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Can a Lightbringer Kill an Illuminate Who Abuses the Lightbringer Summons?


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On 7/15/2020 at 4:03 PM, Jeff said:

Most people do not know that Arkat was Illuminated. Most Lunars do not know that Arkat was Illuminated. The idea would be shocking to almost everyone. It is a closely guarded secret of the Arkat cult's leaders and a few others. 

Yes. It's probably known to many initiated into specific Arkat cults - but they are sworn not reveal it, and largely disbelieved (and probably killed) if they do. And most Sartarites do not know anybody that is known to be in any Arkat cult, and think they are weirdoes whose beliefs can't be trusted if they do.

On 7/15/2020 at 3:53 PM, GAZZA said:

Do they not know the tales of Arkat then? Isn't the fact of Arkat's illumination pretty obvious (joining multiple cults, no spirits of reprisal)?

They know he changed cults, think it was a big betrayal, but leaving a cult and dealing with the spirits of reprisal isn't unknown, often just unpleasant. Maybe they think Arkat did not have his sword shatter after leaving Humakt because his one sword was legendarily Unbreakable? Maybe they think he must have been attacked by Flint Slingers and Wind Fists when he left Orlanth, but figure he survived the attack (as many, including many 7 Mothers converts, do). Maybe they just figured as a Hero he just took it on the chin and got lucky? Or dealt with it by unique means, as heroes tend to do? 

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6 minutes ago, EricW said:

So if say Ralzakark was to issue a light bringer summons, assuming one of his many abuses is membership of a light bringer cult, because he is an illuminate metaphysically he is a good light bringer able to issue the summons, even though he is a chaos monster.

You are assuming that the question is a purely magical and metaphysical one. No, it's a people question. If you want to reach out to Orlanth (or whoever) and get a Divination, that is a different question - but Divination isn't always helpful, and is essentially a tool humans use to guide their decision making. 

But in practice, you aren't asking the God, you are asking a person. A priest, a chief, even yourself. What justifies ignoring a LIghtbringer Summons? You decide. Who decides if a person is a member of a Lightbringer cult? Well, have they had the Ban spell cast on them? Are they able to participate in worship? Are there consequences for you disagreeing with your priests or others? Are you willing to risk your own honour and relationship with the gods because you feel their authority is false?

Think about the many stories involving people being manipulated by, or framed for crimes by, corrupt authority figures who are able to do something that is clearly unjust to the hero, but not to others. Think about that dynamic as the core story here. 

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53 minutes ago, davecake said:

Honour lies in your deeds, not your enemies. If you do not honour your own words and do the right thing, you are dishonourable, regardless of what others do. And your enemies honour is also in their deeds. There are always issues where being honourable forces you to make difficult choices, no Chaos or Illumination or even evil intent required - just dealing with people whose idea of honour may be different to yours, or whose priorities are very different to yours. 

Exactly. Ignoring a Lightbringers summons is something you do at your peril.

From memory, you could send someone to answer in your place and I would expect there to be professional Lightbringers out there who will stand in your place for a price.

44 minutes ago, EricW said:

So if say Ralzakark was to issue a light bringer summons, assuming one of his many abuses is membership of a light bringer cult, because he is an illuminate metaphysically he is a good light bringer able to issue the summons, even though he is a chaos monster.

If Ralzakark proved himself to be a good Lightbringer, then he could legitimately use the Lightbringer summons. However, proving it might be tricky.

48 minutes ago, EricW said:

So that becomes the question - can a light bringer ignore a summons if they have good knowledge that the person issuing the summons is dishonourable? If so what standard of proof is required, to avoid spirits of retribution?

From the Cults Compendium:

Quote

Chaos stalks my world.
Broos have bruised me,
the hand has pawed me.
I have taken up the impossible path,
And seek those who must aid my task.
You are not the first of my friends.
Others walked with me to Heal.
The Devil took them, they died.
I failed to save them, chaos grows.

This is the Lightbringer’s Summons which all must answer or lose thereby the faith of their god. The healer was telling me that she had seen the foe and failed, that she was under geas to return and fight it.

It says nothing about weaselling out of the deal, except that those who fail to answer lose the faith of their god.

In Secrets of Dorastor, if a Wind Lord gives the "Sweet Green Woman" greeting to a Priestess of Dorasta, she sends him to fight Arkat, who hurt Dorasta. It might seem unfair, but that is the price they pay for asking for work to do.

