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Thema: [D&D 5E Eberron] Unearthed Arcana und was es bislang sonst so gibt (wenig)

  1. #21
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    Und last but not least für den aktuellen Stand der Dinge
    The Blood of Vol

    http://keith-baker.com/dragonmark-the-blood-of-vol/
    Weil der Artikel so aufschlußreich ist, zitiere ich den mal beinahe in Gänze:

    The Blood of Vol is one of the most misunderstood aspects of Eberron…
    which is only fair, since it’s misunderstood by most of the people OF Eberron.
    So I figured I’d post my thoughts here so people can find them in the future.
    Bear in mind that everything I say here is based on MY vision of the Blood of Vol, and may contradict canon sources.

    Now as I said, the followers of the Blood of Vol – who call themselves Seekers, shorthand for Seekers of the Divinity Within – are misunderstood
    both by writers, players, and the majority of the people of Khorvaire.
    A few common beliefs:
    • The followers of the Blood of Vol worship Erandis Vol.
    • All Seekers revere or worship undead.
    • All Seekers want to become undead.
    • The Seekers are all evil.
    • All Seekers support the Order of the Emerald Claw.


    Before I address these points, let’s look at where the Blood of Vol comes from.
    The roots of the religion can be traced back to the early elves of Aerenal.

    Elven culture sought to preserve the souls of their greatest heroes, and the resulted in a cultural split.
    The Tairnadal believed heroes could live on through their ancestors.
    The Undying Court sought to preserve their heroes through reverence and positive energy.
    The line of Vol rejected this, saying that both of these paths relied on living elves supporting the dead.
    They sought an approach that would ensure that their heroes were self-sustaining or could take what they needed to survive.
    This resulted in the development of Mabaran necromancy and the creation of vampires, liches, and the like.
    Then the Mark of Death came along, and the Undying Court used this as the foundation for a brutal power grab.
    Per other sources, The Sibling Kings declared that the blood of Vol was to be completely destroyed, since even a drop could destroy all living things.
    It was believed that they successfully exterminated the line; the survival of Erandis Vol is a secret that lasts to this day.
    The allies of the line of Vol were allowed the option of either swearing fealty to the Undying Court or choosing exile.

    Now: The religion we know as the Blood of Vol was not practiced by the line of Vol.
    The elves of the Bloodsail Principality (Eye on Eberron, Dragon 410) are more representative of their traditions.
    The Blood of Vol evolved from the interaction between elven exiles and humans who believed in the Sovereign Host, and it was something entirely new.

    The elves brought with them the story of heroes who sought to transcend death, and how they were wiped out by cruel beings who feared the power of their blood.
    This blended with the myths of the Sovereign Host and the basic question what just god would allow death and suffering?
    Instead of the Mark of Death, the faith of the Blood of Vol maintains that all of us have a spark of divinity within our blood… and that the jealous gods
    cursed us with mortality so that we would never be able to unlock that power and challenge them.
    So: We all have the divinity within, but the universe is against us and death is oblivion.
    All we can do is stand together, look after those we love, and hope that some day we can break the curse of mortality and bring about a new age.
    Now let’s get back to those common misconceptions.

    • The followers of the Blood of Vol worship Erandis Vol.
      NOPE. The typical Seeker knows nothing about Elven history. If asked to explain who “Vol” is, most would say that Vol was the first Seeker
      to discover the Divinity Within; others might add that the Sovereigns wiped out Vol and their family, fearing this power.
      But the Seekers don’t worship any Vol. The idea that Erandis is a member of that founding family would impress Seekers,
      who would assume that she’s spent the last few thousand years finding a way to break the curse of Mortality and free everyone to unlock the Divinity Within…
      but Erandis keeps her true identity secret because she doesn’t want the Undying Court coming after her.
      So only her closest associates know her true identity. Most agents of the Order of the Emerald Claw only know her as “The Queen of Death,”
      a lich with vast power and wisdom.
    • All Seekers revere or worship undead.
      The Seekers see undeath as a tool. Undead such as skeletons and zombies are useful and a way to thumb your nose at the universe:
      You may have killed me, but you’ll have to grind my bones to dust before I stop helping my people.
      Seekers believe that their souls are destroyed after death, so there is nothing magical about the body; why not use it
      in a way that will help those who still live? In addition, throughout history the Blood of Vol has had champions who have become undead
      so that they can continue to teach or protect the living, or search for ways to break the curse of mortality or fight the Sovereigns themselves; essentially, undead saints.
      What makes these beings worthy of respect isn’t that they are undead: it’s what they do WITH their undeath.
      So a Seeker doesn’t inherently see a vampire as worthy of reverence; they understand that many vampires are selfish and only out for themselves.
      They understand that a ghoul may simply be a slavering beast. It’s simply that there are those who have become mummies or vampires or liches
      so that they can champion the faith, and those beings deserve reverence.
    • All Seekers want to become undead.
      Actually, most Seekers don’t want to become undead.
      While it’s a way to literally avoid death, it’s accepted that the Divinity Within is tied to your blood and your lifeforce;
      once you become undead, you lose that spark (not unlike the fact that Erandis Vol can’t use her dragonmark…).
      The undead champions are considered to be martyrs who have given up their own chance at divinity to help others.
      It’s a way to avoid death, but it’s a crappy half-life compared to what we could be.
    • The Seekers are all evil.
      The Followers of the Blood of Vol have a bleak outlook on the world.
      Many hate the Sovereigns and consider those who worship them to be dupes and idiots.
      And they are comfortable with undead and practice necromancy, things many people associate with evil.
      But Seekers can be any alignment.
      In short, being a Seeker means you believe in the Divinity within and that death is oblivion.
      Armed with that knowledge, do you seek personal power or do you try to protect the weak?
      Do you care only about yourself; your family and community; or all people, as you see every death as a tragedy?
      The universe is against us: Does that make you selfish, or does it fill you with compassion for those who suffer?
      Do you hate those who follow the Sovereigns, or do you pity them?
      The faith of the Blood of Vol is a foundation, and one that encourages compassion and community.
      It’s what YOU do with that foundation that determines your alignment.
    • All Seekers support the Order of the Emerald Claw.
      NOPE. Overlap between the faith and the EC is a Venn diagram.
      Some agents of the Emerald Claw are Seeker extremists who believe that the Queen of the Dead is an undead champion
      who will break the curse of mortality and show them the path to the Divinity Within.
      They don’t question her actions: whatever she tells them to do, she must have a reason.
      Others aren’t Seekers at all; some are simply Karrnathi patriots who believe she will lead their nation to greatness,
      or who simply seek vengeance on the rest of Khorvaire.
      And then there are some – like Erandis herself – who see the Emerald Claw as a tool, and don’t believe in Karrnath or the Divinity Within.
      Meanwhile, the typical Seeker doesn’t condone the terrorist actions of the Emerald Claw and hates the fact
      that the Emerald Claw paints all Seekers in a bad light.


    If you want to do deep reading, here’s a few other options.



    Now, let’s get to questions.

