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Jagash

The ressurected and the dead

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Donor

I must say that I am a fan of Promethean, both for the innovative game design and the themes involved. There was one thing that I found lacking though, something which has bugged me on and off for a long while. There are so many refinements which focus on learning on what you aim to become and none truly on where you came from.

A perfect example would be when I heard about the Refinement of Lead. I though, cool, this is the analogue to the refinement of gold but the other side of the equation. Instead of learning about how to be human directly, you learn about the nature of death and the dead flesh from which you arose. Wrong. While I do fully appreciate the study of the promethean nature, it seems like it deserves a different name.

I want a refinement for those examining death and the nature of the corpse. Learning about what death is can illuminate the nature of life and I could see those beings infused with the spark of animating life could take particular interest in what there was before. This is also linked to the fact that there are damn few transmutations or Bestowments which actually affect the dead or spirits which seems.. abnormal when a large number of the Prometheans out there are Ulgan shamans torn between the two world. On closer examination, there are a few more Transmutations (chiefly with Spiritus) which can affect twilight spirits/ghosts but almost none affecting the dead flesh.

1) Spark of Life, Alchemicus 5: Can raise temoporary mini Promethean (Core, 122)

2) Corpse Tongue Bestowment: Ask questions of the dead. (Strange Alchemies)

3) Various Spiritus Transmutations which can affect animated dead (Magnum Opus)

4) Re-animator Bestowment: Raise radiation zombies (Saturnine Night)

There is no refinement studying the dead. The above four Transmutations are the only ones which really affect dead flesh (Spare Parts doesn't quite count). Nothing affects the Shadow or permits entry into the shadow. Hell, I don't even think there is an exorcism power. Hell, there's almost as many mage and werewolf specific transmutations as spirit/ghost ones.

I simply thought that the study of death would have gotten more coverage or at least one of the alternate refinements. Thanks folks, I just wanted to get it off my chest. Any thoughts?

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Guest SKeLoRiC

I think I see where you are coming from and I agree, but I'll go one better:

Necromancy is good but what about "Necrology", actual study and knowledge of death.

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Donor

The Refinement of Lead, I find correct. Lead into Gold means the greatest transmutation: Of the Alchemical Furnace (The Promethean) into a Human Soul. Thus, the Refinement of Gold is about understanding the Human Soul, while the Refinement of Lead is about understanding the Alchemical Furnace that is the Promethean.

What use would the dead have as a single focus of study? What would the Promethean learn about the human condition through a Refinement focused on corpses? Those are the questions such a Refinement need to answer.

Prometheans don't need to enter the Shadow. What use does a place alien to the human world have for someone who seeks to become part of humanity? How would this relate to the Saturnine Night? More questions, for further study.

And finally, there's an even bigger question: Would a Promethean following this path and learning those transmutations be able to achieve the Magnum Opus? Maybe it's harder than if he had been following other, more human-focused Refinements. It is certainly possible for a refinement such as this exist, however, one thing is almost certain: It's so off beat, off the path, that it would be something akin to a Centimanus: A Promethean that abandoned the pursuit of the Great Work for something else.

Would it work? Quite possibly. Why weren't we given that option? Well, we already had the Centimani as a Refinement of Prometheans off the path to humanity, and all the other Refinements explore different facets of humanity. The study of corpses (Necromancy) is inhumanity; we didn't need another Centimani, but that doesn't mean we can't create it.

That doesn't mean we mustn't. ;)

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Donor

The thing is that Lead is a dead inert thing. Lead is from what the Promethean is _before_ they are brought alive again. From the moment of their genesis, they are in their Magnum Opus and are transforming. Mercury is the Pyros and the alchemical furnace. The symbolism seems to fall flat to me.

What use would the Dead have as a focus of study? The past and one's origins. I see a Frankenstein who longs to understand why he feels the weight of a wedding band on his his left hand and needs to know what former lives he held before. The prometheans are made of the dead, beings with hopes and dreams and vibrant souls. They search for the hopes and dreams, the philosophies and the relationships tin a hope of reforging a soul. Grow from one's origins and study the past. Understand what it is to be dead. Learn what humanity thinks of death itself and all the ramifications.

