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Villain Critique Thread (Because Its About Damn Time!)

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Jan 29th 2023 at 9:55:02 PM

I love the aspect that this really formidable and crazy, dangerous predator ultimately has his own feared adversary. That he was ultimately a crazed, greedy human at the start, desperate to hold on to the things he obtained through raids and carnage - and ultimately, how despite being a vampire at the story's start, his behavior now versus his backstory isn't terribly different. He wants so he takes - whether he's a human or a vampire. And the vampires around him aren't different, only chafing at the restrictions he imposes. Not the immorality involved.

  • Name: Satori, "The Many-Colored Bird", "The Mad Instigator", "The Master of The Locus".

  • Age: Satori's exact age isn't clear, and he may even be from a different planet. He hints toward a Gaean Origin.

  • Personality: Satori likes to make himself seem a lot more eldritch and imperceptible than he really is. He talks like his plans and ambitions are incomprehensible, impossibly convoluted and outside your feeble mortal mind's ability to grasp... And in reality, he's far less incomprehensible once you get to the brass tacks of his plans. He despises his own deity, Vicelogia, for concealing knowledge from him, and schemes to spread his power and name through the youth in order to one day acquire knowledge not even Vicelogia will know. He's jealous, cruel, petty, and vindictive on that. As far as he's concerned, there is a proper use to everyone, and they exist purely for that use. "My purposes are of course of the highest priority, and being used for that purpose should be your highest honor." His plans and ploys are of the highest importance to him, and he is loathe to actually fight unless his plan calls for it or he's backed into a corner. He unlike many other Demons exults in and utilizes modern day technology extensively, in particular attempting to make his "game", Locus of Orpheus, go viral enough to spread his name across the entirety of America's youth. Satori primarily focuses on corrupting and subverting young people, due to his belief in the future being the most important thing.

  • Abilities:
    • Satori can duplicate and then fire his many colored feathers like missiles at his foes. These feathers induce temporary paralysis in any foe they hit.
    • Satori carries a black staff called the Staff of Mayhem, ending in a spider web that acts as a focus and channel for the power of the "Ocean of Mortal Hatred". Letting him unleash a dizzying wave of attacks that impact the mind as well as the body.
    • Satori like many of Vicelogia's minions is a master spellcaster, demonstrating keen and almost instinctual control of Elemental Magic, and can even perform an attack reflector to bounce any spell cast on him back on the opponent simply by manipulating the mana in the spell.
    • He is a capable telepath, being able to read un-guarded minds very easily, and taking little concentration to blow past even most mental guards. Using this, he can read what you're going to do before you do it.
    • While magic using mortals seem to be less easy for him, he can also use Mind Control on Muggles very easily indeed.
    • His Ritual Magic in particular can, with the right set up, achieve some rather spectacular things.

  • Weaknesses: Fatal Flaw - arrogance... and cowardice, in a way. He's overconfident in the innate brilliance of his plans. He does also have a hole in his mind reading ability - he can and does get caught off-guard often by someone moving purely on emotion and instinct.

  • Goals: Satori desires to spread his name and knowledge throughout the young, first and foremost, so as to collect their knowledge, experience, and thoughts, to eventually collect something known by them that Vicelogia does not know. He also has a whole host of minor plans and schemes undertaken at various points.

  • Motivation: As far as he's concerned, Vicelogia created him for a purpose, but then denied him the whole of that purpose. If he's to be a Demon of the cause of Knowledge, Spells and Void, why wouldn't he know all the above?

  • Role in the story: Big Bad of "The Raven's Game", one of many villains in the New Dawn IV era.

  • Backstory: Precious little is known about his backstory, except it hints at another planet called Gaea through the name of a nation that he served before being Ascended - Phoebonon. What is clear is that Vicelogia Ascended him, and then some...harsh words and discussion took place between the Demon and its master. From there, Satori turned toward one day upstaging Vicelogia in the grandest of ways.

