Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Reverse Catabasis

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

  • Reverse Catabasis

    When contemplating the victory of changing the Underworld it occurred to me that there would still be competitors. How would you secure your reign if any Krewe from nowheresville could challenge your rule? What would you resort to if some of those Krewes believed in eternal damnation in fire?

    I imagined that there was some ability of the ruling Krewe to absorb other Krewes. A divine visitation where the differences in Doctrine was addressed, maybe over a long time. When an accord is struck the Krewe's Esotery is turned into a new Dead Dominion and the Underworld changes its logic to conform to the agreement. As it is no longer independent it can no longer perform Catabasis. They would first have to split and build a new Esotery from the ground up.

    With this power you can expand your diversity, your pantheon, your workforce, and secretly bury the threat of Catabasis. This process could be disguised as a kind of audit. You could claim that investigating the activities of any who work closely with the dead should be your right, the insidious could be revealed and serve as a justification for laying siege to them and gaining the support of most sin-eaters.

    You might even hire some Unchained and Apotheotic Maa-Kep.

  • #2
    Nobody has succeeded at Catabasis, it's an endgame that requires a highly volatile level of Esotery, and subverting an individual Dominion is both easier and already a substantial ordeal. This is above and beyond counting your chickens before they hatch.


    Resident Lore-Hound
    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
      Nobody has succeeded at Catabasis, it's an endgame that requires a highly volatile level of Esotery, and subverting an individual Dominion is both easier and already a substantial ordeal. This is above and beyond counting your chickens before they hatch.
      Perhaps, but some part of my mind was focused on the possibilities of Catabasis and what can be made of it. In retrospect it was surprising for me that a thread exploring possible new Underworlds, people comparing their ideas of what would make the most interesting/moral Underworld, did not exist. It was also surprising that a thread about Noumena did not exist already.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Satchel View Post
        Nobody has succeeded at Catabasis, it's an endgame that requires a highly volatile level of Esotery, and subverting an individual Dominion is both easier and already a substantial ordeal. This is above and beyond counting your chickens before they hatch.

        Wait what? Who says? Perhaps the underworld wasn't always like this: maybe it was worse, or better, or simply different?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Oddness View Post


          Wait what? Who says? Perhaps the underworld wasn't always like this: maybe it was worse, or better, or simply different?
          So far, the books.

          Anyways, addressing the OP, assuming some yahoo fuck just has an interest in maintaining the worst of the four main other worlds as the worst of the four main other worlds and knows how it was changed, assumedly all they'd have to do is obtain Catabasis with the goal of reversing it.

          As an asides, are you trying to craft an antagonist for your group, or is this basically exercising against the game for the hell of it?
          Last edited by ArcaneArts; 03-26-2021, 01:16 AM.


          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
          Feminine pronouns, please.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            So far, the books.
            No, seriously, where? I've got a major part of the lore of the campaign I'm running that is based around the idea that a Krewe claims that they did achieve a form of Catabasis at great personal cost, with half their members perishing and the majority of the remainder losing their minds and inspiring the stories of HP Lovecraft, the few remaining members living out their days protecting a powerful relic of some sort that must never be allowed to be returned to the underworld. So if this actively retcons the rulebook I kind of need to know.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Oddness View Post
              No, seriously, where?
              The books.

              Originally posted by GtSE2e Core, p62
              For some, the small scale, the personal, isn’t enough. If one of us is unfree, none of us is free, as the saying goes. These Sin-Eaters throw themselves into the mysteries of death, exploring the Underworld through the lens of their own mythology until they understand what’s broken. Undergoing their own Catabasis, a sacred journey into the Underworld, they confront the Chthonic Gods in a ritualistic challenge and change the very nature of the Great Below forever. The fact that the Underworld has remained unchanged as far back as the Bound have records, and that the corpses of failed Catabases litter the Lower Mysteries, speaks to the difficulty of this task.
              Originally posted by GtSE2e Core, p268
              Few krewes have ever realized this is even possible, and fewer still have ever attempted it.
              […]
              Descending into the Underworld in the fullness of its power, the krewe faces an embodiment of the Underworld itself, crystalized out of its archetype and Doctrines. This embodiment is a direct challenge to the krewe’s ethos, a refutation of its entire philosophy of death. This is the closest anyone comes to meeting the Chthonic Gods — and to reshape the Underworld, they must be conquered. Whether that means casting them from their thrones and tearing bloody hearts from their chests, besting them in a dizzying riddle game, or tricking them into their own eternal prisons.

