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All Myths Are True - My Cosmology

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  • All Myths Are True - My Cosmology

    The cosmological system I use for Scion caught the attention of some forum posters earlier this week, and there was interest to see my brief explanation expanded upon. So, that is what I am doing here. I would like to credit Iry for the idea of the planet Earth being a result of merged Pantheon-Specific worlds, and Aynie for the notion of the Legend Cap brought on by the sealing of Titans. I have interwoven these notions, and added some features of my own here and there.

    The premise that All Myths Are True forms one of the core pieces of Scion. However, this notion can be exceptionally difficult for Storytellers to actually manage. There are a series of issues this presents for running games in Scion, and this Cosmological system was developed to try to remedy the six largest issues that All Myths Are True presented me, both from the perspective of accuracy, as well as ease of running a game.

    If you would like to skip past this introduction, feel free, the cosmology explanation starts immediately beneath. I will be making reference back to the six problems detailed within, explaining how the Cosmology addresses these problems, but it should be understandable without them.

    All Myths Are True - The Problem
    In The Beginning: The Challenge of Multiple Origins.
    If All Myths Are True, than right off the bat, right at the beginning of things, stuff already doesn’t make sense. The Tezcatlipocas created the world from the body of Cipactli, Odin, Vili, and Vé created it from the corpse of Ymir, Gaia emerged from the Nothingness, the Túatha just sort of found Ireland one day, all of these things can not be equally true. But they must be, for that is one of the core premises of the game.

    There are, of course, solutions to this. Having each Pantheon create their own specific region, for example, can work. However, as you expand past the original Pantheons in the game, it begins to get messy. The Hittite Gods, and the Persian Gods, have the same region of geographic influence, both centered on Anatolia. Central America has had a plethora of large cultural groups who were not the Mexica, the Deities of the Manchu peoples would overlap with the Shen. And then there are issues where some Pantheons didn’t bother to make anything, if each Pantheon created their zone of primary worship, where the hell did Ireland come from? The Túatha just rolled in one day, and killed everyone who disagreed.

    Then, there is another similar issue, who made us? Were we created from the bones of giants stolen from Mictlan by Quetzalcoatl? Or, were we created from mud by the Anunna to solve an internal class-conflict issue? Did we not emerge from the earth, along with the first dog, and the leopard, shepherded by Abosom sent by Nyame? And then the Irish again ruin everything by not having anyone create humans, and we just show up one day with Deicide on the brain. Are we beings of clay? Of stolen bones? Did we emerge from the earth? Or did we just sail over from Spain? All of these things can not be true at the same time. Perhaps we could say that people descended from the Mesopotamians were created from clay, the descendents of the Mexica people from bone, the Ashanti emerged from the earth, but... That starts to get into uncomfortable areas of classifying human beings.
    Furthermore, you get into the problems of geographic overlap once again where Pantheons occupy the same geographic region. How does this work after people from different cultures have been having children with each other for milenium. When a Legionary from Syria is woo’d by the daughter of a local chieftain south of Hadrian’s Wall, and then two thousand years of growing global interconnectivity, colonialism, and people being people, who is made of clay, or how much of them is clay, and this is now very confusing.

    This issue is not limited to the creation of the world, and the creation of humans. They happen to be two really good examples of this problem since most cultures explained this in ways that can’t be dealt with easily without violating All Myths Are True.The creation of social classes, the gifting of laws, those such things will present similar, annoying issues to a Storyteller.

    At The End: The Challenge of Multiple Endings, or Lack Thereof.
    If All Myths Are True, then we get into a tricky situation when looking at the end. Many cultures have traditions of Apocalyptic events that sometimes were destined to happen, and other times might happen, and other times, just won’t happen. The World Burn by Surtr’s flame, and the survivors of Ragnarok will rebuild from the ashes. The Fifth Sun will end, jaguars pouring from the sea, the earth shaking, and the Teotl will sigh, and start again. The world is on a cyclical motion, beginning, continuing, and ending under the watchful eye of the Trimurti. Then, the world does not end for others. Nyame has no intention of ending his creation, and the Haida Mythtellers spoke of no end to their world.

    How can you rectify these issues in a world where All Myths Are True? If we limit the apocalyptic ends to regions where that Pantheon was dominant, then we are already starting to break the rules. Those who worshiped the Aesir and Vanir knew of the rest of Europe, potentially even further, and they believed that the world, all of it, would burn. If we limit Surtr’s flames to the regions they were most influential, than we already are in violation of All Myths Are True.

    Once again, we also have issues of geographic overlap, the Aegean Greek colonies should be involved in The Son of Zeus scenario, but both the Hittites, and the Persians claim this region as their own. It would be unfair to usurp the traditions of the Hittites, and Persians, but both doing, and not doing that violates All Myths Are True.

    If we have all apocalypses happen at once, in some sort of colossal mess of things going to hell in a handbasket, then what happens to the places that don’t believe the world will end? Do they just float in the nothingness everywhere else has been obliterated? Haida Gwaii can’t be touched by the flames of Surtr, even though both doing, and not doing so violates All Myths Are True.

    Too Many Indias: The Issue Of Notions of Geography
    What is Where starts to cause a big problem if All Myths Are True. India is an awesome example of this problem since it has two incredibly distant, and different sources of problems. In the Dionysiaca, the Theoi have a bit of a family feud, and a smash-up in India, with a slice of invasion of India on the side. In Japanese folk tradition, India is a far-off paradise centered around their own belief system, very much like the Irish Tir na nOg. In none of these does anyone bother to ask the Deva about the situation. So, right off the bat, we have a problem. If All Myths Are True, then India is somewhere that Dionysus successfully invaded, and it’s also a paradisiacal otherworld centered around Shinto-Buddhist ideals. And, on top of all of this, it’s also somewhere that the Deva do their thing.

    How can deal with this problem? If we rule that, since India is solidly within the realm of ‘This is the Deva’s, shove off,’ then we are ruling that the Dionysiaca didn’t happen. If we rule that it did, then we need to explain why the Deva didn’t do anything about an invading Pantheon waltzing in. And, we also have to deal with the fact that the India of the Deva isn’t quite what is imagined in Japan. These things can’t co-exist without being in violation of the premise. This problem is not limited to India of course, The Tin Isles of the Greeks are just Cornwall, and the Tuatha steal magical artifacts from the Mediterranean without any of the numerous Pantheons stepping in and shooing them off.

    There are other geographic issues however. The World is Round is sort of a problem since that just messes with a lot of things. Wyandot myth tells us it is on the back of a great turtle in a colossal sea, the Theoi have a whole complicated bowls resting on each other system, and the Deva have the image of a world turtle, but with a splash of pachyderms, and the infamous answer to, “What is the turtle standing on?” Then there is of course Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds. These things obviously can’t all exist at the same time, but, again, no matter what we chose we are in violation of All Myths Are True.

    There is also a third, slightly less dramatic problem than Trees and Turtles, that the world doesn’t have everything it’s supposed to. Tir na nOg is on no map, you can’t find Atlas holding the world up, no one is really sure where Obi Country is, Hyperboria is absent from Northern Europe. There are places that are totally supposed to just be ‘there’ that they’re not. There are also places that are not supposed to be there that are. The world of the Theoi is rather well mapped, and absolutely lacks a large amount of the planet, notably the Americas amongst everywhere past India, and south of the Sahara.

    There is no easy way to resolve this problem, the physical reality of our planet disagrees with mythic traditions, but All Myths Are True, but they also disagree with each other. It is a no-win scenario.

    These Stories Don’t Line Up: The Problem of History
    Real-World history presents two major problems for the notion that All Myths Are True. Mythology tells us things happened that we can prove didn’t. The idea that Ireland was invaded and the local populace conquered isn’t true, The Sons of Mil didn’t usurp anyone, no one has invaded Ireland and we have the DNA, and big rocks in inconvenient places to prove it. We can of course just edit history, but, things start to get funny when you do that, you suddenly need to explain things, explain why the DNA is wrong, or fiddle with world history to make the myths correct despite the really weird compounding problems that happen when you touch timelines. This is a new situation for us, we absolutely can follow All Myths Are True, but it would be a giant pain to do so. You can hand wave the problems away, but you got to hope a player doesn’t get curious, especially one with Mystery who might just use the Purview to answer questions, literally the point of the entire Purview.

