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Hrestol in RQ:G


kr0p0s

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Jeff posted some more info on Malkionism and Hrestol on Facebook recently:

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HRESTOL
Hrestol was the Ascended Man, son of Froalar, last of the Secret Keepers, and of Xemela, He is the great hero of the West and was born during the God Time. During the Great Darkness, Hrestol prayed to the Unknown God, who sent the gods to destroy the Devil and bring forth the Dawn. A year after the Dawn of Time, Malkion appeared to Hrestol, then a noble warrior of Seshnela in the service of his father. With the wisdom he gained, Hrestol killed the goddess Ifttala, the daughter of Seshna Likita and mother of the Pendali people. Hrestoli died, was judged in the Underworld, and made his way back to the world of the living. He was banished from Seshnela for his crimes but accompanied in exile by the best of his people. Hrestol traveled to Brithos, Akem, and the Vadeli islands, teaching his insights to all who would listen.
Hrestol taught that the old Malkioni philosophies were destructive to man’s eternal soul and happiness. He taught how to achieve eternal Joy through unity with the Invisible God. Hrestol shook off the old limitations of caste that Zzabur demanded, in favor of the deeper truths of the world, and became the first Man of All. All modern sects of the Malkioni stem from Hrestol's original contact with the Eternal World.
Most modern Malkioni are lay members of Hrestol’s cults; comparatively few initiate to his cult, even in Loskalm. The cult imposes a stringent code on its initiates and demands that they:
1. Uphold justice and fight injustice. The Hrestoli ultimately must determine what is Just and what is Unjust, and fight for what is Just. This includes an obligation to protect the weak (especially women and children) from the strong, but generally excludes barbarians and the Elder Races; indeed this obligation is often celebrated by fighting monsters or Krjalk. Justice is considered more important than such virtues as Loyalty.
2. Sacrifice oneself for the good of others. A Hrestoli is expected to sacrifice themselves to uphold Justice.
3. It is the responsibility of mortals to make a world they can live in. This creed was formed in the early Dawn Ages when humans were weak and few. Its focus is always towards humans, their survival and later their dominance, rather than on co-existence or cooperation with the rest of the cosmos.
Initiates of Hrestol do not lose RIGHTNESS when they violate caste restrictions in the service of Justice. 
Hrestol is associated with Runes of Man and Magic. Initiates may sacrifice POW for Rune Points. Hrestol provides the special Rune spells of Dismiss Magic, Shield, and Spirit Block.

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Is this the model for the ascended masters? The vast majority are lay members with very few initiates and no(?) rune masters? He does provide some rune magic (two of his specials are in the common list, so presumably that is not accessible), but would be the motivation for the few to initiate to Hrestol - to follow his heroquest pathways?

Edited by kr0p0s
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Is this the model for the ascended masters? The vast majority are lay members with very few initiates and no(?) rune masters? He does provide some rune magic (two of his specials are in the common list, so presumably that is not accessible), but would be the motivation for the few to initiate to Hrestol - to follow his heroquest pathways?

I am interested to see how Sorcery fits into this and does it mean that all Malkioni have access to at least some Rune spells?

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53 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

I am interested to see how Sorcery fits into this and does it mean that all Malkioni have access to at least some Rune spells?

Non-Zzaburi do initiate to cults. Talars worship their ancestors, which often include gods (the trader princes are noted to worship Issaries as an ancestor). Horali join martial cults such as the Seshnelan beast societies, Humakt, or other war gods. Dronari do whatever - nobody really cares about them as long as they don't get out of line, so they worship local earth goddesses, spirits, and any other local gods. I believe, based on what Jeff said at the impromptu con, that Loskalm is the only Malkioni place where this isn't the case, and among all the castes only ancestor worship is practiced (and it's a matter of cultural bias rather than any sort of suppression or restriction). The perfectly logical society they managed to set up inside the ban apparently had no need for gods, though it seems that may be a weakness now that the ban is lifted.

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Ok, so they can become Initiates and possibly Rune Lords, but not Priests or God-talkers with the Sorcerer casts performing that role? Is that close at all? 

Or do they 'worship' those spirits as way to access specific Runes and the rune magic they can sacrifice for are not cult specific, but rather rune specific?

