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Thrice-Great in 2e

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  • Thrice-Great in 2e

    ...how do they work now? In 1e, they were a Spirit Legacy and summoned planetary spirits. But now, with Shunned by the Moon, we know how actual planetary spirits look like, and it doesn't look to me that what a Right-Handed Legacy would try to summon on regular basis. I am thinking about making them a Mind Legacy with specialising on summoning goetia of celestial objects from the Astral, but I am interested in how people imagine them working in 2e with our new knowledge of Shadow beyond Earth.

  • #2
    Hmmm...
    1. The spirits are lying about their true nature and motives. This is gonna be hard and likely to backfire, since as an Obrimos Legacy the Thrice-Great have means of learning the truth about them, and acting accordingly.
    2. The mages are tyrants who enslave the spirits. Oh, they might talk about how the spirits are their respected teachers and all, but I think even in 1E they never thought of them as true equals to true Awakened. This can backfire on the mages, since the planetary angels can have unexpected powers and backup...
    3. The two are collaborators. The Thrice-Great must be stopped!

    EDIT: Then again... yeah sure the planetary angels aren’t anything close to being benevolent luminaries, but almost every spirit is that way. IIRC, the planetary angels warp their surroundings less than other void spirits, so from a mage’s perspective they might not look that much different from a normal spirit. So the interaction between the two groups might not be that much special.

    Alternatively, we could say that the planetary angels working with the mages are magath and/or exiles from their planet courts, and thus dependent on the Thrice-Great in several ways.
    Last edited by 21C Hermit; 06-05-2021, 07:53 AM.


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    • #3
      But is there underlying Mystery for Legacy to be founded upon? Do the planetary courts have mystic affinities to phenomena on Earth? How they would look like? I mean, void spirits are pretty unlike classical hermetic image of them...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dark Archon View Post
        But is there underlying Mystery for Legacy to be founded upon? Do the planetary courts have mystic affinities to phenomena on Earth? How they would look like? I mean, void spirits are pretty unlike classical hermetic image of them...
        If memory serves, there is an entire chunk of the Shadow that werewolves largely don't interact with by virtue of not being able to physically reach it, also alluded to in SbtM, and… yep, there it is:
        Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post
        The Shadow's sky is mysterious to uratha despite having a celestial spirit as a creator because they can't fly, and any spirit capable of giving them a lift is pushed down by Helios' singular presence. A Forces/Spirit legacy like the Thrice-Great say "fuck yo gravity" and go deal with the spirit courts of the night sky. (this is, of course, very dangerous. There's idigam up there).


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        • #5
          I understand that for werewolves, it's not just that Helios makes it hard to rise beyond the atmosphere, it's also that part of Luna's purpose is to ward the terrestrial Shadow against alien spirits.

          But I could see the Thrice-Great violating that standard in much the same way that mages are supposed to not really abhor magath the way that Uratha and other spirits do, nor innately recognise much difference between Hosts and other spirit-possessed creatures. Such spirits might be perilous, but that might just behove the Legacy to take proper precautions in dealing with them. The effects they might have around the Earth might also be the sort of thing they regard as evidence for the more Supernal nature of the planets. Does the Werewolf book in question portray its subjects as the only planetary spirits?

          Could the Thrice-Great be deluding themselves a bit? Keep in mind that this is a Legacy that soundly rejects Heliocentrism and other elements of modern astronomy that go against their beliefs regarding the planets and how they connect to the idea of a Celestial Ladder. Also they're a Silver Ladder Legacy, skirting the edges of hubris to a degree that might fall just short of being Left-Handed comes with the territory.

          Originally posted by Dark Archon
          But is there underlying Mystery for Legacy to be founded upon?
          Going by a combination of the original write-up and some current presentations, I would say that the Thrice-Great would originate in ancient Hellenistic fascination with the stars at a time when Darshanas were beginning to become Orders, their roots in Greek elites giving them a lot of prestige in the new organisation. A combination of lending divine significance to discoveries of ordered patterns in the motion of stars, a capacity to explore a spirit world where the planets have personified beings (keeping in mind how To The Strongest says that mages of the time don't yet quite engage with the Shadow as though it's a separate realm) and transitions in conceptions of what the Time Before was like to include the beginnings of a lost Awakened City and broken Celestial Spire all create the belief system that the Solar System consists of the remnants of an ancient magical working that facilitated Ascension to dominance over the cosmos.