    And then there is the problem of timelines, and Titan Wars. The base game of Scion suggests that the Titanomachy was a Pan-Pantheon situation, taking place chronologically at the same time. Except by the time the Abosom are being worshiped by the Ashanti, the Shuinesh have been gone for milenium. If Zeus and his five siblings led a civil war against the Titans at the same time as everything else, that means the Tuatha had been around and established for a very long time since their Titanomachy happens after they are established, not before. So, the Tuatha are older than the Theoi, except that historically we know this not to be the case, and... it just gets tricky to manage. Unless some Pantheons had their Titanomachy, and then immediately went on ice for a few thousand years until they decided to influence humanity even though their myths say nothing about this, or occasionally contradict this... it’s an utter mess.

    “What Do The Trimurti Think About This?”: An Excess of Established Characters
    Scion, like any tabletop game setting that has a pre-established world, has a problem of there being a lot of named individuals who probably should be doing something about the problems the players are encountering. The Dungeons and Dragons setting of Forgotten Realms, after decades of literature written in the world, has this problem to a degree. Scion, however, is way worse since these established characters are all Deities, and there are borderline infinite amounts of them. If All Myths Are True, than as the Storyteller you have a stupidly complicated job of figuring out the knock-on effects of the actions of the players across a plethora of Pantheons. If your players nuke Athens, you don’t only need to worry about the Theoi, but you theoretically need to figure out what literally every Pantheon in existence is going to be doing about this. I call this problem, “What do the Trimurti Think About This?” since the Trimurti of the Deva would probably intervene frequently.

    On top of needing to figure out these gigantic political chains spanning world mythology, there is also the problem of explaining why the Pantheons don’t deal with their problems collectively. The base game suggests that all Pantheons are stuck dealing with their Titans, and can’t easily help each other. However, there are cultures who lack antagonistic Titans, or cultures who have friendly Titans. You need to explain why, at Ragnarok, are the Trimurti not stepping in, obliterating Surtr, shooing everyone back, and telling everyone to fuck off and get the sun out of that wolf’s stomach.

    With reality-ending problems, such as Apep swallowing Ra, you need to establish why the Tuatha, the Fomorians, the Theoi, the Titans, the Aesir, Vanir, the Jotun, the Teotl, the Bogovi, the entirety of the Thousand Gods of Hatti, most of their Titans, the entirety of the Deva, the Shen, and literally every being, God, and Titan alike who doesn’t want reality to end, shows up to just stop Apep. The big snake might be able to fight a Pantheon one-on-one, but suddenly it’s every Pantheon, and he’s got Atlas, Utgard-Loki, Balor of the Evil Eye, Viracocha, and Vishnu all on top of him in a blink to pry his mouth open, and pop out Ra. How can apocalyptic threats be a legitimate threat if All Myths Are True? It cuts the wind out of the sails of stories, it leaves gigantic problems the players should be dealing with in your story as these contrivances of the plot as you explain why isn’t literally everyone ever, with the exception of the few reality-destroying Titans (who are very outnumbered), just stomping on these issues.

    Why Did You Abandon Us?: Explaining Why The Gods Didn’t Intervene
    If All Myths Are True, then suddenly as the Storyteller you have the... really hard job of explaining where Viracocha and the Apus were when the Disaster at Cajamarca happened. Where was Athena when the Acropolis was used for gunpowder storage? Colonialism becomes an even more uncomfortable thing because literally cultures were exterminated, and Gods were silent. World War Two would have hit so many Pantheon’s Virtues in ways they couldn’t ignore that central Europe would have probably had more Gods than Mortals in it suddenly. As the Storyteller you have the unenviable situation of potentially needing to explain why the Divine was silent, and there is no good way to explain it.

    The ‘easy’ solution is saying that the Gods have abandoned us for some reason, but that breaks both the All Myths Are True rule, and is getting into the realm of dismissing people’s belief systems. The Deva, the Orisha, the Ashanti, the Yazata, the Deities of the Haida, all of them should still be ‘around’ to a degree. So, they couldn’t have totally abandoned humanity. But, why didn’t they intervene when literally the most horrific events of human history occurred?


    Cosmology
    The basic premise of this cosmology is that our world is an amalgam, that in the Mythic Past the worlds of the Pantheons were separate. The Land of Plentiful Reeds that Amaterasu orders Takemikazuchi to conquer for her was its own ‘thing’ separate from Gaia where the events of The Theogony, as well as the Heroic Age of Greece, takes places in. Midgard, Eiru, The Land of Hatti, all of these places were as their cultures conceived them. They were places where Gods and Goddesses walked the earth, where the world was sculpted, where humanity was created innumerous times, in many different ways.

    These places were just as the historical cultures of the Pantheons imagined them. Gaia is very similar to Strabo idea of what the world contained, no North America, Africa missing the vast majority of its land mass, Asia very vaguely defined past a very simple notion of India existing ‘somewhere over there.’ The world of the Deva has the World Turtle with a splash of pachyderm, and the answer to the infamous question, “But what is the turtle standing on?”

    These worlds were separate from each other. The Deva watch over their grand and vibrant version of India, but it was not the same land that the Theoi conquered, and neither of them were the far-distant land imagined by the Amatsukami. However, when Titans became Sealed in these worlds, Legend slowly started fading. The Titans as these big, monolithic personifications of ideas emanate Legend like a wellspring, and by Sealing them, this Legend fades away. As the Legend fades, these independent worlds start becoming more ‘Real’ than ‘Myth,’ they all begin to merge together in the absence of Legend.

    The Earth is an amalgamation of all of these places, and the places most dependent on Legend to exist (Terra Incognita, Underworlds, Overworlds) or those far-far away from the 'Main Plot' of a Pantheon (Hyperboria, Obi Country, Irish-Greece) sort of 'Fade Out' as several hundred Earths all tried to fit into the same place. I use it to explain why Ireland is so much smaller than it apparently is in the Irish Myths, why the world doesn't have a rim of land beyond the ocean for the Greeks, all of those weird little issues of mythic Geography, things not being here that are totally supposed to be here, is because of the imprisonment of the Titans. When you climb Mount Olympus on Earth, it’s just a mountain, even though the myths say that you should be able to reach capital O Olympus. If you dig into one of the Síd Mounds of Ireland, you will not drop into the Otherworld, you will just find some ancient passage tomb.

    This new Earth was bound by the fading of Legend, and it increasingly became more ‘Real’ than ‘Myth.’ The tides were no longer the result of various mythic explanations, but were now due to the influence of the Moon’s gravitational influence on the earth. The Moon was no longer a severed head, a torch, something hauled through the sky by a chariot, it was now a large hunk of rock. Laws were no longer a Divinely Enforced notion, but a complex social construct entirely managed by Mortals. Mortals were suddenly the result of evolution, no longer beings of clay, of stolen bones, or dust.

    As the Earth became more and more ‘Real,’ it became harder for Legend to exist within it, the Seals that held the Titans choked the Legend out of Earth. Legendary Beings struggled to exist, and by the early-mid 20th century, there wasn’t any room for the Fairies, for Ahuizotl, for Tengu, and Lamassu. Gods could still manifest, but as time went on they were limited more and more heavily in how much of their true might they could manifest. By the present day, Legend 4 is a struggle for Major Gods to manifest at, and takes an enormous amount of effort and energy. Due to this, and the abandoning of their veneration, most Pantheons turned away from the Earth to live detached, in places they could manifest at their full might. Some Pantheons, ones who still receive major veneration, still hold some sway in the world, but it is just as difficult. These Pantheons however often have tricks, such as the Kami, Orisha, and Abosom having notions of Divine Possession to allow them to interact with their worshipers despite the Legend Cap that had descended on the world. The Deva, for a different example, have their Avataras as a tool to manifest on earth, though it is still difficult for them.

    If a God or Goddess really wanted to, they could likely force their way into Earth at a high Legend rating, but it is something the Pantheons are rather unsure of. If Sealing the Titans resulted in Legend Fading, delivering a massive influx of Legend might cause Sealings to break, and Titans to be freed.