    Are undead warriors an extreme solution in Karrnath or now undeads are used in common works? Do they have undead farmers?
    “Karrnath” isn’t the same thing as the Blood of Vol. The Seekers are comfortable with undead and have always used
    mindless undead – standard skeletons and zombies – for manual labor. You can definitely find a Seeker farmstead with skeletons in the fields.
    But Seekers have always been a minority in Karrnath and most Karrns consider that sort of thing to be creepy.
    During the Last War, Kaius embraced the Blood of Vol during a time of crisis recognizing that their necromancers could help reinforce the armies of Karrnath
    with undead, and they did.
    However, many Karrns hated this practice, believing that it sullied the martial reputation of their nation; they didn’t need to turn to such dark magics.
    Towards the end of the war Regent Moranna broke ties with the Blood of Vol, and Kaius III has actually blamed the Seekers
    for some of Karrnath’s problems – perhaps it was their dark magics that sickened crops and caused famines in the first place!
    This is basically a populist move that helped Kaius reinforce his power base, giving his people someone to blame for their misfortunes.
    In keeping with this – and as a gesture of goodwill to the other Thronehold nations – Kaius largely sealed his undead forces in the catacombs below Atur or in Fort Bones.
    So there ARE undead still in service in Karrnath – as seen in my novel The Queen of Stone – but they are the exception rather than the rule,
    and undead haven’t been incorporated into all walks of life. But if you WANT to explore how undead could be incorporated into everyday life,
    you can do this in Seeker communities – and on a larger scale, in Atur or Fort Bones.

    I thought the undead in the Karnath military were former patriotic elite soldiers?
    There are two common classes of undead in military service.
    The rank and file undead soldiers are mindless skeletons and zombies – the sort that can be created by animate dead,
    which must be controlled by a capable leader. The sentient “Karrnathi Undead” were a later development created at Fort Bones using the Odakyr Rites.
    These produce skilled undead soldiers that can take personal initiative, but the rituals can only be performed in Mabaran manifest zones
    (notably Atur and Odakyr, AKA Fort Bones) and require the remains of elite Karrnathi soldiers… so to get an elite Karrnathi skeleton, you have to lose an elite living soldier.
    Note that Karrnathi undead are sentient but do NOT have memories of their former lives.
    The Fort Bones article in Dungeon 195 goes into more detail about what Karrnathi Undead are actually like.

    How do Seekers see uncorporeal undead? Are they treated the same as zombies?
    The undead most commonly encountered in Seeker communities are the mindless skeletons and zombies that can be created using the Animate Dead spell,
    a third level spell that falls in the scope of Eberron’s “Wide Magic.” Animate Greater Undead is an eighth level spell, far out of reach of most BoV clerics,
    so you just don’t see a lot of spectres and wraiths in the typical community the way you see skeletons.
    Beyond this, the attitude towards skeletons and zombies is that they are tools – they’re made with the remains of your friends, but they aren’t your friend.
    By contrast, a sentient incorporeal undead that has the memories of its former life, such as a ghost, falls into the category of
    “You’ve transcended death at the cost of your divine spark… now what are you going to do with your unlife?”
    There’s nothing inherently good or bad about a ghost. If that ghost chooses to help mortals, it’s an undead champion;
    if it’s a selfish being or a crazed killer, it’s a monster.

    BoV is like two different religions. One talks of community, god within, and how to unlock it.
    I don’t really understand how undeads fit in that: are they experiments? Are they supposed to fight with other Gods? And who is Vol for them?

    Largely answered above, but to be clear: Undeath is a tool that allows you to extend existence at the cost of your divine spark.
    Mindless undead are simply tools, nothing more. Sentient undead who follow the faith are supposed to help mortals,
    whether that’s by protecting them, teaching them, or potentially yes, finding a way to defeat the gods and break the curse of immortality to them.
    “Vol” is a mythical figure, possibly the first Seeker; “Erandis” isn’t a name most Seekers have ever heard.

    Then there are the ones who know. Vol is an evil lich who cares nothing of humans. They believe that she can become a God.
    Why should they believe it so much to cast spells through that?

    Most of Vol’s inner circle aren’t actually Seekers themselves; they are simply aping the faith of their Seeker followers as a way to gain their loyalty.
    Such individuals AREN’T divine casters; they’d be arcane casters, like Erandis herself. Those that are Seekers fall into the evil Seeker definition above:
    They are interested in their OWN personal power and don’t care about the greater good. But as for spellcasting, they don’t get their power from their belief in VOL;
    they get their power from their belief in their OWN divine sparks. For a divine-class Seeker, their power comes from within.
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  2. #22
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    Er hat den Artikel um Blood of Vol noch mal erweitert,
    der ist jetzt wirklich verdammt lang oO

    So the huge misunderstanding I was in is that the Blood of Vol is NOT, in your opinion, a creation of Erandis Vol.
    I admit this will miss me. I loved the idea of Erandis creating her own religion for transcending death or maybe creating her personal Undying Court.
    But if I understand you see Erandis taking control of a pre-existing religion that could even be right and twisting the believers at her own plans.

    Like all things in Eberron, you should definitely do what makes sense to you! But you are correct about my idea.

    I like the fact that the religion is an entirely plausible faith that stands on its own and that has a logical basis for providing followers with divine power:
    that power comes from within them. I love the idea that in spite of the fact that the faith works, that Erandis herself doesn’t believe in it.
    I also like the idea that this faith has been around for thousands of years – something that’s tricky if Erandis is a visible, known figurehead,
    since Erandis is hunted by both Aerenal and Argonnessen and the idea of slapping a big “I AM HERE” target on her head is a little wacky.
    My premise is that the religion emerged long ago, the dragons and the Undying Court looked at it and said “Bad name, but it’s just a name”
    and that Erandis stepped in long after to take over.

    Beyond this, I like it as a religion that has a plausible basis in the world. Person A believes in the Sovereigns, benevolent beings who define reality.
    Person B’s son dies, and she says “Why would your Sovereigns take my son from me? Why would your Arawai let us starve?
    Why would your Aureon let this king oppress us? If there are gods in the heavens, they care nothing for me. I will find my power within.”
    With that said, I also see it as the perfect atheist’s religion.
    SOME members of the faith believe the whole Sovereigns-are-evil concept, but others simple assert (as presented in Faiths of Eberron)
    that there are no gods – that all divine power comes from the Divinity Within, and clerics of other faiths are just deluded people
    slapping pageantry on what ultimately comes from inside them. Power is there to be taken, but that doesn’t mean gods exist.

    By the way: am I right that in some canon seeker are said like to search for people to donate blood for rituals and/or for feeding vampires?
    You are correct, though they don’t have to search. This is called the Sacrament of Blood, and it’s a communal activity practiced by any Seeker community:
    coming together and sharing their blood in a basin, which can then be transferred to barrels of preserving pine to be shared with vampires in need.
    While the feeding of vampires is a side benefit, symbolically it’s about affirming that the members of the community are one, and united in their divinity.
    It’s covered in detail on page 79 of Faiths of Eberron.

    If the champions of the Blood of Vol become undead and continue to walk the earth, even by restricting this to the most valiant ones,
    after a few centuries of practice that’s bound to be quite a crowd. Are they super-extra-picky? Or is there another explanation?

    This is exactly why I push back on the idea that “undeath is the path to divinity” – because it’s not THAT hard to become undead, really,
    and if that truly was the goal you should have a huge pile of vampires out in the world.
    Thus, my version of the faith gives a concrete reason why it’s NOT the primary goal.

    Aside from this: liches and mummies are the preferable form of long-term sentient undead, because they don’t require sustenance
    (well, the Undying Court maintains that they draw life force from the world around them and are slowly killing us all – but they don’t need blood like vampires do).
    So that’s the preferable choice for your undead champion… but they aren’t easy to create, and in some ages there’s no one around who CAN make one.
    Looking to vampires, the community sustains vampires using the Sacrament of Blood, but that’s a limited resource and thus yes,
    creating a new vampire is considered to be an important decision, not something done lightly.

