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So... what about the dinosaurs?

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  • So... what about the dinosaurs?

    Bit of a weird topic I'm sure this one will be, but nevertheless the thought popped into my mind and I was sure I'd find the answer here...

    So if a human dies and leaves a wraith behind in the Shadowlands (if they have the unresolved Passions to do so, of course), then what about other things that die? Like animals, plants and... the dinosaurs?

    Is there a place somewhere in the Dark Umbra or what have you that the dinosaurs went to when they died and eventually wiped out? If my cat dies, where does his spirit go if it doesn't transcend or fall into the Void?

    This may fall into Gaia and Werewolf territory, but as I'm asking about the deaths of things that aren't human, I thought I'd place it here. Mainly wondering if a wraith may see the ghost of a stray dog or cat in the Shadowlands...

    But also... What happened to the dinosaurs?

    I know the thought of this topic is a bit out there, but I am asking in all seriousness... And if such a thing was never really answered, what are your thoughts on this?

    Cheers!

  • #2
    For the most part animals don't leave ghosts. I think there is one reference to a group of wraith horses, but this is specifically called out as an exception to the rule.

    In general, animals just don't form the kind of Passions and Fetters (especially Fetters) needed to keep them bound in the Low Umbra instead of transcending. Plants definitely don't.

    There's nothing saying a wraith dinosaur couldn't be around, I suppose, but that's an awfully long time for a wraith to exist without falling to Oblivion.



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

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    • #3
      Ramnesis pretty much nailed it. Canonically, the "spirits" of plants and animals don't end up in the Low Umbra - they return to Gaia, the Middle Umbra, what have you. The game is not too concerned with exploring that.

      The Underworld has its own flora and fauna, though, like the aforementioned steeds that race up and down the banks of the River Styx, eating the reeds that grow along there (the same reeds the Ferrymen use to build thier rafts).

      Originally posted by wander View Post
      Cheers!
      Hey! You stole my tag line!

      Cheers!


      If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
      'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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      • #4
        There is, it should be noted, one place in the Underworld that has animal ghosts - the African Underworld. Why this is the case is another matter.


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

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        • #5
          I just remembered - and I'm not sure I'm recalling correctly - that in the overall cosmology of the cWoD, dinosaur spirits ended up in some sort of Primordial Gaia in the Middle Umbra, tied somehow with the Mokolé. For more canon information, you might want to poke the guys in the Werewolf forum.

          But if you're asking for ideas on dinosaurs and stray cats... Well, anything and everything can exist in the Tempest. Like, dinosaur spirits might not end up in the Underworld, but there might be Plasmics formed and sculpted by the "death" of the interest in dinosaurs (like how children "grow out" of it, or public interest dies down a year after a Jurassic Park movie). Most don't appear in the Shadowlands, though, but that's not to say one couldn't find one in the Tempest, open a nihil and chase it into a Necropolis. But they won't be "real" animals.

          There is one canon character that appears as a stray cat, however, and her write-up makes mention that, while unique, it doesn't appear alarming to others.

          Cheers!


          If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
          'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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          • #6
            Yep, in the 1st edition Wraith core, there was a reference to ghost horses that Charon found, 13 death-steeds he presented to the Ferrymen who wanted them in the days of Pax Romana. Somehow 'caught in the ancient Sundering', they were thought by Charon to be a gift from Poseidon to Hades but broke free, swam the Styx and ran wild in the pre-Tempest Darkness, in the slough of the River of Death. That's more or less word for word what p.46 of the 1st edition corebook says about them.

            I never heard of the Lizard Kings and that side of the cosmology until I googled up the Mokole, I'll have to read some more on that.

            And yep, I own 'Sea of Shadows' and it essentially said in there that in some places of the Tempest there could be plasmids shaped like the xenomorph from ALIEN, I'd have to look through it for the mention, but it's cited as a canon plasmic, in so many words at least. And yeah, I can see dinosaur plasmics for sure, based on what you mentioned, nothing.

            Ooh, I had an idea of a xenomorph plasmic escaping up through a Nihil and terrifying a haunt of wraiths... @_@

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post
              For the most part animals don't leave ghosts. I think there is one reference to a group of wraith horses, but this is specifically called out as an exception to the rule.
              Charon's horses are probably best understood as a type of legendary or other plasmic creature, not actual "ghosts" of "animals".

