Author Topic: The Twist's Manifesto - Lucien "Hoof" Tyrak  (Read 543 times)

KovosDatch

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The Twist's Manifesto - Lucien "Hoof" Tyrak
« on: April 19, 2023, 02:20:05 PM »
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The goal of every lowly member of society should be to upend the status quo, not for chaos’ sake, but to reestablish a new rule with new laws and new norms. The only way to climb the ladder of progress and power is to quash lesser members below and to ruin and drag down higher members of society. To revel in one’s status is to become lazy and rest on one’s laurels. These people are unenlightened and will never raise themselves up; they will only ever suffer a brutal fall from grace. While the lowly do not possess the benefits of the upper echelons, the higher one climbs in a society, the more they have to lose. In this, the lowly have nothing to lose and everything to gain, giving them a distinct advantage.

However, the lowly can only achieve these ends via unlawful, chaotic methods. The twist, the freak, the caliban cannot influence the political sphere as they cannot get close enough to those who make and maintain laws. Subtle subterfuge over years is only available when one can whisper in the ear of the lord or lady of the land. And to obey the laws given is to subjugate oneself to the servile nature the upper echelons wish. Yes, unlawful acts must be employed for any progress to be made.

What, then, is the place of the lawful in these regime changes? The lawful are the ones who plan, organize, and hire out those who would push for a change. Chaotic forces will do the grunt work for the lawful unwittingly. Let us use an example: is it the job of the gardener to force plants up from seeds? No, he only must make the conditions ripe for such to happen. Such is the path of the lawful: planting the seeds of dissent, discord, and rebellion.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2023, 03:48:54 PM by KovosDatch »

KovosDatch

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Re: The Twist's Manifesto - Lucien "Hoof" Tyrak
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2023, 03:49:12 PM »
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What is the difference between faith and religion and how can the lawful employ either?

Faith, simply put, is the belief in someone or something or the willingness to follow someone or something. It is a powerful metaphysical concept that opens doors for the lawful and fetters the chaotic. For the lawful, who often abide by concepts or beliefs, do not feel restricted by faith, but rather, exploit it and use it to their advantage as much as possible. The chaotic, on the other hand, rarely follow rules apart from their own foolish desires, and therefore are consistently bound by faith when led by it, whether by choice or force.

Religion then, is a set of rules, guidelines, or beliefs that bind one to a code. There are three ways a religion comes into being. First, it is bestowed upon mortals by one or more immortals through physical or divine intervention. While having the backing of an immortal, following the guidelines of said immortal removes the agency of mortals.

Second, it is fabricated by mortals for varying reasons without immortal intervention. This form of religion has flaws opposite that of the first example. Without the backing of an immortal, the works and rituals of the faith are hollow, even if the agency lies completely within the hands of mortals.

Finally, while either can be powerful on their own, the third and hidden way a religion manifests is by having one or more immortal bestow a religion to propagate lies upon the populous, and the mortals using the lies to perpetuate twisted forms of that religion to garner the support of the masses. This version has none of the drawbacks from either example listed above and all of the benefits. Yes, the last example is the best form of religion and to have faith in it accomplishes much more. To betray the beliefs, then, is to invoke the wrath of not only mortal brethren, but the immortals acting as the patrons of the religion as well.

If the faith of the individual is not strong enough to sway the chaotic into order, fear should then be used. Threatening the misguided individuals with the wrath of the immortals ought to be enough to curb any disorderly behavior. And if that still does not halt their turbulent behavior, mortal brethren should use physical, mental, and/or emotional punishment to bring their wayward members back into line.

Religion and faith are but means to an end: to control the chaotic. What the lawful do with the chaotic at that point is up to the desires and wishes of the individual.

KovosDatch

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Re: The Twist's Manifesto - Lucien "Hoof" Tyrak
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2023, 05:51:55 PM »
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Just as alignments and religions follow the rules of three, so too must currency. They are separated not only by form, but also by worth.

The first form of currency is, of course, coinage. While the most widely accepted, it is also the most volatile as economic factors are always shifting and coinage can either gain or lose worth over time. Furthermore, not all locations accept currency and instead use a barter system.

