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Spirits as Pagan Gods

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    Wyrd, the use of familiar names for spirits that share a resemblance to the folkloric entities in no way constitutes a claim that a given being is a spirit in the Shadow.
    Nor do our Spirits Gods dress up for Myth Gods. But we still have a large paragraph in Field of Dogs that local spirits assume names of slavic 'demons' ( more like nature spirits, but in our mythoglogy is treated the same ). And those Slavic demons looks EXACTLY like humans describe them in their stories.

    Originally posted by WtF 2E, p.276
    PREY
    Lower Silesia throngs with prey. Quite apart from the numerous boar and deer of the region’s forests, the Uratha find no shortage of more dangerous beings to hunt.

    Most Forsaken can’t tell much difference between rusalka and wodnik, leaving the fine distinctions to Ithaeur and Bone Shadows. It’s enough to know these dangerous water spirits throng near any major watercourse, particularly the great River Odra. They are capable of breaching the Gauntlet, often manifesting as an amalgamation of fish, water, and human that will hungrily drag prey into the depths. Attempts to scatter or defeat these spirits have failed, and the great flood of Wroclaw in ’97 may have been angry retaliation by the wodniki for a sustained campaign to keep them sealed in the Shadow.

    Poludnica, or Lady Midday, is a terrifying Ensah who only appears under the steel-gray skies of summer’s heat. She comes to reap her toll amongst the people of the countryside, and the Bone Shadows keep watch for the mounting cases of fatal heatstroke that herald her appearance. Lady Midday appears as a strange, feminine spirit bearing savage scythe-blades amidst roiling dust, emanating a wilting heat as she passes. Notoriously, she is merciless in hunting down and eviscerating those Ithaeur who try to learn her ban through the Warden Moon’s Gifts.

    The Azlu in Lower Silesia are widespread, and have a strange alliance with the kikimory. These spindly, spider-like spirits of empty and deserted dwellings often inhabit decrepit homes near the forests and try to drive out any remaining human inhabitants. The Hunters in Darkness are still unsure just why the kikimora willingly tell the Azlu of abandoned homes that would serve the Spider Hosts as good boltholes or lairs.

    The leshy, hidden in the deep forests, remain a mystery. Many Storm Lords maintain that they must be a consistent form of nature-Claimed, but others believe they are a forgotten species of shartha or Claimed that have begun to breed true. Territorial enough to confront Uratha interlopers and try to drive them off, the leshy are rough-skinned with bark or foliage, and are able to shed their forms for those of various forest animals. Some packs of old lineage to the west, across the German border, still tell stories of Silesian Iron Masters who knew the rites and forms to approach the leshy in peace — knowledge that was lost in the ‘40s.


    My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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    • #62
      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
      But we still have a large paragraph in Field of Dogs that local spirits assume names of slavic 'demons' ( more like nature spirits, but in our mythoglogy is treated the same ).
      The fact that the section calls them by those names is not an indication that the spirits assume those names in any way more meaningful than identifying the label as referring to them and picking up the local language like any other spirit does. It is far from unthinkable that Polish werewolves growing up hearing the same folklore that Polish mortals hear would find entities that resemble creatures from that folklore and apply similar names — the practice is no different from the assorted cultural names for various monsters in Dark Eras chapters set in countries with non-English primary languages.

      And those Slavic demons looks EXACTLY like humans describe them in their stories.
      Broad descriptors do not an "exact" resemblance make. That they manifest in ways that reinforce the existing stories says nothing about the ontology of those stories' monsters. As has been remarked upon before, the nearest the Chronicles of Darkness get to having those things be one and the same is with goetia of a given culture.


      Resident Sanguinary Analyst
      Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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      • #63
        Originally posted by nofather View Post

        It's not a 'political label.' Magath aren't part of an umia but you can't just detect that. Mechanically and in-world it's hard to tell exactly what a spirit is unless you're Ithaeur. Investigation and help from other spirits would be a big way to figure it out. Though some might just look weird, like a wolf with eagle wings made of lightning, or a dog made of circuit boards that drools acid.
        Any Uratha can sniff out a spirit's influence with a successful Wits+Primal Urge roll, resisted by the spirit's rank, mind.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

          Nor do our Spirits Gods dress up for Myth Gods. But we still have a large paragraph in Field of Dogs that local spirits assume names of slavic 'demons' ( more like nature spirits, but in our mythoglogy is treated the same ). And those Slavic demons looks EXACTLY like humans describe them in their stories.
          Furthermore:

          "The Fire-Touched and Predator Kings of the Weles are named after their powerful spirit-totem, an entity ensconced near Sobótka that claims it was worshipped as a god by Slavic pagans."

