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Empyrean: the Redemption [Collaborative fansplat]

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  • #61
    True/false

    Myths and Legends

    Empyrean are immortal: True, at least in theory. We can still be destroyed and if we’re not careful we could potentially die of old age but if we maintain ourselves we could live forever. We don’t tend to, though. The life of an Empyrean is rarely a safe one.

    Empyrean are invulnerable: Ha! We wish! Granted, it’s extremely hard to damage us by mortal means and we’re more resilient to magic than most but...yeah, we can still get hurt.

    Empyrean are omniscient: Not even close. Our awareness extends far beyond the bounds of mortal ken but we are far, far from being all-knowing.

    Empyrean are extremely powerful: True. We aren’t what we once were, but god-like power is par for the course for us. Why do you think people call us “gods”?

    The Empyrean control the world: There’s more than a few who would like you to think so, but no. There’s just not enough of us, and we have our own problems without having to deal with all of yours.

    Without faith and worship, an Empyrean will fade away: False. We exist just fine without you believing in us, although we can and do draw extra strength from your movements and your creations, the more meaningful the better. A little worship never hurt, though.

    The followers of Empyrean can call upon their power: True, to an extent. With enough synchronicity with one of us a mortal can learn to call upon our Astra; physical manifestations of our beings as objects and weapons, but they can never wield them to as great a degree as us.

    The children of Empyrean become Empyrean: False. Our children are most often human, albeit with a talent for the mystic arts, a habit for getting involved in the shadow world, but every now and then a Demigod will be born; a child with a spark of divinity inside them.

    Empyrean aren’t real: Uh-huh…… Word to the wise, I’d look out for lightning strikes in your near future.

    Comment


    • #62
      hellovg and I have been discussing the Aspects and we're thinking about modifying them somewhat, partially to fit more easily into the five-splat model of most of the CofD and partly for the sake of re-skinning them somewhat and grounding them conceptually in reality rather than the fairly nebulous concepts that they are at the moment. We want the divisions of the X-splat to be primal and simple, the kinds of divisions that Sumerians or similarly ancient civilizations would make.

      So far, we have two major ideas:

      1) Attaching Aspects directly to deific symbolism:
      • Gods of Sun and Fire
        • Storytellers, wise fools, tricksters, teachers and givers of law and morality.
      • Gods of Bronze and Steel
        • War-gods, noble warriors, holy warlord and divine generals.
      • Gods of Sky and Thunder
        • The authoritarian god-kings of Olympus and heaven.
      • Gods of Night and Shadow
        • The mystics, gods of the dead, spirits, magic and other such things
      • Gods of Earth and Water
        • The primordial divinities, the dragons, water-serpents and gods of earthquakes and floods

      2) Attaching Aspects to elemental symbolism, although more the elements inherent in nature than 'elemental schemes' like the classical four elements or the Taoist five elements. For this one we like the idea of having Heavens and Earth with Heavens as the 'sky-gods', heavenly adjudicators and rulers, bearers of truth. We're not really sure about the rest, though. Any thoughts, ideas or feedback wouold be more than welcome.

      As a second matter, following some of the suggestions of Evo_Shandor , we've decided to pare down the Materializations so that we have the human form which corresponds to the Etharzi archetype and to the use of Designs, the Wrath form which corresponds to the Vonpho archetype and the use of Revelations, keeping the Iada more or less as it is. There was an idea that the human form could bear a kind or intangible 'presence', a kind or aura which corresponds to the Etharzi archetype - the archetype of the Mother, for example, lends its bearer a sense of trustworthiness and comfort, for example.

      Finally, and this is primarily my own thoughts, I think that the Astra could do with some similar simplification. I'd rather not reduce it to the level of simply a manifestable magic item, but I'm not precisely sure what should be done with it. Again, any thoughts would be welcome



      Comment


      • #63
        On a separate note, Ares from Wonder Woman would pe a perfect example of a powerful Outer God.


        Comment


        • #64
          Just to let everyone know, the first draft of the write-up for the Empyrean is coming along at a slow, but steady pace. We've had a few hiccups, but it's coming together.

