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  • Mages in the Wolf and Raven

    I've been tinkering with expanding the other splats for the various Dark Eras. I was thinking that Wolf & the Raven (the Viking Era) offers a great narrative opportunity for one of Europe's last "Great Cult" Awakened cultures facing Diamond assimilation.

    I'm struggling right now because I love the idea that instead of writing names on Watchtowers, the common trend in Scandinavian Awakenings is drinking of the Wells of Yggdrasil.

    The problem is there are only three of them.

    Urdarbrunnr (the Well of the Norns) - Acanthus

    Mimisbrunnr (Mimir's Well of Knowledge) - Mastigos

    Hvergelmir (the Well in Nifleheim that Nidhogg gnaws on Yggdrasil from) - Moros



    So how to bring the Obrimos and Thyrsus into this system?


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  • #2
    I know next to nothing about Norse mythology, but maybe Thyrsus eat a fruit from Yggdrasil, and Obrimos take a flame from some kind of big ol' mythic bonfire associated with Loki?


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    • #3
      I feel like Obrimos would be associated with the glory of Valhalla or Odin's Hall.


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      • #4
        Thyrsus and Obrimos could be associated with the giants. Apparently they sort of represented 'the old ways,' and while battled against, were appreciated for their strength and ferocity, which is why they were often taken to mate, to bring about stronger children.

        If you're looking for any canon material of the time, the Left-Hand Path book has a lot of reapers in the area at that time, including the Witch-Vikings of the Seo Hel.

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        • #5
          1. I do not think that Vikings are last Great Cult of that time in Europe. In other part of continent, we still have not christened Slaves ( like my homeland Poland, only being 'baptized' in year 966 ). Later we see Gdańsk in text, city that is from nearby regions and later christened - and part of modern Poland. There would be problem with making Slaves Great Cult as they were much less mythically centralized than other nations - but still following common narrative.

          But making Vikings it's own Great Cult has sense.

          2. Some quotes from Left Hand Path that can help with Vikings Great Cult.

          Originally posted by Left Hand Path, p. 78
          The undead had kept the Diamond from remaking Rome into a new Atlantis. Mages hated them, but knew better than to test them again. Against vampires, the Tremere would have to go it alone. The Legacy was more successful at rallying mages against the old Reaper cults. As the Dark Ages tore the Empire into ragged kingdoms, soul-eaters claimed slave fiefdoms throughout the West. Witch-Vikings ripped the Awakenings out of Mysterium monks. Dull-eyed slaves toiled in mountain manors as their lords sprawled on thrones filled with their screaming souls.
          Originally posted by Left Hand Path, p. 85
          House Seo Hel Patron of the dishonored dead, the Half-Black Goddess Hel attracted outcasts, cowards and the insane. Their witch-priests became the deformed “grim-faced ones” who ripped souls from their enemies. The Seo Hel terrified northern raiders and soldiers. They believed that if the grim-faced ones could bar them from an honored afterlife in Valhalla or Christian Heaven. Hel’s witches would make them slaves, ripping out bones and nails to make arms for Ragnarok.

          Infamous as they were, the Seo Hel became one of the first targets of the Tremere crusade. In a battle along the Vistula and Baltic Sea, the Tremere led Gdansk’s mages in a decisive campaign, destroying a dozen cursed ships and their Seo Hel captains. Afterward, the victorious Tremere rode into the wild, supposedly searching for stragglers. In truth, they fled as the grim-faced ones’ curse spread through their bodies.
          The Seo Hel believed their patron represented the spiritual reflection of physical decay. Connected throughout life,
          the material and physical realms retain a bond upon death. Now, the House transmutes souls into matter and studies the ambiguous midpoints of these transformations.
          3. Beside info on Seo Hel Legacy of Reapers becoming House in Tremere - text is implying that Valhalla is connected to Heaven - so it would point on Obrimos from Great Halls of it.

          4. And Thyrsus I would associated with Yggdrasil itself - like Odin hanging on it. Thyrsus are all about Axis Mundi places is canon in 2E Mage corebook:

          Originally posted by MtAw, p.32
          He’s a Shaman who crawls the World Tree, climbs Kunlun and follows a song from world to world. Lonely but never isolated, he’s set apart by his duty: to speak to humans and spirits; tell each side what the other wants; and, when necessary, bring angry gods to heel. The last part breaks his life’s symmetry. He’s from a world of flesh, not ephemera, and that’s where his final loyalties lie.
          Nevertheless, he sees the shared pulse of mortal and ephemeral life. He sings its music. He could even get lost in it to be reborn an Ecstatic, a living example of simple, forgotten truths. Followers of the Path often tread between these extremes along the living axis mundi that binds diverse realms and states of being.
          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-08-2017, 01:37 AM.


