Could someone sum up briefly (or provide a link to a similarly brief summary of), please, the metaplot of Engel, a German-language RPG (whose English translation was published by one of White Wolf's studios until its rather early cancellation)?

Years ago I read (though never played) the Corebook, Dreamseed and Pandoramicum, and would now be interested in a brief summary of what happened / has been revealed in the rest of the German product line published after these three books. (I'd gladly buy the books and read them myself, but I do not speak German, unfortunately.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ The German wikipedia page has some more info than the English one, but nothing resembling a metaplot, just a summary. \$\endgroup\$
    – migo
    Mar 18 '11 at 10:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ When I first heard of this German game Engel, I thought it was a philosophical RPG based on the works of Friedrich Engels. Maybe it reveals some prejudices I had about the German gaming industry. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jakob
    Aug 7 '11 at 9:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ I added a bounty because while Jakob's answer is good, I'd love to see a real answer that didn't require me to go hit Google Translate. If anyone manages to write an English summary of the metaplot within the next 12-15 hours, I will give them the bounty. <=) \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam Dray
    Aug 13 '11 at 23:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Man I wish they had kept making this in English... \$\endgroup\$
    – mirv120
    Dec 14 '13 at 6:26

I found a German-language timeline of the setting's metaplot. It's far too long to recount here, but the part of the timeline that describes events since the beginning of the game is fairly short. Since I don't know anything about the setting I'm afraid I can't summarize even that part for you. However, a Google translation should give you a pretty good overview. Judging from older copies in the Internet Archive, the timeline has been expanded greatly since the release of the game.


Most of the answers are actually in the core book, but they're buried in the bits of fiction and flavor write-up sections about the world: basically the Infernos are massive nanotech factories that scour the biomass of the earth and convert it into living weapons--the dreamseed.

The Engel are in fact the same children the grim riders tithe from communities throughout Europa. They are taken to underground facilities beneath Roma Aeterna and are converted into Engel, space marine style--muscle is grafted in, wings are bult on. The whole time the kids are drugged and brainwashed into forgetting their old lives and believing they are angels. The final part of the process is they are tattooed with a special nanotech ink that imbues them with potestae.

So long as they stay loyal they are fed mana from heaven--a foodstuff laced with drugs inhibiting physical development, instilling feelings of bliss and confidence, and making them suggestible. As soon as they are away for any length of time they start suffering withdrawl, which they are taught equates to losing their grace. They begin to mature physically and their wings go from white to whatever color their hair is--becoming dark Engel. Any engel who come to question the church are returned to "heaven" which is really a big incinerator in the lowest levels of the himmel.

There you go.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I've upvoted your answer, because it can be useful to new GMs of Engel, however this is not the info I was looking for. These are the core secrets, which are, as you yourself have said, included in the core book. The metaplot is the official, grandiose story the writers/publishers are telling through their sequential publications. See (SPOILERS!): the Death Star is a huge space station capable of destroying entire planets, Vader is a cyborg ex-jedi turned evil, etc, but how the former gets destroyed and the latter saved by his rebel son over, etc, is the metaplot... \$\endgroup\$
    – OpaCitiZen
    Apr 14 '14 at 7:22

What follows is a transcription, with corrections, of the Google translation of the German-language metaplot timeline that was found by Jakob.

I started by Headlining each section of the timeline as I transcribed it and quickly turned to collecting sections of headlines together with smaller events pasted between them and divided into sections by notable events or clean transitions, forgoing a full summary of all the minutia of nearly 600 years. This should more than suffice for finding major historical points and interesting antideluvian footnotes to sprinkle into a game.

