The Power of Geis

In conjunction with AmstradHero’s BG2 Antagonist post, I’ve decided to introduce the origins of this new currently unnamed project of mine. The correlation between my post and his is the reference to the geas.The word geis also spelled geas in some dialects refers to the obligation or prohibition imposed on a person.  The word is from Irish folklore, in which a geis could be a prohibition or taboo, a positive injunction or obligation, something unlawful or forbidden, a curse, or a spell or incantation. To violate one led to misfortune and death. The origins of my project started with Code Geass.  At that point, I was fascinated with the geas concept and decided to use it myself.  Code Geass wasn’t my first encounter with the geas, however, but it was definitely one of the better representations of the concept where other concepts revolved around it.

BG2 SPOILER

In Baldur’s Gate II, the geas spell was seen several times, such as the Spectactor Orb and more memorably, Yoshimo.  Irenicus had placed the geas on Yoshimo to help bring you, the Bhaalspawn to him.   In the end, he couldn’t face his geas and apologized before he attacked.  I don’t think the concept of geas was well-played out there since he was a companion.  I would’ve been far happier if they decided to kill the whiney Imoen and let Yoshimo live, but alas, it was not so.  They let us keep yet another Mage/Thief.  The 3rd (or 1st depending on how you look at it) Mage/Thief in the game, and they killed the only pure thief.

END BG2 SPOILER

But on to the main point of this post.  Back when the concept behind Shattered Dreams was being developed, I was sketching out an idea for the next project, and present it to the others once the talk of the next project had begun.  The idea was to already have a well-developed skeleton base to shorten some of the design time.  It never got that far, so I took the concept behind the idea and shaped it into something else.

The first version of the story was to start in Cormyr, where sealed beneath the castle, a powerful and ancient primordial lay in wait.  Its power was not in the form of brute force or even magic that could incinerate you in an instant.  It had the power to read your mind, and offer you the power to achieve your goal on the condition that you would help set it free.  The seal on the door was weakening and to prevent it from escaping, a war hero was called upon to reseal the door.  But the primordial being was able to interact with people outside of the weakened seal, offering them their greatest desires.   The door was sealed but not before it was able to offer power to the others.  In a power frenzy, the other guards attacked, and in the end, only the War Hero remained.  The door remained unsealed, and the war hero later faced charges for crimes against the crown, and he was locked up in prison – his family executed.  This news was unbeknown to the people, so as far as they knew, the war hero was still alive and a hero to their country.  The primordial lingered in his mind, offering him revenge, power, and upon hearing the news of his family’s execution, he accepted the geas of the primordial and the story begins when he breaks out of prison with the country’s most dangerous criminals.

The problem with this version was the setting.  It was very restricting as Elysius had told me, so we looked at other options for the setting.  There were a few, such as Tethyr, but we decided on Chessenta, the Greek inspired country ruled by a ruthless red dragon, Tchazzar.  The country had known peace during Tchazzar’s disappearance, but when the dragon returned, war had begun again.  The story was adapted as a battle occurring near the haunted woods of Methwood.  And the war hero now become a soldier who abandoned his position, knowing that the battle was lost.   He stumbled through the Methwood and came across the ruins.  In a similiar fashion, he found the sealed primordial and accepted the geas to bring peace to Chessenta again.

The settings were different, but the concept was the same, although the Chessenta version had more focus on war than the Cormyr one, which for a video game, makes it a lot more difficult to accomplish, but would be rewarding if done right.  In a way, one could say that the story might have a problem with the villain seemingly pushing the main character aside in importance and depth.  But the way the story would have progressed would’ve made it such that the character would be one of the few that could take down the villain, aided by how the war hero became what he is after the geas.

The third version which is what this project is about is in a setting of my own, rather than dealing with the rather restrictive lore of Dungeons and Dragons.  The concept is similiar, but the creature placing the geas no longer cares about freedom as it is already free to do what it wants.  It simply wants to destroy the world as its nature.  Whenever I begin to set everything in stone, I’ll release more information.

For now, I think 900 words is enough for one post.

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One thought on “The Power of Geis

  1. Chaos Wielder says:

    Interesting. Although, one does wonder why villains are so bent on destroying the world. Doesn’t there need to be someone left to lavish praise on them? :p

    (Poor ‘Shattered Dreams’, though. Good times, I suppose).

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