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  1. #81

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    This calls for a wiki!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #82
    Destroyer of Worlds solkan's Avatar
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    Default On Cosmology and the "Void"

    http://privateerpressforums.com/show...=1#post2031466
    The main point of confusion, an understandable one, is that "the Void" that the bane thralls come from is not necessarily the same "Void" that skorne say their souls go to when they die. There's was pretty much no contact between these two occult scholarly groups and therefore their use of the same term (likely a translation of wildly different languages) is coincidental at best. There is no evidence that skorne souls returning as "void spirits" and tormented souls transformed into banes originate from the same source, in other words. It's possible that what the skorne refer to as the "Void" could be somewhere in the wilds of Urcaen, for example. Since they have no god-based religion and no description of the afterlife, their awareness of Urcaen is severely limited.

    Cryxian occult experts have a greater awareness of Urcaen and Caen and their relationship with one another than the skorne, and so we can probably trust Lich Lord Tenebrous' analysis that banes come from somewhere other than Urcaen. Then again, it's not like he is doing a lecture circuit or opening his research to peer review. Overall very little is known about either of these places referred to as the Void. This is on the far fringe of known metaphysical occult lore in our setting. The only experts on banes are Lich Lord Tenebrous and Goreshade, and the only real experts on void spirits are Void Seer Mordikaar and Lord Arbiter Hexeris; none of these parties are doing a lot of sharing.

  3. #83

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    Wanted to add my voice to the chorus of well deserved thank yous to the OP for assembling all this extremely useful info .. for people like me who have read the IK books but are still "newbies" in terms of not having actually run or participated in a game this is all super helpful :) .. Looks like it was turned into a sticky which is great ! :) .. however if you don't mind me humbly suggesting something.... I would even go so far as to put " New posters read this first before posting ! " next to the subject thread for it on the sticky (basically so someone sees it right next to the "Doug Seacat on " part as they're viewing the list of threads) only because it answers a LOT of questions.. if I'd read this first I wouldn't have had to bother the rest of the forum community here with a bunch of ?'s I had about the material in the books :P ...

    Also as a suggestion.. for complete newbies like me who didn't know who Doug was at first (I know I know everyone's sneering at me just for saying that :P ) ... maybe add this at the beginning of the thread too?

    " Douglas Seacat ~ is the lead writer at Privateer Press where he has oversight of narrative fiction and setting continuity for both WARMACHINE and HORDES. He has been writing for Privateer Press for ten years, starting with the second book of the Witchfire Trilogy. Doug contributed to developing the Iron Kingdoms setting through all the books in the Full Metal Fantasy RPG line and many issues of No Quarter Magazine. His writing for Privateer's award-winning miniature games started with WARMACHINE: Apotheosis and HORDES: Primal and has continued through all the books of the Mark II releases. His most recent work can be found in WARMACHINE: Wrath and the upcomingHORDES: Domination. "

    Lifted that from

    http://www.trollbloodscrum.com/2011/...ug-seacat.html

    This isn't a "slam" against the PP forums here by any means, on the contrary it's great PP put it together and the people here are SUPER helpful, got my ?'s answered within a single day of posting :) .. but if I'd read all this info before posting I would have been left with just one question instead of three and the other posters would only have had to read one third of my super long rambling question-posts :P... no one's fault but my own of course ;) , I'm just saying .. :) ..

    EDIT - the more I read all his posts here on this thread the more I fall in love with the IK setting in general , at the risk of sounding like a total fan-boy :P ... I know I'm stating the obvious but Doug Seacat and his fellow IK kingdom writers are talented as all hell and a BLAST to read :) ... I'm actually kind of indignant wikipedia doesn't have it's own entry for Doug :mad: (and his fellow IK writers too for that matter)

    Quote Originally Posted by scc View Post
    @Whimper Only stickied? I vote for putting it on a wiki
    Is there an updated timeline that covers the events mention here?
    Now on the classic debate-y stuff (argument(s) based on what is presented here and published materiel that i have copies of, some of this really prompted me to express these views)
    The Hierarch not the Harbringer called for Crusade and they don't exactly see eye to eye on everything
    Menoth is not likely to be too supportive of blanket decrimination given the events of 1250 BR (Sc. Khorva) without real persecution of his followers
    Technically the Protectorate is breaking laws with it's army, depending on what Menoth wants to happen, this could cost them
    Last edited by andrepartthree; 05-13-2013 at 09:00 AM.

  4. #84
    Conqueror Maerik's Avatar
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    I wanted to make a convenient way of reading this information for myself, so I threw together an ePub.

    If anybody wants the file, it's here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ni3kbxvccn...acat%20On.epub
    Answer extinction with death that the vengeance of our gods may be our salvation
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  5. #85
    Conqueror Maerik's Avatar
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    Credit where credit is due: I snagged that cover from Overload Online.
    Answer extinction with death that the vengeance of our gods may be our salvation
    Lanterns of Retribution
    :
    - 'Casters: Ossyan, Rahn, Vyros1 P: 85 pts, Unp: 81 pts, Garryth, Kaelyssa, Vyros2
    Blighted Drow and Scarlet Ogrun, The Everblog:
    - 'Locks: Complete P: 243 pts, Unp: 24 pts

  6. #86
    Destroyer of Worlds Hubert J. Farnsworth's Avatar
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    Default On Rune Reader and the nature of magic

    linky

    I should mention that the Rune Reader archetype ability is a very powerful and subtle ability, not necessarily intended to represent what things are like for most arcanists in the setting. Indeed, many of the archetype abilities are of this nature--intended to be over-the-top and to help creating characters who feel like significant and impressive heroes. It is the archetype abilities in many cases that make a character beyond the norm. Rune reader represents someone with extremely good perception and a remarkable intuitive grasps on the flows of magic being formed as they are created. This should not be taken as proof that all magic in the setting is basically identical, since it's not. The runes shown in the artwork clearly demonstrate variance across different traditions. The human factions have the closest similarities, all based on the runic arcane work originally set in motion by Sebastian Kerwin, which informed those traditions that branched out after him and which had a rather pervasive influence on the development of human magic. (And by dint of their scavenging nature, Cryxian magic.) Some of the foundational work done by Kerwin relied on formulas also rooted in the work done in the ancient kingdom of Morrdh which informed Thamar's sacred alphabet and also a number of ancient necromantic traditions. But Ios, Rhul, the Skorne, trollkin, the Circle Orboros, the Legion, etc. all have different runes demonstrated in their magic. That said, there certainly might be certain ways in which these runes interact, shapes shared between them, or simply manners in which their energy flows could be understood in action by someone with a particularly intuitive mind and a tremendous grasp for magic. Rune Reader is an in-game simplification of such a knack, one every bit as extraordinary as many of the other archetype benefits, like photographic memory, being a genius, Tough, Invulnerable, Untouchable, etc. Someone with Rune Reader is able to see the runes forming, remember them, and see how the flows of energy are being manipulated by them, giving a sudden insight into what magic is being unleashed upon them. This is every bit as impressive as hyper-perception or photographic memory. Someone with all three can be the mystical equivalent of Sherlock Holmes.

  7. #87
    Destroyer of Worlds Wanderingalleycat's Avatar
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    So an old post from seacat, about the Iosan gods.

    http://burrowowl.net/wordpress/2006/...ed-iosan-gods/

    Though I generally consider the presence of Iosans and Rhul-folk (Elves and Dwarves, respectively) to be unnecessary hold-overs from traditional Dungeons & Dragons, sacred cows that few d20 publishers are willing to disturb, they do have somewhat interesting implementations in the Iron Kingdoms setting from Privateer Press. In keeping with high fantasy tradition, the Dwarves are excellent stoneworkers that worship a variety of foundry, forge, and masonry-related deities that are considered the great grand-pappies of their species.

    Also in keeping with tradition, the Elves are an ancient, noble, refined, and slowly dying race that has outlived its usefulness in the world. Towards in end, the pantheon of the Iosan Elves consists largely of deities that simply no longer exist. They vanished a few hundred years ago, with only one surviving, though sickly, and possibly comatose, tended to by a worried flock. This ailing survivor, Scyrah, is pretty well-described in the published material, but the others, being effectively defunct, have received little official treatment. The following descriptions are courtesy of Douglas Seacat, Privateer Press writer, on an unofficial basis (any details here are subject to change later on).
    Lacyr

    “Narcissar of Ages, and Potentate of the Living”

    First born among the elven gods and most powerful was Lacyr. She had mastery over the creation of forms and all cycles of life. She understood the nature of time and the mysteries of the world. Lacyr is the mother of the elven people and creator of all the supernal servants of the gods.

    Domains: Creation (lost), Good; her priests could also choose domains from any other of the Divine Court.
    Ossyris

    “Incissar of Hours, Sovereign of Conflict, General of Lyoss”

    Ossyris had lordship over time and the passage of hours, and could halt or reverse its flow. He was master of warfare and battle, and general of the elven divine hosts. He gathered the souls of those who died in battle and brought them onward to further conflicts in the hereafter. Ossyris passed the lore of weapons and armor to the elves.

    Domains: War, Law, Righteousness, Time (lost)
    Ayisla

    “Nis-Arsyr of Night, Suzerain of the Fallen, Watcher of the Gates of Lyoss”

    Watcher of Lyoss in the hours of darkness, Ayisla was chief of the gatekeepers and protected the domain and palace of the gods. She was responsible for gathering souls of the dead so they could be purified or reincarnated. In the hour of midnight not even Lacyr could command Ayisla. She granted special mortals the gift of prophecy.

    Domains: Night (lost), Protection, Rebirth (lost)
    Nyrro

    “Arsyr of Day, Senechal of Lyoss Palace, Lorekeeper”
    Ayisla’s twin is the lord of daytime and keeper of the divine palace. He was best known for his great library, the organization of which only he could fully comprehend. Its tomes could only be read at certain hours, penned in languages from many times and places. Nyrro gifted elves with arcane lore, which would be their undoing. In the hour of noon no other power could stand before Nyrro nor command him.

    Domains: Day (lost), Fire, Knowledge, Magic
    Lurynsar

    “Issyr of Summer, Armsmaster of Lyoss and Chief of Scouts”

    A warrior second only to the Incissar of Hours, he was fleet of foot and deadly accurate with bow or spear. To Lurynsar fell the responsibility of the armory of Lyoss, and keeping its servitors in fighting trim. Foremost in scouting hostile regions and guiding divine armies to capture territory. He taught elves to use terrain as a barrier or weapon.

    Domains: Trickery, Summer, Warrior
    Lyliss

    “Nis-Scyir of Autumn, Court Assassin and Mistress of
    Poisons”

    Lyliss was the most cunning of the gods. The counterpart to her healing sister, the goddess of Autumn was masterful in the knowledge of unraveling life, using poisons both natural and fabricated in the service of the gods. Lyliss was sent among enemies to bring their downfall silently. Lyliss was a charming and beautiful goddess, possessed of grace. She appreciated humor, even as her jokes were often cruel.

    Domains: Assassination, Destruction, Autumn
    Nyssor

    (included as the Iosans count him as Vanished; this is the Iosan depiction of Nyssor)

    “Scyir of Winter, Grand Crafter and also known as the Frozen Sage”

    Last was the god of winter, ice, and snow. Nyssor kept himself distant from his brothers and sisters, and rarely attended the court. He was said to be a craftsman without equal, and much of the construction of Lyoss and its palace were done by his hands. He was quiet, but his eyes betrayed knowledge of much that was left unsaid.
    Last edited by Wanderingalleycat; 10-21-2013 at 02:01 AM.
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  8. #88
    Destroyer of Worlds Brother Zed's Avatar
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    There are two elven gods alive atm Cat, you forgot about Nyssor in his block of ice.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Zed View Post
    There are two elven gods alive atm Cat, you forgot about Nyssor in his block of ice.
    Members of the Vanished may or may not be dead; but they are definitely missing. At the time that was written, and in the timeframe that the IKRPG takes place in, Nyssor is still considered to be part of the Vanished because he has not returned to Ios. In fact, Alleycat made a note of that in parentheses under Nyssor's header. I imagine Iosans will stop considering him to be a member of the Vanished as of Colossals, but that is in the future as far as the IKRPG is concerned.

