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Do Gilguls and vamps mean the number of Avatars in the universe is slowly decreasing?

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  • Do Gilguls and vamps mean the number of Avatars in the universe is slowly decreasing?

    Yes, I know Gilguls are rarely performed, but they do happen at a slow, but steady rate. Also, things like being vamped supposedly gilgul people. So does that mean that the total number of avatars in the universe is constantly decreasing, or are new ones being created?

  • #2
    That depends on what Avatars actually are. If they're fragments of The One, then yeah, they're probably finite. But if you subscribe to the idea that Avatars are wholly independent souls or fragments of Prime energy, then I doubt there's any real danger of running out.


    Shameless Technocratic shill.

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    • #3
      Moreover, we have no way of knowing if methods supposedly meant to "destroy" Avatars (Gilgul or exposure to vampire Vitae) actually do that. Mages only really "know" that Avatars reoccur between certain people keep getting impressions of past lives, or different mages report seeing similar "guardian figures" as those of previous eras. No one knows how many Avatars are around, where they come from, or what they even ARE. Let alone if there's a finite number of them, or if "destruction" is even an idea that can be applied to them.

      The Horizon Warrior (from the novels) was allegedly possessed of the Avatar(s) belonging to a mage who definitely got Gilguled. If this were true, Gilgul isn't as permanent a means of getting rid of an Avatar as people thought. Perhaps the origin of the word Gilgul - that of "transmigration" - really was more apt than mages thought. Maybe the act of "destroying" an Avatar in such a way merely sends it back to the source, where it gets reconstituted.

      On the subject of vampires, that an embraced mage ends up without their ability to use True Magick afterwards doesn't actually require that the Avatar be destroyed. I've long advocated that it shouldn't, and that rules related to Vitae and Gilgul (like in Blood Treachery) were taking things too far, eliminating potential stories. So if you ignore Blood Treachery, it's not impossible for Avatars to be largely unaffected by Vitae (though a mage's ability to improve their Arete while ghouled is another matter, what with vampiric nature being inherently Static and all).

      Also, world populations are greater now than they were at any point in the past. A truly ridiculous number of humans. Whether Avatars are finite, or grow WITH the number of humans who exist, would depend on whether there are more mages NOW than there were thousands of years ago. *Shrugs*


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      • #4
        Remember, Sleepers have Avatars too; that's why we have a Consensus. There has been no indication as of yet of any sort of “epidemic” of Avatar-less humans being born — though to be fair, I'm not sure how you'd detect such a thing. But the books seem to assume that every human being alive today (save for victims of Gilgul and similar cases) has an Avatar: so either there's a mechanism for creating new Avatars that's keeping up with the human population or there's a reserve of “unused” Avatars that has yet to be depleted.

        And even if they're fragments of the One, that doesn't mean that there's a finite quantity of them: if I recall correctly, the One is supposed to be infinite.


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        • #5
          I thought the mages put in the embrace just had their avatars escape rather than destroyed. So, just is if the mage had died, which for all intents and purposes, they have.


          Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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          • #6
            Regardless of what the authors intended, I'm in favor of the idea that an embraced mage can meet the mage who inherited their Avatar.

            But also I always think: “Why should I decide what the truth is? The Tellurian is not consistent (at least in mage) why should I?“

            Either it is really the same Avatar, or it only seems to be the same. Whatever the story/group needs is best. Of course the needs can change, so can the truth.

            That being said, I am quite fond of discussions.
            So please don't stop, especially if you disagree.


