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Your Top 5 Dark Eras

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  • #16
    So, if we are going to do a 5-4-3 according to DE-DE2-DEC, I would also update my list-

    Dark Eras
    1) Sundered World (for reasons detailed above)

    2) After the Fall (" " " ")

    3) Fallen Blossoms (" " " ")

    4) Doubting Souls (" " " ")

    5) To the Strongest- seriously, for everything Arc has said. The amount of setting development it brought to Mage was awesome, and the whole concept of how cultures clashing together influencing the magical world was amazing to read.

    ​Honorary Mentions: Requiem for the Regina (because seriously, the whole Era is just a masterpiece, but the competition is soooo damn difficult)

    Dark Eras 2

    1) Hunger in the Black Land (for reasons detailed above)

    2) The Seven Wonders- it was really fascinating to read how Glamour and Pyros meld and mix together, as well as the concept of playable fetches and the whole weirdness which revolved around the Wonders. I must admit that when I heard about it, I was sure it is going to be the weakest to the Eras, but I was proven wrong, and I remove my heat before the writers. It was really fascinating to read, and the thought of perhaps the Wonders recreating themselves in the modern time makes for a great Chronicles concept.

    3) The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea- again, I just reaaaaally like weird Eras, and this one is full of strange mysteries and weird alliances. Bird also seems to have a cameo in here, which is amazing all by its own. Also, pirates! I doesn't need much to get me hooked on that :P

    4) Reign of Terror- I don't think that any Era has caught me THAT off guard as this one. The Tenth Choir is nothing like what I expected it to be, and feels like a way for those who wanted to play the old version of the Brood to have it while introducing its new revamp. The new agendas are also so amazing, that some of them just scream "they should have been here from the starts!", that this is all awesome by its own right. And the Bloodless, of course, are awesome. Everything is awesome.

    Honorary Mentions: 1001 Nightmares (a very cool Era, and some amazing revamp to the materials originally presented in Ancient Mysteries while in a much cleaner and elegant way. The Refrain and the interaction with Beasts is also great, and the new blood alchemists are so appropriate and very interesting. I am more ambivalent towards the new Clan, as it feels to me more like a bloodline concept, and it feels weird that it has access to two unique Disciplines. Everything else is really good, however)

    Dark Eras Companion

    1) Fall of Isireon- I loved practically everything about this Era. The immortals, the sekhem sorcerers, the prophecies which run wild through the Era only to eventually fail. The obsession towards the occult and magic of this Era, and the fact that mummies stumble confused into it, trying to understand what the hell is going on. It was really amazing to read.

    2) Princes of the Conquered Lands- everyone always wanted to know what will happen if an Arisen and an Awakened will just sit together and compare notes, and now we have it! The crossover level in this chapter is just excellent, and viewing how mage terminology and society are presented in an African culture which is not Egypt was also really cool to see.

    3) The Soulless and the Dead- welcome to the apocalypse. The very nihilistic feeling of this Era, the weight of death that it brings and how everything is doomed by plague is so horrifying for both mortals and monsters alike. It also gives us the Amirani, which is so Era appropriate and an awesome concept for a pre-Frankenstein Lineage that I am actually sad that they were replaced by their frenzied cousins.

    Honorary Mentions: Lifting the Veil (I LOVE the whole mortal occultism and spiritualism which is spread across that Era. Mortals who are not only dealing with things that they don't understand but actually searching for them knowing it will blow up in their faces, and the whole tension between true occultists and charlatans, magic and science gives an awesome feeling for this Era. In a way, it is the very antithesis for Hunter, and I love every little bit about it)

    And just for lolz...

    Unchosen Ones (or those two Eras you would have really wanted to get, yet have never seen the light of day)

    1) Book of Judges- like, wow, I can't spell it out how MUCH I WANTED THAT ERA. The biblical awesomeness that it carries with it, the wild and violent divine nature of the Judges and the constant wars has so much potential for Hunter (and Mummy I must admit, especially in 2e), that the only reason that I do not want it to get published is that I am terrified that it won't live for my expectations. Maybe I should just write it for the STV and be done with it, but writing an whole Dark Era is a tremendous task, and I have other plans to go around that task.. ahem ahem, never mind that.

