The World [Scion Second Edition Open Development]

Open Development, Scion, Scion: Hero

Welcome back, faithful readers! Titans didn’t win, which means today’s blog post is about The World.

 

ZA WARUDO! TOKI WO TOMARE!

ZA WARUDO!

Four and a half billion years ago, a ball of molten dust and raw, sun-forged elements coalesced into a planet. This one time, another planet crashed into it, and the resulting molten mass formed into a tiny moon. Other than that, nothing much has happened on that little planet, though to be honest with you I haven’t checked in a while.

Woe that I haven’t. This is a time of heroes.

The World is Tiamat, carved into shape and form by Marduk. It is Rangi and Papi, locked in their embrace while their children war within them. It was created by a wagtail swimming upon an infinite ocean, and by Q’uq’umatz and Tepeu speaking the word “Earth” when floating upon a similar infinite ocean. Atum existed within a very similar ocean, containing all the World within himself, taking the definitions and limits of existence from the Primordial Deities and granting stewardship to the Ennead until he was named. The sons of Burr lifted the earth out of another infinite sea, fashioned from the bones and flesh and maggots of long-dead Ymir.

It is all of these things, even in contradiction to one another, and they are all true. To understand the paradox, to understand the World, you must see it as the Gods do.

The Gods are still here, in spirit and in fact. Strange peoples walk the World (always “the World”, never “Earth” or heavens forfend, “Terra”). In the World, the old religions of pantheism were never quite overtaken by monotheism in Europe, though some weathered the changes better than others. The World is our base setting, allowing us to treat religions as fictional entities for our use in a game while still respecting the real-world spiritual beliefs and engaging their cultural heritage for games of Scion. Sometimes, this means treating them as cohesive stories contributing to a larger pantheon when the myths surrounding those deities are anything but cohesive. Sometimes, it means sanding down differences. 

The World is like ours, though the differences are subtle at first. Belief in the Gods runs strong. Cults and temples take a far smaller place alongside prayer groups and churches, but they’re there, in greater numbers and more acceptance than our world. Where you might see a gold cross around a young woman’s neck, it might instead be a hammer amulet on a leather thong, or even a small raven’s claw. The statue of Christ the Redeemer standing tall over in Rio de Janiero isn’t replaced by Zeus on his throne, but signs of the lightning god of ruling are throughout the city. Ob-gyns with silk shirts occasionally charge their patients a premium for the taurobolinium, a phrase most don’t quite grasp smuggled as it is within most overpriced American prenatal tests. It’s a fashion among a very few soldiers in the know to carve the Tîwaz rune into their rifles to ensure the weapon won’t jam on them. Other soldiers secretly into Mars to look here as they prepare for battle. Listen closely to the weather report over Caribbean radios, and you’ll hear a drumbeat reminiscent of Shango’s. In San Francisco, there’s a few more Shinto-Buddhist temples to compete with those of what Western pantheons call the Celestial Bureaucracy.

Pull out a bit, and you’ll see a few even bigger differences. Caesar’s campaign against the Gauls wasn’t a dubiously legal quasi-war, it was a campaign of annihilation and apotheosis by the self-professed Son of Venus against the Gods of the Sacred Shrines. In the cracks of the World are Creatures of Legend, sitting ever within humanity’s collective peripheral vision. They hide in plain sight, when they bother to hide at all. Dwarves and elves are in towns in the Scandinavian countries, sometimes even plying their trade. Centaurs herd in the plains of Thessaly, where there are so few cameras. Tengu nests nestle among Japanese skyscrapers. Colonies of satyrs in the mountains of Greece, fighting for territory with the aforementioned centaurs who lope across the plains. In the American West, a different kind of centaur rides the highways on two wheels, chrome where human legs should be and oil pumping in their hearts.

Believe it or not, this isn’t such a grand departure from our world; folk religion is strong the planet over, and such beings exist in the minds and hearts of people as a matter of faith. Believe it or not – the Gods don’t need belief, even if they do care for it. They are, like a storm or a fire is, and they do not need your acknowledgement.

The World of Legend exists alongside our World, and this firmly places us in terms of modern mythology. Where it differs from our own, it hews more closely to the secret history of books like The Promethean Age and Mumbo Jumbo. We don’t veer into outright alternate history – we’ve got cities, people wear suits and ties, and even monotheism still has a hold on the people of the World – but events are different in some places, and the motivations behind them are sometimes radically altered.

