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[Fanmade Dark Era] [Beast/Geist] The Forest That Weeps

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  • [Fanmade Dark Era] [Beast/Geist] The Forest That Weeps

    People, I finally began working on that Belgian Congo Dark Era I promised to do ages ago. It originally was meant to be a Beast Dark Era, but as I learned more and more about natives religions and the place the dead have in it, I could not help but to add Geist to it. It just felt right.

    I'm posting the link to the whole work here, while also making individual post to the completed parts for a simple reason. I'm essentially making this "open development", if you pass me the term, because writing a Dark Era is no easy feat and I'm not sure I can make it from beginning to end without any imput. I'd love to say that I'm good enough to pull it off, but I don't think I am. This specific Dark Era, considering what it is about, is also a tricky one to do well, and thus I believe sharing the project here while it is still going can only help.

    Criticism is absolutely welcome. I have a picture in mind of what the end result will be and I know how I will treat the delicate parts, but really, do tell me what you think about both what I post and what your general thoughts are

    Here's the link to the chapter as a whole
    Last edited by Cinder; 02-11-2017, 01:34 PM.


    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

    Waiting feverishly as instructed

  • #2
    Herman hated this place. Every single aspect of it.

    The heat, first of all. Your heard stories about it and, well, you expect it, but nothing prepares you for the real deal. Or was it the humidity? Does not matter. He hated it. He hated the fact that it permeated everything, omnipresent and inescapable, making even the simplest actions a feat of strength. Others got used to it, but Herman could not.

    He also hated the animals that lived in there. From the swarm of vicious bug from the things that inhabited the jungle whose voices kept him awake at night and that always tried to slither inside the house. And the savages! Barbaric, disease-ridden beast whose only goal in life seemed to be that of making Herman’s existence a living hell. He could see the hate in their eyes, but it did not matter to him. He was there to make them work and, by God, that all he could care about. With only a few years of work as the head of a trading post in Congo, he would earn enough to return to leave this place, return to his dear Margarete and live a good life. But no work meant no rubber, which in turn meant the company would not pay Herman for his struggles. This obviously meant that he would not tolerate any delays.

    But more than everything, more than climate, the beasts or even the hideous inhabitants of the place, Herman hated the river. Or at least that’s what he told to himself. In truth, he was afraid of it. He could not explain it, but there was something in the river, in its size and unrelenting force, in the sound its strength produced,in the roar of the unstoppable water, that made Herman tremble. He was able to fight the heat, kill the beasts and exterminate any brute that stepped out of the line, but Herman had no control over the river. It was that very river that kept him away from civilization, trapped between more enlightened places, miles away both from Boma and Stanley Falls.

    It was for these reasons and even more that Herman spent all of his days inside his house. Other trading post supervisors loved to go outside, resolve any issues personally or go hunting. Not Herman. He found that giving clear and severe orders while being kept informed of anything was more than enough. He was smart enough to have the solution for anything. If something went wrong, it sure was not his fault. Rather, it was because of the savages, most often than not, or because of the idiots that worked for him. On his part, Herman felt he did as much as possible to make the trading post work as intended. All he could do was to try and endure, distracting himself with good music, books and fine wines. Everything to keep up the illusion of living in a civilized place. An illusion that, sadly, never lasted long enough.

    “Mr. Van de Velde, I hate to disturb you sir…”

    “And yet you do, Gramme” Herman closed his book and turned around. “What is it this time?”

    The man, whose heritage Herman would not dare to imagine, tried to put on an impression of dignity and said “We have a problem with a worker in one of the villages upstream”.

    “I don’t see how this represents a problem. Whip him until he gains some sense or, if he persists, shoot him. If you start to come asking help for this silliness, Gramme, that would be the true problem”

    Gramme lowered his eyes and stuttered. God, Herman could feel his smell even from there. “Sir...the fact is we can’t kill him…”

    Herman interrupted him “What is he? A chief? They always believe to be above righteous punishment, but they aren’t. Shoot him and end this quickly”

    “No Sir, I’m trying to say you...we already shot him. It’s just that the man does not die.

    There were few seconds of silence before Herman managed to reply. “I beg you pardon?”

