Death of Grinding Madness
The Demon Plot
(mild spoilers for The Raven Cycle)
Hello Thisavrou! July's player plot starts on July 9, when Joseph Kavinsky tries to summon a bonafide demon from the Raven Cycle
through the Ingress, just as the freezing weather and other chaos residual from the metaplot disruptions begin to fade out. Kavinsky's intent is revenge
on Ronan Lynch, his canon nemesis, who has been plagued by nightmares of this creature for months. The demon itself, in the meantime is a creature inherently of corruption and destruction.
Thus, their evil combined is creating Shadow Selves
of the existing characters... that's you guys!
The Shadow Selves
These Shadow Selves
will start to pop up, manifesting here and there between the two worlds to cause mayhem. They are a combination of magics, both Kavinsky's dream manifestation power and the demon's power to 'unmake' (destroy, dissolve) all forms of life and matter. They appear as:
- Strange, black-eyed, identical "clones" of the original PCs,
- Have intense bitterness, resentment, or even hatred based on the PC' actual experiences (in-game or from canon),
- The ability to melt into black slime. This form is sentient and fast moving, and then reform into the shape of the individual. They can essentially regenerate indefinitely from damage. The cold does not affect them.
- Strongly motivated, in general, to attack and injure (through ordinary weapon means) or consume ('unmake,' dissolve through 'acid' touch) PCs, especially ones that the original character either loves or hates (strong emotions). They may also cause damage through other manifestations of magic or special energy (e.g., telekinesis, energy beams) similar to the PC's powerset.
- Intuitively/psychically find and detect individuals of interest to harry them.
- Individual shadow selves may combine to form golems, or bigger, more mindless monsters, optionally!
Note that Shadow Selves will start out less aggressive, making gestures and minor attacks, and then become increasingly violent. Which begs the question: how can you kill something that's invincible?
By taking that invincibility away.
Four characters, J, Bryan, Kurt and Matthew Lynch, will discover the key to unlocking the invincibility of the shadow selves. On the network, one or more of them will announce: the key is to make an act of sacrifice
, which can either involve another PC or simply mean giving up a valuable memory through an act of will. The "sacrifice" must fit with one of the four themes:
- Anger vs forgiveness— verbally forgiving an in-game, enemy PC, rescuing an enemy PC, or at least offering another chance or giving up the memory of a wrongdoing committed against them.
- [Relational] insecurity vs fidelity— declarations of love, renewed commitments, swearing an oath of alliance to other in-game PCs, accepting that it's "okay" to move on from a deceased/past love or giving up the memory of when one wronged a loved one.
- Grief vs resilience— to disclose a true story of grief to another in-game PC (or on the network!) with full emotional expression (possibly even crying!) then give themself permission to move on, for at least a moment or giving up a self-punishing memory of their lost one that they have punished themselves with
- Fear vs courage— confronting an active fear, such as heights, fire, grievous injury, etc. or giving up a memory of when cowardice was the better part of valor
Once the sacrifice is complete, the PC can either kill the creature or reason with it.
How To: Dramatize the Conflict
Summing it up! You have three (3) main options:
1. Opt Out
You choose not to participate! Cool beans. This can be accomplished through a variety of means:
- Coincidentally, your character did not develop a shadow self at all. No problem, not everyone gets one! And the other Shadows don't take an interest.
- Your character develops a shadow but barricades themselves somewhere safe, such as their own house or a Savrii government facility.
- Alternatively, they used a clever combination of magic and/or other devices and abilities to disrupt the shadow selves from intuitively finding them.
In any case, they escape unscathed, no problem. A week later, your PC rejoins to some strange stories and mild property damage.
Focus on RPing "the sacrifice." This is a great opportunity to finally get that ship or "found family" together, or start to repair burned bridges, whether from canon or due to in-game developments.
- A public or private network disclosure, in which the character makes a gesture to another PC or simply shares a memory that they are willing to have erased forever
- In person acts of courage, forgiveness, etc., such as rescuing other PCs in non-combat situations (from falling, gas leaks, etc.) or simply having a meaningful conversation
3. Combat Options
If you want to confine your involvement to straightforward 1:1 conflict
, players are encouraged to focus on arranging an attack
on another PC in-game. The attack target's player can then potentially NPC the shadow being against the rescuer, when the sacrifice is made.
Or if you're interested in a bigger scenario
, a large shopping complex in R1 will be under attack by a massive shadow golem
, standing 4 stories tall and just as wide. They will be targeting Savrii as well as PCs who have barricaded themselves inside, in a Walking Dead
-like scenario. The monster will be a grotesque amalgamation of limbs and faces, and extremely strong! Players are invited to
- Dive in and save each other from getting crushed/blasted/etc.,
- Perform medical care, healing, hurt/comfort,
- NPC 'parts' of the monster attacks for each other,
- Note: the golem will gradually weaken and take more permanent damage as more "sacrifices" are made
On July 21, twelve days later, the plot will suddenly conclude. Unbeknownst to most, PCs (Ronan Lynch, Declan Lynch, et al.) will perform a sacrifice, eradicating Kavinsky from the game (a permanent drop, WHICH MAKES ME VERY SAD, THIS GAME IS FABULOUS ♥ ♥ ♥ I hope someday I will be back), cutting off the demon's arrival, and ending the plot once and for all. Any surviving shadow beings will disappear. A moderate amount of property damage will have been caused; PCs will have managed to help prevent more.
Sacrificed memories will reappear in the character's mind within a few days. You can optionally have your PC experience emotional growth as a result of the brief break! The PC can also either "regress" or experience psychological growth from other sacrifices, including the gestures made to other PCs. Though the sacrifice had to be heartfelt at the time, people can change their minds! It's completely up to you.
Otherwise, feel free to use this post for plotting.