The second form of currency is metaphysical in the shape of secrets. Secrets are worth much more than coinage and one can do more with them. For example, holding a well-guarded secret against another allows the holder to extort or blackmail the victim, thus opening up more avenues of progress and standing. However, once a secret spills, that secret becomes completely worthless, losing any value to the holder.

The third and final form of currency is yet another metaphysical one in the form of favors. This currency is the most valuable as a favor will never lose its worth, especially with those who enjoy the company of the one who asks the favor.

KovosDatch

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Re: The Twist's Manifesto - Lucien "Hoof" Tyrak
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2023, 09:58:24 PM »
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   Things were not going as planned. Shake down the curio shop, the boss’ voice rang clear in Lucien’s head. The goat-legged youth could nearly see the old man’s face too, a visage not unlike a naked rat’s with wrinkled skin, beady, bulging eyes, and a hooked nose. He might be old, but he got things done; after all, he hadn’t made it to such an old age on the streets of the Hive with nothing. The boss still had tricks up his sleeve, especially for those who stepped out of line. Yeah, Lucien thought, the boss was the only one to lead the Survivors, the only one he would follow. Neither Masque, who was much too cautious, nor Doc, who was a firebrand, could even come close.

   A darting shadow or shift in movement, Lucien was not sure which, brought him back to the present. He and two other figures stood within the cramped shop surrounded by displays full of odd knick knacks. The oldest of the trio was almost a living caricature of the establishment, his whole existence reflected the curio shop he owned. His brow with thick, gray eyebrows cast shadows on his deep-set eyes like the dim, flickering light making shadows of dust bunnies dance in the corners of the store. The shopkeeper's large, unsightly nose took up a wide tract on his face much like the cabinets that held worthless baubles crowding his store. Even the elder’s hunch was not unlike the offset geometry of Sigil’s buildings. Worn, rickety, dilapidated—even if they shook down this shop, not much jink would come from it.

   But then again, things were not going as planned. The old man hurled insults as he scowled. The expression came so naturally to him that Lucien swore the man must practice it every day, like it was the only expression the man could muster. As his scowl deepened, he formed two crass gestures with both of his hands and thrust them at Lucien and Echo. “Go back to your farm,” he shouted at Lucien. “And crawl back under your rock, lizard-girl,” he directed to Echo. “I swear, I’ll call the Mercykillers! You’ll swing from the limbless tree! They’ll put you in the dead-book!”

   Within an instant, Lucien rocked back on his hocks while swatting the stranger’s arms to the sides, opening the old man’s center up for a vicious strike. Before the elder could react, the tiefling sprung from his crouch and used the momentum to unleash a terrible uppercut that landed squarely on the shopkeeper’s chin. The man cried out in agony as his hunched body stumbled back and fell, knocking over a few of the cabinets surrounding the trio. Lucien flexed his hand to ensure nothing was broken as the crashing of shattering curios filled the shop.

   The stranger looked up to the pair in a pained daze. Lucien nodded to the cash register, which Echo promptly began emptying. Meanwhile, the goat-legged tiefling knelt down beside the elder and helped himself to the man’s coin purse.

   “First thing, cutter, yer lucky I’m ‘n a chipper mood ‘r ya would’ve suffered a far worse fate,” Lucien spoke levelly with the shopkeep. “Second, fer th’ grief ya cause me an’ my partner, yer gonna have extra jink fer us next time—and there’ll be a next time. An’ finally, ‘f ya call th’ lobsters? We’ll know. Callin’ ‘em will be th’ last thing ya ever do,” the tiefling said gravely.

   “Yeah!” Echo echoed.

   “Ya got a wife? Kids?” queried Lucien. “Be a real shame ‘f ‘ey lost their husband ‘r pop. Or,“ he stresses, “‘t’d be even sadder ‘f ‘ey had an accident. Wouldn’t want tha’ ta happen, would we?” A grin spread across his darkened features.

   Echo whistled to Lucien and motioned to the empty register. The tiefling rose, kicking the shopkeep in the ribs with his goat hoof to drive home the message. As he escorted Echo to the door, she turned her head and looked at the old man out of the corner of her large, dark eyes. To add insult to injury, she reached out with her lizard-like tail and sent a shelf of baubles to the floor, never letting her gaze off of the elder. Lucien opened the door for her and both exited the ruined store.