          Currently we are focusing on the Creeds, each one beginning with an introductory speech by an Empyrean of the Creed.

          So, for your viewing pleasure, the introductory speech from the beginning of the Creed of the Titanes (1st draft):

          A Call to Action

          My brothers and sisters, we are fallen.

          "The world that once blazed with promise and sang songs of praise in our name now lies in darkness, and death hangs over it like a sword dangling from thread. In our shortsightedness and petty negligence, the very power we once used to exalt this world became the instrument of its ruin, and we have suffered for it. What once commanded the mountains and oceans, now lies broken and crippled. What once could hold the weight of the Heavens on its back now wears the form of a mortal. What once was feared and revered above all others now stands shamed and hunted, for though once we held the greatest power, we have lost our strength.

          But WE are not lost!

          Broken and crippled though we may be, we are alive, and moreover, WE ARE FOUND! Did we not once pull ourselves into being from the Primordial Chaos? Were we not once weak in a world ruled by monstrous force, and found strength enough to overturn it? Did we not defeat and drive the idiot gods of old into the abyss? Did we not build a World of Light from the ruins of war? Hear me, brothers and sisters! Though our former power is lost, our strength is but misplaced. Fate has intervened, and now here we stand on the precipice of new life! Gather yourselves! Call forth your followers; summon the elements that heed you! The world cries out in pain and fear for the return of its Lords, and we are here! WE ARE HERE!”


          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by hellovg View Post
            Just to let everyone know, the first draft of the write-up for the Empyrean is coming along at a slow, but steady pace. We've had a few hiccups, but it's coming together.

            Currently we are focusing on the Creeds, each one beginning with an introductory speech by an Empyrean of the Creed.

            So, for your viewing pleasure, the introductory speech from the beginning of the Creed of the Titanes (1st draft):

            A Call to Action

            My brothers and sisters, we are fallen.

            "The world that once blazed with promise and sang songs of praise in our name now lies in darkness, and death hangs over it like a sword dangling from thread. In our shortsightedness and petty negligence, the very power we once used to exalt this world became the instrument of its ruin, and we have suffered for it. What once commanded the mountains and oceans, now lies broken and crippled. What once could hold the weight of the Heavens on its back now wears the form of a mortal. What once was feared and revered above all others now stands shamed and hunted, for though once we held the greatest power, we have lost our strength.

            But WE are not lost!

            Broken and crippled though we may be, we are alive, and moreover, WE ARE FOUND! Did we not once pull ourselves into being from the Primordial Chaos? Were we not once weak in a world ruled by monstrous force, and found strength enough to overturn it? Did we not defeat and drive the idiot gods of old into the abyss? Did we not build a World of Light from the ruins of war? Hear me, brothers and sisters! Though our former power is lost, our strength is but misplaced. Fate has intervened, and now here we stand on the precipice of new life! Gather yourselves! Call forth your followers; summon the elements that heed you! The world cries out in pain and fear for the return of its Lords, and we are here! WE ARE HERE!”

            That's fascinating

            Comment


            • #66
              Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post

              That's fascinating
              Glad to hear you think so. We are still going, by the way, we're just both really busy. I really need to find some time to sit down and hash out the revised X-splats. There's a little summary here, if anyone wants to comment or whatever. We're re-doing the way Archetypes work as well. The idea is that each Aspect has four 'core archetypes' associated with it, of which you choose one at character creation. Each archetype comes with a specific power, as well as some weakness or frailty. For example, the 'Solar Regent' archetype has great powers of perception and vision, but finds that their power wanes when the sun is not in the sky. There are lesser Archetypes as well which serve a similar purpose, granting lesser powers and not really bestowing weaknesses. You get to take those as you rise in Communion, and they're things like 'Patron of (creature)' or 'Oathkeeper'.

