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re-incarnating with others' bodies

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In another topic:

On 4/10/2018 at 12:07 AM, Charles said:

However, Moonson and Great Sister both appear to tap into a similar structure as Belintar, where the demi-god reincarnates using the body of a powerful worshiper; uses it up and then reincarnates again.

What demi-gods do this?
- Delecti re-incarnates into corpses

Are there any more?

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5 minutes ago, Charles said:

In another topic:

What demi-gods do this?
- Delecti re-incarnates into corpses

Are there any more?

Belintar and the Red Emperor are a few famous examples. I wouldn't say Delecti counts as he's not really a demigod, just a really powerful sorcerer. And the zombies don't really worship Delecti either, as they're just reanimated corpses.

Edited by Richard S.
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Moonson and Belintar at least, and probably Great Sister, do something more that just use the body. They maintain continuity of memory by having the new bodies incorporated into a broader group consciousness. I don't think the previous consciousness of the the body that becomes TakenEgi or Belintar is discarded or evicted from the body - rather, the mind joins with a larger consciousness. I think this is a form of magic that may not be mystic per se - but requires Illumination/Mystic insight for it to be functional, for it to work without the partial consequences lapsing into some form of madness. It requires the same letting go of the individual self that Illumination implies. It still must be tied to a single body, though. 

Delecti, on the other hand, just grabs some convenient flesh. His consciousness is unitary, and the body is an empty vessel is occupies. 

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Moonson and Belintar at least, and probably Great Sister, do something more that just use the body. They maintain continuity of memory by having the new bodies incorporated into a broader group consciousness. I don't think the previous consciousness of the the body that becomes TakenEgi or Belintar is discarded or evicted from the body - rather, the mind joins with a larger consciousness. I think this is a form of magic that may not be mystic per se - but requires Illumination/Mystic insight for it to be functional, for it to work without the partial consequences lapsing into some form of madness. It requires the same letting go of the individual self that Illumination implies. It still must be tied to a single body, though. 

Delecti, on the other hand, just grabs some convenient flesh. His consciousness is unitary, and the body is an empty vessel is occupies. 

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10 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

I wouldn't say Delecti counts as he's not really a demigod, just a really powerful sorcerer. And the zombies don't really worship Delecti either, as they're just reanimated corpses.

3 minutes ago, davecake said:

Delecti, on the other hand, just grabs some convenient flesh. His consciousness is unitary, and the body is an empty vessel is occupies. 

None of them are the same as the other examples but there is clearly (to me anyway) some structural similarity, some core principle that they hook onto.

What I'm really interested is whether anyone is aware of any further entities beyond Belintar, the Red Emperor, and Great Sister?

Edited by Charles

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5 hours ago, davecake said:

Moonson and Belintar at least, and probably Great Sister, do something more that just use the body. They maintain continuity of memory by having the new bodies incorporated into a broader group consciousness. I don't think the previous consciousness of the the body that becomes TakenEgi or Belintar is discarded or evicted from the body - rather, the mind joins with a larger consciousness. I think this is a form of magic that may not be mystic per se - but requires Illumination/Mystic insight for it to be functional, for it to work without the partial consequences lapsing into some form of madness. It requires the same letting go of the individual self that Illumination implies. It still must be tied to a single body, though. 

Delecti, on the other hand, just grabs some convenient flesh. His consciousness is unitary, and the body is an empty vessel is occupies. 

I agree that the serial immortality of Belintar and The Red Emperor are similar but I think that we know quite a bit about both: 

Belintar takes over the body of the Winners of the Tournament of Luck and Death but their essences are united until the new body is weared down by the essence of Belintar, then the Winner is liberated with full consciouness to a blessed existence.

Winners seems to be completely passive when they are inhabited by Belintar and liberated ones probably become godlings or equivalent in the mysterious otherside of the Holy Country, it's possible that they become extensions of Belintar but we don't really have any evidences.

 

The Red Emperor seems to be a construct of the Egi, maybe not originally (he could still have been the demigod son of the Red Goddess, or maybe it's pure fiction/only symbolic) but the Egi all have to "contribute" to his new body and Sheng Seleris killing some of them made him less stable, so he is probably at least partially a kind of over-soul (wyter in the general sense of the word) of the Egi. (The reason why he is not exactly the same when he gets a new body could be that since Sheng Seleris not all the Egi involved are always the same) 

 

In both cases, I'm not convinced that Illumination or Mysticism is needed.

