The Great Works are the seven stories that exist within ven opera. Each of those stories revolves around one of the Seven Fools – archetypal characters much akin to King Arthur, Sherlock Holmes, and the like who have had many stories told about them, re-imagining them time and time again or using the themes and tropes associated with them in new contexts to tell new stories.
While the Seven Fools have been portrayed as both genders, but the role itself is always gender specific. For example, there have been both male and female characters who fit the role of “the Rake,” but because he first appeared as male, that role is always referred to in the male gender.
The character known as “the Actress” rises up through ven society through some sort of Art. She comes from humble beginnings, but convinced by the praise of others, she loses sight of those beginnings.
The Dowager Duchess
The Dowager Duchess is a woman (or man) who is advanced in age, but refuses to acknowledge the inevitable grasp of Solace. She acts like a young woman until the cruel truth of the world comes knocking on her door, and finding her unprepared, she faces death, losing the sleep of Solace forever.
The Husband is the archetypal neglectful spouse. He is often male, although he has been portrayed as female on rare occasions (and equally rare success). His undoing is underestimating his wife’s (or husband’s) desires for independence and happiness.
The Rake is unmarried, either male or female, looking to rise in society through romantic conquests. His undoing is his own shallow heart and misunderstanding of the sacredness of love.
His Prowess unmatched, he walks the streets of Shanri unafraid, taking all challenges. This is Cyrvanto, the Swordsman. Arrogant, and proud of it, he refuses apology, demanding the Sword answer all threats to his honor.
The Wife is demanding, selfish and proud; the things that allowed her to reach the pinnacle of society. Unfortunately, these same qualities are her undoing.
The Wise Man
The character of the Wise Man is one of the least popular subjects in ven Opera. Of all the Fools, his tragedy seems the most difficult to make compelling to a ven audience. Most Artists see the Wise Man as a challenge, attempting to make this character into high Art. Most fail.
Another omnipresent element of ven Opera is the presence of “the Servants.” Two Servants, always named Ythala (a woman) and Talsho (a man), appear in all variations, acting as a kind of Greek chorus, giving exposition to the audience with their gossip. Traditionally, the servants have the last word, giving the moral of the Opera to the audience, although more bold artists use the Servants to comment on the moral. Dangerous. But then again, true Art is always dangerous.