    2) Epic of Gilgamesh- ok, let's admit it: the fact that in the Dark Eras series we are YET to get something about Mesopotamia and Sumer is so weird. It should have been, like, one of the firsts to get suggested. With Werewolf and its concept for the Dog Gods of Bau (not to mention the whole Sumerian- First Tongue connection), the Scelesti of Kish, that Vampire SAS about the sleeping vampire of Sin and the Utukku, Mummy with the Ki En Gir connection and Hunter's Nibiru and their version for the Epic, not to mention the Tammuz and the Daeva, Ereshkigal and the Laws of the Underworld and countless of other plot hooks for all gamelines, this Era should have been one of the greatest choices for the series, IMO.
    Last edited by LostLight; 02-03-2020, 04:43 PM.


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    • #17
      1- Seven Wonders of the World
      2- 1001 Nights
      3- Sundered World
      4- the one with Cleopatra, I forget what it's called
      5. Hunger of the Black Land

      Honorable Mention Wild West, just not a time period I'm interested in, but it had such amazing, and I mean amazing crossover mechanics that I loved it anyways.
      Last edited by Omegaphallic; 02-03-2020, 09:41 PM.

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      • #18
        Let’s kick off the lists with Dark Eras: Original Flavor.

        #5 goes to “Into the Cold.” You’re going to see nearly every single Demon era on this list, and that’s because they slap. All of them. Even this one, which arguably is just “Demon but REALLY Demon, no, even more Demon than that,” but the Infrastructure? The timeline of Berlin 1960-1980? Gorgeous. I don’t know if I could ever play it, but it’s a delight to read.

        #4 is “Requiem for Regina.” British Vampires and Changelings are two great tastes that taste great together, as Arthur’s era later built upon. This is some of the best Changeling material for my esoteric tastes in the whole book, and the whole makes me want to sink into the ambience of Shakespeare’s London. Delightful.

        #3 is “Beneath the Skin,” because I could read about the Mexica for hours, especially when their empire is riddled with some of the most delightfully weird Infastructure in the whole line. The scorpions! The scorpions!

        #2 is “The Sundered World.” Put the baseball bats down and hear me out! It’s beautiful, absolutely deserving of its own full book, and a paradigm shift that elevated the entire book to something exceptional, letting the reader know right off the bat that this book is going to be special. If I was going off quality alone, it'd surge ahead to number one, no question.

        But #1 is the one I’m going to remember for blowing my expectations clear away, leaving me awestruck at how deeply I fell in love, and that’s “After the Fall.” Everything works. There isn’t a missed note in the whole thing, and it made me want to go out and read more about the period immediately. It’s going to stay my personal favorite, as much as I love the Sundered World (and rightly so).

        Honorable mentions go to “The Wolf and the Raven,” hampered from eclipsing Berlin by its lackluster Geist writeup, and “A Handful of Dust,” which did a fine job of drawing me in and left me hankering for Promethean.

        ***

        That done, let’s turn to the Companion.

        #3 is “The Year Without a Summer,” and the only reason that it’s here is because I studied British Romanticism in college. It’s a love-letter, and I’m the exact audience to receive it. It’s not strictly better than, say, Princes (see the honorable mentions below), but it’s dearer to me.

        #2 is “Forsaken by Rome,” a companion piece to a book I hadn’t yet read when I first read it. It’s so stirring, and makes one want to go forth and fight in the shadow of strange and dark woods.

        #1 is “The Master’s Tools” because I am weak and Demons are fantastic in settings of revolution and upheaval (see below) and the Battleship Potemkin hook is phenomenal.

        Honorable mentions go to the technically excellent and honestly should be in third place but I love the Shelleys too much “Princes of the Conquered Land,” and the really trippy if you’re not up to date with Mummy “The Fall of Isireion.”