    Scions are an extreme rarity, most Gods just don’t bother leaving Overworlds any more, but the Player Characters are always an exception to these rules. Hitting Legend 3 is a maybe one Scion per century thing, but the Player Characters will all hit Legend 3, and their Divine Parents might find that mildly curious. Hitting Legend 4 hasn’t happened since the very beginning of the merged Earth, but the Player Characters will hit it, and suddenly their Pantheons will be very curious. There will be arguments in the Overworld about what to do about this, the Scion’s existence is starting to cause reality to break down and their Pantheon’s Mythic-Reality to shine through. A Theoi Scion who is a Doctor might be able to use Galen’s medical practices entirely successfully, reality bending to their Pantheon’s worldview. A Kami Scion’s presence in a geographic region has Kitsune, and Tengu capable of existing. A Túatha Scion can hear the music of the Otherworld from the other side of the Sealings. When they look up at the Sun, they briefly see every Sun Deity in existence before Reality snaps back and it’s just a giant flaming ball of gas.

    Hitting Legend 5, becoming Demigods, that rips a hole clear through reality. The Scions become like lead balls on a rubber sheet, pulling their Pantheon’s reality down to surpass the mundane Reality around them. They are walking wounds in reality, and these holes are getting bigger. When they look up at the sun, they don’t see the giant ball of burning gas, they see whatever sun is appropriate to the region they are in. Terra Incognita start popping into existence, and physical geography becomes incredibly subjective. The more Legend that is thrown at the Earth, the more the different worlds will start to draw away from each other as The Age of Myth returns. The Scions will likely be horrified that the world is changing around them, but, it’s out of their hands now, the threads of the worlds are unraveling.


    Scion 2e Homebrew Projects:
    The Šiuneš, The Enduri, The Sgā’na Qeda’s, The Abosom, Lebor Óe In Dea, The Zemi, Nemetondevos: Revised, and Mysteries of the Otherworld.

  • #2
    Cosmology - My Solution
    As I mentioned at the start of this thread, this system is designed to respond to six challenges that the notion that All Myths Are True causes, keeping the game as accurate as possible while also trying to manage the colossal headache All Myths Are True can cause for a Storyteller.

    The problems presented by In The Beginning, the issues of multiple origins of everything in creation, is really simply addressed by this Cosmology. It’s all true, even though that’s obviously contradictory. The world was made by the Tezcatlipocas from the body of Cipactli, it was made by Madruk from the corpse of Tiamat, Gaia sprang into existence from the nothingness, and the Tύatha sort of just have always been around doing their thing. Problems caused by geographic overlap are solved by the merging of worlds. Anatolia is a region touched by at least four Pantheons, the Shiunesh of the Hittites, the Yazata, the Theoi, and the Canaanite Elohim. Anatolia of Earth is all of these places merged together on top of each other. Issues of the origin of humanity are dismissed with the creation myths having been (temporarily) supplanted by the mundane reality of evolution. As Legend returns to the world, this will obviously change. A Mortal standing in Ireland is one of The Sons of Mil, but if they are in Mexico City, they are the descendent of beings made from stolen bones.

    The issues discussed in The End, the issue of apocalypses, which happen to be the issues that caused this Cosmology to be presented to the forums, are equally addressed by this Cosmology. By the time an Apocalyptic scenario is happening, so much Legend has been loosed into the world that whatever world in question that is ending is separate. Ragnarok will see the world burn, Midgard, but not The Land of Plentiful Reeds. This prevents violating All Myths Are True by having one Pantheon’s apocalypse happen to another Pantheon who has a distinct, different apocalypse, as well as retaining the notion that these are in fact destroying entire worlds. Those worlds just happen to not be Earth. This also explains why an apocalypse can happen without every Pantheon dogpiling the issue. The Deva don’t care that Midgard is burning, it’s not their world, and it’s probably not actually real anyways. When The Son of Zeus has returned, broke his ancestors the Titans free, and a war that the world has never before known rages, every other Pantheon doesn’t care, it’s not their world.

    However, if perhaps a Scion of Ogma has fallen in love with their Bandmate, a Scion of Xochiquetzal, the Scion of Ogma can force the Tύatha to give a damn about The Fifth Sun, and when the day seems most dire, when The Fifth Sun is dying, and jaguars pour from the sea, the ships of mist will sail across the Upper Air across the sea with Champions, Druids, and Bards preparing for landfall. This puts the involvement of Pantheons in each other’s business in the hands of your players, and gives then an enormous amount of agency in the way the world works. It also means you don’t have to worry about including Pantheons entirely unrelated to the plot if you want to have an Apocalyptic story. This both addresses the All Myths Are True issues of apocalypses, as well as, frankly, making running the game way easier for you as the Storyteller.

    The problem of Too Many Indias, problems caused by Mythic Geography, are solved through the idea that, when the Legend faded, and the worlds merged, places that were ‘off screen’ from the ‘main plot’ of a Pantheon (such as Hyperboria, the Irish-Greece, the Japanese India), and places that are too Legendary (such as the valley of the Atlas Mountains Atlas stands in, the cavern entrances to various Underworlds, miscellaneous Terra Incognita) folding away like tectonic plates slipping beneath another. These places are all out there, but getting there requires Legend, and a bit of know-how. At least, until the Legend is flowing, and physical geography is more suggestion than rule.

    This allows us to not be in violation of All Myths Are True, while accepting that the physical reality can can experience is the basic setting of Scion, and there is a great absence of gargantuan men in North-West Africa holding the sky aloft. It also allows areas of mythic overlap, such as the Deva’s India, the India of The Dionysiaca, and the India of Japanese folk tradition to all exist at the same time without subverting any of these mythic traditions, or dealing with why the Deva didn’t put a stop to a Theoi invasion themselves.

    The problems of real-world history addressed in the section These Stories Don’t Line Up is also helped along by this cosmology. Mythic-Histories are absolutely true, but due to the merging of the worlds, and the fading away of the mythic, reality had to edit itself to make sense. Just like how humans are retconned by reality into having evolved from a common ancestor with modern apes, history also got retconned to accommodate reality over myth. The Irish never invaded Ireland to capture it, we have the DNA and big rocks to show that the Irish have been in Ireland since the glaciers wandered off, there was never any large scale invasions, and Celtic Culture in the region is mostly the result of cultural exchange through trade. This allows us to follow All Myths Are True while simply hand waving the inconsistencies of world history with Mythic histories, removing a lot of work from the Storyteller’s lap.

    This cosmology also prevents the historically elder Pantheons from remembering when the younger Pantheons arose, and the details around it. The Shiunesh of the Hittites know that the Yazata took over when their people had fallen, and the Persians arrived on the scene, but the nitty-gritty of the timeline issues can be ignored. These are merged worlds, slotted together by reality trying to make sense of itself. The Yazata have always been around, but they weren’t just hanging around in the background while the Shiunesh were watching over their Empire. They have always been there, but they haven’t been brushing elbows with the Hittite, Hurrian, and the rest of the Anatolian Gods since creation. We can avoid breaking All Myths Are True, while also avoiding addressing these weird chronology questions as the Storyteller. It’s all a mess because there are hundreds of merged worlds all occupying the same space and time, we don’t need to explain where the Yazata were during the Bronze Age of the Hittites.

    Perhaps my favorite issue addressed is the “What Do The Trimurti Think About This?” problem, the issue of having a colossal number of established characters. Since all the worlds are technically separate, despite being mushed together at the moment, you don’t need to involve every Pantheon in your game. If you have zero Deva Scions, your game is centered on West Africa, and your players accidentally knock half of the stars out of the sky, the Trimurti doesn’t have to get involved. They have their own night sky, and their own stars, your players didn’t just break everyone’s stars, and you don’t need to deal with the political ramifications of their actions across every Pantheon in existence.

    This also explains why the Pantheons don’t immediately jump to each other’s aid, they’re not sharing a single planet, they don’t necessarily care if something’s gone to shit for the Theoi. The Players can pull their own, or even entirely unrelated Pantheons into the mix, but you as the Storyteller don’t need to manage the knock-on effects of your plot through every Pantheon. We avoid breaking All Myths Are True, while at the same time avoiding the gigantic headache that is dealing with every Pantheon existing and being a bunch of busybodies.