 

 

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On 7/15/2020 at 1:15 PM, EricW said:

If light bringers identify an illuminate, but the illuminate (also a light bringer) hits them with a light bringer summons before they strike, what are the options? Can they ignore the summons if they are sure in their mind that the summons is dishonourable? If so what level of proof do they need, to satisfy their god?

Implicitly?  Yes they can.  Based on the cult compatibility chart on p91 of Cults of Terror, Issaries, Lhankor Mhy, and Orlanth are all utterly hostile to illuminates.  The great difficulty is, of course, proving that the illuminate is actually an illuminate.  I would suspect that the Lhankor Mhy spell Truespeak can force an illuminate to reveal the truth about their condition.  Chalana Arroy is neutral to illuminates.  As to trickster and flesh man; probably neutral as well.  Gods apparently can't tell, so it is unlikely that divination will reveal much, but like Detect Truth can catch them in a lie.  There are of course a great many other "tells" for illumination.

Edited by Darius West
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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Based on the cult compatibility chart on p91 of Cults of Terror, Issaries, Lhankor Mhy, and Orlanth are all utterly hostile to illuminates. 

Given that Arkat and his "son" Argrath are clearly Illuminated, this poses a problem, no?

I know some might say "most Gloranthans don't know that" but it seems painfully obvious to me.  Do most Gloranthans also hide from the Axe murderer in a room full of chainsaws?  🙂

I prefer to say those cults distrust Illuminants, and are utterly hostile to those who use Chaos.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Given that Arkat and his "son" Argrath are clearly Illuminated, this poses a problem, no?

I think as Jeff says most people don't know Arkat was illuminated. Those who knew would have kept it very much to themselves. Imagine the blow to morale if the army Arkat raised to fight Gbaji came to believe their own leader was one of those hated illuminates.

As for Argrath, lighting the flame of Sartar would have been overwhelming evidence of Orlanth's approval for his actions. Anyone who accused their new king of being an illuminate would have been lucky to escape with their life, that's the kind of dirty trick a Lunar spy might try, to stir up trouble.

Edited by EricW
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3 hours ago, EricW said:

I think as Jeff says most people don't know Arkat was illuminated. Those who knew would have kept it very much to themselves. Imagine the blow to morale if the army Arkat raised to fight Gbaji came to believe their own leader was one of those hated illuminates.

As for Argrath, lighting the flame of Sartar would have been overwhelming evidence of Orlanth's approval for his actions. Anyone who accused their new king of being an illuminate would have been lucky to escape with their life, that's the kind of dirty trick a Lunar spy might try, to stir up trouble.

Jeff also pointed out that the *vast* majority of illuminates in and around Dragon Pass in the 17th century are Lunars, which basically means that accusing Argrath of being an illuminate is tantamount to accusing him of being a Lunar (from an in-universe, non-omniscient perspective), which is clearly ridiculous. 

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44 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Jeff also pointed out that the *vast* majority of illuminates in and around Dragon Pass in the 17th century are Lunars, which basically means that accusing Argrath of being an illuminate is tantamount to accusing him of being a Lunar (from an in-universe, non-omniscient perspective), which is clearly ridiculous. 

Especially since objectively he is the most successful anti-Lunar fighter the Sartarites have. If he's a Lunar, EVERYONE is a Lunar. 

To be honest, the only person who should know this stuff is the GM. It is actually kind of shame how obsessively people on forums talk about this stuff, as what your players should know is:
1. Illumination is a weird part of the Lunar religion.
2. It comes from Gbaji, the God of Lies. 
3. It drives good men crazy and gives terrible powers to evil men.
4. People familiar with the Empire's customs say it is taught through strange riddles.

That's enough. Now have fun.

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8 minutes ago, Jeff said:

4. People familiar with the Empire's customs say it is taught through strange riddles.

Corollary: Anyone who asks you strange, critical and incisive questions (that you don't like) about your religion is a riddler and needs something bad to happen to him or her.

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4 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

Corollary: Anyone who asks you strange, critical and incisive questions (that you don't like) about your religion is a riddler and needs something bad to happen to him or her.

Any weird outsider asking you questions that upset cult secrets is obviously a Lunar agent.

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4 hours ago, EricW said:

As for Argrath, lighting the flame of Sartar would have been overwhelming evidence of Orlanth's approval for his actions.

Proof that Orlanth is not "utterly hostile to all illuminates", which you wrote in an earlier post.

If one made a "Top 10" list of reasons Orlanth opposes the Lunars, I doubt that the term "illumination" even appears.

