“No one should be surprised that Harry was the guy responsible for maybe the largest single act of violence in supernatural history.”I’m just going to leave this quote without comment here. Marvel at it.
Also, double warning for Changes spoilers.
So, Las Tierras Rojas (which, the book informs me, translates as the Red Lands because evidently the book went psychic just to fuck with me) is the territory formerly controlled by the Red Court before it got genocide’d. It covers South and Central America, plus parts of Mexico.
Honestly, I’m feeling unqualified to talk about RL stuff here since my knowledge about this parts of the world is rather sketchy and mostly gained from osmosis. I do know that the territory is huge and covers quite a few of countries with their own distinct atmospheres and problems, so I question making a chapter about all of them rather than focusing on one city like the previous ones did. Yes, the conflict born out of the massive power vacuum affects them all, but the same can be said about Russian Revolution, and the devs had no problems focusing on Novgorod only. I’m also pretty sure the territory is generally less white than the illustrations suggest.
Anyway, in lieu of this, I’m mostly going to focus on supernatural side of things. Thankfully, that’s what the book focuses on, too, leaving RL side mostly sketchy aside from using some famous locations as backdrops. If you notice something offensive here that I’ve missed, point it out.
So, this chapter deals directly with the aftermath of Changes book. The Red Court, a powerful vampire organization, was wiped out, leaving behind a grandiose power vacuum waiting to be filled by those quick and powerful enough to use the opportunity.
On top of political side of things, the genocide ritual has also saturated its site with magical energy, creating a place of enormous power ripe for someone to claim it and bend to their whims.
As such, the book says you can introduce pretty much any kind of character from anywhere in the world as an antagonist, an ally or a PC. Everyone who’s anyone has a reason to be here, be it lust for power, mundane or supernatural, or desire to help common people caught in the crossfire.
It’s a nice setup for the game, so I approve.
Now, to the specific organizations entangled in the conflict.
The first is the PC organization, the Fellowship of St. Giles. They were half-turned Red Court vampires clinging to their humanity and fighting against their would-be peers. After the genocide, they turned human again and most of them died due to rapidly aging through decades they spent as vampires. Many left, finally being free from their curse and able to live normal lives, the rest stayed to protect common people. The remnants of the organization consist of relatively inexperienced field agents (at least by vampire standards, some of them have a decade or two of experience) and suddenly very aged members relegated to purely advisory work.
It’s a good PC organization: heroic, driven, knowledgeable enough to find issues in need of fixing, but lacking resources and characters more powerful than PCs. With them, it’s easy to justify why only three people do anything about this incredibly important problem: the rest either can’t walk, let alone fight, or are busy dealing with other incredibly important problems.
The only downside to them is that they’re essentially pure mortals, which is not as interesting as playing around with various powers, but I guess you can justify having a wizard or other magical practitioner around as vampires had magic too (which kinda goes against the idea magic embodies life Harry spouted in the first book). Plus, it could serve as a source of conflict: the narration notes many members of the organization feel lost without the vampiric powers because they came to rely on them even though they hated what they represented. As such, it should be easy to tempt characters into making dark deals with demon, fae or even more sinister powers like God to gain a measure of the old power.
We’re back to suggested PCs being the focal points for potential parties, by the way, so it’s a good time to introduce the first one: Alejandra Castillo. She’s a young-ish (in her thirties. She was 22 when she was turned, then gained a decade after the event) member of the Fellowship and the narrator for this chapter, supposedly sending these materials to Harry (not being aware he’s out of the picture) in hopes he would help or even convince the White Council to send help. Enjoy the information you bled for to gather being used in-universe for creating a nerdy game, Alejandra.
There is a moment in her backstory I have a problem with:
“She tried to run but the vampire caught her and, on Morales’ orders, turned her and left her in an alley. I guess the assumption was that she would wake up, find someone to feed on, kill them, and complete the transformation.
Luckily, Alejandra wasn’t the only one watching Morales. A member of the Fellowship of St. Giles, a British woman named Lisa Sterling, was investigating him and saw the whole encounter go down. She was there when Alejandra woke up. She helped Alejandra through the hardest parts of the change and brought Alejandra into the Fellowship.”
So, that doesn’t make much sense. Why leave her in an alley instead of locking in a room with an intended victim, ensuring smooth transformation?
It’s not like it’s even necessary for the backstory to work: you can easily say that Lisa has interfered in the encounter, killing or driving off the vampire, but was too late to prevent the infection. Would also help to avoid the whole “seen everything, did nothing” issue which isn’t really elaborated on at all.
