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Is it possible to worship Orlanth the Murderer?


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Is it possible to heroquest, to contact and receive power from gods in forms which have not experienced some godtime events?

So could a heroquester bring the cult of Orlanth the murderer into time, premier owner of death?

Or Eurmal the destroyer, from before the LBQ, the chaos god who stole death again and again, to wreak his malice and destruction by giving this power to yet another god? 

Or the fertility goddess Malia, from before she joined the unholy trio?

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I can't comment on the others, but considering that one of Orlanth's most defining actions was murder, I don't see why you couldn't heroquest and kickstart a new cult. If the dragon cultists could do so, why not? 

EDIT: Of course, there is a lot of things to take into account here. Orlanth's act was specifically murder for the sake of rebellion, so you might have to evaluate whether the cult would have certain taboos on murder anyone except those in power (effectively making it an assassin cult if anything). It would also probably be extremely unpopular. There is also the matter that Orlanth openly challenged Yelm, so it's not breaking the Orlanthi taboo of secret murder - which perhaps, again, makes it more of a duelist cult and not so much an indiscriminate murder cult. 

But then again, the Orlanthi uses the Lightbringer quest to bring back plenty of people who do not fit the archetype of slain solar ruler with the intent of achieving reconciliation, so there's clearly some leeway in how mythic narratives are used to justify actions within Time.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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Hi!

I once asked a similar question of Greg Stafford back on the old Yahoo forum, and the ultimate answer seemed to be "yes, but . . ."

My best guess (not being an illuminate), is that, using the book analogy for Godtime, you can heroquest to any page of the book, but can't change the ending.  So to use your examples, you can create a subcult of Orlanth dedicated to Orlanth the murderer because that is part of his story.  You could not create a subcult of Malia dedicated to Malia the healer, because that is no longer part of her story.  Similarly you could not create a subcult of Yemalio dedicated to Yelmalio the firelord because that is no longer part of his story.  (But you can create any subcult to Eurmal you want, and, of course, any god may have undiscovered stories).

Thanks,

David. 

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On 1/29/2020 at 9:43 AM, Revilo Divad Of Dyoll said:

I once asked a similar question of Greg Stafford back on the old Yahoo forum, and the ultimate answer seemed to be "yes, but . . ."

I suspect that's the key factor. People IMG have tried all these things in various times and places (and will undoubtedly try them again as everything bends in the hero wars) but it's rarely easy and almost never sustainable so far. These "subcults" have burned themselves out. They don't spread, so when the original worshipper(s) move on or die, the unique expression is lost. Maybe it gets rediscovered somewhere else. Maybe not. 

There are compelling historical reasons why each variant hasn't bloomed in reality. But player characters are endless and often try their hardest. Maybe one of them will ultimately succeed.

On 1/28/2020 at 10:01 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

considering that one of Orlanth's most defining actions was murder

One flourish here: outsiders often cultivate and spread deliberately negative views of enemy/rival deities in order to weaken the community, discourage converts or simply divert worship from the organically healthy "core" cult to something like a mask or an illusion. Devotees see this "false god" as a blatant lie but those with fewer spiritual resources may fall for the deception for a surprising period of time, interrupting the flow of orthodoxy and the magic point economy in the process. If the fake is ugly enough, people have a strong incentive to quit, taking their magic points with them. Ultimately the true believers are in the minority and need to negotiate what everyone else is saying about them with the inner truth they know. 

This is often where pirates, witches and other outlaw cults come from. Start with a healthy religion, starve it and you end up with something marginally sustainable . . . except as a sort of breeding pool for heroquest adversaries. At various times and places this has been Orlanth. Let's hope it never happens again.

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25 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

I suspect that's the key factor. People IMG have tried all these things in various times and places (and will undoubtedly try them again as everything bends in the hero wars) but it's rarely easy and almost never sustainable so far. These "subcults" have burned themselves out. They don't spread, so when the original worshipper(s) move on or die, the unique expression is lost. Maybe it gets rediscovered somewhere else. Maybe not. 

