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Darius West

Chalana Arroy Cult Strictures and their interpretation.

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According to Cults of Prax when you join Chalana Arroy as a lay member you swear an oath to "never harm a living creature and to aid all within the limits of your ability".  At the same time you swear never to learn any combat abilities.  For the latter it is fine if you knew how to fight before you joined Chalana Arroy, but you must put such things behind you.

So the question is, how do Chalana Arroy cultists cope with their radical pacifist agenda when it entirely collapses into paradox?  For example:

1) The Broo Baby conundrum.  A victim of broo rape is going to die unless the broo baby inside them is removed, and it can only be removed by killing the broo baby.  Thus do you allow chaos to live and the victim to die?

2) Diseases are technically alive, and curing them is effectively killing the disease, which is harming a living creature and therefore against Chalana Arroy's requirements.  And if diseases aren't alive, why not?  Are they more or less alive than a whirlvish or an elemental?  Where exactly is the line drawn?

3) You can grow healing herbs but you cannot pick them because that will harm a living creature.  Or don't plants count?  If plants don't count as living creatures, how do Aldryami feel about that?

4) You cannot perform surgery because that involves cutting people with a knife, and that is technically harming a living creature and using a weapon to do so.

5)  Do the undead count as living creatures for the purposes of harming them, or can Chalana Arroy cultists cut loose on the undead with their childhood weapon skills provided they don't increase their skills subsequently?

6) If a living shaman attacks a Chalana Arroy cultist in spirit combat, are Chalana Arroy cultists unable to fight back in spirit combat because it will potentially harm the shaman?

7) Can a Chalana Arroy use a shield to defend the fallen?  Or is a shield a weapon?  You can certainly use a shield as a weapon, and there is the chance that the attacker will fumble as a result of being parried and cut their own leg off (for example).  Will that constitute a breaking of the oath?  What about dodging?  It is certainly a combat skill, but does that mean that a Chalana Arroy is not allowed to step out of the way of a charging Rhino?

8) Is a Chalana Arroy thrown out of the cult if they stub their toe or burn themselves cooking?  Technically their little accident has caused them to harm a living creature, i.e. themselves.  What about accidental malpractice?

9) To what extent does the "harm no living creature" issue impact on a Chalana Arroy's diet?  Are they all "fallists" (fruit only), "breatheairians" (sylph eaters), egg eaters (provided the eggs aren't fertilized), or can they eat meat and veg if someone else did the killing?  At what point are they required to take moral responsibility for a death so they can eat?  This is a minor issue compared to some of the others.

10) Are you permanently banned from Chalana Arroy for absent-mindedly sitting on a bug and squashing it?

11) Given that riding a horse can cause saddle chafing even with a blanket, are Chalana Arroy cultists unable to ride a mount?  Does riding constitute a combat skill?

Hint) Be very careful that your answers don't create fresh paradoxes.

So, as you can hopefully see, there need to be some points of clarification on these issues.  To what degree are Chalana Arroys subject to regional variance in the interpretation of their cult oaths too?  For example, is an Aldrayami Chalana Arroy more or less squeamish about killing plants for food and medicine? Also, how rigorously is the oath enforced?  Is breaching the oath an instant and permanent dismissal from the cult, which may constitute harming the individual worshipper by destroying their livelihood, or is the oath breaker merely required to atone?

The closest real life alternative to the Chalana Arroy oath would be the Jains, and their philosophy is so rigorously anti-harm that some Jain holy folk walk naked so the insects may feed on them freely, and wear only a huge broom-skirt that sweeps the path ahead of them of bugs (of course they completely ignore the billions of micro-organisms their body destroys every day just by breathing in and out).  Increasing the the poor Jains become masochistic prisoners of their own compassion, and in many ways Chalana Arroys have the distinct potential to go the same way.  In short, it is very difficult to be a Chalana Arroy unless you are also an illuminate.

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There's a definite grey area where Chalana Arroy worshipers can become enablers for their more violent cohorts within the family/tribe/adverturer-party if they keep patching them up and sending them off to do it again. Is it ethical to reinforce people's violent behaviour by relieving them from the consequences in this way?

I once tried taking the Chalana Arroy ethic to a Pathfinder group where I was the cleric. I started off with non-lethal net and club skills and a lot of healing spells, but I was eventually turned into a typical D&D church militant crusader with the need to use things like thunderclap spells to 'protect' my own bruisers and supporters from detachments the 'bad' guys. I had a nice blog for a while as the swearyest bishop in the summer country.

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The CA vows are spoken by Orlanthi, who have a very clear stance about Chaos being not part of life as we know it.

Living Being probably is limited to living and breathing being, unaware of plant interaction with the atmosphere. (Fish etc. breathe water.)

Broo larvae are parasitical infections. Diseases are spirits. Parasites don't breathe either air or water, hence they may be cleared.

The only plants registering as living beings are elves, runners, piixies and dryads. Anything else from the plant realm is food. (At least if you are an uz Chalana Arroy.)

Microorganisms aren't living beings. They may be part of soil, or darkness stuff, or spirits. Soil, darkness stuff (like feces) and even rock may be alive in Glorantha, but not beings. Gargoyles are living beings. A dung ball rolled by a scarabaeus isn't. The Scarabaeus larvae emerging from it are.

Yeast is not a living being. It is part of fungal matter (proven by the Voralan mastery over this stuff), which is part of Darkness matter, or Darkness plant life.

