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Thread: Good And Evil In Anuire
09-18-2003, 06:18 PM #1
Did you ever get the feeling that there are too few villians in Anuire? Guided by a pantheon with overwhelming good and neutral deities (and the only 2 evil ones are mostly worshipped in far-away Vosgaard), it seems like it's far too difficult to be evil and too easy to be good. Sure, there are many who walk the gray line between, but civil war does some pretty awful stuff to human psychology, and tends to justify all kinds of atrocities.
I've always wondered why Kreisha and Belinik were only lesser and intermediate deities, when Azrai was powerful enough to equal all of the other deities combined. Any thoughts?
Also: more villains in Anuire. Who's got some good ideas to challenge good-guy PC's and regents?
09-18-2003, 07:53 PM #2
- Join Date
- Feb 2003
On Thu, 18 Sep 2003, Osprey wrote:
> Did you ever get the feeling that there are too few villians in Anuire?
> Guided by a pantheon with overwhelming good and neutral deities (and the
> only 2 evil ones are mostly worshipped in far-away Vosgaard), it seems
> like it's far too difficult to be evil and too easy to be good.
There are lawful-evil priests of Haelyn, those who follow the letter of
his law to oppress people and gain power. There are CN and maybe CE
followers of Cuiraecen who battle for battle`s sake. You don`t need
over-the-top "evil" gods to have evil people. Actually, I find evil gods
to be less interesting as patrons of villains. If there`s a cultist of
Azrai, everybody is going to be after him when he is revealed. If the
head of Haelyn`s Aegis is ordering spying, raiding, and even assassination
to further her goal of gaining enough power to repel the Gorgon next time,
how do you convince people she`s evil and needs to be taken down?
Further, every NPC regent is a potential villain, and that completely
ignores the Gorgon, the Manslayer, and the Spider. Those three
awnsheghlien are like evil gods to the Anuireans, who pray that they
/won`t/ come raiding in the night.
09-18-2003, 10:09 PM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- Porto Alegre, Brazil
But you are forgetting the awnsheglien - the most powerful of these are almost gods, and their power comes from Azrai. IMO the Gorgon is actually more powerful than Belinik and Kreisha; he is not a god just because he wants to much to do a wordly thing (conquer the Iron Throne, of course...), but he could be a god.
So, if you take the evil gods and the awnsheglien combined, you'll see that what came from Azrai is still as powerful as what the other gods together became.
09-18-2003, 10:11 PM #4
I agree with Daniel McSorley that the best villains are produced when
someone is confronted with competing goods (protecting nature and protecting
the Rjurik people) but the balance of these goods gets out of wack (its
actually good for the people to throw themselves in great numbers against
the humanoids, it reduces the humanoid threat and leaves more land to fall
back into a pristine condition) and leads to harm.
There are also traditional and obvious rivalries (Boeruine-Avan,
Haelyn-Seramie, &c) which can be used as a back drop for other kinds of
villans. Within the conext of a war against a traditional enemy you can
realize that one of your generals is too ambitious for your safety and that
one of your key priests is dripping with bloodlust to destroy an enemy. Do
you sacrifice your amitions in the war to reign in your own side, and get
control of your ambitious general and bloodthirsy priest, or do you continue
the war and risk brutal attrocities as a result of the priest`s influence
and a Great Captain?
Then of course there are all of the abominations, who I think have the
balance of the evil assence of Azrai, beyond the evil Vos gods. They make
good classic enemies of the stark variety. Since people will tend to rally
against them (even Boeruine and Avan would probabaly cease their own
fighting, and possibly join forces to repulse the Manslayer) they need to be
used for stark example or they need to mastermind subtle machinations so
that even if PC`s uncover a plot, no one really believes them. Other rulers
will just say, "Yeah, maybe, but Kalien had a lot of enemies, including you.
Say this wouldn`t be an attempt to divert the blame for something you did,
In my Barik-Azhik campaign I had the following enemies for the overthane and
his court: The Gorgon was at war with the Sielwode, kidnapped crafter
dwarves to use as slave labor, and when B-A supported Brand Mournsinger he
invaded B-A; The Chimera was up to no good, not near the threat of the
Gorgon, but you could not ignore her either; there was a civil war in
Rhormarch; Binsada was clamoring for war against anyone; Duke Jaison of
Osoerde wanted to crush the Royal Guild of Baruk-Azhik because he believed
(rightly) they were supporting William Moergan leading to a very chilly
relationship and several war scares; the High Priest, Ruarck Rockhammer,
thought the overthane too youthful, impetuous, and inexperienced, and tried
to run things from behind the scenes all for the good of B-A and in the name
of Moradin; there were cults in B-A to the gods of the Deuro and Duergar in
which the followers of the cults were mostly not even aware they had fallen
away from Moradin. The main allies of the overthane (even his PC allies to
some extent) were were comprimised by various problems. Diirk Watershold
had his own enemies, Bain Earthkore was feared within court for his
ambition, the overthane himself was criticized for his warm relations with
humans, his youth, his refusal to marry, his aggressive foriegn policy (he
did provoke the Gorgon into invading), and his coolness to the High Priest
of Moradin. Just the shear length of this list should provide you with the
idea that there was never a shortage of enemies for the overthane, and often
he had to let one enemy go (hopefully to attend later) while he dealt with
In my Taelshore campaign I started off with the players as heirs and other
scions, but the king of Stjordvik, who the players ultimatly decided to
support, was beset by an apathetic nobility in addition to one rebellious
and one near rebellious eorl; a dangerous guiler (Storm Holtson) who ran the
economy of the Taelshore and brooked no interfearance, who killed royal
agents who annoyed him, and angered the druids with his rapaciousness; the
hostile realm of Rjuvik who not only raided across the border but also
harbored enemies of the PC`s and the king and supported the rebellious eorl
Guthrim; the Blood Skull Barony with its endless supply of humanoids; the
White Witch was engaged in setting up her own influence in the realm in such
a way that it could not be detected, and the traditional rulers thought they
still controled the holdings in question; the conflict between the more
settled and urban south, the rural pastoral/agricultural north, and the
unsettled tribes forming a hostile triangle of relations; the collpase of
Halskapa into civil war with the death of Berving; the antipathy of the
Emerald Spire for a list of reasons including support for moderate guilders,
promoting the developement of the urban south, and relying on too many
druids from the Oaken Grove; and the perennial threat that the elves would
start a race war somewhere. Again the allies were comprimised. The Oaken
Grove`s assistance provoked the Emerald Spire. The friendly guilds were far
smaller than Storm, and provoked him as well. The friendly eorls regarded
the king as a vapid idiot and didn`t want to commit anything to him, and yet
the hostile eorls would have balked at an assertive king. Dhoesone could do
little more than utter pretty words. Talinie wasn`t sure if she cared what
happened to Stjordvik, even when some of her nobles ran off to get involved
in things there. Stjordvik as no friendly border, except for Dhoesone.
