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Brainstorming on my new cosmology


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After years of nothing much creative wise.. I think I am finally starting to be creative a little bit! yeah me!

One of the path I am exploring is the cosmology that introduce "god like figure" to the story and hopefully to the world as more than just story background but also occasional NPC interaction. Anyway short story is gods, demons, faeries, etc.. are all what I call voidlings whose ultimate goals is to harness powerful mortal souls for consumption - a macguffin in game play term, ie. no stats involved. For that goal, the most accepted ones (typically archangels in my starting campaign location), would "mark" people on their 16th birthday. Both gifting them their magic (angelic magic in that case, but there are others) and also acting as a spiritual leash to collect their soul on death. Hence in this particular setting, there will be no resurrection or everlasting life. At least as a gift of a gods.

Now my problem, that doesn't seem so bad. Angels personally teach magic in the temple but tend to act aloof and indifferent in mortal affairs (i.e. they wouldn't protect their town and temple if attacked, by another angel worshiper that is, of course they would intervene against "heretic", nobody steals from the archangels the souls they are due) is the worst that can be told of them, so I suspect my players might accept the angelic mark without much of a second thought.

Now my problem is I want the player to be suspicious of the angels and their soul mark. But on the angel's side, they do wait for natural death without much of any negative influence. But then, they do consume the eternal soul, in fact depriving their believers of what eternity the soul can afford. What would you suggest to cause suspicion in players mind?

One idea I have, but I'd like more. Is that the player could meet daemons and faes that offer better deals (their soul too, but for more or more interesting magic) and clearly inform them that the angel do the exact same thing already...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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Do the angels form an eternal contract like the adversary below does? Does this bind the characters to a specific afterlife?

What shape do these archangels take? The Cherubs of the Arc of the Covenant aren't humanoid at all, and lammasu or sphinxes are hardly humanoid except for their faces. Effectively, these benefactor archangels could be terrible to behold and inhuman. possibly causing nightmares even without any rules-bending or -breaking by the characters.

Perhaps there is some form of magical corruption - possibly a sheen of holiness threatening to draw the characters to their afterlives prematurely, something that needs to be returned to the realm of the angels to avoid effects outside of the control of the magicians. (Negative corruption might occur, too, requiring different forms of cleansing. At the same time, too.)

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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After posting this I realized there is little reason for the characters to doubt the angels... After all, if the soul is just as immaterial there as it is here, no doubt people would care as much, or as little, as there as we do here.

Unless one can peer into their kingdom, which I guess is possible there since it's real and there is magic just for that over there. I might have to ignore this campaign arc, or possibly put them in contact with some powerful entity that is aware of the price they pay. I was thinking to have an archmage go apostat, and enemy of the state, when he realized the angels were depriving him of immortal life, might do use that.. :)

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

What shape do these archangels take? The Cherubs of the Arc of the Covenant aren't humanoid at all, and lammasu or sphinxes are hardly humanoid except for their faces. Effectively, these benefactor archangels could be terrible to behold and inhuman. possibly causing nightmares even without any rules-bending or -breaking by the characters.

well... the voidlings original form come from the subconscious of their first summoner that extracted them from the void. Angels being what they are, it is a somewhat positive if otherworldly human form. I was thinking to follow Diablo lore here, bright ethereal wings, a shining piece of armor and a hood with peerless dark void inside.

Certainly, at the very least, it should be awe inspiring. Perhaps even intimidating.

6 hours ago, Joerg said:

Perhaps there is some form of magical corruption - possibly a sheen of holiness threatening to draw the characters to their afterlives prematurely, something that needs to be returned to the realm of the angels to avoid effects outside of the control of the magicians. (Negative corruption might occur, too, requiring different forms of cleansing. At the same time, too.)

I didn't think of that. And as you mentioned I wanted to rebuke it. But.. mmm.. there might something interesting to that. Not sure how to put in term of gameplay though...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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I got a great idea!
In case of trouble, in a losing fight, an angel (or daemon, fae, whatever) can harvest all the marked soul of its allegiance to recover life/mana effectively killing them in the process. That can shatter some faith!....

Other than that I will not sell the disbelief from the start. Why deprieve myself of a good, long term, twist in the story!

To spice it even more, if they win the fight, they might want.. to dispose of any witness...

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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