Author Topic: Religion Docs- Second Draft  (Read 11109 times)

Religion Docs- Second Draft
« on: September 03, 2010, 03:19:19 PM »
Common Beliefs and Practices

Many Zalanthans are completely agnostic, too focused on day-to-day survival to consider what (if anything) happens after they die. For these pragmatic minds, physical death means the cessation of conscious thought, and musings on the afterlife are little better than children's tales designed to terrify or pacify.

But for those who have the time, luxury, or inclination to ponder eternity, a few common trends in Zalanthan spiritual thought tend to surface. Among the spiritual, a vague conception of a "soul" or "spirit" exists, an immortal and permanent counterpart to the temporary shell that is one's body. One of the more common beliefs typically held by the poorer castes is that this soul passes into Drov upon death. For many, "sending someone to Drov" is just a figure of speech, but some take the idiom literally, picturing Drov as a place or another level of existence. Who or what Drov consists of, or what this life after death is like, is usually left purposefully vague (probably to avoid the unwanted attention of the templarate, who may consider too much contemplation on the afterlife tantamount to heresy). Those who venture to speculate on the nature of life after death usually assume that Drov is a dreary, unpleasant place, where shades and shadows spend eternity adrift in an endless sea of gloom. This seems only natural to most Zalanthans; having lived most of their lives in toil and agony, they can only imagine a similarly-unpleasant afterlife. Still, the idea of an afterlife is comforting to many common folk, attracted to the idea of revisiting deceased loved ones and enjoying a well-earned rest from the rigors of the living world.

Outside of these general beliefs, the most predominant faith in the Known World is most likely belief in one of the two god-kings, Tektolnes of Allanak or Muk Utep of Tuluk. Motivations for worshipping the god-kings differ from person to person. Some worship out of social convenience, or to gain some sense of societal acceptance. Many, especially in Allanak, worship their god-king out of a sense of fear and awe. They view their god-king as a terrible tyrant, but pay lip-service to avoid being struck down by Him or (more likely) His servants, the templars. A few pray to their king out a genuine sense of love or admiration. Followers of Muk Utep are somewhat more likely to view their ruler as benevolent, but many citizens of both city-states view their god-king is all that stands between them and the utter desolation of the wastes. Truly faithful individuals often join the militia of their respective city-state, seeking some way to serve and become closer to their god. Even amongst these fanatics, however, love for their king is tempered with a healthy dose of fear.

Allanaki Beliefs

The order of white-robed templars were created in the wake of the siege of Allanak. The white-robes promote the worship of Tektolnes as a god-like figure, referring to him as He Who Rescued Us. Citizens of Allanak are encouraged to worship Tektolnes, and the white-robes build temples and lead devotions in their god-king's honor. Allanakis are always careful to never let their religious fervor interfere with the essentials of day-to-day business, however; the white-robes teach that the best way to show devotion to He Who Rescued Us is to be a contributing member of His glorious city.

With an established clergy in the form of the white-robed templars and an almost evangelical approach to the world at large, the worship of Tektolnes might be the most advanced and powerful organized religion in the Known World. And while it is true that even templars and nobles utter prayers to He Who Rescued Us, those with earnestly spiritual minds might find themselves dissatisfied with the Highlord's answers to the great philosophical questions. Allanak's dogma is shallow and ill-defined, usually amounting to little more than state propaganda with quasi-religious trappings. While high-ranking white robe templars may ponder the deeper mysteries of the Known World, these elevated thoughts (if they exist at all) are relegated to back-room debates and private libraries. As a result, very little in the way of actual enlightenment trickles down to the masses. Sermons usually amount to little more than history lessons, rehashing and aggrandizing the exploits of He Who Rescued Us.