          I could even see the founding of the Thrice-Great being particular to a time when the idea of what the Supernal is still has heavy roots in Greek mythology and theology, which also lends itself, regarding it in somewhat more literal terms as a divine realm beyond the scope of the visible celestial vault.

          The evolution of Diamond understanding of the universe, particularly the distinct nature of the Shadow and the pervasive and abstract nature of the Supernal, is something that the Thrice-Great have to adapt to keep up with, but maybe not as much as people might think. That they still place a lot of stock in the idea that the planets retain Mysteries about what caused the Fall and the spirits of such are capable of aiding them in acquiring that information, and even ultimately being bent to their will. It's something that must be undertaken cautiously, but hey, Imperium is the Right of Humanity; they'll eventually be able to make the planets and their inhabitants dance to their tune, right?


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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          • #6
            While I know that "mages have it wrong!" is a more popular trope, now, there's also no reason that the werewolves couldn't be missing important things, too. There could be a pretty striking difference in perspective that is less due to how utterly alien the spirits are and more about the differences twixt uratha and magi.

            Imagine a hostile little yap dog shows up at your door and snarls at you versus a puppy that shows up and clearly wants to play and love on you. Even if you don't like dogs or particularly want either in your house, I bet reactions would still differ wildly.

            The attachment to Luna might give them pause on its own, while some might object to the wolf side of their nature. Could be as simple as spirits still not liking the uratha, even. (I'd punch out an exception for Mars, probably, if it's a "they just don't like werewolves" thing.)

            It could also involve the spirit's nature:
            • Those spirits could be every bit as complex and powerful as Luna, showing the faces and influences as appropriate to their arcane rules. (That could be adjusted to fit a few types of lore, so that's a nice feature. The planet's conjunctions and ascendancy could adjust more than just their influences in similar manner to the faces of Luna adjusting her outlook on and approach to things)
            • The Thrice Great might just think the planetary spirits are spiffy keen because their methods require contact in a good mood, whether they realize that or not.
            • The Thrice-Great theory that the planets are part of the Celestial Ladder could actually be right. The spirits reflect that by being far more solicitous when approached the proper way. It's an ancient Ban or Oath, say.
            You could also just run them separately and not explain it, a la the distinct Arcadias option. (You could do that even when a mage and werewolf are together, which could make for some really strange times.)

            The spirits in the void could develop some influence over the Abyss, and that wouldn't necessitate that they be abyssally tainted if the abyss can be controlled by other means. Some might be tainted and that could lead to some serious issues, as purifying something on that scale would be a rather serious feat for an archmage.
            Last edited by thenate; 06-16-2021, 06:08 PM. Reason: clarity


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            • #7
              Originally posted by thenate View Post
              Those spirits could be every bit as complex and powerful as Luna,
              Well they wouldn't need to be specifically. The sun and the moon both have their own varieties of lesser spirits. Forsaken Uratha engage with the Lunes to acquire their Renown markings.

              Lunes actually display their own standard of how space spirits are weird and dangerous, particularly in how it's a bad idea to make one your pack totem; werewolves have a basis to engage with them mostly through their moon-granted Auspices. It would make sense for mages to find Lunes no more approachable than any other celestial spirit.
              Last edited by Isator Levi; 06-16-2021, 03:44 AM.


              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
              Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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              • #8
                It occurred to me that an option the Thrice-Great might have now that they didn't really in the prior Edition is using telescopes combined with Unveilings of Forces and Spirit in order to see the surface of planets in the Shadow and spend Reach to extend their casting range past sensory in order to make the summoning of distant spirits.

                Possibly plan Durations to account for time it would take the spirit to get from there to here, and maybe some magic to help them past the usual restrictions.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                • #9
                  On that same rough path, one of their attainments might involve examining a celestial body to gain insights into its nature. Not sure how you'd cap it, exactly, but it would be interesting if examining the mundane details unlocked insights into the nature of the celestial in rough proportion to the detail of the investigation. (Something akin to Know Spirit ritually cast ritually,but by performing detailed analysis of the physical representation)

                  That could also swing both ways, too. Understanding the influences of the celestial could reveal trends in the physical realm. (astrology, in essence, and quite a few potential Yantras)



                  Instead of summoning the spirit so viewed, their attainment might do just the opposite, opening a portal to gain audience with the celestial of interest.
                  Last edited by thenate; 07-09-2021, 12:32 AM.


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