Edited by Rodney Dangerduck
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2 hours ago, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Proof that Orlanth is not "utterly hostile to all illuminates"

I mean, he can't be, right? Once you're Illuminated, you don't register as Illuminated, so Orlanth can no longer punish you. What he thinks about Illuminates is completely academical.

The Cult of Orlanth, on the other hand...

(Also, Humakt?)

Edited by Akhôrahil
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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

what your players should know is:

What if your players are Lunars and your campaign is set in the Empire? Would it be something like:

  1. Illumination is the ultimate state of mind
  2. I'm not worthy, but I try
  3. Those barbarians over there are too stupid to understand any of this

 

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

What if your players are Lunars and your campaign is set in the Empire? Would it be something like:

  1. Illumination is the ultimate state of mind
  2. I'm not worthy, but I try
  3. Those barbarians over there are too stupid to understand any of this

 

I suppose #2 would depend on how pious they are. Not every Lunar is going to be all that gung ho on high ideals. 

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7 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Illumination is the ultimate state of mind

I doubt that most folk in the Lunar Empire would describe it this way.  More likely they think something like:  "The Red Goddess teaches us how to free our seventh souls and achieve harmony and balance with the world"

Then go to 2 and 3.

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On 7/21/2020 at 1:23 PM, Darius West said:

Based on the cult compatibility chart on p91 of Cults of Terror, Issaries, Lhankor Mhy, and Orlanth are all utterly hostile to illuminates.

Surely, no one would be silly enough to assume that every Illuminate, including those who can only be determined to be Illuminates by the word of other Illuminates and have no connection to Nysalor (or even proclaim themselves hostile to it),  are all automatically identified with the Nysalor cult? 

Nah, there is always someone to make some arbitrarily silly claims about Illumination. 

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On 7/22/2020 at 4:13 PM, davecake said:

Surely, no one would be silly enough to assume that every Illuminate, including those who can only be determined to be Illuminates by the word of other Illuminates and have no connection to Nysalor (or even proclaim themselves hostile to it),  are all automatically identified with the Nysalor cult? 

Nah, there is always someone to make some arbitrarily silly claims about Illumination. 

Most people in Glorantha are not illuminated.  They're peasants.  All they know is that illumination is an undetectable chaos cult from long long ago that involves riddles and power mad infiltrators like god learners, Lunars, and so forth.  They won't give a damn what an illuminate protests about their politics.  You can't believe a word that comes out of their riddling mouths.  The only answer is to crucify the illuminates on a death rune and then burn them alive once the matter is proven.  Remember that Orlanth, Issaries and Lhankor Mhy treat Nysalor as a Zero (Hostile) relationship.  As far as they are concerned, any chaos is all chaos, and illuminates are "of Wakboth".

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On 7/21/2020 at 4:41 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

Given that Arkat and his "son" Argrath are clearly Illuminated, this poses a problem, no?

Not so much imo.  The thing about illuminates is that they are undetectable.  If an illuminate wishes to go without creating suspicions about their state, they simply need to follow their religious precepts to the letter.  An Orlanthi who cops impests because they break a precept like generosity is obviously not an illuminate, but an Orlanthi who never breaks precepts is a hero in the making, and places themselves beyond suspicion (despite being an illuminate).

On 7/21/2020 at 4:41 PM, Rodney Dangerduck said:

I know some might say "most Gloranthans don't know that" but it seems painfully obvious to me.  Do most Gloranthans also hide from the Axe murderer in a room full of chainsaws?  🙂

I prefer to say those cults distrust Illuminants, and are utterly hostile to those who use Chaos.

A known illuminate is put to death when discovered in an Orlanthi society.  The very best they can hope for is exile.  Argrath may eventually be able to alter this attitude via the Sartar Magical Union, but in 1625 such is not the case yet.  Remember that Argrath is part of Mularik Ironeye's Arkat Cult, and they are sworn to kill all non-Arkat-sworn illuminates, because they are feral and unregulated abusers of illumination.  This puts the Arkat cult on a collision course with the Lunar Empire.  But hey, that's the Hero Wars.

Edited by Darius West
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On 7/26/2020 at 1:18 AM, Akhôrahil said:

If you’re quick, you could kill whoever is trying to Lightbringer Summon you before they’re done recitating. Then it doesn’t count, right? Right?

Why kill them when you can simply render them unconscious with an uppercut, a sleep spell, a befuddle.  "Chaos stalks my...ooof!"

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