Again, no shortage of enemies, or at least hostiles, and too few friends.
I can make trouble for any realm. :-)
09-19-2003, 07:38 AM #5
The Shadow World
The Sidhe (who must certainly appear evil to the average Anuirean)
Entire nations of more or less evil humanoids
Priests of good gods who may evil
Just because the gods are good, that doesn`t mean their clerics can`t be evil.
Regents can be evil - I`d say there are quite a few who have resources enought to be considered MAJOR villains
There are more than enough evil in Anuire...
WebMail fra Tele2 http://www.tele2.no
DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM
09-19-2003, 08:03 AM #6
One thing to consider about Azrai, his power, and the current arrangement is that when compared to the other gods, a lot of Azrai's power seems to have been misplaced.
Certainly the Awnsheghlien are powerful but there aren't a huge number of them when compared to the number of Blooded scions who have bloodlines derived from the "good" gods. One reason that the Awnsheghlien are so powerful now is bloodtheft, stealing the bloodpower of slain foes has enabled them to rise above the rest of the scions in Cerilia.
Also consider that Azrai was powerful enough to challenge and nearly defeat the combined powers of 6 other ancient gods. Now they may have been weakened due to Azrai's influence in Aduria and Cerilia, but the gods the replaced them still rose to become a lot more powerful than the gods who replaced Azrai...
So a lot of Azrai's power has just disappeared. In my current campaign, what happened was that when Azrai died the majority of his power was transferred into the Shadow World, corrupting it. His most loyal followers (the lost) and all those who died at Deismaar also followed the dark god to the SW (to become the undead) changing that land. So the corruption that is eating away at the SW is, in fact, Azrai and the Cold Rider is the physical manifestation of Azrai's power, still no strong enough to be truely aware, but slowly returning.Let me claim your Birthright!!
09-19-2003, 01:20 PM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2002
That is a very good idea.
I can imagine the blast at Desimaar ripping a large whole in reality and transfering large amount of people and physical material in the SW.
The blast of Azrai's power displaced the souls and spirits of mortals to make the intelligent undead. So Azrai's essence could be the type of anit-soul that is mentioned in another threat (Elven healing in the BRCS, I think.)
Would that make undead template a type of blooded scion? It could easily account for much of Azrai's missing presence.
A second point. I am not real familar with the SW. But it sounds like the blast at Desimaar would have only destroyed the mountain on the Anuirean side. Would the mountain still exist on the SW. Perhaps by now it is the resting place of the Cold Rider and his armies.
09-19-2003, 09:08 PM #8
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- Jan 2002
>This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
> You can view the entire thread at:
> destowe wrote:
> That is a very good idea.
> I can imagine the blast at Desimaar ripping a large whole in reality and transfering large amount of people and physical material in the SW.
> The blast of Azrai`s power displaced the souls and spirits of mortals to make the intelligent undead. So Azrai`s essence could be the type of anit-soul that is mentioned in another threat (Elven healing in the BRCS, I think.)
> Would that make undead template a type of blooded scion? It could easily account for much of Azrai`s missing presence.
The description of the Turn Undead Battle Spell in the 2E Book of
Priestcraft mentions "hordes" of minimally blooded undead after Deismaar
- this could support your suggestion...
09-20-2003, 05:44 AM #9
09-20-2003, 05:45 AM #10
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
Just as there are very few "villains" in real life, I feel there should be very few "villains" in Birthright. To Medoere, Diemed is an oppressive tyrant who would love to bloodthirstily invade their realm. To Diemed, Medoere is a region torn from them by an insane cult under the leadership of the daughter and murderess of the last administrator of the region.
It all depends on your point of view, and that's as it should be. I think that one or two "villains", like the Gorgon, and everyone else in shades of gray works better than thirty villains and thirty white knights.I could die, or the king could die, or the horse could learn to sing . . .
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