Anyway, despite losing her vampire powers and suddenly gaining a decade of unexpected age on her, she’s still a badass with nearly maxed battle stats and appropriate aspects. Unfortunately, she falls into the old “how do I emotions” archetype. Specifically, she considers displaying emotions a weakness and tries to suppress them. Her case is somewhat better than the usual use of this trope, though, since until very recently she had to fight with her hunger and letting her emotions slip could have meant someone’s death (and, since she remained the half-vampire until the very end, we know she didn’t slip even once). Still, it’s a rather overused trope for female badasses and not one I appreciate seeing. At least she’s not in an actual story, so we can imagine her being handled reasonably well, like Rin or Shiki, rather than being closer to Katniss, and her hatred seems to be aimed in the right direction: to the Red Court and other vampires, fae toying with people, powerful warlocks practicing human sacrifice and the White Council.
Speaking of the White Council, they’re actually kinda sorta villainous here. Specifically, they had an organization in their ranks called the Keepers of Secrets. Basically, spies picked out of relatively young wizards with talents for subtlety and discretion who didn’t make names for themselves so they could operate without fear of being recognized.
I have a problem with that, by the way, since we later see that one of them is capable of changing his appearance with magic, so being recognized shouldn’t be a big issue. But OK, maybe the Red Court had enough info to notice when one of the major hitters suddenly couldn’t be located or something.
Anyway, these guys were spying on the Red Court during its war with the Council. Then:
“They were to observe and report back only; they did so for at least two years.
Eventually, though, they grew dissatisfied with their passive role. Whether this was because they could not bear to see the suffering of the people, or because they became inspired by the actions of the Fellowship, or because they simply saw an opportunity, the Keepers began to take a more active part in the war. They started planting misinformation, performing assassination and sabotage missions, and even confronting vampires directly. What they did was necessary and right.
The White Council did not agree, deeming the Keepers’ actions to be too risky. When the Blackstaff (who they supposedly reported to) found out what they were doing, he severed all ties between the Keepers and the Council, disavowing them entirely.”
OK, so normally I’m in favor of the White Council being the bad guys. Firstly, they deserve it with their “kill anyone who learns about us” policy from the first book and the whole Native Americans genocide enabling. Secondly, it’s just more interesting that way when the protagonists can’t rely on any major organizations having their backs or providing any support that doesn’t come with a terrible price. By Cthulhu below, this series need all noir it can get.
This, however, makes no sense. The Council was at war to extinction with ancient powerful blood-sucking monsters who weren’t averse to summoning Cthulhu to fight for them. They’ve passed “too risky” so far behind, it’s time to ask instead “is it risky enough?” Especially considering the Red Court could easily boost its numbers by biting people, while the supply of wizards is very limited. I mean, what’s the worst outcome here? The Keepers get killed. Is it really worse than having them turn on the Council itself out of sense of betrayal?
Seriously, who the fuck turns their back on an organization that’s still loyal to them, still working towards party-approved goal and is way outside their reach?
It seems to me the devs wanted to play the old “secret agents suddenly find themselves without government support and are forced to go rogue, relying only on their skills” trope without understanding why it works. Normally, the government drops their agents either because they’ve already gone rogue and do their own thing which can cause all sorts of problems if someone were to discover it and connect the agent to the government, or because helping the agent would be too costly and not worth whatever benefits the agent can provide.
Neither seem to be in place here. The Council apparently losing control over the Keepers is a concern, yes, but a more sane course of action would be to recall them and send to more active duty as Wardens or whatever. Then the Keepers could refuse and go rogue on their own accord.
I always say I have no problems altering stuff I don’t like, so let me present to you a few alternative scenarios for how the Keepers could have been separated from the Council that I consider better than what the book tells us.
1) The Keepers did everything they did with Council’s approval because misinformation, assassinations and sabotage is what spies are for, and the Council really couldn’t afford the battle of attrition here. The problem was, the Keepers went after other monsters as well eventually, in particular Winter fae eating people. The Council was in an alliance with Winter at the time, as I recall, and they wouldn’t have risked that alliance just because some people died. So, they ordered the Keepers to stop, the Keepers refused, the Council dropped them and made sure everyone important knew they were acting on their own from then on.
