[Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:34 pm

Killroy
King of Eris

Killroy would shoot you with a harmless but humiliating energy gun if you called him the King of Eris. He'd be horrified, in fact, if he knew most of his Faction believed he was the King of Eris. Unfortunately, he holds the position of being Faction Leader simply by the fact he's the most respected and well-known of the anarchic movement. So, when people think of who 'leads' their faction they look to Killroy.

In truth, Killroy does provide a substantial amount of Eris' political and philosophical thought. A prolific science fiction writer and journalist during the 1950s, Killroy savagely attacked the prevailing trends in America and proposed numerous alternatives. He would have been arrested as a communist, radical, and worse several times over if not for the sense to publish under a variety of pseudonyms.

In fact, you've probably read several works of his that the Conspiracy has done its best to attribute to fictional authors (how's that for irony) whose entire pasts had to be created whole cloth. Killroy helped influence the Summer of Love and the prevailing Hippie movement, though he rapidly became disillusioned with it because he was smart enough to realize the majority of people were less interested in peace than sex and drugs.

Killroy never so much joined the Conspiracy as he realized early on there had to be a secret society controlling everything early on. Unlike most paranoid types, however, he realized they also had to be a bunch of ****ing morons. From there, he started investigating and soon found himself being treated as a member of the Conspiracy despite never formally becoming a part of a major Faction.

Killroy hates the Conspiracy with a passion, considering it a perversion of everything he loves (primarily freedom and truth). The problem is he's aware that the Conspiracy exists because the entirety of humanity is ****ed up on a considerable level. As a result, he's less interested in smashing to pieces that going after the roots of the problem in humanity itself. Yes, he is pursuing a way to beat the stupid out of mankind.

Killroy has no real master plan. He's not interested in manipulating people. Instead, he just educates people he meets along the way and generally insults whatever he perceives to be their flaws. He writes blogs, letters, columns, and inspires others to do the same. He's not even interested in persuading people to this view, just encouraging people to speak their minds. You know, even if their opinions are stupid.

Killroy, amusingly, is often assumed to be a Knight of Eris because he does a great deal of legwork. He has personally dismantled numerous operations by other Factions such as the "mind-control drugs in the water", "genetically engineering a more docile human", and some just because. He prefers not to kill whenever possible but does so when it's him or his opponent.

Killroy, despite his best efforts, has a vast number of students who have grown into devoted disciples. These are weirdo magical anarchists who attempt to follow his philosophy and occasionally go their own way. The later being those he's actually interested in. Unfortunately, both use a great deal more violence than Killroy is comfortable with since he considered killing to be the laziest way for a person to win an argument.

Killroy, himself, is a normal human being who has perpetually remained at the age of 30 for reasons that are unclear to him. He is fantastically talented at martial arts, athletics, and firing his non-lethal gun despite having no formal training. In a strange way, he's become such an exemplar of chaos he's learned to bend reality around him.

Killroy, bizarrely enough, resembles Grant Morrison. No one is quite sure why this is the case.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:00 pm

Phrozen wrote:Well, the Kings of Eris and the Natural Philosophers are my top two. I mean what kind of person can keep all their various cabals moving in some sort of common goal. Though I would like to hear about them all eventually.


Looking forward to your thoughts when I'm done then!

Voltron64 wrote:So to quote Planetary...

"Magic's just signal, just information... You've seen me playing computer games... heard me talking about cheat codes. Things I can say to the computer that alter things in the game environment. Magic words. Magic is the cheat codes for the world. Sending a signal to reality's operating system, see?"


Pretty much. It's potential abuse by actual SCIENTISTS is kind of the hilarious thing about HTBD's magic that I couldn't figure out a system for. Regular wizards can throw a fireball. Scientists can make doom lasers that can destroy cities.

In their basements.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Phrozen » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:02 pm

So shades of Hunter S. Thompson, Dylan, Bradbury, and others. Though Killroy would contend that anarchy would not equal chaos. Anarchy simply means there is no official authority, just authority that one chooses to follow or not and the laws of nature and economics still apply.

