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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6354 Posts

Posted - 15 Dec 2020 :  08:43:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Perhaps the people running the cult dont believe the prophecies, they are just in it for the money and the power.

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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2020 :  05:24:20  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader Ayrik,

quote:
But Sammaster's mental state doesn't explain why erudites of later centuries would continue those beliefs.


I can certainly appreciate your consideration, but an erudite has no monopoly on resistance to powerful belief systems. A learned man can still be a misguided man. Cult's are about the notions of concrete answers, a sense of belonging, a refutation of a power source, i.e. deities to something "higher" or "better", and more.

Someone as charismatic, powerful, and confident as Sammaster easily would have pulled in, and maintained a growth trajectory, with other solid leaders. I mean, we've got a pretty epic cult here in the U.S. that has something to do with science, or something...

quote:
The Cult's dracoliches are shackled into service by their instincts and by evil magics. But the Cult's human archmagi (and once-human liches) suffer no such magical compulsions. They supposedly also possess genius-level intellects. They each serve the Cult in different ways for different reasons, surely at least a few must be unimpressed by Sammaster's Cult of Personality.


I'm sure some have been unimpressed, and maybe even found ways to start fomenting resistance. Hard to say why that hasn't been covered, but if I had to guess, it is because he got some pretty great time in the CoD and the CotH. He could easily command an entire book to himself.

quote:
None have ever dared to examine Sammaster's vision of the future they work so hard to achieve? None have ever been tempted to revel in visions of dead dragons ruling the world?


Organizations predicated upon fear with such a powerful leader are well documented. A lot of times, the people are so pulled in and Stockholmed, they don't realize they could do something to leave.

quote:
I'm just saying that simple fact checks wouldn't be so hard to accomplish. And that an underground cult which has persisted across centuries - which has always embraced members of amoral, villainous, treacherous, dangerous, self-serving character - would surely have produced at least a few ambitious deviants willing to cheat or challenge the rules the Cult usually abides.


I think a lot of the CoD's problems are quite likely similar to the CotH's problems. Both groups are plagued with delusions, and never can seem to pull it together.

Best regards,




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Spirit Soaring
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2020 :  14:16:10  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

My current theory is that the guy who made the original prophecy got it wrong. It wasn't a prophecy, it was a glimpse into Abeir, a world were the dragons killed their masters and dominated the world. Then Sammy went and muddled stuff even worse...



Yeah, I had been thinking something along these same lines for a while, the question was what to do with it. By the way, it was not only the dragon part

"and nought will be left, save shattered thrones with no rulers but the dead. Dragons will rule the world entire, ..."

The above bold section could refer to the Eminence of Araunt taking over in areas that are saturated with undeath. Of course, Melauthaur the Undying COULD represent both sides and the ideas of the Cult of the Dragon as well since he's some form of dracolich.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2020 :  14:40:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I suppose I just don't understand the mindset.

The Realms is a world where deities are patently manifest, where the evidence of their existence is absolutely undeniable, where things like faith and divine visions can be firmly proven or disproven. Cults on our world must deal with intangibles, vague promises and assurances about things which can otherwise be denied. Cults in the Realms must instead compete against countless other faiths which can easily and reproducibly demonstrate the validity of their beliefs, they must be able to confirm what they offer is closer to The Truth than whatever untruths can be found elsewhere.

Common folk may not have direct access to the spells and rituals they need to interrogate higher powers or experience otherworldly visions. But uncommon folk (like wizards) do have such access. Along, we are told, with the sort of towering intellectual discipline needed to think critically, to innovate, and to acquire knowledge. I would expect such uncommoners to seek truth firsthand rather than rely entirely on the possibly (and very often) wrong interpretations of others. Especially in controversial things which have already been interpreted in significantly different ways. Especially in consequential things which determine, say, your lifetime allegiances and religious beliefs, or the possible extinction of your own species, or the ultimate fate of your world.



Here's my take on it in this particular situation. This prophecy of Maglas was a vision he saw of the future that he translated into text. In other words, Maglas didn't receive "write these words down in a book and call it Chronicles of Years to Come".

