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    Postfest III: Command Performance- The Thousand Tales of Ivid V
    Posted on Sat, December 11, 2004 by Dongul
    CruelSummerLord writes "Ten thousand tales told ten thousand times over; all of them have me born to power, chained to a throne, dying in judgement, and all condemn me as a villain - Ivid V

    Command Performance: The Thousand Tales of Ivid V
    By: CruelSummerLord
    Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    "I write this to any and all whom it may concern. For too long I (or we, if you will) have been viewed as simply mad, fiend-ridden, incompetent, or a typical wicked tyrant. It is, perhaps, fitting that I receive the punishment I have been fated from birth to acquire, but before I accept my fate I wish to tell my own story, to reveal, in my own pen and my own words, the truth of Ivid Naelax V."

    "In the previous century, my forefather Ivid I, had been the herzog of North Province, a land long held by House Naelax. But vengeance and a lust for power have long been prevalent in our family, and Ivid desired to repay House Rax for humiliating his house after the Battle of Shamblefield. There is no need to recount the bloody treason and maneuvers that led Ivid I to become the Overking, save for describing one incident, one that would end in tragedy for millions of innocents."

    "My great-great-grandfather had made a pact with devils, literally. In return for the power and glory of the Malachite Throne, he pledged not only his own soul, but the souls of all the sons he would have who would succeed him upon the Malachite Throne. The pact was made and sealed, and Ivid the Herzog became Ivid the Overking. Ivid grew into a vile and wicked tyrant; the devils made their way into his already twisted brain, and he soon passed into insanity, losing none of his vile cunning in the process."

    "When he had a son, the child's fate was sealed; born into a pact the child had never wanted to join, he would be born to incredible power and glory. The son would live like a demigod, holding the power of life and death over millions in his grasp, being able to have his every whim granted... and then, upon his deathbed, he would have it all taken away. He would pass into hell for his judgement, and be punished accordingly. A child, born supposedly innocent, chained to a throne he cannot escape upon attaining manhood, and haunted by the fact that in his old age he would lose it all, and suffer damnation for it. All of this because of a pact he could not escape; his destiny was decided for him before he was born."

    "That thought alone would be enough to drive any man insane. But that is not all. The devils pass into your mind, fracturing your personality and warping your soul. Paranoia, sadism, mania... all these things become your lot in life. Some might say, with justification, that those of House Naelax possess these traits without any sort of insanity or possession by fiends. But these inherited traits are magnified by our conditions, and our problems manifest themselves in insanity."

    "I know full well that I have suffered from this. I could work in my study, never sleeping for days at a time, before emerging to viciously kill or maim people, even my own kin, to relieve my tension or boredom. My nights brought me little sleep, but many nightmares and delusions. My many personalities could argue with each other in different voices, as if a dozen different people spoke through me, and perhaps they did. I could order men to invade foreign countries, to burn the houses of peasants, and fall on their own swords. Why did I do that? Because I had the power, and I was willing to use it."

    "At times, I felt as if I was going to escape the fate that had befallen the four previous Ivids. I would restore the glory of the Great Kingdom of Aerdy, an empire to last eternal. At other times, I felt consumed with a frenzy of hatred for my enemies, especially the Golden League, and grew determined to destroy them in a mighty war as was done at the Battle of a Fortnight's Length so long ago. I might felt as if my power was slipping away, and wanted to use it before it was gone forever. I also secretly feared what was coming, and desired to go down in a blaze of glory, taking as many people as I could with me. Another personality, the small, sad part of me that was not wholly given over to evil, and kept my humanity, wondered at the futility of it all, to be born into this agreement, unable to escape it, and what it will mean for you."

    "I had always loved the theater ever since I was a child, and would stand alone in my throne room, the voices of my different personalities speaking through me in different voices, reciting poem and soliloquoy that showed so many different personalities... or were they all aspects of the same twisted, wretched thing I had become? I could not know for sure-whatever personality I had, whether it be one or many, I hid them behind theatrical masks. Despite my madness, I could be cunning, glib and eloquent. My skills at diplomacy led me to accomplish the impossible; to unite the entire force of the Great Kingdom into an assault, one final assault, upon Nyrond and the Iron League. That small part of me not given over to evil, saddened at my lost life, knew that this would be my last campaign."

    "I led brlliantly, and our forces would have crushed every one of our foes. But I neglected the fact that my armies, and indeed my kingdom, had crumbled benath me. Power-struggles, intrigues, long-standing feuds, anger and resentment at my policies and my actions, all exploded in a frenzy that destroyed my own war effort and caused my army and then my kingdom to fall apart beneath me. The same emotions I had felt so long whirled through my head, and my sanity returned for this one moment, to write this small account of my tale, who I am, and how I came to be."

    "This, then, is my command performance. Judge my actions how you will, consider both my sins and the reasons I may have had behind them. As I write this, I am a man at the end of the world. Rebels are storming my palace; the voices scream in my head; my servants are all in revolt. I know that ten thousand tales will be spun from the conflict now known as the Greyhawk Wars. Each of those tales will be told ten thousand times over, and all of them will condemn me as a villain. Indeed I am evil, I know that, it is the finale I cannot escape. I await the time when I shall meet Dread Hextor; and so, to whomever reads this, I offer it to you. Make of it what you will."

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    Re: Command Performance: The Thousand Tales of Ivid V (Score: 1)
    by abysslin ( on Wed, December 15, 2004
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    lol, Ivid the Victim of Circumstance!

    heh heh, I like it ) Pretty cool take CSL.

    Re: Command Performance: The Thousand Tales of Ivid V (Score: 1)
    by Shalaban on Thu, December 16, 2004
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    Insightful. This adds even more depth to the "Ivid" NPC's throughout their lineage. It just goes to show ya- POWER; Is hard to come by.

    Re: Command Performance: The Thousand Tales of Ivid V (Score: 1)
    by Argon on Fri, January 07, 2005
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    Bravo Bravo... A perfect article the story was great knowing all that he was responsible for and how he went about enacting his policies to read this account many might feel sorry for the ill begotten Ivid V. The character development was solid and you made this NPC your own. a perfect article indeed!

    Re: Command Performance: The Thousand Tales of Ivid V (Score: 1)
    by CruelSummerLord on Sun, January 09, 2005
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    Thanks a lot, everyone. As always, I really appreciate the feedback and reviews both good and bad. I'm particularly pleased with this piece because it puts a real moral ambiguity on the villain, whether he's a victim of circumstance and whether he deserves to be blamed for his crimes.

    This little offering obviously can't compete with something like the character of Marcus Brutus from Shakespeeare's Julius Caesar, but both characters seem to have the same problem. One might argue that Brutus had to kill Caesar because of the danger Caesar's actions posed, but others might condemn Brutus as a traitor and a murderer who literally stabbed a trusted friend in the back to keep that friend from becoming too powerful.

    In Ivid's case, one can easily condemn him as a power-hungry maniac who's consumed with the desire to make as many people as he can suffer the same fate he will, or even to resort to bloodshed in order to save his own hide.

    But one can also see it from Ivid's point of view; you're born into something you can't control, that gives you everything you could ever want, only to take it all away again, after which you'll be condemned to hell for the rest of eternity and suffer a punishment for a deal you were never even part of in the first place. What would that do to a man? He knows his doom is coming; he knows the end of the world is would any man react in a situation like that?

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