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Pentan religion

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11 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

About misapplied worship – I'm not a fan of it, and was surprised about the importance it took on in Hero Wars.

I think most were.  And it's gone now.

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Misapplied Worship was based on the idea that being a divine or spirit or essence being was an intrinsic property of each otherworld power. I think we now think that theism, sorcery and animism are three methods of dealing with the underworld that can approach the same issues (mysticism a bit different, but the differences may lie more with goal than method). Some powers are of such a nature that they are best approached by a particular method, or are particularly hostile to a particular method, probably, but that’s perhaps the less common case. 

But it’s also much much easier to approach a particular otherworld Power through an established tradition, where many other magicians have already trod the path and done the work. Usually you would want to be a heroquester and/or an advanced magician to even try. 

And most established traditions are focussed on a single method. By no means all, and some traditions allow practitioners straddle two or more methods eg (Lhankor Mhy, Kygor Litor). There can also be separate traditions that approach the same power by different methods (Sword Brother and Humakt). 

 

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The way the three otherworlds seems to work now is fine IMO.

There are no longer the absurd situations where you would have to roll to know if you get a penalty because the cloud you try to magically control is an essence instead of a daimon and Misaplied Worship is gone but the three otherworlds still exist even if their separation is less absolute and that many religions and beings are mixed in various and interresting ways.

I would be a bit sad if all deities are now both equally gods/spirits/essences because that's a bit boring and overly simplistic but getting spirits from Orlanth despite him being a bona fide God makes sense especially if your religion has mythical precedents of having such a relationship with him. (But the Pentans theistically worshipping Orlanth and also having a Spirit Tradition would also be interesting, and obviously West King Wind could be a Great Spirit corresponding to the same winds as Orlanth, just like Elmal and Yelm are both the sun)

For example, Aeol probably still had to do some work to make his brand of Henotheism possible, and Aeolians still have some sort of mutually beneficiable relationship with the Orlanthi gods. (But I guess that some henotheists could only mimic the magic of gods and deluding themselves with the belief that they are venerating/worshipping them but I don't think that's what most henotheists are doing)

I don't really understand how someone could get theistic magic from an Ascended Master or a Spirit (Spirit -> Grimoires and Ascended Master -> Spirits make sense in my head but getting theistic magic from something else than a god without it just being misaplied worship without a malus doesn't) but I'm probably just lacking imagination.

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Getting theistic magic from an Ascended Master works just like getting theistic magic from a hero-cult, because its basically the same thing. The heroes mighty deeds might be of a sorcerous nature, but the process of worshipping a dead hero and getting magic from it works pretty much the same. You could probably also magically contact an Ascended Master via shamanic means if appropriate - for example, if you had a direct ancestor who was an Ascended Master, then ancestor worship might work (this is rare among the modern Malkioni, but more common in other places - Kralorela, or first age Seshnela. The idea of misapplied worship is definitely a factor, but not in the same rigid sense of ever entity having a singular nature that determines the one right way of contact. Some entities (like Ascended Masters) are far more approachable from one particular perspective, and you'll get deeper, richer, magic more quickly. Other entities are more abstract and its really more about how developed the magical techniques for accessing them via a particular method are - for example, if you wish to contact an entity normally contacted via shamanic methods using sorcerous methods, it might in some cases mean writing the grimoire yourself. 

Edited by davecake
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To clarify on Ascended Masters and other sorcerous entities in particular, its worth distinguishing between perceived spiritual value, and magical utility. 

- the Rokari might acknowledge that there is some magical value in direct contact with Ascended Masters or other powerful past sorcerers, they know the First Age Seshnelans used to summon up their ancestors and got a lot of magical power from doing so. But they think it is a spiritual Error, and while it might seem like a really useful idea sometimes, its basically the pathway to henotheism and spiritual corruption. And, in line with their general professed adherence to old Brithini ideas, they think the real spiritual value of the Ascended Masters was what they wrote down in their grimoires, and what can't be written down therefore isn't Logical and is of no worth. They are firmly of the opinion that (theistic or shamanic) contact with Ascended Masters is most definitely Misapplied, but what they mean by that is that its absolutely a spiritual error. 

- the Hrestoli loosely, by acknowledging the spiritual importance of Joy of the Heart, a spiritual experience that can be experienced but not simply learned, have opened themselves up to a degree of gnosticism. It therefore follows that contact with Ascended Masters has value, for they have experience that cannot be simply communicated via grimoires, and that experience has value, even if its value is simply to help lead the disciple through a similar experience. They think contact with Ascended Masters can be useful for certain purposes. It can be Misapplied, or it can be Applied correctly to the task of individual spiritual advancement. 

