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Crossover : Ancient Irem and the God-Machine

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  • Crossover : Ancient Irem and the God-Machine

    I was wondering - did Irem have Infrastructure? What a weird question! I mean, what sort of Infrastructure might inhabit the dread city of the Shan'iatu? So I offer up one example of my own, in the hopes that more my spawn!

    THE WEAVERY

    Irem is a place where sorcerers stalk miracles to dismember and bottle, so those who work for The Company here do so with undue subtlety. In the great cities of the world, the Machine builds tall, rarely taking care to hide what is better concealed in plain sight. But in Irem, considerations change. The Machine is not a warrior or an emperor, so it elects to the quiet path whenever possible, silently lurking without courting the conflict or attention of other supernatural beings.

    So the Weavery is in a place forgotten by most in the Great City, a district depopulated to provide the Legions of the Eastern War with fresh young arms to fight with. No prosperity here, no abundance, no! Empty streets and abandoned homes, families given up to the sacrifice of war. But one business, one inordinately busy business, remains. The place where linen, the great fabric of the Gods, is measured and cut. The Weavery.

    Within, ancient tools are replaced by metal racks and hooks, if one goes deep enough. The unmistakable smell of modern dry cleaning chemicals pervades. Loud hisses and hydrolic noises startle the calm into screams. Plastic bags house Iremite garb on wire hangers. Here, those Iremites who are ensared by the Machine both receive clothing, and drop it off for 'cleaning'. Whatever purpose the Machine serves by performing this service, none can say. None who come here remember it well, or come to good fates. In Irem, as in our world, those who see Truth are damned.

    Deep within the Weavery, one can hear only the Spools, great fabric rolls that continually unfurl, infinite, among an epiphany of rollers. And hidden in the heart of this Command and Control Infrastructure, lies the 'Computer', the most authoritative voice that claims to represent the Machine. It would not be familiar to us as a computer, from our world, for it has no circuits or screen or chips - only cloth, and a single Pillar.

    But this Pillar is not the Djed used above in the august technology of Irem, marked with ritual and song and sacrifice, a sceptre of the Gods - it is a Skytale, a matrix that twists and turns in the cloth strips that juggle it about like a street performer, revealing new combinations of numbers and letters and data displayed upon the edge of the Dark Pillar. The people of Irem fear this thing, and a few rare cursed people see it in nightmares as it spins underneath the city, but can never completely understand it. It toys at the edges of the Grand Sacrifice and occasionally swallows lives, an eternal bystander and custodian.

  • #2
    I would think that Irem is one of the few societies capable of both detecting and suborning and/or casting out GM Infrastructures.

    Not to mention, a Mummy can use Relics for a certain kind of geomancy in their tombs, which has a passing, vague resemblance to simplistic Infrastructures.


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    • #3
      I second the idea that Irem was probably one of the few places the GM had to step very lightly for fear of being driven out. Perhaps the geomancy and the principles of heka interfered with Infrastructure functioning?


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      • #4
        Who says the Shan'iatu didn't get their Geomantic/Heka foundations from observing Infrastructure?


        Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
        Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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        • #5
          It's worth noting that the new Demon Storyteller's Guide brifly addresses Irem. In the Biblical shard, the God-Machine orders its servants to ignore the ruins of the Nameless Empire and wants it to stay forgotten, which implies it had no control over it (at least to me).


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          • #6
            If I'll ever make a Demon-Mummy Crossover and would need a united cosmology, I'll make Irem into a "rouge" Infrastructure and the God Machine into the Devourer, who tries to absorb it back (not really "canon", but I still like it)


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            • #7
              I like the idea of the God-machine and the Shaniatu not really being aware of each other.

              You build a civilisation, the GM starts building infrastructure... just part of the cycle of life. Even if the Shaniatu destroy Irem, well, they passed on the idea of civilisation to other people, there'll be another along sooner or later.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
                I second the idea that Irem was probably one of the few places the GM had to step very lightly for fear of being driven out. Perhaps the geomancy and the principles of heka interfered with Infrastructure functioning?
                Actually, I think Irem was far LESS equipped than the modern day to detect or 'drive the God Machine out'. In the modern day, humanity has been initiated into all sorts of divine mysteries... electricity, magnetic fields, etc. We're actually picking apart atoms to find fundamental particles. All things being equal, when you think about it, no era in human history has ever been more well positioned to uncover and resist the God Machine. Certainly, we'd have a much better shot at it than your average Iremite.

