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CO-Comics Presents: AWAKENING (Nightmare Invasion epilogue)

tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User


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Producer: not1stepbackwards
Lore Consultant: Lord Liaden
Based on the concept of: Razama
Special thanks to: Pariba, sersaywastaken, RubyAmethyst, d-pool, CO's Dev Team for the new content

And thank you for reading our humble fan-made contribution to the Champions Online narrative.


BEHIND THE SCENES


The idea came from an off-the-cuff remark by Razama on the Public Test Server for this very event. The gist was, wouldn't it be cool if the new Seraph and Malakim vehicles were dogfighting above us (like the Qularr spaceships in the Tutorial)?

I had meant to do a comic for the new content, and that comment was the springboard for this one.

However, spaceship combat wasn't the crux. The crux was characters like the Golden Seraph have a life of their own. What do power armoured celestial beings do when they're not being Event Vendor NPCs? It's like The Secret Life of MMO NPCs.

Now, this is just my take. Not overriding what Cryptic's planning, it's more like the Expanded Universe in comics and films that are non-canonical yet, I hope in the case of this comic, is still enjoyable to the COmmunity.
Post edited by tigerofcachtice on
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Comments

  • canadascottcanadascott Posts: 1,257 Arc User
    Thanks! Good stuff!
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  • xrazamaxxrazamax Posts: 979 Arc User
    So holy, their gatlin guns go, "Buddha! Buddha! Buddha!"

    This was great though. I liked Golden Seraph without her mask.
  • tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User
    Thank you for reading and taking time to comment.
    xrazamax said:

    This was great though. I liked Golden Seraph without her mask.

    I like the fact that you like that. It was actually a tough call to make.

    Taking her helmet off removes part of her mystique, but enhances her humanity. The problem being, she's a power armoured celestial, so can she even be considered human? The whole thing was a trade-off, a judgment call.

    What tipped the scales was, talking with her Daily, I felt she was One Of Us.

    In a previous plot outline, I actually envisioned a prologue where Golden Seraph rebelled against Elysium (which sort of has a policy not to intervene in mortal affairs) just to help us. Same thinking.

    I abandoned that, not only because that's just taking too many liberties with Cryptic's creations, but because I'd be making her Katniss from Hunger Games or the new girl from Star Wars: Rogue One.

    Thus...mission complete, helmet off, I kinda made her Samus Aran from Metroid, I guess. Lol.
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  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 16,450 Arc User
    I'm not up on the lore... can someone explain "prayer barrels" to me? Like.. is that just a gun that people talk holy about, or are there a bunch of nuns in a back room praying super hard into a funnel and that feeds "prayer ammo" into the guns?
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,915 Arc User
    Maybe it's a warhammer reference actually and not something from CO?
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  • tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User
    edited June 2016
    spinnytop said:

    I'm not up on the lore... can someone explain "prayer barrels" to me? Like.. is that just a gun that people talk holy about, or are there a bunch of nuns in a back room praying super hard into a funnel and that feeds "prayer ammo" into the guns?

    Quite. It's from Tibetan Buddhism.



    Traditionally, you spin these while reciting Buddhist prayers.

    Thus, in the context of comic, they use them as the barrels for their gatling guns. Firing them causes them to sound like a choir of artillery, like how Tchaichovsky's 1812 Overture incorporates actual cannons. In this case, however, their Holy Gatling Guns sound like they are singing Buddha's name while smiting their enemies with the very bullets making that invocation.

    EDIT - just in case it's unclear to anyone, that whole bit is just about how the onomatopoeia for heavy machinegun fire is generally "BUDDA BUDDA BUDDA". That is the joke here...which I just negated by explaining the joke.

    -----


    Imagine the life of such a bullet. He spends his life cloistered in an ammo crate, meditating silently on the moment he will eventually be fired. Fasting, keeping oneself pure and clean and free of rust. Finally, when he becomes of age, he is transferred to an ammo belt. Then as he loaded into the Holy Gatling Gun, he realises this is the moment his entire life has been leading up to. Entering the firing chamber...for both the first AND last time...he finally has an epiphany and he breaks his vow of silence, crying out in sheer joy, and the shape and length of the gun barrel turns that sound into Buddha's name.