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          • #6
            Ok, so if Acanthus, Mastigos, and Moros drink from the 3 Wells, the Obrimos drink the mead of Valhalla while still living. The Thrysus are those who don't follow such prepared routes and instead drink the sap straight from Yggdrasil itself.
            Last edited by glamourweaver; 02-08-2017, 04:33 AM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
              1. I do not think that Vikings are last Great Cult of that time in Europe. In other part of continent, we still have not christened Slaves ( like my homeland Poland, only being 'baptized' in year 966 ). Later we see Gdańsk in text, city that is from nearby regions and later christened - and part of modern Poland. There would be problem with making Slaves Great Cult as they were much less mythically centralized than other nations - but still following common narrative.
              Yeah, Poland, the Baltic region, and Rus are why I said "one of" the last, rather than just "the last". I'm not sure on whether there would be one overarching Slavic Great Cult,or to do separate ones for those 3. But as they aren't a focus of an existent Dark Era yet, they're back- burnered at the moment.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                we still have not christened Slaves ( like my homeland Poland, only being 'baptized' in year 966 ).
                Wyrd, pay attention to what you write.

                You just wrote

                Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                wciąż nie ochrzczony Niewolników
                I hope I don't need to remind you how that pun relates to what happened 57 years ago.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                  Yeah, Poland, the Baltic region, and Rus are why I said "one of" the last, rather than just "the last". I'm not sure on whether there would be one overarching Slavic Great Cult,or to do separate ones for those 3.
                  Are you actually intending to make Diamond = Christian?


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Michael View Post

                    Are you actually intending to make Diamond = Christian?
                    No, but those are the institutions they were using to spread at the time in Europe after having rooted themselves in the Roman Empire(s).

                    They used Buddhism to spread out of North India throughout East Asia.


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                    • #11
                      I think he mention this logical analysis of Diamond spread around the world. Diamond Orders are based on West ( or East ) cultural imperialism, connecting to local movements of conquest and exploration. In Middle Ages, Christianity is newest imperialists movements of those times. ( Like Caliphate in Islam world. )

                      Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                      The Diamond Orders were born in the Alexandrian Empire. Rome actively makes itself a cultural heir of the Hellenistic world, so add its territory too to the expansion of the Diamond. Buddhism comes out of North India into China and beyond, so the Diamond easily expands throughout East Asia at the same time. Roman, Byzantine, and Coptic Christianity does the job of further expanding the Diamond (so that covers the rest of Europe and Russia), and once the Persian Empire is subsumed by the Caliphate, Islam does the same.
                      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-09-2017, 01:39 AM.


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                      • #12
                        Looking over CoD cosmology working with Norse myths, I think that it's largely connected to Astral Realms and that Ginnungagap can be good candidate for Norse Great Cult version of Abyss.

                        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                        Gaiman points to stories telling that on the beginning there were only Niflheim and Muspelheim, with great Ginnungagap - Bottomless Abyss - between them. Niflheim was said to be made of mists and cold, land full of 11 poisons rivers. Mulspelheim is made of fire and lava, guarded by the lone Surtr. Then heat of Mulspelheim melted a bit of edge Niflheim, creating water that filed Ginnungagap and created Yamir and rest made into ice from what humanity was created.

                        Taking this in to CoD cosmology and we could see parallels like this:
                        • Niflheim as 11 Rivers and Land of Cold sounds a very much like our modern Underworld. From Sundered World Dark Era we know know that in Neolithic Era Underworld was great ocean that only was becoming more and more dry, as to becoming underground realm of dead with only rivers in it. I could see here reverse cosmological order of process told in mortals myths - Underworld in CoD is end result of Niflheim and the great Ocean in Ginnungagap was it's first version. Mortals mixed ending with beginning of process. What's even more interesting here is that it would mean that humanity comes from Underworld, at least for Norse people...
                        • As Helheim is said to come from Niflheim, it could be that Helheim is latest, third version of Underworld ( at least for Norse ) and Niflheim becoming only Anima Mundi shadow of it's previous incarnation, sustained in myths and legends of humans. Or that Niflheim is both Anima Mundi realm and older parts of Underworld that rest more civilized, filled with ghosts become Helheim. Portals ( Irisis ) in Astral realms to other realms are still the thing in CoD.
                        • Mulspelheim with lone Surtr sounds to me as primal part of Anima Mundi, first realms of heat and fire that humanity and animals was afraid. Then we have nice correlation of Mulspelheim and Niflheim being both Anima Mundi realms.


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                        • #13
                          Reading about Bifrost, I think that Norse Great Cult would understand as their Mage Sight abilities, connecting them with 'Nine Realms'. Just see meaning of word Bifrost ( from Wikipedia ):

                          Scholar Andy Orchard posits that Bifröst may mean "shimmering path." He notes that the first element of Bilröstbil (meaning "a moment")—"suggests the fleeting nature of the rainbow," which he connects to the first element of Bifröst—the Old Norse verb bifa (meaning "to shimmer" or "to shake")—noting that the element evokes notions of the "lustrous sheen" of the bridge. Austrian Germanist Rudolf Simek says that Bifröst either means "the swaying road to heaven" (also citing bifa) or, if Bilröst is the original form of the two (which Simek says is likely), "the fleetingly glimpsed rainbow" (possibly connected to bil, perhaps meaning "moment, weak point").
                          There is also saying that only gods can travel it ( and rare mortals under their protection ), not giants or other monsters. Seeing how Supernal beings are only seen in Focused Mage Sight...


                          Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                          My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
                          MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

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                          • #14
                            The phrases "the swaying road to heaven" and "the fleetingly glimpsed rainbow" in particular sum up Mage Sight pretty well.


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