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  • Vigilant Times: Take 2! [Open Invite]

    long time ago, I've started a brainstorming thread in the subject of "Ancient Bloodlines" like fan-book- which had a lot of good ideas but a lot of it wasn't really developed. Lately, I have started to ponder again in the subject, and I've thought to myself why not to try again? Anyway, I've decided that this time I'll take a more practical approach and suggest one Era per time unit (a week maybe? I have tests you know), and see what I can think about hunters during that Era and hear what other people has to say about it (I think we should go chronically, something possible mostly thanks to Second Chance's hard work about CofD's timeline), and while most of the focus should be about existing/future/unchosen Eras and similar historical setting books, if someone feels inspired for a new timeline or something feel free to suggest it (I should have a complete list of fan suggested Eras somewhere. I'll check if someone is interested)

    full list of ideas per Era


    Anyway, let's start from, well the start- Sundered World.

    Like everyone know, that Era has a Mage-Werewolf focus, although there have been more than few suggestions for other gamelines. It has, after all, one of the richer Crossover sidebars, which includes a lot of potential- from primordial vampires and chthonic Bound and up to alchemist potters and the Shaniatu far in the south. Hunters are also mentioned in the sidebar, but only as a passing reference, as one of the possible people who stand against ravaging beasts. Now, in many ways, Sundered World is the darkest Dark Era in the book- there are very few points of light, when the very theme of the book is "do as the Wise say, or you are dead". In a way, that should put the hunters in the shadow of the Wise- they are the protectors of their community, after all. They are the ones who know what the community needs to do if it wish to survive. Death is at every corner, and only the Wise can protect the People. There is not other way.

    But there is. Challenging the status que of the overreaching darkness is part of their theme. This may be humanity's darkest time, but it also should be the time when those lone candles shine the brightest. In this time, when people has to follow thousands of taboos and obey their gods and Wise without second guest, those who dare to rise against the order and act on their own for what they think as "right", those who dare to leave the warm embrace of the fire and search the wilderness for new wonders and threats, the ones who risk their very life by acting outside their community in order to protect their community are the hunters of the Era- few points in the darkness, but they shine more brightly than any other.

    Such lifestyle means that most potential hunter should either be traders or, well, hunters- although the fact that any person could take on the Vigil is one of the game's themes (well, other than the Wise). The Era itself should also put a lot of emphasis around 1st Tier game- most of those early hunters would end up as cultural heroes, people who with of without help of the Wise and the gods defeated the many terrors of the ancient world. Those hunters you play in that Era may end up as the origin for stories like Hercules, Gilgamesh, Durga... and Marduk.

    So, just from the top of my head, here are some ideas for potential "hunter types"- the most common ones should be, like I've said before, the hunters. Those people know the wilderness the best, and they also know how to track down and hunt different monsters. They cult-like structure allows them to preserve many traditions and stories, allowing them to maintain a certain amount of information about the different demons and gods of the time. Traders should also have a certain amount of information, and in that time knowing in which paths one should walk and in which he should not in critical if you wish to survive. Other than that, you also have the regular Joe kind of hunters who have just stumbled upon a monster and actually killed it, like the kind of people described in the sidebar who are simply strong willed enough to recognize a Beast and kill it (although pre-modern Heroes may be indistinguishable from them, and who knows how should they operate in that time). Finally, the last "hunter option" which I can think about are some sort of guardians to the Wise- mortal men and women who serve them as hands and legs and swear to give their life in order to protect them. Ironically, those "cancer cells" would be the most accepted hunters in that Era.

    Now, while I've said that it should be a 1st Tier Era, let's try to muse about some higher Tiers, and if we already do so than let's go all extreme and think about something which is, practically, unthinkable- a conspiracy. Now, I know that an organization in the standards of modern conspiracy is unthinkable, but I also believe that Tiers should be a subjective terms- when all of your world revolves around the River, the Forest, the Mountain and the Sea, a "3rd Tier organization" should simply be a group which is able to operate through the many small Vinca communities, and I already thought about a candidate- the Nibiru (or, as they call themselves, as the Wolf-Hunter Cult), which I've also included a sidebar for them about that Era. That group was developed as being the "first", and the thought was making them show up in the Neolithic. As someone has noticed, their Endowments are similar in many ways with what Heroes do, which should work as the hero-hunter mix of the time. As you could imagine, they would work inside the hunter-cults of the time, worshiping Father Wolf and the Nine Firstborn who gave them their blessings- plus, they could be awesome to use as the wolf masked dancers of that culture. Finally, the fact they target both spirits and witches makes them as a good foe in that Era, with a good reason for attacking and objecting the Wise, unlike most of the other People (they go through the wilderness and find the dead corpses of the gods, understanding who is the one responsible to the acts), turning them into permanent outsiders and a good foil for any "temple guardian" who side with the Wise.

