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Author Topic: The Modern Day Prometheus  (Read 1177 times)

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Offline BardingTopic starter

The Modern Day Prometheus
« on: February 19, 2009, 06:47:13 AM »

No-one had ever so much as told him how to shiver – how to conduct this strange electricity across his spine with no impetus or reason to his actions save for the fact that he was cold – and yet shiver he did. He had woken up on a hard, stone floor, eyes as good as blinded, like those of a newborn, by the light around him. It was dim but it shone all around him with a painful, baleful ambience that threatened to sear his skin, even if his clenched eyelids prevented its glare from reaching the delicate tissue beneath.
   There were wires, invading him; violating him. He barely knew what they were – whether they were animal, vegetable or mineral – but he knew that they were inside him and that this should not be. Nothing should be. This room was a threat to him; every surface sneered with something like pity devolved to the point of hate. It all hated him. His body hated him; it was trying to crawl away from him. Arm giving an errant jerk, fingernails clawing against the rough, grey concrete floor, scratching and scratching, every inch of his body rebelled. His lungs almost refused to breath for him – they wanted him dead. They wanted him to leave them in peace. They were someone else’s lungs.

Such is waking up as a Promethean – an amalgam of stolen matter and stolen fire in place of a soul. They are creatures, composed of the corpses of human dead and animated through the forceful insertion of the divine fire – the Pyros, stolen by Prometheus from the Gods, as some might say – into their unloving bodies. Through a mixture of foul alchemy and age-old sorcery, a creature that should not be has thus been brought into being. A Promethean is an eyesore upon the face of the world, although, for all intents and purposes, he may not seem it at first.

While, in truth, they are hideous in one way or another – whether they are the mismatched, patchwork men of Frankenstein’s lineage, or the unnatural, doll-like, waxen beauties of Galatea’s – the world, in an effort to afford them some sympathy, hides this behind a façade of mortality. They may seem to be human and yet they are, more often than not, provided with none of the rights or the kindness of others that would identify them as such.

The streets began to dim as the lamps that have lit them for longer than a lifetime sputter into life. They were haunted by the flickering of passing figures; those few pedestrians who know or, at least, assume the danger inherent to that particular part of town attempt to move through the area as quickly as possible. The wise ones travelled in cars – they were the once-bitten – those who have not suffered, either in their minds or in their bodies, as the former have, walk.
   A homeless man, upon seeing a well-dressed passer-by, walking, strangely enough, begins to crawl forth from the corner of his own safe, warm detritus and, inch by inch, put out his weathered hand. The well-dressed man began to reach into his coat pocket and his fingers touched the cold security of coinage. However, the nickel in the metal seemed to shock him. There was something in the homeless man’s eyes, or maybe something about the way that he smelt. He was disgusting. He was repulsive, and the well-dressed man’s heart froze; the other man was simply not worthy of his sympathy. The well-dressed man withdrew his hand from the coat pocket, fingers clutching at nothing, and walked on, not so much as saying a word.

Three blocks away, a policeman’s car glided along the neighbourhood’s curb, attempting to lure in a proposition from a prostitute, hoping to not only arrest her for this violation of law but to, at least, get her off the streets for a while. A two pronged method of attack from a good man – a father and a faithful husband. Waiting on a street corner, stood a young girl – a teenager with a pleading envy in her eyes of anyone who was not her at that moment in time. She was obviously new to this, or so the policeman reasoned; no-one was stopping for her, and just as well. He figures that the most compassionate thing to do would be to nip her career in the bud – to stop the cancer from going, before it had eaten so much of her that it had become a part of her.
   The policeman pulls over, a smile on his face, free of lechery. Almost instantly, relief floods the girl’s eyes as he approaches. She stammered as she offered him the tricks of her trade. The policeman listened and yet, already, his ears had begun to reject her; she seems to him to spit the vulgarities she promises to provide from chapped, dry lips. He began to realise why no-one had pulled up to her before now – she was disgusting.
   Words that he had heard close to constantly on the streets of this neighbourhood but had never before said or meant had already begun to spit back at her. She took them like bullet wounds and stumbled off into the night, alone.
   Moments later, the policeman was left in his driving seat, shaking his head. He wondered if the job had gotten to him as much as it seemed.