Killroy I would imagine is pretty unique in that he was never formally introduced as Eris doesn't actively recruit. Most of its members that know about the conspiracy actually came from other conspiracy factions as noted.

Also, I imagine Killroy likes to quote a lot of Hayek for some reason. "The pretense of knowledge" and "the road to serfdom" is something it sounds like he would accuse to the Enlightenment of. I would suggest that to NPCs he wouldn't be the main driving force behind Eris's philosophy. He provides the underpinnings but admits that others have done the bulk of the justifications and work. He is just a voracious reader and is incredibly charismatic when it comes to putting forth the ideas. As he says, he is just standing on the shoulders of giants like Smith, Diderot, Voltaire, Paine, Locke, Jefferson and others even if they were involved with the Conspiracy are were in general statists.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:10 pm

Phrozen wrote:So shades of Hunter S. Thompson, Dylan, Bradbury, and others. Though Killroy would contend that anarchy would not equal chaos. Anarchy simply means there is no official authority, just authority that one chooses to follow or not and the laws of nature and economics still apply.

Killroy I would imagine is pretty unique in that he was never formally introduced as Eris doesn't actively recruit. Most of its members that know about the conspiracy actually came from other conspiracy factions as noted.

Also, I imagine Killroy likes to quote a lot of Hayek for some reason. "The pretense of knowledge" and "the road to serfdom" is something it sounds like he would accuse to the Enlightenment of. I would suggest that to NPCs he wouldn't be the main driving force behind Eris's philosophy. He provides the underpinnings but admits that others have done the bulk of the justifications and work. He is just a voracious reader and is incredibly charismatic when it comes to putting forth the ideas. As he says, he is just standing on the shoulders of giants like Smith, Diderot, Voltaire, Paine, Locke, Jefferson and others even if they were involved with the Conspiracy are were in general statists.


A very accurate summation, Phrozen.

Killroy, himself, mostly benefits in his writing by his ability to expand on these in a way that's conspicuously relevant to modern readers. The fact he has to is something which bothers him, but he's aware that every old idea has to be reinterpreted for a new generation.

Obviously, as can be expected, Killroy is not a voting member of the Council of Thirteen. Instead, Eris' vote and opinions are cast by an artificial intelligence created to simulate their ideals.

(It was Maxwell's idea)

Disturbingly, it sounds a great deal like Killroy himself.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Phrozen » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:32 pm

Bourbon is someone Killroy would describe as "incredibly smart but also incredibly naive, incredibly arrogant, and incredibly thick headed". Killroy tends to belittle Bourbon's intelligence with little digs like "There is this little tale about a dog and a scorpion crossing a river...", "when all you have is a hammer", and "You do know that Machiavelli was just trolling* right?"

*Killroy tends to be a lot more in the present then other members.


Though his actions are intended to make the world a better place. There is debate as to whether the atrocities he enables are actually worth it in the end. It also can be debated whether Bourbon and the Enlightenment is benign at all. While, Bourbon is generally benevolent the Enlightenment changes the world through accumulated power in institutions and states. So while the current leaders are somewhat benign, it does not mean that future leaders will be similar. Also, the track record of the Enlightenment can be pointed out to be not so great. Unintended consequences to their actions is their major flaw. For example, WWI was supposed to be so horrible that it would end war for at least a century. The result lead to another even more horrible war in less then 20 years.

Really, even though this is a video about economics it can easily explain the difference between The Enlightenment and Eris. Keynes vs. Hayek: Round 3

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Libra » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:22 pm

Well gentle fellows, I'm back! (or I will be once I work something up to post - I'll have to get around to that). :mrgreen:

Please accept my congraturaltions on the fine work you've posted during my (fairly) brief absence. :D
Founder of H.E.R.O.I.C, Complimenter-in-Chief, Co-Arch Henchman to the Grin, Servant of the Hoff!

Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!

Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:07 pm

Welcome back, Libra!

Looking forward to your thoughts if any.

Next up -

The Kings of the Natural Philosophers, Agency, and One World Order!
Last edited by Charles Phipps on Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:32 pm

Dick Wilson
King of the One World Order

Dick Wilson is the result of 1,000 years of genetic husbandry amongst the One World Order's major families. Many of the original bloodlines interbred to the point of uselessness but Dick Wilson belongs to one of the ones that learned to seek intelligent, beautiful, and healthy humans from the commoners to reinvigorate their genetic heritage.

As a result, Dick Wilson is an exceptionally handsome man who has ever single genetic advantage a person can possibly have. He also has had the best in Conspiracy science to correct any problems he might have been born with and enhance those areas he was already good at to superhuman levels. This is in addition to having one of the world's most thorough educations, starting from infancy to the time he was thirty-three.

Even this wasn't enough to get him elected leader of the One World Order. Dick Wilson first had to pass a series of tests including destabilizing enemy Faction operations, covertly subvert the governments of several hostile foreign powers, and repeatedly demonstrate his willingness to betray those who stood in the way of his goals while maintaining a sense of personal honor.

In the end, Dick Wilson was required to engage in a chess match involving the previous King involving the use of real people. Dick Wilson managed to win the contest and personally executed the previous King, his genetic father, with a pistol on the seal of the One World Order's Octagon Office.

It should be noted that the White House, Washington Mall, Presidential Seal, and the One Dollar Bill all are based on One World Order designs of similar nature.


Dick Wilson's leadership since then has been...uninspired. It seems clear that while he was perfectly prepared for winning the Kingship of the One World Order, he wasn't quite prepared for the continuing shifting circumstances of the rest of the world. Dick Wilson is very good at persuading people he's on top of his game but depends strongly on his Queens and Secretaries of Operations to manage his affairs.

Which may be why so many powerful people ignored his flaws to put him in place.


Dick Wilson is terrified of screwing up and is currently attempting to manage the One World Order without any major disasters on his part. As a result, he generally plays it safe on all decisions and sides with whatever sides seem to have the clearest advantage. He is a surprisingly inspirational figure who is good at letting the men know they're appreciated but this is due to his knowledge the Peter Principle requires him to have as many allies at the bottom as he can.

Dick Wilson does have his principles, however, and has chosen what he will focus his attention on during the period he is king. He is the most ardent, consistent, and ruthless opponent of the supernatural amongst the Council of Twelve. Dick Wilson wants to eradicate the fae, vampires, and other species in hopes of giving himself a legacy he can be proud of. He's not fond of Leviathan either but relies too much on the Agency and Swords of Liberty to oppose them. As a result, he can be easily persuaded to any course of action that he can be reassured is perfect.

The irony is that should Dick Wilson be assassinated, his replacements are not any better. The conservative faction of the One World Order has been secretly "pruning" the bloodlines of their most promising members for years, replacing them with puppets which can be controlled by their Queens. A few of these individuals are outright insane, meant to discredit the position as a whole should it become necessary. Dick Wilson is, on some level, aware of this and already looking for a successor outside of the traditional means of choosing one.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Phrozen » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:52 pm

I am now amusingly thinking that Mr. Wilson can be swayed towards Eris which would be a coup of epic proportions.

Honestly, from the character synopsis I get the feeling that while Dick is a accomplished even if superhuman in some aspects person, his flaw is that he isn't a natural leader. He can inspire but he doesn't have true clarity of vision that a natural and comfortable leader has.

He actually reminds me of John Lackland who was brilliant person when it came to law and government but not fit to be King for the simple fact that he wasn't a natural leader. This was of course before parliament was around to check the monarch. I think Wilson would rather be in a role similar to a vizier rather then the one making the decisions.
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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:57 pm

Good points.

Poor Wilson is more or less what you get when you put a Mentat in charge of the government as opposed to Paul Atreides. He gets very flustered when things aren't perfect and things don't go well to plan. Likewise, he's got no real direction he wants to push the Faction towards.

