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  • Yama Kings and Maeljin Incarna

    So in the Dragons on the East book it says that the Scarlet Queen is the Weaver, and the Ebon Dragon is the Wyrm (and the Tiger is the Wyld). With that in mind, and the fact that the Ebon Dragon had Yama King ministers, why can't the Yama Kings and the Maeljin Incarna travel to or invade each other's spirit realms (in I think The 1000 Hells it says the Yama Kings and Maeljin Incarna can send emissaries to and trade souls and such with each other, but can't actually go to or invade one another's realms.) In fact until the Great Leap Outward the Yama Kings had no direct influence outside the Middle Kingdoms.

    Going with the assumption made in Dragons of the East about the Triat and being willing to step on the cosmic toes of the various games' creation myths, why do the Yama Kings have no direct power in the West, and the Maeljin Incarna no direct power in the Middle Kingdoms?

    Could it have something to do with the consensus and the beliefs of people? Based on something said in The 1000 Hells, could they be different masks/personalities/incarnations/mantles for the same things while being unaware of this fact?

    The thing I'm referencing in The 1000 Hells says "While there is a constant exchange of flesh and other goods between Malfeas and Yomi, the primary reason that the Yama Kings and Malfeans aren't at each other's throats is that they have too much in common -- everything, in fact, except sphere of influence."
    Last edited by Archasimos; 12-08-2019, 04:10 PM. Reason: To provide clarification.


    I’m a writer. A storyteller. They’re my passions. They’re what I do. The stories I tell, they are my mythologies. Like the Norse tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, or the Celtic fables of Lugh or Cú Chulainn, I want them to be the kind that people retell. They are the legacies I wish to leave behind.

  • #2
    The metaphysic trinity entry from DotE isn't really something to be taken at face value, given how it's generally all over the place and draws lines between things that don't match up (somehow, Dragon is both Yin and Balance, for example). Secondly, nothing in Werewolf has to do with consensus; the Maeljin don't care about, and wouldn't be stopped by it. Only the presence of rival spirits of comparable or greater power keeps them in check.

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    • #3
      The manner in which the end of the Wraith game line sets up the cosmology of the Hunter game line is an exception, rather than the rule. The game lines largely have their own separate cosmologies.

      If something resembling the Werewolf Triat or claiming to believe in the Triat appears in your Kindred of the East game, it's a cool easter egg, but I'd recommend against worrying about how two cosmologies from what are really two separate game worlds can both be true at the same time if they don't seem easily compatible.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Reasor View Post
        The manner in which the end of the Wraith game line sets up the cosmology of the Hunter game line is an exception, rather than the rule. The game lines largely have their own separate cosmologies.

        If something resembling the Werewolf Triat or claiming to believe in the Triat appears in your Kindred of the East game, it's a cool easter egg, but I'd recommend against worrying about how two cosmologies from what are really two separate game worlds can both be true at the same time if they don't seem easily compatible.
        Dragons of the East is a Mage The Ascension Book, so I’m not quite following.

        That aside I’m working out ways to connect the mythologies together (for a game I plan to run where it’s appropriate), and have largely been successful so far (after digging through dozens upon dozens of books, forums and real world mythology wikis. The Yama Kings and Maeljin Incarna thing is a bit of a thorn so far though.

        I could hand wave it, but it’s of interest and use to me.
        Last edited by Archasimos; 12-08-2019, 02:01 PM.


        I’m a writer. A storyteller. They’re my passions. They’re what I do. The stories I tell, they are my mythologies. Like the Norse tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, or the Celtic fables of Lugh or Cú Chulainn, I want them to be the kind that people retell. They are the legacies I wish to leave behind.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Archasimos View Post

          Dragons of the East is a Mage The Ascension Book, so I’m not quite following.

          That aside I’m working out ways to connect the mythologies together (for a game I plan to run where it’s appropriate), and have largely been successful so far (after digging through dozens upon dozens of books, forums and real world mythology wikis. The Yama Kings and Maeljin Incarna thing is a bit of a thorn so far though.