Sammaster read the Chronicles of Years to Come, and he DID cast some divinations of his own. He SAW undead dragons ruling. Maybe he even saw the results of the spellplague with Melauthaur coming to Toril and got his ideas for a dracolich. Maybe he also saw the dragon king ruling in Chessenta, the dracolich Alasklerbanbastos ruling in Threskel, the decrepit Millenium Dragon ruling a town in secrecy in Unther, and dragons ruling in Murghom, and a hidden dragon king ruling in Var the Golden just prior to the spellplague, plus possibly visions of the dracoliches that he himself went on to help establish. Granted, not all of these are undead dragons, but his visions may have been imperfect as well.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4211 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2020 :  22:49:58  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Perhaps the people running the cult dont believe the prophecies, they are just in it for the money and the power.



This is my take on it.

Most leaders use the Cult for their own gain and could care less about prophecy.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 16 Dec 2020 :  23:19:18  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That can explain some cult leaders, but not all of the rank and file members. My guess is that it is a combination. People who is there for the money and power, others that have been completely dupped and are true believers, and tbose that are in between.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

I suppose I just don't understand the mindset.

The Realms is a world where deities are patently manifest, where the evidence of their existence is absolutely undeniable, where things like faith and divine visions can be firmly proven or disproven. Cults on our world must deal with intangibles, vague promises and assurances about things which can otherwise be denied. Cults in the Realms must instead compete against countless other faiths which can easily and reproducibly demonstrate the validity of their beliefs, they must be able to confirm what they offer is closer to The Truth than whatever untruths can be found elsewhere.



I guess the problem is that the authors had a mindset of how stuff works in our world when writting stuff like the Cult of the Dragon, that is way it makes no sense when viewed through the lenses of Realmslore.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Here's my take on it in this particular situation. This prophecy of Maglas was a vision he saw of the future that he translated into text. In other words, Maglas didn't receive "write these words down in a book and call it Chronicles of Years to Come".



My take is that Maglas saw Abeir, or badly misinterpreted a vision of dragons ruling Semphar, Mūrghom and the Dragon Empires of Laerakond...

I like your take. Consider it stolen.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 17 Dec 2020 :  13:12:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas
Here's my take on it in this particular situation. This prophecy of Maglas was a vision he saw of the future that he translated into text. In other words, Maglas didn't receive "write these words down in a book and call it Chronicles of Years to Come".



My take is that Maglas saw Abeir, or badly misinterpreted a vision of dragons ruling Semphar, Mūrghom and the Dragon Empires of Laerakond...

I like your take. Consider it stolen.



You are more than welcome to it, considering we were already going down the same path. I only ask that you "clue me in" on any ideas formulating in your head, because its often one person feeding ideas to another that really makes something cook well.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 18 Dec 2020 :  23:29:09  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now that I think about it, wasn't Tiamat influencing Sammaster's movements because she wanted to get rid of the Dracorage Mythal? She could have shown him an altered vision of the future (and since Sammy was nuts, he was easy to influence) as part of a plan to get rid of the elvish thingy...

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 18 Dec 2020 23:29:40
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 18 Dec 2020 :  23:43:41  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Now that I think about it, wasn't Tiamat influencing Sammaster's movements because she wanted to get rid of the Dracorage Mythal? She could have shown him an altered vision of the future (and since Sammy was nuts, he was easy to influence) as part of a plan to get rid of the elvish thingy...



I don't think that was a thing (or at least, I don't believe I've ever heard that theory before), but it could make sense. It might be more convoluted than even I'm used to though (and that's saying a lot). Where do you recall that idea coming from (was it maybe the rise of tiamat adventure?)

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  05:02:27  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I read about it in Dragons of Faerūn... perhaps Eric Boyd can help us

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PattPlays
Senior Scribe

469 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  05:24:08  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Now that I think about it, wasn't Tiamat influencing Sammaster's movements because she wanted to get rid of the Dracorage Mythal? She could have shown him an altered vision of the future (and since Sammy was nuts, he was easy to influence) as part of a plan to get rid of the elvish thingy...


This brings up a peculiar point of interest.. What was Bahamut's stance on the Dracorage Mythal on Toril?

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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  13:18:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm, wonder if Tchazzar and the king down in Var the Golden were affected by the dragon rage now that you mention that type of thing.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 19 Dec 2020 :  15:00:03  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by PattPlays
This brings up a peculiar point of interest.. What was Bahamut's stance on the Dracorage Mythal on Toril?



