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Darius West

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Darius West last won the day on February 3

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About Darius West

  • Rank
    Scimitar Trainer at the Pavis Moon Barracks (D-3)
  • Birthday 09/25/1968


  • RPG Biography
    I have been playing RPGs since the late 1970s. I mainly GM. Most of my Campaigns have run for over a year RT.
  • Current games
    Currently playing Call of C'thulhu (3 year Campaign), where the emphasis has been on the setting of the early 1920s, and roleplaying rather than wiping out parties.
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  • Blurb
    Chat with me and find out.

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  1. A good point. Of course we don't know if there is actually any difference between Nysalor Illumination and Draconic Illumination. We do know that historically Nysalor's illumination is derived from the Dragon Path, as that is what the Dragonewts provided in Nysalor's creation. As to whether Nysalor was actually a pre-existing deity before time, or whether he is a Chaotic interloper created by an ambitious empire (as they seem to always do), is a moot point. We know that presently the only rules for illumination are those from Cults of Terror. I suspect that Draconic illumination must be different to Nysalor's, given that EWF members could access Draconic Magic as a result of their draconic mysticism. In fact we only suspect that Nysalor used to grant Divine Spells, as we don't seem to possess any info on what they might have been.
  2. Well, that is going to depend on the courage of the priest to stand up to authority, and what cult is involved. Now it is a moot point how open Argrath is about his illumination, and what his policy is towards illuminates. Indications are that he is part of the Arkati compact that Mularik Iron Eye is part of, and thus he has sworn some very strict oaths about not abusing his illumination, and is monitored about it constantly, and is also extremely hostile towards feral (i.e. non-Arkati) illuminates. If there is a bit of hypocrisy involved in illuminates killing illuminates, remember that this is the sort of contradiction illumination breeds, and thrives on. The Arkati position is far from an immoral one, as they are protecting the world from illumination abuse. You may be my chief but nobody can make me do anything *had countermagic or shield up*. Choose another temple if you want to practice heresy, I prefer the way of Harmast Barefoot to that of the tyrant Lokamayadon. No magic works infallibly. Whatever Arkat may or may not have thought of illuminates, the Arkati who came in his wake and amongst whom Mularik Iron Eye (descendant of Akrat btw) belongs, hold a very dim view of illuminates who are not controlled by oaths to their sect. We know that Arkati patrol the Hero Plane to stop God Learnerism, and logically that means they would regularly clash with Lunars. I personally think Arkat went to war with Nysalor because of the abuses that illumination opens up, which Arkat subsequently exploited exactly to show Nysalor the evil he was unleashing on the world, and bring it home to him at the tip of the unbreakable sword. This notion of light-side and dark-side illumination is exactly the sort of dichotomy that illumination undermines intrinsically. Eventually moral relativism will lead the feral illuminate to say, "well, what is the difference between light and dark illuminism really?", and they will gradually slip into temptation and abuse their power, gradually becoming an undetectable chaos monster like Arkat, but without the moral impetus to correct a standing evil. I imagine that the Arkati of Mularik are involved in a pretty Orwellian/Panopticon situation, where they are all answerable for their conduct to all the other illuminates, and only those who show the utmost discipline and self control are given much liberty. I have read CoT89, and it is one short paragraph that doesn't adequately cover the complexity of the situation, so I have to completely disagree. I spoke to Greg about this at length when he was in Australia, and he said that I understood Arkat's "Shadow's Quest" pretty well. Arkat is Nysalor's nemesis. Arkat is the Dark Side that is destined to test the light. They are thesis and antithesis, and either only one will stand, or the end product may be synthesis. They aren't actually so different by the time they meet, and might be regarded as something of a "mirror fight" by the time they meet at the Tower of Dreams. We don't really know if it was actually Arkat who "won", or it was actually a repentant Nysalor who emerged to set things to rights posing as Arkat. It doesn't matter; Arkat made the salient case of the corruption implicit in illumination to Nysalor in a way that Nysalor had to confront and could no longer ignore the corruption he had unleashed on the world. As your morally relativist illuminate will point out"What is the difference between Light illumination and Dark illumination anyway?" The way to hell is paved with good intentions, and moral relativism is a great way of succumbing to temptation. The promise of Illumination is liberty, the threat of illumination is license. Is illumination merely the Devil finding a fresh way to lead Glorantha into death by Chaos? It seems pretty likely, as your morally relativist illuminate will point out "what is the difference between Law and Chaos anyway?" I refer you to what we know about Mularik Iron Eye, his relationship with Arkat's Hold in Esrolia, and his character's trajectory vis Argrath during the hero Wars. Mularik is destined to become Baron Saneul and fight alongside Argrath, whom he believes is the true incarnation of Arkat. As Mularik is Arkat's living