              Here's the Aspects:
              • ANANAEL: The Sages
                • Translates roughly to “Of the Secret Wisdom”
                • The Lord and the Master
                • Associated with light, and the Heavens
                • Bringers of divine order as well as justice
                • The bearers of lightning, and teachers of wisdom
                • Zeus, Odin, Thoth, Raziel, Indra
              • MALPIRGI: The Warriors
                • Translates as “Fires of Life and Increase” or alternatively, “Fiery Bolts”
                • The Hero and the Destroyer
                • Associated with the element of fire, and with spirit
                • Lords of war, revolution, and strength
                • The soldiers and enforcers, guardians and bringers of change
                • Ares, Minerva, Shiva, St. Michael, Horus
              • ORS: The Outsiders
                • Translates as “With Darkness”
                • The Crone and the Shadow
                • Associated with shadow, and the unknown
                • Dwellers in darkness, and teachers of the Occult
                • Wardens of Death, Night, and Magic
                • Hades, Hecate, Yama, Tezcatlipoca, Santa Muerte
              • CAOSGO: The Progenitors
                • Translates roughly to “Of the Earth”
                • The Mother and the Father
                • Associated with nature and animals
                • Granters of fertility, creativity, knowledge and skill
                • Lords of the elements, as well as creatures and emotions
                • Poseidon, Oko, Bastet, Aranyani, Freyr
              • INSIA: The Rogues
                • Translates roughly to “The Walker” or “The Traveler”
                • The Maiden and the Messenger
                • Associated with youthful energy and the wind
                • Patrons of cleverness, protection for journeys and of chaos and fate-defying luck
                • The trickster, the messenger, tempter and traveler of the planes
                • Hermes, Gabriel, Coyote, Puck, Loki


              Comment


              • #67
                Hey,is this still on?

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
                  Hey,is this still on?
                  It is. In fact we're going to be posting an update very soon. We've made a few changes and we're also going to be posting one each of the Creeds and the Aspects - the Elder Gods and the Ananael respectively.
                  Last edited by ajf115; 04-15-2018, 05:28 AM.


                  Comment


                  • #69
                    We have a general outline for the 'book' as it were, and are slowly fleshing it out--here's the write-up for the first of the Creeds--the Elder Gods:

                    The Elder Gods
                    (Sigil: An ancient war helm sits amongst dark and stormy clouds, while two slits of eyes spark and glow from within the helm.)
                    (Picture of an African-American man in a business suit standing in front of a penthouse window, gazing out over a city skyline. His left hand is a fist resting on his hip, his right holds a double-headed spear. His eyes glow a faint blue, and electricity arcs from the blades of the spear.)

                    A Call to Action
                    “My brothers and sisters, we are fallen.
                    “The world that once blazed with promise and sang songs of exaltation in our name now lies in darkness, and death hangs over it like a sword dangling from thread. In our weakness and petty negligence, we let our world be taken from us, and we have suffered for it. What once commanded the mountains and oceans, now lies broken and crippled. What once could hold the weight of the Heavens on its back now wears the form of a mortal. What once was feared and revered above all others now stands shamed and hunted, for though once we held the greatest power, we have lost our strength.
                    “But WE are not lost!
                    “Broken and crippled though we may be, we are alive, and moreover, WE ARE FOUND! Did we not once pull ourselves into being from the Primordial Chaos? Were we not once weak in a world ruled by monstrous force, and found strength enough to overturn it? Did we not defeat and drive the idiot gods of old into the abyss? Did we not build a World of Light from the ruins of war? Hear me, brothers and sisters! Though our former power is lost, our strength is but misplaced. Fate has intervened, and now here we stand on the precipice of new life! Gather yourselves! Call forth your followers; summon the elements that obey you! The world cries out in pain and fear for the return of its Lords, and we are here! WE ARE HERE!”

                    This world flounders and squirms without direction, and the forces that brought order to nature now writhe in chaos. Light is replaced by oppressing darkness, divine law is usurped by a cold and twisted order, and dark alien things now parade themselves as gods. Some Empyrean hear the shout of the thunder, the cry of the hurricane winds, and the quaking of the terrified earth—the cry of a lost world—and the Elder Gods rise again.
                    Reborn who join the Creed of the Titanes are those who find the most in common with the ancient powers: the elder giants, elemental spirits, and thundering lords of heaven from the old faiths. Their memories of the past tell of days among the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Vikings and Babylonians. Those were days of war and conquest, strength and victory; days where they wielded power over the heavens and earth. Those days are long past, but the Titanes are far from defeated. They rise anew, and come to take back the world that is rightfully theirs.