Undead things or dead things walking aren't alive.

 

Accidental deaths aren't a violation of CA vows - a CA rider whose steed perishes as the consequence of a failed leap doesn't violate her vow. Neither does a CA surgeon whose patient bleeds out before he can suture the wound..

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The vast majority of those seem nitpicky in the extreme to me.  If you happen to be a Buddhist priest it might be relevant at times (or you want to play your Healer Priestess that way), but I don't think it has much relevance to RP.  The spirit combat example would seem to be the most problematic to me, but in the event, when it's a choice between ceding your will or 'fighting' back psychically, the latter option is justifiable.

As a general rule, I modify the CA oath to:  "never knowingly harm a living creature..." etc.  This tends to eliminate the block/opponent fumble thing, and other situations where unforeseeable consequences occur.  As for the definition of living creature, barring obviously sentient forms of life like Aldryami, I don't classify plants that way for purposes of the oath.

Edited by Yelm's Light

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I don't believe that disease is caused by microorganisms in Glorantha. Rather, they are caused by curses, evil spirits etc. I also seem to recall that Chaos was exempt from the CA "cause no harm" prohibition, so that solves the Broo baby problem.

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2 hours ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

I don't believe that disease is caused by microorganisms in Glorantha. Rather, they are caused by curses, evil spirits etc.

Definitely no microorganisms.  But can be caused by people causing Disorder, disrupting clan life, theft, failing to observe their religious tenets, etc. that may cause the gods or goddesses to withdraw their support and effectively curse the clan.  

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A number of your entries suffer from a modern viewpoint. This is Glorantha. A bronze age civilization where magic abounds, disease is spread by spirits and people don't worry about suffering Chaos or undead to live. Keep your mind in the context of the civilization and not your own modern world.

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1&4 - I imagine the oath of Chalana Arroy is somewhat similar to the Hippocratic Oath, which would forbid surgery and such, including on those suffering Broo infestation.

I imagine this would be the responsibility of other healers, such as those of Ernalda. They would perform the cutting and purging, and then afterwards the White Healer would be let in to clear up the mess and heal the injured.

(NB: there are subcults mentioned of Belveren and Natyrsa for Ernalda and CA respectively. These are likely the source of their Cure Chaos Wound Rune Magic. In Storm Tribe, Natyrsa gave the ability to abort Broo Larvae. Personally, this doesn't quite fit in my view, and would be better for Belveren. A God Learner might say those are two names for the same minor being anyway.)

2 - If a shadowcat scratches you, the scratch is not alive. Diseases are similarly just the wounds caused by Disease Spirits, and are not alive. Disease Spirits may classify as being alive (although as underworld entities, they're more likely undead), I'll get to that under 5.

3&9 - This is a gift given by Aldrya to Chalana's son, Arroin. They can take plants without hurting the plant, or offending the forest. This is the same power as the Elves have. There are several skills and spells attached to this: Find Healing Herbs, Preserve, Refine Medicine. (I would also House Rule that the spell Food Song is also granted)

5 - Specifically the oath is living creatures. Undead (and disease spirits) are beings of the underworld. The process of healing them would send them back to the underworld. Theoretically, they could use their childhood skills to grab a spear and stab a zombie (and in many respects, this could fall under their oath to aid all within the limits of their ability), but being so unfamiliar with it, most White Healers would prefer to act as support.

6, 7 - There is always the risk of failure. An attacker who injures themselves because of an error is not the same as the defender wounding the attacker. White Healers absolutely can engage in Spirit Combat, because they have to do so as part of the Resurrection spell. (And spirits of health and spirits of disease naturally facing off against each other in Spirit Combat.)

8 - Injuries to yourself do not fall under the oath. After all, a healer must expose themselves to disease in order to heal.

10 - I doubt it, because White Healers wouldn't do it absent-mindedly. As you mentioned with Jains, I imagine Chalana's followers to carry brushes to clear anywhere they would wish to sit. If somehow it did happen, it probably would just be a minor sin, something to sacrifice to the goddess for forgiveness over.

11 - 1 point Protection spell, directed at the horse.

 

Also, as a side note, connected to the cult of Arroin: The idea of non-magical healing has always struck me as very strange. Especially with healing plants, which could be viewed as filled with spirits. IMG, Arroin learned spirit magic from the Aldryami, how to heal with the spirits of healing herbs, and that this is just another form of how everything is magic.

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I expect most Gloranthan healing to happen without overt magic use from the healer, but providing conditions that allow the natural magic of the living body to heal itself - bandages, splints, salves, ointments, fumes.

However beneficial, large doses of magical healing might alter the body to an extent that it becomes something else, something no longer the original person. A special case of this is the relife sickness that is experienced by some resurrectees, but an arm or leg that gets re-attached one time too often might begin to feel alien, too. A regrown limb won't necessarily feel the same as the original.

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As has been pointed out by others, these are extreme and often modern ideas, at the core of this ian the never harm a living creature. This has changed slightly in more up to date write ups. However living creature has a wide scope for difference. In the most recent published write up, it includes the word intellegent, which certainly helps. But individuals ideas and experiences will govern the definition of this. Intellegent chaos clearly presents an issue, but a broo larvae in my opinion isn't intellegent. Theists are their god and this feedback loop will allow many variations of CA membership within the organisation ranging from liberal to the don't squash bugs idealist. As said above, story first!

