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Shuankhsen and Apotheosis

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Azahul View Post
    Sadly, we can only agree to disagree when it comes to using experience to restore pillars. In the (sadly, far too few) conversations I've had with writers who have worked on Mummy I did actually talk about the presentation of Shuankhsen, and from what has been said I would feel very confident in saying that cannibalisation is the only method of gaining Pillars for Shuankhsen. And I would maintain that the reason it's not mentioned one way or the other in the core book comes down simply to what I was saying above. Shuankhsen are the failure state. You aren't meant to play them. Why would they need to address the expenditure of experience for characters that aren't going to be earning experience?
    I suppose you're right; providing Shuankhsen with an Apotheosis-style 'out' to their condition, while allowing for some intriguing plot hooks, doesn't really add anything to the narrative of the game. Maybe I'm just being overly sentimental about the whole thing, but I just hate that they're doomed to be cannibalistic monstrosities for all eternity due to pure circumstance.

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    • #32
      The real question is if we do really want a Shuankhsen which has managed to free himself from Ammut. I mean, sure, the Arisen and the Deceived are all uplifted by achieving their freedom, but Apotheosis-like event doesn't mean the being in question has to become "nicer". As far as we all know, the potential Shuankhsen which may free himself from the Devourer would become a ravaging force of destruction, uncontrolled by any force on heaven or earth. The cannibal hymn? That's not Unas. That's what his teacher may be.


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      • #33
        I don't think it counts as Apotheosis, but one of my game's mummies is being driven a bit crazy because his two wives are trying to convince him to end the rite of return. The Deceived AND shuanksen both think that destroying the Judges will free them of the rite. For the Shuanksen, she believes that if the Judges are gone, she could escape Ammut and become Deathless. She thinks the Arisen escape her every time they Arise, and believes the Judges are what keeps her from doing the same.

        While she is almost certainly wrong, its possible that her idea isn't unsound. It would be less of a personal quest of enlightenment, and more of a cosmic level endgame event, but... its possible something as big and momentous as the rite of return could be done again. A dangerous sorcerer or elder god might be able to take remnants from ammut's jaw and referee them. Provided there is something left of that person--and Ammut made that possible by not entirely devouring them.

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        • #34
          In regards to the game's themes, Apotheosis is about achieving freedom from their masters

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          • #35
            Originally posted by reseru View Post
            In regards to the game's themes, Apotheosis is about achieving freedom from their masters
            A Shuankhsen who has achieved Apotheosis might be mostly unchanged, with the main benefit being Ammut can no longer punish them and they can permanently die. Because Ammut can't punish them, they could become a source of information on Irem, the Shuankhsen state, and Ammut while also coming off as incredibly untrustworthy.

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            • #36
              I'd almost rather reverse things: instead of remembering everything they lose memory of their time as a Shuankhsen. In this case, freedom from the Silence becomes moot - things don't become easy, with ex-Shuankhsen just going around to Arisen telling them stuff about Irem (actually they'd probably still be very spiteful).

              I do like the idea of a Shuankhsen's Apotheosis just being able to die. Instead of some high enlightened state of freedom they only receive one brief moment, where they must decide to either go back to Ammut and keep on living or kill themselves and be free of it all forever. It's a tragic choice, and the Shuankhsen who stick around must be really vile (or desperate for life, of course).

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              • #37
                Can Shuankhsen eat each other for Pillars? I can't recall off the top of my head.

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                • #38
                  I was wondering myself. "Sothis Ascends" has this tidbit:

                  Originally posted by Sothis Ascends p.22
                  His first target awoke and nearly destroyed him, prompting him to ally with eight other Shuankhsen — there were more, but many early Lifeless prey on each other, and some were too traumatized by their time in Ammut’s grasp to understand his offer.
                  However, this can refer to preying on Sekhem instead of Pillars and doesn't clarify whether Shuankhsen are even edible as opposed to just tantalising. Also, Ammut is really unlikely to approve.

                  If Shuankhsen can indeed eat each other's Pillars, that not only provides them with acceptable (for the sake of argument) targets, but also means a Shuankhsen could be repeatedly eaten into oblivion. Ironically, escaping their cycle would mean repeatedly succumbing to the very thing that started it in the first place.


                  ~

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                  • #39
                    Core book, page 194; it specifically says they can "technically eat each other." Since they have Sekhem, they can eat each other's Sekhem, and likely each other's Pillars. I thought I recall reading something about how a Mummy can't lose their last dot in their Decree, which I'd assume also applies to Remnant, but I can't figure out where that was right now (it may have just been head-canon).
                    Last edited by Ben Quo; 05-27-2017, 12:08 PM.


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