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Getoh

Getoh is an acclaimed Totanian playwright and actor, as well as the only truly immortal man in existence. He is a Lizardfolk who was cursed with Life Magic from his God, yet uses it to pursue art and truth. What he calls the meaning of life.  

The Artist's Life

The brilliant artist Getoh was born long before there was record, or rather, all records of that long ago have been long destroyed. For a man who makes such detailed accounts, many expect Getoh to know his true date of birth. He refuses to elaborate on this, with a passage in his play The Korvian's Folly being a very clear allegory for this,
"I am Korvian. I live a short life, and must live in the moment. Why should I think of my past? I already know it! So I must dedicate every moment to my present, my future, and what I can learn with the time I have."
— Liver in The Korvian's Folly
  Getoh's first work is dated in -1364 with the tale of the Sandman. This was the first performance of the show, featuring an Earth Jinn who tricks a Dwarven boy named Klaus into following his instructions, as the rest of Klaus's town begins to fall into a deep dream. The play toys with what is a dream and what is reality, with Getoh's Sandman claiming that reality is only found in the dream.   Here is a famous passage, where Sandman puts Klaus to sleep. This also features Getoh's signature iambic pentameter style, also known as verse, which is present in many of his plays. It consists of lines of ten syllables, or five Iambs, with one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.
"Trapped in dream, or trapped within your own life,

The question unimportant 'fore the truth

For you are trapped, and I, your savior, free.

Wake, O cursèd one, to reality,

Wake, that thou may face thine dream with penance."
— Sandman
Sandman by Jarhed

First Role

Getoh did not believe he could play the main character of Klaus, as he did not appear to look like a Dwarf, so his first role was that of the titular part of Sandman. Many reviews say his delivery of the lines was moving but clearly the performance of a writer, not an actor. He has since worked to improve this.
 

After the Show

Getoh performed this show with a company of people he loved. He didn't mind the negative reactions some people had, because it was performed with love. However, when the troupe was asked to perform for the Priests of the Lizardfolk God of Survival, Kadakalan, tragedy struck. A tragedy even beyond those written by Getoh.
Liver by Jarhed
  The Dragon Lord Reoma the Wretched attacked and killed the actors with Getoh. It was only Getoh that survived. In the rubble, amidst the people he loved. He questioned how and why. But he had his answer: Item Magic.   At some point, without realizing it, he had picked up an item that granted him the Holy Might of Kadakalan. The power to survive anything. Some say it must've been a fellow actor who gave it to him without him knowing, as a gift of their love and for his work. He would never be able to die, he could live forever and tell stories. But he did not want that.

Famous Works

Getoh has many plays, of which he has written in their entirety and performed in. These plays are of all sorts of different cultures and their oral history, be they true historical tales, folktales, or even stories he made up based on the culture. He puts heavy study into them, and thus is able to make incredible works such as:
  • A Dreamless Sleep- The Story of the founding of the Kingdom of Man, with the first Human King Gellark Lionrage and the first Court Wizard Varth Dreamless, and Varth's sacrifice of his life and freedom for Humanity.
  • Sandman- A Dwarven tale of a man who tries to escape his fate, but ends up falling right into it and, in so, a dream that never ends.
  • Auravir and Jennadyl- Auravir and Jennadyl is the most famous love story in the world, the tragic tale of a High Elven man named Auravir and a Dwarven woman named Jennadyl. Their love is taboo, as the two races are at war with each other. The ending just goes to show how not even love can unite these warring races, leading instead to the deaths of the two lovers in a war caused by their matrimony.
  • The Korvian's Folly- One of his few plays written entirely in prose rather than verse, a story about a Korvian named Liver who wishes to live entirely in the moment rather than dwell on the past. For this, he is cursed to live forever, yet to never remember any moment before the present one, an immortal amnesiac.
  • Much Ado About Goblin- A story of two Goblins who are in love, but do not know how to communicate this love. The time ultimately comes when they are pitted against each other in an eating competition, making the title a double meaning about both the characters (Goblin) and eating (gobblin')
Children

