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Does anyone know if it was ever actually made truth of whether or not Dagda's Cauldron could bring the dead back to life?

I'm considering a plotline for a series of runs that involves the hope of (false or not) that a runner may be able to reunite him or herself with a lost loved one.

Because it's an 'Artifact' and already prolly breaks most rules than we can count on our fingers and toes, let's not make this a rules discussion (of course you may say whatever you choose, it's your right after all). Let's try stray from "Yes I can." and "No you can't cuz BBB says this." for a moment and reflect on the possible fun that can be had with an item of such incredible power.

I'll gladly explain the plot idea if you'd like, but for starters I'm just curious about your point of view on Dagda's Cauldron and it's speculated powers.
AFAIK, nothing's ever been written in canon about actual effects it has. Given that many other old artifacts are capable of magical feats otherwise not possible with SR magic, I believe you could do whatever you want with it.

Here's a couple of ideas that spring to mind for me:
1) It calls the dead back... or something that masquerades as them. Not a shedim, not per se. But maybe a Shadow spirit that embodies all of the darker aspects of their personality.
2) Maybe it calls out the desire of the user, personified as the person they want back. Over time, that imago slowly breaks down as the body does as well.
3) Maybe it DOES bring them back, totally as who they were. But it steals your life force to power them. You have to die so they can live.

Or, maybe cuz I've been looking at my mage book...

4) It brings them back, but a curse of strange events follow the user and the resurrected. Electronics short out, plants wither. Hail falls from clear sky. And then people... ordinary looking people, but maybe with black eyes, maybe too pale, maybe they just talk funny... they start showing up asking about you. Trying to find you. Just to 'ask a few questions.' No physical traces of these people are ever found, only second hand evidence such as moved objects, unlocked doors, etc.
Zhan Shi
A couple of things to consider. First, if I remember the legend correctly, the Cauldron had to be filled with blood. Then the subject was placed inside and boiled. This would make the Cauldron a blood magic item of incredible power, with potentialy nasty side effects, as Ad mentioned. Many would kill to prevent the Cauldron from being used, or would attempt to destroy it. Just as many would kill to gain it for their own ends. Whomever managed to find it (perhaps Elijah?) would not enjoy the discovery for long. Second, some believe that the Cauldron was the inspiration for the Grail legend. This brings up interesting possibilities, which I won't mention for fear starting a flame war.
Hell, now you got me all curious. Speak, man, speak!
Zhan Shi
Remember "Moleskin"? I'll not start that mess again. Just think on the subject for awhile, you'll see what I'm getting at.
Perhaps the Cauldron is just casts a blood-powered version of Journey to Life, with the blood magic allowing it to work in low mana levels. But, to the the fact that the Caspian has water in it, as soon as the magic is used a statless supernatural Goth chick will show up to kill both the resurrector and the resurrectee and will continue hounding them for the rest of their days.
You wouldn't be suggesting that a certain cult started by the ED dragon Moleskin could have used Dagda's Cauldron in a blood magick ritual around, say, the year 32AD to ressurect a certain outspoken member of their cult after a 3 day ritual are you? And that that act could have spawned certain legends to spread in the area leading to the formation of a certain modern day religion are you?

No, of course you're not, that would be wrong.

Well the Cauldron didn't exactly bring them back to life, it was more of a zombie thing by my understanding.
Zhan Shi
I can't wait to see tommorow's posts. Run away! Run away!
That's actually a really cool conspiracy idea. Fun stuff.

*grabs Zhan Shi by the collar*

Just because an idea is controversial doesn't mean that it shouldn't be discussed (or ran away from while screaming). Look at the SR novel Black Madonna for an example. It's a neat tie in you thought up there.
If you use the 32AD idea in your campaign, be darn sure to check with your players first, not just that they're OK with it, but that they won't mouth off to others in a way that gets rumors started. Even if you don't care about the feelings of any of the millions of members of that religion... bad press is bad for all of us. If you make enemies for yourself, fine, but please don't make enemies who will categorically target me, and WizKids, and WOTC, and the whole industry and community.

There is already reason to believe that playing RPGs can slow down your promotion track in some armed forces, and some high schools have banned RPG books on the campus.

Not that there's anything you can do to prevent the extreme zealots from publishing "Dark Dungeons", but you CAN avoid pissing off the (usually more reasonable) mainstream.

