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05-05-2007, 04:44 AM #1KalienGuest
What happens if the Gorgon becomes a God?
As one background theme for a possible new Anuirean PBeM, I was toying with the idea of the Gorgon achieving deity status and moving on from Aebrynis to whatever place it is the gods dwell in.
What I'm really interested in is what people think would happen in Cerilia if this came to pass?
Unless some other figure of great power arose to take the Gorgon's place, I imagine that Markazor and possibly Mur-Kilad would break away from the Gorgon's Crown - or at the very least become more independent and less dependable as vassals. Hatred between the goblins and dwarves could possibly even see some fighting between Markazor and Mur-Kilad.
Kiergard might break free and regain its independence.
There's also the question of how long would it take before the Anuirean lands actually realised what had happened? Mhoried and Elinie might be interested in an attempted conquest of Sutren Hills, Periltrees and Brushfire in Markazor, thereby gaining a much smaller border to defend against the goblins and anything coming down out of the Gorgon's Crown in the future.
And, more importantly for an Anuire-focused game, how would the Gorgon's ascendence affect 'the game of thrones' in Anuire? Mhoried could become more involved in political affairs, possibly bad news for the ambitions of Gavin Tael.
Anyway, I would appreciate any thoughts people might have.
05-05-2007, 05:07 AM #2
My own sense that that the Gorgon's hold on his dominions is tenuous enough that he is a satiated power. Small efforts could throw the dwarves or Kiergard into rebellion, and the goblins would rather conduct their own affairs. If the Gorgon were a god, his ability to direct a priesthood to rule would be more effective, either from a central successor (which seems unlikely) or through several states bound to his doctrine. If the Gorgon ascended, his former dominions would first aclimate to his ideology, in a way that they have not through his temporal dominion, and then in the second generation would expand.
05-05-2007, 08:52 AM #3
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Box Hill South, Victoria, Australia
Shift of threats - IMHO
Assuming that the Gorgon is bound by the 'no direct worldly intervention by deities', that there would be a huge shift in power throughout Cerilia.
After working out that he was effectively immortal and didn't require an heir, he hasn't been interested in any form of succession and has actively destroyed those that might be strong enough to lead under the assumption that they may become a threat. This means that after he goes there is no one to keep his vassals in line - in fact they will probably turn on any resident Gorgon's Crown troops, or possibly go to war. Realms that border these vassals that have held those borders in fear of the Gorgon's next rampage would take advantage of the vassals squabbles to invade and reclaim provinces that were lost over the centuries to Raesene.
The global intrigues that the Gorgon has going on would quickly die off without his constant direction, leading to alliances being successfully made, potential hero-kings not being assassinated and many other positive things for the goodly races of Cerilia.
However, from the ashes would rise the secretive but powerful church of the Gorgon. Probably stealing worshippers from Kreisha and Belinik who might see in the Gorgon a new Azrai, from Curicean those that lust after battle and martial prowess and finally magi that might believe that access to Azrai's dark magics may now become available. Regardless of what he may give his worshippers, the god Raesene would have access to an intrigue base in excess potentially of that which he had previously put together over millenia.
Then again, perhaps Kreisha and Belinik will see him as too much of a threat, band together and bump him off
my 2 c.p.,
05-05-2007, 09:33 AM #4
05-05-2007, 12:33 PM #5
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
In order to prevent another Deismaar he would have to "agree" and follow to that pact.
So he would have to somehow make the paradigm shift in behavior somehow. That in itself can be a huge story line.
Another issue would be the relatinship between Haelyn and Raesene. While they were alive, until Deismaar that is, the relationship through Haelyn's eyes was great.
But since Raesene killed the last of the family line (Michael Roele) there might be something there.Duane Eggert
05-05-2007, 01:10 PM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
- Chelmsford, Essex, England
A lot depends on situation in the campaign, but:
On the assumption that the Gorgon he has been building towards becoming a god he should already have a substantial church - mostly likely centred on the Gorgon's Crown and headed by the Hand of Azrai. That means that he needs to Crown to remain mostly intact rather than leaving it to shatter - or risk his church being destroyed in the fighting that followed his rise.