2064: Brexit happens.
12.04.2084: Richard Summer crowns self King of Britannia
2093: sudden outbreak of a disease called Veitstanz (untranslatables, 'St. John's Dance'); America glasses a theocracy with nukes, it takes three days and leaves a desert behind, POTUS is impeached over nuclear deployment and commits suicide

2094: global warming sets in, sea levels rise December 2094: The Netherlands, Northern Germany and Northern France sink into the sea.
Early 2095: Large parts of the coastal areas of Britain have sunk in the floods. The few survivors flee to the interior. (DBB 39) 04.04.2095: Paris sinks in the floods just like the monuments of Greece and Italy. (DBB 39)
- Autumn 2109: Rome is visited by the waters of the Mediterranean. (OMi 16/18)

2124: Second St. John's Dance outbreak, Britannian House Summer is wiped out
2126: The Drubwegung (druids) preach a return to the old ways, suppressed by local warlords

12.03.2150 Peter's Day
12.03.2150: Peter is born in Speyer, holiday
2153: Fra Judah writes the Second Genesis
2160: Peter von Speyer predicts he will stop aging
10.2162: Peter von Speyer takes the title of 'The Second'
11.2162~2163: Third outbreak of Veitstanz, "St. John's Dance", New British ruling structures collapse under the sickness, Peter Secundus takes pilgrimage to Rome

4.25.2163 Roma Æterna Founded
4.25.2163: New Rome Founded by Pontiff, Angelitic Church founded, Michaelites founded, holiday
12.2164: Fra Judah visits Pontiff in Rome, term Roma Æterna used
01.06.2165: Angelitic Church concludes Exodus, Fra Judah settles in Roma Æterna

2166 Construction Of The Himmel Begin
2166-2177: Missionary begins, the six Himmels are constructed, antediluvian buildings extended upwards (greatly)
2167: Pontifex lays foundation to Peter's Cathedral
2169: Fra Judah dies, Gabrielite Iemar follows guidance of "the Archangel" and found Gabrielite Order in Nuremburg
2177: seminaries and monestaries spread outside the Himmels
2180: Pontiff begins administrative reforms of Italy
2188-2192: Terries settle their borders in England
2191: Templar Army founded
2193: Thanes and Thanedoms appear as a hierarchical level of organisation
Sometime before 2200: The Altare dello Fondatore is erected for the first edition of the Sarielite "Immanuel of Orvieto" (relevance unknown, source Order Book of Michaelites)

2203 Diadoche Wars
2201: Templar Army reaches standing numbers?, first book and technology bans, Angelitic troops and scouts begin skirmishes with Britain, British boarding schools on mainland significantly effected
2203: war against the Diadoches, mixed success
2206: the eight Archangels appear before the Pontiff/Pontifex in the new Lateran, Engel take part in the Diadoche Wars and begin to turn the tide of battle to the Church's benefit, Michaelite Templar baracks "Palazzo Farnes" begins construction in Roma Æterna
8.11.2209: Britain signs peace treaty with Angelitic Church
Sometime after 2200: Legend has it that the angels Mariel, Adomiel and Jisariel created the 22 works of art "Murals" of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Loin.
2210: Britain enters "New Splendid Isolation"
2211-2215: British economy collapses under isolationism
2215: London becomes a freeport

2221 Lisbon Destroyed By God
2221: Lisbon declares self a freeport and the island landmass is sunk by the fire of God's Wrath, Baron Jorge leaves Cordova with his riches
02.02.2222: The Drubewegung (Druids?) in Britain strengthened: general strikes and terrorist attacks force the Thanes to repeated military intervention.
2226: Foundation of the Disciples of the Morning Star by Antonio Santiago.
17.09.2229: Official recognition of the Drubewegung as a second state in Britain.
2230: Pontiff/Pontifex? declares Roma Æterna capital of Europe

2230 Little War Of The Waves
2230-2245: "Little War of the Waves" between Britain and Angelitic Church
2237: Himmels reach (provisional) completion, book and technology bans are increased, book burnings and technology seizures occur, Pontifex consecrate Michaelite himmel, Gaius Severus becomes first Ab of Michaelite Himmel, Angelitic Church begins alteration of historical records
16.04.2238: Gabrielite Fortress in Nuremburg reaches completion
2238: Iemar, leader of Gabrielites orders the construction in Nuremburg of the oldest surviving church in modern times
2245: British Isles begin constructing fortifications on their southern coasts, London Central Parliament recovers (rebuilds?) security forces
17.10.2247: St. Dunja Saga is born. (OG 35)