    With that said, why aren’t there more undead champions? Because of all the people who want to destroy them.
    The Deathguard of Aerenal, the Church of the Silver Flame, the paladins of Dol Arrah… there’s a lot of groups out there
    that are happy to hunt down vampires and their kin, and this is one reason Erandis Vol keeps a low profile.
    There is surely a codex in Atur of all the great champions who have been destroyed by misguided mortals.

    A good follower of the Blood of Vol wants to preserve all life. This proves to be an uneasy goal to reach, as the very mechanics
    of the game tend to push players to kill their opponents without seconds thoughts more often than not.
    What creatures, would you think, the BoV faith may consider “impossible to save” (and so, fair game to kill if they act evil)?

    Well, rather than saying they want to preserve all life, I’d say that they consider every death a loss.
    Every death is a tragedy, and a good follower of the BoV sympathizes will all who labor under the curse;
    in my opinion, BoV clerics are the MOST likely to help others with resurrection magic,
    because they don’t believe dying people have some pleasant future with the Sovereigns of Flame.
    But with that said, that doesn’t mean that every life must be saved or that they cannot kill.
    Every death is a tragedy, but first and foremost you have to protect your people.
    If a bandit tries to kill you – or if a paladin of Dol Arrah is going to destroy your undead champion – it’s OK to kill them.
    If you CAN take them alive, great. But if misguided people pose a clear and deadly threat to the faithful, shed a tear for them
    and do what you must do to protect those who are truly innocent.
    Basically, it’s never something you should do without a second thought – but it’s acceptable to kill someone who will kill you or your people if nothing is done.

    Aberrations are definitely fair game. Strangely, undead are valid to destroy, because they’re dead.
    Constructs, oozes, etc – all good. Beyond that, many Seekers only see the divine spark as existing in “things that look like me”.
    TECHNICALLY any intelligent creature with blood has the Divinity within, but many Seekers only extend that to humanoids,
    and others limit even further to humans and demihumans. So if you try to protect all sentient things you’d a very noble Seeker… but many
    would just see the blackscale lizardfolk as a monster, not a brother-in-blood.

    What would be the position of the Church toward the warforged, in your opinion?
    A warforged is essentially like an undead. Pity them as they have no blood and can never attain true divinity, but if they choose to serve the faith,
    it’s a noble calling and they should be treated with respect. Now, the stranger case is the warforged Seeker who attains divine power;
    in the 5E game I’m running right now, one of the PCs is a warforged BoV paladin.
    Some Seekers will look at this and say that they must have a piece of the divine spark for this to occur.
    Others would assert that because they are acting as a champion of the faith, they are actually drawing on the divinity of the people they are protecting.

    You mentioned that the Bloodsails are more representative of the first traditions of the line of Vol.
    Does it have something to do with the presence of “Lady Illmarrow”, a.k.a. Vol herself, among the Grim?

    No – it’s because the Bloodsails are the direct descendants of the elves who served the line of Vol and fought alongside it against the dragons and the Undying Court.
    The Blood of Vol took their ideas and mixed them up with existing beliefs about the Sovereigns and such; the Bloodsails follow the more pragmatic approach
    that death sucks and undeath gives you power and immortality, without investing in the idea of the Divinity Within.

    I assume that the Church’s leeway, so to say, from what would had been its first “orthodoxy”, *whereas their very Messiah is still alive among them*,
    is a side effect of the fact that the existence of the said Messiah must stay a secret laced in several layers of mystery.
    That’s not a configuration that facilitates control. Would that assumption be correct?
    Or does Lady Vol just not care at all about what the content of those religions becomes, if she can use the infrastructure as a network for her agenda?

    First of all, you might be interesting in this RPG.Net thread on “What’s Erandis Vol been doing for 3,000 years?
    But a catch here is that like the line of Vol itself, the Bloodsails don’t make a religion out of undeath; they consider it to be a science.
    Per Dragon 410, Bloodsail priests “shape their divine magic from the raw energy of Mabar.” They respect the line of Vol as essentially the greatest scientists
    who unlocked the secrets of Mabaran necromancy, but they respect them for their accomplishments as much as their blood.
    The Grim Lord Varonaen, who found a way to make the sunless isle bloom, is just as worthy of reverence as Lady Illmarrow.
    As for Erandis herself, this is essentially the society she grew up in. Her parents didn’t consider themselves to be gods.
    Now, they told her that SHE had the potential to achieve divinity, but that’s a unique thing and on top of that, she can’t touch that power.
    So she’s OK using the power she has as a member of the Grim to serve her agenda. Should she finally manage to unlock her TRUE power, well, that’s a question for the future.

    You say that Vol doesn’t claim to be the head of the Blood of Vol since she doesn’t want the Undying Court pursuing her.
    She choose instead to be called the Queen of Death and being known as a wise and very powerful Lich. Isn’t that enough for the Undying Court?
    They hunt undead. There is a cult that openly cooperate with undead and a very powerful lich. Isn’t already a target?

    OK, there’s a whole lot of elements to unpack here.

    • Don’t overestimate the power of the Undying Court. They wield divine power in Aerenal.
      They can defend Aerenal from draconic attack… but we’ve specifically called out that they couldn’t retaliate against Argonnessen,
      because their power is limited to Aerenal. Beyond Aerenal, their power is limited to that of their divine agents – clerics and paladins – who are
      no more inherently powerful that clerics and paladins of any other religion, such as, say, the Blood of Vol.
      The elite agents of the Aereni Deathguard are good at what they do. But they’re not epic level.
      And beyond that, if they are acting in Khorvaire they are agents of a foreign power conducting military operations in another nation – which has
      all the potential issues of a nation in our world sending assassins to kill an enemy. So: The Deathguard is powerful, yes. But it’s not all-powerful.
    • In life, Erandis Vol wasn’t a powerful wizard. She was a young half-dragon, and she was killed by the forces of the Undying Court.
      Her mother secretly resurrected her as a lich, using all the power she and Erandis’ father (an epic-level green dragon) had at their disposal
      to shield their daughter from divination.
      So: The Undying Court doesn’t believe that anyone escaped the destruction of the line of Vol.
      They aren’t specifically LOOKING for Erandis, and even if they were, they wouldn’t be looking for a powerful lich wizard;
      she’s become a powerful lich wizard over the last few thousand years.
    • The faith of the Blood of Vol first appeared over a thousand years ago.
      You can be sure the Undying Court thoroughly checked it out and confirmed that the only connection to Vol was the name.
    • The Blood of Vol produces undead champions. This is a known thing.
      The Deathguard will destroy them when possible, which is why there’s not a lot of them. But as noted above, it’s not a trivial thing.
    • The Queen of Death is the leader of the modern Order of the Emerald Claw. She assumed leadership of it less than ten years ago.
      As far as Aerenal is concerned, she’s just one more undead champion, like many they’ve seen over the years.
      Something to deal with if there’s an opportunity, but not a reason to unleash everything at their disposal or risk war with Khorvaire.
      She possesses epic-level shielding against divination. Her followers don’t know her location or true identity.
      But the Deathguard is good at what they do, and if they dig deep enough, perhaps they CAN discover the identity of the Queen of Death:
      She’s Lady Illmarrow of Farlnen. She is a Grim Lord of the Bloodsail Principality, an enclave founded by elves who accepted exile following the Blood of Vol,
      and whose leaders are powerful undead. So: She’s a powerful lich wizard in a place with the largest number of lich wizards in Eberron.
      She has a legitimate identity and history in that place. And it’s a place that even the Deathguard would tread lightly… and technically,
      a place where the Undying Court gave these undead elves license to be.


