Wednesday, November 22, 2023

OSR: The 99 Names of God

This post is a companion piece to this one.  When selecting which one of the Secret Names of God to give to a Prophet or which one the players find in some sort of random location, roll on the table below.  

At the beginning of time the Authority created the world and everything in it (according to the Church).  It is this feat, among others, that prove to us that the Authority is the one true God, the God of Gods, the One who Upholds the Universe.  

Then, in His infinite wisdom and grace, the Authority created lesser beings known as the Gods, and allowed them to contribute to the Authority's creation.  These beings then proceeded to make changes to the Authority's creation, filling it with all sorts of things, both beautiful and terrible.  This is why the world is broken, for the Authority permitted the creation of things good and ill to demonstrate the truth to His children, both divine and mortal.  

To aid them in their creative process, the Authority also gave his divine children the Words of Authority, or as the Church knows them, the Secret Names of God.  Each one of these Names, when spoken aloud has the power to alter reality in accordance with the will of the speaker.

According to the Canon of the Church, there are 99 of these Names.  Each one is sacred and if discovered, should be returned to the Church for everlasting spiritual (and potentially earthly) rewards.  Not all the Names are in the possession of the Church or Gods aligned with the Church's Protector, Zulin, High King of Heaven.  According to the bureaucracy of Heaven, the Church possesses 35 of the Names.

The Shattered God Heresy:

It is common knowledge that the Authority rules through other Gods and other mortals.  Church doctrine teaches this is because of free will.  But in 670 AR (After Rebirth- the date when the Prophetess Hesaya was first reincarnated by her husband, Zulin), a Bishop of the Church named Oria put forward a novel and wild hypothesis.  This new teaching was that the Authority had utilized all of His power to create the universe and thus could not act to influence the world.  The Lost Words of Authority, the Secret Names of God, he said, were part of the Authority's soul and when he created the universe, his soul was fractured into all things.  

This teaching, known as the teaching of the Shattered God, the Shattered God Heresy or simply Orianism, gradually blossomed into a variety of competing teachings.  Oria taught that the Authority need not be acknowledged as much as He was, and it was more important to pray to Zulin and Hesaya.  He also taught that Hesayans should look to the teachings of other religions for advice on what to do and adopted many of these practices himself.  

Some of his disciples went further and claimed that the Authority is dead and the Heavens empty, or if they were not that extreme, they simply argued that the Authority was a powerless shade who could do nothing and was not worthy of worship.  

It was at this point than a Conclave of Bishops was called to discuss the issue.  Luckily, this Conclave was called when the Prophetess was among us, so she was able to lend her authority to it.  After many days of prayer and fasting and furious debate, the Bishops declared that Orianism was a heresy and that any who refused to recant would be excommunicated.  

Despite this threat, many heretics refused to recant and Oria himself fled the city, just ahead of the secular authorities who sought to arrest him for his many other crimes that he could now be prosecuted from, as he was no longer under the aegis of the Church.  And though that was many, many years ago, it is said that there are still small communities of Orianists out in the wilderness, practicing their own, wildly divergent version of Hesayanism.

But how do they work?

The Secret Names of God are a piece of knowledge that cannot be shared.  If told to someone, you will forget and only they will know it.  Words cannot be stolen or taken by force, only given and received.  The most common way for a mortal to receive a Word is when a Prophet is loaned a Word by their God in order to accomplish a great feat or pursue a holy mission.  The only other ways are if a mortal tricks a God out of a Word or finds one that was lost, though these cases are much less common than folk-lore would have you believe.      

When one possesses one of the Words of Authority, one can speak and alter reality based on what that Word is.  

Consider the Word "Speak".  A Prophet with this Word can order anything he wishes to 'Speak'.  When he does so, the Referee should assign a DC to the action based on how in accordance with what the Word is and how likely it is to work, how easy the task is, how likely his God is to grant his request, etc.  

For example, if the Prophet comes across a book written in a language he does not speak, he can command the book to "Speak in his language."  If he succeeds, the book will either translate itself or it may speak aloud in the language the Prophet used and explain itself to him.  Or if interrogating a prisoner who refuses to talk, the Prophet could try to order the prisoner to "Speak the truth" and force the prisoner to talk and tell the truth.  

Note that certain requests may be impossible, either because of the Word or because the God who gave the Prophet the Word he is using would not want it used for that purpose.  For example, a Prophet could not use the Word 'Speak' to light up a dark room or if someone was keeping a secret that the Prophet's God didn't want getting out, the Word could not make the person reveal that secret.          

The 99 Words of Authority:

1- Speak
2- Seal/Close
3- Mend
4- Open
5- Release
6- Pass
7- Cut
8- Destroy/Kill
9- Burn
10- Purify
11- Corrupt/Degrade
12- Illuminate
13- Dismiss
14- Call/Bring [Forth]
15- Send
16- Solidify/Harden
17- Raise
18- Lower
19- Crush
20- Silence
21- Enrage/Rage
22- Calm
23- Purchase/Redeem
24- Steal/Take
25- See
26- Blind
27- Quicken
28- Slow
29- Stop
30- Make
31- Invigorate
32- Weaken
33- Connect
34- Bind
35- Consume
36- Conceal/Hide
37- Chill
38- Guard/Protect
39- Reveal
40- Restore
41- Distort
42- Alter
43- Progress
44- Move
45- Change
46- Return
47- Forget
48- Remember
49- Grow
50- Wrath
51- Sorrow
52- Truth
53- Peace
54- Command
55- Suffer
56- Wither
57- Vanish
58- Submit
59- Fight
60- Love
61- Repent
62- Pardon/Forgive
63- Storm
64- Expel
65- Freedom
66- Hate
67- Fill
68- Clear
69- Fear/Frighten
70- Dream
71- Wake
72- Save
73- Hold
74- Speed
75- Think
76- Seed
77- Build
78- Disassemble
79- Duplicate
80- Hear
81- Empty
82- Dissolve
83- Fuse/Combine
84- Fear
85- Charm/Seduce
86- Convert
87- Appoint
88- Delegate
89- Promote
90- Record
91- Dictate
92- Hold
93- Shrink
94- Remove/Remand
95- Teach
96- Appeal/Petition
97- Accuse
98- Bury
99- Breathe 

by fangogogo

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