If one were to ask a white-robed templar about the purpose of life or the existence of an afterlife, one is unlikely to receive a direct answer. Despite this, the common folk of Allanak clutch to a few apocryphal beliefs, and the powers-that-be seem disinterested in discouraging these ideas. Many Allanakis believe that Tektolnes possesses a degree of omnipresence, and even nobles and high-ranking templars are likely to believe that the Highlord can hear their silent prayers. Some of Allanak's faithful attempt to justify the apparent cruelty of the Highlord's regime by claiming that the harshness of Vrun Driath requires a firm hand. While an individual imprisonment, beating, or public execution may seem cruel, the patriotic Allanaki understands that it is part of a grand scheme designed to protect them from the uncountable horrors of the wastes. Particularly zealous Allanakis pride themselves on bearing their hardships with relative good cheer. Finally, the concept of an afterlife is ill-defined in the canon of Allanak's state religion, and the white-robes seem content to allow their followers to speculate on this particular subject to their heart's content. Many believe, rightly or wrongly, that He Who Rescued Us possesses some degree of control over their ultimate fate, and might provide a pleasant afterlife for the particularly patriotic or devout. Considering the large amount of reality-warping magick power Tektolnes possesses, this might actually be possible.

Prayers to the Highlord Tektolnes are traditionally spoken aloud. An Allanaki citizen is more likely to pray for the strength to endure hardship than to ask for blessings. Charity is nearly a foreign concept to Allanakis, so the virtues of hard work and humility are especially valued. Occasionally, Tektolnes surprises his followers with an act of real or perceived benevolence. Examples include the font of water spilling forth from the Temple of the Dragon, as well as the Highlord single-handedly breaking the siege of Allanak in the Nineteenth Age. These boons come few and far between, and are cause for great celebration. Another common practice in Allanak is coloring secular laws in a religious light. For example, the more zealous factions of Allanak's citizenry genuinely fear spice, believing its use might make them "spiritually impure" in the eyes of their king. Finally, some in Allanak have taken to using the phrase "Walk in His Shadow" as a blessing or word of parting. The phrase evokes the cooling shade and shelter that is the city of Allanak, a forbidding but protective point of respite in the blasted landscape of Vrun Driath. For others it is also a reminder that the entire city and its populace exists very literally in the shadow of their almighty king, He Who Rescued Us, the Highlord Tektolnes.

Tuluki Beliefs

The public sermons and grand temples of Allanak run contrary to Tuluki aesthetics. Any worship of the Sun King is usually subtle, restrained and private, but is still encouraged, considered a sign of patriotism and good character. Tuluk's templarate are referred to as the Faithful, granting them and anything they do an air of religiosity. The Faithful are rumored to have complex and highly developed philosophies that justify the rule of the Sun King Muk Utep and describe Tuluk's purpose in the world. These philosophies, if they actually exist, are generally considered state secrets.

One of the few ideas to spread to the masses is a strong sense of fate or destiny. As in Allanak, many common Tulukis believe that their god-king possesses at least some degree of omnipotence. Rather than squander his power with brazen displays like Tektolnes' draconic form at the siege of Allanak, Muk Utep prefers to subtly manipulate the events around his followers, constructing destinies. Certain individuals such as the Faithful, certain nobles, and a lucky few commoners might be marked for greatness and guided by Muk Utep's divine hand. Heroic tales and legends in Tuluk sometimes feature the conquering hero experiencing a string of remarkable good luck. Sometimes the villain is even slain by bad luck and obvious plot devices, buried under a rockslide or ripped apart by natural storms without the hero so much as lifting a finger. While these anticlimactic endings might seem strange or even comical to outsiders, Tulukis understand that these events are part of the hero's destiny and a reward for his devotion to the Sun King.

Tuluk's cultural predisposition for subtlety discourages calling Muk Utep by his name, at least publicly. Although not seen as heretical or even vulgar, it's still slightly uncouth, and Tulukis instead prefer to refer to Utep as the Sun King, or to make vague references to "His Light." In Tuluk, it's considered gauche to make obvious displays of deference to one's superiors. Instead, Tulukis are encouraged to find other ways of making their fear, love or loyalty known, and it is no different with their Sun King. Rather than build temples or preach in the streets, northerners try to find unique methods for honoring and communing with their god-king. One might show particular respect to the Faithful, while another might create artworks in the Sun King's honor, while another might choose to spend several nights awake in vigil and fasting, hoping for some particular blessing from His Gloriousness, Muk Utep.