* * * * *

   The acrid rain of the Hive Ward beat upon the blackened stone walls of the district. Hundreds of souls and just as many species mingled in the main streets or quickly went about their business. A cacophony of noises, cries and calls rose into the hazy, pungent air almost like mirage waves upon a hot desert dune, each competing with the last only to be overtaken by the next. A few dabus were tearing down a building in no particular order on one of the street corners; the inhabitants of the complex shouted for them to cease, which were ignored completely. Given the scenes, it was an average day in the Hive.

   “You didn’t have to threaten his family,” Echo leaned over whispering to Lucien, her long, raven-black hair becoming wetter by the moment. Her soft voice was more habit than choice; she never spoke her own thoughts loudly, only ever echoing what others said with any force. In fact, Echo was the quietest and shyest member of the Survivors.

   “Don’t tell me yer goin’ soft, lass,” Lucien replied as he looked his travel-companion over. In truth, she was much more than that to him. He found her pale, gray skin interesting and the henna-like tattoos on her hands made her like no other. He spent many-a-nights in her quarters exploring every inch of her body—much like many of the other Survivors. That fact troubled the goat-legged youth despite his own unfaithful experiences with other women of the gang. But of all of them, Echo was the only one Lucien could even come close to claiming he loved.

   The slender-bodied tiefling replied quietly, “I’m not. I just think the berk might get some ideas.” They wove their way through the overcrowded maze of the Hive, debating Lucien’s recent course of action.

   “Boss wanted a shakedown, Echo. Th’ addle-cove shopkeeper made up his mind when he decided ta make a scene. Boss doesn’t tolerate tha’ none an’ a message had ta be sent,” reasoned Lucien. His piercing blue eyes lingered on Echo, peeling back layers of her personality like an onion. “Especially when he threatened th’ Survivors, when he threatened—'' he let his voice trail off, shaking his head. You, he thought, when he threatened you, Echo. His face flushed pink from embarrassment the more he contemplated.

   Fortunately for the youth, Echo looked ever onward, seemingly unaware of his insinuation or unwilling to acknowledge it. “The jink we got was pitiful. You might be right that sending a message was our only option, Hoof.”

   “I know I’m righ’. Berk’s lucky I didn’t give him anymore than th’ scuffs he earned,” came the reply as they found their way through dark alleys and stairwells alike.

   “Would you really hurt a woman or child?”

   “If ‘t proved a point, ‘f ‘t brought a berk ‘n line. But most important, ‘f th’ boss wanted ‘t done.”

   Echo’s face grew pale knowing such work could put Lucien in danger, but she nodded knowing Lucien was right. She worried for his safety like he concerned himself with hers. It was like a game to the two where a pass or compliment was ignored only to return a cue for it to go unnoticed. Truthfully, his antics always drove her up the wall, but she liked him more than any other Survivor.

   Tieflings rarely ever formed such bonds, but Lucien and Echo grew up together within the gang. Their initial familial bond quickly evolved into one of lovers when puberty set in. Everyone in the Survivors could see their adoration for one another, but neither partner wanted to acknowledge it; their emotions, self-hate, and doubt clouded their judgment as the noxious air clouded the Hive.

   The pair ducked into one last dark alleyway and knocked on a reinforced wooden door. A slit in the entryway about eye-level slid open and a muffled, deep voice came from the gap. “Password?”

   “Oh pike off, berk, an’ let us ‘n. Ya can see ‘t’s us,” the goat-legged youth huffed.

   “Password?” the gruff, masculine voice asked again.

   Lucien raised a fist to his chest and was about to shout when Echo put her hand on his forearm and whispered, “I feel so alone. I feel so Deserted.”

   Three unbolting clacks resounded in the dark passage before the door swung open. Inside was a hulking wall of meat in the form of a tusked half-orc. He was grinning slyly like he just pulled a fast one on the pair. Lumbering to one side, he motioned for them to enter. Feeling like a gentleman, Lucien let Echo go first before he passed the threshold.

   After he entered, the mountain of a demihuman slammed and re-bolted the door. “Yer gonna get hurt ‘f ya keep up with th’ funny business, Bone,” Lucien hissed.

   Bone shrugged, never losing the smirk, “Boss’ orders.”

