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How are the Abyss and the Lower Depths different?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    The Inferno lacks Virtue which they "consume" by spreading Vice in the material world.
    I should point out that this is an inference based on the "world without X" descriptive model that doesn't quite bear out from how the Inferno operates. Virtue and Vice alone are not morally weighted, and Inferno makes distinctions between, for example, a goetic demon and a goetia that is an Infernal demon.

    A more concrete way of putting it is that, back on the old forums, Malcolm Sheppard once answered the question of why the Inferno was a Lower Depth with (slightly paraphrased) "It's because evil is a lack."

    Fast forward a couple years to the Mage 2e open development blogs, where this tidbit comes up in the discussion of the Paths' relation to morality:
    Originally posted by Malcolm View Post
    To my mind, evil is really about cultivating a lack of compassion within yourself--it's not a force coequal with good, a part of a cycle, or anything that balances anything else. It's not black on the chessboard. It's spitting in the other guy's face when you play, and smashing his king with a hammer instead of losing.
    Appropriately enough, there's bits of this in Mummy, which Malcolm also contributed substantially to; Dreams of Avarice's distinction between the Self and the Will, as well as its illustration of how the Law of Suffering locks people into deliberate cruelty out of fear for their own comfort and well-being, bears mentioning when one looks at how the agendas of Infernal Dominions tend to break down — not for nothing do the two least-complicated categories of true demonic behaviors boil down to "make the world materially worse to live in" and "kill people to hurt other people."

    The akathartoi warm themselves in the Inferno by getting people to forsake that crucial bit of sympathy for others. One of the key ways the Supernal differs from the Phenomenal World is that classical basis for compassion: all things are one, and separation is an illusion that leads us to hurt ourselves when we hurt others — moreso still when we double down on the idea that this is not the case and revel in having power over other people. Whatever the Judges truly are, they have a certain investment in propagating that form of evil at the very foundations of human civilization as they consume the stuff of manifest existence through their Arisen servants.

    (This got rambly, for which I apologize.)


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

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
      I should point out that this is an inference based on the "world without X" descriptive model that doesn't quite bear out from how the Inferno operates. Virtue and Vice alone are not morally weighted, and Inferno makes distinctions between, for example, a goetic demon and a goetia that is an Infernal demon.

      A more concrete way of putting it is that, back on the old forums, Malcolm Sheppard once answered the question of why the Inferno was a Lower Depth with (slightly paraphrased) "It's because evil is a lack."

      Fast forward a couple years to the Mage 2e open development blogs, where this tidbit comes up in the discussion of the Paths' relation to morality:


      Appropriately enough, there's bits of this in Mummy, which Malcolm also contributed substantially to; Dreams of Avarice's distinction between the Self and the Will, as well as its illustration of how the Law of Suffering locks people into deliberate cruelty out of fear for their own comfort and well-being, bears mentioning when one looks at how the agendas of Infernal Dominions tend to break down — not for nothing do the two least-complicated categories of true demonic behaviors boil down to "make the world materially worse to live in" and "kill people to hurt other people."

      The akathartoi warm themselves in the Inferno by getting people to forsake that crucial bit of sympathy for others. One of the key ways the Supernal differs from the Phenomenal World is that classical basis for compassion: all things are one, and separation is an illusion that leads us to hurt ourselves when we hurt others — moreso still when we double down on the idea that this is not the case and revel in having power over other people. Whatever the Judges truly are, they have a certain investment in propagating that form of evil at the very foundations of human civilization as they consume the stuff of manifest existence through their Arisen servants.

      (This got rambly, for which I apologize.)
      THIS is rambly?


      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.

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      • #33
        I think the Cwn Annwn are one of the other Lower Depth-oriented legacies. They're considered left-handed and in the Left-Hand Path book. The legacy's creator found 'an in-between place, a void which was not the Abyss but could be filled by the energies of the Fallen World if an explorer was talented enough at giving form to Mana.' And the legacy seems to be mostly about turning that void into a paradise with the help of their new buddy, for 'Every member of the Legacy is host to a being of the Lower Depths.'

        It is one of the mage-confined ones that as far as I can tell has no intersection with other gamelines or books and is pretty clear on what it lacks and how it imposes itself on the world.
        Last edited by nofather; 07-03-2020, 12:52 AM.

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        • #34
          Annwn is indeed one of my favorite "lesser and weird corners of the universe". I have had all kinds of thought about it, but never made something coherent enough (well, beside placing it in my comsology model).


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          • #35
            LostLight I agree with 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

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            • #36
              Originally posted by LostLight View Post
              Annwn is indeed one of my favorite "lesser and weird corners of the universe". I have had all kinds of thought about it, but never made something coherent enough (well, beside placing it in my comsology model).
              What is it like?

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post

                What is it like?
                In my cosmology, it serves as the very bottom of the Depths- the lowest of all worlds, which lacks the very concept of "existence". It is the "heat death of the universe" compared to the Empyrean serving as the "big bang".


                My Homebrew Signature

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

                I now blog in here

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                  In my cosmology, it serves as the very bottom of the Depths- the lowest of all worlds, which lacks the very concept of "existence". It is the "heat death of the universe" compared to the Empyrean serving as the "big bang".
                  Ahh ok. Hopefully Fallen Worlds will bring it back

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                  • #39
                    There's also the unnamed worlds the Decay and The Tutor come from.

                    I figure there are nearly-infinite Lower Depths; the ones we know with lots of cross-travel to the Fallen World like Duat and Inferno are the "closest". As for the further ones like Annwn, I always have Dr Breen's speech from Half Life in mind: worlds stretched thin across dimensions, impossible to describe.


                    Dave Brookshaw

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                    • #40
                      I though with Mummy 2e, Duat has now been "promoted" and is no longer a Lower Depth?

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                      • #41
                        I asked Meghan after the last time someone claimed that, and it’s news to her.

                        Frankly, it sounds like something a writer who doesn’t understand what a Lower Depth is said or slipped in somewhere, and can go live in the “yeah, we’re ignoring it” bin with the stigmatic mage in Demon’s city book.
                        Last edited by Dave Brookshaw; 07-05-2020, 05:01 AM.


                        Dave Brookshaw

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                        • #42
                          I've seen two people now claim it has changed with MtC 2e, but I don't recall seeing anything like that. It would help clear up the whole issue if there was a page reference to the relevant passage.

                          Edit: Sounds like a misconception. During the kickstarter word was that Duat was a Lower Depth, as previously stated in DEC.
                          Last edited by Tessie; 07-05-2020, 08:24 AM.


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                          • #43
                            Dave Brookshaw once again, thanks for clarifying that.


                            “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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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by branford View Post
                              I though with Mummy 2e, Duat has now been "promoted" and is no longer a Lower Depth?
                              It's more than Lower Depth as a meaning in Mage and lines outside of Mage it doesn't really mean anything, so if a mage tells a Deathless that Duat is a "Lower Depth" you're likely to get little more than a "sure pal." It doesn't mean the mage is wrong, it IS their categorizations after all, and their criteria. The commentary I've seen by writers here and there on the matter seems to indicate they have a good understanding of things.
                              Last edited by TyrannicalRabbit; 07-05-2020, 05:34 PM.


                              “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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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post

                                THIS is rambly?
                                Please don't make comments like this.


                                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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