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3rd Age Malkionism


jajagappa

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2 hours ago, kr0p0s said:

Would the Trader Princes still be expected to adher to their caste restrictions as talars, generated Rightness and be encouraged along by the imported zzaburi? Thus they would not go completely native, hopefully. Though you can imagine some members of their House (clan?) running off and creating a scandal by going full Heler or, Malkion forbid, Mralot.

Some will, others growing up in more isolation or unable to afford or maintain teachers from Safelster or Tannisor may have started sliding generatins ago. The Trader Princes are on a spectrum between coping well with the changes brought bay the Opening and devastation.

2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

So do the 3rd Age Malkioni believe that the ancestors they worship exist in Solace?

That's a good question.

The Guide states that many forms of Hrestolism believe in reincarnation into the world. But that may be re-incarnation of the soul, not of identity (intellect). The latter may be consigned to Solace, or have merged up in Joy.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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On 1/7/2022 at 1:43 AM, Joerg said:

I still cannot see Malkioni Daka Fal shamans in Talar households.

As discussed elsewhere, it is possible for ancestor worship to happen without the involvement of shamans, and I’m fairly sure this is the usual pattern among the talars. Without access to the full range of Daka Fal Magic it is probably more difficult for them to contact random unknown ancestors the way Daka Fal worshippers can, but then we also know that the Malkioni, including the Seshnegi, and very good at keeping written genealogical records, and appear to have been more or forever (right from when they were gods, In Zzaburs Blue Book, through to the Ice Age Families book). 
 

Without wishing to give spoilers for anyone yet to play the Dragon of Thunder Hills, the discussion of Orgorvale Summer on pg 115 is very relevant here. The point being the assumption that Ancestor Worship always means the Daka Fal cult and shamans is a false one. 

Edited by davecake
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On 1/7/2022 at 3:41 AM, jajagappa said:

the Founder (i.e. a Hero/Ascended Master) can provide limited "Rune" magic (a close review of Red Book of Magic can spot some of these).

It’s not hard to spot spells that seem designed for Talor and Gerlant. 
Such sacred ancestors probably do not have the same range of magic as ‘true’ gods, but their magic is just as powerful if not as flexible (and access to sorcery compensates other deficiencies)

Edited by davecake
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5 minutes ago, davecake said:

It’s not hard to spot spells that seem designed for Talor and Gerlant. 
Such sacred ancestors probably do not have the same range of magic as ‘true’ gods, but their magic is just as powerful if not as flexible.

As an example of how limited their magic is, Hrestol only provides three spells: Dismiss Magic, Shield, and Spirit Block. And no access to the common list presumably. He does give the benefit of being able to act outside your caste restrictions as long as you're doing it "Justly", though.

8 minutes ago, davecake said:

(and access to sorcery compensates other deficiencies)

The Talar don't use sorcery themselves though. Their biggest compensation for limited Rune magic is instead the power they get from their caste, which allows them to compel other Malkioni castes to obey them.

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3 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

The Talar don't use sorcery themselves though. Their biggest compensation for limited Rune magic is instead the power they get from their caste, which allows them to compel other Malkioni castes to obey them.

If it's not sorcery or rune magic, what is it?

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On 1/6/2022 at 11:25 PM, jajagappa said:

Some sects reject all worship of the gods, others make exceptions for specific deities. For example, in the Second Age, the God Learners spread the Lightbringer cults of Chalana Arroy, Issaries, and Lhankor Mhy throughout the Middle Sea Empire.

To get God Learner specific for a moment - the God Learners monomythic program most likely identified those three deities as being alternate names for acceptable entities, probably Xemela, Kachast, and Tadenit, or close relatives of them (such as Garzeen being one of the sons of Issaries, and married into the House of Froalar). Thus worship of such provably acceptable beings is surely fine, etc.

Another deity the God Learners were known to be fond of is Wachaza. Though he was invoked to defeat the Waertagi, that a minority of the Waertagi (one tribe) were known to worship Wachaza was probably invoked to justify his worship, though maybe only by horali. 

