A little something more for the Bones Blog Carnival – A peek at an old project of mine that I’m re-examining.
THE FIRST FACE: THE STRANGER
The Stranger is a lone figure on an empty plain. His strength, motivation and importance come from within, but his weakness come in his lack of ties to those around him. The Stranger is never a welcome figure.
THE STRANGER FACES IN: THE MYSTERY
The Mystery is a question to be answered, usually one of great importance. It may be a secret to be revealed, a crime to be solved or something lost to be found. Whatever form it takes, there is a great unknown that must become known to allow further progress.
THE STRANGER FACES OUT: THE MENACE
The Menace is a threat to all – it has no allies or enemies; it is simply a danger that cannot be allowed to go unchecked. It may be malicious to all, such as a killer or mad beast. It may be vastly indifferent like a storm or natural disaster. Whatever its form, it is unquestionably a threat which demands response, and the only responses that are really viable are to face it, flee it or succumb to it.
THE STRANGER COCKED: HIDDEN DANGERS
A cocked stranger combines the worst elements of both facings. The Menace may have some Mystery about it which needs to solved to be able to deal with it, or the Mystery may contain some Menace that prevents it from being solved or which will be released if the Mystery is not solved.
THE SECOND FACE: THE TWINS
The twins are two figures, opposite one another. Who they are is far less important than how they relate to each other. They are defined by this relationship. When the twins appear, the relationship will be pushed to the forefront, to be strengthened or shattered.
THE TWINS FACE IN: THE LOVERS
The lovers may actually be lovers, but they may just as easily be family members, partners or friends. Whatever the relationship, acknowledged or not, it defines both of them in ways they may not admit. If one is pricked, the other will be sure to bleed. This is strength and weakness – the partner is a source of strength, but also of vulnerability.
THE TWINS FACE OUT: THE DUELISTS
Hatred ties one man to another as easily as love. The Duelists are in direct opposition to one another. They may compete over prizes and things, but those are just distractions – the goal is to overcome the other person. While this facing covers physical confrontations, it is equally apt for contests of words, or even long-standing rivalries, as between an investigator and his quarry.
THE TWINS COCKED: MISMATCH
The Twins usually assume a degree of equity, but the mismatched twins discard that in one of two ways – there may be a mismatch of sentiment, or a mismatch of means. Regard the cocked hexbone carefully – if the figures are on opposite sides of the color line, there is a mismatch in sentiment – one may view the other as a friend or rival, but the other does not share that view. They may be in opposition in their viewpoints (one loving, one hating) but more often, it merely means the sentiment is strongly held by only one.
If the figures are on the same side of the color line, and it is only the background that crosses it, the mismatch is in means. One party is more capable than the other in this arena of conflict, and this issue will be deeply lopsided if it comes to the forefront. This may mean a wife who dominates her husband or perhaps the relationship of the hunter to the prey.
THE THIRD FACE: THE SCALES
The Scales are identical to the Twins, except that a third figure has been placed between them. This third figure serves as the crux of matters – the fulcrum point of the scale. Where the twins relationship is with each other, the Scales are defined by their relationship to the crux. The crux itself is usually torn between these forces, though whether she is the subject or object of the choice it creates depends upon the facing.
THE SCALES FACE IN: THE PRIZE
The crux is desired by both of the figures at the poles, and they will contest each other to gain it. This has some apparent similarities with the Duelists, but the conflict is entirely about the crux, not about each other,. Still, they may not value the crux itself so much as they value winning it. This does not always work out well for the crux, since the scales represent rival suitors as easily as they do two huntsmen after the same quarry.
THE SCALES FACE OUT: THE CHOICE
Power shifts into the hands of the crux now, who faces a choice between the two polar figures. Each may make his case, offer bribes or sweet promises, but the decision is ultimately in the hands of the crux. Again, it is not always good to be the crux – the choices may not be desirable, but there is always a choice.
THE SCALES COCKED: THE STACKED DECK
When the scales are cocked, the outcome seems certain. The conflict is nearly won, the choice seems obvious and if matters are left as they are, things will play out predictably. The figure on the losing end may still have some chance to turn things around, but the odds aren’t good.