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Oblivion and The Abyss

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  • Oblivion and The Abyss

    So I'm playing a Mortuario Giovanni, who spent 3 days and 3 nights in the Underworld before her Embrace (via the Ferryman's Recall). In that period she gained some sick enlightenment from Oblivion (reflected by rising with a ridiculous mastery of Ash for a Neonate, low Humanity and various Supernatural flaws, including an inability to learn Disciplines other than Necromancy).

    Most recently, she encountered a Toreador Antitribu at a Toreador Soiree. She was being quiet and reserved, however she took a cup of some blood and asked the host (a Toreador PC) what was in it. Apparently it was laced with various Narcotics and some Designer Drugs.

    What followed was... her ranting about the beauty of Oblivion, Entropy, the inevitable decline of creation (the Toreador all got enthralled, including the Harpy, hence him failing to intervene in what followed). The Toreador Antitribu, an Abyss Mystic (and ally of the host) became enchanted by her knowledge of Necromancy, and they began quite obviously flirting in front of 10 guests and a group of 9 ghosts. What followed was a set of Downtimes that can best be described as "Necromancy and Chill".

    For context, the Sabbat and Camarilla are at war, but the Harpy is willing to overlook some Antitribu being present at parties, since it gives him a chance to keep an eye on them and read their surface thoughts. The lore is quite clear that the Toreador are the most unified with their Antitribu, so I thought it was a neat touch on the ST's part.

    They shared knowledge (although she stopped short of teaching him Necromancy, since that would be a death sentence from her Clan) and ended up forging a theory about the Abyss and Oblivion. Oblivion is the maelstrom, the storm of souls, the engine that pulls in spirits and worlds and realms. But what happens to them when they are pulled in?

    The heart of Oblivion is The Abyss. A gap into a past existence. The heart of darkness. Distinct in nature, being Nothingness and Shadow rather than Entropy and Turmoil, but it is the core of Oblivion.

    A few things:

    1: Question; Are there any merits to this theory within the Lore?

    2: The ST has permitted me to develop the "Path of Oblivion", which is a redesign of Obtenebration, manipulating Entropy rather than manipulating Shadows. Level 1 can increase or decrease someone's soak (none of the Intimidation or Stealth stuff), Level 2 summons a cloud of Entropy which makes people feel sick rather than blinding them (-2 to everything, not just soak, but people can see), Level 3 summons "Spectral Hands" (a circle of runes appears around her and green translucent limbs arise from the circle to grasp foes), Level 4 makes her subtract from the soak of those she touches and do Aggravated by touch (instead of gaining an extra attack) and Level 5 makes her turn into a cloud of entropic energy.

    3: Having read up on Abyss Mysticism... why is Weight of Shadows a thing? It's just Obtenebration 1!? Like you can make shadows lean into things and spook people out. That's Obtenebration 1. It feels... pointless.

  • #2
    1. No, because oWoD lore is full of duplicate places and entities which should be the same but aren't. In Wraith and Orpheus Oblivion is revealed to be the physical form of the Grandmother - evil undead cthulhu trying to eat everyone.
    This is further complicated by Abyss not having consistent definition or properties. One author writes it as an empty space of emptiness, the other writes about abyssal language and entities in the dark, and Matthew Dawkins writes both ways at once in the same book.

    3. Because 90% of the Abyss Mysticism rituals are shit-flavored shit. Most good ones come from the original book - Libellus Sanguinus.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
      1. No, because oWoD lore is full of duplicate places and entities which should be the same but aren't. In Wraith and Orpheus Oblivion is revealed to be the physical form of the Grandmother - evil undead cthulhu trying to eat everyone.
      This is further complicated by Abyss not having consistent definition or properties. One author writes it as an empty space of emptiness, the other writes about abyssal language and entities in the dark, and Matthew Dawkins writes both ways at once in the same book.

      3. Because 90% of the Abyss Mysticism rituals are shit-flavored shit. Most good ones come from the original book - Libellus Sanguinus.
      Haha, I guess that makes sense. However some books (I believe) have linked The Abyss with The Grandmother. The Oblivion Lore has it consuming the Wyrm once it's done consuming everything else...

      The duplications are kind of necessary I guess?

      And yes, they feel quite... bad.
      Last edited by 11twiggins; 02-18-2017, 09:54 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
        The duplications are kind of necessary I guess?
        Not really. Making the setting more of a kitchen sink by having quintillion different types of demons and entropy worlds doesn't necessarily make the setting more varied or more interesting. What we actually have is too many cooks and not enough setting bibles. There are four vampire organizations each of which is called The Black Hand. The Sabbat is called "The Black Hand". There is a Sabbat spetsnaz called "The Black Hand". There is a secret society inside that organization who are called "The Black Hand". And they have a secret inner circle who are called "The Black Hand". There are like five different places all of which are called "The Abyss" and no information on how any of them relate to any others. Let's face it - oWoD is a mess. The development teams didn't talk to each other and didn't read the books other development teams wrote so we have five-ish different settings which are basically incompattible with each other and also have incompattible internal branches. This occasionally gets to the point where a book written in the Revised era references the rules which no longer exist in Revised so you are left guessing which edition the author thought he was writing for.

