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Judges - Are they Great Old Ones or Idigama?

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  • #16
    A hymn written to praise the Judges, especially if it is created by the Judges (or their temakh) is not something we should consider reliable. Boasting or overstating their authority seems pretty in character for the likely authors and I do honestly believe the Judges may feel entitled to the few things they don't have. As Sutek created Starry Aa'ru and 'discoverex' the Scroll of Ages...

    Well, let's just say I'm not sure the Judges have either yet. But hey, goals are good story fodder right?


    Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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    • #17
      Originally posted by FallenEco View Post
      A hymn written to praise the Judges, especially if it is created by the Judges (or their temakh) is not something we should consider reliable.
      It is consistent with their abilities as described by other speakers, all of whom are filtered through the translation lens of someone working for the Heretic. The Hymn is the long list of self-contradictory commandments the Judges created to stack the deck, and it was explicitly part of a secret ritual performed by the Shan'iatu alone.

      Boasting or overstating their authority seems pretty in character for the likely authors and I do honestly believe the Judges may feel entitled to the few things they don't have.
      Unless you think multiple forms of their direct opposition have reason to lie about their capacity as godlike beings from the dawn of the universe, or that the Heretic would not have corrected his translator's description of the Decree of Will as placing one equal to the Judges, there is no reason to think that the Judges are not the things they are consistently described as being, that being the forty-two great gods who Atum fashioned alongside Sutek at the beginning of the world.

      As Sutek created Starry Aa'ru and 'discoverex' the Scroll of Ages...
      This is just completely unsourced. Khepera describes the existence of the blank Scroll of Ages before Sutek and the Judges are ever made. Sutek formed Nuit and Keb in the act of creation that prompted Ammut's demand, and Sutek's own proclamation and follow-up question leads the Judges to create Duat.

      Sutek feeds his eye to the father of jackals to create Anpu, who then asks the question that leads Sutek to pluck out his other eye to create Re, who reveals all the things we know about A'aru before the Judges beat him into silence, whereafter he forgets until Azar commands him to reveal the Scroll to one sixth of the temakh.

      This information comes from a book framed as an in-universe document with multiple footnotes and contextualizing introductions from a character specifically aiming to propagate a goal that the Judges are expressly opposed to. It could be that the Judges locked themselves out of paradise when they made the temakh, but as it stands nothing about their place in Iremite theology says their cosmic bastardry is based in exaggeration instead of existential dread.


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

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      • #18
        ^That's right, you know.


        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
        Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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        • #19
          I also generally find it dubious to use the "unreliable narrator" excuse to dismiss in-universe information when there is no credible alternative or clear discrepancy within the text. Sure, it's a great excuse if you want to do your own stuff with the setting, but in conversations like this from a more textual perspective choosing to disregard information given to us by the game's writers because of the framing device they opted to use means that you're going in assuming that the writers chose to write all that content for no reason.

          The only purpose an unreliable narrator would serve in that circumstance would be to reveal character (specifically the character of the original writer or translator), but it can only really do so when alternative information is provided or when the text contradicts itself in a way that gives some indication of what is unreliable within the text and in what fashion it diverges from the actual truth.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
            The King in Ochre is one not-subtle nod in that direction.
            Wait. You have read of the King in Mummy? Tell me of His book. What is the page?

            Tell me--have you seen the Ochre Sign?


            --Khanwulf

            PS. This is sincere, and not intended for threadjacking. I'd dearly like the reference, please!

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

              Wait. You have read of the King in Mummy? Tell me of His book. What is the page?

              Tell me--have you seen the Ochre Sign?


              --Khanwulf

              PS. This is sincere, and not intended for threadjacking. I'd dearly like the reference, please!
              Lore of the Deceived pg 12. Unspeaking What is Known's third tier mentions an Ochre-Masked King that the Deceived have fought using the Utterance.

              Especially awesome since Lore is a free book.


              Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Kith and Kin, Mummy 2e, Oak Ash and Thorn; Scion - Mysteries of the World

              CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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              • #22
                Can someone Explain Mummy lore Like I’m five.

                First there was 42 Godlike beings, and they created humanity. They made a deal with a Amuut to give her meaty life energy. Then they created The Temkahs which then created the mummies. And sacrificed Irem, from Existence..
                Last edited by Konradleijon; 11-21-2019, 08:35 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
                  Can someone Explain Mummy lore Like I’m five.

                  First there was 42 Godlike beings, and they created humanity. They made a deal with a Amuut to give her meaty life energy. Then they created The Temkahs which then created the mummies. And sacrificed Irem, from Existence..
                  "Oh my god, where are your parents?"

