Author Topic: Worship and the Elements  (Read 450 times)

Eliah

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Worship and the Elements
« on: February 12, 2018, 10:21:45 PM »
Would a cleric whose worship is not of a specific power but a primal concept (an elemental philosophy for instance) still feel cut off and dissonant when they enter the realm?
Are the primal elements of the realm altered from a natural prime, or is a primal cleric's spiritual connection influenced by the realm?

* Edit: Note that I'm specifically thinking of Water in the broad elemental sense. From storms, rains, rivers, snow, glaciers, seas, fog, in the sense of mutability and cyclical adaptation.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 10:42:18 PM by Eliah »
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MAB77

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 10:57:28 PM »
In it's current wording, the Unspoken Pact theoretically applies only to deities, but I would go with the spirit of the rule. If you consider your character did felt a connection with whatever he believes in before coming in the Mists, then I would roleplay it as having lost that connection. That's just a suggestion though, not an obligation, but the ensuing crisis of faith is always a good roleplay vector.


Quote
THE UNSPOKEN PACT
When a cleric enters Ravenloft from another world, she immediately feels a hollowness slip into her heart, a void that the strength and compassion of her deity once filled. Although clerics continue to receive the blessings of their divine patrons, they no longer feel their gods at their side. This absence often causes clerics new to the Land of Mists to suffer crises of faith or pass through periods of deep depression.

For natives of the Land of Mists, this remoteness is perfectly normal; they expect the gods to be distant and inscrutable as a matter of common sense. Some clerics in Ravenloft claim to be the direct vessel of their respective deities, but these folk are widely regarded as madmen and false messiahs.

Without the gods' watchful eyes to monitor all that is siad and done in their name, many imported religions experience a "theological shift." As godly legends are passed from one mortal to another, religious teachings often adapt to their new homelands, or even evolve to suit the specific needs of powerful clerics. Tales even exist of clerics who betrayed the core beliefs of their faith yet kept their divine powers. As an example, rumors insist that the grand religion of the Shadowlands, dedicated to the neutral good deity Belenus, is actually steeped in evil practices.

Why are the gods withdrawn? Why do they watch in silence as mortals slowly twist their teachings? It may be that the Dark Powers intervene between a deity and its faithful, warping the flow of divine magic. Ravenloft's theologians have identified one belief that appears in many forms, across many faiths. This belief, which strains mortal comprehension, claims that the gods respect an unspoken pact with the faceless masters of Ravenloft. The gods are not to directly interfere in the ways of Ravenloft's mortals, and the Dark Powers are not to meddle in the ways of the gods. Of course, these collected slivers of a legend fail to explain how the Dark Powers could enforce this pact--surely they are not as powerful as the combined might of all the gods of the worlds.

One final theory is even more extreme. It holds that the Dark Powers have severed their real from the ministrations of the gods entirely. According to this theory, when mortals in the Land of Mists pray to their gods, it is the Dark Powers that reply. Some madmen and heretics claim that a few gods worshipped in Ravenloft--gods who continue to answer the prayers of their clerics--are long since dead. They even insist that some of these gods do not exist and never did.
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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2018, 03:55:59 PM »
Clerics in Athas work this way.


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Eliah

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2018, 11:04:21 PM »
To me it sounds like in effect this regards divine direction, spiritual guidance, downloading your orders from HQ. Essentially you're completely out of communication, but whatever devotion the cleric has continues fueling their power. Though without the guidance and divine oversight a cleric can deviate, question what is right, and even alter their own beliefs (possibly corruptively).

Turns out having a deaf deity that doesn't care about you in any way isn't always a disadvantage.

In it's current wording, the Unspoken Pact theoretically applies only to deities, but I would go with the spirit of the rule. If you consider your character did felt a connection with whatever he believes in before coming in the Mists, then I would roleplay it as having lost that connection. That's just a suggestion though, not an obligation, but the ensuing crisis of faith is always a good roleplay vector.


Quote
THE UNSPOKEN PACT
When a cleric enters Ravenloft from another world, she immediately feels a hollowness slip into her heart, a void that the strength and compassion of her deity once filled. Although clerics continue to receive the blessings of their divine patrons, they no longer feel their gods at their side. This absence often causes clerics new to the Land of Mists to suffer crises of faith or pass through periods of deep depression.

For natives of the Land of Mists, this remoteness is perfectly normal; they expect the gods to be distant and inscrutable as a matter of common sense. Some clerics in Ravenloft claim to be the direct vessel of their respective deities, but these folk are widely regarded as madmen and false messiahs.

Without the gods' watchful eyes to monitor all that is siad and done in their name, many imported religions experience a "theological shift." As godly legends are passed from one mortal to another, religious teachings often adapt to their new homelands, or even evolve to suit the specific needs of powerful clerics. Tales even exist of clerics who betrayed the core beliefs of their faith yet kept their divine powers. As an example, rumors insist that the grand religion of the Shadowlands, dedicated to the neutral good deity Belenus, is actually steeped in evil practices.
(snip)
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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2018, 01:07:22 AM »
To me it sounds like in effect this regards divine direction, spiritual guidance, downloading your orders from HQ. Essentially you're completely out of communication, but whatever devotion the cleric has continues fueling their power. Though without the guidance and divine oversight a cleric can deviate, question what is right, and even alter their own beliefs (possibly corruptively).

