September 19, 2011
Avbaroy is a very strange amalgamation of genres, from steampunk, to Cold War Russia, to medieval Europe, to Japanese animation, so how do they all manage to coexist in a single narrative?
The answer is to treat them all with the same credibility. Take for example the Pikalites.
They have a serious origin, they were created in Arcania as a slave labour force but released from bondage when they demonstrated intelligence, and survived Arcania’s fall to found their own nation beyond the Empire’s realm of sight.
They have serious cultures and politics, fundamentally Imperialist as they descend from their Emperor leader, Ari Chu, though perhaps a lot more mild than feudal Japan actually was.
Meanwhile we are constantly faced with what they actually are: Small yellow rodents with red cheek pads, eerily similar to their namesake, Pikachu, the Pokemon poster-mon. So whilst they are indeed quite absurd, they’re also capable of throwing weight around equal to any other absurd or believable element in the story.
Another, perhaps more extreme, scenario then: Azul Bufon, from Book 2.
Azul is a clockwork android, with a conglomeration of 21 souls. Alright, that’s pretty close to Steampunk territory, but he’s also intended to serve as a literal plot device by his creators, led by their deity who is believed to be the God of the world’s plot. Very meta, and additionally absurd.
So how is he treated with credibility? Well, he’s fundamentally insane, but that doesn’t mean his actions are without reason, however shrouded it may be initially. And he does have lucid periods, during which he’s a rather endearing and tragic character, especially to another member of our cast, something we’ll explore later.
It would be very easy to just say “poof Azul turns up and does stuff to make it happen”, but he’s not a god in himself nor does his god personally will everything in the world to happen, more carves the riverbed a little to alter the flow the water cuts across the land. Azul has turned up in key places to guide things, but whilst he may be divinely inspired he’s not infallible (far from it, he is after all insane) and to date he’s actually done very little.
Azul’s true credibility is something that’ll be displayed later on with a full revelation of events taking place, so unfortunately I can’t say too much lest I riddle you all with spoilers.
This is an unfortunately brief blog today, I’m afraid there isn’t much to be said on this subject. Simply put you can have mighty dwarven lords deep in the tallest mountains, towering figures of arcane might, and small, three-legged, green spacehoppers and have them all work perfectly well in the setting, provided they are all given the same credibility and not merely used for comedic effect where others are treated with dignity and gravitas.