The Letters Page: Episode 82
The end of the beginning of the end. Or is it the beginning of the end of the beginning?
Run Time: 2:03:17
We start with important info: don't listen to this episode. That is, if you don't have OblivAeon yet, we think you should wait. Now, if you're cool about spoilers, then go for it. But there's a few big things in this episode, and it's only going to get worst as the month progresses. That said, we're shipping out more and more copies of OblivAeon every day, so you will have it soon!
So, after some chatting and disclaiming, we get into the overview of the scions' stories just before the 5 minute mark. And we start with a bunch of stuff about OblivAeon's backstory, in fact! This episode starts off FAST!
After going through all of the scions, we get to your questions - following the same structure as the scion overview - at around 44 minutes into the episode.
I'm not going to say more in these show notes. Like I mentioned above, some big reveals here, so you should listen and experience it yourself!
More on OblivAeon next week!
- Aeon Master
- Borr the Unstable
- Dark Mind
- Nixious the Chosen
- Rainek Kel'Voss
- Argent Adept
- Captain Cosmic
- Prime Wardens
- Void Guard
- Dark Watch
- Mr. Fixer
- Zhu Long
- Felix Stone
- Seriously, though. All the OblivAeon spoilers.
- Rather than being full histories of each Scion, this episode is focused on giving you a primer on who they are, what they want, and what their deal is in relation to the OblivAeon event, but they’re stopping short of the OblivAeon event itself as that’s part of the next two episodes.
- As has been said many times before, the Aeon Men are created from OblivAeon itself - from his energy [an analogy used previously and here is that the energy is like his “life blood”] that leaks out and coalesces into these figures. Blood doesn’t normally leak out of you, though, so why is this happening?
- Billions of years ago, there were (among others) Singular Entities of Preservation and of Entropy that were in opposition to one another. The Multiverse was in a state of balance as they each were successfully offsetting the other. Entropy decided that it wanted to win, though, and so directly attacked the other. This great cataclysmic battle raged for a long time, but in the end the Preservation entity was destroyed and absorbed/consumed by the Entropy entity (who was also almost destroyed - they were fairly evenly matched, but Entropy had the advantages of 1) being the instigator and so striking first, and 2) being more underhanded in general). This left Entropy to be a passive/dormant feature of the Multiverse for billions of years thereafter, however, as it needed time to recuperate (this is explicitly said to be the reason for what we here in the real world [a way of stating the 2nd law of thermodynamics is that “The entropy of the Universe tends towards a maximum” - the reason this is the case is because Entropy won this battle]).
- The entity that coalesced out of this entity of Entropy absorbing/consuming one of Preservation after this dormant recovery period was OblivAeon. It was the Entropy entity, but became something else at the end of this process.
- This is relevant in this episode because it explains some things: the reason energy leaks out of OblivAeon is because it’s the result of one Singular Entity consuming another - there’s an overabundance of energy in this being and it can’t all be contained. Why does it coalesce into solid forms (rather than leaking out, eating away at reality, and dissipating as Entropy energy would be expected to)? Because this is a remnant of the power of Preservation. Instead of dissipating into nothing, it preserves itself by taking a specific form.
- Now, OblivAeon didn’t really care about these things for a long time (and they’ve been around as a feature of the comics for decades by this point - well before “OblivAeon” was a thing - they’re just generic space threats running around and scavenging/breaking things down), but having little soldiers running around isn’t on the scale of his plans - he’s operating at a much higher level. It’s only as the OblivAeon event is gearing up that he thinks it’d be useful to have somebody around to lead these things. So, he gathers a lot of energy and then forces it into the form of Aeon Master. It’s not a real “thinking” being, it’s more “programmed”, but it is an extension of OblivAeon’s purpose.
Borr the Unstable
- Borr the Butcher had been around as an alien marauder since the Silver Age. Just a big guy who punches stuff (think your stereotypical “barbarian”).
- Later writers decided to add an element of his motivation being to find places of power/magical artifacts and absorb it. His appearance on Tempest’s card “Flash Flood” is somewhat typical for a Borr story. Tempest is doing stuff like blasting him with lightning, which does nothing to him because he can absorb the energy, so the hero has to work around that to foil the villain. As this goes on, writers keep trying to top prior appearances and so Borr becomes more extreme/goes after bigger sources of power every time he shows up.