    There's actually no firing mechanism in these Holy Gatling Guns. It's sheerly from each individual bullet, every one of them dedicated to the Eightfold Path, finally reaching enlightenment in the chambers of the prayer barrels. As they ascend from this plane of existence, they leave their mortal shells behind to reach Nirvana, passing through their enemies' bodies as they do so.

    Is that not a life well lived, Kagami?


    -----


    In short, yes. But it's not just people talking holy about a gun, for the gun IS holy, nor nuns praying, but the actual bullets praying for themselves and the salvation of all the world. Which they speed along by killing whoever is in their way.

    For if all life is suffering, and their purpose to end suffering, well, it's pretty self-explanatory.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,915 Arc User
    Yeah, that's a lot like how it works in Warhammer. But they pray to the Emperor, not Buddha.
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  • so, the takeaway from this is...the player who did aftermath is the one responsible for the invasion happening​​
    RIP Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks & Calvin Munerlyn

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    #LegalizeAwoo

    A normie goes "Oh, what's this?"
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  • tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User

    so, the takeaway from this is...the player who did aftermath is the one responsible for the invasion happening​​

    Thanks for reading and raising this important question.

    That's a major takeaway, the other one being while we were fighting on the ground, these celestial beings were waging war in space above us, which I imagined was why the sky was purple the whole time.

    The caveat is that this is the Golden Seraph's and this new character's, the Elder's, working theory. In Aftershock: The King Is Dead, it ends with a battle in the hero's own psyche, winning a battle against his "inner demons", freeing himself from the Kings of Edom's influence.

    However, from the perspective of these 2 figures, they personally feel the corruption would still linger. That is especially true from the view of the Elder, whose personal philosophy is very much along the lines of "when you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back at you", etc. They are both viewing the situation based on the gathered evidence, though.

    Their understanding does not come from nothing. It's based on the opening cinematic from the start of the Nightmare Invasion, where Golden Seraph, Witchcraft, Robert Caliburn, Dr. Ka, the Dweomer...and you...held a meeting. In fact, I believe it was the Dweomer that 1st raised this very issue.

    So yeah, this is going to be an ongoing narrative I reckon.

    -----

    This is a sidenote, but from a lore perspective based on the Champions RPG books, I loved that meeting.

    It referenced something described in the details, but hadn't been highlighted in CO until this event IMHO. The issue was: Witchcraft, despite being famous as the Champions' resident mage...isn't really the best in her field.

    Witchcraft and her sister, the villain Talisman, came from the Circle of the Scarlet Moon. That sounds like a powerful guild of mages, and they think they are, but in fact (lore-wise) they're more like a secret society of wealthy people that like to dabble in mysticism. To compare, it's like Freemasons or the Illuminati, who just have weird rituals.

    It turned out Witchcraft really did have some significant talent, comparatively speaking, but perhaps more importantly, she had the looks and personality and charm to to be a public superhero and Defender's girlfriend.

    The analogy I would use is, imagine of magic was like music. Witchcraft would be like a new pop star that started on YouTube, being born with some talent and good looks, then got a major record deal. However, someone like Dr. Ka would be classically trained in the ancient ways, like opera and stuff. Robert Caliburn wasn't taught in a conservatory, but had a lot more experience playing music with others, and being a virtuoso that was exposed to so many different forms of the art, became very respected.

    Witchcraft, while quite decent, doesn't command the same level of respect as them, so when they kinda talk down to her (like Robert Caliburn's all like "c'mon, why are you even Skyping me," that's why.

    As I said, just a sidenote, but it was a detail I really liked. You do see traces of this in the older content, like in Demonflame Witchcraft summons the Demon Key, but kinda screws up the incantation? That's the reason why.

    Basically, I really dug this event, from a narrative standpoint.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,915 Arc User
    Yeah, Witchcraft also comes of as a bit of a noob magic user in the Desert arc.... I mean.... you the player have to save her from someone(Talisman) who's really not very powerful.

    For a comic book analogy....

