Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Shadowlands and the Wilderness

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Shadowlands and the Wilderness

    Okay one big thing I reckon we have been missing is more Wraith material on what its like in the Shadowlands of the Wilderness. Like Forests, Jungles, the Desert. Its ripe virgin territory for spooky story ideas!


    It is a time for great deeds!

  • #2
    It's the Tempest.

    Seriously, it is. I thought I had answered this in a previous thread, but looking through the catalogue, I guess I never posted it. Think of the Shadowlands as a fine gauze that blankets the "real" world - and necropolis are like "psychic weights" that pin down and conform to the Skinlands surrounding them. Any unexplored/uninhabited areas are the Tempest. There may be Byways connecting Necropoli reflecting highways connecting cities, but the Underworld is not a 1:1 analogue. Anything that is not "settled" or "civilized" is the Tempest.

    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by nothing View Post
      It's the Tempest.

      Seriously, it is. I thought I had answered this in a previous thread, but looking through the catalogue, I guess I never posted it. Think of the Shadowlands as a fine gauze that blankets the "real" world - and necropolis are like "psychic weights" that pin down and conform to the Skinlands surrounding them. Any unexplored/uninhabited areas are the Tempest. There may be Byways connecting Necropoli reflecting highways connecting cities, but the Underworld is not a 1:1 analogue. Anything that is not "settled" or "civilized" is the Tempest.

      Cheers!
      Really?
      I was always under the impression that the Shadowlands pretty faithfully corresponded to the Skinlands, differing primarily in look and substance.

      Wraiths battling during the Great War were often out in the sticks. Unless such places sprang into being because of emotional investment I was of the opinion they already existed.
      Think of the Somme: were Wraiths unable to venture there before the war?
      I've never seen Necropoli existing as islands in a storm.
      The Dark Kingdoms and Far Shores yes, but I thought the Shadowlands existed as a separate plane from the Tempest.

      Please correct me if I'm wrong.
      Last edited by Andreas Rayne; 06-04-2016, 09:09 AM.


      Miley Cyrus is obviously a Nephandi and a Cultists love-child. *Shudders*

      Comment


      • #4
        Andreas Rayne Forgive me, I wasn't exactly clear. It was late and I was tired. These "uncivilized" and unsettled areas are more "Tempest-lite" than "proper" Sea of Shadows. A field may shift and roil, being covered in tall grass one moment, a muddy pit the next. Spectres and Plasmics might roam, and sudden Nihils fissure open. There just isn't enough emotional investment or psychic weight to "stabilize" those areas. Most uninhabited areas are reflective of their Skinlands counterparts, but more representative than analogous. So a forest in the Shadowlands may occupy the same space as a forest in the Skinlands, but not every tree will share the exact same placement (and the Shadowlands forest will vary in appearance and mood depending on what the Wraiths expect).

        Necropoli are more like islands in a calm sea rather than a storm, so calm that it's often mistaken for land. A Maelstrom will quickly disabuse anyone of that notion, though.

        It's not that Wraiths weren't able to access places like the Somme, but that the Somme wasn't the Somme until it was the Somme, if that makes sense, like Verdun was just some hills until it was Verdun, and the beaches at Normandy were just a place where sand met water until D-Day. The geographical features and emotional resonances weren't "locked in" until those events happened.

        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          I interpret it as a combination of the two. For me, it comes down to not wanting to make any hard and fast HRs about what-is and what-is-not enough emotional investment to give a location a place in the Shadowlands. I’ve used untamed regions as places where Byways coalesce and take wraiths into the Tempest at the speed of plot.

          Back to the OP’s thoughts about “virgin territory for spooky ideas!”

          If you want to go with the notion that places in the Shadowlands only form with strong emotional investment, I'd go with emotional quality over quantity. Strong and intense emotions that create little pockets of “psychic weight” (I like that analogy).