  • Relevant Tropes:
  • Animalistic Abomination: Satori is more or less a giant avian monstrosity that concocts multiple plans and has an innate understanding of magic.
  • Attack Reflector: Due to his pristine command of Mana, he is capable of redirecting spells cast at him. Often showing his sheer ego by mockingly doing so with a single finger pointing where the spell's going.
  • Bad Boss: Vicelogia's sterling record of how he treats his underlings continues, and in turn, Satori doesn't particularly care what advancing in his Game does to his prospective Chosen Ones - just that they can get patched back up and serve him as vectors for his knowledge.
  • Badass Bookworm: In the New Dawn IV times, he's one of the most magically adept and intelligent villains in the Umbral Horde under Caine, second only to Reiji. He gets a promotion, ending up one of the Grandmaster's coterie leading up to the final battle.
  • Bad Influencer: Owing to his modernity motif, he sponsors a bunch of them to covertly put signals in short videos that have certain effects when viewed enough times.
  • Believing His Own Lies: The thing is, he honestly seems to believe that he's an eldritch being of impossible motives and ideas - and doesn't even think it's a lie, even though it's obviously not true.
  • Body Horror: One of his spells, The Unbinding of Kar'kasa, works by manipulating someone's cells into dividing, reconstructing and even evolving at an accelerated rate. Those afflicted by it near universally turn into screaming, insane-from-pain abominations.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Known as the Many-Colored Bird, and a narcissistic, conniving Demon with aspirations of showing up his own Patron God.
  • The Chosen One: He selected six potential candidates to be his chosen vessel of his terrible knowledge and his name. There was also however Daniel, an outcast who tried to complete the Locus of Orpheus, who Satori absolutely despised for being "unworthy" of the honor, owing to Daniel not being popular enough to lead. Satori grew to much prefer Ericksen as the list narrowed down and candidates dropped out for...one reason or another. A popular jock, he was seen as the best possible candidate - a trend setter, a popular student, someone everyone knew and most people liked. Ironically, Daniel survived the final, harrowing portion of the Game, whereas Ericksen tore himself apart due to the nature of what was imposed on him.
  • Creepy Crows: Looks for all intents to be a bright red eyed raven-person of enormous size and cruel intellect.
  • Creepypasta: One of his plans involved concocting an enchanted creepypasta that causes people to suspect others of having the "Ghouly Man" influencing them, growing more and more desperate for help to exorcise the "Ghouly Man" from increasingly many people in their orbit. The spell, sent to them by Satori, would in fact do something vastly more diabolical.
  • Dark Messiah: The way that he depicts himself in relation to young people; "I will spread my Name and my darkly wisdom, that the young turn their parties into my ritual sites, speak my name over fires, and allow me to harvest their experience and make of them my initiates. I will guide them into a future of my own design."
  • Dirty Coward: Played With - he isn't entirely cowardly, he just prefers not fighting when he doesn't strictly need to. He only fights when his plan requires it, or if someone's managed to corner him.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Subverted - he may talk about how incomprehensible his plans and ideas are, but at the end of the day he's an ambitious warlord attempting to upstage his boss. Nothing particularly incomprehensible there.
  • Evil Virtues:
    • Determination: Despite pulling away from most fights, he's nothing if not completely determined to undertake his plans.
    • Patience: He watches, waits, and doesn't directly intervene unless absolutely necessary. Why expose himself to scrutiny and potential alerts when a member of his sect, or a sufficiently advanced individual in the Locus Game will do just fine?
    • Creativity: He did all of the research and innovated from there, creating a game with the full intention of it going viral and spreading. His Game is both monstrously immoral but brilliant in how it feeds off of and plays into youth culture.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Viciously terrible, but he puts on an affect of academic pleasantry that if anything accentuates what kind of character Satori really is.
  • Feathered Fiend: An 18 foot tall bird-man of distinctly corvid appearance, particularly resembling a raven in many of his shapes with many-colored feathers, which shift and change by the moment.
  • HA HA HAŚNo: His response when Daniel summons him up after Ericksen's death when the boy asks if he truly "won" the spot of Chosen One. Satori takes great glee in basically telling Daniel all his efforts to win were for nothing.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Unwilling to take the outcome, and eager to recoup some losses, he made a deal with Ericksen's parents in which he misrepresented what happened, and promised to utilize a ritual to bring their son back from the dead...while extracting quite a few demands of the parents in exchange for him reversing a death he more or less caused. He plays on their grief and desperation to get them to agree to it.
  • Narcissist: In part why Satori hates that Vicelogia keeps knowledge from him. His ego demands being given the totality of these sorts of things.
  • Necromancer: His Ritual, pitched to Ericksen's parents, promised to bring their son back from the dead. Requirements? Blood. Lots of it. Body parts to replace the ones too damaged in the Brown Note incident. And a sufficiently isolated place to do the Rite. What he doesn't tell the parents is what Ericksen will be like after he comes back.
  • Number of the Beast: 6 is Vicelogia's number, and despite disliking his overlord heavily, he adheres to the convention. Satori is eighteen feet tall - six by three. His hands have six digits rather than a more human five. He selected six of his human chosen ones. The Staff of Mayhem is 6.66 feet long...
  • Poke in the Third Eye: Do not attempt to psionically scan an area he's in.
  • Post-Modern Magik: Satori is nothing if not an innovator and an adapter. He concocted a number of spells and magical effects by manipulating computer code, even sneaking a Demon Summoning Spell into a line of NFT's.
    • He at one point brainwashed a group of Scandinavian children into taking control of their town and spreading this dominion outward via mind magic...sent to them via image files on email. When Matthew realizes the connections, he quickly realizes only one Demon so thoroughly integrated itself into the modern technological age.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Due to managing to get the Locus of Orpheus classified as a ritual, he can spy on anyone undertaking it or who has participated in it in the past.
  • Smug Smiler: somehow manages to give the look when he has a beak.
  • Smug Snake: He vacillates between legitimate master planner and a very, very high functioning smug snake. While his plans are usually all very impressive, they have a way of failing to account for something based on his own evaluation. For example, he simply had no way of accounting for the fact his chosen one might...not take to his plan as well as he thought.
  • Sore Loser: Interestingly, on behalf of someone else. Satori was no limits of pissed off when Daniel "won" and Ericksen "lost". He didn't even care that Daniel was now mutilated and Ericksen was dead. He just cared that the wrong person won his own game.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: One way he does fit his own self conception is that his knowledge imparted tends to have negative effects on those who take too much. Ericksen in particular had a spectacular Brown Note response that led to him eviscerating himself in total silence to just try and get it all out of him.
  • Urban Legend: How Locus of Orpheus works, along with...
    • Social Media Before Reason: His Game is both an old fashioned "challenge" among young people, and a social media "challenge" kind of undertaking. The fact that it is disfiguring and potentially deadly in its later stages has no stopping effect on the young people chasing it.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He seems to start building up to it at Daniel, talking about how any "meager usefulness" he may have possessed is gone...but then averts it, stating he can't be bothered to finish Daniel off, that he's so pathetic that it would be a "courtesy he doesn't deserve". So instead, he tosses Daniel a knife, blatantly suicide daring him and then leaving a mentally shattered Daniel to whatever fate he chose.

