30 October, 2009

Day of the Eagle

Just curious, am I the only one who thinks Robin Trower's song Day of the Eagle (from his classic Bridge of Sighs album, 1974) sounds suspiciously like the recounting of an alien abduction experience, or am I not alone here?

After all, what is the "day of the eagle"? The chorus mentions a dove, which gets you thinking about peace - and its antithesis, war. But if doves are the birds of peace, then aren't the birds of war supposed to be hawks? Or are they the same thing? (Hey, I'm no taxonomist). Eagles inevitably get me thinking about freedom, which is not the same thing as war, but is (unfortunately) inextricably linked to it - via "the cost of freedom".

But, you might also recall the symbolism of the eagle as being the spacecraft that breached the extraterrestrial gap and landed the first (Earth) men on the (Earth's) moon. And so we come to the hidden second meaning of "the day of the eagle".

Let us examine the lyrics.

"I saw a light just up ahead"

Lights are a common feature of UFO sightings. Imagine driving a dark highway, and seeing a bright light up in the sky in front of you. Or, imagine being disturbed by an unnaturally bright light from an unknown source while lying in bed -

"But I couldn't seem to rise up from my bed"

Paralysis - another common feature of alien abduction experiences. The aliens immobilize their victim by some unknown means, in order to render him/her powerless to resist their bizarre and painful medical examinations. Also note the reference to 'rising up from the bed'.

"I'm not alone, then I am"

Imagine the feeling of being alone, and then suddenly and inexplicably sensing the presence of others in your proximity. Or the reverse. Time and space both seem to get confused when the aliens are in control. Or, think of experiencing the revelation of being "not alone" in the universe. But then, when you try to tell people, they disbelieve you, and you are left all alone - alone...and vulnerable.

"People seem to think I'm superman"

Superman. Supermen. Superhumans. The evolutionary future of humanity. Flying effortlessly through the sky, with powers far beyond what we can currently wield.

"It's like a weight, that brings me down; if I don't move, I'm on the ground"

Again, we're back to paralysis. A frequent symptom of sleep paralysis is the sensation of a heavy weight on one's chest, restricting the breathing. Or, imagine the descent back to the familiar Earth, back to the ground, to your bed, after the ordeal is over. Some abductees have expressed positive recollections of their experiences with friendly aliens, and may experience feelings of depression ("bringing me down") upon leaving their company. In fact, even negative experiences can act as an emotional weight, pulling a person's spirits down.

"It's in my mind, it's in my soul; it's telling me things that can't be told"

How do extraterrestrials communicate? Abductees often report telepathic communication, as if the alien's words are coming from within - within the mind, perhaps even within the soul. And what do aliens tell us? They often describe fragments of advanced technology and interstellar utopias, as well as the course of human history - and even the future. This is all forbidden knowledge, from the perspective of mankind's current evolutionary position - information that seems impossible, and is quite hard to believe.

"Another day, another night"

Those who have less than positive abduction experiences may rightfully dread a repeat occurrence. Every day unceasingly brings yet another night in which they may return, and each night eventually - and hopefully uneventfully - carries in another new day.

"I want to love, they want to fight"

This could be an expression of one's desperation in being forced against one's will to submit to frightening and painful medical experimentation. 'I'm harmless, so why are you hurting me?' Or, it could be the enlightened abductee's desire to pursue world peace for the betterment of mankind's own future (and perhaps the evasion of their otherwise unavoidable destruction), met with humanity's characteristic petty squabbling and unending wars.

"I need some time, I've got to be alone; I've gotta think it over on my own"

Episodes of missing time could very well leave a person with the feeling of "needing time". Additionally, it takes plenty of time to come to terms with an abduction experience - some people don't even recall it for years, or only under hypnosis - and there are few people who will sympathize, leaving you alone and uncertain of what to believe.

These experiences may be uncomfortable, but do they serve a higher purpose? Are extraterrestrials watching out for us, to prevent us from walking down the path to self-destruction? Even amidst the strife that is in the world today, we must watch for the love, for the day of the eagle is upon is.

29 October, 2009

Pathologic - Detour: The Juvenile Market


Whether it's because it's just the early days, and things aren't quite hectic yet, or I'm getting so familiar with the town as well as the gameplay - such that I know exactly where everything is and all the best shortcuts, where to find specific supplies I might need at any given time, what to trade with whom and to get what, what it takes to survive, which criminals to avoid and which to fight, how to avoid infection, etc., etc., etc. - or whether it's a combination of both and/or some other factors, I've been presented with an excessive amount of free time these first two days of the scenario. On Day 1, I finished up all my quests well before dinner, and in boredom, decided to sleep away the rest of the day. On Day 2, I woke up around midnight, and had all my quests (main as well as side) finished before dawn - no joke. I decided to put off the final decision on my main quest though, to give me some time to think it over before making the commitment.

But what to do with a whole free day? I decided to hunt for some children's Powder. You never know when you might need it. And at worst, you can save it for the last day to heal up some of the adherents who are bound to be infected by then (not yours, if you've been taking care of them, but the other healers'). And the one place non-quest-related that I know I can find Powder is in the hands of the little girls that roam the streets (though only during the day, and only in safe districts). Though not every little girl, just some of them - and it is rare. But with the infection not yet broken out beyond the first house, there were tons of kids in the streets, so I went hunting for one who might have a Powder.