    So: all undead champions of the Blood of Vol could be considered targets of opportunity for the Aereni Deathguard – beings
    they’d destroy if there’s an easy chance. But as it stands, the Queen of Death has done nothing requiring greater action.
    If they knew she was Erandis, there stands the risk that they would unleash all power at their disposal to deal with her,
    regardless of the consequences to Khorvaire or Aerenal. But at the moment, she’s a Bloodsail lord allied with an extremist sect of a faith
    that’s been around for centuries. These are both things that have happened before and don’t require any extreme action.

    Also: how many very powerful lich wizards can exist in Eberron? Can’t the prophetic Undying Court just… hem… GUESS?
    There’s not a lot of them, to be sure. But the Bloodsail Principality may well have the largest number of them in one place in Eberron.
    And again, Erandis wasn’t a powerful wizard in life; she came by her lichdom in an unusual way, and mastered magic after the fact.
    So “powerful lich” doesn’t automatically equal “survivor of the line of Vol.”

    Plus they had thousands of years for just finding a phylactery. Maybe for some reason connected to the prophecy they DON’T WANT to stop her?
    It’s quite possible, though to me that would be a motivation for the Chamber to leave her alone.
    With that said, looking the the Undying Court, they aven’t been looking for a phylactery because they had no reason to believe that there was a surviving Vol lich.
    With that said, this brings up an interesting point. Erandis is a highly unusual lich. She didn’t choose to become a lich; it was done to her.
    Her mother was determined to do everything possible to protect her child. Usually, a lich regenerates next to their phylactery.
    In MY Eberron, Erandis regenerates in a random location unrelated to her phylactery, which is in turn shielded by epic defenses against divination.
    The upshot of this: Erandis herself doesn’t know where her phylactery is.
    In my Eberron, there have been times early in her existence when she has tried to destroy herself, but she can’t.
    Not something you have to o, but the point being that not even she knows where or what it is.

    By rules vampires are ALWAYS evil. So: are they still the same person they where in life?
    If a paladin of Vol turns vampire changes his personality? Became a black guard? And how a living paladin of Vol react to these changes?

    While alignment restrictions are looser in Eberron, one place where I maintain them is when alignment is enforced by magic.
    And it’s a good question to ask, because in my opinion the alignment change forced by lycanthropy DOES dramatically alter the victim’s personality.
    So I’m fine with the idea that vampires become evil… but at this point it’s vital for you to understand how I define evil in Eberron,
    as laid out in this previous post.
    Evil doesn’t mean you suddenly start murdering children. It means you could start murdering children and not feel remorse.
    It reflects a lack of empathy and compassion for others, an ability to harm others without remorse.
    In the case of a vampire, I feel that this is driven by a few factors.

    • Aside from blood, a vampire is sustained by the negative energy of Mabar – an alien plane that consumes life.
      This is the source of a vampire’s hunger to consume both blood and life energy, and it does change the vampire increasingly over time.
    • Likewise, vampires are made to be predators. They are made to charm and deceive, to hunt and consume.
      The powers of the vampire come with inhuman instincts that erode their previous nature.
      They simply can’t feel compassion for others as they once did: they can approve of the concept intellectually,
      but they don’t FEEL it the way they did before. It’s the way that being a sociopath can be a chemical thing as opposed to learned behavior.


    First off, this is why vampires AREN’T the preferred choice for undead champions.
    Mummies don’t have alignment alteration and don’t need to prey on others as vampires do; they aren’t predators by nature.
    Thus, the high priest Malevenor is a mummy, not a vampire.
    But with that said, in Eberron evil characters CAN do good.

    King Kaius is pushing for peace. You can have an evil paladin of the Silver Flame.
    So the paladin of the Blood of Vol doesn’t HAVE to become a blackguard when they become a vampire.
    They COULD – or in 5E terms, they could change their Oath to reflect their nature – but they don’t have to.
    A vampire champion could still devote his existence to protecting Seekers and seek do serve the greater good.
    But he’ll find it easier and easier to kill those who oppose him without feeling any remorse, to torture someone to get information
    when such an act would have seemed repugnant in his warmer days, and so on.
    Essentially, Eberron is a world in which an evil character can still be a hero – but he’ll find it easier to do bad things in pursuit of that noble cause.

    Considering the views the BoV has on undeadhood, and the value of the living, does this also apply the the karnathi skeletons and zombies?
    You mentioned that while intelligent they do not recall their life before death. Going by their 3.5 stat block their int and wis are completely average
    but they have a Cha of 1. Does this mean they have a complete lack of personality, simply emodying the stereotypical “good soldier” if so
    I’m curious how their “always evil” alignment plays out?

    The principle of the Karrnathi undead is that they are intelligent but not in any way human.
    They all possess identical skills and by default cannot advance, which is to say that unlike warforged, they can’t learn.
    The most detailed canon description of the Karrnathi undead comes from Dungeon 195, which notes:

    Fear, hunger, and exhaustion are alien to them… One of the few limitations of the undead derives from their utter lack of mercy or compassion.
    Left on its own, a Karrnathi skeleton will slaughter all opposing forces - soldiers, civilians, even children… the Kind fears that the undead aren’t animated
    by the soul of Karrnath, but rather by an aspect of Mabar itself - that the combat styles of the undead might be those of the dark angels of Mabar.
    Over the years, he has felt a certain malevolence in his skeletal creations that he can’t explain, not to mention their love of slaughter.
    He has also considered the possibility that they are touched by the spirits of the Qabalrin ancestors of Lady Vol.


    Now: you can always make exceptions to these rules. By default, Karrnathi undead can’t advance.
    However, I’ve MADE Karrnathi undead with a higher level of skill and with a more distinct (even if still inhuman) personality.
    So you can certainly create such unique beings if you choose.
    But looking to the rank and file of the Karrnathi undead, they are intelligent but entirely inhuman.
    Where each warforged is an individual capable of learning, evolving, and feeling, Karrnathi undead are largely identical sociopaths.
    This is why I’ve said you couldn’t use them as farmers; they hunger for battle, and would eventually end up killing a stablehand.
    So when Kaius agreed to seal the bulk of his undead forces below Atur, in part this was a friendly gesture to the other nations…
    but surely there was an element of him being nervous about leaving the undead standing around when they have nothing to kill.

    So who was Erandis in life?
    There’s no canon answer to this, and it’s really a question of what do you want the answer to be?
    For me, a true answer to this and to the other related questions would require a serious examination of the culture that surrounded the line of Vol.
    The Bloodsail Principality is an example of the culture that evolved from this, but we haven’t established if they shared most of the same culture
    and values as the Aereni, or if they were as different from the Aereni as the Tairnadal are.
    Without a clear understanding of that culture, it’s impossible to say what her life was like.
    But if you assume some general similarity to the Aereni there’s a few things you can extrapolate.