                    Original Sin
                    Those who count themselves amongst the Elder Gods believe that the sin which brought them low was weakness. For some, it was weakness born of overconfidence; their multitudinous visions and nightmares telling of an age in the distant past when they ruled on high, just to be challenged by an enemy they could never believe to be a threat to them, and disbelieving it even as the final blow was brought down upon their head. For others, it was weakness born of complacency; in each vision detailing a different story, the Titane sees in each story that she was a god who grew lazy and lethargic, growing lax in her duties until her kingdom crumbled. For others still, it was simply a weakness born of boredom; some Reborn even remembering orchestrating their own downfall by equipping their enemies with the power to bring them down out of want for a true challenge.
                    So many haunting memories, so many different failures. Yet, all Elder Gods agree, they lost the will to endure. And for their feebleness, the world was taken from them. Chaos swallowed them up and without its rightful rulers, the world began to decay. The gods, however, have found a way back to the world. They are lacking the power they once had, and there is seemingly an endless amount of work to be done. All the same, the Elder Gods swear never to be weak again, and to bring order and glory back to this world.

                    Tenets and Philosophies
                    The Elder Gods are as diverse and divided as any other Creed, though there are a few precepts about which hold the Creed together:

                    The World is Our Birthright
                    The Earth, and all the spirits and creatures that dwell therein, belong to the Elder Gods. Whether the Titanes remember winning it in a fight or speaking it into being is irrelevant--this world belongs to them. It belongs to them by right and, what's more, it can be governed effectively only by its rightful rulers. The multitudinous mortal and supernatural factions pull this world in all directions. The only chance and hope this World of Darkness has for a future, is if the Elder Gods find their way back to the top.

                    The Gods of the Modern Era must be Cast Down
                    It’s no secret that many of the old religions are now forgotten. Note, worship exists plentifully, it’s just that the True Lords have been replaced as the objects of worship. Mortals offer love and worship to celebrities and politicians while monsters seek the religious devotion of the weak willed to gain influence. Other humans find religion worshipping weak and passive divinities with weak and passive ideas, while stranger, alien beings from beyond time pull the strings. The Titanes failure was in defeat, in weakness enough that the world was taken from them, and to reclaim their birthright, they must conquer those who took it from them.

                    Order Must Be Restored
                    Chaos is the true enemy of all creation. In virtually every myth, every legend, every vision the Reborn possess of times past; Chaos--the great Void, the Sea of Nothingness-- was the original reality which existed before the gods came to power and creation took root. Chaos seeks to reclaim reality, and bring destruction to the world as it stands, and without its Lords, the world has no chance or hope to escape its fate. The Elder Gods do not seek to reclaim the world out of some sense of entitlement or megalomania; Chaos seeks to bring death to all that is, and the only ones who can save it are it’s rightful Masters. Arrogant? Is it arrogance if it’s the truth?

                    Power Defines a God
                    To be a god is to be powerful--in fact, it is to be the ultimate power, the absolute measure of strength and might, so say the Titanes. Now, power doesn’t necessarily entail military prowess or the supernatural ability to smash cities (though that is definitely useful). It also encompasses the ability to rally the lesser beings, and to command the creatures living in the world. For some that can mean ruling as a political leader, for others that means being loved and adored as the greatest of entertainers, for others that means laying low and pulling the strings. Whatever path chosen, it all leads to power--many have longevity, many can have foresight and wisdom, but only those with the power to enforce their will above all others are truly recognized as Gods.

                    Greatness in Ourselves Brings Glory to All Else
                    The Elder Gods strive not just for the accumulation of power, but to be the true measure of greatness. For a Titane, being on top isn’t enough; it’s about being the best. It’s about being the CEO to whom all other business owners compare themselves to; it’s about being the Shakespeare, the daVinci to whom all artists are compared; it’s about being the Einstein by whose standard intelligence itself is quantified. The Elder Gods are the trendsetters, the idols, and the great mold-makers of the future generations. And from their feats and their fame, they lay down the heights to which people reach, and it is from this struggle to reach for the stars, this drive for victory, that the Elder Gods derive their strength.

