The Flower Revenge

September 25, 2007

After I run Cold City for a cool group of folks, I told Dev and Eben that I’d run a game for them based on the music of Coheed & Cambria.

It’s not hard to explain why I find Claudio Sanchez’s band so enthralling. All of the band’s music is part of a massive four-part apocalyptic space fantasy rock opera involving robots, a fascist mage-run empire, angels ripping off their wings to become human, a messianic force called The Crowing, inheritable viruses that can destroy the universe, an untrustworthy and interfering narrator called the Writing Writer, the demoniacally possessed bicycle of the Writer known as Tenspeed Of God’s Blood and Burial, and other heaping loads of utter ridiculousness.

Coheed & Cambria’s music is clearly the kind of shit you dreamed of writing in high school. It’s solipsistic and self-absorbed (the main character’s name is Claudio), it’s all about problems with girls, its wrapped in totally bizarre imagery pulled from every bit of genre fiction that you loved in your childhood, and it’s epic and unrealistic on a ridiculous level.

Part of the reason I identify with it so much is I have a somewhat similar project sitting on the hard drive of my old computer, dating back to 1998 when I was a sophomore in high school. I dug it out to show off and be embarrassed by. It’s called The Flower Revenge and was sometimes subtitled “A Rock Opera Apocalypse.”

The premise of the thing is that there’s a girl named Adri who is the embodiment of revenge, known as Payback. Adri delivers suffering like Santa Claus. People send her letters like “Bitch must pay for what he did” and she goes on delivery trips where she inflicts revenge. Adri inherited this role from dozens of people who’ve had the role of Payback before, but they all eventually retired because they couldn’t deal with dispensing so much terrible stuff on generally undeserving people.

People who retire from being Payback simply become demons and continue to serve in the retinue of the new Payback, though they no longer have the responsibility and angst that comes with the role. The previous incarnation of payback was Sandras, who is now the chief demon serving Adri. Now, the current Payback cannot retire from their role until they find someone to replace them and convince them to accept the responsibilities.

The Flower Revenge, then, begins with Adri encountering the protagonist, a boy named Azrael. Azrael falls for Adri and eventually becomes convinced to take on the role of Payback, mostly because he cares so much for her and wants to martyr himself to release her from her torturous responsibilities. The first act ends with Azrael’s first run as Payback and his embracing of his new role.

In the second act, the world’s demand for revenge becomes so overwhelming that Payback can’t deliver all of it on his own. In these circumstances, Payback is supposed to break one of the Seven Seals (from the Book of Revelation) which releases some of the tension by giving Payback supernatural assistants who help deliver suffering on a grand level. So Azrael breaks the first seal, summoning the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, The Conqueror.

Soon afterwards, Adri recieves a letter from Satan summoning her presence in Hell (Satan is nominally in charge of Payback and her retinue, since they’re demons). Without Adri around, Azrael suffers a breakdown and four of the remaining Seals are broken, summoning the rest of the Four Horseman (The Fool, Justice, and Death) and The Martyrs. Sandras agrees to take on the role of Payback temporarily, hoping to “stall the apocalypse” (which happens when all Seven Seals break) while Azrael travels to hell to find Adri.

I never wrote the lyrics to Act III, unfortunately, so I’m not sure exactly what happens. The world ends, of course, and Azrael and Adri are united in a giant fucked up martyr romance finale. And I know I planned a fun trio by Brutas, Judas, and Dante (Dante having replaced Cassius) while they’re being chewed on in Satan’s three mouths, as described in the Inferno. I had all the tracks written in my head up through the first couple tracks of Act III, but I never really notated them (I still can’t really read music that well) or recorded them, so I mainly have a giant Word file with all the lyrics.

Anyway, yeah, here’s the track list. Thought I’d share 🙂

The Flower Revenge

Act I

[prelude]
[through the years]
[cry]
[azrael’s anthem]
[girl meets boy]
[cup o’ sugar]
[spider and the fly]
[bats in the belfry]
[adri’s anthem]
[goblins & dynamite]
[hall of those before]
[what can I say]
[chaining]
[run 101]
[a new anthem]

Act II

[wonderlust]
[demonology]
[hold your horses]
[one] the conqueror
[speak of the devil]
[einstein’s dreams]
[all fool’s day]
[two] the fool
[three] justice
[four] death
[sandras’ cry]
[five] the martyrs
[stall the apocalypse]
[orpheus again]
[going to hell]

Act III

[fizzle-bang]
[pandemonium]
[styx & stones]
[too late for love]
[mr. mephisto]
[backstabbers’ jubilee]
[a deal]
[fuck immortality]
[six] betrayal
[packing up]
[don’t look back]
[last request]
[seven] the end
[after the end]
[cry]

5 Responses to “The Flower Revenge”

  1. Paul Czege Says:

    Dude, it sounds awesome. Danielle and I saw Rent a couple of years ago, and were both a bit mystified in retrospect by its enduring popularity. But this…it’s like Aida for geeks. I think you should go totally mixed media on it. Do it as a comic book, but with lyrics and sheet music.


  2. That’s an interesting suggestion, Paul. I’ll think on it and see if I can come up with something.

  3. Paul Czege Says:

    Y’know, I read your summary out loud to Danielle last night, and before I finished she interrupted:

    “He should totally do this as a comic book!”


  4. Ha. That’s hilarious. Claudio’s doing a comic of his rock opera for Image right now.

    I’ve done some comics in the past, but I can’t really draw, so it’d have to be in my photo-comics style (like the ones I did for Trollbabe), which would make some of the special effects hard. I’d need to know someone with horses, for one.


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