That's actually a good question, because we don't know. There is no info about his opinions on the matter, or why he did nothing during the last rage or the tyranny of dragons. Something usual, as only the evulz gods matter in published Realmslore. Not to be harsh with the authors, but that is how I see their fixation with the evil gods. They turn the good gods into useless monoliths. Unless they are called Mystra or Eilistraee, of course...

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmmm, wonder if Tchazzar and the king down in Var the Golden were affected by the dragon rage now that you mention that type of thing.



We know Tchazzar was, it's mentioned in Dragons of Faerūn. The other one, I don't know.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 19 Dec 2020 15:03:28
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

873 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  09:35:08  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Regarding Maglas, we don't know what he saw exactly but he didn't start a Faerun spanning cult based on his visions. He was just recording them, like most "true" seers and visionaries.

The unhinged Sammaster came later, latched on his own interpretation of the prophecies and is a perfect example of "confirmation bias": he probably didn't focus his mighty divinatory powers on "let's see how Faerun will look in 500 years" but he went straight for "let's see the undead dragon rulers of Faerun" which might have shown any number of future dracoliches that you listed (including his own creations!).

Being a very powerful archmage (good job Mystra!) he had plentiful resources to start a big cult and devise new spells to achieve his goals and at that point it didn't matter anymore that he was wrong because he started stirring trouble all over the place and someone had to stop him (regardless of the prophecies being correctly interpreted or not).

It's kinda like someone telling you that you are going to get shot ... and then shooting you, self-fullfilling at its best.

I have to recheck the sources carefully but I remember the following.

The Cult of the Dragon was riddled with strife and weakened by a tug-of-war from at least a couple of active deities and their churches (Tiamat and Gargauth) almost from the get go but they had to thread carefully as long as Sammy was home because he could quash everyone easily. His influence and that of his upper loyal echelons lasted for a while longer after his demise but then the big triumvirate started asserting dominance and these three only had their own best interests (and those of their sponsors, if any) in mind. So now (which can be late 1370s or 1470s ... or 1490s if it's still a thing?) the cult is just a big organised crime bandwagon with different local heads and some big boys and girls that try to not step on each other toes too clearly.

I mean, if I remember correctly one of the new "heads" is/was Daurgothoth who is kind of the draconic Larloch so, yeah, he's not following anybody's else visions or orders.
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  15:17:43  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

So now (which can be late 1370s or 1470s ... or 1490s if it's still a thing?)



It was still is own thing by 1479, with at least one dracolich as its ultimate authority (Anabraxis, IIRC). Then, by the late 1480s it got subsumed by the Church of Tiamat. Dunno if the cult survived their catastrophic defeat after Tiamat got defeated herself at the end of the Tyranny of Dragons.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36782 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  18:24:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

So now (which can be late 1370s or 1470s ... or 1490s if it's still a thing?)



It was still is own thing by 1479, with at least one dracolich as its ultimate authority (Anabraxis, IIRC). Then, by the late 1480s it got subsumed by the Church of Tiamat. Dunno if the cult survived their catastrophic defeat after Tiamat got defeated herself at the end of the Tyranny of Dragons.



The Cult survived the destruction of Sammy himself and the Dracorage mythal -- I'd expect it to survive Tiamat.

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PattPlays
Senior Scribe

469 Posts

Posted - 20 Dec 2020 :  20:04:28  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

Regarding Maglas, we don't know what he saw exactly but he didn't start a Faerun spanning cult based on his visions. He was just recording them, like most "true" seers and visionaries.

The unhinged Sammaster came later, latched on his own interpretation of the prophecies and is a perfect example of "confirmation bias": he probably didn't focus his mighty divinatory powers on "let's see how Faerun will look in 500 years" but he went straight for "let's see the undead dragon rulers of Faerun" which might have shown any number of future dracoliches that you listed (including his own creations!).

Being a very powerful archmage (good job Mystra!) he had plentiful resources to start a big cult and devise new spells to achieve his goals and at that point it didn't matter anymore that he was wrong because he started stirring trouble all over the place and someone had to stop him (regardless of the prophecies being correctly interpreted or not).

It's kinda like someone telling you that you are going to get shot ... and then shooting you, self-fullfilling at its best.

I have to recheck the sources carefully but I remember the following.