Possibly therefore The Gorgon might approach the Swordhawk (local, tough, non too bright) and grant him the Gorgon's Crown - the Swordhawk gets the temporal power and the Gorgon the spiritual. If the Swordhawk was considered likely to be too independent Ghuralli could be a far more manipulatable successor, other alternatives would include the awnies named as the Gorgon's lieutenants although as has been pointed out the Gorgon has historically acted to stop them gaining power and so there are few good choices.
Either way the new ruler is likely to take a far more short term view than the Gorgon did - and be far less interested in ascending to Godhood. That makes them more likely to try and expand their borders. The Rjurik are poor and sparsely populated making them an uninviting target, the realms of Anuire and Brechtur are far better prey.
From the Gorgon's point of view he will be facing the dark gods, the Cold rider and his brother Haelyn as his main foes. Of these the Cold Rider is perhaps most inviting target - what would happen if the Gorgon slew the nascent god? Would the lost flock to his command or struggle against him for slaying the shadow of Azrai?
Of course the Gorgon might find his ascension does not go as planned, either only ascending 'part way' or ascending more swiftly than expected (for example on slaying a major scion unexpectedly - either way he is unlikely to have a ocnvenient successor waiting with the results suggested above.
Other impacts from a 'shattered crown' could include the reformation of the elven realms of Tuarheviel and the Sielwode - only goblins bar unification and it is unlikely that Murkilad will aid the goblins. The Brecht could try to liberate Kiergard, but given that Rzhlev is still awaiting liberation and the Sword hawk is in the way probably not - but an internal rebellion is a probability successful or not.
As various factions struggle for dominance it is likely that some are forced to strike out from the Crown, Mhoried may not find itself bored after-all...
In my case with no gods in Cerilia (barring the Cold Rider) the Gorgon would be almost unopposed. spell-casting priests would go from being as rare as mages to suddenly common - at least amongst his clergy. This could have major theological repercussions.
Other issues would be his ability (as the only god present in such a system) to alter the 'rules of the world' to favour his philosophy. I toyed with allowing an awnshegh to gain strength not just from killing scions, but (at weak bloodlines) from killing large numbers of those in whom the gods blood is too weak to note - the unblooded (give the nobility 1,500 years of power and their genes will get everywhere). That makes a lot of minor awnies popping up all over all of a sudden - let chaos reign and the strong rise exultant.
There is also the interesting idea of a holy war in Vosgaard - the nona Vos would likely favour the Gorgon to Belinik, and the actions of ther awnshegh - can anyone see the Serpent simply ignoring the Gorgon's ascension - the strong awnies (barring Rhuobhe and the Spider) would probably be desperate to find out how the Gorgon ascended and seek to do likewise.
of course if the Gorgon had to kill another God to ascend in there place it gets even more interesting. Presumably he would kill one of the weaker gods, Nesirie, Laerme, Eloele, or possibly Kreisha (depending on how you read the True Church of vosgaard) - either way he would win enemies and allies in his rise - and his clergy would reap the rewards or pay the price.
And of course will Raidhazik stay chained without the gorgon in Kal-Saitharak? The gods protect any in his path if he escapes his chains...
05-05-2007, 10:42 PM #7KalienGuest
Thanks for people's thoughts.
In terms of the Gorgon's ascension I like the idea of everything not going exactly as Raesene had planned. Perhaps he had a detailed, carefully thought out strategy. One major step was to slay the Cold Rider (this being easier than slaying Belinik or Kreisha), but several steps remained after that. However, having slain the shadow of Azrai the Gorgon obtains a little more divine power than he thought he would, the Lost (or at least most of them and their followers) support him and he shortly gains followers from Belinik and Kreisha - this all serves to tip him over the edge to deity status.