So in deciding what gods are acceptable, The God Learners (at least, at first) went back to their own deep mythic sources. Some modern henotheist sects probably have similar logic behind what is fine. The later Malkioneranist movement went much further later. But modern conservatives like the Rokari are not inclined to decide the God Learners were right up to a point, but would rather expunge all trace of theIr errors. 

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6 minutes ago, Ladygolem said:

If it's not sorcery or rune magic, what is it?

Caste Magic, something special to the Malkioni caste system and its many rules. Follow the laws, retain Rightness, and you get some pretty nifty rewards. Magic isn't just limited to the three big systems, there's tons of smaller systems, unique abilities, and just special things that don't fit.

Edit: Here's what we know about caste magic and rightness so far: 

 

Edited by Richard S.
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9 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

As an example of how limited their magic is, Hrestol only provides three spells: Dismiss Magic, Shield, and Spirit Block.

Jeff did make mention of a Dark Blade in another post which conjured up a picture of Hrestol as Darth Fring.  I think Hrestol's small repitoire above reflects the civilian version of him worshipped in the west as opposed to the heroic version worshipped by Ethilrist and the Black Horse County (and also in the west).

9 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

The Talar don't use sorcery themselves though. Their biggest compensation for limited Rune magic is instead the power they get from their caste, which allows them to compel other Malkioni castes to obey them.

Jeff spoke of limited spirit magic for the Talars rather than limited rune magic.  I'm not seeing any evidence that the Talar ancestors are limited in power compared to conventional gods and Cults of Prax has their ancestors surpassing the Gods.  

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16 minutes ago, Ladygolem said:

If it's not sorcery or rune magic, what is it?

It's Caste Magic.

Within the larger magical framework (as elaborated by the God Learners), I think Caste Magic would be sorcery as Shamanic Gifts would be Spirit Magic and Yelmalio and Humakti Gifts would be Rune Magic.  

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On 1/8/2022 at 3:27 PM, Richard S. said:

As an example of how limited their magic is, Hrestol only provides three spells: Dismiss Magic, Shield, and Spirit Block. And no access to the common list presumably. He does give the benefit of being able to act outside your caste restrictions as long as you're doing it "Justly", though.

Hrestol is a bit of a special case, as his main importance is fundamentally restructuring Malkioni society, but yes. Considered that way, Hrestol grants access to the caste abilities of other castes as his main benefit. But those few spells are still very welcome, makes him very capable of resisting foreign magic of all kinds, and don’t require abandoning previous abilities as most full rune cults do. 

A hero like Gerlant might be a better example. A Rokari talar devoted to Gerlant still is a cavalry trained warrior, still taught to lead men, still given the advantages of wealth such as superior armor and weapons and zzaburi to cast spells and enchantments on him, and has the support of his ancestors (including the knowledge of some practical magic). Sure, having a flaming sword is not comparable to the range of spells that an Orlanth worshippers gets, but it’s in addition to all the rest. Access to sorcery still makes a big difference if it’s through the support of sorcerers rather than by becoming one. 

On 1/8/2022 at 3:27 PM, Richard S. said:

The Talar don't use sorcery themselves though. Their biggest compensation for limited Rune magic is instead the power they get from their caste, which allows them to compel other Malkioni castes to obey them.

Case in point - Hrestol allows the talars to become Man-Of-All, which means they are able (indeed, probably required) to become sorcerers. 
Not among the Rokari, but sorcery using Man Of All are the actual leaders amongst many Malkioni. 
Many of them aren’t great sorcerers - so they are much more likely to deal in sorcery that is performed in long rituals with lots of preparation to enhance their chances of casting. But the again, that sorcery is in addition to what magic they already have. Hrestols magic may be useful only in dealing with the threat of foreign magic - but that probably gives him the chance for a cavalry charge in sorcery enhanced armour, which is pretty significant. 