Edited by NickTheSwing on Jan 30th 2023 at 9:24:36 AM

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Swordofknowledge Swordofknowledge from I like it here... Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
Swordofknowledge
Mar 19th 2023 at 1:17:26 PM

[up] @ Nick The Swing:

So, something that I kind of forgot (since it's been a while since I've followed the lore of your setting) is how much your demons remind me of the Apostles from Berserk—-in the sense that they were once ordinary--or not so ordinary---people who became immortal monsters in service to a dark force.

It may seem odd, but it adds a human element to them, in spite of their inhumanity if that makes sense. The reason I bring this up in Satori's profile is because of how much this paradigm is turned on its head with him. He was never human, he was something we would already consider somewhat "supernatural"—-an alien. So in a way, he's sort of a Hybrid Monster. I just find that fascinating and thought I'd start out the review with that observation.

Anyway...

This probably won't be explained well, so I do apologize but Satori's whole thing reminds me of that meme of a man in the white suit laughing and joking and then abruptly snapping into a murderous glare.

At first one gets the impression of a parody—-yes, this entity is powerful, ancient and possessed of terrible knowledge, but he's also a blowhard who takes himself far too seriously and seems to ham it up when playing into his nature as a dark eldritch being. Again, this would fit perfectly into a character and setting made to draw humor from the genre.

And yet...then we have the evidence of what he can do. His eldritch knowledge is real and damaging, he is an ambitious and deadly creature, and he is devoid of empathy and compassion, a monster right up there with Berserk's denizens. He lashes back and forth from parody to true horror and it's amazing.

"Fear is a tyrant and a despot, more terrible than the rack, more potent than the snake." —Edgar Wallace
Mar 19th 2023 at 10:39:24 PM

[up] He is in fact going to be heavily involved in an upcoming roleplay of mine, the sequel to my Shadows of Sandfield Roleplay, which is nearing its conclusion.

One thing I'll include is going to be "The Orpheus Game", a short story chronicling Ericksen, Dan, and the manipulation by Satori they can't even perceive.

Edited by NickTheSwing on Mar 19th 2023 at 10:40:12 AM

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