The Letters Page: Episode 208
Creative Process: Æternus Connected Hero
Let's take this podcast straight to hell! Er, to heck!
Run Time: 1:25:36
We start off with some April Fools "pranks"? We recorded this episode on April 1st, so it seemed only right. But! We don't get too hung up on it, instead defaulting to our usual banter. And then! We make a couple of characters!
Lots of new stuff here, so no spoilers in these notes — gotta listen to find out!
Join us next week for Episode #209: Writer's Room: An Omnitron-X story!
- Back in episode 195 (about various “underworlds”) they came up with Æternus. They also mentioned an idea about a denizen of Æternus and a human being swapped somehow and then raised in each others’ place and the listeners have voted that they’d like to hear more about that, so that’s what we’re doing today.
- Recap: Æternus is a realm of torment and is, for all intents and purposes, “hell”. Alarmingly, it’s a realm that actively tries to take over additional territory, turning other places into more of itself. People can wind up in Æteruns where they get tormented and denizens of Æternus can use portals to enter other places (like the “real world”) and get up to some torment there too. These latter beings are what we’d refer to as demons.
- So, with today’s story we’ve got some human lady who winds up in Æternus and gets tortured. She didn’t know that she was pregnant at the time, and being in Æternus accelerates that process to the point where she gives birth after 9 days rather than 9 months. This results in a baby boy that is a normal human baby with a regular human soul and everything. While that’s going on, there is a demon out in the world doing its tormenting stuff and for whatever reason it spawns at the exact same time that the boy was born. For strange reasons, this simultaneous event links the two children across the realms.
- Spitballing reasons for this link given that with the number of beings giving birth/spawning in either place all the time there’s sure to be more simultaneous events. Maybe the demon gets vanquished by some spell just as it’s spawning (or some result of the damage the demon takes is the cause of the spawning event). Okay, so let’s say that when a demon of Æternus dies outside of Æternus, some part of its essence returns. So, the demon is killed and that part returns, but its defeat is also tied to the spawning event and some of the spell that was used to kill it hitches a ride back to Æternus in the process and interacts with the human baby that’s just been born there. Okay, so there we have a mechanism for the linking to happen.
- Okay, so this little demon larva or whatever gets away and hides somewhere out of the way, but eventually encounters a human toddler and copies it as a form of camouflage (not exactly, it just now also looks like a small human child). The real kid’s parents find this unaccompanied child and go through the rigamarole of trying to find its family and eventually just adopt it. Meanwhile it’s imprinted itself on this human family and so while it might have instincts that are a bit… darker than human ones, it’s not aware that it’s different (for now, it’s aware that it’s different by the time it actually shows up in stories). That gets us where we need to be for this one, so let’s go work on the human baby in Æternus.
- There are three options for the mom: she dies in Æternus, she stays there and survives, or she escapes without the baby. Adam considers a combination of the first two where she survives long enough to instill a seed of goodness into the child and that gives Christopher the idea he needed. Whichever demon that’s the current “ruler” of Æternus comes to the mother and tells her that she can leave whenever she likes, but since the child was born here it has to stay (all of this is just made up nonsense on the spot, they just figure that the choice is a really good way to rack up some good torment points).
- The mom opts to stay, but she’s determined. She knows that she’s going to be tormented, but she’s not going to let it happen for no reason. She makes deals with the goal of protecting her son. What winds up happening is 1) the kid is raised as a “prince of hell” and 2) he believes that his mother has died. Actually, let’s say that the deal is that she actually gets to leave - the torment is being separated from her child and she takes that with her always, but in exchange she knows that at least he’s protected there. Again, the backstory stuff is all revealed after the characters have been around for a while. When they were introduced, this guy’s mom is just presented as having died and her being alive is a retcon.
- That’s the setup. This prince of Æternus who grew up amidst all of this torment, but with a real human soul and buried memories of his mother linked to this demonic spawn of Æternus who was raised by a loving human family and desperately wants to be this thing that they’ve imprinted on but does not inherently have that within them.
- So, the inciting incident for these characters pretty much has to be when they meet. They’re thinking mid-to-late teenagers, but there might still be some weird acceleration stuff happening. We’ve established that this can happen to the guy in Æternus, but what’s this look like for the one on Earth? Maybe it’s explained at first as “Huh… maybe this kid we found was actually older than we thought” as they grow up somewhat ahead of the other (human) child, but it gets weird by the time the kid is 9 and the “kid” appears more like 12. Something weird is going on.
