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God-Machine

Symbol of the God-Machine as depicted in the God-Machine Chronicles

The God-Machine is a sentient, supernatural, extremely powerful and alien entity, similar to an occult supercomputer, with an interest in Earth. It is described as the Creator in The Testament of Marco Singe, the so-called "Pain Prophet" of New Delhi, although whether it is actually the Creator or not is impossible to prove and Singe was wrong on several counts, such as demons being creatures created from normal animals, when true demons are fallen angels, algorithms of the God-Machine who came to question their purpose and rebelled, losing their connection to it in the process.[1]

What is known is that it is fully deserving of the title, having long since passed the point where Clarke's Third Law ("any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic") applies, knowing of physics undreamed of to mortal scientists and with the capacity to use them. The only limit on its power is its need for an "occult matrix", an extremely precise supernatural manipulation of physical laws, reliant on Infrastructure, in order to work its miracles. Even mortals can disrupt a forming matrix, but the God-Machine feeds on its own growth; frequently, a complete occult matrix will summon a new angel into the world, who can oversee and construct more Infrastructure, which can complete more summoning matrices, ad infinitum.

The Ways of the God-MachineEdit

The God-Machine, while extremely powerful, is neither omnipresent nor omniscient nor omnipotent. It doesn’t have mechanical extensions of itself everywhere and relies on its Angels to interact with the world. It cannot circumvent the laws of physics, even if these laws seem paradoxical to the limited sciences of humanity. And while its perspective is magnificently grander than that of any human, some details can elude its view.

To this end, Infrastructure is important. Infrastructures, as described above, generate matrices and Output, the desired goal of the God-Machine, after plans known as Blueprints that are given to mortal cultists and angels. However, these structures can be targeted or hijacked by those that have knowledge of its existence. All Infrastructures have a single, unremovable weak spot, the linchpin, which makes them vulnerable to disturbances from outside parties. As such, secrecy is vital for most of its plans.

The end goal of the God-Machine is unknown, but it seems that it seeks to preserve the status quo of the Chronicles of Darkness, with monsters hiding in the shadows.

The God-Machine and HumanityEdit

The God-Machine has no concern for the well-being of humans. It is aware of their existence, of course, and it has some inkling of their potential as far as their usefulness to the God-Machine’s plans go, but as a whole, humanity has no greater value in the plans of the God-Machine. It does not operate on any moral code, it simply acts.

The God-Machine seems to be man-made, but isn't. Marco Singe was the first human in the modern age to describe it, but others have stumbled across it before. Some, like the scholar Jane Cohen, discovered it by accident and were driven mad by its discovery. Most, when confronted by its workings, choose to shut their eyes out of instinct, but sometimes, this is not enough: Through an infusion with Aether, the mystical waste-heat of the processes that fuel the Machine, they are altered in fundamental ways, turning into Stigmatics. Even animals are not immune to it, having the chance to turn into Cryptids.

Some try to harness it for the potential power it would give them. The Deva Corporation has collected Singe's work and tries to harness the Machine for their own purpose, while others, like the Mechanists, seek to understand the Machine out of the pieces they salvage. Others worship it as a God, while others see it as God's steward over Creation. In the end, their views do not matter. The God-Machine remains beyond the rational approach of the human mind.

Humans, however, are not entirely beneath its notice. Some matrices need human interference, while some plans of the Machine seem to revolve around humanity and its ways. The God-Machine understands humans well enough to use rewards and punishments to direct their behavior. Some people act as gears in Infrastructures without ever knowing that their actions were part of a greater scheme.

The God-Machine and the SupernaturalEdit

The full extent to which the God-Machine works with the supernatural is largely unknown. Most have their own battles to fight and mysteries to unveil and as such rarely notice the gears. That said, some become subverted and directed to a cause of the Machine, or seek to fight it.

In general, the Unchained have the most experience with the God-Machine, having been former servants of it before they gained sentience. Others gain sentience, but do not Fall, becoming Exiles that stand between the Angels and the Demons. How the Unchained see their Creator varies. Some rage against it and want to tear it down, while others seek to return to its fold.

The Cults of the Arisen frequently clash with those of the God-Machine. Both promise safety and an explanation for the mysteries of the world, but the cultists of a Mummy have the advantage that their god can be summoned to protect them. The God-Machine has occasionally built Infrastructure around the tombs of the Undying or incorporated one of their stolen relics into its projects, but this typically endangers Its servants.[2]

Hunters have a conspiracy that was first empowered by an Angel, the Knights of St.Adrian, that hunts renegade Angels. These serve the God-Machine as unwitting pawns.

Demons that have met Changelings have since then learned that the God-Machine has no Infrastructure within the Hedge. Changelings that have taken part in such cooperations believe that the reason for this is because the Machine has no Contract with the Hedge that allows it to enter.[3]

The Disquiet of the Prometheans interacts strangely with Infrastructure, causing unforeseeable effects. On occasion, the God-Machine will work together with Alchemists for specific missions. Angels that have encountered a Qashmal believe that the Principle that they serve is a strange spiritual mirror of the God-Machine, who interacts with the world through intermediaries in the same manner as the Machine.[4] Those with more insight into both the Principle and the Machine come to many different conclusions. Some believe that the Machine is a more advanced form of the Principle, while others believe that the Machine and the Principle are antipoles, with the Principle manifesting change and the Machine manifesting stasis.[5]

The mages whose interests seem to coincidence with those of the God-Machine the most are the Seers of the Throne, who occasionally assist in the construction of Infrastructure (without really realizing what they do). The Abyss, on the other hand, has a warping effect on the occult physics that the Machine relies on, causing enmity between the two.[6] Archmages among the Alienated believe that the God-Machine itself is a mechanism to initiate a Mystery Play that will allow one of the Old Gods to return it to the Realms Supernal.[7]

Among the Uratha, the Lodge of the Field seems to operate on the standards of the God-Machine, being a cult centered around the figure of Lycaon-Ur and seeking to gain the Essence contained in human flesh to sacrifice it to the "gods". Demons that have contact with the Werewolves come to the conclusion that the entity Werewolves refer to as Luna is indeed a powerful Defense Infrastructure, whose Lunes are control mechanisms similar to Angels to manipulate the Uratha to do their biding. These Unchained find often common ground with the Pure. Those few that have heard of the Idigam believe them to be God-Machines to be, and that this was the reason they were originally contained.[8]

Among vampires, a small covenant is dedicated to the God-Machine: The Holy Engineers, a group centered around Singe's Testament that seek communion with the Fury of Death. The Ordo Dracul frequently come across Infrastructure in their search for Wyrm's Nests, and experiment with pieces they can claim for themselves.[9]

References Edit

  1. CofD: World of Darkness: Storytelling System Rulebook, p. 26
  2. DTD: Demon Storyteller's Guide Bullet-pdf , p.144
  3. DTD: Demon Storyteller's Guide Bullet-pdf , p.137-138
  4. DTD: Demon Storyteller's Guide Bullet-pdf , p.134-136
  5. PTC: Promethean: The Created Second Edition Bullet-pdf , p.92
  6. DTD: Demon Storyteller's Guide Bullet-pdf , p.130-131
  7. MTAw: Imperial Mysteries Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p.44
  8. DTD: Demon Storyteller's Guide Bullet-pdf , p.127-129
  9. DTD: Demon Storyteller's Guide Bullet-pdf , p.124-125

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