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The Other Five Paths (2e)

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Lost my post. Nutshell version:

    You got my creative juices flowing; so consider your suggestions a success even if I don't use them.

    The Supernal Entities of the Aether aren't angels; they're angel-like symbols that are defined more by the role they play in the Path of the Mighty than by any adherence to the human mythology of angels. This holds true of all Supernal Entities. With that in mind:

    Aretos: the Archetypes serve as personifications of ideas (for the Archetypes of Prime) or personifications of things (for the Archetypes of Matter).
    Axios: the Tricksters are distinguished by their priorities: if they prefer to emphasize opportunities and rewards (like Prometheus bringing fire to humans), they're Tricksters of Fate; if they prefer to emphasize connections and risk (as tends to be the case with deal-making entities like demons, djinn, and fae), they're Tricksters of Space.
    Kleos: the Vocalists (I need a better name for them) might inspire (like a siren or muse) or warn (like a banshee). The former are entities of Mind, while the latter are entities of Time. The Vocalists of Time tend to take the form of a figure from the past warning about the future.
    Mæstros: the Djinn are straight out of the Mage Chronicler's Guide; I don't really have much to say about them, other than you have Djinn of Spirit and Djinn of Forces. Suggestions?
    Sophros: the Chthonics are entities that “tend the garden”, either as the Sowers (chthonics of Life who give life and nurture the living) or as the Reapers (chthonics of Death who take life and guide the dead).

    Note: things like sphinxes, sirens, banshees, serpents, and so on are still a thing; it's just that they're examples of Tricksters, Vocalists, and Chthonics. Likewise, there are Tricksters that resemble demons, djinn, or fae; but they are first and foremost Tricksters, whatever appearance they wear. And conversely, there are Tricksters that look nothing like any of the above, just as there are Angels that look nothing like angels.

    And while there are chthonic serpents (both reapers and sowers: think of the Rod of Asclepius), there are also many chthonics who look nothing like serpents: the traditional hooded figure wielding a scythe is a popular appearance for Reapers, and Sowers often look like the stereotypical dryad. But there are an inordinate number of serpents in the garden.

    Put another way, I'm not abandoning the Serpents; they're just being demoted from being the Supernal Entities of Elysium to being examples of Supernal Entities of Elysium.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 02-18-2020, 05:22 AM.

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  • Adrasalieth
    replied
    Fair. Sphinxes and Kraken, then?

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    I'm thinking that Sirens and Banshees might work better as the Mind and Time Entities of the Kleos.

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  • Adrasalieth
    replied
    Does Axios still lack Supernal Entities? I think I have something that could work.

    Space - Sirens or Apsara

    And I precise that I do not mean "mermaids", but "sirens" [i.e. more avian than aquatic: altough both may be featured in the Seven Seas]. This way, we attain a certain balance between the celestial and oceanic feel of the Path.

    Argument 1: Perfect etymological fit: if Wikipedia is to be believed, one can trace the word "Siren", σειρά (seirá "rope, cord") and εἴρω (eírō "to tie, join, fasten"), resulting in the meaning "binder, entangler".

    Argument 2: When they attempt to seduce Odysseus, they tempt him with knowledge "of all that happens on the surface of Mother Gaia", especially things related to the Trojan War that he just fled from. Pretty Space to me, and respects the idea that Axios are concerned with the "flavor" of Sympathetic links, more than the distance that separates each of their ends.

    Argument 3: You chose the Scale as the symbol of this Path, and Sirens. In the Republic, Plato imagines them singing a single note atop the seven planetary Spheres (hence the lasting image of the "Music of the Spheres"), to steer them in their orbit around some Cosmic Whorl where the Three Fates grant dead souls their future reincarnation.

    Argument 4: The theriantropic nature of the Sirens (bird wings, fish tails, etc.) marks: Life, here, only serves to propel oneself from one transaction to the next, to imprint a straight wake upon the erratic currrents of winds and waves.

    Fate - Banshee or Dakini [Keres, Shikome, Ghouls, and all manners of Crones]

    Here, the key notion is Lament, and/or the potential Cannibalistic tendencies of all the figures I've listed.

    Remember in the Odyssey, that nobody knew who ate the remains of the marines drowned and washed ashore because they heeded the Sirens' song ? Those gals sure did. Most of them are wizened, unkempt or emaciated, representing the Price of Life: a body subject to luck and pleasure is also an electable prey for misfortune and suffering, which piles up over the course of your existence until it marks your body, and ultimately snatches it back from you.

    What would characterize them? I'd propose it to be the fact that they are many. Even if you summon a single Banshee, you summon a manifold being: a impossibly dense crowd of black-clad women, huddled within a small invocation circle: a single body with three faces, or a hundred voices; or three women bickering over who gets to have its turn of their singular eye or tooth, like the Graeae.


