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Brom Von Lyonsbane
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2012 :  17:34:24  Show Profile Send Brom Von Lyonsbane a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I've always had a problem with Kelemvor's LN alignment; he drives his followers to comfort the dying, slay the undead and harmful monsters, cure disease and uphold the natural cycle of life and death. So where does any aspect of Neutrality come in? If I remember right, he was practically a paladin in life. If I was the DM of the gods (AO?, I'd be seriously talking to him about playing the alignment better or switching to LG. Are my complaints unfounded or does anyone else have a beef with this too?

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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3255 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2012 :  17:40:38  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The only thing among the ones you cited that tells ''goodly'' is comforting the individuals who're about to die. All the rest is part of keeping order in the natural cycle of life and death, which I -personally- don't see as ''good'' (using the definition of ''good'' in the sense of the common conception of it), but as lawful and neutral.

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Edited by - Irennan on 25 Jun 2012 17:41:09
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Diffan
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USA
3958 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2012 :  17:59:07  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm pretty sure that Death is the stromg Neutral factor that goes with his alignment. Additionally, I'm fairly certain that Kelemvorites would justfiy any means to destroy undead creaturs, even if that were to go against some "goodly" intent.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33709 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2012 :  18:10:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brom Von Lyonsbane

I've always had a problem with Kelemvor's LN alignment; he drives his followers to comfort the dying, slay the undead and harmful monsters, cure disease and uphold the natural cycle of life and death. So where does any aspect of Neutrality come in? If I remember right, he was practically a paladin in life. If I was the DM of the gods (AO?, I'd be seriously talking to him about playing the alignment better or switching to LG. Are my complaints unfounded or does anyone else have a beef with this too?



Kelemvor was a mercenary, and though he wanted to do good things, his curse prevented him from doing anything without payment. Even after the curse was lifted, he was still far from being a paladin.

He's being neutral in that he's emphasizing that death comes for everyone, regardless of age, alignment, or social station. He's emphasizing that death is natural and not to be feared.

Seems pretty neutral to me.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7133 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2012 :  18:13:35  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Complex people usually do not fit well into D&D's simple alignment system. Aligments work well enough for grouping or defining shallow characters. Characters who become more developed tend to blur the boundaries, their alignments are challenged by how they respond to the ever-more-sophisticated dilemnas and situations which invariably arise in fiction.

Wasn't it established at the onset that Kelemvor was somewhat reluctant to assume his station over death? His sense of duty and obligation overruled his personal misgivings. There is also the distinct possibility that Kelemvor, like many other Faerūnian powers, gradually changed (or is changing) to conform to the expectations of his divine role.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 25 Jun 2012 18:13:57
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Jorkens
Great Reader

Norway
2950 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2012 :  18:14:03  Show Profile Send Jorkens a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am a bit rusty on Kelemvor, so I am just guessing here. His trouble with undead would be more because they go against his ethos than because they are evil. I would think that good undead or neutral priests raising neutral undead wouldn't exactly please him either.

No Canon, more stories, more Realms.
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Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3085 Posts

Posted - 25 Jun 2012 :  19:40:06  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kelemvor was definitely NOT a paladin in life

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Brom Von Lyonsbane
Acolyte

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  00:47:33  Show Profile Send Brom Von Lyonsbane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He aspired to be, though the curse prevented good actions without serious repercussions. Thanks for the advice, I play a fairly by-the-book Doomguide and am often criticized for being "Too LG" by my DM and party members. This is probably just because everybody else in my party are immoral psychopaths who couldn't roleplay to save their lives.

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  02:48:46  Show Profile Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

I am a bit rusty on Kelemvor, so I am just guessing here. His trouble with undead would be more because they go against his ethos than because they are evil. I would think that good undead or neutral priests raising neutral undead wouldn't exactly please him either.

I think Ed said it best:-

"Kelemvor is one of the most unwilling and conflicted of the "New Gods." Although he has a fierce revulsion for undead, his hatred is reserved for "undead by choice" (such as liches). He has sympathy for haunts, apparitions, and revenants that exist because someone died without being able to finish a task, mission, or achievement that dominated their lives at the time of death, or so violently and "unfairly" that revenge or at least public identification of their slayer (as a warning to others) leaves them unable to "rest." So Kelemvor will turn a blind eye to "unfinished business" undead, but stand against those who seek to cheat death and achieve undeath thereby."

