more Scion tidbits

I’m a bit proud of this idea from the game I’m running, so I wanted to share. It will make the most sense to those who already know the cosmological setup for White Wolf’s Scion system, but for everybody else, I can quote the nutshell description I gave when I posted about my concept for the game:

The underlying enemies in this scenario are the Titans, the parents of the gods themselves. They’re truly impersonal, elemental powers: the “body” of the Greater Titan of Fire, for example, is more or less equivalent to the D&D Elemental Plane of Fire. However, Greater Titans can manifest more concretely as avatars, which are god-like beings reflecting a particular aspect of their concept. Prometheus, for example, is an avatar of the Greater Titan of Fire; so is Kagu-tsuchi, but they embody different things. The Titans aren’t precisely evil, but they’re not friendly to the world, and their influence usually isn’t a good thing.

Got that? So, it mentions in the books that some of the Titans were never bound. Hundun because it’s the Greater Titan of Chaos and can’t be bound; Logos because the Greater Titan of the Word struck a deal with the gods. Etc.

I was trying to decide what to do with the Mississippi River, cosmologically speaking. I failed to turn up any useful info on how tribes along its length viewed the river — no deity names or anything — and I knew “Old Man River” was a relatively late concept, but at the same time it seemed necessary and appropriate to have some kind of unifying entity for use in the game.

What I settled on was this: that Iteru, the Great River, is a Greater Titan, and it, like Logos, struck a deal with the gods way back in Ye Old Mythic Times. Part of its body now serves as the Godrealm for the Pesedjet, the Egyptian gods. (In the game books, Iteru is the name of that realm, and it’s also the Egyptian name for the Nile.) Major rivers around the world are avatars of Iteru, and they individually formed contracts with the gods of early civilizations along their banks: the Tigris and the Euphrates in Mesopotamia, the Ganges in India, the Yellow River in China, etc. Old Man River is just a recent (from the viewpoint of game-time) name for the Titan avatar that is the Mississippi River, which hasn’t had a contract with any society since the decline of the Mississippian culture exemplified by Cahokia. But since this game is in part about the attempted land- and people-grab of a whole bunch of pantheons, you can bet they’re all courting Old Man River’s favor . . . .

Anyway, this is what happens when I let Archaeologist Brain out to play with Folklorist Brain. I come up with ways to mythologize and then translate into RPG terms the frequent pattern of early civilizations forming on the banks of rivers.

Next task: figure out what I’m doing with 1876 New Orleans.

0 Responses to “more Scion tidbits”

  1. unforth

    But did they end up freeing Dixie and Johnny Reb???? I’ve been resisting e-mailing you to ask…

  2. mq_musings

    As a long-time gamer and mythology geek, I just want to say how much I love hearing about your Scion game. Just in case this is one of those things where you ask yourself “does anybody care?” The answer is YES. Please feel free to post more whenever the mood strikes.

    Oh, and well done on the cosmology, btw. I think it makes beautiful sense for the Great River to have struck a deal with the gods of the early civilizations, since they are so very reliant upon it, and they in turn have the ability to bring it worship. (I haven’t played Scion, but I’m assuming the worship from humans generates some sort of power base?)

    Really fascinating stuff, though it does make me itch to play in a Scion game, which I have no access to, dammit. Maybe I can substitute Amber or Nobilis…

    • Marie Brennan

      I haven’t played Scion, but I’m assuming the worship from humans generates some sort of power base?

      Yes and no. The game actually doesn’t focus much on the issue of belief and worship; there are a couple of pantheon-specific powers that feed energy to gods (one for the Aztecs, one for the Egyptians — maybe a couple of others I’ve forgotten), but mostly its attention is on other things. Gods certainly can endure without worship, or a lot of the older pantheons would be dead. But I like to think about those kinds of things, so I bring them into the story.

      Anyway, I’m glad you enjoy these posts!

Comments are closed.