descendant, and runs a very powerful sect of Arkati Sorcerers, many of whom patrol the Hero Plane, his claim is likely to be valid, and under the patronage of Argrath, we know Mularik's power grows, but that he eventually clashes with Argrath based on what is written in KoDP. Was this over Argrath becoming too God Learner-ish, or was it due to Mularik's own abuse of power? That is up for debate atm. Spoken like a true morally relativist illuminate. If you can't tell, you are part of the problem, and your shadow is already consuming you. You think you can walk a line between good and evil, but you are already evil and just making excuses for your evil, thinking that you are still safe, but you are already corrupt in all the ways that matter. "But what is the difference between purity and corruption anyhow?" If you don't know, you have already lost. No choice is ever made in a vacuum. No choice is ever made "ceteris paribus". That is an ideal situation that can never exist. Every choice is made within multiple contexts, and cannot be extricated from them, and relates to all of them in varying degrees. In other words, the illuminate is no better able to judge whether they are corrupt than a madman is able to judge their own sanity. The judgement of corruption and abuse is a social judgement made by other people, because the illuminate is no more able to approach any objectivity about themselves than anyone else. If you seriously think that people from an Orlanthi society aren't aware that, as CoT89 says, "field questions in a socratic fashion, ask riddles, and don't cop spirits of retribution, and occasionally have access to magic they shouldn't know" means that someone is an illuminate, then you'd be dead wrong. Illuminates in Orlanthi society need to hide that status, as while a few Orlanthi cults are more tolerant of illumination, most are not and are very hostile indeed, based on the Cult Compatibility chart on page 91. Illumination will become a death sentence. In fact, consider the fact that if other Uroxi discovered Oddi the Keen was an illuminate, they'd kill him without shame or stint based on the cult compatibility chart. As to what Argrath considers pragmatic/expedient, and whether he spares lives and makes alliances based on a sense of compassion and a dislike of unnecessary slaughter is moot. Now, say what you like about Sheng, he isn't a nice guy, but he also isn't a chaos monster last time I checked. Now being tortured in a Lunar hell for centuries can change a guy admittedly... Also remember that Orlanth and the Seven Mothers are hostile, and that hostility may make negotiation and peace difficult, but doesn't preclude it altogether, based on CoT91. Yes, there is an element of witch hunting involved in the way that most Orlanthi treat illuminates. They will look on foreign and unknown magic with suspicion, and will mull over the word "illuminate", but exactly when they will shout it in anger will vary. An illuminate need not be a bad person, but they probably are, as "What is the difference between good and evil anyway?" Well, tell that to the villagers who just had their children raped by your broos, illuminate. "But what is the difference between rape and sex anyway?" "But what is the difference between sex and love anyway?" "But what is the difference between hate and love anyway?" If you can't see the problem, then you have a problem. I agree with this. Now if that isn't a recipe for utter catastrophe, what is? And what is that catastrophe called? The Hero Wars. Glorantha will be lucky to escape without Wakboth being released from under the Block.
  3. Agreed FDWC, it is odd how these important companions are not resurrected, and I have also noted this problem. Certainly it is hard to account for given the rules. So let's think about this a bit laterally for a moment and search for an answer, however remote. 1) Obviously Humakti don't get resurrected. If someone initiates into Humakt and gets killed, that's the end of them. 2) I believe it is possible to sufficiently mutilate a body that resurrection becomes impossible. Similarly crucifixion (death on a death rune) also denies resurrection. 3) Perhaps it wasn't possible to get them to a healer in time? If a person lies dead for more than a week, they will lose all their skills according to the RQ2 resurrection rules. It was always a factor when a character died back in RQ2 in my experience. This is where godbones came in handy, as they prevented skill loss. 4) Healer has already used her divine points. Yeah, you're just out of luck... Having resurrected 6 people this season, she can't do any more. Hanni the Healer: "Now yes, the poor deceased may be a named character of Argrath's retinue, but see that party of a Stormbull, a duck and a Zorak Zoran morokanth over there? Yeah, they "donated" 15,000L to get the Morokanth priority resurrected. Tell the King "sorry"; had you showed up earlier and out-donated them, things might be different. I can't help you this season guys, try another Temple." I completely agree with you about this. Honestly we don't know what proportion of the population are resurrected. How do the Chalana Arroys decide that anyhow? I suspect there is a tacit bidding war of "donations" for a timely resurrection, unless there is a CA in the party (that is always how I play it, anyhow). Are they bound to keep their resurrection magic free in case someone important is killed? How important does that person need to be? When it comes to player characters being killed and resurrected, I estimate about 25% are likely to get resurrected at least once in the character's lives. And yes, there are a lot of discrepancies in the rules versus the literature (unless you happen to be Yanafal Tarnils fighting Humakt at Castle Blue, in which case, you resurrect every 30 seconds or so).