There are four types of children you can trade with, two male, and two female, two young, and two really young. Each of them takes only specific items for trade, and generally has specific types of items to trade. And in some cases (I'm thinking medicine), it varies as the days advance. For example, Girls (the older of the two female children), and Little Boys (the younger of the two male children) most often have bullets of various types for trade. Teenagers (the older of the two male children) and Little Girls (I'll let you figure out which ones those are :p) often have medicine - rarely bandages (which the Drunkards carry), but usually pills and sometimes analgesics (painkillers). Early on, they tend to carry immunity boosters, and later they begin to stock antibiotics. The antibiotics are particularly useful, as they can be used either to gain temporary entrance to infected adherents' houses (without using up precious cures), or, barring that, they can be sold for a decent price at shops.

The best thing about the juvenile market (other than the rare presence of a Powder, which you'll never see in stores), is the fact that the kids have no interest in money, and take random trinkets that can be found fairly easily (often in the trash) instead - and give you valuable items in return. The various kids take different items, and it requires a little experience to become familiar with who likes what.

(Dumpster diving)

The female children obviously like flowers, but only the older of the two girls takes jewelry - rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings. Both of the younger children, of either gender, participate in the "nuts" game, and therefore take various nuts you might find along the ground (hazelnuts, acorns, peanuts, etc.). The children all like sharp things - as they are forbidden to have them - but of varying degrees. Only the Teenagers (male) do not care for hooks and needles, as they are more interested in more serious fare, such as knives and razors (both straight razors and the finger blades the muggers carry). Little Boys will also take razors (the finger blades only - which can also be traded to guards, by the way), and Teenagers are also interested in pocket watches.

If I recall correctly, the only kids I've seen with Powder are the Little Girls (the younger of the two). Not sure if they're the only ones who carry it, but when I'm hoping to find a Powder, they're the ones I go to. Rather than having a price, trade items are given a number based on their value. Most items are worth 1 or 2 points, excepting the more valuable items. For example, lock picks (which the kids sometimes have in their possession, but never seem interested in acquiring) are worth 5 points. The antibiotics are worth considerably more than the immunity boosters. Children's Powder, when you have the luck to find some on the market, is worth ten points.

So you see, the problem I've always had is that when I'd stumble on a Little Girl with a Powder, I wouldn't have enough to trade for it. The valuable stuff - jewelry, watches, knives, razors, etc. - was worthless to them. They do take nuts, so you could try and stock up on the nuts you (rarely) find lying about, but here's a better idea I just came up with: instead of ignoring the clothing stores, thinking them useless (since you, of course, value your own seasoned instincts more than an extra layer of fabric when it comes to avoiding infection), hit up every clothing store you pass and buy up all of the hooks and needles they sell there (probably for sewing). They're real cheap, but the kids like 'em. Then, when you randomly come across a Little Girl with a Powder during the course of your day, you're bound to have enough to trade for it! Just as long as you have ten hooks and/or needles, you'll be set!

Pathologic - Spirit of Rebellious Order


Alexander is intent on finding the one responsible for the epidemic, although certain hints lead me to be a little concerned about his idea of justice, and suspect that he's more interested in finding someone to punish, than in uncovering the truth.

"I want only one thing - justice! There will be neither evidence nor trials in this case. When the last dawn will rise above the world, other arguments will be considered. Court will depend on consciousness, verdict - on faith."

On the one hand, this doesn't sound very much like true justice - any justice that depends on religion is on shaky ground. But on the other hand, I believe he's largely basing his confidence on my abilities, so while I find it easy to argue the notion of divine judgement, I can't simply ignore the powers that are within me...

And of course, it's my job to extract the truth, using my hypnosis trick, and track down who's responsible - which puts me in an uncomfortable position. If there's any consolation, it's that Alexander confessed that he's so caught up in finding the one responsible for the epidemic, that any other criminals will be ignored for the time being.

First on the list of suspect town criminals was Ospina. But before talking with her, I needed a 'hook' - a secret, some piece of information about her to catch her off guard. Knowing of the rift between Ospina and the Olgimskiy family, Alexander sent me to chat with Young Vlad - since the younger Olgimskiy is more familiar with local superstition, which is relevant to Ospina's connections with the Order.

But before heading out, I spoke to Catherina. She lectured me on the creation and constitution of the town, and the spiritual reasoning behind the coming of the epidemic.

"Now I will tell you the higher reasons of the happening disaster. They are invisible as roots. The one who tears out weeds only gets rid of the result but not the reason. You are the only one who can really win, so I will tell you about roots. So, listen to my story.

"Here are our parties. The first thing that was initially created is the Earth. Ancient, giving life to plants and animals. It born Abattoir and the Order. It gives and takes. The dead go into it, as well as all ends in it. It is the beginning and the end. It is the law. We, the Saburovs, act on behalf of the Law, which should be abided by anybody. Our faith is the faith of humility.

"A town emerged on the Earth. Hunger for beneficiation, building, labor, permanent creation created the town of people on the everlasting, borning Earth. Abattoir were continued by Plants and railroad. Olgimskiy's hands created an environment where people were able to develop and think. Their faith is the faith of Construction.

"Finally, the minds of people wanting to overcome limits set up for human beings by the nature and life caused fantastic and impudent projects. So, the party of creation and invention, the party of the Kains emerged and came to full flower. Their faith is the faith in Utopia, faith in miracles, faith in the non-existing place.

"I think I know why punishment had fallen on us. The town lived, grew, developed, and, finally, tried to break its own borders. The Earth that had borne it hit it on the head which was thrust out too far like a strict mother hits her unwise child...

"I believe that the Earth desired to return which had moved from it too far."

Catherina explained to me the importance of our faith, the faith of humility, and she sent me on an errand to confirm that Laska the cemetery keeper is in line with our spiritual priorities. In order to find a hook for Laska, it was recommended I speak with Lara Ravel.