- In the run-up to OblivAeon, writers were wanting to have some old faces in with the new and Borr’s tendency to be going after larger and larger power sources fit right in as a motivator for OblivAeon to tempt him with: specifically “power overwhelming”, which Borr accepted. He almost immediately recognized his mistake as the power was overwhelming to his own form as well. He can’t sustain this and needs to constantly vent off excess power (in the form of explosions). It’s a losing battle, though, and he’s eventually not going to be able to contain things any more.
- We know a fair bit about this one already - go listen to episode 31 (on Visionary) and 47 (on Cosmic Contest).
- Ok, now that you’ve gotten that refresher you know that Dark Visionary was removed from the body of Vanessa Long and banished into the Void by Argent Adept (this is where he becomes the Dark Conductor as he needed to break his own instrument, his Pipes, to sever the link between the Visionaries, using the Baton to cobble together a new connection to the Void through Blood Magic).
- OblivAeon is aware of this going on and can tell that there’s some “malevolent psychic force” being banished into the Void. Malevolent psychic forces are on-brand for him and so he snags it and offers it a deal. He’ll bring her out of the Void, give her power so that she can exist/manifest in the world without a body while still being able to attack people’s minds, she’s just going to be ushering in the end of all things while she does it. She is into this - ending reality isn’t a big deal, she was likely on her way to nonexistence anyway before this offer came along, so it doesn’t mean much to her.
- Episodes to listen to for recaps: 76 (Cosmic Tales) for his origin and 46 (Captain Cosmic/Infinitor) for some middle and even some end parts.
- Some of the “late middle” period that hasn’t been covered. So, Empyreon was defeated by Captain Cosmic in the ’80s (see CC’s “Potent Disruption” card art for when he shattered Empyreon’s chest containment thing) which is what results in what we see of him during Vengeance with the open energy chamber in his chest. He shows up a handful of times after that, still needing to feed off of energy to survive, but also constantly leaking it. He’s more and more haggard every time. That is, until the Prime Wardens encounter him on their way back from Dok'Thorath and he’s big and bad and stable again. This is not explained at the time.
- In the lead up to OblivAeon, we are given the backstory. OblivAeon found him drifting in space, nearly dead from energy loss. Similar deal as the others: patch you up and give you more power than ever in return for being a Scion. Empyreon’s not big on working for somebody else, but what other choice does he have?
- A few million years ago, when OblivAeon is actually starting to reform after the battle with Preservation, he starts enacting his plan for the end of all things. He’s subtly starting to nudge things so realities start becoming like one another.
- There’s a Singular Entity of Order, whose name is lost to history, who notices this stuff going on, though, and investigates. OblivAeon had learned from the war between Entropy and Preservation and was prepared for other powerful entities to oppose him, so when this being of Order finds him, it falls into OblivAeon’s trap. When sprung, this cosmic trap allows OblivAeon to latch onto/infect the other entity, rewriting its nature so that its idea of what Order is happens to match OblivAeon’s order - that life creates chaos, that entropy is the natural order of reality, and so everything’s got to go.
- As it’s changed, it remains a Singular Entity of Order, but it now takes the name Faultless, as it observes the “natural order” of reality’s slow slide into entropy, it holds itself faultless for this state of affairs. It can’t be blamed for this state of affairs - things fall apart. That’s what they do. He’s here to see that it does.
Nixious the Chosen
- A few thousand years ago, and very far from Earth, some cults started to form around this whole OblivAeon thing. They cropped up on different planets at roughly the same time, as if something had sparked their creation intentionally, given to the various members “in dreams and madness”. They don’t really interact with one another for a while, being on different planets and all, but they’ve become aware of and are worshiping this being of entropy that they’ve come to recognize.
- As the cults gain followers and power, they eventually wind up bringing about the destruction of their home planets/people - independently from one another, this always happens. This leaves a single member of each, but as they’ve used this destruction to channel all of the energy into themselves, they’ve been changed intrinsically as they became conduits of destruction. So, even if things weren’t shielded from Jansa vi Dero somehow (which these events were), they’ve been so changed that they’re not really representative members of their civilizations anymore and wouldn’t be Endlings - they’ve become more powerful, but less “human” (as an idiomatic stand-in for whatever race they were originally) in the process.
