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[2E] Power of Sympathies - Or how you cannot forget Nakatomi

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  • #31
    Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
    We don't have enough background information to really speculate but I could see the truth of the Tokyo mystery of Nakatomi turning out to be a Mysterium creation, that they are actively hiding the truth for political reasons.
    There seems to be an implication that that's at least partially true. It's interesting that the charter of Nakatomi that the dominant faction follows forbids women from being on the consilium and refers to Nakatomi as a man.

    The real mystery then would be why did they do it and when did they start?
    2e core has this...

    ...all physical rolls and meeting notes from Nakatomi’s original Consilium were destroyed in the 1657 Great Fire of Meireki
    The wording implies that Nakatomi is already gone by then, plus the section refers to Nakatomi as among the first magi that any records cover and that the records go back 500 years, which would be about 140 years before Fallen Blossoms which is the 1640s. Even a thyrsus would be pushing their luck at that age.

    Now I think about it, it is kinda interesting that the legendary mage vanishes from history around the same time as a cataclysmic fire.


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    • #32
      Okay, scratch that. Beast mentions Nakatomi being around at the end of the 19th century. So there seems to be a few hundred years that have been edited out or something...

      Interestingly, despite being at least 300 years old that Nakatomi wasn't the Apex of Edo.


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      • #33
        Originally posted by Michael View Post
        Okay, scratch that. Beast mentions Nakatomi being around at the end of the 19th century. So there seems to be a few hundred years that have been edited out or something...

        Interestingly, despite being at least 300 years old that Nakatomi wasn't the Apex of Edo.
        I think you were right the first time. Same name (although without the Kanji we can't be sure), different person. Same deal with the Edo Nakatomi. She has a definite gender and lives a significant amount of time after the mythical Nakatomi, whose gender is unknown (if they existed). That or the sorceress that was in the Great Kami's court was the original Nakatomi... who is an archmage. Talking, inspiring, those things are okay for her. Actually using magic to interfere would be another story. It would fit with the epic nature of Kami's court for them to be somewhat engaged with the Ascension War though.


        CofD booklists:
        Beast I Changeling | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
          I think you were right the first time. Same name (although without the Kanji we can't be sure), different person. Same deal with the Edo Nakatomi. She has a definite gender and lives a significant amount of time after the mythical Nakatomi, whose gender is unknown (if they existed). That or the sorceress that was in the Great Kami's court was the original Nakatomi... who is an archmage. Talking, inspiring, those things are okay for her. Actually using magic to interfere would be another story. It would fit with the epic nature of Kami's court for them to be somewhat engaged with the Ascension War though.
          In this case, it'd be the same kanji, 中臣.

          This was an exceedingly common name in antiquity, since it was a powerful family. The human family didn't really have much prominence in either of the eras being discussed here, but were immensely influential between the sixth century AD and the twelfth. But having two influential characters named Nakatomi wouldn't even seem an off coincidence. Whether or not they're related or the same person, that's a whole different question. The classical Nakatomi could be completely, 100% forgotten and that wouldn't even remotely erase the name from prominence, because it's so ubiquitous. Further, most modern family names are very modern, dating back no further than the 19th century. Which adds some complexity to the issue.

          This is doubly important to note: Through a significant part of Japanese history, most people didn't really have two names. Most people had a single name, and identified by a place of birth or origin. Nakatomi could be such a signifier.


          David A Hill Jr
          Freelance Writer
          Independent Game Designer

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          • #35
            Originally posted by MachineIV View Post

            In this case, it'd be the same kanji, 中臣.

            This was an exceedingly common name in antiquity, since it was a powerful family. The human family didn't really have much prominence in either of the eras being discussed here, but were immensely influential between the sixth century AD and the twelfth. But having two influential characters named Nakatomi wouldn't even seem an off coincidence. Whether or not they're related or the same person, that's a whole different question. The classical Nakatomi could be completely, 100% forgotten and that wouldn't even remotely erase the name from prominence, because it's so ubiquitous. Further, most modern family names are very modern, dating back no further than the 19th century. Which adds some complexity to the issue.

            This is doubly important to note: Through a significant part of Japanese history, most people didn't really have two names. Most people had a single name, and identified by a place of birth or origin. Nakatomi could be such a signifier.
            Interesting. I had suspected some of that, but that adds another level of complexity to the question. Thanks David!


            CofD booklists:
            Beast I Changeling | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire

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            • #36
              The whole Nakatomi issue is beginning to become a really captivating Mystery regarding names and sympathies. A potential gold mine for Mastigos, and anyone delving into the Space Arcanum.


              MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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              • #37
                Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                The whole Nakatomi issue is beginning to become a really captivating Mystery regarding names and sympathies. A potential gold mine for Mastigos, and anyone delving into the Space Arcanum.
                And Time - I'm still not convinced why Time mage in Edo area just cannot burrow Sympathies and look into proper periods.