                  Sarcasm asides, I believe you are familiar with this.


                  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
                  Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Konradleijon View Post
                    Can someone Explain Mummy lore Like I’m five.
                    First there was the formless not-waters of the cosmic void, in which Everything That Exists rested, having not yet been Made. The thing that Makes Everything was born when Everything That Exists wondered what would exist. They knew each other and began to Make Everything That Exists, only to discover that — even though neither of them logically had anything to do with this process — everything they made soon unmade itself. They thought this was suspicious, and then the hunger within Everything That Exists revealed herself to be Ammut, the power outside powers in whose jaws the aforementioned formless not-waters of the cosmic void (and the newly made Everything That Exists) rested.

                    Ammut glories in the destruction she wreaks and says that soon everything will be still and silent forever, which gives the thing that Makes Everything the bright idea to create a world that does the opposite, collaborating once again with Everything That Exists to create a great many things (some of which may be recognized in Mage cosmology as denizens of the Abyss and the Lower Depths) until finally forty-three great gods stand before them.

                    Forty-two of these great gods look upon Everything That Exists and the thing that Makes Everything and the formless not-waters of the cosmic void, and with their gaze they inflict pain and misery upon the world, which flinches from the eyes of these Judges; the energy roused by the world to escape this suffering is called Sekhem, and it is in this way that the Law of Suffering is codified and the first part of the thing that Makes Everything's wish is realized.

                    The thing that Makes Everything is terribly unhappy with this, regretting the creation of the literal opposite of what anyone would want, and almost asks Ammut to go ahead and end it all, before the forty-third great god makes himself known.

                    Sutek the Unjudged makes his place in the world very clear: he stands apart from all things, and he decrees that the children of Sekhem will not simply react in the expected ways to the Law of Suffering, but exert their own Will.

                    And all will aspire and rebel. The thing that Makes Everything is satisfied, and does not give the world over to the Devourer.

                    He makes good on this pretty quickly: as the Judges decree pain and misery upon the world, Sekhem takes form from the formless not-waters and becomes life, only to begin to wither and die; Sutek takes the arm of the thing that Makes Things and creates the earth and sky to give that life a refuge, which… complicates things.

                    Ammut makes herself known again, and a chill runs through the space between the earth and sky, drawing them together to crush all life between them; the Judges drive stars to fall and smoke to rise and (indirectly) create the horizon and true water in response, forever separating the two and soothing the damage somewhat in addition to giving life more forms to take.

                    Ammut is unimpressed, and demands her due for not biting down on the world; the Judges agree, and promise she will be given a portion of the world's Sekhem. They move to destroy a tenth of all life before Sutek speaks up again; he says nothing may be given to Ammut that does not choose that fate, which is a problem because at the time, none of the stuff with Sekhem in it is bright enough to be able to make that choice.

                    The Judges agree to this demand as well, regardless, because Sutek is the reason they have any say in any of this at all, and go on to create humanity, to whom this test will be applied. Sutek asks some questions that lead the Judges to create Duat as well as death, which in turn causes him to create Anpu (the Nameless Jackal) to rule Duat by sacrificing some of his magical power and agency.

                    Anpu asks what's going to happen to the humans who pass the test, and Sutek sacrifices the rest of his agency to create Re (the Nameless Lion who is also the Sun), who gazes upon the one place beyond Everything That Exists, where the record of everything that exists is kept in the sky above the sky, and announces some of what he sees before the Judges beat him down to Duat with their scepters and turn their attention to Sutek, who is now unable to act on his own.

                    They tear out Sutek's generative organs while his weeping makes the rivers of life and death, and Azar and the rest of the gods are created as he wonders how humanity is going to be brought up to the task of making the choice between Will and the Devourer.

                    Cut to later, when Azar drives Re out of Duat, sets the course of the sun in the sky, creates the turning of the seasons, brings green to the banks of the river of life, and defends it and the people who come to live beside it from demons. He hears of some curious happenings. The Judges have been working on something.

                    Made as they are from the stuff of Sutek, the lesser gods are too important to the universe to be easily controlled by the Judges. So, needing teachers to uplift humanity in the name of administering the test of Will, they make new teachers out of bits of their own substance and send them into the world. These are the temakh, who Azar later names Shan'iatu — stewards of humanity.

                    The temakh learn the ways of alchemy and philosophy and writing and sculpture and burial and art, and practice them for a very long time, and are commanded to teach humanity the law of the Judges. They return to him with their crafts mastered and a plan hatched.