    This Cosmological System also addresses the big issue of Why Did You Abandon Us?, the issue that the Gods didn’t intervene in world history at moments of horrific atrocity, or at historical flashpoints for their mortal cultures such as Cajamarca for the Imperial Inca Deities. The Legend Cap means that Viracocha couldn’t muster his armies of golden men to aid Atahualpa. It’s why Athena didn’t safeguard her temple on The Acropolis when it suffered damage due to being used as a storage depot for gunpowder. Many Pantheons were just ignoring the world for the most part, and many others couldn’t wield their full Divine Might on the planet without ripping a hole in reality, draining themselves dry, and freeing Titans.

    I normally say that the Gods were there, they helped in the ways they could, they whispered in the ears of those who rose up against their colonial oppressors, they saved populations, hiding them away in Terra Incognita at great personal cost for exerting such Divine influence as to save even just one thousand mortals.

    The Details
    I changed a lot about the basic system of Scion by using Aynie, and Iry’s systems, as well as my own fiddling here and there. People requested that I expand on some areas, and complete my idea rather than the just half-formed version I put up initially. So, here are the major areas that I changed things which have likely been obvious reading the previous parts of this thread.

    Titans and Titanrealms
    Those of you who want the details, I change the notions of Titans from RAW. Titans are not all evil, or antagonistic, are not all imprisoned, and those who are imprisoned are not all imprisoned in Tartaros since that’s a Greco-Roman notion, not Chinese. Titans are raw, powerful, sometimes evil but not necessarily, entities who are normally ‘above,’ ‘opposed,’ or ‘different’ from the Gods somehow.

    This is not a perfect system, no system can be created to deal with every human religious system at once, but it works okay. I treat each Pantheon independently when creating them, so each Pantheon sets the bar for ‘Major God,’ ‘Minor God,’ and ‘Titan’ separately. Someone who makes the cut as a Major Irish God, for example, wouldn’t make the cut as a Major Greek God. Someone who makes the cut as a Hittite God might, if they were Japanese, be a Titan.

    I have changed the system away from being a Tartaros-focused, physical locking away, imprisonment. I instead say the Titans are Sealed, or, some Titans are sealed. This can be literal, a lot of Greek Titans are physically imprisoned. Or it can be metaphorical, imprisoned by emotion, by belief, that sort of thing. Here are ten examples of imprisoned Titans, I will use these examples to explain what changes I have made to the premise of Titans.
    • Izanami - Death: A Titaness who died, and is sealed in an Underworld (Yomi) by another, not imprisoned Titan, Izanagi. She is very antagonistic, and physically sealed away.
    • Raijin and Fujin - Storms or Sky: Two Titans who are sealed, but still out in the world. Kannon, a Japanese Buddhist entity, converted the two Storm Oni to Buddhism, calming the storm. Their conversion is their imprisonment, but it doesn’t seem to be holding perfectly since Raijin keeps brutally disemboweling people.
    • Kagutsuchi - Fire: A Titan sealed by being butchered by Izanagi, and all of the separate portions of his body becoming a different God. If, somehow, all of these Kami were forcibly fused back together, probably through some sort of brutal immolation sacrifice, Kagutsuchi could be ‘freed’ from his sealing.
    • Atlas - Epic Strength: One of the younger Titans defeated by Zeus’ rebellion, but who was not sealed away in Tartarus. Instead, he is imprisoned by being forced to hold the sky up, standing somewhere in the Atlas Mountains of North-Western Africa.
    • Balor of the Evil Eye - War: A Titan sealed by his death, killed by Lugh. His imprisonment is his death, but death isn’t that hard to cure all the time in Irish mythology. His head was cut off however, the Tuatha did something with it, but they’re now mostly all dead. If the head is recovered, Balor could be resurrected, and thus ‘broken free’ from his sealing.
    • Danu - Health: Danu never appears ‘on screen’ in the Irish mythic cycle, and the idea that she is the land doesn’t make sense for various reasons I won’t get into here. She is ‘sealed’ by just being so ancient, and distant, the Tuatha themselves don’t really know where she is. She is likely sleeping somewhere in The Four Cities the Tuatha left long ago, or perhaps dead.
    • Lir - Water: Lir is an interesting case as he was totally unintentionally imprisoned. The events of the myth, “The Children of Lir,” results in grief overwhelming Lir, and it is his sorrow that binds him. His children are lost to him, sorrow unending grips his heart, and he can do nothing but cry. If the Tuatha were to return, if a cunning Scion were to read the words of the curse, and twist the magic to break it, Lir would return as a powerful ally of the Pantheon.
    • Hadi and Skoll - Darkness: Simply, they are imprisoned by being stuck in an almost-eternal chase of Sol and Máni. They are still ‘out and about,’ but are stuck in a perpetual race. Sol and Máni are equally Titans of the Sun and Moon respectively who are imprisoned by being hunted.
    • Nyame - Sky: Supreme God of the Ashanti, Nyame is a caring Sky Father who gifts his power to the benevolent Abosom to help humanity. He withdrew from the world willingly. He was so close to humanity he kept being poked by an old woman grinding her pestle and mortar, so he withdrew as to not be prodded.
    • Hahhima - Frost: A Deicidal, world-spanning winter that nearly killed all the Hittite Gods. He is imprisoned currently due to the Hittite Sun God being ‘around’ as in, ‘hasn’t been kidnapped recently.’ The presence of the Sun God’s warmth keeps Hahhima from ‘materializing’ more or less.
    What you can see from this is I have fiddled mercilessly with Titans. Titanrealms are gone, they don’t make sense, they violate All Myths Are True in several different ways. Firstly, each Titan tends to be very specifically detailed in how they are ‘dealt with’ and, if sealed in a location, tend to be sealed somewhere specific to their own Pantheon. Titanrealms were sort of ‘adventuring locations’ for the God-Tier, but I use the Overworlds, Underworlds, and ‘Earth’ for that.

    The example Titans I list above, for example, are sealed in Overworlds, Underworlds, and Terra Incognita. Nyame is in his Overworld, Hadi and Skoll are in the skies around Yggdrasil, Atlas is in a Terra Incognita right beside the Garden of the Hesperides in the Atlas Mountains, Balor, and Izanami are just dead waiting in Underworlds. Hahhima is sort of an omnipresent entity who just can’t influence the world currently, Kagutsuchi is currently several different people, and Lir is... somewhere, it’s difficult to peg exactly where he is, probably in an island Terra Incognita in the Irish Sea, or in an island Terra Incognita under the sea. These are my replacements for the Titanrealms.

    The reason I did this is threefold. Firstly, it violates All Myths Are True unnecessarily as I mentioned above. Secondly, from the perspective of a Storyteller, Titanrealms puts Titans ‘out of reach’ of players until they are Gods. It’s too dangerous for Heroes to do waltzing through a Titanrealm to accidentally (or intentionally) free a Titan. I like my players freeing or interacting with Titans, it’s fun, so from the perspective of a Storyteller Titanrealms are rather limiting. The third reason is that the Titanrealms are set in opposition to specific Pantheons, and that’s weird. The Fomori want to fight the Tuatha for Ireland, they don’t care about the Aesir, the Aesir have some sad place that isn’t Ireland. Apep doesn’t want to eat Amaterasu, he wants to eat Ra, he doesn’t care about Amaterasu, she’s not part of his ‘world’.

    You likely also notice that some Titans in that list are listed together, Raijin and Fujin, and Hadi and Skoll. This is just something I do for presentation. Their entries would be so close to each other, they are imprisoned in the same way, it’s just a presentation thing. In game they are separate entities, different health tracks, act independently, think independently, it’s just something I do for a few entities for writing Titan entries.

    And you probably also noticed that one of those Titans, Atlas, didn’t have a Purview associated, but an Epic Attribute. I have two reasons for this, one in relation to All Myths Are True, and one in relation to running the game. Firstly, not all entities we would call Titans are pure expressions of Purviews, but are embodiments of things that are best shown with Attributes. Prometheus, for example, is an Epic Intelligence Titan in my games since he is the Titan of Foresight who just happened to steal Fire one time, his role as the personification of Foresight is more important to his character than Fire, it plays into Prometheus Bound, and links up with The Son of Zeus prophecy which I really like. Second reason, the reason Titans were all given Purviews was because of the Titanrealm system. I have scrapped that more or less, so now there is no mechanical reason to insist on keeping it.

