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evildmguy
Acolyte

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  16:08:33  Show Profile  Visit evildmguy's Homepage Send evildmguy a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings!

It has been a while since I visited so if there is a discussion on this, please point me to it.

I have been thinking of titles for priests, specifically evil ones. I have 2E F&A and found this post: http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=9254&whichpage=1

I guess my first question is does canon FR have good and evil as tangible concepts that a person picks? In other words, does a person know they are evil, that they have embraced evil, that they worship an evil god, or are doing evil things?

I know that this brings up alignment, Detect spells, and other things, but I'm thinking of a cleric of an evil god. If the follower of Bane is told to go to Arabel or Waterdeep to preach, how do they do this? The first part of this, to me, was how they introduce themselves.

So, I go look at clergy titles, again the 2E F&A and the previous thread, and the titles of priests contain negative language. Slave, Deadly, Striking, Doom. Sure, in this particular case (I'm not through all of them as I write them out for my own purposes) they have the title Brother/Sister Faithful around others. Or look at Besheba. Fear, Strife, Gloom, Despair, Dread are used as titles. How do they use that?

So, I picked Arabel and Waterdeep as they would have two different reactions. Actually, I'm unclear as to the laws in Cormyr but assume worshipping evil gods is illegal. Not sure it is in Waterdeep. So, this Banite goes to Arabel and doesn't talk about tyranny but democracy or meritocracy. He sows discontent and chaos in this way. Maybe that opens the way to a demagogue. Maybe it just weakens Arabel's resolve as something else is happening. In any case, though, when asked questions, the true point of my thoughts, how does he introduce himself? Bane isn't about deceit, so I assume he can't lie? Sure, he's got the generic Faithful title he can use but I guess I'm wanting something better?

The Banite that goes to Waterdeep, she has it easier. She can go to the Plinth and openly speak about Bane. Okay but who is going to listen? Does she compare the Open Lord to a Tyrant and again espouse another form of government that would weaken Waterdeep? Does she preach in the places where people have been mistreated or relegated to the bad areas? Does she speak to the non humans in the Foreign Quarter about their lot and how for all the humans talk, they won't be elevated higher? And again, who would listen to that?

I may have just talked myself into an answer? In that, people who end up worshipping the evil gods don't realize it? Or is that too realistic? Am I overthinking it? Rather, how much am I overthinking it?

I'm also reminded of Maiden of Pain, a novel from a long time ago. While the book was only mediocre, the idea that stuck with me was basically having Loviatar almost be a follower of Ilmater, in that Priestess talks about taking the pain of others to herself. Or lessening pain. It made Loviatar less evil and more neutral with a way to be good.

Or the way that people still give praise to Auril, Besheba, or Umberlee to avoid their wrath. In those cases, wouldn't priests of those gods be welcomed?

I'm asking because in my campaigns, I don't have the Time of Troubles, so still have Bane, Bhaal, and Myrkul. But some priests of Cyric from a Realms where Time of Trouble did happen have showed up and would start preaching. I'm looking for ways for them to hide in plain sight and was hoping for some discussion or ideas on it.

Thanks!

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
34711 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2021 :  17:20:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Folks generally don't see themselves as evil.

More often, their beliefs justify their actions as being what is necessary or proper -- "I need this, and if he hadn't refused to give it to me, I wouldn't have to kill him. It's his fault, not mine!" or "I am stronger than this person, so it is my right to use them and their property as I see fit. If they don't like it, they need to become stronger."

I think a lot of evil folks would think of good-aligned people as fools, or misguided, or just plain weak and beneath them. Not so much an "Evil is cool, and good sucks!" thing as "this is the way of the world, they need to realize they're wrong for thinking otherwise."

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7413 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2021 :  02:21:25  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good begets good.
And good doesn't merely exist - it prevails.
All that is necessary for good to succeed is that evil men do nothing.

"We work in the dark - we do what we must - we take what we can. Their doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of Mystra's art."

[/Ayrik]
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evildmguy
Acolyte

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2021 :  21:08:45  Show Profile  Visit evildmguy's Homepage Send evildmguy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Folks generally don't see themselves as evil.

More often, their beliefs justify their actions as being what is necessary or proper -- "I need this, and if he hadn't refused to give it to me, I wouldn't have to kill him. It's his fault, not mine!" or "I am stronger than this person, so it is my right to use them and their property as I see fit. If they don't like it, they need to become stronger."