          I could hand wave it, but it’s of interest and use to me.
          The key thing to note here is that unless you're really into Mage, it's probably better for your crossover to drop aspects of it or minimize its influence. It makes more assumptions about the world that other games can't run with than any other single WoD game, and you can't really plug them in to operate in parallel like with W:tA, where the Middle Umbral spiritual realms exist in concert with whatever else gets piled on, even if they're not easily accessible to others. This is important, because you can't plug Werewolf and Mage in and expect them to work; they make mutually exclusive claims about the cosmos, and operate in a strict binary, where choosing one means letting the other go.

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          • #6
            That’s true if you’re taking them wholesale, but not if you approach it with the assumption that they aren’t getting everything right, or that there’s something going on like in Scion.

            With what I’m doing I don't mind stepping on some cosmic mythology toes. I’m looking for any known canon reasons or any reasonable assumptions/suggestions as to why the Yama Kings and Maeljin Incarna can’t directly influence or invade each other’s realms. I do hope I'm not coming off as being abrasive, which, if I am, I apologize for.
            Last edited by Archasimos; 12-08-2019, 03:50 PM.


            I’m a writer. A storyteller. They’re my passions. They’re what I do. The stories I tell, they are my mythologies. Like the Norse tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, or the Celtic fables of Lugh or Cú Chulainn, I want them to be the kind that people retell. They are the legacies I wish to leave behind.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Archasimos View Post
              That’s true if you’re taking them wholesale, but not if you approach it with the assumption that they aren’t getting everything right, or that there’s something going on like in Scion.
              If you assume that a given game is getting it wrong, that tends to injure its core play experience. They weren't really taken to be an ironic exploration of the material that they represent or use. They were also intentionally designed to fall apart in crossovers, so there's no absolute big picture even going on, either.

              With what I’m doing I don't mind stepping on some cosmic mythology toes. I’m looking for any known canon reasons or any reasonable assumptions/suggestions as to why the Yama Kings and Maeljin Incarna can’t directly influence or invade each other’s realms. I do hope I'm not coming off as being abrasive, which, if I am, I apologize for.
              The Yama Kings are squatting in a half-underworld half-middle umbra, so their domain just might not be extremely accessible. Others would lose fighting them on their turf, but they wouldn't fare particularly well if they tried venturing outward... except for Mikaboshi. Umbra Revised has The Wicked City adjoining part of the CyberRealm. That potential plot seed seems to have not made it into W20, though.

              Edit: Also, for most of the life of W:tA, Malfeas was in the Deep Umbra rather than Near Umbra, so the Maeljin might have actually been more distant in some respects.

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              • #8
                Yeah, I was thinking that the Maeljin Incarnae originating from a home base out past the horizon might make any direct interaction with nearer umbral realms difficult if not impossible.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                  If you assume that a given game is getting it wrong, that tends to injure its core play experience. They weren't really taken to be an ironic exploration of the material that they represent or use. They were also intentionally designed to fall apart in crossovers, so there's no absolute big picture even going on, either.



                  The Yama Kings are squatting in a half-underworld half-middle umbra, so their domain just might not be extremely accessible. Others would lose fighting them on their turf, but they wouldn't fare particularly well if they tried venturing outward... except for Mikaboshi. Umbra Revised has The Wicked City adjoining part of the CyberRealm. That potential plot seed seems to have not made it into W20, though.

                  Edit: Also, for most of the life of W:tA, Malfeas was in the Deep Umbra rather than Near Umbra, so the Maeljin might have actually been more distant in some respects.
                  I get what you’re saying, though I’d say that all depends on the type of game you’re running, so long as proper expectations are set with the players and they’re good with playing in said game. Wouldn’t want it to be a bait and switch, even unintentionally.