            So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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            • #7
              Relevant; new avatars are appearing. M20 talks about the "Innocents", fresh avatars bound to souls which are just brand new and still have that New Soul smell (plus some True Faith). These Mages are all quite young, and them appearing while talk of "apocalypse" and "gehenna" start to heat up is definitely 100% a coincidence. I'm sure they're not a last-ditch effort to save the world or anything ;-)

              So if Avatars were being destroyed, then new Avatars would be replacing them at a steady rate I imagine.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                Relevant; new avatars are appearing. M20 talks about the "Innocents", fresh avatars bound to souls which are just brand new and still have that New Soul smell (plus some True Faith). These Mages are all quite young, and them appearing while talk of "apocalypse" and "gehenna" start to heat up is definitely 100% a coincidence. I'm sure they're not a last-ditch effort to save the world or anything ;-)

                So if Avatars were being destroyed, then new Avatars would be replacing them at a steady rate I imagine.
                that's assuming avatars can be completely destroyed anyway. Order of hermes revised says the official definition of gilgul (when it was made anyway) is" the soul is sent to the divine to face judgement" with the sidebar implying they may have been correct

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mark View Post
                  that's assuming avatars can be completely destroyed anyway. Order of hermes revised says the official definition of gilgul (when it was made anyway) is" the soul is sent to the divine to face judgement" with the sidebar implying they may have been correct
                  If that's the case, if someone is put through the Gilgul rite unjustly, is there any possibility of their Avatar returning?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                    If that's the case, if someone is put through the Gilgul rite unjustly, is there any possibility of their Avatar returning?

                    Sure, why not?


                    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Saikou View Post


                      Sure, why not?
                      *Manifest Avatar reappears when the former Mage's life hangs in the balance, having lost most of its power (Avatar rating fallen to 1)*

                      Avatar: You would not BELIEVE what I just went through.

                      Mage: I... how?! Please, I need you to fuse with my spirit, now!

                      Avatar: Seriously, you think Oblivion or Torment are bad? The cairns? Christ I feel so weak-

                      Mage: I AM BLEEDING OUT

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
                        Yes, I know Gilguls are rarely performed, but they do happen at a slow, but steady rate. Also, things like being vamped supposedly gilgul people. So does that mean that the total number of avatars in the universe is constantly decreasing, or are new ones being created?
                        The embrace doesn't Gilgul a mage, but simply kills them (just like any mortal) and the avatar leaves (as occurs anyway when a mage dies -- that facet/aspect of his soul moves on/reincarnates). Also, as noted by a later poster, Gilgul may not actually be the "true destruction" of the god-shard but rather possibly a return of it to the greater beyond. (In any case, all of the avatars being truly/ultimately destroyed wouldn't be for many billions of years. Remember: all of the humans on earth have avatars (though, granted, most have a rating of "0" -- which, as per Mage, isn't "0", but rather a flicker/sparking vs. the candle flame of a 1 point rating)... and that's just on this planet/world. In/on other worlds, there are even more avatars. Gilgul is a horrendous thing (it is, to put a proper comparison on it, similar to the *player* of a roleplaying game being killed by one of the *characters* in the story/game, metaphysically speaking), but it's hardly a worry on the broader cosmological scale.


                        I have been around here for waaaayyyy too fucking long...

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                        • #13
                          This of course all assumes avatars are in fact following the same time line as human perception and in fact are not beholden to some other temporal shenanigans where only like say 1000 are being used but they are temporally out of synch so everyone has one..

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lian View Post
                            This of course all assumes avatars are in fact following the same time line as human perception and in fact are not beholden to some other temporal shenanigans where only like say 1000 are being used but they are temporally out of synch so everyone has one..
                            Nice idea!
                            Meeting a related soul becomes boosted on a completely new level.


                            So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lian View Post
                              This of course all assumes avatars are in fact following the same time line as human perception and in fact are not beholden to some other temporal shenanigans where only like say 1000 are being used but they are temporally out of synch so everyone has one..
                              - Two mages find they have the same Avatar, and this is the reason.

                              - A mage doesn't have a "past life" for their avatar; instead they have made contact with a future reincarnation, a Virtual Adept from 2042.

                              "So wait... back in your time, Owo, becoming a furry wasn't a requirement to join the VAs?"

                              "Okay that's enough magick for today."

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