I myself spend most Sunday mornings at church. Fantasy stories with their own theologies, from Xena's Olympian gods to Tolkien's Valar to the Jedi and the Force, don't bother me. My faith is strong enough that alternate perspectives just give me more to meditate on... and whether or not the Gospels are literal truth, the parable of the Good Samaritan still suits me just fine as a guideline for life. You haven't shocked me. Just don't make enemies for all of us, eh chummer?

You have, however, given me an idea for a shamanic Totem that would have big bonuses for healing magic, for banishing harmful and possessing spirits, maybe even allow buying off negative Qualities at only one Karma per BP, but that comes with a code of conduct including giving away much of your loot Robin Hood style, and strict limits on use of force. Indeed, some of its shamans have such high Charisma that slum crowds will gather to hear them orate... and some even have a translation spell so that they can talk to anybody... and they're "metahumans are all together" types, thus generally at odds with the Sons of Sauron. But as with the other idea, please share this idea only with people who can handle it respectfully! In SR, this totem would co-exist with many other totems, and as with any totem, it would work for any shaman who devoted their life to it, without necessarily proving anything about metaplanar reality.
I believe the cauldren born were mute. Hope that helps some.
You haven't shocked me. Just don't make enemies for all of us, eh chummer?

I think it's safe to say that's most certainly not his intention, being that he didn't expound on the thought. A big part of SR is taking different looks and angles at history. Conspiracies are half the fun after all. We do understand here that religion is always a touchy subject, but we try to go into discussions about that, politics, etc, knowing that it can be touchy, and just try to be aware and considerate of others. We've had a good track record for the most part, with a small exeption in the aforementioned thread. I'm not much worried. smile.gif
I think a very good mantra to remember when discussing thing like religeon, etc. is

It's Just a GAME!

Ancient History
Caine Hazen
Traditionally (this from my anthro background), the cauldron was given to great heros as a source of abundance. All who came before it would not leave hungry. The Dagda himself could soak dead warriors in the blood from the Spear of Lugh (which was said to always drip blood from its blade, and was traditionally stored point down in the cauldron) and they could be resurrected. Later folklore adopted the Cauldron-born as zombies born from the "the Undry" (which was another name for the cauldron) who were magically enhanced with incredible stamina. The Cauldron-born were later adapted to The Chronicles of Prydain (the Black Cauldron, etc) as mutes.
QUOTE (SonofaSailor)
I think a very good mantra to remember when discussing thing like religeon, etc. is

It's Just a GAME!

Preach on brotha! Testify!

I'm an adult and my players are adults. Shadowrun is a game immersed in violence, crime, drugs, prostitution, assassination, etc...

Please, let's not think for a moment that something like religion might give it a bad name. If someone wanted to attack the game they already have a ton of reasons to do so.

My games are not clean. They flow like a Shadowrun that wiped it's ass with a WoD book. They are dark, gritty, and flat out rated NC-17. Sex, graphic violence, abusive language, the works. It's like the world falls into one big Red Light District when the sun goes down.

I get your point however. Believe me, I always inform my players of any plot lines they some may consider offensive or uncomfortable (rape, religion, child abuse, etc...)

And I do like that 3 day ritual thing... very good idea, I most likely will be using it.

"Bring back the dead? Bullshit, that's impossible. No one has ever done it or ever will."

"Is that so? I can name one person... my guess is... so could you."

<player puts two and two together> "No fuggin way..."
Jesus, all you people that know the whole Cauldron of Dagda backstory make me weep with my ignorance over it. I'm gonna crawl back into my corner of Japanese stuff now. Sniff.
Caine Hazen
QUOTE (Adarael)
Jesus, all you people that know the whole Cauldron of Dagda backstory make me weep with my ignorance over it. I'm gonna crawl back into my corner of Japanese stuff now. Sniff.

Have to have some use for all these years of studying Celtic culture, folklore, and archaeology... makes me feel like I didn't waste college biggrin.gif
Possibly controversial speculation:

Is it clear that there is one and only one Rat Totem? or possible that there are actually several? I'm thinking of Neal Gaimain's "American Gods" in which there's an Odin that exists by the belief of Americans, who is a shadow of the Odin who exists in Iceland - not actually the same entity.

