Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Old, Old World [Upper Paleolithic Dark Era Brainstorming]

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

  • Old, Old World [Upper Paleolithic Dark Era Brainstorming]

    This world is old.

    It has been existed for billions of years, starting as a cloud of cosmic dust gathered by the paralyzing grip of gravity and uncompromising, electromagnetic forces. It has been melded from rock, ice and iron, heated by the forges of a new, bright star. It was hit by countless celestial objects, like thousands of molten hammers shattering and melding its surfaces. It has birthed a sibling and a child, born from its own, molten flesh. As it cooled down, it breathed atmosphere from its cracks, and covered its scarred face with oceans deep and cold. At certain point, due to an unknown combination of heat, light, water and earth, a strange and new phenomenon has emerged upon it- life, simple at first, but quickly growing in complexity. Endless forms most beautiful were generated in a rapid speed, devouring each other in a mad race which lead to a more and more evolved forms. Disasters came and went, destroying countless species- and letting others take their place, prospering upon the death of their competitors. Life always find their way- crawling from the sea to the land, and from the land to the skies. Green covered the face of the not-so-young plant, opening the way to reptilian beasts and titanic behemoth. And after ages of rise and fall, suddenly came one new specie which spread around the world like a wild fire- humans.

    This world is old- but humanity is frightfully young.

    Humans have saw barely 200,000 years of light upon the planet. Around.. 0.004% of Earth's lifetime? Practically nothing, and civilization exists even less. Human weren't there when the first nuclear acids bonded together, they weren't there when the boundary between the land and sea was crossed, they weren't there when the lizard kings of old ruled the land and definitely weren't there when the celestial hammer shattered into Earth's surface (which is thankful, or else we wouldn't were around right now). It is easy to mistake and think that everything is about us- that we are the center of everything, and that the planet is merely a stage upon the great show of mankind could take place. That every other specie in the evolutionary chain was nothing but a stepping stone meant to allow humanity to claim its rightful place. After all, so much have changed in the few dozens of years, that recorded history seems like far fetched dream, and everything before it is nothing more than a decaying illusion. We have shattered atoms. We have connected the world. We have reached the stars. Technology advance in a rapid speed, harnessing the powers of light and fire and lightning to our uses, enslaving countless of other species to our uses and erasing countless others in an hindsight. We have won. This planet is ours, and we want more.

    That's, of course, a lie- but it is a good lie, one which people like to tell themselves even without noticing they do so. And in the shadows of the world, other beings beg to differ- things which, together with humanity, evolved and grew from the primordial soup into being apex predators, parasites and symbiots. Vampires consume the life of the living. Werewolves hunt while in sheep's clothing. Witches invoke dreadful powers. Creatures of flame bring disaster wherever they walk, while the kings of the fae and the lords of death reach their hand into the world and meddle with it for their own benefit. Clockwork demons steal the skins of mortals, and mythical beasts devour their souls. Humans do not rule Earth- they are simply there, next to countless other races, hunted by them and hunting them in a shadow war which is as ancient as humanity itself.

    But didn't I said that humanity is frightfully young?

    Evolution is not merely the law of the natural world- it is the law of the supernatural world, too. Those monsters which surrounds us today, they too had to evolve, one step at a time, standing upon the skulls of those before them. They didn't survived because they were the strongest, the fastest or even the smartest- they survived because they were the fittest. Because the world has changed, and they had to change with it. Because humanity became the dominant force in the world's ecology, and they were the most human. Because they were at the right place, at the right time, with the right capabilities to survive the upcoming changes. To cut a long story short- they survived, because they were lucky.

    But how the world would have been different if they weren't?

    Let's take a step back, let's spin the evolutionary wheel to the ages past. Let's close our eyes and be once more in a distant, primal age, on the very age of our racial memory. Let's return to the days, when homo sapiens has just diverged itself from the rest of its siblings, and started spreading across the globe. How the long journey of 200,000 years has started, with no way or guide to lead us in our way. Let's go back to the old, old world- and see that while changed, the darkness was still there. More primal and chaotic, of course, but jut as dark as it always been. It is an era, when shadows crept into the mouths of the dead, and the shapeless ruled unmatched. It is a time were the old gods toyed with the world around them, and horned predators celebrated in their hunt. A time when fire was wild and uncontrollable, and neverborn monsters made corpses dance again. A time of life with no laws, of visitors from faraway stars, of divine engineers and bestial demons, of hungry lands and spontaneous mutations, of hunters who wear hundred forms. Of those humans, who were there before.

