Author Topic: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?  (Read 3746 times)

Offline Mr. Death

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2017, 06:04:56 PM »
Was it overkill? Yes.

But when you're trying to make a one-hit-kill shot like this, you absolutely go for overkill. The idea is to make absolutely sure that Ebenezer cannot possibly survive the spell, and to do that, you overdo it. If you try to make something that would match his defenses and do just enough to kill him, you risk him getting a lucky roll of the dice and surviving, or maybe even avoiding it entirely.

As I often do, I'm gonna put this into RPG terms, because that's the best way to quantify this sort of thing. All it really takes to kill a human in the game is 3 shifts of stress. This is roughly equivalent, in the game, to being shot or stabbed with a regular gun. That's the bare minimum, for someone with no real narrative reason to take more damage than that (i.e., the kind of nameless goon that Jackie Chan decks once and moves on).

The heart exploding spell, however, is a whopping 36 shifts. Why? To make sure it passes every single possible defense a character could have and make sure he's dead. It works out to 4 (stress boxes) + 4 (highest possible defense roll) +5 (highest possible defense stat) + 22 (all possible consequences a character can take to survive the hit) +1 (to push it just over the edge). It's the Dresden RPG equivalent of "no saving throw."

We don't know what kind of personal defenses Ebenezer would have against such a spell, or the wards at Edinburgh. But when you want to make absolutely sure that your target can't avoid its fate? You go for overkill, especially if you're only going to get one shot at it.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 06:06:39 PM by Mr. Death »
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Offline DonBugen

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2017, 06:15:11 PM »
Watch - Jim's just stringing us along, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Harry or Eb. Its later revealed that Susan is a descendant from the same family that Mab, Titania, and Maeve came from, and doing the curse will put a reset on 2/3 the Winter Court and put Lily the Airhead on the Summer throne. Chaos ensues.

Offline Just Al

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2017, 07:26:49 PM »
Quote
Or who loaded the gun for the Red Court and got Harry to pull the trigger on their own assisted suicide?

I've worked from the view that Martin had played the Red Court waiting for some opportunity (e.g. Harry, Susan and Maggie) The spell was WAY overkill.

The other possibility is that Uriel and Mab had a hand in the setup, in order to balance the sheets and demonstrate what happens to folks who dis the Winter Queen.

Offline kazimmoinuddin

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2017, 10:22:13 PM »
I always wondered how demonreach and the Blackstaff would react to the mortals that they are linked to being slain in such a way. A massive magical attack is sure to have some effect, making them potentially vulnerable.
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Offline Cozarkian

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2017, 11:45:18 PM »
Was it overkill - No!

The spell was like a boulder sitting on the edge of a cliff. You need a certain amount of force to push it over the edge and then gravity does the rest, regardless of how tall the cliff is.

The bloodline curse needed that much energy to get the ball rolling regardless of whether there are 2 generations or 20 generations of targets.

Offline Arjan

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2017, 03:23:10 PM »
Was it overkill? Of course it was overkill. But there are several good reasons for it to be overkill so I mention a few more.

It was a demonstration of power. To impress the allies like the fomor and the red court itself and to show everyone what they were capable off. To make the white council afraid so the red court could not exploit internal differences.

And these are old beings and to understand them you have to go back and consider what a sacrifice also is. The king sacrifices animals to the gods but they are used to feed his supporters in a big feast. That is what happened with human sacrifices as well. The more human sacrifices the more generous and powerful the red king was. A king must be generous for his supporters.

And of course Ebenezar could be everywhere. Behind wards that needed a god to break or somewhere deep in the nevernever. Overkill is just the safest bet. 

