Sunulael until the later chapters of the serial.  I tried to keep it hidden for as long as possible. The Night Kings are a crucial part of the setting going from heroes to villains.  I don’t know if I would ever call the Keeper/Sunulael a hero on the scale of Jahzir or Ardherin, but he was influential and is now insanely powerful. 

On our protagonist Ramaz, he fled the school and lived for the remaining few years of the Kingdom in a Badrua in the plains southwest of Baden’s Bluff. When the Kingdom fell he was forced to flee and ended up in the extreme southwest of the Kingdom as a fortuneteller, advisor, and scribe. Once the Kingdom fell, he never stayed anywhere for more then a few seasons as Sunulael hunted down everyone who opposed his rise to power. After a few years the hunt became more of a game to Sunulael who allowed Ramaz to build relationships only so the Night King could inflict more pain. Now fifty years later, Ramaz is a long discarded toy of little interest. Ramaz could have stopped running years ago, but out of habit and fear, he kept running until finally he took his own life. 

So, was Ramaz a coward?  Could he have halted the Night King’s ascension?  In my opinion, only if Ramaz or one of the senior Sahi acted in those first days after the Dark God revealed his presence (as Dal Sahaad) could they have stopped him.  It is doubtful that Izrador would risk revealing himself for a half formed tool.  Sunulael could have been killed and the Dark God would have looked for another Sahi to replace him. Killing Sunulael would only have delayed the inevitable.  Ramaz’s life was wasted and it would have been better if he had allowed himself to be captured or killed himself before everyone he loved was slaughtered. That’s where his true cowardice lies; valuing his own life over everyone else’s.

As always, comments and suggestions are appreciated.  I’m always looking at ways to improve my writing.  I’m still working on another serial, this time under the Kaladruns.  I have to work a few things out to make sure I have an ending to the story.

Kane
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Pheros
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 11:15:13 AM »

Thanks for another great story Kane!  Very interesting.  I hadn't picked up on who the Keeper was until the discussion about it on the other thread...I like the way you played his descent into the Shadow.

I like the journal type-style.  Very personal, really lets you get into a character's head. 

Keep up the awesome stories.
Joe
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Kane
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 04:10:58 PM »

Pheros,

Glad you like them.  The journal style is easier for me to write and it allows for a longer story.  I've had some ideas that I couldn't do justice with a one shot 1,000-1,500 word piece.  The journal also forces me to get off my sometimes lazy butt and write and keeps me on schedule.

The next serial is a dwarven piece set about 92 LA, so it's current enough for those looking for something that affects the now, but gives me enough room to develop a concept or two.  If I remember, I'll start it next Monday.

Kane
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smeagol
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2010, 08:28:09 PM »

Hi Kane,

That was a lovely piece of writing. I especially liked the description of the Sahi school in the Late Third Age and the irresistible (?) possession of Sulunael by Izrador. Ironically, what striked me most when I first read about Sulunael when M1E came out, was that I imagined that he was actually a very fervent man who was desperately searching for a sign from the Sorshef. I didn't see him as arrogant or despising his own religion, but instead as a misled believer.

Actually in my mind's eye, and in my own interpretation, I was thinking that he incarnated what is dangerous about "blind" worship: the risk to see this devotion turned for evil ends (for example, let's compare this with what evils could have been done in the Middle Ages - and later - by fervent believers of a loving god, who suddenly forgot about the loving and used their piety with their swordarm to crush other people just because they weren't "believers", for "the greater good" - ad majorem gloriam Dei. Or how in recent times, followers of another religion were led to acts that are contrary to their own religion's tenets - no flame war intended here).

Your story also raises ethical questions: what means are necessary to ensure that evil is kept at bay? As you wrote, murdering Sulunael would only have led Izrador to possess another "vessel". What strikes me most is the inability of the school's teachers and "authorities" to uncover the "heresy" and treat it in an appropriate way. As if they had forgotten the Sorshef's teachings (mental fortitude, ability to see clearly the Dark God's lies for what they are). It reflects IMHO the fact that the school and the priests were already decadent and morally weakened enough that they couldn't resist the dark god's lure as they could have in the past. ironically, Sulunael's story illustrates (for me at least) that they had lost the true faith: not always repeating rites, but truly understanding the meaning of the Sorshef's parables.Only that could have saved them.

I don't see really how would a youngling like the narrator could have changed the course of events. It was clearly, in my view, the elders' duty to understand what was at stake and react accordingly. Sulunael could he have been stopped? The way the school is described, I doubt it. The Sahi had lost the true understanding of the Sorshef's wisdom. At least, that's my interpretation of your story...

Now, I think it would be interesting "in game", to have PCs discover this journal, only to put a name on a Night King (only Jahzir is known by most). Perhaps also adding hints to any "weaknesses" Sulunael might have had when the journal was written, that could be exploited by PCs. I have this idea of "campaign goals" to set the demise of one Night King at a time, each with a different group of PCs (yes, that would likely take them to levels beyond 20 just to have a chance to reach a conclusion, but that would make epic-ending climaxes for tragically doomed heroes. And even if they manage to defeat a NK, they would likely see him replaced by another, perhaps even one of the most powerful PCs "tempted" by Izrador. Or, in the time necessary ofr Izrador to choose another pawn and corrupt him, that would disrupt the pracarious balance of power between the remaining NKS that could be exploited by the Witch Queen...). I like to be able to exploit stories as "fuel" for my adventure ideas.
 
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"Il n'est pas besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre ni de réussir pour persévérer" - Devise de la famille d'Orange
Kane
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 04:54:49 AM »

Smeagol,

Great comments. When I wrote the serial I had in mind that the Sorshef were divided into 3-4 groups; true believers that had closed themselves off from the people (monastics or Keepers), believers who tried to keep the faith going but were really just going through the motions, people like the protagonist who were there out of duty, and finally folks (like the Abbot) who were there for political purposes.  I think the only two people that could have stopped Zunulael, were the Abbot due to his position of authority and influence in the city and the greater Sorshef and Sahi Tayam.  Both had to be removed for Sunulael to take his fateful steps toward the Dark God.

Each serial, I try to get across not just a story but something more about the setting.  In this one, it was about how a Sahi school would be organized and run, and how it was perceived in the alter Third Age.  I guess I was trying to humanize the setting material and give it a bit more depth. I'm always very happy if people can make use of it.

Kane
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