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To my understanding:

  • According to Demon the Fallen, God is the Creator of Everything, which pretty much consists of Earth and its multiple overlapping realms and the cosmos, which is otherwise barren.

  • In Werewolf however, three "Celestine" deities represent the Earth, Moon and Sun: Gaia, Luna and Helios respectively.

I am aware that lore in CWoD is warped by the beliefs of the numerous supernatural creatures, but I have yet to see a canonical reconciliation of the two. Is there one?

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Is there canonical reconciliation of the two? Yes, there are actually multiple attempts to reconcile this issue, all coming from different cWoD sourcebooks.

Is there a reconciliation of reconciliations? No and for good reasons.

So is there a reconciliation I should use? Yes, the one in the book you're currently using.


That was the short answer, for the long, bear with me for a minute.

cWoD games despite often being described as happening in a single universe are explicitly separate and irreconciliable. Werewolves from Vampire: the Masquerade are not Garou from Werewolf: the Apocalypse. Umbral demons from Werewolf are not the same entities as the ones in Demon. Mage's Shadowlands are not Wraith's Shadowlands. This is an intentional design paradigm that stems from the fact that each game explores completely different topics and has immensely disparate character power levels. It's "safer" (more convenient) to say these are separate games, both in terms of mechanics and lore, otherwise identity of God is the least of your worries.

cWoD is also ripe with self contradictions. Some of them were so bad they got turned into in-jokes (Rasputin, anyone?). Even books from the same line contradict themselves. Sometimes even the same book has contradictory claims (I'm looking at you, Mage: the Ascension). Some say it's sloppy design, others that it's a conscious choice to present differing world-views and highlight the obscurity of The Truth1. Others yet say that's what happens if the studio smokes too much. Arguments aside, the reality is that the lore is generally muddy and unclear and seeking for The Truth is a futile endeavour.

Finally, cWoD's entire philosophy rests on a fact that reality is just a reflection of one's perception, beliefs and whimsy. It is entirely possible that what is true to a Demon is heresy to a Werewolf and uninformed fantasies for a Mage. For example, Mage asserts that there were Pure Ones - creators, whose remnants are now other celestial entities. It also accepts the Triat (Wyrm, Wyld, Weaver) as personification of three governing powers of the Tellurian (Primordial, Dynamic, Pattern). It ALSO accepts that on some level each entity that has human belief behind it exists and has powers approaching it's imagined human ideal, so God-Creator believed to be the creator would also be the creator. It makes no effort to reconcile the two. It is the same with Demon. What is demonstrably true and works and by both theory and experiment has been proven to be accurate for a Demon can also be demonstrably false and disproven and not working for a Werewolf2.

My suggestion, therefore is:

  • Don't think about it too hard.
  • Pick one and roll with it.
  • Then pick the other and roll with it for a while too.
  • Make sure everyone understands that there is no one proper answer.
  • Have fun.

1 - That if one assumes some, if not most, of the books fluff is written In-Universe.

2 - If Gaia is a celestine or something even bigger is not fully clear because of contradictions. The hierarchy presented at times tells Gaia > Triat > Celestines etc, other entries list Gaia as a Celestine (Umbra Revised p 103f) or a genealogy (as in Hengeyokai, p 130ff). However, 1 applies.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for "Don't think about it too hard." It's probably the most important part of playing cWoD, given its contradictory nature. Also especially appreciate the perspective of werewolves in V:tM being different from Garou in W:tA. Sure, from a top-down universe perspective they might be the same, but VtM approaches those characters from such a different perspective that you can't view them as mostly benevolent Garou (as they are in W:tA). \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Dec 7 '16 at 14:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for deep understanding of the themes and settings in the cWoD. Can you cite the sourcebooks that attempt reconciliation? Any other references on cosmological reconciliations not directly linked to God are also appreciated. \$\endgroup\$ – Ivan Ivanov Vulpe Dec 7 '16 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you indeed looking for reconciliation of everything, I'd suggest using ANOTHER system as base: There is a very good conversion (that actually explains everything and makes sense) that uses Kult as a REAL story behind cWoD: Demiurg imprisoned god-like humans in the reality, original vampires used to be nobility, Gaia has been invaded and forced to bear humans and the fact that each faction sees world different is just different facet of lie. \$\endgroup\$ – Yasskier Dec 7 '16 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would be hard pressed to cite specific sources on God. I'm not familiar with Demon, which is your primary game of interest - I come from Mage background. Sorry, but I can't help further than the above. I'm sure though that reconciliations were attempted, unsure where. \$\endgroup\$ – eimyr Dec 7 '16 at 19:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I come from a very heavy werewolf PoV, but I suggest to take a look at the old Hengeyokai, which contains the chapter 6: Birth of the Youngest. In this, starting at "The Ages of the World". This gives one view on the werewolf Genesis, but it shows the difficult placement of Gaia: here she is presented as her own mother (Gaia that is/Gaia that was). Another view upon the order (but not the genesis) is presented in the Spirit Hierarchy, to be found in Umbra Revised, Chapter 3: Spirits (p 103). Here Gaia, the Triat, Luna and Helios are the top 5 Celestines. \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Dec 7 '16 at 22:10
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Imagine that you are living in, lets say XVIII century and in one place you'd gather a Puritan, Polynesian shaman, Buddhist monk, Kaballah alchemist and maybe an atheist scientist, then ask them to describe the nature of the world. Bring popcorn and call few medics.

Each one of the people above will have its own view of the world and each one of them will have proofs that his/hers is the ONLY TRUE ONE.

Similar is with the cWoD - each splat has its own cosmology and proofs that theirs is the right one. Some of them are more flexible and allow to adapt parts of the others - in example Garou are quite happy to believe in both Gaia and Abrahamic religions (i.e. many Silent Striders have Muslim or Jewish origins and there is a big part of Black Furies dedicated to Virgin Mary), simply assuming that if there are "lesser gods" (Celestines) then there can be as well an Overgod who banished Kain and cast down rebelled angels. Mage cosmology can be summarized into "whatever you believe into is true, if you believe in it hard enough".

Now, I know that you were looking for official books that are trying to reconcile different cosmologies, but let me propose something unofficial yet interesting and popular at some stage: "Jail of the Night" which is a very good attempt to reconsider all different cosmologies by introducing the Kult one, which is accidentally quite similar to one from "Demon":

Demiurg (imperfect God) imprisoned humanity, that used to have powers rivalling his own in the reality of material world. Unfortunately, sometime during the Industrial Revolution he simply disappeared. Now the Illusion is falling apart, some Archons (and their evil-er counterparts - "Death Angels") are trying to bring him back, some are trying to shatter the Illusion. And if you add the cWod into that, the linked material provides information how different factions are being manipulated by different cosmic powers to future their own goals (let me just point the two most meaningful chapter titles: "Apocalypse is over" and "Ascension is a lie")

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for a gnostic overall trope: The great thing about Gnosticism is that everything is true, even lies. \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion - against SE abuse Dec 8 '16 at 9:26

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