Dressed in a thin veneer of humanity, this is not enough to prevent the subconscious mind of both beast and man, and the eternal knowledge of nature itself from knowing, deep down what they are. They are things that should not be, and they are treated as such. Not only do humans often reject them out of hand, perceiving there to be ‘just something wrong with them’, they superimpose their fears onto the human façade of a Promethean. A shopkeeper would see a man that might come in every week to simply buy a can of Coca Cola and just see something slightly ‘off’ in him – perhaps his teeth are somehow unusual? – and yet she’d never be able to place it. However, the week that there’s a murder just outside of the city’s suburbs, she calls the police as soon as she hears the news. She knows who was responsible, or, at least, she thinks she knows.

To add insult to injury, the earth itself buckles and rejects around them. If a Promethean stays in one place too long, death begins to boil beneath the world’s surface; people’s temperaments will change for the worse and tension will hang in the air. Water will go stiff and stale and storms will start to brew. Crops will fail and buildings will erode far more quickly than they might under usual circumstances. Nevertheless, while this is a gradual process, it is still a process. No-one, but for other Prometheans, accept a Promethean.

Perhaps this is why the majority of them seek salvation. All seem to know that there is a chance to be good again. While there is no definite way in which one can or should go about it, Prometheans simply know that while, at the moment of their birth in this world, they are not fully human, they can, through endeavour, become human. This is what drives them; a desire to, one day, drink deeply from the milk of human kindness and to become whole. They are creatures of alchemy and, through a strange, metaphysical alchemy, they attempt to distil the matter of their bodies and the Pyros at their hearts into a human soul.

This is often done through a process of self-discovery, normally called a Pilgrimage. While what exactly the Pilgrimage entails varies from Promethean to Promethean, it often simply involves discovering what it means to be human, what it means to be a Promethean, and what it is to have a soul. However, aside from these basic tenets, the Pilgrimage is an entirely undefined path that must be hewn out by the Promethean through the wastes of their lives in an unmapped land. The only recurring factor in the Pilgrimages of all Prometheans is that they must pass the Pyros into another vessel; they must create another Promethean.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 02:43:52 PM by Barding »

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus [WoD]
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 06:48:20 AM »
The Plot

"Hateful day when I receive life! Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust? God, in pity, made man beautiful and alluring, after his own image; but my form is a filthy type of yours, more horrid from the resemblance. Satan had his own companions, fellow devils, to admire and encourage him, but I am solitary and abhorred."
   - The Monster, Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'

Now, uhm, the basic premise of this roleplay idea (yes, it is a roleplay idea, rather than just an infomercial for Promethean: the Created, contrary to what you might have believed up until now…that was all just something to get you, my potential audience, in the right mood and to allow those of you who haven’t heard of Promethean to see if you want to learn about it or not) involves a shared Pilgrimage between two Prometheans.

One, a Promethean that has existed for twenty years or so, grows tired of the rejection and hatred he has suffered at the hands of humanity and the bosom of nature. The extreme Loneliness that only a Promethean can feel begins to ebb through him like poison through his veins and he soon realises that the only way to purge himself, is to pass the poison into the veins of another. In short, he seeks to create a companion; a creature to love and for her to love him in return.

He spends weeks in finding the most ideal aspects of several corpses to stitch together as delicately as his shaking hands will let him into an amalgam of sheerest beauty. From this desperate labour of love comes a corpse, created from several women, each of whom were beautiful in one way, that is now beautiful in almost every conceivable way, at least, as far as the creating Promethean is concerned. Finally, it is electricity that gives her life, channelling the creator’s Pyros into her cold form.

However, as is so often the case with such things, all does not go according to plan. First, the newly created Promethean, while in an outwardly mature body, has the mind of a newborn creature. However, as Prometheans do, she quickly learns, under the adoring tutelage of her creator. He has found her beautiful since before she was so much as born and so much as being in her vicinity brings him peace – he is beginning to discover what love entails and feels, as a result, closer to humanity than ever before. The problem that arises soon after is simple. Once the newly created Promethean has learnt enough to know herself for what she is, self-hatred begins to convalesce and multiply inside her strange, doll-like body. She knows she should not be and, as she hates herself, she hates her creator. She knows she is hideous, despite his saying otherwise. However, this is a standard reaction to birth in Prometheans and her creator knows this.

