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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    Score one for Team Metaphorical!
    Anyone else find it funny that, prior to #946, "Malack was being metaphorical" was what people who thought "vampires = original soul in charge" said, but now it's flipped?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    elan: dad plz dont kill roy
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    Damn it! Now I have to rewrite the script for #917.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    {scrubbed}

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falbrogna View Post
    Less understandable is why no moderator has done something about it.
    If you find another poster's posting to be objectionable, report them.

    If you have an issue with how the board is moderated, I'd suggest PMing an Admin and addressing your concerns privately.

    But I don't think making a passing comment on the Open Forum is going to do much good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gift Jeraff View Post
    Anyone else find it funny that, prior to #946, "Malack was being metaphorical" was what people who thought "vampires = original soul in charge" said, but now it's flipped?
    Well, what's ironic for me is I based "vampires = original soul in charge" mostly on my misremembering what Rich had to say about Durkon getting vamped. I'm not sure who first said it was for 'character devlopment reasons', but, sadly, I was more than eager to further that meme along before going back and actually reading what Rich had to say, in full context.
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  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    If you find another poster's posting to be objectionable, report them.

    If you have an issue with how the board is moderated, I'd suggest PMing an Admin and addressing your concerns privately.

    But I don't think making a passing comment on the Open Forum is going to do much good.
    Thanks, gonna do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwynfrid View Post
    I guess if I read the entire 200+ posts I might understand... Why so many sad faces?
    Just as a recap
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    I think a lot of people don't like what this means for Malack and his character. In other words, many see the OOTS vampire as robbing Malack of any character development or meaning.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    I'm sure the Giant will tell us a fantastic story, I just personally don't enjoy the Buffyverse take on vampires.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxzan Proditor View Post
    I don't think they care about positive things happening to him, more like seeing him be a more complex character.
    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    It mostly just means that Malack was nothing more than a custom-made EEEEEEEEEEEEVIL CREATURE who didn't become evil so much as never really make an independent choice in his entire undeath. That takes away some of the impact from the character; it means that he really WAS nothing more than a minion following orders, rather than an independent being who became monstrous through his own choices.

    Those tend to feel more monstrous to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I'm disappointed because I think the *other* type of vampire--e.g. the one where Durkon is in control, but is forced by the vampirism into evil acts that twist his personality--is more interesting than the Buffy-type "Oh, a demon took over".

    This is basically it.
    Instead of a guy who became a monster we get a standard evil spirit, to some people, me included, it kind of takes away from the character from a writing perspective (though I'm certain the Giant will still make good use of this material).
    I was never fond of the Buffy-vampires either, and was really glad when they replaced the whole "demon took over" with split personalities and lost soul stuff.
    Last edited by Falbrogna; 2014-04-18 at 06:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Hmmm. I'm surprised that I summed it up well enough to be included in your recap.
    How vampires work in OOTS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oppyu View Post
    There is nothing more emblematic of this forum than three or four pages of debate between people who, as it turns out, pretty much agree with each other.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Well, it is really simple in essence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falbrogna View Post
    Instead of a guy who became a monster we get a standard evil spirit
    Exactly as much of a "standard evil spirit" as Sabine, yes—still capable of making choices and undergoing character growth and developing affection for people. I've personally always thought of Sabine as an interesting character, but YMMV.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falbrogna View Post
    Well, it is really simple in essence.
    Yes, but since I disagree with those sadfaces, I wasn't sure I could sum up their side properly.
    How vampires work in OOTS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oppyu View Post
    There is nothing more emblematic of this forum than three or four pages of debate between people who, as it turns out, pretty much agree with each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Exactly as much of a "standard evil spirit" as Sabine, yes—still capable of making choices and undergoing character growth and developing affection for people. I've personally always thought of Sabine as an interesting character, but YMMV.
    Exactly. They're focusing on the vehicle and not the message. It's like calling Warm Bodies as a zombie movie. It's not. It's a movie about shutting yourself out from the world being compared to being dead. The fact that they're zombies is irrelevant to the message of the characters. They'd come across the same with any number of monsters or even normal humans. It's like dismissing Star Wars as a movie about laser swords or Lord of the Rings as a movie about orcs. Those are just tools in the story, interchangeable with any number of tools to serve the same narrative. Even Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn't about vampires. They were always tools to tell a story about the characters.

    The origin of the being known as Malack has zero impact on the story. We were never going to see a whole vampire mythos with mysterious cabals and tormented anti-heroes. The story hasn't suffered at all, because it's not about the vampire. That's just the vehicle Rich chose.