                    And all will aspire and rebel.

                    Sidebar: Some of the temakh meet with Ammut in dreams during this time, notionally charged by Azar to defend humanity as they teach them. Ammut lays claim to the energy that the Judges transform into Sekhem, and before the time of Irem she is made to return the life she released from form by Anpu; she lays claim to the depths of Duat by the fact that it's where Sekhem goes when it's no longer held in life, which the Judges who made the temakh shape and hold dominion over.

                    The presentation of these two facts, combined with playing on the temakh's jealousy of humankind's privilege to be judged worthy of the things that Re saw, is her making a suggestion that becomes the Shan'iatu's plan: unseat Anpu and make themselves rulers over the Sekhem that passes into Duat, new Judges of Death to stand beside the Judges of Life that made them.

                    The Shan'iatu kill Azar, cutting him into pieces and feeding him to a wise mortal woman that he might descend with her soul and rule Duat as their king. It turns out that the Judges overestimated their own substance's immunity to Will, because teaching the Shan'iatu the arts of civilization, the knowledge of which comes from the part of Azar that was part of Sutek, meant having them partake of Sutek's nature.

                    And all will aspire and rebel.

                    Time passes, and the temakh do not hear from Azar again. Then they meet Anpu, no longer the ruler of Duat. He tells them that the reason for Azar's silence is because they have shirked their duties and failed to teach humankind the Law of the Judges.

                    Petty children that they are, the Shan'iatu form the Nameless Empire to teach humanity their crafts and the Law of the Judges of Death they seek to become. It went downhill from there, the stewards of Irem and the would-be servants of Azar descending further into venal corruption and mortal desperation until they sought out the Devourer again to hear word from Duat if Azar would not tell them himself how they could get back into his good graces.

                    Predictably, she told them something that served her purposes — essentially, that Azar wanted proof that the arts he taught them would continue to be taught even after they were gone, and that she would make their servants imperishable so that they might venture back into the world from death and return to Duat with signs of the works of civilization, if they would only give her a sacrifice.

                    You know the rest. Irem is gone, swallowed by the desert sands, and there's mummies about, many of whom do not serve the dictates of their long-vanished masters.

                    And all will aspire and rebel.

                    Long live the Nameless Empire.
                    Last edited by Satchel; 11-22-2019, 01:13 AM.


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

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                    • #25
                      Rare is a day where I am happy to be upstaged so.


                      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
                      Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Fortunately second edition offers more about what you can do now as a Mummy rather than taking a class in oWoD worldbuilding across several books.

                        Shan'iatu came, whipped up an empire out of stone age people, strived to make it permanent and managed to do so by immortalizing a few of them with very particular sets of skills (the number depends on how many mummies you want in your game) that would help keep the dream going over the years, directed by the Judges (mysterious arbiters of fundamental law) and Sekhem.
                        Last edited by nofather; 11-22-2019, 05:15 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
                          Lore of the Deceived pg 12. Unspeaking What is Known's third tier mentions an Ochre-Masked King that the Deceived have fought using the Utterance.

                          Especially awesome since Lore is a free book.

                          You are a scholar and a gentlepronoun. I shall ponder this as the shadows of my thoughts lengthen in the afternoon, and of the King whom Emperors of Irem have served....

                          --Khanwulf

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                            You are a scholar and a gentlepronoun. I shall ponder this as the shadows of my thoughts lengthen in the afternoon, and of the King whom Emperors of Irem have served....

                            --Khanwulf
                            On the subject, there's a potential Nyarlathotep reference in Guildhalls of the Deathless. From the Ancestry of Forgotten Stars writeup, p. 122:

                            Collecting the diluted aspects of their strange ancestry, the ritual officiants coalesce into a being Iremite sorcery calls the Herald of Forgotten Stars. It is a demon of collapsed, convoluted space that crawls and grasps with the modified flesh of component mummies, its many limbs and eyes appearing as if through a cracked prism, impossible to fully describe. Shepherds write that sometimes, a tall, cruel-looking man dressed as ancient royalty stands amidst the crawling chaos, half in shadow, and utters enigmatic statements somehow connected to the nearby witnesses. They do not know if he is the Herald, or a being that accompanies it.


                            Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by nofather View Post
                              Fortunately second edition offers more about what you can do now as a Mummy rather than taking a class in oWoD worldbuilding across several books.
                              This is funnier than I think I'm allowed to explain.


                              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
                              Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.

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                              • #30
                                [Forum has no delete button]
                                Last edited by Exthalion; 11-23-2019, 02:22 PM.

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