  10. #90

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    Wrong Thread
    Gandarbelagen "Clunky" Gobber Man-at-Arms/Explorer IWChttps://docs.google.com/document
    Marigrenadatol "Mari" Gobber Military Officer/Guttersnipe S.T.A.R. Co Corvis House https://docs.google.com/document
    Selekatantona "Healy" Doctor A Bold New World https://docs.google.com/document

  11. #91
    Destroyer of Worlds Wanderingalleycat's Avatar
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    Actually Seacat made that notation. This was a copy and paste from the original post he made.
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  12. #92
    Destroyer of Worlds Lanz's Avatar
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    http://privateerpressforums.com/show...=1#post2783934

    Doug just posted a very interesting and thorough explanation on magic, particularly regarding sorcery. I think it's worth adding to this collection.
    "If at first you don't succeed, label it version 1.0."


  13. #93
    Conqueror ozvelpoon's Avatar
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    Another Seacat sighting, this time on gender parity within various organisations in the Iron Kingdoms.

    http://privateerpressforums.com/show...=1#post3047423
    Last edited by ozvelpoon; 03-17-2015 at 01:32 PM.

  14. #94

  15. #95
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  16. #96
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  17. #97

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    Doug Seacat on Serricsteel in IKRPG (as opposed to IKd20)
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  18. #98
    Sir Haemophilus Borne, Knight of Cygnar, Militant Order of the Arcane Tempest, Cygnar Reconnaissance Service
    Captain Nicolas Hawke, Owner and Commander of Hawke's Company, Corvis (Military Officer/Pistoleer)
    Lieutenant Arden Ravenstone, Officer of The Phoenix Company, Corvis (Gun Mage/Spy)

  19. #99

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    Doug Seacat on Necromancy.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Worth noting that the interaction with souls in gameplay is sometimes representing different things in the background fiction. Blaize is not collecting souls and using them in the same way a necromancer would, nor are reclaimers. Generally these types of figures are interacting with souls in a relatively benevolent fashion, often drawing power from the passage of the soul to its proper destination in Urcaen. They are essentially serving as a conduit to ensure the souls go where they are supposed to go. Necromancers, on the other hand, are usually imprisoning a soul against its will on Caen and doing it harm by forcefully siphoning away its energies to fuel their power, leaving them a depleted husk. Necromancy is very harsh on souls in general and most necromantic interactions with souls are likely inflicting torment on the subject souls. This really bears no resemblance to the way a divinely-empowered Morrowan interacts with the souls of the faithful.

  20. #100

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    Doug Seacat on the Empress of Khador, and Khador's religious diversity
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Khador still has a Morrowan majority. Their Menite minority is just an especially large one. The empress is herself Morrowan, and attends the Katrinska Cathedral which is near the palace. She would have been about 35 when Llael was invaded and so far as anyone is aware she has no children.

  21. #101
    Annihilator Tempests_Wrath's Avatar
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    Hope im not doing a bad necro..
    Doug Seacat on Rune Circles
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    The origin of the spell does indeed determine what sort of rune circles appear, but the spell names as you see them are essentially abstractions for effects that appear in more than one faction. The actual way some of those spells might be depicted can vary. This is especially the case since some of the attempts to consolidate and simplify things since Mk. II where we no longer have as many similar spells that do virtually the same thing but with different names. A Circle Orboros incantation does indeed always look like it originates in the Circle, and Orsus Zoktavir is incapable of casting those magics. He may perform a destructive spell which is similar, but he will be drawing on arcane principles drawn from human arcane origins rooted ultimately in the work of Sebastien Kerwin prior to the Rebellion against the Orgoth. The fundamentals of how he manipulates and controls those energies are quite different than the patterns employed by the Circle, even if the end result is similar. (Exploding something in an eruption of the earth, for example.)
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    No, it has less to do with the spell or learning how a specific spell works than it has to do with the fundamental nature of a caster's power and their ability to manipulate it to create magical effects. So, a Khadoran caster will always be manifesting runes based on his training which would be of the type we see with a Khadoran caster. So, if a caster was using Arcane Shield, it would not appear in Cygnaran runes unless cast by a Cygnaran caster. If cast by a Khadoran caster, it would use the Khadoran arcane runic equivalents. (The arcane fonts we have shown for Cygnar, Khador, Cryx, and the Protectorate are all very similar, likely due to there being similar origins to runic magical understanding for these different factions, based on the origins of formulaic human magic. It's best not to mention these similarities to scrutators in the Protectorate, however.)
    "A weapon is a means of transferring energy from the source to the target until the latter breaks."

  22. #102
    Destroyer of Worlds Lanz's Avatar
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    Doug Seacat on Steam Armor vs heavy warcaster armor, talking about Anson Durst specifically.

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Here's a bit of description from the story itself, on p. 104 of Reckoning: "Other than the sigil identifying their order, the two paladins were very different. Durst was by far the larger of the two. Impressive as Norvor [another paladin] was in his blessed armor, Anson Durst was a giant among men. He was a full head taller and considerably wider, outweighing the other man by more than a hundred pounds. His heavy armor was of a more modern style, recently forged by the Sul-Menite Artificers and equipped with the arcane turbine that marked him as a warcaster. Their weapons displayed a similar disparity--Norvor wielded a traditional Firebrand passed down from antiquity, while Durst's mechanikal weapon Recompense had been forged for war only recently."

    Durst is equipped with modern mechanikally augmented heavy warcaster armor, and has a fully mechanikal weapon. There is a bit of natural confusion between other heavy steam-powered armor like that used by Man-O-War soldiers and heavy warcaster armor. But they aren't identical. The latter is considerably more sophisticated, expensive, and difficult to make. The truth is, all warcaster armor gets the benefit of the weight-reducing aspects of the power field, enabling warcasters to wear gear that might otherwise be difficult to move in properly. As the armor gets heavier, there might need to be additional mechanisms in place to assist movement. This is why you'll see the larger and more impressive looking steam engines on the heavier armor, as the engine is relied upon to do more than just provide a power field via the arcane turbine. To put it another way, Durst isn't wearing "Man-O-War armor" but instead heavy warcaster armor, which does resemble Man-O-War armor and similarly relies on some additional work from its engine to move properly. This does mean these heavy armor sets do resemble Man-O-War armor more than light warcaster armor, such as sets worn by people like Thyra or Caine, where most of the "work" being done by the engine is purely driving the arcane turbine. Worth noting that the power field still helps even in the heavier armor, by mitigating the weight, thereby requiring less raw power to perform tasks like moving. The engines in Man-O-War armor are therefore less efficient and have to work a lot harder, and consume more fuel, since they aren't drawing on a warcaster's power together with an arcane turbine to help create a field.
    "If at first you don't succeed, label it version 1.0."


  23. #103
    Annihilator Macavity's Avatar
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    Doug Seacat on necromancy and the church.


    The Order of Illumination takes a rather black or white view on matters of necromancy and infernalism. They are considered categorically bad, regardless of who specifically is affected. Animating the dead is an unholy abomination in the eyes of Morrowans, and especially the Order of Illumination. It's never considered an acceptable thing to do. It is true that individual agents could potentially delay hunts, enter into unlikely alliances of convenience, etc. But such exceptions would run the risk of the agent getting in rather severe trouble with the organization, even if he felt he had good reasons. Things can quickly get complicated and confusing out in the world, and I'm sure most Illuminated Ones have to make difficult choices from time to time. But on an institutional level, there is no "acceptable necromancy."

    Church objections to necromancy are not entirely about the soul. The body itself is also expected to be treated with respect, even after death. The dead are to be given proper last rites and laid to rest. This does have an impact on the soul--as it is believed mistreatment of the body can affect the soul, especially in the days just after death. But that is not the extent of church beliefs regarding corpses. Even when the soul is known to have passed on to its final reward, there is no sudden open season on the body whereby it can be animated and turned into a thrall without any particular concern. Animating the dead is itself an inherently vile and evil act, by the standards of both the Morrowan and Menite religions. Doesn't matter whose body it was, or which god that person worshiped in life. No member of the Order of Illumination or priest of the Church of Morrow would consider this to be a "gray area." It's not about pragmatic gains or losses in the War of Souls. It's about certain moral stances and beliefs, including the proper treatment of the dead. Most Morrowan and Menite ethical and moral beliefs don't revolve around the War of Souls. Most of them have to do with things happening on Caen. Like: it is wrong to steal, it is wrong to injure innocent children, and you should not animate the corpses of your enemies as unliving thralls who thirst to extinguish life.
    While we have described the basic nature of laws by kingdom, we've left out many of the specifics for a variety of reasons, primarily being this is an area where we want the GMs to have leeway to handle as they see fit, and because law and order in our setting is extremely varied from place to place and depends a great deal on the nature of local courts and figures in power, as we tried to represent in KNG. That said, we did have a little bit of varied treatment in this area, as I think we covered it in some nations more than others. (I seem to recall getting a bit more specific in Khador than Cygnar, for example.)

    However, there's quite a bit of information in the printed material if you look for it.

    I'd recommend checking out the following (also worth reading the government sections for a given kingdom as that will give a sense of its priorities and degree of control):
    IK RPG Core Rules, p. 93, "Witchcraft and Black Magic" callout (worth reading the section on "The Church Within the Community" p. 92-93 also)
    IK RPG Core Rules, p. 99, Menite Priests and Scrutators (also "Menites Living As a Minority Faith", p. 98-99 in regard to Menite communities outside the Protectorate)
    IK RPG Core Rules, p. 74-76, "The Rule of Law"
    KNG, p. 25, Both "Crime and Punishment" and "Cygnaran Freedoms" for Cygnar
    KNG, p. 128-129 "Law" section for Khador
    KNG, p. 345, "Crime and Punishment" for the Protectorate (also worth reading the entire "Hierarchy of the Temple" section starting on p. 325, especially the section on scrutators)
    There is no specific section in KNG for laws in Ord, but the government section on p. 263-268 touches on the topic in several places. Ord is also extremely varied as regards law and law enforcement, and there are places where bribery is just an accepted part of governance.
    Similarly, no specific section on laws in Llael, but you can draw inspiration from the Protectorate and Khador for those occupied regions and there's considerable information in that chapter as regards life in the Resistance and how much of the old customs from prior to the war are retained.

    I'm sure there could be some utility in providing more detail about the setting laws, without question. And it'd be a fun topic to expand upon, but it'd still be more or less guaranteed to require generalizations rather than a lot of specificity given regional variance even within the same kingdom or province. (As well as different treatment for different people of various social strata.) I could see the benefit in providing some examples to illustrate some of this, however. Overall I think this is one of those areas where a GM is probably best served by drawing on some historical examples and running with them.
    Oh and there is indeed secular and Church law. To quote from p. 41 of the Church of Morrow in Cygnar from KNG: "The Sancteum is a sovereign power. By ancient law and treaty it is allowed to raise its own armies and govern itself and its members by church law, as long as its members heed Cygnaran law when away from church lands."

    This topic comes up quite a bit in KNG in several places, including in Khador and how relations are handled between Menite communities and secular laws and several other places. By and large "church law" tends to refer to laws specific to either the Church of Morrow for governing its own members or holdings, or the various Temples of Menoth for doing the same, and might also extend in some cases to communities of Menites who are allowed to govern themselves so long as no secular authority decides it's worth interfering.

    The Church of Morrow also has very specific rights in most nations to investigate and punish acts of Witchcraft or Black Magic, which are rather narrowly defined. This is the purview under which the Order of Illumination is allowed to operate. By and large this is a very specific exception, and in most places secular law takes priority over church law unless on actual church or temple grounds.

    Both majority religions are quite powerful in some areas and have a lot of sway, so can have considerable influence. But usually there are limits and areas where they can or can't flex that authority. In most regions if a highly placed noble or the sovereign is at odds with the local religious authority, the religious authority is probably going to have to yield.


    There are also some other unusual arrangements in specific places. There are for example Rhulic enclaves in the Iron Kingdoms that are allowed to govern by Rhulic law. Less formally, the government is not often inclined to interfere in the internal doings of a number of communities. Trollkin kriels (and other Dhunian communities) are generally allowed to govern themselves, even inside a city, unless again that creates a conflict with a secular authority that wants to enforce its laws and deal with the consequences. In many cases a small localized group will essentially be left to its own devices unless there's some reason they have drawn attention to themselves from someone who is willing to invest the resources to bring them back in line. This also applies to criminal communities, to a lesser extent. Sometimes it's just not worth trying to enforce the laws. (See Five Fingers.)
    Last edited by Macavity; 03-17-2016 at 11:32 PM.
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  24. #104
    Destroyer of Worlds Stormpuppy_Infantry's Avatar
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    Doug Seacat on military ranks and noble ranks in Cygnar military.