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22 hours ago, Darius West said:

According to Cults of Prax when you join Chalana Arroy as a lay member you swear an oath to "never harm a living creature and to aid all within the limits of your ability".  At the same time you swear never to learn any combat abilities.  For the latter it is fine if you knew how to fight before you joined Chalana Arroy, but you must put such things behind you.

So the question is, how do Chalana Arroy cultists cope with their radical pacifist agenda when it entirely collapses into paradox?  For example:

1) The Broo Baby conundrum.  A victim of broo rape is going to die unless the broo baby inside them is removed, and it can only be removed by killing the broo baby.  Thus do you allow chaos to live and the victim to die?

2) Diseases are technically alive, and curing them is effectively killing the disease, which is harming a living creature and therefore against Chalana Arroy's requirements.  And if diseases aren't alive, why not?  Are they more or less alive than a whirlvish or an elemental?  Where exactly is the line drawn?

3) You can grow healing herbs but you cannot pick them because that will harm a living creature.  Or don't plants count?  If plants don't count as living creatures, how do Aldryami feel about that?

4) You cannot perform surgery because that involves cutting people with a knife, and that is technically harming a living creature and using a weapon to do so.

5)  Do the undead count as living creatures for the purposes of harming them, or can Chalana Arroy cultists cut loose on the undead with their childhood weapon skills provided they don't increase their skills subsequently?

6) If a living shaman attacks a Chalana Arroy cultist in spirit combat, are Chalana Arroy cultists unable to fight back in spirit combat because it will potentially harm the shaman?

7) Can a Chalana Arroy use a shield to defend the fallen?  Or is a shield a weapon?  You can certainly use a shield as a weapon, and there is the chance that the attacker will fumble as a result of being parried and cut their own leg off (for example).  Will that constitute a breaking of the oath?  What about dodging?  It is certainly a combat skill, but does that mean that a Chalana Arroy is not allowed to step out of the way of a charging Rhino?

8) Is a Chalana Arroy thrown out of the cult if they stub their toe or burn themselves cooking?  Technically their little accident has caused them to harm a living creature, i.e. themselves.  What about accidental malpractice?

9) To what extent does the "harm no living creature" issue impact on a Chalana Arroy's diet?  Are they all "fallists" (fruit only), "breatheairians" (sylph eaters), egg eaters (provided the eggs aren't fertilized), or can they eat meat and veg if someone else did the killing?  At what point are they required to take moral responsibility for a death so they can eat?  This is a minor issue compared to some of the others.

10) Are you permanently banned from Chalana Arroy for absent-mindedly sitting on a bug and squashing it?

11) Given that riding a horse can cause saddle chafing even with a blanket, are Chalana Arroy cultists unable to ride a mount?  Does riding constitute a combat skill?

Hint) Be very careful that your answers don't create fresh paradoxes.

So, as you can hopefully see, there need to be some points of clarification on these issues.  To what degree are Chalana Arroys subject to regional variance in the interpretation of their cult oaths too?  For example, is an Aldrayami Chalana Arroy more or less squeamish about killing plants for food and medicine? Also, how rigorously is the oath enforced?  Is breaching the oath an instant and permanent dismissal from the cult, which may constitute harming the individual worshipper by destroying their livelihood, or is the oath breaker merely required to atone?

The closest real life alternative to the Chalana Arroy oath would be the Jains, and their philosophy is so rigorously anti-harm that some Jain holy folk walk naked so the insects may feed on them freely, and wear only a huge broom-skirt that sweeps the path ahead of them of bugs (of course they completely ignore the billions of micro-organisms their body destroys every day just by breathing in and out).  Increasing the the poor Jains become masochistic prisoners of their own compassion, and in many ways Chalana Arroys have the distinct potential to go the same way.  In short, it is very difficult to be a Chalana Arroy unless you are also an illuminate.

I do view Chalana Arroy initiates as being quite similar in practice to Jain devotees. 

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On 6/20/2017 at 11:29 PM, Byll said:

There's a definite grey area where Chalana Arroy worshipers can become enablers for their more violent cohorts within the family/tribe/adverturer-party if they keep patching them up and sending them off to do it again. Is it ethical to reinforce people's violent behaviour by relieving them from the consequences in this way?

I once tried taking the Chalana Arroy ethic to a Pathfinder group where I was the cleric. I started off with non-lethal net and club skills and a lot of healing spells, but I was eventually turned into a typical D&D church militant crusader with the need to use things like thunderclap spells to 'protect' my own bruisers and supporters from detachments the 'bad' guys. I had a nice blog for a while as the swearyest bishop in the summer country.

Nice story about your Pathfinder Cleric.  D&D suffers from an experience system that rewards mayhem out of all proportion as a means of solving problems.  This can partially be remedied by saying that outmaneuvering an adversary or tweaking a situation via roleplaying and other creative means can net as many XP as murder "for the experience" (damn but that is an excuse worthy of a serial killer, but I have heard allegedly "good" characters use it).  This will also provide an excuse for leaving otherwise problematic NPCs alive.  

As to how Chalana Arroys fare in play, the most successful tend to be extremely mercenary in my experience.

On 6/21/2017 at 2:00 AM, Joerg said:

The CA vows are spoken by Orlanthi, who have a very clear stance about Chaos being not part of life as we know it.

Broo larvae are parasitical infections. Diseases are spirits. Parasites don't breathe either air or water, hence they may be cleared.