    • All the Elven cultures are tied to a respect for the great souls of the past, and developing ways to save the great souls of the future.
      Lineage and history are important, and you are expected to DO something with your life – whether that’s to emulate the deeds of your ancestors
      or to master (and potentially exceed) their accomplishments. Erandis would surely have grown up knowing that she represents the pinnacle of her family’s work,
      and that it was her duty to live up to their expectations. Essentially: a “normal childhood” for an elf on Aerenal means something entirely different
      than what we think of as a “normal childhood”, at it’s going to involve concentrated study in the history of your line and the arts they perfected.
    • Erandis was a half-dragon produced in a secret breeding project with the potential to alter the world.
      Her existence was probably a secret, so to the degree that elven children run around and play games, she wouldn’t have been running around with them.
      However, she was part of a breeding program, which to me suggests that she did have siblings; she was simply the only one to manifest the apex mark.
    • My thought is that the war began the day Erandis fully manifested her mark – nothing Vol could do could hide that from Argonnessen.
      So Erandis had her mark for a period of time, but it’s a form of the mark that had never existed before
      and she didn’t have time to unlock its power before she was killed.
    • Given all that: I’ve suggested that she was probably around a 6th level wizard when she died.
      Given the general power level of Eberron, that’s an amazing degree of skill to possess as an adolescent.


    So: my PERSONAL belief at this moment (because it might completely change, should I do a more in-depth exploration of the Vol culture)
    is that Erandis grew up in isolation, surrounded by attendants, tutors, and her siblings.
    I expect that it was a highly competitive environment – almost Ender’s Game level – as the tutors sought both to determine
    if any of the subjects possessed the apex mark and to prepare them to use it if they did.
    So I think you were combining intense necromantic study and competition (again, producing an adolescent 6th level wizard) with trials similar to the Test of Siberys.
    With all that said, I think there would have been intense focus on the fact that these children were the legacy of the line of Vol
    and the next generation of elven heroes. They weren’t raised to be weapons; they were raised to be Vol’s answer to the Undying Court.
    They were raised to be the god-heroes of ages to come. We’ve also established that Erandis’s mother truly loved her.
    Now, we don’t know how much sentimentality they actually expressed, but I think Erandis knew her parents and knew that they loved her – and that this
    was part of her drive to succeed – to make them proud.

    And then, alone among her siblings, she DOES succeed. She manifests the apex mark.
    But she dies before she can master it, and her entire culture is wiped out.
    So again, to me her story is one of maddening tragedy – of having come within inches of a glorious destiny and fulfilling the dreams of her line,
    only to fail and carry the physical mark of that failure on her skin, the mark she can never unlock.

    As a side note: She didn’t get to play with all the girls and boys.
    But she was a necromantic prodigy and even before she manifested the apex mark she may have displayed unnatural potential.
    Which is to say that I think even as a child, many of her friends and some of her teachers were dead – she probably spent a lot of time talking with ghosts.

    How does a mummy like Malevanor become a spellcasting cleric of the Blood of Vol?
    If faith is required to cast clerical spells and the tenets of the faith of the Blood of Vol state that such power comes from the Divinity Within
    and undead are effectively cut off from that, wouldn’t a priest who became undead lose faith in his ability to cast spells?

    It’s an excellent point, and why Erandis and Demise are arcane casters, not divine.
    But there are two ways to justify undead wielding divine power in the BoV, depending on which seems more convenient for the story of your campaign.

    The easy version is to say that yes: Malevanor has no divine spark to draw on, but instead he draws on the undeveloped divinity of the faithful he serves.
    Essentially, the shepherd draws power from his flock. The power still comes from the Divinity Within, but he’s drawing on YOUR Divinity, not his own.

    The more convoluted path comes back to the Sacrament of Blood, mentioned earlier: the Seeker practice of communally donating blood for the benefit of undead champions.
    While this has obvious direct value for vampires, it’s possible that a mummy like Malevanor could also drink blood: it doesn’t provide him with sustenance,
    but he then draws on the divine spark of the blood in his system. What’s interesting about this is that it makes the blood of the faithful a valuable commodity
    to more than just vampires – and also means that if Malevanor was cut off from his supply, his divine power would dwindle.

    All religions do charity work right? Would the blood of Vol care for a Vampire that was not connected to their religion?
    For example, someone is turned vampire against their will and is abandoned by their family/group/religion, and resists giving in to the urges of his/hers new instincts,
    would the seekers care about this person?

    It would depend on the Seekers in question. A few observations:

    • Priests of the Blood of Vol are generally very familiar with undead.
      They understand the needs of vampires better than almost anyone. However, as mentioned above they don’t inherently equate “undead” with “worthy of reverence.”
      They know ghouls are a threat and excel at dealing with them. They know vampires can be allies or predators, and they’ll deal harshly with predatory vampires.
      So they could help, but they’re also well-versed in what it would take to simply destroy this rogue vampire.
    • As noted in the previous examples, the Sacrament of Blood is a precious resource.
      The BoV limits the number of blood-dependent undead it intentionally creates because it has a limited ability to support them.
      The blood it takes to support this vampire could go to a true champion of the faith.
    • Given that, the situation is no different than if the person in question was simply suffering from a mundane disease.
      Is the compassion of the priest or community sufficient to cause them to share their limited resources with a stranger?
      Or do they feel the need to put the needs of their own community first?


    The upshot is that it would depend on the state of the community (can they afford to spare the blood?),
    the demeanor of the vampire (are they at least friendly towards the Seekers, or are they behaving in an actively hostile or predatory fashion?),
    and the alignment of the priest.
    An evil cleric would say that the foolish mistakes of outsiders aren’t their concern, and they might actually try to destroy the vampire
    just to keep it from becoming a threat. A neutral cleric would likely help but would demand something in return;
    the vampire needs to perform some positive service for the community, or to take time to listen to Seeker doctrine in the hopes
    they might choose to become a champion of the faith. And a good priest would try to help them because it’s the right thing to do,
    and because they appreciate the vampire’s desire not to become a predator – though again, they’d likely use this as an opportunity
    to try to draw the vampire into the faith.
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  3. #23
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    Ein weiterer langer Artikel:
    http://keith-baker.com/dragonmarks-orcs-and-goblins/

    Dragonmarks: Orcs and Goblins

    I don’t believe I’ve written goblins or orcs in depth on this site.
    If you want to catch up on previous information, you might want to review my Dragonshard about the Dhakaani or this Dhakaani Strike Force.
    I’ve also written about the Kech Ghaalrac in Dragon 413.
    Sehr lesenswert, aber vermutlich wird der ähnlich wie der letzte durch Rückfragen noch ausgebaut
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  4. #24
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    Neuer Post, diesmal via email Benachrichtigung
    (as i said, long blog post)

    Dragonmarks: Orcs and the Ghaash’kala

    by Keith Baker Last week I wrote about Goblins, Orcs, and the Dhakaani. It turns out that there's a lot to say about goblins, and the post has grown to an unwieldy size. So for the ease of future generations I've decided to separate the orc material into a standalone post. As as long as we're talking about orcs, I want to takes some time to delve into the Ghaash'kala, a topic that's received little attention in the main sourcebooks.
    As I said in the previous post, my goal in Eberron is always to explore what makes each PC race unique. In what way are orcs not just humans with green (or grey) skin and fangs? How are they different from goblins and other "savage humanoids"? Let's take a look.
    ORCS

