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 Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)

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nocturne.haarlem
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:17 am

PGM1961 wrote:


I don't know that most modern vampires would believe the Caine mythology, any more than most young people today believe that Creationism is literal truth. But their elders probably do, even those in the Camarilla, who publicly scoff at the idea of Gehenna. I'll bet that secretly, they're afraid it's really true, and that the younger vampires are speeding them all towards the Final Nights with their indiscriminate Embrace of thin-bloods.

Another thing... is it really the concept of 'Generation' that is making vampires weaker? Or is it the fact that mankind is losing their belief in the supernatural? In the Revised Edition, WW said that Tremere rituals were not as reliable as they once were. Understandable, even though their power is derived from the magic in Kindred vitae; they are still feeling the effects of mankind's belief in science over magic, just not as badly as Mages.

Just thought I'd throw that out there and see if it floats or sinks. Smile

As in the clan novel serie and later on in the gehenna novel, the elders come to the conclusion that gehenna is indeed coming. Although a few of them (only remember Hardestadt at this moment for a name) secretly knew it in their hearts all along.

I personally believe that it has more to do with the concept of generation than with the concept of belief.
It is true that the rituals of the Tremere are becoming "weaker" and more "unreliable". But i would more see this as something relating to the coming of gehenna.
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:23 am

nocturne.haarlem wrote:
As in the clan novel serie and later on in the gehenna novel, the elders come to the conclusion that gehenna is indeed coming. Although a few of them (only remember Hardestadt at this moment for a name) secretly knew it in their hearts all along.

I personally believe that it has more to do with the concept of generation than with the concept of belief.
It is true that the rituals of the Tremere are becoming "weaker" and more "unreliable". But i would more see this as something relating to the coming of gehenna.

Okay, I'll confess... I was just playing devil's advocate with the previous question. I don't believe that fading belief in the supernatural has anything to do with the weakening of sucessive generations (although it is making Thaumaturgy less reliable, just like mortal magic). But on the topic of Gehenna, I'll go out on a limb and make a definite statement, one I believe to be one hundred percent true in the Old World of Darkness.

[WARNING: angry rant ahead.]

The end of the world is NOT coming. Gehenna is a myth, although it has a grain of truth at its heart.

Why do I say this? Kindred and/or human nature. They are the same thing, despite the Sabbat's denial of their humanity. (The Beast is YOU... all the blood of Caine does is bring the worst parts of your psyche closer to the surface, where they can get free occasionally.)

The so-called "Time of Thin Blood" that everyone is so panicked about HAS HAPPENED BEFORE. Are we to believe that after thousands of years of existence, the First City had no thin bloods? Or the Second City? Or Carthage? Did those early vamps practice abstinence? Yeah, right. There are nearly 750,000 women aged 15-19 who become pregnant each year, and only about 40% of those have abortions. (The number is going down, but never mind.) In like fashion, there have always been and will always be a high number of Kindred who can't restrain themselves from creating childer. Some are put to death, but many survive. You know that by the time all of those old cities fell, they were overrun with thin bloods. In the OWoD, the number of thin bloods has exploded since WWII. That's only sixty-five years ago.

So, those passages in the Book of Nod that foretell the end of the world... they are merely a warning. They warn that if you can't control the vampire population yourselves, it will be done for you... whether by natural disaster, or Antediluvian involvement, it doesn't matter to the ones who die. Maybe the older vampires will manipulate Kindred factions into having a war. (sound familiar?) Maybe other powers-that-be in the WoD will create humans with special powers, to hunt vampires and other supernaturals. (sound familiar?) Maybe the werewolves will finally try to wipe out Kindred in one final battle, before they die out themselves. However it happens, the ones least likely to survive any purge of this nature are the weaker, high generation Kindred.

I'm not saying that whatever form the catastrophe takes this time will not change the face of the world. You can't kill off that many Kindred and leave humankind untouched. Civilization may slide back into a technological dark age for a while, which would coincide with some of the Kuei-jin prophecies about the Sixth Age. (Bad times, demons roam the earth, blah blah.) But the older vampires will survive, as will most of humanity.

[There was an essay on the old "Sanguinus Curae" website, that explained this much better and more eloquently than I have here. Unfortunately, that site is no longer in existence. I didn't feel like pasting the whole thing into this post, either. Anyone wants it, I can email it to them.]

So White Wolf's attempt to tell everyone that their OWoD games must end, and all their characters must die so that everyone has to buy an entire new game system is BS of the highest order. I don't fall for it. Even Dungeons & Dragons, with their endless revisions, never tried to say, "Okay, all of your old D&D campaigns must end, because our official world (World of Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, etc.) is going to end, and all of your characters will die. Oh, and please buy all of the new books we're printing." The fact that WW even tried this manipulative tripe is proof that vampires are not the only ones that try to pull the puppet strings.