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Think there's been a little bit of confusion on some of this, though it's understandable. Tamwulf, I think you'd get some enjoyment out of Kings, Nations and Gods for the RPG, where we get into the government of Cygnar a little bit more and explain some of the relationships between nobility and military as well as how the regions are organized. I don't have the time to reprint it all here, but just wanted to note a few things... Time for a lengthy politics post! (Sorry for the derailment!)

    First, Katherine Laddermore isn't a duchess since she's not the wife of the duke, and is also not the heir. Fergus has three sons: Fergus II, Ambrose, and Yulian, and Fergus II is his heir. Sons and daughters of major nobles don't always receive similar ranks themselves. Sometimes they will be given a lesser rank, while at other times they might simply be knighted. In some cases it depends on whether the lands have been divided or allocated. Titles can be complicated, but Katherine is more interested in her military career and hasn't been politically active, indeed she seems to loathe politics based on what she has observed of her father. Fergus II will be archduke himself eventually, when he inherits his father's position, but in the meanwhile likely bears a lesser noble rank as an honorary title, like Marquis.

    Noble rank and military rank are for different arenas and are not necessary related. One who has a higher noble rank will not always have a higher military rank. It is true that most of the highest ranked nobles also carry officer commissions, usually highly placed ones, and serve the realm in the military. But the king and senior generals do not have to bestow on them a higher military rank than they deserve. It's a bit of a complicated business of politics and military standing, but there are several examples where they don't always go hand in hand. Archduke Laddermore himself, for example, is not a commanding officer. He is purely a political creature and has not felt the need to serve in the military. Likely also because he probably wouldn't be trusted by Leto in such a position. The same could be said of Duke Dergeral of Thuria, though he essentially owns the Fourth Army through his influence over its corrupt leader, General Deckley.

    Similarly, the leader of the Third Army, the one that works very closely with the Southern Fleet to fight Cryx, is Earl Vincent Gollan. Earl is a lower rank than Duke, but Gollan is Lord General Gollan and has absolute authority over the 3rd Army. He's a good case in point of someone whose military rank is higher than his noble rank. In the Royal Assembly, Earl Gollan is the vassal of Duke Gately of Southpoint, the Lord of Mercir. Duke Gately is an extremely powerful and wealthy man, quite influential in politics as he is one of the key individuals behind the Mercarian League. However, Duke Gately is also not a military officer. He has no military jurisdiction over Earl Gately, who is Lord General of the Third Army. In the realm of politics, Gately is in a superior position over Gollan, who is his vassal. But in military matters, the only individuals with higher authority over Gollan are the warmaster general and the king. This somewhat mitigates Gately's influence over his vassal, to be sure.

    Which brings us back to Archduke Runewood, who is a highly placed military officer in addition to being one of the most powerful nobles in Cygnar. He is not a lord general, and is not in charge of an entire army, but he is a general. Archduke Runewood is also General Runewood and is in command of the 7th Division, which is one of the large divisions in Cygnar's Second Army. His home garrison is Eastwall, the largest fortress just north of Caspia which helps protect the eastern border against the Protectorate of Menoth. Runewood's military commander is Lord General Wiggin Heltser, who runs the Second Army, and who is only a viscount (an honorary rank). Again, in the Royal Assembly Heltser has almost no power, whereas Runewood has tremendous political clout, being one of the closest friends of King Leto. But as politics and military are handled via different processes and different chains of command, Lord General Heltser is Runewood's superior officer. Similarly, Lord General Stryker would also have higher military standing than Runewood.

    Exchanges between such individuals always have a lot of layers, and usually it's best to be polite to one of these highly placed nobles regardless of their military rank, and vice-versa. All are powerful individuals. We get into this a little bit in my novel, The Blood of Kings, since some of these characters are present. There's a scene, for example, where Stryker is greeting Runewood in the city of Fharin (Runewood's home, and seat of his power), and Stryker uses Runewood's noble form of address as a courtesy to acknowledge his standing in the realm, even though he technically outranks Runewood in the army. When it comes to the battlefield and planning, Stryker would have greater clout both from his rank and being a warcaster, and Runewood would have to obey him.

    When looking across the upper ranks, it seems as though Leto quite deliberately separated the highest noble ranks from the highest military ranks, almost certainly on purpose. He and Warmaster Turpin clearly prefer military men in these positions, and those nobles who have high ranks have earned them through service and because they are career military, or knights who are dedicated to the defense of the realm. The Warmaster General is not a high-ranking noble, for example, and there are no lord generals above the noble rank of duke. The single duke in that position is Lord General Olan Duggan, who is Duke of the Northforest. In his biography in KNG, it says the following: "Until the fall of the Thornwood, he spent decades fighting Khador to a standstill. Olan Duggan was granted the Northforest by King Leto, much to the astonishment of the Royal Assembly. Before that time, his family was one of many minor northern noble bloodlines, having little wealth or reputation, yet he is a proven leader of men. King Leto believed a trustworthy northern general, not a statesman, was required for the northern region." (KNG, p. 65)

    By and large Leto has seemed to prefer military competence over family connections, though he has allowed competent nobles to retain high-ranking command positions where they have proven they are capable of serving in this capacity. (If you look at the Division leaders on p. 17 of the Cygnar Force Book you'll see a number of other rather highly placed nobles at this level, most of whom are generals or senior commanders.) Another highly placed noble who is a general rather than a lord general is Duke Ebonhart, who is another of Leto's close friends from when they were younger and who commands the 12th Division.

    All of which is to say that Archduke Runewood is absolutely a member of the Royal Sword Knights, and does in fact have an army (or at least an army division). Just as Duke Ebonhart was a Stormblade.
    And a small note for the knightly orders in Cygnar.

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    There are probably a good number of different knightly orders in Cygnar which we've never detailed or described, and which sword knights serve as a moderately decent stand-in for. I think to truly work in this regard we'd need some equivalent of traditional heavy cavalry (essentially knights with lances and swords--ones that don't necessarily shoot lightning), though we're very unlikely to ever provide such a thing (I'd expect) since they don't feel IK enough. There are knights like this featured in my novel, on both Vinter and Leto's side, among the noble households, but in terms of a WARMACHINE unit they wouldn't really hold up very well. Sword Knights are the closest nod we have to this sort of traditional armament, at least made IK due to their Caspian blades which are heavy chopping instruments capable of damaging warjacks. I don't see there being much chance of our designers going to the trouble (and expense) of creating traditional knight cavalry unless they had a schtick that is more interesting than regular lances. The fact is on a battlefield a horse rushing at you with a sharp stick and an armored person is still a pretty effective way to kill people in our setting, as Protectorate Exemplar Vengers can attest. But that's essentially where we positioned our more traditional mounted knight models. We won't likely be seeing them in Cygnar.

    Regardless, I expect there are probably a dozen or more small knightly orders in Cygnar, and not all of them would use the heavy Caspian blade or the fighting techniques of the Royal Sword Knights. But that unit serves as something of a stand in for such people. The truth is even beyond army aesthetics, in the setting itself such knights would never be more than a tiny portion of the army. As noted most of these individuals are more ceremonial combattants than actual soldiers, though they are trained well enough to serve when required to defend the interests of their lord, or when gathered for certain things like a Cygnaran civil war. By and large though you wouldn't see them on the front lines fighting against Khador, or Cryx, or the Protectorate. (Though I could see their use in internal scenarios of Cygnarans rallied to protect interior areas from guerilla Protectorate forces, such as those led by people like Thyra.)

    I also feel that the growth of the Storm Knights has legitimately marginalized and diminished the more traditional knights. Many of the realm's noble or aristocratic sons and daughters are more likely to take up service as a Storm Knight rather than remaining in these more antiquated roles. Likely membership in some of these orders will continue, but more as a ceremonial honorific. So you might have a Storm Knight who is also a Knight of the Watcher Peaks (the latter just being membership and not representing a fighting style). There's probably a certain stubborn pride in maintaining the more traditional weapons and armor of your family versus taking up the storm glaive or electro lance, but there's also no doubt those voltaic weapons are extremely effective and that the knights wielding them are more likely to seize some real glory in battle and therefore can say they have served their nation rather than just their family, which is also useful in political circles.
    Last edited by Stormpuppy_Infantry; 05-09-2016 at 12:45 PM.
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  25. #105
    Annihilator Tempests_Wrath's Avatar
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    Just a quick mention in here about warjack cortexes and how hard it is to put a character jack down for good.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    By and large it is quite difficult to permanently destroy a warjack unless the cortex suffers irreparable damage. Even a battered or pierced cortex might be restored without significant loss in function in some cases, so most of the time a character warjack is neutralized in a battle they can be recovered, should the military in question be able to recover the cortex. Sometimes this means the body itself will need to be significantly repaired or rebuilt. Caine's Ace is actually a good example of this--the warjack was sunk into a river and the CRS had to send an expedition to recover its cortex, after which its chassis was entirely rebuilt. Drago is special even by the standards of warjacks, showing certain capabilities and function which are inexplicable at best--like being able to ignite its own engine. While it's outside the scope of the fiction we've presented, I feel reasonably confident that Drago was able to be recovered by people loyal to Vladimir Tzepesci and suffered no lasting harm.
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  26. #106
    Destroyer of Worlds Stormpuppy_Infantry's Avatar
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    Doug Seacat on changing the chassis to a cortex.

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Cortexes definitely develop an affinity and comfort in a specific body configuration and will operate best in those parameters. With the more advanced cortexes there is also a degree of conditioning and preparation which happens prior to installation which is geared toward a specific type of role. A cortex can adapt and learn to accommodate new weapons given time and practice, which is sometimes worth doing if a warjack's weaponry is upgraded. The degree of deviation would determine how difficult and time consuming this might be. And the older the cortex the more ingrained its behaviors will be, but also the more battlefield experience it will have accumulated, which can either be useful (prepared for dealing with a wider variety of situations) or a hindrance (certain behaviors are now essentially locked in). On the most basic level, a warjack geared and intended solely for melee combat is probably going to have a real hard time adjusting to ranged weaponry or vice versa (though most warjacks are capable of melee, with a few unusual exceptions).

    It's not too uncommon for an older and active warjack to have had its body essentially replaced multiple times over its lifetime, either with the entire frame scrapped and replaced or piece by piece as parts wear out or are damaged beyond repair and are replaced. I think we suggested in the Ol' Rowdy G&G that his body has been replaced several times. But that warjack still functions best when it has its familiar gear and a body the same as the one it is used to. As discussed in that article, Stryker did requisition some significant changes to Ol' Rowdy at one point--going for heavier armor and a correspondingly more powerful steam engine--which likely required a bit of acclimation. Still, some of this was also done to better suit Ol' Rowdy's existing fighting style. It tended to prefer to slam into foes with one of its shoulders, so they more heavily reinforced that one.

    It's unlikely Drago had to have its entire body replaced, though I'm sure it got messed up pretty bad. It endured some nasty damage and likely the fall would have severely damaged its legs, possibly other chassis elements, but mostly it would have been extinguished by the river it fell into and would have been deactivated until it was pulled out, dried out, and repaired.

    You'll also see there are some warjacks that are more specialized than others, and probably required a bit more specialized cortexes. A melee warjack of an older style like an Ironclad is honestly a bit more of a generalist than some of the more modern and sophisticated ones, like the Hunter chassis, which has some specific conditioning to prepare it to maneuver through difficult terrain, in addition to some of its other specialized hardware. Ace and Thorn have very distinct behaviors and personalities, and for various distinct reasons, if you read their backgrounds. So even here within the same faction we can see three very different sorts of warjacks that wouldn't handle body swaps into something radically different very well.