Or as someone else said with these beings there is no such thing as overkill.
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Offline kazimmoinuddin

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2017, 07:11:06 PM »
The thing is wont the use of such a large scale magical attack encourage other factions to demonstrate similar capability. You don't bring a knife to a gun fight, it is sure to cause an escalation so some kind of balance of power to emerge.
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Offline Avernite

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2017, 07:11:05 PM »
The thing is wont the use of such a large scale magical attack encourage other factions to demonstrate similar capability. You don't bring a knife to a gun fight, it is sure to cause an escalation so some kind of balance of power to emerge.

The Reds had long since been going for broke. You don't start a fight with Faerie after already being at war with the Council unless you're basically going for nr. 1. And nr. 1 would be reinforced by having an ungodly powerful weapon that even your allies would be worried about.

Offline kbrizzle

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2017, 07:12:16 PM »
From the perspective of 2 characters seemingly in the know:

Martin: IIRC Martin was the one who dug up this ancient spell which he’d stumbled upon during his time as a red priest. So it seems like the mechanics/ set up would be his brainchild - seeing as one of his goals was to exterminate the red court, it’s entirely possible he overpowered the spell because he knew who it was really targeted towards - every Ramp & half Ramp in existence.

Ariana: Ariana seems to have been the ‘sponsor’ for the curse on the Ramp management side. Her motives seem to have been to promote herself to the LooN hierarchy, potentially unseating the Red King & of course revenge on the family who’d killed 2 of her own ‘family members’. I also agree with Arjan that part of the ridiculous Power was to show the Red Court’s strength - that no member of the Senior Council was safe, even behind their own wards in their stronghold
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 10:58:08 PM by kbrizzle »

Offline wardenferry419

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2017, 08:59:36 PM »
For Ariana it was both personal and part of a coup. For the Red King, it was a show of force that is blood-addicted mind liked.
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Offline Kindler

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2017, 04:05:13 PM »
I've never thought the bloodline curse made sense—not because it was overkill, but because it was stupid. They gather everyone at Chichen Itza, and start priming the pump with hundreds of human sacrifices, just to kill two dudes?

I don't recall it said anywhere that it would break wards, so it's not like a coordinated attack against Edinburgh would necessarily follow. It could have just as easily pass through wards without breaking them, just with reduced effect. Even if they were, there's no guarantee that Ebenezer would even be there—and, lo and behold, he wasn't. As though it's a surprise that one of the best magical brawlers and the Blackstaff wouldn't hang back when there's fighting going on.

They could have achieved their result by paying some guy twenty grand to shoot Ebenezer from a grassy knoll when he walks out to his barn one evening. Hell, coordinate a drone strike. It's not like they don't have the resources to make that happen. Do the same thing to Harry, like the end montage from the Godfather.

Or how about some poison? Eb probably drinks from a well. Dump some arsenic in there, and he's toast, Wizard recovery or not. Hide some snakes in his truck. Dig some punji pits on his front lawn. If you don't care about getting caught, there is no reason to set up the magical equivalent of a Rube Goldberg Machine to get him or any other individual wizard dead.

Hell, they could've just had Peabody or Christos lace all of the food in the Ostentatiatory with iocaine (yes, I know it's not real) and take them all down at once. The right kind of poison will act too quickly for Listens to Wind to do anything about it.

But no! No. They had to do this whole operation with the whole world watching to prove something that would net them some dubious benefit in the war—take down a couple of heavy hitters, do something flashy—rather than get the job done. It's not even a particularly impressive spell; it's launched by chucking away hundreds of lives. And it still took hours upon hours to set up, with weeks of prep time. Of course it's going to be huge and effective. Hell, a penny-ante sorcerer was able to pull off a reasonable facsimile of the spell by using a thunderstorm. Why didn't they just do that? Instead, they set this up to brag about using a nuke to kill two wizards. Bravo?

I mean, if Harry's bloodline was sufficiently related to enough of the wizard population and they were able to kill, like, a third of the White Council, then sure. But nowhere is that indicated; Harry's Grandma was a vanilla mortal, per Word of Jim. Unless Malcolm's parents (or sibling) is still running around and proves to be important, I fail to see any viable reason to do this other than insanity.

