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Real Set and Set the Vampire

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  • #16
    I like the euhemeristic interpretations of the ancient pagan religions in early White Wolf. So I have no problems of various powerful supernatural creatures being the inspirations (though not the sole ones) behind the myths. Actual religion tends to be far more complicated than the mythologies that we've cobbled together in a coherent manner today - a single, organized story from multiple, contradictory sources scattered by time and place. So I don't mind making a hash out of the myths as long as it's plausible the myths we know can be descended from the game's "facts".

    So you have the Setite antedeluvian, who is not actually called Set. I refer to him as Typhon, but know that this name like the name for all the other antedeluvians are placeholder names. Prior to his embrace, Set was probably a very cool guy given other stories about him protecting Ra from Apep and so on. So he might have been an early Mage at first.

    Typhon embraced the mortal Set who of course was original mortal along with the other members of his family who would all become known as gods later on. Osiris is now a wraith ruling his own Far Shore, but was once a vampire. I'm torn between making him another childe of Typhon or saying he was embraced by Cappadocius. He was also the founder of the Children of Osiris (which is a sect, and not a bloodline in my chronicles). Horus as a mummy is still around. Isis was a powerful Mage who left behind an influential craft/tradition. The other related gods may just be their mortal friends, family, and companions, or may be other supernatural creatures. I'd probably rule that gods like Anubis and Sobek were specific individuals or a title among the Silent Striders and Mokole for example.

    Typhon had other childer, but they all ended up disappearing or destroyed fairly early on, so Set's lineage is really all that exists. That's why Set's name as the "founder" is what's used.

    It's entirely possible that other figures besides this vampire are also responsible for some of the stories we tell about Set.

    There's likely Aeons/Incarna dwelling in the Astral Plane that claim to be the "real" Egyptian gods (along with any other pantheons), but they actually formed later in response to belief than being the origin of them. But to anyone now praying to them or using them to fuel spells and such, they'd be the "real" gods, and they'd likely have all sorts of mumbo-jumbo explaining why they are the real gods and always existed even if they learn about the actual facts.

    The only real "gods" of the World of Darkness (besides the mysterious One of the Celestial Chorus) would be the Celestines, and they of course can manifest or be witnessed as any number of things. So the Celestine/Uthra Helios likely appeared as Ra at some point, and Apep was the Wyrm.

    I use something similar in regards to the Gangrel All High and Odin/Wotan/etc.

    I've stopped trying to come up with a completely coherent version of the story. It's not needed for me to do my job as an ST. I just need to have enough relevant facts filled in that I can make decisions in game as ST.

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    • #17
      I'll die on the hill that the vampire imitated the god worshipped by the Hyskos Kings, if only to put respect for real life people (even if they're long departed) over game NPC's.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Reasor View Post
        I'll die on the hill that the vampire imitated the god worshipped by the Hyskos Kings, if only to put respect for real life people (even if they're long departed) over game NPC's.
        It should be noted that the reason Set was vilified was because the Hyksos were kind of conquering bastards. So, by honoring them, you kind of hurt the Egyptians who are making a theological stand against them. Mind you, I have a anarchist re-interpretation of Ancient History where it's interesting to look back on the conquering warlords of the past and see them not as the founders of civilizations as proto-fascists like Gibbons did but as the assholes of their time that everyone should hate.

        But you do what's good for your campaign.

        Vampires always being parasites who steal the names of "real" religions versus inspiring them as a great retcon for the Gould in Stargate SG-1. I liked it because it undermined the Ancient Astronaut racism that was seemingly inherent to it.

        Gould aren't inspirations for anything, they just lie and steal real culture.


        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
          Personally, I tend to go with the "easiest" answer, which is that Egyptian mythology was based on the vampiric war between Set and Osiris and others. The mortal accounts aren't entirely factual and there's a lot of stuff that was added or intentionally removed, but generally speaking Set, Osiris, Horus, Isis, etc are all who they claim to be, and their actions formed the seed for stories that were passed down with them acting as gods.

          The problem with the "Easiest' solution is we end up with Human mythology becoming more and more accurate as time goes on.(This actually a major issue with alot of V:TM) One would think that over time mythology would Drift from the war rather than having Set become less the honorable warrior king as time passes. On the other hand the capacity of memories to drift especially when its more convienent is something humans are prone to....

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Lian View Post
            The problem with the "Easiest' solution is we end up with Human mythology becoming more and more accurate as time goes on.(This actually a major issue with alot of V:TM) One would think that over time mythology would Drift from the war rather than having Set become less the honorable warrior king as time passes. On the other hand the capacity of memories to drift especially when its more convienent is something humans are prone to....
            I admit, a non-canon story would be interesting that Set started out as a comparatively decent Antediluvian who defended Egypt from conquerors (or the Impergium by werewolves) and was considered to be a semi-benevolent god.

            I mean, by modern standards, probably a bastard but by ancient ones--not that bad?

            ("He only takes a few every month. Makes the Nile flood regularly. Positively righteous.")

            Then somehow, someway, he got corrupted by Apep (The Wyrm?) and became obsessed with his kind of Baali-esque devotion to the forces of darkness and evil for its own sake.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

              Vampires always being parasites who steal the names of "real" religions versus inspiring them as a great retcon for the Gould in Stargate SG-1. I liked it because it undermined the Ancient Astronaut racism that was seemingly inherent to it.