- When the prince gets to be late-teens he starts going on torment missions (and there’s a brief aside here about the kid desperately wanting a parental figure and tries to have that with the ruler of Æternus as his “dad” - the ruler on the other hand keeps up the charade of being this guy’s father, but in the context of his shtick being that he’s the “father of all demons” and so there’s no actual filial relationship present on his end, or rather he knows that this human child wants that and so gives just enough back to keep hope alive because that’s some bonus torment right there). Anyway, back to the story - he’s got to do his “torment chores” which can include trips to Earth and during one of these he runs into his counterpart. Likely not a direct meet cute or something, but more like they have a passing interaction, something weird happens, and he flees back to Æternus. They build up to actually meeting over several trips (although likely still within one issue).
- Adam then brings up the important question of “what are their powers and how do said powers interact?” Christopher’s suggestion is that between the two of them, they have one soul. Not like “they each have half a soul”, but there’s one soul that both of them have all of. The human in Æternus is plagued by the soul (in that having it causes problems for what he’s “supposed” to feel/do) and the demon feels blessed to have it and wants all of it. No, wait… even better, strap in for it.
- They each only “feel” the soul when they’re together. The prince of Æternus is fine with the whole “being a demon” thing which is all he’s known. She [apparently the demon is a girl] has inclinations towards darkness that she doesn’t like or understand and she knows that something is missing (although a bunch of it gets chalked up to your general “teen angst”). Then they happen to be in the same place at the same time. She feels ecstatic! She’s finally feeling what has been missing this whole time. He, on the other hand is confronted with the regret and shame of the bad things he’s been doing his whole existence. He flees, but she needs to have whatever that was back. That’s our hook - the thing that he is fleeing from is what he needs to save himself and what she desperately wants is potentially antithetical to her very nature. Can her nature change?
- The immediate question is how does she follow him? She probably doesn’t have to - he flees and thinks about it and his need to know what’s going on draws him back. His initial thought is that maybe that woman he saw is some kind of spiritual warrior of some kind and she did something to him. “What did you do to me?” is the angle to get them together with him, a prideful prince of Æternus, needing to defeat this person who has dared to interfere with him.
- Important question! Are these two more like siblings or lovers? They both think that it’s closer to siblings - it’s less that we’re working towards a “relationship” and more of a “partnership” and Adam brings up that they feel more like “twins” than anything else. That being said, some writers have definitely taken things in a more “lovers” direction which made some readers say “Finally!” and others complain loudly that that’s wrong on so many levels. In the cases where writers took it in the romance direction, it’s mostly only at a “flirty” or will they/won’t they level, so no lines actually get crossed before editorial stops it.
- Okay, so he comes to fight her and during that conflict is when her demonic nature is revealed. She has that “What am I?!” moment, but he knows exactly what she is - he’s grown up around them his whole life. She’s more innately powerful than him. He’s learned infernal magics while in Æternus, but she’s a magical creature. The dynamic here is somebody who has innate power but no training vs. some more-or-less mundane guy who’s had a ton of training because he had to wrest whatever power he could from Æternus to survive.
- This also prompts an idea. Because he has no innate power himself, whenever he comes to Earth from Æternus, he can bring a “bubble” or charge of infernal energy with him that he can use to power his abilities, but it’s finite and then he would have to return there to recharge. Due to his link with the girl and her innate power, when they’re close he can draw on her as a power source. This is the key for how he can become anti-Æternus while needing to use it as the source of his power. Like, their shtick within the context of Sentinel Comics is fighting back against Æternus’ encroachment on Earth, and they’re using its own power against it.
- Their dynamic can then be where he uses magic and does magic things while she’s basically “is a demon beast” - she’s “magical” but isn’t doing spell-like stuff. Hmm… They’ve established that she’s a shapeshifter type, so maybe that’s her main gimmick. Is that treading too much on Guise’s bit? He’s doing slapstick stuff and has “natural weapons” in that he can turn his body parts into the weapons he uses. Maybe we have her position in more of an infiltration/sneaky role in terms of shapeshifting, but then if a fight is going poorly she can “reveal her true demon form” with horns and clawed hands and whatnot. Leaning on the “is a magical being” thing, maybe give her some mental powers too like she can look into a person’s eyes and turn them into a thrall for a short time or something. She has control over her own body and over the minds of people around her. How about specifically a “fear stare” thing.