When I reached "Shelter", Lara was in the middle of preparations for the "House of Alive". She had sent a good friend of hers, whom she seemed rather dependant on - some person named the Harpist - to the house that had been picked out. She was visibly worried about the Harpist, as she had already heard the chosen house had become infected, so I offered to investigate and send the man back to her if I found him.

Regarding Laska, she gave me just the information I needed:

"If you want her to open her heart to you, just bring her flowers, milk, and bread for the dead. She will be excited and do everything for you. ... People like Laska value the good you do for the others, not for themselves."

I had to break out a lock pick to get into the infected house, but I did find the Harpist in there, and I told him to report back to Lara. On my way out, I was shocked to find the Bachelor at the bottom of the stairs (since he hadn't been there when I went up), but, he had absolutely nothing to say to me beyond being surprised to see me there...

I should be used to both shock and horror when greeting people by now. Young Vlad thought I had climbed up from his well, apparently being an earth creature molded from clay and bone, as the superstitious rumors say (and I'm not entirely sure they're false), but he attempted to convince me he was only joking.

"What do you deceive me for? No, you won't confuse me with your tricks... I've read enough about you, creatures, shaped of clay and bones. I know what the 'Legend of daughters' and also 'Baur-meges' say about you."

Actually, Young Vlad told me quite a lot, about Ospina, and the Order, and his family. Apparently it was Ospina who precipitated the uprising in the Apiary, and it was the senior Vlad who appointed Oyun as the Elder. Also, Young Vlad was convinced that Ospina's hatred was primarily, perhaps even exclusively, aimed against his father, sparing himself.

Well, I had my hook, but before I could go, Young Vlad requested an errand from me. Apparently, Anna Angel had been stocking up medicines for years, and, the Olgimskiys being the heavy-handed businessmen they are, were interested in buying up all the medicine in town, presumably to distribute at their own price. Well, that's the cynical angle. Another way to look at it is that the whole town needed medicine, and there wasn't enough to go around. Better to share, right?

Anna obviously didn't think so. She told me that the Haruspicus, who had been taken in by the Olgimskiys, was actually hiding his own medicinal brews from the family. This was clearly a distraction to prevent her from having to give up her meds, but even so, I agreed to check up on who Burakh was selling his brews to. The Gatherers had no qualms about telling me - it was, of course, the architect Andrei, who hangs out in the tavern, and whom the Gatherers all despise, for his uninitiated handling and treatment of the herbs they live and die for. Clearly, and with reason, they are protective of the herbs.

"If you will find herb - do not sell it to him, he will offend herb."

In any case, I took the meds from Anna, and gave them to Young Vlad. I feel kind of bad about it, but the bottom line is - and this is exactly what I told Anna as well as Young Vlad - those meds were just immunity boosters and they weren't worth jack shit against the plague...

So I talked to Laska; she was especially happy about the flower I brought her (good thing I remembered that the barman at the tavern sometimes has flowers in stock, or else I would have had a boring time trawling the fields for a pretty bloom). I had no problem hypnotizing her, and I verified that she was on the right spiritual wavelength, which I later relayed back to Catherina, to her satisfaction.

Meanwhile, I still had to talk to Ospina, and see if she had anything to do with the outbreak. My first correspondence with her was strained. Though she claims we are alike - both children borne of the earth - she doesn't seem to like or trust me at all (which, granted, is not unusual for her). But, she seems to have feelings for the Haruspicus (how the hell did he get to be so popular anyway?), although she denies it - rather, she claims it's strictly business, and asked me to track him down and tell him to pick up his inheritance. Which I did, in order to hopefully get on her good side.

My second correspondence, though not especially friendly, was at least more successful. I tell you, that hypnosis trick can be pretty tricky to get to work. The good news is that Ospina originally greeted me with her real name, but the bad news is that she introduced herself with three different names... The 'real' one turned out to be the one she calls herself (as opposed to what others call her - and its only the town that calls her 'Ospina'), and the hook was not that she led the mutiny among the Order, but that she was in love with the Haruspicus (honestly, it was only her confession in the Haruspicus' scenario that cemented my trust in that fact). I could have easily screwed it up - and, as a warning, a botched hypnosis is obviously a botched hypnosis, and it's better not to reveal one's tricks.

So I managed to get her under, and asked her a few questions. She told me she was born five years ago (is she really only five years old?) during "the First Flash", "as a reminder", she says. I assume by "First Flash" she's referring to the first outbreak of the plague that was quickly contained thanks to Isidor Burakh's skills. "As a reminder"? I asked her if she was a disease wrapped in human flesh, to which she responded:

"Maybe. But I haven't done anything recently... though I have organized a riot after which infected Isidor... got into this scrape!"

Argh! Ambiguous as usual. My first impression was that "infected" was a verb, implying that Ospina infected Isidor. Then I decided it was just an adjective, meaning that Ospina wasn't responsible for the infection. But, reference to "this scrape" may imply that the riot, which she instigated, could have exacerbated conditions leading to the outbreak and ensuing epidemic. So was she responsible, or not? Maybe...

She also pleaded with me not to turn her in. Since, Alexander has given me the powers of a judge. He asked me whether or not Ospina is guilty. My judgement will decide her fate. Do I tell him that she's guilty, and face the consequences of her inevitable punishment? Or do I tell him she's innocent, since, even if she had a hand in exacerbating conditions, I don't believe she is the sole one responsible, and I don't yet have the evidence to be convinced that she deserves punishment. If I let her go now, how might she be able to assist me in the future? Again, is it my mission to redeem the sinners, or to sacrifice them for a higher purpose? I must say, I really do not like the feeling of holding a person's life in the palm of my hands. I honestly cannot decide how to judge - it was easier when the power chose for me. But one way or another, I must decide - in that there is no choice. Klara's fears echo my very own.