The Cult of the Dragon was riddled with strife and weakened by a tug-of-war from at least a couple of active deities and their churches (Tiamat and Gargauth) almost from the get go but they had to thread carefully as long as Sammy was home because he could quash everyone easily. His influence and that of his upper loyal echelons lasted for a while longer after his demise but then the big triumvirate started asserting dominance and these three only had their own best interests (and those of their sponsors, if any) in mind. So now (which can be late 1370s or 1470s ... or 1490s if it's still a thing?) the cult is just a big organised crime bandwagon with different local heads and some big boys and girls that try to not step on each other toes too clearly.

I mean, if I remember correctly one of the new "heads" is/was Daurgothoth who is kind of the draconic Larloch so, yeah, he's not following anybody's else visions or orders.



Gargauth and the cult of the dragon, what a strange history they have! A couple weeks back I figured out that whole connection with Gargauth by browsing threads and skimming through classic books. I was ASTONISHED because I had just watched a lore video on Giants and.. gosh. Gargauth is responsible for so much, and shifted the blame for his actions every time!

>Dracorage mythal destroyed
>Dragons coordinate
>Tiamat breaks onto the world
>Humanoids fix the problem
>Annam looks at the giants and says "Wow, you let them fix that for you?"
>Storm Giant King breaks apart the ordening
>Fire Giants resort to trying to reconstruct their titanic giant mech
>All of Storm King's Thunder Happens

When you look at lists of events like this and wonder just how much Gargauth could have intentionally or unintentionally meddled with the causality of it all.. it just reminds me of how Gargauth orchestrated the destruction of Zhentil Keep and got the Cult of the Dragon blamed for it. Did I understand that lore right?

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Edited by - PattPlays on 20 Dec 2020 20:05:16
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  16:30:21  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not sure where you're going with Gargauth and Zhentil Keep's destruction, but I agree... he's been involved with a LOT. I was so annoyed when they exited him from the realms to bring in Asmodeus in pretty much the exact same role (but more mustache twirlingly evil).

You know what I'd like to find out? That Gargauth was involved somehow with the dragonborn and tieflings that tore apart Azuth and Asmodeus... so that he helped kick Asmodeus out of his role to a degree so that he could move back into play. Not sure how to make it happen, but it would make a good plot.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  18:00:04  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But Asmodeus became a full god, not beholden to Azuth anymore, while Gargauth is a loser sealed up within a shield while all the multiversal important events toom place

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  19:49:58  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is where I have a bit of a problem with this whole Asmodeus elevation thing. He was really doing ok where he was and seems to only be used as a reason to explain why all tieflings look the same. They could have had Gargauth be a bigger player or if they really wanted to introduce a new god of indulgence, use Kanchelsis.

Maybe better option: Kanchelsis wanted worshippers in the Realms. When the Spellplague happened, both Azuth and Asmo were "destroyed" so he faked being a "combined" being to explain why Asmo was suddenly a god. Now that they are back, the church has a schism as someone else is claiming to be Asmo appears but doesn't seem to have as much power ("Asmo" the god can grant divine spells while the real Asmo can only grant arcane). THAT could be fun to have a God and an Archdevil fight for the same group of worshippers.


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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  20:15:00  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Senior Scribe TheIriaeban,

quote:
They could have had Gargauth be a bigger player or if they really wanted to introduce a new god of indulgence, use Kanchelsis.


I think that is where the terminal "no sh**s to give" diagnosis came in. It seems to have been terminal for WotC.

quote:
THAT could be fun to have a God and an Archdevil fight for the same group of worshippers.


Also, very overly powerful when considering the Blood War!

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 21 Dec 2020 :  22:52:33  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

But Asmodeus became a full god, not beholden to Azuth anymore, while Gargauth is a loser sealed up within a shield while all the multiversal important events toom place



Yet Gargauth WAS a full god already, the shield was just something he spoke through prior to the SCAG redo, not something he was "trapped" in. Asmodeus got a "divine spark" of a being that was essentially a dead god. Exactly what is what power level anymore is debatable. In the end though, there was no reason to bring in Asmodeus with Gargauth already there, except someone wanted to make a change for change's sake.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2020 :  00:40:32  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Yet Gargauth WAS a full god already, the shield was just something he spoke through prior to the SCAG redo, not something he was "trapped" in. Asmodeus got a "divine spark" of a being that was essentially a dead god. Exactly what is what power level anymore is debatable. In the end though, there was no reason to bring in Asmodeus with Gargauth already there, except someone wanted to make a change for change's sake.



