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Sabbath and the King was a 2021 Faction Paradox audio story by Aristide Twain. It was released concurrently with a prequel story.

Publisher's summary[]

An Extract From

PRIMER FOR THE SPIRAL POLITIC (POST-WAR EDITION)


7: WARTIME PRESIDENCIES


Era: War in Heaven

Technology: Symbiotic bond with the Protocols of the Sun Builders; Rightful Mastery of the Artefacts of Urizen. See also SUN BUILDERS (BIOLOGICAL PRIVILEGES).

Ever since the creation of the Presidency rank on the Homeworld, the individual chosen as its Head had acted as more of a vessel and avatar for the power of the Homeworld than a political leader (see also SPEAKER OF RE). When the necessities of War led to the Presidency taking on a more active role as the strategic leader of the Homeworld’s military campaigns, the full extent of the powers vested in a President began to be better understood by the wider Universe. The adoption of Monarchial titles such as 'King' and 'Queen' harkened back to lesser species' notions of rulers by divine right, firmly cementing the President-King of the Sun Builders as not just a democratic leader of their people, but as a King among Lords, a power unto themself.

However, an unwitting consequence of the growing infamy of the Wartime Presidency was the realisation, both by the Homeworld and its enemies, that former Presidents, who retained certain metaphysical ties to the Protocols however brief their time in office, had become great liabilities. Some Presidents Emeritus, realising the precariousness of their position, resorted to faking their deaths; several others had no need to resort to deception in this matter. One of the Homeworld's most infamous Wartime Presidents, however, disappeared from office at the onset of the Lucia Presidency (see LOLITA), without a formal resignation or hard evidence of his demise. His whereabouts remain a matter of great speculation; although many claim to have encountered a Rosette-wearing man, whom some identify as the surviving War King, most scholars agree that the "Whig" era of the one-time President’s life actually occurred at an earlier point in (…)

Plot[]

Sabbath Dei is contacted in his sleep by a mysterious voice who soon reveals himself as the former leader of the Great Houses in the War in Heaven. Although making it clear that he has little respect for human beings, the King asks for Sabbath's help, convincing him that it is in humanity's best interest that his side win the War. After Sabbath attempts to shake him off, the King puts him back to sleep and continues talking, explaining that he is speaking to Sabbath through the link that still exists between Sabbath's mind and the Homeworld's Protocols.

After Sabbath throws him off a second time to demonstrate his force of will, the King briefly inflicts a memory of terrible pain upon Sabbath through their link to cow him into submission. He then confesses that he is trapped in "the entrains of the Great Beast". Sabbath slips away once again. When they speak again, the annoyed King confesses that he genuinely does need Sabbath, as he divines that Sabbath will have an important part to play in the universe after the War ends, which the King covets. He offers to teach Sabbath more about the nature of reality and how to take advantage of his gifts.

With Sabbath agreeing, he helps Sabbath project his will into the Kingdom of Beasts. At the gates, Sabbath readily slays a Mal'akh grotesque, shocking the King with the speed of his reflex and his ability to summon a weapon into existence even on his first visit to a non-physical plane. He then helps Sabbath tame the leader of a small pack of Mal'akh, who presents Sabbath with a fang as a token of loyalty. The King explains to Sabbath that he will now be able to command these Mal'akhs and travel to and from the Kingdom of Beasts at will.

Time passes, with the King teaching Sabbath more and more. Finally, on their thirteenth mental conversation, the King tells Sabbath to use the skills he has learned to transport himself through the psychic link to the War King's current location: the interior of Lolita. There, a triumphant King reveals that his true purpose in mentoring Sabbath was to make the younger man similar enough to him that he can switch places with him without Lolita noticing — stealing Sabbath's body and surviving into the post-War universe while Sabbath's mind is trapped in the King's body. However, Sabbath uses his ritual knife, the same one he used against the Mal'akh, to stab the King, breaking his concentration. Despite the King's increasingly desperate pleas, Sabbath refuses to simply negotiate, simply leaving Lolita to return to his own body. On his way out, he uses the Mal'akh fang to sever the mind-link between himself and the King, though not before the King implores Sabbath to continue fighting for the Great Houses' side of the War on his behalf, even if he will not help the King personally.

Cast[]

References[]

  • According to the Primer to the Spiral Politic, "most scholars" believe that a rosette-wearing man spotted in the post-War universe by several eyewitnesses was a younger version of the War King.
  • The Mal'akh are described by the King as "an ideal of the primal nature of Man, deriving stolen forms and stolen sentience from an ancient power". Beings in Earth's folklore who were actually forms of Mal'akh include "wolfmen"', "ogres" and "Nephilim".

Notes[]

  • This story was the first BBV Faction Paradox release since A Labyrinth of Histories not to star Bill Baggs.
  • Like others before it, this story contains hints that the War King used to be the Master. He uses the phrase "You will obey me" (teaching it to Sabbath), and notes that his preferred template for physical forms included a beard. He mentions having once been plunged into "the singularity at the heart of a black hole", a predicament in which the Master found himself both in the novel The Dark Path and at the climax of the 1996 TV movie.
  • Although serving as the setting for half the story, Lolita does not have any discernible lines in the audio itself. However, the opening and closing credits are read by Fionna Gough, who voiced Lolita in the online prologue to the story. Her laughter from this story was used as the baseline for the sounds within Lolita.​​[1]
  • Jacob Keith was credited under his own name as Sabbath, but as "J. Stoker Hakewing" for his role as the King. This is an anagram of "The War King's joke", similar to the pseudonym James Stoker (anagram of "Master's Joke") used in Radio Times to conceal Anthony Ainley's return as the Master.

Continuity[]

External links[]

Footnotes[]

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