    So- what kind of ideas/suggestions do you have for that dark, dark Era?
    Last edited by LostLight; 07-22-2016, 09:13 AM.


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  • #2
    I haven't really thought them out or anything but just offhand.

    For one thing, you would have the Knights of St. George. They would go under another name obviously, but from Witch Finders p101, 'Dragonslayers stood apart from human settlements before the time of Ur, the first city of Sumer and the dawn of human civilization. Their lot was the death of witches, and nothing more.'

    Otherwise, I feel there should be an 'undead' focused group. People who have become outcast due to their association with the dead. Someone who fed their vampiric relative, becoming weak and addicted to the point that they were ostracized by their village. By the time the vampire moved on they had nothing left. Or those who have been haunted or attacked by ghosts and bear their marks, ashen handprints stained onto their skin and white streaks through otherwise youthful hair. I figure they would be picked up by others who had organized and devoted the rest of their lives to ridding the world of the monsters that made them what they are. I like the idea of calling them the Stricken or Silent, perhaps in a link to Sin-Eaters, but also because Stricken could fit to how their 'sorry lot' began. Silent could be a defense they use, as talking to ghosts can give them something to cling to, especially for their anchors.

    And lastly, I'd need to check out the Slashers book but if I recall correctly there was a theory that Nimrod was one of the first, and the idea of these other primeval legends as a sort of naturally created icon or defense mechanism against the dangerous shadows of the world. I could see them as members of the first true hunter cells, humans at the top of the aggression scale who focus it outward. If you wanted you could tie it into the Heroes of Beast, without the Beast part. Beast the Primordial core book p201, 'In the past, this sort of person would never experience the Devouring, but rather served a different purpose. A Hero could act as an early warning, sensing that the monsters were coming and giving people time to learn their lessons on their own, without fear or pain.' Heroes weren't focused on the Beast-killing at that point and mostly kept to defending and helping humanity. Though I could see them as individual members of compacts and cells, rather than groups of them acting together.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nofather View Post
      I haven't really thought them out or anything but just offhand.

      For one thing, you would have the Knights of St. George. They would go under another name obviously, but from Witch Finders p101, 'Dragonslayers stood apart from human settlements before the time of Ur, the first city of Sumer and the dawn of human civilization. Their lot was the death of witches, and nothing more.'
      Good catch! The fact they "stood apart" makes sense considering the role of the Wise in that Era. Unfortunately, it seems like the Vinca didn't had anything "dragon-like" in their culture (at least, not from what I can gather), and there was definitely nothing like the Faceless Angels, not to mention that the Knights' mythology i way too complicated to that time. I've personally always leaned toward the "Abyssal Interpretation" for the Knights, so perhaps we could tie them to the Outside, and maybe we could even use the shards of the Time Before as part of that (maybe they are the descendants of a small community who tried to live in such a shard and drew the attention of something which shouldn't be exist, or maybe their Wise was corrupted by the Outside and had to be killed, something which required making a pact of their own with the Void.

      That would also make me think about the Aegis Kai Doru. While it seems natural to make them as witch/shifter hunters, during that Era the Sundering didn't yet happened, and as we all know Atlantis never happened. In that case, what if the events told by the Guardians are truly separate events, and that during that Era they still don't see witches and werewolves as enemies? I think that they could work well during that Era as the "temple guardians of the Wise" in one form or another.