Due to Tuluk's tribal roots and the lack of a proselytizing caste such as Allanak's white-robes, Tulukis also tend to be somewhat more tolerant of tribal beliefs, animism, or private cults. Of course, those who prove too ambitious and evangelical or otherwise let outside beliefs weaken their devotion to the Sun King might disappear, removed by Muk Utep's truly Faithful.

Other Beliefs

The tribal peoples of the Known World, free from the oppressive theocracies of the city-states, are free to worship and believe whatever they like. Many have incredibly complex and detailed spiritual beliefs, developed and refined over hundreds of years. Others are earthbound pragmatists with little to no faith to speak of, and individual beliefs vary greatly from tribe to tribe. Of the more spiritual tribes, common trends include animism, ancestor-worship and reverence for elemental forces.

Luir's Outpost, located at the physical center of the Known World, acts as a natural melting pot for various religious beliefs. Worshippers of He Who Rescued Us and faithful Tulukis mingle with wandering tribal shamans and prophets. Still, Luir's residents tend to care more about matters of commerce than matters of faith.

The people of Red Storm are a pragmatic and hard-bitten lot. As a result, atheism and agnosticism are especially common here. Those with spiritual inklings trend toward animism, due to their proximity to the Sea of Silt. An incredible, mysterious force of nature with the power to give life and take it away; if the Sea of Silt isn't a god, it's at least pretty close.

Those with knowledge of magick sometimes apply religious language and ideas to their spells. The various elements such as Ruk, Krath and Whira are often personified, and sometimes thought of as gods. Others construct philosophies around other magick symbols or concepts. These stray concepts rarely form into true religions. When they do, they are  often considered dangerous and heretical by the templarate of both city-states.

Cults of personality are common throughout the Known World. The most famous example may be mystique surrounding Thrain Ironsword, leader of the forces that laid siege to Allanak in the Nineteeth Age, providing the impetus for the foundation of Allanak's white-robed templars. Many people, dwarves in particular, consider Ironsword a paragon to live up to, though few would consider him a god or anything similar. Allanaki citizens would do well to hide their reverence for Ironsword, as patriotic Allanakis largely consider him one of history's greatest monsters for his brazen attack on the Highlord's rule.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 07:34:28 PM by FiveDisgruntledMonkeysWit »
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

jstorrie

  • Posts: 4564
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2010, 07:07:49 PM »
Great start! I think that you may be placing too much emphasis on Drov. "Go to Drov" was always just an uncreative way of forcing "go to Hell" into the game. I don't think most Zalanthans have any inkling of what or where the plane Drov is, nor would they care too.

I don't like 'the Rescuers'. It sounds far too huggy for Allanak's 'fuck it, nobody is going to take care of you' mentality. The idea of Allanak having a sort of fundie faction seems a bit forced and doesn't match what I've seen in-game.

jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2010, 08:41:23 PM »
Religion

Many Zalanthans are completely atheistic, too focused on day-to-day survival to consider what (if anything) happens after they die. For these pragmatic minds, physical death means the cessation of conscious thought, and musings on the afterlife are little better than children's tales designed to terrify or pacify.


Strongly disagree with this paragraph, and think that it should be removed entirely, or perhaps amended to

Quote
Most Zalanthans inherit the religion of their parents, and it helps them to get through the rough issues that come up in day-to-day survival.  For most urban zalanthans, this will be the official state-sponsored religion


EDIT:  Otherwise looks really good.  Nice job, man.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 08:43:31 PM by jriley »
He said, "I don't fly coach, never save the roach."

Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2010, 10:12:33 PM »

Strongly disagree with this paragraph, and think that it should be removed entirely


I appreciate your opinion, but I know that for lots of players, the sort of hopeless, faithless nature of Zalanthas is a major part of the flavor of the world. I honestly think (and have always gotten the impression) that large portions of the population of the city-states would have little to no spirituality to speak of beyond basic superstitions. This is something I would definitely like to hear more opinions on, especially from the staff. My point is, I think both completely atheistic and highly religious people would both be at home on Zalanthas. It's important that people be allowed to play atheistic characters without having to bend over backwards to explain their origins, or worse yet, without being branded "bad" roleplayers just because I wrote a doc out of nowhere that says otherwise.
Great start! I think that you may be placing too much emphasis on Drov. "Go to Drov" was always just an uncreative way of forcing "go to Hell" into the game. I don't think most Zalanthans have any inkling of what or where the plane Drov is, nor would they care too.
You might be right about placing too much emphasis on it, but I was trying to explain what the "common" views on the afterlife might be. I've never quite bought that Zalanthans would have absolutely no interest on what would happen to them after death. Since references to Drov are really common, I figure it'd make sense for some people to actually believe it, or think of it as a possibility. At any rate, I can certainly go back and insert a line about how for most people this is just an expression, at the very least.

I don't like 'the Rescuers'. It sounds far too huggy for Allanak's 'fuck it, nobody is going to take care of you' mentality. The idea of Allanak having a sort of fundie faction seems a bit forced and doesn't match what I've seen in-game.
In retrospect, I don't think I portrayed this quite right. I need to go back and insert a few lines about how, for most people, Tek and Muk aren't glorious saviors, but instead horrible, horrible tyrants. But still, I think you're wrong. A fundamentalist faction in Allanak makes perfect sense; there's even an entire order of templars (presumably sanctioned by the state)  devoted to perpetuating it. They have temples,  a clergy, morning devotions... why wouldn't at least a significant minority of the Allanak population start to believe the kankshit those white-robes are spewing every morning?
If your problem is with the name "the Rescued" in particular, I'm open to suggestions. I just thought it rolled off the tongue a little bit better than "Allanak state religion."
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

Aaron Goulet

  • Posts: 2228
    • Goulet Online
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2010, 10:28:29 PM »
In retrospect, I don't think I portrayed this quite right. I need to go back and insert a few lines about how, for most people, Tek and Muk aren't glorious saviors, but instead horrible, horrible tyrants. But still, I think you're wrong. A fundamentalist faction in Allanak makes perfect sense; there's even an entire order of templars (presumably sanctioned by the state)  devoted to perpetuating it. They have temples,  a clergy, morning devotions... why wouldn't at least a significant minority of the Allanak population start to believe the kankshit those white-robes are spewing every morning?

I mostly agree.  I would think that many people would take up the state religion to avoid the Highlord's wrath rather than seeking his benevolence, but the effects are ultimately the same in that:

  • A: They believe in Highlord Tektolnes as an omniscient, omnipotent ruler.
  • B: They worship Him accordingly.

I'm an empirical agnostic in real life, so I like to put it in the context of, "If the Devil was proven to exist and God was not, would I pray to the Devil in hopes of not getting fucked over?"

Plus, it makes you look like a model citizen, and who wouldn't want that?
Quote from: Zoltan
When in doubt, play dangerous, awkward or intense situations to the hilt, every time.

The Official GDB Hate Cycle

Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 10:43:55 PM »
Right; that's exactly what I need to go back and clarify. Most people don't worship Tek because they think he's the bee's knees, but because they believe he might otherwise smite their sorry ass. Others would go along with it simply because it's socially convenient to suck up to the templarate that way. Only a small minority would honestly believe that Tektolnes is divine, and even they would probably fear him rather than love him.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2010, 10:51:09 PM by FiveDisgruntledMonkeysWit »
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

Erythil

  • Posts: 1258
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2010, 01:31:35 AM »
I totally dig it -- I was working on something like this but you obviously have a much more nuanced understanding of the gameworld and Allanak in particular.  This could be fodder for great RP flavor.