"The role of such judge frightens me even more than death - but a voice prompts me that if I refuse from it, someone else will decide... And this result will be awful!"

What ever shall I choose?

28 October, 2009

Pathologic - Messenger


(Klara's scenario begins.)

I awoke from a strange dream to find myself in a ditch, in the middle of a graveyard, shortly before dawn. I crawled out and navigated to the cemetery keeper's hut, and inside I met Laska and Catherina Saburov. Catherina had been waiting for me. Apparently, my arrival had been prophesied in one of her dreams.

"There was a prediction about twin angels. According to it, the ambassadress of death, who is the embodiment of the future misfortune and a saint wonder monger whose hands can do miracles and save us from evil will appear in the town simultaneously. Now I realize who is in front of me. Tell me, are you aware of your mission yourself?"

Was I the angel of life, or the angel of death? And where was my counterpart? My twin sister, as it were?

Catherina directed me towards the Saburov mansion, to speak with her husband, the commandant. If it weren't for his faith in Catherina's visions, I think Alexander would have had me arrested on the spot, as there had apparently been eye witnesses claiming the previous night's murder of Simon Kain was committed by a girl of my description. I don't remember committing such an act, and I can't think of a reason that I would have. And yet, my awakening in the graveyard is rather suspicious, after all.

"People darkened by local superstitions blames for all a mystic creature born by the earth at night under mysterious circumstances."

But perhaps it was my evil twin who committed the sin? I assured Alexander that my intentions were pure. He seemed to believe me, on his wife's recommendation, but for the sake of the rest of the town, he suggested I make a demonstration of the magical powers of healing I claimed to have. Some men had been attacked this morning by the train station - Alexander had sent a couple men to check it out, and he told me it would be a good opportunity to practice my healing among witnesses.

I talked to Catherina again before heading out (she had returned from the cemetery by this time). She explained to me her powers as a Mistress, and spoke briefly about my mission. Then she made me a generous offer.

"If you show to our people in all your glory, represent your designation, and won't leave us after that, we will adopt you. When I die, I will repose the power of Spirit in your hands. And your choice will inherit the power of Sword from my husband."

She also identified my adherents - the criminals and outcasts and people with dark secrets. The only surprise for me was the Elder of the Abattoir - but considering the nature of my adherents, it's not unnatural. Is it my mission to save the doomed? Or will their lives serve a greater purpose?

"As you hold threads of life in your wonderful hands, I am going to charge you with several men. They all are evil. Their souls are as black as soot. Each of them is either an evident criminal or the one who conceals an ominous secret. You should take care of them."

(Speaking of criminals...)

I made my way out to the train station, but instead of wounded men, I found robbers looting the bodies. One of Alexander's men was there, hiding. He told me that the robbers had even gone so far as to finish off the victims who were wounded, but had still been alive. One wounded man made his escape towards the cemetery, though. I had additional company in the form of the very same coward I recognized from a previous scenario who defected from the Dualsouls, stealing some precious items (including Powder) in the process.

I talked to the coward, who was in pretty bad shape, having allegedly been beaten around by the Haruspicus. He confessed his sins, so I offered to use my powers to heal him. I placed my palm on his forehead and -

- to my utter shock and horror, he instantly dropped dead!

You should have seen the look on my face... Boy, I felt so bad. Here, I was trying to help this guy, and I ended up killing him with my powers! Was I truly a healer, or just a killer? Alexander's man was convinced my act was pure - punishing a sinner and all. But killing a man would not convince the town I was not dangerous...

Perhaps I have no control over my power. Perhaps I cannot decide who will live and who will die. That's for greater beings than me to decide. I am merely the messenger. It is only through my hands that divine judgement passes into this realm.

I decided to track down the wounded man that had snuck away to the cemetery, in the hopes that I could heal him.

"If only this one, who was lucky to escape from robbers... If he survived in this terrible slaughter and then saved himself from necrophages his fate favors him. So, bring him back to life... if only you want to do it..."

Laska had received the wounded man. But when she went to pick out a plot for him (a little quick to judge, that girl...), the Haruspicus arrived to take him away. For what? To finish the man off, or try to heal him like he claimed? Laska suggested where I should look for him, in the factory warehouses, and I stumbled upon the Haruspicus' secret laboratory.

He told me that he had brought the wounded man in, but when he went to get his tools, the man disappeared. A blood trail led into town, but with his reputation the way it is, he was loath to follow (not that my reputation was much better...). I followed the trail to Anna Angel's house.

At Anna's house a crowd had gathered around the dying man, heaped in a corner - and in attendance was the Bachelor himself. I spoke to him, and told him of my powers. He was obviously skeptical, but I offered to show a demonstration.

There, in front of four or five people, including the Bachelor, and Anna Angel, I restored the dying man to perfect health, just with the touch of my magic hands. They were convinced of my powers, and my good will. I reported back to Alexander, who was pleased. But he thinks another sort of demonstration will be required tomorrow, before superstitions about the evil canniballess will begin to relax.

In Anna's words, "Shebnak is an evil cannibal of clay and bones - she is the one who killed."

And speaking of Anna, I had a little chat with her. She had heard about the coward who defected from the Dualsouls and asked me to consult Notkin about it, and about the Haruspicus' intentions, since she had heard that he had killed the coward, whom she believed to be a child (actually more of a dwarf) - thus making the man not just a Ripper but a child-killer. I talked to Notkin who sent Burakh (the Haruspicus) after the cowardly thief, and the kid told me that Burakh had accepted the job, saying - and I quote - "I agree to do this work as I am fond of bloody affairs." O.O Now, either the Haruspicus is a lot more brutal this time around, or else Notkin really enjoys spinning the facts...

