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German folklore in Scion

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  • #16
    You know, I was initially skeptical whether the upcoming Dragon game for the line would be a good fit for German folklore, since dragons mostly seem to be portrayed as animalistic monsters - see these stories for an example.

    But this story make me wonder. In it, the dragon is more portrayed like a spirit of air and fire, with shapechanging capabilities, and who is clearly able to distinguish between those who have offended it and those who have not. There are similar appearances in other stories, where the dragon is called "Drak" (instead of the more conventional "Drache").

    Maybe there is more to them than first meets the eye...


    Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

    A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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    • #17
      I don't have your knowledge, but as far as I understand, the German Folklore is in the crossing of 3 major traditions form different time periods, and received a lot of histories from each of them, Roman (first up to the 2nd century), Slavic (from Roman fall until 8th century) and Norse (not sure when it started, probably evolved together rinse the Celtic origins, but it probably went all the way until the norse traditions were abandoned). So the image of dragons must come from a mix of the 3.

      In the 3 cultures there are intelligent creatures that still behave like beasts, Sphinx, for example, not a dragon but have a considerable advanced minds, enjoying mind games, but still devour people. Most of the dragons in the legends are smart but still function as reptiles, slow, hunting by ambush and usually don't like to be messed with, at the same time they seam to follow orders from gods, like Ladon, the Dragon taking care of the Hesperides Garden, that is descendent of Typhon (at least in some histories), or Jormundgander that is in the bottom of the sea eating, growing and waiting for the world to end so it can kill Thor.

      Said that, the Lindworms from your blog are treated like beasts, but still no hunter could face them, was that because the dragon outsmart the hunters or because overpowered them? It seams like both are possible. Also, reptiles eat old carcasses all the time, so its easy to poison them because they are hardly poisoned (makes sense? you are immune to most of the poisons that can be found in old meat, so you eat them without thinking, then someone find a poison you are not immune, so you die).

      We have a concept of Developed Mind = Fast Thinking, but its possible that those dragons works as Elves from Tolkien, their lives are so long and they have been to so many things that they go slow on all the decision making, preferring to wait and ambush than run after they prey. The way Neall and the team described Dragons so far, its looks like they are basically waiting for the gods to kill each other so they can raise to power again with little effort, something very reptile...

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      • #18
        Well, it will be a while until we see the text of Scion: Dragon, so I still have some time for further studying German folklore for traces of dragons...


        Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

        A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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        • #19
          Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
          I think all of this would be excellent subject matter for one or more Nexus sourcebooks.

          Okay, I've been out of the Loop with new job and have only recently popped my head up. Nexus Sourcebook?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by TheWanderingJewels View Post


            Okay, I've been out of the Loop with new job and have only recently popped my head up. Nexus Sourcebook?
            https://www.drivethrurpg.com/cc/26/S...iate_id=498510

            Onyx Path’s proprietary fan content platform (ala White Wolf’s Storyteller’s Vault), currently supporting Scion supplements, but will soon support Trinity Continuum (Aeon, Aberrant, Adventure!, etc) once those books go public.


            Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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            • #21
              Here is another good one:

              In this story, a major castle is about to be built, and a custom that persisted "from the old days" was to sacrifice an infant (that is, it was walled into the foundations of the building) in order to protect the building against storms and the vagaries of war. An infant had already been purchased from its mother, and before they were about to do the deed, the masons discussed:

              "“What is sweeter than a mother’s breasts?”

              And the infant replied:

              “The grace of God!”

              The masons were so shocked that they immediately abandoned the project, and the castles was never finished.


              But... let's say that some principal constructor in the modern day is really eager to see his major buildings finished on time and be as solid as he can make them. And these construction projects can be highly lucrative - so what's the life of one infant nobody will really miss against all those profits?

              Hopefully the Scions will oppose this scheme, when they come across it...
              Last edited by Jürgen Hubert; 08-17-2019, 12:56 PM.


              Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

              A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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              • #22
                I've recently finished another lengthy translation - this one is about the (in)famous pirate Störtebeker, terror of the Hanseatic League. And now I am contemplating that he would make for a good Scion.

                I mean, his historical career was impressive enough. His career in folklore adds any number of tall tales - though they largely stay on the non-supernatural end of things, apart from using holy relics to escape pursuit.

