Hammer to Fall by Queen Interpretation (Isle of Mist)

Complete lyrics can be found online for this song. My rationale for using this as a session theme song is below.

The first verse opens with a metaphorical call to battle, but I chose this as a theme song because the PCs are entering a literal battle. Moreover, because of how the PCs are unintentionally manipulating the timeline (well, really the Usurper's actions are driving this, but still…), history won't care if they manage to succeed, because none of their actions will likely have happened. As for "don't hear the bell, but you answer the call," the PCs knew to come to this battle but did not know why - they didn't "hear the bell," but the did answer the zwallen's call for help.

The hammer is a key thematic element of the song as well, and that's easily justified in this case since both Darias and Aida use hammers (and Saul's weapon isn't far removed from one). However, I also intended the original metaphorical meaning of the "hammer to fall" to apply here. The PCs are triggering a battle currently that will bring the hammer down on the world. Even if they are successful, the end result of the battle is that the demons will once again have greater access to this plane. The PCs will be crushed between the hammer and the anvil, metaphorically, and they'll need to take this as a forging into stronger stuff rather than an instrument of destruction.

In the next verse, the song discusses how "a little piece" of the PCs is falling away "every night and every day." I wanted to interpret this both as the scales falling from the PCs' eyes every day as they learn more about the world (countering the lies they'd been taught all through their childhoods) and as the changes they have to go through during this metaphorical forging of themselves into their (hopefully) best selves. They lift their faces the Western way, though, because they are from the West; they should look to their origins and keep the good parts of how they were raised.

The PCs tow the line and play the game of the gods; that is essentially the point of the whole campaign. They're fighting for their lives quite literally. The struggle is all in vain, ultimately, for they truly don't have the power to truly defeat the Usurper; the best they can do is delay it. They truly can't win, but they have to hope that their delay allows someone else to enter the game later, someone who might play for them and win.

Maleos and Darias in particular spent their entire lives "convinced their voices can't be heard/[and they] just wanna scream it louder and louder." They rebelled against their upbringing, the tight, controlling nature of the Isle's authorities, and this is how they are screaming into the darkness now.

As for the end of the song, what are the PCs fighting for? They really don't know. It could be tempting to surrender, to just give in, but they have to keep screaming into the darkness and fighting. Will they say their prayers, freely choose to support the gods in this fight? Will they sacrifice themselves, if that is what must happen, when the hammer does fall?


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