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  1. #1
    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    Default Questions about IK religions

    So I've been slowly building up questions. For this post, I'm only asking about the 3 primary religions in civilized humanity (the churches of Morrow, Thamar, and Menoth).
    Hard and cold facts, loose conjecture, and twists you made in your own game are all welcome (although I'd prefer it if you prefaced this a bit).

    1.a. What are the prime differences between the Morrowan and Menite religions?
    1.b. What are the prime differences between the Morrowan and Thamarite religions?
    1.c. What are the prime similarities between the Morrowan and Thamarite religions? (If any. See 5.a. for why I'm asking this)

    2.a. What arguments would a knowledgeable and conciliatory Morrowan attempt to use to convert a Menite, and vice versa? (Both arguments for life on Caen and in Urcaen)
    2.b. What arguments would a non-knowledgeable (lay person), but still conciliatory, Morrowan attempt to use to convert a Menite, and vice versa? (Both arguments for life on Caen and in Urcaen)
    2.c. What arguments would a knowledgeable and conciliatory Thamarite attempt to use to convert a Morrowan/Menite? Would these arguments be different based on which religion was being spoken to? (Both arguments for life on Caen and in Urcaen)

    3.a. Would the Morrowan church at large support a primarily religiously-based conflict against Menites (and if so, just the Protectorate Menites, or all groups)?
    3.b. Would the church of Menoth (outside of the Protectorate) support a primarily religiously-based military conflict against Morrowans?
    3.c. Would the Protectorate support a primarily religiously-based conflict against non-Protectorate Menites?

    4.a. Do the average civilians (non-priests, non-academics) understand much about Urcaen and the role that the human gods play there?
    4.b. What are the differences in Urcaen between worshippers of Menoth and Morrow?

    5.a. I recall reading something in IKRPG core about how the truth of the Morrowan/Thamarite religions is that the true and fullest understanding of Morrow/Thamar requires practicing the teachings of both twins. Is this a true fact of the setting, an in-setting misunderstanding of some individuals, or me flat-out making stuff up in my head?
    5.b. Are there any groups/organizations in the Iron Kingdoms that intentionally practice the teachings of both twins? (Regardless of whether the above is true, false, or an in-setting misunderstanding)
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    Quote Originally Posted by malachi View Post
    1.a. What are the prime differences between the Morrowan and Menite religions?
    Menite religion, as I understand, is centered around the notions of law, civilization and strict order. One god, one way, one will, deviations will bring problems.
    Morrowans are more tolerant; they are centered around improving yourself and helping others, and thus choosing your own path in life.
    1.b. What are the prime differences between the Morrowan and Thamarite religions?
    If Morrow leads to perfection in combination with helping others, then Thamar leads to perfection through any means necessary. So, a Morrowan leader will try to improve his country by helping people. And Thamarite leader may improve his country by eliminating all the rivals. Or "caring" about his people because he needs healthy and strong subjects to use and to protect him from harm.
    Basically, they represent altruism and selfishness. But they are much more nuanced then that.
    1.c. What are the prime similarities between the Morrowan and Thamarite religions? (If any. See 5.a. for why I'm asking this)
    Both the Twins adhere to the idea of the freedom of will and choosing your way in life on your own. And both the Twins, as I understand, are keen to protect humanity (one of the things where Menoth agrees, I presume).
    In conjuction with the difference example above - both Thamarite and Morrowan can do the deeds with the same result, but completely different reasons. Another example: the Fraternal Order likes to say that many Greylords are Thamarites. But when a Thamarite Greylord has his goal as "I want to live in a strong and influential country and that will give me strength" - the result will be still beneficial for Khador.

    2.a. What arguments would a knowledgeable and conciliatory Morrowan attempt to use to convert a Menite, and vice versa? (Both arguments for life on Caen and in Urcaen)
    On Caen - perhaps, to make focus on mercy and tolerance of Morrow. Menite faith (especially Sul-Menite) is quite unforgiving, and repention is painful.
    3.a. Would the Morrowan church at large support a primarily religiously-based conflict against Menites (and if so, just the Protectorate Menites, or all groups)?
    Well, the purely religious wars are in the past for now, but if that happens (we do not know the nature of Arius' successor), it will be against Sul-Menites to my mind. Directing it against all the Menites will cause problems within Cygnar, comparisons with Vinter regime and will definitely give lots of benefit to Khador.
    3.b. Would the church of Menoth (outside of the Protectorate) support a primarily religiously-based military conflict against Morrowans?
    Menites do not have an organized and centralized church outside the Protectorate. The largest non-Protectorate community of Menites is in Khador, as I remember, and they will have little reasons to do that.
    4.b. What are the differences in Urcaen between worshippers of Menoth and Morrow?
    Their cities, I presume. Menoth city is about law and War of Souls, Morrow city may be about self-improvement and War of Souls.