              Gould aren't inspirations for anything, they just lie and steal real culture.
              That's what I was clumsily getting at, rather than hold up the Hyskos as specifically noteworthy. Cultural appropriation is pretty hard to defend in any instance, but man, does my heart go out to Egypt over how relentlessly it's been done to them in the modern age. There's so much erasure.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Reasor View Post

                That's what I was clumsily getting at, rather than hold up the Hyskos as specifically noteworthy. Cultural appropriation is pretty hard to defend in any instance, but man, does my heart go out to Egypt over how relentlessly it's been done to them in the modern age. There's so much erasure.
                Cultural appropriation is certainly nothing to joke about. However, the shared open source nature of mythology and retellings are something that has been done for thousands of years.

                There's a fundamental difference in telling stories using the mythologies of the past with the readers well aware its fiction and marketing the cultural treasures of the past under your own interpretation as New Age wisdom.


                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                • #23
                  I like the idea that the ancient gods were actually ancient Firstborn Fae (as suggested in Dark Ages Fae). It could be that as the ages progressed, Fae of that power level became incompatible with the world and were either driven to other realms, died, or forced to become other things to keep existing in the physical world. Perhaps Set was never mortal and was a Firstborn Fae that became a Vampire either to survive or to gain more power.

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                  • #24
                    Counter idea: Set was loved in the early periods because he was active and either pretty decent (by contemporary god standards) or through use of Presence 10
                    Set was hated later on because he became inactive or left. His children screwed up his faith for their own gain. Their enemies smeared set to target his wayward children.

                    The man is such a Caine analogue. It's unreal at times.


                    Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                    There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                    • #25
                      I'd like to add to the thread my own headcanon about Apep, who could have been Lilith. Lilith could assume the form of a serpent (as in Revelations of the Dark Mother she was the one to tempt Eve in the Garden by assuming the form of the serpent). The serpent is actually one of her sacred animals in lore. Darkness is also under her purview, as she inherited domain over the night from Lucifer Morningstar. Apep's attempt to devour the sun could be a mytholgical version of Lilith's quarrel with G-d.

                      The implication that Set / Sutekh could have slayed Lilith I couldn't totally reconcile yet. But it would explain her disappearance.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                        It should be noted that the reason Set was vilified was because the Hyksos were kind of conquering bastards. So, by honoring them, you kind of hurt the Egyptians who are making a theological stand against them. Mind you, I have a anarchist re-interpretation of Ancient History where it's interesting to look back on the conquering warlords of the past and see them not as the founders of civilizations as proto-fascists like Gibbons did but as the assholes of their time that everyone should hate.

                        But you do what's good for your campaign.

                        Vampires always being parasites who steal the names of "real" religions versus inspiring them as a great retcon for the Gould in Stargate SG-1. I liked it because it undermined the Ancient Astronaut racism that was seemingly inherent to it.

                        Gould aren't inspirations for anything, they just lie and steal real culture.
                        Just out of curiosity: Which 'Gibbons' do you mean? I hope you are not referring to Edward Gibbon. That would be vile and strange.

                        By the way: It can also be interesting to reverse the view in order to see the Hyksos as the vilified ones, because they were the foreigners, kinda like the Borgia in Italy, if you don't mind the stretch. In both cases historiography tends to vilify them more than the 'usual', because they were seen as foreigners. What follows from that for the Setites would be disputable and tends to depend on wether one would see vampires as completely incapable of supporting or even initiating (social and/or cultural) progress or not. (Arguably vampires have developed cultural advancements of their own.)
                        Last edited by Saturno; 11-18-2020, 09:59 AM.


                        "Life's barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at."

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Saturno View Post

                          Just out of curiosity: Which 'Gibbons' do you mean? I hope you are not referring to Edward Gibbon. That would be vile and strange.
                          Gibbon had the whole "White Man's Burden" thing going on. As well as a tendency to ignore the plight of anyone that wasn't of the nobility.
                          If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus.
                          Nevermind that a huge amount of population was enslaved or or only enjoyed limited rights compared to the citizen population, which even at the Empire's height wasn't that much more than 10% of the population of the Empire. Citizen rights had also been eroded since the fall of the republic.

                          He also wrote a book about the Pelopponesian War that took an extremely anti-Athenian slant, because he hated Democracy so much.

                          I also personally can't stand Gibbon's writing. He rambles and meanders and goes off for 2 pages about how much Commodus sucked, but manages to not even actually say why.

                          Back on topic. I'd be in favor of Set being a mage, it fits with the story well. I don't think you can point to any single supernatural type of entity being responsible for all the gods. Some were probably mages, others spirits, others more powerful umbral entities, some were vampires or had their identities hijacked by vampires, etc.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by trueann View Post
                            Was Set the entity who influenced religion of ancient Egypt or he just use it and was an impostor, like, for example, gangrel Odin? How do you solve this in your game?
                            Gangrel Odin was explicitly noted as being a charlatan who took up the Mantle of Allfather after it was a thing. Sutekh the Antediluvian was a Vampire and there is a good chance he became a god. His sisterwife was also a Silent Strider kinfolk and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was Awakened before his embrace. I’ve had it that he was a Demigod when Embraces and he achieved Apotheosis as a Draculer.


                            It is a time for great deeds!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                              Draculer.
                              LOL, when I read that I can hear Chains the bounty hunter saying "I was a teenage Draculer."

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by DrHappyAngry View Post
                                LOL, when I read that I can hear Chains the bounty hunter saying "I was a teenage Draculer."
                                Yes finally after like a decade somebody gets me! And it was worth it!


                                It is a time for great deeds!

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