The Unknown Lands

Off the coast of Ireland are four city-islands: Murias, Falias, Gorias and Findias. You won’t find them on any map, but the same waters that lap against the Emerald Isle’s shore lap against theirs. If you go to these places, you’ll find shattered ruins and high magic, wild and unfettered from a time when the Tuatha were young. Search further, and you’ll find both fae and mortal, their eyes unseeing but souls weighted with knowledge, sequestered there by Gods who want to keep them from the prying eyes of the World. Not too far geographically, but infinitely far if you don’t know the way, lies the Isle of Avalon, where Arthur ap Uther rests until the hour of Britain’s greatest need. There’s people on that isle, ruled by a nonet in the slumbering king’s stead. Across the World, if you’ve the right heritage and aptitude, you can climb a side of Mount Fuji and find yourself on another mountain entirely – Horai, where the air itself grants you knowledge and lightens your heart so you never grow old.

These are Terra Incognita, and they encompass civilizations and worlds in and of themselves. They are inextricably linked to the World, connected via a specific site called an axis mundi. Cities like Shangri-La? Continent-sized islands like Hy-Brasil? Planets like Nibiru or Muspelheim or Vanaheimr or (maybe) Brahmapura, orbiting a strange and foreign sky? They’re there. Humans and other creatures live in them. They cross over, sometimes, into the World, visitors and travelers and emigres and exiles. Sometimes even emissaries.

So, for next week: do you want to hear about Geneses, the different types of ways the Gods make a Scion (including the ever-popular beast with two backs); or do you want to hear about the Pantheons, the families the Gods group themselves into in Scion?

Vote in the comments!

Today’s Music: Do it for me, you do it for money.

  66 comments for “The World [Scion Second Edition Open Development]

  1. May 5, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Geneses, because they’re a setting-specific (not just setting-modified) concept that IMO wasn’t detailed in 1e as well as it could’ve been.

  2. Arcane
    May 5, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Pantheons.

  3. Cary
    May 5, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    I’d personally rather meet our dramatis personae. Geneses have been spoiled to my contentment in Il Foro. One vote for Pantheons!

  4. atamajakki
    May 5, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Pantheons, with an eye towards the Kemetic.

  5. Sunw0lf
    May 5, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Pantheons

  6. Tim Flannigan
    May 5, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Pantheons, please.

  7. Raparth
    May 5, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    Geneses.

  8. Michael Stein
    May 5, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    🙂

    The setting now distinctly reminds me of the description of Eden in Demon the Fallen, only the World remained awesome and hyper-dimensional here.

    Pantheons next please.

  9. Tiresias
    May 6, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Pantheons.

  10. Cap'n
    May 6, 2016 at 12:23 am

    Pantheons, please.
    My gaming group is waiting with bated breath for Scion…Literally my guys pester me at work about news

  11. Wolfgar
    May 6, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Genesis

  12. samcwic
    May 6, 2016 at 12:41 am

    I prefer this to first edition, which defaulted to a masquerade situation pretty much just because.

    Also, I vote pantheons.

  13. unnatural1
    May 6, 2016 at 12:52 am

    I love this! We have a real setting this time, instead of just “Oh, yeah. It’s our world. Only there’s Gods and Titans and….stuff.”

    And I’m voting for Pantheons. As has been mentioned upthread, the methods for creating Scions have already been talked about in the Ask Neall thread in the forum.

  14. Deniz K.
    May 6, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Geneses please.

  15. Axel
    May 6, 2016 at 1:30 am

    It’s bugging me that you said six billion years. Unless it’s different in the Scion universe, Earth is ~4.5 billion years of age.

    Yes, this is pedantic!

    • Neall Raemonn Price
      May 6, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Why, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  16. Ostarion
    May 6, 2016 at 1:48 am

    I thought that the 6 billion years ago statement was to articulate that it was silly to try and find an objective view on how the world was made.

    Anyway, Pantheons please.

  17. Purple Snit
    May 6, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Pantheons!

  18. Kerry
    May 6, 2016 at 3:03 am

    I really want to see some of the mechanics for second edition, as I love first but required some house rules.

  19. Roland Phoenix
    May 6, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Geneses! 😀 *So* happy that there’s more ways to be a Scion than just the aforementioned two-backed creature.

  20. Nicolas milioni
    May 6, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Pantheons if you please

  21. Nicolas milioni
    May 6, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Atum was a Titan?

    • Nathan Henderson
      May 8, 2016 at 4:17 am

      Seems appropriate to me, though I imagine the god Re eventually claimed his name as his own in victory – as did over Amun as well, breaking the power of the Ogdoad Titans in favor of the Ennead/Psedjet Gods!

      At least that’s my headcanon until proven wrong.

  22. Óskar Eggertsson
    May 6, 2016 at 6:17 am

    Pantheons please! Curious to see what we get to play with!

  23. Beans
    May 6, 2016 at 7:13 am

    WRYYYYYYY—I mean, uh, Geneses.