  4. I think this is pretty much dead on, and I am in full agreement. In 1625, Arkat will be a distant historical figure to most people in Sartar, and largely irrelevant to their cattle-obsessed way of life. Now if someone comes along and says "King Argrath is the reincarnation of Arkat", most people will shrug, puzzled at this piece of odd propaganda polemic. A couple of Lhankor Mhys who have an interest in history may prick up their ears and hit the books, but unless and until someone starts making Arkat part of tribal and religious identification, nobody will give much of a damn. I mean, a character might remember "oh yeah, our tribe paid lip service to Lokamayadon, but switched sides when Arkat came along, then he got turned into a troll and went to Dorastor", but does that really define your present relationship with Arkat? Hardly. "Oi reckon I'll be here mindin' my cattle and chewin' on a sorrel stalk if it's all the same to you, sir."
  5. Waging war against an insidious chaotic interloper theist cult that is spreading disease and then curing it as a way of spreading their cult is more than justified if you are a local Malkioni of any stripe imo. Murder? It isn't a crime if you have legal sanction to carry it out. The true Arkati presently mainly operate in the Hero Plane, preventing abuse of hero quest paths in the god learner fashion. There are plenty of cults of Arkat in and around Safelster Lake but they aren't carrying the true legacy of Arkat; they are just making it up as they go along, worshiping aspects of Arkat that are all hoaxes. The True Arkat will wage war against the abuses of the illuminates, and that is Argrath and his war on the Lunars (who are a second Empire of Illuminates). That is both true and false. While it is true that illuminates now have powers that protect them from the cultural controls of their deities, those very powers and the avoidance of, for example, spirits of retribution, now become proof of their illumination. The fact is, nobody has any duty to trust or like illuminates, and why wouldn't they go to some effort to kill them where they find them? Certainly this is what the Arkati such as Mularik Iron-Eye do with rogue illuminates they come across.
  6. I think most Orlanthi priests have a great deal more autonomy over their own temple than that. If they say "That person is an illuminate and is not welcome here again for that reason". And people say "Why do you think that", and the priest says, "They often behave in ways that are against the teachings of Orlanth, but they never attract spirits of retribution, and this is known to be a sing of the illuminate". Who is going to argue with that? Ultimately a priest has control over any temple they own, and if they are beholden, they can bring their accusation before the relevant authorities and lay it at the illuminate's feet. Also, Arkat hated illuminates and would all but certainly kill them. Arguably Arkat IS a dark illuminate. The whole Shadow Empire? A bit of a give-away? There is no light and dark side to illumination. That sort of binary thinking is the very sort of thing that illumination makes a mockery of. What is tangible is notions of abuse of power. You can point to abuse of power and say "you did this, and now you must pay". The Arkati who guard the Hero Plane exist to prevent God Learner type abuse. They are like armed African game wardens who prevent poachers and protect the mythic environment from further human depredation. They are repressed, but never completely eradicated, and they gradually form a resurgence. The most powerful of the Arkati set up shop in the Hero Plane to prevent further God Learnerism. I suspect the Lunars would confront them now and again, but have side-stepped them where possible by creating their own new myths. Given that Mularik Iron-Eye (himself an Arkati sorcerer) identifies Argrath as the "real" second coming of Arkat, one might assume that despite his knowledge of God Learnerism, that Argrath sees value in not abusing the system.
  7. Nonsense. Whoever is priest has ever right to deny entry to anyone they think may be an illuminate. Also Arkat hates illuminates too, and while they are illuminated, the Arkati watch hard to detect feral illuminates and kill them. Look it up.
  8. 1. Anything stinky (It's human artwork, and highly prized for its alien primitivism). Trolls will like many of the usual trade goods as well; everyone human-ish sized needs pottery, metal and blankets. 2. Obviously giant insect products are a big draw for humans. Parasols are another good one. Stones to kill chaos are a spectacular opportunity. Trollkin. Guard services. 3. Lots and lots of fabric; those humans can stitch things all but invisibly. Mindspeech-anything, as giants have trouble making themselves understood. Giants are forced to buy any good in large quantities for obvious reasons. 4. Menhir delivery (and sundry construction services). Really large quantities of timber that they haul up in the way humans weed a garden. Boats that are actually giant footware i.e. clog boats, huge dugout canoes. Giants may keep supplies of raw hides for trade when they are small. Pretty colored boulders. Guard services. Sorry if I doubled up on anyone else's ideas.
