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Alternate Readings of the Hexad 
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Agent of the Fraternity
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Post Alternate Readings of the Hexad
So, I was thinking about self fulfilling prophecies, and how fiddling with fate never seems to prevent anything and I asked myself. "What if the Hexad is simply destined to happen eventually? What if the time of Unparalleled Darkness is simply the Hexad coming to fruition?"

So with that in mind I want to hear your ideas on alternate readings of the Hexad. Feel free to be creative if we're doing this we're essentially blowing up the demi-plane so some rule bending is called for.

(introduction)
The night of evil shall descend on the land.
When this hexad of signs is near at hand
(First Sign)
In the house of Daegon the sorcerer born,
Though life, unlife, unliving shall scorn.
(Second Sign)
The lifeless child of stern mother found
Heralds a time, night of evil unbound
(Third Sign)
Seventh time the son of suns doth rise
To send the knave to an eternity of cries.
(Fourth Sign)
The light of the sky shining over the dead
Shall gutter and fail, turning all to red
(Fifth Sign)
Inajira will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse
(Sixth Sign)
The bodiless shall journey to the time before
Where happiness to hate creates land and lore.

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Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:12 am
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Lurker Maximus
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
That's exactly what Legend of the Five Rings was batting with its "Doom of the Clans" prophecy. Most of the Empire thinks that they already happened, but Rokugani scholars have this growing feeling that it's still something that would happen in the future.

Sadly, the entirety of the current L5R storyline might more or less be moot now, ever since Fantasy Flight Games bought the license last week.


Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:51 am
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
That was the way we always played this Hexad. First with our DM when I was initially introduced to ADnD back in the days, and later on when I stepped in to become DM in his stead.


Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:05 am
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
I think the first thing I can offer is to do with the 5th sign, the "original" verse read Arijani not Inajira (Web of Illusion was originally going to be the fifth adventure), so if that was the "true" verse, then it still hasn't happened.

Arijani will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse

How would Arijani's fortunes reverse? And what would be the curse that he dooms everyone to live with?

Well, IIRC, Kali worshipping Arijani lives in dread that his father, the god Ravenna, will somehow return to punish his betrayal. Firstly, and I might be wrong, but I can't see Ravenna allowing himself to become trapped in RL just to punish a wayward son, so the fear is probably being fed by the DP (this might be covered in Web of Illusions but it's been a while since I read that) He might be able to overcome his fear if he is able to gain Ravenna's Bane, an enchanted crossbow bolt that would kill an avatar of his father (IIRC it would also kill Arijani if it were used against him) which could be counted as a reversal since it has been hidden from him for many years.

As for the curse? I'm not sure, but if Arijani was no longer held in check by his fear of daddy, then maybe he is the curse? A Rakshasha unfettered would be a true terror on the people of Sri Rajii (this seems a little weak, anyone got a better idea?)


Tue Sep 15, 2015 9:35 am
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
thekristhomas wrote:
I think the first thing I can offer is to do with the 5th sign, the "original" verse read Arijani not Inajira (Web of Illusion was originally going to be the fifth adventure), so if that was the "true" verse, then it still hasn't happened.

Arijani will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse

How would Arijani's fortunes reverse? And what would be the curse that he dooms everyone to live with?

Well, IIRC, Kali worshipping Arijani lives in dread that his father, the god Ravenna, will somehow return to punish his betrayal. Firstly, and I might be wrong, but I can't see Ravenna allowing himself to become trapped in RL just to punish a wayward son, so the fear is probably being fed by the DP (this might be covered in Web of Illusions but it's been a while since I read that) He might be able to overcome his fear if he is able to gain Ravenna's Bane, an enchanted crossbow bolt that would kill an avatar of his father (IIRC it would also kill Arijani if it were used against him) which could be counted as a reversal since it has been hidden from him for many years.

As for the curse? I'm not sure, but if Arijani was no longer held in check by his fear of daddy, then maybe he is the curse? A Rakshasha unfettered would be a true terror on the people of Sri Rajii (this seems a little weak, anyone got a better idea?)


Or, being a Kali worshipper, the curse might somehow be tied into Kali and/or things associated with Kali.


Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:47 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
(introduction)
The night of evil shall descend on the land.
When this hexad of signs is near at hand


"Night of Evil" reads to me like a reference to the Legions of Night (of Ezran mythology).

(First Sign)
In the house of Daegon the sorcerer born,
Though life, unlife, unliving shall scorn.