        Now, canon aside, I don't really see any problems with Abyss and Oblivion being the same.

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        • #5
          Well, the problem is which Abyss, since there are a number of them. So, in the spiritual geography of cWoD, you have three primary types of Abyss. You have the Abyss of WtA, the Abyss of VtM, and the Abyss of DtF.

          The Abyss of WtA is inspired by the Abyss of the Kabbalah, the separation between the seven lower Sephirot and the three higher Sephirot. The Abyss of VtM seems to be some spiritual Zone in the High Umbra, representing the distillation of darkness, shadow, and the creatures that everything fears in hidden in the dark, and is probably the equivalent of the Hotel California for anything living (they can check in, but they can never leave). The Abyss of DtF was probably anchored below Grandmother and, when she started moving, it started to fracture. That would probably mean that the fallen angels had been tossed into Oblivion but, because of their eternal natures, had passed through Oblivion into the spiritual realm that was the toilet of the Grandmother.

          Demons from outside of DtF, by comparison, are found in Deep Umbra Realms, would be annihilated by the Oblivion of Grandmother, and did not spend eternity being defecated on by Grandmother. The depths of the WtA Abyss probably extend into the Deep Umbra and connect to the Demon Realms (if you want to extend the metaphor from the Kabbalah). Just a couple of thoughts...

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          • #6
            Ah, the eternal mystery and intruige of the Abyss.


            Light inspires illusion and interpretation. Truth can only be found in darkness.

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            • #7
              Okay, came up with some answers I like...

              The Abyss and Oblivion are the same thing. They're just being seen through a different lens. You can't comprehend absolute nothingness, you can't comprehend the force of Undoing that destroys everything it touches. So is it a maelstrom of ghostly energy, or a realm of shadows? Those are both ways that limited minds can comprehend a world which exists in dimensions we can't understand.

              Why does the Abyss hand a language and inhabitants, if it's Nothingness? They're echoes of the things that got pulled in. Specters are what leaves the Abyss. Utterly mad, but still a sort of... existence. Lucky Wraiths make it out without becoming Specters. If they can't leave, their individuality and existence are consumed, utterly. All that is left is an Artifact.

              Abyssal Entities fall into five ranks:

              Abyssal Shade (the remnant of an insignificant spirit of little power)

              Abyssal Nightmare (the remnant of a human soul or reasonably powerful spirit)

              Abyssal Horror (the remnant of a potent soul; anything with Willpower 8 or higher)

              Abyssal Talon (the remnant of a rare and powerful soul; Mages, Methesulahs, Ancient Ghosts)

              Abyssal Avatar (the remnant of something truly legendary. An Antedeluvian, Archmage or Incarna. Such beings think they can survive in the Abyss, but they're wrong. After 3 days anything remaining in the Abyss is consumed)

              Artifacts are left by Nightmares and upwards. These could be as simple as a shape, or a whispered word. When you get up to Avatars it can include entire languages. The "Language of the Abyss" is Lasombra's mother-tongue, and the buildings which fill it are reflections of the Keep of Shadows.

              Denizens of the Abyss are stuck there unless released by Abyss Mysticism, Magick or Sorcery.

              The only beings which can't be consumed by the Abyss are the Fallen; they were pushed into the Abyss in the hope that it would undo them, however they simply fell right through the Abyss and into a place that they dubbed "hell". Simply a pocket in reality for detritus that the Abyss can't chew.

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              • #8
                I prefer to think of the individual Abyss as separate realms, with the Abyss of DtF being the latrine of Grandmother, for anything that Grandmother cannot digest (like the Fallen).

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                • #9
                  There is something similar to the Demon Abyss in the Astral Umbra, if I remember correctly: Called The Nihil, This Epiphany it's the concept of nothingness, any mage that goes there, no matter how powerfull, starts disolving into nothingness (the more they remain, the more they lose) , even worse, those who leave are "touched" by the Epiphany (they're fated to return, and I think there's a chance you wind up there each time you go to the upper zones of the Astral Reaches because of this, but I don't quite remember). Of course, there are no demons here, nor lost souls, nor a giant pit with lost stuff, nor shadows, but well, it's as similar to any Abyss as any Abyss it's to each other, minus the actual name.
                  Last edited by Aleph; 02-20-2017, 05:20 PM.

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