Sequence of Events
The pirates come.
Mer-beings offer to subvert their attack, We Silence accepts.
The Adept is exploring his book.
There is a bunch of angry fisherpeople dissing The Voice, and suggesting that she be taken down a peg.
The Crown has led a spectacular resistance against The Ram, a pirate from the western mainland paying back the previous season’s raid.
The “Open Handers” who were turning against The Voice acquitted themselves well.
Here are some comments I posted to a playtest discussion at Adept Press
By creating a faction, players have implied a whole bunch of setting. From that sketchy background they seem to be pulling in elements to fill-in gaps.
(oh bricolage, I love you)
Frex: The Beloved speaks very little to the other characters. Interaction with others is done through gesture as much as possible. The village fisher kids are unhappy about the presence of the Adept on their island. The Beloved is assuaging their anxiety by teaching them rituals to honor the Beautiful One or The Unspeakable Power. And the ritual that The Beloved must perform — periodic blood sacrifice — is very colorful. The reactions of the other characters to this ritual will provide me with raw material to extrapolate other ritual communities that are distinguished by different practices.
The origin myths imply some sort of cosmology: the powers of Sun and Moon, the Beautiful One and her contesting children Sea and Land. But the rituals of Blooding that bind members of the House of Veyal or the rebellious Open Hand conspiracy, and the Gnostic wisdom of The Corpus have their own dynamics that as of yet don’t seem tied to any “monomyth.”
I assume that the fishers will continue their sacrifices to the powers of The Sea (who are one of the Threats the players will face: they have already made their appearance as luminous mer-folk). But I want to establish ritual practices rather than expecting logical, deductive elaborations of particular mythologies out of some monomyth. There is a creation story and some myths that are commonly known, but no shared theology from which particular cults work variations.
The Corpus seem to pass on their wisdom through initiations like some sublimated shamanism. But they depend on books and spiritual/physical exercises to develop internal resources.
The ideas of “houses” and “orders” seem very different from the localized religious traditions that are (to a Wikipedist/tourist’s perception) characteristic of Shinto. Stepping into one of our societies means a break from your local community and adherence to the codes of some intra-island organization: you can’t just take up priestly duties during particular holy times and then return to farming or trade at others.
“God, as the one who he is, is unknown and it is just as this Unknown One that he is the measure for the poet … the god who remains unknown, must by showing himself as the one he is, appear as the one who remains unknown. God’s manifestness — not only he himself — is mysterious.” Heidegger “… Poetically Man Dwells …”