- This was all done as both a form of worship for, but also kind of to get the attention of, OblivAeon. This latter goal failed miserably as he didn’t notice/care. However, now there’s all of these powerful cults-of-one kicking around the cosmos and they’re eventually drawn to one another and eventually gather. They decide that obviously the reason they’re being ignored is that they haven’t sacrificed enough - the plan then is to sacrifice all but one of them in a similar setup as before, each killing themselves to channel their energy into the last of them. The one Chosen for this honor (determined through some ritual beyond our ability to comprehend - although from our sane perspective this probably results in the worst of them being selected) is Nixious.
- Somehow, this actually, finally did work and OblivAeon took notice. The guys characterize this as sort of “Oh, hey. Huh… Oh, I see what you’re doing. I guess if you want I could give you some tiny amount of power and press you into service if that’s what you want.” Like, OblivAeon really doesn’t care about this stuff, but they put in the effort so why not. Nixious is probably his least favorite Scion, being put off a bit by the fanaticism/desperation/sycophancy shown by the cultists/Nixious. Still, ruining and despoiling stuff on OblivAeon’s behalf is still stuff he won’t have to do himself, so…
- Episode 63 is the homework for this one. At the end of that, we had K.N.Y.F.E. chasing the head around the cosmos - she’s unable to destroy the thing, but she’s managed to prevent it from regaining full power for a while. That is, up until she blows up the whole planet Progeny was draining and Captain Cosmic throws the whole thing into a black hole. That does it.
- They have to talk a bit about stuff that happens in the OblivAeon event proper now so that they can refer to it in those episodes. As the event is kicking off, the Scions are kind of shown arrayed against the heroic opposition. Progeny is not present at that time. Part of the way through the event, OblivAeon decides that having more minions/Scions would be handy and so thinks that Progeny would be a good addition. He reaches out to recall Progeny to use him again, only to run into the fact that Progeny is destroyed.
- So, rather than try to do anything weird with space, or bother reaching into another reality, OblivAeon uses his multiversal-singular nature to just reach back in time to grab Progeny before it’s destroyed. Well, Progeny and the planet explosion and the black hole. He then takes all of that nonsense and uses it to create the new, golden Progeny.
- Still redacted.
- So, let’s start by discussing the totally normal thing Chokepoint does, which is talking to metal (and thinking it talks back). She’s on the Celestial Tribunal as it leaves Earth to sentence itself out in space [[[Podcasts/Episode 20|Episode 20 for Chokepoint]], Episode 48 for Space Settings]. As they go, Chokepoint decides that the AI’s plan to destroy itself is bad relative to her opinion that having this giant spaceship to call her own is a good thing. She “hollows out” the AI (she doesn’t care about the “mind” of the metal monstrosity) and chucks it out the airlock. It’s just as bad as the people back on Earth, trying to control the metal. So, off she goes into space; meaning to use the ship for her own purposes.
- OblivAeon finds the AI cores adrift in space, raging at/judging itself and everything else. That seems like something he could find a use for. Another offer made. Hey, a second chance to judge those pesky heroes of Earth - they even failed at passing sentence on you, how pathetic. Enough is enough - here’s a body where you can be judge, jury, and executioner all on your own (in fact, forget the jury). The new body kind of looks like some kind of part-metal/part organic stuff, but it’s all just OblivAeon’s creation and it can change between Judge and Executioner modes.
- So, back in the past we were told in Episode 30 that in its beginnings, hundreds of millions of years ago, the spirit that would become Akash'Bhuta fought off large numbers of shadow parasites that were attempting to consume/destroy the Nexus of the Void. This war took a very long time, but eventually the parasites were driven off into space where they looked for another source of the Void energy they needed to survive. The problem for them is that there really wasn’t another source for them now that the Nexus was denied to them.
- In their desperation, they turned on whatever else they could find. They destroyed planets. Attempted to feed on “the fabric of reality itself; consuming the dark matter of the universe” and were not able to get sustenance from any of it. Eventually, this led to them turning on one another - cannibalizing one another to survive. By the time OblivAeon was starting his plans there was only one remaining, but even after consuming many of its kind it was starting to starve.