There are compelling historical reasons why each variant hasn't bloomed in reality. But player characters are endless and often try their hardest. Maybe one of them will ultimately succeed.

And in some cases, something that used to be a big deal - like Orlanth the Dragonslayer - has survived only as a shadow of itself. Dragonslaying isn't as important as it used to be.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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On 1/28/2020 at 4:01 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

one of Orlanth's most defining actions was murder

Surely the Orlanthi don't view it as murder, exactly? It was an honorable killing in a lawful duel.

"Orlanth Sunbane" has a much nicer ring too it, anyway. 🙂 

This raises another question: could a Dara Happan worship Rebellus Terminus? Does anyone, in fact?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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3 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

could a Dara Happan worship Rebellus Terminus? Does anyone, in fact?

I suspect it happens all the time adjacent to the Monster Man complex but those people don't leave the kind of literary records we've been able to see so far. An underworld DH scenario would be amazing as part of an imperial campaign! Of course in the lunar world those people become very useful for keeping D5X embodied.

And great point . . . sometimes the world moves past cult expressions and it's time for them to go away. Maybe they come back, maybe not.

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5 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Surely the Orlanthi don't view it as murder, exactly? It was an honorable killing in a lawful duel.

"Orlanth Sunbane" has a much nicer ring too it, anyway. 🙂 

This raises another question: could a Dara Happan worship Rebellus Terminus? Does anyone, in fact?

It was murder. It just wasn't secret murder. So it's fine. 

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5 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Surely the Orlanthi differentiate between murder and just any old killing?

This might be a relic of the King of Dragon Pass game, but I was of the impression that "murder" has been used as a catch-all term for killings among the Orlanthi, outside of group combat (ie. raids, warfare, etc.). I could be wrong.

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2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

This might be a relic of the King of Dragon Pass game, but I was of the impression that "murder" has been used as a catch-all term for killings among the Orlanthi, outside of group combat (ie. raids, warfare, etc.). I could be wrong.

Come to think of it, is wergeld voided in duels to the death? It seems reasonable to think that the consensual nature of it would involve that.

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6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Surely the Orlanthi differentiate between murder and just any old killing?

Like the Vikings, if it was a fair honorable fight and there is no attempt to evade responsibility (so you acknowledge you did it), it's fine, but it's still murder. The kin of the murdered person are perfectly entitled to either seek compensation, or murder you in retaliation, as they have been done wrong. It is different to just killing - if you kill an outlaw, someone Chaotic, an enemy combatant in war, etc it isn't murder, and there are no legal consequences (well, no negative ones, you might get rewarded). Secret or very dishonourable murder is a much worse act, and likely leads to outlawry. 

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On 1/28/2020 at 5:00 AM, EricW said:

Is it possible to heroquest, to contact and receive power from gods in forms which have not experienced some godtime events?

Yes.

On 1/28/2020 at 5:00 AM, EricW said:

So could a heroquester bring the cult of Orlanth the murderer into time, premier owner of death?

Yes.

On 1/28/2020 at 5:00 AM, EricW said:

Or Eurmal the destroyer, from before the LBQ, the chaos god who stole death again and again, to wreak his malice and destruction by giving this power to yet another god? 

Yes.

Eurmal is not a chaos god. He is Disorder, not Chaos.

On 1/28/2020 at 5:00 AM, EricW said:

Or the fertility goddess Malia, from before she joined the unholy trio?

Yes.

On 1/30/2020 at 5:05 PM, Akhôrahil said:
On 1/28/2020 at 3:01 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

one of Orlanth's most defining actions was murder

Surely the Orlanthi don't view it as murder, exactly? It was an honorable killing in a lawful duel.

So honourable, in fact, that it caused Humakt to sever all associations with Orlanth out of the shame of letting Orlanth do such a despicable thing with his new power.

Humakti have no doubt at all that this was a dishonourable act.

 

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

So honourable, in fact, that it caused Humakt to sever all associations with Orlanth out of the shame of letting Orlanth do such a despicable thing with his new power.

