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> [ShadowsOfEurope] Czech Republic, Planning a run
Crimson Jack
post Nov 14 2004, 06:44 PM
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I have two players making a special trip up for Thanksgiving who are between 125 and 165 total karma... one a mage, the other a physical adept. The mage player asked if I could run a game in either the CR, Poland, or possibly Russia. I thought it would be best to use the new SOE for this, so I nailed it down to the CR. Anyhow, I have some questions that I hope maybe someone can give their opinions on.

1) I found the shadowtalk blurb on the legend of the Rabbi Loew (D6W, Schwartzkopf section) particularly interesting. Am I to understand that this legend sprung from the idea that there was some sort of master homunculis that protected the region of Prague, possibly created by Schwartzkopf to do so? Also, thoughts about using Qabbalists and golems (I saw an X-files episode once about this and it was done pretty well).

2) Is the main point of contention with the University of Prague and her enemies, the building of the Great Library, or is there more to this story?

3) D6W mentions that there are bounties on shedim, blood mages, Aleph members, and other spirits. Anyone know the size of these bounties? Also, which book has the Aleph Society in it? Either I'm overlooking it or I don't have it.

4) Anyone know a bit more of the story to what's going on with the connection between Schwartzkopf, Ghostwalker, and Lung? Besides whats written in SK's intro... I'm interested if there's any buzz on 4th world alliances possibly between the three. I know very little regarding the 4th world, so if I'm speaking out of line here, keep the wet trout in check. :D

5) Is Schwartzkopf's "voice" (Romanov, dean of University of Prague) a drake or spirit or something? Why the quotation marks?

Thanks.
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mfb
post Nov 14 2004, 06:56 PM
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i'd assume that schwartz's "voice" serves the same capacity that dunk's did. the quotes add emphasis, since the word isn't being used in its normal capacity.
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Synner
post Nov 14 2004, 07:26 PM
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QUOTE (Crimson Jack)
1)  I found the shadowtalk blurb on the legend of the Rabbi Loew (D6W, Schwartzkopf section) particularly interesting.  Am I to understand that this legend sprung from the idea that there was some sort of master homunculis that protected the region of Prague, possibly created by Schwartzkopf to do so?  Also, thoughts about using Qabbalists and golems (I saw an X-files episode once about this and it was done pretty well).

The (RL) legend of the Golem is a well-known tale. The legendary Golem was built by a qabbalist and rabbi to protect and avenge the Jewish community of Prague during a particularly harrowing episode of its history. Look it up and you'll discover all sorts of surprises. Schwatzy's involvement remains speculation but there's evidence that he has golems guarding his private den (in SoE).

QUOTE
2)  Is the main point of contention with the University of Prague and her enemies, the building of the Great Library, or is there more to this story?

I wouldn't say contention but competition. Several universities and other groups would like to have access to the resources Charles University is collecting, and in fact Masaru is sponsoring a similar project in Egypt... so the race to see who gets their hands on what, even if they intend to share is a matter of prestige and power for whoever "wins".

QUOTE
3)  D6W mentions that there are bounties on shedim, blood mages, Aleph members, and other spirits.  Anyone know the size of these bounties?  Also, which book has the Aleph Society in it?  Either I'm overlooking it or I don't have it.

The bounties mentioned are mostly offered by the Draco Foundation and their values are established in Portrait of a Dragon (ie. Dunkie's Will also available at srrpg.com) and expanded upon in DotSW. There are likely other bounties out there on the market, the DF's ones just happen to be the most mediatic.

QUOTE
4)  Anyone know a bit more of the story to what's going on with the connection between Schwartzkopf, Ghostwalker, and Lung?  Besides whats written in SK's intro...  I'm interested if there's any buzz on 4th world alliances possibly between the three.  I know very little regarding the 4th world, so if I'm speaking out of line here, keep the wet trout in check.  :D

What is currently known about Schwartzkopf is restricted to DotSW and SoE, crossing the information in both provides several interesting leads; including but not limited to Schwartzy's friendly relationship with Dunklezahn and his seculsion when it comes to draconic affairs. That's as far as canon goes... for now.