    Golden Seraph is a lot like that angel guy who used to be in the JL.
    Robert Caliburn is kinda like Blue Devil. He's not really an expert sorcerer, but he has a lot of experience dealing with mystical threats.
    Dr. Ka, would be Dr. Fate.
    the Dweomer hmm.... maybe Captain Marvel?
    Witchcraft... would be Zatana.
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  • stealth and cunning beats raw power every time; talisman may not fare well against witchcraft in a straight fight, but throw some trickery or an ambush into the mix...​​
    RIP Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks & Calvin Munerlyn

    blacklivesmatter.png

    #LegalizeAwoo

    A normie goes "Oh, what's this?"
    An otaku goes "UwU, what's this?"
    A furry goes "OwO, what's this?"
    A werewolf goes "Awoo, what's this?"
  • captainhunter1captainhunter1 Posts: 409 Arc User

    stealth and cunning beats raw power every time; talisman may not fare well against witchcraft in a straight fight, but throw some trickery or an ambush into the mix...​​

    Thor/Loki :tongue:

    As for the Comic- great stuff ToC. Official or not, it does add a cool framing story to what was happening on our little dust speck of a planet. :)
  • tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User

    As for the Comic- great stuff ToC. Official or not, it does add a cool framing story to what was happening on our little dust speck of a planet. :)

    Thanks not only for reading and commenting, but the Elder portrayed in this issue also approves of how you see the big picture that is the universe and how we fit into the greater scheme of things.

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  • crypticarkaynecrypticarkayne Senior Game Designer Posts: 182 Cryptic Developer
    That's pretty cool! :smile:
  • kaiserin#0958 kaiserin Posts: 2,810 Cryptic Developer
    The plot thickens...​​
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,915 Arc User
    O_O' so how close was this to the way you guys envisioned it?
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  • spinnytopspinnytop Posts: 16,450 Arc User

    O_O' so how close was this to the way you guys envisioned it?

    Like they would tell us... Kaiserin loves teasing people more than anything.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,210 Arc User
    This comic is very imaginative, beautifully illustrated, and cleverly scripted. I applaud tigerofchactice for a highly entertaining, quality piece of work. o:)

    But it's probably worth saying that this story bears little resemblance to official Champions lore regarding the "heavens" of Elysium and the spirits inhabiting them, as laid out in the PnP books, which I know tiger would readily acknowledge. If it is similar to what Cryptic Studios had in mind for what underlies this event, that would necessitate a major reinterpretation of that element of the lore. Which is not to say that Cryptic could not or would not do that; but so far there's no further indication to that effect.

    All of which doesn't make the comic any less cool. >:)
  • kriss94kriss94 Posts: 88 Arc User
    Robot angels in spaceships. What?
  • sistersiliconsistersilicon Posts: 1,687 Arc User


    Robert Caliburn is kinda like Blue Devil. He's not really an expert sorcerer, but he has a lot of experience dealing with mystical threats.

    Robert Caliburn reads more like John Constantine to me. Way more powerful than he lets on (until he became the Archmage, that is).
    Choose your enemies carefully, because they will define you / Make them interesting, because in some ways they will mind you
    They're not there in the beginning, but when your story ends / Gonna last with you longer than your friends
  • biffsmackwellbiffsmackwell Posts: 4,739 Community Moderator
    kriss94 said:

    Robot angels in spaceships. What?

    Teleporting dudes that can lift a tank over their head with little effort and can also breathe fire and regenerate broken limbs in less than a minute, but you draw the line at robot angels in spaceships? :D

    It's comics. That's all the explanation that's needed.

    PS - I think that's armor, not robots.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Posts: 4,915 Arc User


    Robert Caliburn is kinda like Blue Devil. He's not really an expert sorcerer, but he has a lot of experience dealing with mystical threats.

    Robert Caliburn reads more like John Constantine to me. Way more powerful than he lets on (until he became the Archmage, that is).
    Yeah, he's a closer analog I guess.
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  • squirrelloidsquirrelloid Posts: 869 Arc User
    edited June 2016
    kriss94 said:

    Robot angels in spaceships. What?

    I like Izrail's design better than Golden Seraph's (whose outfit is terrible, like something straight out of the bad parts of the silver age).

    Also, 'heaven' inhabited by mechanical beings is not unheard of, especially when it's associated with *order*. Although if I had to guess I'd say Izrail is more cyborg than robot, with the mechanical parts being holy prosthetics to replace limbs damaged beyond repair in his neverending war against the darkness.

