The Chaosium Digest

The Chaosium Digest supports the role-playing games produced by Chaosium Inc. and all content is fan submitted. Begun in 1994 by Shannon Appelcline who passed it to myself in 2000 and previously distributed via email, this is the newest incarnation of the Chaosium Digest. Enjoy!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Chaosium Digest Classics: A New Past Life for NEPHILIM -- MEDITERRANEAN, 10,000 BC

by Ian Young
Originally presented in The Chaosium Digest v30.08 on Sunday, March 5, 2000

The Great Compromise and the Drowning of Tarshish


Once properly embodied you were able to see what was going on. Here is a synopsis of critical events.

A "New Atlantis", founded 14,000 years earlier upon the Promethean principles of harmony between Nephilim and humans, reached its cultural height at this time. Tarshish was an isle of fertility in the middle of a great salt plain now recognized as the floor of the Mediterranean Sea. From this central kingdom, colonists set out and began to settle the lush river valleys where the vast basin met the highlands, creating still smaller kingdoms built upon the same Promethean model. Out of this companionship between Nephilim and Man rose the Great Compromise, an agreement wherein the humans allowed the Nephilim permanent possession of their bodies, permitting the Nephilim continuous progress along the Golden Path toward Agartha. In return, the Nephilim shared with them the secrets of the sky -- astrology, mathematics and the arts of civilization.

In this time, only the Priest-Kings and Priestess-Queens served as Simulacra for the Nephilim. From their positions of authority and power, they imparted the wisdom of the immortals upon the people of Tarshish, and all benefited thereby. The Compromise required that toward the end of a Simulacrum's life, the current ruling Nephilim would offer its life up in ritual sacrifice, returning to its Stasis. The next Nephilim in due succession would be wakened and allowed to manifest in the body of the next priest-king or priestess-queen chosen to house the "divine reincarnation". Within this environment of co-operation and enlightenment, human culture flourished as it has not since. However, here in Tarshish, jealousy flourished as well. This tradition effectively denied whole castes of servitors of the ruling hierarchy access to the divine power of immortality and fostered a resentment of the Nephilim and their rule. Ironically, it was the co-operative nature of the Great Compromise that allowed one of the greatest enemies of the Nephilim access to their power and the opportunity to turn it against them.

The lesser members of the priesthood, those not destined to become Simulacra, were the first to grow resentful of the Nephilim. Certain factions of Orichalka Men, soon to become known as the Black Star, were able to use this dissent as a means of infiltration into the very ranks of the Nephilim. It was often the responsibility of these lesser priests to preside over the ritual sacrifices of their Nephilim leaders. With agents in position to perform the rites, the Black Star gained access to the bodies and the blood of the Simulacra. Years of subsequent research led to the discovery of a distillation of the blood of the Simulacrum into a source of wieldable power -- the Elixir. Soon, the celebration of the passing of one Nephilim leader to the next became an occasion upon which the Black Star would destroy yet another Nephilim, adding another phial of power to their secret storehouses.

The Black Star conspiracy continued to grow spreading to the secular elements of society. Before long an underground organization of soldiers and commanders was formed under the leadership of a Black Star initiate known as Heracles. His army, hidden within the ranks of the faithful soldiers, called themselves the Men of the Lion for the symbol of their strength and their devotion to their Solar cause.

No one is quite certain how the conspiracy came to light. Eventually, the Nephilim must have noticed their inability to revive their compatriots from Stasis and confronted the corrupt priesthood. Their secret exposed, the Black Star must have attempted a popular uprising among the humans of the Mediterranean. What is known for certain is that some time around 9600 BC, a great and terrible civil war erupted among the once-peaceful Promethean kingdoms. The Men of the Lion, with Heracles at their lead wreaked great destruction across the lands, and the sorcerers of the Black Star intoned grave magics upon the legions of their former masters. However, the rebels lacked the popular support to triumph, and ultimately, their efforts slowed under the inertia of a prolonged fight. Faced with eventual defeat, the Black Star decided that their last desperate hope would be to destroy the Nephilim kingdoms entirely. The remnants of the Men of the Lion rallied in a final push toward the Great Dam at Gibraltar. Once there, the rebels fought a staying action, waiting for the Sun to reach the height of it's power. Then Heracles, with the aid of a centuries-old hoard of Elixirs and Orichalka weapons, invoked mighty spells and curses, granting him the might to smash the Great Dam.