    “The man, the worker. He won’t die. The men say he has some kind of power and are scared of him and all the negro down there refuse to work until his he gets what he wants.”

    Herman eyes widened “And what are the requests of this unkillable man?”

    Gramme could not look into his superior’s eyes as he said: “He says he wants to speak with you, sir”

    Herman put down his pen and massaged his temples, barely keeping the anger in check. “By grace, Gramme, have you personally witnessed the famous moments in this man was allegedly killed and refused to die?”

    “...no, sir.”

    “Then do me the favor to get back there and tell those spineless bastards that take orders from you to just blow out the brain of that savage, whip all the others until they get back to work and bother me no longer!” shouted Herman.

    The man ran away of the room while not even replying.

    “Idiots and savages, all of them” thought Herman.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Five days had passed. As the steamboat from upriver returned to the station, Herman had already archived the tale of the unkillable man as another superstition combined with the stupidity and the effect the jungle had on the mind of lesser men. A weird story to tell once back home to entertain guests.
    When, right from the porch of the supervisor cottage, Herman saw his lieutenant come to disturb him yet again, he did not even thought it could still be about the same issue.

    “Sir…” said the man while taking off his hat.

    “Gramme, be quick and concise, I have better things to do.”

    “It’s about that man we spoke the other day. The one...the one that caused issues”

    “Oh right, that one. I confide that the problem has been taken care of. Have a good day.” said Herman nonchalantly. He was about to get back at reading the journal when he noticed Gramme was still there. “Yes, what is it?”

    Gramme was visibly uneasy. “Sir, the man is still alive and keeps asking to talk with you”

    Herman jumped up from his chair and threw a glass right at Gramme’s feet, not hitting him but not for the lack of trying. “Are you making fun of me?! I gave you specific orders and yet you come tell me this! I told you just to kill the fucking savage!”

    “Sir...we did it. Five of my best men went to him and unloaded their rifle right into his head. A few days later he just reappeared in the village, I don’t know how that is even possible but…”

    “Were you there?” asked Herman

    “Sir?”

    “You lost the gift of hearing? Were. You. There.” he barked.

    “No Sir, but I trust these men and…”

    “I could not care less if you trust the word of the scoundrels and drunkards that you call men, but you were not there and I refuse to hear another word about this insanity” Herman began to nervously walk back and forth. “Now listen well because I don’t want to repeat myself. This man wants to speak with me? Very well. You, personally you, not others will now go pick him up and bring him here in chains, so I can behead him and put his head on a pike so everyone will see it. Have I been clear?!”

    “Yes Sir!”
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In his dreams, Herman dreamt of the river. He was alone, right over it. Walking on the waters, apparently. An unseen force made him bend his head downwards. Herman screamed with all the power his lungs could muster as he saw something huge under himself, in the water, a black figure so big its shape filled the river from side to side.

    He woke up when somebody pushed his shoulder.

    “Mr. Van de Velde, wake up.”

    Herman opened his eyes immediately, glad to be back to the real world. It was the middle of the night, the faint orange light of a small lamp unveiling Gramme’s presence inside his room.

    “Gramme, what the hell...how dare you…”

    For once, it was the lieutenant the interrupted the man. “Sir, I took that man here. He wants to speak with you.”

    Herman was speechless. “This...this is unconceivable. I will see him tomorrow, but not before we have a word about this nonsense…”

    “The man took control of the steamboat, Sir.”

    That sentence was what shattered any desire or need to sleep in Herman’s mind. “...what?”

    “He freed himself and others and together they conquered the steamboat, Sir. He sent me there to bring you to him"

    Herman finally stopped for a second and actually began to think. This was a disaster. Losing a company’s steamboat to a mutiny of that sort, to let the locals take control of it and make demands. This could actually make him lose his job if the word spread. After a dozen of seconds of feverish silence, he spoke. “I see, gather the men. Now we take back that boat or sink it in the attempt.”

    “No Sir, he wants for you two to be alone”. said Gramme. There was something odd in his voice that Herman could not identify. He was not being the usual servile man as always. Now he was speaking to his superior as if everything else had lost meaning. “He freed all the sailors and let us go, and told his men to leave as well. He needs to speak with you and only you, Sir”

    Madness. This was madness. Herman could never imagine a similar situation to happen. “And yet” he thought “either I solve this or things will escalate even further” This meant he would have to actually get out the house and put himself in an extremely dangerous situation, but he had no alternatives.