    We have Ol' Rowdy as our melee focused, strongly aggressive Ironclad who has developed extreme personality quirks, enough so it's difficult for anyone but Stryker to use it. Then we have the sneaky Ace, which has adapted to its peculiar stealth hardware and is focused on ranged attacks and special target priorities, a warjack that hates to be left behind but is also capable of carrying out very sophisticated and complex instructions on its own. (Tried to demonstrate this in Blood of Kings, where several times Caine gives Ace vague instructions that many warjacks would have struggled with.) Thorn is another extremely intelligent warjack, but expresses that in a different way--its foremost purpose is channeling spells, and being where Haley needs it. It's a melee 'jack but one with a lot of unusual movement tricks, and which is likely much more defensive in its approach to battle than a machine like Ol' Rowdy. Rowdy is fearless and self-sacrificing, while Thorn is extremely good at surviving. They do share some similarities as well--all of these warjacks were created to enjoy being in battle where they can be most useful, all are tightly bonded to their respective warcasters, and each is protective of them, but their actual behaviors and combat patterns are quite distinct. We can expect Thorn's cortex would be baffled to be installed in a warjack without an arc node, just as Ace would probably function really poorly in a purely melee chassis. And I really don't think Ol' Rowdy would make a good Defender or Cyclone.

    That said, if for some reason someone decided to hook Ace up with a Sentinel's chaingun or a Hunter's long arm instead of his current rune shot cannon, he'd adapt to it fairly quickly. It'd probably be harder for him to get used to using an assault shield instead of an axe, though.
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  27. #107

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    Doug Seacat on Khador ethnic, religious and economic divides.

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Wanted to note that there are definitely tensions and animosity between members of these different faiths in Khador. It just rarely rises to the level of interfering with day to day affairs or requiring intervention from the authorities (other than perhaps the occasional and inevitable bar fight or street brawl). For roleplaying purposes and in regard to interpersonal interactions between people of different faiths it's entirely reasonable to have heated arguments and even deep-seated grudges between individuals that are intensely pious and of different faiths in Khador. There's a spectrum, just like anywhere else. But most people living in a mixed community will learn how to hold their tongue or work around religious differences. This is true in other kingdoms with mixed communities as well, even Cygnar where Menites are the smallest minority. People find ways to either avoid the topic of religion or ignore stray comments and get their work done. There's always a few people who have a harder time doing this. The situation in Khador is noteworthy primarily since there are many more Menites there and so circumstances where members of the two faiths have to find a way to get along are also much more common and ingrained into the culture. Both religions are prominent enough that it isn't surprising when you find out someone belongs to the other.

    In smaller towns and villages you are more likely to find communities that are less mixed, including many that are entirely or almost homogenous with one faith or the other. Even in the larger towns and cities there will often be some degree of natural segregation with distinct communities of each faith. For example if a city has a Morrowan majority, the Menites might be found living together, perhaps in a single neighborhood, and vice versa. As the populations get closer to 50/50 there is more integration and likely less extreme attitudes, but that doesn't mean people of different faiths always get along perfectly well with their neighbors. I'd just caution against making the assumption that Morrowans and Menites in Khador are perfectly comfortable with one another. Friendships across faith lines can happen, but people in each community tend to prefer the company of members of their own faith, at least if they are pious to any significant degree. There are naturally also plenty of people for whom religion doesn't matter as much and who find it easier to avoid the topic altogether.

    The rise of the kayazy to their current level of prominence is definitely a recent development, though I expect there have been merchant-princes in Khador for quite some time. Their current prominence is linked most closely with Simonyev Blaustavya, both his own rise to prominence and then the economy and changes he fostered as regent and then as great vizier. Blaustavya is probably the single individual who has most changed the face of Khador and brought it into modernity. Of course these changes in economy have also brought a rise of criminal activity and corruption, which he also has endeavored to fight against through his ministry, so it's a complex situation. Overall the creation of a strong economy and a more powerful middle class has likely helped Khador more than it has hindered it, but it's not as though the government is entirely accepting of everything going on within these families and the criminal organizations that thrive under their protection. I'd imagine a good deal of the political work that happens in the capital has to do with trying to juggle the various complaints, demands, and problems arising between various nobles and kayazy, on top of whatever issues each has with rivals within their own class.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Absolutely. Sorry if I came across as strident there, just wanted to provide a bit of clarification in regard to the fact that even in the best of cases there are often still tensions between members of these competing majority faiths. Without question, things are far better between Menites and Morrowans across most of Khador than is the case in many other places, especially in the present climate with Cygnar and the Protectorate. In Cygnar it's quite common for Menites serving in the Cygnaran Army to go so far as to hide their religious affiliation entirely, which is something you would not see in Khador. That said, I expect in Khadoran Occupied Llael (aka Umbrey) where the Northern Crusade has been making some inroads, you might find things heading in a similar direction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelwater View Post
    Really I could see Khador rolling out jacks that are Arm 24 or more and our opponents hating the "IRON CURTAIN"....

  28. #108
    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    Skorne / Banes / Void
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Worth noting it is very possible, even likely, that skorne souls also wind up in Urcaen, and that the portion of Urcaen where these souls go is referred to as "the Void." Especially given there is no concept of Urcaen among the skorne. Most of Urcaen is hellish and unpleasant in the extreme, and so its general description would still apply to the dreaded fate of skorne souls that are not exalted.

    This has not been shown as a conclusive fact, but the events at the end of HORDES: Devastation are a strong mark in favor of this theory, given the Devourer Wurm made use of the tear in reality attached to Void Seer Mordikaar to begin to manifest on Caen. This tear in reality had also served as a conduit for bane spirits, which come from the souls of skorne who were not exalted. So, either the Void is either a part of Urcaen, or is at the very least connected to it.
    Divine Right of Kings:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Divine right of kings isn't quite as essential to our monarchies, though there is an echo of it there, and it's a bit subtler and more complex, woven into society and tied into the belief that certain family lines are significant and blessed and "worthy to rule," often based on ancestries going back to momentous ancient events or individuals. There is a belief that the gods watch over "good" sovereigns and are more likely to bring fortune rather than disaster, though of course what makes a "good" king is a matter of debate and is different in each nation and likely changes over time as well. But most people hold to the belief, even in the modern era, that some families and bloodlines are worthy of holding the throne, and others are not. Worthy families are feared and respected and sometimes given a lot of leeway, perhaps arguably more than they should be given! But this tends to ease over specific individuals who are less appreciated with the notion that "blood will be true" and eventually produce a good king/queen, even if maybe the current one is a bit off. For example, in both Cygnar and Khador the Raelthorne and Vanar lines both have considerable prestige and almost superstitious veneration given to them. But it's also worth noting in both nations that these are not the sole family lines who have held the throne. In each of these nations the right to rule is traced back to former admired civilizations. In Khador, all of the families that are great princes trace ancestry to various degrees of rulership during the Khardic Empire, and these are seen as the "royal" families. Most of these families also claim to be connected eventually to Priest King Khardovic. In Cygnar, the royal lines trace back to rulers of Caspia, Thuria, or Midar (three major pre-Iron Kingdoms nations whose populations became Cygnar), and some of these lines also claim descent from Priest King Golivant.

    As can be inferred from the importance of figures like Khardovic and Golivant, the Menite Temple has certainly played a major role. And there is a traditional endorsement of the sovereign by the majority churches, which also extends to the individuals holding the office. All of our monarchies have crowning ceremonies where religion plays a role, and this is intended to suggest that the god in question (Morrow or Menoth, or both) support both the position of sovereign and also the specific person being crowned. Not so long ago, this was considered the sole province of the Menite Temple and their highest priests. It is only in recent centuries that the Church of Morrow became strong and widespread enough to take over this role in most places. Indeed, it was this very topic at the root of the bloody conflicts which led to the Church of Morrow becoming the official state religion in Cygnar during the reign of King Malagant. Since 289 AR, the Church of Morrow legitimizes the succession of the Cygnaran throne. This was overall not very happily received, no doubt in large part because of the violence with which it was ushered in, and the animosities and discord created by this were a major theme of the eventual Cygnaran Civil War which resulted in the Protectorate of Menoth. By contrast, in Khador the crowning ceremony is attended by high ranking priests of both Menoth and Morrow.

    Worth noting that Cygnar's transfer of this role to the Church of Morrow was an especially bad one, in terms of keeping the peace between these two religions. But both Llael and Ord had previously weathered this transition much more smoothly. The Church of Morrow became the state religion of Llael during the reign of Artys di la Martyn without much hassle at all, though I'm sure the Menite priests in the region weren't exactly thrilled about it. Similarly, Ord declared their state religion to be the Church of Morrow in 271 AR during the reign of Merin III and this was similarly quickly accepted. Of course both Ord and Llael had much smaller Menite minorities than Cygnar or Khador, so I'm sure that helped.

    Regardless, it's pretty common for all these sovereigns to make claims that their rule is endorsed or blessed by a god. Of course any attempts to insist that Menoth is in a sovereign's corner has become a bit more complicated since the Great Crusade declared by the Protectorate of Menoth and the emergence of the Harbinger. But kings insisting a special relationship with the Creator of Man have cropped up in history a number of times, the most recent being King Ruslan Vygor of Khador who kicked off the First Thornwood War. He claimed to be Khardovic reborn, and might have been a little crazy. Usually any sort of divine endorsement is a more subtle and indirect thing, with the notion of a wise and effective sovereign being worthy enough to be aided indirectly by the god so long as their heart is true, or some such sentiment. (Which gives an easy out for when they fail, suggesting a fall from grace, or alternately the work of sinister and dark powers set against them. Which in some times and places is literally true.)

    There are also some rulers who have never made any such claim and who openly disdained religion and both faiths, most notoriously in recent memory King Vinter Raelthorne IV of Cygnar, which fueled the notion that the Lion's Coup involved divine intervention by Morrow. There was a very similar situation that happened in Khador during the overthrow of King Ivan the Frenzied, a notorious necromancer. The Church of Morrow definitely aided in his overthrow and this actually kicked off the Vanar dynasty in 459 AR with Mikhail Vanar. Generally it hasn't turned out so great for sovereigns to turn their back on religion entirely. Having the support of either one of the accepted "lawful" faiths is recommended, preferably whichever one represents the majority of the nation's populace and nobles.
    Wizard Towers:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    I don't see this as being at all outside the realm of the possible in the setting. There are certainly remote locations where individuals of power might create a secure location to work on their own private research and projects. This could include something like an isolated observatory run by a Cyriss worshiper, a fortified keep for an arcane researcher, a small difficult to reach encampment being run by a mad scientist shunned by the more respectable university establishment because of experimentation on porcine humanoids, etc. Naturally holding and preserving such a place might be dangerous and require some additional support, which is just the sort of thing where PCs or other hirelings could come in.

    There are a couple of noteworthy examples of such places in the history of the setting. One of the most famous "wizards" of our setting, Scion Nivara, had just such an isolated tower back in the early days of humanity's investigations into the mystical arts. There she earned a reputation for being both brilliant and dangerous, using up apprentices after subjecting them to bizarre puzzles, but laying the foundation for work that would eventually lead to the cerebral cortex and then the steamjack cortex. Rumor suggests she was killed by her own students, each of whom later perished, and that her tower is now accursed, but that's how it goes with wizard towers from time to time. Certainly nothing to discourage others from seeking their own little place to delve into the mysteries of creation elsewhere.

    Another person who came to a bad end after establishing an isolated place to explore his ideas was Fraternal Order Magus Aldophous Aghamore who first discovered the "Dark Wanderer" which came to be known as Cyriss. It's true he did eventually go mad after retreating to an isolated tower where he could begin cobbling together some sort of bizarre and enormous unfinished machine. After scrawling every wall with formulas and celestial observations, he eventually fell into the gears of his machinery and perished. Still, he managed to get quite a bit of work done before his unfortunate demise and did so without getting eaten by a troll.

    I do think an isolated researcher for either the Fraternal Order of Wizardry or the Greylords Covenant or the like would be quite feasible. The risks and perils associated with living out at some weird outpost in the wilds can be part and parcel of the setup. Perhaps the arcanist in question came to an arrangement with the locals, such as indebting himself to a powerful blackclad in the region or something similar, which can backfire when needed for the story. It's all about who you know, who you can intimidate into leaving you alone, and what kind of muscle you hire to watch your back. (Having a properly defensible location that's difficult to get to and which can be easily defended by a small group is also a good idea.)
    On regeneration, feeding dracodiles, and popcorn in the wilds of the Iron Kingdoms:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Wanted to note that in story terms, speaking purely theoretically, a large enough creature to swallow a troll intact enough that it's still alive (swallowed alive) might be in for some stomach trouble. I doubt this happens very often, but could be a thing with the largest of creatures, like a dracodile. I could conceive of a way for such a troll to claw its way out from the inside, which would almost certainly be fatal to whatever ate it.

