Plot Hook: Vidatsy

By Douglas Muir


In my next-to-last campaign, the PCs made several visits to the Eighth Virtue (the floating "Malakite bar" from You Are Here).

While there, they several times encountered a Malakite of the Sword, one Vidatsy by name*, who had a hook at the end of his arm. Vidatsy was missing a hand. And it wasn't just his Vessel, either -- Vidatsy had the Crippled Discord at level 3.

But the other Malakim treated him, not just with tolerance, but with respect. And whenever the PCs asked what the story was (Discordant Virtues being vanishingly rare IMC), non-Malakim would shrug, and Malakim would get poker-faced and change the subject.

The PCs were mildly curious, but nobody ever quite got up the nerve to ask Vidatsy about his Discord directly. And that's a good thing, because I really had no idea what the answer was. I had dropped the one-handed Virtue into the bar on a whim, as an example of a slightly unusual Malakite, and also as a maybe-someday potential... plot hook. But I never actually worked out his backstory.

And I never have. One-Hand Vidatsy has stayed in the back of my head for a couple of years now, and I still have no idea how he managed to get that Discord. I don't know why nobody knows the true story but Malakim, and why they won't talk about it. Nor why Laurence hasn't stripped it from him.

It's trickier than it sounds. Scars can be a badge of honor for a human, but Discord comes from Dissonance -- and Dissonance, for a Malakite, is always a thing of horror and shame. IMC, the (very rare) Malakim with Discord are viewed by their fellows, and view themselves, as carrying a shameful badge of failure. Their status is noticeably diminished, and they're usually almost obsessive about getting it removed ASAP.

Your campaign may be different, of course... but, given these constraints, how can we explain the mysterious Vidatsy? I've never been able to do it.

So I'm throwing it open to all comers. Anyone?

* If it's any help, "Vidatsy" means something like "Look!" or "You must see!" in various Slavic languages. May be relevant, maybe not.


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