    [Also, if the Banshee/Sirens doesn't work because Celtic/Greek isn't fun, we could replace Banshee by the Greek Sphinx. As Oedipus learnt, a simple bargain may not be so simple, and riddles hide more of your Fate than you think... plus, the cannibalism and the facts that Greek sphinxes are winged also plays well with their Siren countepart]
    Last edited by Adrasalieth; 02-17-2020, 09:40 PM.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    By the way, I ended up going with the Jeweled Scale as the Axios' Watchtower symbol.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    I think the key for Sophros Aedes is that they both show signs that they're about to change to the other half. Fertilizer works for that, as does burred seeds. Trees, flowers, etc work fine for Glades but I think there should be a sign that they're about to die. Not painfully, they're not unhealthy, just that it's their time. The fruit is ripe and it's time for a druid (or a bird) to take it from the vine.
    Fair enough. Maybe “Harvest Glades” and “Fertile Fields”, or something like that? The other thing is that it's possible for an area to be rich in both Life and Death at the same time; so the Aedes need to be such that they can coexist if needed. I think that's doable with this pairing.

    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    I actually hit on that same idea of seeing a sculpture inside a block of marble but I thought you were aiming for something different. If you want to go that way, "Conceptions" maybe?
    They appear around things with great potential? An Artisan could see a statue inside any block of marble, so something needs to set this block of marble apart from the crowd.
    Hmm… while I feel no obligation to avoid stepping on Genius's toes and thus would be perfectly fine using the term Inspiration for the Aretos' Prime Aedes, I'm thinking now of using Functions for that, and Forms for the Matter Aedes. I'm liking the ideas you're coming up with for what they'd be like.

    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    If threads are too similar to Chains, maybe Roads, Routes, Passages, or just Ways. Trade routes as connections is an obvious choice.
    Terra Incognitae and Ways, then.

    Pending feedback, I'll put these changes in.
    Last edited by Dataweaver; 02-15-2020, 08:04 PM.

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    I think the key for Sophros Aedes is that they both show signs that they're about to change to the other half. Fertilizer works for that, as does burred seeds. Trees, flowers, etc work fine for Glades but I think there should be a sign that they're about to die. Not painfully, they're not unhealthy, just that it's their time. The fruit is ripe and it's time for a druid (or a bird) to take it from the vine.

    I actually hit on that same idea of seeing a sculpture inside a block of marble but I thought you were aiming for something different. If you want to go that way, "Conceptions" maybe?
    They appear around things with great potential? An Artisan could see a statue inside any block of marble, so something needs to set this block of marble apart from the crowd.

    If threads are too similar to Chains, maybe Roads, Routes, Passages, or just Ways. Trade routes as connections is an obvious choice.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    The Aedes already in print are:

    Thorns and Mists (Time and Fate)
    Crypts and Shells (Death and Matter)
    Auras and Chains (Mind and Space)
    Mandalas and Dominions (Prime and Forces)
    Singing Paths and Ecstasies (Spirit and Life)

    There may be references to glades in 2e (though not in Signs of Sorcery); but there aren't any references to Glades. So that's a valid option for the Sophros Aedes of Life. I was hoping for it to manifest as trees, bushes, flowers, even wheat and grass: an area with this Environmental Tilt would, to Mage Sight, be populated by exotic plant life, just like the Supernal Entities that inhabit such areas are exotic animal life. So yes, I could see the Life Aedes of the Sophros being Glades.

    The reason I suggested Soil for the Death Aedes is, frankly, fertilizer. We bury the dead and they decompose and become plant food that allows life to grow. It's the other half of the cycle. Soil may not be the best name for it; but that's the basic idea I'm thinking of.

    When I suggested Schemata and Prototypes, I was thinking of Schemata kind of like the visuals that have been so popular lately in media portraying mathematicians, or like Neo's “Matrix Vision”. It would be a lot like Mandalas, but for Prime rather than Forces. It's all about seeing implications; so that matches what you're describing.

    Prototypes might not be the right name for the other idea I'm going for here; I'm thinking that an Aretos' Matter Sight shows what can be done with the materials: it's literally “I look at a block of marble and see the statue within, just waiting to be released” — but broader than that.

    Terra Incognita and Threads: I got those backward. I definitely like the notion of Terra Incognita as opportunities and Threads as connections; my only worry is that I see opportunities as manifestations of Fate and connections as manifestations of Space; and Threads being Aedes of Space is way too close to Chains.

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  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    I believe glades are already associated with the Acanthus, as faery glades were the passage of time is capricious.

    Building on the druid terminology, two more words that come to mind:

    Beltane/Bealteinne - the Druid festival to commemorate the beginning of summer, where multiple rituals were observed to protect the cattle, crops and people.

    Samhuinn/Samhain – the Druid festival of the Ancestors – a time for honouring those who have died, celebrated around 1st November in the Northern Hemisphere, 1st May in the Southern.
    Last edited by KaiserAfini; 02-14-2020, 09:50 AM.