- His thing is to be a magical practitioner whose spells and whatnot have a very on-the-nose “demonic” look to them. Infernal fireballs, Baphomet-esque things, etc. Over-the-top demon stuff, but he’s got this limit on the Æternal energy he can bring with him until he can start using her as a battery. Okay, this is fun. She’s got the Æternal energy that he can draw on to do magic stuff. He’s got the soul that she draws on to be a better person. He wants to draw on the energy so that he can do spells, but when he does it saps her ability to “go full demon”. When she’s pulling on the soul, it makes him a darker and less-heroic person. They’ve got two resources that they both need to use, but are at odds with one another metaphysically. He’d like to shed his soul and she’d love to shed her demonic nature, but both of them know deep down that that’s not right.
- This is so fun and stories basically write themselves: “Here’s a story with a slight moral quandary” and then watch them angst about it. Like, his impulse might be to kill an enemy but deep down he knows that that’s not right. She knows that it’s not right on an intellectual level, but doesn’t feel that impulse. Their settings for intuiting vs. knowing are calibrated very differently and we get a lot of “the grass is greener on the other side” resentment between them. Having them be more twin-like than couple-like also lets them have relationships outside of their duo and those relationships can be further points where resentment can creep in.
- They probably have some kind of psychic rapport as well. Not “talk to one another telepathically” level, but more like general physical/emotional state and so that plus non-verbal cues might be sufficient to get an idea across. This probably only works if they’re both in the same realm (so if one of them leaves Earth for Æternus, the other would know that they’ve left). This bond probably gets stronger the longer they’re around one another and so after a while, when they’re separated in this way it’s bad.
- Do we want to give him a relic of some kind, like a wand or a sword or something? Well, given the aesthetic we’re going for, it’s probably some impractically big, dark, spikey demon sword. He can summon it by drawing it “out of his heart” (so, like, when he summons it it looks like it’s being pulled out from his torso in a reverse-stab).
- Outfits! He definitely has one and it’s largely leather and kinda bondage-gear-esque. She likely wears comfy clothes, like joggers and a hoodie. They’ll define a look for her, but given that her general shtick is to blend in with “her fellow humans” it’s likely subtle. Given that she grew up with a family and friends she’s likely got a secret identity and so as a hero probably at least wears a mask, to the extent that it’s really necessary as a shapeshifter - she likely just shapeshifts directly from civilian identity into her hero “outfit”. This gets into a discussion of her being yet another character where her clothes are just her body and what “changing clothes” entails. It’s nice that going full demon doesn’t wreck her outfit, though. It does leave the possibility that she has a flair for the dramatic and appears to tear her own skin and clothes off of her demonic body when she changes.
- On that last point, it’s actually probably as much for the fear/intimidation factor as anything. Having somebody who’s ostensibly “good” but has “fear powers” is interesting. It’s like giving a good guy with a sword - most other melee weapons can have alternate uses as tools, but a sword is just for war/killing other people. Having a good person who uses a sword makes for an interesting dynamic. She’s a demon with fear powers, but who uses it for good.
- When does this fit in? This is so ’90s it hurts. Maybe late ’80s. Demon stuff started getting more prominent in comics by then. It’s got to be after the revamping of Fanatic’s story in Absolution which ran through ’85. They’re obviously introduced in Tome of the Bizarre which gets a new volume in ’88 so making them a recurring feature in volume 3 makes sense (up until ’96 at least as that’s when it becomes the Naturalist’s book).
- Let’s see, #1 is Chrono-Ranger/Final Wasteland/CON’s Bunker stuff, #4 is Zhu Long/Mr. Fixer, #5 is a Plague Rat crossover with Mystery Comics and Rook City Renegades. Do we want to do a 2 or 3 issue arc for their introductory stuff? Adam points out that comics were so dense in that era that we can likely get away with one issue. Here’s what we do - we do TotB volume 3 #3 as the origin story for these characters. What we do is drop an issue with these guys to see the readership’s reaction/if we want to actually continue with these characters at all. Issue #3 tells the origin story we’ve had so far and sets the characters up. Then in issue #7 we have them having accepted one another and working together, but now we have Æternus go full-tilt on an encroachment - maybe not a full “Æternus takes over the Earth” way, but a small-to-medium scale invasion that needs to be dealt with. They’re the ones who step up to stop it and it’s what sets them up as not only a couple of interesting characters, but as heroes and specifically as heroes who fight demonic threats.