Edited by davecake
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14 minutes ago, davecake said:

 But those few spells are still very welcome, makes him very capable of resisting foreign magic of all kinds, and don’t require abandoning previous abilities as most full rune cults do. 

What "abandoning previous abilities" would these be? 

14 minutes ago, davecake said:

 Sure, having a flaming sword is not comparable to the range of spells that an Orlanth worshippers gets,

I'm not sure where we are getting the idea that the Saints Ascended are limited in the Rune Magics they provide.  Gerlant can work just fine as a regular warrior cult among the nobles.

So to put some detail on this.

Noble 1 is from Estaurenic.  His House's ancestor is Aerlit (Orlanth).  He is an initiate of Orlanth and has access to the panopy of Orlanth's rune magic.  However he knows he will never rise high in the ranks of the House Cult because he is neither favoured nor outstanding.  He seeks fame and fortune as a warrior of Gerlant and has access to Gerlant's rune magics including the Flame Sword.  He is likely to rise high in the ranks with the risk of an increased lifespan.  From the House Priest of Old Malkion (Daka Fal), he has an ancestor as an allied spirit who looks after him and ensures that he doesn't not sully his House's name.  From the Rokari Wizards, he has learned Rightness and has embodied it with (say) +2 damage bonus on any sword forged in the Seshnegi style.  Where he is limited is in his acesss to Spirit Magic which consists of a heal 2 for wounds suffered during practicing and a disrupt.  He does not learn any more spirit magic because it clouds his rightness.  Even though he is not particularly important within his kingdom, he is the match of five Ralian barbarians because he is their superior.   Equality is for the Loskalmi.

 

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How the cult of Hrestol might work in Seshnela.

What I think most commoners* are initiated into is not the basic cult of Hrestol because that's been suppressed.  Instead they worship the Protector of the Commons with its limited rune magics (Shield, Dismiss Magic, Spirit Block).  This makes them Malkioni and keeps them righteous even if they have to break the rules to serve the higher orders.  Hence this cult proliferates among the commons despite the disapproval of the wizards.

The core cult of Hrestol teaches the standard rune magics and has subcults for the other castes (wizards, warriors and nobles).  But to become a full initiate of Hrestol (ie access to common rune magics for example) requires that the Hrestoli worship at secret temples alongside crazed holymen.  

*I think that in places, a sizable population of commoners are initiated into other patrons, such as Kadenit, Kachast etc

Edited by metcalph
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26 minutes ago, metcalph said:

*I think that in places, a sizable population of commoners are initiated into other patrons, such as Kadenit, Kachast etc

I imagine that in Seshnela, this also gives rise to some of the subcastes/guilds, with them being remnants of those patron's peoples. After centuries (well, the god time equivalent) of being conquered, becoming refugees, and losing a lot of their heritage, the Kadeniti workers may have kept some of their traditions alive by becoming, say, the Stonemason's guild to build homes and shrines.

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1 hour ago, Tindalos said:

I imagine that in Seshnela, this also gives rise to some of the subcastes/guilds, with them being remnants of those patron's peoples. After centuries (well, the god time equivalent) of being conquered, becoming refugees, and losing a lot of their heritage, the Kadeniti workers may have kept some of their traditions alive by becoming, say, the Stonemason's guild to build homes and shrines.

I like that perspective and it matches my personal idea that Malkioni Guilds and organizations had their own specialized sorcerous secrets . This wouldn't be sorcery, of course, but it gives off the same vibe. I like "civilians" also getting some cool stuff, lol.

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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Can Rokari Talars use swords now?

The Talars and Men-of-All have effectively been melded into a single caste, possibly with some of their judgement powers taken away and moved to the Zzaburi.

 

2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I like that perspective and it matches my personal idea that Malkioni Guilds and organizations had their own specialized sorcerous secrets . This wouldn't be sorcery, of course, but it gives off the same vibe. I like "civilians" also getting some cool stuff, lol.

Ancestral sorcery still has the problem of requiring sorcerous training and capabilities for techniques and the like.

