Undead; True or Misidentified?

Undead; True or Misidentified?

Postby Axelgear on Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:02 pm

I am curious... Rat Wights, as seen earlier in the story, are they undead or hungry illusions granted form? Wights, by definition, are malevolent spirits that feed on life, and, if these forms of undead exist, must not others as well?

What are your thoughts, your opinions? Personally, I'm hoping for Liches.
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Re: Undead; True or Misidentified?

Postby Wanderwolf on Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:03 pm

Axelgear wrote:I am curious... Rat Wights, as seen earlier in the story, are they undead or hungry illusions granted form? Wights, by definition, are malevolent spirits that feed on life, and, if these forms of undead exist, must not others as well?

What are your thoughts, your opinions? Personally, I'm hoping for Liches.


Well, "wight", like "villain", "clown" and "pagan", is just a word for "man" or "person". Based on what we see in the strip, here's my assessment of how it works:

First of all, there are no Rat Wights. They're actually parts of a central Lux-enhanced organism known as a Rat King. Like an octopus reaching out with its tentacles, the Rat King, immobile in its nest, reaches out with Rat Wights to take in Lux; to feed.

A Rat King's feeding process is roughly analogous to how the human body consumes invading microorganisms. Once it perceives the Lux through a Wight, it adjusts the Lux of its "limb" to absorb it, much as the body produces antibodies to lock down a microbe or virus. A quick strike will allow you to disperse a Wight or two; after that, however, the adustment is made, and your Lux becomes enemy ammunition.

In point of fact, it is this which makes the Wights invisible to kenning: As their essence is constantly shifting to absorb the ambient Lux, kenning is absorbed without "reflection"; "stealth Lux" in other words.

I hope I got that right...

But no, Rat Wights aren't undead; they're just monsters. And to quote the X-Men cartoon: "Ain't that enough!?"

P.S.: A "lich" is literally a dead body; that's why the hearse entrance at a graveyard is called a "lych gate".

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Postby Axelgear on Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:05 am

Wights in literal term does, yes, mean human. However, in Folklore (Particularly Scandanavian), a Wight is a human-like fey or spirit, such as an Elf or a Wraith.

Also, if Quentyn called them Rat Wights, it stands to reason such a creature exists, does it not? There ARE stranger creatures.

And by the way, a Lich is a very different thing to a Lych Gate. A Lych Gate is the origin of the specific word Lich, but the origin of a Lich as in the evil spellcaster whose soul is stored somewhere originates in the legends of Koschei and in the Egyptian preservation of Pharoahs. A Lich means someone who has seperated their soul from their body, but kept their body animated and under their control, letting them become immortal.

And finally, my number one reason: Ralph is a D&D fan like myself, so it stands to reason he may include undead.
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Postby The JAM on Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:17 am

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Postby Madmoonie on Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:32 am

I think we are being a tad over-analytical.
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Postby Earl McClaw on Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:59 pm

And I think that while Ralph includes lux-manipulated (i.e. "animated") objects such as golems - and possibly extending to corpses at some point - he will not be touching on that supernatural concept of "undeath". So he will at best simulate such things as ghosts, vampires (already described on one of his CDs), and other life-essence sucking nasties.

Zombies, however, are a different matter. Not the "Eat brains!" variety currently thought of, but the original zombies - people who had been drugged into a death-like state where they are still conscious, then later allowed to "awaken" again (but with detrimental consiquences to the victem's mind). These Ralph might include, if he can tolerate the Voodoo references.
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Postby Deckard Canine on Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:43 am

Yeah, I think in Ralph's world, souls do not return to bodies except possibly in rare miracles. Some forms of undead would call the existence of the Christian God into doubt. Some, like vampires, have a nasty habit of taking over things in more ways than one. (I enjoyed vampires until they started showing up in entertainment too often. You might say they left me drained.)
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Postby BrockthePaine on Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:33 pm

Deckard Canine wrote:I enjoyed vampires until they started showing up in entertainment too often. You might say they left me drained.

I kinda like draugr these days. They're kinda like vampires, but they don't drink blood.
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Postby Axelgear on Sun Jan 07, 2007 2:23 pm

Those aren't Vampires. Vampires are the feral, blood thirsty monster who sneaks from a crypt and hunts someone down. The over-sexualisation of Vampirism is terrible...

As to the whole soul-returning-to-the-body thing, keep in mind that God is all powerful, but He isn't the only player on the scene, as it were, and God HAS returned the soul to the dead before. And besides, Vampires aren't entirely meant to be the dead reviving. They're actually meant to be the good part of a person dieing, and only the evil remaining. However, they can't face purity, such as the purity of a running stream or sunlight, and they must feed on the living, comitting further evil acts and drawing blood sacrifice to further evil.

Also, a thought occured to me while writing this...