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This was clear in his next play, The Korvian's Folly. He wrote of a man cursed with living forever, yet never knowing anything, because he never wanted it to be like this. He wanted a short life to make a few plays, but now the people he wrote them for were gone.   It was through writing this play, though, that Getoh found closure. It took him nearly 400 years to finish, but in that time he was able to process his feelings and, in performing it for the first time, leave the past him behind. To embrace Liver's philosophy (as seen in the first quote) and embrace the future. To learn everything he could.  

Romantic Era

This period is considered Getoh's romantic period, where he wrote many plays about love. His most famous is Auravir and Jennadyl, about an Elven man and a Dwarven woman falling in love and starting a war.   This came at a point where Getoh was a bit pessimistic about love. After some hundred, nearly a thousand, years alive, he had been with many women. Lizardfolk have harems, after all, because they need to keep their population up or they'll go extinct. But he had found attachments fading slowly. He still had the perspective of a romantic, but he also knew that all love ended in death.   There is a famous scene, where the two lovers are meeting on a battlefield to disguise the true purpose of their getting together. Men and women are dying around them as the lovers swap sonnets, including Auravir's sonnet, which is as follows:
Auravir and Jennadyl by Jarhed
"The Light of Light Magic could strike me here

Blindness take mine eyes and darken my world

Still I would see thine face in my mirror

Still my mind would conjure your face, a pearl.

Let my King's arrow strike me down today

If mine eyes are to ever leave your face."
— Auravir in Auravir and Jennadyl
Some say this is meant to be the arrow of Ishtar's Messenger of Love, but Getoh meant a double meaning. As Auravir is eventually killed by his own King, who tries to shoot Jennadyl. Auravir jumps in the way, turning away from Jennadyl to get the arrow.   Getoh meant this as both a criticism of love and of war, concepts that meant nothing to a man who could live forever. Wars ended, love died, and still Getoh lived. How romantic, right?  

Living For Life's Sake

This would not last forever. Getoh was always influential, but this influence reached its peak (which it has never declined from) when he wrote his first human play, A Dreamless Sleep, where he starred as the Court Wizard Varth Dreamless.  
Varth Dreamless by Jarhed
It was an ambitious role for Getoh to both write and perform, as he was immortal as the Life Mage and Varth was quite the opposite. He was a man who sacrificed his mortality for Death Magic, which allowed him to save the first Human King Gellark Lionrage and found the Kingdom of Man. Getoh studied what people were like when they were close to death for a couple hundred years and, thus, found a better understanding and appreciation for life. His romantic era was over, and he now began to appreciate what he had.   This play became what many call his masterpiece. It was highly lauded, and the performance of it helped the Humans accept the other races. They had appeared in a world of creatures and strange beings, but Getoh's words and oration moved them to tears. Some immigration laws changed, and the Humans were more open in their diplomacy.   Ever since then, Getoh has been known as the world's greatest writer and performer. His name is synonymous with with the medium itself, and anyone who attempts to go into the field is asked if they intend to become "The Next Getoh." Getoh does not want this, he just wants to tell stories of life, of history, and of love. Of everything that makes life worth living, everything he had learned over his life. And he certainly has a lot of life to live.  

Appearance

Getoh is of average height for a Lizardfolk, being around 5'6" and of average build. He is also of a subspecies of Lizardfolk called Chameleons, allowing him to blend in with his surroundings. He says these things are best, because he is able to be anyone and take on any role.   When he is not wearing a costume, he is likely to be found wearing a bright, colorful outfit of some sort. He will also likely wear his scarf made of crocodile tails, which he purchased with much of his excess money. He likes people to recognize him when he is not in costume, so his outfit can be called quite flamboyant for this reason.  