- OblivAeon found its hunger useful and decided to try something. He took a piece of himself and fed it to this thing. This fed it, empowered it, but also changed it. When it fed on Void energy, it was strongly Void-aspected. Now, being fed on OblivAeon, it’s become more connected to Entropy. However, it didn’t totally lose the connection to the shadowy element it was made of, but the change to it also propagated backwards to change the nature of the shadow element itself.
- This being, eventually becoming Voidsoul, is one of the earliest Scions (both in publication history and in terms of how long its been in service to OblivAeon - it was an established comics character that was retconned into having been a Scion this whole time; not that this retcon actually changes much in terms of events, just stating that it had been a Scion already when the idea of “Scions of OblivAeon” was developed).
- Fun note: this shadow energy/element is also what Writhe’s shadow cloak is connected to [we’ve heard this before, but good to note it here as well]. It’s something like a universal force that his gadgets are tapping into.
- In the Sentinels/Void Guard episode, it was mentioned that certain people (e.g. Writhe at that time) had the potential to become Scions; what is the qualification? The primary factor is susceptibility, but ambition/hunger/desire plays into it as well. The stuff about Writhe was, in particular, tied to the fact that they have OblivAeon shards (more on that in a bit here). The main way is for OblivAeon to have noticed you for some reason and thinking that you would fit in on his team (see the various Faustian bargains made in the Overview above). Others have power and are connected to the power of OblivAeon in some way and this kind of makes them into Scions - the first of these we see is actually Infinitor. He’s absorbed this OblivAeon shard and succumbs to its power. Writhe is the same way; all of Void Guard are kind of in this danger zone, though. [Writhe was likely singled out because he’s also got an existing connection to OblivAeon from his shadow cloak through Voidsoul.]
- Was Omnitron ever considered as a potential Scion (making him it a Hero, Villain, Environment, [mini-nemesis,] and the last remaining significant card type)? While Omnitron doesn’t show up in the group of Scions in the OblivAeon expansion, Cosmic Omnitron definitely counts (narratively) as a Scion of OblivAeon. In comics this is a retcon - it was originally just some fluke of cosmic energy that caused it with having an intellect behind it was added later, but Christopher and Adam always intended it to be this way. See the bio entry for Cosmic Omnitron, it says “A mysterious cosmic entity had observed as a simple factory transformed itself into a being of great intellect and order, and this entity was disappointed to see it brought so swift to an end.” That was a really early, really obscure tease for OblivAeon back during the 2012 Kickstarter for Infernal Relics (more blatant than the fact that Aeon Men are in the core game).
- Why does OblivAeon need Scions? He’s extremely powerful/capable/knowledgeable, but he isn’t actually omnipotent, omniscient, or omnipresent. What he does have going for him is that he’s had his plans in motion for a long time and has a lot of contingencies set up. He’s something both more and less than a vanilla Singular Entity at this point, but the other Singular Entities weren’t aware of his plans until late enough that they actually think it’s a lost cause and they can just hope to ride this out and pick up the pieces after he’s done and maybe build something with them. As was pointed out in the Wager Master episode, Singular Entities are singular. They can only be in one place at a time, which would limit his ability to affect things directly, so having lieutenants he can put in place to keep things running while he’s off elsewhere is handy as he’s running a battle on multiple fronts in multiple realities simultaneously.
- Why do the Scions all seem to be from the main timeline/reality? Hedging answers: Faultless is from all/no realities. Dark Mind is from another reality. It’s a fair question, though. There are other Scions in other realities. However, since the main timeline is the “important” one for OblivAeon’s current actions, that’s where the main portions of his focus is kept. While the Scions here are his actual agents performing tasks that he needs to have happen, the Scions in other realities are more distractions and trying to disrupt the heroes there from getting involved here.
- Powerhound/Sonvar was told to ask again in the Scions episode, so here he is: What is the breach in the Void that Void Guard is guarding? What were the creatures coming out of it? What happens to the breach after OblivAeon? This story was only touched on briefly in the comics (it was being built up by the VG team, but then OblivAeon cut it short by editorial mandate - unlike the Skinwalker GloomWeaver event, this one was more put on hold than wrapped up too quickly). The things coming out are your run-of-the-mill Void entities. The hole was caused by the Void parasites attempting to feed on the fabric of reality up in the Voidsoul section above (they couldn’t “get through” but it weakened reality enough for the leak to start). As part of the “put on hold” aspect of the writing, they said that the breach had been stabilized enough to let them come back for OblivAeon before having to worry about it again.