    “Very well, I shall solve this personally.” he said, visibly shaking.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The man in front of Herman was nothing special, he thought. A negro like many others. An obviously rebellious one, judging from the web of scars that covered his skin, visible even under the light of the one. Herman recognized those signs as those left by the chicotte, the whip of hippopotamus hide they used to punish the savages who stepped out of the line. His right hand was missing, but this was not an unusual sight in Congo. He had a sense of theatrics, that had to be aknowledged.

    As the two men stood there, surrounded by darkness, the only sound being that of the river under them, Herman could not help to feel a shiver down his spine. He dispelled it with a thought. Since the man had not said a single, Herman broke the silence. “You wanted to see me? Here I am. Now, what is your name?”

    “Is it important? said the man, coldly

    “It is good manners” replied Herman. Savages, what can you expect?

    “That’s not what I asked”

    “Sorry? questioned Herman, confused.

    “I asked if my name is important. You burned down my village, destroyed my house, killed my family. You exterminated my tribe and cancelled our legacy. I’m the last man that can remember the name of my ancestors and, when I’m gone, they’ll be forgotten as well. That’s why I’m asking you if, in all honesty, my name does matter at all to you.”

    Herman was now shaking again. What was that supposed to mean? Who was this man? He was still staring at him, waiting for a reply. Herman closed his eyes, trying to regain control. The only thing that came out was the truth. “No, it does not”

    The man in front him bit his lower lip. It was obvious that kind of reply had an effect on him, but he still did not show a true sign of anger “I figured as much.” He moved close to a side of the steamboat, and looked at the river “I said I wanted to talk to you, but I’m not even a man to you. I’m a thing with no name. But there are names that are stronger both of yours and mine, name none of us can erase. Once we both lie in the dead in the ground, these names will still be. I managed to obtain the attention of one of them. Turns out it was willing to do me a favor”

    Something huge moved under the steamboat. The little boat began rocking and trembling. Herman fell to the ground, screaming. He had barely managed to get to his knees when he felt water raining down on him. He looked and saw a colossal figure wrapped in the darkness, a creature so immense that the steamboat dwarfed in comparison. The moonlight showed enough of that reptilian being that Herman mind broke at the mere sight.

    He stopped screaming. He started sobbing.


    As the monster slowly lifted a limb, the man pronounced a name. “Mokole mbembe”

    The steamboat was no more.
    Last edited by Cinder; 02-11-2017, 02:05 PM.


    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

    Waiting feverishly as instructed

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    • #3
      (1885 - 1908) The Forest That Weeps




      I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things of which he had no conception till he took counsel with this great solitude - and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.”
      Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


      To say the story of Congo begins with King Leopold would be a mistake.There were people there: hundreds of different tribes, each with its own traditions and rules. Kingdoms, with centuries of history and sophisticated customs. To believe the locals lived in some sort of primal state of being, waiting for the westerners to come and uplift them would be an even bigger mistake. Art, law, religion and science were already there. Civilization, in short.

      The contacts between Europeans and the natives did not start with Leopold either. Four centuries before the Belgian monarch was even born, the crew of a Portuguese ship sailing along the coast of Western Africa discovered the mouth of a river so huge and wide its effect on the waters of the ocean could be felt from miles of distance. Fighting its powerful currents, the Portuguese managed to travel upstream far enough to find a safe place to land. They found themselves in the Kongo Kingdom, a federations of two to three million people, and were the first westerners to make contact with the locals. Attributing the name Congo both to the mighty river and the land around it, the Portuguese began their parallel work of evangelization and plundering soon enough.
      In the Kongo Kingdom, slavery was an ancient and affirmed tradition which, while happening under different customs from that of Western forms of slavery, meant that the Portuguese that were looking for slaves found people willing to sell. What the Kongo people could not predict was the hunger for slaves their visitors had.
      Mere decades after the first contact between the two cultures, Affonso I of Kongo, a king who had both converted and was baptized with a Christian name, a wise man who could speak and write fluently both in local languages and many Europeans one, wrote many letters to the King of Portugal, calling him brother, and asking him to put an end to slavery. “The traders are kidnapping our people”, he lamented. His prayers went unheard.

