The Famous Case of Emilie Sagée and her Doppelgänger
Before teaching at the Pensionat von Neuwelcke School for girls in France (pictured above), Emilie Sagee had taught at eighteen different schools. Eighteen schools from which she had been fired because of the phenomena that accompanied her. This 32-year old school teacher and her ability of bilocation has become one of the most witnessed and documented cases of a Doppelgänger in recorded history.
As Sagée was writing on the chalkboard while teaching her class, her double appeared, standing along side her mimicking her motions. It was her exact image except that it wasn’t holding a piece of chalk.
On another occasion, all of the school’s 42 girls were in the school hall for sewing and embroidery class. As they worked, they could clearly see Sagée in the school’s garden gathering flowers. However, when the girl’s teacher left the room for a moment, Sagée’s Doppelgänger appeared, sitting motionless in the teacher’s chair. Two girls tried to touch the apparition but were met with an odd resistance and were unable to penetrate the air surrounding the entity. Yet, one girl, stepping between the teacher’s chair and the table, passed through the apparition, which then slowly vanished.
Sagée was absolutely unconscious of what was happening and she only knew about the phenomenon because of the expression on the faces of the people who were there. It was by seeing their frightened faces, their eyes staring at something invisible which seemed to be moving near her, that she understood. But she had never, herself, seen her double; neither had she noticed the stiffness and slowing down of her movements when her double appeared.
all glories to the teen werewolves the world is yours
I’m very proud of this. A narrative summary of what happened in the first session of Changeling: The Green Rose House.
Warlock 7, December 1985/January 1986. John Blanche, 1985.
Apparently starring Colin Baker as one of the Hobbits and David Coverdale as Legolas.
let me tell some of you young cats something: one of my life regrets is that I wasn’t even more of a geek when I was, like, 12 and 13. should have read twice as many comics. should have stuck with D & D instead of quitting immediately upon finding out you couldn’t really “just take your chances” against monsters you weren’t equipped to fight. geek hard my friends. geek hard.
John, if I could tell you how many of my RPG campaigns were inspired by your music… oh wait, I can. :) I wrote this entry a couple of years ago.
So last night at Mage I essentially confirmed what has been hinted at for a long time in-game and more-or-less explicitly stated in the metagame for a while now: the Big Bad of our Mage game is the oncoming Thirty Years’ War.
Believe me, I’ve had my doubts about this decision too. How do you stop a generation-long, continent-wide conflict that killed almost 2% of the world’s population? Even if you are reality-warping, ultra-powerful wizards?
It’s a testament to my players that they’re already talking in terms of delaying and surviving the conflict, rather than stopping it. They’re beginning with long-term contingency plans to keep themselves and Mages in general safe. It is, again, no coincidence that I’ve chosen this war as the main enemy. Not only is the idea of a destructive religious war diametrically opposed to the cabal’s (frankly anachronistic) ideals about ecumenicism and knowledge and tolerance, but the period’s climactic witch hunts are a historical landmark that will prove deadly even to the most powerful Mages. After all, as one NPC noted last night, even an archmage cannot stop the will of a motivated-enough mob.
In any event, this gets to the whole messy question of how much changing of actual history we’re comfortable with in our historical games. It’s no accident most historical RPGs feature secret history; that way, any strange happenings can be written off as a conspiracy or a quirk of actual history. This actually happened in one of my past games, a Dark Ages: Fae game where the PCs acted as Joan of Arc’s guiding “voices” and used their fae magics to create a tempest… that unbeknownst to the players prior to their choice, did purportedly happen to Joan in actual history.
No, my PCs are not going to be given the power to stop the Thirty Years’ War and create an alternate history. The use of Time and Fate magic has made clear that the eventual conflagration is inevitable. But they can nudge fate, twist it slightly, and ensure that the eventualities of the war are not worse, or don’t arrive sooner, or don’t consume the Consilium of Prague in their wake. I already have some (secret) ideas on how this might unfold, but obviously control over this victory endgame is in the players’ hands and how they plan and conspire.
I’m not fearful of what such an unusual and unbeatable Big Bad means for my game. It just means my players, whom I trust implicitly to come through in the clutch, need to be that much smarter and shrewder. In the end, it comes down to that old saw of gaming theory: the strength of the unspoken social contract at the table determines the quality and enjoyment of play.
Vienna. 1900. A metropolis brimming with new ideas, artistic exploration, and practitioners of a new science of the human mind. A city with its seamier side. Of course in Vienna there are houses of pleasure that serve all kinds of clientele. There are brothels that cater to everyone from builders, to burghers, to nobility. And for the creative — the artists, poets, and scholars — there is the Green Rose House.
There’s something uncanny about the girls of the Green Rose House. A playful, almost crystalline twinkle in the eye of one, a dark ominous unmoving shadow, like a hidden pagan menhir, in the chambers of another. The girls excel at their everyday work, but to their most trusted customers they reveal hidden depths. Indeed, once a man (or woman) becomes a regular at the Green Rose House, he or she begins to change, to see things ignored before. For these reasons, artists favor the Green Rose House girls, as do university students, alienists, poets and playwrights, musicians and anarchists. The doors of perception open wider the more frequently one visits.
And the dreams. O, the dreams. The dreams one dreams in those rankly honeyed beds are like delicate droplets of ambrosia, containing gossamer horrors and carnal delights both, dreams that remain for days following those unnaturally long afternoon naps.
Stumbling forth from a life half-forgotten, you are the girls of the Green Rose House. You were found on the streets of Vienna in a cold winter, your souls electric with the possibility of throwing off a Durance spent in chains. “Signora,” a Changeling herself, gave you food and shelter and taught you what you are, and that your doppelgängers are out there, living lives of quiet, repressed desperation. These Fetches are the hysterics of the middle class of Vienna, locked in rooms in their luxurious homes or decrepit sanitaria. These women have spent their false lives knowing something is very wrong with their own bodies, minds and souls. You, however, are the muses and equals of the artists who pay you for your services: you are free, liberated, empowered, the pinnacle of this newly-dawning century’s enlightened womanhood. Signora tells you this, and you must concede after listening to her that it’s true.
The Green Rose House is a mini-chronicle meant to use the Victorian Lost supplement, taking place in fin-de-siècle Vienna. The setting is meant to evoke that time and place’s peculiar intersections of art, sex, identity, and the study of the human mind.
Emrikol the Chaotic (illustration from the AD&D 1st edition Dungeon Masters Guide, 1979).
The Street of the Knights, Rhodes, Greece
In honor of all the new readers I seem to have picked up recently, here’s a classic post from my LJ from 2007 where I attempt to “weird-ify” Johnny Appleseed à la Ken Hite’s Suppressed Transmission series. It’s also somewhat pertinent via the Swedenborgians to the work I’m currently doing for my Geist game, in which I’m making mid-1800s communitarian religious movements into, basically, Cthulhu cults. *laugh*
"So where you get your apples from?"
"Um, the supermarket?"
"Thanks. That’s NICE."
So yesterday I was reading about Johnny Appleseed in reference to John From Cincinnati (the theme song is “Johnny Appleseed” by Joe Strummer and many viewers and commenters think this is pretty significant, considering Johnny Appleseed did most of his work in, yes, Ohio). Has there ever been a Suppressed Transmission on Johnny Appleseed? (I actually think there has, but I can’t check because I let my Pyramid subscription lapse, perhaps for the last time) Because really, there should be. I mean, you’re pretty much guaranteed weirdness whenever the Swedenborgians are involved, but this stuff is pretty damn good.