- Are there any Scions that are defeated relatively early in the event and then are brought back later? No. Appearance changes all have story beats that they are in response to.
- What are the thematic reasons for a particular Shield card starting the game with a certain Scion in play? The 5 different Shield cards represent 5 different “fronts” of the battle across the different titles. Freedom Five, Prime Wardens, and Dark Watch all have stories featuring the heroes working to get around the shield in a variety of ways. That’s kind of the MacGuffin of each book, though - the main antagonist of the books are the different Scions, with OblivAeon and the shield problem being background.
- When various Scions are defeated does OblivAeon notice/care? Yeah. At the very least it represents a part of his plan that’s failing. It’s fine, though. He’s got small victories and losses happening everywhere and he’s way closer to winning than he is to losing.
- Does he have much of a personality, he seems kind of like Progeny only as a commander? Yes, but barely. He’s a lot like Progeny, but he does issue commands in single words. He and Progeny are the closest to “mindless” among them.
- Does his defeat also mean the defeat for all Aeon Men? Aeon Men happen regardless as long as OblivAeon energy is around. He was put in control of them and the ones he’s controlling go away when he’s defeated, but all this means is that once he’s that happens OblivAeon has to assume direct control of any new ones. He doesn’t need Aeon Master, but it’s handy to have Aeon Master.
Borr the Unstable
- What alien race is he part of and what powers come with that? What stories did he appear in? Any notable encounters he has as a Scion? Borr the Butcher is an exile from a dying planet (called Zarron) of energy absorbers. Their planet has energy eruptions from underground and the people need this energy to sustain themselves. The planet is dying, though, and so the society is built around a rationing system for the energy. Borr gained his “butcher” moniker because he would kill people to take their energy ration - both murder or the ration-theft are very serious crimes. The types of stories he showed up in/what kind of antagonist he was are covered in the Overview.
- In “Coordinated Assault” from the Sentinels deck we see him fighting that team in their standard outfits - wouldn’t this fit more in their Void Guard space-adventure era? That’s a Borr the Butcher appearance (and one of the latest) when he comes to Earth - it’s got a lot of power sources for him to feed on.
- Why take Expatriette’s memory of Setback and Setback’s “heart” rather than just finish off the team and be done with it? Because she’s sadistic and this is more fun.
- As a psychic entity, who besides Visionary or Idealist can even deal with her? There are a few others out there that can do so (Argent Adept has a pretty good shot at it), but the point of this form is that it’s difficult to combat it. There might be ways of getting around that, though.
- How/why did OblivAeon make him a Scion? Isn’t he bad enough as it is? That’s a feature, not a bug. OblivAeon wants dangerous bad guys on his “end all of everything” plan.
- What would happen to the Scions if OblivAeon wins and destroys everything? If OblivAeon destroys everything then that leaves only nothing. Scions fall into the category of “things” so if OblivAeon wins, the Scions are also destroyed.
- What we’ve heard about Empyreon prior to becoming a Scion sounded like he was leaking energy and dying; would he survive if OblivAeon wins? No, see previous answer. This brings up the question of what happens to him if OblivAeon is destroyed - while destroying OblivAeon destroys a power source for the Scions, it doesn’t inherently destroy the Scions. More on what happens to the individual fates of the Scions in the coming episodes.
- What’s at the Maerynian Refuge that prompts Empyreon to attack it? The Maerynians themselves - they are inherently powerful and could provide power for him to take.
- In the Deadline/Lifeline episode, we learned that his home planet was destroyed by Faultless after his people had made it too orderly - was Faultless a Scion of OblivAeon already at this point? Yes - not that anybody knew it at that time. It was odd for a Singular Entity to so directly interact with reality, though.
- So, Mr. Fixer was born blind, was killed, returned as a ghost haunting his own zombie by Zhu Long, and finally “fixed” by Faultless; does this last act cure his blindness as well? No, he stays blind. That’s not something that needs “fixing” - sure he can’t see, but that’s not something that the processes that he’s undergone would correct (like, “oh, while I’m at it I’ll fix the thing wrong with your eyes too”). Christopher: “There is nothing wrong with him, he just doesn’t have vision.” Adam: “Especially because he has heightened kung-fu senses. He’s fine.” Zhu Long’s process was mainly to just “patch up” the body to get it workable again and Faultless’s was more spiritual “fixing”.
