Anchors - An Overview
1657-date (T165-date) Religion: various
By Rob Pierce & Martin Helsdon
Earth is inhabited by humanity, but there is now evidence that Elder Gods that had roamed the earth eons ago (the so-called Lords of the Earth) are awakening from their hibernation, deep, deep under the world's surface. Others threats also exist in space above us. Each of these evils above and below wishes to take control of our world and use it - and humanity - for their own unfathomable purposes. These Lords of Darkness are fighting with each other through minions to increase their presence in our world and ultimately for control of the planet. Humanity, caught in the crossfire, are literally fighting for their lives so as to not be enslaved by the Lords of darkness.
The world has been protected from outside threats for a very long time, allowing humanity to develop and multiply. As humanity became more numerous and more sophisticated it also developed religion, means by which it could worship the (presumed) Lords of Light. Man built temples, and preserved holy artifacts, and these became focal points for the thoughts and prayers of each faith's adherents. These temples and artifacts can be thought of as "Anchors". They would anchor the faith, the faithful, keep them both steady, and help to keep evil and evil thought at bay.
But as humanity expanded and grew more intelligent, so did his aspirations, and his dreams of glory, conquest, and power. Humanity decended into warfare, chaos, and destruction. The people, the cities, the great works, and even the faiths of their rivals were marked for destruction. Peoples consolidated and the possibity that weak minds could lead powerful nations increased. As nations waxed and waned, so did the strength of the various religions. In some perilous cases the holy cities or holy artifacts of a religion - its Anchor - would be destroyed by adherents of a rival faith in a deliberate attempt to weaken the religion. Unbeknownst to the destroyers they were weakening the protections upon the world, weakening the strength by which man could resist the dreams of evil, and opening the way for the Lords of Darkness to awaken and plot their return to dominance. (See The Ice.)
"Anchors" known to have been destroyed include:
New anchors also appear to have been created, or recreated, including the Shark Tooth of Oro (South Pacific), and the Temple of Ise (Japan).
Known religious artifacts include:
- The Spear of Longinus (Christianity)
- The True Cross (Christianity)
- The Q'aba (Islam)
- The Casket of Sighs (Buddhism) (T181-T186)
- The Temple at Ise (Shintoism) (T186-T191)
- The Ark of the Covenant (Judaism)
- Shark Tooth of Oro (Oroism - aka Oceanic Pagan)
Suspected religious artifacts include: The Holy Grail (T183)
Unfortunately, it is speculated that the adherents of the Lords of darkness can also build holy sites and/or generate unholy artifacts and increase their influence in the world. Certainly they have built a number of towering structures that have been presumed to be "gates", though exactly what would traverse those gates to arrive in our world is not entirely clear. So far, any gates that have been discovered have been destroyed.
The Matter of the Ice: This has doubtless been tossed around in email or on the phone amongst the various players, but to make it moderately clear; the events now unfolding in Lords One had their genesis in certain actions taken (by players) on turn 44. Those actions, as well as many other events, have precipitated the global crisis that now faces everyone. Everything that has happened, once I made certain game design decisions on turn 44, has been in the hands of the players - knowing and unknowing! This is the folly of men, not gods. (Tom Harlan, Lords1 GM, T194)
See also White Tower, The.
Faxes covered include T176-T190 (T176-T185 exhaustively).
The Boreal Waste, Where Once Lomar Held Sway
Abyssal cold hung in the air, slowing even the movement of zephyrs and breezes. Six figures, ancient and filled with incalculable evil, surrounded a slowly shifting blue flame. The fire yielded no heat, even its illumination was only a faint wash of azure on the faces of those that listened to the word of the power that ruled behind the sky.
Now, truths will be revealed unto you: The intelligence They have received indicates that the Sunlanders are thinking of the Anchors in cultural terms: "the Christian Anchor", "an Oro Anchor", "a Hussite Anchor" and so on-- this line of thinking is to be encouraged where feasible, since it promotes sectarian behavior and diminishes the holism that is the true understructure of the Shield and Anchor system.
The words formed from the crystal air, impressing themselves upon the living minds of the ancient ones that listened.
<They | The Others | Those From Outside | The Glacier | The Aurora> are of a kind greater in scope than Humankind. They are <chaos without order>. They are older than mankind, older than Earth.
