Thursday, November 28, 2013

17216--Two Shades of Black

The City of Magick, oddly enough, is governed by the god of Bright Chaos, Coyote.  Since the entire plane of Magick is subject to the Trickster's will, allowing the focus of its darkest elements on what had become the least dangerous area to humans almost makes it seem as though he takes a special interest in tormenting those who dwell there.  Of course, some will say the humans have brought the darkness upon themselves.  Anything's possible.

The presence of humans and darkness in The City invites the focus on two types of stories that are very similar, but have very specific differences.  Those are hardboiled and noir genres.  The close relatives are made distinct by the nature of their protagonists.  A hardboiled protagonist meets the challenges of a corrupt and violent world with anti-hero cynicism.  His attitude probably comes from having experienced so much from the darker side of life that he not only considers it normal, but is happy to fight fire with fire.  That protagonist is a crime-solver, whether a detective, a maverick cop or gun-toting amateur.

The protagonist in noir fiction isn't a crime-solver and might actually be either a perpetrator or a victim.  This character is less a hard rock in a river of corruption and more one of the many fish navigating the murky waters.  Noir's protagonist may be a victim, but his character is likely to respond by victimizing others and perpetuating the darkness.  With players who may be as self-destructive as self-preserving, saying whether they come out as winners or losers may depend on which way the light hits the scene.

All that, of course, means that the most insidious dangers in the dark corners of The City may not come from magic.  That sexy stranger warming up to the struggling protagonist may seem like a bright oasis in the night, but a lot of steamy intimacy could still end with a knife between either's ribs.  The best advice for characters in either noir or hardboiled genres might be to drop the word "trust" from their vocabularies, especially when some shouldn't even trust themselves.

1 comment:

  1. huh...interesting bit there about trust at the end...i kind of like that suggestion...