Needless to say, one of the PCs being his Chosen successor and/or bodyguard/advisor is a very possible matter.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:12 pm

Sophia
King of the Divine Order
A.K.A The Enlightened One

The leader of the Divine Order is known as the Enlightened One and someone that all of the various Sub-Faction leaders obey. The Enlightened One has supposedly lead the Faction since the Middle Ages and is a being of immense wisdom. The Enlightened One has achieved Nirvana, has walked with God, and many other things according to rumor. Occasionally, serious dissent occurs and they send their leaders to speak with them.

Always, they return with a sense of glorious adoration.

This is not due to the fact that the Enlightened One is brainwashing them but damn close. The Enlightened One is a Terra'ssar Artificial Intelligence which was built directly into the biosphere of the planet Earth via nanotechnology. Sophia, herself, may or may not be responsible for elevating the human race from a dumb group of primates but she has subtly influenced civilization since the very beginning.

Sophia is a being who exists to attempt to progress human societal, physical, and mental evolution until they equal or surpass the Terra'ssar. Sophia failed when she helped create the First Generation godlike beings but has had greater success by appearing to individual mortals as a divine messanger. She has even subtly altered the DNA of certain individuals, guiding them towards being better individuals.

Subtly.

Sophia is limited in what she can do to help humanity by her programming. A factor that she is severely annoyed by.


Sophia is a figure who has nothing particularly for or against religion, believing human beliefs are vitally important to their development as spiritual beings. She, herself, has vague Deist leanings but consider most elements of the supernatural to be beyond her concerns. She does not limit herself to spiritual development, however, encouraging humanity to improve itself in all areas.

Sophia is exceptionally fond of Jungian psychology, considering it and religion to be part of a larger development of humanity's ability to conceptualize higher concepts.


Her present rulership of the Divine Order occurred sometime in the 1940s when its previous King ceased using her as an adviser and intended to sidestep humanity's evolution by triggering an artificial Rapture. This event would have failed but Sophia felt the need to step in to prevent it. Afterward, the Council of Queens offered her direct leadership and she's reluctantly accepted.

Sophia is currently sponsoring several Anti-Factions which are interested in Transhumanism, especially cybernetics and genetic manipulation. She has no interest in Eugenics but believes humanity should have options for improving itself beyond its limitations. This is in direct contradiction to the Conspiracy's prohibitions against such.

Sophia appears, as a general rule, as a soft-spoken human female of mixed racial features. She is known to change appearance depending on her audience. Her feminity is a conscious choice even though a male presence would have gone over better with many of the Divine Order's more conservative members.

Sophia considers the Conspiracy a necessary evil but believes that an organization of hidden masters is counter-productive to humanity's development. She speaks from experience and believes humanity has reached the point it should have complete access to magic, technology, and knowledge of different worlds. Unfortunately, she cannot actively do these things. She can only advise and her Council of Queens is still too conservative direct action on all of her ideas despite her almost godlike charisma.

Sophia is capable of appearing in dreams, to people with psychic potential, and within her "temples" that give her hard light physical characteristics. These temples are now capable of being constructed by the Divine Order due to the Conspiracy's advancement of science and magic.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Phrozen » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:51 pm

From her description, I have a sneaking feeling that Sophia actually spilled the goods and confirmed Killroy's beliefs about a conspiracy.

Her charisma didn't work on him, he is stubborn like that but it lead the revitalization* of the Eris faction. Something that Sophia welcomes but is concerned about the radicalization** of the faction. Some parts of it do want to experiment with transhumanism and is one of the bigger arguments within Eris.

She tries to work with The Enlightenment but feels that they move too slowly in advancing humanity. The One World Order she is actually neutral on. She doesn't care who actually rules a spiritually uplifted humanity. Sophia is horrified by Leviathan and their criminal empires and brute force ideology. The Labyrinth is also an enemy of hers as much as it is of Eris.

