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Galuf the Dwarf
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  03:37:06  Show Profile Send Galuf the Dwarf a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Another question crossed my mind recently, about Kelemvor judging souls in the afterlife and what he would determine as being a "false" worshipper. I know a "false" worshipper is supposed to be one who claimed in life to worship a deity but actually didn't, but I was looking for clarification.

For instance, let's say the souls of a priest of Cyric (who was posing as a worshipper of another deity), a Drow Traitor-Priest(ess) (worshipping Lolth openly but secretly venerating Vhaerun as a form of divine double-agent), and an Ur-Priest (as featured in the 3rd edition Book of Vile Darkness and the 3.5 Edition Complete Divine walk into the Crystal Spire... Yes, I know sounds like a cheesy joke. Anyway, would any of those three count as false? I would think the most likely would be the Ur-Priest, since they technically don't worship a deity and steal divine power, or may just as likely (if not more) be judged as "faithless" instead, namely if they refuse to actually worship a deity. So would any of these count or is that not the case?

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Seethyr
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  04:06:38  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Galuf the Dwarf

Another question crossed my mind recently, about Kelemvor judging souls in the afterlife and what he would determine as being a "false" worshipper. I know a "false" worshipper is supposed to be one who claimed in life to worship a deity but actually didn't, but I was looking for clarification.

For instance, let's say the souls of a priest of Cyric (who was posing as a worshipper of another deity), a Drow Traitor-Priest(ess) (worshipping Lolth openly but secretly venerating Vhaerun as a form of divine double-agent), and an Ur-Priest (as featured in the 3rd edition Book of Vile Darkness and the 3.5 Edition Complete Divine walk into the Crystal Spire... Yes, I know sounds like a cheesy joke. Anyway, would any of those three count as false? I would think the most likely would be the Ur-Priest, since they technically don't worship a deity and steal divine power, or may just as likely (if not more) be judged as "faithless" instead, namely if they refuse to actually worship a deity. So would any of these count or is that not the case?



Please forgive me going on memory here from a long time ago, but I think the false was more of a description of those who claimed to serve a deity, but did not faithfully follow the tenets.

I am not sure if it was Canticle(?) the novel where a petitioner was judged by Helm unworthy (he had to read words for loyalty or something like that directly from the god's hands) and was thus judged false.

Ur-Priests, I think I would place more into the faithless category or one of their own. Who knows what happens to the souls of beings who tick off the gods that intentionally with noone to back them. I really can't see any afterlife for such folk other than undeath or oblivion. Maybe particularly powerful ones are ideal candidates for becoming a Binder vestige.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  10:54:05  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Galuf the Dwarf

Another question crossed my mind recently, about Kelemvor judging souls in the afterlife and what he would determine as being a "false" worshipper. I know a "false" worshipper is supposed to be one who claimed in life to worship a deity but actually didn't, but I was looking for clarification.

For instance, let's say the souls of a priest of Cyric (who was posing as a worshipper of another deity), a Drow Traitor-Priest(ess) (worshipping Lolth openly but secretly venerating Vhaerun as a form of divine double-agent), and an Ur-Priest (as featured in the 3rd edition Book of Vile Darkness and the 3.5 Edition Complete Divine walk into the Crystal Spire... Yes, I know sounds like a cheesy joke. Anyway, would any of those three count as false? I would think the most likely would be the Ur-Priest, since they technically don't worship a deity and steal divine power, or may just as likely (if not more) be judged as "faithless" instead, namely if they refuse to actually worship a deity. So would any of these count or is that not the case?



The drow worships Vhaeraun, so she's covered. The Cyricist worships Cyric, so he's covered. In both cases, they had a true allegiance under their apparent one; as long as they stick by that, they're good.

The Ur-Priest... Not familiar with those, but going by your description, I'd say he'd be Faithless.

...Though I'd also be disinclined to allow an Ur-Priest, anyway. I've long had an issue with the idea of priests who don't venerate a deity, and it's especially problematic in the Realms.

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LordofBones
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  11:05:27  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Ur Priest is completely screwed, the other two are fine. Ur Priests are effectively thieves of divine power, which isn't going to endear them to any god, much less Kelembor.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  11:43:00  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ugh, the info on FRs afterlife is so conflicting it is one of the worst detailed aspects in the entire setting.

I personally ignore almost all of it so as to create a new version that makes sense

So kelemvor does not have complete authority over every soul in Torils crystal sphere, how could he when there are much stronger greater gods with their own version of the afterlife (elves, dwarves, orcs, etc).