    5.a. I recall reading something in IKRPG core about how the truth of the Morrowan/Thamarite religions is that the true and fullest understanding of Morrow/Thamar requires practicing the teachings of both twins. Is this a true fact of the setting, an in-setting misunderstanding of some individuals, or me flat-out making stuff up in my head?
    Perhaps not practicing, but being familiar, to fully understand both the Twins and be able to choose freely.

  3. #3
    Creator of Words PPS_Dougseacat's Avatar
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    If I were to try to answer this thoroughly it'd be like a 30 page dissertation, so I'll let you guys have fun with this for a while. I may chime in on specific bits and pieces to help with clarity.

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    Destroyer of Worlds Morgan Coalburn's Avatar
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    Is it ironic that a thread on religion got a "word from God" reply so quickly, and that the word was, "Have fun debating the fine print?"
    “They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, by that account I should probably consider myself invention's crazy uncle who is never invited to family dos...”

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    Destroyer of Worlds Celestra's Avatar
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    I think I speak for everyone when I say we would be very happy with a 30-page dissertation on IK religion by Doug Seacat.
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    Destroyer of Worlds tutenkharnage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestra View Post
    I think I speak for everyone when I say we would be very happy with a 30-page dissertation on IK religion by Doug Seacat.
    Seconded

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by malachi View Post
    So I've been slowly building up questions. For this post, I'm only asking about the 3 primary religions in civilized humanity (the churches of Morrow, Thamar, and Menoth).
    Hard and cold facts, loose conjecture, and twists you made in your own game are all welcome (although I'd prefer it if you prefaced this a bit).

    1.a. What are the prime differences between the Morrowan and Menite religions?
    1.b. What are the prime differences between the Morrowan and Thamarite religions?
    1.c. What are the prime similarities between the Morrowan and Thamarite religions? (If any. See 5.a. for why I'm asking this)
    1.a Apart from rituals and dogma, I believe that the main difference between these two religions is the relation with their gods. Menites behave like they owe everything to an all powerful creator, believing their lives to be some kind of a given privilege. So they have to serve and honor who gave them this privilege. The morrowans, in other hand, follow Morrow more as an example. Morrow was human once, and lived a life of altruism and solidarity. In the end, his humbleness and enlightenment makes him reach something never reached before. In some level, all morrowans are trying to follow these path. Even if they don't truly believe they can achieve the same level of clarity as their god did as human, they at least will evolve themselves just by trying. I believe the religions are the expression of the abstraction their gods represent. While Menoth is ORDER, Morrow is ALTRUISM.

    Somebody could say both are naive utopians. One tries to pay a debt he can never truly pay while the other try to follow an example he can never match. But somebody could also say that the skeptics always miss the point and the path is more important than the end. And then you have a intense philosophical debate.

    1.b One talks about enlightenment through self-sacrifice and solidarity. The other wants you to find your own way without the chains of what is already established as right and wrong. One wishes you to live a life of social harmony and temperance while the other wants you to accept who you truly are by following your instincts and desires while defies the paradigms. If Morrow is ALTRUISM, Thamar is FREEDOM.

    Of course I know it's at least minimalist to condense the whole complexity of a religion and its doctrines using just one word. But in their core I believe that's it.

    1.c Both wants you to improve and unlock the true potential of your soul. To become more.
    Last edited by Henryque Plaster; 01-06-2017 at 04:37 AM. Reason: Editing to add

  8. #8
    Zombie Combatant Wolfhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestra View Post
    I think I speak for everyone when I say we would be very happy with a 30-page dissertation on IK religion by Doug Seacat.
    Thirded

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    These are some great questions. I don't have authoritative answers but I have thoughts on each of them that I can post later.

  10. #10
    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    If I were to try to answer this thoroughly it'd be like a 30 page dissertation, so I'll let you guys have fun with this for a while. I may chime in on specific bits and pieces to help with clarity.
    Quote Originally Posted by Celestra View Post
    I think I speak for everyone when I say we would be very happy with a 30-page dissertation on IK religion by Doug Seacat.
    Quote Originally Posted by tutenkharnage View Post
    Seconded
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfhard View Post
    Thirded
    Fourthed.

    So, how much money do I need to give you to make this happen?


    (My responses and understanding of the two great posts so far coming up eventually)
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  11. #11
    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    @Henrique

    I like the super-simplified answer of Morrow=ALTRUISM, Thamar=FREEDOM, and (I would add) Menoth=LOYALTY. I especially like that this doesn't guarantee that Thamarites are always blood-magic-using infant-murderers (but still leaves that open).

    Somebody could say both are naive utopians. One tries to pay a debt he can never truly pay while the other try to follow an example he can never match. But somebody could also say that the skeptics always miss the point and the path is more important than the end. And then you have a intense philosophical debate.
    I like this a lot. It helps flesh out some things I was wanting to work into the setting that I couldn't figure out how to.
    I'd add that Thamarites have the naive utopia that everyone can (or at least, many/most people can), by pursuing their own goals on their own terms with their own power, achieve perfection / enlightenment / fulfillment.