The results for an Anuire focused game could be interesting, especially if the followers of the newly ascended Gorgon obtained included the One True Church of Vosgaard in Osoerde.
In such a scenario, the Gorgon might have made preparations but they would not be complete. The Hand of Azrai might have established a temple structure, but it is not as widespread or as established as might be wanted. Without a smooth transition from the Gorgon to his chosen successor, the Gorgon's vassal states might go through a period of unrest, rebellion, and the like - inviting Anuirean realms to attempt to claim territories off Markazor or perhaps assist an uprising in Kiergard. Meanwhile, with the attention of Anuire focused on events outside their borders, the Gorgon could establish an intrigue base within Anuire - the One True Church, perhaps gaining control of the power structure of a smaller Cuiraecite temple such as the Hidden Temple, subverting a guild or two, and the like.
Another idea I am toying with for the game is to have Anuire ruled by a council comprised of the 12 Duchies. There is great scope there to have the Gorgon use his intrigue base to influence one or two members of the council, perhaps even to subvert them. That opens up great scope for in-game plots and intrigues to keep the players busy.
05-06-2007, 03:43 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
- Denver, CO
There would definitely be a vaccuum of power left over. Evil always turns on itself. I imagine quite a few bad guys would die trying to procure what took him centuries to build. UNLESS he had a very specific heir named that all the other powers around him (and his vassals) respect and will pay homage to, then it's going to look like a bunch of starving vultures fighting over one corpse. The strongest will come out on top. The baddies in my mind include people like the Swordhawk.
I think it would bring about serious turmoil, and be hella fun to fun as a GM.
As for a council idea, I'm on the bandwagon that a council isn't really authentic for the "feel" of Birthright. I guess IMHO, by making a council, you are disempowering the Chamberlain and all he stands for as well as the royal bloodline of Roele. A democracy in Anuire just feels strange, but if you do give it a shot, please post your results. I'd be very curious to see how it plays out.
Last edited by Alluveal; 05-06-2007 at 03:45 AM.
05-06-2007, 05:03 AM #9
At 09:44 PM 5/4/2007, Kalien wrote:
>As one background theme for a possible new Anuirean PBeM, I was
>toying with the idea of the Gorgon achieving deity status and moving
>on from Aebrynis to whatever place it is the gods dwell in.
>What I`m really interested in is what people think would happen in
>Cerilia if this came to pass?
>Unless some other figure of great power arose to take the Gorgon`s
>place, I imagine that Markazor and possibly Mur-Kilad would break
>away from the Gorgon`s Crown - or at the very least become more
>independent and less dependable as vassals. Hatred between the
>goblins and dwarves could possibly even see some fighting between
>Markazor and Mur-Kilad.
>Kiergard might break free and regain its independence.
>There`s also the question of how long would it take before the
>Anuirean lands actually realised what had happened? Mhoried and
>Elinie might be interested in an attempted conquest of Sutren Hills,
>Periltrees and Brushfire in Markazor, thereby gaining a much smaller
>border to defend against the goblins and anything coming down out of
>the Gorgon`s Crown in the future.
>And, more importantly for an Anuire-focused game, how would the
>Gorgon`s ascendence affect `the game of thrones` in Anuire? Mhoried
>could become more involved in political affairs, possibly bad news
>for the ambitions of Gavin Tael.
>Anyway, I would appreciate any thoughts people might have.
I don`t personally see the Gorgon suddenly and without warning
ascending to godhood. To me, there is a question that should be
asked first: "What would have to happen to Cerilia BEFORE this came
to pass?" That is, what would it take for the Gorgon to ascend in
the first place? Then one might extrapolate what Cerilia would look
like in the succeeding generations.