- We can have the same “Ruler of Æternus” character in both. He’s doing the whole “I’m your father” bit for the boy, but he only becomes aware of the girl at the very end of issue #3. “A lost demon? I must reclaim her!” Issue #7 picks up on that thread and there’s real “You’re not my real dad!” energy to that conflict.
- More details on the boy. They like the idea that he’s puny but needs to draw on the power of Æternus to be formidable. Okay, maybe not “puny” but maybe “peak human” in physicality - he’s not superhumanly strong or anything, but he was raised in an environment that would push him to his limits and he’s an ’80s/’90s character so he’s almost definitely jacked. He’s not bulletproof, but he can magic up some protection if he thinks it’s warranted. If he gets shot he’ll be injured. He’ll probably kill the person and then do some demonic healing thing on himself that leaves a terrible scar, but gets him back on his feet again. He’s probably also had to carve demonic runes into his own flesh to access the demonic magic stuff in the first place given that he’s not a demon. Or maybe we see him do that at some point to make him even more XTREME or they’re not readily visible but later on we see him without a shirt and his back is covered in the things. He needed this power that wasn’t his and so he does this to himself in order to take it.
- Other appearance stuff. They talked about their outfits a bit, but what of them as people. Adam likes the idea of the guy having really dark skin and white hair. Probably no facial hair. They imagine both of them presenting as late teens/early 20s (while only being somewhere in the 10-15 range in absolute time since their births). Then again, they’re ’90s teenagers who had their maturation accelerated for Æternus reasons.
- Fun aside about aging weird that maybe the original plan was to age this boy child up to puberty super fast, but then leave him there for 20 years. Torment! Then we get to that point and the Ruler of Æternus realizes that this would mean that he has to deal with somebody in puberty for 20 years and so speeds things along again. This is not canonical because in reality the demon wouldn’t care that he was being tormented by having this pubescent kid around - more torment is more torment.
- Anyway, back to appearances, Adam thinks that for contrast reasons the girl should then have dark hair and relatively light skin. They decide to make her (and her “adopted” family) Japanese - not Japanese-American, but straight up from Japan. This can help explain some of the “why haven’t these characters really crossed over with the other heroes?” question - most of the time on Earth (when not in some exotic locale like the Ruins of Atlantis or Magmaria or whatever), the stories are in the US. Having some characters whose stories are in Japan (to start) before branching out is at least an excuse for a bit of separation from the others.
- So, the angle regarding “demons” will have more interesting options with that setting. It’s also fitting that a character originating in this era of comics would be Japanese. It’s weird that Sentinel Comics hasn’t had a Japanese character prior to this. Having her do sneaky stuff also fits the era’s fixation on ninjas, so maybe she actually does a “ninja” costume at one point (or at least clothes + mask). Let’s also say that her family and upbringing was actually religious, but Shinto to contrast a bit with the general Æternus aesthetic thing. Adam had already been thinking of having her family be religious, but having them be Christian seemed too on-the-nose, so this is good.
- They think that while they start out in Japan, having them be globe-hopping heroes is fun. Like, they can take portal shortcuts through Æternus to wind up anywhere in the world. Maybe not trivially, but it’s something at least.
- Given the era, Christopher gets the feeling (but doesn’t like it) that there would be a thing where at some point the girl does something and as a result her sister dies. She knows that it’s bad and that she should feel bad, but she doesn’t and that worries her. Adam thinks that it’s better for the early stories that her sister is still around - there’s some good weirdness to explore between “sister I grew up with” vs. “soul brother” and how those relationships feel different. Okay, that’s good as an out - there’s probably still some story where she really hurts her sister so we can get the aforementioned dynamic, but there’s also a reason to keep the sister alive now.
- That’s fun in that she also gets supporting cast in her family. He finds his mom eventually too, but that’s not for a while (the deal is that she would “never see him again” or similar wording so there’s some Æternus mechanism in place to prevent them from finding each other that has to be overcome somehow).