                  I’m a writer. A storyteller. They’re my passions. They’re what I do. The stories I tell, they are my mythologies. Like the Norse tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, or the Celtic fables of Lugh or Cú Chulainn, I want them to be the kind that people retell. They are the legacies I wish to leave behind.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There's another reason they may have different domains, at least: in Wraith, souls are different in different continents. African wraiths have a four-part soul, for instance. So it's entirely possible that the Yama Kings only have influence over the P'o and that this influence doesn't extend to the Shadow. That would limit their influence to those regions where beings have the traditional Middle Kingdom soul.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                      There's another reason they may have different domains, at least: in Wraith, souls are different in different continents. African wraiths have a four-part soul, for instance. So it's entirely possible that the Yama Kings only have influence over the P'o and that this influence doesn't extend to the Shadow. That would limit their influence to those regions where beings have the traditional Middle Kingdom soul.
                      Complication: until the writing changes, the po basically is the same thing as a shadow. If it were truer to the real life lore regarding the hunpo, it'd be different, but that's not what we have. As to what differences this would entail...

                      -The po is the seat of passions. Unlike wraiths with a psyche and shadow, there would be no division of passions - they would all be a part of the po, even if you were ashamed of them. There's even a neat list of which of the Daoist wuxing to which your passions would correspond, though that's perhaps more mechanics than might be comfortable. In any case, "shadow passions" simply wouldn't exist under this paradigm, if it were executed to be true to real life inspirations.

                      -The hun is the seat of relationships. So, this is a stretch, but I would take that to mean that your Fetters would be wholly associated with your hun. Normally, it'd presumably focus on the relationships you have with others in society, like the ones outlined in Confucianism, but objects can probably fit in if we're trying to cram W:tO into other systems.

                      A bit of a rambling tangent, but the takeaway is that there's a fair bit of work before we actually move away from the psyche and shadow in the DKoJ.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                        Complication: until the writing changes, the po basically is the same thing as a shadow. If it were truer to the real life lore regarding the hunpo, it'd be different, but that's not what we have. As to what differences this would entail...

                        -The po is the seat of passions. Unlike wraiths with a psyche and shadow, there would be no division of passions - they would all be a part of the po, even if you were ashamed of them. There's even a neat list of which of the Daoist wuxing to which your passions would correspond, though that's perhaps more mechanics than might be comfortable. In any case, "shadow passions" simply wouldn't exist under this paradigm, if it were executed to be true to real life inspirations.

                        -The hun is the seat of relationships. So, this is a stretch, but I would take that to mean that your Fetters would be wholly associated with your hun. Normally, it'd presumably focus on the relationships you have with others in society, like the ones outlined in Confucianism, but objects can probably fit in if we're trying to cram W:tO into other systems.

                        A bit of a rambling tangent, but the takeaway is that there's a fair bit of work before we actually move away from the psyche and shadow in the DKoJ.
                        I think trying to fit real world concepts into this doesn't work but you're right that those concepts are more overtly different in RL terms.

                        The World of Darkness is a mess of influences, so they don't map neatly. But Western Wraiths specifically can't learn the Arcanoi of the Dark Kingdom of Jade because of the explicit and implicit 'differences' in their souls.

                        Yes, the Eidolon is superficially the Hun and the Shadow is the P'o in broad terms, but Wraith says that they're still somewhat different. Part of that is the attitude to each part of the soul, but metaphysically they're not identical either. (To be honest, a large part of this is exoticism and an attempt at mystery. We're frequently told how different everything is in Asia.)

                        Another distinct possibility is that Yomi relies on reincarnation to some degree. Dhampyrs, for instance, are reincarnations of the children of the Wan Xian. It's possible that the Wan Kuei are reincarnations of the Wan Xian in a similar way, though this isn't likely to be in canon anyway. It might be that these souls are always destined to return to the same place in between lives. Therefore souls who haven't previously been bound to the Yama Kings might not be in their reach.
                        Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 12-14-2019, 03:56 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I kind of thought the Hun was more like a wraith’s Eidolon, being that it’s the higher self.