    Let's return to the time of the first men.

    Let's return to the time, of the first monsters.

    ************************************************** ********


    So the first question you must have asked when you read this thread's headline was "why to bother?". I can understand that- after all, at first glance, we already have an excellent Era which already covers an ancient time frame in the history of mankind. Sundered World did some brave and fantastic things, after all, going deep into unexplored territories and examining just how did the world has changed since that ancient era. Sure, the Upper Paleolithic is, well, older- but what can that era offer that Sundered World didn't? What could going even further in time offer than than "jumping over the shark"?

    My answer- Primitive Templates.

    I mean, just think about it- what are the strix of not inhuman vampires? The idigam, as they naturally gain Essence in Hisil, seem to predate the coming of spirits to that realm, and the same is true about the Chthonians. Mummy itself details the existence of pre-human civilizations which has slowly collapsed with the rise of the Law, and the Pain Prophet's Testament mentions the existence of beings older than humans and demons. Arcadia was once ruled by the huntsmen, and the Old Gods of the Supernal were banished to become the Bound. Those monsters, and many others, are probably older than humanity itself- and as such, would have been there before humanity has to walk on two feet. Oh, I'm not going as far as suggesting that in this era you would play those dreadful entities (mostly). I suggest that just that as a human being you would play the first humans, as a monster you would play the first monsters to walk among mankind, just as they started to adapt to the new, rising specie. Some have evolved since then, becoming the modern monsters we all know and love. Others went extinct, leaving the path for new breeds to take their place. Some have simply survived- a bit broken and rough around the edges, but they are still there, relics of ancient times, living fossils of the era before the soul carrying beasts took over the world, creating new monsters with them.

    That not just a Dark Era. That's the beginning- and who knows what wonders wait for us at that, murky corner of history.

    (discuss!)


    My Homebrew Signature

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    I am intrigued. I’d have to give this some thought



    Frequent Story Teller for the Circle of Five gaming group.

    Comment


    • #3
      Are Huntsmen still implied to be the pre-Gentry inhabitants of Arcadia in Changeling 2E? If so, then this is a nice place to fit them.


      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

      Comment


      • #4
        We talk about time where Modern Humans are already in? So we can go 13th Warrior style and adds contacts with Neanderthals.

        I'm interested in one idea - What about Beasts Horrors? They represent the Fears of humanity. WHAT would be those Fears in those times? Did not Dark Mother be still around and seeding those Fears in first humans?



        LGBT+ in CoD games
        Dark Eras fan stuff hub ( with Eras inside ):
        Byzantine Empire in Middle Ages ( 330–1453 A.D.)
        Conquest of Paradise – Portugal and Spain in 15th century and their conquests
        My stuff for VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP

        Comment


        • #5
          Before the fears of humanity were the Insatiables, the fears of the world.

          Comment


          • #6
            I 2nd the Neanderthals . After all whatever drove a species that was about equal to us in capability to extinction must’ve been pretty horrifying in the CofD


            Despite the user name I am actually bigender.

            My Savannah Setting for CofD can be found here

            My heroes as monster tamers rules for BtP can be found here

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The young man in the cafe View Post
              I 2nd the Neanderthals . After all whatever drove a species that was about equal to us in capability to extinction must’ve been pretty horrifying in the CofD
              If by about equal you mean quite likely both stronger and smarter, I agree.

              This open up many interesting ways to have this play out...