In short, the roleplay would, first, concern his desperately attempting to force her to come to terms with her new state of existence and to believe, as he believes, that she is beautiful and that he loves her. Furthermore, he has the task of letting her allow herself to love him, both as a father and as a companion and as a lover. After this section of the roleplay is over and the newly created Promethean is relatively well adjusted to her new existence, the time will come for the older Promethean to share his Pilgrimage with her.

This roleplay will see if love, albeit the strange, dysfunctional one they share, will serve to bring them all the closer to humanity for their efforts.

I am looking for a roleplayer, preferably female and with a distinctly literate view on RP, to write the role of the newly created Promethean in the above plot, while I would be playing the older, male one.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2009, 06:50:11 AM by Barding »

Offline polaroids

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus [WoD]
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 11:17:01 PM »
o dis v depressing

hai ladiez he's british and a v gud wryter
tap dat shit
he'll harry your potter if ya know what i mean ehehehee  8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Offline The Indigo Veil

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus [WoD]
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2009, 12:05:02 AM »
I haven't yet been approved as a member of this community, but if I do get approved, this sounds like something I'd be into, as I am deeply interested in Victoriana and Gothic horror. I would, however, need to be guided through the Promethean system unless you want straight-up narrative with no dice or stats. You can view my introduction thread at to get a sense of my writing style.


Offline The Indigo Veil

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus [WoD]
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2009, 07:11:48 PM »
Hooray, I've been approved! :) Would you like to discuss specifics for this idea?

EDITED to add: Also, what did you have in mind for how to play, if you're willing to accept my participation in this story? Play by post on the boards here, or something more real-time, like IRC? Do you anticipate this being a one shot with a compressed sense of time, or an extended "campaign" where each stage is fully developed? Lastly, a question about what you've deemed your "infomercial": The only recurring factor in the Pilgrimages of all Prometheans is that they must pass the Pyros into another vessel; they must create another Promethean. Does this mean that at some point in time, the female Promethean would, consciously or not, be compelled to create her own monster even though she already has a companion? Or maybe this point is open to discussion. Perhaps the creation of a child? Oh, what a messed up kid that would be! :D


In answer to your questions on the introduction thread that I never got a chance to respond to, here are my thoughts:

1) An essential: your favourite genre in which to roleplay? By that I mean settings. Anything as non-specific as "Oh, Tolkienesque fantasy" or anything as specific as "A post-apocalyptic steampunk setting in which the Cold War never ended". This'll help us all pin-point what you're here specifically with a view to RPing or what you'd like to explore a little

As mentioned, I have a special place in my heart for all things Victorian. I love a good Victorian setting, and my old GM created a homebrew world of gritty Victorian romance where traditional fantasy tropes also had a place--it was a place of enormous possibility, so long as you took care to remember that the hunters you play easily become prey at the drop of well-made and fashionable hat.

My absolute favorite game took place in another homebrew world, where the real world "me" was killed off by the antagonist, and I was dragged into the realms of the dead, one which our most inventive writers have already given us a glimpse through their published writings.  The point there was to play with different forms of archetypal power, and see how to best manipulate it to my advantage. That campaign remains my most favoritest ever.

Still, in terms of setting, I'm pretty flexible, so long as the overarching story is compelling, and the other characters are interesting and well portrayed.

2) A character in any form of media (film, play, that you feel portrays you most truthfully and most accurately. Why that character? Be honest.

Sorry, I have no idea on this.

3) A character in any form of media (film, play, book, art) that you wish portrayed you most truthfully and accurately. Why that character?

At this time, probably Louisa Trotter, from the Duchess of Duke Street. It's an old BBC series made in the early to mid '70s (it's older than I am!) about a woman who leaves her adequate but unrefined life to pursue her dream of "becoming the best cook in England." She ends up being not only the best cook in England, but also owning a hotel noted for its fine cusine and catering only to the very best in society.

