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  • Bush of Ghosts

    I have some players that are interested in going to the Dark Kingdom of Ivory, but other then the content in the players Guide I can't find any write ups about it, or at least nothing that goes into real details. the Jade kingdom got two books, the Great war covers a little bit, but i was wondering if anyone else had some good suggestions.

    thx

  • #2
    Shadow Player's Guide goes in-depth on Shadows there.

    Book of Oblivion is slated to give it some coverage too.

    The Kingdom of Jade is the only non-Stygian Dark Kingdom to get full sourcebook coverage (well, that and the quasi-Kingdom of Wire in Charnel Houses of the Shoah). Bush of Ghosts coverage is about standard for the other non-Stygian Kingdoms (the Islands of Flint have it worst, only being covered in Mediums).


    Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by marin View Post
      Shadow Player's Guide goes in-depth on Shadows there.

      Book of Oblivion is slated to give it some coverage too.

      The Kingdom of Jade is the only non-Stygian Dark Kingdom to get full sourcebook coverage (well, that and the quasi-Kingdom of Wire in Charnel Houses of the Shoah). Bush of Ghosts coverage is about standard for the other non-Stygian Kingdoms (the Islands of Flint have it worst, only being covered in Mediums).

      The other Dark Kingdoms' execution was largely terrible, especially the Islands of Flint.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Onkwe View Post


        The other Dark Kingdoms' execution was largely terrible, especially the Islands of Flint.
        Gawd, was it.

        I think I'm just going to take a very liberal interpretation of lines like the one in Wr20 of:

        "Legion patrols tend to avoid those places, or they are never seen again. It is rare that Stygian citizens find their way into the Islands of Flint, and even rarer that they find their way out."

        AKA "Stygian wraiths don't know jackshit about the other Dark Kingdoms like the Islands of Flint" AKA "no, the Flint wraiths are still out there. They just don't like to advertise their presence to the white colonial wraiths that are still around that would love to re-kill them"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post

          Gawd, was it.

          I think I'm just going to take a very liberal interpretation of lines like the one in Wr20 of:

          "Legion patrols tend to avoid those places, or they are never seen again. It is rare that Stygian citizens find their way into the Islands of Flint, and even rarer that they find their way out."

          AKA "Stygian wraiths don't know jackshit about the other Dark Kingdoms like the Islands of Flint" AKA "no, the Flint wraiths are still out there. They just don't like to advertise their presence to the white colonial wraiths that are still around that would love to re-kill them"
          We completely redid the American supernatural world to reflect at least the legacy of Indigenous institutions, particularly in Wraith. It helps that a lot of my group is Native. lol

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          • #6
            i just found the Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom, i'm hoping that it will have something useful in it. as for anything else i don't know. i have read the Dark Trilogy books, Ebon Mask, (https://www.amazon.com/Ebon-Mask-Wra...y++mask+wraith)

            this has details on New Orleans, saying that it is a non-Stygian area, given over to the Bush of Ghost & Island under the Sea, good book the complete set is on drive through rgp in PDF.

            the Mirror lands, this is another area that would be great to have more details, they have a great Arcanos, plus the Loa, but the Bush of Ghost has talking animals, and Gods that walk the Shadow lands, if only we had just a few more details.


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            • #7
              I would suggest doing research on actual African cultures and their views on ghosts and the afterlife, then find a way to combine this with the general metaphysics and cosmology of Wraith.

              Most of what WW developed for Africa and Asia, despite the best intentions, was very ignorant to put it nicely.
              Last edited by Onkwe; 01-19-2019, 02:38 PM.

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              • #8
                Part of it is a holdover of Dances with Wolves mania that was "a thing" back in the first half of the 90s, which also tended to color some well meaning but fairly dumb takes on Africa, Australia, and other places. It was compounded by the difficulty of research on certain topics back in the pre-internet days (when dinosaurs walked the first Bush administration). Even if you could find stuff about the African (or Native American) afterlife back then, a lot of it tended to be filtered through either New Age fluffiness or weird black nationalism angles. The fact that both groups tended to get lumped into one big continent wide culture didn't help any. (If you've ever seen some of the early Dungeons & Dragons pantheon books, with a single "Native American" pantheon, you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about. It's like having a "European" pantheon with Zeus and his twin sons Jesus and Thor going on a quest to find Excalibur. But at least it wasn't as bad as RIFTS Spirit West.)

                With Africa's restless dead, I think the best place to start is with Bantu culture and mythology in general, and then start looking into the specifics of people like the Yoruba, Shona, Igbo, Zulu, and Maasai. Also Ethiopia, with the awareness that it is somewhat different in a number of ways.


                What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                • #9
                  I don't think Dark Kingdom's should be all that representative of the mythologies of a region. They are not faithful observances of tradition or faith, they are compromises and bulwarks against Oblivion. It's not like Stygia is very representative of western thoughts on the afterlife. The Dark Kingdom of Iron makes one or two major references to Greek mythology (Charon and Oboli) and carves out a distant but remote location (the far shores) as a place for traditional afterlifes to exist. Otherwise it is largely a story of politics and empire building and is far more affected by geopolitical events than myth and legend.

                  Instead, mythology and culture should shape the history of the Kingdom. They should show us the places the Kingdom had trouble expanding into, the unexpected landmines and cultural clashes once they did, and the sudden new factions they had to deal with. Where possible they should also highlight where the Dark Kingdom is breaking down. The Fishers, despite being Christian, don't bring much Christianity to Stygia or its metaphysics. They are more known for the demands they made, their attempted coup, and how their actions indirectly unveiled the Shining Ones' corruption.