  9. Actually no. Society will always be the final arbiter of your life. You can try to do what you want, but society may well have other ideas. Hell is other people. A priest can still tell you to "Leave and never attempt to pervert this temple again illuminate", then inform the whole cult about you. Suddenly you are a blackballed anathema. So what is the tell? Well, you see, illuminates are never affected by spirits of retribution, even when they should be. Just catch them in the act. Yeah, when Argrath lit the Flame of Sartar, he sort of settled his claim. Kallyr barely got a flicker while Argrath made it burst into flames. Kallyr died in the first year of her reign. Argrath got dragons to pull down the moon. Do the maths. Argrath is an Orlanthi, and an heir of Sartar. His lineage as shown in KoDP is better than Jesus' connection to the House of David. It is. Death. A creature with zero INT can manage "being" just fine. Is this a back door to worshiping Gark the Calm or something? From what you have offered, I would put it to you that Life IS NOT would be as valid, if not more valid. A shambling zombie can "just live", has no peer pressure, and is full of life and love's hunger for everything it sinks its teeth into.
  10. But the thing is, you no longer have a life outside the cult. So what is there to get on with? And how can you get on with life when life is death? And how can you get on with life when getting on with it is not getting on with it? Freedom is now slavery. Ignorance is now power. Madness is now Sanity.
  11. Wrong. Arroin has no DIVINE magic. You cannot even join Arroin unless you know Healing 6 according to RQ:GoG forthcoming edition. There is a big difference. Because it isn't banned for Arroin, and fits too well with their brief. That is true to a point, and I agree, but what about bound magic points and crystals? A good healer can get a lot of stored magic over their career. I have played a Healer who only ever used her first aid early in her career. Playing an adventurer healer means you seldom need to heal more than 10 people. Well, the point is, followers of Arroin gets no Divine magic at all. This was my point. Sorcery makes up for this shortfall handily, and even allows the regrowing of limbs. Try doing that with first aid. Now try sewing up a wound with 6 broo trying to rape you. Sorry, but if you can make this remark you haven't understood the context of the argument at all.
  12. Illumination is all about reconciling rather than solving contradictions. You say this is the opposite of Illumination, but does Illumination have an opposite? When you accept three contradictions before breakfast you will see that freedom is slavery, truth is a lie, and illumination is ignorance.
  13. That is an interesting idea Crel. A reading of the rules implies that Arroin has no divine magic, but putting the spin on it that it only applies to healing magic is novel, and I like the lateral thinking involved. I once played a Chalana Arroy, but I have always shied away from playing an Arroin healer as it was too much like beating one's head against a wall, and I always felt the CA cult was poorer for that. This spin goes part way towards a remedy, but then, so does Aeolian sorcery.
  14. Straight up, I think it is pretty obvious that the Lunar Empire might seem, superficially to be a nice place, but it is anything but. The Red Moon Goddess with the Crimson Bat as her steed is a clear example of an illuminate using chaos, and when that starts, does it ever really stop? Let's face facts, illumination is a license to riot when employed by someone who wants power. Then there is the flipside issue of illumination as a form of state control. Illumination as enslavement. This effect is literally Orwellian. When you are trained to accept contradictions, the possibility of reason collapses, and the people who actually know the truth use a maze of falsehoods to hide it as a means of keeping power to themselves. This point is extremely relevant to the use of disinformation on the Internet as a form of "statecraft/propaganda" atm too. If the Temple of the Reaching Moon that was destroyed by the Dragonrise had been built, what would have happened? We know that the Lunars sought to bind the beasts of Prax with sorcerous chains. Was the next step to breach the Block? Or was that a little surprise they were going to develop once they had driven off the Stormbulls? Were the Lunars planning to kill Stormbull too? I'd say that was very likely, hence the binding of Eiritha's beasts so she couldn't aid her husband. Yes, we know that the public face of the Lunars was all about being seen to be anti-chaos, but this is a facade to placate the citizens who would rebel if chaos became a part of their regular experience. When enough pressure is applied to the Lunars, they become a true Chaos Empire under Ralzakark. As chaos is essentially Glorantha's brush with cancer, and every 600 years there is a relapse, do we really think that the Lunar Empire is a benign tumor? My diagnosis is that it needs to come out.
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