    While they aren't as directly animalistic as shifters, I see orcs as a very primal race. They're extremely passionate and emotional; this can manifest as aggression or rage, but it's just as strong when it comes to loyalty, affection and faith. They believe in things intensely. This led to them being the first druids on Khorvaire and having one of the oldest sects of the Silver Flame - the Ghaash'kala guardians of the Demon Wastes. But they're also highly individualistic... leaning more towards chaos than law. They are very effective in small tribes or family groups, where they all know each other and are working together... but they aren't good with faceless authority, blind obedience, or being part of a huge infrastructure. This is one of the main reasons the orcs never dominated Khorvaire. They are barbarians by nature. They have no innate desire to build vast cities or organize huge armies; the small tribe is what they are comfortable with. This led to their being pushed into the fringes of Khorvaire by the Dhakaani goblins, and that's where this linger to this day. If the goblins are like ants or wasps, orcs are like wolves: fierce, loyal to their pack, but not inclined to form into a massive legion of wolves and conquer the world.
    In playing an orc - whether as a player or DM - I'd emphasize this primal and passionate nature. They feel emotions strongly, and are quick to anger but equally quick to celebrate. They believe things deeply, and can be very spiritual. As an orc, you're loyal to your pack - whether that's your family or your adventuring companions - and quick to distrust massive, faceless forces and invisible authority. This may seem at odds with the idea of strong faith, but they're equally distrustful of monolithic organized religions. The Ghaash'kala are one of the oldest sects of the Silver Flame, but they operate in small clans and have never formed the sort of political hierarchy that you see in the Church of the Silver Flame. So as an orc, follow your heart; explore your faith; be true to your friends and suspicious of those who would tell you what to do.
    Half-orcs blend the traits of orc and human, and it's up to you to decide which manifest most strongly in your personality. Do you have the quick emotion and deep faith of your orcish ancestor? Or has this been tempered by your human side? Half-orcs are celebrated in much of the Shadow Marches, where they are thought to possess the best qualities of both races. However, the people of the Five Nations don't generally share this view... and for that matter, most of the people of the Five Nations assume that orcs are brutish.
    If the orcs are so chaotic & don't make big cities, how do we have Zarash'ak and House Tharashk?
    Because of humanity. There are two primary cultures in the Shadow Marches. The tribes are the older culture and continue to live as their ancestors did thousands of years ago. The clans embraced humanity - and over the generations, they adopted many human customs. House Tharashk is an unprecedented alliance between clans, and one that would never survive if not for the humans and half-orcs that balance the chaotic tendencies of their orcish kin. Tharashk orcs have grown up in this blended culture. While they are used to it, it's still in their nature to question authority, and most Tharashk orcs are ultimately more loyal to their close kin and enclave than to the overall institution - but that's enough to keep the house intact. Zarash'ak is the largest city the Marches have ever seen, built by House Tharashk when success demanded it; the orcs had no desire to build such things in the past.
    Orcs make up the Gatekeepers and the Ghaash'kala. So are they fundamentally good creatures?
    Not at all. Yes, the Ghaash'kala and Gatekeepers are two forces that have protected Eberron for thousands of years. But for every orc in the Ghaash'kala, there's at least two in the Carrion Tribes of the Demon Wastes. For every Gatekeeper, there's an orc tied to a cult of the Dragon Below. One reason the Daelkyr didn't create an orcish equivalent of the Dolgaunts and Dolgrims was because many orcs were quick to embrace their cause; they didn't need to make an orc slave race. So orcs are passionate in their beliefs, but that includes belief in the Overlords just as easily as loyalty to the Silver Flame.
    Have you ever imagined a bardic tradition for orcs?
    So a critical thing to bear in mind here is that most people in the world don't use PC classes. In Eberron, most priests are experts or adepts, NOT clerics. The same applies here. Do orcs have traditions of music and dance? Absolutely! They're passionate, creative and emotional. I can imagine a tradition of ecstatic song and dance, where listeners are exhorted to let go and give themselves to the music; and I can imagine a tradition of song that is more mournful - similar to Portuguese fado - that is about exhorting the listener to feel the pain or anger of the song. And I'd expect specific musical traditions tied to both the Gatekeepers and the Cults of the Dragon Below. As I call out below, the Dhakaani goblins don't enjoy art for arts sake; their songs educate you about the past, their dancing is a form of combat drill. For the orcs, art is something to experience and enjoy.
    But with that said, most entertainers wouldn't be bards. A bard isn't just an entertainer. They are arcane spellcasters and highly skilled loremasters. If all you're looking for is entertainment, all you need is an expert trained in Performance and perhaps Insight and Persuasion. Among the Dhakaani the dirge singers are deeply integrated into their civilization, serving not simply as entertainers but also as healers, diplomats, and spiritual guides. We have not presented a similar critical role for bards in either the Ghaash'kala or Shadow Marches. With that said, do they exist? Sure. Here's three ideas.

    • Memories. Much of the secret lore of the Gatekeepers has never been committed to writing; it is the task of a Memory to preserve this knowledge, remembering all things that both their modern comrades and future generations will need to know. Memories typically lead public services in Gatekeeper communities, and this is where inspiration comes in; they are master orators who can exhort the people to remember the importance of their cause. So a higher level druid might be the leader of a Gatekeeper sect, but the Memory may be the one who conveys his message to the people. In looking to the wider word, Memories could be sent out beyond the Marches both the confirm that their knowledge is still accurate (for example, checking the locations of Khyber seals to ensure they are still intact) and to update their knowledge base, investigating mysteries and learning new things. Memories generally know spells related to nature (Animal Friendship, Speak With Animals, Animal Messenger), healing spells, and spells that will help them uncover secrets, and they are usually well versed in knowledge-based skills (Arcana, History).
    • Passions. The Cults of the Dragon Below have always had a strong presence in the Shadow Marches. Many cults don't have traditional priests or clerics; instead, they have Passions, ecstatic speakers who fan the flames of emotion (and often madness) in their communities. At their best, Passions are spiritual guides and mediators; at their worst they are demagogues and firebrands, inflaming dangerous emotions. As such they rarely have skills like History or Arcana; instead they are well-versed in Insight, Intimidation and Persuasion. Their spells likewise tie to emotion, manipulation and madness. Vicious Mockery, Charm Person, Hideous Laughter, and Suggestion are all solid choices for Passions. If you're playing an edition where bards have a Bardic Knowledge ability, for a Passion this would reflect literal mad insights; they haven't studied a topic, but they just declare what they believe - and strangely, that's often the truth. There's no organization among Passions; they general spring up spontaneously. Generally there's only one per community. A Passion PC might have developed a passion for travel; they might be following a mad vision, having an idea of a grand quest that might or might not have any basis in reality; or they could even have been driven from their community for causing trouble, and it's up to the PC to decide if they're remorseful adn seek redemption, or if they're out to sow more chaos.
    • Bridge. In the Shadow Marches, half-orcs are called jhorgun'taal, "the bridge of two bloods." Some exceptional half-orcs embrace this role. They travel from community to community, carrying local news and helping to bind those communities together. They are entertainers and mediators, seeking to spread cheer and resolve feuds. They typically know the ways of both Gatekeepers and the Cults, and seek to bring out the best in followers of both paths. A Bridge bard would be a helpful guide and advisor to strangers coming to the Marches for the first time. It would be unusual for a Bridge to leave the Marches, but one could be driven by sheer curiosity or a desire to help a wider community.