2) The Keepers broke a bunch of Laws of Magic during the war, in particular the ones about mind magic because it’s just so, so useful for information gathering and infiltration. The Council officially didn’t know about it, but tacitly approved because the war to extinction. After the war, however, the Keepers got labeled warlocks and were met by a squad of Wardens on their way back home. Some escaped, getting back to their established power base, far away from the Council’s seat of power. Their fate depends on how much stock you put in the corruptive influence of breaking the Laws: they could be villains by now, consumed by dark magic without realizing it and still thinking they’re doing the right thing even as they rip to shreds minds of people they think deserve it. They could be tragic heroes, struggling against the corruption and trying to separate wrong from right, even as their sanity slips through their fingers. Or they could be mostly OK, just having their natural flaws more pronounced.
3) The Keepers got into criminal business. From what I understand, it’s not exactly uncommon for spies to expand their horizons as far as shady dealings are concerned. With the help from the center being inadequate, smuggling, racket and other fun things provide a great opportunity to raise funds for your operations as well as useful contacts. Doesn’t even need to be too evil: I’ve heard there were good money in marijuana business, and, for more heroic characters, drug smuggling involves medical drugs approved by the authorities that are simply not available or are insanely expensive in some countries. So, anyway, after the war either the Council disapproved of this and kicked the Keepers out of their ranks, or the Keepers decided they have it all already, they have a name for themselves here, so why go back to being errant boys in service of some old fuckers who just refuse to die and free their positions?
4) A big mission has gone wrong, a lot of Keepers got captured. The remaining ones requested help from the Council and were denied. The orders were to return home. Either way, they refused, went after their comrades (probably with little success) and afterwards cut ties with the Council.
Try to come up with your own scenarios, it’s fun!
Anyway, with the Council cutting ties with them, the Keepers are on their own. Their old enemy is gone, but there are still plenty of monsters around, and it’s a safe bet the Keepers would go after them.
The suggested Keeper PC is Mitchel Blanchard, a master of illusions who isn’t that good at direct combat and prefers to confuse his enemies and make them attack each other. He also has a remarkably unremarkable face, easy to lose in a crowd. He’s rather blank when it comes to personality, though, the only definite trait being “driven.” Driven to what remains up to the player to decide.
As such, I don’t care much about him as a character since, well, he’s not much of one, but as a suggested PC he works: he ties you with a conflict and suggests a playstyle (spy stuff), but leaves it up to you how to role-play him.
I think it’s actually a better option than what we had so far. I like some of the suggested PCs well enough, but I also know I won’t play many of them because their personalities is not something I would enjoy emulating, or their personal conflicts don’t interest me as a player. With him, I have more room to customize the character.
That seems to be a fluke rather than a deliberate thing, though, as other characters are generally more defined.
The next faction is the White Court, which is strangely quiet in the context. Their presence is pretty small, they don’t make any moves and don’t even attempt to solidify their position, though the ones that are present in the area seem to wait for something big. The book doesn’t tell us what they’re waiting for because of course. So I’m going to assume it’s Weirdmageddon. Harry just finished a grand ritual which saturated the area with magical energy, with the help of his mother’s work no less, and under the mental influence of a certain person who was in cahoots with subHarry, so of course it’s the culmination of Bill’s plan.
We’re also introduced to a new White Court family that feeds on anger. They’re apparently not affiliated with the leader of the White Court and mostly do their own thing, though they seem to be in the middle of that big something.
They also give us another suggested PC, Eva Marino.
“When I met her, Eva was kneeling over the body of a man in the street. I knew what she was, but apparently she hadn’t known until that moment. My intention was to kill her but…I could not. The dead man had clearly beaten her badly and she had fed on his wrath. The rage of his beating had only strengthened her, fueled the demon within her. In the end, the man’s fury had killed him. Eva had no idea what had happened; she was hurt, terrified, and nearly paralyzed with confusion. I took pity on her.”
Not sure what to think about it. Her story hits way too close to “she asked for it” for my comfort since her power is what caused the man to beat her, but at least her portrayal is sympathetic and it’s not treated as her fault since she didn’t really control it?
Either way, I would prefer the despair vampires. Antidepressant team, go!
Anyway, she’s a vigilante, striking against the powerful to protect the powerless. The book advises to raise big moral question should you focus the game on her and her allies, with emphasis on them sometimes going too far and doing bad things because DF is weirdly obsessed with vigilantism being bad for a setting with supernatural creatures not beholden to any law but their own lurking around. It’s even noted in-universe that the Laws of the Council are flawed and the Accords binding major supernatural organizations are cruel and care not for any kind of morality, so you’d think the book would be more open to the idea of people taking justice in their own hands since there is no one else to protect them.
