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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Was Azrai lawful evil, neutral evil or chaotic evil? What do you guys think?



    Kriesha and Belenik, who were his closest followers and absorbed the most

    of his bloodline, are lawful evil and chaotic evil respectively. The

    Gorgon is apparently #3 on the list of Azrai`s followers, and is lawful

    evil. In general, however, the awnsheghlien would seem to have a pretty

    even spread across the law-chaos line.



    I`m curious about this because I`m playing around with some ideas on how to

    reflect the corrupting affect of Azrai`s bloodline on scions as they level

    up, and one of the effects is that a character can have his alignment

    change. Some awnsheghlien would appear to have had alignment shifts due to

    their transformation. Rhoubhe is the one that has the most obvious

    descriptive text outlining the change, but there are other notably unusual

    changes:



    1. The alignment of Justina Heulough/Banshegh changes from chaotic good to

    chaotic evil during her nocturnal forays.



    2. The White Witch`s illusions might mask her alignment rather than

    actually change it, but the description of that character would seem to

    indicate she actually becomes lawful good while in her beauteous form.



    3. The Hydra is based on an animal, but has become chaotic neutral (where

    other animal based awnsheghlien like the Boar or the Wolf remain neutral.)



    4. The Leviathan was either based on a monster that was neutral (evil) or

    shifted to neutral with evil tendencies due to his transformation.



    5. The alignment change of the Manticore, of course, was dramatic and cost

    him his paladinhood.



    Thoughts?



    Gary

  2. #2
    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    IMO Azrai is true evil (neutral evil), because his blood created two in alignment completely different gods: Kriesha (lawful evil) and Belinik (chaotic evil). This is only possible, if the "source deity" is neutral evil...
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  3. #3
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Off hand I'd go with Ariadne's assumption but for the Book of Regency which describes the path towards evil.

    pg 26 "The blood (of Azrai) tugs at them tempting them to evil and chaotic deeds - at first subtley, then strongly."

    It then goes into examples of the types of 'rewards' that the blood of Azrai may give to scions who follow the evil and/or chaotic path.

    It would appear that Azrai would then have been chaotic evil based on this disposition.
    Duane Eggert

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Regardless of what the BoR says, I think Neutral Evil agrees with the actual pre-Desimaar story material - how would it be in-character for a CE god to sway an entire empire beneath his grasp, subtly decieve and manipulate the Vos, elves, and humanoids into his camp, and in general act in such cunning and premeditated ways? These just don't sit right with a chaotic god - I think if there is but one evil god in a world then Neutral Evil is most fitting for him. Here he has full flexibility and the ability to sway and maipulate the full range of evildoers, and even those who don't think they are evil. "True" evil is indeed fitting for Azrai.

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Osprey@Dec 11 2003, 02:48 PM
    Regardless of what the BoR says, I think Neutral Evil agrees with the actual pre-Desimaar story material - how would it be in-character for a CE god to sway an entire empire beneath his grasp, subtly decieve and manipulate the Vos, elves, and humanoids into his camp, and in general act in such cunning and premeditated ways? These just don't sit right with a chaotic god - I think if there is but one evil god in a world then Neutral Evil is most fitting for him. Here he has full flexibility and the ability to sway and maipulate the full range of evildoers, and even those who don't think they are evil. "True" evil is indeed fitting for Azrai.
    Could be, but Eloele - the goddess of thieves and night is portrayed as being exceptionally subtle in her manipulations (exactly opposite to what you are saying a chaotic deity could do). So basically I think that the designers were very liberal in their applications of alignment and behaviours.

    I agree chaotic alignments don't lend themselves to good rulership and chaotic societies tend to fall apart rather quickly and remain very unstable when they are in effect. But being able to be a good and effective ruler and wanting to be one aren't necessissarly contrary statements. Azrai "wanted" to control the world, this doesn't mean he could have been effective at it.
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ariadne@Dec 11 2003, 09:54 AM
    IMO Azrai is true evil (neutral evil), because his blood created two in alignment completely different gods: Kriesha (lawful evil) and Belinik (chaotic evil). This is only possible, if the "source deity" is neutral evil...
    This logic doesn't hold true with the 2nd ed Birthright info:

    Avani (LN) - Erik (NN) yields Laerme (CG)

    Haelyn (LG) - Nesirie (NG) yields Cuiricean (CG)

    Sera (CN) - Ruornil (NN) yields Eloele (CN(E) {what's up with that alignment? either you are evil or you are not this wasn't Planescape with multiple phased alignments})

    If one source (mostly listed as the primary one in the case of Haelyn) is lawful then how can the result be chaotic?

    And in the case of Laerme neither part of her alignment matches any of her parents parts.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    Originally posted by irdeggman@Dec 12 2003, 11:34 AM
    Avani (LN) - Erik (NN) yields Laerme (CG)

    Haelyn (LG) - Nesirie (NG) yields Cuiricean (CG)

    Sera (CN) - Ruornil (NN) yields Eloele (CN(E) {what's up with that alignment? either you are evil or you are not this wasn't Planescape with multiple phased alignments})

    If one source (mostly listed as the primary one in the case of Haelyn) is lawful then how can the result be chaotic?

    And in the case of Laerme neither part of her alignment matches any of her parents parts.
    Yeah, but there deities have children . Those IMO can be of slightly different alignment (but most are equal at least in one axis ). It is the same like having children yourself . They aren't exactely of your opinion every time, are they?


