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​Godly Popularity and the Scions

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  • ​Godly Popularity and the Scions

    So I like Egyptology (I imagine most people on here are interested in mythology) and I was reading about one of my personal favorite gods: Shezmu/Shesmu. He has important cultic functions from the old kingdom to the twilight of the Ptolemaic era, but he isn’t particularly well known in the modern era. This is true of a lot of Egyptian gods, and I am sure of many of other pantheons. Those once well known gods are now barely spoken of. Now the world of Scion is both similar to our own but also very different, but perhaps the same issue may come up that some gods just become less well known or virtually forgotten.

    Now in Scion it also states that the Gods don’t need humans but that humanity provides a mirror by which the gods define themselves. Once defined do they need such admiration though? Are some happy to live in the other worlds free of fate and man? Or do such forgotten gods return to earth knowing that fate might warp them into something they don’t recognize so that their names might be spoken of once more? Or perhaps prioritize producing/choosing/adopting scions to go forth and do great things in their name in hopes that as they grow in popularity so do they?

    I could see a scion of a obscure god discovering lots of siblings as a god goes out trying to rebuild their reputation.

    In your games how has godly popularity/knowledge effected a gods behavior in the modern era?

  • #2
    The answer will always vary from Scion setting to setting. "Belief makes truth" is such a popular trope in the related media, I'll be shocked if it isn't used in an a specific setting. But in the World, he'd probably be presented as never having been forgotten, just not having as popular a cult as the big name corebook Netjer.

    He's on my shortlist (possibly conflated... or at least sharing Mantles, it's hard to tell with the Netjer... with Maahes) for gods to write up to add.


    Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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    • #3
      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
      The answer will always vary from Scion setting to setting. "Belief makes truth" is such a popular trope in the related media, I'll be shocked if it isn't used in an a specific setting. But in the World, he'd probably be presented as never having been forgotten, just not having as popular a cult as the big name corebook Netjer.
      I agree with that, but I was talking more generally about gods that might not be 'popular' and what they might do? Which boils don't to the individual god but I think there is a story to be told about 'the god that wants to make a come back' so to speak. Producing tons of scions, walking among mortals doing miracles, as part of a promotion campaign.

      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
      He's on my shortlist (possibly conflated... or at least sharing Mantles, it's hard to tell with the Netjer... with Maahes) for gods to write up to add.
      Ya, ancient Egyptian theology/mythology is infamously soupy. Personally I think that Shezmu has enough going on for him to make him stand part from Maahes, but that is just my opinion don't let that stifle your creativity. However I think that this article might be of interest to you starting on page 43: https://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/saoc39.pdf

      It is a old but good one, there just isn't a lot out there about Shezmu and this is the article I see cited the most.

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      • #4
        Using the same general idea, somewhere in 1e they commented about Thor (and the Aesir in general) x Marvel Thor, the setting is quite different from 1e to 2e, but I don’t think the answer will be different in this situation. Thor is not going to be blond just because it was easier to put just yellow on his hair. Same way, the importance of the gods will not vanish because they are not as famous as they used to be.
        They are just less fatebounded than used to be, so less famous, but still the power and the position is not related to what humans do, just what was believed.
        In the worst scenario we can assume the most famous gods have a more modern mantle, while the more forgotten gods are don’t (or at least don’t use it, or don’t make it strong). Maybe Thor have a Marvel Mantle, it would be funny at least...

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        • #5
          I would like to note that just because a god or pantheon has fallen into obscurity in the real world doesn't mean that they have in the setting of the game. In the real world, there are only really three pantheons which seem to have permeated modern pop culture to any significant degree, specifically the Theoi, Aesir, and Netjer. The rest of the starting ten, minus the Orisha and Manitou, all have a handful of members which I would say are quite recognizable amongst the general public, but very little seems to really be understood about them, and the rest of the pantheons have reached increasing degrees of obscurity beyond that. But that does not necessarily reflect how obscure versus how well known each deity is in The World. In The World, the pantheons, both well-known and not-so-well-known, have all been continuously worshipped in various regions. Some, I imagine, have more or less remained in their regions of origin, but others have spread far beyond that. With the Netjer being worshipped continuously and being one of the more widespread pantheons in the setting, there's no reason to think that any of its "B-list" members are necessarily B-listers in-universe. Let me state that even in the real world, Shezmu is a B-lister of what's arguably the third most prominent polytheistic pantheon in the pop culture of the English-speaking world. There are pantheons already in the game, like the Manitou, whose most important members are still less well-known in pop culture than the more obscure Netjer. I would imagine most of the major Manitou are household names within the setting. So, my long and rambling point is, essentially, just because a god is obscure in the real world after its religion became mostly or entirely extinct, doesn't necessarily mean that it's obscure in-universe, where the religion continued and spread.