              Succeed, and you are rewarded beyond imagining: a new Underworld, created in the image of your krewe and presided over not by callous and uncaring entropy, but by doctrines of justice and equality. Fail… well, no one knows for sure, but some Mourners point to the strange laws of the Deep Dominions as half-formed Catabases and their Kerberoi as the twisted remains of the Sin-Eaters who dared and failed.
              Dark Eras' two earliest historical settings — the earliest civilization with writing and the time of Alexander the Great, respectively — identify the ways the Underworld is changing, those being "it's increasingly stopped being an ocean at the top" and "as time goes on, weirder and weirder Dominions will populate the Underworld such that your living culture no longer bears much resemblance to what your ghost will find there."

              Couple this with the last century's breaking the floodgates on the previous cyclic mass-death-incited emergence of Sin-Eaters and it's pretty easy to see that while the Underworld has been getting worse over time, it hasn't done so in any way equivalent to a successful Catabasis.


              Resident Lore-Hound
              Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, but I'm going to point out that none of these explicitly say it's never been done - just that we have a lot of evidence that people have failed in the attempt and there's no hard proof that it's even possible. The Dark Era's implication is interesting and I hadn't read it before though, but I don't think it changes much. I also want to point out that from a writing perspective this is by design - CoD has little to no hard lore on purpose. The whole game line is designed to allow STs to write their own lore.

                It's not hard to imagine (writing from a horror perspective that favors Cosmic horror) a world where Catabasis has happened at least once and the current incarnation of the underworld is actually some long forgotten Krewe's best case scenario. Also not hard to imagine that changing the underworld had implications that would effect time and space - meaning to those existing in the underworld it seems like it's always been like this but if you look you find weird little paradoxes that might imply that we don't completely understand the underworld. In fact - if you're running a game and explaining the horrific unknowable world of ghosts and not including weird little paradoxes in the lower depths - I'd argue you are doing it wrong - even if you don't want to include the idea that catabasis has occurred once and the underworld wasn't always like this.

                Basically - lighten up! The game actively talks about Krewe's having heated debates about these very subjects and not really agreeing! Going head to head with beings that believe they have achieved Catabasis in the underworld sounds like a great story so you should be able to tell it if you like. That's what the story teller is there to decide.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, on that note, we can't actually say that those changes weren't Catabasis- the fact that things came worse could mean that either a) the effects of Catabasis change the nature of the Underworld, but it takes a number of successful ones in order to achieve a total reformation, so every success contributes only a small part to the overall change b) the krewes which succeeded in the process either cared about some very specific things or overall sucked as people and that's the Underworld as they wished it to be or c) entropy must rise, you know?

                  Also, Catabasis could very well be a reality editing act on the level of similar processes, so who knows how many timelines have died out through the ages? Like, maybe the Dominions are not failed Catabasis attempts, but remains of former Underworlds after the rise successful ones? Those are not drafts, but the garbage pile where dead Underworlds go to die, and the Chthonic Gods are simply the latest successful Bound which accomplished their own sucky version of the Underworld where they are kings and the rest die in their name.

                  Does what I'm saying grounded in the books? No. But could you view those as proofs for successful Catabasis, either OOC or IC? Possibly. There is no outright proof that Catabasis did happen, but we also have no proofs that the Chthonic Gods exist, or that there is a place to which ghosts "move on". In short, while the evidence is not conclusive, between the fact that the Underworld did changed in the past and that cosmic beings are known to edit timelines and realities to retroactively always being right as a part of such grand scale practices it is not impossible that Catabasis did happen, and it is just that no one ever noticed.
                  Last edited by LostLight; 03-26-2021, 02:48 PM.


                  Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

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

                  I now blog in here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Oddness View Post
                    OK, but I'm going to point out that none of these explicitly say it's never been done - just that we have a lot of evidence that people have failed in the attempt and there's no hard proof that it's even possible. The Dark Era's implication is interesting and I hadn't read it before though, but I don't think it changes much. I also want to point out that from a writing perspective this is by design - CoD has little to no hard lore on purpose. The whole game line is designed to allow STs to write their own lore.
                    And this is a fine perspective to have for your own game, but utterly useless to discussion about the content as-presented.

                    "How would you defend your world-changing endgame state from a different group doing the impossible, and I'm framing this as though it's easy" being responded to with "The thing you are describing is so extremely difficult that the game puts forth evidence bordering on direct statement that it's practically impossible" is reasonable. Challenging that with "but it doesn't say it's actually impossible!" doesn't help anybody, nor does casually assuming a group so powerful it basically has no recourse but to try and rewrite the laws of death or self-destruct in the attempt sticks around is something the game as-written is set up to account for.