    Usually such a creature would probably chew up the troll sufficiently to prevent this from happening.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Worth noting by "whole" I think the troll could be missing some limbs, so long as the head and torso are intact. What a horrific scenario! I do think there are a few things in our setting that could do this, though I'd have to start doing some careful analysis before committing to specifics. Something probably better suited to an associate professor of extraordinary zoology at Corvis University... But a large enough Dracodile could do it, I think, plus likely some of the horrors living in the Meredius.

    Oh I shouldn't overlook a Mountain King (and other troll kings). I think in theory their mouths are big enough to swallow (most of) a full-blood troll. I don't think anyone is coming out of there afterward though. Troll digestive systems are top notch and highly effective.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Also I suppose the troll would more often die from asphyxiation in this particularly horrific hypothetical fate. Suffocating a troll isn't easy, but they do need to breathe.

    Poor hypothetical troll.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Pretty sure if you crammed a Dracodile with a bunch of whelps you'd just get a fat and contented dracodile who won't be hungry for a while.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    One thing to bear in mind with whelps in particular is that they aren't regenerative creatures themselves. Their very existence is an offshoot of amazing regeneration and they reach full size in a remarkably short period of time, but after that they aren't nearly as hardy or impervious to harm as trolls or trollkin. Whelps do not themselves make whelps, for instance. They even have the "comfort food" property! It's like they were designed to be digested. Dhunia is a strange goddess. (Or are whelps more connected to the Wurm's dreams of living popcorn?)


    On steamjacks:

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    This is a legitimate issue. While it's not something we've delved into much for the RPG at least I do think we might need to consider creating a system allowing the upgrading of a character 'jack cortex. I do think theoretically it should be possible, even if the hassle, difficulty, and time/resource investment would make it something that is not generally done. One would also have to consider the fact that the existence of certain old unstable warjack cortexes would seem to indicate this isn't always possible. Likely it would require a cortex that has not begun to undergo the sort of degradation we see in the older 'jacks like the Berserker and similar lines. Overall I'd probably want it to be more expensive than making a brand new cortex, and far more expensive than wiping, so the only incentive is to save the personality of an individual machine. Could potentially be some sort of NQ content if I can talk Goetz into it.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    That's certainly one way to go, though I think for the way our cortexes work I would prefer a physical procedure requiring an arcane mechanik to crank open the cortex and work with its innards directly, likely building upon what is there with higher grade components and doing some careful and selective replacements. I don't think the "spirit" of the cortex is a quantifiable and cohesive thing that exists outside its machinery, so far as anyone has been able to determine, or at least in any way that would be easy to harness, tap into, or replicate. Rather, it would involve a labor intensive replacement of selective components one at a time in a way that the overall mind is not compromised by their removal and replacement. Like brain surgery, the cortex would be active during this and it is possible there would be hardware which could gauge that the energy state it is producing is intact. Likely there would be risks as well, though for RPG purposes and given the cost I wouldn't want to include the chance of the 'jack's personality being lost. The whole point of the procedure is to keep the character but with an upgrade. Still, I think mishaps could happen, and might manifest as new quirks, potentially significant ones, though I'd shy away from anything that would impair the machine more than giving it some new personality wrinkles.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    That said, cortexes are really nothing at all like computers.
    On the correct plural of "cortex":
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    While it defies the word's actual use in regular English, in our setting we made the plural of cortex "cortexes." This was an internal style decision and of course in your own iterations of our world you can certainly choose not to follow it. (Although, after looking at Merriam-Webster, I am gratified to see that "cortexes" is offered as an alternative plural, so I guess we didn't entirely make it up.)
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  29. #109
    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    On priest-kings and older forms of Menite government:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    It's actually a bit complicated. Priest-kings were never really the norm, though the Protectorate rhetoric sometimes gives that impression. There were plenty of eras where there were powerful kings who were advised by a significant Menite priest and where the two were not the same office. From the historical record of the Thousand Cities era this seems to have been more often the case--a king who ruled with the support and guidance of the Menite clergy. True priest-kings in the sense of a single ruler who has both secular and religious power were rarer, cropping up only when singularly great leaders arose who were also zealous in their faith.

    The most famous and legendary ancient priest kings included: Cinot, who founded Icthier and discovered the Canon of the True Law; Valent, who founded Calacia and created the Wall of Thrace; Golivant, who came after Thrace and solidified the Menite civilization centered on what would become Caspia; and Khardovic, who civilized the north by fire and sword and established the Khardic Empire. There were others who arose over the centuries who adopted this title, though few of them had very broad authority. So in a fractured time like the Thousand Cities Era, you might have a variety of local rulers scattered throughout the region, some of whom were secular kings, and perhaps others insisting they were priest-kings.

    Worth noting some of the legendary figures referred to as priest-kings might not have been viewed that way in their time. Thrace isn't always described as a priest-king, for example, but sometimes as a "warrior-priest." He's also described as the first Paladin of the Order of the Wall. It's possible he was all these things at different parts of his life, or that the priest-king title was applied to him by historians after the fact. Similarly, two of the greatest priests responsible for spreading the Menite faith after Cinot--Belcor and Geth--are referred to in some documents as priest kings but more often as prophets or with other titles like "sage-priest" or "warrior-priest." They are more famous for spreading the faith than for ruling.

    Menite priests, when they weren't ruling themselves as priest-kings, were more often the king-makers and the preservers of dynasties. They felt it was one of their most important duties to preserve the continuity of government from one ruler to the next. They were often working in conjunction with the ruling authority to preserve civilization, with the scrutator caste serving as ultimate judge and executioner, giving the enforcement of the law a spiritual significance. Since priests were sometimes rulers and sometimes advisors, we get writings from various periods with confusing contradictions as regards the order of castes in "Menite society." The Protectorate has done some revisionist history in this arena. Some descriptions of proper Menite societal order including the king above the priest caste, while others have them as synonymous. The Protectorate greatly prefers the interpretation that the ideal circumstances are when the leading priest and ruler are the same person. This is one of the largest differences between the Sul-Menite faith and the Old Faith of Khador.

    Rulers such as Hierarch Sulon (who kicked off the Cygnaran Civil War which created the Protectorate) were eager to return to what they saw as the ideal of the priest-king, a figure who was an ultimate authority. Every Protectorate ruler aspires to be the equivalent of Cinot, Golivant, and Khardovic. It's mainly worth remembering that this is an ideal, not necessarily the standard or common historical examples. The peoples of western Immoren were more often fractured and divided and more often led by secular rulers. By Sul-Menite teachings this is an inferior governmental compromise necessitated by a people who are not united in purpose or faith.

    Very little is known of any Menite civilizations that predate Icthier, such as would be represented by ruins found in the southeastern region when Pendrake went through there and crossed Icthier. We've given a glimpse of this ancient backdrop in some places, such as the cephalyx origins, but no one in western Immoren knows almost anything about this era. It appears as though there were cities that predate Icthier and that there were people who worshiped Menoth in them, but all else is unknown. I would suspect given the nature of what we've seen elsewhere that these were likely independent isolated city-states rather than larger civilizations. Pockets of early urban development amid a larger tribal backdrop.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Menoth certainly seems to be supporting the Great Crusade and its goal of bringing humanity back to the worship of Menoth. There's no doubt about that. Exactly what Menoth's opinion might be on any specific doctrinal topic is a matter of debate since he's not sitting down and chatting with priests. Since he has endorsed and supported a wide variety of different faiths that have different beliefs, it may be he doesn't care about such matters at all, or considers that a mortal problem. Power from Menoth seems to be flowing into both Old Faith and Sul-Menite and other Menite priests in Ord, Llael, Cygnar, etc.

    I think it'd be more accurate to say that Menoth has shown no sign of disapproving of the the Protectorate's goal of uniting Menites under a single cause. He has certainly provided a lot of tangible miracles to support their cause. Clearly their methodology is seen as a viable way to spread the faith. The particulars of how that all happens and the roles of any individual people or groups of people in the process could be a matter left to mortals. Menoth endorses the Harbinger's efforts to convert people and also supports efforts of other leaders to burn and destroy unbelievers. He's supporting various of his followers each with different and in some cases seemingly contradictory methods, in other words. The scrutators get divine power from Menoth. The Order of the Wall gets divine power from Menoth. I don't think it's at all clear which of these approaches he prefers, if any. Menoth wants humanity worshiping him again. The rest is details, something for his priesthood and other mortal followers to work out amongst themselves. If killing unbelievers helps, that's fine. If persuasion and conversion and missionary efforts pay off, that's fine too.

    But yes the Harbinger absolutely causes a lot of complications, anxiety, and disruption wherever she goes. She's really good at convincing people to join the Sul-Menite faith, which is one reason most of the Khadorans want to keep her out of Khador. Her mere existence has caused thousands of people to give up their old homes and lives and join the Great Crusade. But there are still lots of people who, despite hearing of her existence, are more skeptical of the notion of Sul-Menite unification and prefer to stick to their existing traditions and faiths. Those convictions tend to weaken in the Harbinger's actual presence, but just the fact that she exists has not destroyed the Old Faith or convinced the majority of its members to betray their beloved empress and turn on their nation. There is a concern that if the Harbinger were allowed free access to wander around in Khador and talk to people that many more thousands would go over to her cause.

    Surviving blight:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Honestly most of the time someone is blighted it doesn't kill them, it just alters them. It's really only extremely intense and/or prolonged blight exposure that will kill you. But it does sound as though you're pushing for something similar to Wrathe, which was in that category. He likely could have stopped the process happening to him if he'd been willing to back off on his magical practices, which were empowered by the blight. Essentially the more blighted and sickly he became, the stronger his magic got and he wasn't willing to back away from that transition, instead working toward eventually becoming an iron lich as his end goal. So he's not really forestalling his death but preparing for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Ah I thought you were working toward the reverse situation. I think it's pretty easy to justify a setup like you're talking about. The best way would be the ingestion of dragon blood, which is what happened to Rochlof in recent league fiction (the warpwolf who was blighted to the degree of having to continually fight against it). We know that priests of Toruk ingest a special concoction which includes at least a drop of Toruk's own blood, for example, and this transforms them into rotting beings and provokes permanent changes. So, a character that has ingested even a small or diluted quantity of dragon blood, especially Toruk's blood, could certainly develop a terminal blighted disease condition regardless of how far he is from the source of the blight. Anyhow that's the easiest and most direct way to achieve what I think you're going for. (Note that the blight is a flexible force we feel at liberty to use to justify lots of different end results, so I'm not saying this type of exposure would always result in a condition like this. It could also kill a character, or empower/transform one, or make a character into a mindless slave, etc. But it could absolutely result in what you're describing.)
    Mercarian League:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Actually the East India Company (and several of its similarly named counterparts in other nations) was a more direct source of inspiration for the Mercarian League, though only in a loose sense. But it does include the notion of a strongly government backed corporation which becomes large and wealthy enough to support its own military. It also has the parallel of having some unique access to long distance trade sources, which in our setting includes expeditions to places like Zu and Alchiere.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    The Mercarian League does have some independence but it's really tightly bound up in the Cygnaran government. It's a significant part of Cygnar's economic strength and has a lot of backing from the crown, and also works very closely with the Cygnaran Navy. Duke Waldron Gately is one of the primary backers and beneficiaries of the league and is also a major figure on the Cygnaran Royal Assembly, and they also have the support of Archduke Sparholm III and likely a number of lesser nobles as well. We haven't gotten too specifically into the details but I think it highly likely there have been specific laws created in support of the League as well as granting special rights and privileges, as well as preferential treatment for certain contracts and trade routes. From my understanding the Hanseatic League was more of its own power with cities answering to its own laws. That said, I do think both historical organizations are useful as points of inspiration in different ways. You could potentially say the Mercarian League aspires to be as powerful and independent as the Hanseatic League, but they are still pretty tightly bound up with and reliant on the Cygnaran government. Part of this distinction is the fact that there really aren't very many independent cities in the Iron Kingdoms, unlike the situation under which the Hanseatic League operated (aided by the looser nature of the Holy Roman Empire at the time).
    Shilling for Convergence:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Immortality is just a switch away when you transition from your gross and inefficient biological body to one of clockwork perfection! Speak to your local representative of the Convergence of Cyriss*.