    Further, not all Titans are antagonistic. This again has a All Myths Are True reason, and a Storytelling reason. From the All Myths Are True perspective, there are entities who fit the notion of a Titan who are not antagonistic. Danu, Lir, Izanagi, Rhea, Helios, Selene, Hecate, Eos, there are mountains of them. Making them all antagonistic, or killing off the inconvenient ones (Aten destroying Helios) who were friendly doesn’t jive with All Myths Are True. Secondly, from the perspective of running a game, having purely antagonistic Titans just cuts a lot of fun storytelling potential out of the game. Do you want your players to talk to a being who is literally an embodiment of the ocean, so distant from humanity he has a hard time staying anthropomorphised? Talk to Lir, bawling his eyes out over his lost children. He is more mournful sea and wave than man, talking to him is literally like talking to a broken-hearted ocean longing for his lost children, and dead wife. It could be a sad, moving scene for the players, and an opportunity to get really trippy in your descriptions, stuff I love.

    And lastly you probably see that some Titans are dead. I tossed the ‘Killing Titans Causes World Shattering Issues’ clause since it was both a violation of All Myths Are True, as well from a storyteller standpoint limited the design of Titans, most of the Fomori were not options since they got killed, and they are the only options for Tuatha antagonists unless you want to have the Tuatha opposed by humanity. Which is actually a cool, and accurate way to do things, but a really big departure. It also caused problems since the Classical Titans should be perfectly immortal, undying beings just like the Theoi, and just was a bit needless? Titans can be hard to kill, but, they won’t necessarily stay dead. Making killing them cataclysmic limits storytelling, and the options for the players. Killing Titans is a good way to ‘Seal’ them until someone goes and digs up The Grail or something else inconvenient.

    The Legend Cap
    So, Legend fades. The magic vanishes, things become Mundane. The Pantheons get less and less involved in the world. Through various Heroic Periods, be it The Age of Heroes, the Ulster Cycle, or similar, the Gods sort of check in everyone once and awhile, but it’s getting harder for them to interact, but exactly what this means is variable.

    The Theoi, in their wondrous, beautiful world of Olympus, Hades, and the Terra Incognita of the Grecian mountainside where reality holds no sway, don’t really want to deal with the earth. It’s dirty, and boring, and dull. They live in a world crafted by Hephaestus, Legend 12, with Arete up the wazoo. They are used to beauty beyond our reasoning, and it’s getting harder to manifest in person, so they get distant. They don’t show up in person any more, they fiddle from a distance, and increasingly ignore things.

    For the Tuatha, they’re like all dead, and those who survived forged a pact with humanity to leave each other alone. They have really pretty homes in the Otherworld with excessive wealth, crystal furniture, lovely stuff. Due to the oath, the coming of Christianity, and the big names being all dead, the Tuatha sort of get focused on themselves and stop paying attention since they’re not being prayed to any more.

    This notion is the same for most Pantheons, those who lost their worship, they just withdraw, the world becomes dower, mundane, and it’s increasingly difficult for them to manifest as Gods. It starts with them being limited to Legend 10 mechanically, then 8, then 7, and then they ask themselves, “Why are we doing this? They’re not praying to us any more, and our houses are way prettier, and we’ve got literally Godly food, you know what, we will check in on them in a little bit, I’m sure they’ll be fine.” Some Divine Threats that were linked too heavily to the mortal world faded, the Stars of the night sky, no longer able to reach earth to assail humanity, lessened their assault on Huitzilopochtli, attacks coming less and less often.

    Those that continue their worship on a large scale, that don’t have a broken period of worship where they are abandoned by the vast majority, are different. It’s harder for them to manifest as well, but they’re keeping tabs on things. They’re the ones who start to notice it’s getting really hard to manifest as the worlds merge closer, and closer, and things start getting weird. Certain Pantheons have ways around this. The Kami, Orisha, Ashanti, and the Haida Gods have a system of Divine Possession that lets them ‘sort of’ manifest, it’s like a trick. It’s hard for them to show up and be all Legend 12, but they can fulfill their obligations, and if they really need to, they can force their way into the world, but they’re quickly stuck at Legend 4. They do have ways around this, but it’s a huge resource investment, and increasingly difficult as the worlds become ‘Earth’ and the legend vanishes.

    The Deva of course have their Avataras which lets them circumvent the limitations in different ways, but it’s still a pressure on them. They could force their way onto earth, force the Legend back, but... it’s gotten to the point that it’s super clear what will happen if they do. Imprison the Titans, Legend fades. Foce Legend back... Probably Un-Imprison the Titans, and a lot of Pantheons are just a bit anxious about doing that.

    Mechanically, what this means is that at the start of games, I normally limit Gods to Legend 4. They can manifest at higher Legends, but it’s really hard for them to do, and if they have to do it, it’s going to start fucking reality up. They don’t really want to risk it, so for the most part, most Pantheons hang out in their Overworld, check in every century, roll their eyes, go back to their God Politics. I do this for several reasons. Right off the bat, it addresses my Explaining Why The Gods Didn’t Intervene problem. They didn’t notice, or for the Gods who actually care, and the Pantheons who are still involved in the world, they did intervene. It was hard, but they threw in their all. They were limited, but they did everything they could, they saved who, and what they could, they lead populations away into Terra Incognita, they whispered in the right ear of the right man or woman to breathe flames of rebellion, they gave Relics, and they did what they could.

    From a in-game perspective, this doesn’t violate All Myths Are True, and it helps explain away a lot of problems. It also ties in with All Myths Are True. The Age Iron, the Fifth Sun, The Last Battle of the Fianna, The Coming of The Sons of Mil. The notion that things have ‘faded’ is common with people, mostly because we, as humans, need to explain why we can’t do all the stuff our ancestors can in stories. CuChulain could lift a house with one hand at the age of fourteen, and was so beautiful at eight that the men Ireland conspired to get him married since their wives, and daughters wouldn’t stop lusting for him. The Fili tells this story, and someone looks at their scraggly ass awkward fourteen year old boy who hit puberty a year and a half ago, and the Fili goes, “It was different back then,” and that sounds like a good explanation to you.

    This also really makes telling stories a lot easier. When you’re Legend 3, you can’t interact with Freya in any way. If she is pissed, and shows up at Legend 12, you’re fucked, you’re ensorceled sheerly by how many Epic Socials she has. This means that antagonistic or romantic relationships are not-viable stories until mid-to-late Demigod, and that can be a really long time for a game to run. Aynie developed the solution of a Legend Cap, something which limits the capacity of Gods to appear at their full Legend. If manifesting past Legend 4 is hard and dangerous, then you can totally tell those stories while having an explanation why that doesn’t break All Myths Are True. The base game tries to address this with the Fatebinding system, but that system itself is a violation of All Myths Are True since it imposes a very Norse-centric image of Fate on the rest of the Pantheons, even when some Pantheons such as the Deva believe that they are beyond Fate.

    This also opens the door for your players Fucking It All Up. They’re Heroes, Legend 2, they’re rare, but it’s fine, the Gods don’t care. They’ll be stuck at Legend 2 like all the Heroes since The Age of Heroes. And then they hit Legend 3, and their Divine Parent go, “Wait, that’s not supposed to happen, what the shit are they doing down / up / over there?” And then they hit Legend 4, and some Deities start getting concerned about this, might go visit, might check them out. Deities who feel like this whole ‘Sealing’ thing was a mistake, Deities who want to flex their Divinity, don’t care if the Titans come back, they might start showing up to encourage this.

    Break a Seal, Free a Titan, become Demigods, they might whisper in their ears of little Heroes. “He’s your Third-Cousin you know! All you would need to do is find a way to hold up the sky, it’s too bad there are no metals left in the world that could that. All of the Adamante faded away. There is some under Mount Etna still, you know, if you know where to look. But I couldn’t possibly tell you, I’m so sorry for getting your hopes up. Zeus would be so upset if I did. Did you know Prometheus escaped all those years ago? Foresight itself, out there somewhere in the world, hiding from Zeus. He would know how to free his brother Atlas, probably be very grateful too. Oh well, The Age of Heroes passed all so long ago.”