                    The Od of Victory
                    The Elder Gods drink from the Od which drives all life to struggle against the odds. This Od of Victory can be seen at its most primal and basic level as the wavelength that gives lesser creatures the will to fight back; the badger to bare its teeth at wolves, the dolphin to strike at the gills of a shark, the bird to struggle in the grasp of an eagle. At a higher level, this is the wavelength of energy which drives humanity towards achieving greatness; the drive to overcome fear, to succeed where others fail, to be recognized and hailed amongst the great thinkers and creators of the world. It is this higher level, this energy to reach beyond the bounds of simple life that the Elder Gods inspire, and the well from which they draw their strength.
                    From the likes of a young lady overcoming her fear of public speaking by giving a speech, a young boy standing up to a bully or a young doctor earning his medical licence after years of struggle an Empyrean amongst the Titans may draw small amounts of Od. But, what truly invigorates the Elder Gods and what fuels constellations and even entire pantheons within the Creed are grand victories which create ripples across the world. An army claiming victory in a battle when the odds were stacked against them, a crackpot presenting an invention which could change the landscape of scientific inquiry, an athlete breaking records and claiming gold in the Olympics--acts such as these are what truly bring the Elder Gods to the pinnacle of power.
                    Although the Titanes may draw Od from such things as active worship and sacrifice in their name just as any other Reborn; and indeed, are one of the most open Creeds when it comes to encouraging worship for themselves; it is the struggle for triumph in sentient creatures which is the true source of Od and Nectar within the Creed. However, the ways, means, perceptions and types of ‘victory’ are manifold and the Elder Gods in particular can be very tribal about them. Empyrean who relate closer to the Olympians or the Aesir of myth may make base in Europe and North America and grant boons and blessings towards specific individuals who show great potential. Empyrean who conceive of themselves as the Aztec deities may make their home in South America and refrain from such things as blessings towards individuals, while encouraging a fighting spirit and sacrifice in groups. Still other Empyrean may recall a divine order not dissimilar the Celestial Bureaucracy of ancient China, and may encourage strict hierarchy amongst their followers. All of these paradigms, however, draw from the same supernal essence of prowess and victory.

                    The Aspects
                    • The Ananael of the Creed probably struggle the most in their path to Redemption. They are still the undisputed Ones-Above-All and truly, what symbol befits the old Gods more than the lightning bolt? They are the icons of the old religions, and yet so much has changed in the modern era it begs the question, how can an old god rule as they once did? Some insist on the old traditions and seek to bring the world back to the way it once was, while others insist that turning the clock backwards is foolish, and thus seek to adapt the old ideas to the modern world. A consensus seems to be a distant event, but ‘giving up’ is a concept with no place amongst the Ananael Elder Gods.
                    • The Malpirgi usually act as the primary agents of divine will amongst the Titanes. Though war is not nearly as welcomed or glorified as it once was, there are plenty of other duties which need to be fulfilled. If something needs a slightly forceful push, if there is a threat that needs to be smited, if there is a law that needs to be enforced, the Elder Gods usually ask the Malpirgi for their services. Though this leaves some of the Warriors feeling much like glorified thugs and errand runners, most realize that without that special Malpirgi forcefulness, the Creed’s position will be much reduced.
                    • Though the Ananael may believe themselves to be the most important beings within the Creed, the Ors know better. Almost no one appeals to Zeus anymore, but many people still pray to Hecate. In fact, even as the worship of the old gods of sky and wind and fire were left to the dust of time, the gods of death and magic and the night remained throughout the ages. In the modern world the Outsiders, ironically, are some of the few recognized gods. From their worship, the Ors have become vital to the reestablishment of the old faiths, and thus a pillar in establishing the Creed’s power.
                    • The body of the Creed of the Titanes is unquestionably made from the Caosgo. Out of all Empyrean that count themselves amongst the Elder Gods, the role of the Progenitors has proven to be the most flexible. From those who influence the emotions of mortals, to those who wield power over the crops, to those who rule over mountains and seas, the Caosgo find it very easy to be useful within the Creed. Who, after all, commands the terror and majesty of nature better than the Progenitors? Who can make mortals and beasts fear and worship the power of nature than the Progenitors?
                    • Making a bridge between the old ways and the constantly changing current day can prove quite vexing even for gods, but the Insia are always up for a good challenge. Acting as a bridge not only between the old and the new, but also between the divine and the mortal, in many ways the Rogues act as the face of the Creed to human beings and even other supernaturals. Simultaneously, they act as the intermediaries between the new world and the old gods. For the Creed of the Titanes, many see the Insia as the conduits to the world.
                    Nicknames
                    Titanes, the True Lords, the Forgotten (derogatory), Old-Timers, Bronzers

