Divine Sparks

In this dark time, new heroes must arise to claim the crowns of Midgard, and restore the jewels to her scattered thrones...
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Lost Woodrake
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Divine Sparks

Post by Lost Woodrake »

Hello!

I have just started reading about the setting of Midgard, and still learning it, but I came across the concept of "Divine Sparks" in the Southlands, and was wondering whether this is inspired by the Jewish kabbalistic notion of the holy sparks (nitzotzot). According to this notion, in the earlier phases of Creation, the divine light shattered the vessels in which it was supposed to be retained, and sparks of that light fell to this world and remains there, contained in its materiality and sustaining it, in order to be found by humans and uplifted back to their divine source.
There seem to be some parallels here, but I wonder whether this was explicitly acknowledged somewhere as a source? It could make sense in the general Middle-Eastern feel of some of the Southlands (the idea was first fully articulated in 16th century Safed, which is today in northern Israel and was at the time under Ottoman rule).

Any idea?
Thanks!
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Tim Baker
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Re: Divine Sparks

Post by Tim Baker »

Welcome to the forum, Lost Woodrake! You bring up a very interesting question. I don't know the answer, but let me reach out to the broader Midgard community and get back to you if I find an answer.

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Lost Woodrake
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Re: Divine Sparks

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Tim Baker wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:08 pm
Welcome to the forum, Lost Woodrake! You bring up a very interesting question. I don't know the answer, but let me reach out to the broader Midgard community and get back to you if I find an answer.
Thank you! :D
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Tim Baker
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Re: Divine Sparks

Post by Tim Baker »

Here's an answer I received from Brian Suskind, one of the designers of Southlands:
Brian Suskind wrote: I was unaware of the Kabbalah connection but when Ben and I added Divine Sparks to Southlands we drew on elements from the Finding Nethus adventure and expanded them in relation to the Titans.

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Lost Woodrake
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Re: Divine Sparks

Post by Lost Woodrake »

Wow, that was swift!
Thank you so much. Interesting to see how this came about.
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Tim Baker
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Re: Divine Sparks

Post by Tim Baker »

I also heard back from Ben McFarland (who Brian Suskind mentioned above):
Ben McFarland wrote: It's possible that the Spark issue comes from that source, but as Brian said, we were building on it from material done in 2012 (and maybe a little beforehand) out of some of the Nethus storyline. If one of those authors drew from that, we unwittingly carried it forward, but I'm totally going to research this now.

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Re: Divine Sparks

Post by Tim Baker »

A project backer, Paul Lefebvre, posits the following:
Paul Lefebvre wrote: The divine sparks referred to in Southlands were tied into the Mythic Pathfinder material. They were the way in which a PC could get their first Mythic tier.
I'm not too familiar with Pathfinder mechanics, much less the sources they draw from. Does anyone know if the Mythic Pathfinder concept came from the kabbalistic, gnostic, or Zoroastrian beliefs?

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Lost Woodrake
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Re: Divine Sparks

Post by Lost Woodrake »

It's fascinating to speculate how these concepts circulated. And yes, as you mention - this could stem from even earlier sources, such as Gnosticism or Zoroastrianism.

Thanks for the follow-up on this!
{Avatar taken from Tall Tales of the Wee Folk by John Nephew; Artwork by Valerie Valusek}

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