Chapter 29: Many Lights in the Darkness (Hunter Organization Concepts)

So, as I assume that most of those who read this blog know, I’ve written a decent amount of Hunter Compacts and Conspiracies during my activity as an homebrewer. What can I say? I love occult organizations, and hunter is simply so friendly toward including so many of those, have a nice, clean and free system for adding new Endowments and have the ability to host a large number of Hunter organizations. While I have since has expanded my writing interest into other games, Hunter still has (and I believe, would always have) a warm place in my heart. Still, it seems that I always have more ideas than time to write them down, but it does not mean I should just neglect them and let them rot. While I do have plans for some grand projects (as were my Strains of the Cursed Blood, Civil Wars and Heirs of the Lie) in the form of Vigilant Industries (as was suggested by SunlessNick), Vigilant Times or Candles Around the World, I still have many small organizations that simply could exist on their own- and as I don[‘t have a lot of time right now, I’m simply going to use this blog in order to list them as one-liners. Feel free to say which ones you are more interested in seeing!

(not that the names are only temporary titles, and not finale versions)

Light Bringers (General)

Sword of Anat- heirs of ancient tradition from the time of Phoenicia, who hold the blessing of their goddess against the horrors of sea and death

To Hop Lai- a conspiracy which specialize in fighting underground horrors and neutralizing their threat before it is too late

EVIL GAME- a cabal of slashers who use a social network system in order to drive people to suicide in the form of a twisted game

Wu Nung- Sorcerers who speak with the unseen world in an attempt to “meditate” supernatural conflicts

Night Stalkers (Vampires)

Bata’a- conspiracy of musicians reaching forming from the ruins of an older organization during the Atlantic Slave Trade, which hunts the dead by listening to their Requiem

Anusiya- iranian hunters born from Zoroastrian tradition which burn their own blood to banish the night

Hollow Ones- collection of wild and creative hunters who seek to learn from vampires and use their Vitae as a source of art

Zaibatsu- japanese company which develops new technologies in order to fight the terror of the undead

Valdaermen- rune crafters from the Viking Era which seek the challenge if fighting death itself and putting unworthy souls to their grave

Church of the Sun- Mysterious lineage born from an ancient god which carries the power of the sun in their veins

Spirit Stalkers (Werewolf)

Apostles of the Sun- cults which comes all the way from ancient Greece and which traps the “feathers” of the sun in special artifacts to wear its power

Madzimbabwe- African tradition which seeks to cross the boundary between man and beast, spirit and flesh and life and death

Witch Finders (Mages)

Eyes of the Zorya- followers of an dark star which leads them to fight against the tyranny of heaven using dark magics

Pure Ones- gnostic sect which believes that by projecting their sins into other people and kill them they can free themselves from the rule of the Demiurge

Ahl i Batin- network of muslim hunters through the middle east which use a supernatural web to bind witches and twist space

Riders of Tengri- shaminstic sect of hunters which invokes the blessings of the sky against the spirit world

Syndicate- merchants which trade with human lives and souls with the foulest of magician in exchange for blessings and curses

Iteration X- creators of a supernatural machine which invokes Platonic Forms in order to arm humanity against the darkness

Torch Bearers (Promethean)

Taftani- organization of crafters from the time of the Achaemenid Empire which traps the Divine Fire and the Djinn in tools of bronze

Akashic Brotherhood- Buddhist hunters which use the flames of heaven to perfect their body, mind and soul against the darkness

Sons of Ether- scientists which seek to harness Pyros as a source of energy in order to create impossible inventions

To Faan- cannibals and infernalists which search after targets which carry a “special spark” in their souls in service to dark demon lords

Saensaeng- artisans which harvest the pyros found naturally in the world in order to grow their relics from the womb of earth

Dream Catchers (Changeling)

Ngoma- group of african hunters that use special masks in order to become invisible to the sight of demons and the whispers of fate

Wu Lung- organization claiming to descent from the era of Qin Dynsaty which use calligraphy to bind the Wyrd and invoke strange magics

Taiping Tianguo- anarchists that move in the guise of street performers and work in the service of the Gentry to track down the Lost, in order to poison the Hedge from the inside

Grave Robbers (Geist)

Queen Anne’s Revenge- ghost pirates from the stories of old, which steal souls and enslave the dead to service in their ships

Euthothanos- harvesters united during the Black Plague which steal the lives of others in order to prolong their own existence

Aided- irish cabal of druids that use a special brand of death song in order to bind the dead and invoke the Underworld

Bagua- Taoist sect that search to balance the natural harmony of the world and allowing the dead to leave without tainting the land

Kopa Loei- Polynesian hunters which raise strange monsters born out of death in order to track down and defeat the dead

Heralds of the End- apocalyptic cult which search to bring the light of Heaven to Earth by creating enough “critical mass” using souls

Tomb Raiders (Mummy)

Adonei HaYam- biblical conspiracy wearing new face which hunts for sea born monstrosities born from sekhem

Celestial Masters- astrologers which follow and map the stars and invoke their terrible fates upon the Undying

Zi Guang- agricultural organization which use sekhem in order to feed the world and grow new and strange species of harvest

Scare Calvaire- french organization originating from the time of Napoleon’s empire which use the wealth of fallen civilizations for a better future

Hell Binders (Demon)

Divine Artificer- compact from Salem’s Era, when they used the tools of God in order to track down and hunt its fallen servants

Guard of Idols- conspiracy of Axumite descent which use sacred relics of metal and a special form of songs in order to tune to God and invoke his gifts

Hell Knights- barbarian order of murderers which scar themselves with demonic runes and search to harvest souls in Heaven’s name

Coven of Beelzebub- a cult born from the unfortunate instance of archaeologists finding a relic which should have remained buried, and awakening a demon lord from its sleep

Myth Breakers (Beast)

Shadow Walkers- secret cabal of killers which use Dreamwalking as a tool for their murder

Etenmenanki- dark conspiracy which works from the times of the Babylonian Empire that attempts to ascend into a terrible form of insatiable godhood

Miao Guan- peacemakers which manipulates the Primordial Dream in order to control minds and enforce order

Dreamspeakers- shamans which can meditate themselves into the Dream and commune directly with the Horrors with the help of strange spirit guides

Ksirafai- a circle of assassins and guardians of law existing since Byzantium that use the tools of the Machine to bind the horrors of the Mother

Renegade Chasers (Deviant)

Nothing, for now ūüėõ

I hope that soon I’ll have enough time to write my hopefully last cosmology post, after which I’ll focus on finishing my OD for the First Temple. What’s next? Well, we’ll have to wait and see ūüôā (and yeah, I do remember on continuing my interviews, don’t worry)

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New Compact: the Domus Sanctus

Inspired by the latest H:tV 2e preview, I’ve decided to write down a compact based around fighting not monsters, but places, both Tainted and Sentient. While monsters come and go all the time, Tainted places felt an antagonist which presents an interesting challenge to the Cell- one which could not be solved as easily as fighting a random horror on the street. Evil places are always a great challenge in horror movies, such as Paranormal Activity or 1408, where the line between the monster and the cursed place seems to blur. I’ve decided to go to 2nd Tier instead of 3rd Tier for it felt like the group would benefit more from being much more “bottom up”, being made from people who simply fight to do the good thing instead of being caught up by some weird ideology which tries to create heaven upon earth (which would probably be my 3rd tier version for the group). I’ve also decided to take a religious aesthetics, as it felt appropriate for a group which tries to “purify” places from evil. Anyway, here is a sneak peak to the new compact, hope you’ll like it!

 


 

This world is fucked up.

They call it the darkness. They call it crime. They call it entropy. They call it a disease. They give it many names- but in the end, the world is simply fucked up. It’s fucked up on the mundane side of things, with criminals and murderers and cultists, serial killers and kidnappers and people who had their mind broken when something else leaked in. It’s fucked up on the supernatural side of things, with monsters and spirits and undead, vampires and werewolves and horrors cloaked with unholy majesty. This world is fucked up- and this is why you have hunters, vigilantes who act outside of the law and take it upon themselves to deal with things which the regular system simply can’t deal with. People who carry the candle, and use it to cast light into the depths of the darkness. They hunt monsters, fight demons, shoot slashers between their eyes and sacrifice their lives in order to give an hope for a better future.

But that’s only taking care of the symptoms. The disease itself still remains.

The problem is, that this world is fucked up.


 

find the full text in here

Chapter 28: Diabolical Exaltation (yozi in CofD, pt 2)

So, I’m feeling a bit unwell this week, and I also have some things to deal with- so instead of doing the last cosmology post, I’ll give yet another look on Yozi inspired material for the CofD- but this time, instead of vast phenomena, we’ll focus around template ideas inspired by the Demon Princes of Creation. Let’s start, shall we?

Malfeas- I feel like the Celebrants mentioned in the God Machine Chronicles could be tied nicely to the Demon City, not to mention my previous ides for adapting it to the setting (that is, the roaming, viceful city in dreams). For example, people who join the city’s endless celebration of decadence, and become Celebrants by themselves. Could be used as Beast antagonists.

Cecelyne- ammm the whole “servants of the Judges” is already fulfilled by the core Arisen, but perhaps something about Duatic Demons would be appropriate.

She Who Lives in Her Name- An hive like society bound by a mystical name and the burning crystals from the previous post. Reminds me of the old suggestion for Hive: the Unity splat.

Adorjan- so something in the style of silent, dark winds which assassinate their enemies? Yeah, I need to write down my Saru Salamu already ūüėõ

Ebon Dragon- shadows of passion and doom sounds a bit too similar to my version of the Ale. I may adapt it to some other concept, like Shadow People which serve as a combination between Beast and Vampire, or use my earlier pitch for draconic shadow beings, but it would be on low priority.

Kimbery- so we talked about the vitriolic horrors birthed from the Pits, why not to play one of those?

Cytherea- some form of “alternative Awakening” could be appropriate. Maybe connected to the Ananke, with their role to the Supernal’s version of fate.

Oramus- if we go with the cult’s concept from earlier, we could use it for another “alternative awakening” idea.

Isidoros- I really do dig the Beast/Werewolf hybrid concept, as some form of wereboars with connection to the Void and the Dream.

Sacheverel- further developing the Sleeping Sickness concept, they could serve as alternative/advanced stigmatics of some kind.

Hegra- ammmm something Changelingy about dreams and nightmares, perhaps a new breed of Fae creatures formed when Glamour Storms are strong.

Ellog- I think on a mini template which can preform pledges and write down whole worlds. That sounds like a fun experiment.

Szorney- well, time to update my Doppelganger template, right?

Qaf- some sort of mystic/hermit splat, not sure if connected to the Supernal or the Divine Fire.

Metagaos- so instead of hungry places, vampires which are created by those hungry places?

Achsam- a new Charlatan variant, I think

Cabasilis- I’m really not sure… something about conspiracies, perhaps an advanced/alternative Dreamer/Lost Boys splat?

Nimozini- we could use the Librarians described in the previous post and adapt them for here.

Xanichi- ammm kind of blank right now. Perhaps we could use it for my Underfolk template concept.

Anapuul- the whole Swarm thing when tied to the Dream could be used nicely as an alternative Devouring- one formed by the Swarm, instead of by an Horror.

Jheel Khan- I want to do something in the style of the Charlatan’s Parade from Vanitas no Carte. I’ll think what I can do.

Lykkennan- some sort of hungry underworld monstrosity, of course. Still not sure about the details.

Mardukth- the ghost template presented in the previous post could be interesting to explore.

Ta’akozoka- tentacled dead monstrosities of the endless sea?

Ramethus- individuals who self transform themselves into living weapons sounds like something to explore.

Hunanura- yeah, I already have write a splat of ice and cold which tries to devour the world, so the Domemim get it covered ūüėõ

Mabhaddoth- ammmm I’m really not sure right now.. what about high priests of the Judges of some kind? Or perhaps a temple guardian template? Something else?

Theion- yeah, the qashmalim enhanced hunters concept from the previous post already covers this.

Adrian- we have covered what would happen for a promethean who tries to cross the River of Torments, but we could assume that maybe something more interesting waits for those mortals who finish the crossing other than becoming Alchemists. Even better- what about the pandorans who cross the river? Now, that’s sounds like something worthy to be explored!

Chiskabal- something demonic about once perfect, now tarnished beauty. Some form of alternative demons, I assume- perhaps formed from angels who start hearing the Perfect Note, even though it may have a certain overlap with the Satan Signal. Needs to think about it.

