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AryalůmŽ Posted - 12 Jun 2011 : 18:04:40
I've been really interested in undead lately (mostly the Forsaken from WoW), and have been wondering how the Raven Queen would feel about any form of undead. Are there any other gods in the D&D world that are gods of death, but don't mind undead creatures and/or like them? I'm not fond of evil gods, though.

I wish I could get on Candlekeep more often these days!!
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
AryalůmŽ Posted - 20 Jun 2011 : 20:21:29
But let's also remember: she is also the goddess of fate. So a person who becomes undead is because of fate more or less.
Lord Karsus Posted - 20 Jun 2011 : 05:03:37
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

You're applying a very strict interpretation of right and wrong to an unaligned goddess. The RQ isn't good or even "lawful": I don't expect she gives a fig for apparent hypocrisy or seeming to violate her tenets, particularly with short-term solutions.


-It has nothing to do with alignment (or, in her case, unalignment), finding Undead good, or evil, or neither. It's the, as you say, hypocrisy inherent in it that just doesn't make sense. Fighting fire with fire, like Jergal is wont to do occasionally, I don't have too much of a problem with, on a case-by-case basis. In this situation, when the goal is to preserve the natural order of the cosmos by ensuring that when people die, their transmission to the afterlife goes smoothly and nothing alters the natural process, regardless of your reasons for altering the natural process by raising certain types of Undead, you're still altering the natural process. I just can't find it realistic that she be hypocritical in this manner, given her duties (as I understand them, based on what other people here have said about them) and such. Even if they're serving your purposes, you're perpetuating the very thing that you're fighting against to stop.

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

Also, isn't there some value to using servants that are already dead, rather than demanding the deaths of living servants--some of whom will inevitably turn into more undead creatures as they fight and die against their foes? If RQ wants to bring about a restoration of the "natural order," then it seems most reasonable she'd use weapons that don't run the risk of causing more "unnatural" deaths (i.e. undead killing mortals who otherwise wouldn't have died) or making it worse (i.e. undead spawning more undead from would-be slayers).

Simply put, the Raven Queen sees her revenants, sorrowsworn, etc., servants as the most effective, safest weapon in the war on undeath. They are undead themselves, sure, but undead that she controls and can destroy at an instant's notice.


-No doubt, they'd be more durable than mortal agents, and against certain enemies, more effective than mortal agents, but, again, they're Undead themselves. That she can control them, or destroy them with a thought is almost extraneous. Not to get overtly political here, but it's like the 'War on Terrorism', in regards to stopping terrorism, and the prospect that the excessive force and collateral damage creates more who are willing to use violence for political means. It's a concept flawed from the start. The Raven Queen, she's undermining herself and her goals in order to achieve her goals.
ChieftainTwilight Posted - 18 Jun 2011 : 11:15:27
maybe she just mellowed out, and the Lawfulness just went "poof"? XD
The Sage Posted - 18 Jun 2011 : 02:15:32
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

Regarding Wee Jas: I interpret the Raven Queen as basically *being* Wee Jas, albeit having absorbed Nerull's power and become a blacker deity. But that might just be me.
Interesting. Where do you see the "Law" aspect of Wee Jas falling in this interpretation?
Erik Scott de Bie Posted - 18 Jun 2011 : 01:07:05
quote:
Originally posted by Erendriel Durothil

Where did revenents come in as opposing undead? I just read that she resurrects them to take revenge or to right the wrong (doesn't that sound a lot like The Crow? XD)
Well, it's *possible* to use undead to fight other undead, which makes the most sense with RQ's stated goals. Though that obviously doesn't mean that's all revenants do, you're right.

quote:
But anyway, I don't know how Wee Jas and The Raven Queen can be the same. Wee Jas does like undead and is supportive of lichdom and we just aren't sure about how she really feels about undead.
Well what I was saying was that Wee Jas + Nerull = Raven Queen. That RQ is WJ having been corrupted by enough of Nerull's energies to make her somewhat darker and more fatalistic. No longer does she believe in trying to put off your fate through undeath, as she sees the inevitability of death as a given.

But that's just an idea I wanted to throw out there. Obviously, do whatever is best for you.

quote:
Plus, what does everyone think about the new vampire class?
Informally (not on record as a designer), I like the concept rather a lot, and would be very interested to see more power options for the vampire, so not all your choices are made for you. Not that I have anything against the Essentials concept, but I'd like 2-3 choices on some of those levels, rather than just one.