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          • #6
            Just a comment about the popular and not popular pantheons. Orishas are a real religion on most of central and South America, even parts of US have devotes of Loas, for real. Not talking about inuniverse, it’s real world.
            Also, English speaker countries must include India, the Hindu part of them are basically devotes of the Devas. If half of India believe in the Devas, it more than US population... I would say it’s popular on English speaker countries...
            But it’s not my business...

            Anyway, I agree with you, just because it’s not popular wherever we live (including parallel universes and s**t) it doesn’t mean it’s not popular among their devotes...

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            • #7
              I was mostly referring to the places where I live. The Devas are a weird case because (and I should specify American) pop culture doesn't seem to do as much with them as I would think it would due to them being such a prevalent and widespread religion. Before I got serious about researching mythology, I could name maybe Vishnu, Kali, Ganesha, and a couple of characters from the Ramayana. I had to research Hindu mythology specifically and kind of go out of my way for it to gain even an elementary understanding of the mythos. It didn't come to me through pop culture osmosis the way the Greek, Norse, and to a lesser degree, Egyptian mythologies did. And as for the Orisha and Loa, I'd never even heard of any of the Orishas, and I could recognize Baron Samedi's appearance but didn't even know him by name. In the places of the world where those religions are dominant, obviously, it's a different story.

              In-universe, I would venture to guess that there's still a big regional factor. I would guess, for instance, that the First Nations pantheons are probably way more well-known in the US than they are in the real world. Members of far-away pantheons would still be less-so. However, with the gods being real and active, I'm sure they'd still be less "obscure" in other areas of the world than they are in reality. For instance, if Pele starts a volcanic eruption and it's proven to be because of her, everyone around the world is going to be hearing her name.

              I did not mean to insinuate that Hinduism, Orisha worship, or any other modern religion is of less relevance or of lesser importance than the Theoi, Aesir, and Netjer in the real world. I was only referring to the prevalence or lack thereof of figures from those religions in American pop culture.

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              • #8
                I understand your point of view, I was just referring to the fact that what is popular in US/Europe is not a general rule, and bringing the point that there is a huge impact from place to place to define which gods ar popular.
                I am Brazilian, but basically European by all definitions (100 year ago all my ancestors were in Europe), so my big cultural impact is Theoi, Aesir and Netjer, as for you, but I hear on TV (more often than you can imagine) about what is your protector Orisha, and many of my friends put some offers in the see for Yemanja (Yemoja-Oboto / Mama Wata) on the new year eve.
                The country with the largest Catholic population in the world, have Orishas references everywhere, even among the catholic population, so maybe it’s possible that it happen to other old religions in The World.

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                • #9
                  Fair enough. I wasn't trying to insinuate that what was popular in American culture was that way for the rest of the world, just speaking from my own experiences in that regard. The Orishas are largely unknown in the US, unless you go looking for them specifically. They're still the second easiest African pantheon to research overall though after the Netjer, not that there's much competition. The Theoi, on the other hand, are more or less universal. You'd have to be a pretty poor or disadvantaged student not to be able to recognize all the major Theoi after middle school English class in the US education system. I should have specified that I was only talking about my own experiences living in the US, and did not mean to apply any kind of universality to the statement.

                  In-universe, I imagine that there's probably a divide between isolationist and expansionist pantheons. Some pantheons probably stick to their home turf, while I'm sure there are others who have gone out of their way to expand their influence, probably into regions where they have zero influence in the real world. It's interesting to think about, how various pantheons and their scions could have found their ways into other regions in a world where the gods are real and active. I mean, we could very feasibly have had the Inue explore Africa, or the Apu explore Europe, or the Kachinas exploring China, all before the Americas were even known to the "old world." It would have been well within their capabilities to do so, and I see no reason why all but the most xenophobic of the gods themselves wouldn't have wanted to explore the world they inhabit to the fullest, even before their worshippers did. So I guess my ultimate point is, just because a god is obscure in your personal geographic region, or anywhere, in the real world, does not necessarily indicate that god's obscurity in a world where they are real and active and can wander anywhere they'd like.
                  Last edited by Wannabe Demon Lord; 01-28-2019, 11:55 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Another point in all that, how did the world became what it is with the action of the gods? For example, how did the English and Spanish invaded and killed almost all the Indians and Asteks if their gods where there to help but not Jesus?
                    To that answer we have 3 options, Jesus was there helping to kill (no “Give the Other Face”), the Europeans were working with their gods during the invasion (no Chistian church in America), or the gods are not all that active in the World, at least not on the preservation of their devotes over other humans.
                    To me, the gods activity is more related to killing monsters (Hero) and titans (Gods), the way they put on 1e, and less “open to the World” with govern interaction and business.
                    The gods are not as active in in world as it would appear to a Hero, they are subtle, even the Hero’s actions are not a big deal to the general population, otherwise they would be Super Heroes on modern days, more like Aberrant. Rhodes (in the book intro) is famous and all, he can even tell publically he is son of Aphrodite, but not necessarily everybody believes, sure some believe, the same way people believe the Orishas are real here, even say them self are sons of Orishas (more methafore than real), but Aphrodite didn’t show up and give a big hug on Rhodes when he got a price for whatever reason.
                    The Manitou didn’t pop in battle against the American army in the old west, their heroes did, probably, but was not enought to stop or even slow the killing of the population.
                    I didn’t even got to discuss how England, Portugal and Spain, without their own gods became the first to explore America...
                    You got my idea...
                    Last edited by Mateus Luz; 01-29-2019, 05:23 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                      Another point in all that, how did the world became what it is with the action of the gods? For example, how did the English and Spanish invaded and killed almost all the Indians and Asteks if their gods where there to help but not Jesus?
                      To that answer we have 3 options, Jesus was there helping to kill (no “Give the Other Face”), the Europeans were working with their gods during the invasion (no Chistian church in America), or the gods are not all that active in the World, at least not on the preservation of their devotes over other humans.
                      To me, the gods activity is more related to killing monsters (Hero) and titans (Gods), the way they put on 1e, and less “open to the World” with govern interaction and business.
                      The gods are not as active in in world as it would appear to a Hero, they are subtle, even the Hero’s actions are not a big deal to the general population, otherwise they would be Super Heroes on modern days, more like Aberrant. Rhodes (in the book intro) is famous and all, he can even tell publically he is son of Aphrodite, but not necessarily everybody believes, sure some believe, the same way people believe the Orishas are real here, even say them self are sons of Orishas (more methafore than real), but Aphrodite didn’t show up and give a big hug on Rhodes when he got a price for whatever reason.
                      The Manitou didn’t pop in battle against the American army in the old west, their heroes did, probably, but was not enought to stop or even slow the killing of the population.
                      I didn’t even got to discuss how England, Portugal and Spain, without their own gods became the first to explore America...
                      You got my idea...