    Honestly, the one thing i didn't like about the art direction was these are angels from 'Elysium' and they're all white people. I know i know, we only see three of them for flesh tone. But it still feels wrong. Especially with the obviously East Asian styling on the Elder and the Buddhism reference.
  • most angels that actually HAVE physical forms are generally Caucasian (which is what i assume you meant by 'white'), which is why seeing Tyreal's mortal form as an African American in D3 (or whatever the in-universe equivalent is) really threw me for a loop​​
    RIP Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks & Calvin Munerlyn

    blacklivesmatter.png

    #LegalizeAwoo

    A normie goes "Oh, what's this?"
    An otaku goes "UwU, what's this?"
    A furry goes "OwO, what's this?"
    A werewolf goes "Awoo, what's this?"
  • squirrelloidsquirrelloid Posts: 869 Arc User

    most angels that actually HAVE physical forms are generally Caucasian (which is what i assume you meant by 'white'), which is why seeing Tyreal's mortal form as an African American in D3 (or whatever the in-universe equivalent is) really threw me for a loop​​

    Considering angels aren't real (or if they are, no one has ever actually seen one), that's a bias of the artists, not a claim of reality.

    Also, given that angels arose from Judaism in the middle east sometime before the Roman Empire, I doubt that they were 'caucasian' then. To the extent those historic Jews imagined them with human features at all, those features were probably semitic.

    But there's absolutely no reason to assume whiteness as the default state. Angels have no human race - they aren't human. They are not caucasian or african or anything else. And imagining they all have one skin tone that aligns with only one set of humans has unfortunate implications.
  • tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    Thanks for reading and taking time to comment. Let me quickly reply now.

    I absolutely acknowledge that I'm deviating from Champions RPG lore, but Liaden, I think you shall share what you told me. It was very useful information, even though I made a conscious decision to handle it totally differently. I took a cue from the PTS, thanks to my LTS, building upon the look & feel of Golden Seraph, as well as the Seraph and Malakim vehicles.

    Thus, the power armour, which is different from robots because that's what Keith David told us in Saints Row 4. However, robots would have been a really good idea. In Ezekiel, a type of angel was described as "a wheel in the midst of a wheel", which sounds to me like some sort of gyroscopic bot.

    Better yet, just before that, he was describing Cherubim, which according to him had 4 wings, covered in eyes. That reminds me of a new gadget:

    image


    Also, yeah, I did think of Izrail's blade arm as a bionic prosthetic. Just more battle damage.

    EDIT - Also, in case there's speculation, I didn't have a problem with Golden Seraph's design, but I felt Izrail and the others had a different role. Golden Seraph's suit was more like recon armour, suited for being a forward scout (which explains why she's on Earth. The heavy power armour was more suited for the gunline.

    Regarding skin tones, the Elder looked about right to me. My frame of reference is that, well, I myself am Chinese.
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  • tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User
    And the Nightmare Invasion comes to an end.

    A friendly bump because we have returning players who weren't here for this event last year and hadn't seen this comic either. The adventure continues in the Qliphothic Warzone, accessible through a tear between worlds at the UNTIL Headquarters.
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  • flyingfinnflyingfinn Posts: 8,399 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    Great.
    And Golden Seraph with the Sacred Helmet, way better than the one ingame. It's just a bad mix and not-really match of costume pieces.
    kriss94 said:

    Robot angels in spaceships. What?

    Or angels in power armors...
    Reminds me of the Stormcast Eternals from 40k.



    Oh and i would really love if the cutscenes in CO would be made that way.




    Post edited by flyingfinn on
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  • tigerofcachticetigerofcachtice Posts: 551 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    On that note, I'm totally into Warhammer, and apparently so are the Devs, if you've noticed the names of the characters in the Qliphothic Warzone. I also used those miniatures you mentioned and "kit-bashed" this:



    Hopefully the link works because I think there's some problem with using tags here all of a sudden. Direct link is here: http://oi65.tinypic.com/2cfulxt.jpg
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  • flyingfinnflyingfinn Posts: 8,399 Arc User
    edited May 2017
    Yup. Seems the tags gone whack again. Needs to Edit and put the link again.

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