      Otherwise, I feel there should be an 'undead' focused group. People who have become outcast due to their association with the dead. Someone who fed their vampiric relative, becoming weak and addicted to the point that they were ostracized by their village. By the time the vampire moved on they had nothing left. Or those who have been haunted or attacked by ghosts and bear their marks, ashen handprints stained onto their skin and white streaks through otherwise youthful hair. I figure they would be picked up by others who had organized and devoted the rest of their lives to ridding the world of the monsters that made them what they are. I like the idea of calling them the Stricken or Silent, perhaps in a link to Sin-Eaters, but also because Stricken could fit to how their 'sorry lot' began. Silent could be a defense they use, as talking to ghosts can give them something to cling to, especially for their anchors.
      well, the dead are one of the biggest concerns to the People. Maybe I could tie them somehow to either the Cainte Heresy or the Ebony Fangs (which, if the later, would be before the foundation of Kigal- or maybe the foundations for that myth would start in that Era).

      And lastly, I'd need to check out the Slashers book but if I recall correctly there was a theory that Nimrod was one of the first, and the idea of these other primeval legends as a sort of naturally created icon or defense mechanism against the dangerous shadows of the world. I could see them as members of the first true hunter cells, humans at the top of the aggression scale who focus it outward. If you wanted you could tie it into the Heroes of Beast, without the Beast part. Beast the Primordial core book p201, 'In the past, this sort of person would never experience the Devouring, but rather served a different purpose. A Hero could act as an early warning, sensing that the monsters were coming and giving people time to learn their lessons on their own, without fear or pain.' Heroes weren't focused on the Beast-killing at that point and mostly kept to defending and helping humanity. Though I could see them as individual members of compacts and cells, rather than groups of them acting together.
      I personally think that neolithic Heroes better represent individuals like Nimrod because, well, he really feels as psycho. Still, it is too early for Nimrod himself I think, and the wrong geographic region, but I do like that Neolithic Hero Interpretation. Also- we should think about Neolithic Slashers, simply because that sounds really scary :P

      Another food for thought- Thule's Rmoahalas. They should be around, shouldn't they?


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      • #4
        I think the Sundering fits pretty well with the modern AKD beliefs. I mean, the Wise of the Vinca were already attacking Pangeans and stealing their hearts whilst maintaining the lie to the sleepers that they were a freely given gift. Their intentions were good(ish), but killing Gods and covering it up is a pretty paradigmatic example of hubris.

        When the Sundering happens (whether the Wise are involved or not*) it's not a great leap for some sleeper temple guards to come to the conclusion that the Wise are to blame for destroying Pangea and sundering the world.

        *On the one hand, it's the Uratha's story and we don't necessarily want the Awakened dominating the story, but on the otherhand it is an interesting coincidence that the Wise were already attacking Pangeans when the greatest of the Pangeans is killed.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          Finally, the last "hunter option" which I can think about are some sort of guardians to the Wise- mortal men and women who serve them as hands and legs and swear to give their life in order to protect them. Ironically, those "cancer cells" would be the most accepted hunters in that Era.
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          That would also make me think about the Aegis Kai Doru. While it seems natural to make them as witch/shifter hunters, during that Era the Sundering didn't yet happened, and as we all know Atlantis never happened. In that case, what if the events told by the Guardians are truly separate events, and that during that Era they still don't see witches and werewolves as enemies? I think that they could work well during that Era as the "temple guardians of the Wise" in one form or another.
          I can see something like the Guardian-Summoner dynamic from Final Fantasy X working for such hunters. Not only that, but they would probably all be Sleepwalkers (or "ember bearers", to them), which would allow them to protect the Wise even as they are working their magic.


          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          I think the Sundering fits pretty well with the modern AKD beliefs. I mean, the Wise of the Vinca were already attacking Pangeans and stealing their hearts whilst maintaining the lie to the sleepers that they were a freely given gift. Their intentions were good(ish), but killing Gods and covering it up is a pretty paradigmatic example of hubris.

          When the Sundering happens (whether the Wise are involved or not*) it's not a great leap for some sleeper temple guards to come to the conclusion that the Wise are to blame for destroying Pangea and sundering the world.

          *On the one hand, it's the Uratha's story and we don't necessarily want the Awakened dominating the story, but on the otherhand it is an interesting coincidence that the Wise were already attacking Pangeans when the greatest of the Pangeans is killed.
          Well, seeing as the Aegis (in 1E) had a big grudge against Mages and Werewolves, I can second that. Granted, the conspiracy as we know it likely came together around the time of To the Strongest. But I'm having an easier time, now, picturing their founding members as the inheritors of an ancient myth.