                Now, Shan'iatu? Sorcerers? Other potent beings? They might be individually another story, but that's no different than the modern day, where the Machine navigates the byzantine world of the paranormal by largely trying to 'not get involved' just as a general rule. That's what the passage above about 'Not a General, Not a Warrior' is meant to convey - the idea that the Machine isn't interested in competing with other supernatural forces to see who is top dog, and isn't interested in forcing others to acknowledge (or even understand) it's abilities and power. It's just constantly in the background being really, really weird.

                As odd as the match between Mummy and Demon cosmology is, when you read the Marco Singe testament, they actually can blend together in strange ways.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Piff View Post
                  Actually, I think Irem was far LESS equipped than the modern day to detect or 'drive the God Machine out'. In the modern day, humanity has been initiated into all sorts of divine mysteries... electricity, magnetic fields, etc. We're actually picking apart atoms to find fundamental particles. All things being equal, when you think about it, no era in human history has ever been more well positioned to uncover and resist the God Machine. Certainly, we'd have a much better shot at it than your average Iremite.
                  I see where you're coming from, but I don't really agree. Humanity may have vast knowledge, but any individual person probably doesn't have all that much knowledge. We collectively make use of that knowledge through hugely elaborate social and technological systems. The problem is that the GM has already massively compromised those. Depending on exactly how compromised we are, it might in a very real sense BE those systems.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                    It's worth noting that the new Demon Storyteller's Guide brifly addresses Irem. In the Biblical shard, the God-Machine orders its servants to ignore the ruins of the Nameless Empire and wants it to stay forgotten, which implies it had no control over it (at least to me).
                    Either that or the Shan'iatu screwed up everyone's party.


                    Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
                    Work Blog Coming Soon
                    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                      Either that or the Shan'iatu screwed up everyone's party.
                      Which would be very much in character for them.


                      Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                      Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                      • #12
                        It wouldn't be a crossover with Mummy if the Shan'iatu didn't make someone's day worse.


                        Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
                        Work Blog Coming Soon
                        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                          If I'll ever make a Demon-Mummy Crossover and would need a united cosmology, I'll make Irem into a "rouge" Infrastructure and the God Machine into the Devourer, who tries to absorb it back (not really "canon", but I still like it)
                          I like my Infrastructure colored normally, thank you.


                          From “The Voice of the Angel”:
                          The angel then bade me to warn mankind of the hidden forces that seek to thwart the destiny of the Third Children. Their handiwork appears again and again throughout history. Regard the mighty Sphinx of Egypt. Recent studies of the water erosion on its rocky surface indicate that the monument dates back to the days when the Sahara was green and lush. Far older than the pyramids it guards, the Sphinx comes from a time close to the fall of the Ancients. The Second Children roamed freely through the world then, greater than man in power and knowledge. The demons shaped primitive man into a civilization that revered them as gods. But their hubris was against the will of the God-Machine, and they failed. The great civilizations of Egypt, Sumer, and Babylonia rose later from the dim memories of that failure, revering gods with the forms and features of beasts.

                          The Egyptians called the protokingdoms that preceded them the “first time,” or the Age of Osiris. They considered it the source of all wisdom and knowledge. The pyramids and surrounding structures, built to mirror the locations of the constellation of Orion and other celestial objects (with the Nile representing the Milky Way), was essentially a vast time machine used to teach the pharaohs how to “swim upstream” against time and return to the Osirian age. By understanding the layout of these structures, the pharaoh of any era could visualize the location of a secret chamber that would grant him access to a bygone age.

                          Somewhere beneath the Sphinx, that chamber awaits discovery. The cults of the Second Children protect the Sphinx from a distance, inhibiting attempts to uncover it completely, preventing further exploration of its tunnels. When their own servants discern its location, the Second Children will enter the chamber and attempt to recreate the world that slipped from their grasp so long ago.
                          While it has been established that the Pain Prophet isn't 100% reliable, I'd probably take this as inspiration were I to do a Mummy/Demon crossover.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                            While it has been established that the Pain Prophet isn't 100% reliable, I'd probably take this as inspiration were I to do a Mummy/Demon crossover.
                            Right? It seems to actually mix together much better than I would have thought...

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                            • #15
                              After getting to see the sections mentioning Mummy in the Demon's Storytellers Guide. I have to say I like the extremely light touch that the book added while still adding a ton of incentives to involve the ruins of Irem and mummies in with the story of Demon.


                              “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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