    * Not all who apply will be found eligible for transformation. Certain provisions apply. Knowledge of advanced mathematics, astronomy, physics, engineering, or related fields highly recommended. Preference given to those with the Gifted archetype. Some who are accepted will be required to endure a lengthy waiting process after acceptance while the soul matures before transformation is initiated. Fulfilling and dynamic jobs will be provided. Those who are accepted will need to abandon their former lives and contribute to Convergence forges or workshops. Religious conversion from the Twins not strictly required, though acknowledgement of the Clockwork Goddess as a fundamental aspect of reality is mandatory.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lamoron View Post
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  30. #110
    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    Eyeless sight:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    It is indeed akin to echolocation and does relate to the projection of blighted energy into their surroundings. It's a very small degree of blight, not enough to cause any other effects, but it is based on sending pulses of blight out into the environment and receiving it back.


    Breaking free from blight:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    (Wanted to note this post does contain spoilers for those who haven't read Wrath of the Dragonfather and intend to. To whom I say: Go read it! What are you waiting for??)

    I wouldn't consider the example of Saeryn as a good precedent for anything to do with blighted Nyss breaking free of Everblight's control. She's a warlock, first of all, not just a blighted Nyss, and her circumstances are about as far from typical as one can imagine. She is so far the only sentient being we've shown capable of keeping her mind entirely under her own control despite having an athanc of Everblight in her body. Worth noting this capability has been there from the beginning, from the first time she was transformed into a warlock. She simply hadn't demonstrated that capability since she didn't want Everblight to know she could ignore his commands. For a variety of reasons I don't think she's a good example of someone blighted breaking the influence.

    It's also not the case that everyone who is blighted by a dragon becomes mind controlled by them, clearly. Everblight has some special capabilities in that regard, especially related to his takeover of the Nyss. He's not the only dragon who has used his blight to warp the minds of mortals, but he's certainly been the most deliberate and successful. We have shown other dragon cults exist, and included among them are people who are blighted. But just wanted to note this isn't an automatic thing, and it might require some sort of more deliberate long term effort to create a cult of worshipers. I don't think Cygnar has to burn down everyone in Orven now, for example, because so many people got exposed to the blight. For some of the people there, having a bit of blight might not be causing anything more than some scaly skin and perhaps an unusual spur on the shoulder or elbow. (Which admittedly doesn't help with one's dating life, but could otherwise be considered a superficial change.)

    Actual "mind control" with the dragons is unusual, and generally limited, even for Everblight. Only the warlocks are technically mind controlled (and then, only when Everblight takes control of them directly). Most of the time the blighted are instead affected by an extremely strong sympathy, one that does not remove their ability to make decisions, but which makes them HEAVILY biased toward Everblight. They will generally try to do things that will help Everblight, and not do things that would hurt Everblight, so far as they are concerned. This isn't the same as doing exactly what Everblight wants.

    From what has generally been observed it does appear dragon blight very commonly causes some degree of sympathy toward and willingness to obey the dragon that blighted you. The degree to which this is the case would vary and likely depends on how blighted an individual becomes, how strong their will and sense of self happens to be, and potentially other factors. For very mild blight this would usually create a similarly light and superficial sympathy. Like there are probably a number of people living around the region where Blighterghast lairs who generally thinks he's a pretty cool dragon not worth bothering and who might be amenable to suggestions if he were to make any to them. (Since he views them essentially as uninteresting insects, this doesn't actually happen.) But if Blighterghast killed one of their friends or family, that small sympathy wouldn't override all other thought.

    This brings some interesting angles to the damaged areas in Cygnar from "Wrath of the Dragonfather." Most of the people in Orven were blighted by a dragon who was subsequently destroyed (Charsaug), and so their minds are probably fine. Maybe some of them feel an inexplicable fascination with Charsaug, but he's in no position to take advantage of that. Since we had multiple dragons fighting in the skies above Cygnar, in theory there could be people suddenly feeling a connection to any of those dragons, but perhaps not being in a position to do much about it. A GM could make use of that for something though--like some individuals heading off to start their own dragon cults. Similarly, those blighted in Ironhead Enclave could potentially have some particularly strong attachment to Blighterghast. I don't think it'd be out of the question for a dragon cult to Blighterghast to be started by some of the blighted dwarves of Ironhead Enclave. (But it'd not likely have a large membership.) Overall I have a feeling there are a lot more people in Cygnar, especially up in the Wyrmwall Mountains, who have patches of scaly skin and who inexplicably like Blighterghast quite a bit for no particular reason. I imagine this showing up in artwork or sculpture or stories. Maybe also branded T-shirts, and local sports teams.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    The Circle Orboros is the organization that knows the most about the blight and counteracting its effects. I expect they may have some techniques that could be useful. That said, we have shown some extremely powerful and prominent figures who were blighted and still show signs of it, including Omnipotent Lortus! There's also the example of the pureblood warpwolf Rochlof from recent league fiction who suffered from an extreme affliction after swallowing blight which he had to struggle against continually. Now, it doesn't appear that Lortus actually suffered any significant long term effects of his blight, but the scars remained. Much depends on what you mean by "curing" the blight. It's possible the Circle Orboros knows ways to mitigate or neutralize specific effects of the blight (especially if it was a milder exposure), but could still have to deal with permanent changes or scars.

    The Circle absolutely knows how to reverse blight in regions and how to fix the ley lines that have been blighted, though this does require a lot of specialized work and effort. Blighted people seems to be a lot more complicated.

    Most people who become blighted just have to deal with it, and so far as we've shown, it's not something that's easily gotten rid of entirely. I'm sure there were lots of blighted Iosans after the fight with Ethrunbal who just lived out the rest of their lives slightly disfigured. But in most cases there is no pressing need to "cure" these sorts of conditions. It's like enduring any other sort of disfiguring injury, for the most part. Worth noting some of the sympathy stuff I talked about wouldn't be obvious at all, and not probably even really recognized as a thing by most people affected or those around them. No one (or at least not regular citizens) is thinking of this as having a segment of the population as "enemy sympathizers." I expect the affected survivors of Ethrunbal's attacks wouldn't show any behavior that would have suggested they were enemies of the state. The horrors they had undergone and the deaths of all their friends and loved ones would likely win out in terms of their overall attitude toward the dragon. At most some of these people might have developed a lingering fascination with the trauma of that time, which isn't all that uncommon among disaster survivors.

    I think most of the mental influence stuff that happens with incidental people who are blighted is subtle and not something that would be on the minds of most people. When something like the disaster in Cygnar from dragons smashing into a couple of cities goes down, the focus is on the widespread destruction and the physical changes happening to blighted people. By and large the other stuff isn't even recognized, unless a GM wants to make use of it for something, in which case it'd be most likely to require some sort of special expert and evidence of something afoot. ("Hmm there appears to be a dragon cult meeting in our sewers. Is that a new thing? I think that's a new thing...")

    By and large blight is more akin to scarring from a fire--a thing that changes your body in an unpleasant way and that the afflicted and those around them learn to deal with and go on with their lives. It's not so much something that is being "cured." Naturally the stuff going on with the Nyss serving Everblight is a lot more than this, but again that's not something people really expect they can cure, except by shooting the crazy blighted Nyss before he can reach you with his claymore.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    We've shown trolls eating dragonspawn before, though in a way that suggests they don't especially enjoy it. I will see if I can find passages to quote, but I'm pretty sure we've implied in the fiction that a troll has to be pretty hungry to eat dragonspawn, though their digestive system is robust enough that they don't necessarily suffer any long term effects. Likely a food that should be eaten in moderation, though. Never underestimate the power of the troll digestive system.


    More Menite stuff:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Also worth noting there are scrutators and exemplars who are not from the Protectorate and their purview can be considerably more narrow. Scrutators elsewhere in western Immoren are essentially judges and executioners for their Menite communities, with authority only over locals who belong to their temple. There could be a situation where such a figure was ousted or fell on hard times. For example, a Menite community that was wiped out in a recent war, or where some other tragedy left them disconnected from their temple (or maybe that temple no longer exists). Such a scrutator might essentially be a homeless judge/executioner who has no community that recognizes or supports his authority, and an exemplar working for him could be one of the few people still sworn to him. It can be a variant on the fallen priest archetype, more of a "fallen judge." This doesn't have to mean someone who lacks faith, but who is no longer in a position of authority despite their strong beliefs.

    Bone grinders and dragons/blight:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Dragon blood is definitely blighted, and warlock blood can substitute for dragon blood and would also indeed be blighted. It's an area we've not touched on greatly and I think limited exposure isn't going to result in much, but overall getting coated in Everblight warlock blood is probably not healthy. I'd advise immediately washing exposed areas and checking for scales. Also be sure spilled blood has not resulted in the spontaneous generation of shredders or harriers.

    Overall I do think warlock blood is diluted compared to dragon blood. It's also possible the "blight concentration" elevates when a warlock is spawning a warbeast, and is otherwise diminished. This would be something that could happen without the warlock even being aware of it, since it could be automatic or controlled by Everblight. Despite my earlier joke, we have shown generally that dragonspawn creation requires concentrated effort and probably doesn't just happen randomly when a warlock is bleeding, EXCEPT maybe in the case of Thagrosh, who has the most intense blood and the largest piece of the athanc. In the game his epic incarnation has included rules whereby dragonspawn are created as he takes damage. I'd consider this an unusual exception specific to Thagrosh, and even more specifically Thagrosh after the consumption of Pyromalfic and his metamorphosis into his more draconic form.

    Dragonspawn blood is also blighted, but not nearly to the degree of either dragons or Everblight warlocks, and seems to have no generative capabilities. Still wouldn't advise drinking or bathing in it though.

    By and large I think bone grinders should avoid making regular use of blighted meat and organs, though the exact consequences have not received a proper study from the Corvis University, which in general disapproves of bone grinding as an avocation.


    Caine, mechanika magelocks, and changing warcaster concepts:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Actually I do think Caine's Spellstorms are mechanikal. I don't think I've posted otherwise, though I might be wrong. That said, our understanding and depiction of warcaster interaction with their weapons has changed over time, especially since the revamping of the IK RPG. I will say this is an area where I feel a little hazy in terms of how we have reconciled the RPG with the background lore. I don't have a good explanation for why magelock pistols can't be mechanikal but I expect it was more of a game balance consideration than anything rooted in the lore. Likely it had to do with not wanting to layer on benefits to what is already a powerful and versatile class. If I were to attempt to explain this I'd suggest there being a general incompatibility between the runes used by gunmages to reinforce and personalize their weapons and the ordinary functioning of mechanikal runeplates. This would be difficult to overcome, which would again reinforce the special nature of Caine's pistols, which are as we know not widely employed or replicated. It's likely those conduits from his arcane turbine are part of a clever system to work around some of these energy incompatibilities, something that wouldn't be applicable to most gun mages who aren't warcasters.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Wanted to note that I wasn't suggesting a GM couldn't make similarly cool stuff for their campaigns, but we do have things in our setting which aren't covered by the systems or which would require breaking the rules. So it is simultaneously true that magelocks can't be mechanikal and that Caine's Spellstorms are in fact mechanikal. Usually when these crop up it means a specific unusual exception is in play, one that for whatever reason isn't necessarily widely available and hence not a part of the "normal process." Could be a matter of cost, expertise, singular genius, a risky piece of equipment that comes with an inherent likelihood of drastic failure, reliance on an unusual power system, etc. GMs should certainly feel at liberty to go a bit beyond the rules with your own campaigns and items if you have reason for doing so, and want to make something that's intentionally special.

    A lot of other one-off weapons or magic items possessed by major characters in our setting fall into this category. We've said before our setting is built to be mad-scientist friendly, and the background reflects that. Ace's weird infiltration system which could make it invisible, for example, is a piece of hardware that most of the top-end mechaniks at the Cygnaran Armory consider to be essentially impossible. No one knows how it works and after that inventor disappeared, they had a hard time replicating his work. The Thunderhead is probably similar. We also have our mystical artifacts that are beyond ordinary power scope due to their associations with the gods or some singular momentous moment in history, etc. A GM can certainly employ similar items in his campaign.

    This is similar to how some of our characters are outside the scope of ordinary character creation. That doesn't mean your campaigns couldn't also have such characters, only that it requires intervention by the GM who is deciding on a case by case basis when and how the rules are being bent or broken. And it is with the understanding that in some cases balance can be a concern. (Probably wouldn't want an adventuring party with 4 ordinary heroes and Wurmwood/Cassius as the 5th member, for example.) Often the best cases of these oddball extreme characters arise organically during a lengthy campaign with high experience characters that have entire stories behind their weird abilities, alliances, or artifact level gear. Each strange thing added made complete sense in the given circumstance, and over the years our epic level warcaster has rather exceeded the parameters of ordinary character generation.