- They’re still just loving the edginess of these characters. More appearance stuff: Christopher’s imagining his hair having a swoop down over his face. Adam thinks that it’s probably better to start with him just having really long hair and then at some point later in the ’90s or ’00s he cuts it, but gets the emo eye swoop thing going on. Because he’s “from” Æternus, his ethnicity doesn’t really matter for story stuff, but they decide he’s a dark-skinned Indian and the white hair is a result of Æternus stuff, but that’s what his features read as.
- Now the hard part: naming them, which they pause for quite a long time to handle. When they first meet and interact she asks him what his name is. His answer is “Darkstrife” and he doesn’t understand when she then follows up trying to learn his real name. He winds up taking some time to “try on” different names and eventually lands on Zane. Later, after meeting his mom he finds out that his surname would be Sarkar. Her name is Akari Okada (or Okada Akari in surname-given name order). He doesn’t think her name is “cool” enough, so she tries out some options and eventually settles on “Painstake” (it’s got “pain” and “stake” in there, which is cool, but she’s also a careful, painstaking type of person).
- When was the term Æternus first used in the comics? In the early ’80s as it was after Fanatic’s story was retold in Absolution. That ran from ’80 through ’85 and Christopher feels that Æternus would be established in that book. Let’s say #40 in August ’83.
- We know that Æternus has a will of its own and that it can manifest, but what does such a manifestation look like? What powers/abilities does it have when manifested? When do we first learn that Æternus is “alive” in this way? Usually when we see something filling this role it’s actually one of the “Rulers of Æternus” rather than Æternus itself. When it does manifest its appearance varies, but it’s always disturbing/unsettling/off somehow. It’s always something appropriate to the setting it’s in, but just wrong somehow. Most of the time it’s likely a nebulous shadowy form, but you might also have instances where it appears as a man in a sharp suit or an old man on a park bench. [Sorry, the other questions were left unanswered.]
- Since the initial prompt for this was a human and demon swapped at birth, I’m assuming one is a hero and has been explained and that the other is a villain - if you haven’t talked about the villain yet, can you please do so? They’re both “heroes” and the villain would be Æternus itself with their ongoing story being their fight against its attempts to make inroads on Earth led by whichever demon is currently claiming the position of ruler.
- Has there ever been a war between Æternus and the Realm of Discord/GloomWeaver (in either direction)? Æternus has definitely attempted forays into the RoD and been driven back (although they likely managed to gain some parts of it in the process). GloomWeaver has struck back at Æternus, but doesn’t really have an interest in taking it over. Torment and Gloom are different things (although with some overlap). GloomWeaver also probably knows that he couldn’t maintain control over the place. Æternus wants to take over every realm, but GloomWeaver has the RoD and has his sights focused pretty narrowly on Earth (given that he was once human). For a cosmically-powerful being, GloomWeaver has pretty small goals (which is for the best, honestly - he could maybe be the worst villain ever otherwise).
- Has RevoCorp tried to extract power from Æternus as a cheap form of energy (that seems like the kind of bad idea they’d get behind - there seems to be a trend in stories where an attempt to make renewable clean energy goes terribly wrong - was Sentinel Comics bankrolled by Exxon or something)? It’s more that a company making “infinite green energy” seems like a good thing and so making their motivations evil is a fun twist. It’s not even that RevoCorp even really does that - their “clean energy” things are exploitative and dangerous. They might claim that it’s all good, though.
- I know the answer might just be “Time will tell”, but what was their first appearance? Time did tell, Tome of the Bizarre volume 3 #3 from June ’88.
- Has Apostate ever interacted with Æternus? Yes, like a lot. Apostate imports a lot of his demons from there. He’s not quite as into Torment as they are, but he’s gonna do a thing and checks to see if anybody wants in.
- How does he get on with its inhabitants? Pretty well.
- Do they respect the hustle or are they less-than-impressed with the Host pretender besmirching the reputation of hardworking demons everywhere? He creates a lot of torment. The problem is that when he fails to create torment (say, because the heroes defeat him), they turn on him pretty quickly. If his plot isn’t getting them the promised torment they might try to get it from him instead.
- How would they go about torturing Apostate anyway? Tell him that he’s a real fallen angel and that he’s been lying to himself the whole time (Adam, sotto voce “I don’t think he cares about that”). All you really wanted was a friend and we won’t be your friend… Here’s a dog and you can’t pet it! Oh, here we go. They make him relive his failed plots and see how, past his point of failure, his plot had little to no impact on his “victims” or even an ultimately positive impact (“Look at all of the good you brought into the world!”).