  24. Kergonan
    May 6, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Geneses please. It’s a new element to this edition, and I always found the fact that Scion could only be children of Gods too limiting.

  25. Chazz Kellner
    May 6, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Geneses

  26. GrimP
    May 6, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Pantheons!

  27. Sean
    May 6, 2016 at 10:01 am

    You know, the True Brujah and Temporis never really made sense to me. Then I saw Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. And suddenly, everything was made clear. Whoever at White Wolf came up with them deserves a cookie for a game well played.

    Pantheons, if you please. Perhaps with a preview of the Tuatha or the Aesir?

  28. Genome
    May 6, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I think the vote is already decided but I’m gonna shout “Geneses!” into the howling winds anyway.

  29. Aquatica
    May 6, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Ooh, I’m already liking 2e’s setting. Not that 1e was bad per se, but this feels more like the gods were always there, which fits what Scion is about.

    And I’m having a hard time deciding, because both choices are freaking awesome things I want to hear more about. However, I think I’m more interested in learning how Geneses work, though maybe we could have Pantheons the week after that?

  30. Nicias
    May 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Geneses please!

  31. KingCarnival
    May 6, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Geneses

  32. Leonard
    May 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Pantheons, definitely.

  33. John
    May 6, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I’d like to hear about the Pantheons, but my vote is Geneses

  34. Maellice
    May 6, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Pantheon please!

    Fingers crossed for at least a new native american pantheon so it feels more local.

  35. sprucestripedgoose
    May 6, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    I’ll say geneses, Im interested in how the new ones have shaped up.

  36. Nervaqus987
    May 7, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Geneses please.

  37. dataweaver
    May 7, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Pantheons, please.

  38. Hyenaboy
    May 7, 2016 at 8:37 am

    I vote the Geneses! I’ve been curious about those for a while 🙂

    • Hyenaboy
      May 7, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Sorry for the multiple posts, my internet was a bit weird while posting

  39. Hyenaboy
    May 7, 2016 at 8:41 am

    I vote for Geneses! I’ve been curious about those for a while 🙂

  40. Hyenaboy
    May 7, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I vote Geneses! Been wanting to know about those for ages 🙂

  41. Christopher bolster
    May 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Geneses if you please.

  42. WuseMajor
    May 7, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Reading this description, I find myself wondering if there will be an “in-game” reason for why christian monotheism took over a bunch of the World. I can fully understand not wanting to touch that debate with a 10ft pole, but it leaves a bit of a hole in the history to me.

    Also, why did we forget about the mythic world? Why do the centaurs hide from us? Why don’t Elves want to be caught on video?

    • Sean
      May 7, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      I don’t know how well it fits in with Scion’s lore, but they could always borrow a leaf from Tolkien’s book and say that magic and wonder diminishes as time goes on, and that the creatures of myth and legend are tied to the level of ambient magic in the world, and have thus diminished as well.

      Or they could go the route of “people are just really good at rationalizing supernatural events as mundane occurrences,” which would also work nicely.

    • Nathan Henderson
      May 8, 2016 at 4:22 am

      Could be a certain degree of non-intervention agreements by Gods to avoid Fatebinding and inter-conflict.

    • Yig
      May 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm

      Also interested in this. Are these mythical creatures just in locations that require special knowledge or method to get to even though they exist in “The World” or is there another reason their existence isn’t well known if they wander around without a guise type spell.

  43. Starglyte
    May 7, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Pantheons

  44. Lian
    May 8, 2016 at 3:19 am

    Pantheons. I want to see who’s in play

  45. Nathan Henderson
    May 8, 2016 at 4:20 am

    Geneses

  46. ManusDomine
    May 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Geneses

  47. CodeRR
    May 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Pantheons

  48. Wildeyes
    May 8, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Geneses please, You can never have too many two backed beasts.

  49. Ben Quo
    May 9, 2016 at 3:05 am

    +1 Pantheons.

  50. Yig
    May 9, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Really love the lore behind The World. Going to vote for Geneses with a hope that next time we get to decide between pantheons and titans.

  51. Zachary
    May 10, 2016 at 12:12 am

    My vote goes to pantheons

  52. Eric Lohmeier
    May 10, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Pantheons, pantheons, pantheons!

  53. Pensman
    May 10, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Genisis

  54. Oberon
    May 10, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Genesis

  55. Alex
    May 10, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Geneses please (louise)

  56. Rathowyn
    May 11, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    I’d be happy to see either but I’ll put my vote down for Pantheons.

  57. Ian
    May 12, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Pantheons.

  58. vazkobain
    May 14, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    Pantheons.

  59. Francois Courroux
    May 15, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Oh Geneses please. Very curious of the changes since the first edition.

  60. Sorrow
    May 18, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Geneses pls

Comments are closed.