The Villains and Antagonists in Post Terminus

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swaswj

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Villains and Antagonists in Post Terminus​


I got to thinking of something, and I thought it might be fun to talk about some of the 'bad guys' in Post Terminus. First off, I'd love to hear what people see as villainous forces in the world, but also give a chance for people to talk a bit about the baddies in their personal writing (TorBru, the Black Cats)... or even your own organization if you see yourself as bad (the Original Sins guild, when they were active).

Will follow up a bit later with some things of my own, also. One in particular is going to be front and center in Keydis' personal arc in the works.
 

swaswj

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Well, since no one else is going first, I'll lead off with the criminal organization I created within Lupanar. I don't expect everyone to lore-dump as much as this!

As a reminder, the Lupanar District in Terminus is essentially a safe haven from law enforcement, but that doesn't mean it's truly lawless. The 'Little City' within the Grand Metropolis is governed by the powerful and influential, by crime families and syndicates that carve out their own slices within Lupanar and enforce their own 'laws' to protect their territory and interests.

The guards and police forces of Terminus (mostly) stay out of Lupanar, and the criminals (mostly) stay within it. Individuals on either side whose actions threaten to break that truce are typically dealt with severely. Collectively, the powers that rule Lupanar are known as the Atrii Nefastus, meaning the Court of the Inauspicious, or often simply the Nefastus. All of this to say that my org here isn't the only or even necessarily largest, although it is a powerful player.

Nefastus' Ignominious Nine​

One of the larger crime syndicates within Lupanar is NIN, the Nefastus' Ignominious Nine. The organization was built up by a velen known as Guadriar the Red together with the laicar Culm the Blue-eyed as his right-hand man and enforcer. Once it had grown large enough, the nine most prominent members each headed up their own specialties within it, leading to its name.

They don't necessarily like one another, but they have shared self-interest. The NIN's work is just business, and although they lack in morals, they have no higher aspirations of domination or destruction. When things threaten the bottom line, they either work around it or let Culm and his boys loose to solve the problem. The cautious approach has allowed them to slowly accumulate wealth and power without upsetting the other powers within Lupanar, even as they gradually spread their influence throughout the Little City.


Guadriar the Red (Velen)
  • Head of NIN
  • Specializes in Smuggling Illicit Goods
  • Adept in Serpens, Aquila, Occultus
  • Wears a red leather face-mask for intimidation and to obfuscate incantations.



Artemis Culpeper (Laicar)
  • Specializes in Industrial and Ingeniarius Espionage
  • An Artificer
  • Skilled in Battuentis, Ingeniarius
  • Has a past with and connections within TorBru Corporation



Celica Beryllias (Enlil)
  • Specializes in Rare Artifact Acquisition
  • An Augur
  • Skilled in Occultus, Cantatus




Pia Hanc Fur Mel (Demvir)
  • Also known as "Femina Pulchra"
  • Specializes in Political and Governmental Espionage
  • An Artificer
  • Adept in Pugilis, Ingeniarius



Sai Shurevad (Enlil)
  • Specializes in Assassinations and Dark Bounties
    • "Dark Bounties" are criminal-on-criminal bounties
  • Adept in Bellator



Harlequin (Demvir)
  • Specializes in Gambling and Collections
  • Adept in Pistolii, Perspicax



Turin Vermouth (Spurii, Laicar/Velen)
  • Specializes in Prostitution and Bootlegging
  • Adept in Pugilis




Culm the Blue-Eyed (Laicar)
  • Specializes in "Solving Problems"
  • A Vistra
  • Skilled Pugilis, Bellator



Niketas Leon (Laicar)
  • Specialized in Rare Animal Acquisition
    • Also Slaver, including child slaves
    • Lost protection of NIN due to slaving making him a liability
  • Adept Pistolii
  • Captured by Keydis Lysistrata
  • Replacement Unknown
 

Valero

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In PT specifically, given enemies in the PMs and such, I don't really feel like anyone is really a primary antagonist, they all just made bad decisions based on their resentment and current situations. Going off of the NIN (I really like them, might have to work them into some of Deni's stories especially since Societas resides in Lupanar), sounds like the 'bottom line' is the real enemy and I think the Societas could certainly end up on a slippery slope that leans towards the antagonistic side. I actually think it'd be really cool to see the consequences of a guild turning dark side, but not sure that's going to happen.

Regarding the antagonists of Deni's writing, there were those Furveris Brothers who were like laicar mafia gangsters that were after him because he owed them money, but aside from that I never really felt the need for his story contain many enemies. He's so self-destructive and chaotic that he actually doesn't need it haha
 

MoonlitRain014

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I think that Val's comment about "the bottom line" being the biggest enemy is accurate. It's what has driven TorBru to misbehave to the point that they're willing to collaborate with alien forces bent on destroying Araevis to bring their eldritch masters to power, kidnap professors and persecute anyone they need to get their way. Profit and control over the levers of political power are their only goals.

Even the "Outside Ones" that I created really aren't evil per se. They don't think in terms of human lives or suffering, simply in doing what it takes to gain control. They butcher and eat the Terrans of all sorts as food, their pain or fear doesn't really figure. They are allowing TorBru to use them in order to succeed, not because they are deliberately doing evil. They are just amoral.
 