    Conflicting Cosmology
    Sometimes Cosmologies come head to head, and clash with each other. When one of the Anunna turns on a Teotl Scion and tries to reshape the mud of their flesh, suddenly you have a conflict of cosmologies. To the Anunna Gods, mortals are made from mud, and this Scion is certainly a mortal. To the Teotl Scion, they are flesh and blood, their ancestors created from the stolen bones of giants, not mud at all. In situations like this I have both parties make roll their Legend pool to see which of their realities overcomes the other. No adding anything to these rolls except the Players are free to burn their Legendary Deeds. (I wouldn’t allow NPCs to, it’s the story of the Players, they get an edge if they want to burn an important resource)

    This comes up really rarely in play, and I tend to make these really ‘big’ events. Clashing Cosmologies are normally moments that the players sit up, and get into this, they want their reality to be king, they want to be victorious in this clash of realities. I normally have these rolls have knock on effects through the stories, just nice little touches here and there.

    It also gives players an opportunity to try really tricky shit. When the Túatha Scion, the daughter of The Morrigan, smashes the skull of a long term antagonist who is a Alfar, they can go, “I want to contest cosmologies, and destroy their soul since I just keep smashing their head to destroy their brain.” and I make them give me a contested Legend check. Or when a Scion of Huitzilopochtli sees a Kami friend of theirs perish in battle, they can go, “I want to contest against their cosmology, they died in battle, I don’t want them going to Yomi where it will be a pain in the ass for us to get them. I want them going to my dad since they died in battle.” and I would let them make a contested Legend check to try to save their friend’s soul from the generally shitty Japanese Underworlds. This would, of course, have nasty political ramifications for everyone involved, but that’s what makes Scion fun. It comes up very rarely, but is a really awesome tool for you as the Storyteller, and the Players as well.

    Terra Incognita
    Very similarly to the base game of Scion, Terra Incognita are a nice touch. However, them being detached from the world without explanation doesn’t really make sense. The use of the merged realities to ‘fold away’ places that are too Legendary, or too ‘off screen’ is a clean solution to the problem.

    Terra Incognita are everything from the cave Fenrir is bound within, to Tir na nOg, Obi Country, and the valley where Atlas stands holding the world. They are places that are fundamentally Legendary, too mythical to exist in a world dominated by mundane reality. These can be places friendly to players, such as Obi Country, places you should be cautious traveling to, such as Tir na nOg, or Titan Prisons, such as the cave of Fenrir or the valley where Atlas holds up the sky. They are everything that is absent from the world.

    The difficulty of reaching these places I will normally link with the Legend Cap. When the Band is Legend 2, breaking into these places can be very difficult, requiring someone of the appropriate Pantheon, a big expenditure of Legend or a Legendary Deed, and generally make it a lot of effort to get in. By Legend 4, a Theoi Hero can lead their Band into the Atlantic, sail for long enough, and hit the rim of the world beyond Oceanus by making a few rolls, or doing things that make the cosmology of the Theoi more influential than reality on their ship. By Legend 5, a Scion of the appropriate Pantheon can just wander into Terra Incognita, and they are starting to pop into reality, distorting physical space to exist at the same place as others. A Tύatha Demigod going into Brú na Bόinne isn’t going to find a Neolithic tomb, but the retinue of Aengus Og and his wondrous home.

    If you want to break into another Pantheon’s Terra Incognita, performing a culturally appropriate ritual, or playing into one of their narrative structures for entering would be appropriate. Or just have the Psychopomp Purview. An appropriate narrative for entering Inis Locha would be to sail off from Ireland in a little boat, though you are likely to also run into one of the various other Irish Otherworlds. An appropriate narrative to enter Annwn, chase a white or red animal through the underbrush until you are solidly lost.

    This system lets you follow the All Myths Are True concept, while also dealing with the fact a lot of these mythic places simply don’t exist on earth. By making Terra Incognita initially difficult even for a Scion to enter explains why no one has stumbled across The Garden of the Hesperides recently, the Legend Cap has sealed such places off to mortals acting alone. However, as Scions grow in Legend, they start distorting the mundane reality around them, and such places start to ‘click’ back into reality, for good and bad. From a perspective of running the game, making Terra Incognita a more accessible thing is helpful. The base game sets Terra Incognita and Underworlds very specific to Demigods, while it should be totally viable for a story to play with such places as a Hero. Wise, perhaps not, but possible, of course.

    The Seals, and Breaking Them
    So, Legend is kept from the world by the Sealing of the Titans. These are not literal Seals as discussed with the Titans. Some of them are actual chains, Divine Prisons, and the like. But others are emotions, religious conversion, or being caught in a endless, repetitive action. A Scion could break one of these Seals by simply reversing the effect that is keeping the Titan Sealed. For example, if a Scion found a way to support the weight of Ouranos, they could free Atlas from his task, and that’s a broken Seal. Freeing the Children of Lir from their curse would break Lir from his sadness, and that is a broken Seal. Jailbreaking Tartaros, while up there on the level of ‘borderline impossible even as a God’ would break multiple Seals at once. Freeing a single Titan will cause Legend to start leaking back into the world from the vague geographic center that they were Sealed. It won’t be a global event, but it will be a large region of whatever Pantheon that Titan belonged to having their Cosmology starting to supercede Reality. The Legend flowing back into the world might start to cause other Seals to weaken, but that is up to what will serve an individual story. Heracles freed Prometheus and it didn’t really... do much. Except have Prometheus lurking around the place knowing the identity of The Son of Zeus.

    There are other ways to break the Seals however. Gaining too much Legend will cause the Scion themselves to start functioning as a hole in reality as discussed previously. The existence of the Scions at Legend 5 just causes reality to be super-duper funky and weak. This can cause Legend to start returning without freeing Titans, sort of like drilling the hole in the side of a bottle of wine instead of pulling the cork out. The wine is still coming out, but in a sort of unintended way.

    And then there is the method which I like the most since it functions as a natural Legend Up for the Band, fucking up and breaking something important. The world has a bunch of ‘stuff’ in it that can be considered what I refer to incredibly unprofessionally, “Pretty Guardian-y,” things like The Head of Bran the Blessed that is supposed to be protecting Britain from Invasion. Forcing all the Ravens to leave London Tower, destroying the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral constructed over the bones of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan, or the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Assumption constructed over the Kiswarkancha temple to Veracocha, or Notre Dame Cathedral constructed over a long forgotten Nemeton of the Gaulish Gods. I didn’t intend for three of those example to be Catholic religious structures, but they’re really cool examples of the idea. Even though these locations are nothing to do with the Seals, the Gods didn’t build them, or invest in them power to restrain Legend, they are conceptually protective. By breaking one of these conceptually protective (or failing to save one) Legend can start leaking from that place. If a Band happens to be right there, gets caught up in that first explosion of Legend, that’s a good reason so say they gained a Dot of Legend.

    I will say that you don’t need to use all three of these systems at once, I tend to have them all ‘in play’ but have one of them being the actual one that comes up in a story. You can run with all three, or pick just one, or use your own system, whatever works for your story. These are just ones that I have played with in my own games.

    Fun Stuff
    While reading through what I wrote here to make sure I am making some vague sense, Iry suggested I add a section of alternative systems, little changes, examples of how you can take this whole mess of my head and make it your own, making it work for your own game. It’s a pretty great idea, since I don’t want people to think they need to use exactly what I wrote here, and I’d love to hear different ideas people have to play with the ideas here.

    Divine Arms Race: When a Scion raises the Legend Cap somehow, they only increase the Legend Cap for their own Pantheon. A Theoi Scion becoming a Demigod lets the Theoi manifest at a higher legend. A Kami Scion fucking up and breaking the rock that is placed over the entrance of Yomi lets the Kami manifest at higher Legend (and also frees Izanami). What this means is, when one Pantheon can suddenly manifest at a higher Legend, all the other Pantheons are suddenly at a disadvantage if someone tried to pull a fast one somehow by destroying something on the merged Earth important to another Pantheon. So, every other Pantheon starts trying to break their own Seals, carefully freeing maybe one, or two of their own Titans that they think will cause the least issue, or breaking important protective notions.