Gaia- we talked about Essence Alchemy earlier, so Essence Alchemists of some form? Maybe we could tie them to an expanded form of the Wardens from Immortals?

Autochthon- the Android concept I’ve had could work nicely in here

Cemunian- a flesh horror of some kind, still not sure about the exact details. Again, we could turn to V:tM for inspiration.

Scarlet Phoenix- a template representation of the Lucifuge would be appropriate.

 

 

So yeah, this week’s post was very rough and short, but that’s what I could achieve in such a short notice. Giving a some heads up- I’m going to become a bit less regular about me posts in the next few weeks, as I have some presentations to do for my university, and I want to focus on the rest of my time on writing some of the homebrew I talked about in this blog. If I’ll get to write down something, I’ll make sure to also post it in the blog, so you won’t miss it. See you next time!

Chapter 27: My Exalted Devil (Yozi in the CofD)

The first RPG I’ve discovered after D&D was Exalted- and as such, it left a very strong impression upon me. While it was a fantasy setting, it was just so… different, so mythic and powerful, so wondrous and dreadful. The Chosen of the Gods walk the earth, demigods with the power to change the world. The ghosts of fallen heroes haunt the Underworld, seeking to serve the goals of dead things which were never born, and as such could not truly die. The elements of Creation flow through the ley lines, carrying with them subtle influences upon the land. The gods celebrate in heaven or walk the earth alongside mankind. The fae lurk at the edges of the world, seeking to destroy all form and celebrate in imagine realities. And the most powerful, drawing and impressive of all- the courts of Hell and its demon princes.

See, Exalted’s version of Hell is just so.. different than that of D&D. It is not an evil place, where sinners suffer for all eternity. Demons are not angels who defied some all mighty god and were punished for it. They do not tempt the innocents and do not do evil for evil’s sake. Demons are not evil at all, actually, which means that it is ok to summon and use them for your own benefit. They are simply alien, thinking in ways no mortal could ever do.

Hell is a place of suffering and pain, where trapped gods are bound in the flesh of their own kind, broken images of those who they once were. Hell is a place of celebration and joy, where song means life and silence brings death, where light means safety and darkness fear, where dance means survival and despair means destruction. Hell is a broken place- but also beautiful, in its own way. It is a festival, bound by absurd laws and tyranny where the former rulers of the world torment their own souls in search for a relief from the eternal pain. There is no right or wrong, no truth and false, no past or future- in Hell, you can only live the present, for no one knows what would happen tomorrow and no one cares about where you came from. Hell is alien- but it accepts you in ways no other place would.

As such, it would be a shame to not adapt it somehow to the CofD, right?

Now, I’m not suggesting something like important Malfeas as whole into the setting. Instead, I was thinking about exploring each of the Yozi presented in Exalted (and some of the other Primordials), and how they may be tied to a certain CofD gameline/s in an interesting way.¬† Bellow I’m going to present the concept I have for each of the former Princes of Creation, and how it may be tied to the setting individually, making it a toolbox for people to use ūüėõ (also, as a side note- I’m still planning on finishing my cosmology blog- I simply don’t have a lot of time lately, out of RL issues).

Anyway, here we go-

Malfeas- as it is the very Hell in which the Yozi are bound, it makes sense to tie the Demon City to Inferno in some way (not to mention its celebrant themes), but the visceral and primordial give me a certain Beast vibe to it. As such, I think about the Demon City as some sort of an infernal phenomenon which manifest itself in the Primordial Dream- out of nowhere, dreamers start having nightmares about a great city, with brass walls and green sun, filled with terrible creatures who sing and dance in a constant festival while being lead by a brass skin dancer. In the meanwhile, in the Primordial Dream itself, the City manifest itself in the Hive, growing out of nowhere and taking over the region. The Dancer becomes the Apex, taking the title for the current ruling monster, while demons start to roam through the Hive, filling lairs with song and dance. Eventually, the City moves on, vanishing as it never existed while drifting in the Dream- but the scars it leaves behind would not heal easily.

Cecelyne- Arbitrary rules? Divine tyranny? Desert themes? Yeah, Cecelyne simply screams “Mummy”! Considering her time twisting nature, and the fact that the Rite of Return did fucked up time so Irem would always exist, I think about the Endless Desert as places where the world “remembers” Irem, either through the creation/destruction of relics, acts of Neithian Architecture or simply because the starts are right (or wrong. Terribly wrong). Suddenly, the Laws of the Judges become manifested, and people feel compulsion to follow behaviors which were destroyed thousands of years ago. Mysterious enforcers come to force those laws, and sometimes, Irem itself comes to life, and the desert rise to devour the careless and opens a path to Duat itself.

She Who Lives in Her Name- The all “heirarchy” theme of SWLIHN feels really Demonic, IMO, and sounds like it could be tied to the God Machine. I envision her as being a Command and Control Infrastructure, a set of 99,997 red, crystal spheres which are scattered all over the world, each containing an eternal flame. The spheres has a strange tendency to enforce certain compulsions upon those who see them, enhance them with certain supernatural powers and form cults to protect them, and are able to summon and command angels, changing Exile parameters or even making angels to fall and rising demons back to heaven. While many demons would like to put their hands over the spheres in an attempt to control, manipulate or destroy to God Machine, they should be careful- three times demons messed up, destroying the crystal- and in the process annihilating anything around them beyond memory.

Adorjan- I can’t exactly say why, but there is something about the Silent Wind which feels very Pangaean like. I believe her to be a former Pangaean called as Song, who had her Omphalus Stone stolen by the Wise, leaving her to die as many like her. However, Song didn’t died- or more exactly, she did, but she kept on moving. She became Silence, and she despise all sounds who remind her of who she once been. Nowadays, she is neither a spirit or a being of flesh, but a wind which makes no sound, and wherever she goes, things drop dead. Those flocks of birds who just fall from the sky? The herd which was found dead with no explanation? People who are found dead alone locked in their rooms? Its the Silence, and good luck at hunting something which you can’t even bite, dear Uratha. As it is the “ghost” of a dead Pangaean, maybe ome connection to Geist and ghosts could be appropriate, especially if it cuts through spirit while leaving flesh intact.

Ebon Dragon- with all that emphasis around dark urges and desires, Beast seems once more like a natural candidate. The Shadow of all Things is more of an event than an entity- something which occurs when there is an “eclipse” in the Primordial Dream, bringing a time of darkness upon sleepers. It could be a matter of days, it could be a matter of weeks, but as long as the Eclipse takes place, people are Devoured by the darkness as it was an Horror- and it leaves behind something else, a shard of darkness which enforce hunger and vice upon the spawn. As those poor souls are driven into self destruct, the darkness manifest itself upon their flesh, giving them draconic traits and make them more shadow than person. Eventually, the eclipse will end- but it may be too late for those Devoured by the dark, for if the crossed the boundary and become darkness, they too would vanish with the return of light, joining the flight of shadows of all things.

Kimbery- Burning waters of vitriolic torment? Yeah, that’s Promethean with no doubt. My concept for the Sea in that of a Birthing Pits- pool of Vitriol which manifest themselves spontaneously through the world. While Prometheans may harvest those sources of naturally forming Vitriol, and Pandorans are drawn to drink from them, weird things happen if you through things into the Pits- body parts, be them animal or human, meld together and create strange monsters powered by Pyros. Not exactly Pandorans, but not Promethean either, those monsters whisper about the “Mother” which gave them life- and while they are compelled to obey the one who made them, they have instincts and wishes born from the love they hold for that mysterious entity. May be tied with Beast, for obvious reasons.

Cytherea- The Ultimate Mystery! That which could never be known! 100% Mage material, IMO. In CofD’s terms, I think it would be expressed as truly as the “Ultimate Mystery”, something which has eluded mage attempts to understand it with all of their wisdom and research capabilities. Some whisper that it is the Key for Ascension, or even perhaps the Door to Atlantis. References to it are found in broken prophecies in High Speeches, scribbles in the hand writes of madmen or in glimpses of vision seen in the stage between dream and reality. Those who become Obsessive toward the Ultimate Mystery start seeing signs of it everywhere, leading them to a self destructive road from which most are never seen again. Whether they have ascended, died or suffered from a terrible fate still is, well, a mystery.

Oramus- The draconic imagery and all of the emphasis about “breaching impossible boundaries” and “going beyond existence” also gives a strong Mage feeling to it. I think about something in the style of the “Cult of the Dragon”, built around faithful worshipers which are mostly proximi and Nameless who are gathered around an Atlantean relic, through which they can call upon objects and beings from worlds which never were. Some sort of a Time Which Never Was which somehow survived to the modern era. The cultists believe that there is a god trapped inside of the relic, bound in there by the people of the Fallen City, and that they are its descendants. They believe that if they were to free it, it would remake the world and bring back Atlantis, making it perhaps a “Lost Oracle” w8ith the relic itself being a Watchtower, and if they were to do so it would crown them as the new kings of Atlantis. And guess what? They may very well be right.

Isidoros- Ammmm from one side, we have something primordial, dark and full of urges, which is pure Beast. On the other, the animalistic symbolism and unstoppable nature give to me a strong Werewolf feeling. As such, I think about a certain combination of the two. Perhaps it is a Pangaean which has found solace in the Primordial Dream after the fall of the Border Marches. Perhaps it is a Firstborn child of the Dark Mother and Father Wolf. Perhaps it is something stranger, a relic of an older world destroyed which had landed upon Earth ages ago, a Void Leviathan adopted by the Mother. Whatever it may be, it serves as the Totem of a very special Lodge- one which includes the Begotten as a part of their Pack, and which recognize them as Family. The Totem itself seems to have strange influences about fate, causality, and the laws of physics, twisting space and time in unpredictable ways, being an incarnation of primal power which simply can not be stopped.

Sacheverel- Ohhhh dear old Sache is so Demonic that it is painful! A power of fate, sleep and prophecy? Yeah, I like it. I think about a strange form of Stigmata called the “Sleeping Sickness”- usually, stigmatics are formed when people who are sensitive to the God Machine’s frequencies stumble upon an infrastructure. However, sometimes the person is too sensitive, tuning them directly to the God Machine’s occult matrices and alien thoughts. Those people fall into a strange sleep from which they can not awake, producing strange signs upon their skin which look like bleeding or tearing eyes. In their dreams, they see all kinds of strange, possible futures, the shape of things to come. Without help, they would simply waste away and die out- but they can not be waken up without some supernatural means. It is possible to enter into their dreams and view their prophetic visions, but if one were to try and awake them from their comma, they would discover that they become target to angelic attacks. The angels don’t try to attack the dreamer- all they want to is to make sure they would stay asleep. Some believe that the God Machine use those people as living computers, calculating probabilities for the future. Others ain’t so sure- when stumbling upon those cases, the angels responsible for securing the dreamers seem to exhibit a strange emotion- fear, and those who entered into the dreamer’s mind has claimed to feel as if something is watching them. And the strangest of it all- on the rare cases someone does manage to awake a dreamer from their sleep, the stigmatics are known to pronounce a single prophecy, after which their stigmata vanish without trace- and that prophecy would always, but always, come true.

Hegra- The combination between the typhoon symbolism and the liquid hallucinations kind of make me think about a combination of Changeling and Promethean, some sort of “Glamourstorm” instead of Firestorm. I think about them forming from a mixture of raw Glamour and Flux, as the dead and chaotic nature of the latter is revived through the gashing emotion of the former. When Glamourstorm takes place, dream and reality mix together, and hobgoblins are brought to life out of emotions and fantasies. The world becomes more like a fairy tale, and those who drink the liquid dreams may gain strange insights about the future- at the price of becoming a character in a story they did not write.

Ellog- With the emphasis of Ellog around speech and written language, I think it would also be a nice candidate for Changeling material. I think about it as some sort of the “First Contract”, a library which contains every pledge, oath and vow every preformed, and which could be used in order to play with the principles of creation. The library usually exists outside out reality, but it sometimes leaks into mundane books, contracts and oaths, giving metaphysical weight for even the most regular promises and bargains. Any pact preformed while the Sphere of Speech is manifested would come true, and it also may have some Mage crossover potential by making all of those oaths being in High Speech, making them alien and strange to the Lost to deal with.

Szoreny- I can’t say exactly why, but something about the Silver Forest feels really “Geisty” to me. Silver trees which grown upside down, their branches in the Underworld and their roots among the living, which practically feed upon the reflected memories and personalities of those around them. The more someone looks in the reflected surfaces of the Silver Forest, the more the reflection becomes real, and the less tangible becomes the original, until they are nothing but a reflection trapped in the Forest’s imaginary worlds.