Daegon could be another spelling of "Dagon" (which is interpreted as an an eldritch fishy abomination in D&D lore). If so, we may have a seal be partially broken in Tidemore by Hilde Borganov and her cult (see Children of the Night: Werebeasts and the Noct. Sea Gaz netbook on this website), freeing whatever evil is kept in that temple.

(Second Sign)
The lifeless child of stern mother found
Heralds a time, night of evil unbound


The fifth sect of Ezra materializes to let everyone know the Apocalypse is coming. The Legions of Night

(Third Sign)
Seventh time the son of suns doth rise
To send the knave to an eternity of cries.
(Fourth Sign)
The light of the sky shining over the dead
Shall gutter and fail, turning all to red


These seem to read a solar theme to me. Probably something involving the various sun gods of Ravenloft (Andral, Belenus, the Morninglord, and maybe Ra). In another thread we were talking about joining the previous three gods together into something like Amaunator from FR, so I would go with something like that. A common link between the faiths leading back to one god would be found. A newly united faith would try to attack the Legions of Night, but ultimately sputter out and fail.

(Fifth Sign)
Inajira will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse


I'll admit I'm a bit stumped on fitting in this one.

(Sixth Sign)
The bodiless shall journey to the time before
Where happiness to hate creates land and lore.


This could be a reference to something akin to the Hour of Ascension foretold in the myths of the Eternal Order, where bodiless dead inhabit their old shells and then try to march Darkon to some previous age (or imaginary age thought to be in history). Perhaps this would occur as the result of some event that reversed the Requiem? Perhaps Darkon begins to revert to the Gray Realm of their mythic history?


Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:11 pm
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Agent of the Fraternity
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
The Lesser Evil wrote:
(introduction)
The night of evil shall descend on the land.
When this hexad of signs is near at hand


"Night of Evil" reads to me like a reference to the Legions of Night (of Ezran mythology).


The Lesser Evil wrote:
(First Sign)
In the house of Daegon the sorcerer born,
Though life, unlife, unliving shall scorn.


Daegon could be another spelling of "Dagon" (which is interpreted as an an eldritch fishy abomination in D&D lore). If so, we may have a seal be partially broken in Tidemore by Hilde Borganov and her cult (see Children of the Night: Werebeasts and the Noct. Sea Gaz netbook on this website), freeing whatever evil is kept in that temple.

Yeah my mind went to lovecraftian hijinks. The FoS have given us that kind of abomination as the Dark Lord of the Nocturnal Sea. Maybe Dagon is one of his generals working with surfacers like Borganov.

The Lesser Evil wrote:
(Second Sign)
The lifeless child of stern mother found
Heralds a time, night of evil unbound


The fifth sect of Ezra materializes to let everyone know the Apocalypse is coming. The Legions of Night

The lifeless child, perhaps a Dhampir.

The Lesser Evil wrote:
(Third Sign)
Seventh time the son of suns doth rise
To send the knave to an eternity of cries.
(Fourth Sign)
The light of the sky shining over the dead
Shall gutter and fail, turning all to red


These seem to read a solar theme to me. Probably something involving the various sun gods of Ravenloft (Andral, Belenus, the Morninglord, and maybe Ra). In another thread we were talking about joining the previous three gods together into something like Amaunator from FR, so I would go with something like that. A common link between the faiths leading back to one god would be found. A newly united faith would try to attack the Legions of Night, but ultimately sputter out and fail.

A Son of Suns may be a paladin of Belenus or the Morninglord. Paladins are a big deal when I run Ravenloft, so one emerging is worth a prophecy or two.
The forth sign is generic enough where any eclipse when there are a bunch of bodies around would count.

The Lesser Evil wrote:
(Fifth Sign)
Inajira will make his fortunes reverse
Dooming all to live with the dreaded curse


I'll admit I'm a bit stumped on fitting in this one.

As others have offered Arijani is the obvious choice on this one (his fortunes wouldn't even need to be reversed... Arijani is Inajira reversed... get it ? :P ). Which saddens me, I find his demi-god rear end boring. Inajira reversing his fortunes... now that has more room for mayhem.

The Lesser Evil wrote:
(Sixth Sign)
The bodiless shall journey to the time before
Where happiness to hate creates land and lore.


This could be a reference to something akin to the Hour of Ascension foretold in the myths of the Eternal Order, where bodiless dead inhabit their old shells and then try to march Darkon to some previous age (or imaginary age thought to be in history). Perhaps this would occur as the result of some event that reversed the Requiem? Perhaps Darkon begins to revert to the Gray Realm of their mythic history?