- The prior discussion of Faultless vs. Dark Watch [in the Dark Watch Interlude] talks about Faultless fixing Setback, Expatriette, and Mr. Fixer - does he do anything similar for Harpy? Similar to Mr. Fixer, it’s something to do with her own inner conflict with her powers - but this sounds like something to discuss in a later episode.
Nixious the Chosen
- We’d heard a mention of “cosmic magic” in response to a question in an earlier episode - what kind of magic does Nixious (or the cults of OblivAeon) do? The various cults mentioned above all did a bunch of ritual “entropic” magic - it’s kind of similar to necromancy only instead of animating the dead it’s just trying to speed up the decay of the universe. Once Nixious gets tapped to be a Scion it can still use magic, when it can summon the focus necessary to do so. When it’s around OblivAeon it kind of loses its focus and kind of winds up as more of a slavering beast. On its own it’s able to use “reality magic; Singular magic” to mess with space and time. It can also corrupt things in ways similar to what OblivAeon did to Faultless (on a smaller scale). That’s the sort of “magic” that comes with OblivAeon who’s a little (strike that, a lot) of everything.
- What other Scions use/are empowered by magic? Nixious is the only one that’s doing specific magical stuff. There’s some amount of magic going on with Faultless to the extent that what OblivAeon does is magic (see above “a lot of everything”), but it’s not “casting spells” even with Nixious (it’s more innate in that case following all of the rituals done in the process of creating it).
- [In-character letter from /u/Cult_of_Gloom is pretty good - starts at around an hour and 17 minutes in, including some shade thrown at Nixious’ appearance, what with the no green fire or alligator tail, just angry black snakes] What’s the deal with the cult of OblivAeon? How long have they been around? Are they just in one timeline or are they a Multiversal threat? Who should we send a gift basket to for taking OblivAeon/Nixious out? The cult has already been described in the Overview, who takes out OblivAeon and Nixious is stuff for the next episodes. They’re not answering any of the questions the letter asked, but it was too good to not read. Seriously, give it a listen.
- [The next letter is really long and complicated - running over a lot of Progeny details from its episode and focusing on the meaning of the head sigils (which analysis the guys compliment) and noting that both the silver and gold Progenies attack specifically hero targets, not the broader “non-villain” targets] What is gold Progeny’s mission? OblivAeon’s goal (especially in the early phases of the fight) is to destroy reality (in card game terms, he’s destroying Environments) and the Scions are there to run interference with the heroes to keep them from stopping this process. Progeny’s basically been brought in to execute heroes - to come in and burn one of them down before moving on to the next (only spreading the damage around more once it’s in trouble - presumably because a bunch of heroes are teaming up on it).
- Why is Chrono-Ranger the nemesis of this version of Progeny on the flipside (the flavor text implies that it’s one of his first missions)? Does Jim get a big showdown moment with it (what about what Tachyon does in this fight)? The “what happens in the fight” stuff is for the next episodes. They actually discussed parts of this in Editor’s Note 11. The writers retconned (as much as you can retcon a time-traveler’s story) the earlier fight with Progeny to have been Jim’s earliest bounty during his initial “monster hunter” phase and they show this in the run-up to the OblivAeon stuff. That “history” is maintained as why he’s the nemesis here.
- Still redacted.
- What’s up with the two appearances on Sanction’s character card? Is there some kind of transformation it does? If it’s a robot/A.I. what’s with the brain? As mentioned in the Overview, there is a creepy/cool transformation to get between Judge and Executioner forms. Why a brain-in-a-jar look? The Executioners in the Celestial Tribunal deck have always had that element to their look and this is a continuation of that. It’s a synthetic brain, not from any life form (like whoever created the CT in the first place).
- Is Voidsoul really just a big beard? [The backstory here is that on Void Guard Writhe’s incap art we see Voidsoul ripping his shadow cloak from him, revealing that he has stubble - so either he hasn’t grown more facial hair the whole time he’s been cloaked up or the cloak was his beard, and since Voidsoul is made of the same stuff…] No. It’s just stylistic. Writhe is just one of those characters who’s always got a 5 o’clock shadow. The shadow cloak is bonded to Writhe “on a cellular level” so Voidsoul stripping it off of him there is not fun, but Writhe comes out ahead in that situation.