    This isn't to say you couldn't also make an extremely powerful, versatile, and badass character who is perfectly in line with the rules and whose every tool and weapon are by the book. Those are just different sorts of characters. We have strong examples on both sides of this spectrum as stars of our own fiction. For example, I'd consider someone like Supreme Kommandant Irusk to be a character who doesn't have any aspects or features which "break the rules" of the setting. Someone like Orsus Zoktavir, however, is a character who exists outside the conventional rules of the setting and would not be easy to replicate in the RPG without similarly breaking the rules. Similarly, as noted some of our warcasters and warlocks have entirely sensible gear. Others are carrying around tablets taken from the City of Man in Urcaen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lamoron View Post
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    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    Humans and Dhunia:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    There has been very little if any human worship of Dhunia, actually. Ancient humans have worshiped the Wurm, but not the goddess. Also worth noting that in all human myths there is no mention of Dhunia or any suggestion of her involvement in the "creation" of Menoth. That is very firmly a Dhunian concept. Nearly all human faiths believe Menoth to be self-created as a force of order set against the Wurm's chaos. Dhunia really doesn't enter into any human mythology. (Aside from a passing nod to her existence among the Circle Orboros.)

    Edited to add: Some modern theologians in our setting (like among the Morrowans) have a slightly broader perspective of non-human beliefs, and are not necessarily dismissive of some of those faiths. However, even among such people Dhunia is treated as a non-human goddess, one significant to the Dhunian races that civilized mankind has contact with--especially trollkin, ogrun, and gobbers. So she is looked on akin to how humans view the Rhulic or Iosan pantheons--gods primarily relevant to other species. Some of the more progressive Menites also try to take this approach, which is at least better than the more traditional attitude that Dhunians and Devourer worshipers are more or less the same, both being enemies of human civilization and the Temple of Menoth.


    Teleportation, and blackclad pride stopping them from becoming Newton:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    We've established the Convergence can teleport, though to a much more limited extent than the Circle Orboros, and requiring specific machinery. This is demonstrated in the Dark Convergence novel by Dave Gross, late in the plot. I thought I had at least a paragraph discussing this in the Convergence of Cyriss force book, but I'm having trouble finding it now. It's possible it was omitted since we were concerned it might create expectations for similar battlefield antics as the Circle, whereas we were intending it to be more an aspect of background logistics.

    The notion is that very large and well established Convergence bases might have something equivalent to a teleportation chamber. Utilizing them requires a considerable expenditure of energy. Another application we've shown would be an expensive one-use system employed to extract an army after it succeeds in its objective, likely requiring them to erect temporary machinery which would then be burned out and destroyed in the process. So, for example, if a Convergence army was sent to "reprogram" a specific ley line conjunction (which also requires substantial machinery), they would potentially only need to defend it until their ritual was completed, then they could essentially evacuate from the area once the flows have been altered. As noted this would be expensive and requires building a lot of disposable machinery, so wouldn't be done for trivial purposes.

    For more regular operations the way it would work is that a significant enough figure in the Convergence who needed to be somewhere else (or who needed to send subordinates somewhere else) could arrange to teleport an appropriate armed force to the nearest major Convergence facility, then they would walk/march/float the rest of the way more conventionally. As noted, the "teleportation network" of the Convergence should be quite a bit more limited than the one the Circle Orboros uses. Still handy in a pinch, though.

    In my novel At What Cost we didn't really provide the Convergence POV, but I had in mind that Directrix arrives to the location where she ambushes Haley via similar means.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Also, more math. I'm not sure if the blackclads even use rudimentary mathematics. It's very uncouth.

    But yes, there are many very strong similarities in the energies channeled as both of these organizations are heavily reliant on ley lines (or geomantic energies, if you're in the Convergence), including a strong connection to astronomical movements and events. I'm sure the astronometric nexus and celestial fulcrum have more than a passing similarity in terms of how they harness their forces once you get past the materials used and method of fabrication.


    Surprisingly friendly Circle blood-rituals:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Worth noting that generally the Circle rarely needs to go so far as to capture people and ritually sacrifice them for their blood needs. Most of the order's use of blood is filled by battle scenarios, and they also sometimes use the blood of animals or predatory beasts instead of people. There might of course be some rituals where extremely fresh blood is required, but more often if they are a little old it's not necessarily a problem. Of course as a GM you should do what works best for your story and if you want to explore the dark side of these rites, that's entirely your prerogative. (The "Cultivation" callout on the Gallows Grove on p. 376 also suggests each tree might have its own preferences, which could be used for entertaining or creepy effect. How anyone knows is another matter, but I could imagine some old Tharn shaman who's pretty sure he knows what this or that tree prefers, which may or may not be accurate. "This one has a taste for skorne, no older than two days since killed. Also snake blood. Loves snake blood. Preferably mixed with venom, aged three weeks.")
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    I should note that the fresher the blood the more powerful it is ritualistically, and certainly for some uses you'd want the fresh blood/sacrifice. But we've implied that for things like creating wolds the Circle can often get its needs met through blood spilled in regular battles. Always handy for your wold makers to keep some rope handy at all times to drag through the gory remains of your enemies...

    Crafting magelocks, who there aren't Khadoran Greylords in the setting:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    The alloys issue honestly isn't one I'd hinge too much on. Khador can likely develop an alloy capable of sustaining its shape at high temperatures and under the stresses this type of magic employs, and certainly they could probably manage to make some arrangements with Rhul if need be should this alloy require minerals they don't have. I'd suggest if you did create a Khadoran gun mage group they be subordinate and part of the Greylords Covenant, akin to the cavalry outriders. The Covenant is in control of magic in Khador and regulates it, so any group making use of it would fall under their purview.

    Just a suggestion, not intended to represent anything in the canon. I think the primary reason we haven't seen Khadoran gun mages is primarily an issue of faction aesthetics. But I can personally imagine variant Greylords making use of pistols and/or rifles, firing freezing bullets and the like. For some reason I like them more with a rifle than a pistol.


    Scientific discovery, healing magic, etc.:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    One aspect of our setting which is actually quite important is that the level of knowledge, skill, and expertise in some of these fields is highly varied and far from standardized. This is the best way to allow for mad scientist shenanigans. So, among certain of our prestigious universities I think you would find relatively sophisticated medical and biological knowledge among a few experts and it's entirely possible for a surgeon who was properly trained to have reasonably good practices, a fair knowledge of hygiene, an awareness of how a number of diseases propagate, the advantages and risks of blood transfusion, etc. Might even be one of our universities has launched the new field of serology. But you might also have any number of field medics or dubious doctors in small towns who are operating as much by superstition as proven science. And indeed alchemical solutions (as well as certain other alternatives, like spiritual aid from priests) to common ailments might actually impair the advancement of science. For certain diseases and conditions it's safer to go to a priest and have him pray for a miracle to fix what ails you than to subject yourself to some dubiously qualified local physician. Still, intelligent and well educated practitioners do exist, though I'd expect them to be a bit of a rarity. Overall an apothecary who has decent anatomical knowledge combined with practical alchemical experience is probably the best bet.

    I don't think blood transfusions are particularly common, and I have a feeling most medical practitioners in the Iron Kingdoms have only a vague awareness of blood types. (In the sense of knowing that blood can't be freely transferred from anyone to anyone, but I'd think the details haven't quite been ironed out.) Given where we've positioned the state of science in our setting I could imagine the IK equivalent of Jan Jansky might actually be hard at work in the present, perhaps right in the midst of a vital breakthrough, which would also mean they probably haven't been propagated very far. There would be just as many "experts" who would think he's full of nonsense, or maybe they heard he was a Cyrissist and so shouldn't be trusted. Or another angle would be that the person who has made the greatest advances in blood transfusions is also arguably a madman working in some isolated fortress laboratory up on a mountain where he is seeking the means of immortality and is meanwhile suspected of grave robbing and unwholesome experiments.

    In our modern world we're accustomed to the swift and inevitable distribution of scientific breakthroughs and inventions, but that's definitely not always the case in the Iron Kingdoms, where such lore is more often compartmentalized and takes a little while to catch on.

    Standard caveats apply for the cephalyx, who have known all about blood transfusions for centuries and consider most human efforts at surgery to be quaint at best.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    One aspect of our setting which is actually quite important is that the level of knowledge, skill, and expertise in some of these fields is highly varied and far from standardized. This is the best way to allow for mad scientist shenanigans. So, among certain of our prestigious universities I think you would find relatively sophisticated medical and biological knowledge among a few experts and it's entirely possible for a surgeon who was properly trained to have reasonably good practices, a fair knowledge of hygiene, an awareness of how a number of diseases propagate, the advantages and risks of blood transfusion, etc. Might even be one of our universities has launched the new field of serology. But you might also have any number of field medics or dubious doctors in small towns who are operating as much by superstition as proven science. And indeed alchemical solutions (as well as certain other alternatives, like spiritual aid from priests) to common ailments might actually impair the advancement of science. For certain diseases and conditions it's safer to go to a priest and have him pray for a miracle to fix what ails you than to subject yourself to some dubiously qualified local physician. Still, intelligent and well educated practitioners do exist, though I'd expect them to be a bit of a rarity. Overall an apothecary who has decent anatomical knowledge combined with practical alchemical experience is probably the best bet.

    I don't think blood transfusions are particularly common, and I have a feeling most medical practitioners in the Iron Kingdoms have only a vague awareness of blood types. (In the sense of knowing that blood can't be freely transferred from anyone to anyone, but I'd think the details haven't quite been ironed out.) Given where we've positioned the state of science in our setting I could imagine the IK equivalent of Jan Jansky might actually be hard at work in the present, perhaps right in the midst of a vital breakthrough, which would also mean they probably haven't been propagated very far. There would be just as many "experts" who would think he's full of nonsense, or maybe they heard he was a Cyrissist and so shouldn't be trusted. Or another angle would be that the person who has made the greatest advances in blood transfusions is also arguably a madman working in some isolated fortress laboratory up on a mountain where he is seeking the means of immortality and is meanwhile suspected of grave robbing and unwholesome experiments.

    In our modern world we're accustomed to the swift and inevitable distribution of scientific breakthroughs and inventions, but that's definitely not always the case in the Iron Kingdoms, where such lore is more often compartmentalized and takes a little while to catch on.

    Standard caveats apply for the cephalyx, who have known all about blood transfusions for centuries and consider most human efforts at surgery to be quaint at best.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_DougSeacat View Post
    I can't recall if we've printed it in the rulebooks anywhere, but I know we had to make some decisions about Satyxis longevity when figuring out some timeline aspects of Skarre Ravenmane's background. If memory serves, Satyxis have life expectancies around 150% of humanity. So on average a Satyxis can expect to live half again what a human might, with the usual individual variance. How we've approached our longer lived races however it doesn't have a massive effect on when they actually reach maturity. For example, even though Nyss are one of our longest lived races, they consider "adulthood" to be in the early 20's, so only a few years after humanity.

    I did find one time reference in the "Blood Hag" model entry for Cryx, which is about what I expected. It discusses the long lived nature of the Satyxis and specifies that the more "hag" looking Satyxis (who are actually showing decided signs of aging) have survived at least a century. So those particular Satyxis, who often become "central figures among Satyxis covens and sisterhoods" are 100+ years old.

    Overall you can expect ~155 years to be the upper extremity of Satyxis lifespans (give or take a decade), and otherwise you can shave off a corresponding number of years when considering how old a Satyxis might seem compared to a human: i.e., a 45-year-old Satyxis would be about equivalent to a 30-year-old human. For comparative reference this is pretty close to the longevity seen in both dwarves and trollkin in our setting as well. (And less than Iosans or Nyss. Gobbers and ogrun on the other hand have slightly shorter lifespans than humans.) And just to round out the comparisons, powerful druids can achieve 100% longer lifespans than regular humans, so would also outlive Satyxis by a few decades.
    While Skarre is certainly older than she looks, she is not over a hundred years old. In her Gavyn Kyle File in NQ#56, our master spy was unable to determine her actual birth year, but the first instance he could find of one of her attacks was in 573 AR. She was likely still fairly young when this happened. If we put her in her early 20's at this time, that'd put her birth year somewhere around 550 AR, which would make her ~sixty-one by 611 AR. That'd make her about the equivalent of a 40-year old human woman, though it's also likely her occult practices and knowledge of blood magic has slowed her aging and allowed her to maintain greater vitality and youthful vigor than would be ordinary even for Satyxis.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lamoron View Post
    Sheesh guys, LIVING model request or no pettings for you! Bad Cryx, BAD!