- the Henotheists observe that worship and veneration of Ascended Masters gives you useful magic. OK, so the sorcerers will tell you that the magic you get that way is inferior, and limited, and really not suitable for a true philosopher. But its heaps better than no magic at all, or having to spend years in study, so its good. And it works just fine. And the sorcerers think worshipping an Ascended Master is better than worshipping some kind of pagan demon, so the peasants and the ignorant may as well keep doing it. And using those shallow methods might be useful to a sorcerer too, and as long as you understand what is really going on there is no problem. They sort of acknowledge the idea of Misapplied worship, in that they think its a shallow approach to things with deeper truth, but they acknowledge it works and is mighty handy.

- meanwhile, some people are probably worshipping entities that were originally sorcerous by theist means and they don't even notice that they are doing so, because the theist way of interacting with that entity has developed over time (probably centuries) so it is as complex and sophisticated as the sorcerous version. Indeed, an argument can be made that the cult of Issaries is an example (though actually, the truth is a bit more complicated than that). 

- and also meanwhile - the Lunars quite happily simultaneously approach some entities through both sorcerous and theist, and occasionally even shamanic, means and tell anyone who questions the contradictions that it that it will all become clear once you are Sevened. And often that seems to be true. 

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On 11/04/2018 at 10:00 AM, Tarumath said:

I would be a bit sad if all deities are now both equally gods/spirits/essences because that's a bit boring and overly simplistic but getting spirits from Orlanth despite him being a bona fide God makes sense especially if your religion has mythical precedents of having such a relationship with him.

Gods are not equally gods/spirits/essences - the Gods are the Gods.  Some Gods are known primarily through the spirits they send, other gods are known only as intellectual abstractions that can be used to acquire spell-knowledge.  But how a god manifests its magic is primarily a matter of it and its worshippers history.

 

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(But the Pentans theistically worshipping Orlanth and also having a Spirit Tradition would also be interesting, and obviously West King Wind could be a Great Spirit corresponding to the same winds as Orlanth, just like Elmal and Yelm are both the sun)

Writing that someone "theistically worships" X is just plain bad jargonspeak that should be avoided. Gods that are sacrificed to provide rune magic in return. Likewise if X is a God then X cannot be a great spirit.  What magics the West King Wind give is an interesting question but using colourless jargon takes all the fun out of it.  

It is better to proceed accordingly like "It could be really interesting if the WKW provides rune magic to the worshippers of one tribe and spirits to another tribe, the two tribes don't get along and Dranz has his hands full trying to stop them from turning on each other".  Think in terms of look and feel is all that I am asking.

On 11/04/2018 at 10:00 AM, Tarumath said:

For  example, Aeol probably still had to do some work to make his brand of Henotheism possible, and Aeolians still have some sort of mutually beneficiable relationship with the Orlanthi gods.

The Aeolians as a whole worship Gods as the Orlanthi do.  They also support the Wizards which the other Orlanthi do not do.  The Aeolians have no problems with this because their wizards tell them it is right and proper to worship the Gods.  That the wizards of other countries might describe the Wizards of the Aeolians as "barking mental" or "plainly deluded" is neither here or there as the Wizards of the Aeolians have many bad things to say about their unspeakable practices.  

Quote

(But I guess that some henotheists could only mimic the magic of gods and deluding themselves with the belief that they are venerating/worshipping them but I don't think that's what most henotheists are doing)

All wizards duplicate the magic of the gods through their spells.  Some wizards believe that it is right and proper to sacrifice to the Gods as well as understand them through their spells.  Their reasons for doing so may be diverse within the same school and could easily be critiqued by their philosophical colleagues.  For example, some Aeolian wizards might believe that it is right to sacrifice to Orlanth as the highest emanation of the Invisible God.  Other Aeolian wizards might say their wrongheaded sacrifices blind themselves to the greater glory of the Invisible God.

 

On 11/04/2018 at 10:00 AM, Tarumath said:

I don't really understand how someone could get theistic magic from an Ascended Master or a Spirit (Spirit -> Grimoires and Ascended Master -> Spirits make sense in my head but getting theistic magic from something else than a god without it just being misaplied worship without a malus doesn't) but I'm probably just lacking imagination.