At the same time, understanding the shadow explains more clearly what is silhouetted. Understand the essential nature of the base world and past lives by studying the revealed shadow reflections. Speak with the spirit of mourning to learn truly what his past lives' passing caused. Look at the emotional, conceptual and other spiritual fragments of their past and learn. Look at the individual components which made up one's past life.

I see this refinement as described as similar to the Refinement of Silver or the as-printed Refinement of Lead. Neither one of those is human focused at all. It's not nearly as divergent as the hundred handed are in my views. I apologize for my explanation; I mentioned the tools (necromantic/shadow) rather then the philosophy behind their use. I also thought it quite odd at how poorly Ulgan functioned as shamans from a practical pov alone.

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It could be a study of not just death and dead things themselves, but rather the concept of dying. How does one lose life? How does the process of necrosis occur, and why does it render the corpse unconscious and unsuitable to hold onto a soul? Why do people have to die, when all the cells in a human body regenerate themselves every three years or so? Why is a human being afraid of death? And such.

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This is an interesting concept, and I can see where you're going with it. I agree with SKeLoRiC in calling it 'Necrology' because it denotes that the Promethean is studying death. Careful consideration of serial_experiments opinion should be explored because I think it arrives at a logical conclusion to the Promethean condition. The study of the dead seems to be a backwards way of thinking to achieve the Magnum Opus. Lastly, I think sssssz idea of the study of the process of dieing is an interesting bookend to the topic.

I think as it stands, the original concept you had, Jagash is an interesting point but I think it needs to be refined (no pun intended.) I understand where you coming from, but I think it should be more abstract. Since the process of dieing ultimately lead to the creation of the Promethean in the first place, I think it's a very important step in achieving the Magnum Opus. To officially understand what it means to be human is to experience the complete human condition and observe it in all of it's forms, which include birth, death, and the spectrum of emotion. So, I think the study of death is admirable for every Promethean, but I think it's a lot like studying Ring-lore in the Lord of the Rings. Dive too deep and it's likely to take you over and corrupt you.

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Guest SKeLoRiC

since we are revisiting this, I see a Promethean on this journey working for a short period at a hospice (a place for people to be made comfortable while they are very near the time of death.

Being a comfort to the dying could very well achieve a milestone for this hypothetical Promethean.

Sometimes, it is important to embrace death for what it is: A vital part of life which makes life all the more precious due to its fragility.

Watching people express their grief and loss is a valuable insight into the human condition.

Prometheans could get employment as gravediggers or short term work as an embalmer/mortician before the Disquiet forces them back out again.

Maybe the path of Granite or Marble as an allusion to gravestones?

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Leave it to a quoter of Ibsen and Lewis to put it so eloquently. I agree with you on all accounts. It would be very interesting to see the drama unfold with the hospice worker.

All of this talk of Promethean has be itching to run a game in it.

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Guest SKeLoRiC

Additionally, I think a Promethean might have to "die" first and have his form restart him (the Promethean 2nd life thingy... where they get killed and the Pyros forces them back into "life").

It would most likely be then that the Promethean would be ready to undertake such a difficult Refinement

Very high levels of the refinement might involve resurrection (and there are enough examples extant to build from that it would be no problem to have such at all).

Um... wait... isn't there a Promethean "resurrect power" already that can be used upon "regular folks"?

Anyway, brainstorm away.

This is a kind of an interesting topic for me.

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It would be interesting to have the Promethean die and then be brought back to life. I see this has his Magnum Opus, should he end his pilgrimage on this refinement. Maybe s/he *has* to end it on this refinement. I think this idea parts company with science, however, and enters the realm of the philosophical. It's riddled with Resurrection-like sentiments.

I can almost see the hospice worker working in a mission in Africa. Silently observing the cries of the dieing for a god who died and was then resurrected.

It's certainly interesting.

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