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  1. #1
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    Hi, I`m back on the email list after a year-long absence.



    I`m warming up a FtF game, and I`ve been hit with some questions about

    the Five Oaths, epecially the last one: "destroy all non-swearers." That can

    have dire implications for the sidhe, as nearly every sidhe is a potential

    true-magic wielder. If any one sidhe (or non-Khinasi true wizard) swears, they

    pretty much cannot go home again, as they`ll have to hunt down all their friends

    and colleagues. The game I`m setting up has 4 elves/half-elves in the party,

    on a round-the-world cruise. I think I`d better warn them not to get off the

    boat when the ship hits the Khinasi parts.

    In general, I suppose that lends weight to Innishiere`s isolation and

    Rhuannach`s inability to find allies against the Lamia.

    Comments?



    Lee.

  2. #2
    run a search on five oaths, there are some threads that talk about it.

    here is one of em: kenasi wizards and their oaths
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  3. #3
    Site Moderator Fearless_Leader's Avatar
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    The way I've run the Five Oaths, is that they are stipulated by a treaty signed by all the Khinasi nations following the curse that brought down the Masetian mages and unleashed the horrors of the Shadow World upon the Khinasi people. This has the affect of not requiring Khinasi mages or mages trained in Khinasi to destroy every other human or elven mage they meet, as it is only binding among the Khinasi states.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    The way I've run the Five Oaths, is that they are stipulated by a treaty signed by all the Khinasi nations following the curse that brought down the Masetian mages and unleashed the horrors of the Shadow World upon the Khinasi people. This has the affect of not requiring Khinasi mages or mages trained in Khinasi to destroy every other human or elven mage they meet, as it is only binding among the Khinasi states.
    Though because of the historical reasons you cited, I expect there would still be a great deal of bias and disdain toward non-Khinasi mages. Which sounds pretty true to human history as I know it. <_<

    I like your reasoning, Chris. Very plausible indeed.

    Osprey

  5. #5
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Here is how I look at it, using the text from the BRCS paladin of Avani:


    All paladins of Avani know the Five Oaths of Service that the Khinasi require to be taken by all capable of casting true magic. They maintain and keep to these oaths as a point of honor, even though they do not undergo the same rituals that those taking them do. They are frequently used as hunters of those who refuse to take them but don’t hold other nationalities to the same standards since they are considered less civilized and knowing than are the Khinasi.


    In fact I&#39;d like to insert that into the BRCS chapter on magic. By using the concepts of sayim and the Khinasi self-awareness that they are indeed the most civilized race it fits in.

    Regarding elves, well elves shun necromancy spells anyway. So the only issue would be that elves haven&#39;t taken the oaths. Taking the oaths involves going to a human temple and all humans know that the elves don&#39;t worship human gods. The animosity between elves and humans is sufficient enough to not demand that non-humans meet the standards of humans.

    If a wizard takes the oaths he cannot willingly break them. That is laid out in the BoM. What that entails or how it happens is left up to the DM. Mention is made of an artifact (unspecified) though.

    It is entirely possible (and quite likely) that taking the oath involves a direct intervention with Rilni himself. I do find this interesting since it is Avani who is the patron deity of the Khinasi and not Rournil, but since Rournil no longer has a chosen people (the Vos abandoned him {and Vorynn} a long time ago).

    Now since this is an intervention with a human god then it is extremely logical (and sound from a game-mechanics standpoint) that it only pertains to relations with humans. Hence elves (and half-elves) are exempt from this judgement.

    That only leaves how to handle the relationship with the other human-races. Back to my interpretation that Khinasi consider them less civilized and knowledgeable of the ways of true magic and thus like children are not held to the full accountability that an adult would be. They would however scold and lecture them on their misunderstanding of true magic, within the confines of maintaining sayim of course.


    Lee,

    4 elves/half-elves landing in Khinasi lands have bigger issues than just their use of magic to consider. Humans and elves/half-elves don&#39;t get along at their core, remnant of the elf-human wars. Hence there is a lot of role-playing/shunning/prejudice issues to overcome outside of the Oaths thing. And those would have to be handled first since they are based on visibility and not on what a character cando (i.e., class abilities).