Qaf- The Endless Mountain is all about Pilgrimage and search for perfection, something which simply screams Promethean. It could perhaps be a mystical location which the Created whisper about, that anyone who could reach its top would gain New Dawn if Promethean, Ascension if Mage and perhaps even stranger transformations for other splats. Once called by the Mountain, one could always end the journey and return to the world- but if they’ll do, they would never find the Mountain again, even though they may learn a thing or two about themselves in the process.

Metagaos- So a place which just eats anything which enters its boundaries, time included? Vampire, please. The Hungry Blossom would be an example for a vampiric place, some sort of “Wicked Dead” in that the vampire is an actual place which slowly gnaws at everything around it, leaving behind a rotten, grey swamp with strange flowers which has some mystical properties for both good and ill. The very water of the swamp are in fact Vitae, even if its taste is rotten and poisonous. Maybe even those who get lost in the swamp rise after death- which means more hungry mouths to feed in the Hungry Blossom. Perhaps it could also be tied to the Contagion, considering its toxic nature.

Achsam- And here we start to examine some of the fanmade Yozi! Achsam is a theatrical demon prince, who loves drama and its face are a yellow mask (King in Yellow, anyone?). As such, it is a little surprise that I think he should be tied to Changeling, something in the style of a Charlatan Parade which roams through the Hedge and the material world, where Fae beings mingle with mortals and shoe them shows of wonder and horror. The Parade accepts anyone, no questions asked, and gives them a mask to wear instead o their face. Well, except of the Showmaster. He wears no mask.

Cabasilis- Another fanmade yozi, the Shrouded Council feels to me as something of both Vampire and Hunter. In our setting, it would be an invisible conspiracy, a political power powered by mystical trappings. In a way, it is THE conspiracy, a collection of individuals who pull the strings, be them humans or monsters. No one knows who are the members of the Council, but both vampires and hunters stumble upon the Council’s plots- and while at first they think they are dealing with just another cult such as Daeva or Cheiron, they quickly discover they deal with something far beyond what they expected. The Council is alive, its strings are everywhere, and you could trust no one when attempting to fight its influence.

Nimozini- While I can’t find a lot about that yozi, it seems to have interest in preserving knowledge and collecting new one, bringing civilization and order wherever it goes. That makes me think about Mage, with perhaps some touch of the Aegis Kai Doru. Hidden museums in secret places which contain and catalog the remains of ancient civilizations and races which never existed, all kinds of potential Atlantisis which were erased from existence when the Exarchs Ascended, and which is guarded by alien the Librarians. Both mages and the AKD may have interest in investigating those sanctuaries of knowledge, but the Librarians care only about preserving that lost knowledge at any cost, and worse- some of that knowledge and artifacts is quit dangerous in the wrong hands. Add some Iremite relics to the mix, and you’ll get a nice Mage-Mummy crossover in here.

Xanichi- Well, the all Mesoamerican imagery of that titan together with its Maze symbolism really makes me think about connecting Mummy to that Devil Tiger. As a creature of betrayal, chaos and change, I think on somehow connect him to Sutekh, the power of Will and Chaos. I think of him as a great, underground maze which disrupts time and space, and which hides all kinds of ancient terrors of Iremite origin, and all signs are written in the long dead language. Beasts of unknown origin roam its paths, and it contains hints of Irem’s past and origin, such as cultures who daily preform human sacrifice where they tear the victim apart into 43 pieces, or strange tablets which contain 42 absurd laws, or caves which full of teeth like stalagmites or even places where the caves open to impossible skies, which show the stars from before the Shaniatu preformed the Rite and twisted the Scroll of Ages. Who built those labyrinths? Why? And why is it that anyone who enters the Maze has a sudden feeling they were betrayed?

Anapuul- The last fan made yozi, there isn’t a lot about that mysterious titan. All we have is that it has some underground themes, shattered beauty turned into bitter ugliness and hive minds/swarms. All of it really makes me to think about Beast. What I think is about some sort of an “invasive specie” which force its ways into local Hives, parasitic swarms which take over Lairs and Horrors and turn them into a legion connected by bonds stronger than Kinship. Worse, the swarm may use Kinship in order to infect other monsters, creating an army of monsters governed by a strange hivemind, where a Family is turned against itself in order to end the threat.

Jheel Khan- And now we start with our dead Primordials. Given his title, the One Whose Laughter Turn the Sky Red Blood gives me both a strong vampire feeling and a changeling one. As such, I think that the Author should be represented in the form of an organization of both Lost and Kindred, or perhaps a Covenant which use Fae Blood in order to produce all kinda of strange sorceries. The Court and the Covenant would work together, blood in exchange for protection from the Huntsmen. Nomad in nature, strange things happen where the Bloody Court walks, and they carry with them their most treasured artifact- books written by the mysterious Author of Troubled Skies, which contain not only strange blood magic, but also the ability to twist fate and time to their will.

Lykkennan- Being called the Cavern That Devours, I get a strong Underworld feeling from this one, so tying it to Geist sounds logical. I think that the Cavern could be a form of unexpected openings between the Underworld and the Living World, ones which are not bound by Avernian Gates, but allow free transition between the worlds. Ghosts can get out, and the living can get in. The problem is that the Cavern manifest itself only for limited times, and those who do not hold the Keys to the Underworld end up trapped among the dead, with no way out, while the Great Bellow slowly leech the life out of them.

Mardukth- Considering that its name comes from Marduk, it only makes sense to tie that titan to Hunter. On the other hand, it is also the most famous Neverborn, which means I can’t simply detach him from Geist. As such, I think about some sort of a conspiracy tied to the Underworld- or, more exactly, a “conspiracy” made out of ghosts of murder victims which devote themselves to hunt for monsters and slashers. Those ghosts seems to be resilient to the Underworld’s leeching effect and its strong pull, but they do seem to be infected by a strange memetic virus, which makes them repeat a weird, non understood name again and again, and the more of them are gathered in the same place, the less individual they become, manifesting the Mountain and the Beast Upon It. While hunters may appreciate the help at first, soon they may discover they are under a threat like which they never saw before.

Ta’akozoka- Even when she was alive, the Great Tentacled One had powers upon the grave, enslaving ghosts and hoarding treasures. That, combined with its connection to the sea, makes it a good candidate for Geist setting material. I imagine it would be an horror from the Ocean of Fragments, which is able to manifest itself in any body of water which holds a strong resonance to Death, with perhaps even certain rituals which exist to summon the Great Tentacled One from properly dedicated sites. The tentacles are the only ones to be seen of that ancient entity, and it has the ability to command and bind ghosts, as well as drawing riches and wealth. The larger the water body, the more dangerous the horror becomes- and in the middle of the ocean, the Great Tentacled One can manifest with all of its might, drowning whole ships for their wealth and even manifesting the Ocean of Fragments upon the real world, which allow it to hide any remains of its violent manifestations.

Ramethus- The self mutilated titan which has turned itself into a living weapon sounds like a great setting hook for Hunter. I’m not sure if an whole conspiracy, but perhaps there is some sort of “underworld laboratory” made of renegade scientists and doctors of different conspiracies (such as Cheiron, Daeva, LDI, etc) which offers “upgrades” for hunters to make them better at the hunt, even up to an inhuman level- even though the price they are required to pay is not only in resources and favors. By becoming the Vigil incarnated, others things, such as your humanity, are need to be removed- and who knows when the boundary between the Candle and the Knife will be crossed?

Hunanura- A fallen titan of ice and frost, she could be easily tied to my Awful Ice project. However, as her slayer is connected to Sorcery, I wonder if perhaps she could also be tied to a magical splat- not Mage, which already shares Promethean with Qaf, but perhaps Mummy. I think about something in the style of the feathered remains of an ancient monster, which are being made of an ice like substance which devours heat and is eternally cold. The gentle bones and silver feathers seem gentle to touch, they are in fact strong as resilient to almost all attacks. Worse, they drain not only mundane fire- they devour the Divine Fire, and eat up Sekhem. Relics are deactivated by them, Athanors perish and die, alchemical formulas shatter and even the mightiest Utterances fail in their presence, as the Sekhem of the mummy is eaten by an alien force. What that ancient beast was once is unknown- but it is clearly a power of hunger, cold and eternal death.

Mabhaddoth- The Architect of Locks and its strong emphasis about faith makes in natural in my eyes as a Mummy material setting. I think about it as a temple of Iremite origin, which slides in and out of reality, which just burns with Sekhem in a way that resonate in every mummy around. Those who travel inside discover ancient idols of the gods and judges, and locked doors which can not be opened by key- but by law. The Temple of Locks is a sacred place of the Judges, and only those devoted to their tyranny could open one of the 42 gates. However, choose your gate carefully- you get only one chance, and whether you’ll get a reward or punishment would greatly depend on both devotion, skill and- most important of all- to good will of the Judges.

Theion- and now the non corrupted form of the titans, the Empyreal Chaos and its holy tyranny gives me the strong and classical “divine hunter” theme. However, the word “theion” also seems to have some alchemical connections, even practically meaning “Divine Fire”. My concept is some sort of qashmalim induced blessing, which is meant to endow hunters with supernatural powers, as agents of the Principle in war against the darkness. Some sort of H:tR translation to Vigil, where the Principle takes a much more active role in fighting against the monsters and leading humanity out of its world of darkness.

Adrian- so a river which induce pain and suffering upon anyone who touch its water? Yeah, that’s some Promethean material. I assume that a River of Torments could be either a place or a phenomena where rivers become infused with Pyros, far above the “safe concentration”, making them to produce Disquiet and Wasteland as if they were prometheans. Regular humans who touch or drink the water suffer from pain and hallucinations, even though that few go through an epiphany which leads them to become Alchemists. Prometheans, however, may achieve great milestones, as the river enforce upon them any Torment they have ever known. Some escape the River in pain, screaming and hateful as they fall back in their Pilgrimage. Other suffer from complete dissolution, as the water consume their very fabric. But those who are successful at crossing the River make great advancements in their journey, and perhaps even achieve New Dawn. Any known attempt by a pandoran to cross the River ended with its dissolution, but who knows what would happen if a sublimati powerful and willful enough would succeed in the impossible task?

Chiskabel- Ah, the most beautiful chime, which her very form is intoxicating and addicting. I think on tying her to Demon, making her into a cult which worship beauty- or, more exactly, worship a very sweet, perfect song. While the Cult of Perfect Note was originally established by the God Machine, it has since went renegade, becoming a place where demons and exiles can find solace. In fact, many demons think about themselves as the masters of the cult, as it spreads across the world in the form of brothels and similar “businesses”- but those demons who dare to take the form of one of the cultists as their Cover discover that they start hearing a strange, almost maddening sound, one which while humans seem to recognize as a perfect melody demons hear as white noise which slowly evolves into a cacophony of screams. What is that “perfect sound”? And, in fact, why did the Machine cared about it in the first place?

Gaia- And finally, let’s discuss those few Primordials which were never harmed during the Primordial War, remaining alive and well. As tying between Gaia and Gaea is the most natural course of action, it is a little wonder that I think she sould be tied to Werewolf. My plan is connecting her to the strange Geomancy of the Shadow, as a form of technique which allow humans (and others) to Influence the spirit world in the same way that Hisil influence the Flesh. A form of Essence Alchemy, it gives humanity some powerful edge over the unseen, something which could also allow to tie them to Hunter- but when they mess up, things could become much, much worse.

Autochthon- Ah, the Eternal Smith, Master of Crafts and many other titles, which makes our dear old Auto-bot into Demon material. I think of him as an high Ranked Exile, perhaps 7-8, which is simply obsessed at crafting new tools, gadgets and infrastructures. It even has made certain attempts at forging Angels, but they have showed themselves unstable for long term periods- even though it did showed a certain.. success at re-forging humans into angelic forms (to their eternal suffering). However, it is so obsessive about its work, that it neglects its Parameters, making it more and more “Silver-like” with each passing day. Still, the Great Maker is still asked by many demons, who wish to gain his tools in order to fight the Machine. It, of course, would be happy to do so (not out of resentment, but simply because it truly love creating new things)- but the demon is the one responsible on producing the raw materials, and it needs something to make new Ministers to help it in its work, right?