      What King Leopold II of Belgium did, though, was something that nobody ever managed to pull off. The ruler of a small kingdom that had no interest in colonialism somehow managed to, with the sheer force of his obsession, his charisma and intellect, to become the sole owner of an expanse of land of size comparable to that of Europe, and to be legitimately recognized as such by the whole Western world. The foundation of the Congo Free State on May 29, 1885 ultimate result of a plan that began decades earlier and of a hunger that, by all accounts, had always burned inside the the mind of the king. For Leopold, though, things had just began. The man built a facade of legitimacy and nobility so thorough, promising both to fight the slavers that were preying on the poor helpless locals and to civilize those very locals, that few could ever imagine what was really happening. By the time the world discovered enough of what was happening in Congo and Leopold was all but forced to hand over the control of the state, effectively ending his rule over Congo, an approximate amount of ten million people had died. It’s hard to have real numbers about it. Some fled, others died of sickness or starving, many died and were forgotten. The only reason it’s not called genocide it’s because those deaths were not the result of a systematic attempt at wiping out the local population, but rather “collateral damage”. It was 1908. Less than thirty years had passed since Leopold became the owner of Congo.


      The Forest That Weeps is about what happened in those thirty years. It’s a story of cultures clashing, of people having to deal with monsters and monsters having to deal with people, the line between the two often blurring. It’s about a combination of factors that gave birth to an era where unthinkable atrocities were as considered as natural as the sun rising, where every single individual had to fight both against those around him, trying to survive, and against the demons within, trying to not lose himself in the darkness. It’s about what a man can do to another man when power and fear make him forget about what empathy and decency are, about the horrors of seeing others as lesser than human. It’s about hunger and death.


      Leopold’s regime turned Congo into something truly otherworldly, a place of darkness where it’s far too easy for the mind of a man to revert into something more primal. None is safe from this: whether it happens because of the chance to be cruel and not face the consequences that would happen in a civilized place or because someone is afraid and doing what he considers to be the best to thing to do in order to survive, terror and primordial instincts are something that haunts every inhabitant of the Congo Free State. Man kills man without apparent reason, deadly diseases are rampant and the idea that each day can be the last one for you or those around you is a very real one. The only thing that lasts here is the river, might and unstoppable. Everything else is nightmare that never seems to stop. In this sort of place, the Begotten might thrive.

      In the Congo Free State, Beasts are free to roam the land and feed as they please, if they decide to do so. The opportunities to satisfy their Hungers are always near, in ways Beast both native and foreign could never imagine before. As the concepts of Family and the nightmarish lessons they try to teach to men are put to test from human allegiances and the reality of everyday atrocities, the Primordial Dream reacts. The ripples of this are felt by every Beast around: while the Begotten are free to descend on the population with ease and Horrors can gorge with impunity, this also means Heroes are constantly born. The sort of Heroes born out of the nightmare of the Congo Free State are of the vicious kind way more often than not, and they come in swarms. As the horrors of Congo aggravate, the situation worsens. The country becomes a sort of mythical battlefield, the stories of hundreds of Heroes and Beast intertwine, the heroic cycle reaching new bloody heights. As the darkness grows, many Beast risk to become trapped in the cycle of their own myth, unable to subvert or escape it.

      What’s more, the Primordial Dream seems to break the barriers between the worlds in Congo. The nightmares are so strong and overwhelming, the Horrors and the Heroes so common, that the distinction between our world and the astral ocean of terror fade. Passage to Chambers and Burrows open without reason, normal human being and even other monsters seem to be subjected to Hungers. The Primordial Dream is so close that everyone is able to feel it. When a disease that alters a man’s sleep patterns so much wake and dream lose meaning erupts across the country and decimates the population even further, when the stories about sighting of the Dark Mother become so many that it’s impossible to keep track of them, all Begotten can’t help but to wonder where reality ends and where the Primordial Dream begins.