    A single one might stand a chance but a group of 4 (or more) - gosh that sure looks like an advance invasion force to me. {Perception of people that had been at war with elves}
    Duane Eggert

  6. #6
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    In a message dated 9/28/04 5:57:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time,

    brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET writes:



    << Now since this is an intervention with a human god then it is extremely

    logical (and sound from a game-mechanics standpoint) that it only pertains to

    relations with humans. Hence elves (and half-elves) are exempt from this

    judgement.That only leaves how to handle the relationship with the other

    human-races. Back to my interpretation that Khinasi consider them less civilized and

    knowle

    dgeable of the ways of true magic and thus like children are not held to

    the full accountability that an adult would be. They would however scold and

    lecture them on their misunderstanding of true magic, within the confines of

    maintaining sayim of course.

    >>



    This sounds too mild to me. So an elf wizard entering Khinasi borders would

    merely be ignored, since he`s not a signatory to the treaty? And an Anuirean

    would be lectured?



    Lee.

  7. #7
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lee@Sep 28 2004, 09:00 AM
    This sounds too mild to me. So an elf wizard entering Khinasi borders would

    merely be ignored, since he`s not a signatory to the treaty? And an Anuirean

    would be lectured?



    Lee.

    Signatory to what treaty?

    I never mentioned a treaty. That was Fearless_Leader.

    Why would a Khinasi wizard who has taken the Oaths attempt to kill an outsider who doesn&#39;t know about them?

    The Khinasi are the most educated people on Cerilia, they are also logical and extremely polite (see sayim).

    Furthermore expecting an elf to take an Oath to a human deity (which is what the taking of the 5 Oaths is tied to) is likewise ridiculous. Being as educated as they are the Khinasi wizards are pretty likely to know that the elves have been around longer than their deities.

    Never said an Anuirean (or an elf) would be ignored. I only said that they would not be held to the standards that the most civilized culture holds themselves to.

    Nothing says they wouldn&#39;t attempt to convince them of the &#39;proper&#39; way to handle true magic.
    Duane Eggert

  8. #8
    Site Moderator Fearless_Leader's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lee@Sep 28 2004, 06:00 AM
    This sounds too mild to me. So an elf wizard entering Khinasi borders would merely be ignored, since he`s not a signatory to the treaty? And an Anuirean would be lectured
    Here&#39;s some more thoughts I had on the matter.

    The presence of a treaty doesn&#39;t preclude possible divine intervention at the Temple of Rilni. In fact, the treaty could have been signed there. It obligates mages born in Khinasi to go to the temple and take the Five Oaths.

    I like the idea of paladins of Avani helping to enforce the Five Oaths. I think that fits well into the setting.

    When it comes to non oath-bound wizards, such as other humans and elves, I think these wizards would likely be closely watched by the local law enforcement. Some realms might even outlaw such wizards within their realms. These realms might require that any wizard coming into their realm state their abilities and offer proof of having taken the oaths. Any wizard within these more strigent lands who gets caught would face some pretty stringent penalties (perhaps even death).

    There is also some degree of interpretation involved in the oaths. One oath, as I recall, requires that wizards obey the lawful lord of the land. Some might see this as requiring all non-native wizards who are just passing through to swear allegiance, while others might take a less strict view of this matter by simply keeping an eye on the wizard and only punish them if they commit a crime or break the ban on necromancy. (Naturally, this point is only relavent to a point... afterall, wizards aren&#39;t exactly swarming off the boats in this setting).

    The idea of the Khinasi looking down their noses at the other "less civilized" races also fits and I don&#39;t think it contradicts my idea at all. My idea was simply the legal basis for the Five Oaths (as I believe it is the law that wizards take them). As well, temples of Avani in other areas of Cerilia, like the LPA, might take up the idea that all other mages should copy this measure of civilization by requiring their wizards to take such oaths. This is obviously a very foreign idea for Anuire, but with the spread of new ideas throughout those lands, it could be gaining momentum.

  9. #9
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    Lee Hanna schrieb:



    >In a message dated 9/28/04 5:57:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time,

    >brnetboard@BIRTHRIGHT.NET writes:

    >

    >...

    >This sounds too mild to me. So an elf wizard entering Khinasi borders would

    >merely be ignored, since he`s not a signatory to the treaty? And an Anuirean

    >would be lectured?

    >

    Lectured sounds strange as the text under Sayim in the Cities of the Sun

    book states that for example a visitor should never comment if his host

    has a quarrel with his wife in front of company, even though the host

    clearly commited a breach of sayim.

    It is the duty of the person itself to recognize it´s own fault and

    admit it or change it´s behaviour.



