[ASH/INFO] "What Do Gods Believe In?"

Drew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Jul 5 21:13:56 PDT 2019

On 6/14/2019 8:19 PM, Dave Van Domelen wrote:
>       Mortals in the ASH Universe know many things about the gods, but have no
> real way to know which facts are true, which facts are false, and which facts
> are simultaneously true and false.

Really, you could take out "about the gods" and "in the ASH universe" and this 
would still be pretty accurate.

> This file is an "out of setting"
> explanation of what's actually going on, at least to the extent that mortals
> limited to linear time can comprehend.  The gods are embodiments of the
> violation of natural law, and grammar doesn't fare too well in their presence
> either, especially once they start traipsing about the timestream kneecapping
> each other.


>       Pureblood Homo Sapiens Magi, or small-g gods, have no proof that there
> is a state of being above them, a God above gods.  This God above gods would
> be as much beyond the gods as gods are beyond mortals, and there may even be
> intermediate states in between.

If this were the Marvel Universe, someone would have already written at least a 
miniseries about their relative power levels.

>       Ascensionists are by far the most common camp.  They not only believe in
> the status of God above gods, they believe that such an entity arose (will
> arise) from among the ranks of the gods.


>       Time being malleable, many take the inaction of such a God as proof that
> no one is currently in that role, but once someone figures it out, time will
> be immediately restructured so that that God had always been God.

Daaaaaaamn. This is such a compelling idea. As ASH worldbuilding tends to be, 
but daaaaaaaamn!

> perhaps it's a prophecy-style loop where
> direct interference could prevent their own existence.  Even gods who have
> spent subjective millennia acclimating to the nature of time can give
> themselves headaches thinking about that.

Can God make an existential concept so confusing even They can't understand it?

>       Of course, while some of the Ascensionist beliefs may seem more
> cooperative than others, this is mostly a surface gloss.  Whether it's "me
> over all of you" or "me and my buddies over all of you," all Ascensionist
> gods do everything they can to hamstring the opposition.

I've noticed this. o3o Which... man, starts giving me vague, anarchist story 
ideas. X3

> To the extent that the time-mangling "Causality Wars" can be said to have an
> order, the Godmarket of 1997-1998 represents one of the last actions of the
> "active" phase.  It briefly proved to mortals that the gods did exist after
> all, but ended in such a way that led mortals to reject them entirely...so
> not really a successful gambit.

Hm, indeed. It's really interesting to see this from the gods' point of view. X3 
And see what the fundamental *point* of the Causality Wars was - not, sadly, 
that such a thing fundamentally *needs* a point.

>       An Atheist god sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it just means
> that these gods don't believe there is a God above gods.  This doesn't mean
> they have no motivation to win the wars of the gods...being top god is still
> pretty sweet even if it's not incomprehensibly more powerful.

I mean, I had originally assumed that *was* the aforementioned point, so.

> A few now-former gods actually tried to "save" their brethren
> from ascension plans early in the wars, and were ruthlessly suppressed or
> even killed.

Love it.

> (The joke would be on everyone if it turns out the way to
> become God above gods is to be killed while still retaining the power of a
> "regular" god.)

A Godbie, if you will.

> Instead, they not only try to
> convince other gods to join them, they speak of God to the mortals as well,
> presenting themselves as mere messengers.
>       In other words, Angels.

Interesting. Makes sense as a role. :>

>       In probably the last major overt action "prior to" the Godmarket, a very
> temporary alliance of Ascensionists (and a few pissy Atheists) decided to
> level the playing field.  In addition to "mythologizing" prominent followers
> of the Angels and their God, they had a Clever Plan to cast the Angels as
> enemies of God, tempters and deceivers who tried to get the faithful to
> worship themselves instead of worshipping God.  It almost worked, too, but
> Lucifer realized that her faction had left the Angels open to the attack.  In
> penance, she and several of her most trusted companions martyred themselves.
> They absorbed the entire attack, becoming known to history as devils and
> demons, but leaving the reputations of the rest of the Angels largely intact.
> These events were referred to in the one-shot "Wall Street Angels".

Ahhhhh, yes, of course. :> Lovely.

>       [Note, unlike most Greater Demons as described in the 2010 file
> https://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/ASH/Demons, the Fallen Angels do retain the
> ability to gain power through worship.  But they are averse to courting
> worshippers, due to the events that led to their Fall.  So, for practical
> purposes, their "Grandipotence" is on a par with the other Greater Demons
> they tend to get lumped in with.]

Ohhhhh, makes sense.

>       The Angels were still recovering from this when they engaged VERY
> carefully in the Godmarket, but they were able to weather the storm until
> events forced the Ascensionists into the "cold war" phase of the Causality
> Wars.  With the "be subtle" faction of Angels vindicated, they were well
> positioned to benefit from the new status quo, ironically coming out well
> ahead in a fight they hadn't even been trying to win.


Thinking this all over, my big question is, are there gods that take a more 
Hindu-ish "all things are part of God, including us" viewpoint? What about a 
Shinto-ish animism? Or a Buddhist "all of this is part of a larger cosmic cycle 
we're stuck in" worldview?

>       This just came out of a train of thought that ran away with me while I
> was out shopping.  So I jotted down a few notes on my phone, and typed it all
> up once I got home.

Always great!

>       While https://www.eyrie.org/~dvandom/ASH/Demons states that the
> Godmarket was one of the first major conflicts of the Causality Wars,
> comparing it to World War I, it was also the last major operation of the
> first phase.  What counts as "World War II" in the Causality Wars has not yet
> been revealed, nor is it known what mortal eras were or will be impacted.

Oooooooh. Dun dun dunnnnn...

Drew "worldly concerns" Perron

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