1

So, if that is the case may a Chalana Arroy squash a maggot that is in a wound? Now fleas are parasites, can CA's kill them ?  If it is okay to spiritually annihilate a Disease Spirit, does this blanket rule apply to all spirits and spirit combat? Don't get me wrong, I am purely playing Wakboth's Advocate here, and I think your interpretation is very sound, but would a Chalana Arroy Fundamentalist accept it? :)

On 6/21/2017 at 2:00 AM, Joerg said:

Undead things or dead things walking aren't alive.

 

Ergo, you agree that a Chalana Arroy can kill Undead? Interesting.  

As an aside, it is odd perhaps that a vampire is one of the few creatures that as a mana-phage and hematophage doesn't actually have to kill to eat, unlike a human Chalana Arroy.  One might even suggest that non-lethal and consensual vampirism is more ethical than being alive and eating things to subsist.

On 6/21/2017 at 2:43 PM, Tindalos said:

3&9 - This is a gift given by Aldrya to Chalana's son, Arroin. They can take plants without hurting the plant, or offending the forest. This is the same power as the Elves have. There are several skills and spells attached to this: Find Healing Herbs, Preserve, Refine Medicine. (I would also House Rule that the spell Food Song is also granted)

4

Yes, Food Song may mitigate the problem considerably.  Perhaps Chalana Arroys can cast Peaceful Cut before surgery to get around the whole "using a knife issue"? (jk)

On the other hand, does that mean that a Chalana Arroy can kill an Aldryami without breaking their vows if they cast food song first?

On 6/21/2017 at 2:43 PM, Tindalos said:

(NB: there are subcults mentioned of Belveren and Natyrsa for Ernalda and CA respectively. These are likely the source of their Cure Chaos Wound Rune Magic. In Storm Tribe, Natyrsa gave the ability to abort Broo Larvae. Personally, this doesn't quite fit in my view, and would be better for Belveren. A God Learner might say those are two names for the same minor being anyway.)

6

The issue of Natyrsa and baby broos is an interesting one.  Do you think a Lunar Citizen Chalana Arroy would have the same flippant attitude to the life of a baby broo they could potentially save through compassionate action along with the victim?  After a fashion both the larva and the rape victim are both innocent, after all?

You also tangentially allude to another answer, as Chalana Arroys don't often need to perform surgery as they have healing spells.  Surgery is more Arroin's business.

On 6/21/2017 at 8:36 PM, David Scott said:

As has been pointed out by others, these are extreme and often modern ideas, at the core of this ian the never harm a living creature. This has changed slightly in more up to date write ups. However living creature has a wide scope for difference. In the most recent published write up, it includes the word intelligent, which certainly helps. But individuals ideas and experiences will govern the definition of this. Intelligent chaos clearly presents an issue, but a broo larvae in my opinion isn't intellegent. Theists are their god and this feedback loop will allow many variations of CA membership within the organisation ranging from liberal to the don't squash bugs idealist. As said above, story first!

7

As to story first, sometimes the most fun is to negotiate the sticky ethical and theological issues in character.  This response begs the question, how "liberal" can you get before you break your oath-founded connection with your deity.  As to broo larvae being non-sentient, technically that interpretation might be superimposed onto human infants in utero, but somehow I can't see the Chalana Arroys being overly "pro-choice".  It is certainly a very dirty trick that an illuminate could potentially perform "hey look, I performed an abortion without losing my connection to the White Lady, so it must be outside the oath dear political rivals; What?  It didn't work?  Gee. I guess the fact that you all broke your oaths makes me high priestess by default, and no-one can seek retribution because I am the last healer in these parts and you need me more than ever."

I am surprised I haven't heard arguments such as "does it have a face" (popular with vegetarians), "can it scream" (less popular with vegetarians), "does it have blood?" and similar classifcation categories.  Parasitic insects certainly pose a problem, especially when they could be carriers of disease spirits but they aren't chaos.  I am also surprised that the Wild Healer of the Rockwoods hasn't been mentioned.

On 6/21/2017 at 8:48 PM, Jeff said:

I do view Chalana Arroy initiates as being quite similar in practice to Jain devotees. 

How do you think that relates to interpreting the oath they take?  Would it be treated as flippantly as the Hippocratic oath is by doctors today?

On 6/21/2017 at 2:43 PM, Tindalos said:

8 - Injuries to yourself do not fall under the oath. After all, a healer must expose themselves to disease in order to heal.

 

According to  Cults of Prax  a Chalana Arroy initiate is not entitled to use weapons or damaging magic because they will damage a part of the world, which is prohibited (P65 "Since Time Began" in the CA write-up).  Surely harming yourself counts as harming a part of the world?  After all, what is more precious to the Goddess than the worshippers from whom she derives her power?  Note also that exposure to danger is not equivalent to self injury.

* * * * * 

Finally, and this is addressed to all responders, I think there is good evidence that the penalties for failing to maintain one's Chalana Arroy oath might not be so very harsh as being excommunicated.  I direct you to the Spirit of Reprisal: Infection (CoP: p69).  This suggests that to break cult strictures results in being unable to resist disease (which is not such a great problem for a Chalana Arroy who has overcome all the great and small disease spirits and hence has natural immunity as addressed in Cults of Terror). This write-up also suggests that atonement through repentance and contrition is possible.  Perhaps breaking the cult strictures isn't such a big deal?  Does it become a matter of "Killed a bug?  Say 2 White Ladies, 1 Temple of Love, and 1 Father Surgeon o' little Sister of Mercy"

Edited by Darius West

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On 21/06/2017 at 11:48 AM, Jeff said:

I do view Chalana Arroy initiates as being quite similar in practice to Jain devotees. 