          Forest: A log cabin shared by two prospectors. They strike it rich, but not before winter sets in. With thoughts displaced by a perfect storm of greed, paranoia, and hunger, one of the partners violently kills the other and throws his body outside. The food still runs out and he dies with the regret of a murderer.
          The Circle finds this cabin in the neverwhere. It’s a small Haunt inhabited by a lonely wraith who is under constant attack by a rampaging spectre. What does the Circle do when they find out the wraith they’re helping is a killer and the monster outside just wants revenge (or justice)?

          Jungle: After some minor conflict during the mid-twentieth century, there’s a patch of jungle littered with the burnt-out and shot-down husks of fighter jets. Not all of the pilots ejected. Some were stuck in their flaming cockpit-coffins as they plummeted to earth, grasping for tattered photos of loved ones. Others took bodily hits by bullets, cursing their hated enemies between teeth soaked with their own blood.
          The small group of wraiths that call this area home come from different regions of the world. They’re content to spend eternity with the people they fought against, but different Dark Kingdoms are making claims for these souls and this territory. Are characters sent there as liaisons to integrate them into the Hierarchy? Are they sent with slavers’ chains? Or are they Renegades who want to help this small band of restless dead retain their anonymity?

          Desert: It made international news! For a few minutes, at least. The headline read “Archeology Students Found Too Late!” A bus of archaeology interns was traveling through the desert on the way to a site. It blew a tire on the road. No big deal. They had a spare. That someone forgot to pack it. That was alright, they had plenty of water. Except they didn’t. Surely they’d be rescued. When the bus doesn’t arrive, the university would coordinate with local authorities to find the missing students, which would have worked if the police weren’t corrupt. By the time the bus was located, everyone was dead from exposure [insert writer joke here].
          Archeology didn’t pan out, so the “survivors” are trying their hands at business. Using the bus as their tollbooth, they tax all travelers. Pathos, relics, whatever. Are the characters wanderers that get caught at the tollbooth? Or are they Legionaries sent to bring these miscreants under heal?


          This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
          (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
          ").

          Comment


          • #6
            Any sources on that? Because I've never gotten that impression and there is definitely material that directly contradicts it. E.g. Wraiths that venture out of Necropoli in the Western reaches of the US seem to vanish from time to time and might be/are victims of some vengeful Dark Kingdom of Flint remnants.

            I can see it as being more subjective than a real world foot by foot correspondence, but I don't think there's much to indicate that it's just "calm Tempest" with shifting scenery.

            Plus, there is a general tendency to equate Tempest in the "flat" perspective with water, specifically large bodies. In a 3+ D perspective it's also "up" and "down".

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nazfool View Post
              Desert: It made international news! For a few minutes, at least. The headline read “Archeology Students Found Too Late!” A bus of archaeology interns was traveling through the desert on the way to a site. It blew a tire on the road. No big deal. They had a spare. That someone forgot to pack it. That was alright, they had plenty of water. Except they didn’t. Surely they’d be rescued. When the bus doesn’t arrive, the university would coordinate with local authorities to find the missing students, which would have worked if the police weren’t corrupt. By the time the bus was located, everyone was dead from exposure [insert writer joke here].
              Archeology didn’t pan out, so the “survivors” are trying their hands at business. Using the bus as their tollbooth, they tax all travelers. Pathos, relics, whatever. Are the characters wanderers that get caught at the tollbooth? Or are they Legionaries sent to bring these miscreants under heal? [/FONT]
              Errr.... ummm..... No. As an archaeologist, that isn't going to work. A "bus" of archaeologists (not sure what an archaeological intern is) would probably be one of the more capable groups to strand in the wilderness. They will also have plenty of provisions as well as a massive set of skills to manipulate the environment. Want to know how people have found water in a desert prior to Western civilization found water in the desert? Ask the archaeologists. Someone has written a paper on the hydrology of the area and how it has been exploited over time. Another has done a thorough ethnohistory of the area and talked to the remnants of the indigenous population about survival. Problems with shade and heat regulation? Every archaeologist has had to deal with this sort of problem for years as a part of doing business. I've had actual civil engineering interns on archaeological sites and just give up because it's so much harder than working on a crew pushing a new road through the wilderness.

