Much like Masayaf, from Assassins Creed. Assassin Cult/Temple Cities are always filled with lots of good hooks (they are full of Freakin Assassins!) beautifully detailed - i get a distinctly somber, eerily quiet pious feel from the description. I think I may also be envisioning an old, old place that was once a seat of power, once beautiful and teeming with masses of pilgrims, now reduced to a backwater, where only the assassin cultists remain. Que a little bit of dramatic light rain and overcast skies.
i'm not going to vote yet. I think there is alot of good potential here, that needs further extrapolation. As a writer, theres not much I can do with just this to make it a unique, or interesting story. As a TT gamers, theres not much I could do to integrate this into my campaign. I understand this is supposed to be a scholarly inerpretation of Magic, but I feel it would be so much better with a bit more meat.
In other words, it's a good, strong framework, but now the building needs some walls.
diabolical. I do like the symbiotic (well sort of) relationship between living and dead, and it certainly lends some science to the traditional view of the undead. The bud itself was hard for me to envision without drawing it out, but once I had it visualized, very cool and very undead looking (if a strange plant-bacteria-thing can look undead.)
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Upon thinking about it, I think you should have a 5. You presented a number of logical scenarios, and uses both malevolent and benign, as well as offering a more sinister version of the corpse bud that hunger for living flesh (dare I say sentient?)
I thoroughly enjoyed that. Truly well written. I am beginning to REALLY like the campaign world you have painted, perhaps because I have taken more European History Classes than I'm likely to admit to, and this who 16th/17th century conspiracy picture is just too cool to simply graze over.
Well detailed, elegantly worded, the stunning picture of a gentleman of the Counter Reformation Era. I cant wait to hear more.
Quick question: I understand that he is a member of the New Temple of Solomon, but I'm not familiar with what kind of Christian he is. Catholic or Lutheran/Reformed? Perhaps the Order doesn't particularly make a distinction between orthodoxies? The depth, mysticism and complexity of the Catholic Church structure would certainly lend itself to fantasy and intrigue these sorts of tales (IE. Van Hellsing's most modern redeux) BUT the burgeoning fundamentalist Protestants of the Counter Reform movement also had a fairly radical tinge in their own way. Witchhunts and the like in the colonies, as well as in Germany During the Thirty Years War.