2260 Peasant Caste Established In British Isles
2260: Autarchy spreads among the British, peasant class reinstated

02.02.2262 Druids Employ Inferno Technologies?
02.02.2262: "Day of the Fire Spirits": The Dru fight nationwide against the use of certain technologies to escape the anger of the fire spirits. As a warning, the inhabitants of Otherworld pass by the small town of Ortis in Carmarthen (Wales). (DBB 40)
2262-2266: "Annoying Years": Again and again, fire spirits destroy places or properties in England, until finally the national parliament intervenes and introduces the ban catalog of the Dru nationally. This document is received by the recently chosen aspects of the Winter Queen. (DBB 40)
2271-2307: "The Marital Wars": Power struggles between the Dru and individual Thanes break out in Britain and end only with the appearance of the Summer King. The independence of the groves is established and a training for lawyers and Coppers codified. (DBB 40)

2292: Engel arrive in Basilicata to spread the faith
23rd century: From Karlus exclaims the "Schrottbaronenhatz". (Floor 29)
2301: The Galleria Coursani (Angelitic Gallery) opens in Rome (OMi 19)
2303: The Michaelitenstift (teaching and training institute for Beguine and Monache) opens in Roma. (OMi 19)
2307: Economic upswing across Britain provides general prosperity and consolidation of the caste system there. (DBB 40)
2355: Phillip (later patron saint of grim riders) dies. (OUr 68)
2357: Saint Phillip (patron saint of grim riders) is canonised by the pontiff. (OUr 68)

03.05 2357 St. Phillip's Day
03.05.2357: The annual holiday of the holy Phillip (patron saint of the prey riders) is celebrated from now on. (OUr 68)
2392-2397: Individual small wars break out between the Thanes in Britain and finally lead to the establishment of the system of "Thanekriege". (DBB 40)

2420 Infernos Arrive?
2420: First perceived movement of Infernos.
28.02.2420: First mass sightings of dreamseed.
13.05.2455: Raised fishermen report large fires burning in the vicinity of Iceland on the sea. Riots and riots are breaking out in Britain, which is frightening the population for more "raging years". On the advice of Dru many technological achievements are dismantled and stored [Dreamseed are somehow attracted to high technology? secondhand rumor, unverifiable on my end, claims either the Pontifex or his puppetmaster, Lucifer, another unverifiable claim, actively controls the Infernos, possibly to augment Angelitic bans]. (DBB 40)
October 2455: First Inferno reaches the coast of Iceland.
2475: The National Parliament, after years of discord, finds enough cohesion to wage a British campaign against "evil spirits" that afflict the whole country. Free corps led by mothers are formed to deal with the superiority of the spirits [needs a proper translation with understanding of the source material]. (DBB 40)
2476: Dream Seizure on Genova [Dreamseed assault Genova]. (OMi 19)
2531: The ghost corps (free corps?) are dissolved again under pressure from the Dru and transferred to smaller guards of the Thanes. (DBB 40)

2493 First Crusade
2493: Pontiff Maximus Petrus Secundus calls for the first crusade against the dream seed.
2493: Antonio Ulifo becomes the first Dux of the Crusade. (OMi 19)
2543 Inferno Over Genova Halts
2535: Foundations Of Hanseatic League Trade Power Laid?
2535: On the advice of the New Hanseatic League, a large number of large and small trading houses open accounts in London. The trade is solidly strengthened and London becomes one of the most important trading hubs in Europe. (DBB 40)
2543 Samaelite Himmel Destroyed
Mid-26th century: Around the celebrations of the 3rd of May (the day of St. Phillip, patron saint of grim riders), statuettes of the church are stolen from the church in Rodez. They miraculously reappear almost 10 years later. (OUr 69)
2553 Gabrielites Form Order Of The Guardians, Incorporate Samaelite Survivors
2572 Druids Eradicate Disciples Of The Morning Star
2582 Templars, Clerics Decreed To Leave Moscow By Ramielite AB

