Hi all!

Sorry this is kinda long, but ...

Two points:

1) About elves and priestly magic: Although 'Sepsis' and others have
made good points about elves following a force or philosophy, I think Ed
Stark said it all. The BoP solved the problem of elven investiture and,
in my opinion, most people are missing the point about elves -- each elf
IS a force of nature; like other faerie creatures, each elf, (I think
the BR designers were trying to express) is an embodiment of nature
itself - kinda like elves are an integral part of, and indeed are an
indispensable part of, nature. Therefore, elves would look upon
themselves as being THE GODS OF NATURE! - or at least nature's
'caretakers' (since I don't think most sane elves would think of
themselves as 'gods'). Heck, they are immortal (as has been said), and
'pass on' instead of dying when their life 'journey' ends - in my
campaign, at this stage, elven 'essences' are reabsorbed into the land.
To make this short, then, elves have such a connection to nature (and
magic - whatever its form) that they don't NEED to look any further for
'divine guidance' into the mysteries of the world - they instinctively
know their connection and place in this world. To make this game
related, priestly magic is not of the mebhaighl, its from some divine
'power' and should be considered 'powers' or 'miracles', not 'magic'.
This was a HUGE oversight by the BR designers (sorry guys, but you can't
blame anyone else)- by making elves capable of becoming rangers, nor
allowing them access to the all important investiture spell, and by not
providing any explanation or special caveats.
As with all role-playing games, its up to each gamemaster and their
players to come up with explanations as to why elves can't become
priests (in my campaign, I allow elven rangers and certain mages limited
(minor) access to all the spheres of priestly magic allowed to priests
of Erik, but it doesn't come from any god - they have to study for it
just like other wizards. I also allowed elven mages - in effect
creating a new 'specialist wizard' - to cast a redefined elven
investiture realm spell , at least until BoP came out).
So, while I'm sure elves follow *some* kind of philosophy (heck, a
society by definition must have an underlying moral structure), elves
wouldn't follow any of the BR Powers (or others, if any, made in future
products), nor would I think they need to - elves are as much a part of
Cerilia as the New Powers are a part of their home planes and AoCs.
This is just my 2 GBs worth on this topic.

2) Awnsheghlien:

One thing I'd like to put out to you folks on the list (especially you
guys on the BR team) is:
Okay, we know the awnsheghlien The Serpent has his own religious group,
and that (its rumored) he can even grant his priests spells (because his
priests can cast up to 5th level spells). So, how does he do it, if he
isn't a god? I'd like SOME insight into this from anyone who has ideas
into this little conundrum (hint, hint BR guys!) - inquiring DM's want
to know. However, this is how I've worked it into my BR campaign:
I consider the The Serpent to have achieved 'demi-godhood' status by
some as yet unspecified ritual or power that he (recently) discovered.
So, he can now be considered a demi-god power (perhaps with all the
powers available to one as listed in the Monster Mythology supplement?)
Perhaps, his bloodline strength has reached sufficient strength (or
maybe he started with his current level, achieved at the Battle of
Deismaar, and he has just now found out how to 'become' a god). After
all, isn't that how the new gods achieved theirs, by absorbing enough
divine essence? Say the critical point is BL strength at ~75+? Okay.
Now, here's the scary part. This means that *anyone* can become a
god! (GASP!) All the scion must do is know the proper ritual to
perform and viola! the scion is now a god. I'm not the sort of DM that
will allow this in my campaign, but the possibility is there. This
revelation, incidently, is one of the foci upon which my current
campaign is revolving around- one that needs explanation because of
another small *omission* by the BR designers. Here it is:
When reading the Ruins of Empire sourcebook, under the listing of the
Gorgon's Domains, there is the curious little matter of that
awnsheghlien's puppet temple holdings - The Hand of Azrai. Presumably,
The Gorgon wouldn't allow anyone but himself to be worshipped at these
sites - it just doesn't fit his character, right? Well, like The
Serpent's holdings, can HOA priests cast spells? I say this because I
also argue that if the priests worshipped Kriesha or Belinik as
representations of Azrai, these two gods wouldn't tolerate their priests
worshipping 'Azrai' and not the gods themselves - these gods are
extremely self-centered as befits evil personalities, correct?
So, I say that HOA priests can cast spells because The Gorgon just also
recently discovered from The Serpent how to become a god (through some
underhanded means) ... (jeez, I'm going along the line that - if anyone
can do it among the awnsheghlien - The Gorgon can ... heck, The Gorgon
can do ANYthing wants, yessir, I wouldn't want to stand in his way -
nope ... no *#@!* way!) But, then again, maybe I know squat about HOA
and The Gorgon?
Whatever the case, The Gorgon is now technically soooo powerful that he
can probably be considered a god anyway, right? But there has to be
some method needed for 'mortal' beings to be able to grant priest spells
(besides absorbing HUGE amounts of BL points like the current new gods
did @ BoD), otherwise technically any blooded scion could do so since
this is the divine essence of the old gods and presumably this is how
the new powers are able to grant priest spells, correct? So, if a
character had X number of points in their BL score (and maybe had a true
Bloodline derivation), they could conceivably become gods themselves.
I basically just want to start a debate on this point about how The
Serpent (and by extension another powerful blooded scion) is able to
grant priest spells (to his temple priests). You've got to admit, most
intelligent scions (or awnsheghlien) would naturally make this
conclusion, and thus perhaps puts a new spin on the act of bloodtheft;
absorbing someone's bloodline just doesn't make one more powerful, it
also leads one a step closer to becoming a god!

What do you all think?

Darren Cooper