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          • #6
            If we are working on the Aegis, we should also think how to represent the "stolen/lost power" they had as artificers and enchanters. It should be something a bit bigger than the Relic Maker merit- you know, something that cloud actually be lost once the relationships between the Wise and the Guardians goes wary after the Sundering. Maybe the Wise could have transplanted a part of their soul (or even an Omphalos Stone) in the Guardians in order to allow them make certain imbued items?

            Also, another thought about the Knights of St George- considering that in the original Atlantis myth the creations of the Demesne was a gift of the dragons if I'm not mistaken, and that in Sundered World it is actually the hearts of Pangaea's gods, wouldn't it mean that in the Knights' myth than the Pangaeans should take the Dragons' place? And if the Angels are rivals to the Dragons, what would that make them? Abyssal Pangaeans of some sort?


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            • #7
              Originally posted by LostLight View Post
              If we are working on the Aegis, we should also think how to represent the "stolen/lost power" they had as artificers and enchanters. It should be something a bit bigger than the Relic Maker merit- you know, something that cloud actually be lost once the relationships between the Wise and the Guardians goes wary after the Sundering. Maybe the Wise could have transplanted a part of their soul (or even an Omphalos Stone) in the Guardians in order to allow them make certain imbued items?
              My idea would be that the distant ancestors of the AKD are the potter caste. I mean, it's stated that they hold a special status with their own special quasi-magical knowledge. They manufacture the ritual tools that the society uses; and in an era where the Guantlet isn't around and the Shadow is a very real part of life, those items have real power. When the Sundering occurs, the potters are going to be out of luck.

              Also, another thought about the Knights of St George- considering that in the original Atlantis myth the creations of the Demesne was a gift of the dragons if I'm not mistaken, and that in Sundered World it is actually the hearts of Pangaea's gods, wouldn't it mean that in the Knights' myth than the Pangaeans should take the Dragons' place? And if the Angels are rivals to the Dragons, what would that make them? Abyssal Pangaeans of some sort?
              That's a pretty good idea. The Faceless Angels don't need to be elaborated on really.


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              • #8
                the AKD as potters would make tons of sense. The only thing I would like to see is bits of their mythology being "real"- especially the part about Asterion and the Mistress of Honey, at least partially. We all know who the former would be in the setting- but what about the Mistress?

                As for the Knights- if we do use the "Pangaeans as dragons" option, that should make the proto-Knights into people who object using the Omphalus Stones and see it as "unnatural", or an act against the gods, or that they should maintain the "old ways". They may be the "barbarians" of the time, living apart of the community without Wise of their own- and by doing so, they stumble upon secrets better stay hidden, and draw the attention of something which was kept asleep.

                Also, I still think that the Rmoahalas should show up in the setting- they are an interesting part Hunter's lore, and they fit to the time period. Plus, they add an interesting layer of weirdness to the setting, and could be tied either to one of the Time Before shards or just be a pre-human race who exist in that "Primal Era"


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                  The AKD as potters would make tons of sense. The only thing I would like to see is bits of their mythology being "real"- especially the part about Asterion and the Mistress of Honey, at least partially. We all know who the former would be in the setting- but what about the Mistress?
                  Perhaps the Mistress is another Pangaean?

                  Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                  As for the Knights- if we do use the "Pangaeans as dragons" option, that should make the proto-Knights into people who object using the Omphalus Stones and see it as "unnatural", or an act against the gods, or that they should maintain the "old ways". They may be the "barbarians" of the time, living apart of the community without Wise of their own- and by doing so, they stumble upon secrets better stay hidden, and draw the attention of something which was kept asleep.
                  On a semi-related note to this, I had this concept in my head for a while. Banishers and/or hunters in the Neolithic Era who consider it their duty to destroy the Omphalos Stones and punish the Wise for their transgressions. On a less violent note, there could also exist hunters and Wise who seek out and protect the remains of dead Pangaeans while hunting for their Omphalos Stones to facilitate their revival.


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                  • #10
                    I agree with Deionscribe, the Mistress of Honey makes a pretty reasonable Pangean. I mean, bees and other polinating insects are an important natural cycle. Honey has been collected by humans for a very long time.