I think a lot of evil folks would think of good-aligned people as fools, or misguided, or just plain weak and beneath them. Not so much an "Evil is cool, and good sucks!" thing as "this is the way of the world, they need to realize they're wrong for thinking otherwise."



Thanks for the reply! I agree. Thus my dilemma. F&A lists Cyric's followers as Strifeleaders. Not the best term. The dogma listed is "Death to all who oppose Cyric." "All rightful authority comes from Cyric." Now, he also encompasses deception, so they could lie about who they worship and revel in misleading others. That's why I spoke more about Bane, who seems to say the same thing to his followers as Cyric in terms of authority, due to the tyrant part.

Then there are gods that are evil but you could see worship happening to placate them and keep them away. There are a fair number of them. Again, Auril, Besheba, Umberlee, but I could include Talos, Talona, and maybe Shar (fear of loss?). Having said that, what, do clerics of them come in and demand payment or bad things happen? Do clerics of Umberlee work at the docs, demanding payment when a ship leaves? Comes back?

I don't think all good gods are out of this, either. I don't understand Sune. At what point does worshipping Sune become vanity? Or fighting nature against aging? I wonder if Gond would be worshiped more than Mystra since not all can be casters but anyone can use technology? Grumbar followers don't like change seems tough. Kossuth reads more like a fitness trainer, having "no pain, no gain" as part of their Dogma. At what point is worshiping Waukeen going to greed? Tymora can be worshipped for their own luck to be better but can they ask her to take good luck from someone else? Or is that only Besheba?

I'm also of the opinion that FR's weather patterns happen regardless of the gods. It's a world that magic has been layered on it, not needed to run it. However, at some point, by RAW (not that I play RAW but it's the place to start), wasn't it declared that the gods would only be as strong as the number of worshipers they have? If so, how are any evil gods more than a demi power? How is Chauntea not the most powerful as an agrarian goddess?

Okay, got off topic and onto a deep tangent. Mostly. I'm asking how can a follower of any evil god convert others to their worship? Is it possible to find positive aspects of evil gods? And negative aspects of good ones?

I also can't decide if this means that things like the weather are controlled by the gods instead of natural processes. If that's the case, then it changes certain gods a lot. Auril worshippers would almost be asking for protection money? Or would they try and push further and further to extend how far Auril can reach every year?

In any case, thanks for the responses!

edg
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evildmguy
Acolyte

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 27 Mar 2021 :  21:58:15  Show Profile  Visit evildmguy's Homepage Send evildmguy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am probably being too esoteric.

Let me be more plain.

As I said in my first post, in my current campaign, the Time of Troubles didn't happen, Cyric never ascended, I still have the other three. I also have a multi verse, so there is a place where ToT did happen and Cyric is there. These followers have come over and are trying to get people to worship Cyric. The thought I had was that if FR deities are based on worshippers, then the followers of Cyric need to convince some amount of people to worship Cyric, which would let him arrive. How do they do that? I assume that if Strifeleaders show up and start talking about Cyric in good terms, strong leader and the like, that most people will think Tyr or Torm. So, if the priest worships Cyric, gets people to come listen to Cyric, but doesn't correct them and the worshippers think it's Torm or Tyr, which deity gets the benefit of the worship?

If that's not the case, and there are just powerful beings like gods, is it already too late? Now that a Cyric knows of this place where he isn't worshipped, does he show up? Does that start a Godswar since he has the other portfolios? Or does he become an optional god to worship?

Thanks!

edg
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7413 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2021 :  03:42:21  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Take a look at 2E Forgotten Realms Adventures. It has rules for "specialty priests" of every Faerunian deity, including pre-ToT Dead Three and post-ToT Cyric. The "granted powers" for Cyric's priests describe special rules for "conversion". Maybe these powers of conversion are simple logic and rhetoric, the persuasive arguments of converted priests ... or maybe these powers of conversion are supernaturally compelling, the "magical" power of Cyric being channeled directly through the words of his priests. The rules (as written) are meant to address followers of the defunct Dead Three, but they could be applied to any follower of any deity - indeed, this would seem consistent with Cyric's methods of conversion in the post-Avatar novels.

