May 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm #15316
I figured as a new-ish member with a lot of questions about Tension lore, it might be a good idea to start a thread where we can ask these questions and have more experienced community members answer them for us.
So, let’s get the ball rolling with a couple Tension-related subjects that have come up recently. Experienced members, please feel free to fill in the blanks! New members, please feel free to add a question below!
1. The Book of Anoch – New vs. Old testament? It seems this is a revelation from LUST. There is an older, less “watered-down” version of this book?
2. The Gate-keepers / The Clockmakers. Can someone please clarify these? It seems that with “Addison” returning to Sabrina-form at the end of Tension, there were no Gatekeepers left? Are there newly-appointed Gatekeepers? Is that who we saw in @confuseddude Periscope?
I’ll try my best to include shortcuts to answers on this post for quick reference -TheGildedMay 30, 2017 at 5:17 pm #15325CandaceParticipantMay 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm #15336KevinParticipantMay 30, 2017 at 9:52 pm #15342Lauren BelloParticipant
Here’s what we know about Oracles!
Background – Suffering In Order To Ascend
Throughout Tension, there was a history of sacrificing physical senses in order to grow closer to the divine. Rosemary Luther melted her own eyes in a religious ceremony. We were told at the Ringing of the Bell ceremony in May that then-Attendant Addison was intended to be purified, and that this was ostensibly good…but that the ceremony by which this would be done would be painful, essentially “torture for hours”. Addison/Gatekeeper 2 read from the Book of Anoch in a Periscope about a hunter who was killed by a bear, who took his senses one by one. Only once his senses were removed was he able to see the folly of his ways. (Right before dying, of course.) The theme was – lose physical sight, gain spiritual sight; lose physical hearing, gain spiritual hearing, etc. Purifying pain.
Stage 1 – The Oracles Were Alive And Speaking
Very early on in the Tension Experience ARG, a letter from the OOA tried to move us to religious fervor. This was, I believe, the first mention of the Oracles.
“Surrender to those, the Oracles, the true Guiders Of The Path, and trust in their sacrifice.”
The next mention of the Oracles came in the very first newsletter, March 2016. “Soon you will have the opportunity to reveal, study and witness the Glory of the Oracles’ Message with your fellow initiates who are also, for now, in the dark…Praise to the Oracles, for they wish to include ALL!” “We give exaltations to Dorothy Jordan as she gains new sight this Friday! Dorothy has been a proud applicant for 18 months, and is excited to take another step toward the Oracles.”
Later in March, an image on Facebook proclaimed, “Glory be to the Oracles and all their wisdom which shall shine the path towards the one true Ascension. Thine eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and tongue sense nothing but the truth of thine own soul.”
Still later, participants received an email from Addison, then “Attendant One”. She said, “Like many of You, Michael Fontaine was observed long before the current iteration of OOA that You know and understand Us to be. His choices within the Experience were noted amongst the Council and subsequent consultations with the Oracles determined that he would be Tasked. The First Scribe in the Archive of Knowledge has answered with a predestined conviction that has ruptured amongst the Oracles. They now writhe in Glory.”
When Gatekeeper 5 resigned to make way for Gatekeeper 4, he wrote in the forums, “Renew your strength, find your center, and praise Anoch for the Oracles have heard you and are pleased.”
So for the first phase of the ARG, it seemed that the Oracles were active, listening, and passing on Anoch’s judgments. At least, that’s what we were told.
Stage 2 – The Oracles Fell Silent
Gatekeeper 4 left an unfinished first draft newsletter for participants to find in a dead drop. In it, she revealed, “The Oracles do not writhe, they do not ache. They lie silent. Detached, barely ravenous. THIS IS MY FAULT. You have done nothing wrong. I am broken. It is I who have failed you…” Someone had written next to this paragraph, “This might be dangerous. Please revise.”
It was never explained, to my knowledge, why the Oracles had fallen silent, or what Gatekeeper 4 had to do with that.
Stage 3 – Time To Make A New Oracle
In Ascension, you should have been taken to a room with banners representing all five senses, flowers hanging from the ceiling. There, Andy Somers read to you from the Book of Anoch. The gist of the story was, Anoch’s voice had fallen silent. The Oracles were no longer speaking. In desperation, the people decided to create their own Oracle. They chose one man as a sacrifice, and took his senses away from him. They put out his eyes, cut off his ears and tongue, and broke his neck.
After that, your own senses were taken away. You were blindfolded, hooded, given a foul drink, headphones over your ears, etc. You may have sat in sensory deprivation for quite some time.
When you went into the sacrifice room at the very end of Ascension, two Potential Oracles had been tied to two chairs. They were going to be sacrificed, in the hopes that in their death they would serve as a vessel to become an Oracle. (“Vessel” is my word, it’s also possible that this was more of a witch-drowning situation – if they die, they weren’t the Oracle, if they live, they were.)
From accounts on the Tension forums, it appears that once, maybe a few times, this ceremony appeared to work. Mostly, it did not.
There was ONE Oracle who was on-site at Ascension, although most people going through did not get to see it. Its eyes were sewn or fused shut, its nose was missing, and its mouth was marked as if also sewn or fused or damaged in some way. Its skin was sort of melty. If you went through Ascension twice, you might have seen it in the Red Room on your second visit.
Soooo, that’s all we know about Oracles. Supernatural beings who have none of the five physical senses but somehow relay Anoch’s wishes, who fell silent, and who needed to be either made or discovered by mutilating humans. If you believe any of it, that is. Michelle made a compelling case not to.May 31, 2017 at 7:12 am #15343JackieParticipant
Wow. That was a fantastic synopsis. I came in the middle of tension and had very little understanding of the oracles. This was a great read.May 31, 2017 at 10:51 am #15345May 31, 2017 at 11:36 am #15346May 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm #15348SageParticipant
@daela, thank you for the recap! This makes things a lot more clear about Tension, especially the theme of senses and the ceremony of eliminating senses. Now in Lust, we are definitely starting to see the sexual element/theme some of us were anticipating. A more sexualized ceremony and a possible division of the sexes…May 31, 2017 at 2:10 pm #15360May 31, 2017 at 3:14 pm #15369MeganParticipant
If it’s at all helpful, I just now finished fixing the detailed timeline I created last year with all the media (that I was able to get before it disappeared). I hadn’t realized that the periscope videos had to be converted to a different format and then I broke the original by trying to organize my folders neatly and the website said NO so I had to go through and tell it once again where everything was so, here it is, all fixed:
Regarding the periscopes in which Addison is reading from the Book of Anoch, I believe there is a thread at The Tension Experience’s website in which we transcribed those readings.
@sassyyael – I realize none of these have transcripts so please ask if you would like any of them transcribed.May 31, 2017 at 3:49 pm #15372Anonymous
This is all immensely helpful.May 31, 2017 at 4:03 pm #15378ChloeParticipant
@coryphella *grabs popcorn* welp, I know what I’ll be doing tonight.
Seriously though, thanks so much for this! It’s really great to look at all that happened during Tension since I didn’t participate last year and the only thing I really had to go on was My Haunt Life for it, I love how hard the community works to make stuff awesome stuff like this.May 31, 2017 at 4:04 pm #15380May 31, 2017 at 4:06 pm #15384
@coryphella Yes! Thank you for this! I had heard tale of this magical timeline. Glad to see it’s up and running! Much appreciated.May 31, 2017 at 4:18 pm #15386
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