                But the legend of his death reads like an ascension to a Demigod - he asks his judge that after his death by beheading all his men should stand in a row, and all he walks past without a head should be pardoned. And indeed, he manages to walk past several of them before the headsman trips him.

                Additionally, one of the places he allegedly came from was the city of Barth - which is also close to the sunken city of Vineta that was mentioned earlier in the thread, and which allegedly had quite a few pagan cult sites. Thus, giving Störtebeker some divine ancestry doesn't sound too far-fetched for the World.

                And in the World, he could still be seen as a patron of German hackers and IP pirates - as well as the German Pirate Party and similar groups.


                Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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                • #23
                  That reminds me of the story of Blackbeard swimming laps around the ship after losing his head. I guess if you acquire enough levels in Badass, people start telling these sort of stories after you die. 😀
                  But yes, he sounds like he'd make for a pretty cool historical Hero character (and maybe Demigod, depending on what the rules are for that). Not sure who'd be the best choice for his divine patron though.


                  What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                  Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                    That reminds me of the story of Blackbeard swimming laps around the ship after losing his head. I guess if you acquire enough levels in Badass, people start telling these sort of stories after you die. 😀
                    But yes, he sounds like he'd make for a pretty cool historical Hero character (and maybe Demigod, depending on what the rules are for that). Not sure who'd be the best choice for his divine patron though.

                    Considering the Barth/Vineta connection, I'd go for a patron from the Slavic pantheon. Besides, I really don't want to use the Norse Pantheon for everything in Germany...


                    Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                    A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Jürgen Hubert View Post


                      Considering the Barth/Vineta connection, I'd go for a patron from the Slavic pantheon. Besides, I really don't want to use the Norse Pantheon for everything in Germany...
                      That is what I was thinking. I admit to knowing little to nothing about the Baltic and Prussian pantheons/faiths other that they existed, but one of those or one of the Slav would probably be fitting.
                      I'm also not entirely sure how 2nd ed fully differentiates between super-closely related pantheons, but I'd be interested in seeing something about the old continental German gods (Wotan, Donar, Tir/Teiwaz, etc.) as contrasted to the later Norse/Icelandic Aesir the English speaking world is much more familiar with.


                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                        That is what I was thinking. I admit to knowing little to nothing about the Baltic and Prussian pantheons/faiths other that they existed, but one of those or one of the Slav would probably be fitting.
                        I'm also not entirely sure how 2nd ed fully differentiates between super-closely related pantheons, but I'd be interested in seeing something about the old continental German gods (Wotan, Donar, Tir/Teiwaz, etc.) as contrasted to the later Norse/Icelandic Aesir the English speaking world is much more familiar with.

                        I am a bit hazy on Wotan/Donar myself, but they seem to come up in old journals on folklore often enough (yes, there are 19th century German folklore magazines that are now available online). I do know that Wotan is frequently identified with the Wild Huntsman, but German folklore unsurprisingly has a few dozens of alternative interpretations for that entity.


                        Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                        A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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                        • #27
                          On a related note... what are some good English or German-language resources on Slavic mythology? Wikipedia lists only few sources on the relevant articles, and some of these sources seem dubious...


                          Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                          A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Jürgen Hubert View Post
                            On a related note... what are some good English or German-language resources on Slavic mythology? Wikipedia lists only few sources on the relevant articles, and some of these sources seem dubious...
                            All Slavic myth sources are dubious. Using it all means accepting you’re going to be using some amount of early-modern nationalist fan-fiction
                            Last edited by glamourweaver; 09-19-2019, 07:31 PM.


                            Check out my expansion to the Realm of Brass and Shadow

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                              All Slavic myth sources are dubious. Using it all means accepting you’re going to be using some amount of early-modern nationalist fan-fiction

                              ...maybe I should search what academic journals have to say on the subject.

                              (Fun fact: If you become a member of Academia.edu and download articles on a specific subject, you can get recommendations on related articles for download from time to time. As I discovered when I downloaded an article on Mesoamerican mythology for an unrelated project and now got a bunch of recommendations and articles for later reading...)


                              Sunken Castles, Evil Poodles is creating Public Domain translations of German folklore!

                              A German Geek - my gaming blog!

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