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> Help lore & location, the great ghost dance
Kesendeja
post Oct 30 2019, 09:38 AM
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It's come up in a game I'm running and I need to know where the Great Ghost Dance was performed. Specifically I need the country its in after the formation of the NAN.

A character has shown an interest in examining the astral nature of the site.

Anything you can tell me about this location is appreciated.
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hermit
post Oct 30 2019, 12:16 PM
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The Location is described both in Secrets of Power 3: Find your own Truth and Harlequin's Back, but it's kind of inconclusive as to precisely where except "southern Midwest, someplace like Monument Valley maybe", if I remember correctly.
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Kesendeja
post Oct 30 2019, 08:12 PM
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That actually helps, Thanks.

Asking for creative help now. How would you all run it?

What would you recommend for what they find at the actual site?
Would it be guarded, or have become a place of pilgrimage for native mages. What's the background count like in the 2060's.
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hermit
post Oct 30 2019, 10:46 PM
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To mundane eyes, the site is unremarkable, a rocky plateau between higher rocky formations, with some dry shrubs and weeds and a whole lot of dust. It looks like just another bit of no-man's badlands. Maybe it gives off a bad air for mundanes, a kind of "got a bad feeling about this place" vibe.

Astrally, it is a warp. It is a hellgate-in-waiting. It is a scabbed wound in reality that refuses to heal properly. Magicans should feel this, even if not astrally projecting or using astral sense. It is a site where great power was wrought and where a sense of foreboding and bad things to happen taints the air. As harlequin says, "I can almost taste the ritual". Every Awakened feels somewhat sick and elated at the same tme, in the presence of something powerful and dreadful at the same time.

No critters for miles around this place, even mundane animals avoid it. There are, upon close examinations, a bit off-site, there are mostly-overgrown remains of people. lots of people. bones half-buried in durt, obviously cracked and gnawed open by coyotes and whatnot, together with scrsaps of 2010s clothes and some old indian-esque jewelry. those were the remains of the dancers who sacrificed themselves, who were laid out and left for the animals to reclaim (traditional Lakota air burial, mostly because the remaining dancers wanted to move fast).

It would be guarded by NAN Truth Talkers (elite shamans) and various NAN states' special forces (Salish Rangers, Sioux Wildcats) on loan, especially against nosy Anglos intruding onto this sacred site (they couldn't stop Harles because who could, and Sam in SoP had Daniel Coleman with him to wave him through, and who are they to question their prophet; I assume your group wpould not have this).

I'd give it a background count of at least 8, maybe aspect it towards the Shamanic tradition. It might also be guarded by mighty spirits who only let proper Shamans of proper Native ancestry pass and will warn off/kill any who do not fit that pattern.
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Nstol_wisper
post Oct 30 2019, 11:12 PM
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It's a powerful place in the game and they never or almost never mention in source material where exactly it happened. Yet I was sure I read somewhere the exact Nation it was in.
Well, you got me curious. If I run across any info I'll share it here.
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binarywraith
post Oct 31 2019, 01:49 AM
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QUOTE (hermit @ Oct 30 2019, 05:46 PM) *
To mundane eyes, the site is unremarkable, a rocky plateau between higher rocky formations, with some dry shrubs and weeds and a whole lot of dust. It looks like just another bit of no-man's badlands. Maybe it gives off a bad air for mundanes, a kind of "got a bad feeling about this place" vibe.

Astrally, it is a warp. It is a hellgate-in-waiting. It is a scabbed wound in reality that refuses to heal properly. Magicans should feel this, even if not astrally projecting or using astral sense. It is a site where great power was wrought and where a sense of foreboding and bad things to happen taints the air. As harlequin says, "I can almost taste the ritual". Every Awakened feels somewhat sick and elated at the same tme, in the presence of something powerful and dreadful at the same time.

No critters for miles around this place, even mundane animals avoid it. There are, upon close examinations, a bit off-site, there are mostly-overgrown remains of people. lots of people. bones half-buried in durt, obviously cracked and gnawed open by coyotes and whatnot, together with scrsaps of 2010s clothes and some old indian-esque jewelry. those were the remains of the dancers who sacrificed themselves, who were laid out and left for the animals to reclaim (traditional Lakota air burial, mostly because the remaining dancers wanted to move fast).

It would be guarded by NAN Truth Talkers (elite shamans) and various NAN states' special forces (Salish Rangers, Sioux Wildcats) on loan, especially against nosy Anglos intruding onto this sacred site (they couldn't stop Harles because who could, and Sam in SoP had Daniel Coleman with him to wave him through, and who are they to question their prophet; I assume your group wpould not have this).

