The concept of Autochthonia in the World of Darkness was first introduced for Iteration-X. Void Engineers discovered a machine planet on the opposite side of Earth’s orbit of the Sun. The Computer, an Artificial Intelligence that is guiding Iteration-X, is based there and a powerful element within the Convention wants to live in communion with The Computer and Autochthonia. The story goes: The Computer is a spirit inhabiting the physical computer, and since It-X has no capacity for Dimensional Science, they fail to realize this. I think this is an interesting story hook, and it's one I’ve always wanted to use in a Technocracy game. Iteration-X and the Void Engineers are my two favorite Conventions, hands down.
A side note, this concept of an Alternative Earth on the other side of the Sun comes to us from the Greek philosopher Philolaus who hypothesized the presence of an Antichthon (Counter-Earth) which has been used in various works of speculative fiction over the years. It’s a pretty simple, yet engaging concept.
In Exalted, Autochthon and Gaia side with the Gods during the Primordial War. Autochthon is the being that created Exaltation. He ultimately leaves Creation and takes hundreds of thousands of human beings with him, to help control the processes of his body. The Alchemical Exalted and the Autochthonians are forced to return to Creation because their Godworld is dying. I bring this up because it creates a ton of cool ways to make Autochthonia in Mage even more interesting than it already is.
1) Alchemical Ascension:
In a previous article, I talked about the possibility of using Sidereal Exalted as the source of Avatars in Mage. Their control over Fate is similar in many ways to Mage. However, what if Avatars are instead a creation of Autochthon? For this plotline, the Age of Exalted ends with the Death of Autochthon. His Alchemical Exalted escape to Creation, attempt to save him, but they fail. Moments before his death, Autochthon briefly reawakens and puts into place his last protocol. He creates a method by which he could be reborn. He recalls and absorbs all his Exalted, then splinters himself into a seemingly infinite amount of soul shard/Avatars. He plans for these Avatars to survive the dark times approaching and to work toward the inevitable rise of science, reason, and technology to restore him to life. Control is the combined Avatars of 10 powerful Aspects of Autochthon himself, who are close to enacting their plan: the death of Gaia and the rebirth of Autochthon on Earth.
2) The Computer Is the Wraith of Autochthon:
Imagine, if you will, that the Malfeans are the lasting essences of the dead Primordials. This is one of the plotlines from Exalted, and it fits perfectly with Wraith: The Oblivion’s unanswered questions on who or what these beings are. Now, one of the plotlines in Exalted: The Autochthonians is, if Autochthon dies, does he join the ranks of his fellows whom he plotted against and killed, or do they trap him in some form of eternal torment? This plotline requires that Autochthon has some method of keeping himself separate from the other Malfeans, after his death. He retains control over his Spectre, perhaps, and has been plotting a way to escape the Underworld and possess his body. The Mage books posit the idea that The Computer is not a true AI, but instead is a Spirit. Instead of an Umbral spirit, what if it is possessed by Autochthon’s Wraith? He would be a planet sized, mechanical Risen. What does this mean for Iteration-X? Maybe nothing bad, but… what if Autochthon didn’t have as much control over his Spectre as he thought?
3) Autochthon Never Died:
The Alchemical Exalted succeed. They find a way to bring more souls into the world of their Machine God, and they save him. He continues to slumber, but he does not die. Thousands and thousands of years pass, and the Machine God begins to transform from a contained flat world into a sphere orbiting an external Sun. Internally, the Humans and Alchemical Exalted within Autochthon notice no changes. Until the Machine God, once more, begins to run out of resources and therefore starts dying from a form of starvation. Unlike eons before, Autochthon has moved far from Creation/Gaia/Earth in the Void and the method previously used to invade Creation is impossible. Brave Autochthonians find a way to send an emissary to Earth, an early Craftmason or some form of Artificer perhaps? Over thousands of years, these Autochthonians infiltrate society and lead humanity to finally find the body of Autochthon in the Void. The leader of the Void Engineers, Tychoides, is himself an Alchemical Exalted, who has been working to return home. Yet, he is tainted and not allowed to return.
These are just a few story hooks I thought might make sense. I’m sure you might have others, or think my ideas are terrible. Tell me what you think and if you think you’d use these.
With 17 years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He recently launched,www.keepontheheathlands.com to support his gaming projects. Josh is the administrator of the Inclusive Gaming Network on Facebook. He’s a player in Underground Theatre’s and One World By Nights Vampire LARPs and is running both a Mage game and a Dark Ages: Vampire game. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a recent graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C.
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