Technically, he was a demigod. And I feel he is redundant within the greater D&D lore. Asmodeus is much more interesting as a character, while Gargauth is Cyric but devil. And Cyric is a mediocre character...

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

873 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2020 :  14:00:58  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

... while Gargauth is Cyric but devil.



Hey now! Nobody deserves name calling like that!

Edited by - Demzer on 22 Dec 2020 14:12:53
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2020 :  14:38:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Yet Gargauth WAS a full god already, the shield was just something he spoke through prior to the SCAG redo, not something he was "trapped" in. Asmodeus got a "divine spark" of a being that was essentially a dead god. Exactly what is what power level anymore is debatable. In the end though, there was no reason to bring in Asmodeus with Gargauth already there, except someone wanted to make a change for change's sake.



Technically, he was a demigod. And I feel he is redundant within the greater D&D lore. Asmodeus is much more interesting as a character, while Gargauth is Cyric but devil. And Cyric is a mediocre character...




To each their own, but I feel the comparison to Cyric is a bit off. Gargauth in my viewpoint is a LOT more subtle and crafty, possibly because he has to be so careful. Cyric is far from subtle. He's an attention hog who needs the limelight, which to a degree is also the feel I get out of Asmodeus (not near as bad as Cyric).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2020 :  15:34:17  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, the thing is that both deities are illogical for worship in civilized places. Too much self-destructive for a sane person for worshiping them. There is a big difference between Cyric and Gargauth, and deities like Auril or Umberlee, which you worship to appease. These former are way too destructive for that. But at least, Gargauth makes more sense than Cyric, as he is a devil...

As for Asmodeus, I don't see him as destructive as the other two. He presents himself as The God of Happiness, that god that wants you to be happy, who forgive you what the other gods don't want to forgive. The god that gives you all what you want, no questions asked (because he is going to ask for payment in the afterlife).

He doesn't present himself as the god of strife and madness, or the god of unhealthy power and decadence...

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 22 Dec 2020 15:35:30
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2020 :  20:37:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Well, the thing is that both deities are illogical for worship in civilized places. Too much self-destructive for a sane person for worshiping them. There is a big difference between Cyric and Gargauth, and deities like Auril or Umberlee, which you worship to appease. These former are way too destructive for that. But at least, Gargauth makes more sense than Cyric, as he is a devil...

As for Asmodeus, I don't see him as destructive as the other two. He presents himself as The God of Happiness, that god that wants you to be happy, who forgive you what the other gods don't want to forgive. The god that gives you all what you want, no questions asked (because he is going to ask for payment in the afterlife).

He doesn't present himself as the god of strife and madness, or the god of unhealthy power and decadence...



Yeah, that's what I don't get with him.... he presents himself as the ultimate master of hell, a tyrant who slaps around any of his underlings who displease him, a person who seals you into ironclad contracts in return for your soul, and he makes sure the multiverse knows these stories of him. In our world, where people may not believe in the afterlife "signing away your soul" would be one thing. On Toril.... I think people understand more that "this is a real thing". Meanwhile, the other god is simply whispering in your ear.... you may not even know who he is... after all, most of the knights of the shield don't KNOW that its gargauth talking out of the shield (a lot don't even know the shield talks). If he corrupts you through his whispers (no contract blatantly saying that you will sell your soul), he has made a win. Now, is his "win" as big of a "win" as buying someone's soul? Probably not in the grand scheme of things.... but its less about quality of the win versus quantity of wins. Its easier to believe in a deity who is about making someone doubt their neighbor in order to control them, and its easy to see an advisor who gives advice to a ruler to instill paranoia and control them.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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cpthero2
Great Reader

USA
2285 Posts

Posted - 22 Dec 2020 :  21:45:30  Show Profile  Visit cpthero2's Homepage Send cpthero2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great Reader sleyvas,

quote:
Meanwhile, the other god is simply whispering in your ear.... you may not even know who he is... after all, most of the knights of the shield don't KNOW that its gargauth talking out of the shield (a lot don't even know the shield talks). If he corrupts you through his whispers (no contract blatantly saying that you will sell your soul), he has made a win. Now, is his "win" as big of a "win" as buying someone's soul? Probably not in the grand scheme of things.... but its less about quality of the win versus quantity of wins. Its easier to believe in a deity who is about making someone doubt their neighbor in order to control them, and its easy to see an advisor who gives advice to a ruler to instill paranoia and control them.