I know I'm ranting, but I feel that it's justified. No matter what small improvements White Wolf has made to the game system for VtR, I will never buy it. I feel that they sacrificed their loyal customers on the altar of their own greed.
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:19 am

PGM, that essay of a post was great. A very interesting view of gehenna,
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:52 am

You know, I can't tell you how ironic that as I started reading your rant, I unintentionally started VNV Nation - Nemesis on youtube. Other than that, all I have to say is that you make an interesting argument concerning Gehenna.
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:14 am

PGM1961 wrote:


[There was an essay on the old "Sanguinus Curae" website, that explained this much better and more eloquently than I have here. Unfortunately, that site is no longer in existence. I didn't feel like pasting the whole thing into this post, either. Anyone wants it, I can email it to them.]

So White Wolf's attempt to tell everyone that their OWoD games must end, and all their characters must die so that everyone has to buy an entire new game system is BS of the highest order. I don't fall for it. Even Dungeons & Dragons, with their endless revisions, never tried to say, "Okay, all of your old D&D campaigns must end, because our official world (World of Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, etc.) is going to end, and all of your characters will die. Oh, and please buy all of the new books we're printing." The fact that WW even tried this manipulative tripe is proof that vampires are not the only ones that try to pull the puppet strings.

I know I'm ranting, but I feel that it's justified. No matter what small improvements White Wolf has made to the game system for VtR, I will never buy it. I feel that they sacrificed their loyal customers on the altar of their own greed.

Amen to all that you have said and it sure is no ranting to me.
I totally agree with you and it is also a view to which our larp group holds onto during their play actually. Smile

For the website of Sanguinus Curae, this one still exists in a somewhat new form, see:

http://vtm.kismetrose.com/SanguinusCurae.html

Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:05 pm

Not a rant at all, PGM. You made a solid point. Besides, I agree with most of what you said on Gehenna. And especially on attempts to pull strings to satisfy WW's greed... Needless to say, I share your, well, lack of entusiasm for VtR.
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:50 am

I have been reading plenty of Mircea Eliade.
and here is the notion that i got.

like Jack says, a LOT of human cultures or should i say religions, mythographies or legendaries, have End of World myths.

but here is the reading that i have been making of it. the moon grows, reaches full, decays, dies, then is reborn.
so to the humans started seeing themselves, or at least that death is not the end but a rebirth into a new state.
but as in the microcosm of individual humans, as in the microcosm of the moon, so the whole of that particular civilization, so the whole world, so the whole universe, centered around that particular civilization
so that the world, like the moon, goes through cycles of death and rebirth, over and over again.

but you have to understand this: the ancient cultures had a different conception of time, mythological time, time itself was cyclic.

i think mircea eliade actually gives the credit for this to catholic religion, that with them religion became historical, and time became linear, not cyclic

so that, instead of cycles of death and rebirth of the world,
the world as we know it became conceived as tending linearly to an inevitable end.

and it is this conception that became absorbed by Kindred mythology, linked to catholic one on account of they sharing a character, Cain / Caine, into the Gehena.

on the other hand, it does appear logical that with each successive generation of Kindred the Blood is diluted, so that a suficiently high generation will be inevitably thin-bloods. but that is as much as i want to speculate on the subject.
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:38 am

Velvet wrote:
I have been reading plenty of Mircea Eliade.
and here is the notion that i got...

He was right in pointing out that many of the ancient civilizations believed in a cyclical view of time (which makes the point that many cultures having End of the World predictions somewhat contradictory since it is not a true End). However, you're a bit off with saying who started the linear view. Mircea actually includes Judaism in his "linear time" list, which means that the concept is actually much older than Chrisitianity. And with that point your concept of Kindred mythology absorbing it is a bit weak. Especially when you consider the fact that Caine and most of his story have Jewish roots, and that Christianity plays a very small role in the overall Kindred mythology.

And as you pointed out, the Generations concept favors linear over cyclic, keeping in with and justifying the Jewish roots.
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PostSubject: Re: Mythology of VtM (NOT VtR!!!)   Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:06 am

i will admit to having over simplified towards the end.

a tendency towards historicity might be present in other cultures indeed, but still i got the impression that it was with the judeo-christianism that it became most apparent, that it came into full fruition.

and i am aware that the figure cain is much more complex than that

but anyway my point of kindred mythology sharing with judeo-christianity... i believe i mentioned only that they share a character? cain is present in the bible, but it is when he drops from view in the bible that kindred mythology kicks in, so to speak...

oh and i was speaking in tendencies? yes my point is that kindred mythology has a linear notion of time, but that is the only thing that it absorbed from christianity.

i've also been doing other readings, namely Robert Graves (a controversial source, i know) but i am left with this impression that there was a lot of "trade", interchange and comingling of religious notions in the establishment of each particular culture's religious views.

even if it did only that, kindred mythology seems to have inherited from judeo-christianity at least one character and a linear conception of time, if nothing else.
or as you point out a linear conception of time would emerge on its own due to an intrinsic factor, generations.
whose to say that similarities are analogies or homologies? it can be hard to trace.

but i am not nearly knowledgeable enough in either kindred mythology and jewish.christian mythology to speak with any kind of conviction on the subject.

my main point was the linear time notion that leads to an apocalyptic end of the world, in kindred mythology Gehena,
while in more primitive cultures the end of the world is followed by a new beginning in a never ending cycle.

someone further down mentioned that there might have been a gehena or sorts in the very city of vampires, founded by cain himself - fill in details please, at your pleasure...
maybe vampire civilization also has cyclic gehenas...
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