Therefore, I submit that they were manipulated into doing it in the first place by either Martin (which I find unlikely; I don't think he had enough influence to pull that off—it'd be like Eldest Fetch (spymaster/assassin) manipulating Mab), or the Black Council.

Offline Talby16

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2017, 04:31:21 PM »
I personally think it is a combination of the overkill argument posted by Mr. Death and the need to make a statement. This war was started by one man who refused to back down and the Reds have not been able to put the White Council away despite their big victories (Archangel, attack on the hospital, etc). I think that had the ritual not happened, and the war continued, the Reds would have won due to their ability to replenish their ranks. Their victory would have come with some horrendous losses though due to the power levels of the white council, but superior numbers would have carried the day. They come out the victors, but don't look the greatest. It was a costly, messy war that may leave them open to another group like the Fomer.

To preserve themselves, the Reds needed a quick end to the war and a statement to all the other groups to stay away. The ritual was overkill, but it got them the spectacular death of the man who started this war and one of the WC's biggest hitters. It may even convince the White Council to admit defeat (like the nukes in WWII). At the least, when combined with the biological warfare the White Council could be defeated in short order.

This ritual gives the Reds revenge on the man who started the war, revenge on the man who has done them great harm in the war, a spectacular statement, and a nuclear deterrent. Other posters have mentioned the ritual's drawbacks, but remember that the Red King was suffering from blood lust which was certainly impairing his thoughts and actions. It is certainly possible that some of his lords were similarly affected. This could have made the ritual look even more attractive to them considering the amount of sacrifices that had to go into it.

Offline Mr. Death

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2017, 05:29:01 PM »
Kindler: What you have to remember is that with Wizards, quality > quantity, and Ebenezer and Harry are not just "two dudes."

One is the Blackstaff, probably one of the most deadly wizards on the planet who is personally responsible for nuking a Red Court warlord and his whole retinue, and just generally responsible for a whole hell of a lot of dead Red Court. He's also one of the leaders of the White Council.

The other is a war hero already and an inspiration to a large portion of the White Council; he is growing in power, and he's probably the direct influence and inspiration for a lot of the front-line fighters, like Ramirez.

It's not taking out "two dudes." It's like taking out the President and his cabinet, and breaking the US's nuclear weapons all in one go. Remember that of the 1000 or so wizards in the White Council, only a fraction of them are combat capable, and only a fraction of those come anywhere near Ebenezer or Harry's ability.

So the Red Court isn't just taking out "two dudes." They're taking out two extremely important weapons, both physically and morale-wise.

As for the wards? You're right, they don't know he's at Edinburgh, but at the same time, they can't afford to assume he's not. You don't win a fight by preparing to face an opponent's bare-minimum defenses; you win it by preparing to face him at his best. Anything less and they face the extremely real risk of Ebenezer going, "You call that a spell? I'll show you a spell," and dropping another satellite on their heads.
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Offline SpoonR

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2017, 05:43:42 PM »
Agree with overkill for Eb. At whichever fight it was (maybe right before Molly's execution?), Langtry was warding the reds off singlehandedly. Eb can kill lots of reds at once. I think Langtry is best Senior Council in defense, and Eb is best offense.  Also, apparently the spell either couldn't reach people in NeverNever or was really weakened there. Even if the whole ritual was a trap (I guess to get Eb & Harry out of Edinborough but still in the physical realm), that is awfully specific timing & planning needed.  If Harry hadn't shown up, would they have just kept sacrificing people until he did? Called the ritual off and gone home? Fired the spell and just hoped?

So, let's say it is overkill for Eb and Harry. The actual target is someone who they know will not be in the NeverNever, who they can't reach to do a non-magic kill, who has powerful defenses and/or a very distant link to the victim.