I mean, exploring moral questions and where you draw the line between justice and vengeance is generally good, but I don’t see much difference between Eva and the Keepers in that context. The Keepers are actually at a higher risk to go bad, I would say, what with being professional spies with everything that implies.
The fourth and last suggested PC is officer Eduardo Galleti, a clued-in cop who tried to report supernatural stuff to his superiors only to be suspended from his job indefinitely. He transferred to military police (which is apparently the crime prevention unit rather than investigation) and continued the good fight.
I would note that it’s the second clued-in pure mortal cop in four setting chapters. Third cop overall, though Betty was sufficiently different in concept that I don’t hold it against her. While the concept does work fine and has its place in the game, repeating it really seems to be redundant. It would be easy to copy the Las Vegas officer and her squad here, and, likewise, it would be easy to transfer Eduardo to Las Vegas if someone’s really enamored with him. As such, I would have preferred to see someone else in his place. Maybe someone attracted to the area by the recent events for a change, here to claim the power left behind by the Red Court, political or supernatural. The book talks a lot about such characters, but doesn’t actually provide examples.
Otherwise, Eduardo is fine if a bit blank as well.
Next, we move on to the antagonistic factions.
The first is the Old Gods. Apparently, the Red Court has defeated and captured old Inca gods to drink their blood and gain their powers. I’m actually OK with this because if you’re a vampire, drinking a god is a logical next step to drinking humans.
Now that the Red Court is no more, they’re returning. The book is pretty vague on them and doesn’t describe any of them at all, except for Supay, who’s apparently a god of death and demons, who are treated as regular demons because DF demons aren’t even necessary Christian ones (though Christianity does have a history of proclaiming anything mythological they don’t like demons, so maybe it actually has a spiritual impact here).
Supay has a small cult led by a crazed prophet skilled in necromancy and demonology, a pretty straightforward villain.
Next is Manco Capac, a founder of Inca empire, apparently returned back to life and planning to take over the world because OF COURSE.
So, Manco Capac is an actual historical and mythological character, a leader of the tribe that eventually became the Inca empire who led them to a place where they built their first city. By all accounts, he was a pretty typical warlord: good for his people, but ruthless in dealing with other tribes, conquering some and defending his city against others. In myths, he also did some shady things like turning his brothers to stone to ascend to the throne, but that’s not uncommon in founder myths as well.
Here, however, he’s presented as an outright villain, which is kinda weird when you consider that the Senior Council members would have started with a mindset not too different from his.
There are also a couple of other problems with him. Firstly, the guy himself claims to be a reincarnation of the original Manco Capac, but the narration insists that he must be the original one, laying low until now out of fear of the Red Court. Pretty sure that would make him older than anyone on the Senior Council (how old is the oldest member? Four hundreds years? Manco Capac would be reaching eight hundreds). Also, just why? It’s more logical to assume he’s an opportunist using an old legend to attract some following. It’s not exactly unheard of to claim to be the rightful ruler of the land to gain an aura of legitimacy when you have none. Russia had three false royal heirs at one point, coming one after another to usurp the throne after the boy died under suspicious circumstances leaving open the possibility of his survival. They were all in one lifespan, but that’s because nothing supernatural was involved.
Game-wise, it’s supposedly done to have the guy be on the level of the Senior Council, but his stats actually aren’t that great. He’s dangerous mostly because he’s totally willing to sacrifice people (which greatly simplifies preparation for big rituals) and generally break the Laws of Magic (which gives you bonuses when you’re breaking them again), and that’s something your regular warlock can do just fine without being a Heroic Spirit.
Oh, and then we have this little gem:
“I do not think Manco Capac was the son of a god. I believe he was a wizard meddling in mortal affairs.”
Murphy: Harry always says that Council members— especially the powerful ones —aren’t supposed to do this.
Billy: Yeah. And this wasn’t just meddling. If Alejandra’s right, Capac used his power and knowledge to found an entire kingdom that lasted nearly three hundred years. That’s pretty major.
Yes, indeed it is. In fact, I can recall of the top of my head only one other wizard who did something like that. His name starts with ‘M’ and ends with ‘erlin’. Seriously, is the book going to address this? Fucking Merlin stands for non-interference. Merlin, whose whole thing was meddling in mortal affairs with gusto. I mean, I’m willing to believe he’s stopped after the whole Mordred thing and what followed, but some acknowledgment of it would be nice, you know.