                      This has largely been discussed at length. Basically: Try not to think about it too hard. Accept the premise and figure out what it means now, for your table.

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                      • #12
                        Mateus Luz - If you want to dwell deep into implications of default's The World setting existence of Gods and their knowledge in public - here is topic that goes in detail on it.


                        My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mateus Luz View Post
                          Another point in all that, how did the world became what it is with the action of the gods? For example, how did the English and Spanish invaded and killed almost all the Indians and Asteks if their gods where there to help but not Jesus?
                          To that answer we have 3 options, Jesus was there helping to kill (no “Give the Other Face”), the Europeans were working with their gods during the invasion (no Chistian church in America), or the gods are not all that active in the World, at least not on the preservation of their devotes over other humans.
                          To me, the gods activity is more related to killing monsters (Hero) and titans (Gods), the way they put on 1e, and less “open to the World” with govern interaction and business.
                          The gods are not as active in in world as it would appear to a Hero, they are subtle, even the Hero’s actions are not a big deal to the general population, otherwise they would be Super Heroes on modern days, more like Aberrant. Rhodes (in the book intro) is famous and all, he can even tell publically he is son of Aphrodite, but not necessarily everybody believes, sure some believe, the same way people believe the Orishas are real here, even say them self are sons of Orishas (more methafore than real), but Aphrodite didn’t show up and give a big hug on Rhodes when he got a price for whatever reason.
                          The Manitou didn’t pop in battle against the American army in the old west, their heroes did, probably, but was not enought to stop or even slow the killing of the population.
                          I didn’t even got to discuss how England, Portugal and Spain, without their own gods became the first to explore America...
                          You got my idea...
                          I would portray Native populations as larger and their cultures less suppressed in the World thanks to the heroism of Native Scions and divine interventions.

                          And while Jesus may not have lended direct aid to imperial conquest (out of character for him), the Aesir and Theoi have plenty of investment in Westerners European expansionism.

                          But I agree the Gods generally try to avoid big entanglements in mortal events because of the problem of fate binding.
                          Last edited by glamourweaver; 02-03-2019, 06:11 PM.


                          Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                          • #14
                            As I saw, fatebinding is the exact reason why the gods got away from the World in 1e, apparently it’s not true in 2e (the voting away part).
                            Fatebinding also kept the gods local, instead of travelling all the world, they are bind to a certain kingdom, getting away would cause a big mess.
                            If you act as if you don’t exist, except for appearing for a few people in your cult, you can go around free from fate binding. Them, invading a country and killing the population is the kind of thing you don’t do.
                            I would keep the gods acting in the World the same way we see the Orisha culture in Brazil, it’s present but no flashs... if you go to Rome you can find a temple for Jupiter working, but the Scions of him are not going to show up to solve the cultists problems, and the monsters are more subtle, more commonly find in the Terra Incogninta.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              Mateus Luz - If you want to dwell deep into implications of default's The World setting existence of Gods and their knowledge in public - http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/main-category/main-forum/scion/1274898-everyday-life-with-gods"]here is topic that goes in detail on it[/URL].

                              It’s full of things, I will probably take the week to read it thru properly. Thanks a lot!

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