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18 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Ok, so they can become Initiates and possibly Rune Lords, but not Priests or God-talkers with the Sorcerer casts performing that role? Is that close at all? 

Or do they 'worship' those spirits as way to access specific Runes and the rune magic they can sacrifice for are not cult specific, but rather rune specific?

Cults among Talars, Horali, and Dronars work exactly the same as for other Genertelans, with all the same roles. Zzaburi use sorcery exclusively, and don't join cults except for presumably in Henotheist schools (unless you count the invisible god as a proper cult). The Zzaburi lead the masses in worship to the invisible god, but they don't worship gods or spirits normally. And on the flipside, the other castes will not use sorcery - learning and using it is the purpose of the Zzaburi.

Edited by Richard S.
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More, Invisible God specific:

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INITIATE MEMBERSHIP
Initiation into the Invisible God cult is a prerequisite for full membership in Malkioni society. Initiation follows several years of caste education and training. Each caste has their own set of rituals, 
Once a person initiates into a given caste, they cannot join a different caste – except by means of the Hrestol cult. 

CASTE RIGHTNESS
Each caste has duties and restrictions which must be maintained to remain a member of the caste.  This is represented by the RIGHTNESS characteristic for Malkioni initiates. Initiates start with a RIGHTNESS of one. RIGHTNESS may have a score greater than one, representing the initiate’s reserve of righteousness. If a character’s RIGHTNESS is less than zero, that character may no longer use any caste magic or special abilities and risks being thrown out of their caste and exiled from Malkioni society.
RIGHTNESS may be increased by adherence to caste duties and restrictions in adversity in ways that create difficulties for the character and make the game more entertaining. Examples include a talar refusing to perform menial labor even though their survival might depend on it, or a dronar refusing to touch a weapon even in self-defense. The gamemaster should not award RIGHTNESS for good dice rolling, simple puzzle solving, ordinary combat successes or any other of the minor accomplishments that might occur during the course of a session.
RIGHTNESS should be reduced by the gamemaster for transgressions against any caste duties and restrictions. 
For each circumstance, the gamemaster should warn the player that a given action will result in an increase or decrease in RIGHTNESS. If the player insists, then RIGHTNESS should be adjusted accordingly.
Initiation into the cult of Hrestol can mitigate this, as a Hrestoli initiate does not lose RIGHTNESS for any action that upholds the Hrestoli code. However, if they violate their caste restrictions in a way that does not uphold the Hrestoli code, they still lose RIGHTNESS.

EXPULSION FROM CASTE
A character with a zero RIGHTNESS characteristic is no longer in good standing with their caste and cannot use any caste special abilities (such as a talar’s Forced Command ability or a zzaburi’s ability to store magic points in the Spirit World) until their RIGHTNESS is positive.
A character with a negative RIGHTNESS may be expelled from their caste by their elders. If this happens they are no longer accepted as members of Malkioni society. If they can get their RIGHTNESS back to positive, they  can submit themselves to caste elders to be brought back (this is often called “Return to Rightness”). The elders may impose penances, fines, and other punishments as a condition for return. Until then they are viewed as outlaws, barbarians, or even krjalki (monsters) by other Malkioni. 
Some sects do not permit a character to return to their caste once expelled. For the Brithini, expulsion is permanent and always results in death.

CASTE RESTRICTIONS AND SPECIAL ABILITIES
Each caste has restrictions which must be followed to maintain their RIGHTNESS. Some castes have special abilities – magical abilities of the caste members. If they are expelled from the caste for any reason, they lose all special abilities of that caste. 

RUNE SPELLS AND DIVINE INTERVENTION
Unlike other cults, the Invisible God does not provide Rune spells, Divine Intervention, or allied spirits. 
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The concept of Rightness gives oodles of scope for role-playing a Malkioni. Really interesting reveal!

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Interesting to see actual in-game benefits of belonging to a caste (and being a full initiate to the Church Cult of the Invisible God). Do the Rokari still neglect to initiate most of their worker caste members?

Translating this linealist concept to the meritocratic Loskalmi system might prove to be interesting. Does a Loskalmi talar retain any caste benefits from the castes he mastered prior to that elevation?

