Two of my sets of foes make it into Antagonists, so I’d like to unpack where each comes from.
Back in 2010 I posted some photographs from a trip my wife and I took to the UK, and said they’d be used for Ars Magica when I could find a way. The two which are applicable here are inserted below.
The idea for this character came from a piece of nerdcore hiphop by MC Frontalot. It’s the title track from his Final Boss album. In it, he notes the odd things that final bosses do in computer games, and I tried to build a final boss that would consider these things sensible to her plans. The lyrics and free, legal MP3 are on his page. This section gave me the underlying idea for the mirror framework, and the minions of increasing size is:
Every time you level up it’s ‘cause I delegated
your demise to the wrong size of minions.
Got a bigger batch coming. Statisticians got a dim opinion
of your chance to survive. Make your time.
I got a hundred billion of them and they’re standing in line
to make you shine light out your special move hole
(cause you got hit so hard by the energy bolt).
And it’s a moat you can’t cross, a key you can’t get.
Ain’t done the right NPC’s subquest yet.
Got to collect bullshit that I done littered in the realm.
I aim the whole game at you to fatigue and overwhelm.
All the tests that follow are an excuse to have pieces of random stuff scattered around in a way that makes sense to the Queen.
The faceless faeries are from Japanese folklore, are called Nappera-bo, and are pulled from Lafcardio Hearn. In Mythic Europe they aren’t either ghosts or Japanese, but they are thematically linked to the incomplete duplicates favoured by the Queen as minions.
The Demonic Cult of Flagellants
This photograph is of a plague doctor costume taken at Barley Hall in York. Add a wide brimmed hat and you can see that it is the physical template for one of the demons.
The number of demons in the chapter expands so dreadfully because there’s a line in Realms of Power : Infernal which says that demons can’t plan, as it requires patience, which is a virtue. This means that the complicated scenario needs to be the accidental conjunction of the work of several demons. Fortunately the idea that demons pile on to trouble, as a sort of impulse or reflex, works in the setting.