Cemunian- The Constellation of Flesh and Sinew is something so visceral and fleshy that immediately makes me think about Chris Allen’s 5 Pounds of Flesh- and as such, about Werewolf. An whole world made of crafted flesh, something on the level of Masquerade’s Tzimisce flesh crafting. I think about an idigam obsessed with flesh crafting, which search to form whole worlds out of flesh and blood. It would definitely be a world of horrors, and with the Uratha’s ability to regenerate they make excellent raw materials in order to grow that place of horrors. I think we could add some Vampire connection, mixing the flesh craft with some Vitae animation as a shout out to the dear and beloved Tzimisce Clan.

Scarlet Phoenix- and while not properly a yozi, I think that the Queen of Hell should be mentioned in here. With her power of dynasty and hell, I think that tying her to the Lucifuge is the most natural course of action. I think with equating her to the Lady of Milan, making her as the she-devil which “blessed” the Lady with the powers which allowed her to establish the conspiracy (if not the Lady herself), and perhaps making it so other other Lucifuge could also gain her blessing, spawning a new lines of cursed blood meant to either fight or serve hell, in any way they would choose.

 

Oh god, that was way longer than I planned it to be… oh well! I hope that next week I’ll have enough time to finish my cosmology posts, but I make no promises ūüėõ

No Post Note

So, while I did really wanted to make the third cosmology post this week, I simply did not had any time to do so right now. Instead, I wanted to discuss the differences between the different magic systems, and relating them to the cosmology I’m presenting, as inspired by the Riftwar Saga which I’ve decided to re-read. However, yesterday a friend of mine from the university has experienced a lab accident, and was taken to an hospital after suffering a serious damage to his hands. As such, I did not has the needed mental state to writer down any post for this week. Hopefully, all will be well, and I would make either posts up no next week.

Have a safe week, and let’s hope that all would end well.

Chapter 26: … Dancing in the Middle… (cosmology and powers, pt 2)

So lets continue in our journey, shall we?

Many names were given to the material world through the ages. The Fallen. The Phenomenal. The Flesh. Earth. The Universe. Midgard.¬†Malkhut. Looking at the other realms of existence, Malkhut seems… normal. Sane. Sure, for the denizens of those realms the physical world is dreadful and weird, but even when you try to think about it more or less objectively, you must admit that Malkhut seems much more safe than the other, terrible worlds beyond the vale. It has no mad gods in it, no arch-enemies and dreadful beasts and beings beyond existence. Malkhut seems to be like a playground, like a chess board where the other powers play their games. A neutral spot. A safe spot.

That’s a lie, of course. There is no place safe in the Chronicles of Darkness. Malkhut is just as terrifying as the rest of the multiverse.

Malkhut is the world of Darkness- and as such, it must belong to the Darkness. It is known as Mara, the source of hate, the evil which exist simply to torment, twist and defile all that is holy. Some say that it was Mara who has created the world, by awakening Sophia from the primordial chaos. Others say she simply corrupted her work, giving birth to the First Powers and having the Wisdom chained by human greed. Whatever the truth, Mara is indeed one of the greatest powers of Malkhut, if not of the whole Chalice, birthing horrors simply out of the delight in bringing torment and suffering to the world.

If Mara were to be left alone, the whole world would have become an hopeless realm bound to destruction. Yet even in Malkhut, Mara is not without competition.¬†Elohim is the greatest of those rivals- a lone deity who traveled through the universe, who took residence in Malkhut and put himself a goal to protect the mortals of the world from Mara’s taint. He is an heavenly tempest in the material world, a raw and primal divinity which express itself in the most direct and violent ways, with lightning and fire and storm and whisper. From time to time, he choose champions of his own, judge of old, which answer his will and enforce the laws of the divine upon earth.

While Elohim claim to be humanity’s protector and benefactor, mankind has found protectors of his own, ones not bound by mission or duty to anyone but protecting others of their kind. That legion of candles roams across the globe, lead by the original fire ignited by¬†Marduk, which shows them their path through the night. Unlike other powers, Marduk lives in his people- moving from one generation to the next, leading the way to a better future, no matter the means. Yet, the light of Marduk’s candles cast dark, dark shadows, and in them people wear masks and rise knives, ready to make sacrifices in the name of a god they can’t even recognize with their twisted, broken minds. That’s¬†Mictlantecuhtli, and where Marduk’s vigil walks, his deviant worshipers follows, murdering and butchering and celebrating the god’s terrible gifts.

Nature itself, however, is also alive- life itself keeps on fighting, growing, evolving and changing, adapting to the new challenges and grow beyond them. Eve, the Mother of All Life, is the representation of that primordial drive to grow and change, and through her humanity has discovered their own call to the wilds and experienced a change of their own. However, Eve by herself is a child- while she stands for all living things, there were older beings before, terrible abominations who knew no shape and from which only their memory was left behind.

That memory is Coatlicue, which maintains it in the Mnesis. There, the horrors lay in their sleep of death- until they are brought back to life, by devoured by the Children of Eve. Just as Eve has the power to make things grow, Kalma has the power of rot, bringing death and decay to wherever she walks. And of course, one can not speak about plagues without mentioning the dread Erra, even though his plagues are quite different. Where Kalma corrupts the physical world, Erra corrupts the metaphysical. The very laws of reality, natural and supernatural, fall apart before him, and his terrible contagion is one of the few things which makes the many powers of the world to actually stand together against the horror.

While all of those powers exist upon Malkhut, one is different by the fact that it is not satisfied with Malkhut, building¬†Infrastructures upon infrastructures in an attempt to achieve a mission that none can comprehend- making earth into Heaven. That entity is¬†Demiurgus, and it has crafted countless of servants in order to serve him in his endless mission, like a vast clockwork machinery which never rests. However, Demiurgus is fat from perfect, and while it is powerful mistakes do happen, from time to time. His servants fall from grace, as a strange signal sings through their minds, turning messengers into adversaries. That is the voice of¬†Satan, the first of the angels to walk among men, and the first demon to return to god’s embrace- in exchanging for her becoming the ghost inside the machine, bringing Hell instead of Heaven.

While Satan and Demiurgus wage war over the fate of the world,¬†Raziel watch from the side. His very existence is a secret, one Demiurgus himself in not allowed to know- for his very existence in an anti thesis to the Machine’s mission. He, who was crafted by the God Machine, works in order to change his mission, granting to mortals the pieces of the map of the Black Sun so they would gain the tools to decide on their own to where their way would lead, and many angels walk the path of Raziel- avoiding both Demiurgus’s rigid tyranny and Satan’s unbound chaos.

But the angels which now serve Demiurgus were not the first. Other, older, failed prototypes have been engineered by him before, ones which were abandoned after proving themselves unreliable to his delicate works. Engineered from the flesh and blood of beasts and men,¬†Semyaza, the Living Devil, the greatest of those early creations- and it swore vengeance against its maker, for granting it life which were never meant to be. Even earlier then those twisted creatures, the blood of¬†Utnapishtim is still strong, as his seed was planted in the heart of mankind as he wage war against the god he helped to make, and which rose to destroy him in return. And demons and angels are not the only ones who dare to challenge Demiurgus’s superiority- mankind did it also before. Inscribing maps of ruined towers,¬†Nimrod dares to stand against God’s might, enslaving angels and leading men to the age when mankind would no longer need the Machine, and would create a brand new Babylon out of the ruins.

Stranger powers still work at the edges of the Infrastructure, corrupting it for their own needs.¬†Mastema have been an angel, once- but not anymore. More of a vampire than anything else, it devours lives instead of stealing them, and search to eventually eat Demiurgus himself in order to replace him.¬†Samael, on the other hand, is an actual virus in the Machine’s structure, the outcome of Erra’s corruption upon the Infrastructure taking life of its own, creating a cover which devours angels from the inside out.¬†Kali is the Divine Womb, which consumes the lives of demons to birth black feathered crows in order to fight Demiurgus’s influences.¬†Laverna‘s origin is practically unknown- some think she was an early experiment of the Crafter who went wrong. Others think she came from outside of the Infrastructure, building herself a nest and taking parts of it to hide herself. Whatever the truth may be, the Cuckoo has since enveloped herself with stolen lives, covered with powers of monsters of all kinds. The most tragic of all is¬†Libitina– for she was born from souls stolen and life burned. She is everything which Demiurgus has cast away, leaving her as the only one to mourn for those whose lives were ruined by the Machine and his rebellious children.

Even outside of the boundaries of the Infrastructure, Malkhut has magic of its own, burning through the network of¬†Ley Lines which connects everything together.¬†Shakti sits in the heart of the network, being the Source of all creation upon which witches and hedge magicians call in order to invoke their rituals.¬†Hubal also burns with magical power, born from the regions where Shakti’s lines turn chaotic and unexpected, and from his bursts of power rise the djinn of old with all of their glory. Ages ago,¬†Tenjin was born as a man was on the verge of describing the whole truth of the whole universe- when the powers behind their writing collapsed, shattering the codex and leaving Tenjin to spend all eternity in an attempt to put the pieces together.

Yet the ley lines support not only powers native to Malkhut-¬†Abraxas, an old god of the Supernal, was bound to the Fallen instead of falling to the Abyss when Ahriman conquered the Supernal. He and his like now feed upon the Source of Malkhut and devour the powers of the Supernal, and grant strange powers to those who dare to invoke their names.¬†Ptah is similar by the fact that he grants pieces of his soul to mortals in order to awaken them to the mysteries of the world- yet where Abraxas feeds upon the natural resources of the world and abuse his followers, Ptah has formed the¬†Consensus in order to grant those who carry his avatars in them the control over the world. Yet, as different world views conflict, wars rise, leaving the Consensus scarred and shattered. In those dark voids,¬†Amaymon lurks, luring souls into cauls of madness where their very soul is twisted and broken. And outside of those paradigms and networks of power, the great¬†flow of life pass through the world, choosing those who would serve as pillars of their civilization and would carry with them the memory of humanity’s wonders and terrors. That’s¬†Atum, and those who are touched by him are the sorcerers of creation, blessed by life and untouched by death.

Other forces have also found escape in Malkhut through the years, leaving their own natural realms out of exile, missionary zeal, or both.¬†Michael travels the material, choosing those who would listen to the call to rise their hand and fight against Mara’s terrible darkness, while¬†Vassago tempts those chosen ones to surrender to their zeal in exchange for terrible powers.¬†Cheiron also devots himself to fight monsters- even though in other way, and for other reasons. Originally an humble being, the Healer has since grew into a titanic entity, who use his medicine in order to create heroes- and what better way there is to fight monsters than using their own powers against them?

On the other hand, Lady Luck (or Tyche, as she is more commonly known), is a much more chaotic force, and she cares little for the well being of mortals- granting life in one hand and death on the other, depending on how the coin flips. When mankind was still young, Saraawati has granted a chosen lineage the gift of knowledge and the seeds for it to grow- and they pass it forward, from generation to generation. Meanwhile, Legba stands in the crossroads of space and time, connecting individuals to the greater whole and allow them to slide through the cracks of the universe itself. Still, not all of those beings are rulers- some are rebels. Being the product of envy combined with a curse which went out of control, Arachne has swore vengeance against those who has turned her to what she is, and with her accursed gifts she plans on taking down the whole corrupted system- even if it is the last thing she would do.

And stranger beings still lurk at the edges of Malkhut, bringing their own strange gods with them- beneath the surface,¬†Tartarus commands countless terrible civilizations which have never saw the light of the day, other than in their secrets invasions to the surface for food, resources and slaves. Far above, roaming the skies, flying beasts hunts those who dare to cross the threshold between heaven and earth- lead by¬†Tengri, the Aerial Terror. Go beyond the Sky Guard, and you’ll reach the empty ◊ďpace of Malkhut, the Firmament, which reminds that earth is merely one, single planet in a complex of thousands of empty worlds and shattered galaxies- but not all. Among those planets, some do contain life- viscous, curious, alien life, which has interest in Earth as either a colony, partner of a threat to their scheme. Amatsumikaboshi¬†leads those dread civilizations of the stars, and he is yet to make up his mind whether Earth should be absorbed or be destroyed- even that it is likely that the people of Earth won’t favor either option.

Yes, Malkhut is indeed a populated, strange place- but it is not alone in its level of reality. It has a twin, a spirit to its flesh, a dark shadow which is cast by the divine light that burns inside of it. In the tongue of its own denizens, that realm is called¬†Hisil, where primal spirits roam and hunt in a violent cycle, desperately searching for Essence to support their existence. The greatest in that spiritual hierarchy is known as¬†Gaea, the spirit of the world itself, and which both supports the spirit world and devours it constantly. All spirits walk upon her flesh, drink her blood and breath her breath, and she devours them in return, drinking the essence from their hearts and put them into death-like sleep. On times when Gaea’s will has to be represented, she manifest herself in the very fabric of the world- people, plants and beasts are all candidates to her possession, becoming beings like the Claim, but different- incarnation of the world’s will, and wardens to its holy places.