Anyway, rather than lie, I admitted to Anna that the Haruspicus ultimately let the coward go (even if he allegedly roughed him up a bit), and that I was the one responsible for his death. In return, she told me a little secret - that she believes children are the greatest bearers of evil. O.O I sense there is more to be learned of her story...

I told Alexander about my other ability - hypnotizing people so that they tell me the truth. I just need the person's real name and a secret about them that few people know. Then, all they have to do is consent to the hypnosis (although I'm skeptical as to whether that part's actually required :p), and I can ask them any question and they'll respond truthfully.

Dangerous though it is, Alexander sent me on a mission to speak with George Kain - despite my being a prime suspect in Simon's murder. I think Alexander suspected that there was some funny business behind Simon's death (then again, who doesn't?), and that if they knew the real reason of his death, they'd have no reason to fear me (assuming I really didn't kill Simon, that is...). And he wanted me to try to extract the truth behind it using my hypnosis trick. Well now, this sounded like an excellent opportunity to finally pry some solid answers out of this vague town!

I asked Catherina for a secret I could use against George. I myself was surprised when she told me, "If you want to surprise him with a secret... try to tell, 'You didn't like Simon and you aren't his twin'. It will confuse him." Certainly, if it's true, it would confuse him to hear it from me. Sure enough, it worked, so I can only surmise that it's true. Unfortunately, I didn't get much in the way of answers out of George though. He didn't know who had killed Simon, though he was absolutely sure it wasn't human, but something more powerful. He was also less concerned with finding out WHO killed Simon as finding out WHY he was killed - hinting at the whole "the nature rages" concept.

As is the way of this town, I didn't uncover nearly as much as I was hoping to (even considering that it's only the first day), and despite the promise, I'm not clear on who or where my sister is - although I'm fairly convinced that the two of us are one and the same, in some way. Or that the two angels exist independent of me, but act through me as a conduit.

I visited the Theatre after midnight, as is my habit, but when I talked to Mark Immortal, he was very unhappy to see me. "You are against the rules. I don't want you to visit the Theatre." Yikes. Well, it's not like I was exactly expecting to be universally liked in this town. I also made a killer (literally) discovery - my magic hands work at a distance. I can kill muggers with my bare hands, all while staying outside the range of their knives (except when they throw them, of course). Talk about awesome power!

27 October, 2009

Pathologic - Character Quips Part 3 - The Outcasts


Part 3 of 'Character Quips', following from the previous entry, Part 2. In this part we will hear from those characters most important to the Devotress' scenario (by process of elimination).

"If people like me are enough, the town remains the former. We shall devote ourselves to Klara. It is not a pity to martyr yourself to a new Mistress."

(Interestingly, Julia is the only one who uses the phrase "martyr yourself", whereas everyone else says "give a soiled/spoiled/rotten life". I wasn't quite sure about the meaning until Julia offered her insight.)

The Devotress (Klara)

"It is not necessary to sacrifice neither the Tower nor the town. It is possible to keep everything."

"The doomed have agreed to assist me. They will first take the way of the patriarch."

"The hands are tired, and I have stitch in my palms."
(Hm, those are odd symptoms...)

"How acute you were. You cannot comprehend all evil which you do."

"Everyone says, 'impossible, impossible, impossible!' But...what if it will turn out?"

Alexander Saburov

Branch: A Restoration of Authority
"I wanted to return the power and dignity to our country. If I wasn't for this pestilence, I would probably become governor."

Head of one of the ruling families in town, Alexander Saburov is the local authority in charge of executive affairs.

"My hand is firm."

"The rabble have absolutely cast off all restraint. They were holding back their low instincts for long."

"Folk wisdom says: beat in a bush, God will give out the guilty one."
(I don't have a dirty mind, I swear >.<)

"It is impossible neither to stare at the sun, nor at the death - who said it?"

Catherina Saburov

Branch: Rat Prophet
"But I did not know up to the last that he spoke to me in dreams. I thought...that was Land."

The local prophet, and wife of Alexander Saburov, Catherina is the most incoherent of the locals, often speaking in obtuse riddles, and suffers from a morphine addiction.

"I. Need. Morphine."
(See? I did not lie.)

"Hush! ...You heard?"

"Is it true that my eyes are like buttons?"

"As if there were needles in my temples - do something!"

"I feel...gripes inside my belly - as if I am filled with straw."

"In the dream, the wheel of my destiny touched me."
(Hm, I wonder what Freud would have to say about that...)

"It seems there is some...stillness."

"They dare to show disbelief in the power and influence of heavenly bodies only when it is a question of insignificant affairs!"

Lara Ravel

Branch: The House of Alive
"I was the kindest. I did not know up until the end that I would have to meet the murderer of my beloved father!"

Despite her noble attempt at setting up a shelter, Lara is kind of a scaredy cat, and may be a little unhinged. Also, she has a strong dislike of soldiers.

"The source, the source - who is this source? Is it possible to dig it out?"

"It seems I have faded. The old clothings became so shabby."
(What is it with becoming "faded"?)

"Lips have cracked."

Lara gets philosophical:

"Dogs howl - why?"

I don't know, Lara. I don't know.

"To harm people is mostly not as dangerous as to make them a lot of good."

"Mercy is not a virtue, but a fruit of fear!"

Julia Luricheva

Branch: Stretchings of Destiny
"I had to convincingly pronounce the logic of inevitability because I had attained it by my own efforts."

Ah, okay.

Julia kind of stays to herself in a nice huge house on the riverside. She's supposed to be all logical, but I found her to be kinda creepy, honestly...

"Recently, I remember simple things. Weakness."

"Hands watered such weakness in hands."