    Haelyn + Nesirie => Cuiraécen (good is equal)

    Sera + Ruornil => Eloele (If you ignore this exotic alignment description: neutral is equal)

    Avani + Erik => Laerme (OK, the child learned how to behave right )


    BTW, I think Eloele got this confusing alignment, because her home plane is Pandemonium (2nd lair???, whatever). This is the same plane like Belinik lives on, chaotic and part of the lower planes (if I'm right). So maybe her alignment differs from neutral to evil randomly like this plane differs from true chaotic to chaotic evil...

    Well, curious explanation, but a try...
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  8. #8
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ariadne@Dec 12 2003, 08:00 AM
    Yeah, but there deities have children . Those IMO can be of slightly different alignment (but most are equal at least in one axis ). It is the same like having children yourself . They aren't exactely of your opinion every time, are they?


    Haelyn + Nesirie => Cuiraécen (good is equal)

    Sera + Ruornil => Eloele (If you ignore this exotic alignment description: neutral is equal)

    Avani + Erik => Laerme (OK, the child learned how to behave right )

    And the difference between having children and spawning new gods is . . .

    This isn't the same as having a cleric that derives powers from a deity, these are separate divine beings. The example of children having different alignments is a pretty good one IMO and applies to Belnik and Kreisha arising as deities from the death of Azrai.
    Duane Eggert

  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 02:17 PM 12/12/2003 +0100, Irdeggman wrote:



    >
    Quote Originally Posted by Ariadne,Dec 12 2003, 08:00 AM
    Yeah, but there deities have

    > children
    . Those IMO can be of slightly different alignment (but most

    > are equal at least in one axis ). It is the same like having children

    > yourself :D. They aren`t exactely of your opinion every time, are they? ;)

    >

    > Haelyn + Nesirie => Cuiraécen (good is equal)

    >

    > Sera + Ruornil => Eloele (If you ignore this exotic alignment

    > description: neutral is equal)

    >

    > Avani + Erik => Laerme (OK, the child learned how to behave right ;) )

    >
    > And the difference between having children and spawning new gods is . . .

    >

    > This isn`t the same as having a cleric that derives powers from a deity,

    > these are separate divine beings. The example of children having

    > different alignments is a pretty good one IMO and applies to Belnik and

    > Kreisha arising as deities from the death of Azrai.



    Birthright has always been more "liberal" when it comes to alignment than

    is typical in D&D settings. The priests of the various gods can have

    pretty widely disparate alignments, paladins didn`t necessarily have to be

    lawful good, etc. Sometimes those things seem to be editing errors, but

    others were clearly intentional. It seems logical that the offspring of

    the gods would also vary from the parents using such a system--even if one

    didn`t assume that their divine nature already subsumes something like

    alignment, that is. Being the "god of" something is probably more of an

    allegiance than being aligned to the law/chaos--good/evil system. That is,

    a god`s dedication to war is probably more significant than his dedication

    to chaos or goodness, and issues of alignment should probably be relaxed a

    bit for a being with such an emphasis.



    The characters that elevated to godhood are probably immune to the

    "corrupting" influence of Azrai`s bloodline, having their own issues to

    deal with, and the offspring of the gods probably take on portfolios that

    are more closely linked to their parents` portfolios rather than their

    alignments.



    Gary

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 08:48 PM 12/11/2003 +0100, Osprey wrote:



    >Regardless of what the BoR says, I think Neutral Evil agrees with the

    >actual pre-Desimaar story material - how would it be in-character for a CE

    >god to sway an entire empire beneath his grasp, subtly decieve and

    >manipulate the Vos, elves, and humanoids into his camp, and in general act

    >in such cunning and premeditated ways? These just don`t sit right with a

    >chaotic god - I think if there is but one evil god in a world then Neutral

    >Evil is most fitting for him. Here he has full flexibility and the

    >ability to sway and maipulate the full range of evildoers, and even those

    >who don`t think they are evil. "True" evil is indeed fitting

    >for Azrai.



    What about Neutral Evil (chaotic) as an alignment for Azrai?



    I noted in a previous post that what I`m thinking of doing is coming up

    with a little system of reflecting the corrupting influence of Azrai`s

    bloodline by doing things like having scions of Azrai make a will save when

    they level up in order to avoid having to either take a level as an

    awnshegh or have their alignment change, possibly both. Azrai`s actual

    personal alignment might in that context be secondary to a rather odd

    distinction: Azrai himself might have been LE or NE, but his derivation

    affects humans (and others) by making them CE. It is, after all, his

    corrupting influence that I`m looking at portraying. Azrai himself might

    have been of any evil alignment, but the corrupting aspect of his

    derivation that gets passed on to scions is inherently wild and

    unpredictable--which lends itself more to a chaotic interpretation. This

    is evidenced by the wide variety of awnsheghlien that appear and that their

    transformation can take on just about any form. Azrai`s derivation might

    simply have that affect on those who have it, not because Azrai was himself

    chaotic, but because the effect of the bloodline is inherently

    unpredictable. It might be that the derivation doesn`t completely convey

    Azrai`s alignment entirely--just an aspect or two of his total

    portfolio--so the derivation of "Azrai" is, in effect, chaotic because it

    is not exactly Azrai himself that is embodied by it, just his more chaotic

    aspect.



    Gary

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