Saturday 16 July 2016

Jaa-Shani, Lord of Saturn

It's been a while since I posted something from Chariot. This is from the upcoming supplement Cosmic Memory, and is by the inimitable Malcolm Sheppard. Backers will see the draft for this in a week or two and the thing will be released in the wild as a pdf by September, all going according to plan. Backers, and only backers, get the pamphlet.

Jaa-Shani, Lord of Saturn
Saturn is a paradise. Every inhabited moon specializes in a particular pleasure. The ice schooners of Enceladus make the frozen ocean vibrate with exquisite music. Saturnians travel to Tethys for art and Dione for sex. Everything is recreation. Even on Titan, the capital, political intrigue exists to create beautiful social structures, not fiefdoms of spite and power. Such are the advantages of dwelling around a world on an elevated psycho-spiritual plane.

Saturnians aren’t enlightened, but escape the common pains of Earth. They’re tall, with flawless skin and powerful limbs of they wish it. There’s no war, no slavery. There’s plenty of room for immigrants, but none will escape the Catastrophe by fleeing there. If the cosmos is a macrocosmic person (and sages believe it is), Earth is the root chakra of lusts, and Saturn’s the Vishudda, throat of the universe. Wise people might reincarnate in a Saturnian birthing lotus, but cannot set foot on the exalted moons without native help. The Saturnians aren’t inclined to provide that aid. It would sully the paradise planet and perhaps drag it down to share Atlantis’ terrible destiny.

It’s hard to ascend but so easy to fall, as Jaa-Shani did. Even a demigod can exceed their grasp. He wanted to attain the next stage of existence: the Cosmic Eye and Crown, the threshold of darkness, and beyond: Nirvana in the outer stars. It’s remarkably hard to achieve world-denial around Saturn, where the moons are beautiful. So Jaa-Shani studied Earth, Atlantis. He taught himself the thrill of putting a slave in chains, the alluring sicknesses of jealousy, gluttony and rage. He intended to throw off these base desires and like an arrow released from the bow string’s tension, propel himself to enlightenment. He took too long; the Benevolent Princes grew impatient and threw him to Earth in a crystal pod.

Jaa-Shani styles himself a noble of his homeworld, a wandering emissary surveying Atlantis on his way to Chalidocean. He’s eight feet tall, an athlete’s onyx statue with ivory eyebrows, lapis eyes and a pale blue aura. When he smiles witnesses gasp in joy, and offer him fruit and wine as if he was a household god. When he gets drunk, enraged and violent, they placate him with meat and opium. A growing cult believes he’ll take them to Saturn. He has no power to do so but it’s easy enough to lie about it. At this point he believes he can never redeem himself, but might be saved by some holy Earthling. Who can take his sins away?

A Saturnian noble, common enough there, but exceedingly rare on Earth, and unique in Chalidocean
Suits: Cups 7, Pentacles 7, Swords 7, Wands 7
Attributes: Animal 6, Body 8, City 5, Hands 3, Machines 3, People 7, Psychic 6 (all Vayu, Prithivi, and Tejas), Wilds 3, Will 7
Hand Bonus: 6