Greatest Work

In his masterwork, A Dreamless Sleep, there is a famed monologue by the character Varth Dreamless. Getoh both wrote this part and originated it in its first performance. This monologue, of contemplating whether Varth should end his life for the greater good or live, where he curses the Gods, is the culmination of everything in Getoh's life. For that, this article shall end with his greatest work. Varth's Soliloquy.
"What curse afflicts our being more than life,

For life is the beginning and the end

Of the Gods hellish, heavenly curses

On the state of innocent noble men.

There is no way we make it out of here,

The Goblins are too numerous and strong,

Even my strength is not enough for them.

Yet, Morrigan has offered me power,

Of which I would be a fool to decline.

Yet am I a fool for considering

Her offer with such weight as I do now?

The words of Gods carry with them power,

Power of which I lack as Varth Dreamless

But what is Varth Dreamless but a wizard

And what a wizard but a noble fraud?

Is there nobility in sacrifice,

Or is the noblest end prolongéd?

Death is the gift, both the power and the

Punishment, that I stand to gain from her,

Her who is death incarnate, and I life,

Yet I am to death as she will to life,

The harbinger and herald of future

Announcing life and death respectively.

I am not ready for death, these hands of mine

Stain themselves not with blood of the blasphemed

But with the lifeblood of such worldly men

And women that I do protect alone.

To accept is to court death, to court death

Is to except life in some small doses

In exchange for the world I so desire.

Curse you, cruel Gods, for I wish to be there

Beside you in the Heavens above, naught

Any worry but worship and such praise,

For the worry you send for us to bear.

Grant me seat among your counsel, wise Gods,

So I be free of mortal suffering

And become the dealer, not the dealist,

A name at the footnote of history

Trampled over by greater, wiser men.

Allow me a fate above marble clouds

Beyond this life you damn me to, as I,

Forced to stare Mistress Death in her cold eyes,

And yet still, allow me seek refusal.

Nay, it is not my place to refuse her,

Such an offer comes as often as the

Dawn of man on a new and strange planet.

Aye, what good is the life of a Dreamless

If the dreams of all others are trampled?

Fall now, myself, into an endless sleep,

A dreamless sleep, of which I will not wake!

For Nerodil, for Gellark, for you all,

I condemn myself to death a thousand times

And Humanity, I condemn to life."
— Varth Dreamless in A Dreamless Sleep


Cover image: Getoh's Curtain Call by Jarhed
Character Portrait image: Getoh by Jarhed

Comments

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16 Jan, 2022 18:39

Oh nice! I love that he's a playwright!   Having samples of his plays is a nice touch and a very interesting read. Some of these would be plays I would love to read in full! Nicely done.   I did wonder, with such a long and famous career... did he have any rivals along the way?

17 Jan, 2022 17:05

Thank you. I studied dramatic literature and such, so I was happy to apply my knowledge and time spent in that with my world building and make some of my own. To be honest, I have heavily considered actually writing some of these, and this may be what pushes me over the line to actually do it. that would be very fun!   In his earlier years, there were likely some rivals that just were lost to history due to how ancient he is, and after long enough, the historically recorded "rivals" that did come were likely considered to just be more successors or contemporaries than rivals, because many have the view that no one could live up to such a wise, old writer.

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
17 Jan, 2022 14:48

I love this so much! What an intriguing figure. And beautifully executed! You have given me a lot of inspiration for my own character!

17 Jan, 2022 17:06

Thank you so much! I'm very happy you've gained inspiration from my little old lizard, it means a lot! Good luck in writing your own, or as Getoh would likely say, break a leg!

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
19 Jan, 2022 20:16

Really well thought out character and love the various extracts from the plays throughout. It seems you really developed this pretty well , with many different kinds of plays. Great read.