    How does a Khinasi:

    a) find out that the elf wizard is a wizard as long as this wizard does

    not openly state that he is? Even casting arcane spells could mean that

    he is only a magician, only the obvious casting of true magic would

    reveal that he is a wizard.

    b) avoid losing Sayim by pointing out the error in anothers doings? I

    would imagine that the Khinasi would leave the foreigner alone, avoid

    him and won´t aid him with few hints hidden in idioms that the foreigner

    might reconsider his actions.

    c) treat an Anuirean Wizard? Is it worse that he is Anuirean, the former

    overlords, who conquered and occupied Khinasi and were hated, or for

    being a Wizard who has not sworn the oaths?

    d) act at all when meeting a Anuirean Wizard? It might be that being an

    Anuirean Wizard (who has no understanding of the importance of the

    oaths) could be ignore as long as this wizard does not act against them.

    bye

    Michael

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 05:27 PM 9/28/2004 +0200, irdeggman wrote:



    >Why would a Khinasi wizard who has taken the Oaths attempt to kill an

    >outsider who doesn`t know about them?The Khinasi are the most educated

    >people on Cerilia, they are also logical and extremely polite (see sayim).



    Killing someone isn`t necessarily an uneducated thing to do. It needn`t be

    illogical or even rude. The time, manner, circumstance or other context of

    killing someone might be any of those things, but the act of taking a life

    is not in and of itself at all impolite.



    As for why the Khinasi would kill someone who doesn`t know about the Five

    Oaths is not a matter of education or some sort of medieval cultural

    tolerance. The Oaths reflect and inform the morality of the culture

    itself. IMO the Khinasi aren`t any more tolerant than any other Cerilian

    race, but for the sake of argument let`s say they are, in fact, the most

    tolerant of Cerilia`s humans. (Personally, I think the Brecht are, but

    let`s skip that.) That still isn`t saying much. The BR setting has races

    and cultures that are more insular than those in more typical D&D settings.



    >Furthermore expecting an elf to take an Oath to a human deity (which is

    >what the taking of the 5 Oaths is tied to) is likewise ridiculous. Being

    >as educated as they are the Khinasi wizards are pretty likely to know that

    >the elves have been around longer than their deities.



    First off, I should note that the people who have taken the Oaths are not

    obliged to force elves (or others) to take the Five Oaths. That is

    actually a function of the laws of the Khinasi nations, not the Oaths

    themselves. A swearer of the Oaths is obliged only to destroy a true mage

    who violates the Oaths--which can itself only be done by someone who has

    not sworn them. Meaning: someone who has sworn the Oaths must destroy any

    wielder of true magic who disobeys a lawful ruler of the state, destroys or

    otherwise endangers knowledge, raises his/er hand against a mage sworn to

    the Oaths, speaks with undead, or doesn`t try to destroy another wielder of

    true magic who violates any of the above rules. Any other action--just

    wielding true magic, for instance, or wandering around in Khinasi lands

    without having sworn the Oaths--does not oblige a swearer of the Oaths to

    kill that person. An oath swearer is free to associate with such a person,

    turn him in to the authorities to be taken to the ToR, or whatever so long

    as that person doesn`t engage in activities that violate the Oaths.



    That said, when it comes to taking the Oaths and the religious nature of

    the Sidhe, there is no reason why they wouldn`t be able to take

    them. Elves simply don`t have gods of their own, nor do they as a group

    worship them. That doesn`t mean they couldn`t take the Oaths if they were

    going to live in Khinasi lands amongst the human population. They are free

    to worship gods as individuals--if that`s even a requirement of taking the

    Oaths. The Oaths need not really be a personal intervention of Rilni at

    all. It might be some powerful artifact at the ToR. (Which seems more

    probable to me, given that the god probably has a lot of things to occupy

    his time other than dealing with individual mages, and that the gods have

    taken a sort of "hands off" approach to things in Cerilia since Deismaar.)



    >Never said an Anuirean (or an elf) would be ignored. I only said that

    >they would not be held to the standards that the most civilized culture

    >holds themselves to.



    In fact, the only standards they need be held to are the Oaths themselves.



    The last of the Five Oaths by definition applies to non-Oath

    swearers. Since a swearer of the Oaths is unable to violate the Oaths at

    all, the oath to destroy someone who does not abide by the Oaths can only

    be directed at those who have not sworn them. No swearer can violate the

    Oaths and, therefore, require another swearer to destroy him. There would

    be the occasional Khinasi true mage who has managed to avoid swearing the

    Oaths, but the majority of those who have not taken the Oaths are

    non-Khinasi. The Oaths are, therefore, meant specifically to address

    non-swearers. That doesn`t mean the swearer must be ever vigilant or

    fanatical in his proselytization, but the Oaths do oblige him to be

    involved in the actions of non-swearers.



    Gary

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