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lowtech
Learned Scribe

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  03:55:35  Show Profile  Visit lowtech's Homepage Send lowtech a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After he decided to re-instate the Wall of Faithless, I don't think he could conceivably be anything other than hard-hearted or apathetic nuetral.

I consider him a tragic character, who has essentially (albeit willingly) been transformed into a tool of his office, with no real personality of his own anymore.

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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  04:17:24  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Jorkens

I am a bit rusty on Kelemvor, so I am just guessing here. His trouble with undead would be more because they go against his ethos than because they are evil. I would think that good undead or neutral priests raising neutral undead wouldn't exactly please him either.

I think Ed said it best:-

"Kelemvor is one of the most unwilling and conflicted of the "New Gods." Although he has a fierce revulsion for undead, his hatred is reserved for "undead by choice" (such as liches). He has sympathy for haunts, apparitions, and revenants that exist because someone died without being able to finish a task, mission, or achievement that dominated their lives at the time of death, or so violently and "unfairly" that revenge or at least public identification of their slayer (as a warning to others) leaves them unable to "rest." So Kelemvor will turn a blind eye to "unfinished business" undead, but stand against those who seek to cheat death and achieve undeath thereby."


In life, Kelemvor was deadly dull. As the god of the dead, he's like a 5-hour documentary on the utility of carpet staples. Myrkul may have been an evil, manipulative wretch that terrorized people with death and continually plotted and schemed outside his office, but he was interesting. I don't really see Kelemvor as tragic.

The Wall of the Faithless made sense with Myrkul, but not so much with Kelemvor.


4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7133 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  04:32:41  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well the Wall might seem harsh.

But the living have a lifetime to make their choices. They must either offend the gods or reject the gods ... which is kind of a dumb attitude when you live in a world full of spellcasting priests and unambiguous miracles, where the gods are always manifest and are known to walk among the people.

Even in death the Faithless are taken to the Wall only after rejecting offers made from various fiends. Not likely to be very appealing offers, true, but a slim chance in Hell is still better than inescapably certain doom. No different than the doom of any other evil character.

But what if there were no Wall?
Should the Faithless be shipped off to the lower planes? Not fair to those who reject the fiends.
Should the Faithless be allowed to accumulate on the Fugue? Not fair to Faithful dead who earned their afterlives.
Should the Faithless be allowed to choose where they spend their afterlife? Again, not fair to the Faithful dead. Also not fair to their gods.

I view Kelemvor's duty in tending the Wall as being something like a divine prison warden or even a divine gang enforcer. But the technical truth of the matter is that he is the ultimate law and ultimate judge in matters of death - his authority cannot be challenged, by definition his actions are never criminal.

Anyone who doesn't like Kelemvor's rules can die somewhere else, like Sigil or Krynn.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 26 Jun 2012 04:33:17
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Therise
Master of Realmslore

1265 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  04:42:35  Show Profile Send Therise a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Well the Wall might seem harsh.

But the living have a lifetime to make their choices. ...


I'd agree -IF- the vast majority of Realmsians actually knew about the Wall, and the avoidance requirements. Ed has said repeatedly that most commoners only know a smattering about the gods, their ways, metaphysical truths, and the afterlife. Most commoners also have no single patron deity, but are true polytheists.

Go ask Ed in his thread if even a small percentage of commoners have ever heard of the Wall, or eternal service with Kelemvor, or the chance to escape via devil/demon intervention. Ask if most commoners have a patron deity.



4E Realms was awful, but it's water under the Boareskyr Bridge. Let's make 5E Realms truly shine!

Edited by - Therise on 26 Jun 2012 04:46:03
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lowtech
Learned Scribe

USA
315 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  04:48:07  Show Profile  Visit lowtech's Homepage Send lowtech a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik
But the living have a lifetime to make their choices. They must either offend the gods or reject the gods ... which is kind of a dumb attitude when you live in a world full of spellcasting priests and unambiguous miracles, where the gods are always manifest and are known to walk among the people.

Even in death the Faithless are taken to the Wall only after rejecting offers made from various fiends. Not likely to be very appealing offers, true, but a slim chance in Hell is still better than inescapably certain doom. No different than the doom of any other evil character.



Some people might view it as acting in accordance with one's principles, rather than worship some myopic entity within what amounts to a protection racket.