  32. #112
    Destroyer of Worlds malachi's Avatar
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    More on steamjacks and cortexes:
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_DougSeacat View Post

    Ordinarily steamjacks do not experience fear or pain as living beings think of it. That said, they do have a somewhat weak urge for self preservation and some of their sensory apparatus allows them to comprehend when they have been damaged. I say a "weak" urge for self preservation since they are capable of anticipating damage they might accidentally do to themselves and avoid the ones they recognize, as well as making attempts to evade incoming attacks, especially true with warjacks. However, these impulses are easily overcome by orders. A warjack in particular is quite accustomed to throwing itself in harm's way when required to do so and doesn't have any regrets about it. It is debatable whether most steamjacks, even the ones with sophisticated cortexes, have much of a sense of "self" or self awareness. They do not fear non-existence (death) the way humans do, and also don't seem to mind the passage of time, or experience boredom. A 'jack that has been "shut off" for an extended period of time still has its cortex functioning and does not show distress about how much time has passed when it is turned on again.

    That said, ALL of these qualities could arise as personality quirks over time. In many cases this might happen as a result of a tweaked interpretation of its sensory data and behaviors as an extension of that. Cortexes are artificial minds, more than computers, and are inherently created to learn and develop patterns. A warjack could in theory develop a powerful aversion to being damaged, one which might result in behaviors that seem a lot like fear. Clearly that'd be really bad in a warjack, but might not even be a detriment to a labor 'jack. We have shown certain long running and exceptional warjacks developing quite advanced reactions and behaviors and what appear to be very close approximations for emotions, including affection for specific individuals, protectiveness, and relatively advanced problem solving. In Flashpoint, it appears as though Ol' Rowdy developed genuine empathy and was able to experience something akin to grief. A sophisticated cortex could develop the quirk of boredom, for example, which would also probably be a surprisingly bad quirk for a 'jack, even though on the surface it seems mild. I'd think a steamjack that can't handle being deactivated and which had a lot of autonomy could be a real problem, and might also be costly to keep running all the time!

    In terms of giving 'jacks personality all this stuff is possible and can make for some entertaining RPG opportunities. Just worth bearing in mind these are all unusual exceptions and in some cases might provoke a normal operator to have the cortex wiped. MOST 'jacks don't experience these things, and are entirely fine being shut down, aren't bothered by getting shot, and generally do as they are told (within their ability to understand what they are told to do). Quirks also tend to start mild and become stronger over time, especially if their reinforcement is in some way "helpful" to their function. Angry laborjacks are bad. Angry warjacks are less bad. (So long as they can still tell friend from foe.) I strongly encourage adding quirks after a 'jack experiences cortex damage as well, even after being repaired.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lamoron View Post
    Sheesh guys, LIVING model request or no pettings for you! Bad Cryx, BAD!

  33. #113
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    Doug on Thamarites and Morality and Stuff!

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    The most important thing to remember about Thamarite religion is how varied it is. In theory every person who takes on the Thamarite philosophy is essentially a religion unto themselves. So there are as many different interpretations of Thamarite faith as there are Thamarites. That said, I wouldn't go so far as to say every Thamarite is an anarchist or utterly devoid of tolerance for working together, since clearly we have a few septs that have gained momentum and have a (relatively) large following and some degree of hierarchy and these people probably generally fall into similar beliefs and reinforce one another in their principles. Even in these organizations though you'd find quite a bit of variety in interpretation on how they should "best" do what they do. But you'll still find plenty of "rituals and blessings" in the Thamarite septs, despite what that one fellow might say.

    Still, I could certainly imagine the speaker from the IKCG you're quoting going to a middle or low-ranking member of the Shroud, for example, and berating them for being suckers and inferior Thamarites for letting someone else tell them what to think. You have your extreme iconoclasts, but you also have dedicated Thamarites who see the value in working together and pooling their efforts and resources toward specific goals. Both are valid Thamarites, though they might individually disagree about that. ("Your approach is flawed. Throw off the shackles, man!") Each is pursuing their path to self-empowerment in a different way.

    And as with Morrowans, the vast bulk of Thamarites are only going to go so far with their philosophy and dedication, since their religion is probably just an adjunct to their life rather than being its center. Most Thamarites aren't really seeking enlightenment, but might have found the faith's principles and beliefs useful to them and provide a framework for how they want to pursue their life and it also provides a small bit of comfort that despite whatever impact they have on the world, they might land somewhere protected in the afterlife. A given Thamarite who's caught up in an organization might acknowledge that perhaps they haven't truly "unshackled their mind" but they're OK with that since they're really just trying to get by day to day and get ahead in whatever it is they have decided to do, whether that's hustling on the streets or developing their arcane potential, or being an assassin for hire. Few people can live the pure Thamarite dream of an unhindered rise to selfish power and transcendence.

    Talk about good or evil is generally seen as counter productive in most Thamarite circles. And truthfully, these are principles that even most Morrowans probably to be simplistic and reductionist a great deal of the time, though they may talk about what it means to "live a good life" or to "do evil to your fellow man." Most of their interpretations are more about decisions and the impact they have, whether helpful or harmful (and to whom), and how to make difficult choices. A Morrowan who is trying to be dedicated to his faith should be making decisions that help people and avoid harming them, so much as that is possible. But of course reality is often complex and sometimes it's hard to gauge the relative help or harm, especially in times of crisis. Thamarites consider that sort of restraint unnecessary and prefer to make decisions based on their own goals and the outcomes they desire, without worrying so much about the broader consequences to others. That said, both Morrowans and Thamarites are people and few individuals follow any of these codes absolutely or with utter dedication. A given Thamarite will still have friends and people they care about and will likely make choices that benefit rather than harm those people. They may even sacrifice their own well-being for a loved one, even if they see this as being "soft" or a weakness. A Morrowan will still have selfish impulses and desires and may make choices counter to the abstract principles of their religion. Maybe they feel guilty about it or find ways to justify that behavior in order to minimize mental dissonance. The same can be said of any religion.

    There is almost always some degree of gulf between the abstract and actual application of beliefs. One of the nice things about being a Thamarite is giving yourself the freedom to live guilt-free. But that doesn't always work, unless a given person truly has no conscience. Still, having some higher cause to justify a given course of action can be a comfort when those tough decisions arise.
    And some information on magical weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    For those interested in the non-mechanikal side of magical item creation, I highly recommend checking out the section in Wild Adventure dedicated to this, "Magic by Design" starting on p. 48, including the callout on legendary items" on p. 50. The accumulation of magical attributes through great deeds is indeed something that can happen, though that in particular is left more to GM invention and story fiat and there is no specific in-game rule system for such unusual items. Wild Adventure in general covers a number of useful magic elements that go a bit beyond what we've shown in previous books, including ritual magic. Worth noting that while this book focuses on magic of the wilds (as would be expected), we've indicated there are civilized groups which are also capable of ritual magic and unusual magical item fabrication. (Both the Fraternal Order of Wizardry and the Greylords Covenant would have their own rites and processes for such things, though clearly such groups have also become reliant on mechanika for more reliable production of certain tools. Mechanika isn't ideal for everything, however.)

    Edited to note: I just realized this post wasn't in the IK RPG forum, which is where I thought it was. My recommendation still applies, but I know a number of folks here haven't necessarily read those books.
    "A weapon is a means of transferring energy from the source to the target until the latter breaks."

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    Annihilator Tempests_Wrath's Avatar
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    More words!
    On The Defiers and the gods.
    Quote Originally Posted by PPS_Dougseacat View Post
    Worth noting you don't yet have the full story on the Defiers, though that will be in the book which details the faction. I can't get into definitive details of cosmological comparisons. I am willing to do a bit of in-setting speculation based on established theology, however. Most of this post relates to Menite & Morrowan stuff, not grymkin directly. That will have to wait until the book is out.

    As we've discussed before, facts about the gods and certain other godlike beings which are part of the mysteries of the setting are usually left hazy on purpose. Information on our religions and how things like this work are generally given from an in-setting (or at least in-faction) and more limited perspective. We rarely give authoritative information on the motives or plans of the gods in particular, though sometimes in fiction we can get a pretty accurate picture. Even these are almost always from a specific POV. You can get a glimpse of Menoth's voice through the Harbinger when she is channeling his direct will, for example. Certain Morrowan and Thamarite miracles have been well recorded, we have observed the interactions of beings like the Old Witch and Wurmwood, etc.

    I can comment on established theology related to the Twins. Even here there's plenty of opportunity for disagreement between theologians. The most useful information related to these divine figures and the differences between them can be derived from the doctrinal decisions that happened when the Menites decided to acknowledge the divinity of the Twins. This is something we've covered in a few places, the most exhaustive and recent being in the Iron Kingdoms Full Metal Fantasy RPG Core Rules book (p. 24-26 for the ascension and early history of the Twins, and the section titled "Reconciliation of Faiths" on p. 27-28.)

    Drawing from that, in 1247 BR, a Thamarite assassin disguised as a scrutator assassinated the Morrowan primarch and was struck down by one of Morrow's ascendants (Asc. Katrena, the First Ascended), after which both Morrow and Thamar manifested (the former to welcome the slain primarch as an archon, the latter to accept the assassin as a scion, Sc. Khorva). This was one of the most widely witnessed major divine manifestations in written history, and it was this which forced a council of Menite visgoths to assemble to explain it all. They felt forced to admit that maybe Morrow and Thamar did actually exist after all. They arrived on a doctrinal rational for an uneasy truce between the Menite and Morrowan faiths which lasted for many centuries.
    "[The visgoths] determined that Menoth had allowed Morrow's divinity by way of an accommodation whereby Morrow knelt to Menoth as his Creator. Morrow was said to have been given sanction to shepherd those who worshiped him, so long he [Morrow] stood as guardian against the perfidy of his sister. Further, his followers were required to acknowledge the Creator, attend Menite services, and pay tithes to the temple." (IK FMF RPG CR, p. 28.)

    Morrow and Menoth have at some points in history been essentially "in accord" with one another. There is every reason to suspect from the historical record that Morrow respected the Menite faith, even as he offered a starkly different philosophical alternative. Both of the Twins were more opposed to Menoth's priesthood (especially in Caspia) than the god himself. They do not appear to have defied Menoth directly, as the Defiers are alleged to have done.

    The larger falling out between the Twins and Menoth is more recent, and relates to the Gift of Magic, according to Menite theologians. This was taken as a betrayal against the responsibilities Menoth entrusted Morrow to conduct as shepherd of humanity, for not stopping and perhaps even facilitating his sister's actions. This was done, of course, to pave the way for the Rebellion against the Orgoth. But even if we agree Menoth was angry about all of this, it could be argued to be more of an indirect disobedience rather than an outright defiance of the Creator of Man. [Essentially, more of a loophole they exploited than insulting Menoth directly.] Also, the Twins were already powerful gods by this point. The Defiers probably should have waited until they were more powerful before pissing off Menoth. (In this admittedly biased theologian's opinion!) In the modern era the Morrowan and Menite faiths have been strongly adversarial, of course. There are a lot of complex reasons for this, and I won't get into it all, but part of it has to do with the ascension of the Morrowan faith and the decline of the Menite faith, which ultimately led to the Morrowans no longer ceding to the Menites certain responsibilities they had historically claimed, including the right to sanction kings.

    We have no actual recorded history of direct conflict between Menoth the god and Morrow the god. It is presumed that they are involved in proxy battles through the War of Souls both on Caen and in Urcaen, but even here there has been no depictions of Menoth fighting Morrow, only Menoth fighting the Devourer Wurm, and armies devoted to each god in conflict with one another. Morrow is arguably also a god of civilization and seems to not be directly opposed to Menoth. Morrow's people (and even Thamar's) were quite happy to accept and profit from most of the Gifts of Menoth which created a lasting human civilization. Their differences are more a matter of doctrine related to their respective beliefs in the greater purpose and/or freedom of humanity. Most of the Morrowan/Menite conflicts appear to be mortal clashes, not divine ones. (Albeit Menoth has certainly been giving out a lot of extra power to his chosen mortals in the last decade or so!)
    "A weapon is a means of transferring energy from the source to the target until the latter breaks."

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