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How would a Japanese Arisen adapt the story of Irem?

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  • Leliel
    started a topic How would a Japanese Arisen adapt the story of Irem?

    How would a Japanese Arisen adapt the story of Irem?

    Just something I thought of when reading the writing guide. Where humanity goes, the cultural memes of the Nameless Empire follow, and the Arisen heralding and/or following closely after. Given how Tokyo is and was the Weird Capital 0f the World for a bit, I decided to make a thought experiment of a mummy who adapted their cult to Shintoism, and explains the history of Irem in the context of Japan's own myths to make it more palatable but also less destructive to the local culture.

    I am also assuming this Arisen knows the creation myth outlined in Dreams of Avarice, and as 2E seems to suggest, that the Shan'iatu feed on the Sekhem he retrieves in relics. Still fairly loyal to the Judges and the Priests of Duat, at the time they came up with their adaptations. So that is also a thing.

    I figure the Sun plays a much larger role in their take on Irem's myths, as opposed to the original portrayal of Re as being somewhat foolish and cowardly. Izanami is also an extremely important figure, as a goddess of creation who became a goddess of death; according to the cult's legends, Izanagi later apologized for his rashness in sealing her away in Yomi, but Ammut forces Izanami to make good on her promise of killing one thousand souls each day, for Ammut is the impurity that comes with death and wishes all to die so that she may reset creation, as is her nature. Arisen, who are reborn as the proper rites or the will of their own kami dictate, are unique in that their purification makes them living beings again, however relatively briefly. In menet, they dwell with Izanami and the Judges, the kami born from the act of the first execution (the beheading of Kagutsuchi by Izanagi for the death of his mother) and wait to be purified so they may spread their teachings once again.

    (Hopefully I didn't butcher the myths too badly.)

  • nothri
    replied
    Honestly, this is a very complex question with lots of possibilities and I despair at being able to respond to it with the depth it deserves. One idea that immediately occurs is that the Flesh Masons of the Tef-Aabhi would have adored the ultra nationalist movements of world war 2. Uncompromising worship and loyalty to the emperor as a flawless god-king descended from the Sun? The Japanese as the superior race of the far east (the far east of course being superior to the rest of humanity in this ideology), the call for an empire to restore the country to ancient greatness? Oh yes, the Masons would approve as much of these people as they would their Nazi counterparts. Perhaps there is a divine spark in the emperor? Some of the Arisen's own magic implies that gods and demons once bred with humanity and some of that ancient spark sleeps within their genetic code. The Emperor is probably too well watched to be viable, but perhaps a distant cousin houses enough latent Sekhem to be of use?

    Ancient Egyptian myths speak of two mountains at the edge of the either end of creation, Manu in the West from which the solar barge entered the underworld and Bakhu from which the holy sun would rise to journey across the morning sky. Japanese is known as the land of the rising sun, the nation furthest unto the East if we ignore islands like Hawaii. Is there any truth to the old legends? Does Mt Fuji hold some divine secrets?

    According to Shinto tradition, the sun goddess once locked herself away from the world after her brother offended her. The land suffered and died without her light. The gods tried to coax her out but none succeeded until the goddess of dance, merriment and wine performed a dance that caused all the gods to laugh in glee and caused Amaterasu to peak out to see what the noise was about. Egypt had a similar sort of myth about the Eye of Ra, a goddess either gifted with Ra's eye or otherwise empowered to enforce his will even at night. In one version, the peaceful Hathor is driven mad with the power and becomes Sekhmet, a creature lusting for death who reeks havoc until the Nile is flooded with red wine. Thinking the river runs with blood, Sekhmet drinks deeply of the Nile and becomes intoxicated and docile, reverting to the peaceful Hathor. Perhaps a Mesen-Nebu becomes intrigued by the parallels of a sun goddess causing much death until intoxication and celebration convince her to change her ways- perhaps even postulating some alchemical formula hidden in some ancient recipe for wine?

    Also, Buddhism with its teachings that worldly desires should be given up to find true enlightenment might just be strongly encouraged by the Judges- an obedient servant with low Memory whose goal is to return to a state of blissful oblivion suits them just fine. And on the flipside, a sect of Buddhists who subscribe to the idea that the truly enlightened can become ageless would surely have no difficulty believing a Mummy to be a sacred Buddha that will occasionally ascend to Earth to briefly offer protection and lessons on enlightenment to the devoted.

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  • Konradleijon
    replied
    Yes I did, it’s still funny.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
    I know with CHILDREN’S CARD GAMES!!!
    You did that joke already.

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  • Konradleijon
    replied
    I know with CHILDREN’S CARD GAMES!!!

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  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
    Severe Taboo breaking?

    That's exactly what I was trying to get to, but I needed someone else to get the words for it. For some reason I forgot there's a term for that. Thank you!

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  • Konradleijon
    replied
    Severe Taboo breaking?

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  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
    The Only Bad thing about that is Doing a Immoral thing. What do you mean?
    Something that obviously scared and upset the person who did it, in game terms was a breaking point. In hindsight, "immoral" wasn't the right word, more like "traumatic"; the classic thing is killing someone for the cult, but also exploring a very active and hostile haunted location or grave robbing. In crunch, it's a way to resolve Integrity Conditions and to provide cultists a reason for buying up their Integrity; in universe, it's a way of reaffirming loyalty to the group and etching in the doctrine of being the person who does what is necessary rather than what is pure.
    Last edited by Leliel; 01-21-2019, 11:26 AM.