      While monsters and heroes fight, the reality at the end of the day remains the same: death is everywhere. Nobody is truly safe in Congo. People who die in the Free State rarely do so peacefully. Death now is something unexpected, cruel and painful. Entire villages are wiped out with ease, dozens of people finding suddenly finding their demise. The consequences of this is that the restless dead are so common that in many places the ghosts outnumber the living. For the locals, the spirits of the dead were something to take care of. The vumbi, the dead ancestors, used to protect the tribes with the medicine men acting as intermediary. More important than the spirits of the animals and even of the Creator God himself, the dead were once both source of good luck and something that you needed to appease. The local Sin-Eaters still try to keep the traditions alive, to protect the living from the spirits and to not let the dead ones to be forgotten, but now there’s just too much death. This also means that Sin-Eaters, both African and European are made every day, as new Bounds accept the pact that marks their birth.

      The cultural clash between Europe and Africa, between different death tradition, also means all Sin-Eaters have to deal with unexpected changes. A catholic man accepts into his body a being that goes by the name of Kalunga-ngombe and which whispers into his mind of a Netherworld the man does not recognize as its own. An African Sin-Eater tries to talk with ghost using the rituals and formulas his grandparent told him, showing respect to the dead as his people did for millenias, but these dead don’t listen and attack him. Krewes made of Sin-Eaters of many different cultural backgrounds soon begin to appear, but to put aside the differences and the grudges is not easy for everyone. Becoming a Sin-Eater gives man a sort of second chance at life, but becoming a creature that lives between the world of the living and that of the dead while trapped in the nightmare of King Leopold’s Congo is an experience that rarely leaves someone unchanged. The perspective on life and death the Bargain offers allows the Sin-Eaters to look at the reality of the events in a way few others can. Some seek redemption for their past actions, others seek vengeance. Most try to deal with ghosts and other monsters as best as they can.


      Theme: To Be A Beast Or To Be Humane
      The core issue behind the atrocities of the Congo Free State is a simpler one that colonialism. It’s about what a person does when given total freedom with few, if any, repercussions. It’s a story of the strong tormenting the weak because they could, not because they had to, and a story of people falling prey to fear and doing what they considered the best thing in order to survive. Ultimately, King Leopold’s Congo asks the same question to all its inhabitants: if given the choice between satiating your most bestial hungers and listening to your most primordial instinct or trying to behave as a decent human being, what will you do? Under all the bonds and limitations of civilization, away from the judgment of your peers, what kind of person are you? Because of the realities of the nightmarish colonial engine that was in place, because of a combination of constant fear, hate, anger and greed, the Congo Free State became a place where an individual had to face its true nature, whether he liked it or not. Obviously, not all the Westerners that sailed to Congo planned right from the beginning to become vicious monsters and yet, because of all the different factors at work, many did. The same can be said about many locals, which proved to be as capable of terrible actions as the European when given the occasion. It was far too easy to shed humanity behind and become something monstrous. On the other hand, Congo is also a place for heroes, people that managed to not lose themselves and fought hard to help whenever they could. In the end, the Congo Free State was a veritable mirror through which every person could look at what lied inside their heart.

      While being a supernatural creature does not make someone immune from the horrors of the Congo Free State, it does offer a degree of resistance to danger that in turn allows to have a better sight at what is going on. Supernaturals in Congo don’t have the luxury to avoid the turmoil, but they have perspective. On one hand, this makes things easier but, on the other, means they can be held even more responsible for their actions. Their power means they are often able to do more than mere humans, but which way they will employ this power depends only on them


      Mood: Waking Nightmare
      It started slowly, but Congo soon become a living nightmare. Murders, torture and all kind of horrors became so commonplace they were considered the norm. The sort of things usually left to nightmare or cautionary tales about the worst side of mankind happened as a matter of fact. The atmosphere is Congo is unreal: it’s almost as being in a horrible dream, unable to wake up. The further you go along the river, the more you distance yourself from “civilization”, the worse things become. These horrifying sights take a toll on everyone, making more difficult to resist temptations and not fall prey to madness.
      .


      - Inspiration

      Fiction:
      Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: obviously.

      Lord of Flies by William Golding.

      Apocalypse Now: as an adaptation of Heart of Darkness, the movie still rings true, even if the setting is changed from that of the Congo Free State to Vietnam.

