Saturday, August 16, 2014

Flashbacks: Ourevel: Part 1

When you spend three or four years playing the same character every week, even the worst characters can grow on you. The character of Ourevel is one that the other members my regular gaming group can't help but mention every other session. He arose out of a game we refer to as "Thirty Pieces of Silver"--in which each member of the party was assigned by the GM with one of the seven sins which he was meant to embody for the campaign, and the PCs friends, companions, and allies became embodiments of "lesser" sins or sins defined in other classical listings. Every campaign we have played since that one ended hearkens back to it in some meaningful way.

Ourevel was the embodiment of the sin of Lust, which is not something I generally associate myself with (I really wanted to play Pride) but was certainly memorable. Ourevel was a being in constant flux--changing form, moods, sexual preferences, gender identity, and physical sex far too often to count. It may have been one of the hardest role-playing experiences of my life, but that just made the unfolding story more fun.

His story through more than three years of gaming was a sprawling thing--from being found in stasis in a tomb, the son of the Avatar of Betrayal and the most hated villain in the world, to joining a group of revolutionaries out to overthrow the church, to sacrificing himself to save his friends and returning as an avatar of Love, to betraying his own mother, to killing god, to raising up a new morally-ambiguous religion, to destroying the world and remaking it in his own image...

What follows are a handful of quotes, stories, and stat-blocks that remain from that old campaign.

Warning: Because of the nature of the character, some content which follows may cross the line into NSFW categories.

The Crunch:

The Thirty Pieces of Silver campaign was played in D&D v3.5 using the Epic Level rules and the whole kitchen sink. Every splat-book ever invented for 3rd edition, every web update where WOTC introduced new options for epic level characters, every edge case and corner strategy. We used it all, and exploited it all. Rather than fill up this page with his overly-complicated character sheets, here are some links to some stages of his development:

  • Ourevel the Lustful (shortly after being elevated as the Avatar of Lust, level 6 -- an elven warlock)
  • Ourevel the Loving (after killing the Pistis Sophia, Level 21 -- a demon "corrupted" by good)
  • Ourevel the Betrayer (after destroying the world, Level 29 -- a nearly indestructible positive-energy empowered undead for whom destroying the fallen world was an act of "good")

Some Quotes:

After the angel of light was sacrificed, the avatar of lust may in fact come back as something even more frightening as before...

Ourevel: "You really can't tie up a lycanthrope, you know. Unless they want you to." (Everyone stares)

Eric: "Wait, we're staying in a brothel?"
Gavroche: "No, no. Ourevel ordered out."

Jasper: "Remember, once you fuse with Ourevel, you fuse with everyone he's ever fused with!"

Hugh de Payens: "Man. Ourevel isn't even in this adventure and everyone's bleeding from the ass."

Children, your gods are not well known beyond the walls of Speranza it seems. You must inform the people. Go forth, sing our praises in the streets, let them know the deeds and nature of the Seven Spires!

The Blossoms:

Erat autem uterque nudus et non erubescebant.

A big part of the later half of the campaign was encouraging the players to found organizations--their own factions within the larger rebellion against the empire/church/god-head which they were fomenting. Ourevel, being a little full of himself, sought to found a religion dedicated to himself (and the party to a much lesser extent) to fill the void that would be left if they actually succeeded. Needless to say, when you are the incarnation of lust and you set out to found your own religion, it can get a little weird.

The Seven Truths of Ourevel:
  1. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy spouse.
  2. Thou shalt love thy neighbors offspring as thine own.
  3. Thou shall not allow harm to come to any of these, thine offspring.
  4. Thou shalt not allow any law of man to impede thy love.
  5. Thou shalt not forbid any man, woman, or beast the taking of his(her) pleasures.
  6. Thou shalt plant the seeds of new life whenever and wherever thou canst.
  7. Thou shalt make thyself ready, for the new world is coming, flowing with milk...and apples...and...milk...<insert oral fixation here>

There are several surviving vignettes of a play-by-post side-game involving Ourevel and his/her attempts to recruit others to their cause...