   The two tieflings left the half-orc to his thoughts and maneuvered through the hideout. They tossed their coin purses at one of the gang’s accountants—beancounters most of the Survivors called them—and went to Echo’s room for excitement of a different nature.

   They were home.

KovosDatch

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Re: The Twist's Manifesto - Lucien "Hoof" Tyrak
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2023, 07:30:22 PM »
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   The naked corpse rotated slowly back and forth from the coiling of the taught rope that hung it. The pale body would have looked angelic had it not been for pooling blood gravitating downward towards the skin of feet and fingertips and manifesting as sickly bruising. Of course, the ghastly carved heart in its abdomen further differentiated it, aligning more towards the hellish than the heavenly. To top everything off, the glassy dead eyes of the corpse could not mask the terror its soul endured in its final hour.

   Her street name was Dagger, and she was Cloak’s younger sister as well as Echo’s best friend. In life she had a bubbly personality that matched her petite face and blonde hair. Cloak constantly chided her for her unmatched curiosity claiming one day it would be the death of her. Now, it was.

   Lucien and Raul gazed upon the earthly remains of his dead comrade. Raul, who was a squat as a halfling, as hairy as a centaur’s rear, and as graceful as a donkey walking a tightrope, shook his head with a deep sigh that seemed to expel all the air in his dwarven body. He wasn’t a Survivor, but was one of their best-paid and most trustworthy informants. In fact, it was a tip Raul overheard that brought them both there.

   Tears danced in the goat-legged tiefling’s blue eyes. “She used ta wander for days at a time, cutter,” Lucien’s voice struggled to remain flat. Dagger was only a year or two older than he was– much too young to have met such a fate. His closeness to her betrayed him; it wasn’t uncommon to have Dagger join in on his and Echo’s fun. He swallowed a lump forming in his throat before continuing. “When she didn’t come back, a few ‘f us got real concerned. Tha’s why I reached out ta ya.”

   “Nae would’ve even given wot I heard a second thought until ye asked, Hoof,” the dusky-skinned dwarf said in a soft, compassionate tone. “I’m sorry fer yer-”

   But the tiefling held up a hand, cutting off Raul. “Cutter, we don’t need sympathy. We need revenge,” the tiefling replied. The ironic juxtaposition between his utterance and his own feelings of denial was lost on neither of the pair.

   “Ye dunnae mean…” the hairy companion’s voice trailed off, the corpse still tottering back and forth.

   “Tha’s up ta th’ boss, Raul, but I imagine ‘t’ll be an all-out war with Kirk’s Blackhearts.”

   “Lady Almighty,” Raul swore in whispered tones.

   “Bar-tha’ rot an’ help me get her down,” Lucien barked. In moments, they had scavenged a few boxes from the dark, murky alleyway and built a small pyramid. With as much gentleness as could be afforded by a two man team with makeshift equipment, they brought Dagger’s remains to the cobblestone pavement below.

   “Go an’ fetch one ‘f th’ Dusties’ wheelbarrows,” the goat-legged youth requested as he dropped his cloak over the body.

   “Ye dunnae mean…” Raul asked once again.

   “Don’t be a berk. I ain’t sellin’ her remains. I jus’ ain’t carryin’ her body th’ whole way back ta base myself,'' Lucien sneered.

   As Raul scampered off to find the requested cart, Lucien rested his hand on Dagger’s chest, but dared not close his eyes for fear of Blackhearts lurking in the shadows. The slimy alleyway was a poor excuse for hallowed ground, but then again many things were poor excuses in Sigil. The gravity of the situation continued to bear down upon him: he had lost one of his closest friends and the Survivors were going to war.

   Raul came back with the requested cart a short time later, but Lucien would have sworn it was an eternity. With care, he loaded his dead lover’s body in the bed of the wheelbarrow before handing a heavy coin purse to Raul. “A lil extra fer yer help, bud. Nothin’ ta no one,” he whispered softly.

   “Nae a word, lad. Swear on my beard,” the dwarf nodded gratefully.

   It was a longer walk back to the hideout than Lucien remembered.


(//Editor's note: the dwarf's name is pronounced like "Paul" but with an R, not like Raúl as in the Hispanic/Latino name)