QUOTE
5)  Is Schwartzkopf's "voice" (Romanov, dean of University of Prague) a drake or spirit or something?  Why the quotation marks?

Let's start with the end. "Voice" because, like all draconic translators, she actually speaks for the dragon who communicates with her telepathically - granting him a "voice". As is mentioned at several points Romanov seems to be a common name among elven women associated with great dragons (namely Claudia Romanov linked to Lofwyr), also as far as anyone knows an elven woman of Eastern European origin is all Romanov is. Take that as you will.

Finally unless I missed something major Tatjana Romanov is only his emissary (and his representative in Marienbad affairs) and not the dean of Charles/Prague University. The University is an apparently independent institution where Schwartzy lectures. It's also the focus of the "Hermtic Academic Conflict" between various paradigms covered in SOTA64, the birthplace of UMT and it's current affairs are described in SoE.
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Kanada Ten
post Nov 14 2004, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE
Also, which book has the Aleph Society in it?  Either I'm overlooking it or I don't have it.

Threats 2.
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Dashifen
post Nov 15 2004, 03:46 PM
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How common is the name Romanov in Eastern Europe these days? Is it similar to Miller or Smith in the US where many people have the same last name and need not have an actual geneological relationship? Only ask because of the name's obvious connections to Tsarist Russia and the fun of connecting lost Tsarist dynasties to sixth world dragons and plots to save (or in Schawtzy's case educate) the world.
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mmu1
post Nov 15 2004, 04:31 PM
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QUOTE (Dashifen @ Nov 15 2004, 10:46 AM)
How common is the name Romanov in Eastern Europe these days?  Is it similar to Miller or Smith in the US where many people have the same last name and need not have an actual geneological relationship?  Only ask because of the name's obvious connections to Tsarist Russia  and the fun of connecting lost Tsarist dynasties to sixth world dragons and plots to save (or in Schawtzy's case educate) the world.

First of all, (I'm a native Polish speaker, not a Russian one, so I could be wrong on this, but I don't think I am), all those women should be named Romanova, not Romanov. In Slavic languages, name suffixes are modified based on gender.

Second, Romanov as such is a Russian name. The "roman" root is probably a fairly common one, so likely you'll find versions of it in other Eastern European countries, but it'll be modified in some way. "Romanowski" (Romanovsky) would be the Polish equivalent, although given that "Roman" is a common Polish first name, it most likely would have local roots and nothing to do with the Romanov royal family.
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Birdy
post Nov 15 2004, 06:31 PM
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QUOTE (Dashifen)
How common is the name Romanov in Eastern Europe these days? Is it similar to Miller or Smith in the US where many people have the same last name and need not have an actual geneological relationship? Only ask because of the name's obvious connections to Tsarist Russia and the fun of connecting lost Tsarist dynasties to sixth world dragons and plots to save (or in Schawtzy's case educate) the world.

One should not forget that most noble houses have "cadet" lines, relatives not in direct line to the throne. The "Romanov family" killed on Lenins order was really that: Father, Mother and children. Not a "general genocide" a la "Battletech".

IIRC there are quite a few "Romanovs" with links to the Tsarian family alive. The famous "Anastasia" was interesting, because if she where real and Russia ever became a monarchy again, she would be Tsarina (Russian Throne is open to both sexes)


Birdy
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Crimson Jack
post Nov 15 2004, 08:05 PM
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Well I did some more reading and I think I narrowed my story down a bit for them. I think I'm going to go with a story revolving around a master shedim who either:

a) Takes over the body of Akahira Toshimasa, head of Mitsuhama's Thaumaturgical Research Division and hires the runners to investigate the Bone Church of Sedlec. There's reference to MTRD being responsible for the shedim outbreak in Prague the year prior and the Shinto religion judging Toshimasa as an "evil sorcerer." This sounds like the basis for him to be master shedim, no? Or...

b) Takes over the body of a Doanescu Rom talislegger who hires the runner to retrieve bones from the church. The runners will be hired to acquire bones from the church with the idea that they'll be paid well for their black market value (fits with the information given in the section on the Josefov district area).