From time to time, the stars are right, and They can stride or seep from world to world through the Void, and attempt to join yet another world in <Their> dreams.
The last such attempt on Earth was some twenty-six thousand years ago. They succeeded, for a time; we call this "the Ice Age".
The relatively primitive humans living at that time had no defense against <Their> presence: They and <Their> minions spawned the legends of creatures such as Ymir and Surt, giants of Frost and Spectral Fire, ruling over gulfs and abysses of rock and ice.
For all the world was then filled with the <ecstasy | pain> of <Their> dreams, and all of <unconscious | sybaritic> humankind that dwelt with them held revel upon the Ice, dreaming with <Them> of no thing of Earth's fields.
But, even as bacteria will evolve an immunity to antibiotics, so humans evolved a defense against supernatural incursion. This was the development of the human "consciousness".
As it happens, other races which had inhabited Earth before man had evolved similar defenses: the Old Ones, and the Race of Yith, for example, and of whom more anon.
With the development of consciousness came the ability to form the curious phrase "I am not alone."; and Kipling's Master Word: "We be of one blood, ye and I".
Fourteen millenia ago, the first fully conscious humans beheld the sun rise over the Ice and said: "We can do more than this".
This was a time of gods and heroes among men: the men of that generation are immortalized through millenia of retelling as Hercules and Thor, as Quetzalcoatl and Coyote, as Izanami and Amaterasu.
Noble men, speaking noble truths, died, and their life-energies went to form a Shield about the earth; their mortal remains Anchoring it to the planet it protected".
In the war that followed, Heroes fell: Odinn and his wisdom struck down by Surt; Thorr's life ending in the coils of Jormungand. And in their fall, in their dying, they drove back the Ice. The Fimbulwinter, the twenty thousand years of Ice, came to an end.
But the things of men march in step with time: the Anchors of that era are long departed. Other men, speaking other truths, stepped into their places, and took up the ancient sacrifice of consciousness as their own. The Bodhisattva chose to give up non-being, non-consciousness, to bring his truths into the world. The Christ, died on the Cross that "all men might live". And the things they touched Anchored their words and their beliefs to the people and the planet they cherished.
Two million years ago, the Old Ones gave up the last of their land cities, the last of their places in the Sun, that _their_ culture and _their_ way of life not be overrun by the shoggoths they had bred: that City stands to this day a monument to their sacrifice.
Sixty million years ago, the Race of Yith set a stela in a great valley ruled by their people, to mark the place where they fled en-masse their bodies for new refuge against the onslaught of time. Earth's pace since then has lifted it to the mountain heights, but still it stands, witness to that great exile.
Now -- go back to your tales of Kristatos. Look at his name and epithets: "Kristatos Artaxerxes Paleologai, King of the Greeks, Emperor of the Danes, Protector of Italy, Mjolnir-na-Midgaard, Rex Germanicus, Pendragon of the Isles"
Now, there is an epithet the Kings of Denmark have borne since before they became Christian. Think you not that here is a man in whose veins Aesir blood flows true? Think on it: the heir of Odinn, the heir of Thorr.
In him is reborn the nobility of his ancient fathers.
Were Kristatos to die at Ice Tribe hands, a sacrifice for his people, we run a terrible, terrible risk of creating a new Anchor.
"The Huss Bible" is not an anchor: Huss died not in sacrifice for his fellow man; he died raging at the Catholics, tearing down, not building up.
The "Zoroastrian Anchor" that the Persians spoke of some time ago is an act of desperation, but not of self-sacrifice.
So, yes, when we speak of such things, let us say "The Hopi Anchor" or "The Muslim Anchor" or "The Aborigine Anchor". Let us allow our enemies to join with us, by sinking into sectarian... unconsciousness.
And of Kristatos and his line, let them be brought before the Uliqqa, before the Seven, before <Them>. They will eat his thought. They will consume him. They will leave a husk, to be filled with <Their> thought. They will send him among his people bearing madness and despair.
And you, the Ice Tribes, are the first of a new generation whose minds and hearts are touched by <Their> presence. It is you who will join with them in ecstasy and revel for ever. Ia! Hastur fhtagn! Ia! Ithaqua fhtagn!
© 2002 Robert Pierce