                  It is entirely reasonable for a Dark Kingdom of Ivory to control all of Africa. What is unreasonable is the idea that Africa is so unified in thought that said Kingdom could do so easily.
                  Last edited by Ramnesis; 01-24-2019, 03:12 PM.


                  Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                  • #10
                    And even then, the way how the Far Shores are depicted, they make them sound like fake afterlives.

                    That they aren't the real afterlives pined for by the various Heretic groups, that they're all false realms created by wraiths who actively deny the true situation of the Underworld.

                    Through that lens, it does make me pause at the notion that the depiction of the Underworld is far too favorable towards Western culture. The setting in general being Euro-American centric? Sure. But putting Eur-American culture on a pedestal? Not at all.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                      Part of it is a holdover of Dances with Wolves mania that was "a thing" back in the first half of the 90s, which also tended to color some well meaning but fairly dumb takes on Africa, Australia, and other places. It was compounded by the difficulty of research on certain topics back in the pre-internet days (when dinosaurs walked the first Bush administration). Even if you could find stuff about the African (or Native American) afterlife back then, a lot of it tended to be filtered through either New Age fluffiness or weird black nationalism angles. The fact that both groups tended to get lumped into one big continent wide culture didn't help any. (If you've ever seen some of the early Dungeons & Dragons pantheon books, with a single "Native American" pantheon, you'll have an idea of what I'm talking about. It's like having a "European" pantheon with Zeus and his twin sons Jesus and Thor going on a quest to find Excalibur. But at least it wasn't as bad as RIFTS Spirit West.)

                      With Africa's restless dead, I think the best place to start is with Bantu culture and mythology in general, and then start looking into the specifics of people like the Yoruba, Shona, Igbo, Zulu, and Maasai. Also Ethiopia, with the awareness that it is somewhat different in a number of ways.
                      Yeah, that's why I try not to be too much of a dick to WoD stuff.

                      Looking at the overarching commonalities of the Bantu cultures would also be what I would do to get a general idea of how their society at large would be like, what their island(s) of stability in the Tempest would resemble (if they have them), how they view and even name arconi and other aspects of Wraith existence, etc. Then spread out from there to give local flavor and interpretation. Even in cannon they say the idea of a unified Dark Kingdom of Ivory is an illusion, which opens it up to have a variety of wraithly states on the continent. I'd also ditch the ghost animals or make them universal across the globe. There was never a good explanation provided for why this exception existed, at least from what I've read, and it felt very much like a romantic ideal of African tribal societies being closer to nature or some noble savagery trope like you've pointed out. I hope it was better than that, but there's a heap of evidence to the contrary, sadly.
                      Last edited by Onkwe; 02-11-2019, 07:45 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                        They are not faithful observances of tradition or faith, they are compromises and bulwarks against Oblivion. It's not like Stygia is very representative of western thoughts on the afterlife.
                        Yes, whatever the Shadowlands of not-Europe are, they should be as far from the ideal or myths as Stygia is from ideal and myths. But also, such composition should be written by someone who is ideally a member of the culture they are discussing, and not a well-meaning white dude from North America.

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                        • #13


                          Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

                          Yes, whatever the Shadowlands of not-Europe are, they should be as far from the ideal or myths as Stygia is from ideal and myths. But also, such composition should be written by someone who is ideally a member of the culture they are discussing, and not a well-meaning white dude from North America.
                          I'd settle for a good faith attempt from someone who took the time to research the cultures and mythologies of the region they are writing about. Especially if they get editing help from appropriate sources.

                          On another note, I think one of the things that is missing from the other Dark Kingdoms is references to Great Maelstroms. The fall of the Roman Empire was pivotal in European history, sure, but if it could could cause a Great Maelstrom surely other events from around the world could as well. Possibly we could say that the First and Second Maelstroms were local to Europe and the Tempest around Stygian byways and give other regions their own.


                          Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
                            On another note, I think one of the things that is missing from the other Dark Kingdoms is references to Great Maelstroms. The fall of the Roman Empire was pivotal in European history, sure, but if it could could cause a Great Maelstrom surely other events from around the world could as well. Possibly we could say that the First and Second Maelstroms were local to Europe and the Tempest around Stygian byways and give other regions their own.
                            There appears to be some recent evidence that the Black Death - which affected all of Eurasia, including China, India and the Middle East, to one degree or another - may have also hit Western Africa and Ethiopia.

                            As for the First GM, I'm not really sure what was going on in Africa in the 5th century. Most of the stuff of note apparently happened in the 2nd century (the vanishing of the Nok culture in Nigeria, the Bantu peoples settling in Mozambique, the rise of the Aksum Empire).

                            It's possible that the First may have actually been the result of some undisclosed fictional event, the way the Sixth GM was.
                            Last edited by No One of Consequence; 02-12-2019, 10:56 PM.


                            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                              There appears to be some recent evidence that the Black Death - which affected all of Eurasia, including China, India and the Middle East, to one degree or another - may have also hit Western Africa and Ethiopia.

                              As for the First GM, I'm not really sure what was going on in Africa in the 5th century. Most of the stuff of note apparently happened in the 2nd century (the vanishing of the Nok culture in Nigeria, the Bantu peoples settling in Mozambique, the rise of the Aksum Empire).

                              It's possible that the First may have actually been the result of some undisclosed fictional event, the way the Sixth GM was.
                              The sixth also multiple causes. It wasn't just nuking Oblivion but nuking India.
                              I am a fan of the idea of the fall/sacking of Rome wrongly being assigned as the cause of the 1st Maelstorm, because the Kingdom of iron did not know the actual cause.


                              Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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