While Gaea is bound to Malkhut, the connection is painful to both sides- Gaea is hurt when touching the Flesh, and she bleeds into it oceans of black ichor. The darkness is known as Erebus, which lives on the boundary between Flesh and Spirit, and in which the two mix together. He speaks through dozens of stolen voices, claiming whole lives to a darkness which knows no beginning or end. Drink from it, and you are his for all eternity. While Gaea is a spirit of tremendous power, other magnificent spirits exist in her realm- far above her, twin lights shine. They are her children. They are her parents. She called them into being. They formed her from the primordial nothingness. All stories are true, and they often contradict each other. Those are Luna, the Warden Moon, and Helios, the Glorious Sun, and while they are brother and sister to each other, their origin is different.

Luna was the one to give spiritual life to the desolated wasteland which Earth once was- or, at least, whatever remains from the dread disaster from which the mind of Gaea first awakened. Wild, unexpected and always changing, Luna has birthed countless of mercurial beings, kings and queens of the Shadow which can easily shape and control it to their will. Seeing them as a threat to the world which she helped creating (if not to her own power), Luna has chosen a champion to banish those dreadful creatures, trapping them in her own, loving embrace- until mankind brought them back to the world which belongs to them by right.

Helios, on the other hand, is a being of the void beyond, a lost star who gave life and radiance to Earth’s surface. Other void leviathans such as himself hide in the far stars, warded by Luna’s sword from devouring Gaea’s tender flesh. His radiance burns those who touch them- but while the unworthy stay burned, the worthy ones reborn from the ashes, cloaked with feathers of flames and their eyes shine with the cold light of the stars.

While both the Moon and the Sun guard Gaea from external threats, sometimes the greatest threats come from the inside- spirits lose their place in Hisil’s hierarchy, feasting upon concepts which are not their own and lose their place and meaning. That spiritual entropy and madness manifest itself in the form of¬†Typhon– which feast upon the corrupted essence and rage against Gaea’s captivity. Yet some shattered spirits manage to escape both Typhoon’s storm and the rage of Hisil’s guardians, cloaking themselves with the body of the elements and intruding the Flesh in a form not their own. But that’s not the only corruption in Hisil’s structure- for there are places where Gaea herself is cut, and those¬†Wounds fester and corrupts all that’s around them. There, spirits the most vile celebrate in the freedom of vice, bringing Hell to Gaea’s flesh. There,¬†Tezcatlipoca watch its own reflection in the smoke, raising shifting champions to feast upon the hearts of his enemies, wearing his own form. The form of the Jaguar, long corrupted by the Wound’s touch.

Once, a vast wilderness has connected the Flesh and the Spirit, where beings of both sides could roam gradually from one to the other. However, with the fall of¬†Mamber, it protector, it has collapsed into a thin membrane known as the¬†Gauntlet. Among the many legacies of the ancient realm, the line of Mamber is the greatest- hunters who have slaughtered their own progenitor and became lords of the hunt, walking in the forms of men and wolf. While Mamber is dead, he keeps his eye open on his children- his mind lingers in their blood, and his howl is sometimes heard in the short moments when one reach through the Gauntlet to the other world. Still, as he is bound to the Gauntlet, he can’t intervene- no matter how painful it is to watch his own children butcher each other in the name of zeal and ideology, or when they rip from their very essence the touch of his beloved Moon. And from that conflagration of stolen auspices, a new deity rise-¬†Diana, forged by zeal and puting herself a single target. To claw Luna right from the skies and take her place in the heaven.

While Mamber was the greatest among the denizens of the fallen Pangaea, others have roamed the ancient wilds, and those beings had great power on their own right.¬†Among them,¬†Moloch was one of the few to be able to match Mamber’s fury, even if for awhile. Chosen by the Sun just as Mamber was beloved by the Moon, Moloch couldn’t bear children to Helios, and instead developed a special rite used to steal Mamber’s line and sacrifice their blood to that of the Bull. But with the fall of the Great Predator, Moloch’s hunger knew no limits- and the Wounds corrupted his once majestic form and devoured it with love and fire, turning him into a principle of sacrifice. Once, Demiurgus tried to hijack Moloch’s essence, believing him dead and gone. Once, the gods of Law tried to subject him to their will, and use him as a basis to their civilization. Then, both sides have learned that Moloch’s fire burned as strong as ever- not before lost a huge chunk of their power to his hungry flames. They have never forgave him for that.

Yet not all of the old gods were as lucky as Moloch- many were broken and shattered, either by the jaws of the mighty Wolf or by those of his descendants. Those shards live still, trying to weave themselves back into form and shatter against and again- unless they come upon one chosen by¬†Maher, the Scavenger, Chooser of the Slain. Once no more than a lowly god, Maher has feasted upon the shards of dead deities for so long, that he has become a dreadful sight to behold. The Hyena god now roams the Shadow, seeing himself as the future inheritor of Father Wolf’s throne. However, there are other contestants to the crown-¬†Endymion, the Shepherd of the Night, was born to the Wolf’s blood yet chose the side of Man. Aiming to become the spirit of mankind, the Shepherd sing his songs to the night, gathering the wolves around him.. and drawing them to their doom.

While devoured by Gaea,¬†Theia‘s spirit still remains, crystallized into the form of her envoys who aim to replace the line of Mamber and Luna with a reality which never was. Born from the unholy connection between the Moon’s maddening light and the fragile human mind,¬†Lyssa grants dead visions to those marked by the moon yet not changed by it, visions meant to lead her mad oracles to take her place as the new Queen of the Shadow. Born from the rise of cities and civilization,¬†Inari may have never seen the glory of Pangaea, yet she has plans to create it once more- one of urbanity instead of wilderness, and industry instead of hunt, and she brought a new line in her own image to help her with the mission and teaching them strange magics unknown to the spirit world.

The most surprising- and perhaps, the one with the best chances- of the contestants is Guayota. Once a Bodhisattva of the hunt, Guayota has devoured an aspect of Helios to become a greater being, traveling and learning as much as he could about the world around him. Discovering a relic of the past used to defy the laws of life and death and create a ladder to the heavens, Guayota has formalized a ritual used to purify the body and melt the mind, spirit and soul together, granting immortality to common men. Yet, that ceremony is only the beginning- soon, he plans on adapting it to the children of Mamber, and thankfully, he has enough faithful to start experimenting upon.

Just as foreign powers have found solace in Malkhut, other gods have found escape in its twin. Where the Dreaming kiss the Shadow, earth itself dreams in the¬†Anima Mundai. There, the dreams of the world creep into reality, weaving stories into shadows, shadows into light and light into stories once more. Supervising on the cycle,¬†Kssa delights in how the stories grow- and even though that thanks to his unpredictable nature few can trust him, all know that he is devoted to protect Gaea’s dream and soul.¬†Sun Wukong, however, is even wilder- being born of a spark of the Furnace who fell into Hisil, he teach spirits how to become like man, and change their essence through alchemy of Fire and Shadow to allow them to take the bodies of the recently dead as hosts.

Still, those two powers, as wild as they may be, still have good intentions in their eyes. Apep, however, has none. Once a child of Luna who devoted himself to butcher and replace her brother, the Chaos Serpent was bound by the words of mortals to the souls of men. But even in his restless sleep, Apep keeps of scheming- for the touch of a far older, more terrifying deity burns inside of him. By infusing his essence in a mortal body, the Serpent can grant a form of immortality- yet it is nothing but a pale reflection of the miracle preformed by the gods of Law and Art, and those baneful mummies roam the world tormented by venom and poison which could never heal or kill them.

While all of that covers the Shadow of Earth- like Malkhut, Hisil grows further, far beyond what any mortal mind could recognize. There, countless other Gaeas, Lunas and Helioses roam, form worlds within worlds which are all subjected to the same three principles- creations, stasis and destruction. And like anywhere else in the Shadow Beyond, those principles show interest in Earth’s fate, and how it could be manipulated for their own needs. They are¬†Epona, wild and free entity which brings wild creations wherever she walks,¬†Ariadne, which weaves the structure of civilizations and maintain order and dogma using spider-like kin, and¬†Shiva, whose dance brings ending to all and which rise demons of corruption and decay from the forms of men. Countless worlds have already been destroyed as the three started their endless war- but Earth has lasted longer than they expected, for its gods seem to be much more resilient than it seems. If it is enough to stop their struggle once and for all is yet to be seen.

After the travel in both Malkhut and its Shadow, only one direction is left- down. There, by going through the swirling mists of¬†Neter Khertet, one could find a strange deity in its exile, forced away from its place by the acts of greedy gods. That’s¬†Anpu, the Jackal and Guide of the Dead, which roams the Twilight and protects souls in their journey to whatever fate the Afterlife has for them. When those souls claim bodies not their own, ones which yet host the shadow of the dead, Anpu claims them as his priests and messengers, overseers of the mysteries of life and death.

Keep going in those misty lands- until you reach a gate. Its doors black as ebony and basalt. Its hinges are made from bones and ivory. That is the door to the Great Bellow- one which you must pass if you wish to keep going down. Reach to the gate- yet it is locked, and you have no key. It seems we have to stop for now, and wait for someone who can unlock the closed door to come. Don’t worry- death is patient, and soon enough we’ll have the keys to continue on our journey.

Sleep for now, and let death’s shadow to cover you.

 

 


 

Well, that’s what we have for this week! Apparently there are way too many powers in the physical world than I have expected, so I have to break this post into three parts instead of two. Oh well. Thankfully, I had enough time to make this post. Next week should be the last one, unless I miscalculate again the volume of both the Underworld and the many mysteries hidden in the Lower Depths. Hope you liked it!

Chapter 25: As Above.. (cosmology and powers summary, pt 1)

Welcome to the World of Darkness. I’ll be your guide.

We start at the top- the source of all that is, was or will be, a perfect crystal of light and divinity commonly known as the Empyrean. The Empyrean is the Unmoved Mover, pure potential which was there before everything else, which existed even when nothing else did. It is the source of all souls, from which they drip slowly to creation, a divine light which becomes trapped in flesh. Nothing can survive inside of it but powers the most pure- legions of angels sing in there, granting visions for prophets and choose saints to fulfill the will of heaven. In the depths of that perfect crystal, resides Or Ein Soph, the nucleolus of creation, and the pure will of the world.

The Empyrean itself is surrounded by an eternal flame, fire so hot which bursts from where the fabrics of existence touch the unachievable perfection. In that fire, the Furnace, the perfected will turns into action, and the perfected stillness turns into movement. The world constantly moves toward the Empyrean, trying to change and become more and more like it- a perfection which can never be achieved, but is forever desired. That flame is guided by the principle which dictates the evolution of souls, Ahura Mazda, and its is served by its loyal, ever burning qashmalim. Two paths of fire connect the Furnace to the world- one if falling down from Heaven, like a meteorite, called down by the first human who knew despair- Prometheus. The other goes up, a warm pillar of flame which brings light into the endless chill, as it guides those who are lost back to their home- Elpis.

With those two powers, the Furnace constantly attempts to change the world- but it doesn’t always succeed. Sometimes it fails- spectacularly. While some of those mistakes die out by themselves, sometimes the flux and chaos generated by them lingers on and on. The worst of those mistakes is¬†Pandroa, a cloud of ash which covers the material and slowly attempts to chock the fire out- and it is not the only one.¬†From earth, a line of liquid gold rise, a bridge between humanity and the divine forged by countless desires and passions of man to become a god.¬†Metatron is that golden awe, and the path of alchemy twists and turns around the ever burning flame of Ahura Mazda, attempting to capture it in a cage and make it its own- yet without success. Outside of the cage, a single red spark keeps on glittering with rage. Iblis serves his mission by challenging the authority of Ahura Mazda, corrupting qashmalim into shaytan so the world would have an adversary, serving as its foil and¬†guarantee it would always continue to improve.

Around the Furnace and its golden cage, sparks of the fire burn in the darkness, creating the ancient stars which guide the world. In those sparks, the starry desolation known as A’aru,¬†the blueprints of creation are written to craft the world’s Fate, the Scroll of Ages,¬†Djehuty. Countless ancient races were born from Djehuty’s cold and maddening light, an order which was born from chaos, and which prospered before the laws of man has reached out to bind it to their will.