Given the observation of caste restricions for everybody but men-of-all, dronar caste ancestry from Brithos will be hard to trace unless you allow a rich urban dronar caste from the beginning of Hrestolism. There is mention of such somewhere in the Guide, IIRC.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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7 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Can Rokari Talars use swords now?

They've always been able to (cf King Gerlant and his flamesword).  It was only the Talars of Arolanit that were reported being cute with their caste restrictions.  An example of a sword wearing Talar is shown in the Guide p413: the Prince of Rinalket is submitting his sword to Guilmarn.

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Hrestol and Sorcery

Obviously this is more of a pressing problem for the Loskalmi but the any Hrestoli learning sorcery (in order to become a Man-of-All or to simply learn Sorcery) is going to be limited compared to the Rokari.  There is a simple solution:  Joy.  Jeff has written in the past of a Hrestoli corpus of magic in which some spells can only be cast having experienced Joy.  Since Hrestol was the First to experience Joy, giving his worshippers some boost in casting sorcery through Joy seems to me the best way.  In addition as a Rune Spell it also has the advantage of being theologically suspect to more conservative Wziards.

THE JOY OF [RUNE]

Rune: Varies

Self, Temporal, Nonstackable

This spell merges the caster's consciousness with the Invisible God.  The spell must be boosted with 1 or more magic points.  Each magic point increases the caster's skill in any sorcery spell of the selected rune by +10%.   Trance limitations go here.

 

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The less rules-related corollary is that Joy-dependent sorcery starts everyone off "on an even keel" (even as literate, well-off people will still have the advantage of being able to engage in preparatory study). So to that extent, omnicaste Malkioni can be equally competent in all their roles inasmuch as they can be mediated through Joy, while still needing to do things the typical way for sorcery not within the scope of Joyful cogitation.

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The Thelxinoë of the Graclodont set.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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19 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ancestral sorcery still has the problem of requiring sorcerous training and capabilities for techniques and the like.

Given the observation of caste restricions for everybody but men-of-all, dronar caste ancestry from Brithos will be hard to trace unless you allow a rich urban dronar caste from the beginning of Hrestolism. There is mention of such somewhere in the Guide, IIRC.

Eh, I didn't worry too much about that. This isn't the thread for my own takes on things, but I thought it would be cool if "mundane" expertise had sorcerous secrets baked into it. So a Master Mason, for example, would through his masonry tutelage learn not only to calculate load bearing and such, but also specific sorcery that deals with ensuring structures' stability and what have you. Perhaps these were ultimately Kachasti, Tadeniti or Kadeniti secrets or whatever, but their origin is effectively irrelevant. From the Master Mason's perspective, the geometry and the sorcery were not separate things, but all just part of the secrets entrusted upon him by previous masters. He would probably not even recognize it as "sorcery", just more "Master Mason secrets". Ditto for other specialist Dronar guilds. I was inspired by the mention of the Brithini Dronars mentioned in the Guide, who seem to work with more than non-magical techniques.

Now, obviously, this is not the path Jeff is going down, and this is not how things are going to be, so no worries and no protests from me. But YGWV and all that. I assume in the light of new info, those Dronars are indeed either just friggin good at carpentry or whatever, or they have access to Rune magic through whatever ancestry or divine interaction Brithini are allowed.

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2 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Eh, I didn't worry too much about that. This isn't the thread for my own takes on things, but I thought it would be cool if "mundane" expertise had sorcerous secrets baked into it. So a Master Mason, for example, would through his masonry tutelage learn not only to calculate load bearing and such, but also specific sorcery that deals with ensuring structures' stability and what have you.

A way to handle it might be through Caste Magic rather than specific sorcery spells. For example a Malkioni crafter might learn the Philosophical Form for a Sword.  He carries it around in his head such that when he makes two swords at different times, the appraisers are hard pressed to tell any difference between the two.  Rather than give the equipment made by such sorcery the hoary +1 bonus etc, I' think it would be more interesting if the equipment enhances the wielder's caste magic (ie a Horali wielding a Philosophical Sword would hit harder than he would using an ordinary sword.