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  • The Kings Raven
    replied
    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    Hmm… it's a bit more of a stretch than Amalgam Mallet; but it does roll off the tongue better. The Kings Raven, what do you think? (And don't worry about taking the Hermium Mirror away from the Caelum; I think that the Adamant Spyglass would be an even better fit for them.)
    Of the three my favourite is Hermium Hammer, I'm afraid that I'm a sucker for alliteration

    The idea of a mirror symbolism for craftsman feels off to me. I can't think of any examples of actual myths of mirrors being a tool of a craftsman, or even many examples of master craftsman who specalises in mirrors. There's the dwarfs in The Tenth Kingdom but I can't think of any others. And I say that as someone who loves magic mirrors as a trope (someone write a legacy who's modus operandi is to play mission control from a sanctum full of magic mirrors!).

    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    In terms of the “five elements” (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Quintessence), the Mæstros are Fire; I'm thinking that the Sophros should be Earth, the Axios Water, the Kleos Air, and the Aretos Quintessence.
    I don't have any strong thoughts about metals yet but these elements all make 100% sense to me.

    Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
    Second: I had forgotten about the meritocratic aspect of the Aretos, and will need to review. Given the Axios focus on Merit, I would definitely prefer to skew the Aretos more toward Utopia than meritocracy. Symposiums and Incubators? Hmm…I'd prefer Aedes to come in complementary sets — maybe something like Schematics and Prototypes?
    Those feel more like objects than environments. If you go with those two maybe something like the way the Obrimos have a Condition that spreads through a leader's connections rather than settles in a location?

    Prototypes could be literal objects that seem mundane but channel the supernal in some way. Understanding them is about understanding how this creation will affect things. It's not just about knowing why this industiral robot is a great creation, it's the impacts it will have on people's jobs, the whole culture of Detroit, etc. Schematics could follow an inventor around like Dominions follow a leader; I'd suggest Inspiration as a name except Genius already uses that. (On that note: Actually understanding how a creation will change the world makes Artisans great foils for the Inspired)

    If you wanted to keep them as locations, Forges and Scriptoriums?

    Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
    How about Harvests and Germinations ? Germination symbolizes life renewing itself after the brief dormancy of death.

    The image that comes to mind for this Supernatural Realm is that of Mortis from Star Wars. By day its a garden of plenty, trees packed with fruit, great rivers and vibrant vegetation.

    By night its full of glowing trees and ashen soil, not a leaf or crop in sight. But by dawn's first light it returns to exuberance, as light and dark follow one another cyclically.
    Harvests and germinations are, I think, exactly the right idea but the words themselves feel more like verbs than nouns. I say keep the ideas but not the names. Life's Aede is "fruit ready to pick, flowers for bees to harvest, etc etc", and Death's Aede "seems dead but is full of sees ready to burst into life".

    Flora and Soil could work, but can we get something more explicitly magical? Maybe Glades for life? When I say a sentence like "this glade is where druids performed their rituals", it feels right. Druids would use the word glade, and it's an odd sounding word that gives it a hint of mysticism. But I'm not sure what to pair it with.

    P.S. Dataweaver, what did you think of my thoughts on making Terra Incognita oppotunities and Threads into connections?

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    I have a few thoughts of my own; but I'd like to get others' views on this first.

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  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    How about Harvests and Germinations ? Germination symbolizes life renewing itself after the brief dormancy of death.

    The image that comes to mind for this Supernatural Realm is that of Mortis from Star Wars. By day its a garden of plenty, trees packed with fruit, great rivers and vibrant vegetation.

    By night its full of glowing trees and ashen soil, not a leaf or crop in sight. But by dawn's first light it returns to exuberance, as light and dark follow one another cyclically.

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    On the Sophros, I'm wondering if “Flora and Soil” might be a reasonable pair of Aedes for them, with Flora representing Growth and the Life Arcanum while Soil represents Decay and the Death Arcanum. Elysium is pastoral: forests, fields, and gardens. Hmm…

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  • Dataweaver
    replied
    First: the Sophros are already associated with wood, which already fits the life and death duality quite well.

    Second: I had forgotten about the meritocratic aspect of the Aretos, and will need to review. Given the Axios focus on Merit, I would definitely prefer to skew the Aretos more toward Utopia than meritocracy. Symposiums and Incubators? Hmm…I'd prefer Aedes to come in complementary sets — maybe something like Schematics and Prototypes?

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  • KaiserAfini
    replied
    Perhaps using the amalgams could be in order. Another option is to use new perfected materials. For example, Demetrium (perfected sap) for the Sophros, since that goddess tipped the scales of life and death to reflect the separation or reunion with her daughter.

    On a side note, did the Aedes' names seem appropriate? If not, are you looking for names that reflect the Utopia aspect or the Meritocratic aspect ?

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