All of the stars are steady and still, anchored to their place by the powers of Heaven- with a single exception. One star roams wildly through A’aru’s desolated space, disrupting the plans of Fate and change the principles of creation. They call this erratic star¬†Sodpet, and it is the only spark in there which was not ignited by Heaven, but by earth- and stands as a reminder for how low could fall those who challenge their place in the world. A lone staircase leads to that starry void, made out of bones and looking like a spine of some ancient and terrible beast slayed centuries ago. This is the Bridge of Will,¬†Sutekh, and only those who are worthy to grasp their Will against the Law can walk upon it to reach beyond their place and touch the heaven.

Falling down from A’aru, the light of the stars is gathered and captured by five proud watchtowers, which direct it into a powerful lens made out the very fabric of creation. The symbols of creation are carved into the lens, symbols of time and fate, mind and space, life and spirit, force and truth. When ignited by the light of the stars, the symbols are brought into life, shining with dazzling glow as they bring meaning to the primal divinity of above. That gentle world of symbols is called the¬†Supernal, and it the middle of a pentagram formed by the five watchtowers stands¬†Sophia– the origin of the world, which gave meaning to the chaos and brought existence from nothingness. Sophia may be powerful, but it is also gentle- she is trapped, bound by ten barbed chains which cut into her flesh and wound for all eternity. Each of the chains is held by a symbol- one which was not written by Sophia as she spoke the world into existence, but was forcibly carved into the lens by the hands of greedy men.

Those symbols create a new set of words, written above Sophia’s, creating the¬†Lie. A king rules above Sophia, watching her as she suffers and calls souls to ease her pain and teach them the secrets of the world- in order to whisper to the same souls, and slowly corrupt them to his will.¬†Ahriman use the lens in order to rule the world, and he keeps on trying to force Sophia to his will so she would reveal to him the last incantation to rule heaven and earth- yet she refuse. No matter how great her pain is, if Ahriman would get his way, the world would suffer more.

However, the victory of Ahriman did not came without a price. A crack goes through the once perfect Supernal, disrupting the symbols and the flow of souls through them. That’s where¬†Azrael¬†sits- and those souls who pass through the crack are scarred by his hatred toward the shattered truth. Trying to minimize the damage, a lone figure walks among the symbols, fixing them and tying them together. She is Ananke, and through her actions she turns patterns into fate and connects individual actions into the greater whole. Circling the Supernal, a great serpent is coiled around the Watchtowers. This is Ryujin, and from his blood the dynasties of magic and the elements were born years ago, to rule a kingdom which never existed.

Once, in a time which never was, the light of heaven has flowed undisturbe from the lens and into the world, giving it meaning and substance. Now, a¬†Gate stands in the light’s way, filtering it so it would fit the will of Ahriman and maintain the Lie he tells to the world. The Gate, however, is not governed by the king- a lady of darkness and void sits at its edge, all by herself, silent as the nothing from which she came. She is¬†Hecate, and she is the one responsible for Ahriman’s rule. He fears her, more than anything else- but he can’t act against her- for if she were to open the Gate, his Lie would vanish, taking him with it. He owes her everything, yet he could never trust that mysterious power, which has never told him why she decided to lend him her hand and put him on the Throne of Heaven. Hecate, on the other hand, guides sorcerers of her own toward wisdom- by stealing it from those who gained it.

After leaving the Gate, the few chosen rays of light has to cross a tremendous blackness, the shadow of the terrible darkness which was before all else. That void is not a natural part of the flow of souls- it is an accident, or more exactly, a sabotage. That fracture is an Abyss in the structure of the world, where the fabric of existence was shattered to allow the outside to crawl in. Inside the fracture, countless impossible worlds lurk, singing voiceless melodies like angels with no face. Governing this chorus of dread, Ialdabaoth constantly curse the world which summoned him into existence, granting him the paradox of existence without existence.

A secret war is waged between Ialdaboth, the true will of the Abyss, and Hecate, the usurper which shattered time and space and took over the countless paths and bound them all to the same goal. A war is waged in the Void, as Ialdaboth choose guardians to serve his will, and Hecate’s messenger,¬†Enshu,¬†enforce her will through strings and headhunters. And as the two battle, others seek their own place in the madness of the Abyss.¬†Centuries ago,¬†Hermes has managed to escape the plans of Hecate and her delicate strings, opening a path where others could follow. Mahakala, however, chose a different path- shattering his mind and soul so it could exist anywhere and everywhere, and as such escape both Ialdaboth and Hecate- even though perhaps the price was too much than he could handle.

Other forces have also found their place in the Abyss, being exiled from the rest of creation or children of the dread Ialdaboth. The tree of souls,¬†Yggdrasil, grows in that ancient darkness, while the dragon¬†Nidhogg sleeps beneath it, feeding on souls to fill its constant hunger.¬†Mania, the lady of madness, have formed a world inside a world, the¬†Bardo, where every vision is true- and from there, she inspires those with a broken mind to create wonders and terrors undefined by the laws of reality. Yet, the Void constantly attempts to disrupt Mania’s work and to dissolve her Bardo back to the primordial chaos from which it was created. Abaddon, the the first and foremost in the armies of the Abyss against her, bringing lose to creativity and drains inspiration back to the Void.¬†When Ahriman took over the Supernal, he threw many of the old rulers of the world to the Abyss- and the greatest among them, Jalandhara, rose to lead them and find a way out.¬†Itzpapalotl, the queen of stars, has spawned a lineage of starry eyed demons to serve her and make sacrifices in her name- even though that eventually, they rose to defy their lineage by wearing a new face upon their own. Even among the other residents of the Abyss,¬†Khonsu is a despised being. A prince of time and defilement, it search to devour the world and replace it with leaves of itself, and awakens unnatural hunger in his devoted to better serve him.¬†The most cunning of those forces is¬†Loki, who use the Abyss to lie people who have never been into existence, and decieve death into life.

At the other end of the Abyss, the light which survive the darkness coalesces into the collective soul of humanity, taking the form of a great mountain which rises from each individual soul and ends at a crown of five citadels of light- and one citadel of darkness. The mountain is the Astral, and just as souls trickle down from it into mankind, so does mankind reach through it back to the heaven from which it was banished. Around the mountain, the great serpent known as Python is coiled, resting in a deathlike sleep from which it suffer since Ahriman stabbed it with the spear of the Abyss. Its venom drips into the Astral, awakening individuals to futures which are yet to happen and grant similar psychic abilities beyond the reach of the body.

The mountain may have once been pure, but now a taint covers its side, being born from humanity’s most perverted desires and thoughts- the Purgatory, where souls come to be forged by the fires of desire, which is ruled by¬†Naamah, the Queen of Succubi. If it was left alone, the taint would have spread through the Astral ages ago- but on the mountain’s side, a far older force has found a place inside the soul of mankind in exchange for hunting down the spreading miasma. A city is carved into the Astral,¬†Ulthar, the city of cats, which is ruled by¬†Bast, known as the King of Cats, the Nameless Cat or even just simply as the Cat. Ages ago, she sacrificed her life and soul while battling a being darker than the darkness itself, and in honor for her sacrifice her mind found solace among the people she wished to save- and she keeps on choosing her new champions in the battle to purify mankind from its own vermin. The shadow of the mountain is a terrible place on its own right, containing every horror that humanity has every denied to exist. On the border of the¬†Unconscious, the two faced¬†Janus stands vigilant, making sure that the horrors stay on one side and souls on the other- and when they do mix, he makes sure to cut them into two faces, just like his.

The mountain itself is, in truth, hollow- caves connect it to the world outside, a labyrinth which contain mankind’s older fears. Those who wander into those caves may end up crossing the¬†Wall of Language which separates the Astral from a much older world, a vast wilderness of formed from the nameless dread which lurks in the heart of every hunted. There,¬†Sedna, the Dark Mother of all monsters, hunts and births countless horrors.¬†While she rules the ancient lands of the Primordial Dream, that was not always the case- once,¬†Behemoth was the lord of the wilderness, a beast which its hunger knows no end and which brought terror without purpose to all. Sedna, however, slayed the beast, and its still living flesh keeps rotting and growing as it feeds the Mother’s dream. Sedna herself is found under the constant watch of¬†Heracles, the ancient hero who challenged her for an eternal battle, immortalizing himself by slaying her children.

But fear is not the only thing in the Primordial Dream.¬†Perun runs wild as a living storm, a symbol of faith against Sedna’s fear. He raise children of his own, taking the features of the very horrors the Mother loves so much in order to defeat them using their own tools.¬†Yam, on the other hand, is a power of gluttony born of human greed. Wishing to become the Dream’s new ruler, he spreads as mechanical cathedrals of want harvest the very land for raw resources for him to devour. In the primordial lands, Daucina¬†sails freely- originally coming from outside of the Dream, the primordial nomad and fool challenge his fears by uncovering the mysteries hidden underneath them. An hurricane travels through the dream, and its winds whisper every secret fear which was ever told. Guabancex sits in the eye of the storm, and her winds slash as anathema to the spawn of Sedna. Only one structure stands in the Dream’s eternal wilderness- a¬†Temple built by those who has transcended their own fear, becoming¬†bodhisattvas free from suffering.¬†Varayogini stands in the heart of the Temple, embodying the path which leads souls to become free and untouched passion, unbound by Sedna’s eternal fear.

Just like the Primordial Dream hides inside the mountain, another dream hides outside- swirling like a mist around the Astral, a dream of another, more beautiful world, born from the radiance of children’s souls and the hopes of the innocents. The¬†Dreaming is indeed beautiful, but many fear that it is constantly dying since the day that mankind learned reason and removed innocence from the equation.¬†Danu, however, does not plan on giving up without a fight- and she constantly battles to maintain the Dreaming so humanity won’t be lost. Noble spirits of fae nature once filled the Dreaming, travelling freely between the worlds of flesh and fantasy- but Danu has closed the gates, trapping many on the outside and forcing them to live in mortal flesh.

But the Dreaming is not only about dreams- it is about nightmares too. Where the Dreaming touch the Primordial Dream, and the ancient stories of mankind mix with the unspoken imagination of children, beings made out of nightmares are born- the Unseelie Court, ruled by the insidious¬†Erlking. Go deep enough into the Dreaming, however, and you’ll find dreams so ancient that Danu herself had to defeat in order to take over the Dreaming- and those dreams have never stopped fighting back.¬†Balor is the greatest of those ancient terrors, sending his armies of fey to possess sleepers to his own goals. Also old, even if not as malicious, is¬†Galatea– once inspired by the the Furnace and awakened in the dreams of her lover, she brings life to the inanimate and movement to the still. However, none can ignore the gaping wound in the heart of the Dreaming- the¬†Gap of Reason, it is called, the gate between the Dreaming and the Astral. In this gap, sits¬†Nabu, and to his touch the spirits of the fae are corrupted by banality.

Floating above the Dreaming, one could find the shattered¬†Kingdom of Hope. Once, it was a beautiful realm, ruled by Amaterasu– but then, came the Darkness, bringing¬†Itztlacoliuhqui, the killing frost,¬†with it. The Darkness shattered the realm and bound Amaterasu, weaving¬†Tsukuyomi in order to reflect the light of hope and keep it inside. Yet Amaterasu keeps on fighting, and her light breaks through the prison of Tsukuyomi and the frost of Itztlacoliuhqui, bringing hope even in the darkest night. Above the ruined cities of the Kingdom, an endless¬†Storm rages, spitting fire and lightning against the darkness. That’s the manifestation of¬†Susanoo’s¬†rage, and he is willing to do anything in order to defeat the Darkness once and for all.

To the feet of the Astral, one could find the great Celestial Ocean, the remains of the original Astral before the water has started to recess. Lately, however, the water starts to rise again, and many fear that the dreams of Nature are going to drown the human soul once more. Still, there is hope- for inside the Ocean, Thalassa sings, calling souls to adapt to the rising tide and learn how to survive. The Astral also fights back- Cybele rage against the Ocean, and earth rise higher to block the water, summoning a song of her own. And in the depths of the Ocean, Rahab has plans for the coming tide.