                          I’m a writer. A storyteller. They’re my passions. They’re what I do. The stories I tell, they are my mythologies. Like the Norse tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, or the Celtic fables of Lugh or Cú Chulainn, I want them to be the kind that people retell. They are the legacies I wish to leave behind.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Archasimos View Post
                            I kind of thought the Hun was more like a wraith’s Eidolon, being that it’s the higher self.
                            You're right. It was late. The Hun is supposed to be the Eidolon.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Archasimos View Post
                              I kind of thought the Hun was more like a wraith’s Eidolon, being that it’s the higher self.
                              Weirdly enough one KotE book also correlates the hun/po to the WTA gnosis/rage system. It's intended for any effect that requires a rage or gnosis rolls to resist a wan kuei can use hun/po as appropriate, but taking it into account with Mage, sorcerer, and the hunter books, it kinda explains how just about All supernatural powers work.

                              One of the ST vault books that acts as a companion/errata for sorcerer revised points at this(most likely accidental) correlation, and I've extrapolated form there.

                              All (linear) supernaturals have 3 "soul" values that can store up to 30 "magic" points total, the values being Higher soul(gnosis/hun/eidolon/mana/glamour/avatar/balance/humanity/etc), Lower soul (rage/po/angst/etc), and Willpower(or being for spectres). For most supernaturals these values are either hidden or the supernatural is unable to use them for magic points for one reason or another.

                              All supernaturals can also store external Tass/magic points(vitae in kindred, chi in wan kuei or shih) in their bodies up to a theoretically infinite amount, but usually limited to 10 points. The limitations on how this works is dependent on the method used to manipulate it and how good they are at using that ability. Kindred let the blood of caine in their bodies do all the work and are limited by the quality of the blood they first get(generation). Wan Kuei have to actually develop their skills and can thus increase their "Capacity" as they get better. Shih develop their skills like Wan kuei, but are stuck with their human limitations in how good they can get. Ghouls are surprising in that they can passively develop their "Capacity"(as they age, their vitae capacity increases without limit, but they're still limited on how they can Use that vitae).

                              Magic Points themselves come in 2 flavors, yin and yang(or life and death, or active and passive, or etc). As stated in KotE, kindred+wraiths are examples of all Yin magic creatures and mummies+garou(and the wider fera and bete) are examples of all Yang magic users. depending on if used "As Is" for magic if the supernatural has the right corresponding personality traits(called "Virtues") or filtered by one of the "Soul Values", the user can change what magic they can use.

                              Werewolves channel "Yang" magic through their Higher Soul to either change themselves in a lasting way or shape the natural world and channel it through their lower soul to actively ignore their body's natural limits or inflict destructive power(both through collecting individual "Gifts" of varying level). Mummies are similar, but channel "yang" magic exclusively through their Higher Soul to change the natural world(through individual "Spells" of varying level).

                              Vampires are allowed to channel raw "Yin" by the curse of caine and can channel it to passively multiply the natural abilities of their bodies or into strict successions of powers called "disciplines". Wraiths channel Yin magic by pushing it through force of will into strict successions of grouped powers called "arcanoi". Yin magic of wraiths/vampires differ from the yang magic of bete/mummies in that they aren't collected individually, they're abilities that are painstakingly build upon themselves a clear line of succession. Also notably is the fact that yin magic doesn't allow a creature to overcome their body's natural limitations like a werewolf channeling yang through their Lower Soul(Rage), they allow both vampires/risen wraiths to Increase their bodies natural abilities and said increases last for much longer than the instant power brought by yang. Yin changes can possibly be made permanent as well(with fortitude/potence/celerity)

                              Changelings are a bit weird, in that they channel exclusively through their Higher Soul(glamour) and can increase their power by channeling unfiltered Yang, but increasing their corresponding Tass virtues(banality and nightmare/imbalance) is actually a Bad thing. Yin Tass is also poisonous to them in general.

                              Mages and Sorcerers sanitize their raw magic of any yin/yang affiliation and channel the bland remains through their Higher soul(mana/avatar). They are barely able to use it for much beyond making their unrelated magic(paths/spheres) easier.
                              Last edited by Prometheas; 12-15-2019, 04:45 AM.

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