                    Stereotypes
                    • The Watchers: We’ve come to take back our people from your temples.
                    • Fallen Devas: Their power is hindered by their ideals.
                    • Defiled Shrine: A true god rules over nature, it doesn’t try to be its friend.
                    • Descended Masters: Humor these fools until they leave.
                    • Outer Gods: Agents of Chaos, only the truly strong may stand against them.
                    • Mortals: You may have the honor of bowing down to me.


                    Criticism Welcome!
                    Last edited by hellovg; 04-15-2018, 05:33 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      And here's my contribution, the
                      Ananael

                      The Lord and the Master
                      The Sages

                      (Sigil: rays reach down from the sun. Within the sun’s slight colour, there is the faint suggestion of an iris and pupil.)
                      (Picture: A woman sits in a monolithic throne, crudely carved from stone. She is dressed in sensible, everyday attire. In one hand she holds a computerized tablet, the screen filled with densely-packed, bulletpointed text. Her other hand is in a gesture of protection or benediction and a faint seal glows on her palm.)


                      Nature
                      The highest gods reside in the highest places, rendering themselves sacred by distance. They are the unmoved movers, the ones-above-all. Only prayer and the smoke of sacrifice can reach them, only humble petitions can move them. No demand can sway their will, and is more likely to anger them and summon divine punishment than holy blessings. These gods are the Ananael, the Empyrean sovereigns and the keepers of divine wisdom. Just as the Jade Emperor rules from the highest pinnacle of Heaven, so too do the Ananael rule from on high. Just as Thoth willed himself into being and brought writing to the people of Egypt, so too do the Holy Tyrants hand down wisdom to their followers.

                      The Ananael are distant divinities. They hold power to affect the world, but choose to do so through intermediaries, unwilling to sully themselves with the enactment of their own dictates. These intermediaries range from minions to monsters to bolts from the blue, but always bring with them the might of the heavens. The servants reflect upon the master, after all, and no Sage will accept anything less than perfection. It is for this reason that they bestow secret knowledge upon their subjects, for the sake of crafting an empire worthy to be theirs.

                      Epiphany
                      As the saying goes, potential is cheap. Everyone has potential. A slum-kid can become a president - in theory. Third grade’s weedy kid can become a professional athlete - in theory. It’s that ‘in theory’ that trips people up. There’s always the success stories, the little guys who made it big, the underdogs who ‘won’, but few remember the multitudes who try and don't make it, or who are too afraid of failing to try. Those who might one day draw the attention of the most regal of the Profane are those who have potential but are unable to realize it, crippling themselves with bad habits, with doubt, with fear or with arrogance.

                      Most settle into mediocrity with time. He’s selected to take an entrance test for a prestigious university, but he’s so sure that he’ll make it that he doesn’t really try. When the letter with his failure arrives, he shuts himself away from his friends and family as his self-assurance comes crashing down around him. She’s a smart girl. She could leave him, get a job of her own and take that course she wanted, before her parents sent her to art college and arranged a marriage through implications and nudges. She doesn’t though. Her life is dull, but doing something herself would mean taking a risk. Her family would cut her off if she broke up with him. So she stays at home, she goes to the events and she keeps her equations to herself.