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Based on what is said in the Guide, worship of the Ascended Masters (such as Hrestol) as a God in Malkioni lands is considered an error.  I assume therefore that initiates of Hrestol and above are mostly found outside those lands (ie Junora, Jonatela and Safelster).  Worship of an Ascended Master as an ancestor is another matter.

Hadn't expected the Caste-based magics.

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2 hours ago, kr0p0s said:

Until then they are viewed as outlaws, barbarians, or even krjalki (monsters) by other Malkioni. 

As RIGHTNESS increases do certain castes gain increasing levels of magical abilities?

How far down does negative RIGHTNESS go? Does an individual at some point start to obtain negative traits such as Chaos features?

 

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I'm kinda getting the impression that RIGHTNESS was redefined and standardised by the God Learners so that all Malkioni born since then (including the Brithini!) use it. 

And  WRONGNESS is probably something the Vadeli have. 

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1 hour ago, kr0p0s said:

As RIGHTNESS increases do certain castes gain increasing levels of magical abilities?

How far down does negative RIGHTNESS go? 

 

I think RIGHTNESS will function like rune points for non-Zzaburi and Shamanic gifts for Zzaburi. 

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

I think RIGHTNESS will function like rune points for non-Zzaburi and Shamanic gifts for Zzaburi.

Expanded Intellect would solved the free INT problems discussed in another thread. Sorcerous versions of Magic Defense, Magic Attack, Power Within, Second Sight. Otherworld Pacts. Lots of awkward taboos.

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3 hours ago, metcalph said:

Based on what is said in the Guide, worship of the Ascended Masters (such as Hrestol) as a God in Malkioni lands is considered an error.  I assume therefore that initiates of Hrestol and above are mostly found outside those lands (ie Junora, Jonatela and Safelster).  Worship of an Ascended Master as an ancestor is another matter.

Hadn't expected the Caste-based magics.

Talars may worship ascended masters as ancestors still. As long as they don't get uppity and start calling them gods.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Are Men-of-All initiates of the Hrestol Cult?

Are initiates of the Hrestol Cult Men-of-All?

I think the former is true, but not necessarily the latter. In Loskalm, initiation to Hrestol is probably near universal, given that the cult is the only way to move between castes (and the only way to go against caste restrictions without losing Rightness), but not everyone is a man of all (though an argument could be made that Loskalmi men of all aren't the same thing as the men of all started by Hrestol).

Edit: just saw in the original post that initiation in Loskalm is fairly rare too, so there goes a good portion of my point with this post...

Edited by Richard S.
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The old style Hrestoli concept of becoming a Man-of-All was to master (a skill of) another Caste. But then, in a caste society, doing another caste's thing will cost you Rightness.

Does this mean that in order to become a Man-of-All, a candidate needs to build up a good measure of virtue, and then use that up in the pursuit of achieving Man-of-All status unless she joins the Cult of Hrestol?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

The old style Hrestoli concept of becoming a Man-of-All was to master (a skill of) another Caste. But then, in a caste society, doing another caste's thing will cost you Rightness.

Does this mean that in order to become a Man-of-All, a candidate needs to build up a good measure of virtue, and then use that up in the pursuit of achieving Man-of-All status unless she joins the Cult of Hrestol?

A Man-of-All would need to initiate into the cult of Hrestol to be able to fully follow the obligations of that path. I imagine it would involve breaking caste restrictions. Otherwise they would have to strive to be paragons of their caste to mitigate this. I imagine this would be difficult, if not impossible. But without knowing the full caste duties or restrictions it would be difficult to judge *ahem*.

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Some musings on RIGHTNESS (knowing full well that what the actual rules turn out to be will probably look completely different to what I think they might be)

Caste Magic:

I think that most Caste Magic (ie non Zzaburi) is sorcery.  There's several different models that could be used (such as the RQ3 Godunya shortform magic in which the worshipper could expend POW to cast sorcery).  But I think it likely that rightness acts as a intensity limit (ie a Rightness of 3 means only spells with an intensity of up to 3 points can be cast) with the magic points being provided by the Malkioni (and may be INT as a limiter on the amount of caste magic that can be known).