- [Letter tagged as April Fools! as this episode was recorded on April first] This box of nerd garbage is stuffed to the brim with city slickers, where’s the representation for folks who chew tobacco, have lifted trucks for muddin’, and do useful things like salvage roadkill? We’ll have to address that. Time will tell.
- Was Anubis during the Multiverse era technically an Endling? Did Jansa ever notice him and extend an invitation? Yes, he was definitely an Endling, but the problem is that he has a job. “Oh, sure, I’ll just leave here where I’m holding the gates to this hellscape underworld that used to be the dimension I came from that’s full of terrible monsters. I’ll just leave that and go hang out on your cool, floating, space island thing. Sounds fun.” He’s not so passive aggressive about it, but his response is that he has a duty to perform (stage whisper: and it sure is notable that nobody is doing that job in the RPG era).
- How in the Multiverse is Madame Mittermeier’s carnival powerful enough to kill/un-Singularify a Singular Entity? Was the answer all along that they should have fought OblivAeon in the carnival? Not all Singular Entities are created equal, but beyond that any Singular Entity could trivially just leave the carnival. Wager Master’s problem is that he wanted to be in there. The carnival isn’t a realm like the Realm of Discord or Æternus or other places that has a variety of inhabitants. This place is hers - it is of and for her. The fact that it’s tied to her so strongly, even as a non-Singular being, means that Singular Entities lose some of themselves while in there.
- Looking back at a question in the Singular Entities episode: if death is such a foreign concept to Singular Entities, why was it that Wager Master even had the idea to make his backup contingency in the first place? Furthermore, what would he have gained from this given that his assumption was that OblivAeon would win and so there would be nothing for him to “come back” to (wouldn’t his backup copy have also been erased from existence)? If he did somehow still exist in the new nothingness, wouldn’t that be his worst nightmare? Wager Master plays far more in the mortal realm than any other Singular Entity. Sure, he’s had a lot of failures, but he’s dealt with the heroes of Earth and others enough that he’s taken some notes. It’s not so much that he’s afraid of death, but while he might think of it as “impossible”, the heroes have pulled off the impossible often enough that he’ll take precautions. He just has a perspective that no other Singular Entity has. In the event that everything is destroyed, the purpose of the backup copy is that he would survive that destruction and then in the new nothing of everything he would make something new and start things over.
- What is the deal that led him to do such a thing that should be unthinkable? Would such a thing cause him to lose power similar to how much power was lost when Universe 1 was sealed away by Voss? He set a seed in motion that could come to fruition. You can’t really compare him to Voss because Voss was dealing with stolen power. He doesn’t know how to use the power efficiently. A Singular Entity may have been able to do what Voss accomplished with much less expenditure of power. Imagine that you want to cut a piece of string cheese. Not that difficult and you can do so with relatively little effort. What Voss did is the equivalent of putting the cheese on a stone floor and then swinging at it with an axe with all your might. Sure, the cheese is cut in the end, but that was a lot of effort and you likely broke the axe.
- Thanks for the daily Kickstarter updates! Can you do them on the next go ’round as well? What was your favorite reveal? It was certainly a burden to do them every day, but it was the best way to organize them in order to get all of the information out. He’d have had to write the same amount of stuff if he only did 3 a week, but they’d just be longer updates and each would have to have multiple elements (like a hero and a villain). There are 6 hero decks, 9 villain decks, and 5 environment decks - leaving out weekends, that just worked out too perfectly for the number of days in the month in which the campaign ran. We’ll see what the next one brings, but he wouldn’t be surprised if this wound up happening again. It’s also nice that if you’re doing them every day you can get into a routine about it. Having the daily Q&A section was also nice in that it gave him an excuse to not spend all day in the KS comments. Since he knew that on any given day he was going to answer some questions, he could just check the prior day’s worth of comments while he was composing that day’s update (plus the updates were largely already stuff that was written, so it was mostly just a matter of compiling them and maybe writing a little bit here and there).
- Adam’s favorite reveal was all of the werewolves. They had built up to it and some people expected it and others didn’t. It was all fun.
- Christopher’s were the Terrorform since nobody could have seen it coming, so the reactions there were fun, and Haunted Fanatic which he’d had in his head since they first came up with the “power boost when she’s at 10 or fewer HP” gimmick for her deck. Seeing people get confused by her only having 10 HP and then the dawning realization of what that means was great.