                      Slowly, though, the gall builds up, along with the bitterness. He settles into a desk job, but the thoughts of what he could have been, could have done prick at him. He has girlfriends, but they don’t last. He falls into drinking, then depression. The Profane begins to reach out, first in dreams and then in waking visions of glory, of divinity, of potential realized, surpassed and transcended. The visions hurt, because at this point they’re mockeries, only reminders of what could have been. She’s diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia and is prescribed antipsychotics. Her husband tries to help, but can’t allow her to be anything but perfect and glamourous in public. She starts to resent his conditional affection.

                      At this point, there are two paths that can be taken. The nascent Empyrean can once again deny what they could be and settle for what they are, doubling down on their dull acceptance. The other option is to try again, to purge what limits them and to forge onwards, to claim what they could have been, or else some new dream. Events conspire to lift the infant divinity towards their goal - the first unconscious Designs. He looks at his life and remembers what he once dreamed of - of forging new inroads into ignorance, of pushing back the boundaries of knowledge. He sees the corner office and thinks What’s the point of it? He stays in his job, but spends his nights feverishly studying. This time, when the takes the exams, he passes with ease. She wakes up one day from a dream of sovereignty and decides enough. She buys a suit and takes one of her husband's cars to his firm’s head office, where she takes the reins with gusto and assurance. She doesn’t have an official position but she flits between departments advising here and suggesting there, egged on by an unnamable instinct for command. Her husband suggests giving her a place on the board, but she refuses. She buys the stocks herself with the money that’s been sitting in her bank forever and rides the market’s ups and downs with the skill of an expert.

                      This period can last days, weeks or even months, but in the the end, at the moment of triumph, the ascending human meets the descending divinity. They collide like celestial bodies and the mortal form is remade and elevated into the Iada for the first time. This first manifestation of divine grace is spectacular and even if the Iada’s nature obscures it from mortal sight and memory, the lingering traces are usually enough to make any witnesses nervous of the new Empyrean for weeks or months to come.

                      Mandate - All GloryTo the Highest
                      It is easy – natural – for the Ananael to fall into patterns of self-glorification and distant command. It’s a tendency that creeps up from both within and without. The Sage’s charisma draws others to them, some mortals come to learn from them, others to serve them, while others just get caught up in the instinctual adoration of a divine king. Meanwhile, the Celestial self brings with it admittedly fragmentary memories of universal autocracy and transcendent glory. This confluence of factors makes it hard for the Ananael to deal with mortals, supernaturals and even other Empyrean on an equal ground. Their minds work in hierarchies - the ruler to the ruled, the sage to the student - and non-hierarchical relationships are difficult for them to maintain.

                      The nature of these hierarchies vary widely, however. Some are ruthless dictatorships where the Empyrean lords his power and status above the rest, while others place themselves above their fellows only by dint of experience and capability. Some are little better than pyramid schemes, the kinds of cults that differ from Jamestown only because the cultists haven’t downed the Kool-Aid yet, while others work for the betterment of all their members, with the Lord acting as a benevolent guide.

                      However, even the gentlest and most reasonable of the Ananael have difficulty maintaining many relationships from their mortal life, and many choose to leave such chains behind entirely. After all, before their Epiphany they were schmucks, failures and cautionary tales. Those labels don’t come off easily, and rare is the divinity with the patience to deal with naysayers, even (or especially) those who mean well, without employing a lightning bolt or two. Some try, but frequently find themselves slipping into patterns of control and dominance even around old friends or family. If a Lord's Epiphany often separates them from their former mortal lives, the megalomaniacal influence of the Celestial nails the coffin shut.