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe they had personal reflections in the Shadow that ended up betraying them


                A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                  Maybe they had personal reflections in the Shadow that ended up betraying them
                  In fiction I've read, Neanderthals were characterized as sensitive and pacifistic. Maybe they had an innate sensitivity to Spirit phenomena, which coupled with non-violent tendencies, led to their extinction by predatory Ephemerals. Full of juicy, unique Essence, they had.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Zombiecakes View Post

                    In fiction I've read, Neanderthals were characterized as sensitive and pacifistic. Maybe they had an innate sensitivity to Spirit phenomena, which coupled with non-violent tendencies, led to their extinction by predatory Ephemerals. Full of juicy, unique Essence, they had.
                    That is one genre convention for neanderthals, they also tend to be portrayed as being more collective minded and less individualistic in their culture.

                    Also, speaking of supernaturals and neanderthals, check out this neanderthal werewolf



                    Is he the world's first Cahalith?
                    Last edited by The young man in the cafe; 04-22-2018, 11:21 PM.


                    Despite the user name I am actually bigender.

                    My Savannah Setting for CofD can be found here

                    My heroes as monster tamers rules for BtP can be found here

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The young man in the cafe View Post

                      That is one genre convention for neanderthals, they also tend to be portrayed as being more collective minded and less individualistic in their culture.
                      Which is interesting, because scientific and anthropological evidence seems to suggest that about the only advantage Sapiens had over Neanderthals was their ability to organize and work in large groups. Sapiens can imagine collectives and work towards collective goals in ways that the other great apes can't, which is why we are the only species that has ever organized into massive collectives without being eusocial and having a biological caste system like ants, termites, or bees.


                      Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Mummy 2e; Scion - Mysteries of the World

                      CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon (TBA) | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Second Chances View Post

                        Which is interesting, because scientific and anthropological evidence seems to suggest that about the only advantage Sapiens had over Neanderthals was their ability to organize and work in large groups. Sapiens can imagine collectives and work towards collective goals in ways that the other great apes can't, which is why we are the only species that has ever organized into massive collectives without being eusocial and having a biological caste system like ants, termites, or bees.
                        Romanticization of the bygone, I suspect.


                        MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So, here are my thoughts about Primitive Templates, giving 1-3 such concepts per gameline. Remember that those templates are meant to be weird, as it is the first time that the supernatural starts to adapt to the rising homo sapiens (also, as a side note, in the CofD's context, I think that the difference between the homo sapiens and the other humans would be quit simple. Homo sapiens has souls. The rest, didn't).

                          Treat this as some food for thought, and feel free to suggest your own concepts-

                          Vampire- for now, I think about strix-animated corpses who actually retain their original minds. I imagine them as fangless, breath drinking monstrosities which are formed when the strix get "trapped" in a body when their possession went wrong.

                          Werewolf- as idigam regain Essence in the Shadow while spirits do not, it makes sense to think about them as the true natives of Hisil, like how the Chthonians are the Underworld's. While spirits have started to form before to homo sapiens (I think they have started to form around the Lower Paleolithic, as the human races has started to give recognize patterns in the world, giving them name and form), they are still newcomers to the Shadow, and the idigam rule more or less undisturbed. As such, I have the image of early, mercurial shapeshifters formed from the experiments of the idigam upon the new souls, enhancing them with their own Essence. Other concepts would be humans and beasts who become infused with the Shadow, creating Pangaean like shifters as the Border Marches start to form. Finally, I would also be delighted to update my Old Ones into the form of "ancient Changing Breeds", apex shapeshifting predators who start crawling into human skin as they leave their natural forms behind

                          Mage- Even before the Ladder was ever built, Atlantis has already Fallen. Even before humanity has Awakened, they were already living in a Lie. Even before the Exarchs were born, they have already ruled Heaven and banished it gods. That's what happen when you fuck up with time- shit gets weird really first. My thoughts for mages in this Era is that we are yet to have Awakened mages, or at least, there are very few of them. Instead, I think about introducing the Bound, the fallen gods of the Supernal, and have them "awakening" humans by seeding their souls with parts of themselves, creating what I like to call "invokers". I have that idea buzzing in my mind for some time now, and I think it would be a nice place to finally write it down.

