Chaos Music Tributes: Tzeentch

The changer of ways...

The changer of ways...

Whew. Tzeentch. Mmm.

I have to admit, although Tzeentch is my favorite of the four Chaos gods, he is tricky in more ways than one. Of the four Chaos gods, he is the least tangible. For example, the other three gods have associated bodily fluids, but not Tzeentch. His icons, like birds, books and hour glasses, tend to be vast and many, but never deep or clear.

Even the symbol is open to interpretation; Nurgle’s is a bio-hazard warning, Khorne’s a stylized skull and that of Slaanesh overlapping gender symbols. But Tzeentch’s isn’t so obvious.

Some believe Tzeentch’s emblem is a flaming torch while others see a snake or smoke, or perhaps even some kind of water bird. But, like any god of change, magic, trickery and scheming, it doesn’t want to be easily defined. The less tangible and more shapeless it is, the more easily it can take a new form.

On the plus side, this lack of clarity makes Tzeentch a very versatile god to work with writing wise. Plots, magic, scheming, trickery, change, mutations, hope, psychic powers and secrecy are all his calling cards. Tzeentch and his followers are always playing with a loaded deck, and frequently leave their victims a few cards short of one. It also leaves for very few contradictions, as we get with Khorne.

One thing of interest is that, ultimately, Tzeentch constantly seeks power over others and at all times. This at times sets up conflicts with his brother Nurgle, who is all about letting go, and Slaanesh.

Why Slaanesh? Neil Strauss’ book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists gives one pretty good example of it. In the book, Style (Strauss’ code name) joins a group of self improvement obsessed men who are trying to get luckier with the ladies. But in the course of the book, he learns that some men are less interested in fun and good times, and more interested in power and domination over their fellow man.

Another example can be found in questions of money. Money is definitely a source of power to some, but it can also be followed to the point of excess. Gold for example is a constant indication of wealth. But while some might obtain and horde it as a source of power and influence, others wear it out of vanity, such as Xerxes from 300. He hungered for power, but justified it through belief in his inherent divinity. However, he also flirted with excess in the gold he wore, his slaves, his concubines and very potent hubris.

Here’s the music at last, with a focus on mysticism, power and magic. Music without lyrics is marked with an asterisks (*), while the link at the very bottom is to a playlist of all these songs. Oh, and the first one was chosen because of how I feel it relates to the conflicts of Magnus the Red:

  1. A Demon’s Fate, by Within Temptation.
  2. Macross Plus – Information High, by Yoko Kanno.
  3. Fable 2 – Bowerstone Market, by Danny Elfman and Russell Shaw.*
  4. Mind Heist, by Zack Hemsey.*
  5. 300 – Xerxes’ Tent, by Tyler Bates.*
  6. Battlestar Galactica – The Shape of Things to Come, by Bear McCreary.*
  7. Gladiator – Am I Not Merciful?, by Hans Zimmer.*
  8. Two Steps from Hell – Heart of Courage, by Nick Phoenix and Thomas J. Bergersen.*
  9. The Illusionist – The Chase, by Philip Glass.*

All hail the architect of fate with post 99!

Chaos Music Tributes: Khorne

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!

BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!

For the rest of this and next week, I’ll be adding new music selections I call the Chaos Tributes. Again this is with the music for writing series, but these will have lyrics involved. The musical choices reflect great songs and music for writing about certain aspects of Chaos, as well as a little food for thought.

Today’s beast is Khorne, god of war, bloodshed, violence and hatred. Khorne is said to be the most powerful of the Chaos gods, being the oldest and most representative of the Warhammer universe. A quick glance at Khorne makes him appear to be a one dimensional god, as he cares not from whom the blood flows so long as it flows.

It is sometimes said that Khorne overlooks the weak, considering it dishonorable to kill them. But like any theology, this view of Khorne is subject to great personal interpretation or even straight denial.

However, a second and closer glance at Khorne create certain discrepancies and depth that are overlooked. Normally, Khornite followers are considered murderous psychopaths. But there are examples of thought and conviction in some of his followers. In Blood for the Blood God, Khorne followers were coherent and capable warriors. In the Gaunt’s Ghost series, the Blood Pact are a highly disciplined, Khorne worshiping army capable of infiltration tactics. These examples fly in the face of the crazy homicidal maniac stereotype.

What makes it even more difficult is understanding Khorne’s relationship with psykers. Many believe that when the World Eater’s legion turned, they slaughtered all their librarian/sorcerers in a purge out of respect for their new god’s hatred of them. Yet in Blood Pact, the Pact made use of both a witch as well as a powerful summoning ritual. In Space Marine, Nemeroth possessed considerable warp powers, yet made use of Bloodletters in his army. And in Dawn of War II: Retribution, Khorne saw fit to reward Azariah Kyras, the corrupted chief librarian and chapter master of the Blood Ravens, with daemonhood.