"The room needs to be aired, but I have no wish to do so."
(Lazy, are we? I can get behind that!)

"The most freakish folly usually happens in the generation for the most refined reason."

"Through variability and unsteadiness that seems to reign the world, a certain latent coupling of events appears."

"While reason aspires to one goal, the heart imperceptibly strives for another."

Anna Angel

Branch: Angel of Death
"I have already got confused myself who I was in the caravan. Life is hard."

Anna Angel is a singer who ditched her caravan, which I believe was led by the Hump. She doesn't seem to like him much, though, and hints at having a sordid past.

"Have you met sinister people in circus suits?"

"I could have become a famous singer!"

"My hair's a mess and it's falling down!"
(All hands on deck!)

"I do not wanna undress. What if something terrible is on the skin?"
(Better to take preemptive action, right? Now, off with those clothes!)

"I'm really blushing. My cheeks are burning, right?"


Gryph is head of thieves and local dealer in illegal weapons. And as you can see, he keeps good company.

"The one who makes a hard bed, sleeps better."
(Tell me about it. ;)

"There will be leisure when I am dead."

"If there is some carrion, the crows will fly."

"What is to happen, will happen."

This is one of my favorites:

"My tongue is my enemy. A well-thought game comes before."

"Someone without a dream is like one without a soul. Well, we are small people. The branchers are not about uz. Do as you want."

"Once a thief, always a thief."


Branch: The Land
"I could tell why the dense soil is not guilty of the happened catastrophe."

Ospina is a bit of a mystery. She has connections to the Order, and I once heard she was the daughter of a Worm and a human Bride (or something). She doesn't like the Olgimskiys' dealings with the Apiary/Abattoir, and looks after the renegade Butchers who escape while those buildings are under lock-down. She also holds onto the Haruspicus' father's heritage.

"I have a hole under my heart."

"Needles...still stick out of me."

"Any lie will appear the truth. You should not use cunning with the land."

"People often do good, only to find an opportunity to harm unpunishably."
(Sounds kinda paranoid...)

"Perhaps it is better to be turned inside out?"

"The one who does not trust himself should be reasonably silent."

"Better not ask; silence is gold."

Stanislav Rubin

Branch: The Attendant
"I have made a sacrilege, and fed the town with its fruits. Though, before I was a furious soldier."

Rubin was the student of Isidor Burakh, and is the [only] one with access to Simon Kain's body after his apparent death. He betrays the Kain family's wishes, though, and uses the body to create a vaccine.

"The teacher would approve of my act."

"The time is precious."

"Easy, they may pass by."

"The roundup is tighter."

"The supreme valor is to make in loneliness the things that people usually dare to do only in the presence of many witnesses."

The General (Alexander Blok)

The General, whom the Devotress apparently takes a liking to, arrives in town with the artillery to wipe out the plague, but not the authority to choose the target.

"It is impossible to allow a deceiver to play with our free will."

"Whose will has sent us this plague hole? We are needed now at the front."

"The world is ruled by destiny and whim."

26 October, 2009

Pathologic - Character Quips Part 2 - The New Order


Part 2 of 'Character Quips', following from the previous entry, Part 1. In this part we will hear from those characters most important to the Haruspicus' scenario.

"If such children, castaways like me, survive, the town will become the town of people. Kapella will entrust it to us. We are the future of this land!"

The Haruspicus (Artemiy Burakh)

"The town can be cleared. Now I know how to make enough quantity of Panacea."

"Actually, we are not powerless - we are weak-willed."

"Fever starts, it seems - or not."
(Uncertain, are we?)

"What is there? Nothing, it seems."
(Depressed much?)

"More haste, less speed."

"Again, blood is running."
(Coming from a surgeon, this is less alarming...)

Vlad Olgimskiy

"For what am I punished by such children?"

"Someone will have to take this sin."
(Foreshadowing ;)

"The destiny arranges all to benefit from those whom it patronizes."

"The girl is good, but the boy - huh, the boy is intolerable!"
(It's clear how Vlad feels about his two kids.)

"One pebble after another. No need to hurry."

"Swines. Swines! No, their whims should never have been indulged."

I must admit, that is one of my favorites. I didn't realize you could put an 's' after swine, and the way Vlad says it is great. The first "swines" is real quiet, almost a whisper, and the second one is louder and more pronounced. It's just great.

I really like this one as well:

"Happy people are incorrigible. Destiny does not punish them for their sins, and they consequently think themselves innocent."

Kapella (Victoria Olgimskiy Jr.)

Branch: Soul Kapella
"If not for this pestilence, I would spread a pagan cult among the children, and then, the parents would live forever!"

Kapella is the daughter of one of the previous Mistresses - Victoria Olgimskiy - and like Maria Kain, stands to inherit her mother's gift. But her goal involves a complete restructuring of the political power in the town, relying on the promise of the younger generation whom she looks out for.

"It's hard to believe in things that lay outside our outlook."
(Very insightful.)

"Strange smells come from the street...what is it?"

"Earlier, I was walking at night. And in the morning, I was found somewhere, in a, in a new place."

"The children have absolutely forgotten about me!"

This one sounds funny; it's almost a tongue twister:

"The Inquisitor will keep the militarians from arbitrariness, right?"

Kahn (Kaspar Kain)

Branch: Feast
"If not the pestilence, I would revolt against the adults. Would establish here the dictatorship of the childhood. Kapella has thought up better."

Kahn resides in the Tower and is the leader of the Dogheads gang, rival to the Dualsouls. Though a Kain, his goals are not compatible with the rest of his family's.

"As I have told, it will be so."

"This Tower is a present from my mother."

"Only children can live in this Tower. Others are not allowed here."