                          Promethean- well, that's actually kinda hard. If I'm not mistaken, Night Horrors was promised to introduce a new antagonist, which may be used in this era as "pre human monster"- but as we don't have that book right now, it is not relevant. Instead, I suggest a concept of a "wild fire", as the Divine Fire is yet to be "stolen by Prometheus". I think about masses of elements/amalgams of corpses/anything in the middle which was animated by the Divine Fire through Firestorms, which are much more common in this Era. Think about them as much more terrifying Extemporae. Having a flux based, pandoran like creatures could also be nice, I think.

                          Changeling- in those days, Arcadia was far from tamed, ruled by those who are now known as the Huntsmen. My idea is having a Changeling version for those who are kidnapped/recruited/join the Huntsmen, some sort of heralds of the Wild Hunt and its horned divinities. I'm not even sure if there is already an Hedge during that Era, or if Arcadia just "leaks" into reality in a much more fluid manner.

                          Hunter- while I do have a warm place in my heart for Inferno and the Lucifuge, it is really hard for me to think about Inferno before humans. It just feel wrong, you know? Instead, I think about the birth of the first infernals as humans who recognize their own vices and get possessed by them (something like demons in a human skin). Another fun thing could be having humans as a part of a primitive cults who start cutting parts of monsters and either eat or bind them to their flesh in an attempt to become more like them, creating unstable yet powerful effect (yeah, Cheiron is that old. Move along, move along). Also, we could have humans who devote themselves into killing other human races, either homo sapiens or some weird proto human race who hunts other humans and had its DNA mixed into the homo sapiens, creating something similar to "playable slasher"- or, at least, the basic principle upon which slasherhood would be built.

                          Geist- Chthonian Bound. We all want them, after all- and the Ocean is yet to recess, making the stillborn monstrosities much closer to the surface and allowing it to destroy any ghost who falls into it, which are still a new phenomena in the era. We could also have "proto Bound" by using revenants, and having ghosts who invade their own corpses (or the corpses of others).

                          Mummy- so Mummy really likes to throw around the concept of "ancient pre human civilizations". Let's take it to the extreme in here. I have two concepts for the world before the Shaniatu- using alien races who colonize Earth by using the Visitors, and exploring some ancient lifeforms generated from wild Sekhem, or humans mutated by such wild Sekhem (I have the concept of such twisted lifeforms invading human corpses and enhancing them to their own needs). We could use the first as a "Deceived" parallel and the second for an "Arisen" one.

                          Demon- So, I assume you all remember the Pain Prophet's Testament, right? I think on using it to treat the modern Unchained as the "third children", which means we have two more "generations" of angels/demons before them. I think on basing the First Children around my Utnapishtim, as an extremely ancient race who now starts to mingle/breed/engineer the new human race, when even during the Paleolithic they are already old. For the Second Children I think about updating my Grigori, which are the first experiments of the God Machine at creating agents in order to infiltrate the human society from other animals, in order to get a better understanding of what a "soul" actually is. Yes, the God Machine is already around at this Era- it may be not as powerful as it is in modern times, but it is already around.

                          Beast- as it was mentioned in this thread, I think about using the Insatiable as a base for this Primitive Template. the way I see it, the Insatiable are currently incarnated physically in the world as actual hostile environments, which devour those who fall into them... unless they manage to survive. Those people carry parts of those hungry horrors inside of them, laying the foundation for the modern Begotten.

                          Deviant- as the game is yet to be out, there isn't much to be said, but I think that random mutants in the human line could fulfill the niche.


                          Again, feel free to offer your own alternatives. Right now I don't intend to put a limit on how many such Primitive Templates are allowed for each gameline, as I believe that the work required to actually write them would limit their numbers through a natural selection :P


                          My Homebrew Signature

                          "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

                          I now blog in here

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                            Werewolf- as idigam regain Essence in the Shadow while spirits do not
                            This is not the case. The advantage idigam have over regular spirits in the Essence department is that they don't naturally lose Essence over time outside of the circumstances where Essence bleed applies. They don't naturally regain Essence just by being in the Shadow.


                            Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                            Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                              Are Huntsmen still implied to be the pre-Gentry inhabitants of Arcadia in Changeling 2E? If so, then this is a nice place to fit them.
                              They are still implied to be the original inhabitants of Arcadia(/Old Arcadia).



                              Frequent Story Teller for the Circle of Five gaming group.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X