Now when you die your soul goes elsewhere, and it needs to migrate to the outer planes. I think the astral acts as a link between the material and outer planes so it makes sense that this be the start of the journey (if it's the ethereal then my bad, I always get them confused)

After that the souls are drawn towards the fugue plane or the gray waste of hades which I think borders naturally with the astral plane (gray waste sounds a lot like the cloudy astral).

From here the souls are preyed upon by various creatures. Devils seek to bargain with souls to steal them away from their ultimate fate for a price. Demons devour whatever souls they can find and being others back to their masters.
There must be servants of the gods of death from various pantheons shepherding souls towards their places of judgement. Kelemvor will take those of the faerunian pantheon only. Osiris takes those of the mulhorandi. Souls from unther have to find their own way.
The surviving souls get to their place of judgement and can be put on the wall if they are deemed false, or go to one of their deity's home plane.

It cant be that kelemvor judges them all because there are multiple geographic pantheons, multiple racial pantheons and multiple crystal spheres, all but one of which will obey kelemvor judgement.

Just my take on it that allows for a more complicated plan that includes the information from previous editions.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  15:29:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's some lore that even says that all souls go to the shadowfell first before the fugue plane. So, yes, there's not a clear explanation.

That's a damn good point about them being on the fugue plane first though... I can see the ur-priest taking up demons or devils on their offers, because they likely will not get respect from deities.

There's also a note on Malar's domain that he sometimes gets petitioners and turns them into animals
Malarís realm, the Land of the Hunt, stretches for uncounted miles from the shore of the Blood Sea. A great, open plain stocked with abundant wildlife (including souls stolen from the Fugue Plane and transformed into innocuous animal forms as prey for hunters)

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  15:35:16  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Pretty much every manual of the planes and planar lore talks about devils bargaining with souls to get hold of them, while demons eat them and other servitors take them back to their deity.
Current FR lore on the afterlife makes that impossible and therefore it is wrong. As always novels messed things up for the rest of the setting, myrkul, cyric, kelemvor should only ever have been responsible for the souls of the faerunian pantheon, and the souls should not just appear at his castle because it contradicts previous lore about the planes that kind of made sense (in a fantastical, extra planar kind of way)

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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  17:25:55  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Pretty much every manual of the planes and planar lore talks about devils bargaining with souls to get hold of them, while demons eat them and other servitors take them back to their deity.
Current FR lore on the afterlife makes that impossible and therefore it is wrong. As always novels messed things up for the rest of the setting, myrkul, cyric, kelemvor should only ever have been responsible for the souls of the faerunian pantheon, and the souls should not just appear at his castle because it contradicts previous lore about the planes that kind of made sense (in a fantastical, extra planar kind of way)



After reading the Avatar series, I learned that the souls that arrive from Realmspace don't actually go straight to Kelemvor's city/castle. They wait in the plains outside of the city for a time like an airport terminal. If nobody picks them up, they are either herded to the city for judgement or find themselves in trouble like if any of them somehow wander into Dendar's cave.

Certain souls might be drawn to the afterlife more directly though, as seen in War of the Spider Queen, such as elves and drow and shadar-kai.

The Shadowfell and the Elemental Planes have been used as transitional planes that souls pass through on their way to the Fugue Plane, but not necessarily stopping for anything.

There is more than one judge of the dead worshipped on Toril (ex. Yama of the Vedic) but the others apart from Kelemvor seem to be multiversal figures so a possible explanation is that while Kelemvor receives souls for judgement from all over Realmspace, he's only the last stop, the final level of judgement, and the other gods of death have some jurisdiction before souls reach Kelemvor's court - much like the tiered court systems of the real world.

The other gods also effectively act as a filter for souls so that Kelemvor doesn't actually have to judge every single soul that arrives in the Fugue Plane, which would be incredibly tedious and likely to be backed up very fast.

As such Kelemvor is able to find the time to judge souls on a case-by-case basis, as demonstrated in the Avatar series with Jergal reading out a summary of each soul's case.

Kelemvor would therefore not immediately judge a soul as False without examining their case first. The punishment (or reprieve in some cases) could vary depending on the individual case, as seen when Kelemvor turns a guy into a rat to wander the streets of the city.

The Avatar series also shows that the faith of a petitioner is not judged on how they appear to be worshipping but what is in their heart, so the OP's example of a disguised Vhaeraunite would not be in any danger of being labeled False since they never betrayed their truly worshipped deity in the first place.








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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  17:44:22  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well novels take secondary or even tertiary status for me, and when it doesn't make sense I'm happy to change it. Nothing in the maztican or elven or mulhorandi death myth mentions being judged by another God first then I conclude the claim of all souls being judged by kelemvor as little more than PR and advertising.