I had intended to post them here, but, there are more than I thought, so they will have to wait for future posts. For now, here is a brief beginning:

A god was dead. With a deep breath Lust reveled in the beauty of this burned and broken corpse, much like her own had been many times. This god was well and truly slain. Law and merciless justice undone by her brother Wrath. Now though, their was a void. Lust looked around her, assessing her kindred souls, knowing that they would not do. Wrath, who sought only the death of those around him, Gluttony, the devourer of all things, Envy, who would demean others to raise up would never do to leave the people in their hands. The others were equally unfit. Pride had the potential to lead but could never see the needs of others, Greed was often as destructive as the rest, and Despair...if the people gave themselves to his rule, the next world would be as empty as this one.

So, a god lay dead, and a the void must be filled she thought. We, the seven of us, are gods, but not benevolent, not fit to rule. Looking around she could find no answer. So, she looked within, and their she found an answer, Love, waiting as he always had been, her other half, that part of her that sacrificed her lifesblood for her wounded friends even though they had not once taken her aching phallus into their mouths to relieve her pain, that part of her who gave away her stores of wealth even to those legions of whores who would die long before she got around to pleasuring them, that part of her who wasted her sweet milk on infants who did not know the carnal pleasure they gave her by their suckling.

Love looked down upon the beauty of the burned and broken corpse that was Tsaluth and loved him, but more than that, he loved the people that were left behind without a god. Kneeling over the body of the fallen god, he called out across space to those lowest and most lacking, those always left in the void...

In the back alleys of the The Gallows, the image of a human heart appeared before the eyes lady Prim Rose, burning with white-hot flame and surmounted by a crown of apple blossoms. No words came with the vision, only an overwhelming feeling of love and comfort, and the warm flowing of new blood, as of her first blood, from between the legs of Santa Rosa, as she knew for certain that the Merciless God was slain and Love now reigned in his stead.

Primrose stood, fingers at her temples, and placed her neatly curled whip on the table. "It is finished." Her companion in the alleyway was dressed in black leather, with dark bobbed hair and green eyes. She too carried a pair of whip-knives, coiled at her waist. Her face was tattooed with a climbing ivy pattern. Her back, left bare, was covered in a delicate and intricate pattern of scars.

"If they've succeeded, what then? Can the Sisters of St. Elena come out of hiding?"

"What is the Mother of God when god has died? Who is the Whore of Messian without condemnation? We must seek new truths for the sisterhood. We have guarded the secret of Tzaluth's blood long enough, and our charge comes to an end now. Only we remember that he was born of a temple prostitute. Only we, the last holy whores, remember what the Church once was, in the body of the Mother of Our Lord. Perhaps it is time to cease remembering and begin building something new."

As the sisters speak, a soft breeze blows down the alley carrying the scent of apples, and the image of a pale elven child of indeterminate gender appears before them and speaks. "The world was born from an act of lust and the dividing of a serpent. All men, high and low, were born from the loins of women. The Lord of Light himself was conceived of a harlot. Why then must man's highest act of creation, his greatest expression of love, and an act of unbridled joy be hidden and restrained? You prayed once to the Mother of God for intercession, perhaps it is better that you should intercede for me to the god of mothers."

The child kneels down and touches the ground and an apple sapling grows at his feat. "The One Who Loves You asks little from you sisters. If you would serve in Love, then first you should not hide yourselves. Know that all those who practice your trade are holy, as the mother of god was herself holy. Love those that come to you not only with the flesh, but also tend the needs of the mind and heart. Above all, do not deny yourselves the gift of childbirth, for in this you reflect the holy mother and shall replenish the new world that is coming..."

There is a hushed silence in the alleyway, as of a holy courtyard. Then voices are lifted in praise and thanksgiving, first from one streetcorner, then another, as an ancient hymn, never before sung, but learned and kept in every heart for a thousand years, breaks forth to greet the dawn.

"I pray thee, clear-voiced Muse, Daughter of the Almighty /
Sing of the Mother of all Gods and Men /
She is well-pleased with the sound of rattles and timbrels /
With the Voice of flutes and the outcry of wolves and bright-eyed lions /
With echoing hills and wooded copses /
And so hail to you in my song and to all goddesses as well!"

more of this swill to follow...
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
The End