                      Royal Visages
                      • Michael Sanders is a teacher. Some might call him a guru, a spiritual guide or even a cult leader, but he considers himself to simply be a teacher. For months now he’s built his reputation and that of his following in his own town and those surrounding it as a person and as a group that you can come to with your problems and that’ll help, one way or another. Everyone comes to him or his followers: housewives with cheating husbands, teens rebelling against their parents or coming to terms with who they are or want to be, even the mayor comes to Sanders for advice. All of them get not what they want but what they need. If one of his followers can’t give an answer, they rope in someone else. Ultimately, all of the nameless group’s wisdom flows from Sanders - he was their first teacher, and he taught others to teach. Sanders himself can’t help but see the problems and failings of this fallen world and has organized his following as a societal cure for these: it is nameless so that it may become what it needs to be.
                      • Everyone knows Watanabe Haruka, though few have ever seen her. The daughter of a Yakuza Oyabun, albeit a lesser one, as a child she had everything she could have asked for, and had little reason to strive. She was a lazy child, despite her parents’ best efforts, preferring to while away her time with games and friends rather than pay attention to her lessons. What frustrated them most of all was that the will she displayed in her fervent avoidance of any and all responsibility could have made her great. When a rival family ruined the Watanabes, though, something changed within her and she took up the reins of the family with a vengeance. Within three months she had made the Watanabes as great as they ever were. Within a year she had exacted her vengeance upon those who had brought them to the brink, leading the final raid herself. By the third year, she commanded her city’s underworld utterly, driving out or assimilating every other gang in residence with strikes and business ventures that always seemed poised to take advantage of circumstances beyond her control. Now her eyes turn further afield, and she gazes at the neighbouring cities with calculating eyes, even as whispers spread that she was .
                      • Sarvesh Kumar is a man on a mission. A theoretical physicist, he intends to quantify divinity, to bring Od out of the realm of the gods and deliver it into the hands of humanity. Such an accomplishment would place him on or above the level of such minds as Einstein or Newton, not to mention the benefits he believes it could bring to the human race. He has kept his ambitions carefully to himself, as he knows all too well that his fellow Empyrean will regard his goal as dangerous at best and that the best he could expect from the mortal scientific community if he came forward with his theories at present is scorn, ridicule and dismissal as a crank. He is a consummate scientist, however, and knows well the value of peer assessment, and is conscious of his own tendency to self-glorify. To that end, he is beginning to approach his colleagues as well as more distant figures in his field, feeding them a careful combination of hints, leading ideas and suggestions so that they’ll be the ones who raise the subject with him, rather than him come to them with his ideas. He knows that achieving his goals will be hard at best and perhaps impossible, but he’s determined to try.
                      Stereotypes
                      • Malpirgi: A warrior has his place: in the army.
                      • Ors: Secrets may be necessary, but you don’t keep them from me.
                      • Caosgo: A crown requires a craftsman to make it, just as a palace requires masons.
                      • Insia: Why won’t you just do what I say?!
                      • Vampires: The point of authority is to be used, not to be fought for.
                      • Mages: So these Exarchs command all of reality? Tell me more.
                      • Werewolves: Their loyalty is absolute, but their thinking is… narrow. Small.
                      • Mortals: Kingdoms need subjects, and what is a god without worshippers?


                      Something that's been pointed out to me by hellovg is the fact that my examples of characters (in the 'Royal Visages' section) don't really have enough of the 'supernatural' to them. Help on that front would be greatly appreciated, as woudl thoughts, comments and criticism.
                      Last edited by ajf115; 04-15-2018, 05:53 AM.


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                      • #71
                        Also, been some debate for the skull icon for the Empyrean, so let's let the people decide:


                        OR






                        me and ajf115 agree that the first looks cleaner and slicker, but the second has more identity, plus and the infinity sign also helps to distinguish it from the Hunter: The Vigil skull icon:

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                        • #72
                          I'm in favor of the second

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                          • #73
                            How about a third option where there’s only the infinity sign? Or was that already shot down? (If it was, I can see why - the infinity sign alone looks more like Immortals)


                            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                              How about a third option where there’s only the infinity sign? Or was that already shot down? (If it was, I can see why - the infinity sign alone looks more like Immortals)
                              Yeah, the infinity sign by itself does look a little too much like an "Immortals" icon.

                              Plus we wanted something a little dazzling to represent divine power.

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                              • #75
                                There's a third option floating around of a white skull on the background of an eclipse/halo, but I haven't been able to get that to work.


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