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  1. #1
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    A thing I dislike in the setting is that the alignment of the gods may be
    different from their worshippers. Not only one alignment-category (as proposed in
    the 3.Edition rules), also complete different alignments are possible.
    For example cuiraecen himself is chaotic good but has chaotic evil worshippers. Why
    should cuiraecen tolerate such an ethos in his own ranks ? Why should he
    give spells to them ? Ok, one could find some reasonable aspects which explains the previous -
    but I still have problems to make it plausible.
    my purpose is now to lead you into the Pallace where you shall have a clear and delightful view of all those various objects, and scattered excellencies, that lye up and down upon the face of creation, which are only seen by those that go down into the Seas, and by no other....

  2. #2
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    I cannot say I disagree more :)

    Cuiraecen, was your example. He is the god of change, personification of Chaos. His priests are not interested in promoting law, but simply wage wars in order to glorify and praise Cuiraecen. The god himself is allied to Eloele who is considered evil by most.

    The priests don't follow a doctrine of "fight for good" but simply "fight for war" that leaves no room for them to judge which side they will join.

    Aside from that, the gods in Cerilia don't really care about mortals. They don't take active interest in them, with a few exceptions. Haelyn did not save Michale Roele, did he? :)

    Finally, the fact that a priest of a certaing deity is not obligated to follow the deity's alignment makes the game much more realistic and intriguing. Not all priest of Haelyn are good. Was the real-life Rasputin a good man? Richelier? An LE priest of Haelyn is Richelie. Puppet master who wants to gain worldly power and dominate on others. Cleanse the world of the impure and anyone not following his decress to the letter is impure. This is in no way directly contradictory to Haelyn's idea of the world. Haelyn wants order and Justice. The LE priest enforces it with his laws. Wether that laws are good or not, is irrelevant, as long as they keep order.

    With Cuiraecen, the case is similar. He wants wars and change. The battle priests in Aftane are doing just that, wage war against Ariya and others just for the sake of waging war at them.

    The fact that a good god can have evil priests makes everyone uneasy and intrigues and plots are harder to locate. If all priests of Haelyn were good, then things would be rather boring in Anuire. One has to be the concealed evil in order to cause the war here, spring the plot there, anc generally move the campaign towardsa direction. Otherwise, if it was crstal clear that all Haelynites are good, I cannot really see any political bickering in the whole of Anuire.

  3. #3
    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    I think youre right; Azrai. But this problem is not only one for Cuiraécen, also Healyn (LE), Belinik (LE) and Erik (LG, CG) have it. I think the only gods, where the alignment problem is o.k. are Laerme, Avani and Sera. This is another argument for more different gods (different discussion).... ;)

    One argument against that theory (only for lesser gods) is, that they must get as much worshippers as they can! The alignment is not extremly compatible, but whom interests that if there ARE worshippers?

    Hmmm..., but what has Haelyn for argument???
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

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    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    Orginally posted by A_dark

    I cannot say I disagree more :)

    Cuiraecen, was your example. He is the god of change, personification of Chaos. His priests are not interested in promoting law, but simply wage wars in order to glorify and praise Cuiraecen. The god himself is allied to Eloele who is considered evil by most.
    I don't think, Cuiraécen is only interested in wage war and chaos. He is CG and his doctrines (o.k. can wary) are to PROTECT the defenseless and declare war their traitors. By the way, Cuiraécen is also allied to Laerme (goddes of love)!


    The priests don't follow a doctrine of "fight for good" but simply "fight for war" that leaves no room for them to judge which side they will join.
    May be, some CN and CE priests are. There are several more who fight definitively for good and choose the side!!


    Finally, the fact that a priest of a certaing deity is not obligated to follow the deity's alignment makes the game much more realistic and intriguing. Not all priest of Haelyn are good. Was the real-life Rasputin a good man? Richelier? An LE priest of Haelyn is Richelie. Puppet master who wants to gain worldly power and dominate on others. Cleanse the world of the impure and anyone not following his decress to the letter is impure. This is in no way directly contradictory to Haelyn's idea of the world. Haelyn wants order and Justice. The LE priest enforces it with his laws. Wether that laws are good or not, is irrelevant, as long as they keep order.