    I almost wish he had just called it a Burlew's Magic Body Thief, just to save all the inflated expectations that always seem to follow the introduction of a vampire in a story.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    Exactly as much of a "standard evil spirit" as Sabine, yes—still capable of making choices and undergoing character growth and developing affection for people. I've personally always thought of Sabine as an interesting character, but YMMV.
    Sabine is a fascinating character in large part because she's not in lockstep with her bosses' orders and has displayed initiative towards accomplishing her own wants and goals even at the expense of her bosses' plans.
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Thanks for the clarification. It makes a bit more sense now. I don't share that disappointment, because I think those who see it that way are mourning the lack of something (Malack's character development, descent into evil etc) that we were never going to see in the first place. So they're missing the sense that such development potentially existed, not the development itself. That's kinda too abstract for me. But hey, I understand the point.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    Sabine is a fascinating character in large part because she's not in lockstep with her bosses' orders and has displayed initiative towards accomplishing her own wants and goals even at the expense of her bosses' plans.
    There's no reason to think Malack was a slave to Nergal (though, as a cleric, I'm sure he wanted to support him), and no reason to think Durkula couldn't develop some independence as well.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my View Post
    There's no reason to think Malack was a slave to Nergal (though, as a cleric, I'm sure he wanted to support him), and no reason to think Durkula couldn't develop some independence as well.

    "At any rate, your original query was moot. Living or dead, we are all of us marching to our orders--you no less than I, Durkon. It does not matter whence those orders come, be it man or god. Our place is as an obedient slave to those who command us."


    Slave? Nah. Slavish devotion? Oh, yes.

    I'm mostly just saying that I had believed Malack's plan to have been of his own devising, something the powerful creature had wrought himself as he forged his way through unlife, willingly subordinating himself to a cause he found himself drawn to. Now, it seems more likely that he was simply created with a plan of subjugation in mind, one that was edited on the fly when Tarquin came along.
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    I'm mostly just saying that I had believed Malack's plan to have been of his own devising, something the powerful creature had wrought himself as he forged his way through unlife, willingly subordinating himself to a cause he found himself drawn to. Now, it seems more likely that he was simply created with a plan of subjugation in mind, one that was edited on the fly when Tarquin came along.
    So what, exactly, makes that the more likely case? As opposed to, say, Nergal being like "Dude, make more vampires" and Malack coming up with the exact means to do so?

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Or, for that matter, Malack's subservience to Nergal being exactly like Durkon's subservience to Thor, or any Lawful cleric's devotion to her/his god?

    I don't think we've been told "every vampire is a devoted servant of an evil god." Rich might be meaning that. But so far, all I see is that a vampire cleric who comes under the Northern pantheon will automatically be a cleric of Hel, one who comes under the Western pantheon will automatically be a cleric of Nergal, and both Durkon and Malack were/are awfully lawful. Based on that, I'm prepared to surmise that a certain someone here, had he become a vampire, would have automatically been a cleric of Rat. I'm even prepared to surmise that if Miko had become a vampire, she would have been a blackguard who obsessively worshipped Rat. But I'm not prepared to say that, had Xykon been turned into a vampire, the Xykon-vampire would have cared in the slightest that his dark spirit was birthed in Hel's hall; I think most likely he would have done almost exactly what the Xykon-lich has done, for the greater glory of whatshisname the vampire, not for the greater glory of Hel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    You also thought "vampire being mind controlled" was a different kind of vampire, so...:P

    It mostly just means that Malack was nothing more than a custom-made EEEEEEEEEEEEVIL CREATURE who didn't become evil so much as never really make an independent choice in his entire undeath. That takes away some of the impact from the character; it means that he really WAS nothing more than a minion following orders, rather than an independent being who became monstrous through his own choices.

    Those tend to feel more monstrous to me. Still, it's Rich's story and Rich's characters, and that I wouldn't have written it that way means less than nothing.
    This is a baffling assertion. Malack had free will. He was an Evil person, in the same way that Redcloak is an Evil person. If he was slavishly loyal to Nergal, that was because he was a cleric, not because he was a vampire. He chose to be devoted to something larger than himself when he could have just rampaged around the continent draining people. Everything he did, every action you saw him take, was his own decision. Nothing about the metaphysics of how vampirism works changes anything. Even in the scenarios you would have preferred, if Nergal gave him a direct order, he still would have been obligated to follow it as a high-level Lawful priest. The end result is all the same. You're inserting your own biases and assumptions, mostly culled from a 20-year-old television show, into the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loreweaver15 View Post
    I'm mostly just saying that I had believed Malack's plan to have been of his own devising, something the powerful creature had wrought himself as he forged his way through unlife, willingly subordinating himself to a cause he found himself drawn to. Now, it seems more likely that he was simply created with a plan of subjugation in mind, one that was edited on the fly when Tarquin came along.
    Nergal is not Hel. It is a mistake to think that two different characters—even two gods with the same portfolio—have the same history, disposition, and goals. Do not confuse how Hel is interacting with her cleric (who just happens to be a vampire) with how another god interacts with his cleric (who happens to be a vampire).
    Rich Burlew


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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    The fact that he says "Living or dead, we are all..." suggests he's not really talking about vampire-demons in particular, no? It sounds to me more like an expression of Lawful philosophy.