The destruction that followed was horrifying. Millions upon millions of gallons of water cascaded through the strait, flooding the basin of the Mediterranean, scouring the very earth as it rushed inward. Tarshish was not only drowned, but uprooted from its foundations. The kingdoms of the river valleys were flooded and destroyed. There were, however, survivors who fled inland to smaller settlements, bearing what elements of Promethean society they could. In the wake of the destruction, Heracles was hunted down and as punishment was forcibly possessed by the remaining priest-king of Tarshish who had managed to escape the drowning. The Black Star was hunted and scattered throughout the land. Though shattered and diminished, Nephilim society survived, spreading outward to establish the rule of the Great Compromise in new settlements throughout the Mediterranean region. However, the last great dream of re-establishing Atlantis had vanished forever.

Secret Societies

The Black Star
The origins of the Black Star have their roots in a subversion and betrayal of the highest order. Seizing upon growing resentment within the ranks of the priesthood, the Orichalka Men found the them ripe for infiltration. Creating a network of priests, scribes, petty bureaucrats and servants throughout the temples, all loyal to their cause, these Orichalka Men established direct access to the estates, and even the bodies, of the Priest-Kings and Priestess-Queens of the Mediterranean. Utilizing their research of Nephilim Stases, they perverted the very life-blood of the Nephilim to their own purposes. Calling themselves the Black Star, they nurtured their influence within the temples of all of the Nephilim kingdoms. Their eventual discovery and subsequent persecution scattered them across the Western world. Their close association with the Nephilim, however, inflicted damage that could never be undone.

The Men of the Lion
Under the leadership of Heracles, the Men of the Lion formed the secular, militant branch of the Black Star conspiracy. Joining in a common cause with the lower orders of priests, these warriors created a conspiracy of arms, waiting for the order to fight against the Nephilim in the name of Humanity.

Your Simulacrum

You awoke for unknown reasons, and had a very short time to find a Simulacrum. Roll 1d100 on this table to find what Simulacrum you chose.

Simulacrum Selection

d100 Simulacra
01-50 Priest-King, male
51-00 Priestess-Queen, female

Art (choice)
Astrological Lore
Build or Farming
Fast Talk
Life Experience (Tarshish/Colony)
Read/Write (Tarshish)
Sorcery, Lower Magic
Sorcery, Higher Magic
Speak (Tarshish)

Art (choice) or Craft (choice)
Astrological Lore
Farming or Pharmacy
Fast Talk
Life Experience (Tarshish/Colony)
Natural Lore
Read/Write (Tarshish)
Sorcery, Lower Magic
Sorcery, Higher Magic
Speak (Tarshish)

Simulacrum Age
* Roll 3d6 x5. This gives your Simulacrum's age before incarnation.

Simulacrum Skill Points
* Multiply age times 4. This gives your current Simulacrum skill points. You may spend these points on the skills listed with your Simulacrum's profession, up to 50 points per skill in this past life, and to a maximum of 90 points.
* Add pre-incarnation age as value of Life Experience.
* Roll (2d6+6) x5. You may spend these points on any spoken language skills.

Your New Life

You undertook a new life of embodiment. Find out how long you lived in this new body, and what you learned for that time.

Nephilim Age
* Roll another 3d6. This number x5 is the number of years you lived in the Simulacrum after incarnating.

Occult Development Points
* Multiply the number of years your Nephilim was incarnated by 2 to determine how many occult development points you have to spend on occult skills. Distribute occult development points among available techniques, spells, occult Lores or a specific Arcanum Lore, up to 50 points per technique in this past life, and to a maximum of 90 points per technique.

Available Techniques
Sorcery, Lower Magic
Sorcery, Higher Magic

What Did You Do?
You were one of the great priest-kings or priestess-queens of the Mediterranean kingdoms at the height of the Great Compromise. What secrets of civilization did you grant your subjects? Did you do battle with the Black Star and Heracles, or did you manage to escape the conflict?

Stasis Event
What events led to the death of your Simulacrum, and your re-imprisonment in your Stasis?

Stasis Event

d100 Event
01-20 Died peacefully of old age
21-50 Voluntarily killed in ceremonial sacrifice
51-66 Killed by the Black Star
66-85 Killed by the Men of the Lion
86-00 Killed in the flooding of the Mediterranean

Stasis Form
For Nephilim of the first incarnation

Stasis Form

d100 Stasis
01-16 Small stone idol
15-25 Mammoth ivory carving
26-35 Stone axe head
36-45 Obsidian blade (arrow point, knife, or axe head)
46-60 Ceremonial sacrament bowl (stone)
61-70 Jewelry of beaten metals
71-85 Ivory bead
86-92 Animal teeth
93-98 Crystal (quartz, diamond, etc.)
99-00 Natural feature of landscape (Carving of stone outcrop, cave painting, etc.)

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