    Only With Intent: This is the original version of the Seal system from Aynie’s games. Scions can’t gain Legend without breaking a Seal, and the Seals are not abstract notions, they are things you need to go and consciously violate. There is a Seal for each Titanrealm, or if not using Titanrealms as discussed here, perhaps one for each Pantheon. Breaking these Seals raises the global Legend Cap, but also frees all Titans imprisoned under that Seal, as well as giving the Scions who broke it a Legend up. The Players might not be keen on freeing Titans, but if another Band who is very antagonistic to the Player Band and the Antagonistic Band’s goals is freeing Titans, and no one is stopping them, then the Players suddenly are in a race to free Titans before their enemies do in order to not be overwhelmed. It also takes away the “Right but it was a mistake,” defense from the Players who free Titans.

    In-Between: Moving around the world can be a giant pain in Scion games at the Hero Tier, you are limited to mortal transportation, with an occasional little splash of magic horse here and there. However, with the ‘folded worlds’ notion, there is a lot of space running in-between other spaces, excess space that Mundane Reality needed to fold away. Not Terra Incognita, but just the extra, the leftover bits you need to fold away when wrapping a gift. I call this place In-Between, a place in between places. The Players, if they can manage to breach into In-Between, can run through narrow underground passages, traveling a mile per ten steps. Or slip through overgrown mountain glens peppered with cast off forgotten objects from the Grecian Bronze Age, all the way to the Dardanelles Campaign of the First World War to move from Thrace to Rome in an a hour without needing to deal with the fact they’re smuggling the head of the Trojan Horse across mortal borders. I have used the In-Between as a way for some Deities to hide away from even the All-Seeing who don’t know to look in the In-Between. Cernunnos hid, starving from lack of sacrifice, running from forgotten shrine, to lost Nemeton leaving strange paintings in chambers discovered by the Players slowly revealing the secrets of the lost Gauls. Prometheus sits, waiting, planning for the arrival of The Son of Zeus in one of these places, out of sight of even Apollo, who admittedly isn’t really trying that hard after the first century of searching.
    Last edited by Watcher; 10-22-2017, 01:51 PM.


    Scion 2e Homebrew Projects:
    The Šiuneš, The Enduri, The Sgā’na Qeda’s, The Abosom, Lebor Óe In Dea, The Zemi, Nemetondevos: Revised, and Mysteries of the Otherworld.

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    • #3
      That's really clever!

      Comment


      • #4
        So the TLDR version of this explanation is: the mortal World was formed similarly to the Overworld and Underworld, in which each pantheon created their own separate realms. But somehow they all merged together to create the World as we know it?

        And during the apocalypse, the World starts to come unraveled, which allows these fused realms to return to their original states?

        That's just the interpretation I got, based on the previous discussion thread.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
          So the TLDR version of this explanation is: the mortal World was formed similarly to the Overworld and Underworld, in which each pantheon created their own separate realms. But somehow they all merged together to create the World as we know it?

          And during the apocalypse, the World starts to come unraveled, which allows these fused realms to return to their original states?

          That's just the interpretation I got, based on the previous discussion thread.
          Close, but not quite. I also don't run the idea that every Underworld and Overworld is part of the same 'plane,' it's a violation of All Myths Are True, and doesn't really add anything to the game. It also fails to account for Pantheons that don't use their Overworld, have Underground-Overworlds, and Aboveground-Underworlds. It was, like much of 1e, a Greek-centric notion unnecessarily imposed upon all of the Pantheons. The Sidhe mounds, and Olympus are not nebulous locations in "The Overworld," (especially since the Sidhe Mounds are beneath the earth) they are both Overworlds, but are not in the same 'place' as each other. Olympus is at the top of Mount Olympus, folded away from 'Earth' while the Seals are active, while the Sidhe Mounds are the ancient neolithic and bronze age tombs of Ireland, inaccessible until the Seals are broken.

          The detailed parts of the system are sort of a bit tricky to break into a TLDR, but if you would really-really like one, think of it that the 'Earth' is the result of every Pantheon in existance's worlds merging together as the result of Sealing away many Titans, removing excess space, and places too Legendary to be real folding away like a tectonic plate being pushed beneath another.

          An apocalypse is only a single example of what may cause some of these merged worlds to detach, simply there being too much Legend active in the world could result in this, too many Seals on sealed Titans being broken, breaking too many important protective locations or objects. It's a very expanded concept from what I initially showed in the first thread.


          Scion 2e Homebrew Projects:
          The Šiuneš, The Enduri, The Sgā’na Qeda’s, The Abosom, Lebor Óe In Dea, The Zemi, Nemetondevos: Revised, and Mysteries of the Otherworld.

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          • #6
            Something I'm not quite seeing, what's the contradiction in Dionysus's invasion of India and the land the Deva ruled over - given the incredibly long history of the latter?


            Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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            • #7
              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
              Something I'm not quite seeing, what's the contradiction in Dionysus's invasion of India and the land the Deva ruled over - given the incredibly long history of the latter?
              Agreed. Especially when one considers that Hindu myth has a story about a Band of Deva Scions conquering Greece and Rome literally just for the lulz?
              Last edited by unnatural1; 10-23-2017, 02:25 AM.


              "We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."
              Captain Malcolm Reynolds

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              • #8
                I really really love this it's amazing, and I admit I find no small bit of personal amusement at the fact that my pantheon is the namesake for two of the six problems

                As for what the issue with Dionysus invading India is... Two things, first, why do we not have records of that in our myths, in a world where all those myths are true, and second, well, why didn't Indra/Durga/Kartikkeya just throw an Astra at Dionysus and tell him to scram? Those are the questions this cosmology is trying to answer, by making the India of the Deva and that of the Theoi not the same place to begin with.

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                • #9
                  I always assumed it was a brief excursion and Dionysus was effectively forced out, though in a good enough shape that he could return home still glorious. It’s not recorded because of how effectively brief it was in the LONG history implied by Indian legends. I mean, don’t the different Yugas mean that an event during early Bronze Age Greece would be over a million years after the events of the Ramayana?

                  Especially if Dionysus was still a Demigod at the time, he probably wasn’t worth an astra.


                  Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                    Something I'm not quite seeing, what's the contradiction in Dionysus's invasion of India and the land the Deva ruled over - given the incredibly long history of the latter?
                    Originally posted by unnatural1 View Post
                    Agreed. Especially when one considers that Hindu myth has a story about a Band of Deva Scions conquering Greece and Rome literally just for the lulz?
                    So, just as Samudra points out, the challenge of the story of The Indian Wars of Dionysus is that I need to explain why the Deva do not intervene when the Theoi start meddling in their region. This meddling isn't simple, "Turn some mortals into stone," meddling, but God-on-God violence, regiments of Cyclopses, herds of centaur being brought, it is a proper, big Divine War. IIRC 'Sages' (probably a vague echo of the idea of the Brahman caste) do their best to hold back the forces of the Theoi. The events of the story almost erupt into civil war at points when the Pro-Dionysus and Pro-Indian factions of Olympus both clash with each other. Dionysus sets India up with what is essentially a provisional government under his influence after destroying everyone who disagrees with him, and wanders off again. It is not described as a short event, but a rather long winded military campaign resulting in total Grecian domination of the Indian peoples through use of regiments of Lesser Immortals, and the direct intervention of Deities.

                    Furthermore, there are Indian Gods who are in the text who absolutely are not Deva. For example Hydaspes is an Indian River God who clashes against Hephaestus in battle. Furthermore, the conquest starts off because Zeus is annoyed that the Indians are being impious against the Theoi. It's very much a Divine-scale conflict taking place in India, something that the Deva would have most certainly noticed if it was the same as their India. Some Indian Gods are physically clashed with, something else that would have roused the Deva, and the presence of numerous foreign Gods engading in the subjugation of their own worshipers is something that I believe the Deva would react badly to, though Samudra would be the better commentator on that detail.