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
            "The Fire-Touched and Predator Kings of the Weles are named after their powerful spirit-totem, an entity ensconced near Sobótka that claims it was worshipped as a god by Slavic pagans."
            Oh, miss it! Right, Weles ( in Polish, Veles in English) is one of major gods of Slavic Pantheon - he is god of magic, craft , water, earth and Underworld. He is associated with something similar role as Loki. Here is full article on him.

            So we have direct example in 2E materials of Spirit God dressing up as Myths God!


            My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E & BtP
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            • #66
              Originally posted by Malus View Post
              Any Uratha can sniff out a spirit's influence with a successful Wits+Primal Urge roll, resisted by the spirit's rank, mind.
              It's just Primal Urge minus Resistance, and even then you only learn their highest-rated Influence on a Success, and require an Exceptional Success to learn all of their Influences.

              This is why I said it was a hard method to use.
              Last edited by nofather; 05-19-2017, 11:04 AM.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                So we have direct example in 2E materials of Spirit God dressing up as Myths God!
                Nobody has been saying this doesn't happen.


                Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                • #68
                  It all looks rather chicken and egg to me, but it reminds of the spirit of Princess Diana from Shadows of the UK, formed of spirits of "grief and panic" that grew big and strong during the very public mourning after her death.

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                  • #69
                    We're coming across the too-much importance of names things that happens a lot with....well, as an example, we saw this problem with the "The Herd Must Not Know-Questions" thread. Namely, we have the continued failure to recognize that names and iconography can, in fact, walk right past each other and not have anything to do with one another.

                    From the Flesh side of things, sentient, storytelling races like humans and werewolves can, have, and will come up with stories to explain the things they come across. THe way these stories form is, yeah, sometimes informed by what they actually encounter, but is also just as often filled in by imagination, usually centered around the icons important to the storyteller. Given that it's a wide world and that both narrative and Shadow-spiritual evolution will be heavily determined by the environment both exist in, it becomes increasingly likely that the appearance of spirits will end up matching stories told, and as such end up calling those spirits by the names they came up with. THis doesn't mean they have any bearing on each other-humans don't decide the shape and name of spirits because both of those things operate on the Shadow's own independent and intertwined rules of predacity and evolution. Humans just see the world in accordance to the lens they've made for themselves, and if a spirit finds it serviceable, then why the fuck not use it.

                    From the Spirit side of things, spirits are the products of their environment almost exclusively, and their forms and names tend towards the more literal incarnations. Sure, the more spirits of more abstract feelings, ideas, and systems that come from humans might be be painted in iconography and words that humans provide, but even then Spirits derive more from the thing itself than from how humans perceive it-consider that a war spirit is a war spirit regardless of it being born from a human conflict or a meerkat conflict, or that a knife spirit can come from a knife that a corvid made. By and large, spirits just continue being themselves-but that said, they do invade the world of the Flesh from time to time, and interactions with Spirits yield stories rife with behaviors, weaknesses, and of course names. Spirits act in accordance to their nature, which should be easily determined if you get a chance to speak with it because their name is almost always an expression of their nature, of what they are. and in their relative simplicity a flesh-dweller can easily comprehend it-so much so that there are occasional risks of overcomplicating spirits just because the witness feels like they're missing something, it's so easy. Spirits aren't particularly concerned with people getting it right so much as they are with eating, so their points of edification are fuzzy and opportunistcally inspired in accordance to the demands of their stomachs.

                    My grand point here is that yeah, spirits sometimes get called things by humans, and it fits with what humans have perceived, and sometimes spirits call things in the flesh world their own thing and it fits their own perception. Just as frequently, though ,the images and names provided by each side walk right by each other with no interaction. These are independently evolving and developing names, images, and stories on each side, and collisions of the two often lead to a mixture of fact and truth that no one cares to really untangle because their own view of things is often enough for them to deal with. Werewolves comes these cesspools of muddled information more frequently because that's the space they occupy, but spirits often don't give a flying fuck what humanity thinks, from a subjective standpoint and even from an "you guys often provide the food that is also our evolutionary base material/catalyst", so long as they eat.

                    The Magath in Forsaken by Rome are an exception rather than the rule, and even that is the result of enough contradictory devourings that their thinking processes could bend enough to give a crap. For spirits who happen to end up aligning to what myths say about some other things, it's often a lucky quirk of the current state of ecosystem, one that they don't nessecarily attach importance to but have no problem exploiting if it means having an easy meal.

                    Names and images mean less than you think in Shadow spirituality. The medium is only the message the simpler the medium is.
                    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 05-19-2017, 06:11 PM.


                    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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                    • #70
                      Oh yeah, I forgot to get back around to the encounter thing, and even removed that mention. Okay, so with that said, we need to mention one thing that utterly muddles the pool- the demon, demon, demon, and demon problem. Or the beast, beast, beast, and beast problem, if you'd rather.

