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How are the Abyss and the Lower Depths different?

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  • How are the Abyss and the Lower Depths different?

    Always had trouble with this one.

    Can Scelesti choose to be affiliated with either the Abyss or the Lower Depths?


    “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

  • #2
    To be Scelesti means to be associated with the Abyss. There's a bit more to it than just that, but a Scelestus associated with the Lower Depths is something that just doesn't exist.

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    • #3
      Krat05 thank you! That clears things up for me.

      Are there mages associated with the Lower Depths at all, or are they basically anathema to the Awakened?


      “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

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      • #4
        Yes there are - Tremere most notably, but there's a couple of LD-aligned Legacies.


        Dave Brookshaw

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        • #5
          So the Scelesti are aligned with the Abyss and the Tremere are aligned with the Lower Depths.

          Thanks! That really helps.

          Duat, Inferno and Dis (the realm of the Strix) are Lower Depths, right? Would the Dark World from Princess: the Hopeful also be one if you included P:tH in your cosmology?


          “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

          Comment


          • #6
            The Lower Depths are part of the Fallen World, and the Abyss isn't.

            The differences mostly pertain to origin lore and metaphysics. In practical terms there's not much difference between the two. For the purposes of Mage stories, they're both awful places that are home to reality-hating, pure evil monstrosities. In the context of telling a Mage story, it's entirely possible that the same story can work using the Abyss, a Lower Depth, or a particularly nasty Emanation Realm -- there's a lot of thematic overlap.

            I think the Lower Depths are included in the Mage cosmology largely as a hook-in point for crossovers with other splats like Mummy and Demon.

            Mage-specific content explicitly related to the Lower Depths comes mostly from Summoners I think, and there's also the lore for the Mage legacy Cwn Annwn. Even with the Tremere, their relationship to the Lower Depths is more like a rumor or a possibility that a ST can build on.

            I guess the signature gimmick of the Lower Depths in Mage is that it's devoid of mana and creatures from it really like eating mana, destroying parts of reality to convert them into mana, or similar.
            Last edited by galivet; 06-27-2020, 09:26 AM.

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            • #7
              galivet thank you. I wonder if the Bound (giant Mana-eating monsters imprisoned by the Exarchs) are from the Lower Depths. Remind me again what an Emanation Realm is...?


              “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

              Comment


              • #8
                As I understand it:
                The Abyss is Supernal Truth distorted, a Lie used by the Exarchs to maintain control over the Fallen World. The Abyss is the source of Paradox. It is only minimally under Exarch control, however, as Mythos-like world-gods, the Annunaki, float around the Abyss hungrily eating anything Supernal it comes across---INCLUDING the magic of even the Exarchs.

                The Lower Depths, by comparison, are the further possible point away from the Supernal World, SO distant each Lower Depth (as there're a great number of these places) lacks some vital part of existence. Known Lower Deptjs include Duat and the shadowy forest-world the Strix come from.

                Mages can journey into either, though, unless you're an archmaster, the trip is going to be one way only.

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                • #9
                  Demigod Beast thanks. That’s really helpful.


                  “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                    galivet thank you. I wonder if the Bound (giant Mana-eating monsters imprisoned by the Exarchs) are from the Lower Depths. Remind me again what an Emanation Realm is...?
                    The Bound are Supernal entities in exile. They eat Mana not because Mana is inherently lacking from their origin but because they are supposed to be in "Mana-rich environments", so to speak.

                    I actually didn't know that Mana was supposed to be missing from the Lower Depths, although it would make sense. But the main focus of the Lower Depths is that each one lacks (and thus in some way consumes) an aspect of reality. Duat lacks Sekhem, a type of life energy. Strix-world is theorised to also lack life-energy, but in the form of Vitae. The Inferno lacks Virtue which they "consume" by spreading Vice in the material world.
                    Last edited by Tessie; 06-27-2020, 03:49 PM.


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                    • #11
                      Tessie awesome. Thank you.


                      “It is a far far better thing I do than I have ever done...” Sidney Carton’s last line before going to the guillotine to save his True Love and her husband

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                        So the Scelesti are aligned with the Abyss and the Tremere are aligned with the Lower Depths.

                        Thanks! That really helps.

                        Duat, Inferno and Dis (the realm of the Strix) are Lower Depths, right? Would the Dark World from Princess: the Hopeful also be one if you included P:tH in your cosmology?
                        Duat might or might not be though given the categorization mages use that is more an academic thing.


                        “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” noun: empathy the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TyrannicalRabbit View Post
                          Duat might or might not be though given the categorization mages use that is more an academic thing.
                          It's also confirmed by the devs.


                          Bloodline: The Stygians
                          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
                            Yes there are - Tremere most notably, but there's a couple of LD-aligned Legacies.
                            Are legacies connected to power depths inherently Left Handed?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                              It's also confirmed by the devs.
                              Not what I saw from the writers before but eh okay.


                              “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” noun: empathy the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

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