Cheers
AryalůmŽ Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 23:13:42
Where did revenents come in as opposing undead? I just read that she resurrects them to take revenge or to right the wrong (doesn't that sound a lot like The Crow? XD) But anyway, I don't know how Wee Jas and The Raven Queen can be the same. Wee Jas does like undead and is supportive of lichdom and we just aren't sure about how she really feels about undead. Plus, what does everyone think about the new vampire class?
Erik Scott de Bie Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 22:09:23
I would also point out that there is no reason this couldn't come back to bite her (and every reason why it should). It's entirely possible by compromising her own principles that the Raven Queen would create--in one of her revenants--an undead creature that would eventually cause more harm than good. Possibly, it would even overthrow her.

Sounds like a great epic destiny to me.

Cheers
Wooly Rupert Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 18:56:03
I actually like Erik's spin on it... I don't know how well it meshes with her written description, but his version is something I'd use, given a chance.
Erik Scott de Bie Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 18:20:21
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

I see similarities between, say, law enforcement organizations using informants snitching on their fellow criminals, but the two don't exactly mesh fully. If they did, it'd be like the law enforcement agencies randomly finding people, turning them into criminals, and then using them to extract information (as opposed to undercover operatives, who are police, and not criminals), and that doesn't make sense.
I think the analogy is more like a CIA officer turning a former enemy into an asset that truly wants to take down his former allies. I wonder if the RQ rewards revenants, or whether they get something out of their service? I'm away from my books at the moment.

And I think a reluctant revenant undead-slayer would be neat, actually.

Cheers
Erik Scott de Bie Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 18:16:39
Note that I'm just discussing this because I find it really interesting, not because I want to convince anyone or change minds or anything like that. I happen to really like the RQ concept, and not (just) in that "shadows are cool!" way.

quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

I don't think the Raven Queen is an inconsistent concept. In the core rules, she's the goddess of death. And in D&D, you need a god of death. By and large, she dislikes undead, but she is fine with having servants who are undead, which she'll send out to accomplish her purposes. She is very much an "end justifies the means" goddess. Revenants don't stick around after their job is done, either--they are the Raven Queen's instruments of vengeance, and aren't created just to go around being undead and defying the natural order. They have a job to do. And when all the undead are gone, the RQ would have no more need of revenants, and they would all just crumble to dust.
-Even as temporary instruments of vengeance, with specific goals/jobs to do within a limited period of time, they're still existing as Undead, which goes against the natural order of "things die, their souls/spirits travel on while their bodies go dormant" that she's seeking to preserve and enforce.
Why LK! Such idealism--and from you?

You're applying a very strict interpretation of right and wrong to an unaligned goddess. The RQ isn't good or even "lawful": I don't expect she gives a fig for apparent hypocrisy or seeming to violate her tenets, particularly with short-term solutions. She is the sort of power that believes in fighting fire with fire, combating darkness with darkness, pick your metaphor. Cops sometimes have to kill to stop killers--it's the motive and the moral line that makes all the difference.

Also, isn't there some value to using servants that are already dead, rather than demanding the deaths of living servants--some of whom will inevitably turn into more undead creatures as they fight and die against their foes? If RQ wants to bring about a restoration of the "natural order," then it seems most reasonable she'd use weapons that don't run the risk of causing more "unnatural" deaths (i.e. undead killing mortals who otherwise wouldn't have died) or making it worse (i.e. undead spawning more undead from would-be slayers).

Simply put, the Raven Queen sees her revenants, sorrowsworn, etc., servants as the most effective, safest weapon in the war on undeath. They are undead themselves, sure, but undead that she controls and can destroy at an instant's notice.

Cheers
Lord Karsus Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 16:57:02
quote:
Originally posted by Erik Scott de Bie

I don't think the Raven Queen is an inconsistent concept. In the core rules, she's the goddess of death. And in D&D, you need a god of death. By and large, she dislikes undead, but she is fine with having servants who are undead, which she'll send out to accomplish her purposes. She is very much an "end justifies the means" goddess. Revenants don't stick around after their job is done, either--they are the Raven Queen's instruments of vengeance, and aren't created just to go around being undead and defying the natural order. They have a job to do. And when all the undead are gone, the RQ would have no more need of revenants, and they would all just crumble to dust.