Rather than there being a standard caste magic list for everybody in that caste, most Malkioni have occupation lists.  For example, the caste magic of a horseman (ie Enhance DEX, CON) will be different from that of a footsoldier (Enhance STR< CON).  Commoners will have caste magic based on what guild they belong to.  The Zzaburi's caste magic abilities will be based on their order while the Talar's is based on what Great House they are a member of (and they would have more extensive caste magic than lower castes).

Rokari

Rokari Commoners know caste magic of their occupation and some spirit magic too based on their particular organization.

Rokari Horali know the caste magic of their regiment (in terms of combat style) and the spirit magic of their warrior order.  They may know some rune magic even though they are not supposed to.

Rokari Talars know the caste magic of their great house and the rune and spirit magic of their ancestors.  There's probably an order of genealogical wizards who check to see who is a legitimate ancestor that can be worshipped as opposed to a God.

Hrestoli:

Hrestoli commoners have their caste magic and also worship their ancestors (the rulers encourage this to trash the ideals of the Rokari).  

Hrestoli guardians retain their commoner caste magic and acquire the caste magic of the guardians.  I think they forget their ancestor magic as it inhibits contact with the Hidden Mover or convert it to practical God-Learning

Hrestoli Zzaburi are of two types IMO.  There are those that have been chosen to be wizards from a young age.  They only have Zzaburi magic and are equal of Zzaburi in other countries.  Then there are the political Zzaburi who have been promoted from the Guardians.  They are pretty crap at sorcery in general but act as the school's enforcers, jailors and leaders with special guardian abilities that are effective against their adept colleagues.  

Carmanians:

Think Caste Magic is a declining practice (whose authority was mortally wounded by the Bull Shahs) under the light of the Goddess.  Only the Viziers/Magi and a minority of Hazars and Carmanoi practice it.  The serfs of Carmania never have.

Aeolians

Although they have caste, I doubt that they have caste magic preferring instead to worship the Gods wholeheartedly

Arkati

I think they have abandoned caste in favour of worshipping the Gods and Illumination.

Castle Coasters:

They have amalgamated the caste of sorcerors and nobles.  But they are pretty poor and so their caste magic is kinda weak.

Dragonewts

It seems to me that he Malkioni would see the magic of the Dragonewts as being similar to their own caste magic.  Perhaps the Path of Immanent Mastery was an explicit marriage to the two concepts.

Fonritans

An interesting possibility is that the Fonritans might have something similar to caste magic within the cult of Ompalam.  

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An interesting possibility is that the Fonritans might have something similar to caste magic within the cult of Ompalam.

Although possible, I would argue against that.  The Fonritans threw off the shackles of freedom imposed on them by the Malkioni and would be loath to maintain such an outdated concepts as casts (Yes, I know they divide their society by slave strata). IMO, sorcery for the Fonritans is another building block of civilization, like slavery. It is more than likely integrated into the civic/bureaucratic structure as opposed to religious one.

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I'd like to know if this "characteristic" of Rightness is open-ended, and what's the general scale is.

I.e., is Rightness 15 pretty high? Or barely beginning??

If it increases through adhering to caste restrictions to cause personal complications (pain, suffering, etc), and it increases in each occasion, then 15 occasions wouldn't really be a lot (not to the extent of having a significant impact on, say, magical ability.

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25 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

I'd like to know if this "characteristic" of Rightness is open-ended, and what's the general scale is.

I assume (ie me guessing) that it will be like runepoints in scale.  Most Malkioni will have about three poiints while their betters will have ten.

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15 hours ago, Godlearner said:

Although possible, I would argue against that.  The Fonritans threw off the shackles of freedom imposed on them by the Malkioni and would be loath to maintain such an outdated concepts as casts (Yes, I know they divide their society by slave strata). IMO, sorcery for the Fonritans is another building block of civilization, like slavery. It is more than likely integrated into the civic/bureaucratic structure as opposed to religious one.

It depends on what you think the Fonritan society is like.  For me, the worship of Ompalam is divided among the slave estates with the Masters as the high priests of the estate.  The Fonritans have no civic/bureaucratic structure as that would be an obstacle to Ompalam's demands for power.  Having their yads (ie their favourite slaves) practice the equivalent of Rightness would only increase the power of the Masters against each other and be good in their eyes, no?

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