Edited by Tarumath

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I would think that any Hero-forming could be considered a temporary form of this. It's just the duration of "possession" that varies.  At which point, the question becomes "What is special about Belintar and Moonson that allows them to remain incarnated for so long?"

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34 minutes ago, boztakang said:

I would think that any Hero-forming could be considered a temporary form of this. It's just the duration of "possession" that varies.  At which point, the question becomes "What is special about Belintar and Moonson that allows them to remain incarnated for so long?"

Interesting idea. In The Sartar Companion, in the big quest with masks (on a train, no books), the heroes are stuck in a this world quest for long after, until a holy man ritually closes it off. Similarly in Harmastsaga, Harmast is stuck in his initiation quest for long after it should have finished. So the mechanism could be to deliberately make one’s whole existence a HeroQuest, which is pretty much another definition of a demigod.

However this is different in my opinion, in that in heroforming, the hero is only in control of a small part of the unified being, the heroformer is in the lead.

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2 hours ago, The God Learner said:

Avalon Hill's Heroes magazine (mid-80s) had a multipart history of the Lunar Empire written by a certain GS. Could be entirely outdated, of course.

That was the Redline history. It is the same material that has been updated in the GS. I don't think there is any reason to seek it out unless you want to look at how canon evolves - I think its entirely superceded by the GS material. 

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11 minutes ago, Charles said:

In The Sartar Companion, in the big quest with masks (on a train, no books), the heroes are stuck in a this world quest for long after, until a holy man ritually closes it off.

I think you are thinking of the adventure in the Pavis book? 

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59 minutes ago, boztakang said:

I would think that any Hero-forming could be considered a temporary form of this. It's just the duration of "possession" that varies.  At which point, the question becomes "What is special about Belintar and Moonson that allows them to remain incarnated for so long?"

I do not think it is, or at least it may be a part but is not a sufficient explanation. If Character A heroforms Hero X, and then Character B later also heroforms hero X, I don't think Character B necessarily becomes aware of what happened to Character A. It is tapping into a shared archetype, but not necessarily a true shared consciousness. 

Also, I don't think that hero X has any ability to initiate the process. 

While we know that TakenEgi and Belintar explicitly share the full memories of their past incarnations. 

I suspect there is more to it than that as well. I think TakenEgi can probably prove that he at least partially shares 6 of his 7 parts with prior incarnations (and probably fully shared before some of the Egi died). Though he may have to go through separate magical processes for this. 

3 hours ago, Tarumath said:

In both cases, I'm not convinced that Illumination or Mysticism is needed.

It is an intuition based on 1) that this seems to be something only Illuminates and mystics seem to do and 2) the nature of Illumination and its relationship to individual consciousness and 3) my own investigations into real world mysticism. 

I could be wrong. I'm certainly presuming that Belintar is Illuminated, which I'm not sure is explicitly stated (though I think is pretty clear). And I think its pretty incontrovertible that Illumination is a central aspect for the reincarnation of TakenEgi, but Illumination is a central aspect of pretty much any higher Lunar magic. 

FWIW, I think an important aspect of understanding Mysticism and Illumination is that mystic cultures use a lot of magic that is, in itself, not intrinsically Mystic - but that only the Illuminated can perform, or that is far more powerful for the Illuminated. Magic that is most useful if the caster is more than one kind of master magician at once is an obvious example. But I think this kind of group consciousness magic is another - it is possible to use eg sorcery or theism to combine minds into one consciousness, but the normal result is madness, only the Illuminated are able to deal with it because opening the boundaries of their consciousness is their magical practice. 

If this conception is correct, than one of the reasons mystic cultures love austerities is because while they still need to practice austerities to develop magical powers, the Illuminate can ultimately break the strictures of their austerities at need and incur only spiritual penalties for doing so. They don't preach it that way, of course. 

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9 hours ago, Charles said:

What I'm really interested is whether anyone is aware of any further entities beyond Belintar, the Red Emperor, and Great Sister?

It's very interesting to compare Shang-Hsa (may his name be cursed). 