-Even as temporary instruments of vengeance, with specific goals/jobs to do within a limited period of time, they're still existing as Undead, which goes against the natural order of "things die, their souls/spirits travel on while their bodies go dormant" that she's seeking to preserve and enforce. I don't see how the two can be reconciled (same with Jergal, to a lesser extent, since his area of concern is more clerkish than executive). I see similarities between, say, law enforcement organizations using informants snitching on their fellow criminals, but the two don't exactly mesh fully. If they did, it'd be like the law enforcement agencies randomly finding people, turning them into criminals, and then using them to extract information (as opposed to undercover operatives, who are police, and not criminals), and that doesn't make sense.

-I'm not losing sleep over it, and don't use the Raven Queen as is, but since we're talking about it and all...
Erik Scott de Bie Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 16:49:53
Regarding Wee Jas: I interpret the Raven Queen as basically *being* Wee Jas, albeit having absorbed Nerull's power and become a blacker deity. But that might just be me.

If your campaign has Vecna, it would seem like Wee Jas makes a natural exarch/servant of the God of Secrets. After all, maybe she's been his lich queen all along.

quote:
Originally posted by Arik

It's not a paradox, just a self-inconsistency. Paradox cannot be corrected ... but this inconsistency can be: simply remove the Raven Queen from the game board, she ain't nothing more than a powered up succubus with a flair for necromancy.
I would hesitate to characterize her as such. The only similarity I can see between the Raven Queen and a succubus is that both are female.

I don't think the Raven Queen is an inconsistent concept. In the core rules, she's the goddess of death. And in D&D, you need a god of death. By and large, she dislikes undead, but she is fine with having servants who are undead, which she'll send out to accomplish her purposes. She is very much an "end justifies the means" goddess. Revenants don't stick around after their job is done, either--they are the Raven Queen's instruments of vengeance, and aren't created just to go around being undead and defying the natural order. They have a job to do. And when all the undead are gone, the RQ would have no more need of revenants, and they would all just crumble to dust.

This concept doesn't fit whole-hog into FR, as you already have most of those things covered (god of death, dislikes undead, etc). Which is why it makes sense to me to have the Raven Queen be an exarch/quasi-divine servant of Kelemvor. She can have the same status as Jergal, but instead of being Kel's avademic advisor, she's Kel's enforcer. When it takes undead to get the job done, he lets her use her own methods, which he doesn't approve of, but he isn't the one doing them. The King's Hand, after all, is there to keep the King's hands clean.

That all makes sense to me.

Cheers
Lord Karsus Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 16:44:21
-Okay, paradox isn't the right word, but you know what I mean.
Ayrik Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 16:27:18
It's not a paradox, just a self-inconsistency. Paradox cannot be corrected ... but this inconsistency can be: simply remove the Raven Queen from the game board, she ain't nothing more than a powered up succubus with a flair for necromancy. Her presence and function seem arbitrary and contrived to me, and after years of crow-raven-death-revenant tropes she also seems somewhat uninspired. D&D's been improved in many ways, but Raven Queen is certainly not one of them.
Lord Karsus Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 08:08:27
-Differentiating Undead who become Undead willingly, as opposed to Undead who become Undead unwillingly makes a lot of sense. But still,transformed willingly or not, sentient or insentient, I don't see why she'd make exceptions, for either case. Assuming the 'natural order of things' is, quite simply, when you die, the soul/spirit leaves the body (rendering the body inert) and travels on to the Fugue, and from there, their patron deity (if applicable):

  • Become a mindless Undead unwillingly? Against the natural order of things.
  • Become a mindless Undead willingly? Against the natural order of things.
  • Become a sentient Undead unwillingly? Against the natural order of things.
  • Become a sentient Undead willingly? Against the natural order of things.


-An Undead who served the Raven Queen's goals and objectives would still be in inherent violation of the natural order of things, and thus, would be an anathema to the Raven Queen's goals and objectives.

-It's a huge paradox.
Ayrik Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 07:47:34
Most undead are mindless (or insane), and many of those who are still sapient became undead rather involuntarily.

The entire concept of the Raven Queen, albeit kinda cool and sexy at first glance, is entirely redundant. Entirely redundant. To be honest, Kelemvor should abolish revenants and ghosts and charge his priesthood with seeing that ephemeral details (like revenge for a wronged death) are seen to their necessary completion so that the dead are properly appeased and can thus continue onwards to their eternal fates without bottlenecking on the Realms. Use of undead servants, indeed an entire species relegated to an entirely redundant underling, is simply abuse of the natural order of things and causes instead of cures imbalance.