    THE GHAASH'KALA

    Everyone knows about the Gatekeepers, the orc druids who fought the Daelkyr. But there's another group of orc champions who've been fighting evil for far longer, and whose vigil has never waned: The Ghaash'kala of the Demon Wastes.
    I created the Ghaash'kala in the original ECS. The only canon source that's expanded on them is the Player's Guide to Eberron. This is one of those cases where I don't agree with what was written there - it's not bad, it's just not my vision. So to be clear, what you're about to read contradicts canon and is literally what I do in my Eberron. A few years ago a friend of my ran a 5E Eberron campaign and I played a Ghaash'kala paladin, so I put more thought into the Ghost Guardians, and what follows is the result of that.
    HISTORY
    In the dawn of time the world belonged to the fiends. The Binding Flame was born from a desperate act of sacrifice. The Overlords cannot be destroyed, merely held at bay; their power yearns to break free from the Flame that binds them, and their servants prey upon those who have inherited the world. The Flame is fueled by courage, and it is only through the vigilance and sacrifice of champions that the light remains strong enough to hold the darkness at bay.
    The prisons of the Overlords are scattered across the world, but their power is strongest in the Demon Wastes. Here lies the ruins of Ashtakala, the greatest city of the Age of Demons. Though the Overlords are bound, their power corrupts nature and weak minds. The Wastes are filled with horrors, both mortal and immortal. Left unchecked, these terrors would spread to the south and bathe Khorvaire in blood. But ancient magic and geography have established a barrier: the mountain range known as the Labyrinth. This barrier can’t stop the powerful rakshasa from leaving the Wastes, but it serves as a funnel for the lesser horrors. Bloodthirsty barbarians, minor fiends, twisted creatures… all flow through the Labyrinth seeking release. One force guards the gates of the Labyrinth and protects the innocents to the south: The Ghost Guardians, the Ghaash’kala, sworn to serve the Binding Flame from birth to death and beyond. The life of a Ghost Guardian is one of endless strife. It is a mirror to the Flame itself: it is a battle than can never be truly won, but through sacrifice they can continue to contain the evil and protect the innocent from harm.
    The Ghaash'kala have no written records and don't know exactly how long their ancestors have fought against the darkness. It's clear that couatl trained and equipped the first Ghaash'kala; it may not have been during the Age of Demons itself, but it was long before humanity came to Khorvaire. As such, the Ghaash'kala may be the first humanoids to channel the power of the Silver Flame... or as they call it, Kalok Shash, the Binding Flame.
    STRUCTURE
    There are four Ghaash’kala clans spread across the Labyrinth. As far as they are concerned, the world is divided into two sides: the living and the fel (a word that could be translated both as “unliving” or “unnatural”; it is a term that encompasses both undead, fiends and life that has been corrupted). They have no interest in politics or commerce; should the Overlords rise, they will care nothing for trivialities of mortal nations. The Ghaash’kala place most people into the category of “The weak innocents we are protecting,” but they will accept members of any race into their ranks. They feel disdain for anyone strong enough to fight who ignores the greater duty, especially mercenaries who squander their gifts without any conviction whatsoever.
    The Kalok Shash is a simple faith, and the Ghaash’kala don’t waste time on the elaborate rituals or titles of the Church of the Silver Flame. There are only a few recognized positions among the faithful.

    • A korta (“Speaker”) is someone who hears the Voice of the Flame more clearly than others. The korta serve as spiritual guides, diplomats and healers, using their connection to the Flame to guide and advise others. A korta’sha is a divine spellcaster. The korta’sha are always on the front lines, leading war parties and battling demonic influences.
    • A kala (“Guardian”) is a warrior who fights in service to the Flame; this includes the bulk of the Ghaash’kala population. A kala’sha is a divine warrior - typically a paladin.
    • A drok (“Hand”) is a non-combatant, either because of infirmity or because of a vital non-combat skill needed to support the fight.

    There are no equivalent ranks to bishop, priest, cardinal, or any of that. The Ghaash’kala are few enough in number that the korta and kala are distinguished by their deeds. Everyone knows that the korta’sha Hurok is the greatest of the Speakers; he doesn’t need some special title to indicate that. The Ghaash’kala are also considerably more blase about divine spellcasters than most human cultures. To the Ghaash’kala, these individuals are weapons. A korta’sha isn’t necessarily holier than a non-casting korta… but she has a purpose and a duty. She is a tank, and a tank belongs on the battlefield. While Ghaash’kala despise mercenary soldiers, they are truly baffled by the idea of divine spellcasters who do not use their powers to directly fight evil.
    Now: how have the Ghaash'kala survived in the Demon Wastes for tens of thousands of years? Where do they get the supplies they need, from steel for their weapons to the food and water they need to survive? What are their shelters like?
    To start with the last: Each of the four clans has a stronghold carved deep into the rock of the Labyrinth, each drawing on the powers of a manifest zone. These were created by dragons and couatl in the first age, and are imbued with powerful magic; it is these fortifications that have served as a final refuge in even the hardest times. Likewise, the Ghaash'kala possess tools and weapons that have been handed down for generations. The Ghaash'kala consider these relics to be sacred gifts, and they might as well be; the most potent of them were crafted by the beings who first kindled the Flame itself. Of course, an artifact is not something to be used lightly; sometimes generations pass before someone successfully bonds with a relic. Some say that Tira Miron's blade Kloijner came from the Wastes, that the couatl guided her north to claim the weapon she needed to face Bel Shalor. If one of your players is a champion of the Flame, perhaps there is an artifact waiting for them in the vaults of the Ghaash'kala.
    Such tools certainly help explain the survival of the Ghaash'kala. But there are only a few such artifacts. The Maruk stronghold has a well that never runs dry, a variation of the Alchemy Jug. But they still need food and any number of basic supplies that can't be found in this poisoned land. But the very thing that makes the Wastes so dangerous also provides opportunity. The Demon Wastes are peppered with passages to Khyber... not simply the physical underworld, but a host of demiplanes and demonic realms. Fiends emerge from these paths to prey on the weak... and the Ghaash'kala venture into them to find what they need. The Maruk hunt balewolves in the Abyssal Forests of Khar, and wield weapons taken from the corpses of the demon foot soldiers of the Ironlands. These strange realms are alien and deadly, but over the many centuries the Ghaash'kala have learned their secrets. As a result, the Ghaash'kala have resources that can't be found anywhere in Khorvaire. Their weapons are forged from unknown materials, and they brew salves and unguents that would make Jorasco weep. So for all that the Ghaash'kala are relatively primitive in their techniques, they are capable of producing wonders that cannot be found elsewhere... and that have enabled these clans to survive in their never-ending war.
    KALOK SHASH: THE BINDING FLAME
    Overall, the faith of the Binding Flame is harsh, simple and compassionate. It is the duty of the strong to protect the weak. It is the duty of the living to fight the fel… whether with the sword, or in the case of the drok by caring for the warriors and producing more warriors. Harsh sacrifice is often necessary, but the loss of any innocent life is a tragedy. With that said, there is a concrete line over which innocence is lost. One of the constant threats faced by the Ghaash’kala are the Carrion Tribe barbarians, mortals who serve the Overlords. The Ghaash’kala call a mortal who chooses to serve evil a fel’gha - “Vile Soul.” They do not waste time or tears on the fel’gha; there are too many threats to the world to worry about redeeming the corrupt. A Ghaash’kala would cast any human who chooses to prey on other humans in this category, and typically one deals with fel’gha with the sword. This can be a difficult challenge for a kala’sha who travels in the south, where many humans seek to take advantage of one another. A greedy innkeeper most likely isn’t a true fel’gha deserving of death… but the Ghaash’kala are disgusted that anyone would seek to harm others for profit.
    While they may give it a different name, the Ghaash'kala channel the power of the Silver Flame. They may shout different invocations, but the visible manifestations of their magic are identical to those of an exorcist of the Silver Flame or a silver pyromancer. A paladin from Thrane and a korta'sha who observe each other in battle recognize that they wield the same forces. With that said, if you're planning to use the Ghaash'kala in a campaign involving divine characters tied to the Flame, it's an excellent opportunity to shift around spell lists. Perhaps the Ghaash'kala know ways to use the Flame that humans have never discovered... while Tira's followers have discovered more subtle rituals that the Korta'sha have never imagined. The simplest way to handle this is to give the Ghaash'kala spells found in a new supplement or sourcebook - so you aren't taking away core spells from a player, but rather providing an interesting path for learning new spells. Rather than having new options magically appear over night, it's more interesting to make a cleric study with a korta'sha to learn that new spell or channel divinity option. And perhaps they have something to teach in return.
    But wait: earlier, I said the korta hear the Voice of the Flame. Isn't Tira Miron the Voice of the Flame? She is... for the Church of the Silver Flame. A Voice is the anchor of a manifestation of the faith. Tira is the Voice of Flamekeep. But the Ghaash'kala have their own Voice, just as the people of Khalesh did in Sarlona. One can assume that the Voice of Kalok Shash was an orc from long ago, but if so their name has been lost; they are simply known as Korta'Shash. If you use my idea of learning new divine spells by training with the Ghaash'kala, it could be that this isn't just about learning a new incantation or gesture as it would be for a wizard... but rather realizing that there is more than one Voice of the Flame, and learning how to hear the Voice of Kalok Shash.
    That's all I have time to write, but if you have questions or thoughts about the orcs or the Ghaash'kala, share them below!
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  5. #25
    Registriert seit
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    Neuer Blog über die Ebene des Wahnsinns
    http://keith-baker.com/xoriat/
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  6. #26
    Registriert seit
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    Und ein Blog über Divine Magic
    http://keith-baker.com/drama-and-the-divine/
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  7. #27
    Registriert seit
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    Und Gedanken über Tod und Wiederauferweckung
    http://keith-baker.com/death-and-resurrection/