Ganner Rhysode

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I like this idea of Collation, and if anyone wants or needs a Mercenary/Assassins Guild feel free to use the Black Cats.

The Black Cats Security Organization is, at least on paper, a Mercenary guild headed out of Eruditio, a port city on the northern border of Paludis and Prendere. They do the work that is commissioned to them by nobles and common folk, taking on different jobs depending on who asks. They are well known for being able to accomplish any job, for an appropriate fee, as well as being as discreet or flashy as requested.

They mostly take jobs within Paludis and Prendere, however they have been slowly moving their reach and influence further north as news of their work spreads, as well as hiring on more hands and attempting to establish branch offices with cities further and further north each year.

There is a tier system to their leadership, and the council that rules the Black Cats is split into three. There is a head of finances and collections, a demvir named Krass, the head of Manpower and training, a velen man named Gremory Vain, and the head of information collecting and job assignments, a laicar woman named Polena Hark. These three decide what jobs go to which guildhalls, and can even influence whether certain mercenaries are offered the jobs first, instead of leaving it open to the halls themselves to assign them.

Each Guildhall also follows this system, with the three positions within the hall itself being staffed with less influential but necessary individuals for these jobs, allowing the allocation of work and the influx of money to flow smoothly from one end of Araevis to the other.

The Dark Underbelly:
Beneath the façade of a Mercenary guild, however, the true heads of the guild rule from the underkeep of Eruditio, a basement facility where torture, poisons and weaponry are constantly refined. Known colloquially as the Cats Paw, this group keeps an eye out for any who show potential in the art of stealth, assassination and any other underhanded methods of earning their keep. They handle the more illegal jobs that are brought to the Guild, and are much more expensive and discreet in their handling of jobs. They still often operate as common guild members, though they travel a lot, which isn’t considered uncommon for mercenaries within the guild.

They also handle defectors and those who would leak secrets from within the guild, and are actually known about amongst the common guild members, but due to information being wildly varying and often inflated are considered, and enforced as, ghost stories and myths from within the guild.

The true heads of the Black Cats are a Velen woman named Tanner Rhys, who runs the bars, brothels and contraband division of the guild. A Demvir named Hastor Khyrrus who is in charge of the wetwork within the guild, often personally choosing whose job it is to take on the target, or setting up a situation where a patsy would do the work for them. Finally there is a female laicar named Darris Shree, whose job is procurement of resources, living and otherwise, to keep the guild fully functioning. She often works as a slave within noble houses, and is the information gathering expert, often using gossip within noble houses from either herself or other slaves to gain information for bribery, blackmail or theft against a target.

However, there is a True Guildmaster within the underbelly, a mysterious mage known only as the Headmaster. He has a shadowy way about him, and uses insects as a medium for a long forgotten form of magic. The only ones who truly know his name are the three heads, though they keep it hidden for him.

The Cats Paw often uses dead drops to communicate, though in extreme circumstances they are known to use a kind of insect known as a Skrill Bug, a centipede about the size of a Yorkshire terrier, to force the person into a semi-conscious state so the Headmaster can communicate to them, though there is a way to also load a message into the poison using unknown methods which is uploaded during the hallucinogenic state brought about by the Skrill's poisonous bite.

The bug has some sort of paralytic poison within it, and if it is unable to deliver its message the poison will leak through its flesh, causing a cloud of clear, noxious gas to flood an area choking and even killing those within if exposed for too long. This self destruction kills the bug, and can cause hallucinations on those even moderately affected by it.
 
Last edited:

Dojat

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Echoing what others have said in the thread, a lot of my writing doesn't necessarily have a big bad villain so much as the antagonist is typically circumstance or a character's poor decision making. However, that's not to say that I haven't established any actual antagonists in my writing. I'll speak to Micali's story, since it's easily the majority of my writing here and definitely the most fleshed out.

Off the bat, we had the Insidiis, a criminal organization in the city of Lucrus that was assembled underneath Editus Malum, a charismatic demvir man who died roughly seven years ago. The Insidiis took in the vulnerable and desperate - typically children, criminals, or revolutionaries who wanted change in the city's corrupt leadership. Of these categories, Micali fell into the first. While the Insidiis were covert in nature, internally there was an instilled sense of good, where the ends (a city liberated and the brutal class divide removed) justified the means (murder, theft, etc.) but as the child soldiers grew up, Micali included, they began to realize that the system they'd been raised into was not one of nurturing, nor was it one of eventual justice; it was Editus Malum's personal task force that carried out whatever dealings he had with the leaders of the city. Shortly after his death, the organization dissolved and many of its agents spread to the wind.

If anyone wanted to write an ex-criminal (or a looking-for-work criminal) it's totally up for grabs that someone from the Insidiis would wander to x location in hopes of finding new/old work.

Speaking more to how I choose to write villains, the bulk of the conflict in my writing tends to be internal, and I try to make it clear that Micali is her own antagonist by depicting her inability to move forward past her trauma, and dwelling on her hatred for those who have wronged her.

When writing an actual villain though, it's important to remember that they, too, should have their own motivations, their own backstory, their own traumas. It depends on the vibe of writing you're aiming for but in my opinion it generally pays off more to have a believable, tragic villain than a hyper-cruel villain who's evil just because you need them to be.
 

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