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johntfs

For "Storm Knights" The Guant Man and Orrorsh

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Orrorsh under Jasyn's "Storm Knights" metaphysics seems rather bizarre. The Gaunt Man is supposedly a High Lord who needs no stelae to spread his reality, instead using Horrors much like Askashan reality trees to infect more than invade existing realities and subsume them into the reality of Fear. The problem for me is that this approach seems to "creative" for a servant of the Nameless One. It does, however, work if we change a few assumptions. What if the Gaunt Man isn't serving the Nameless One? What if he is, instead, a servant of Aperios?

 

But isn't Aperios the good guy in this? Why would he have a servant like the Gaunt Man? The answer to the first question is "no." Aperios is the impetus of creation, not "good" just as the Nameless One is the impetus of destruction and not evil. Aperios is just as happy to create the Tharkoldu as he is the Akashans. We know from the Terra sourcebook that there are evil Eternity shards. Aperios encompasses all possibilities, which include some pretty horrible ones. He creates to create just as the Nameless One destroys to destroy. The Nameless One is just as happy to consume a cosm filled with soul-eating child molesters as he is to consume one filled with clones of Mother Teresa. Some things need to be destroyed so that healthier things can flourish. The key to victory in TORG is that neither of these beings should attain dominion but that a balance is achieved between them, preferably one keeps them far, far away from the cosms they use in their endless game.

 

Which brings us back to the Gaunt Man. The Gaunt Man was once a High Lord who directly encountered an aspect of Aperios that nearly destroyed him. He emerged from the Maelstrom even more powerful than before, filled with new possibilities and charged with the desire to bring the glory of Aperios to all. And he would do this with his former tools of Fear and Corruption, the better to goad societies into push themselves along the path to perfection. There is the risk that the societies are destroyed in the process, but, well, that simply means they weren't worthy of Aperios' gift. Best to move on to find one that is. Meanwhile, those places that achieve perfection (a permanent 33 in one or more Axioms) are granted the reward of joining with Aperios in eternal communion, strengthening his power to create. The fact that such societies are no longer part of the cosmverse is considered by both Aperios and the Gaunt Man to be a minor detail.

 

The Gaunt Man in this take is the monster as demented life coach, unleashing his monsters to breed heroes. He builds bravery through fear and integrity through corruption. He attacks the High Lords with Horror and tests the goodly beings (often to destruction) through terror. He is the greatest hope to defeat the High Lords and the worst nightmare. He is the cure that is worse than the disease.

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I understand what you're saying, and "universal" Orrorsh is very different. (Which is kind of the point.) But I disagree with your central point — that High Lords (or perhaps just the Gaunt Man) are uncreative.

 

Mobius is a Weird Scientist, and produces new inventions all the time. Kanawa runs a business and infiltrates and suborns power structures. Baruk Kaah figured out how to wield his low axioms as weapons. High Lords are creative, they have to be.

 

Especially the Gaunt Man. In the canon, he spent millennia slowly modifying his Reality to create the Ecology of Fear. That takes a lot of creativity.

 

In "Storm Knights", what he's done isn't to modify his Reality, but to modify his invasion tools. He's discovered different ways to implement the same concepts, different ways to project a Reality and drain PE. It's taken a lot of time to get there, but he's become nearly unstoppable, and all the more frightening for it.

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