In essence, Vampires are meant to be the Christian image of the old Pagan religions. Consider the following:

-They only came out at night
-Draw blood from the living to gain power
-Communed with animals (And in some cases, turned into them)
-Didn't like Christianity

Vampires are stereotype pagans.
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Postby BrockthePaine on Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:16 pm

Axelgear wrote:Vampires are stereotype pagans.
So maybe that's why they're so popular...
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Postby Aurrin on Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:58 pm

Axelgear wrote:As to the whole soul-returning-to-the-body thing, keep in mind that God is all powerful, but He isn't the only player on the scene, as it were, and God HAS returned the soul to the dead before


Two points:

1) He is the only player with the capability to do that.

2) If he brought someone back to life, it wouldn't be some hideous lumbering corpse-monster.
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Postby Tom Mazanec on Sun Jan 07, 2007 9:05 pm

See the UberCD for Ralph's depicion of Questorverse vampires.
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Postby Frigidmagi on Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:30 pm

I would rather see some cool Werewolf action honestly. I get tired of the undead sometimes.
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Postby RHJunior on Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:40 am

Axelgear wrote:Also, a thought occured to me while writing this...

In essence, Vampires are meant to be the Christian image of the old Pagan religions. Consider the following:

-They only came out at night
-Draw blood from the living to gain power
-Communed with animals (And in some cases, turned into them)
-Didn't like Christianity

Vampires are stereotype pagans.


Horsepucky.

Vampire legends come from all over the world, and predate Christianity by centuries. Vulnerability to sunlight, running water, bestial forms and powers, and (depending on the legends) symbols of the local theology are all features predating christendom as well. Other details of the legends are mix-and-match, suiting the local culture.... some of them quite bizarre. Among others is the Romany/gypsy belief that melons and gourds, if left on the vine after a certain number of days, became vampiric.... or that sharp-edged farm implements would begin thirsting for blood if they were left out in the moonlight.
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Postby Wanderwolf on Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:33 am

RHJunior wrote:Horsepucky.

Vampire legends come from all over the world, and predate Christianity by centuries. Vulnerability to sunlight, running water, bestial forms and powers, and (depending on the legends) symbols of the local theology are all features predating christendom as well. Other details of the legends are mix-and-match, suiting the local culture.... some of them quite bizarre. Among others is the Romany/gypsy belief that melons and gourds, if left on the vine after a certain number of days, became vampiric.... or that sharp-edged farm implements would begin thirsting for blood if they were left out in the moonlight.


There's weirder out there, too. Among the methods for becoming a werewolf:

Drink water from a wolf's footprint
Dive into a specific stream in the Harz Mountains
Pick a specific flower in the Harz Mountains
Make a bargain with the devil/local wolf spirit
Insult the devil
Be cursed by a witch
Be conceived on a holy day
Be the illegitimate son of a priest
Be born into the wrong family

Other than the last three, all of these predate Christianity.

Then there's the benandanti; people who leave their bodies at night, journeying into the underworld to battle the evil witches and preserve the fertility of the farmlands. The men become animals, while the women ride animals. (The witch trials had a field day with them in Italy; in Livonia, not so much. The severity of the witch trials tended to decrease with proximity to the Vatican.) They wield iron bars, while the witches wield broomsticks wrapped in horse tails.

Darn it, there's an animated series in that story...

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Postby Deckard Canine on Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:34 am

You know, I have yet to hear a purported origin of vampires or werewolves. Zombies I can understand, from sorcery or scientific disaster, but where might the first vampire or werewolf have originated? (I realize that there are other were-animals in legend, so if you can tell me their origin instead, I'll be content.)
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Postby BrockthePaine on Mon Jan 08, 2007 11:16 am

Wanderwolf wrote:Then there's the benandanti; people who leave their bodies at night, journeying into the underworld to battle the evil witches and preserve the fertility of the farmlands. The men become animals, while the women ride animals. (The witch trials had a field day with them in Italy; in Livonia, not so much. The severity of the witch trials tended to decrease with proximity to the Vatican.) They wield iron bars, while the witches wield broomsticks wrapped in horse tails.

Darn it, there's an animated series in that story...

Now that's really interesting...
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Postby Axelgear on Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:53 pm

Vampiric origins vary worldwide, and so do Werewolves. Most contend the modern vampire we know, the Count Dracula Vampire, originated in places like Austria as a metaphor for the ruling aristocracy feeding on the blood of the peasants. As to Werewolves, there are a LOT of them. The earliest example known is the Greek man Lycaon, who ate the flesh of another human, and those who're present at a sacrifice on a mountain of the same name (Mount Lycaon) essentially undergo the same process. Basically, they take off their clothes, and swim across a lake, and are turned into a wolf in the process. If, after nine years, they have not attacked anyone in Wolf form, they can swim back and return to normal form.
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Postby The JAM on Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:01 pm

It seems that all cultures have a form of were-animals. Some African tribes have were-hyenas, the Mayans had a were-quetzal (a type of pheasant), and I think the Aztecs had a were-eagle and a were-jaguar.
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Postby Axelgear on Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:33 pm

I think the Aztecs had a lot of Were-Jaguar myths. Yaguareté-abá, I believe.

As to Quetzals, they're Trogons I believe, not Pheasants. Songbirds, I think...
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