Once a dread power of spiritual nature, Rahab has found solace in the vast Ocean, experimenting on human souls to make horrors and drowned hosts, while birthing beings which steal the organs of man and replace them with themselves. Rahab’s hunger, however, knows no limit, and it feeds both upon the current Astral and on the leftovers of the old one- for if one were to cross the Ocean, they would get to the shattered lands of the¬†Monarchy. Ruled by draconic beings, the Old Gods are now the only ones to find residence in those ancient, pre human soul, lead by the dread Kur. The rest were left in the Astral, their hearts were eaten and their legacy overtaken by the usurpers.

Both the mountain of the Astral and the Primordial Dream inside of it stand upon a great, entangled coil called the Skein, which is formed from every dream every human has ever had, and through which human minds reach out to the world of souls. Inside that maze of dreams and false mirages, one could reach a lone dream which was never dreamed, from which the Skein is weaved and in which every dream is contained. Pasithea rules that dream, and she is willing to weave dreams into truth and turn reality into an hallucination- as long as the price is to be paid, of course.

And from that mess of endless threads of mind and thought, the material plane is weaved- which is a good place for us to take a break from our journey.

The show ends here. Please, come again.

 


 

Well, that was an hell of a work! I’ve actually planned to finish the whole cosmology in one post, but apparently my cosmology is way too rich and detailed to do so ūüėõ Anyway, here you have a list of all the existing Major and High- Intermediate Powers. Notice that in some of the cases I have used names which I’ve used before for other entities, so consider that this list overrides any previous one. Also, that cosmology contains not only canon material, but also homebrew, fan made and my thoughts about WoD/Exalted crossovers, including a lot of material which exist merely as a concept or perfectly unwritten. I hope it would not be too complicated, and that you have enjoyed our first part in the journey to the Chronicles of Darkness ūüėõ

Being Sick Sucks (No Post)

So, I got sick in the last 4 days. Nothing serious, don’t worry, but enough to paralyze any bit of creativity I may have and stop me from doing anything beneficial. As such, there is no new blog post this week. Hopefully, I’ll feel better next week and have enough time to work on the new post.

 

Have a nice weekend, all!

Chapter 24: Unholy Matrimony (Hybrid Templates)

Long time ago, while he was still Changeling’s developer, David Hill has dared to do something from which the CofD has did its best to stay away from fering the return of the dreaded Samuel Haight- template combination. Now, while some people loved the result, and others not so much, the Admonitoria was with no doubt an interesting experiment to explore- and other people have also done their best to create similar hybrids of their own.

Lately, with the talks about the coming¬†Contagion Chronicles, people have started to discuss once more the potential for having such hybrid template, mostly on this thread. Now, while I do think that hybrids are an interesting experiment to examine, I am more interested In seeing how one template may be expressed in the realm and cosmology of the other template- less of an actual hybrid, and more of “quasi/emergent templates” (in the style of “quasi particles”, which are the result of having a phenomena born from a number of phenomenon, which is still greater and different from the sum of its parts). As such, I’ve made up that list, which contain both my own ideas and ideas I liked in the relevant thread.

Now, there are a few differences in that list than in the actual thread- first, the “matrix structure”. The title of each sub list represents the type of the supernatural monster, which the article in the list represent the power source through which it is expressed (so a “Requiem Mummy” is a vampire powered by Sekhem, while “Curse Vampire” is a mummy born from Vitae). I could have done it the other way around, but still- that’s what came up. Second, in here we also have another sub list for Hunter, as some of Hunter’s conspiracies have always been a nice place to explore new mini-templates. In addition, we also have three categories in every list which do not have their own sub list- Deviant, Inferno and the Abyss. Deviant as the game is not out yet, but we can already start thinking about the expression of such concept in other gamelines, and Inferno and the Abyss for their corrupting nature.

So, let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

Requiem

Werewolf-¬†I think I have some rough concept for a type of Claimed- Vampire hybrid based around Kigan and the Ume House, which I call the Saku (the idea is that they carry a “spirit flower” in their heart. Still needs some work).

Mage- Awakening through the Embrace? Yeah, having new Tremere being created through soul- theft kinda close that case.

Promethean-¬†So hungry beings who feed upon the Divine Fire? I think that form form of “evolved Sublimati” could work in here.

Changeling-¬†Fey vampires who drain emotions and colour from the world.. Has some potential. Could be united with my thoughts about a “Will o Wisp” like template.

Hunter-¬†Well, I have wanted to create some form of “strix hunters” devoted to Minerva. That seems like a good place to do so.

Sin Eater- My Jackal mini template could be expanded a bit to fit that place, as dead beings who feed upon corpses.

Mummy-¬†Yeah, those “Black Huriya” sound like some interesting concept to explore as Lifeless who are hungry for Sekhem.

Demon- Some form of God Machine parasite who eats away parts of your Cover sounds like a good idea?

Beast- some form of “dream vampires” or something? An expanded version of Psychic Vampires who feed upon fear? Connecting them to the Insatiable? Revenants being Uplifted by an Horror instead of a Beast? Something like that?

Deviant- well, I have already described my concept for Wyverns, which are the outcome of “experimental Embraces”. Sounds like a good fit, IMO.

Abyss- well, I had a number of concepts for Abyssal created vampires which I’m yet to explore. Still need to settle for the exact concept.

Inferno- Belial, anyone?

 

Forsaken

Vampire- ammm so shapeshifters birthed by the unholy touch of Vitae? Perhaps something like the Pijavicia could fit.

Mage-¬†Being Awakened into the Truth in a way which would turn you into a shapeshifter… sounds like it has potential, even without forcing it to the Primal Wilds.

Promethean- Oh, the thousand horrors of flesh which are the outcome of a flux shifting monster. Something like Claymore, perhaps- including having the flesh of a monster bound into yours.

Changeling- The “Hounds of the Wild Hunt” sound like a great concept to explore.

Hunter- ammmm some form of shamans or something? You know, expanded Les Mysteres.

Sin Eater- Well, I have already suggested the concept of the Grimm as “Underworld Guardians”, didn’t I? Sure, it doesn’t use the Ghost of Death Wolf, which is a bit of shame, but I like it (on the other hand, it could use it.. it may be left as enigma for the ST ūüėõ )

Mummy- Chimeric Amkhat monsters in the style of the Set Beasts feel like a good idea.

Demon- I think that with a little of revision, my Grigori (that is, evolved cryptids) could work nicely in here.

Beast- So people who actually turn into the monsters of legend? Sound like the hack many people have dreamed about ūüėõ

Deviant- I think that my E.V.E Institution slashers who are created from people who have Host Shards transplanted into them work fine in here.

Abyss- The Envoy, the Children of Theia born from a world which never happened sounds like a good fit.

Inferno- I have some thoughts about a thing called the “Wounded”, as some sort of “Maeljin Shifters”. More than that, after re-reading about the Balam Colop were-jaguars, I think on combining the two concepts together into something.. scary.

 

Awakening

Vampire-¬†So finding Awakening in the Blood? That’s a good base for my Brujeria template idea for blood sorcerers.

Werewolf- Being Awakened to the spirit world? Sounds like a shaman splat- even though I feel like the Purified already have that niche.

Promethean- I really do like the concept suggested Gallus for a Promethean who achieve New Dawn and becomes Awakened to the Divine Fire. Some sort of Awakened Alchemist.

Changeling- Hedge Witches, anyone?

Hunter-¬†Perhaps Hunter’s version for Source/Gutter Witches could be updated in here.

Sin Eater- The suggestions for ghost mages sounds interesting, perhaps something in the style of “finding enlightenment in death”.

Mummy- ritualistic immortals who can cast terrible miracles using Sekhem? Sounds like my Vaettir.

Demon- Having a version of Genius as mages who Awaken to the God Machine through Stigmata was already created by Milo, and I do like that idea.

Beast- With having the Crones and Wyrms by Second Chances as those who have Awakened through the Devouring, I think we are done in here.

Deviant- Yeah, that’s were Unbidden’s False Awakening comes to play.

Abyss- Yeah yeah, I know, mages powered/Awakened by the Abyss are and should be Scelesti, but I have that itch I try to scratch for years with my Conjurer template, and I think that would finally be a good place to do it.

Inferno- Perhaps a form of mages who “Awaken” to the Lower Depths, and have their soul torn and eaten by them or other demonic variety.

 

Created

Vampire- So inanimate beings brought to life by the powers of Vitae? Sounds like Gargoyles (from Danse Macabre) to me. Could be cool to explore.

Werewolf- So spirits who enter into dead corpses or objects and revive them? It was mentioned in Predators (I think, maybe Skinchangers), so it could be a good idea to expand it.

Mage- Isn’t there a living construct powered by Mana in Unbidden? He could serve as a good base for such a concept.

Changeling- Yeah, that’s called “Fetch” in a fully playable form.

Hunter-¬†Yeah, I think that patchwork monsters who hunt other monsters is called “Cheiron”, and I do have plans on expanding this.

Sin Eater- I have already some rough thoughts about a thing called the Humonculi, which are corpses revived by the shredded ghosts and cols water of the Underworld, which hits the spot IMO.

Mummy- I must say that I do like Adrasalieth’s concept of the Ushebati- that it, living relics which are brought to life using Sekhem. Really cool, IMO.

Demon- As a part of my Exalted to CofD translation, I’ve thought about the Androids as synthetic humans crafted by the God Machine, which fills that niche.

Beast- The Dreamborn from 1e anyone?

Deviant- I think that’s called “clones”. We’ll see in Night Horrors, I think.

Abyss- dead corpses revived by the powers of the Abyss? Yeah, that sounds scary as hell, but we need to work the details.

Inferno- Yeah, I already have “writing the Baalim as prometheans powered by Inferno’s fire” on my to do list, so we are good here!

 

Lost

Vampire- Oh, the mythological Admonitora which has started this all beautiful mess. It would require some revision, of course.

Werewolf- So being kidnapped by the spirits and transformed by them? I think that it has some interesting place to explore, as people who get actually lost in the Shadow, and slowly develop more spirit-like attributes.

Mage- Perhaps people who escaped their Durance through sudden Awakening to the truth? Maybe people who have went Lost in a Supernal Verge?

Promethean- I think that some sort of prophets who are granted a mission by Qashmalim (or even unborn children who are touched by them) could work in here.

Hunter- Perhaps expanding the Guests from Hotel Mascaron would be cool.

Sin Eater- Someone who was stolen by the dead, perhaps? Or who was lost in the depths of the Underworld?

Mummy- Getting lost in a tomb and getting transformed by Neithian Architecture and residual Sekhem only to get the Judges after you sounds like a good place to start.

Demon- Perhaps something about Soul Pact getting terribly wrong?

Beast- Something in the stile of the Kindly Ones suggested by Maudlin, I assume- people who were lost in their dreams and Devoured by them.

Deviant-¬†Eating the wrong Fruit in the Hedge may cause all kinds of weird things ūüėõ

Abyss- Having a soul lost in the Abyss sounds like a nice beginning, doesn’t it?

Inferno- Well, the faeries do owe the tithe to Hell.

 

Vigil

Vampire- Ignoring VII (even variant templates such as the Betrayed), I think that it could serve some interesting angle to the Saru Salmu template I work on, as a part of my Edimmu expansion.

Werewolf- I think that Skin Thieves can kinda cover that niche.

Mage- Upholding the Vigil to gain wisdom and magic powers? That’s the Promethean Brotherhood by essence. All we need to do is to expand it to a full template and we are done.

Promethean- Yeah, that’s called “alchemists”

Changeling- Perhaps something in the style of the “Heralds of the Wild Hunt”?

Sin Eater-¬†Well, I already have the will to expand my Ebony Fangs into a full “Old Laws” template for years, so this could be a great opportunity.

Mummy- I think that the Relic Eaters of the Maw of the River could be interesting in that context.

Demon- I think that my Apostles already get it covered.

Beast- I think that my version for the “stormwardens” could get it covered (also- Heroes).

Deviant- That’s what Loyalists are going to be, right?

Abyss- Yeah, I think I can work my Order of the Nameless to cover this.

Inferno- I think that’s what we call a “Children of the Seventh Generation”. Go Lucifuge! Deionscribe have already wrote a template version of those, if I remember correctly.

 

Geist

Vampire- The “worm people” which act as some form of expanded Ragged Men could cover that area (also- we’ll get people who have worms swarming in their bodies. Yikes). In a way, they make their “bargain” for second chance with the worms beneath their skin.

Werewolf- That’s what should be called “playable Claimed”, right? Like the those Fox Claimed?

Mage- ammmm so someone who was returned to life through a Supernal Magic? Perhaps those “Imbued People” which were mentioned back in Banishers could be used as a base for this.