 

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The Seshnegi Horal.

The Horal generally has two deities - the Caste Deity and the Order Deity. 

The Caste Deity is either Hrestol, "Gerlant" or Arkat.  Gerlant is in quotes because as a King of a country which  hates class migration, the idea of the lower castes worshipping him seems a bit odd to me.  I think the Seshnelans would avoid embarrassment by naming a leading warrior in his service who doesn't give the Flamesword runespell.  Talor's worship is probably confined to Fronela and the later possible heroes are either God Learners or Nobles.  Arkat is here because if the Rokari can tolerate Hrestol, they sure as hell can tolerate Arkat.  

The Caste deities give standard rune magics plus special weapons magics. Hrestol gives Shield and Dark Blade.  While it's tempting to view the later spell as a Mandalorian Darksaber, having masses of Seshnelan warriors armed with Dark Sabers doesn't look right.  Hence I'm inclined to interpret the Dark Blade as being something like an obsidian dagger used in cthonic sacrifices.  Arkat teaches Spear Magics (inferred from the iconography of the Liberator in the Guide p377) and Gerlant teaches loyalty  

The cult of the Caste deities function as the officer corps of the Horals.  The Talars trust none of them (Gerlant would be seen as too close to the King at the expense of the local Talar for example) and sideline them whenever possible .  They are happy to work with the Order Deities (your average Hsunchen Gods).

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6 hours ago, metcalph said:

The Seshnegi Horal.

The Horal generally has two deities - the Caste Deity and the Order Deity. 

The Caste Deity is either Hrestol, "Gerlant" or Arkat.  Gerlant is in quotes because as a King of a country which  hates class migration, the idea of the lower castes worshipping him seems a bit odd to me.  I think the Seshnelans would avoid embarrassment by naming a leading warrior in his service who doesn't give the Flamesword runespell.  Talor's worship is probably confined to Fronela and the later possible heroes are either God Learners or Nobles.  Arkat is here because if the Rokari can tolerate Hrestol, they sure as hell can tolerate Arkat.  

The Caste deities give standard rune magics plus special weapons magics. Hrestol gives Shield and Dark Blade.  While it's tempting to view the later spell as a Mandalorian Darksaber, having masses of Seshnelan warriors armed with Dark Sabers doesn't look right.  Hence I'm inclined to interpret the Dark Blade as being something like an obsidian dagger used in cthonic sacrifices.  Arkat teaches Spear Magics (inferred from the iconography of the Liberator in the Guide p377) and Gerlant teaches loyalty  

The cult of the Caste deities function as the officer corps of the Horals.  The Talars trust none of them (Gerlant would be seen as too close to the King at the expense of the local Talar for example) and sideline them whenever possible .  They are happy to work with the Order Deities (your average Hsunchen Gods).

Officers will probably worship the same cult as their men, being the rune lords and priests of the society, especially considering how societies are essentially big extended families. Hrestol is an extremely uncommon cult across all the west, even within Loskalm, and Gerlant is a Talar ancestor that I doubt they'd appreciate lowly Horali worshiping. Arkat, from what I've picked up, is still hated by most Malkioni outside of Ralios.

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On 1/8/2022 at 4:46 PM, metcalph said:

What "abandoning previous abilities" would these be? 

Well, would for a Malkioni. Becoming an initiate of Orlanth would not be compatible with retaining membership of the talar caste, and so would mean giving up leadership, including the command and support of other castes, including any caste magic. Most major deities also forbid sorcery for higher levels. 

This pretty much applies even to Illumination - caste abilities are largely from being embedded in a social structure, not from within oneself. 

Though obviously skills and the material advantages of wealth and privilege are, to some extent at least, practical to retain. But only an extent. A talar who rejected Malkion to worship a pagan deity would find it difficult to keep living in the same castle. 

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