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3 hours ago, Charles said:

None of them are the same as the other examples but there is clearly (to me anyway) some structural similarity, some core principle that they hook onto.

What I'm really interested is whether anyone is aware of any further entities beyond Belintar, the Red Emperor, and Great Sister?

I don't think that the Red Emperor counts. While the new masks bear strong resemblance to one of the new members of the Egi, and that person's family may be granted more favor than prior to their member's ascension to the Egi and providing the face, the new body is likely to have features of other Egi as well. But then, I think a similar change in body happened when the first (and only) Takenegi took over much resemblance with Doskalos.

About the rebirths of the Great Sister I cannot say much. She is supposed to be made up of all the portions lacking in the Emperor, but I cannot find any evidence that she changed her mortal shell every time the Emperor did.

I think the five future Arkats in Ralios fall into this category. One day a power-hunting hero or noble, the other day one of the Arkats.

GilamDestau, the western mask of Shang-Hsa MhNbC, apparently did a "reincarnate in your newborn son" stunt as acting Kralori emperor.

Forang Farosh is more of a victim as a cursed spirit in his new body.

Sorana Tor in Tarsh might be such a case, too.

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7 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I don't think that the Red Emperor counts. While the new masks bear strong resemblance to one of the new members of the Egi, and that person's family may be granted more favor than prior to their member's ascension to the Egi and providing the face, the new body is likely to have features of other Egi as well.

I think the Red Emperors system is just more robust, able to keep functioning even when partial failure occurs. This was a great magical struggle - Sheng tried to destroy the Emperors ability to reincarnate, and was only partially successful, because the Imperial system is sufficiently magical engineered to have alternatives to partial failure. Or to put it another way, the initial system of TakenEgi counted, now it may work only partially but at least it still somewhat works. 

11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I think the five future Arkats in Ralios fall into this category. One day a power-hunting hero or noble, the other day one of the Arkats.

I do not. I do not think any of the five Arkats will truly be Arkat reborn. 

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10 minutes ago, davecake said:

I do not. I do not think any of the five Arkats will truly be Arkat reborn. 

I have similar reservations about the masks of the Emperor following Takenegi's disappearance. There will be no 100% identity in any of these take-overs, and the original person will shine through at times. But there will be demonstrable identity. Maybe it is a state of being stuck in heroforming, and maybe there will be waves or cycles of stronger presence of Being Arkat.

There might be confusion with Arkat's closest (undisclosed) companions who underwent the Troll Rebirth with him, too. If you read the description of the ritual, there were seven participants, and seven instances where one participant failed, but Arkat performed flawlessly.

How much was the Arkat retrieved from Hell the original Arkat, anyway? With every heroquesting experience, a person changes its self. How do you measure identity against that?

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9 hours ago, Tarumath said:

I agree that the serial immortality of Belintar and The Red Emperor are similar but I think that we know quite a bit about both: 

Belintar takes over the body of the Winners of the Tournament of Luck and Death but their essences are united until the new body is weared down by the essence of Belintar, then the Winner is liberated with full consciouness to a blessed existence.

Winners seems to be completely passive when they are inhabited by Belintar and liberated ones probably become godlings or equivalent in the mysterious otherside of the Holy Country, it's possible that they become extensions of Belintar but we don't really have any evidences.

 

The Red Emperor seems to be a construct of the Egi, maybe not originally (he could still have been the demigod son of the Red Goddess, or maybe it's pure fiction/only symbolic) but the Egi all have to "contribute" to his new body and Sheng Seleris killing some of them made him less stable, so he is probably at least partially a kind of over-soul (wyter in the general sense of the word) of the Egi. (The reason why he is not exactly the same when he gets a new body could be that since Sheng Seleris not all the Egi involved are always the same) 

 

In both cases, I'm not convinced that Illumination or Mysticism is needed.

We don't really know if the "blessed existence" offered by Belintar is just propaganda, though. Also, I don't think in either case (Belintar or the Red Emperor) the host's consciousness is simply set aside - I think there's evidence out there to show both doing political favors for their old kin.

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7 hours ago, boztakang said:

At which point, the question becomes "What is special about Belintar and Moonson that allows them to remain incarnated for so long?"