      Aguirre, the Wrath of God: different era, different river, but this story about a bunch of conquistadores looking for cities made of gold to plunder only to slowly turn insane touches many themes and shows visual that can prove useful.

      Many war movies, book and video games that explore the worst side of war and human nature can prove relevant for rather obvious reasons. The story at the core, about what men away from home, living in a context that is built in equal part on hate and fear, do when given the choice, is basically the core narrative of The Forest That Weeps. People and places change, but the horror remains the same. Holocaust and genocide movies are sadly relevant as well, for similar reasons.

      Non-Fiction
      “King’s Leopold Ghost” by Adam Hochschild: the Book when it comes to Congo Free State, Hochschild’s words about the events of the era are detailed, fascinating, entertaining and harrowing. No other book can hope to give a better look about the horrors of Congo, detailing a cast of heroes, monsters and witnesses like no other. A must read for anyone interested about the Congo Free State.

      “Congo” by David Van Reybrouck: Van Reybrouck’s books details the Congo history from before colonial era to the modern age, but even the single chapter about the Congo Free State is a brilliant work. Van Reybrouck spoke with many Congolese who still remembered about those times, whether by what their parents told them or, incredibly, by what their personally saw. Van Reybrouck tells the same story Hochschild does, but does it differently, offering a perspective that actually manages to cover some aspects King Leopold’s Ghost does not.

      “Myths and Legends of the Bantu” by Alice Werner: the population was and still is incredibly heterogenous, with many different cultures and languages merging together. The mere size of Congo also means that number of traditions and customs that can be found there is just staggering. Werner book does a reasonably accessible work at drawing a common thread between the myths of the Bantu, the ethnic group from which the largest amount of Congo inhabitants comes.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      It is still a game


      Let’s be blunt: the Congo Free State is a bad place. Only skimming through the tales that arrived to us is more than enough to get an idea of the sheer magnitude of the horror and atrocities that happened there. Any game set in this Dark Era has the potential to go very dark, even for the standard of the Chronicles Of Darkness. This means that before starting a game, it is a good idea to know how far you want to go and discuss it with your players. This does not mean that every game has to touch in detail upon mass murder, cannibalism and rape, but the option to do so is definitely there, and if that's ok to you and your players, it's perfectly fine. Just keep in mind that this is still supposed to be a game, which in turn still means it is supposed to be fun. If you get the impression one of your player is feeling uncomfortable because of what is happening at the table, just stop. Veer away from that. Perhaps focus on the supernatural part of the setting instead of the far too real one Does this mean every game set in Congo is meant to show directly the horrors at work? Not necessarily. Joseph Conrad himself left a big part of it out of the picture in Heart of Darkness, leaving the worst of it to imagination. This being a game means you and your players are completely able to try and make the situation better, if that fits your table. There are degrees of darkness: pick the one that works for you and never forget that a ray of light here and there is a good thing that makes the dark moments meaningful.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Last edited by Cinder; 02-17-2017, 09:39 AM.


      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
      Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

      Waiting feverishly as instructed

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      • #4
        This puts the "dark" in Dark Eras. Self-admittedly. A disturbingly fitting take on that grim time and place through the lenses of the Chronicles of Darkness.
        Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 02-11-2017, 12:30 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by YeOfLittleFaith View Post
          This puts the "dark" in Dark Eras. Self-admittedly. A disturbingly fitting take on that grim time and place through the lenses of the Chronicles of Darkness.
          It's a tough one. I figured facing the issue right from the beginning would be the best thing to do.

          The reason I'm trying to write this Dark Era no matter what it's because I firmly believe it to have an incredible potential as a Chronicles of Darkness setting. I hope I'll manage to not screw it up.
          Last edited by Cinder; 02-11-2017, 01:06 PM.


          Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
          Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

          Waiting feverishly as instructed

          Comment


          • #6
            You mind if I handle working out the Crossover Sidebar for this Dark Era? I might need to do some research, but I can see Changeling, Demon, Hunter, Mage, and Promethean fitting well in this. Maybe even Werewolf, too?