- Why does Fanatic look evil on Voidsoul’s card (and who is Voidsoul talking to)? What is Voidsoul - like is it just “void” or “Void”? On the latter - it’s the Void as that’s what it hungered for, but it’s not meant to be literal about it’s soul being in the Void or made of the Void or anything - see the Overview section for more. Fanatic is being corrupted/possessed (having something to do with the Host part of her). That’s what it does - seeding doubt and whatnot. The flavor text is what it’s whispering to Fanatic as it does this.
- We’ve been told that Voidsoul was the reason that Felix Stone was unconcerned with the crashing of realities - how did Voidsoul get to the Block? Voidsoul has been a Scion of OblivAeon for a long time and getting to the Block is trivial for one of them. He in particular can travel intangibly and inter-dimensionally. Going places and whispering his corruption is his jam and getting his hooks into all of F.I.L.T.E.R. was going to be an important thing to have done anyway as they had the potential to be a big problem (having a vantage point to become more aware of OblivAeon than most).
[Redacted] (for real this time)
- So, here’s where they go from 1:32:10 through 1:37:55 and they read allll of the questions/theories sent in, some going back to 2016, that touch on Rainek Kel’Voss and his status as the [Redacted] Scion/the Scion on the “Scion’s Aid” part of the ARG/Tim Cosing.
Overview for Rainek Kel’Voss, Scion of OblivAeon
- These letters have been coming in for forever and they’re sooooo happy to finally be able to talk about this. Some theory letters have been wrong too, but a lot of things got called by a number of people (such as Voidsoul being one of the shadow parasites from Akash’Bhuta’s backstory). Props to Matchstickman for noting in his letter that the “Villainous Weaponry” card in Wagner Mars Base has Voss tricked out in an appearance that doesn’t match how he looked when we last saw him (being banished on NightMist’s “Mistbound”) and that was his Scion form.
- In NightMist #61 [the June 1990 issue] he was banished into Ur-space where he encountered OblivAeon. This story wasn’t told until during the OblivAeon event proper [Dark Watch #18 is part of the Skinwalker GloomWeaver event that immediately preceded OblivAeon and was mid-2016, so around 26 years passed]. The ARG we had here leading up to the OblivAeon Kickstarter actually models an ARG for the readers in the publishing meta-verse across book cover art - that is, the clues that we followed are canonical (e.g. the ARG covers have characters spelling out “sentinels” in the ASL alphabet).
- So, Voss is outside reality and OblivAeon makes him an offer like he did for several others - noting Voss’s power and ambition and how he could use somebody like that. Voss turns him down and attacks. And he’s not completely unsuccessful - the damage that he does to OblivAeon here is the source of OblivAeon shards! Like, the six that we’ve been told about through the history of Sentinel Comics [powering Proletariat, the Lowsley boys, and Void Guard] come from this battle and drift off out into time and space, explaining how they wind up in the past - to give context we see other “mega-attacks” later create single shards. That’s not to say that Voss is going to win this fight - he’s powerful and full of hubris, but this is still OblivAeon and once he actually responds to the attack things don’t go well for Voss. However, Voss is also pretty smart and can see that he’s outclassed and relents.
- He’s got a plan, though - he plays like the attack was just a test to see what OblivAeon was made of and agrees to join him. He doesn’t want the end of reality, but he also knows the heroes of Earth and what they’re capable of. He take the power OblivAeon offers and becomes a Scion, but he also then reaches out to the heroes (and readers) to warn them and tell them to figure out what’s coming. Voss is the reason that a lot of the Mission cards are even possible because of his warnings.
Questions about Rainek Kel-Voss
- I’m calling you out! You said that Voss had no further story after NightMist banished him - are you pulling a "well technically he’s not a ‘Grand Warlord’ anymore" semantic trick? That’s exactly what they’re doing. [I am particular happy about this as Scion!Voss was my own hypothesis as well and have been very careful to keep their wording in mind whenever I’m doing these write-ups and his “future” has come up in past episodes.]
