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The Wan Kuei retcon **Be extra respectful**

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  • #91
    Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
    That’s fair, something more akin to the incomplete or unresolved vibes that Mummy (Arisen) and Wraith have might click a bit better there.
    Once you're going for a more broad pool of cultural influences for the Wan Kuei, looking at what "Hell" means in other religions becomes a lot relevant. And for context: the modern Christian definition of Hell isn't just not common, it is actually rare. Most religions don't have this notion of a hellish land of eternal punishment for the sinful.

    The Thousand Hells are loosely based on some accounts of the land of the dead in Chinese folklore under influence of the Buddhist notion of Narakas. In this account, the Yama Kings reign over their realms, places where people that committed some kind of sin or bad action go for a time dependent on the severity, then are sent to be reincarnated again. The details vary greatly as this isn't a formal religious canon as we understand it, and the roles of individual Yama Kings, a central Yama King and the Jade Emperor in the whole thing depend on the retell.

    Narakas in Buddhism are realms where one reincarnates when the soul has bad karma to compensate, being the main influence for the idea of "Hell" as a place of torture in China and Japan at least. The main sources on the Narakas are Chinese translations of the original Sanskrit texts. Two important aspects of the Narakas, though, are that there is no sentence and the punishment isn't eternal. It is your own Karma that naturally draws you to reincarnate at a given Naraka, and it is the complete compensation of that Karma that makes you reincarnate outside of it when the time comes (in a realm dependent on your remaining unripe Karma).

    Yomi is the Japanese word for the Land of the Dead, but while many tales and legends involving it are influenced by the Narakas, the main Shinto descriptions of Yomi resemble what is actually the real most common depiction of "Hell" across religions: a gloomy, but otherwise bland place where everyone goes after death, located beneath the earth. While some tales exist of exceptional mortals being sent to Heaven after death, it is the realm of the gods, not an afterlife, and being sent there means being given divine duties.


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    • #92
      All the talk of hells make me wonder if we can have Einherjar from Norse mythology as examples of non-Asian Hungry Dead that also double as examples of more "loyalist" Hungry Dead ("Akuma").

      Hey, a hall where warriors battle 24/7 until the world ends (Valhalla) sounds a lot like a realm/existence where daemons war until their nigh-immortal lives end (the Asura Realm). Double points for that old comment about "Aesir" and "Asura" being suspiciously similar.

      (Yes, the Asura Realm is technically one of the 'better' or 'goodly' realms/reincarnations, but if we're already talking about how the world is broken......)


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      • #93
        Slotting Nose mythology into KotE, it's more likely that the character's soul would have fallen into Helheim, where the unworthy are sent, and then managed to get back out. They would probably have a spiritual system that would suggest that, if the followed it, they would eventually reach a better state at which they would eventually become a "living Einherjar" and then ascend to Valhalla (like the KotE become Bodhisattva and then eventually reach the Hundred Clouds). But that's just me sticking with the idea of playing a character who escaped from Hell (or in this case, Hel).

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        • #94
          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
          Slotting Nose mythology into KotE, it's more likely that the character's soul would have fallen into Helheim, where the unworthy are sent, and then managed to get back out. They would probably have a spiritual system that would suggest that, if the followed it, they would eventually reach a better state at which they would eventually become a "living Einherjar" and then ascend to Valhalla (like the KotE become Bodhisattva and then eventually reach the Hundred Clouds). But that's just me sticking with the idea of playing a character who escaped from Hell (or in this case, Hel).
          “You fled the blade in life. Now you will face it in death.” does sound like a nice tagline.


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          • #95
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

            One possibility that gets around the idea of morality and belief systems is there's something fundamentally screwed up about Hell in the WOD.

            Demons stealing souls that they're not supposed to have.

            Sort of like Changeling: The Lost only demonic.
            Not just Hell, but the very nature of reality and the world/universe itself is off kilter, if not breaking down. The whole cyclical 'Ages' stuff was very much a part of that, and it meshes (out of setting) with concepts in other fiction like Stephen King's Dark Tower series (Where magic is dying and reality is breaking down because science and manmade stuff can't replace it) And while its been awhile since I read that stuff, the W-K were *very* interested in preparing for the coming 'apocalypse' when things might break down (hoping to avert it and/or make it less worse). It's a quality shared but alot of the other crossover lines also fed into that narrative it seemed (WTA, DTF, HTR, MtR, VtR). Heck, that idea of 'preparing for apocalypse' means most people will be forced to make all kinds of dubious decisions either to survive or to achieve goals, so a 'breakdown' in morality/philosophy seems to fit right in, as does the question of 'how far do you go breaking the rules to save the system' and how you differentiate yourself from those you profess to fight.

            Also wouldn't the demonic version of CtL basically be DtF? I mean Demon's own narrative had a strong emphasis on 'things going wrong' at all levels including spiritual, including the afterlife and presumably whatever passed for 'Hell.' Although I do like some of the parallels brought up with Geist (the W-K always had some closer connection to WtO and especially the Fallen, but were still very much above and beyond that. Of course a lot of 'spirit inhabiting physical bodies' exist conceptually across the different ones - including many of the oWoD settings.)
            Last edited by Mister_Dunpeal; 04-17-2022, 10:34 PM.

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