              Maybe a bus of college students? Or a busload of archaeolgists working in the wrong place at the wrong time with regard to local conflict or customs? (I'm reminder strongly of the time we had to spend in our trenches because of the noises of random gunfire. Until the perpetrators walked out of the woods and told us they were out having fun "Shootin' and drinkin' beers"...)

              Comment


              • #8
                Ajax : Thanks for the IRL intel. I'm (obviously) not an archaeologist. It was just a snip I came up with off the top of my head to help the OP get some ideas.


                This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
                (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
                ").

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nothing View Post
                  Andreas Rayne Forgive me, I wasn't exactly clear. It was late and I was tired. These "uncivilized" and unsettled areas are more "Tempest-lite" than "proper" Sea of Shadows. A field may shift and roil, being covered in tall grass one moment, a muddy pit the next. Spectres and Plasmics might roam, and sudden Nihils fissure open. There just isn't enough emotional investment or psychic weight to "stabilize" those areas. Most uninhabited areas are reflective of their Skinlands counterparts, but more representative than analogous. So a forest in the Shadowlands may occupy the same space as a forest in the Skinlands, but not every tree will share the exact same placement (and the Shadowlands forest will vary in appearance and mood depending on what the Wraiths expect).

                  Necropoli are more like islands in a calm sea rather than a storm, so calm that it's often mistaken for land. A Maelstrom will quickly disabuse anyone of that notion, though.

                  It's not that Wraiths weren't able to access places like the Somme, but that the Somme wasn't the Somme until it was the Somme, if that makes sense, like Verdun was just some hills until it was Verdun, and the beaches at Normandy were just a place where sand met water until D-Day. The geographical features and emotional resonances weren't "locked in" until those events happened.

                  Cheers!
                  This causes all sorts of problems with the Rule of Ouch. Individual trees do have to be in exactly the same place in the Shadowlands as in the Skinlands, or the Rule of Ouch loses meaning.

                  Also, bear in mind that most of the world has been traversed by *someone* at some point. I don't buy that it would be Tempest-lite. Wild and more chaotic, yes, but the physical markers would be the same. They would just be surrounded by fog, peppered with nihils and prowled by nasties. But the geography would be otherwise similar to anywhere else in the Shadowlands.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Eldagusto
                    There’s a wide variety of opinions and – Wr20 notwithstanding – I don’t think there are any definitive rules on the subject. Go with what you think sounds cool/engaging. If you want a Tempest-lite ™ a la Insidious’s the Further, go for it. If you want a hellish nightmare parody of nature, like Clive Barker directing Never Cry Wolf, go for it.


                    This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
                    (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
                    ").

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nazfool View Post
                      Ajax : Thanks for the IRL intel. I'm (obviously) not an archaeologist. It was just a snip I came up with off the top of my head to help the OP get some ideas.
                      There's likely to be someone on that bus that knows how to knap flint....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've never considered the "wilderness" of the Shadowlands the same as the Tempest. In fact, I disagree with almost everything that nothing has said. The Tempest was simply the hyperdimensional reality "between" the Shadowlands and Stygia (and other Dark Kingdoms) and Far Shores which was accessible through nihils or argos.

                        If you go back far enough time, not only are there no necropoli, there aren't even major cities as we understand them today. Most people live in the rural areas, and most cities are merely the size of small towns.

                        Ghost stories can happen anywhere. Ancient battlefields, isolated log cabins where terrible crimes happened, places where people were trapped and starved; all of that is prime territory for hauntings.