            "My Homebrew Hub"
            Age of Azar
            The Kingdom of Yamatai

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
              You mind if I handle working out the Crossover Sidebar for this Dark Era? I might need to do some research, but I can see Changeling, Demon, Hunter, Mage, and Promethean fitting well in this. Maybe even Werewolf, too?
              I already got that covered, but any contribution is welcome. Would you like to see my notes and ideas about the various gamelines? I have stuff, ideas (and myths) for everything. Nothing is set in stone because I left it intentionally as the "last thing to do", but I've been planning this for a long time (from Beast's Kickstarter actually), so I do have clear bullet points to share.


              Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
              Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

              Waiting feverishly as instructed

              Comment


              • #8
                By all means, I'm interested in seeing what you got. Maybe I can add some more details to them? And seeing as this is a Beast Dark Era, that means Sin-Eaters aren't going to be the only supernaturals that the Congolese Begotten have to face.


                "My Homebrew Hub"
                Age of Azar
                The Kingdom of Yamatai

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                • #9
                  I'm glad to see you are finally writing this Era down, Cinder! I must say, it is without doubt a very dark era, and I'm interested to see how it would end up!


                  My Homebrew Signature- Because I need one. If you use any of it, please share with me how it went!

                  On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
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                  • #10
                    Excellent work! Do you have any ideas for the Congo's Underworld? I'm guessing it must be pretty crowded, and the Kerberoi would be quite busy.


                    "Fate is a cruel jester with a finely developed sense of irony." - Sir Night as portrayed by Leliel, The Horror Recognition Guide

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                      By all means, I'm interested in seeing what you got. Maybe I can add some more details to them? And seeing as this is a Beast Dark Era, that means Sin-Eaters aren't going to be the only supernaturals that the Congolese Begotten have to face.
                      I agree. That's the reason I have plenty of ideas for the sidebar, as it is a must. I'll gather some of my ideas and post them.

                      Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                      I'm glad to see you are finally writing this Era down, Cinder! I must say, it is without doubt a very dark era, and I'm interested to see how it would end up!
                      Thanks! As it often goes with the stuff I write, you were there from the beginning. I hope I won't disappoint.

                      Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
                      Excellent work! Do you have any ideas for the Congo's Underworld? I'm guessing it must be pretty crowded, and the Kerberoi would be quite busy.
                      I'm still working on it but I have plans. Congo's Underworld...is not pretty. There's a peculiar breed of ghost (which might have ties with Ammut) that's hungry for flesh, ephemera and, most of all Plasm. Most of the spectres are too young to be a problem of the Kerberoi, but the events have a consequences down there as well. Most Kerberoi are not happy.

                      Let's have a quick rundown on what I have for other gamelines. As a general rule the "Western Supernatural meet African Supernatural" always applies

                      - Vampire. Vampires come here expecting savage vampires with no society. There are some, as there are everywhere, but Congolese vampires turn out to be organized and educated, thank you very much. Vampires in Congo have built a huge federation that spans the whole country and plays with the local cult of the dead. Think of it as a sort of Roman Camarilla, but the power is not centralized.

                      The Daeva are the things that come to your village one day and seduce the young, the Ganrel run with the animals and speak for them, the Mekhet are the eyes in the jungle, the Nosferatu prophets of the world below and the Ventrue are ancestors that willfully refused to leave this world in order to keep an eye on their people, a sacrifice that in turn must repayed with blood. Bloodlines based on African Vampires are a given (the Adze are my favorite).

                      Strix veneration turns to be a thing here, if not something that is encouraged: where people see the vampires as ancestors, the vampires themselves consider the Strix ancestors of their kind (dangerous and difficult to please, but still)


                      - Werewolf. No African werewolves. Wereleopards, werehippos and weregorillas, on the other hand, do exist. Some lions and hyenas too, but not as common. Many skinchangers. Preserving the Shadow boundaries is not the first thing the werebeings have in mind, so when the Uratha come along the European ship, they take it both as a sign that the locals are irresponsible and they have to do the hard work. They might mean well, but the attitude makes them more enemies than friends. The Pure, on the other hand, are more ambivalent. Snake and Leech host can be found here.

                      ​As a potential point of interest, Mokele mbembe has only a Kinship: the spirit of the Congo River, a really big spirit.


