ɢᴇɪsᴛɴᴇᴛ | ᴘᴏᴡᴇʀᴇᴅ ʙʏ ᴠɪᴄᴇ ([personal profile] geistnet) wrote2014-08-01 03:35 pm
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Christianity and Creation in Waking the Dead


CHRISTIANITY AND CREATION IN WAKING THE DEAD

SOME NOTES ON THE WORLD OF WAKING THE DEAD 2.0, AMONG OTHER THINGS


This page is a catch-all infodump on Christianity and what it’s like in the Waking the Dead universe. Pam will probably add things and revise stuff as she goes along!

It’s assumed, of course, that players whose characters are Hunters from the Order of the Mani dello Spirito Santo or from the Brotherhood of Violence are intimately familiar with this doctrine. Anyone who plays a Christian and was born during or after the First Reforms would know about this stuff too. Of course, this doesn’t stop anyone from refusing to believe that the doctrines of the Shadow Bible are true.

It should be noted that the Shadow Bible – the new, accepted “canon” of the Christian faith – is written in exactly the same fashion as the “original” Old and New Testament were. Beyond containing the “real” account of the events that gave birth to the Christian faith, however, it also contains an entirely different set of readings that vary from historical accounts from people relevant to the “true” faith (of which many are supernatural) and letters from the faithful to the congregation (as with the letters of the apostles).

The sections below tackle the major deviations that the Shadow Bible possesses from actual Christian teachings.




THE ACTUAL GENESIS OF THE FIFTH WORLD



One of the principal differences between the Fourth World and the Fifth World is the fact that the Fourth World had no recognizable “Creator” – it came into existence without any divine intervention, carried on as Creations often do by working on its own laws (or lack thereof; that issue’s still up to debate), and broke apart under the sword of Nyx when she came to close the door on it, hastened as her presence was by the Voidseeker’s actions. The Fifth World started when the entity that Christian denizens of the Fifth World know as Yahweh gathered up the remnants of the Fourth World and used them as material to forge a new Creation.

As Athena emerged from the head of Zeus in Greek mythology, all things within the different Realms of the Fifth World were formed from Yahweh’s Ideas. The First of His Ideas were the purest, and constituted the Endless Concepts: Life and Spirit, Time and Fate, Forces Pure and Vulgar, Matter and Death, Mind and Space. The Second of His Ideas were not as pure, as they were born from contemplating his own nature and thus became smaller creatures that reflect His image: the Heavenly Host, ruled by “brother” angels Michael – the Demiurge – and Lucifer – the Bringer of Light, and the one who shapes the divine fires into suns. Then, with His Host as His witness, Yahweh set the Endless Concepts into motion, letting them form the universe from their mingling and collisions. As such, from Yahweh’s Ideas, other ideas formed, and then other ideas, and so on. Furthermore, the “death” or “corruption” of some of these ideas birthed “half-ideas” – Amrita, the Creatures of the Cracks.

While the Endless Concepts formed the Fifth World, the presence of the three Lost Children of the Fourth World caught Yahweh’s attention. He approached the Dragon, the Weeping Sword, and the Soulless Soldier, and offered them His Peace: He knew that He could not destroy them, and could only request that they interfere with his Creation as little as possible. The Dragon responded in kind, and agreed to live in Yahweh’s Creation as a distant steward, intervening only when he felt that Creation was turning down paths that would only spell its destruction – this would, of course, include personally handling any anomaly from the Fourth World that might jeopardize Yahweh’s Creation. Yahweh bowed to the Dragon’s wisdom, and let the Endless Concepts continue their work.

At the end of seven thousand years, Yahweh found Himself standing within a beautiful Creation that reflected, interestingly enough, His likeness. This is the period that the Awakened recognize as the peak of Mage society, where nearly all mortals possessed the power of the Endless Concepts at their fingertips. Similarly, this is also when flesh bound and spirit interacted freely with one another, policed only by the children of Father Wolf and Mother Luna.

Proud as He was of His work and confident that Creation would be able to govern itself, Yahweh retreated and let the Fifth World turn on, governed by its own rules, tempered, as these rules were, by the interactions of the Endless Concepts. Unfortunately, the very children of his Creation proved to be their own undoing. The Mages grew arrogant, and started to believe themselves to be gods: they used their gifts to terrorize their weaker brothers and sisters. The murder of Father Wolf tore the tribes of his children asunder, and more and more spirits began to run amok beyond the borders of Twilight.

