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Into the Burning Times

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  • Into the Burning Times

    So I was thinking lately. The Crucible, although clearly inspired by direct documentation of the Salem Witch Trials, was also a response to the Red Scare and McCarthyism taking place in the time it was written. What if we reverse that inspiration? The paranoia of the burning times was more than mass hysteria and religious tension between Catholic and Protestant. What we see here is the discernible expression of a intense time of espionage and counter espionage between the God-Machine and the Demons that oppose it, with the stories of the devil acquiring souls and witch covens a form of propaganda being released to the mundane (e.g. non-stigmatic) population in an effort to use them to eliminate proxies and servants (and Cover, of course). Naturally, just like the red scare, the deliberate insinutation of paranoia and propaganda quickly grew beyond the means of the God-Machine or the Demons to control and we got the mass killings of the witch craze. But why did it happen? What was it that these two sides were trying to achieve? Could Constantinople (see the Dark Eras chapter) and the efforts to make it into a new Hell be the cause? Or was the God-Machine attempting to fulfill some particularly powerful and terrible Occult Matrix, one too alarming and widespread for the Unchained to ignore? And if the latter, did It fail in the end...or succeed?

    Your thoughts and ideas, please.

  • #2
    Well, if nobody shows interest in the topic in the next couple of days I'm gonna go ahead and delete it. No sense clogging up the feed with one lonely comment.


    • #3
      Well, the Salem Witch trials were fairly early in the nascent nation's history (actually predating it by 83 years). Long term, something might have been going on that could have determined the future course of a very influential nation. Perhaps something like that one adventure seed (with the mysterious figure sealed in a military based wanted by Demons and Angels alike), could have been going on in Salem. Maybe a resurgence of Nephilim, or Nephilim-like phenomena (specifically, hidden from the Machine).

      Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
      Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."


      • #4
        Depending on how realistic you want to go, the execution of witches never really got out of hand. Salem for example was done pretty much by the book legally.

        That said, the Idea that the God-Machine seeded the concept in order to attack Demons makes a lot of sense. I mean, even if you don't believe in the idea (and clearly even at the time lots of people didn't really) if a person offers you a contract signing away a part of yourself in return for something, even a sceptic is going to know what that entails.