                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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                • #38
                  Second Chances noted in a previous post that at least in the case of Nakatomi, something flat-out blocks temporal observation of that period. Which means that what we have here is not an answer to a Mystery, but a new Mystery - a typical turn of events for mages in the field.



                  Even without that, I assume you're wondering why Postcognition (+ Temporal Sympathy) + Scrying won't get you seeing Nakatomi. I've done some thoughts about why this is a herculean task, and compiled my reasoning. (Note how I'm not saying it's an absolutely impossible task)

                  Spoiler tags because it's long, and largely just a compilation of what myself and others already said before.


                  First, a relic connected to Nakatomi.
                  1. Does it even exist? As posters before me pointed out, disasters that wipe out entire towns were common back then. And no, please refrain from the old "But mages have magic and can prevent the disaster or salvage the valubles!" argument. Mages are still people, and people are fallible. Mistakes, oversights, and changes in priority happen. And I highly doubt mages in the past bothered to magically maintain their leader's possessions just so the future generation could peer through them, when they have other Mysteries at hand to chase and are paranoid of future mages meddling with their timeline.
                  2. Is it authentic? The Shroud of Turin was supposedly the burial shroud of Jesus, but look how that one turned out.
                  3. Was personally in contact for meaningful amount of time with Nakatomi? This condition is required for Scrying to actually work. If the relic is an object, the mage can follow it around to get a view. Even then, since the window is focused on the relic itself, actual sight of Nakatomi and their surroundings might not be much visible. And unless you hit the jackpot and acquired Nakatomi's dedicated tool or something of similar personal importance, chances are they didn't always carry it on their person. There will be blank spots in time where Nakatomi just left that object alone, leaving the scrying window staring at the object and not its owner. If the relic is a site, then it had better be somewhere Nakatomi personally resided and discussed topics of importance to the present day mages, since the scrying window only gives a static overview of the location.
                    1. No, the Sympathetic Range Attainment will not allow the Scrying window leave the relic and follow Nakatomi around. Sympathetic range is applied to the distance between the mage and his Scrying spell's subject, which in this situation is the relic, not Nakatomi. Sympathetic range will be only good for letting you do this task from the safety of your sanctum, so other mages don't find you snooping around the relics.
                  4. Does the sympathy remain? Sympathies come and go naturally, and it is entirely possible that the relic has changed so much that its temporal sympathy to its days in Edo is even below Weak level.
                  Second, mages of the past.
                  1. Is that Nakatomi they're seeing the real deal? The above posts give a good reason that the Nakatomi seen by mages may not be the 'real' Nakatomi. From common family names to Shadow Names to identical kanji pronunciations.
                  2. Why would they let you spy on them? Mentioned above, but mentioning it once again. Mages don't like other mages spying on them, whether they're from the future or not. That goes the same for mages in the past; they have no reason to just let present mages spy on them, and will put up decoys and defenses.
                  3. What about the temporal anomaly? What Second Chances pointed out as existing. May not be the work of mages at all, but listing it here since it's still a problem in the past.
                  Third, your peer mages in the present.
                  1. Who has vested interests? The Mysterium and its ruling faction, of course. It's entirely possible that they pooled their resources to go over all of what I just described above and saw the truth behind Nakatomi... and decided to bury it for one reason or another.
                  2. How will you convince everyone? Okay, so you went through all hardships above and obtained the truth. Great. And now the ruling mages publicly decry you as a forger and a heretic. You now must play in a House of Cards, where a single misstep will kill your political standing.


                  If the player character cabal triumphs despite all that (and it will be the player characters, not anyone else, since they're the ones with enough initiative and talent to do so, and are under the aegis of "Storyteller approval"), then they have every right to take credit for and bask in the glory of having unraveled what may have been the biggest Mystery hidden in Tokyo's history.


                  MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                    And Time - I'm still not convinced why Time mage in Edo area just cannot burrow Sympathies and look into proper periods.
                    I don't suppose that Nakatomi could actually have been a powerful Acanthus, or at least powerfully skilled in Time magic, and habitually warded everything that would conclusively prove his/her activities? Combine with cleaning of sympathetic/temporal connections for the purposes of security, and then loosing Consilium records in the centuries to come from one disaster or another, it isn't that hard to imagine that the truth has slipped beyond the grasp of most mages.

                    Also, the areas where you want to scry may now be an Ansho, a dead magic zone. This would make looking back impossible unless you solved the Ansho Mystery first...

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                    • #40
                      Mages can temporally ward themselves, and they would be wise indeed to use them. Last thing a mage needs is to be flanked from the future.


                      Sean K.I.W. Steele, Onyx Path Freelancer
                      Working on:Night Horrors: Enemy Action
                      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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