She's a plain-speaking, utterly no-nonsense, graduate from the school of hard knocks type of woman who has the drive to pursue her ambition at any cost, and has the courage to speak up with conviction against her social betters in a way that not even they would dare amongst their peers. Deep down, though, she is still one of the kindest people one could hope to come across and suffers a little bit from being more naive than she thinks she is. She's got her baggage, but so do we all. I think she's braver and kinder than I am, even after suffering through more adversity than I have, and I hope I can be like her when I grow up. :)

4) What is the first related term (or seemingly unrelated term) or event or image that springs to mind when I say a) 'Welsh', b) 'Octopus', c) 'Fall'.

(A) welsh: "Lyrical" (for what I consider the musicality of Welsh itself)
(B) octopus: "conglomerate" (as in a huge, multi-national corporation that has its many fingers in many pies. GE is one such example.)
(C) fall: innocence (quite obviously as in "man's fall from grace")

5) If you could have a portrait created, free of charge, by any artist on the condition that you allowed them to represent you however they liked, who would it be. Selling the portrait later on is not an option - you have to keep the piece.

If I can get a portrait by anyone, knowing that they would accept the task, I think I'd ask...Oscar Wilde to do a "verbal portrait." In his play Salome, he wrote, "One should not look at anything. Neither at things, nor at people should one look. Only in mirrors is it well to look, for mirrors do but show us masks." And I do really believe that a mere reflection of self isn't adequate to show that much, especially with role players, who are accustomed to pretending to be people other than themselves. ;) When something is written, the writer can comment more on the "inner life" of a person in a much a wider scope, from crest to trough, and the circumstances around those events will be based in fact. In commissioning such a "portrait," I'd be able to look back at a much more thorough (if not wholly accurate) portrayal, where my best achievements are recounted and the depths of my not-quite depravity condemned (or celebrated, whichever the case may be).
« Last Edit: February 21, 2009, 09:18:20 PM by The Indigo Veil »

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus [WoD]
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 01:44:27 AM »
It seems that I've found myself searching once again. *crosses his fingers*

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2009, 04:01:35 PM »
Stiiiiill looking.

Offline PearlRuby

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 07:38:51 PM »
I think this idea is pretty amazing, and nothing like I've ever read before. From the thread title I thought you were referring to the Greek Myth, but on the contrary, this idea is far more interesting. I can see a lot of scope here for characterisation and emotional exploration.

Did the other rper definately drop out?

Though I only applied to the site today and therefore haven't been approved, fingers crossed I will be soon. (I hope it's okay that I post here, in that case.) This would definately be a story I'd like to participate in though. I think I need to re-read the plot description again, since my eagerness got the better of me. I also need sleep so I can think more about characterisation, if of course, you're happy for me to join. I do have queries about this pilgrimage this. Since the male Promethean already created a female, does that not count as his pilgrimage complete?
Slightly off-topic, but can I also ask where you found the artwork? I'm assuming it's the same artist?

Offline PearlRuby

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2009, 07:49:28 PM »
And yay for wikipedia!
I found a whole article about the Promethean RPG from White Wolf publishers. I will definately do some research tomorrow to get an overall, better understanding.

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 01:53:33 AM »
First off, thanks for your kind words about the idea. I think everyone needs a confidence boost from time to time, now, don't they? In case you were wondering, the title of the thread actually came from an alternative title for Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein'. As many novels were back then it was 'Something...or...something else' - 'Frankenstein, or the Modern Day Prometheus'.

Then again, I feel I'm getting bogged down a bit in trivia, so I'll start where you left off.

I checked out your introduction thread and, as far as it seems, you can phrase yourself well enough to give me high hopes about how you actually write. Furthermore, you also seemed to mention your desires for certain types of RP - I think 'descriptive' and 'gothic' were both words that were used - and, well, my style of roleplay tends to be both. Promethean, and the other RPG settings in the same range are all contemporary gothic horror games based on characterisation and the like more than ''kewl powerzz'' like some other RPGs might be...

I love 'em but, well, I won't assume you will too, although it seems likely given your predispositions.