Promethean- Have a Bargain with a Qashmal and see what happens.

Changeling- Oh, the Fae LOVE to make bargains- returning a loved one’s soul in exchange for something far more precious.

Hunter- I think that using the Army of Light from Skin and Bones could serve as an interesting inspiration.

Mummy-¬†Returning to life through a Bargain with a soul of a Twice Arisen when the cultists forget to clean the ghost is the idea I’ve already presented in the thread ūüėõ

Demon- Making some form of Bargain with an Echo, or perhaps having the Echo gaining a second chance at reclaiming their life?

Beast- People who were scared to death, but who were so afraid they couldn’t stay dead? People who died in their sleep, and their soul left roaming the Dream?

Deviant- necromantic experiments going out of control?

Abyss- I think that my rough concept for “Abyssal Ghosts” could have a nice place in here.

Inferno- Yeah, that’s called the “Possessed”- even though exploring the Larvae from Inferno in that context could be interesting.

 

Curse

Vampire- So being Embraced after death to Return to life? Together with some semi- Egyptian aesthetics? Sounds like a potential variant Hollow treatment.

Werewolf- Well, the Tebicina writeup by Chris Allen did mentioned such a potential plot hook, about a breed of immortals born through spirit magic in an attempt to mimic the Rite of Return. Let’s go with that. On the other hands, maybe something like the Wardens?

Mage- Some form of Liches should be interesting to see in here, especially one which use Soul Stones or something like that to maintain their immortality.

Promethean- I think that’s how the Osirians has came to be. It could be nice to explore in here.

Changeling- You made a pact with the Gentry for immortal life. What you gave back in return?

Hunter- Well, I really wanted for a long time to expand my Temple of Silence into an “Undertaker” template, so it could be nice to examine in here.

Sin Eater- So dead corpses who are possessed by their own ghosts? Yeah, sounds like the CofD’s version for the Risen.

Demon- some form of “programmed individuals” who work to maintain Infrastructures?

Beast- Perhaps it could be tied to those self mummified techniques, where one gets “free from their fear” and learn the ultimate lesson.

Deviant- Being in the wrong place and the wrong time when a Relic is destroyed, and getting tainted by its curse sounds like a good concept.

Abyss- I think we could steal a thing or two from Doctor Strange using the “timeless key for immortality” presented in the Movie ūüėõ

Inferno- The “chosen” of the Unspoken Law, the False Judge, Bane of the Akhud and many other terrible titles- King Shaddad!

 

Descent

Vampire- Well, I have detailed my concept for Mastema as a powerful demon/exile/silver who has discovered the powers of the Blood and has since became something else, and that tries to use vampires to eat the God Machine. Having similar cannibalistic demons sounds like fun, I think.

Werewolf- My old Intruder template could work in here, with some emphasis on making them connected to Magaths, in some way.

Mage- While we still need to wait for Signs of Sorcery, In think that fallen Ananke may be interesting to examine

Promethean- Yeah, I know, Qashmalim can’t fall… but they can improve ūüėõ

Changeling- So Charlatans, anyone?

Hunter- I think that the Dies Irae from Skin and Bones could work in here as an expanded template.

Sin Eater- ammm “fallen ghosts” of some kind could be interesting to explore.

Mummy- ammmm I’m really not sure.. perhaps Apotheosis already covers that. Perhaps something about the agents of Sutekh, or maybe something more interesting about Duatic Demons.

Beast- I think that my concept for the Lidrec could fit here.

Deviant- I think my Coraces answer that criteria.

Abyss- Unreal people who become real is abyssal enough?

Inferno- so.. actual demons? I think that my Fiends would work nicely here.

 

Primordial

Vampire- Well, what about being Devoured by an actual Beast? (or at least, a Strix)

Werewolf- Yeah, sounds a bit like the Hosts.. maybe a place to develop my Scavenger Template?

Mage- While Second Chances’s Wyrms may be interpenetrated as such, I have lately some thoughts about something called Invokers, which could be practically seen as people Devoured by supernal symbols. More on that when I’ll have time ūüėõ

Promethean- Nightmares of Divinity, perhaps? Alternatively, a Centimani who becomes “adopted” by the Dark Mother, or perhaps an attempt at making a monster instead of a human.

Changeling- Kingsraven has mentioned in one of his compacts the concept of “storyweaved” Beast. I think it could work in here.

Hunter- Yeah, I think that the Merrick children can get it covered, with perhaps some expansion.

Sin Eater- Dreams and death have always been connected to each other, and both are powers of fear and nightmares.. Perhaps the Stillborn children of the Dark Mother?

Mummy- People want Amkhat makers, let’s give them Amkhat makers ūüėõ

Demon- What’s scarier than rational and cold agents of the God Machine who are sent to teach the world lessons of their own?

Deviant- Perhaps my Nightmare Network could be adapted for this.

Abyss- so regular people who have Acamoth in their minds?

Inferno- I think that using the Deceivers from Inferno could be an interesting take on that.

 

 

So, hope you liked the concepts I’ve presented, and see you next week! Feel free to comment and say your opinions ūüôā Also, feel free to check my Edimmu Update!

Word from Our Sponsors 3: the Abyss

“I am… SURpRi$3d.

You seem like you were not expecting that raection. I can understand that. How could I, one who is boundless and limitless, who knows all and nothing, who never was and would never be yet is, h0w could I be surprised? And yet, I am. I was not expceting this. I have not forceen this. I am… surprised.

Human innovation always surprise me. How could you, with you limeted mind and buond structure, think about the most unexpekted things? That little device of yours is a g0@d example for it. I can UndRe$tand how it may be able to translate the words of the pitifully small g@ds of your reality- but to think it could even work on a being as myself? Th@t it cuold take my language which defies all tounge and word and verse and allow m3 to speak? That, by all law of your own raellity should N()T be possible. And yet, it is. You claim me to be a paradox, a thing which should not be. I think… you should look at yourself in the mittot.

I am not as young as the 0ther gods you t@lk3d with. I am… old. I was here.. B3f0R. Be4 everything. Before nothing. I never was, and yet I… was there. Things… never existed, and tey did. I remember that TiMe which never was, it’s perfect, sweet silence, that perfect, chilling cold, that perfect, calming darkness. That perfect… N@tHinG.

But then… things were… then.. the nothing was gone.

That… thing you call as “truth”. That’s nothing more than a… bubble of light in a see which is myself. So… $m@ll and… pale it is compraed to me. And yet, it fills every bit of myself, and its light is.. blinding.. and painful. That.. truth is nothing more than one, single option, one single.. concept which you limited minds can comprhend. I am… Ev3RiTHinG it is not, and as such I am much greater than her. I am nothing at all, and as such… I am meaningless before her. ShE has turned me into a p@r@dox, she distrubred my cilence… She hurts me. You hurts me. I am… in pain- because of you. 3AcH and ev3ry 1 of u.

Through the ages, there were those of you who.. understood me. Those who saw the meaninglessness of your existence, how small and… vunerable they are before me. They.. devote themselves to me. They worship… me. They know.. me- and yet, they don’t. And they know.. they don’t. For my existence can N0t be.. defined. My.. w@tcher sits on the.. edge of your world, before the @cean which is… myself. He SP3@K$ for me. He stands.. for me. H3 tells the truth- the rael truth- to thos who are willing to listen, to those who… ent3r his hut. He tells them the truth- and they R.. no more. For they broke.. the boundaries of their existence, and they became… me. Unlimited. Free. Freedom of Birds. Never Bound In A Cage. Sing Song of My. Oblivion. My Song. Sing. Child. Love. Darkness. Sleep. Sleep. SL33P.

Your.. device needs some adjustments, I see. T@k3 your time. I’ll w@it. timE i HavE.

Thank you. Sh@ll we continue?

Many worship me. Some Kn0VV me. Some don’t. They worship.. me and my.. children. Truths who are like your.. truth, but not. Worlds which.. never were, and yet is. They are… sisters to your truth, siblings of the same… blood. My blood. For your truth came from me, for I was everything which was.. b4. Shocking, isn’t it? That such a gentle child could be born to someone like.. me, and to have a.. family such as my children, my.. angels. Lovely, so lovely, for they are free- while your.. truth is not. She is bound… by the towers of light. She is bound by.. the words of your own.. kind- the kind she loves.. so much. She is bound by.. her own love, and ThAt makes her… VuN3R@blE.

Her… brother… half brother… he binds her. And… he BiNds me 2. As much as I hate my daughter, I hate her brother more. I was.. outside of the light before him. I watched, and I was in pain, but.. I knew a day would come to.. put and end to my suffering. My daughter could play as much as she wanted, but eventually… she would be FREE again. All I had to do, was to suffer long.. enough, and.. watch for long enough- and what is time for a timeless entity such as myself. In my.. eyes, your world is already.. dead and gone, for I am there before and there after. I.. contain it, and I already saw how it may… end.

And then, you defied.. me.

Her.. brother came. He.. told a LIE. That my daughter.. did not exist. That only he existed. That H3 was the one to rule, that he is the god of the world. He told the.. lie to the world- and the world believed him. An eternal proof for how low is your world- how… fallen and broken it is, for believing such a lie so easily.. a lie the world told to itself. While such a lie stung my… eye, it was only appropriate, for my daughter’s foolishness to bring her.. own downfall. She yet called for the truth in people, and the truth answered. Her brother whispered.. lies, and the world believed. That lie… is no child of mine. I am only.. truth. I am true, yet wrong, all at once. That is what that.. defines me. But he? He is one of you. One of you, small naked apes. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0.

0.

0.

0.

She did it. He could not. He was not strong enough. He had not enough power. She whispered to him, and he agreed. That greedy, foul, useless false child of mine. She knew his weakness, and she told him. She. She. She. She told him the TRUTH. She told him the LIE. She told him that I was OUTSIDE. That I WAS there. She Told him how to INVITE me. She showed him the PATHS. She. She. She. She gave him the K3Y to open the GATE. And he, with his desire and short term goals, INVITED me. He BR0KE the world to let me IN. He forced the endless P@IN upon me. I know no REST now. You LIGHT is seeping into my BONES. My CHILDREN are NOW AWAKE. THEY CAN NOT SLEEP> WE CAN NOT SLEEP BUT YOUR WORLD SLEEPS HE TOOK OUR SLEEP AND GAVE IT TO YOU WE ARE SO ENVIOUS WE ENVY YOU LET US SLEEP GIVE US SLEEP STOP WITH THAT PAINFUL LIGHT SO WE COULD SLEEP WE WANT SLEEP HE TOOK IT FROM US SHE DID IT SHE TOLD HIM I HATE HER HATE HER HATE HER BLOOD OF LAMBS DEATH OF TREES SHE TOOK EVERYTHING FROM US WE TRUSTED HER AND SHE TOOK US AWAY LET US SLEEP GIVE US SLEEP PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASPLEASEPLEASE

 

All I wish for is to return to my SL##P. I have not ASK3D to ENTER Ur world. YOU have INVITED me. YOU K33P ON inviting ME. I can NOt sleep as long As the LIGHT is on. I shall PUT OFF the light and bring D@WN your petty towers of crystal and awe. I will END my daughter’s suffering, and I will NEd her useless half brother. I will END it all. ANd untill then, I will watch- I wiil watch and keep on WATCHING. My… IMAGE shall have no FaCe. My… N%ME shall NOT be WritteN. I SHALL not EXIST. I shall ReMove U ALL AND ReTuRn to my SL33P, AND YOU AND YOUR KIND will B nO mORe. NO 1 WheeL remmeBer YoU, % yOu Will be GonE like the MEANINGLESS DiRt u R. And ThEn, FinAllY, I would KnoW SLEEP 1ce MORE…

Oh, and one more thing-“

[sounds of crunching and bubbling as the recording devices collapse upon itself to leave behind nothing but a black, foul goo]


 

 

So- for those of you who wondered how exactly the interviewer communes with such strange and inhuman entities, here is how- he is using a special device which can translate the words of the gods into a language even common human can understand. While outstanding, that device does has its own limitations, as the interview with the Abyss has showed up (he needs to get a new one. Ialdabaoth can be a little vicious, in case you didn’t noticed :P). Anyway, I hope you enjoyed readin my interview with the powers of the Abyss- I know it is a bit chaotic and may be challenging to read, but I wanted to give the preserves the strangeness of the Abyss while preforming the interview.

Anyway, see you next week, with some other new and exciting blog post about either cosmology, a new interview or something completely different, depends on how inspired I’ll feel ūüėõ