Both fates involve having your 'self' tortured away into oblivion, so it seems essentially the same to me....and the faithless are not necessarily evil.

I say they should be grouped with the False, who are (theoretically) nether rewarded nor punished-which is how it works in my 'fanon'.
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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 26 Jun 2012 :  19:52:37  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think Kelemvor is a much better god of death than his predecessors precisely because he his a completely neutral god because that is whta death is. Its not good or evil it just is.
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Eldacar
Learned Scribe

254 Posts

Posted - 27 Jun 2012 :  04:55:28  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by lowtech

After he decided to re-instate the Wall of Faithless, I don't think he could conceivably be anything other than hard-hearted or apathetic nuetral.

The Wall puzzles me. At the end of the Avatar series, it was gone, but people lived in an unending twilight. No happiness, but also no sadness. Just samey-sameness for eternity. Which is fair, more or less. Worship a god, get rewards in the afterlife. Don't, and you get no reward, but no punishment either.

Then in 3E, the Wall was suddenly back in the FRCS/PGtF. No explanation as to why, no reasoning given for what caused it to pop back up again. In fact, those were the only places it was said to exist. Everything else either didn't mention it at all or treated it as if it was gone. Then in 4E, it was gone again, and everything went back to the way it was at the end of the Avatar series. Still no explanation or reason given. Most people seem to ascribe to the NWN2 plot ("the other gods forced me to put it back up" and thus came to the conclusion that the gods are evil for torturing people who don't worship them), but that has no backing in the actual Realmslore from what I've been able to discern, and if it went back up it also went back down again anyway.

Was there a disconnect between writers and editors somewhere?

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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LordXenophon
Learned Scribe

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  22:13:32  Show Profile Send LordXenophon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They may or may not have mentioned specifically why Kelemvor reinstated the Wall, but it was quite clearly spelled out how Kelemvor found himself bound by the expectations of his position as Lord of the Dead. It has been his intention ever since The Crucible to enforce every law handed down by the gods to the letter, favoring neither good nor evil, but punishing the dead strictly according to the rules. I see no way to interpret this as any alignment other than Lawful Neutral. In fact, he has become a dictionary example of the alignment.

Disintegration is in the eye of the Beholder.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3255 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  23:07:02  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Well the Wall might seem harsh.

But the living have a lifetime to make their choices. They must either offend the gods or reject the gods ... which is kind of a dumb attitude when you live in a world full of spellcasting priests and unambiguous miracles, where the gods are always manifest and are known to walk among the people.

Even in death the Faithless are taken to the Wall only after rejecting offers made from various fiends. Not likely to be very appealing offers, true, but a slim chance in Hell is still better than inescapably certain doom. No different than the doom of any other evil character.

But what if there were no Wall?
Should the Faithless be shipped off to the lower planes? Not fair to those who reject the fiends.
Should the Faithless be allowed to accumulate on the Fugue? Not fair to Faithful dead who earned their afterlives.
Should the Faithless be allowed to choose where they spend their afterlife? Again, not fair to the Faithful dead. Also not fair to their gods.

I view Kelemvor's duty in tending the Wall as being something like a divine prison warden or even a divine gang enforcer. But the technical truth of the matter is that he is the ultimate law and ultimate judge in matters of death - his authority cannot be challenged, by definition his actions are never criminal.

Anyone who doesn't like Kelemvor's rules can die somewhere else, like Sigil or Krynn.



Even tho in the Realms deities exist and prove their existence to mortals in various ways, this doesn't mean that they must be worshiped.

The mere existence of an entity more powerful than you doesn't imply that you must praise to it. It doesn't matter whether such being does something to earn the faith of the mortals (like some deities in the Realms do), or if it doesn't give a crap about them (like most of the gods in the FR do, setting aside the followers=power thingy), they should always be free to choose to be faithful or not, without having the obliteration of their very identity as a threat.

It just doesn't make sense to impose religion on someone, this should be a spontaneous thing. Forcing it would make it untrue and, while we don't have canon (AFAIK) which tells if worship must be free in order to ''feed'' a deity, IMO it is likely so. To me, it doesn't look probable that a couple of pointless rites could take the place of the dedication from a follower.
The only thing that you can force a Faerunian to do is acknowledging that gods exist, because that is a fact, but to impose him/her to pray a deity is a whole different matter.