This matches my real life experience of Jains. I used to work with a trainee doctor who was brought up as a Jain, that is her family were Jains. She was mostly a vegetarian, but would eat meat occasionally, but never at home. Her mother was a vegan, but hadn't been so for all of her life, but as she had got older had become more Jain. Her grandmother was the most interesting intros respect and had become more devout in her old age and had become "a bug sweeper". The key part of their faith for me was that they tried to live their lives following their religion. The acceptance that it was near impossible not to kill living things was part of it. There was no punishment for breaking the "rules", it was you own persoualstandards that were important and that you tried. In my experience Buddhism has the same ideals. I know lots of "failed" buddhists who believe that they aren't doing it properly rather that trying to do the best they can. Jack Cornfield in his book A Path with a Heart (https://jackkornfield.com/a-path-with-heart/) this idea. It also explores what happens when priests and teachers fail their students by breaking the rules of their religion.

28 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Ergo, you agree that a Chalana Arroy can kill Undead? Interesting.

Heal not kill. Healing an undead and bring the world back into balance is the key here. Chalana Arroy is the source of the Harmony Rune. 

30 minutes ago, Darius West said:

As to broo larvae being non-sentient, technically that interpretation might be superimposed onto human infants in utero, but somehow I can't see the Chalana Arroys being overly "pro-choice".

I don't think broo larvae are Intelligent, they are acting on instinct - eat until big enough, eat a path out when big enough, when out run hide and eat until bigger. Arguably some never gain intelligence. I don't think it's anything to do with humans in utero.

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49 minutes ago, Darius West said:

If it is okay to spiritually annihilate a Disease Spirit, does this blanket rule apply to all spirits and spirit combat?

Yes, I think most would feel that spirits belong in the Otherworld, that crossing over and possessing another creates Disorder, and the exorcism of such spirits does not kill the spirit but simply puts it back where it belongs.  

51 minutes ago, Darius West said:

if that is the case may a Chalana Arroy squash a maggot that is in a wound? Now fleas are parasites, can CA's kill them ? 

That depends on how they view their strictures.  @MOB and I had concluded that at the Great Hospital in Nochet (the largest CA temple in the world) that there are at least two factions within the temple:  the Sweepers and the Keepers.  The former believe that in order to maintain Harmony, one must sweep back the dirt and filth that indicates and contributes to a state of Disorder.  The latter meanwhile are pure in their belief that nothing must be harmed.  Most likely neither would approve of killing maggots or fleas.  The former would find ways to drive such creatures out and away, while the latter might encourage the creatures to come to their own flesh.

 

23 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Heal not kill. Healing an undead and bring the world back into balance is the key here.

Exactly.  An undead is not where it belongs.  It belongs in the world of the Dead.  Being in the world of the Living is counter to the Harmony of the Great Compromise.  "Healing" it returns it to its correct state.

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49 minutes ago, David Scott said:

 I know lots of "failed" buddhists who believe that they aren't doing it properly rather that trying to do the best they can.

1

Buddha suggested that the Jains were being spiritual materialists in their over attention to stricture, and in many ways his enlightenment under the bodhi tree was a rejection of Jainism.  How does one escape suffering by performing austerities that harm one's body?  How can the path of great liberation lie through becoming a tormented prisoner of one's own compassion?  Jainism does suffer from the internal contradiction of being kind to everything in the world but ruthlessly cruel to yourself even unto suicide through self neglect.  The Jain notion of enlightenment is to die at the very moment that you lose all desire to live (which for most people would probably occur after about a week living as a Jain imo:lol:).  Interesting book link though, I will get around to reading it.  So thx for that.

49 minutes ago, David Scott said:

Heal not kill. Healing an undead and bring the world back into balance is the key here. Chalana Arroy is the source of the Harmony Rune. 

 

Potatoe Potato Tomatoe Tomato.  That is just a rhetorical device to hide the pragmatic intent.

49 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I don't think broo larvae are Intelligent, they are acting on instinct - eat until big enough, eat a path out when big enough, when out run hide and eat until bigger. Arguably some never gain intelligence. I don't think it's anything to do with humans in utero.

1

I think it has a lot to do with human babies who are also merely acting on instinct for the first months of their life, just like a broo larva.  Both broos and humans have the potential to grow to be sentient, but neither are sentient in their "larval state".

Edited by Darius West

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3 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Yes, I think most would feel that spirits belong in the Otherworld, that crossing over and possessing another creates Disorder, and the exorcism of such spirits does not kill the spirit but simply puts it back where it belongs.  

 

But arguably a spirit is every bit as much a part of Glorantha as a living creature.  Remember that the Chalana Arroy write-up forbids using weapons to destroy a part of the world. Does this not apply to the spirit realm with equal force?  Similarly, destroying a spirit utterly definitely destroys a part of the world.  All things are connected, and where does one world truly start and another truly end when they often co-exist in the same place?  I think what you are suggesting here is fair with regards to exorcism, but it also poses dilemmas in other cases.  I am, after all, playing Wakboth's Advocate here.