Think of what the Saint or Great Spirit is famous for.  For Oakfed, it is burning things, for Talor, it is acting while infused with Joy and for Pavis, it is understanding and mastery of the Cosmic Body (say).  Now the saints and great spirits have done great deeds and these deeds take place on the Otherside.  For Oakfed, it is burning down the forests of prax, for Talor it might be not fleeing in terror from the horrific sight of Dorastor and for Pavis, it might be understanding the City as a human body.  Now through their orientation, the places on the otherside will be found on the relevant planes (Spirit World for Oakfed, Form World for Pavis and Talor).  From there, the worshippers comprehend the mythic deed and obtain the appropriate magic from it.  For the followers of Saints, it would be the understanding of their actions and relevant mental exercises to acquire the necessary spell-knowledge.  For shamans, spirits emanate from the relevant point in the Spirit World whereupon they can be interacted with.

Sacrificing to the saint or spirit over a specific act brings down the relevant place on the otherside and visits that upon the souls of the sacrificers.  It is from that, the worshippers could do rune magic.  Now success is not automatic as it depends on the source.  Talor was a pretty heterodox type of guy so wouldn't have any qualms about providing rune magic.  The same is true for Pavis.  The wisdom of other Saints might not be so applicable to rune magic (ie they weren't known for their heroic acts)

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Gods are not equally gods/spirits/essences - the Gods are the Gods.  Some Gods are known primarily through the spirits they send, other gods are known only as intellectual abstractions that can be used to acquire spell-knowledge.  But how a god manifests its magic is primarily a matter of it and its worshippers history.

 

Writing that someone "theistically worships" X is just plain bad jargonspeak that should be avoided. Gods that are sacrificed to provide rune magic in return. Likewise if X is a God then X cannot be a great spirit.  What magics the West King Wind give is an interesting question but using colourless jargon takes all the fun out of it.  

It is better to proceed accordingly like "It could be really interesting if the WKW provides rune magic to the worshippers of one tribe and spirits to another tribe, the two tribes don't get along and Dranz has his hands full trying to stop them from turning on each other".  Think in terms of look and feel is all that I am asking.

The Aeolians as a whole worship Gods as the Orlanthi do.  They also support the Wizards which the other Orlanthi do not do.  The Aeolians have no problems with this because their wizards tell them it is right and proper to worship the Gods.  That the wizards of other countries might describe the Wizards of the Aeolians as "barking mental" or "plainly deluded" is neither here or there as the Wizards of the Aeolians have many bad things to say about their unspeakable practices.  

All wizards duplicate the magic of the gods through their spells.  Some wizards believe that it is right and proper to sacrifice to the Gods as well as understand them through their spells.  Their reasons for doing so may be diverse within the same school and could easily be critiqued by their philosophical colleagues.  For example, some Aeolian wizards might believe that it is right to sacrifice to Orlanth as the highest emanation of the Invisible God.  Other Aeolian wizards might say their wrongheaded sacrifices blind themselves to the greater glory of the Invisible God.

 

Think of what the Saint or Great Spirit is famous for.  For Oakfed, it is burning things, for Talor, it is acting while infused with Joy and for Pavis, it is understanding and mastery of the Cosmic Body (say).  Now the saints and great spirits have done great deeds and these deeds take place on the Otherside.  For Oakfed, it is burning down the forests of prax, for Talor it might be not fleeing in terror from the horrific sight of Dorastor and for Pavis, it might be understanding the City as a human body.  Now through their orientation, the places on the otherside will be found on the relevant planes (Spirit World for Oakfed, Form World for Pavis and Talor).  From there, the worshippers comprehend the mythic deed and obtain the appropriate magic from it.  For the followers of Saints, it would be the understanding of their actions and relevant mental exercises to acquire the necessary spell-knowledge.  For shamans, spirits emanate from the relevant point in the Spirit World whereupon they can be interacted with.

Sacrificing to the saint or spirit over a specific act brings down the relevant place on the otherside and visits that upon the souls of the sacrificers.  It is from that, the worshippers could do rune magic.  Now success is not automatic as it depends on the source.  Talor was a pretty heterodox type of guy so wouldn't have any qualms about providing rune magic.  The same is true for Pavis.  The wisdom of other Saints might not be so applicable to rune magic (ie they weren't known for their heroic acts)

 

 

 

Peter's comments are absolutely on point and correct.

 

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