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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5281 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2018 :  08:36:14  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As sleyvas presciently observed it is this - not particularly ambiguous - passage from FR10 that is the issue:

The Chessentan Empire held sway as far west as Chondath, and even subdued Unther and held it as its vassal. After the death of Tchazzar, the Empire broke up; Unther tore free from its influence,
and its distant outposts were ruined.


Subdued it and held it as a vassal. Demzer can say it along with me slowly. I can handwave and say that it means only the actual Chessentan lands and not Unther proper, but it's the vassal part that causes concern. That connotes subdual and obeisance - not something I would associate with Gilgeam or any god ruler for that matter.

So, before I move on to other more interesting topics (the history of the Old Empires is about 21st on my priority list right about now) anyone have any thoughts on how Unther would become a vassal to Chessenta (as in subordinate and existing on conditions of homage and allegiance)? Let fly, fellows.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1112 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2018 :  08:48:15  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tchazzar had a Hulk? That worked with Loki.

More seriously, though. Is Old Empires the product that introduced Gilgeam to the setting? This can be an inconsistency with later products.

I mean, that book also have the Bane thing that puzzled me some time ago.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 06 Jun 2018 09:08:29
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4118 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2018 :  09:05:34  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tributary vassal state. Unther pays money to chessenta and otherwise remains autonomous. Gilgeam was a tyrant but he was also an archetypal example of a corrupt ruler, he liked playing in his harem and his arena and indulging his every whim, the problems of ruling were not his concern and left to his council.


Most kings left the everyday jobs to their underlings, he stamped the kings seal on important documents that were waved under his nose but he didn't necessarily read them all. That's why being the kings council was so worthwhile, the opportunity for self advancement through deception and patronage (the risks were also great). King Henry VIII of England went through many privacy councillors during his reign because of their exploitations and attempts to grab more power.

So it's entirely possible for unther to pay regular and vast sums of money to chessenta and for Gilgeam to never know about it (he rarely left Unthalass). Tchazzar gets to claim supremacy over unther (with a signed surrender and pledge of fealty from Gilgeam himself - Gilgeam stamped 400 documents that day and never read a single one). Gilgeam meanwhile gets fed the false news from his privacy council that war efforts in the north are going well (with the occasional setback and sacrificial general) until a century later Tchazzar dies and everything goes back to normal.

It's the only way and it's plausible (only just but we are dealing with immortal beings here Which stretch the range of plausibility somewhat).

All you have to do is ignore what we have been told about faeruns gods - that they have complete control over their portfolios, that they are in constant communication with their clergy and able to sense their motives at any point in time, etc.

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1112 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2018 :  09:11:59  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dazzler has a point. Though it is hard to assimilate. Even if we acknowledge gods aren't omnipotent within their portfolios, this would make Gilgeam really incompetent as King, and the guy has thousands of years of expertise in that field.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 06 Jun 2018 09:16:16
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Demzer
Senior Scribe

652 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2018 :  10:16:59  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Demzer can say it along with me slowly.



Charming, really.

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

As sleyvas presciently observed it is this - not particularly ambiguous - passage from FR10 that is the issue:

The Chessentan Empire held sway as far west as Chondath, and even subdued Unther and held it as its vassal. After the death of Tchazzar, the Empire broke up; Unther tore free from its influence,
and its distant outposts were ruined.





The same source clearly states on page 8 that only satyrs and elves lived in the Yuirwood* but this didn't stop you from working on the Arthraen, to the betterment of FR lore as a whole.
So in one case you were able to massage or ignore the lore (one single line from one single sourcebook, not really painful to ignore) while in another case you use an identically minor statement to justify your position against the presence of actual gods in the Realms.
Talk about biased opinions.

Anyway, I stated my piece, for ease of future reference I reiterate it one last time:
1) Gilgeam was an hands-on tyrant and aggressive warrior god-king, this is repeated by all the sources we have on him;
2) Gilgeam never left proper Unther to fight any war, either of conquest or to defend the status and glory of Unther, this is repeated by all the sources we have on the history of Unther. Something keeps Gilgeam inside proper Unther;
3) Tchazzar noticed the pattern and carved his own Empire out of Unther playing on the fact that the god-king would not retaliate personally if he didn't push into proper Unther;

Old Empires states that Gilgeam gave much power to his administrators but insisted on making major decisions and also that he is not neglectful in his rule, Powers and Pantheons clearly states that Gilgeam was involved in the day-to-day details of ruling Unther so I'm personally not inclined to go with dazzlerdal's explanation but whatever floats your boat.

*Originally, only satyrs and sylvan elves inhabited this forest west of Thay and north of the Nine Cities. Except for occasional skirmishes with the ancient Unther empire, this land had few encounters with men.