The use of the Moon Rune, I venture to guess, or at least the nature of cycles. How does the Red Goddess manage to exist within Time? Through cycles and her essential cyclical nature (which is perhaps tied to her command of the Moon Rune). I kind of think embracing cycles is a sort of hack on Time itself - because they allow you to both exist and not-exist at the same time. Both Belintar and the Moonson do something similar.

Though the comment that the Moonson is the Goddess' penis makes me wonder (I think it was mentioned in the other thread). I'd love to hear some elaboration on that, if anyone has anything to add. 

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Other possible re-incarnators are:

The Chote Dakpa in Bliss in Ignorance (Guide p288 - he could be the original Shadow of the Storm).

Jaldon Toothmaker is said to be re-incarnating (Guide p446)

Forang Farosh.

 

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On 4/12/2018 at 12:24 AM, Grievous said:

The use of the Moon Rune, I venture to guess, or at least the nature of cycles. How does the Red Goddess manage to exist within Time? Through cycles and her essential cyclical nature (which is perhaps tied to her command of the Moon Rune). I kind of think embracing cycles is a sort of hack on Time itself - because they allow you to both exist and not-exist at the same time. Both Belintar and the Moonson do something similar.

Though the comment that the Moonson is the Goddess' penis makes me wonder (I think it was mentioned in the other thread). I'd love to hear some elaboration on that, if anyone has anything to add. 

Well, she does presumably have seven parts. This reminds me of Osiris, who, of course, lost his penis when it was eaten by a crab before Isis could put him back together.

Because the Red Goddess is probably made out of seven different parts of seven different Lunar gods, only one has to be male for her to have both genders. The only male one I can think of is Rashoran[a], but perhaps I'm overlooking something.

Edited by jeffjerwin
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On 4/11/2018 at 8:50 AM, Richard S. said:

Belintar and the Red Emperor are a few famous examples. I wouldn't say Delecti counts as he's not really a demigod, just a really powerful sorcerer. And the zombies don't really worship Delecti either, as they're just reanimated corpses.

He does have sentient undead, however, the Dancers in Darkness, who apparently do worship him. He clearly has adopted the guise on Nontraya and may even be said to be sitting on top of Ernalda and Orlanth's steads (see my research in other threads); an undead avatar of Ernalda is even resident in the swamp on one of the islets as a consort. I think he hero-quested to be Nontraya after his seizure of Ernalda's "not-dead" corpse.

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4 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

Well, she does presumably have seven parts. This reminds me of Osiris, who, of course, lost his penis when it was eaten by a crab before Isis could put him back together.

Because the Red Goddess is probably made out of seven different parts of seven different Lunar gods, only one has to be male for her to have both genders. The only male one I can think of is Rashoran[a], but perhaps I'm overlooking something.

Zayten(-era/-aras) and Verithur(-us/-a) are also potential male aspects. They certainly have beards on the Gods Wall.

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It's slightly off topic, but in South Asian myth, Ila/Ilā, ancestor of the Lunar dynasty, who was the consort of Budha, son of Chandra (the male Moon) was an androgyne, able to father and bear children. In Indo-European myth the sex of the moon god is one of the more noticeably divergent features. Of course, the Sun, where the Moon is male, is often female (as in ancient German myth).

However, I suspect that the Gods Wall genders gods according to function within Dara Happan society rather than according to physical sex (or lack/ambiguity thereof).

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On 15/04/2018 at 5:18 AM, jeffjerwin said:

He does have sentient undead, however, the Dancers in Darkness, who apparently do worship him. He clearly has adopted the guise on Nontraya and may even be said to be sitting on top of Ernalda and Orlanth's steads (see my research in other threads); an undead avatar of Ernalda is even resident in the swamp on one of the islets as a consort. I think he hero-quested to be Nontraya after his seizure of Ernalda's "not-dead" corpse.

Delecti’s roles are a completely different topic that is under-explored in my opinion. Delecti has taken the role of Nontraya, but whether this is deliberate or a consequence of his choices is uncertain to me.

When I looked at running the campaign of Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, it struck me that the women would likely continuously agitate for action against Nontraya/Delecti and this might be a partial explanation for the relative isolation of the Colymar from the rest of Sartar.

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