Humakti have no doubt at all that this was a dishonourable act.

And the Orlanthi say that Humakt severed relationships because of all the awful things he would have to do as god of death. It's not like they take Humakt's word for what is proper and what isn't.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

So honourable, in fact, that it caused Humakt to sever all associations with Orlanth out of the shame of letting Orlanth do such a despicable thing with his new power.

 

I think it's also due to Orlanth tricking Humakt into letting him borrow Death, or husing Eurmal to steal Death from him - I forget the exact myth, but you guys probably remember it.

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On 1/28/2020 at 4:00 PM, EricW said:

So could a heroquester bring the cult of Orlanth the murderer into time, premier owner of death?

The Cult of Orlanth Murderous is a very quiet subcult of Orlanthi extremists who train in secret valleys in the Rockwoods.  Their runes are air, mobility and death.  They presently operate via the porous borders of Balazar and the Elder Wilds.  Trickster grants them Strike.  Coming soon to a Lunar outpost near you.

Edited by Darius West
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The downside of drawing on the power of Orlanth the Murderer is that he remains under obligation to his murder-ee. Myth will tell, and when you kill the Emperor, he will call you into hell to atone for it. Bummer.

Eurmal can kill anyone, any time, for any or no reason. Of course, it will never go entirely to plan (and, in fact, may fail utterly if planned at all)

Humakt demands that you wield death honorably. Storm Bull insists that you seek out chaos to kill, and not back down. Zorak Zoran pairs death with hatred to a degree uncomfortable for most humans. Babs cares only for revenge.

Each Death god has their own special baggage to complicate the (ahem) execution of their powers. Which is fantastic, as it provides the ", but..." to a good gamemaster-y "yes! but..." 

This is why Most orlatthi settle for "Orlanth the rough and tumble storm god" as their fighting patron. The bad guys still tend to end up dead, being mortal and all, while you get to go home to Ernalda and drink and boast. Huzzah!

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On 1/31/2020 at 6:41 AM, Akhôrahil said:

Come to think of it, is wergeld voided in duels to the death? It seems reasonable to think that the consensual nature of it would involve that.

In theory - probably.

In practice, the family would legally not be entitled to compensation, but it is going to foment into constant feuding and tit-for-tat retaliations. And that would have constant claims and counter-claims of weregild.

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10 hours ago, boztakang said:

The downside of drawing on the power of Orlanth the Murderer is that he remains under obligation to his murder-ee. Myth will tell, and when you kill the Emperor, he will call you into hell to atone for it. Bummer.

Eurmal can kill anyone, any time, for any or no reason. Of course, it will never go entirely to plan (and, in fact, may fail utterly if planned at all)

Humakt demands that you wield death honorably. Storm Bull insists that you seek out chaos to kill, and not back down. Zorak Zoran pairs death with hatred to a degree uncomfortable for most humans. Babs cares only for revenge.

Each Death god has their own special baggage to complicate the (ahem) execution of their powers. Which is fantastic, as it provides the ", but..." to a good gamemaster-y "yes! but..." 

This is why Most orlatthi settle for "Orlanth the rough and tumble storm god" as their fighting patron. The bad guys still tend to end up dead, being mortal and all, while you get to go home to Ernalda and drink and boast. Huzzah!

Violence is always an option! Emphasis on the option!

*vague Orlanthi cheering*

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21 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

I miss Vadrus. We need more total asshole Storm Gods.

He left enough children behind to serve you twice over. Valind is the only halfway decent son, and Brastalos may be his sister rather than his daughter. His other daughters are just as bad as his sons.

Ygg is pretty kick-ass and hardly sympathetic. Still, one of the somewhat decent grandchildren of Vadrus.

The parentage of Aerlit is unclear - another spawn of Umath, or of one of his known sons?

Sikkanos is pretty bad, and so is Orlanth in the East Isles.

 

Urain is some sort of shadow of Orlanth - the externalized bad stuff. I don't really think that Urain has an existence separate from Orlanth.

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