                    The Band of Deva Scions conquering Greece and Rome is a similar situation. Everyone loves Greece and Rome. It's the same issue as we see in The Fate of the Children of Turenn where Lugh sends some minor members of the Pantheon off to steal three Golden Apples from what is unmistakably The Garden of the Hesperides, something which would most certainly piss Hera off. These are situations that I see the local Pantheons getting incredibly defensive when another Pantheon directly meddles in their own situation. These are situations where, at least myself as a Storyteller, need to try to explain why the Gods did not intervene when there obviously wasn't a Legend Cap of any significant strength on the world yet.

                    In the case of the Dionysiaca, the idea of the Legend Cap doesn't even help explain why the Deva are not stepping in and clashing with the Theoi. The events of the Dionysiaca take place during the Heroic Age of Greece, with Lesser Immortals, and Gods running around doing their thing. If at this point the worlds were merging, and the Legend Cap wasn't enough to discourage involvement, then I really can't come up with a personally satisfactory answer as to why the Deva did not step in to protect their people, way of life, and see off an invading force who were backed by physical interventions by foreign Major Gods. (as well as ones who were attacking 'Indian' Gods)

                    While Dionysus might not be worth an Astra, Theoi attacking 'Indian' Gods would most certainly be. Essentially, if those 'Indian' Gods are actually the Deva, than that means the Deva should be coming down on this like a ton of bricks. If the 'Indian' Gods are not actually the Deva, then we're probably not in Deva-India, but Theoi-India.


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                    • #11
                      For myself, i like the idea of fractured reality a lot. I’m not huge on the trope of a mundane present vs a wonderous past though. I like the idea that the World is as mythic as its ever been, it’s just that as in the Ancient World, most people don’t live mythic lives. So I’m more inclined at my own table to go with something more like multilayered reality where what happens on one layer affects others manifesting in other ways (Demon the Fallen used this idea to try and make DtF work with the broader WoD mythoses, to varying success).
                      Last edited by glamourweaver; 10-23-2017, 09:19 AM.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                        For myself, i like the idea of fractured reality a lot. I’m not huge on the trope of a mundane present vs a wonderous past though. I like the idea that the World is as mythic as its ever been, it’s just that as in the Ancient World, most people don’t live mythic lives. So I’m more inclined at my own table to go with something more like multilayered reality where what happens on one layer affects others manifesting in other ways (Demon the Fallen used this idea to try and make DtF work with the broader WoD mythoses, to varying success).
                        Totally! Let me know how you like the cosmology with those changes, and how it goes! I am glad you enjoy the idea of the merged worlds, that's all Iry, a brilliant idea of his. I think the Cosmology mainly exists to help keep my own internal arguments at a minimum while running a game, I am very happy that people find it interesting, let alone interesting enough to use some of it in their own games.


                        Scion 2e Homebrew Projects:
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Watcher View Post
                          The Band of Deva Scions conquering Greece and Rome is a similar situation.
                          What's the specific source of this story by the way? I want to read the actual text.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Watcher View Post

                            Close, but not quite. I also don't run the idea that every Underworld and Overworld is part of the same 'plane,' it's a violation of All Myths Are True, and doesn't really add anything to the game. It also fails to account for Pantheons that don't use their Overworld, have Underground-Overworlds, and Aboveground-Underworlds. It was, like much of 1e, a Greek-centric notion unnecessarily imposed upon all of the Pantheons. The Sidhe mounds, and Olympus are not nebulous locations in "The Overworld," (especially since the Sidhe Mounds are beneath the earth) they are both Overworlds, but are not in the same 'place' as each other. Olympus is at the top of Mount Olympus, folded away from 'Earth' while the Seals are active, while the Sidhe Mounds are the ancient neolithic and bronze age tombs of Ireland, inaccessible until the Seals are broken.


                            Actually, I went back and read the 1E setting and the whole notion of the Over / Underworlds being located in any specific direction is a misconception. They exist within their own space outside of the World of mortals.

                            The idea that either world is located up or down is the result of many axis mundi giving off that impression. A network of cave systems, for example, might serve as a passage through which to enter Hades, but that doesn't necessarily mean Hades resides at the bottom of those caves. The Underworld is no more 'underground' than you perceive it to be, just as the Overworld is no more above it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                              Actually, I went back and read the 1E setting and the whole notion of the Over / Underworlds being located in any specific direction is a misconception. They exist within their own space outside of the World of mortals.

                              The idea that either world is located up or down is the result of many axis mundi giving off that impression. A network of cave systems, for example, might serve as a passage through which to enter Hades, but that doesn't necessarily mean Hades resides at the bottom of those caves. The Underworld is no more 'underground' than you perceive it to be, just as the Overworld is no more above it.
                              Ah, I'm terribly sorry Nyrufa, I don't think I explained myself very well. That is actually the exact sort of issue I have with the original cosmology. As a system, it overrules actual mythic tradition for no benefit to the net value of fun, or making the game easier to run. I consider Fun and Ease to be the reasons to break away from All Myths Are True, and the original cosmology of Scion, such as having the Overworlds, and Underworlds being distinct dimensions, as well as the notion that the 'Overworld' is one plane, and the 'Underworld' is another (originally all attached to Tartarus) simply doesn't add to the game in my mind. You are correct that the Underworlds of the core game need not all be under the earth for example, as they are all in an alternate plane more or less entered through the Axis Mundi and Touchstones. That is, however, what I find issue with, and seek to fix with my own cosmological system here.

                              For the notion that All Myths Are True, some Underworlds are just downstairs, and some Overworlds are just up a few kilometers. Just as you say, the original Cosmology says that Hades doesn't reside at the bottom of the caves used to enter it. But Greek Mythology says it actually does. Olympus is literally just at the top of that mountain, it's not a distant place different from the world. Many Overworlds and Underworlds are just here, physically very close to the world of mortals. Just over the sea there, down these caves, atop that mountain. The original Cosmology shuffles these places away into their own planes, the Godrealms are all in The Overworld for example, and that is, in my mind, a break from All Myths Are True for no net gain.

                              The system also totally fails to function for Pantheons who have their 'Godrealm' simply as the surface of earth. The Hittite and Ashanti Deities for example just hang out here with us, they both do have a 'Celestial Place' concept, but for both of the Pantheons, nothing happens there, the Deities don't reside there, it's just a place to manage the Sun and Moon.

                              The best way to think of the Godrealms, and Afterlives in this Cosmological system that I use is that they are essentially just Terra Incognita. Really, really powerful ones. They are places where the Legend never faded, but are, most of the time, physically attached to their culture's world somehow. The Sidhe mounds are just, you know, there in fields. Olympus sits atop Mount Olympus. Midgard and Asgard both sit on the branches of the great tree.

                              Some Cosmologies do get a bit trickier, the Mexica one for instance, but the benefit of not using a rigid system such as the base game presents is you can address the problem on an individual level every time you add a new Pantheon to the game, rather than forcing the Pantheon to fit into a pre-existing system. Having a more open system such as this, one that you do not need to conform towards, opens up a lot of design space. For example, in the core cosmology, the Hittites and the Ashanti would be very hard to represent due to their notion that their Godrealm is the surface of earth where they hang out with mortals amongst others. In fact, thinking about it, I would consider this difficulty to be a negative cost to the Cosmology system in the base game. As I said, Ease of Storytelling is one of the reasons to break away from All Myths Are True from my design perspective, and this system makes things more challenging by adding hurdles to deal with unnecessarily.

                              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                              What's the specific source of this story by the way? I want to read the actual text.
                              ​You know, thinking about it, I'm not actually sure. I think I originally heard about it from GBN, but I don't remember any details of names, and nothing popped up in a quick search (I'm skiving off from translating the last four questions of an assignment that I really ought to get back to) so I am really not certain. Maybe Samudra knows when he isn't busy, or do you know the text in question Unnatural?

                              I will check around in more detail later on if no one can track it down. Sacerdos might know it as well, I will see what I can find out!
                              Last edited by Watcher; 10-26-2017, 06:03 PM.


                              Scion 2e Homebrew Projects:
                              The Šiuneš, The Enduri, The Sgā’na Qeda’s, The Abosom, Lebor Óe In Dea, The Zemi, Nemetondevos: Revised, and Mysteries of the Otherworld.

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