A Song For Nybbas

By James Walker


Rumour is everything in The Media, so when young hotshots started hearing that The Boss wanted to muscle in on The Marches, they got cracking. Here is just one side effect of Nybbas' plans to broadcast into dreamscapes:

Video Collection

Currently only an Ethereal version of this Song exists; of course "spin off" Corporeal & Celestial versions are planned, but these things take time. The performer of the Song gets to "watch" an hour long episode of Muses(tm) [described below]; no real world time passes - the effect is similar to the Celestial Song of Blades. Multiple performers can perform a chorus, allowing them to watch the episode together; however the need to concentrate on the show limits the Song's usefulness for planning - although this can be a great way of making friends.

Countless Variants of the Song exist - Muses is well into third season - each one a different episode. Video Collection is an Ornamental Song (LC p46) and learning it does not cost any character points; however if multiple Variants are known, points must be spent to keep the Variants separate, and prevent episodes from becoming mixed. Each cp spent allows the character to keep track of half a season; every point spent beyond the first increases the level at which the Song is known by 1.

Bonus: Creation, The Media
Essence Required: 1
Disturbance: the Check Digit squared. The performer can choose a CD of 1, if they wish.


Basically a TV drama, Muses is based on the War, emphasising the efforts of Dreams, Creation & The Media: the central characters seek to inspire humans (especially musicians) to great artistic efforts which will benefit either Heaven or Hell. Muses panders to the biases of both Blandine & Nybbas, and exaggerates them - the heroes are continually having to protect their charges from collateral damage caused by the War Factions of both sides, especially from War, Stone, Death & The War; while financial difficulty caused by Greed & Trade are an ongoing problem. And of course, Lightning is always trying to prevent the use of new, revolutionary uses of technology (or is that Technology?) - neither Technology nor Nightmares is ever mentioned. The show is actually quite good; and both sides are shown in a favourable light - Heaven wins as often as not, and the shows soundtrack is superb, often justified as the work of humans inspired by the characters. No matter which side wins, the emphasis is on the great music that the clash has created. Interestingly, The Sword is usually shown in a positive light; although often shown as young and naive, Laurencians are invariably trying to do the right thing: generally making peace between Heaven's warmongers and the heroes, or dealing with the latest problem created by Saminga or Baal. If they fail, it's invariably because of the ignorance of their violent 'allies', and they're always willing to listen to Dreamers. Even their resistance to the presence of Ethereals is shown as well meaning: "You think the Hindu godlings are good? Really? Fine - spend a few decades as an untouchable, and you'll see what they're really like!" - although the heroes are shown as basically pro-ethereal.

The Media's Plan

So what's going on? It's simple enough: Sunday morning, a Nybbassan Songmaster enters The Marches and performs this weeks Variant repeatedly, and then leaves before someone kills him. Most fans will learn the Variant (especially Seraphim of Dreams), and their performances of the Song enable the other fans to learn it.

Why are they doing this? That's more complicated. The Game is kept appeased with the argument that this is soaking up Heavenly essence, and that time spent learning this Song distracts the fans from learning Songs that could hurt Hell. Nybbas has been sold on the idea of advertising the The Media as a good employer to angelic dreamcrafters: second only to Creationers as potential recruits, he wants to poach as many Fallen Dreamers from Beleth as possible - and helping Creationers Fall doesn't hurt, either. Kronos just likes the idea of making Hell look tempting, to encourage angels to Fall - the reason The Sword is shown in a good light is to pander to the egos of the Guardians.

But the Songs' creator is in it for the money. The show makes a fortune in advertising - having a Lilim of Gluttony advertising her food on the show, and self-geas to deliver a sample pack to any address given via the Celestial Song of Tongues creates a deluge of orders, from angels, demons, humans and ethereals. (She needs to be a Word Bound Seneschal to cope with the essence, and need her Sisters to cope with the demand!) Because of the wide human audience, sales made by sending essence to a representative in Limbo have also proven profitable. Cities with (un)official truces often advertise locales in their cities where you can mingle with other fans - these sites often become recruiting grounds for Soldiers, or places to Fall or Redeem.

And of course, there's fan mail. Requests for more of a favoured character; suggestions for the future; simple "you are so cool" letters - all come on the backs of essence. The show is careful to use the (best) advice from their fans, realising just how much essence is there, waiting to be tapped; and occasionally run 'surveys' or even (on one occasion) said that the designer for one character was in Limbo - could fans send any essence they had to spare her way, so that the character could return in a hurry? (that scam resulted in several level/6 Vessels).

Of course, some of the profits are ploughed back into the show. Balseraphs of Fate are now employed as consultants, ensuring that the angelic characters act appropriately for their choirs (and now, the characters are designed so that Celestial "viewers" can use their Perception based resonances on the characters, making the show more real for them). Music, paintings, fine clothing - anything that would attract the heroes attention, and please the fans - is commissioned for the show, with only the finest being accepted.

It's not TV piped into dreamscapes, but it's not a bad start - as the Distinctions Nybbas gave the shows creator proved.


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