                      - Mage. Congolese Mages had some contacts with the Western world, but they belong to Nameless Orders most often than not. The cultural clash between Mages is particulary ugly. Seers do their thing, while recruiting new members, but even the Mages of the Diamond tend to adopt a colonialist mindset. The Free Council is born at the end of the century and will use the "Congo problem" as one of their first ideological battlefield, in order to give a good ol' "what the hell people?" to the other Pentacle orders. Not everyone is sincere about this, but still.

                      I also got many myths and ideas that can be adapted to Mage cosmology, like legends about people climbing a tree to reach Heaven.


                      - Promethean. Almost all the lineages can be found in Congo. The Frankenstein, which are rather new, rarely sail down here, but some do. I have some ideas for a Congolese lineage, but I'm still unsure about it: a bunch of ideas but nothing too definite. Prometheans generally don't care about racial distinctions.


                      - Changeling. Changeling who escaped their Durance to get into the Belgian Congo sometimes start to doubt if it was worth it. Local Courts do their best but many Changelings flee to the Hedge, with all the dangers it entails.

                      Aside from that, I have a collection of African fairy tales to use as material.


                      - Hunter. Nothing unusual. Compacts and Conspiracies from the world meet the Congo ones, stuff happens. I have a bunch of ideas for new organizations, both African and Western.


                      - Demon- The God-Machine was already in Congo, along with Infrastructure, Angels and Demons, but the peculiar brand of organized and structured industrialized colonialism that is going on makes things a lot easier for it. As the Infrastructure changes shape and the Angels get new missions, Demons fall. Somewhat more than they used to, as the God-Machine tends to be a little less delicate here, as the context allows it to do so.


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                      • #12
                        No Mummy yet? The Free State of Congo does seem like the perfect place to ease in the Lifeless and the amkhata. Plus, it's not too far from Egypt and the rest of the lands which comprised the Nameless Empire.

                        Also, no native werewolves? Last I checked, the (Democratic Republic of the) Congo had the African Golden Wolf listed as a native animal. If there are Uratha indigenous to the lands around the Congo River, perhaps they could be a minority among the shapeshifting population? I can also see them counted among the Pure, unless you prefer (most of) them to be Ghost Wolves instead.

                        With or without a native Lineage, the canon ones aren't exclusive to a specific culture from what I recall. Tokyo's Ulgan mainly arose from local Shinto rituals, for example.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                          No Mummy yet?

                          That said, no native werewolves? Last I checked, the (Democratic Republic of the) Congo had the African Golden Wolf listed as a native animal. If there are Uratha indigenous to the lands around the Congo River, perhaps they could be a minority among the shapeshifting population? I can also see them counted among the Pure, unless you prefer (most of) them to be Ghost Wolves instead.

                          With or without a native Lineage, the canon ones aren't exclusive to a specific culture from what I recall. Tokyo's Ulgan mainly arose from local Shinto rituals, for example.

                          Mummy has ideas, but it needs work. For Werewolf, I prefer to focus on other animals, because while there are wolves, there are basically no legends about werewolves. Instead, there's plenty about other werecreatures. The idea was to leave them as a minority indeed, and a really small one.

                          For Promethean, it's one of the few lines (along with Demon and Mummy) where the problem of cultures clashing is a non-factor. for the reason you mentioned. The Lineages were already there, in a shape or another, with the exception of the Frankenstein.

                          EDIT: for Mummy, the "Western world meets Africa" has a place, but when it comes to cults rather than when we're talking about the Arisen. In turn, this effectively forces Mummies into conflict as well, but that's nothing new
                          Last edited by Cinder; 02-12-2017, 11:42 AM.


                          Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                          Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

                          Waiting feverishly as instructed

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                          • #14
                            Deionscribe , what you think about the other stuff?


                            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                            Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

                            Waiting feverishly as instructed

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                            • #15
                              I think that while exploring crossover ideals is awesome- it is better to focus first around the core gamelines of the Era (that is, Beast and Geist). At projects like this, it is way too easy to lose yourself in the world building, that eventually you forget to actually have a solid writeup and instead ends up with a collection of notes. In sort, while exploring Mummy could be interesting, I think it to the end of the project together with the rest of the gamelines. Right now, you have a solid vision of the Era, so I recommend to not think too much about other monsters. I hope it doesn't sounds like a lecture or something- but I just really want to see that Era's finale form already :P


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