Personally, I`ve always liked the idea that the reason the Gorgon
hasn`t already ascended is that he has not yet met the requirements
of his "heroic quest" necessary for him to "move on" to another level
of existence. He has more than enough godly matter, he`s high enough
level, and he definitely wants it, but there are some "adventure
level" things that he needs to do before he can go on. It`s
debatable if he knows what these things are himself, but I think the
most appropriate for a bastard son of the Roele family is that he
must sit upon the Iron Throne both in fact (he must plant his stony
butt on the actual chair) and as the de facto emperor of Anuire (many
Anuirean regents might not officially recognize him, but he`s
effectively in control) before he can ascend.
So, if that makes any sense, much of Cerilia would look like the
Gorgon`s Crown before he would ascend since it would probably require
a pretty massive war that would ravage the land in order to conquer
Anuire. Imagine a wide swath of land between his current realm and
the Imperial City pretty nearly wiped out. The most prominent
Anuirean rulers (Ghoere, Avanil and Boeruine) would have to be
crushed along with most of the rest of the current regents. If
anything (in fact, probably the only thing that) could get them to
unite would be an invasion by the Gorgon or some similar power, so
they would all have to be destroyed or so near as to make little
difference. Nearby realms in the Rjurik Highlands might take
advantage of the devastation to gobble up parts of Anuire. A few
Khinasi and maybe Brecht regents might also participate in a land
grab. Existing humanoid and monstrous realms (the Five Peaks,
Thurazor, Markazor) would certainly jump on the bandwagon.
There might be a large underground or rebel movement against the
Gorgon since that`s such a standard of fantasy fiction (and itself a
cool idea for an alternate BR campaign.) But as long as he has
control and maintains that control for a certain amount of time
(maybe as long as a century, but probably something more like a
generation) he`d ascend to godhood.
After his ascension, I imagine the Gorgon leaving quite a power
vacuum. His realm would be further carved up by people claiming to
be true successors to his throne. Imagine how Alexander`s empire was
carved up after he died--or, probably more realistically, what
happened to the Carolingians after the death of Charlemagne. It`d
still be a "dark age" in which people were trying to recover from a
generation (or two, or three) of destruction and oppression. In
fact, it`s nearly post-apocalyptic in tone. Banditry is
rampant. Infrastructures non-existent. Cities, towns and even
villages are fortified against attack by humanoids and lawless humans
that roam unchecked.
About the only Anuirean realms unaffected by the Gorgon`s apotheosis
could be the elves of the Sielwode whose isolationism means they can
be simply bypassed by the Gorgon. Tuarhievel`s location and politics
might not spare that land, though. A few human realms might be able
to avoid the worst of the devastation. Dhoesone and Coeranys are
remote and weak enough that they might not lose too much. Aerenwe
might be able to adopt a policy that isolates it. Mieres, of course,
could remain out of the war, but might very well declare independence
in the process to avoid having the land`s resources sapped.
After his ascension we might assume a pretty big temple structure
dedicated to him. He might not have as many total levels of temples
as other Cerilian gods, but the Hand of Azrai might be replaced (or
simply renamed) into something dedicated to the Gorgon directly and
expanded considerably. He`d have his own priests, and they would
start to gain spells in a way similar to the followers/worshippers of
the Serpent. In order to figure out any of that, though, we really
need to know what the Gorgon would be the god of. From his
personality and background, I`d guess any of the following concepts
might support his portfolio: envy, wrath, battle/war, revenge, hate,
pride, terror/fear, earth, ambition. (Note: there is no Cerilian god
of death per se, and I don`t think the Big G is really any more
qualified than any existing god, otherwise that`d be on that list
too.) Personally, I favor revenge, wrath and battle/war on that list
even though battle/war is pretty well covered by the existing gods.
05-06-2007, 06:53 AM #10
artifact. No serious regent cares what he thinks. I cannot even imagine that he pretends to some importance. Certainly there are idealists who form some legitamist party in Anuire, but it is difficult for them to produce a serious candidate, much less elevate this person to the throne. Given the age, this is like looking for the Merovingian candidate for the throne of France.
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