About the ''fairness'' of this, I don't see it as a valid point. People who choose to be a follower of some deity wouldn't think about that as a sacrifice, because they agree with his/her teachings and are willing to respect them (and if they chose a god(dess) who cares about them, worshiping him/her should even be gratifying). The ones who choose otherwise simply don't believe that they should pray to someone (even if it is certain that he/she exists and is a powerful being) in order to fulfill themselves or to improve their lives. Both of those are completely valid styles of life and I really don't see why the latter should be punished in any way.

This is why I think that the Wall of the Faithless is a so ugly concept, and why I wouldn't mind to see it destroyed. Forcing people into worship (as in anything) is just wrong.

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Edited by - Irennan on 28 Jun 2012 23:10:33
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LordXenophon
Learned Scribe

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  23:38:22  Show Profile Send LordXenophon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The gods would not agree with you.

Disintegration is in the eye of the Beholder.
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3255 Posts

Posted - 28 Jun 2012 :  23:48:55  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The ones who care about their followers and don't burden themselves with tons of strict rules (aside the ones who come from the act itself of being a deity) would

Seriously, I don't think that gods can ''feed'' on some rites performed to worship them. It sounds more like that the dedication from a mortal, and his/her efforts to put in practice his/her deity's teachings are the acts who make them grow.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 28 Jun 2012 23:54:50
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7133 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  09:29:30  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Irennan

Even tho in the Realms deities exist and prove their existence to mortals in various ways, this doesn't mean that they must be worshiped.

Well ... actually ... Ao and his pantheon make the rules which govern their world. If their commandments require that they be worshipped then so be it.

[/Ayrik]
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3255 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  09:40:31  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AFAIK, the Wall of the Faithless was built by Myrkul, so this shouldn't be any universal rule or anything like that (unless I was wrong wrong, ofc). Also, I don't recall any canon source that states that Ao decides the rules which make the world spin.

If things were that way, well, this would be just one of the aspects of the Realms that I dislike and ignore.

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Edited by - Irennan on 29 Jun 2012 10:08:59
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Venger
Learned Scribe

USA
268 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  10:42:07  Show Profile Send Venger a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
I'd agree -IF- the vast majority of Realmsians actually knew about the Wall, and the avoidance requirements. Ed has said repeatedly that most commoners only know a smattering about the gods, their ways, metaphysical truths, and the afterlife. Most commoners also have no single patron deity, but are true polytheists.

Go ask Ed in his thread if even a small percentage of commoners have ever heard of the Wall, or eternal service with Kelemvor, or the chance to escape via devil/demon intervention. Ask if most commoners have a patron deity.




That they don't know about the Wall of the Faithless in lore is just flat out idiotic. It's something which should be common knowledge in the Realms, not some minutae that only the most learned scholars know. It'd be like living in the modern world and nobody having a clue what Hell is. "You mean there's a place where evil people are sent to to suffer for all of eternity in flame? That's a shocking and foreign concept!" Every priest of every god should be aware of this, and they should all at one point or another make the people aware of this fact or remind them of it, especially priests of Kelemvor!

The stupidity of that hit me full in the face while I was playing Mask of the Betrayer, and my player character had to tell a Cleric of Kelemvor all about the wall, and he was completely shocked by the knowledge of its existence. Are you seriously trying to tell me that a Cleric of Kelemvor doesn't have the faintest idea what the Wall of the Faithless is? And you know what the best part was? The cleric goes to work every day at a church which is surrounded on all sides by A REPLICA OF THE WALL OF THE FAITHLESS!!!

"Beware what you say when you speak of magic, wizard, or you shall see who has the greater power."
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7133 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  13:28:21  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I imagine that a world filled with the proselytizing priests, missionaries, and evangelists of dozens of deities would make it somewhat impossible for anybody to not know about the existence of at least some of the deities. Note that the identity, position, and decrees of the godhead are always the foremost component of every religion on our world - along with at least vague notions about what can be expected in the afterlife for those who follow or defy the faith.

[/Ayrik]
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LordXenophon
Learned Scribe

USA
144 Posts

Posted - 29 Jun 2012 :  23:50:54  Show Profile Send LordXenophon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not only that, but prostheletisers ofthen start by telling people what will happen to them if they don't honor the gods, before telling them what they have to do to avoid eternal damnation.

Disintegration is in the eye of the Beholder.
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