    Dazu dann noch
    http://keith-baker.com/the-cost-of-a-life/
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  8. #28
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    Neuer Blogpost über zwei der unschöneren Gegenden,
    Demon Wastes and Mournland:
    http://keith-baker.com/wastes-vs-mournland/

    Demon Wastes vs Mournland: what are the key differences? When would I choose to set an adventure in either one?
    Both have similar elements: magical wasteland, "edge of the world" vs "apocalyptic" feel, manipulative villains scheming from ruined cities.
    Roaming savages & arcane horrors prey on PCs; devastated landscape, unnaturally hostile weather; both are essentially nation-wide dungeons.


    Tldr: What kind of encounter/challenge/adventure/story would fit in either one, but not the other?
    The Demon Wastes and the Mournland are both nation-sized dungeons, but they are different in many ways.

    • The Demon Wastes are ancient; the Mournland is brand new.
    • The ruins in the Demon Wastes are cities built by demons. They have been ruins for tens of thousands of years,
      and they hold magic that humans can't begin to create... and anything perishable has long since perished, unless preserved by magic.
      The ruins in the Mournland are ruins of human cities. They were only ruined two years ago, and they contain everything you'd expect
      to find in a human city that was suddenly depopulated... including things that may be precious to people who survived the Mourning.
    • The inhuman threats of the Demon Wastes are fiends and the creations of fiendish power.
      They are ancient and innately malevolent; it is a place that is fundamentally EVIL. The inhuman threats of the Mournland are mutations
      seemingly created with no rhyme or reason. It may be dangerous, but it's not evil.
    • The mortal threats of the Demon Wastes are well-established and have been in places for hundreds or thousands of years.
      The Carrion Tribes are themselves ancient. The Ghaash'kala have been defending the Labyrinth longer than human civilization has existed.
      This things have history and customs. By contrast, nothing in the Mournland is more than two years old.
      If there is any sort of organization or culture - IE followers of the Lord of Blades, Eladrin, Mournland Magebred - they've either come from the outside
      or only just sprung into existence. The Mournland has no history.
    • The Demon Wastes are peppered with portals into Khyber that led to demonic demiplanes.
      This means that you can find all sorts of bizarre wonders and worlds in the Demon Wastes, if you can find the portals.
      In my recent post on the Ghaash'kala I mentioned the Abyssal Forest of Khar and the battlefields of the Ironlands.
      A point here is that THESE places are ancient and have their own histories and structures - even if they are entirely new to the players...
      and again, they are fundamentally shaped by evil and filled with demons. By contrast, the Mournland is random and unpredictable.
      You can find all sorts of strange environments, but you won't find ancient cities populated by demon warriors.
    • The Demon Wastes are a great place to find ancient magic humans could never create - artifacts and strange tools.
      The Mournland is a great place to find treasures people CAN create, left behind when they were killed.
    • The Demon Wastes are off in a corner of the world and hidden behind the Labyrinth, and have been stable for tens of thousands of years.
      The Mournland is right in the middle of the Five Nations and is a mystery; people fear that it could suddenly start to expand.

    Anschließend kommen noch diverse Aufhänger für Abenteuer, wer interessiert ist, kann den Blog ja selber mal lesen und ggf. unterstützen.

    Zusammenfassend schreibt er noch mal am Ende

    I'm short on time so I'll stop there, but the critical thing with the Mournland is that it's filled with things that people want:
    family heirlooms, treasured works of art, secret weapons or plans from the war.
    It has museums, forgeholds, palaces - and people know that these things are there, in contrast to the ancient and mysterious secrets of the Demon Wastes.
    Consider if Washington DC was suddenly warped by magic: there would be people who would want to recover artifacts from the Smithsonian,
    plans from the Pentagon, family treasures, etc.
    By contrast, the ruins of the Demon Wastes are entirely unknown; we have no idea what rakshasa civilization even looked like,
    let along what treasures or dangers their cities hold.

    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

  9. #29
    Registriert seit
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    Neue Blogposts auf http://keith-baker.com/,
    zum einen über Städte in Eberron, da geht es aber nur darum, über welche Städte Keith Baker am Liebsten Setting Bände schreiben würde
    http://keith-baker.com/favorite-cities-in-eberron/

    Und dann noch einer über Q'Barra
    http://keith-baker.com/qbarra-campaign/

    In my mind, a Q’barra campaign would be a fantasy twist on the classic Western.
    The adventurers are people who’ve chosen to live on the frontier, searching for fortune, redemption, or simply an escape from something.
    Rather than starting them in the largest city in the region, I’d do the reverse and start them in an entirely new community.
    Q’barra is a frontier nation largely untouched by humans, but in the past decades prospectors and settlers
    have discovered rich deposits of dragonshards in Q’barra.

    Much like the classic gold rush, this has drawn a host of opportunists and fortune seekers – and all the sorts of people who hope to profit or prey upon them.
    Dieser Beitrag ist deutlich länger als der über die Wunschstädte

    Zum Q'barra Beitrag passend noch
    http://keith-baker.com/lizard-dreams/
    "Ich kann freilich nicht sagen, ob es besser wird, wenn es anders wird, aber soviel kann ich sagen: Es muß anders werden, wenn es gut werden soll."
    Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)

    Was nützt es, wenn wir mehrere Sprachen sprechen,
    solange wir nicht die Geduld aufbringen,
    einander zuzuhören...

    Art van Rheyn

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