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The Names of the Fallen

Names, Surnames, & Titles

I originally began thinking about this back when Josh & Dan's "Myth's Story" site (the content of which is now part of this site) pointed out the existance of Myth:TFL pre-release info at Eidios' web site (Eidios was Bungie's European publisher). On this site were given six names for the six Fallen Lords:

  • Soulblighter
  • The Voiceless One
  • Bahl'al
  • The Deceiver
  • Bonesplitter
  • The Faceless Man

The first three were listed as "ancient evils", while the latter three were "turned from the light".

Now, Josh & Dan had a list of the Fallen on their navbar, and some of them had surnames in parenthesis after them. I disagreed with their assignment of these surnames, and thus started my quest for the true identities of the Fallen. The surname assignments specifically were The Voiceless One to Shiver and The Faceless Man to The Watcher.

Back then I thought that Shiver was Bahl'al. "WHAT!?" you ask? "Bahl'al is a guy!" We know this now, because in Myth II the Thrall flavor text reffers to Bahl'al's army as "his". But back then, all we had was a pre-release name and the Thrall flavor text from Myth:TFL (which had no gender-specific terms), so Shiver could very well be Bahl'al.

My line of thought was thus: Bahl'al found the Dream of Unlife. Thrall were ressurrected at Avon's Grove. Thus, whoever was near Avon's Grove at the time must be Bahl'al. As Avon's Grove was mentioned on Crow's Bridge, I figured that it must be Shiver's forces near there; thus, Shiver was Bahl'al. In addition, it was generally accepted that Shiver was an "ancient evil", and Bahl'al had been listed as an "ancient evil", strengthening my theory.

I advocated this theory in The Asylum, and defended it against criticisms, until someone finally convinced me that Shiver was not Bahl'al - The Watcher was.

Lets start with who is NOT The Watcher. We've got six pre-release names:

  • Soulblighter
  • The Voiceless One
  • Bahl'al
  • The Deceiver
  • Bonesplitter
  • The Faceless Man

We know that both Soulblighter and The Deceiver are themselves, obviously. This leaves us:

  • The Voiceless One
  • Bahl'al
  • Bonesplitter
  • The Faceless Man

Now, we also know that The Watcher has been around since Connacht's time, qualifying him as an "ancient evil". So that rules out Bonesplitter and The Faceless Man, neither of whom are "ancient evils". This leaves us:

  • The Voiceless One
  • Bahl'al

Now, lets go back to me original argument for Shiver being Bahl'al. She was near Avon's Grove at the time of the Thrall conversion. But we now know that Bahl'al is a man! So Shiver can't be Bahl'al. But who else was near Avon's Grove? The Watcher!

Other evidence that Bahl'al is The Watcher is that The Watcher has many shades, as evidenced by the level "The Watcher". Shades, of course, being made by casting the Dream of Unlife on dead avatara. We also know from the Shade flavor text in Myth II that Phelot was responsible for the massacre at Avon's Grove; but all Shades serve a Fallen Lord, right? So who did Phelot serve at the time? Given The Watcher's penchant for Shades, I'd say it was him.

But now, if Shiver isn't Bahl'al, then who is she? Her name isn't on the pre-release names list, which means that she must be one of the other names on there. She obviously isn't Soulblighter of The Deceiver, as they are themselves. The Faceless Man and Bahl'al are both male, so she can't be either of them. This leaves The Voiceless One and Bonesplitter, and if we take the popular notion that Shiver is an "ancient evil", that rules out Boneplitter, leaving her as The Voiceless One.

But hold on a second! SiliconDream in the Asylum writes:

You say that Shiver is "popularly" thought to be an Ancient Evil. Is there any actual evidence for this? Based on her track record, I think it's unlikely. I mean, she's the first Fallen Lord to be defeated in TFL, and in Myth II she's a very poor general except when the Myrkridia are backing her up. And the Deceiver completely fakes her out. I think the signs point to her being a recently created, relatively naive Lord, powerful but not very shrewd.

I don't know where the popular notion of Shiver being ancient came from; maybe it's only because she was originally (back in Josh & Dan's days) associated with The Voiceless One, an ancient evil, and the 'ancient' connotation carried ever since.

He continues:

I think "Bonesplitter" is a much more appropriate epithet for someone whose only method is brutal, unsubtle violence. And that would pair off the "Voiceless One" and the "Faceless Man" as the two Lords we never meet; these epithets would also be appropriate for beings who work mostly behind the scenes.

Very good point here, I like it. So if we revise our theory with the above information, add in what other names we know from Myth and Myth II - Damas and Twice Born, Myrdred and Source of the Five Hundred Poisons, Ravanna, Mad Goat of the Fens - and you'll get the following list:

  • Soulblighter (Damas), Twice Born
  • The Deceiver (Myrdred), Source of the Five Hundred Poisons
  • Shiver (Ravanna), Bonesplitter
  • The Watcher (Bahl'al), Mad Goat of the Fens

But wait, there's more! With the release of GURPS Myth, we have an even more complete picture of the Fallen Lords' names. The relevant new information it gives is:

  • Bahl'al is definitely The Watcher
  • Soulblighter is also called Anshar, Patron of the Hanged.
  • Shiver's true name is Culwyeh! She is also called Mother of Plagues and First Lady of the Fallen. The Voiceless One is listed as a separate Lord, named Ravanna, Loveless Child of the Unwed Dawn, but it it mentioned that because The Deceiver called Shiver "Ravanna" in Myth II that Shiver and The Voiceless One may somehow be the same person, yet still different...
  • A new Fallen Lord is revealed! The Lurker (Bheil), Twice-Born Daughter of Flood and Famine

This new information mostly reinforces our existing theories above - The Watcher is Bahl'al, Soulblighter and The Deceiver are themselves with a bunch of different names, and Shiver is The Voiceless One, somehow. But throwing The Lurker in there causes us to reshape our listing a bit.