I'd give it a background count of at least 8, maybe aspect it towards the Shamanic tradition. It might also be guarded by mighty spirits who only let proper Shamans of proper Native ancestry pass and will warn off/kill any who do not fit that pattern.


That's a very good description. The background count should be pretty phenomenal, it is the site of arguably the largest blood magic ritual performed in the Sixth World.
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Tecumseh
post Oct 31 2019, 06:34 PM
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It depends on your definition of what constitutes the Great Ghost Dance vs. regular magic. Harlequin's Back also differentiates between "the Great Ghost Dance and other, smaller ghost dances," so again it depends on how literal you want to be about the capital-letter version vs. the lower-case versions. I haven't read Secrets of Power 3, so I can't comment on hermit's description.

On December 24, at the same time that the great dragon Ryumyo appeared at Mt. Fuji, Daniel Howling Coyote led his followers out of the Abilene, Texas Re-Education Center. The narrative is clear that the escape was fueled by magic, but whether this was regular spellcasting or the result of ritual spellcasting (i.e. a big or little ghost dance) is an open question. Abilene is located in the CAS.

When ritual magic was used to make Redondo Peak in New Mexico erupt, "Howling Coyote appeared in a vidcast from a nearby Zuņi reservation." Redondo Peak is north of Albuquerque and northwest of Santa Fe. Both of these locations are squarely within the Pueblo Corporate Council. In real life, the Zuņi reservation sits on the border between Arizona and New Mexico, west of Albuquerque, which would also put it in the PCC. (Howling Coyote and his followers then used ritual magic to destroy the Sixth Air Cavalry Battalion from Fort Hood with sudden, violent tornadoes.)

The books are fairly clear that the "Indian War" was a guerrilla war, which strongly suggests hit-and-run tactics. As such, I suspect that Daniel Howling Coyote and his followers moved around frequently, conducting the Great Ghost Dance wherever they could. It's never said where they were when the conducted the ritual that triggered the eruptions of Mts. Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, and Hood, but if they were reasonably nearby (like they were when Redondo Peak erupted) then that would put them either in the Salish-Shidhe Council or Tir Tairngire.

The plot of Harlequin's Back takes the runners to the location of the Great Ghost Dance. The setting is described as desert that is "bare, almost featureless." It's barren and flat with little life growing. This probably matches the description of the Zuņi reservation (in the PCC) fairly closely, but for argument's sake I'll point out that Howling Coyote was born on the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation in western Nevada. (His parents were Utes.) This is juuuust inside the PCC border, and right at the crux where California Free State, Tir Tairngire, and PCC all meet. This was originally part of the Ute Nation before the PCC absorbed them in 2067. Historically, the real Ghost Dance was performed by the Northern Paiute people, whose territory covers western Nevada, including the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation. So, if you want to lean on the historical connection between the Ghost Dance and the Great Ghost Dance, there's a strong connection there.

So, if you want the country where the Great Ghost Dance was conducted, the PCC is the most prominent candidate. But if you want the precise location, that's never been specified and is open to GM interpretation based on what fits the story best.
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Sengir
post Nov 2 2019, 09:28 PM
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QUOTE (Kesendeja @ Oct 30 2019, 10:12 PM) *
What would you recommend for what they find at the actual site?
Would it be guarded, or have become a place of pilgrimage for native mages. What's the background count like in the 2060's.

I would suggest declaring the lack of information to be intentional: The NAN does not want people to have a look at the site, let alone mess around there, because they absolutely do not want any information about the rituals to become public. They sure as hell do not want to give anybody the slightest bit of information of how to replicate the GGD, and probably fear that any information about the blood magic performed there would cause uncomfortable questions. So the site is kept a state secret, maybe there even is a fake site somewhere else as a distraction.

The security as suggested by hermit would be there, but covert and/or explained by something completely unrelated, like a military compound nearby.
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Iduno
post Nov 4 2019, 04:32 PM
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An ecological disaster/toxic waste dump from back when the US was in charge of the area. Give people a reason not to want to go there, and remind the citizens that the new boss is better than the old boss and definitely not the same.

I also like the idea of a fake site as a distraction.
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JanessaVR
post Nov 5 2019, 10:12 PM
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For this scenario, I highly recommend SR5 Forbidden Arcana, pp. 169-175. There's an excellent and reasonably detailed account of exactly what your players will encounter poking around such a site.

Also, for the record, poking around the Bridges is a Very Bad Idea ™. They're not going to like what's on the other end...
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SpellBinder
post Nov 7 2019, 06:28 AM
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QUOTE (binarywraith @ Oct 30 2019, 06:49 PM) *
That's a very good description. The background count should be pretty phenomenal, it is the site of arguably the largest blood magic ritual performed in the Sixth World.