    Anyway, I'm not saying that Durkula or Malack are necessarily going to be as sneaky as Sabine. I would, in fact, be surprised if they were; they're both devoted lawful clerics, and I don't think turning Durkula against Hel is where the story is going. But they're not golems; there's nothing about being demons that makes them inherently slavish. Malack is no less able to make choices than he was when you thought he was a corrupted soul.

  18. - Top - End - #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This is a baffling assertion. Malack had free will. He was an Evil person, in the same way that Redcloak is an Evil person. If he was slavishly loyal to Nergal, that was because he was a cleric, not because he was a vampire. He chose to be devoted to something larger than himself when he could have just rampaged around the continent draining people. Everything he did, every action you saw him take, was his own decision. Nothing about the metaphysics of how vampirism works changes anything. Even in the scenarios you would have preferred, if Nergal gave him a direct order, he still would have been obligated to follow it as a high-level Lawful priest. The end result is all the same. You're inserting your own biases and assumptions, mostly culled from a 20-year-old television show, into the situation.
    Note that this is Malack-as-we-knew-him, the result of 200+years of vampire. Malack's free will is not dependent on lizard-folk-shaman's free will. The vampire spirit spawned by Nergal was not a mere extension of his divine will, but a newborn (neg-E) soul.

    None of this is necessarily "obvious" - it's simply how Rich sees the system working.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This is a baffling assertion. Malack had free will. He was an Evil person, in the same way that Redcloak is an Evil person. If he was slavishly loyal to Nergal, that was because he was a cleric, not because he was a vampire. He chose to be devoted to something larger than himself when he could have just rampaged around the continent draining people. Everything he did, every action you saw him take, was his own decision. Nothing about the metaphysics of how vampirism works changes anything. Even in the scenarios you would have preferred, if Nergal gave him a direct order, he still would have been obligated to follow it as a high-level Lawful priest. The end result is all the same. You're inserting your own biases and assumptions, mostly culled from a 20-year-old television show, into the situation.



    Nergal is not Hel. It is a mistake to think that two different characters—even two gods with the same portfolio—have the same history, disposition, and goals. Do not confuse how Hel is interacting with her cleric (who just happens to be a vampire) with how another god interacts with his cleric (who happens to be a vampire).
    You know what? You're right, I am a bit biased, and I guess I was misreading the context of Malack's characterization to come to the conclusion that he was just carrying out the mission he was created for rather than one of his own devising. I really don't like people like Malack, people so capital-L Lawful that orders become a morality unto themselves, and I was letting that seep into my perceptions about the character.

    Sorry for kicking up such a fuss about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NerdyKris View Post
    Exactly. They're focusing on the vehicle and not the message.
    Not really, no.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    As someone who's argued that this is how vampirism works since the 'Stake Not-Durkon/Dinnae Stake Not-Durkon' debates of earlier this year, I'm going to take this moment to gloat about being right, again.

    Ok, moment over. Now to go back to being wrong about everything else. You know, I really think those plucky upstarts from the Thieves Guild have a chance at securing the final gate for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Falbrogna View Post
    Instead of a guy who became a monster we get a standard evil spirit, to some people, me included, it kind of takes away from the character from a writing perspective (though I'm certain the Giant will still make good use of this material).
    I was never fond of the Buffy-vampires either, and was really glad when they replaced the whole "demon took over" with split personalities and lost soul stuff.
    Two things. I think calling Malack a 'standard evil spirit' robs him of all of the three dimensional characterization that he showed in the comic.

    Secondly, having someone being forced to convert to evil against their will (ie literally becoming a monster) has a LOT of Unfortunate Implications that have been discussed to death on this forum. Upto and including loss of agency. Now exploring those implications might be great in a Horror themed work (Gothic, or otherwise), but perhaps less so in an Heroic Fantasy themed work.

    Relatedly, note how Rich said that the 'evil spirit' had free will. That means it could have chosen not to be Eeeeeeevil. It could have learned lessons from (un)life and chosen different goals and aspiriations. But it didn't. Long before we ever saw it, it became the Malack We Saw.

    Malack wasn't a guy who became a monster. He was a guy that decided to STAY a monster. Just as much room to explore themes here as the reverse.

    Sure, there's a place for the Anne Rice/White Wolf/True Blood type vampires. But the Vampire Mythos itself is so broad and deep that it can go in any number of directions. In fact, I might even say that the Anne Rice/White Wolf/True Blood vampire archtype is so prevelant nowadays that a different take on it is refreshing.

