Monday, August 3, 2009

I Alone Love You, I Alone Tempt You

I should have posted this months ago when I first came up with it. Luckily, they were playing Live's I Alone on the way home from the doctor's office and I remembered.

Live's song, I Alone, has the following lyrics (in part):

I'll read to you here, save your eyes
You'll need them, your boat is at sea
Your anchor is up, you've been swept away
And the greatest of teachers won't hesitate
To leave you there, by yourself,
Chained to fate

I alone love you
I alone tempt you
I alone love you
Fear is not the end of this!

The beginning of the song conjures the image of a dark god talking to a goblin or other supposedly fell creature. The goblin wishes to better himself, to escape his station as a pawn of evil. However, as the dark god explains, "I alone love you" (only the dark god cares about the goblin; the heroes of good are constantly killing his people and the general populace is prejudiced towards and afraid of him), "I alone tempt you" (the love is not a one way street from dark god to goblin; both recognize the innate lure of evil and darkness in the goblin's soul; therefore, the power and words of the dark god are tempting to the goblin despite its lofty dreams and desire of good intentions). Finally, the dark god explains that fear is not the end of this (the goblin's myriad fears, of falling back into the darkness of his people, of prejudice and rejection by good people, of making a life-changing, nay, defining decision that is also a point of no return, closing off the other avenue forever).

The short scene that plays out in my mind sees the goblin leading the party to the dark god to defeat him. Throughout their adventures together, the goblin shows that he is actively fighting against his darker tendencies (whether in-born or cultural) and honestly striving towards good but he is still a ways off. When the party finally encounters the dark god, he explains to the goblin the words above, "I alone love you; I alone tempt you" and the goblin recognizes this as true and turns on his friends, though the pain of doing so is clear.

It is a definite, "but this is who I am; I'm sorry" kind of moment, where someone does something they really don't because they perceive it as their identity and feel they must remain true to who they are. Gang members who have to turn against non-gang friends are a good example of what I am trying to get across; a gang member must keep up appearances for the gang even when it hurts to do so. Likewise, for the goblin to fight against the dark god on the side of the party would require him to turn his back on his entire race and that is a difficult thing to do, even when your race is generally evilly inclined. Think of Red Cloak from Order of the Stick and his championing of the goblin race.

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