Yeah this one is tricky for me. Maybe a group of heroes, sans their bodies, meet the Dark Powers (like Azzie at the end of Lord of Necropolis). Or perhaps it could be a complicated reference to the Well of Immortality from Dark Tales and Disturbing Legends.

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Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:00 pm
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
Did Inajira ever actually reverse his fortunes the first time? I mean he started the adventure sans book of keeping and ended it sans book of keeping, and Strahd's still alive, so no reversal I can see. If so, then this is clearly a verse which hasn't happened yet, and since in later product Inajira had a new book of keeping, I'm imagining that it could only refer to a victory over Strahd, the "keystone" DL


Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:16 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
The Lesser Evil wrote:
(Sixth Sign)
The bodiless shall journey to the time before
Where happiness to hate creates land and lore.



The second line could refer to many of the domains "happiness to hate" being a common theme in the backstories of DLs. The first line though, would make me think of Forlorn and it's time shifting castle.

Depending on how you like to do things, the bodiless aspect may refer to one innocent of any killings (they are not under any bodies) or could even refer to them arriving without a corpse (though that might be pushing it)


Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:27 pm
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Evil Genius
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
IrvyneWolfe wrote:
(Fourth Sign)
The light of the sky shining over the dead
Shall gutter and fail, turning all to red


In the adventure this refers to a lunar eclipse, where the moon turns red. But, to me, it has always sounded like a solar eclipse followed by a rain of blood (in fact I accidentally slipped a rain of blood into NotWD, just because it was in my head)


Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
IrvyneWolfe wrote:
(Second Sign)
The lifeless child of stern mother found
Heralds a time, night of evil unbound


"Lifeless child" makes me think of the alchemical constructs of Paridon. "Stern mother" makes me think of a mother church, like the Eternal Order for a Darkonian.

The "night of evil" phrase is repeated here from the 1st line, which may be significant.

The "lifeless child" is referred to as a "herald" of the night of evil. This would suggest to me a more active role for the lifeless child in the prophecy as a whole.

Also, if you consider the concept of a "herald of the night of evil" that suggests to me an anti-herald of the dawn. So...

Drawn into researching high alchemy after witnessing the effects of quintessence on a vampire, a cleric of the Morninglord agrees to having their essence transferred into an "enlightened child" which has been empowered with abilities specifically useful to a vampire hunter. The transfer is not wholly successful, somehow the priest's essential salts were contaminated leaving them delusional, the priest believes themself to be an avatar of Night herself, and begins preaching a garbled inverted version of the faith of the Morninglord, still hunting vampires, but now as competitors for the night. Whatever contaminant was used it has also had the side effect of planting the knowledge of the Hexad firmly in the mind of the now nearly unstoppable priest, and a compulsion to see it fulfilled.

Unbeknownst to both the priest and the alchemist (who performed the procedure in good faith) a certain jackal headed demon saw an opportunity to create a weapon against Strahd and took it. The priest's essence had been mixed with a little essence of darkling, the darkling in question being of the tribe of Hyskosa. The priest will become a recurring villain trying to usher in a new age of darkness, but the information needed to stop them is hidden within the Chapel of the Star, the former Morninglord priest's home church (Star=Stern in German, it's the stern mother found)


Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:19 pm
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
In this case its absolutely possible to make a connection to Jander Sunstar? Option worth investigating.


Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:05 am
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
the "lifeless child" could be that of Tristessa (a "stern mother", of sorts..)

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Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:46 am
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Post Re: Alternate Readings of the Hexad
Gonzoron of the FoS wrote:
the "lifeless child" could be that of Tristessa (a "stern mother", of sorts..)


The child was a drider, yes? (at least in the original version) What if the infant somehow survived? This would certainly explain Tristessa's inability to find either the body or it's spirit. The prophecy might then refer to a reunion between these two.

If so, where might the drider be found? Maybe there's a clue in the history, Mount Lament was torn from it's original position and moved to it's current one when Tristessa died. Maybe the reason the DPs did this was to separate infant and mother. If so, the drider might still be found in Arak (or Darkon if GC has happened), or at least a trail might be found there leading to said drider.

Getting the, by now, fully grown drider, to Tristessa would be a challenge in itself, but if achieved could bring the DL the peace she needs to pass on...effectively destroying her, and quite possibly making the drider DL in her place.

The drider might then become the "herald of the night of evil" referred to in the second line.


Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:52 am
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