Turns out having a deaf deity that doesn't care about you in any way isn't always a disadvantage.

In it's current wording, the Unspoken Pact theoretically applies only to deities, but I would go with the spirit of the rule. If you consider your character did felt a connection with whatever he believes in before coming in the Mists, then I would roleplay it as having lost that connection. That's just a suggestion though, not an obligation, but the ensuing crisis of faith is always a good roleplay vector.


Quote
THE UNSPOKEN PACT
When a cleric enters Ravenloft from another world, she immediately feels a hollowness slip into her heart, a void that the strength and compassion of her deity once filled. Although clerics continue to receive the blessings of their divine patrons, they no longer feel their gods at their side. This absence often causes clerics new to the Land of Mists to suffer crises of faith or pass through periods of deep depression.

For natives of the Land of Mists, this remoteness is perfectly normal; they expect the gods to be distant and inscrutable as a matter of common sense. Some clerics in Ravenloft claim to be the direct vessel of their respective deities, but these folk are widely regarded as madmen and false messiahs.

Without the gods' watchful eyes to monitor all that is siad and done in their name, many imported religions experience a "theological shift." As godly legends are passed from one mortal to another, religious teachings often adapt to their new homelands, or even evolve to suit the specific needs of powerful clerics. Tales even exist of clerics who betrayed the core beliefs of their faith yet kept their divine powers. As an example, rumors insist that the grand religion of the Shadowlands, dedicated to the neutral good deity Belenus, is actually steeped in evil practices.
(snip)

I believe you're right. It's why in that excerpt Belenus is referenced; a woman by the name Elena Faith-hold was a paladin of Belenus till she became the darklord of Nidala. While she loses her divine powers initially, she prays to Belenus to beg for her powers back, but instead the mists answer. While she is technically a blackguard, it's hinted that she has very similar divine powers that allow her to remain ignorant, especially with a fiend (named Theokos) disguised as a wise wizard convinces her she's doing good still. Anyways, paladins have far stricter guidelines, but clerics not so much. Though don't quote me on this, I believe this allows for a significant shift in alignment spawned by a zealous approach of one's god's dogma while still maintaining the god's domains.

Arawn

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 01:33:00 AM »
Clerics must remain within one step of their deity’s alignment except in very specific cases.
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peps

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 01:59:00 AM »
Clerics must remain within one step of their deity’s alignment except in very specific cases.

Are these specific cases similar to the Belenus one that allows you to move two steps in a certain direction? If so, does that mean an immense amount of dedication to reshaping a religion as Elena Faith-hold did with Belenus may permit one to move their religion towards an unusual alignment direction?

Arawn

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 02:06:11 AM »
No, they’re Eberron clerics, mostly. There are no Ravenloft native exceptions so far as I know.
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ASymphony

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018, 09:55:49 AM »
Clerics must remain within one step of their deity’s alignment except in very specific cases.

Are these specific cases similar to the Belenus one that allows you to move two steps in a certain direction? If so, does that mean an immense amount of dedication to reshaping a religion as Elena Faith-hold did with Belenus may permit one to move their religion towards an unusual alignment direction?

Elena Faith-hold did nothing of this sort. She and her priests who follow the new dogma would not receive any powers from Belenus.

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 11:36:20 AM »
Clerics must remain within one step of their deity’s alignment except in very specific cases.

Are these specific cases similar to the Belenus one that allows you to move two steps in a certain direction? If so, does that mean an immense amount of dedication to reshaping a religion as Elena Faith-hold did with Belenus may permit one to move their religion towards an unusual alignment direction?

Elena Faith-hold did nothing of this sort. She and her priests who follow the new dogma would not receive any powers from Belenus.
I'm not sure what you're saying. Elena didn't do what? Also, never said that they're receiving powers from Belenus himself, but what they perceive to be Belenus. If the Unspoken Pact is as most perceive, not even clerics from Gothic Earth characters who actually revere the real Belenus are answered by Belenus.

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2018, 01:03:49 PM »
Also, never said that they're receiving powers from Belenus himself, but what they perceive to be Belenus. If the Unspoken Pact is as most perceive, not even clerics from Gothic Earth characters who actually revere the real Belenus are answered by Belenus.

What? The Unspoken Pact (as quoted above) says:
Quote
Although clerics continue to receive the blessings of their divine patrons, they no longer feel their gods at their side.

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Arawn

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Re: Worship and the Elements
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 01:15:32 PM »
The entire point of the Unspoken Pact in the setting is that unless you're actively praying to a god who is known to be dead, you do not know, and can not know. That uncertainty is part of the setting.

Everyone should bear in mind that Elena Faith-hold is a Darklord and not a model on which to base other characters, as her torment is specifically designed for her. The DPs do not "seamlessly" take over if your cleric drops from the one-step rule; even if they are simulating a god, they might want to watch the character driven into despair by the loss of his/her powers as often as they'd want to give the character the capacity to do further evil. If you stray outside of the one-step alignment chart, unless you are from Eberron (and I can't actually think of another exception), you lose access to casting, period.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 01:17:45 PM by Arawn »
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