Rashid al-Jabbar, a Mythender Fated
So, I get to show off two kick-ass things today: one is a character sheet Fred Hicks made for Mythender, and another is one of my home group’s Mythenders — a Spanish Muslim noble who had traveled to Mythic Norden in order to convert the world.
Specifically, I’m going tell you about the two Fates the all Mythenders know await them: The Mortal Fate to die, and the Mythic Fate to become corrupted and twisted into mythic godhood.
In our last game, they fought a particularly difficult being, a dead Valkyrie who was being compelled by another to poison the spring with her eternally-flowing blood. That ended up being the hardest fight I’ve even run, where they really thought that the three of them were going to fail.
They forgot, for a moment, that they were playing Mythenders. Failure can happen, but only if they consider the price of success too dear — the price of progressing their Fate.
Mike’s character almost paid that price. He kept tapping into his mythic nature and progressing his Mythic Fate, as seen on his sheet. Along with that, he was hit hard in one round that caused him to lose all his Thunder dice, thus requiring him to choose between staying out of the rest of the fight, or coming back in by checking off one of the Mortal Fate boxes.
He did, and at the end of the labor they were victorious. But Rashid al-Jabbar was in danger both of dying and of becoming a Myth — both fates that await every Mythender loomed over him.
Here’s where we get to why Mythender’s are so powerful — when they lose all of their Thunder dice, they are merely taken out of the fight. They aren’t dead. Of course, they cannot partake in the spoils after their fellow Mythenders are victorious, or do anything to help keep their fellows from failing, but that’s the price of being out. Being safe. Being alive.
Or, you could put your own life on the line, your Mortal Fate to Die, and come back into the fight with more dice. You don’t cheat death and leave the fight; you embrace the wound that would kill lesser men and continue fighting. The most important thing is that we do not know if you’ll die until the end of the labor. We do not know if that mortal wound will be the one that kills you, not until you have had a chance to be victorious one more time.
Similarly, each Mythender can tap into their own mythic nature and draw power to conquer their adversaries. Each time they do, they push themselves closer and closer to revealing what they’re destined to become, their Mantle of Power. And each time, they risk being pushed closer to their Mythic Fate, to become the very thing they’re ending, to be ended by their friends. But that is such a small price to pay for incredible power in the moment — and like the Mortal Fate, it is something that a Mythender only succumbs to at the end of a fight.
Mike’s character had to deal with both, and Fate is cruel. He tossed a single die, hoping it was low. When you check your fate, that’s what you do — look at the lowest number checked, and hope you roll lower than that. There is no appeal to the die with Mythic Fate, and a very costly appeal with Mortal Fate.
The die rolled 3. The only kindness a Mythender facing down both Fates has when rolling is that he needn’t declare which Fate he’s rolling for until after the die is cast — in the end, facing utter annihilation or corruption, a Mythender still has some pull over Fate. Mike chose for that to be the die for his Mythic Fate, thus avoiding that for a time.
The die was rolled again, for his Mortal Fate. It landed 6. Rashid al-Jabbar was to sentenced to die.
Mike would refuse that. He spent his last remaining Stolen Power — the very power a Mythender can use to achieve their Impossible Drive, the very power that Rashid al-Jabbar would need to create a world where all worshipped Allah — to reroll his Mortal Fate die. It landed 2. Rashid al-Jabbar cheated Fate, at a dear price.
And now Rashid, after choking the unlife from this poisonous Valkyrie, knows that his chances of creating the world he wills is that much more unlikely. And now Rashid, after spending the last of his stolen power, knows what it means to have the Fates hovering over him, ready to feast.
He will have to spend a long time being mortal, to come back from the precipice, to undo the progression of his Mythic Fate. Rashid, who no longer appears remotely mortal, having activated his Monstrous Mantle of Power, must spend time among them to calm his mythic side.
That will be a trial. But as hard as that is, he must also face one more issue: there is no power in Heaven or on Earth that can undo the progression of his Mortal Fate. He chose to come back into the fight. He chose to progress his Mortal Fate. He cannot unchoose what he has chosen.
Today was not the end of the story of Rashid al-Jabbar, but I guarantee you, he is forever changed by this day. If he is wise, he will put down the scimitar, find a woman, raise a family, and let his Mortal Fate claim him in old age.
But he is a Mythender. So few ever take up this simple wisdom.