                      So I mentioned that humans sometimes tell stories based on what they actually encounter. These things include Shadow spirits, of course, so sometimes humans get an accurate picture as that goes. Of course, not everything they meet is a Shadow spirit. Sometimes they come across Abyssal demons, faeries, God-Machine angels, Empyrean angels, goetia, ghosts, Supernal entities, Amkhata, Pandorans, Stirx, the Arisen, qashmallim, Horrors, Horrors, Horrors, and a vast number of weirdnesses asides that don't fit into larger schemes.

                      The average Flesh-Dweller either doesn't have a good grasp on how to tell the difference between a fire spirit, a Geist emerged from immolation , a salamander, an Arisen using Revelations of Smoke and Fire, a God-Machine angel cloaked in fire, a Divine Fire Angel that is fire, a Supernal Aetheric Seraphim expressed as fire, or a fire goetia-hell, they don't even know all of that exists as possibilites. More likely, they'll understand in the terms they know best, the lens provided by their culture which will ultimately stem from their culture's history and environment. This problem holds true even for werewolves, where it's easier for them to handle the fire-thing if they treat the nail like a spirit they understand rather some screwy other thing. And all those things and their particular weirdnesses go on and inform the future language and iconics that any Flesh-dweller uses that fits in the category.

                      Long story short, lots of things look like other things and people call these things the wrong names all the time. That it's often close enough for horseshoes and hand grenades does not mean that they are actually right, or that such names or appearances actually mean anything substantial. The reason the Chronicles world is one of mystery is because 90% of the connections are completely coincidental.


                      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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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                        Oh yeah, I forgot to get back around to the encounter thing, and even removed that mention. Okay, so with that said, we need to mention one thing that utterly muddles the pool- the demon, demon, demon, and demon problem. Or the beast, beast, beast, and beast problem, if you'd rather..
                        What if, even demons were spirits as well? Do it make sense that a supreme-being, who created billions upon billions of galaxies each with billions of stars in them chose a desert-tribe, in a region that existed within a blink of geological and astronomical-time on a planet in an obscure-region of space to be its chosen-people and to carry it's message?

                        The supernatural is nothing more than man's interpretations of them. If a person wants to believe they are being, "Haunted", by demons because they coveted thy neighbor's goods*, then that's their interpretations (or perhaps, the spirits simply troll humans by making them think they are incarnations of their particular religious-beliefs like in Stephen King's Children of the Corn).

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Iguazu View Post

                          What if, even demons were spirits as well? Do it make sense that a supreme-being, who created billions upon billions of galaxies each with billions of stars in them chose a desert-tribe, in a region that existed within a blink of geological and astronomical-time on a planet in an obscure-region of space to be its chosen-people and to carry it's message?

                          The supernatural is nothing more than man's interpretations of them. If a person wants to believe they are being, "Haunted", by demons because they coveted thy neighbor's goods*, then that's their interpretations (or perhaps, the spirits simply troll humans by making them think they are incarnations of their particular religious-beliefs like in Stephen King's Children of the Corn).
                          That's neither how the game works nor what I was getting at? I mean, some crossover in how people view these disparate things as one and the same, but not wholly the point.


                          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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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Iguazu View Post

                            What if, even demons were spirits as well? Do it make sense that a supreme-being, who created billions upon billions of galaxies each with billions of stars in them chose a desert-tribe, in a region that existed within a blink of geological and astronomical-time on a planet in an obscure-region of space to be its chosen-people and to carry it's message?

                            The supernatural is nothing more than man's interpretations of them. If a person wants to believe they are being, "Haunted", by demons because they coveted thy neighbor's goods*, then that's their interpretations (or perhaps, the spirits simply troll humans by making them think they are incarnations of their particular religious-beliefs like in Stephen King's Children of the Corn).
                            Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                            That's neither how the game works nor what I was getting at? I mean, some crossover in how people view these disparate things as one and the same, but not wholly the point.
                            Ditto what Arcane said, but that's a good premise for a mortal game, where they have next to no inbuilt tool to know what the ever-living-crap is haunting them. (When they start thinking it's say, a spirit, turns out it's a horror that behaves like a devolved Beast, for example)

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                            • #74
                              Originally, my theory was that the Chronicles of Darkness universe did not have any true gods, and that all gods were actually spirits pretending to be gods. Further research, specifically into Mummy: the Curse and Forsaken by Rome, convinced me that I was wrong.


                              Our society is held together by the thinnest of threads: that exquisitely refined sense of tribal order.
                              Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

                              I am a huge fan of both the Trinity Universe and the classic World of Darkness.

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                              • #75
                                How is a Rank 6+ spirit not a 'true god'?

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