Thunkkin

  • Posts: 1967
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2010, 11:45:21 AM »
I'd be interested in seeing how the fountain in Nak's Dragon temple might affect things.  On the one hand, most people can't afford that water.  On the other hand, here is the city's ruler and servants making water available in a highly visible and dramatic fashion.

Without Tek and his control over the vivaduans, the city would quite literally thirst death, wouldn't they?  So Tek is saving these people's lives on a daily basis by controlling and harnessing otherwise highly dangerous powers.  This may or may not be the reality of the situation, but it might be an obvious interpretation to someone living in Nak.  No Tek = no water.

The tricky part is getting both halves of Galadriel's "All will love me and despair."  Especially the second part.

In D&D terms, Tek's state is Lawful Evil.  The religion needs to celebrate that.  It needs to glory in power, authority, brutal enforcement of rules, etc.  Tek should be worshipped and loved not because he's lovable, but because he's deserving of love - an important distinction.  He is the strongest and he has seized and maintained control, therefore, he is worthy of worship and service.  Having personal power/strength and upholding the power of the state are virtues.  Weakness and frailty are signs of impiety or unworthiness. 

That would be my take on it.

Thanks for writing this up.  Great discussion so far.
Quote from: Synthesis
Quote from: lordcooper
You go south and one of the other directions that isn't north.  That is seriously the limit of my geographical knowledge of Arm.
Sarge?

Thunkkin

  • Posts: 1967
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 11:54:05 AM »
Further thought:

The term 'Rescued' does seem to imply that the worshippers are weak and worship Tek because he keeps them safe.  I think it would more fit the tone of Nak if Tek's worshippers served him because he made them strong, not safe.  Might makes right. 

So perhaps you don't pray to Tek for him to keep you safe.  You pray that he will make you an instrument worthy of smiting his enemies.  Both prayers might might be "Keep the gith from over-running the city" but the second prayer is a very Nakki way to pray for that result.  If a worshipper feels that they are too weak or unworthy, then the prayer might be, "Oh Tek, lift up servants worthy of your power to smite our enemies."  I could see a bold militia warrior praying, "Oh Tek, make me an instrument of your strength, to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women."
Quote from: Synthesis
Quote from: lordcooper
You go south and one of the other directions that isn't north.  That is seriously the limit of my geographical knowledge of Arm.
Sarge?

chuci

  • Posts: 146
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2010, 12:07:33 PM »
So, for Allanak, think Conan. Bravo.

Spoon

  • Posts: 2213
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2010, 12:17:51 PM »
What I got from the docs (General;cities;Allanak) is that Tektolnes rules Allanak out of sheer power, brutality and fear. From this, I really don't think your average commoner is grateful at all. You average commoner fears they very real, physical wrath of Tektolnes through his Templars. That is why they are obedient.

I'd like there to be a big distinction between Allanak and Tuluk, and 'religious' propaganda about being grateful and saying 'In his light' sounds like Tuluk's game. In Allanak, you don't think about defying those in charge because they will kill you on the spot, not because you love them.

If anything has changed (which it seems to have) it would be really good to have some solid docs on the subject. The 'cult' of Tektolnes or whatever. There's a lot of confusion with that city, like that of Militia soldiers being fiercely loyal, though in the docs they are described as being merely greedy for bribes.

brytta.leofa

  • Posts: 9480
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2010, 12:21:00 PM »
I love this, 5DMW.  You going to make a second draft?
The sword is sharp, the spear is long,
The arrow swift, the Gate is strong.
The heart is bold that looks on gold;
The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.

Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2010, 01:17:07 PM »
You going to make a second draft?
Yes, very soon. Just absorbing what people have said so far and waiting for a few more comments. I'll make a second draft either tonight or sometime in the next couple of days.
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2010, 01:24:07 PM »
I would really like to see aspects of religion such as burial/body disposal practices, prayer, and so on covered.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Talia

  • Legend
  • Posts: 2084
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2010, 01:36:56 PM »
Also, I should note, it would seem to me that proposed documentation pertaining to any of the templarate orders north or south is probably not going to be accepted, since there is a lot of documentation already on those topics, and such changes are likely to be a significant retcon. So I would encourage you to focus more on the common populace, what they would see/know/believe/do.
Character: "I've been working on building a new barracks for some tim-"
NPC: "Yeah, that fell through, sucks but YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIREEE!! FIRE-KANKS!!

Ampere

  • Posts: 1485
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2010, 01:40:21 PM »
When someone is raised to believe something from birth, they'll believe.  These people aren't exposed to perceptions other than thier own, and when they are, a common reaction would be hostility because it threatens the universality of their faith.  Fundamentalism would be rampant in both city states, simply because the more you piss on someone, generally the more they'll cling to what little joy exists in their lives.  God fosters a sense of community and purpose, both of which are essential ingredients for happiness.

A firm hand is handy, but this sense of community would be even stronger in the north where the magick inquisition (not a full on inquisition, but wouldn't that be awesome) provides the state with a convenient scapegoat for all its woes.

God is vengeful you say? Well, maybe so, but only to protect the faithful. Believers are good compassionate people, who rise above the heretical filth surrounding them to spread truth and love.
Quote from: science
An early study by Plaut and Kohn-Speyer (1947)[11] found that horse smegma had a carcinogenic effect on mice. Heins et al.(1958)

X-D

  • Posts: 5658
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2010, 01:43:01 PM »
Huh, really? I was raised to believe in god from birth....But I do not.
A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job

Ampere

  • Posts: 1485
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2010, 01:48:40 PM »
Huh, really? I was raised to believe in god from birth....But I do not.

You also live in a postmodern age, pretty hard for anyone with more than two braincells to believe in one truth with so many of them floating around.  Even so, many do.  Purpose is a seductive mistress.
Quote from: science
An early study by Plaut and Kohn-Speyer (1947)[11] found that horse smegma had a carcinogenic effect on mice. Heins et al.(1958)

Thunkkin

  • Posts: 1967
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2010, 02:19:13 PM »
If "god" lived in a big tower that I could see every day and I witnessed his priests doing miracles in his name and smiting people ... yeah, I'd be a worshipper.
Quote from: Synthesis
Quote from: lordcooper
You go south and one of the other directions that isn't north.  That is seriously the limit of my geographical knowledge of Arm.
Sarge?

jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2010, 02:44:10 PM »
I would really like to see aspects of religion such as burial/body disposal practices, prayer, and so on covered.

Yeah, that would be cool.  Also I think we need to include a section on Holidays.  They should be celebrated maybe once every real life year, which would mean once every six game years.

If "god" lived in a big tower that I could see every day and I witnessed his priests doing miracles in his name and smiting people ... yeah, I'd be a worshipper.

Yeah, that's pretty much how I see it.  I think that some players mistake what Tektolnes and Muk Utep are the gods of.  They're not the gods of compassion.  They're not the gods of justice.  They're not the gods of equality.  They're not the gods of peace, or of prosperity.  They're the gods of safety.  Life outside of their respective shadows are frought with violent peril.  Inside of their spheres of influence, a reasonable level of safety exists.
He said, "I don't fly coach, never save the roach."

Aaron Goulet

  • Posts: 2228
    • Goulet Online
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2010, 03:39:56 PM »
If anything has changed (which it seems to have) it would be really good to have some solid docs on the subject.

Things have changed, only for the worse.  It is interesting to ponder what effects that might have on one's faith.
Quote from: Zoltan
When in doubt, play dangerous, awkward or intense situations to the hilt, every time.