And the cries of that ritual still echo across the globe today...

Mentioned in the Blood Magic section in Forbidden Arcana.
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Nstol_wisper
post Nov 7 2019, 04:25 PM
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I have no 5th Edition Supplements handy and I thought I was going have to go looking for some......

I forgot about the Forbidden Arcana info. Nice call. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/cool.gif)
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Moirdryd
post Nov 9 2019, 12:19 AM
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The NAN books, and Target: Awakened Lands and Target: Wastelands should provide extra useful information
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hermit
post Nov 9 2019, 02:06 AM
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Also Shadows of North America, and maybe the Sixth World Almanach. I think there was a short covering the actual Ghost Dance in SR4A's Core Book, but I may be wrong there.
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Kesendeja
post Nov 9 2019, 03:08 AM
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I want to thank you all for the help, its been a godsend for the game. Finding the site itself is almost a campaign, and bad thingsTM will happen if they do find it. Really looking forward to running this series of adventures.

Just want to mention I asked the question other places, and this is the only one who answered in a serious tone. Thank you.
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hermit
post Nov 9 2019, 02:58 PM
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Glad to help. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Also, the link in your signature 404s. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif)
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JanessaVR
post Nov 11 2019, 10:21 PM
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QUOTE (Kesendeja @ Nov 8 2019, 08:08 PM) *
I want to thank you all for the help, its been a godsend for the game. Finding the site itself is almost a campaign, and bad thingsTM will happen if they do find it. Really looking forward to running this series of adventures.

Just want to mention I asked the question other places, and this is the only one who answered in a serious tone. Thank you.

Yeah, there's the "official" Shadowrun forums, and there's us.

Who had your back? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Moirdryd
post Nov 11 2019, 10:26 PM
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Dumpshock for life! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Nstol_wisper
post Nov 11 2019, 11:24 PM
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Be it forum or face to face, there is not much meaningful info out there. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/dead.gif) (IMG:style_emoticons/default/dead.gif)
But when questions are answered, good.
I'm building a Native American backstory. No spirits yet, just mentor ones. I encourage more than one for characters.
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hermit
post Nov 11 2019, 11:45 PM
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Why not take ALL the mentor spirits?
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Nstol_wisper
post Nov 12 2019, 12:02 PM
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Not all, But several mentor spirits, some summoner skill with lots of posession can be considered the psyschologically damaging equivalent of say... Severe essence loss through augmentations and having to replace bricked implants often.
If played that way and not careful. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/vegm.gif)
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Sendaz
post Nov 12 2019, 08:09 PM
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QUOTE (Nstol_wisper @ Nov 12 2019, 08:02 AM) *
Not all, But several mentor spirits, some summoner skill with lots of posession can be considered the psyschologically damaging equivalent of say... Severe essence loss through augmentations and having to replace bricked implants often.
If played that way and not careful. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/vegm.gif)


I think you are confusing what a mentor spirit is in this case.

Typically in SR, you only have One Mentor spirit at a time as they help as act a conduit for your own personal magic to operate, so is sort of a mindset in a way.
Hence why you can not normally have more than one Mentor spirit, because it is that mindset that makes your magic work. Change your mindset and you would traditionally lose the first Mentor spirit for straying from the path and may potentially come under the wings of another Mentor spirit.


When you mention lots of possession, that is still calling down regular spirits, not Mentor-type, who just possess your form or whoever you are possessing and do not manifest outside of said possession.

We have done something like this in the past, with a possession tradition where we had several regular spirits we would call upon to possess the character depending on the task at hand required.
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Sengir
post Nov 13 2019, 08:43 PM
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QUOTE (Iduno @ Nov 4 2019, 05:32 PM) *
An ecological disaster/toxic waste dump from back when the US was in charge of the area. Give people a reason not to want to go there, and remind the citizens that the new boss is better than the old boss and definitely not the same.

Just don't make that excuse too realistic and real dump toxic waste there, a Toxic domain combined with the biggest mana spike in history sounds rather...suboptimal (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Nstol_wisper
post Nov 19 2019, 11:05 AM
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It makes you wonder how many of these disasters in the Shadowrun world reported as "accidents" or acts of nature....... I guess the ghost dance is neither since it was planned.......
are not actually purposeful acts meant to aspect a region against....Another Ghost Dance effect? Scorched Earth policy to disenfranchise the people? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/read.gif)
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Nstol_wisper
post Nov 20 2019, 09:27 PM
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This recent discussion about the Great Ghost Dance has brought up question......
If the ghost dance events never occured, would the UCAS have eventually allowed the NAN to secede and form their own Nations in some form?
Did the events like the Canada annexation, the formation of the CAS,... make a NAN likely given enough time?
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