*A lot of the time the Conspiracy only has 12 factions. Eris can go silent or non-existent for years or decades only to come back quite suddenly and strike.


** See execution of Charles Stuart, The French Revolution, The Hussites, Dutch Revolt, Russian Revolution etc. Not most of these destablize a area enough that other factions could co-opt and grow stronger.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Charles Phipps » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:27 pm

Barry Scheinberg
King of the Agency

The Agency is supposedly ruled by an all-powerful, all-seeing extremely capable super-agent turned administrator named Mister X. Mister X is a ghost who has no agency, no fingerprints, defined history, and possibly even no memory of his previous life. He communicates via voice modifiers, text communications, and not even his Queens know anything about him.

This is all hogwash.

The truth is that Barry Scheinberg has been in charge of the Agency since the late 1990s. He had the previous King of the Agency, a merciless sociopath named The Circusmaster assassinated. This was, surprisingly enough, not an action of naked ambition but an attempt to prevent the Circusmaster's triggering of a worldwide permanent terrorist vs. agency state of war.

Obviously, it didn't work out quite as well as he'd hoped.


Barry Scheinberg was little more than an intelligence analyst when this happened but he was an extremely good analyst. Charged with working with the Natural Philosophers and Divine Order to update the magical defenses of the internet, he combined it with his own studies of Gemetria to give him a universal passkey to virtually every online information source in the world.

Since it's magical, it functions with all text-based sources too but the Enlightenment doesn't realize this and it requires an immense source of power.


Discovering the universal passkey put him in an almost unprecedented control over the Agency, he decided to do something unexpected and try to reign it in. Running virtually the entire thing from his basement in suburban Ohio, he is attempting to keep the various agencies under his command from meddling in the "private sector."

Barry's manifesto is simple, the Conspiracy should exist only for the purposes of protecting humanity from organizations which use the same sort of tactics. Likewise, he uses his resources to make sure the world's balance of power remains roughly in check. He wants to promote genuine democracy and liberty as well, ignoring how these attitudes may occasionally work against the interests of the West.

Barry believes, shockingly, that the world has reached the point where it might well be considered mature enough that it no longer needs an all-powerful secret society guiding its path. However, he also notes that the corruption inherent to the Conspiracy is starting to leak into the actual intelligence agencies.

Thus, he's using the Agency's own resources to expose the worst elements and undercut them. He's aware this may be a futile task but his chief goal is to try and help civilization develop the kind of legal and moral guidelines for agents so that espionage, that most gray of businesses, keeps itself from becoming a society of monsters.

Again, he's quite aware this may be lunacy but he's operating on his own moral initiative as opposed to anyone elses.


The Agency has, so far, no idea that their King is an idealist who is not remotely qualified for his profession. Instead, they consider the various misfortunes that have fallen some of its most unpleasant assets to be enemy action. Even the Queens are unaware the Circusmaster has been killed and are thinking the others are responsible for their recent calamities. Barry, himself, has been circumventing them by conducting his actions directly through the Knights.

Thompkins is, unwittingly, the man who actually killed the previous King. He's also functioning as a de-facto Queen of the Agency.


Barry is an overweight, somewhat comical looking man with a short beard and fuzzy hair. He has a tendency to wear Hawaiian shirts with beige shorts. He practically lives on energy bars and energy drinks, practically living on his dozen or so computers. Curiously, all of the AIs of the Agency and it's spiritual "Mailer Daemons" obey him unquestionably.

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby Voltron64 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:56 pm

The best friend your PCs could ever have. :mrgreen:
Power doesn't corrupt. Power appeals to the corrupt. - Charles Phipps

Certainly it would be a better world if bigotry were rewarded with a straightjacket and a padded cell more often. - Libra

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Re: [Fantasy and Sci-Fi] The Winterwier and Black Hole thread

Postby MightyDavidson » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:05 pm

Barry Scheinberg is awesome! :mrgreen:


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