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  • FallenEco
    replied
    Silly question; What kind of cult is it?

    Because it sounds like a Shishi (Conspiracy), with the trappings of religion rather than a religion.
    But it might act like a Zaibatsu (Enterprise).

    Regardless, how it acts in the day to day impacts the way philosophy is interpreted and passed on.

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  • Konradleijon
    replied
    The Only Bad thing about that is Doing a Immoral thing. What do you mean?

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  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
    What do there Rituals Intale Exactly?

    Four big ones; Initiation is always a cause for great pomp and circumstance, as the new member symbolically is rejected by the surface world by having something that ties him to normal society spat on by an authority figure for illogical reasons, before being "banished" to the underworld and being welcomed by (someone playing) Izanami as kin, before they destroy that item together. The second one is a consolation taken after a cult member is forced to do something immoral for the sake of the cult and their patron's plans to improve society, where all the good things that came of that wicked act are pointed out and lauded, before the subject does an "anti-purification" of sorts where she reafffirms she has no need of purity in the face of what was needed by her kin. Third is public vows, which double as promotions; the cult takes promises very seriously, because trust is the only thing priceless among outcasts, so any vow that is witnessed (especially marriage vows or the responsibilities assumed by a promoted member) is considered binding. The fourth is the other half of that, the punishment undetaken against those who betray their promises and so endanger the harmony of the world; as a final insult to those who betray the cult, this is no different if the person they are punishing is a traitor or a subject of vigilantism; once you betray your fellows, you are no different from anyone else they despise.

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  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    I might have more late, but a quite note: The post-Sengoku period of time is definitely more concerned with Buddhism than Shinto, and the Meiji was...messy with it's relationship to religion period.

    It otherwise looks solid on an initial scan, but that's with work balancing my attention.

    Thanks! And yeah, I actually planned for that; the founder isn't exactly a fan of Buddhism; she doesn't hate it as a concept, but she does think of it as woefully naive and presumptious, since her understanding implies human souls can reborn as a state higher than the Judges, since the Judges are concerned with sin and thus at least equal to or lower than Mara in precedence. This strikes her as a bit anthropocentric, to say the least. So she draws more on Shinto, which is closer to her own beliefs.

    (Also, decided the founder is female, to go with the idea she's known to disguise herself as a lowly shrine maiden and to fit with the idea of her being a demigoddess of outcasts; she's the undisputed leader in cold defiance of male-dominated society.)
    Last edited by Leliel; 01-20-2019, 11:40 PM.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    I might have more late, but a quite note: The post-Sengoku period of time is definitely more concerned with Buddhism than Shinto, and the Meiji was...messy with it's relationship to religion period.

    It otherwise looks solid on an initial scan, but that's with work balancing my attention.

    Leave a comment:


  • Konradleijon
    replied
    What do there Rituals Intale Exactly?

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  • Leliel
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    Which time period were you looking at?

    Hm. I'm thinking the modern iteration cult was formed around the time of the beginning of the Meiji restoration but its founder was incarnated into a Japanese body near the end of the Sengoku period and they started thinking of a cult meant to catch people who felt betrayed by the strict social classes of Edo period Japan shortly after eta and hinin became a thing (while I haven't quite decided what gender they are, I'm sure they're a Su-Menet; the Guilds find the idea that someone who works with burial practices and bodies is somehow ritually impure to be ridiculous bordering on offensive). The cult in its Edo incarnation effectively said that no, being close to the dead and "unclean" things does not make you less than a person, and in fact you have a vital role in making sure the natural world remains in balance. Keep the faith, do your job, and above all else, remain worthy of trust, and you are not a sinner just because you happen to be a butcher; in fact, your karma is less burdened by virtue of accepting you are a person who breaks taboos and performs inauspicious duties, for you understand your nature and purpose and are less caught up in the temporary material world than some samurai who bankrupts himself for some vague sense of social acclaim he cannot even name. In time, belief spread to the merchant classes as well, because they were also looked down on by neo-Confucian thought and more importantly, the founder needed the money flow.

    Post-Meiji, the cult has diversified a great deal; an official dissolution of class barriers meant there were a lot of people who were rendered very bitter to discover their social situation didn't change or got worse, and the cult is there to catch them, and hold them, and tell them they aren't bad people. The cult now teaches a variant of its old doctrine; there are still burakumin, but the name is disguised in polite terms like "outsider" and "doesn't fit in", but it's a big joke; society still hates them for being the people who make sure it is still running while not being presentable about it. The doctrine has many facets, but at its core, it comes from a kind of solidarity that comes from shared resentment of polite society. The cult happily snatches up people who feel spat upon by the social harmony and tells them that no, you have a place, and its closer to truth and the spirit than any hollow shell of a society that hates them for not being a happy little cog in an empty machine. They have a divinely mandated purpose, and if the "presentable" people don't like it, well they never knew themselves in the first place, did they? Naturally, this doctrine not only draws a lot of descendants of burakumin classes, but also social outcasts like single mothers, criminals not part of the organized yakuza (the yakuza have a place already), and would-be social reformers. The result is a cult that is definitely a lot more visceral than what the Su-Menet generally go for, but then again when your cult already draws from people who have a bone to pick with normal society to begin with...

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