Yahweh looked in despair as the Waking World of Creation – in a mechanism of self-preservation, as determined by the Endless Concepts – split itself into two halves. The Waking World became the Fallen World and the Realms Supernal, and the formation of the Abyss awakened the Sleep of Ignorance within all of mankind. This sundering restarted the machinations of Creation yet again, sweeping away nearly every trace of the beautiful Creation that Yahweh had once beheld. Historically, this is the point of the “Big Bang”, as postulated by World of Light scientists until the First Reforms.

Determined, as he was, to never see his Creation suffer again, Yahweh and His Host took reign of the Endless Concepts and reformed Creation as best as they could through divine intervention. Lucifer, of course, disagreed: embodiment as he was of the sheer force of will, he did not think that Yahweh’s increased presence would improve anything. Yahweh ignored his son, and – when Lucifer rebelled – bound Lucifer and his followers to the Infernal Realms, where they might rule as they saw fit.

It should be noted that during this period, Yahweh summoned the Dragon and explained His new Plan at length. The Dragon did not speak until He was finished, and he had nothing but a warning: it was entirely possible that Lucifer was right. There was no assurance that excessive intervention would improve the Fifth World – the Dragon’s own interventions had, after all, hastened the coming of Nyx to the Fourth World. Yahweh turned the Dragon away, but the Dragon’s warning remained engraved upon His heart.

The young ideas of the Endless Concepts, better developed as they were with Yahweh’s intercession, formed with no memory of the trauma that occurred due to Creation’s first collapse. Yahweh viewed all of them and determined that they were all strong with one exception: mankind, broken as it was from losing the gift of the Endless Concepts. Yahweh decided to confer His blessing upon the weakest of His children, and began to watch over them as He saw fit.



FURTHER READING

• BEFORE THE COMMON ERA: THE AGE OF YAHWEH’S MANY REFLECTIONS
• JESUS CHRIST, THE FIRST SIN-EATER
• THE BIRTH OF THE COVENANT: THE ORIGINS OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF VIOLENCE
• THE COMMON ERA/ANNO DOMINI: THE AGE OF YAHWEH’S SINGULAR REFLECTION
• ANNO ELAINE: THE RISE OF ELAINE
• ELAINE’S TRANSFORMATIONS: THE AGE OF QUIET LIGHT




A BREAKDOWN OF THE NEW CANONICAL TEXTS



The Shadow Bible, as with the original canonical texts of the Christian faith, is also divided into a series of books. While it has incorporated some of the religious books from Judeo-Christian traditions, much of the material within its pages is fresh. It should also be noted that the books of the Shadow Bible are almost entirely different from the chapters of the Old and New Testaments.

The most important difference that one has to remember is the fact that while most of the original Bible is allegorical in nature and intimately tied to Judaic and Islamic tradition, the accounts within the Shadow Bible actually happened, and – because of the First Reforms – there is enough historical evidence to prove it. Furthermore, the entirety of the Shadow Bible was transcribed by the original members of the Brotherhood of Violence.

Listed below are the books within the Shadow Canon, together with a basic description on its content.



BOOKS OF THE SHADOW CANON

• NOX
• GENESIS
• HUBRIS
• CHRONICLES
• ISRAEL
• THE FIVE GOSPELS
• THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES & THE EPISTLES
• FIDELIAS
• SOMNIUM
• LUCIFER
• ELAINE



THE NEW CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE



Listed below are some of the more significant tenets of this new One Church, as a means of clearly showing how Christianity in Waking the Dead differs from Christianity as we know it, and Christianity as it is portrayed in a traditional White Wolf campaign. More may be added to this section in the future.



TENETS OF THE NEW CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE

• HONOR THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE ELAINE AS YOU HONOR ELAINE
• ALL OF CREATION IS ELAINE’S
• ALL OF CREATION IS FREE TO CHOOSE
• DEATH IS NOTHING BUT THE BEGINNING
• NOTABLE SHIFTS IN TRADITION AND PRACTICE
• THE CELEBRATION OF LENT HAS MANIFOLD MEANINGS
• REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH & GENDER EQUALITY ARE THE KEYS TO A QUALITY CHRISTIAN LIFE
• THE STRENGTH OF THE CHURCH LIES IN MULTICULTURALISM
• THE VOCATION OF PRIESTHOOD IS OPEN TO ALL