So there’s something to think about as you listen to these songs about murder and violence, although some of it focuses on other aspects of Khorne. At the bottom, you will find a link that connects to a playlist of all of these. Bare in mind a lot of this music is somewhat full of screams, so I’ll mark the music without singing and lyrics with an asterisk (*):

  1. Getting Away with Murder, by Papa Roach.
  2. Army Doom and Titans, by X-Ray Dog.*
  3. Ich Tu Dir Weh, by Rammstein.
  4. Let the Bodies Hit the Floor, by Drowning Pool.
  5. Murder, by Within Temptation.
  6. Smell the Witch, by Mortiis.
  7. Dead is the New Alive Remix, by Emilie Autumn, Dope Stars Inc Remix.
  8. Blow Me Away, by Breaking Benjamin.

As for that playlist, skulls for the skull throne!

The Writing Jukebox

"To answer your question, it's about this big."

"To answer your question, it's about this big."

Today, I’m breaking a cardinal rule.

In the past, almost all of my music for writing entries have centered around a “no lyrics” approach. Now I’m breaking the rule this one time. Sometimes, certain songs lyrics just fit a circumstance so well that it’s worth the distraction.

Now the big thing about music of this kind is that it’s better for listening to in order to get ideas, rather than something to occupy your mind. You may want to let yourself feel whatever you’re going to get from the music, and then get to writing first.

  1. Homeward, by VNV Nation.
    I used to listen to VNV Nation all the time, and despite being somewhat depressive in some songs, it help me through some break ups way in the past. Homeward tends to be one of the more hopeful pieces.
  2. Vida la Vida, by Coldplay.
    I am not a Coldplay fan. Not by a long shot. But they got this particular song right. It discusses the ups and downs of politics, useful if you want to look at civilization as a whole.
  3. Casino Royale – You Know My Name, by Chris Cornell.
    I’ve never been a fan of the 007 movie series. Even Daniel Craig, an action actor worthy of a respectable nod could not draw me into the series.  But Chris Cornell absolutely floored me this with song.
  4. Don’t Stop Me Now, by Queen.
    This song made a recent come back thanks to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost‘s amazing, amazing take on zombie movies. This song makes you fly. If you’re looking to create a scene that oozes of fast, high good times. Whether or not you’re a Team Fortress 2 fan, you may want to check out the alternative music video ‘Don’t Stab Me Now’ because the song quality is better, although there are a few voice drops.
  5. I Don’t Wanna, by Within Temptation.
    I love Within Temptation. I’ve been a fan for a very long time. This particular song just takes off and sets you up for some incredible vocals by Sharon den Adel. Try it. You’ll like it.
  6. Macross Plus – Information High, by Yoko Kanno.
    Macross makes me nostalgic because it was my favorite show growing up. American fans better know it as Robotech, but Macross Plus was there when I turned into a teenager, and kept the tradition going. Information High, by Yoko Kanno, hits a pulse pounding high of techno and lyrics. I recommend this for futuristic stuff and yes, dog fighting.
  7. Ages old. But still beautiful to look at.

    Ages old. But still beautiful to look at.

    Terra’s Theme (Orchestral with Lyrics), Final Fantasy VI.
    Final Fantasy VI. Some say it was the last real Final Fantasy. Others say it was merely the last of a generation before taking off into something new. But regardless of which camp you belong too (if either), you will probably enjoy this beautiful piece. Even despite it being in Japanese. If not because of it.

  8. Dance in the Dark, by Lady Gaga.
    In case this video confuses you, that isn’t actually Gaga. That is Lizalo Galama, who created this video as a fan project. The reason it’s confusing is because of how much it actually looks like something Gaga would make. There’s something a little depressing to this song despite how upbeat it is. You may find it useful.
  9. Story, by Lene Marlin.
    This is a slow and sorrowful piece. Like looking over a tragic life. My favorite part is just around 3:05.
  10. Somebody Save Me, by Krypteria.
    I think of travel on this one. I like the vocals and lyrics despite how depressing it can be.

For a Rainy Day

So I’m actually stockpiling a few blog posts for later. One of the things I’m trying to do with my Horoscope here is actually maintain a consistent flow of posts and updates. I’m not the only one who does this of course. News papers actually write a draft of famous celebrities and movie stars that they update, waiting for the day that the celebrities dies to fill in the details and post. I however, will not be measuring people up for their coffin. Just filling out some reviews and guides for later.

Because I’ve finished Nemesis and am working on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, my book reviews are probably going to be some more classic readings from the Warhammer universes. As in, stuff that I’ve already read. This way new fans can find the must reads, the what’s fun to read and what they should probably avoid. One of the most important things for Warhammer fans is going to be finding what’s considered “normal” within the universe.

I enjoy the Soul Drinkers, but the oddity of their tales will just confuse anyone fresh to 40k.

I enjoy the Soul Drinkers, but the oddity of their tales will just confuse anyone fresh to 40k.

Take the Soul Drinkers for instance. It’s interesting and highly unusual even for the Warhammer 40,000 universe. You get interested fans as well as divisive haters because the Soul Drinkers just don’t readily fit into the scheme of things. While this is fine for anyone who has an existing knowledge of the universe, for newbies it’s going to confuse them silly.

I’ve also started some sketch ideas for my second short story submission. After this window, I’m going to write a few things for other, regular online magazines in order to shake up my routine a bit and give me a bit of freedom.

Good times. Also, if you’re looking for a good tune, check this one by Within Temptation.