                    On a related note; in the optional rules for the AKD, they swear their oath on an 'Oath Stone', a small rock broken off a much larger sacred stone. As a result of this oath the AKD member can utilise the relics of witches and werewolves. Perhaps that original rock is an Omphalos stone and by undergoing the special trial and then swearing an oath over it, the AKD member can make themselves a sleepwalker.


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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure about the Mistress as Pangaean, simply because she was described as having "unliving body"- something which rings more familiar with that bee like vampire bloodline. There are higher chances of her being connected to the Ocean Beyond Life as some sort of Chthonian or other Underworld monstrosity. On the other hand, the Mistress was never said to be Bee, but that her body contains bees. Her preview is honey- and apparently, Bird may have been the one giving that secret to the People. The gifts of the Bull and the Bird bringing the end of the Primal Era works perfectly to the Neolithic.

                      As for the Knights as punishers of the Wise- there is a small problem, I think. As far as I understand, the Wise hide the fact that they kill Pangaeans in order to get their hearts. While certain groups (like Wolf's hunters) may suspect, most of the community believe them to be gifts from the gods. I think that the proto-Knights would see the very fact that they use the Ompahlos Stones as a "sin", and that the "gifts of the gods" are ways to corrupt the natural ways of the world. The Faceless Angels would be seen as more of a force during that time- that is, they worship the "natural order of the world", with whatever the angels are being how that force regulates itself. Hunters who try to return dead Pangaeans to life using Omphalos Stones should totally be a thing (that would be one of the goals of the Nibiru during that time, I believe)


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael View Post
                        On a related note; in the optional rules for the AKD, they swear their oath on an 'Oath Stone', a small rock broken off a much larger sacred stone. As a result of this oath the AKD member can utilise the relics of witches and werewolves. Perhaps that original rock is an Omphalos stone and by undergoing the special trial and then swearing an oath over it, the AKD member can make themselves a sleepwalker.
                        that is a rule which I actually use in my games, so I'll totally be in favor for that idea :P


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                          I'm not sure about the Mistress as Pangaean, simply because she was described as having "unliving body"- something which rings more familiar with that bee like vampire bloodline.
                          That's a very nice catch. Now you say that, I wonder if that's meant to be a direct reference?
                          The thing is, when you're trying to reconcile different pieces of the setting, you're going to need to sand down bits of it to fit. Bear in mind that large elements of their mythology are already wrong. I mean, the Uratha aren't the descendants of a Honey god and a minotaur. You need to really stretch to work out how those fit with the Moon and Wolf.

                          Another group with some potential relevance is the Promethean Brotherhood (actually, the Rite of Hecate). What happens if a village doesn't have any Wise to protect it? Maybe you go and steal somone elses wisdom.


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                          • #14
                            Wise-less communities attacking others to gain wisdom of their own in a primal fight of survival? Sounds very Neolithic

                            All in all, I like how the Wise-hunter dynamics is forming for this Era- the Wise are the foundation for the Vinca's society, and hunters either directly oppose them (the Knights), protect and serve them (AKD), steal them (Promethean Brotherhood) or try to offer an alternative (the Nibiru). On the other hand, we also need to remember that there are other dangers out there- Werewolves take a part equal in that Era to that of the Wise, while Beasts and the Dead are constant threats. While the Nibiru have some relatively peaceful relationships with the Uratha, the AKD would probably be more antagonistic (they may be one of the few groups who know the truth about the stolen Stones, as they guide and protect their Wise in Pangaea and the Shadow). The Les Mysteres may exist in some primitive form as shamans, but they may be indistinguishable from the Wise for most people, and they won't have that focus around Werewolf as their modern incarnation has- in fact, I believe that they would be a very different organization in that time. Also, I still think that hunters of the trader caste would be worth to explore.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                              Also, I still think that hunters of the trader caste would be worth to explore.
                              For some reason, I'm thinking of the Hototogisu as a possible reference.

                              Another idea that comes to mind is a Neolithic take on your Museum Secretorum, since "one way or another, it has always existed". I have to wonder, though, whether they are a tradition that would have originated from the Vinca. Or, like the Gudthabak, they hail from a different culture/people.
                              Last edited by Deionscribe; 07-03-2016, 05:10 PM.


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