EDIT: actually Old Empires calls the Wizard's Reach cities the "Union of Chessenta" just before claiming that Tchazzar conquered Unther and turned it into a vassal state ... later sources changed that to the League of Samathar and added the 953 entry about Tchazzar conquering the cities of the League of Samathar and turning them into tributary states. This convoluted mess can be explained with the fact that originally the League of Samathar was a piece of Unther so when Old Empires says that Unther was a vassal of Chessenta it really meant that some of the territories of Unther (Wizard's Reach cities) were turned into tributary states while proper Unther was simply beaten back beyond the Riders to the Sky Mountains (as multiple sources say). This gets rid of the problem of Gilgeam paying taxes to someone else, he was simply military beaten, like other times in the history of Unther. No subdual and obeisance needed.

Edited by - Demzer on 06 Jun 2018 10:36:59
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4118 Posts

Posted - 06 Jun 2018 :  11:41:45  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Dazzler has a point. Though it is hard to assimilate. Even if we acknowledge gods aren't omnipotent within their portfolios, this would make Gilgeam really incompetent as King, and the guy has thousands of years of expertise in that field.



People can spend their entire life performing a job and still be incompetent at it. Time does not necessarily equal competence. Moreover performimg the same tasks endlessly becomes a chore, imagine doing the same thing everyday for 1000 years.

Now Gilgeam might like to be involved. All a king needs to do to be involved is make royal decrees every now and then. The decrees don't have to be his ideas. The royal documents don't have to be written by him all he has to do is stamp his seal on it and make the decree at the next big event and he is seen to be taking an active part.

I imagine this is how kingship has been done by the majority of rulers for a long time. They quickly devolve the boring parts to their privacy council because it's boring and the privacy councillors need a reward for their service so they take the admin bits and ensure their friends and family benefit.

Very few rulers determined the policy personally beyond declaring war or peace. Most of them take advice from their advisers and do as they ask while playing the part of the royal figurehead.

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 06 Jun 2018 11:42:24
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1112 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2018 :  02:12:40  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not that I mind him being an incompetent ruler, anyways. Him being a mediocre king serves the plans I have in my home campaign.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4118 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2018 :  08:54:41  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Given his madness and paranoia I would have thought he could only be an incompetent ruler. That's why there is a law that everyone must offer prayer at every statue of him they pass (and there are thousands of his statues in unthalass).

If he was an uncaring ruler he wouldn't even attend the council meetings. He would give the royal seal to his High councillor and let him make every decision. Gilgeam at least turns up (some days) and remains until he grows bored.

A good privvy councillor knows how to watch their king. They know when they've had a good meal and had some relaxing in the harem and so they present the good documents they want approved. They know when the king is impatient because he needs to void or is bored and so present him with the documents they don't want him to read but just approve. They know when he is murderous and they give the problems to someone else to present. It doesn't always work and sometimes they get caught and beheaded but for a time it is a lucrative position.
The king has to rely on these councillors. It is a full time job dealing with every little problem in the country. There are so many fields that they need experts and advisors for each. It is very rare that you get a king who is an expert in any of these fields (Henry VII is a good example) and they are usually known for their reforms. While the typical kings are known only for their conquests and failures.

Gilgeam is definitely one of the incompetent rulers. He is mad, he is paranoid, he makes stupid laws that gratify himself, he allows his council to manipulate him, and he spends much of his time in decadent luxury concerned only with his own pleasure. That's why Unther is rotten and dying , because it has had an incompetent ruler at its head for a millennia.

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Edited by - dazzlerdal on 07 Jun 2018 12:35:42
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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
210 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2018 :  12:10:23  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dazzkerdal's suggestion IS a good one; it just don't explain what happened to the God. Imho, Gileam needs to be removed, somehow for some time there. Beaten to pulp, mummified alive, poisoned with an arrow coated with saliva from Dendar the night serpent and/or tiamat, sealed inside antimagical fields, sent to Gehenna, etc. Just pick a method and remove him. Find a piece of kryptonite and send him to D&D's phantom zone.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4118 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2018 :  12:32:08  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Unfortunately randomly selected deus ex machina to fudge a story or plot is just as bad as having a God in person.

There is nothing wrong with a king not knowing what is happening in his own country.

In the pseudo medieval fantasy era all news is spread by word of mouth (or bird post if you do GoT). Travellers and merchants bring news from neighbouring regions and counties to the taverns and markets.
That news is distorted by the teller and how close he was to the event and how many other people were involved in the chain.

So a commoner probably wouldn't hear about the outcome of the battle between chessenta and unther until at least a month after it happened and the version he heard could bear little resemblance to the truth.

Gilgeam does not frequent taverns or markets, he does not converse with commoners or merchants. In fact a kings exposure to the outside world is through his court and that is invitation only.
Gilgeam could invite a travelling minstrel to his court but he doesn't like non Mulan. If the minstrel displeased him they will be executed so the minstrel is likely only to tell him the version Gilgeam wants to hear.
Gilgeam could hear news from his nobles at court but again they run the risk of death if they displeased him.