[/Ayrik]
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evildmguy
Acolyte

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2021 :  15:09:28  Show Profile  Visit evildmguy's Homepage Send evildmguy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Take a look at 2E Forgotten Realms Adventures. It has rules for "specialty priests" of every Faerunian deity, including pre-ToT Dead Three and post-ToT Cyric. The "granted powers" for Cyric's priests describe special rules for "conversion". Maybe these powers of conversion are simple logic and rhetoric, the persuasive arguments of converted priests ... or maybe these powers of conversion are supernaturally compelling, the "magical" power of Cyric being channeled directly through the words of his priests. The rules (as written) are meant to address followers of the defunct Dead Three, but they could be applied to any follower of any deity - indeed, this would seem consistent with Cyric's methods of conversion in the post-Avatar novels.



Thanks! I will check it out!

As I read more of F&A, I'm thinking that it's not consistent. Evil gods that can be supplicated to stay away make sense. Then there are lines of "where evil god's worship is allowed" means more than they probably meant. I'm certainly reading a lot into it.

My point is that instead of having an Ares/Mars type situation with different cultures looking at a God of War differently, there are some gods that are just there ... to be there. Because the good guys needed a foil. That's fine but then all of the evil gods then need some deceptive way to find worship. Again, who gets the power if the congregation think they are worshipping Tyr/Ilmater but are actually being led by a priest of Cyric?

Thanks!

edg



Edited by - evildmguy on 28 Mar 2021 15:09:57
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4578 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2021 :  15:37:27  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by evildmguy
That's fine but then all of the evil gods then need some deceptive way to find worship. Again, who gets the power if the congregation think they are worshipping Tyr/Ilmater but are actually being led by a priest of Cyric?

Thanks!

edg






Well there are hidden places of worship for some deities. Much like thieves guild, members know where it is, not everyone. The clerics do not need to pretend to worship other deities to gather followers.

AS to one pretending to be another what deity gets power is the one it is given to. It does not matter if lead by a cleric of another faith, an example is chaplains that will provide services for many faiths.

Though we have been told it is not just number of worshipers, it is also the degree of worship devotion.

We have also been told that understanding of how the religion actual works is based on what hints or information the deities want to be known and/or are best guesses of sages trying to understand how religion.


"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon

Edited by - Kentinal on 28 Mar 2021 15:37:59
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3536 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2021 :  18:36:32  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Why might people worship evil deities? Power. Some kind of personal benefit. Fear. Regardless of the fervor of those prayers and offerings, those deities get empowered by them. People giving prayers and offerings to Besheba to avoid bad luck? That adds up. People giving prayers and offerings to Umberlee to guarantee a safe journey on the seas? That adds up. People giving prayers and offerings to Bane out of fear because if they don't they'll be harmed somehow by the evil despot that rules over them? That adds up. People giving prayers and offerings to Shar to keep their dark, dirty shame a secret? That adds up. Those prayers and offerings might not be coming from the same religious fervor as a zealot or a priest, and as such might not empower the god/goddess as much, but it all adds up, in the same vein as death by paper cuts.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7413 Posts

Posted - 28 Mar 2021 :  21:03:47  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
People offer prayers and sacrifices to Evil deities to avert their wrathful attentions. Some of this is passive respect. Some is active interactions. For decidedly non-Evil purposes.

Sailors request Umberlee's blessings. Simply because failing to do so could be an insult which invites disasters at sea. Even while they're a traditionally superstitious lot far more inclined to favour Tymora.

Farmers may construct small shrines to Malar on their land. Showing reverence in the hope his wild beasts might rampage elsewhere. Even though they primarily worship Chauntea.

Many cities and temple complexes have icons dedicated to Talos and/or to Tempus. So that they may be spared from storms and wars and destructions. Even cities which legally ban temples dedicated to Evil deities, which abhor war and violence.

Healers may invoke Shar (her aspect as goddess of obscure and oblivion) to provide small relief to patients by removing painful or traumatizing memories. An ironic turning away from Ilmater's gentle promise of endlessly stoic suffering.

I wouldn't be surprised if human settlements sometimes contained small shrines dedicated to demihuman deities. Or even to monstrous deities.
Perhaps a brazier kept burning for Gruumsh when there are rumours of orcs in the hills. Perhaps a well at the harbour dedicated to Blibdoolpoolp to keep the kuo-toa marauders away.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 28 Mar 2021 21:23:37
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evildmguy
Acolyte

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2021 :  20:50:04  Show Profile  Visit evildmguy's Homepage Send evildmguy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all of the replies! I'm still struggling with some aspects of it, darn my overthinking brain, but I have what I need for now.
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