The Official GDB Hate Cycle

Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2010, 03:42:23 PM »
I would really like to see aspects of religion such as burial/body disposal practices, prayer, and so on covered.
This is something I would likely need help with. Burial practices alone might constitute its own doc. I know that there's a crematorium in Tuluk, but beyond that, body disposal is one of those things that, in my experience, has always been sort of brushed under the rug or handled virtually. If somebody who has more insight into this than I do wants to tackle it, and maybe amend it to this doc, I think that'd be great. I could try and include some burial stuff, but I would be (for the most part) talking out of my ass.
I do intend to add some common prayers, though, or at least describe how a Tuluki might pray versus how a 'Nakki might pray (I like the idea of 'Nakki praying for strength, rather than protection, for instance).
Also, I should note, it would seem to me that proposed documentation pertaining to any of the templarate orders north or south is probably not going to be accepted, since there is a lot of documentation already on those topics, and such changes are likely to be a significant retcon. So I would encourage you to focus more on the common populace, what they would see/know/believe/do.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. All the white robe stuff (which, I admit, I do go into a lot of detail with) I'm basing off of this (emphasis mine):
Quote
 1395
Exactly one year after the beginning of the siege of Allanak, Tektolnes reappears in the guise of a dragon and breathes death upon the sieging army - the army ceases to exist. Over the course of the next few years, a temple is built near the entrance of the city, in which the newly formed white-robe templarate preach the worship of He Who Rescued Us, the Mighty Dragon Tektolnes.
http://www.armageddon.org/cgi-bin/help_index/timeline.cgi

The northern stuff is basically just doc-talk for "Find out IC." What, specifically, do you think crosses the line in retcon and would be rejected? If you can't say it hear on the boards, you can always PM or email me. Also, I really appreciate you stopping in to give a staff view, Talia. Thanks.

If "god" lived in a big tower that I could see every day and I witnessed his priests doing miracles in his name and smiting people ... yeah, I'd be a worshipper.

That... is an excellent point. Strange. Maybe Zalanthas isn't as atheistic as I've assumed during my last eight years of playing here. Still, I don't think my opening paragraph is too off-base. I think in a world as bleak as Zalanthas it would be difficult to have faith in anything at all. You might believe that Tektolnes exists, or assume he does, but doubt that he has anything even approaching divinity. You might doubt that he has any interest whatsoever in protecting you or smiting you, no matter what you do. It's still possible to accept the existence of the god-kings but still be 'atheistic' in the sense that you put absolutely no spiritual value in them (or anything else) whatsoever. Maybe I'll just switch the 'many' in the first line to 'some.'

Anyway, thanks all for your input so far. I really appreciate it. Here are the changes I'm planning on making in the second draft:

-Making clear that, for many, references to Drov as Hell are just a figure of speech.
-Making clear that most people worship the god-kings out of fear rather than love. This goes double for Tek.
-Possibly removing all reference to the Rescued. I wanted to add a little something cool to the gameworld by giving the 'Nakki state religion an official name, but it seems people would prefer that this document consolidate existing information, rather than invent new stuff. Which is fine.
-Work on a section detailing common practices and prayers, and holidays. For holidays, King's Age celebrations seem like a natural mention. Also, I think Allanak would likely have some sort of rememberance on the anniversary of Tektolnes breaking the siege of Allanak. I know it seems like I'm focusing on that a lot, but it's an important aspect of 'Nakki history, marking one of the few times Tek appeared before his followers (and actually did something that could be perceived as 'good' for them). This stuff might come a bit later, since I'll have to generate a lot of new material to cover it. Suggestions are very, very welcome.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 03:49:42 PM by FiveDisgruntledMonkeysWit »
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2010, 03:47:05 PM »
Oh, also: there's been a lot of discussion about Allanak so far. What do people think about the other sections? Comments, questions, suggestions, violent objections?
EvilRoeSlade wrote:
Quote
You find a bulbous root sac and pick it up.
You shout, in sirihish:
"I HAVE A BULBOUS SAC"
Quote
A staff member sends:
     "You are likely dead."