    That Rich is able to keep his vampires three dimensional and not cartoon villains shows his writing chops, I would say.
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    I have to wonder, though. Suppose, hypothetically, after Durkon was resurrected, the Order encountered another vampire--one who didn't seem to be doing anything wrong, not even sitting "benignly" near the head of an evil empire. This hypothetical vampire is not a cleric. This hypothetical vampire has a workaround for needing to feed on sapients that works at least as well as Roy's drink-from-volunteer-and-cast Restoration scheme (the details of this are not important here). This hypothetical vampire is nothing but helpful to the Order. Durkon asks guardedly, and the vampire readily confirms that he is the dark spirit that initially took over the body, born in the hall of Hel or Nergal or Rat; the original spirit has not somehow gained ascendency. The vampire will not comment either way on the original spirit being happy to be dormant or the original spirit being as horrified by its imprisonment as Durkon was, or on the original spirit being more noble than O-Chul, more gentle than Celia, or more monstrous than Xykon. The vampire does not wish to be destroyed, does not wish to relinquish the body, and does not consider his relationship to the body's original tenant any of the Order's business.

    I wonder what Durkon would do, but more than that, I wonder what Rich would consider the Order should do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    I wonder what Durkon would do, but more than that, I wonder what Rich would consider the Order should do.
    I wonder, too. I suppose it would all boil down to that conveniently-inaccessible information about whether or not the original soul is bound against its will: if it is, I expect Durkon, Rich, and most people would be in favor of severing the vampiric connection. Speaking from my own viewpoint, I would expect that a fully-informed Order, now knowing how a vampire's soul-imprisonment works, would probably by default attempt to stake the thing and release the soul.

    I would, however, love to hear the exception to such a theory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    If he was slavishly loyal to Nergal, that was because he was a cleric, not because he was a vampire.
    But why was he a cleric? The living Malack was a shaman of some sort, which implies he worshipped spirits rather than a specific god; what caused him to change to a cleric of Nergal? If that decision was made by the evil spirit post-vampirisation then that, to me, is exactly the same as if the spirit itself was slavishly loyal to Nergal. Or am I misunderstanding what "shaman" means in respect of the living Malack?

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    But why was he a cleric? The living Malack was a shaman of some sort, which implies he worshipped spirits rather than a specific god; what caused him to change to a cleric of Nergal? If that decision was made by the evil spirit post-vampirisation then that, to me, is exactly the same as if the spirit itself was slavishly loyal to Nergal. Or am I misunderstanding what "shaman" means in respect of the living Malack?
    Shamans are a diverse lot, and can worship anything from vague land spirits to puppets to established deities of the creator pantheons.
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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Porthos View Post
    Two things. I think calling Malack a 'standard evil spirit' robs him of all of the three dimensional characterization that he showed in the comic.
    He's a "standard evil spirit" in that he was born evil rather than becoming it. That didn't really change, though the rest of your points are valid.

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post

    Likewise, any assumptions that characters in the comic know or understand the details of how this process occurs on a detailed internal level should be thrown out the window. They don't. Being a vampire is super-rare; being returned to life after being a vampire so you can share the logistics of how it worked from your point of view in such a way that it entered a general body of knowledge that people would have learned about in the course of their education is simply not something that has ever occurred.
    Wait, what about how HPoH said that "Usually, the process takes a few months", like he knew about the details?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This is a baffling assertion. Malack had free will. He was an Evil person, in the same way that Redcloak is an Evil person. If he was slavishly loyal to Nergal, that was because he was a cleric, not because he was a vampire. He chose to be devoted to something larger than himself when he could have just rampaged around the continent draining people. Everything he did, every action you saw him take, was his own decision. Nothing about the metaphysics of how vampirism works changes anything. Even in the scenarios you would have preferred, if Nergal gave him a direct order, he still would have been obligated to follow it as a high-level Lawful priest. The end result is all the same. You're inserting your own biases and assumptions, mostly culled from a 20-year-old television show, into the situation.
    Wait, then why are most undead in the comic evil? Why is Tsukiko portrayed as so ignorant for thinking that undead are good?

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaDzilla View Post
    Wait, then why are most undead in the comic evil? Why is Tsukiko portrayed as so ignorant for thinking that undead are good?
    Most undead are not fully sentient. Lichs (how DO you plural lich?) have the ritual itself be evil somehow, and vampires are evil spirits possessing what is essentially a corpse, albeit a non-rotting one.

    most non-sentient undead are considered evil because either the guys who made the rules decided it was evil for no reason other than they needed some evil spells, or because the act of defiling a corpse in that way is evil (or both)
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Vampire question settled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Lichs (how DO you plural lich?)
    Liches.

    Also, I always thought that Tsukiko was portrayed as ignorant for thinking that the unsentient/non-free-willed had free will.
    How vampires work in OOTS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oppyu View Post
    There is nothing more emblematic of this forum than three or four pages of debate between people who, as it turns out, pretty much agree with each other.

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