"So I may go to pieces."

"That's all. No play now. Nobody needs us."


Branch: Dualsouls
"I wanted to create an amicable brotherhood of children and animals."

From his hideout in the warehouse district, Notkin leads the Dualsouls. For a child gang, they are quite capable, and are responsible for tracking the spread of the infection each day via their modified daily maps.

"Smells like burning. Do they burn trash?"

"Stop wagging your tongues."

"Where is my cat again? Did he run away?"

"Where did these devils get lost?"

Here's one that absolutely baffles me, and is quite odd, coming out of nowhere, without context:

"The hair was good, but the head was chopped off."


Branch: The Last Vampire
"If not for the pestilence, I would catch this strange albino."

Spichka is an imaginative and somewhat mischievous kid who boasts extensive knowledge of the shortcuts and hidden passages throughout the town.

Here's one of my favorites:

"The dead man was a joker. He joked, and then died."

Spichka's got some strange ones:

"I feel stitches under the knees. Is this okay?"

"It's not a joint but a hinge. It will not break."

"And if, I say if someone pulls me on the road."

"My feet do not hold me. Am I ill?"
(Interesting way of putting it.)

"The cat knows what meat she has eaten."

"Have you met at night such pale and glowing man?"
(I assume he's talking about the albino, whom I don't recall meeting.)

This one is fun:

"At night, someone banged against the window - oh, scary!"


Branch: The Burden of Alive
"Well I simply wanted to take care of those who leave us."

Laska is the lonely cemetery keeper, remember.

"Why don't they bring anybody? So still..."
(Erm, let's not rush it, Laska...)

"I've got wet under the rain."

"No, they do not love me anymore."

Don't worry, Laska, I still love you, even if you do prefer the company of the dead...

"The dream is a second supper. Anyway, I shall survive!"


Branch: Feed the Doll
"I wanted my parents to be nearby as well."

Lonely though it is, Mishka occupies a neat railcar way out on the outskirts of town, with the sole company of her dolls.

"Where is my doll? Who will feed her?"

"Something wanders 'round here at night."
(This one successfully gives me chills.)

"What do you have there, two more hands?"
(...and just so we're clear, you can't have them...)

"The belly has to be stitched anew."
(She's talking about dolls, right?)

"Mum spoke, sick calf is chilly in summer."

"Why do you look so... ... ...ugh."
(This one's great. Burn, anyone?)

"I have got wet and faded."

Mother Keeper (Taya Tychik)

Branch: The Mother of Bulls
"If the Order survived, I would rule it instead of daddy."

For a, like, 4 year old girl, Mother Keeper is not only charming, but surprisingly capable. Although, not always coherent...

"If to enquine(?) me, the right eye is not fully closed."
(I have no clue...)

"The trouble stops up a trouble, with a trouble. So daddy spoke."
(Is this like 'two wrongs make a right' or something?)

"It seems that I am spying~~~."

"I see everathing."
(Spelled to emphasize pronunciation.)

"They show me nothing. They do not let me out of here."

"What is there? What's happening? Who cried?"
(There, there, nothing to worry about.)

"Now I have almost no toys left!"

Elder Oyun

Brutish Elder of the Order, obstacle to the Haruspicus' victory, inhabitant of the Abattoir.

"I do have a heart."
(Right, there's a reason why he emphasizes the "do" part. :p)

"Speak briefly, the kin's blood. You are not pleasant to me."

"Many alive, always form one more alive."
(Is this some kind of gestalt theory?)

"Hardness is not an attribute of the true force, kin's blood."
(Hard to believe, coming from you.)

"She has presented me these legs, instead of being crippled."

"Suok waits for you..."

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Pathologic - Character Quips Part 1 - The Utopians


Part 1 of 'Character Quips', following from the previous entry, Linguistic. In this part we will hear from those characters most important to the Bachelor's scenario.

"If we are the majority, the fragile Polyhedron will not be touched. We can support life in it. Maria will be able to work wonders."

(Variations of the above line are spoken by the Utopians on the final day, but curiously, some of them confusingly omit the last word, 'wonders'...)

The Bachelor (Daniel Dankovskiy)

"The poisoned town must be destroyed. It is impregnated by the Sand Filth. It cannot be eradicated in any way."

Awkward: "My head breaks. It is necessary to have a rest."

Insightful: "The truth is not so beneficial as harmful, it appears."

Eve Yahn

Branch: Golden Hair
"I really wanted to give my soul to our Cathedral to bring at least something immortal to it."

"Uh, the pain in my breast is a torture."

Coming from any other character, the above line would probably be unremarkable, but seeing as Eve is clearly presented as the sexiest woman in town, any self-reference to her "breast" is bound to receive attention. 'I understand, Eve, shall I help you to relieve the pain? I hear that a massage is good for that...'

And if that weren't enough, prepare yourselves for this innuendo:

"In my bedroom, it is warmer than here."

Yes, Eve, you don't have to tell me!

Here are some more awkward and funny lines:

"You see my varnish has peeled off."
(Varnish on what, exactly?)

"How still it will become around."

"Do you hear what mad pulse I have?"

And to finish off with some [cryptic] wisdom:

"Sometimes a person is as hardly similar to himself as to others."

George Kain

Branch: Necrology
"I wanted to do everything so that death would never touch my precious brother."

George Kain, being the eldest of the Kain family (one of the three ruling families in town), and brother of alleged immortal Simon, has an abundance of seeming wisdom to share:

"Tell me what you want - and I shall tell you who you are."

"People die more often only because they cannot oppose death."
(Is it me, or is this kind of obvious?)

"By old age, people become more reckless, and wiser."