    Thanks for giving me these two frameworks (the single-word summary, and the naive utopian worldview) to work with!

    @ViZet
    Thanks for the insights! Most of what I picked up from you got worked in with Henrique's stuff into the below:

    Summary of a Morrowan argument to a Menite: Single mindedness to Menoth is leaving people suffering and in pain (Caen argument), and this is pushing people away from the faith, out of the City of Man and thus into the jaws of the Devourer (Urcaen argument).
    ((This relies on compassion overcoming devotion to Menoth, which would work for some people))

    Summary of a Morrowan argument to a Thamarite: Yes, you have the freedom to do whatever you want, but by trampling others you're destroying their freedom. When you do that enough, you'll entrap yourself, too.
    ((I understand that many people would not understand this argument, but I feel like it'd be the one that Morrowans would make - although I think that this would fall on deaf ears to most Thamarites))

    Summary of a Menite argument to a Morrowan: Menoth gave you everything, gave Morrow everything. You owe it to him to serve him - and if everyone serves him, then we would be able to help everyone. Look at Cygnar and the Protectorate - the Protectorate is forced into violence because Cygnar's persecution and military advances force them to react. If the Morrowan church had never taken away devotion to Menoth, that split never would have happened, and Cygnar would have the unity of strength to stand against Cryx / etc. (Caen argument) Just as Morrowans split Cygnar's strength into two separate nations, Morrowans are splitting Menoth's garrison in the City of Man - potentially dooming everyone! (Urcaen argument)
    ((This argument makes the two religions seem so similar, but the Morrowan faith seem selfish and a source of weakness and of pain for the community that Morrowans espouse love for. Seems like an awesome guilt-trip, and likely the most effective argument out there, but only when pulling attention away from, or excusing, the harshness of life as imposed by the Protectorate))

    Summary of a Menite argument to a Thamarite: Menoth created you, he imbued you with all the strength you claim is your own. It had to come from somewhere. [Nature vs nurture probably comes up, with claims that nurturing only works when you fully understand your nature, and only Menoth truly understands humans.] Your true potential can only be unlocked in the City of Man with Menoth's understanding.
    ((This argument sort of pulls at the Thamarite desire for improvement, but would likely fall on deaf ears - particularly when looking at Protectorate institutions like wracks and the slavery of vassals))


    Summary of a Thamarite argument to a Morrowan: You want to help, protect, and shepherd these people? Caen is a world of conflict and savagery, and Urcaen is worse; you need more power to do that. You have to understand that you'll have to make some sacrifices here and there to gather up enough power for yourself to do that. Is it better to draft the population into a militia and drill them into competence, despite how it'll hurt, or leave them untrained and ripe pickings for the other nations / monstrosities that live out there? And if the people and communities can't take care of themselves here and now on Caen, how do you expect them to take care of themselves in Urcaen?
    ((If this argument is made in a devious enough manner, it could actually be convincing. The words I've provided are the best I can do, but they probably wouldn't be good enough.))

    Summary of a Thamarite argument to a Menite: You want to serve Menoth, but you're weak. Your weakness will keep you from serving him as he needs. (Argument would continue in a slippery slope that I don't feel I can articulate right now)



    Does the summary of these arguments seem about right?
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  12. #12
    Eater of Brains Weaselcreature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malachi View Post
    Fourthed.

    So, how much money do I need to give you to make this happen?


    (My responses and understanding of the two great posts so far coming up eventually)
    Fifthed! Most definitely.
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    Conqueror Ad1's Avatar
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    Menoth gave humanity an awareness of the Devourer. He then gave Mankind Walls, Laws and Agriculture to stand against the Wild. Morrow gave humanity compassion so that laws may be tempered, walls may hold gates and the boon of agriculture may be shared. Thamar gave man the knowledge that there is no Light without Darkness, and at times a little Darkness is needed to keep a greater Darkness at bay.

    I'd read a 30 page write-up on religion in the IK I've asked before but I'd be especially interested to hear about some of those schisms that exist in some of the human religions and are mentioned when talking about Old Faith Menites in KNG. What kind of schism is intended? Because it is kept very open and broad as to how far they go.

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    Annihilator Chikahiro's Avatar
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    I think, and I might well be wrong here, that one of the key differences between Menites and the Twins is one outer centered and the other is more self-centered (not in a negative way). Menites do for the whole because they're told to, whereas Morrowans or Thamarites do for the whole because its their decision to do so. I'm not factoring motivations into this - Feora doesn't serve for quite the same reason as The Testament of Menoth or Dartan Vilmon - but ultimately they do what they do for the whole because it serves Menoth's purposes (at least arguably). If they go outside the boundaries far enough? Well, things will happen to them, either divinely or by the hand of the church itself.

    For Morrowans and Thamarites? Well, they're ultimately navigating their own way by an example laid out. I don't think they're asking for Morrow or Thamar's will so much as help if they pray.

    Its an interesting play between the group and the individual. Is there overlap? Probably. But my lunch break is short and I'm not that knowledgeable
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