Of course, there are deities responsible for governing vampires and liches, plus no doubt somebody's in charge of ghosts and spectres and banshees if you look hard enough. It still seems incredibly unnecessary. Kelemvor needs a divorce.

[Edit]

Incidentally, I recall a somewhat lengthy Candlekeep discussion about the Raven Queen just a month ago.
Lord Karsus Posted - 17 Jun 2011 : 06:48:28
quote:
Originally posted by Erendriel Durothil

She basically likes undead that don' t try to break the chains of fate.


-Don't all Undead do that, by their very nature?
AryalůmŽ Posted - 16 Jun 2011 : 23:29:26
She basically likes undead that don' t try to break the chains of fate.
Lord Karsus Posted - 16 Jun 2011 : 18:11:38
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

Not those that worship the Raven Queen. In the state of undeath, one who's motive is to destory the undead have a great advantage than someone who isn't. Sorta like Zombie Spy vs. Spy . Anyways I've always seen those undead that RQ favors to be on a mission or purpose to fulfill, not kicking back with friends and family and actually........living.



-So, she favors Undead who hunt other Undead who use their Undeath to escape death? Still not seeing it.
Cleric Generic Posted - 16 Jun 2011 : 16:48:04
Suppose Wee Jas could be an obscure daughter of Shar? A Thayan/Shadovari/Durthan spellcaster of old that broke the divinity barrier and became a demi-god? A straight up immigrant deity? A rogue demon/devil/angel that's become powerful and indie enough to breach some of hte bonds of it's nature? A mystery wrapped in a conundrum imbedded in an unknown?

She could always have been a Torilian deity, but was worshipped somewhere far away from Faerun, and her worship has only recently reached it's shores.
AryalůmŽ Posted - 16 Jun 2011 : 12:38:08
I guess we may never truly know how much The Raven Queen likes undead, from what was said in Heroes of Shadow, as long as anything upholds The Raven Queen's doctrine, they are free to be as they are, to always know that death and fate hold dominion.
When I read about Wee Jas, I almost had a heart attack! She is one of the perfect goddesses for me. She is the goddess of death, magic, and vanity. She also likes indeed beings and is supportive of lichdom. How do you guys think we could resurrect (irony lol!) her into the new D&D setting and maybe into FR? She is a greater goddess (depending on the source you read or the legend you believe) and is lawful neutral with lawful evil tendencies.
Diffan Posted - 16 Jun 2011 : 06:41:19
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

quote:
Originally posted by Erendriel Durothil

Have you guys read Heroes of Shadow yet? I absolutely adored that source book!!! It also gives a lot of information The Raven Queen. Apparently she doesn't really care about undead, but as long as they up hold her ideals about death being the ultimate fate.



-Undead kinda...spit in the face of that.



Not those that worship the Raven Queen. In the state of undeath, one who's motive is to destory the undead have a great advantage than someone who isn't. Sorta like Zombie Spy vs. Spy . Anyways I've always seen those undead that RQ favors to be on a mission or purpose to fulfill, not kicking back with friends and family and actually........living.
Lord Karsus Posted - 16 Jun 2011 : 05:31:16
quote:
Originally posted by Erendriel Durothil

Have you guys read Heroes of Shadow yet? I absolutely adored that source book!!! It also gives a lot of information The Raven Queen. Apparently she doesn't really care about undead, but as long as they up hold her ideals about death being the ultimate fate.



-Undead kinda...spit in the face of that.
The Sage Posted - 16 Jun 2011 : 02:14:08
quote:
Originally posted by Erendriel Durothil

Have you guys read Heroes of Shadow yet? I absolutely adored that source book!!!
I purchased a copy during its release, but I initially skipped reading it so I could devote my full attention to Erik's co-authored Gloomwrought tome. I'll return to reading Heroes of Shadow once I'm done with that.
AryalůmŽ Posted - 15 Jun 2011 : 22:40:56
Have you guys read Heroes of Shadow yet? I absolutely adored that source book!!! It also gives a lot of information The Raven Queen. Apparently she doesn't really care about undead, but as long as they up hold her ideals about death being the ultimate fate.

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