As for the Pilgrimage question: it's a necessity to complete the Pilgrimage to create another Promethean but it doesn't equal completion of the Pilgrimage alone. It might, however, add towards it. Still, many Prometheans create LOTS of progeny before reaching humanity.

and the Artwork: it's all on DeviantArt. I'll make sure to find you links to the two profiles. However, I'm somewhat hurried right now :S I have class to go to :P

P.S. It's always lovely to hear from someone else on this island I call home; i.e. I'm in England too :)

Hope to hear from you soon,

Offline PearlRuby

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 05:12:29 PM »
I think I missed out a lot on my intro post. Summing my likes and interests and dislikes into a few paragraphs would be like writing an self-analysis essay, and I have enough essays to write as it is. Hopefully people will get a better idea when I start writing in RP. But yes, everyone does need a confidence boost, now and then, and it's nice to write with another fellow Brit!  At least timezones will be similar.  :P  Trivia is more than welcome too.

I never really experienced the White Wolf RPGs. First time I ever heard of them was after the first Underworld film came out. The lore is definately interesting though, and I think I spent a good three hours or so getting absorbed and influenced by Vampire: The Masquerade. Sadly I missed out on anything else they published though.

So, I'm assuming you're keeping with the whole, World of Darkness seting? So...this will be a 'modern' day / contemporary setting? Though obviously not an exact reflection on the real world. Some creative mixture of a cyberpunk/neo-noir world?
Also, I think I understand the pilgrimage a little better now thanks  :)  Though I'm sure it will make even more sense over the course of the rp.

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2009, 01:34:27 AM »
*grins* If you're going on standard procedure, you'll have to sum your likes and dislikes up at some point as an On's/Off's thread, as most members of E seem to. To be honest, I can really see why; I think it's a really useful device, as far as I'm concerned :)

As for the While Wolf RPGs, yeah, we'd be going with the World of Darkness setting in this. It'll be a darker reflection of our contemporary world, with some added or subtracted material (different politicians as a result of altered cause and effect; different governments; occasional different cities). I guess various different game settings from the World of Darkness emphasise different aspects of the world itself. For example, Vampire is more Gothic-Punk, Mage (at least, the Old World of Darkness, decent one *pouts*) is more cyberpunk/gothic and Promethean, for example, is more kinda noir, I guess. Promethean takes place in a world full of unpleasant urban myths (often caused by Prometheans or Pandorans themselves) and the like, although, technically, all of the settings are actually within the same universe and on the same planet etc. Different aspects of it are simply thematically emphasised for each game.

I hope everything's making sense so far and, also, good luck with your acceptance into E as a community. :)

Offline PearlRuby

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2009, 05:43:55 AM »
And....approved!  ;D  Now to indulge in some much anticipated writing, though perhaps after my braincells are done swimming in vodka >.<
Still, ready to start this whenever you are.

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2009, 08:31:36 AM »
Congratulations! Anyhow, I'd really love to get some brainstorming started and stuff. Still, I guess the first thing that needs doing would be for you to learn a little more about the setting, huh? I can give you some reading material (so long as you're willing to do a bit of research research for this game ::)) if you're to give me (probably via PM) an e-mail address you'd prefer the material be sent to.

Eagerly awaiting you response, as ever ;D

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2010, 11:18:00 AM »
I hope it's permitted by the rules to revive this roleplay request? Basically, a sort of craving for it has reared its head in my own again and, uhm, I wanted to see if maybe I could attract anyone's attention enough for them to take a look at it and, perhaps, throw me a PM. I guess I've changed a little as a roleplayer since this thread was first put up but the offer still stands and the plot is still firm in my mind. In terms of me as a roleplay in my own right, check out my Ons and Offs page, linked in my signature, if you'd like to know more.

(Sorry if bringing this thread back from the dead broke any rules.)

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2010, 04:54:19 PM »
I actually might be up for this.  I like the idea a lot.

Offline BardingTopic starter

Re: The Modern Day Prometheus
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2010, 05:07:28 PM »
Your 'Might be up for this'ness is duly and happily noted. Like I said, resurrecting this thread was just an interest check thing to see what it threw up. However, I might contact you at some stage abouddit :)