                    It bears emphasis that the machine of the Underworld's current structure has gained steam as time has passed and that fundamentally altering the way it works means subsequent challengers are playing a different game — in established terms, a Shard or a Chronicler's Guide-style systems hack — and not simply fighting the gang three streets over on a grander scale. It doesn't matter if Catabasis has been done before, if it happens so rarely and has had so little discernible impact on the world, it's still counting your chickens before they hatch to ask how you'd stop another group from doing the same thing you did before you actually accomplish it, particularly when most krewes explicitly plateau in Esotery long before 10 and avoid rocking the boat.

                    Basically - lighten up!
                    No.


                    Resident Lore-Hound
                    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's your interpretation of what they asked - not what they actually asked. The question could just as easily be from a player perspective ("Do I have to defend my catabasis ending from other Sin-Eaters") as from an ST perspective ("Could I have a story where two Krewe's went head to head defending/attacking a Catabasis ending".) Either way your blunt answer of:

                      This is above and beyond counting your chickens before they hatch.
                      Is unhelpful, mean and actively discouraging people from participating in the hobby.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Oddness View Post
                        That's your interpretation of what they asked - not what they actually asked.
                        What they actually asked was, to directly quote, "How would you secure your reign if any Krewe from nowheresville could challenge your rule? What would you resort to if some of those Krewes believed in eternal damnation in fire?" "My interpretation of what they asked" was to paraphrase that with the extremely minimal editorializing of what "any krewe from nowheresville" could practically mean.

                        This was in the first paragraph of a multi-paragraph post where they put forth the idea they had already come up with, which sort of indicates that the question was not the point of the thread, and again, indicates that the questions are based on unfounded assumptions contrary to the text. The same poster then expressed surprise that a thread about different visions of how archmages might seek to restructure reality itself didn't already exist, which, again, is a question for individual games to handle more than the product of idle theorycrafting on the forums.

                        Roleplaying games are a hobby. Making stuff for them is also work. The starting question for this thread essentially runs "How do I reinvent the wheel after I destroy the machinery of death?" and I find it important to emphasize that the latter part of the question is nontrivial before I spend at least an afternoon trying to address the former part of it.

                        Either way your blunt answer […] is unhelpful, mean and actively discouraging people from participating in the hobby.
                        "Participating in the hobby" is more than asking, "Hey, one of the hardest things to do in this game is fundamentally change a major part of its setting, but how do I prevent anyone else from doing that once I accomplish it?" and then being surprised that there wasn't already a thread for effectively making a completely new metaphysic. (The fact that there was one and it died out for five years and hasn't been posted in for another two should tell you something about the amount of work that involves.)


                        Resident Lore-Hound
                        Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                          Roleplaying games are a hobby. Making stuff for them is also work. The starting question for this thread essentially runs "How do I reinvent the wheel after I destroy the machinery of death?" and I find it important to emphasize that the latter part of the question is nontrivial before I spend at least an afternoon trying to address the former part of it.
                          I'm sorry that you find it frustrating and a lot of work. Has it occurred to you that you can choose to step back and not engage if you dislike a conversation or line of questioning? Because I see a poster who is enthusiastic about a game line and asking pointed questions that imply they want to tell a story about the high level implications of stuff they find in the books, followed by someone trying to tell him he's having fun wrong.

                          Threads die - it's not your job to show up and murder them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm just gonna add in here on a positive note: this line of thought is exactly where my campaign came from and I wouldn't go back if I could. The idea that there is a Krewe in the underworld who has achieved Catabasis and is now trying to play king of the hill is excellent fodder for a campaign. Maybe no one has noticed and the players are the first and last to have a chance at stopping it. Maybe everyone's noticed and there's disagreement over whether or not it's better than the alternatives.

                            One thing to consider is what the change actually is. Do people even know what the change was? Maybe the ocean of fragments has more friendly mechanics if a ghost died due to injustice... but now reapers are coming out of the underworld seeking to attack humans who are perceived to be guilty of some injustice (however slight that injustice might be). Or maybe there used to be an even worse category of Reaper that no longer exists and no one really remembers - but the Krewe that achieved Catabasis is terrified that another Krewe will try to achieve Catabasis and undue their hard work, so now they're lashing out at other Sin-Eaters entering the Underworld. Or hell, maybe a Krewe discovers this is why the reapers currently exist - to keep the world of the living from meddling with the world of the dead, undoing an ancient (and long gone/twisted) Krewe's Catabasis and accidentally making the underworld much worse again - of course now that they know the truth the Underworld must destroy them before they can spread the information out too much.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Oddness View Post
                              Threads die - it's not your job to show up and murder them.
                              I said my piece and left the thread alone thereafter and then you showed up three weeks later to bring it back from the dead specifically by challenging the particulars of my assertion in a fashion that sent me a notification, only to make every other response to me before this one in a fashion that wouldn't.

                              Lighten up.


                              Resident Lore-Hound
                              Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X