"Even the most famous act cannot be named great if it is not a consequence of the great plan."
(Dunno about this "great plan", but fame =/= quality? I dig you there, George.)

Victor Kain

Branch: The Mistress
"I had to keep the memory of my wife for the town."

As alluded to here, Victor Kain, brother of George and Simon, was married to the previous Kain Mistress, Nina, now deceased. Victor's daughter Maria follows in her mother's footsteps.

"The blood seems thickening. This, is an ominous sign - right?"

Speaking of ominous signs, many characters have greetings that, rather than being completely non sequitur as many are, serve to add to the spooky atmosphere of the town. Unfortunately, the delivery of these lines often betrays the 'spook'. For example, when Victor says, "I hear rustling", instead of cautiously checking out the window, I find myself chuckling - 'really, Victor, you hear rustling? That's fascinating.' XD

Here's some wisdom for you:

"We resist our passions not because we are strong, but because they are weak."
(Personally, I'm not sure about that one.)

"The best way to be deceived, is to consider yourself more artful than others."

"It's easier to show wisdom in someone other's affairs, than in your own."

Maria Kain

Branch: The Return of Magic
"I wanted to get the power and to create a space where miracles and fine lawlessnesses would have been possible."

Fine lawlessnesses? Beats me. Or wait, does she mean the laws of Nature? That would make sense, I guess.

"In me there is more life than I can live."

"Ah, why can not I move?"

I just love the way she says that one - a bit dramatic. (You'll have to trust me that these are written 'sic'.)

"Our whims are more freakish than whims of destiny."

"It seems to me all the time that someone looks at us, from the other side."
(Creepy, but...other side of what? Death? Or the curtain?)

"No, those who have fewer passions and more virtues are differentiated by the greatness of spirit from the vulgar people. Only those who have really great plans..."

Sometimes I wonder if there is a time limit on these greetings, resulting in some confusing truncations...

Andrei Stamatin

Branch: Jump Above The Head
"I have done everything that I wanted."

The first half of the Stamatin brothers duo - the architects employed by the Kain family to build magic structural shells for their miracles - Andrei, who hangs out at the tavern and patronizes the local exotic dancers, can be considered a man of vice.

"Why do you all come and stare at me?"

"The destiny is considered to be blind, mainly by those whom it does not grant luck. It was an aphorism."

"A fake is always unpleasant. Because of those features which are charming in the original, that is cruel."

"Ohh, I would give vent to my hands, if it wasn't for these brackets?"

Alright, that one is just hilarious. There are some cases where I wasn't quite sure what the character was saying, as what they were saying made very little sense, but this is the best I could come up with for this one. Besides seeming to make no sense at all, what makes this line so very funny is the way it is read. The voice actor gets to the end of the sentence, and reads the final word incredulously, with a questioning inflection, almost as if he was just as baffled reading it off the script as I was listening to it - it's almost as if he's saying to himself, 'brackets? Is that the word? That can't be right, that doesn't make any sense at all!' XD Or, maybe he saw a pair of empty brackets at the end of the sentence, the result of an incomplete translation...

"I have danced all my dances. The show is over."

Petr Stamatin

Branch: Calligrapher
"They could not allow me to forget about my deed, and they could not kill me. So, everything...just...begins."

Alllllright... Petr has a reputation for drowning his concerns in Twyrine, after all...

"Drink with me!"

"The head stiffens from bad Twyrine. It is good!"

"Your face blurs - are you sick?"
(I think we know, Petr, which one of us is sick...)

However, Petr also has a fair dose of [drunken] wisdom to share:

"The main thing is not to have time to think. This...is a ticket to paradise."

"We, brother, easily forget our mistakes when they're known only to us. So, this is so."
(Oh, is this so, then?)

"We are afraid of everything, brother, as all mortals are. And, we want everything. As if immortality is granted to us."

Mark Immortal

Mark Immortal, owner and impresario of the Theatre, is a curious character, who spends the whole game in the safety of his Theatre, almost detached from the terrors of the town (except when his Theatre gets turned into a 'hospital' - actually more like a morgue - and he starts complaining about having a stiff audience). But, he possesses a penchant for the dramatic.

"People who are more likely to slander themselves, rather than be silent about themselves."
(Not without awkward grammar, of course.)

"Even the most reasonable people are reasonable only in insignificant matters. In the significant affairs, the reason usually fails them."

"Real crafty is the one who is able to hide the cunning."

"While someone is able to do good, he is not threatened to face an ingratitude."

"We are all strong enough to bear a misfortune of the neighbor."

"Having lost the hope to find a reason in those around, we already do not try to keep it themselves."

Young Vlad

Branch: The Blood of Land
"Actually, I found out hence that occurs. The conclusions are obvious."

Right, clearly obvious.

Despite being a member of the Olgimskiy family, and his connections with the Burakh family (with which the Haruspicus shares blood), it appears that Young Vlad is in fact a Utopian, believe it or not (I myself was surprised). Although the fact that he is not on the best terms with his father, and lives in a separate bricked-up house where he works on his well, may corroborate that.

"Was it a sound from the well, or...am I just nervy?"
(Yes, he actually says "nervy".)

"Self interest plays any role - even a role of unselfishness."

"Who never made follies is not so wise as it seems to him."

"It is easier to operate people than to prevent them from operating us."
(I assume he's talking about psychology, and not surgery...)

"We promise in accordance with our calculations, and we carry out in accordance with our fears."

The Inquisitor (Aglaja Lilich)

Despite her opposition to the Utopians, and her feelings for the Haruspicus, the Bachelor has the most direct communication with the Inquisitor, so I include her here.

"People do not cease to surprise me. I know too little about the limits of the possible."

"How many crows gathered above the town?"

Stay tuned for Part 2!