2596 Dreamseed (In Genova?) Retreat Into Inferno, First Crusade Ends, Nuremburg Saved
2596-2605: Decade of reconstruction.
2603: Morlock Cults Initiate Heresy Wars, 'Redux' Faction Arises Out Of Underground

2605: Dreamseed Return
2605: Legend has it that a city-sized dream seed creature near Munich was defeated by a flock of dead [Engel?]. (OG 47)
2505-2614: Monach Constantin Plots Against Pontifex
June 2610: Battle For Jerusalem Between Engel And Dreamseed

01.06.2510: "Viechgestech" holiday founded in memory of Battle for Jerusalem
2620-2630: Rise Of Hanseatic League
2629: Walls Of Nuremburg Completed, Population Reaches One Million Souls
2634: Nuremburg Closed To Refugees
2640: Diadoches Found Urbanis League To Consolidate Technological Knowledge
01.02.2642: Events of Pandoramicum. Destruction of the Raguelite Himmel in Trondheim.
2645: Events contained in Creatures of the Dreamseed begin.
2646: Gabrielites Skirmish With South German Scrap Barons, Ramielites Stop Formation Of Guilds In Prague, Vindex Tower Established As High-Sec Prison In Nuremburg
2647: Diadochenstadt in Tübingen annihilated, Ansbach Destroyed By Gabrielites

2649: Holy Door Of Roma Æterna Sees Most Recent Quarter-Centennial Opening, Second Crusade Against Dreamseed Launched
2651: Gabrielites Forced Into Alliance With Walter Von Essen, Events of Creatures of the Dreamseed end
2652: European Council Formed
2653: Diadoche Towns Sabrik, Lautern Fall As Angelitic Forces Lay Siege To Troops In Augsburg

[2654: Game Begins Here]

2655: Construction Of Terra Nova Begins, European Council Ends
2656: Terra Nova Launches
2657: Brandlands Near Trondheim See First Snows, Terra Nova Lands On London, British Isles Conquered By Angelitic Church
2658: Cities Met, Nancy Fall To Machine Cult, Reformed Under City Of Met-Nancy

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    \$\begingroup\$ By transcription, you mean of this? Is this your own translation? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 2 '18 at 6:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, literal meaning of transcription, a copying of words, of the english-Google translation and some correcting of errors or odd syntax the machine made, like the references to St. John's dance and Himmels being translated to 'skies', as well as summarisation of what look like big events and odd circumstance in the headlines, such as the apparent Dru usage or direct knowledge of Inferno/Dreamseed technologies \$\endgroup\$
    – Corposaint
    Jun 2 '18 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I should note that most of what is left out seems to be mostly events that occur to notable characters in the book fluff, the meta gets thinner the closer we get to game-start, leaving all the best conflicts and mysteries hundreds of years in the past- perhaps as it should be for a game about a neo-medieval apocalypse. \$\endgroup\$
    – Corposaint
    Jun 2 '18 at 15:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ That helps provide context. Because this isn't a threaded discussion forum (check out the tour and/or help center for how different our Q&A is from a discussion thread, or play with the sorting options at the top of the answers), the answer needed that to be properly self-explanatory. I took the liberty of adding a minimal introduction. I also took the liberty of adding some of our formatting, reformatting the all-caps into bold, and turning the source linebreaks into formatted linebreaks. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 2 '18 at 16:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're welcome! One unusual formatting detail that's hard to see in the source text: to get those hard line breaks without starting a new paragraph, two spaces were added to the end of a line. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 2 '18 at 16:37

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