It’s very clear that Butcher used Merlin as the founder of the Council because everyone knows Merlin, not because he would actually fit the role (especially considering Merlin was either a half-demon or a changeling, depending on who you ask).
You know who would fit as the founder of the Council? Especially the more noir corrupt version of it? Koschei. He’s all about holding on to the status quo, and in stories he’s consistently portrayed as a greedy hoarder interested only in accumulating and protecting his wealth rather than actually doing anything with it, which fits nicely with the idea of the White Council caring only about securing their interests and spitting on common people.
(Also, of course Harry would say he’s not supposed to do anything to help people. It hurts him to stand aside with his thumbs up his ass. Hurts, I tell you, but he’s going to be strong and do what’s necessary: nothing.)
Anyway, I don’t object to Manco Capac being a villain here since the conqueror mindset is pretty villainous in modern times, though it really seems like he should have a better reason to not do anything in hundreds of years than being afraid of the Red Court. He could have moved somewhere else, gather followers, then try to attack or something. It’s a long time. Besides, I’m pretty sure there is a legend about him returning one day to lead his empire to a new glory, the usual king under the hill stuff, and the aftermath of a major ritual saturating everything with mana seems like the right time for that to happen.
The next factions are fae. Winter and Summer Courts don’t do anything big and mostly just block each other from making any significant moves. Some individual fairies hunt humans in remote areas and such, but they have little support from their superiors.
There are, however, two new fae factions: Apu and Anjana. Apu are apparently mountain gods local to Andes who were worshiped by people there back in the day. I’m not sure why they count as fairies, honestly. DF generally has no problems with introducing various supernatural creatures across the world and make them belong to their own categories. Typical fae trappings, like glamours, seelie/unseelie magic and the weakness to cold iron also don’t make much sense for Apu. I get the desire for simplification of cosmology and categorization, but I think it’s misplaced in a setting founded as a big messy fantasy kitchen sink.
Well, anyway, they’re back now that the Red Court doesn’t suppress them, and people start worshiping them again in exchange for protection. Some are friendly, others are capricious.
Anjana were apparently unwittingly brought to the land by Spanish, so that’s it for the idea supernatural creatures aren’t divided by region. Back in Spain, they were benevolent protector spirits. Under the Red Court, they became hardened and vengeful, looking for people in need of killing even when there aren’t any. So, I guess they basically embody the book’s issues with vigilantism.
Another power around is the White Council. They maintain a small presence in Chichen Itza, here to study the effects of the genocide ritual on the local ley lines. They don’t have the necessary resources to make any big moves, but presumably they’re planning to claim the ritual site eventually, once the main forces of the Council are ready to act, and for now just watch and bid their time.
They’re led by a researcher who’s into diabolism. Doesn’t seem to do sacrifices or anything, just likes to summon demons for information.
They’re portrayed as semi-antagonists. They aren’t actively hostile, but they have their own agenda and aren’t interested in helping local people with various monsters around. I’m OK with it, the White Council being self-absorbed and uncaring about anyone but their own fits my mental picture of them.
The last major power in the territory is Ordo Torca. Torca is a funny word. Torca, torca, torca… OK, I’m stopping now. Anyway, they’re a special squad employed by the Church (presumably Catholic), founded when some Church members decided Ordo Malleus wasn’t doing enough, and…
Wait, Ordo Malleus? As in, Malleus Maleficarum? Really? And, looking at their description in another chapter, they were, in fact, behind the Inquisition.
OK, so I’ve stated more than once before my problems with involving the Inquisition in urban fantasy settings, so I’m not going to detail them here. To summarize:
– How did things even get to the point of mortals starting to hunt down wizards? In real life, magic doesn’t exist, so it makes for an excellent enemy you can blame for anything, but in a world where magic exists, you’d expect wizards to be an integral part of the society by the time of Renaissance.
– Related, why isn’t the history different? The Church’s official opinion on the witchcraft through most of history was “what, no, it doesn’t exist, stop killing innocent people already.” You’d think it would be a bit different in DF.
– The dynamic is all wrong. Witches were tortured and executed, they weren’t fought. You’d expect more burned villages and cursed people as a result of going against DF wizards.
– It’s pretty disrespectful to the victims of witch trials since it gives their prosecutors a valid point.