SR4 lists totems of several archetypes mostly found in nature, although Dragon Slayer strikes me as only existing when/where there is intelligent life (humanoid or other). What about totems based on the archetypes of Tarot decks? or a Platonic-type totem of Pure Reason?

Could there be an Amida Buddha Totem? or a Muslim Shaman? Are a certain neighborhood's "working girls" under the protection of a shamaness of Astarte? Or an Ares totem - not the megacorporation, but a totem corresponding to Ares the Homeric God of War? Come to think of it, some corporations encourage near-religious loyalty among their employees and customers; could an overly zealous employee Awaken as a shaman of Evo? or of the Capitalism Totem? Or, on another hand, the Proletariat Totem, whose followers are devoted to unionization?

Did the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, back in the late Fifth Age, make it possible for a shaman to find and tap the power of a Totem of Cthulhu? (Oh, the horror... Spirit of Beast, meet Spirit of Fungi from Yuggoth!) And did World of Warcraft inspire the totem of Holy Light (which is confusing to SR Blood Elves)?

What if some luckless former, faded otaku Awakens as a shaman of the Deus totem? That might be unpopular among anyone not brainwashed in the Arcology. Also somewhat baffling to Deus, not that Deus would hesitate for a millisecond decision cycle to exploit that shaman.

Just for repetition, I'm enjoying this line of thought, and trusting that I'm in the company of people who can enjoy it for storytelling purposes with no disrespect for real-life people who are devoted to religion, or to other causes and principles.
Zhan Shi
I was not aware of the stuff about the armed forces or high schools. Could you provide links or list sites containing those stories? I'm interested in reading them. When I was in juinior high/high school, being a gamer might have got you some funny looks, or perhaps a snide comment here or there, but nothing more. Is it the same now? Another thought. In the New Testament, Jesus condemns a (ruined) city on the shores of the Dead Sea called "Chorazin". To my knowledge, he gives no reason for doing so. Does this place corelate to some nasty place in ED? I know that in SR, the Apep Consortium is conducting extensive digs in the region, and that the AP has a bad rep. The name is a dead's the name of the serpent in Egyptian myth who attempts to devour the sun.

And, since the fire has been lit, I'll spread some oil. Even very early in Christianity's history, Jesus was described and/or condemned for being a magician. From a certain point of view, the Crucifixion could be seen as a protracted blood magic ritual. Leonardo, in Black Maddona, says that he was one of the disciples, Doubting Thomas.

Note: I'm just tossing about possible theories for a fictional game setting. Don't take it personaly.
Come to think of it, some corporations encourage near-religious loyalty among their employees and customers; could an overly zealous employee Awaken as a shaman of Evo?

Ryumyo apparently has shamans of Ryumyp, apparently differnet than shamans of Eastern Dragon. I wouldn't be suprised to see someone following Dunkelzhan either. SO there is some precedent for it. I thik it would be awesome to have a hermetic with a mentor spirit Ares (God of War) within a KE Fire Watch team. cool.gif
Per Zhan Shi's request for online sources:,7340,L-3052074,00.html

The latter lists the FBI raid on Steve Jackson Games; also, towards the end, some loser who tried to use Shadowrun as an insanity defense, after he robbed a lingerie store (wielding a knife, wearing a wig) and got caught. He said he was playing Buho the elven thief. Yeah, like Buho woulda gotten caught!

Hunter College High School, an excellent school in New York City, banned D&D after an incident in which a spectacularly unwise student playing a LARP variant almost got himself shot by NYPD, for brandishing an all-too-realistic toy gun on the Manhattan subway. I hope the ban has been reversed, or forgotten, by now. lists "a junior high" but doesn't name it.

These are extreme cases of misperception. I'm just saying all RPGers should be careful to stay clear of precipitating further incidents. And as long as we're reasonably careful, let's have fun, toss around some wild ideas, create stories including ones that would be R or X by MPAA ratings, and by all means, tip over some sacred cows. If the "Christian Right" objects to stories about elves and humans and trolls living together peacefully, and people using magic... too bad for them. They haven't stopped JK Rowling, and they won't stop us, or at least not until they control the government and/or major corporations see tabletop RPG as competition for entertainment revenue.
Zhan Shi
Thanks for the info, Riley.
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