                        Wraith can do stories in the wilderness just like it can anywhere else. It's just that the Hierarchy is far away - any sort of legionnaries would be placed under the control of a Regent (a glorified marshal) who is appointed by a local Necropolis to administer that territory. These legionnaires are probably located in the most powerful Haunt of a local area where they can patrol the entire territory. They'd mainly be interested in populated areas so they can oversee the reaping and governance of the dead, so it would be very infrequent to send a patrol out in the real wilderness. Much more likely would be freewraiths eeking out an existence on their own, or perhaps a small group of Heretics or Renegades hiding out.

                        Wraiths require Passions, so they need people to harvest them from. So the wilderness is dangerous - many wraiths will run out of Pathos - unless they can find someone out there who has very strong emotions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow. Okay. I step away for a day... Allow me to clarify: When I said "Tempest-lite," I meant it was similar to the Tempest, not part of the actual Tempest. Unsettled wilderness areas are akin to the foam on a latte, where the coffee itself is the Tempest. Nihils would be holes in the foam, and when a Maelstrom comes along, it shakes the whole cup. Things don't change instantly either, I meant that a field of tall grass might become a muddy pit when a character crests a hill rather than blinks their eyes.

                          As for where this information comes from, I extrapolated from 1st & 2nd edition, several pieces of fiction from various books, scenes in the novels Caravan of Shadows and Beyond the Shroud, and Ghost Towns (which probably has the most information on wilderness/lightly settled areas). The closest there's been on an official ruling is in the Player's Guide, from in in-character journal entry, which says the Shadowlands are almost an exact replica of the Skinlands. So a desert in the Shadowlands occupies the same "space" as a desert in the Skinlands, but unless something happened there (or there are Nihils around), it's just kind of "generic desert" - there's no psychic imprint to give the place unique features (unless they is a unique feature already found there, like the sandstone pillars in Utah, which people travel to see, thus leaving a psychic/emotional tag).

                          This is all just what I've pieced together, though, so take it with a grain of salt. Wild areas are more "soft" and mutable than the areas around a Necropolis, especially if there's a Nihil nearby, but still reflective of their Skinlands counterparts.

                          Cheers!

                          †(If this were the Vampire forums, I'm sure the first response would be something like "You can't use the fiction to answer a question!")
                          Last edited by nothing; 06-05-2016, 01:14 AM.


                          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.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nothing View Post
                            Andreas Rayne Forgive me, I wasn't exactly clear. It was late and I was tired. These "uncivilized" and unsettled areas are more "Tempest-lite" than "proper" Sea of Shadows. A field may shift and roil, being covered in tall grass one moment, a muddy pit the next. Spectres and Plasmics might roam, and sudden Nihils fissure open. There just isn't enough emotional investment or psychic weight to "stabilize" those areas. Most uninhabited areas are reflective of their Skinlands counterparts, but more representative than analogous. So a forest in the Shadowlands may occupy the same space as a forest in the Skinlands, but not every tree will share the exact same placement (and the Shadowlands forest will vary in appearance and mood depending on what the Wraiths expect).

                            Necropoli are more like islands in a calm sea rather than a storm, so calm that it's often mistaken for land. A Maelstrom will quickly disabuse anyone of that notion, though.

                            It's not that Wraiths weren't able to access places like the Somme, but that the Somme wasn't the Somme until it was the Somme, if that makes sense, like Verdun was just some hills until it was Verdun, and the beaches at Normandy were just a place where sand met water until D-Day. The geographical features and emotional resonances weren't "locked in" until those events happened.

                            Cheers!
                            Nothing to forgive (pun intended)
                            Although my views are a little different I love the evocative imagery of your descriptions.

                            I'm going to have to side with Nazfool on this one.
                            I think a combination of the two is a nice equilibrium.


                            Miley Cyrus is obviously a Nephandi and a Cultists love-child. *Shudders*

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nothing View Post
                              †(If this were the Vampire forums, I'm sure the first response would be something like "You can't use the fiction to answer a question!&quot
                              Well, you kinda can't...

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X