10 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

That depends on how they view their strictures.  @MOB and I had concluded that at the Great Hospital in Nochet (the largest CA temple in the world) that there are at least two factions within the temple:  the Sweepers and the Keepers.  The former believe that in order to maintain Harmony, one must sweep back the dirt and filth that indicates and contributes to a state of Disorder.  The latter meanwhile are pure in their belief that nothing must be harmed.  Most likely neither would approve of killing maggots or fleas.  The former would find ways to drive such creatures out and away, while the latter might encourage the creatures to come to their own flesh.

1

The Jains perform an unusual ritual when they need to raise money for a project.  They would wander the streets of Indian cities proclaiming in a loud voice "Who will feed the bugs?" while carrying a mattress infested with vermin.  The devout will cast money onto the mattress, and when enough is gathered, a devout Jain will gently lie upon the mattress and allow the parasites to feed on them.  The Cult of Malia write-up suggests that Malia overcame many Daughters of Gorakiki who subsequently became disease carriers.  It is hard to ignore the danger of allowing such enemy agents into the temple.  On the other hand, perhaps the Chalana Arroy Temple wardings prevent the incursion of pests peacefully, by causing them to fall asleep or flee when they enter intentionally or accidentally.  Certainly as agents of pestilence it is hard for Chalana Arroys to cure an outbreak faster than it can spread via their limited magic.

19 minutes ago, jajagappa said:

Exactly.  An undead is not where it belongs.  It belongs in the world of the Dead.  Being in the world of the Living is counter to the Harmony of the Great Compromise.  "Healing" it returns it to its correct state.

 

Actually, splitting hairs here, but the undead don't really belong in the Land of the Dead either.  Just saying.  Also, I doubt that Zorak Zoranis will appreciate you "healing" their zombies.  Perhaps that is why ZZs don't give CAs much stick?  Of course I can think of a plethora of other reasons.

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Nice story about your Pathfinder Cleric.  D&D suffers from an experience system that rewards mayhem out of all proportion as a means of solving problems.  This can partially be remedied by saying that outmaneuvering an adversary or tweaking a situation via roleplaying and other creative means can net as many XP as murder "for the experience" (damn but that is an excuse worthy of a serial killer, but I have heard allegedly "good" characters use it).  This will also provide an excuse for leaving otherwise problematic NPCs alive.

Well, whilst I was still a pro-bishop on the run, I did save the life of the necromantic banker who was in league with the apocalyptophile foreign gnostic bishops' cabal after my party had bashed him and his moon-fly to or beyond death's door. He was geased by the AFG bishops, unfortunately, so we never got any information out of him. I'd have to dig in the records to see if I got any XP for my efforts.

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Just now, Byll said:

Well, whilst I was still a pro-bishop on the run, I did save the life of the necromantic banker who was in league with the apocalyptophile foreign gnostic bishops' cabal after my party had bashed him and his moon-fly to or beyond death's door. He was geased by the AFG bishops, unfortunately, so we never got any information out of him. I'd have to dig in the records to see if I got any XP for my efforts.

They all sound just charming.  What is a moon-fly btw?  One of these days I am going to write a scenario where the world has been over-run my bad things and it is the supposedly "good guys" working to immanentize the eschaton for once :) .

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

Finally, and this is addressed to all responders, I think there is good evidence that the penalties for failing to maintain one's Chalana Arroy oath might not be so very harsh as being excommunicated.  I direct you to the Spirit of Reprisal: Infection (CoP: p69).  This suggests that to break cult strictures results in being unable to resist disease (which is not such a great problem for a Chalana Arroy who has overcome all the great and small disease spirits and hence has natural immunity as addressed in Cults of Terror). This write-up also suggests that atonement through repentance and contrition is possible.  Perhaps breaking the cult strictures isn't such a big deal?  Does it become a matter of "Killed a bug?  Say 2 White Ladies, 1 Temple of Love, and 1 Father Surgeon o' little Sister of Mercy"

Breaking cult strictures rarely results in getting banned from one's temples unless the breach was truly appalling. It does run the risk of being served by the spirits of retribution - but even that can be prevented by proper purification rites (which is the same thing as saying repentance and contrition). 

So to make a long thread short - yes, Chalana Arroy cultists swear to never harm a living intelligent being. But also, yes, sometimes they do just that and have to cleanse themselves of that pollution through rituals of contrition and repentance.

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3 minutes ago, Darius West said:

They all sound just charming.  What is a moon-fly btw?  

That was never made entirely clear. The necrobanker was unable to talk about or even remember most of his colourful past, and eventually became convinced of his own innocence. It had a lot of HP - it was a sort of small feisty elephant that flew down from moonbeams on giant butterfly wings.

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

As to how Chalana Arroys fare in play, the most successful tend to be extremely mercenary in my experience.

I have seen everything from the sadistic "does it hurt when I touch you here in the open wound, and what business do you have swinging blades at all" type to the angelic self-sacrificing type causing her group to charge the enemy to get her out of yet another fix.

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So, if that is the case may a Chalana Arroy squash a maggot that is in a wound?

Why would any healer want to do that? You either place them there to eat away necrotic tissue, or you pick them out without making them spill their intestines into the open wound.

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Now fleas are parasites, can CA's kill them ? 

No idea. Can you kill them when slapping at them or scratching yourself?

A Chalana Arroy cultist surely will inconvenience a tick or a leech in order to make them let go of their host. Leeches might be used for treatment, much like maggots.