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              • #8
                It bears remembering that not every human souls goes to the Underworld. IIRC, only about a tenth of people have enough unfinished business to get Passions and Fetters and thus be stuck in the Underworld

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                • #9
                  That number was probably an even smaller percentage back in the days when infant mortality was high (or continues to be in undeveloped countries where it still IS high).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nothing View Post
                    I just remembered - and I'm not sure I'm recalling correctly - that in the overall cosmology of the cWoD, dinosaur spirits ended up in some sort of Primordial Gaia in the Middle Umbra, tied somehow with the Mokolé. For more canon information, you might want to poke the guys in the Werewolf forum.
                    The dinosaur-spirits in Pangaea are actually a type of being known as emanations. They exist only in Near Realms. Some non-avian dinosaur-spirits might still be around, but per The Lost Ones totem description in Mokole, they are not keen to go out and do anything. The Wonder Work of the Dissolver and the War of Dragons, the latter of which one can read about in draft form on the Shattered Dreams KS page, left a terrible scar on their essential existence.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
                      It bears remembering that not every human souls goes to the Underworld. IIRC, only about a tenth of people have enough unfinished business to get Passions and Fetters and thus be stuck in the Underworld
                      Brilliant, I was wondering on a percentage of people that'd be wandering round Arcanos and that answers one question I was pondering on recently.

                      Also thank you for the insight, Saur Ops... I may introduce some other Umbral stuff (mainly Dreaming related stuff though). I wasn't seriously going down the path of ghost-dinosaurs for games though I considered what of the world before the days of Charon. I still like to link My owod to Exalted for prehistory and whilst it'll likely never come up, it's little things like this that I'd like to consider, cosmology-wise.

                      Perhaps a question for Exalted afficiandos, though I wonder how the prehistory of Dinosaurs and pre-Man days links in with the legends of Creation...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wander View Post

                        Perhaps a question for Exalted afficiandos, though I wonder how the prehistory of Dinosaurs and pre-Man days links in with the legends of Creation...
                        Officially not at all. The WoD was the result of Sidereals doing nothing about the Solars, which in the world that became Exalted, they obviously did. Direct connections between Exalted and any given WoD game don't really exist, but there are a few easter eggs and name drops from time to time, like Compass: Autochthon having Crystal polar mutants called Glass Walkers, or Mother Bog and an insane Niobrara spirit showing up in W20 Book of the Wyrm.

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                        • #13
                          Huh, so if the Usurpation didn't happen, that's what led to the classic world of darkness? Ah, the white wolf wiki backs that up looking at it... I never knew that! I wonder if the Terrestrials and Dragon Kings have some link then, given both were linked to Gaia and the whole dragon-link...

                          Sorry about the tangent, though I'm pondering on Tempest legends of times past, etc...

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                          • #14
                            Well, Dragon Kings in Exalted do have elementally-tied techniques as their native charmset, so there's some superficial similarities and Gaia probably had a big hand in their design. They aren't actually directly related beyond that, though.

                            Of course, with all the retrohistorical muckery going on by Mages and Weaver influence, the War of Rage cutting out substantial amounts of the racial memory of the Mokole pertaining to those Ages, and the gradual decay of the world's memories leaking into the Tempest and Oblivion, who knows how much of that knowledge is left?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wander View Post
                              Huh, so if the Usurpation didn't happen, that's what led to the classic world of darkness? Ah, the white wolf wiki backs that up looking at it... I never knew that! I wonder if the Terrestrials and Dragon Kings have some link then, given both were linked to Gaia and the whole dragon-link...

                              Sorry about the tangent, though I'm pondering on Tempest legends of times past, etc...
                              Dragon Kings are a thematic link, not necessarily a direct one. since SD details a very different setup for the Kings that lived prior to the Wonder Work. Dragon-Blooded, meanwhile, are linked to the Wan Xian and the revenant-vampires of KotE.

                              (Solars go to Imbued, Lunars to Garou and Fera, Abyssals to Vampire and Wraith, and no being known as Fair Folk has ever really stayed the same for very long, but they're thematically akin to Changelings)

                              The Underworld from Exalted was the most direct link in how it functioned. They did wobble about what a ghost is, though; in Exalted, everyone apparently experiences a division of Psyche and Shadow, with the psyche forming the ghost as Exalted terms it and the Shadow becoming a hungry ghost, which is naturally material. It gets even further twisted, mind, because Exalted is trying hard to use some of the Daoist concepts from DKoJ (it doesn't use the terms psyche and shadow, but hun and po) without actually using very much Daoism.

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