Either way, I'm thinking that since master shedim are said to have a twisted sort of interest in the physical world and Threats 2 also eludes to the fact that they may have a desire to amass standard shedim under their control, this would be a plausible type of situation.

If I go this route, I'm considering having the Order of St. Sylvester send a father/mage to intercept the information about the run and arrange a meet with the runners at The Drum (which sounds like the local night hot spot in Prague). Before he can give them information regarding what the Bone Church actually does, he will be murdered... either by Mitsuhama goons or by the master shedim himself. If the runners investigate the murder, they'll be able to eventually gain the information the father was going to give them.

This brings up my next question. There's not a lot written about Kutna Hora Ossuary, but enough to whet my appetite. Is whatever is inside that is "collecting" shedim speculation only, or is there some other canon snippet somewhere that explains this a bit more? If not, anyone care to take some stabs or toss some ideas my way? I've gone from thinking that a master shedim is inside to a new type of spirit, possibly one of bone? Ideas?

Also, anyone care to throw in their 2 :nuyen: as to what the barrier mechanics are for the church? SOE implies that the shedim could possibly be released by ignorant runners. I'm curious as to all of your thoughts on how this might be possible.

Either way this run goes (whether by talislegging or by MTRD's interest), I'm planning on Jehuda ben Belazel showing up via the eyes and ears network of gypsies in the area with a team of golems to stop anyone foolish enough to go through with the plan. I'm hoping there's enough warning lights by that point in the story to get the runners to not go through with the run and instead figure out a way to remove the master shedim from his position of power. Phew! Thoughts...
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Synner
post Nov 17 2004, 12:48 AM
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All cool ideas. I'll check with my co-writers to see if there's any unused material we can actually send your way though I don't think so. We intentionally left elements of the Ossuary vague to allow just the type of tweaking you are planning. Regarding the barrier it creates - it seems to be tied to the structure itself (possibly connected to the bones grafted into the stonework), unidirectional (spirits seem to be able to get in but then can't get out) and pretty high-powered (whether a natural phenomena, because its been reinforced by third parties or because the Ossuary is built on something much more ancient as a lot of churches in the area are wont to do is pretty much up to the GM).
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Crimson Jack
post Nov 17 2004, 03:32 AM
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That would be cool if you could find anything else out that was possibly not used, Syn. Although, I suppose its not imperative. I can invent quite a bit. ;) I did a bit of research on all of the elements of the run I'm planning (got some ethnic music, shots of Prague/Kutna Hora/Charles University/and the Ossuary... which is pretty damn creepy both inside and out, and information on the Rabbi Loew). It's interesting that the legend of the golem spoke of the rabbi inserting Hebrew text into the mouth of the golem before inscribing the qabbalistic markings on his forehead. Thought that was some nice flavor. Also, it was interesting to read that the golem he created supposedly went "insane" and started running amok, killing anything living in sight. I noticed that Jehuda ben Belazel's name shared a root in Loew's name, IIRC. 8)

Probably my last question, but does anyone know of any 4th World/ED crossover information relative to the area of the Czech Republic or Prague?
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Prospero
post Nov 19 2004, 08:51 AM
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Not specifically, but I think the Czech Rep. (and Central/Eastern Europe in general) was Earthdawn's world, mostly. I'm a little fuzzy on everything myself, but it would imply that something or other probably happened around Prague at some point...
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JongWK
post Nov 19 2004, 12:58 PM
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More on Rabbi Loew
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audun
post Nov 19 2004, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (Prospero)
Not specifically, but I think the Czech Rep. (and Central/Eastern Europe in general) was Earthdawn's world, mostly. I'm a little fuzzy on everything myself, but it would imply that something or other probably happened around Prague at some point...

Barsaive(main Earthdawn world) is AFAIK Ukraine. Thera (Atlantis and evil empire) is where Thera once was (island south of greece which disappeared with an volcanic eruption). There are two realms that I can remember in central/western Europe, one elven and one human with a teutonic slant (with knights etc).
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