        ***

        All right, down to Dark Eras 2, which I burned the midnight oil to finish so that I could pin this list down.

        #4 is “Hunger in the Black Land.” The reoccurring motif of Death Wolf and her Shadow throughout the book works well, and this era’s a gorgeous opener to the book. Dark deeds indeed in the shadow of a dead and mummified god.

        #3 is Mysterious Frontiers, a real dark horse on this list. How I scoffed when I heard we were getting cowboy Changeling, certain that it would be unable to thaw my heart, wounded so by their snub for the 1001 Nights. How wrong I was! It’s sharp as a whip, conscious of the ways the Western papered over the truth of the west, and it made me put it down halfway through so I could immediately go read Ursula Vernon’s “The Tomato Thief” again. That's praise, mind you.

        ("The Tomato Thief" isn't necessarily a straight Changeling story, but it's fine writing and a deep well of inspiration. That said, if you want straight horror of the Hedge and Fetches, Vernon's "The Twisted Ones" is perfect-- but that's a tangent in and of its own.)

        #2 is "Light of the Sun," which... I'll just let Blind Guardian handle this one for me.

        Which leaves #1, which -- just like "After the Fall" -- blew me away when I expected little from it. It grabbed me by the throat and commanded my full attention from start to finish, showing me a world that demanded attention, full of opportunity and darkness and desperate hope. "The Reign of Terror" is phenomenal and well worth the long wait. My favorite part is the slow build of dread as the piece leisurely explains the actions of the various Mummies in Paris, each one returning, in turn, to the question of what exactly lurks in the catacombs below...

        Honorable mentions go to "Arthur's Britannia," which is mostly just "remember how good British Vampires and Changelings are together?" and "The Seven Wonders," which is tantalizing with its hints and pieces to put together. I want more information about Nineveh the True Fae, dammit.

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        • #19
          If we have a Honorable Mentions for Eras Not Done, I would be remiss in not bitching

          That we never ONCE had the Akhenaten Egypt Era pitched.

          What the Fuck.



          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Female pronouns, please.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            If we have a Honorable Mentions for Eras Not Done, I would be remiss in not bitching

            That we never ONCE had the Akhenaten Egypt Era pitched.

            What the Fuck.
            An Hunter-Vampire-Mage Era for this period could indeed be cool to see (I suggest Mage because the Followers of Set claimed him to be a Witch, even though it could very well be a propaganda)


            My Homebrew Signature

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

            I now blog in here

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            • #21
              Pops up in clanbook Mekhet but everyone was voting against vampire eras in the first Dark Eras. It's just one of thousands of little oddities throughout history, though.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by nofather View Post
                Pops up in clanbook Mekhet but everyone was voting against vampire eras in the first Dark Eras. It's just one of thousands of little oddities throughout history, though.
                It's not just there. THe rise of the Hollow Mehket is also the fall of the Cult of Set , which is what prompts the Cult of the Phoenix down the road to becoming the Ascending Ones, and I swear to god there's at least two other monumental things that happened in this era wrapped up in this issue.


                Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                Female pronouns, please.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                  ...and I swear to god there's at least two other monumental things that happened in this era wrapped up in this issue.
                  I was going to say that the Weret-Hekau from To the Strongest would be kicking around, and being integrated with the priesthood would probably look poorly on Akhenaten's work. However, after double-checking, it directly mentions Akhenaton:

                  Thus, they [the Weret-Hekau] understand Greek and Persian beliefs, and know the occult significance of the Atenist blasphemy, when Akhenaten attempted to bypass the gods and access the source of their might himself.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Michael View Post

                    I was going to say that the Weret-Hekau from To the Strongest would be kicking around, and being integrated with the priesthood would probably look poorly on Akhenaten's work. However, after double-checking, it directly mentions Akhenaton:
                    So yeah, this Era was a BIG DEAL.


                    Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                    Female pronouns, please.

                    Comment

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