- His mechanics in the game have him moving to OblivAeon’s battle zone and usurping OblivAeon’s place - does this happen in the comics? That’s a question for the next episodes.
- He warned the heroes prior to the actual OblivAeon event - how far in advance? What did he say? They didn’t get as much lead time as they could have wanted - by the time we get to the “Scion’s Aid” issue of Cosmic Concurrence and he actually speaks to the heroes he seems to be wondering what took them so long, but a lot of the ARG stuff involved the heroes receiving/decoding messages of one form or another. He gives a warning that he’ll give them an opening to strike and they’ll know it when it happens, but he’s not saying who he is now. We the players were in better shape to figure out that it was Voss than the readers did since we’ve had Voss in mind since the game came out in 2011 and we’re now in 2018 - Voss has been gone “since the ’80s” [again, NightMist #61 was in mid-’90] and the readers were in mid-2016-ish. Even those readers who did theorize that it was Voss were very much in the minority - there was no real reason to think that this guy who’s been gone and presumed dead for decades would return. The warnings had been going on for about 2 years of publication time [FFA #29, the first cover revealed in the ARG, was from April ’14], but only around a month of in-setting comic book time. Much like our ARG thread over on the GTG forums - the lead-up to the OblivAeon event brought the readership together and got them excited about all of these clues and the big event that was on the horizon.
- While Voss was the front-runner in the fandom theories about the identity of the 10th Scion, how prevalent was he in the meta-verse fandom’s theories? As mentioned above, he wasn’t the primary candidate, but after “Scion’s Aid” people thought that he had a better chance of being involved.
- How far ahead did you, Christopher and Adam, plan on having him be involved in the last expansion? Was he always a Scion or could he have had a subtler role involving Missions or something? Could he have been a hero deck? No, he wouldn’t ever be a hero deck. Voss has always been a part of the OblivAeon story and if they got to this expansion he was going to be involved - that’s why he’s on “Villainous Weaponry” like that. Various stories have changed over the years as they’ve gone through this stuff, but Voss’s story hasn’t. They’ve had 2 milestones for stories-as-expansion-content that have been consistent, one was Iron Legacy and the other was OblivAeon.
- If Infinitor and Cosmic Omnitron were Scions (or potential Scions), how might they have functioned as part of the Scion deck if they’d made it to the big show? Infinitor does “make it to the big show”, but he’s broken free and isn’t a Scion. The concept of a Scion is divorced from the mechanical nature of having a character card in the pile of 10 in the game expansion. A Scion is a being that is empowered by OblivAeon and is fulfilling his dread purpose. Infinitor did that for a long time and Omnitron II did that during its event. If Omnitron had been part of the game event, Adam proposes that the mechanics should have something to model how hard it is to destroy - that it’d rebuild itself.
- Is it Kel-Voss or Kel'Voss? Does it matter? It’s Kel'Voss - the apostrophe goes into Thorathian naming conventions. Anything that has a dash instead is a typo.
- When Voss attacked him, why didn’t OblivAeon just destroy him? While OblivAeon is taken by surprise (a large factor in why it’s as successful as it is), he doesn’t view it as a negative thing - this sort of moxie is just the kind of thing he wants in his Scions. Nixious’ sycophantic behavior evokes a “I guess I could use you… whatever” kind of response from OblivAeon, while this attack really bumps Voss up in the “I want you for the team” rankings. Trust isn’t needed in this relationship.
- Did other heroes ever realize that Voss is the one who warned them? Most didn’t until he showed up, but some others had inklings prior.
- Did Voss try to contact the Nyxian Scourge (say, Vyktor) or otherwise try to do things related to Dok'Thorath? No. He’s not back in reality to do Thorathian things, he’s here nominally to do the stuff OblivAeon wants him to do, but also to set up what he needs to happen to betray him. Once he’s back in reality everything he does is very precise - calling up his old war buddies isn’t on the agenda as they’re not nearly as useful to him as the very powerful heroes of Earth.
- Aside here to address something they didn’t address in earlier sections due to the [Redacted] stuff - they got several questions on whether there’s a connection between Nixious and the Nyxian Scourge. There isn’t - the similarity is just a coincidence.
- OblivAeon is the future and the end of all futures. Tune in to the next two episodes for everything OblivAeon.