Thunkkin

  • Posts: 1967
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2010, 04:28:11 PM »
Quote
You might believe that Tektolnes exists, or assume he does, but doubt that he has anything even approaching divinity.

What standard of divinity would a Nak citizen use as a comparison?

Quote
You might doubt that he has any interest whatsoever in protecting you or smiting you, no matter what you do. It's still possible to accept the existence of the god-kings but still be 'atheistic' in the sense that you put absolutely no spiritual value in them (or anything else) whatsoever.

Good points.  Though, you WOULD know that the god-kings servants are VERY interested in protecting/smiting and that, from time to time, the god-kings do step out into public view to do a bit of smiting/protecting when their servants aren't up to it.

Quote
-Making clear that most people worship the god-kings out of fear rather than love. This goes double for Tek.

Perhaps include a line that "fear" can be nuanced.  Perhaps it's awe - yes, you're afraid, but you're also impressed.  After all, who else can even compete with your god-king?  It might also be greed.  Maybe you worship Tek because you want a slice of what he has and he seems to certainly make the lives of those he favors (templars, high-ranked militia, etc.) much nicer than yours.  By worshipping him, you're aligning yourself with his power and hoping to reap the rewards of that power.  Some people in our world will show extreme loyalty and our secular equivalent of "worship" for a boss/company, hoping to share in that boss/company's wealth/riches/prestige even if said boss/company is doing terrible, terrible things.  Every rich, powerful jerk has a coterie of people who hang on his every word and show extreme loyalty (until the moment that said jerk is no longer rich or powerful).    It might also be a sports-like fanaticism.  Is Tek or Muk "evil" by "our" standards?  Sure.  How do they compare to everything else out there?  Sure, you follow a cruel, authoritarian ... but that's better than all the other suckers out there who are suffering at the hands of gith, marauding elves, bandits, and the endless terrors of the sands.  By aligning with Tek (or Muk), that makes you better than all the other poor schmucks out there.  It gives you an identity and a purpose in an otherwise rather purposeless existence.  I've seen people in our world with rather empty lives who hang their entire identity on some sports team that doesn't know who they are or care a shit about them, but they worship the team and the team's successes brings the fans endless ecstasy and joy because they (mistakenly) believe that they somehow participate in those successes.  Same with politics.

Quote
-Possibly removing all reference to the Rescued. I wanted to add a little something cool to the gameworld by giving the 'Nakki state religion an official name, but it seems people would prefer that this document consolidate existing information, rather than invent new stuff. Which is fine.

I almost wonder if a name will emerge organically once the state religions are more clearly outlined.
Quote from: Synthesis
Quote from: lordcooper
You go south and one of the other directions that isn't north.  That is seriously the limit of my geographical knowledge of Arm.
Sarge?

jstorrie

  • Posts: 4564
Re: Religion Docs- Rough Draft
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2010, 07:27:31 PM »
I do recall that from time to time, in-game, cataclysmic events often triggered flash-in-the-pan minicults. I remember some Tuluki VNPCs talking about believing in the Plainsman, instead (though that was probably just Plainsie himself!); likewise Huge Fire-Mountain of Doom and/or Crazy Black Moon cults popping up in Allanak to varying degrees of success when those events occured. Nilaz cults seem to pop up with some degree of frequency. What would you think of a paragraph briefly describing how less-controlled areas of the cities (Warrens, UnderWaterTuluk, the Labyrinth, etc.) breed heretical cults from time to time?

In general, maybe, more discussion of cult-style beliefs? I think that they're the closest you see to religiosity in the cities. People don't have faith in Utep/Tek because they're gods, but simply because they appear totally invincible and awesome. I mean, in a world with gemmers eating babies and spreading magical cataclysms every Detal, it's not like the common man has any need to rely on conjecture to deal with the metaphysical. The metaphysical is right there, sitting at the end of the bar, and he's a filthy monster who you'd happily chop up with your bone swordz if you could get away with it. But you can't, so you swear fealty to the biggest monster around and hope he keeps the little ones in line.