Great point here. That's why how I run my Realms, priests are your regular beatboxers on the corner. They are singing, orating, pushing it like a drug. Competing with each other in a mad way, to get those souls. I mean, it's all a business, and business has been great for Asmodeus. Now that he is a deity, he gets twice the goodness: worship for divine and souls for the Blood War. That's winning all day for the President of Sales.

Best regards,




Higher Atlar
Spirit Soaring
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2451 Posts

Posted - 23 Dec 2020 :  00:03:14  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Yeah, that's what I don't get with him.... he presents himself as the ultimate master of hell, a tyrant who slaps around any of his underlings who displease him, a person who seals you into ironclad contracts in return for your soul, and he makes sure the multiverse knows these stories of him. In our world, where people may not believe in the afterlife "signing away your soul" would be one thing. On Toril.... I think people understand more that "this is a real thing". Meanwhile, the other god is simply whispering in your ear.... you may not even know who he is... after all, most of the knights of the shield don't KNOW that its gargauth talking out of the shield (a lot don't even know the shield talks). If he corrupts you through his whispers (no contract blatantly saying that you will sell your soul), he has made a win. Now, is his "win" as big of a "win" as buying someone's soul? Probably not in the grand scheme of things.... but its less about quality of the win versus quantity of wins. Its easier to believe in a deity who is about making someone doubt their neighbor in order to control them, and its easy to see an advisor who gives advice to a ruler to instill paranoia and control them.





That's hardly a problem with Asmodeus, and rather a problem with D&D as a whole. For instance, you have people fearing fairies and blaming them for spoiled milk, even when they are real creatures and people can ask them about it.

So, it's a problem of simulating a POV of a medieval society in a fantasy world.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11724 Posts

Posted - 23 Dec 2020 :  15:11:03  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


Yeah, that's what I don't get with him.... he presents himself as the ultimate master of hell, a tyrant who slaps around any of his underlings who displease him, a person who seals you into ironclad contracts in return for your soul, and he makes sure the multiverse knows these stories of him. In our world, where people may not believe in the afterlife "signing away your soul" would be one thing. On Toril.... I think people understand more that "this is a real thing". Meanwhile, the other god is simply whispering in your ear.... you may not even know who he is... after all, most of the knights of the shield don't KNOW that its gargauth talking out of the shield (a lot don't even know the shield talks). If he corrupts you through his whispers (no contract blatantly saying that you will sell your soul), he has made a win. Now, is his "win" as big of a "win" as buying someone's soul? Probably not in the grand scheme of things.... but its less about quality of the win versus quantity of wins. Its easier to believe in a deity who is about making someone doubt their neighbor in order to control them, and its easy to see an advisor who gives advice to a ruler to instill paranoia and control them.





That's hardly a problem with Asmodeus, and rather a problem with D&D as a whole. For instance, you have people fearing fairies and blaming them for spoiled milk, even when they are real creatures and people can ask them about it.

So, it's a problem of simulating a POV of a medieval society in a fantasy world.



Not really. Not that many people are shown as fearing fairies in most worlds that I've seen (though there are prankster fairies who might do such a thing). Most are either friendly to fey OR allot them territory and simply stay out of their way if the fey don't spread.

On the Asmodeus thing, I can see SOME folks willing to sign contracts for their souls, but it would likely be for something very powerful like extended life or magic (and I don't even think warlocks immediately consign their souls for power, but some may... more likely they agree to some questionably evil act that they already want to do) and devils would have to be careful they don't do too much good in order to gain a soul (raising a husband and his six children from the dead gives those raised folks a chance of turning evil, especially if devils work their guilt that momma's going to hell for them as they grow up while they make sure momma lives to endear the children to them... so "too much" good has leeway). In the end though Asmodeus himself is very much seen as a tyrant, portraying himself as "someone you don't disobey or cross". His priesthood would fear him as such, and he'd be similar to Bane in some respects.

This is why I think Gargauth works better, because his priesthood won't fear him AS MUCH, because the stories told of him are less of a power mad tyrant and more "a conniving compatriot you can confide in". They'll see him as a god of trickery to a degree that they can pray to for guidance. Their god will be one who is just happy to have "been part of the corrupting" and who will to more of a degree allow his priesthood to pursue avenues that serve small misdeeds daily over major intrigues. Its better in their thoughts that noone even knows that they are in the community, and temples to Gargauth would be rare

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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