If you were plane hopping or sphere travelling then your soul would be rather shocked to have kelemvor judge it. How does a soul suddenly appear in fugue. Too many questions for a half baked novel theory of the afterlife.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 29 Aug 2019 :  22:52:17  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison



So kelemvor does not have complete authority over every soul in Torils crystal sphere, how could he when there are much stronger greater gods with their own version of the afterlife (elves, dwarves, orcs, etc).



Because it's not about strength -- it's about the rules of the sphere, which put him in charge of souls. The other gods, even if they're more powerful, have to abide by these rules.

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TBeholder
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Posted - 30 Aug 2019 :  10:57:58  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Galuf the Dwarf

I know a "false" worshipper is supposed to be one who claimed in life to worship a deity but actually didn't, but I was looking for clarification.

For instance, let's say the souls of a priest of Cyric (who was posing as a worshipper of another deity), a Drow Traitor-Priest(ess) (worshipping Lolth openly but secretly venerating Vhaerun as a form of divine double-agent), and an Ur-Priest (as featured in the 3rd edition Book of Vile Darkness and the 3.5 Edition Complete Divine walk into the Crystal Spire... Yes, I know sounds like a cheesy joke. Anyway, would any of those three count as false?


The Cyricist worships Cyric, so unless he's crazy enough to deny it at this point, simply gets handed to Cyric.
The Vhaerunite likewise truly worships Vhaerun, and probably is outside Kelemvor's jurisdiction to begin with.
Ur-Priest "as is" would be in for it. But then, do the Ur-Priests even work in Realmspace, under "no impersonal divine magic" laws? Also, one could be an Ur-Priest and follow some or other deity, probably of thievery or deception.

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TBeholder
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Posted - 30 Aug 2019 :  11:21:22  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

So kelemvor does not have complete authority over every soul in Torils crystal sphere, how could he when there are much stronger greater gods with their own version of the afterlife (elves, dwarves, orcs, etc).


quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert


Because it's not about strength -- it's about the rules of the sphere, which put him in charge of souls. The other gods, even if they're more powerful, have to abide by these rules.

Well, there are different "jurisdictions", in that some others handle their own. Including, yes, Celestial Bureaucracy, Maztican pantheon (note the exception) and Seldarine.

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Starshade
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Posted - 31 Aug 2019 :  13:44:17  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I got no issues with an Ur Priest, only about the players playing having fun. If you run with "Canon" FR in 3.5 same way a teenager rule nerd do Magic the Gathering, you'd have heretics of Aumantor or clerics of Auppenser being Faithless and ending in The Wall too...
Id never allow such rulenoodling to ruin anyones fun, tbh. Probably run Kelemvor as 'caonical', and let some Divine Agent on the side of said doomed just-dead Ur Priest or cleric of Auppenser/Aumantor come flying in, pull a "Quickie" on the Scribe of the Doomed, and delay the Judgement long enough for the players to try ressurect him or her...
Yes, an Ur Priest IS Faithless.. But someone might take a liking to him or her anyway, and lend an hand. If nothing else to make the game work.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 31 Aug 2019 :  14:21:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Starshade

I got no issues with an Ur Priest, only about the players playing having fun. If you run with "Canon" FR in 3.5 same way a teenager rule nerd do Magic the Gathering, you'd have heretics of Aumantor or clerics of Auppenser being Faithless and ending in The Wall too...
Id never allow such rulenoodling to ruin anyones fun, tbh.


Sticking with canon is not being a rule nerd. A lot of people prefer to stick with canon because if you're playing in a published setting, then sticking with canon material makes things easier. A DM doesn't have to build the world and tell a story, he can simply concentrate on the story.

I, personally, have found that sticking with canon material -- and the grey areas between what's canon and what isn't described at all -- has forced me to be more creative when trying to do what I want, and I've come up with better ideas because of it.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 31 Aug 2019 :  14:26:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It occurs to me that if an Ur-Priest steals divine power, then maybe there is a way to work them into the setting: Shar. Instead of the Ur-Priest stealing power, Shar is secretly granting it, mainly as a way of helping the Ur-Priest work against other divinities and thus weaken them.

She wouldn't necessarily do anything to help this guy after he died, though.

An Ur-Priest could also be powered by a powerful Lower Plane nastybad, as a way of working against deities.

Either option gives the guy a patron, and shies away from the issue of not having a deity.

Also, the name Ur-Priest is just horrible, especially if they're against deities. "Priest" pretty much implies a positive connection to the divine.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 31 Aug 2019 14:29:12
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Starshade
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Norway
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Posted - 31 Aug 2019 :  23:15:32  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The name is a bit horrible, if you are not super fan of Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series. Both due to how that series treat religion and ethics, and the use of "Ur" on everything.
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