Feel free to check out my February Bestiary page if you want to see what I am up to!
21 Jan, 2022 22:59

Thanks! Had a lot of fun with this one, making different kinds of plays to show his development as a writer and a person and also just tossing some fun theatre stuff in. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
6 Feb, 2022 06:19

Oh wow, being the "only truly immortal man" is quite the unique trait, right off the bat! Grabs my interest right away.   True immortality is always such a fascinating thing to cover in characters. It's magical and fantastic, of course, but also the source of such sadness and loneliness. I love the way you've taken those themes in here, with him realizing his immortality at the same moment of losing those he loved -- it's heartbreaking D:   I love the way you take us through his life and journey as a playwright. At least he's making use of the gift/curse he received, and living a life that be believes is the true meaning of life itself!


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
7 Feb, 2022 22:11

I'm glad that part got your attention, thanks so much! I love the concept of immortality, and really wanted to go in-depth on him because there are so many other ways people can technically become immortal like liches, but that they still have threat of death, and that such a thing can honestly grant them a purpose, where having no end in sight and to see everything fade around you is just so terrible to me, I absolutely had to play around with it. Sadly a poor lizardman had to suffer for it... but as you said, there's still hope for him. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the article, it was definitely a fun yet sad one to write (though sometimes sad can be fun to write >:)

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
7 Feb, 2022 22:40

It's absolutely a fascinating topic to explore! The emotions that get mixed in with immortality are so, so powerful.   Also, I absolutely agree, writing sad can be fun and also very relieving to get it out :)


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
7 Feb, 2022 09:32

Why can't I hit like twice? you perfectly described what always scared me about imortality.

7 Feb, 2022 22:15

Aw, thank you so much for the kind comment! In all honesty, it may be weird to say, but I think I would fear being an immortal more than I fear death.   It's such a sad and terrifying concept, and I wanted to portray that in this article. (the inverse, a talk on fear of death and perhaps why it should not be feared as much, is actually explored in Getoh's play, A Dreamless Sleep, of which I've been writing since this article's been out, though it's only halfway done. That goes more into a view on how at least some positive things to be gained from this from Getoh, since I can doubt that any of us are reasonably going to be immortal, but we will all die. If you're interested in that kind of thing and would like to, I may suggest checking that out!)

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
8 Feb, 2022 11:46

I'll add it to the reading list!

8 Feb, 2022 14:41

An immortal playwrite, now that is one hella cool idea!! How he found his immortality is an absolutely tragic story, but I love that it is only a beginning for what is a long long life. Are people aware that he is an immortal being? I am a bit curious about the nature and perception of immortality in this world. How much has the world changed? How many new languages did Getoh have to learn? So many questions...

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
12 Feb, 2022 19:33

Thanks! Yes, people are aware he is immortal (it's been nearly 2000 years, so it's hard not to get suspicious about that, and he isn't exactly subtle). There are ways that people can be technically immortal, so it isn't necessarily stigmatized. It's mostly just a curiosity for most, or something people try and take for themselves (and fail to do so).   Getoh has likely learned every language in the world, even if he didn't have to for a play he was writing, just because he could and felt like it. It also helps him to adapt as the world changes around him, which he can do much easier as a chameleon. It's changed so much after nearly 2000 years, so he has to constantly adapt to suit it. There is really quite a bit to say about him, so questions are really always great to keep expanding.

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
11 Feb, 2022 16:53

Very well done Jarhead. Realizing that you came up with it on your own, "The Immortal Chameleon" has been added to my bards repertoire of stories (and briefly mentioned) as a nod to your cursed kenku in Kenku's Folly. You have done a good job of bringing the plays to life a little with the very well done Hero Forge minis.

As always, it would be appreciated if you would stop by my challenge article The Storm Giant Empire and leave some feedback.   If you are looking for things to read from summer camp there is also my Summer Camp 2022 Reading Challenge.. Happy worldbuilding.
12 Feb, 2022 19:36

Oh my, I need to read your Bard then! That's a great honor, thank you so much!

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
19 Feb, 2022 11:25

Great article :D This is a very interesting character, and I really like how you've shown how his immortality has affected him and how his mentality has evolved with times. And the excerpt you've written are really nice :D

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.