So, let’s add another one: I’ve actually read Malleus Maleficarum, and let me tell you, it has nothing in common with DF magic. For once, it divides the magic into male and female: men could gain temporary invulnerability by desecrating crucifixes and improve their aim with a bow, while women could cause miscarriage, make man’s dick rot off, call lightning from the skies, cause crops to die…
Basically, any random tragedy or misfortune could be blamed on a woman, and you can also accuse men of witchcraft if you’re jealous of their badassery.
Now, here’s a thing: while DF magic allows to recreate many of these effects*, it’s much, much more broad. Malleus Maleficarum just doesn’t have anything like evocation, and you’d think the ability of your enemies to hurl fireballs at you would be important to mention in an advice for would-be witch hunters.
*And before you ask, yes, you can make a dick rot off in the game. How hard it would be and how long the preparation would take depends on consequences of it. If you make a clean cut that doesn’t affect the character’s capabilities beyond the obvious and the need to pee through a tube, it actually would be pretty easy, just a contest action. If you want to get nasty and leave some necrosis behind, the spell would need to deal some form of consequence: minor, moderate, severe or extreme, depending on how painful and how lasting the wound would be. Extreme consequence is also good when you’re dealing with alpha men since it forces a character to change one of their aspects, and stuff like Harry’s Chivalry Is Not Dead, Dammit is an obvious target. And you can always aim for taking out the character in a conflict, which basically allows you to dictate any fate for them reasonable in context.
Then there is the gender division, which makes zero sense when you actually want to warn people about something real rather than provide an excuse to act on your misogyny.
On top of all of it, the Inquisition actually didn’t use the book and was generally against it.
Now, to be fair to Ordo Malleus, the stupid started to short-circuit around them. The involvement of the Inquisition against real supernatural threats is pretty stupid, and the Church’s denial of supernatural reality is stupid as well, but apparently the Inquisition got away from the order and became much bigger and more vicious than they intended, so in this context becoming a secret order and not sharing what they know with mortal authorities actually kinda makes sense.
Now, back to Ordo Torca. They’re basically this guy:
Both in attitude and when it comes to redeeming qualities. They’re here to purge any and all supernatural threats to the common people, and they’re very… enthusiastic about it, killing minor practitioners who don’t do anything wrong and generally behaving like you would expect an Inquisition expy to act.
They do want peace in the area and they do help the common people, on the other hand, so the book suggest they may act as a PC faction, though they’re more comfortable as antagonists.
My issues with the Inquisition aside, I’m generally OK with Church people coming to town to chew gum and kick ass. The aesthetic is cool, and the combination of noble ideals, blind devotion to them and utter ruthlessness makes them nice antagonists, if rather cliche.
Well, that’s it as far as factions go. There is also a scattering of individuals present, like the Green Lady, a Summer fae ruling over some Amazon forests and such, but I’m not going to focus on them. Nothing particularly jumps out at me as notable or offensive.
One guy I would talk about is Juan Ramirez, a cartel psychomanser. He’s a criminal using his magical talent to make other people do as he wants and buy overpriced drugs, which strikes me as odd since he can just take money instead of pretending to do business. Well, maybe his talents are limited and it’s easier to stretch what people want to do rather than make them do something completely out there.
Anyway, I bring him up because his portrayal is one of these points where reality is actually crazier than fiction. Allow me to introduce you to a charming fellow by the name of Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo. He was a warlock for hire operating in Mexico back in 80s and selling his blessings to various cartels who feared his magical power. They also feared his little cult which was kidnapping and killing people to use as ingredients in his potions. Eventually, he was found and shot in place because the police decided not to take chances against a warlock, I guess.
He’s everything evil DF sorcerers want to be, and he did it all without actual magical talent (as far as we know, anyway), just on pure madness and human cruelty.
With that, our public service announcement about fiction villains escaping into real world ends.
So, overall this chapter wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The fact it combines a lot of diverse countries into one big territory still bothers me, but at least it focuses on the supernatural side of things, which leaves less room to do something stupid.
I appreciate the attempt to paint the White Council as potential antagonists, even if it was done pretty clumsily, and I guess I can’t blame the devs entirely for the Spanish Inquisition since it’s from the DF canon.
Game-wise, it’s an interesting setting with massive conflict allowing for many potential scenarios ranging from dealing with a local warlord trying to carve a piece of territory for themselves all the way to a massive battle against Bill Cipher and his frat buddies coming to town.
So, overall, I did enjoy this chapter. If nothing else, there are some things to steal for a different game.
Tune in next time for the Wyld Umbra Sea of the Unconsciousness Dark Side Astral Plane Arcadia Supernal Realms Nevernever.