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If it is okay to spiritually annihilate a Disease Spirit, does this blanket rule apply to all spirits and spirit combat? Don't get me wrong, I am purely playing Wakboth's Advocate here, and I think your interpretation is very sound, but would a Chalana Arroy Fundamentalist accept it? :)

Can one annihilate a disease spirit through non-chaotic means? Banishing or imprisoning a spirit is a different thing, and well within the mandate of Arroyans.

 

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Ergo, you agree that a Chalana Arroy can kill Undead? Interesting.  

You cannot kill an undead, it is already dead, only blasphemously animated. This is one of the few things where Humakti and Arroyans agree - the dead and the undead need to be put to rest. They do disagree about when death becomes an immutable fact, though.

As to a sapient undead resisting his being laid to eternal rest - "It's for your own good."

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As an aside, it is odd perhaps that a vampire is one of the few creatures that as a mana-phage and hematophage doesn't actually have to kill to eat, unlike a human Chalana Arroy.  One might even suggest that non-lethal and consensual vampirism is more ethical than being alive and eating things to subsist.

A human Arroyan could subsist on milk, fruit and plant sap, too.

The problem with vampires is that they are undead. Vampire bats are a different proposal.

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Yes, Food Song may mitigate the problem considerably.  Perhaps Chalana Arroys can cast Peaceful Cut before surgery to get around the whole "using a knife issue"? (jk)

A knife used for surgery is not a weapon. A bag of healing herbs swung or tossed against an enemy is (at that time).

A plant is not a creature. It may be holding a spirit.

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The issue of Natyrsa and baby broos is an interesting one.  Do you think a Lunar Citizen Chalana Arroy would have the same flippant attitude to the life of a baby broo they could potentially save through compassionate action along with the victim?  After a fashion both the larva and the rape victim are both innocent, after all?

Innocent chaos might become a problem for an illuminated Arroyan, but then an illuminated Arroyan doesn't really have to care.

A broo larva is never innocent. It was born from the disease of the world, which is chaos. It is not a living creature, yet, just a parasite that perishes once it is outside of its host.

A post-natal broo is a different proposal. It is a creature that might overcome its blasphemous origin. However, unless the Arroyan put it under a sleep spell, she is not obliged to defend it.

 

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As to story first, sometimes the most fun is to negotiate the sticky ethical and theological issues in character.  This response begs the question, how "liberal" can you get before you break your oath-founded connection with your deity.  As to broo larvae being non-sentient, technically that interpretation might be superimposed onto human infants in utero, but somehow I can't see the Chalana Arroys being overly "pro-choice".  

I beg to differ. Even though Gloranthan child mortality is way lower than any but the most modern periods of our world, children are regarded as people only above a certain age. Before reaching say the age of five or six they are precious beings to their kin, but not yet fully realized children of the family. Abandoning surplus children is a hard but often necessary choice. Preventing the spawn of rape to be born could be a matter of policy, if not of the Chalana Arroy cult then of the Ernalda cult.

Would I ask a Chalana Arroy healer to perform an abortion? Probably not. This is the territory of Earth Witch or the crones. Besides, I suspect that they will have a spell to induce a premature birth rather than perfoming surgery.

I can see the Gloranthan healers to place greater value on the survival of the birthing mother than the Catholic Church with its dynastic lobbying. Ernaldans might still see the short end of this stick if they are all alone in a distant clan which is desperate to save the child. How much does a paternal grandmother's greed for grandchildren overcome female solidarity in their marriage diaspora? Will they accept the hostility of the maternal grandmother and her clan for sacrificing their kin for nothing more than a chance that the child will survive its earliest years?

Ernaldans are supposed to be the rational and calculating side of their marriages, leaving the emotional outbreaks to their husbands.

I don't know many real world myths around this topic - the only one that comes to mind are the circumstances of the birth of Llew Llaw Gyddes.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 6/23/2017 at 11:12 PM, Joerg said:

Why would any healer want to do that? You either place them there to eat away necrotic tissue, or you pick them out without making them spill their intestines into the open wound.

 

LOL. Totally fair, good comment.  I expressed that poorly.

On 6/23/2017 at 11:12 PM, Joerg said:

No idea. Can you kill them (fleas) when slapping at them or scratching yourself?

 

Normally you catch them and squish them in my small experience with fleas.  Poisoning them is the best bet.  Interestingly, poison isn't mentioned amongst things CAs can't use.  I wonder why not?

On 6/23/2017 at 11:12 PM, Joerg said:

Can one annihilate a disease spirit through non-chaotic means? Banishing or imprisoning a spirit is a different thing, and well within the mandate of Arroyans.

1

In RQ2, the Cults of Terror write-up suggested that Disease Spirits get annihilated when defeated, if my memory serves me correctly.  Hence the contention, as technically Malia is only a darkness spirit and not actually a Chaos spirit, despite being part of the Unholy Trio.  Go figure.

On 6/23/2017 at 11:12 PM, Joerg said:

A human Arroyan could subsist on milk, fruit and plant sap, too.

1

Fair point, though I am unsure that such a diet can sustain life indefinitely.

On 6/23/2017 at 11:12 PM, Joerg said:

A knife used for surgery is not a weapon. A bag of healing herbs swung or tossed against an enemy is (at that time).