    With Cuiraecen, the case is similar. He wants wars and change. The battle priests in Aftane are doing just that, wage war against Ariya and others just for the sake of waging war at them.
    Do they? Are you sure all of them join this?
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  5. #5
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    Their leader is one of the Red Kings :)

    Good and evil in the game of Birthright are totally relevant. Cuiraecen wants to help the defenseless. Agreed, (for some doctrines, cos as you said, and I said, some simply say, war for war)

    Let's take a look in Aftane.

    Why is Aftane not the defenseless and Ariya is? If you would realistically look into the history books of each country, it would be obvious that Aftane says Ariyans are evil and Ariyans would say that the Red Kings are evil, each one with his own arguments.

    If you allowed a god to actually make the choice, then all the human realms that were evil, would be forced to rely on Kriesha and Belinik for their spiritual guidance, even in Aftane, where Kriesha with the snow and all is ridiculous, and the barbaric Belinik has no relation to the sophisticated Khinasi.

    I don't like the idea that the priest must be so close to the alignment of the deity, because an alignment cannot interprete all the aspects of the deities characteristics. Haelyn wants order as I said and an evil tyrant can bring order.

    Aside from that, the fact still remains, that the BR gods don't really care about their followers, only the priests do, just like Richelie or Rasputin :)

  6. #6
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    Orginally posted by A_dark


    Aside from that, the fact still remains, that the BR gods don't really care about their followers, only the priests do, just like Richelie or Rasputin :)
    The gods give out spells to their followers - so they do care about.

    Alignment is an important category (in D&D sense per definition). it covers
    the doctrines of the god. can't be that a paladin-like god (rg) supports a
    le-tyrant.
    my purpose is now to lead you into the Pallace where you shall have a clear and delightful view of all those various objects, and scattered excellencies, that lye up and down upon the face of creation, which are only seen by those that go down into the Seas, and by no other....

  7. #7
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    Orginally posted by A_dark




    If you allowed a god to actually make the choice, then all the human realms that were evil, would be forced to rely on Kriesha and Belinik for their spiritual guidance, even in Aftane, where Kriesha with the snow and all is ridiculous, and the barbaric Belinik has no relation to the sophisticated Khinasi.

    Yes, thats the logical result. And indeed, that is exactly my point of critism as I already pointed out
    in the "more god" thread.
    my purpose is now to lead you into the Pallace where you shall have a clear and delightful view of all those various objects, and scattered excellencies, that lye up and down upon the face of creation, which are only seen by those that go down into the Seas, and by no other....

  8. #8
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    > Azrai wrote:
    >
    > Alignment is an important category (in D&D sense per definition). it
    covers
    > the doctrines of the god. can`t be that a paladin-like good (rg) supports
    a
    > le-tyrant-

    That is typically true in D&D, and as a result we see a good deal of the
    Heironeous/Hextor dualism. In BR, however, Haelyn represents not only the
    LG slice of the divine sphere, but really occupies the roles of Heironeous,
    Hextor, St Cuthbert, and Pelor. So instead of seeing little sects to each
    of these gods, we have instead, different sects of Haelyn, each in dispute
    with the others. Looking at Haelyn`s priests in the BoP, they can be any
    Good, or any Lawful. So a CG and a LE priest can both represent Haelyn.
    Instead of being exclusive, priests must be lawful *and* good, BR is
    inclusive, priests must be lawful *or* good.

    This serves a purpose that is specific to BR, as well as creating a setting
    theology different from the norm, and that specific BR purpose is to
    facilitate the realm temple system. Fewer gods makes bookkeeping simple. A
    Temple of Haelyn (4), rather a temple of Heironeous (1), Hextor (1), St
    Cuthbert (1), and Pelor (1).