Of the original prerelease names, Bahl'al, Soulbligher, The Deceiver, and The Voiceless One are now concretely known. This leaves Bonesplitter and The Faceless Man. Since The Lurker is female, she is obviously not the Faceless MAN. So The Lurker is Bonesplitter. And if you count Shiver and The Voiceless One as one Lord, despite them somehow being separate people as well (and this is the topic for a whole 'nother Delusion), then that leaves room for one last, unknown Fallen Lord - appropriately titled The Faceless Man. So our final (perhaps) list goes:

  • Soulblighter (Damas, Anshar), Twice Born, Patron of the Hanged
  • The Deceiver (Myrdred), Source of the Five Hundred Poisons
  • Shiver / The Voiceless One (Culwyeh / Ravanna), Mother of Plagues, First Lady of the Fallen / Loveless Child of the Unwed Dawn
  • The Watcher (Bahl'al), Mad Goat of the Fens
  • The Lurker (Bheil), Bonesplitter, Twice-born Daughter of Flood and Famine
  • The Faceless Man

Origins of the Names

Ok, now that we know what all the names are, where did they come from? Some are obvious choices: "Soulblighter" - he blights people's souls, destroys their lives, and it's a menacing name; "The Deceiver" - he can bind enemies to his will, "deceiving" them so to speak. But what of the others? What poisons is Myrdred the source of? Any ideas?

I've got some of my own, for starters. Back before Myth II, when the only images of Myrdred (The Deceiver) we had were from page 29 of the manual and from unseen pregame pics from the level "The Five Champions", I put forth the hypothesis that The Deceiver was a Myrmidon (he looked like one; long white hair, frail and bony). And now, the similarity between his true name (Myrdred) and his possible race (Myrmidon) has occurred to me. What do you think?

There are also some hints on the origins of names, such as Balor and Connacht, on the Allusions pages.

Regarding the origin of the name Myrdred, SiliconDream of the Asylum writes:

"Myrdred" and "Myrmidon" do sound alike, but the most likely etymologies are quite different, as I'm sure you know. The Myrmidons are named after two different Greek peoples; one was the personal army of Achilles, the other was a race descended from a son (also named Myrmidon) of Zeus. Myrdred's name, on the other hand, is probably modeled on Mordred, Arthur's traitorous son who was quite a deceiver in his own right.

Good point there, about Mordred. Thanks Silicon!

In addition, regarding Myrdred's title, Source of the Five Hundred Poisons, SiliconDream suggests that perhaps the Myth-world residents believe in a set of 500 basic poisons, as the Greeks believed in four basic elements. Or perhaps, he says, Myrdred is a sort of "patron saint" of poisons, with all of them being attributed to him because of a few infamous plagues.

Regarding the origin of the Watcher's title Mad Goat of the Fens, Silicon Dream writes:

A couple of observations on name origins: The Watcher's nickname, "The Mad Goat of the Fens," was doubtless a takeoff on the characteristic epithet of Lovecraft's Shub-Niggurath, "The Black Goat of the Woods With a Thousand Young." Shub-Niggurath is the monstrous embodiment of the fertility principle in Lovecraft's mythos, and indeed you could view the Watcher as a warped fertility god--instead of overseeing the birth of living creatures, he endows the dead with a blasphemous new unlife.

Score one more for SiliconDream!

Foreign Names

So we know their names in English, obviously. But what are the Fallen Lords called in non-English distributions of Myth? Theres Jeanrenaud writes in UseNet article <7kr7kf$h0o$1@pacifica.access.ch>:

so, in MythI german there are those names:

The Fallen Lords:
Balor, Leader of the Fallen Lords. Formerly know as Conought, but you can only find this out in the game.
Shiver
Der Täuscher <- which is translated as The Deceiver -> and is: The Deceiver
Der Totenwächter <- The Deadguard -> but is: The Watcher
Der Seelenfäuler <- The Soulrottener ->but is: The Soulblighter <- which could be translated as: Der Seelenverderber
So, you see, tranlating game character's names isn't as easy as it seams to
be.

Yves

Thanks Yves!

Alessandro Mattedi writes in with more foreign names, this time from the Italian and Portuguese versions! He writes:

In the Italian version of Myth: the Fallen Lords, we have:

Balor/Connacht, the Leveller ---> Balor/Connacht, il Liberatore (the Liberator)
Soulblighter ---> Il Corruttore (The Corruptor, while Soulblighter could be literally translated as "Avvizzitore di Anime" or "Appassitore di Anime")
The Deceiver ---> L'Ingannatore
The Watcher ---> Il Veggente (The Clairvoyant/The Foreseer, while The Watcher could be literally translated as "L'Osservatore")
Shiver ---> Shiver (which can be literally translated as "Brivido" or "Rabbrividire")

I don't know why Soulblighter, even if it is not an epithet with "the", was translated, while Shiver wasn't.

Besides, the Portuguese version of Myth keeps all the original English names, so "Watcher escapa pelas montanhas e ataca Deceiver" (The Watcher flees through the mountains and attacks the Deceiver).

Thanks Alessandro!

Written and compiled by Forrest.