 

Cutting flesh always causes injury.  In fact many societies IRL had medical prohibitions against surgery to prohibit the injury it did, limiting people to herbal remedies and so forth.  A Chalana Arroy actually has no need to perform surgery, as they have high levels of Common Magic healing.  Even Arroin cultists have access to common magic healing.

On 6/23/2017 at 11:12 PM, Joerg said:

You cannot kill an undead, it is already dead, only blasphemously animated. This is one of the few things where Humakti and Arroyans agree - the dead and the undead need to be put to rest. They do disagree about when death becomes an immutable fact, though.

As to a sapient undead resisting his being laid to eternal rest - "It's for your own good."

1

It seems that everyone is against the undead's right to their own life choices :)  LOL heaven forfend they were homosexual or something.

So do you think that the Chalana Arroys will put them to sleep and administer some form of poison?  Or just send in the Humakti to do the dirty deed?

On 6/23/2017 at 11:12 PM, Joerg said:

Innocent chaos might become a problem for an illuminated Arroyan, but then an illuminated Arroyan doesn't really have to care.  A broo larva is never innocent. It was born from the disease of the world, which is chaos. It is not a living creature, yet, just a parasite that perishes once it is outside of its host.  A post-natal broo is a different proposal. It is a creature that might overcome its blasphemous origin. However, unless the Arroyan put it under a sleep spell, she is not obliged to defend it.

5

I don't think you need to be illuminated to see broo larvae as alive. I have seen some Chalana Arroy going to great lengths to save both the broo larvae and the host, on the grounds that they might be saving another Wild Healer of the Rockwoods, or Pure One, by so doing.  Misguided?  Almost certainly, but you can't fault their idealism.   After all, isn't a human baby born of rape effectively a broo larva by Gloranthan legal standards?

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9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Normally you catch them and squish them in my small experience with fleas.  Poisoning them is the best bet.  Interestingly, poison isn't mentioned amongst things CAs can't use.  I wonder why not?

The old Paracelsus quote - the dose makes the poison. Many poisons can serve as antidotes or medicine in the correct doses.

9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

In RQ2, the Cults of Terror write-up suggested that Disease Spirits get annihilated when defeated, if my memory serves me correctly.

I tried to look this up. The only thing remotely resembling such a thing was the notion that a spirit of health defeated by a spirit of disease loses its healing powers for good.

Given that the spirit of a victim of a disease may be turned into a spirit of disease, there must be a way to purge such a spirit from that state, so I guess the reverse is true as well. I doubt that the victorious infectee will have this effect on the spirit - it will retreat from the physical plane, but will be available to the disease master after regenerating its MP.

9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Hence the contention, as technically Malia is only a darkness spirit and not actually a Chaos spirit, despite being part of the Unholy Trio.  Go figure.

CA is an opponent of Death, too.

9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

Cutting flesh always causes injury.  In fact many societies IRL had medical prohibitions against surgery to prohibit the injury it did, limiting people to herbal remedies and so forth.  

So in your opinion a CA healer cannot amputate an irrecoverable limb, allowing the rot to kill the patient?

9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

A Chalana Arroy actually has no need to perform surgery, as they have high levels of Common Magic healing.  Even Arroin cultists have access to common magic healing.

Have you looked at the requirements for "Regrow Limb"? The mangled partial remains of a limb would be in the way for the regrowth.

9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

It seems that everyone is against the undead's right to their own life choices :)  LOL heaven forfend they were homosexual or something.

Undead only have unlife choices, and sexuality usually doesn't come into it.

9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

So do you think that the Chalana Arroys will put them to sleep and administer some form of poison?  Or just send in the Humakti to do the dirty deed?

Undead are immune to sleep or poison. I suppose that Arroyans get to perform a shamanic "dividing the living and the dead", just like King Heort did in the Silver Age.

They surely won't hinder any Humakti frothing against undead.

9 minutes ago, Darius West said:

I don't think you need to be illuminated to see broo larvae as alive. I have seen some Chalana Arroy going to great lengths to save both the broo larvae and the host, on the grounds that they might be saving another Wild Healer of the Rockwoods, or Pure One, by so doing.  Misguided?  Almost certainly, but you can't fault their idealism.   After all, isn't a human baby born of rape effectively a broo larva by Gloranthan legal standards?

According to Shadows on the Borderlands, rape may result in ogre children.

As a Sartarite or Praxian, you need illumination or an extreme conviction to overcome your cultural bias. An Arroyan from a Lunarized background might see this differently, but even Lunar society feels immense unease when faced with blatant chaos, such as untamed broo.

Chaos is a wound in Creation, and needs healing. Chaos creatures usually are a symptom. Cleansing them usually involves fire or similar destructive measures.

The normal Arroyan response to confrontation with chaotics begins with "Chaos stalks my world"...

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

as technically Malia is only a darkness spirit and not actually a Chaos spirit, despite being part of the Unholy Trio.

Mallia was a Darkness and Death spirit up to the point of the joining the Holy Trio. Afterwards she was tainted by chaos, her greatest chaos creation being Plague (Chaos). When being propitiated against the common (darkness) and mortal (death) diseases she has the Death and Darkness runes. When worshiped by chaos creatures she has the chaos rune as well. Basically she has two aspects. CoT says:

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RUNIC ASSOCIATIONS

Mallia is associated with the Runes of Death and Darkness, her foundations and heritage. Where she is worshipped by broos she also is associated with the Chaos Rune. 

 

 

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