    Further, while alignment is one way to gauge the doctrines of a god, it is
    not the only way. Portfolio and the divine histories are another way.
    Consider the notion of Cuiraécen as foe of Laerme. Under the BoP entery for
    Cuiraécen, Laerme is listed as a sometimes foe, but they have the exact same
    CG alignment. This is because some other issues are more important than
    their agreement about right conduct. Namely that complication of a love
    triangle.

    Alignment is important, but its only one tool, and it should not trump
    setting information.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    > Azrai wrote:
    >
    > Yes, thats the logical result. And indeed, that is exactly my point of
    > critism as I already pointed out in the "more god" thread.

    Medieval theologians used to argue that if you encountered this kind of
    contradiction concerning the nature of god, you had made false assumptions.
    Since, as A_dark has already pointed out, the requirement that lawful evil
    Aftane must worship the only available lawful evil diety (Kriesha) is
    ridiculous.

    The reason that Cuiraécen is a the prominent god that he is in Aftane has
    more to do with his portfolio of battle than it does with his alignment of
    CG. He priesthood can be of any non-lawful, and Herad, ruler of the Chosen
    of Khirdai is NE. He fits within the non-lawful constraints, and he
    presumably can teach the glory of combat to a large number of NE followers.
    While the realm as a whole tends to be a little more lawful than the temples
    and their glory-in-battle seekers, an alliance between NE and LE, is hardly
    difficult to justify.

    Instead of thinking in terms of needing more gods, consider the use of
    aspects. An aspect is a focus on one part of the god, rather than trying to
    embrace the whole. I typically use three aspects for Cuiraécen: heralds,
    battle, and storms. None of these aspects is inconsistant with NE. A god
    like Haelyn, disscused previously, might have aspects which reflected
    different approaches to Haelyn.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 01:43 PM 6/27/2002 +0200, A_dark wrote:

    >Cuiraecen, was your example. He is the god of change, personification of
    >Chaos.

    Cuiraecen is the god of battle, "the Stormlord" and Haelyn`s champion, but
    he`s not the embodiment of change or chaos. It`s certainly possible to
    portray him as a god of change, or to interprets aspects of his character
    as being chaotic, but it need not necessarily be that way. The same
    aspects of Cuiraecen that could be interpreted as chaotic could also be
    interpreted as lawful, which is part of the point. Alignment is a rather
    hazy concept, which is one of the reasons it leads to so many debates, and
    specific attempts to apply it can always be interpreted and reinterpreted
    in many ways.

    Personally, I never bought the idea that worshippers have to have the same
    alignment of their god. First of all, I don`t think the gods should
    necessarily be locked into a mode of behavior as limiting as
    alignment. They embody an entirely different emphasis. Alignment itself
    only describes the good/evil, law/chaos dichotomies, but there are an
    infinite number of other oppositions possible, and the gods often embody
    one side or the other of those pairs. Life/death, Nature/civilization,
    honor/expedience, war/peace, love/hate, chastity/eros, health/pestilence,
    day/night, ice/fire, winter/summer, etc. One could assign a good/evil or
    law/chaos association to any or all of those dichotomies, but different
    interpretations of those concepts are possible and perfectly sensible. The
    gods (and by association their worshippers) should hold that aspect of a
    dichotomous relationship that they embody as more significant than the
    alignment system. Will alignment overlap in many circumstances with that
    embodiment? Sure. Law (in the lawful alignment sense rather than the
    legal/legislation sense) and civilization could often overlap, but many
    aspects of civilization aren`t necessarily lawful, just as many aspects of
    nature aren`t necessarily chaotic.

    Is love good? Well, yeah, generally. Anybody who`s been in love, however,
    would probably admit that certain aspects of it aren`t all that "good" if
    they can manage to get past their infatuation and look at the condition
    objectively, and some aspects of love are downright "evil." Love/hate
    don`t really exist on the same axis as good/evil or law/chaos and, in fact,
    good/evil and law/chaos probably aren`t the perpendicular axis that the
    alignment system portrays them to be. If one were going to come up with a
    real "alignment" system it would probably have to include many more axis,
    and even then one would have to take into consideration that many of them
    will sometimes conflict with one another in a way that really supports the
    "reality" of individual choices and situations.

    Gary

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