The target is Merlin, imprisoned in Demonreach. The Blackstaff, like the notebooks, has always been passed from parent to (grand)-child, so Harry is a direct blood descendant of Merlin (my WAG, not canon). And Merlin is either part source of Demonreach's power, or a keystone to the spell (spell must be cast at multiple points in time, and the caster must remain in the warded area?)  So killing him will let Nemesis free everything under Demonreach.

or not. My WAG

Offline Kindler

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Re: Who was the real target of the bloodline curse at CI?
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2017, 06:03:34 PM »
Kindler: What you have to remember is that with Wizards, quality > quantity, and Ebenezer and Harry are not just "two dudes."

One is the Blackstaff, probably one of the most deadly wizards on the planet who is personally responsible for nuking a Red Court warlord and his whole retinue, and just generally responsible for a whole hell of a lot of dead Red Court. He's also one of the leaders of the White Council.

The other is a war hero already and an inspiration to a large portion of the White Council; he is growing in power, and he's probably the direct influence and inspiration for a lot of the front-line fighters, like Ramirez.

It's not taking out "two dudes." It's like taking out the President and his cabinet, and breaking the US's nuclear weapons all in one go. Remember that of the 1000 or so wizards in the White Council, only a fraction of them are combat capable, and only a fraction of those come anywhere near Ebenezer or Harry's ability.

So the Red Court isn't just taking out "two dudes." They're taking out two extremely important weapons, both physically and morale-wise.

As for the wards? You're right, they don't know he's at Edinburgh, but at the same time, they can't afford to assume he's not. You don't win a fight by preparing to face an opponent's bare-minimum defenses; you win it by preparing to face him at his best. Anything less and they face the extremely real risk of Ebenezer going, "You call that a spell? I'll show you a spell," and dropping another satellite on their heads.

Granted, Harry and Ebenezer are two highly visible, important players, and killing them both would be a big morale boost. I'm not saying that killing them isn't valuable, but the way tried to do it was dumb. There was no reason to even bother with magic in the first place. The benefits of the ritual were much, much lower than the risk and the cost. I prescribe to the Eeb's school of pragmatic villainy: low-risk murder attempts in enough quantity to get the job done.

Even as a show of force, it wouldn't have been impressive. Like I said before, what are they going to do, brag? "I killed a Senior Council Member and all it took was a thousand human sacrifices and weeks of preparation, alongside a coordinated assault against the White Council with a biological agent that made them sick!" Who are they even trying to impress? It's not like they're best friends with anyone in the supernatural community; the White Court hates them, the Denarians think of them as little more than parasites, and Faerie has nothing but contempt for them.

Maybe as a nuclear deterrent, but I don't know of many of the Council's family situations. It seems to me that the curse requires either a blood relative or direct DNA, like the Storm Front curse. How is that any better than any other magical assault? I get that it would work if Eb was behind the Edinburg wards, sure. But, again, the cost-benefit ratio is way, way skewed to the "cost" side. Imagine how much money they had to spend to get this done without mortal authorities knowing anything about it.

Even if they don't value the human sacrifices, which I get, the whole approach is just needlessly complicated for what they're trying to accomplish. Hell, I'd be willing to bet that Kincaid would even take the contract, given his animosity toward Ebenezer.

To me, that means either their goal isn't what Harry says it is, or they were manipulated into doing it.


Now, however, I'm thinking about it in terms of the Whole Pie; Martin delivers the Fellowship of Saint Giles to the Red King at this point, so if it was coordinated, it makes more sense to me.

But shouldn't the Red King and the Lord of the Outer Night be prepared to capitalize on this? A series of coordinated attacks—the disease, the Fellowship crumbling, and McCoy and Harry going down—should be followed, immediately, with a sweeping assault. It doesn't look like they were doing that. It looked like they were throwing a party before they'd won—and they could have won, if they were smart about it.

I dunno. Maybe Talby16—welcome to the Forums, by the way!—is right in that the blood addiction and mental instability is what guided their approach to this.