So Gilgeams exposure to news is often through his council (who he appoints to provide and deal with news for him). If the council manipulates the news how will Gilgeam hear about it.
He could travel to the region but Gilgeam is an idle ruler by now and rarely leaves his comforts.

So there is no need to remove Gilgeam for a time, if he does not want to hear the truth he will not. It is canon (A small paragraph in a sourcebook) that the histories of Unther are edited to exalt Gilgeam. I doubt the edits are done by Gilgeam personally so his council have been modifying the official version of events for some time and to contradict that version in unther is to invite death.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7437 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2018 :  22:33:04  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

A good privvy councillor knows how to watch their king. They know when they've had a good meal and had some relaxing in the harem and so they present the good documents they want approved. They know when the king is impatient because he needs to void or is bored and so present him with the documents they don't want him to read but just approve.



Now I have a picture in my head of some wizard sneaking in to collect the excrement that Gilgeam creates because its divinely powerful. It probably makes great fertilizer.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1112 Posts

Posted - 07 Jun 2018 :  23:56:44  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, Old Empires says the Green Lands were magically enhanced to be more fertile...

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31518 Posts

Posted - 08 Jun 2018 :  01:25:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

A good privvy councillor knows how to watch their king. They know when they've had a good meal and had some relaxing in the harem and so they present the good documents they want approved. They know when the king is impatient because he needs to void or is bored and so present him with the documents they don't want him to read but just approve.



Now I have a picture in my head of some wizard sneaking in to collect the excrement that Gilgeam creates because its divinely powerful. It probably makes great fertilizer.




Holy crap!


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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  16:10:43  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gilgeam was tyrannical, but he wasn't particularly attentive, competent or sensible in the latter part of his reign.

This is a key issue. Being a god in human form didn't imbue Gilgeam with omniscience. Faerunian deities aren't omniscient, as a rule, and the history of the Mulan God-Kings suggests that they may not have known any more of the world around them than any other awesomely powerful physical being would, i.e. only what they personally experienced, divined with magic or were told.

It is a well known phenomenon from the real world that paranoid tyrants who severely punish anyone who displeases them tend to breed a bureaucracy that spends most of its energy on avoiding responsibility. If no one dares tell the tyrant the truth, how will he ever have a clear picture of what is going on in his realm?

Even with the best (worst?) will in the world, Gilgeam couldn't personally oppress all of his subjects. Indeed, as far as the actual business of rulership is concerned, he was almost exclusively dependent on his lords and their servants. This is because anyone existing in a physical body, subject to the same rules of time and space as mortals, cannot actually have time to personally check on more than a few hundred people (and usually can't effectively supervise more than a dozen).

A modern liberal democracy interferes with the lives of its citizens to an almost unimaginable degree, compared to any pre-industrial tyranny. This isn't because modern rulers are worse, far from it, but because the vast machinery of modern government is only slightly over a century old and would be impossible for any society less rich.

While the Forgotten Realms does not contain historical societies and most people in the 1370s DR in the Realms are far richer than their counterparts in ancient or medieval societies on Earth, they are still not as rich as the leading countries of the Industrial Revolution were at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th.

I don't have any trouble believing that Gilgeam spent several centuries wallowing in ennui and decadence in his Unthalass palace, idly indulging in petty punishment and impractical tyrannical proclamations while being wildly out of touch with actual conditions in his decaying 'empire'.

And due to the terror he was held in by his lords and bureaucrats, anyone who faced a crisis would be equally concerned with avoiding having to tell Gilgeam anything he disliked as actually dealing with the crisis. With the result that any provincial governors and local lords would routinely have lied and falsified reports from their areas of responsibility, much as Soviet bureaucrats did.

Local lords would thus have been more or less unable to cooperate to deal with a crisis or send for help from the capital in enough time for it to matter. Each local lord would face any crisis on his own and only when he had already failed to deal with it would Gilgeam hear of it, by which time it would be too late for anything but a temper tantrum and executions of various people who may or may not have had any responsibility for the failure.

Note that in 1357 DR, at the revolt of Messemprar, not all that far from Unthalass and unquestionably a part of the ancient heartlands of Unther, Gilgeam did not respond in any way until after the local government had fallen. And then he sent Shurrupakk and an army, neither of whom appear to have been capable of ending the revolt. Significantly, Gilgeam apparently never considered going there himself or leading an army there, which I, at least, took to mean that he had long ago grown so bored of actual rulership that only a personal threat to his own life could stir him to action.

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Edited by - Icelander on 13 Jun 2018 17:47:20
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4118 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  17:12:13  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well I'm glad I'm on the same page as a fellow Unther enthusiast in my interpretation of Gilgeam.

Ps I think you meant messemprar for the revolt.

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  17:47:23  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

Well I'm glad I'm on the same page as a fellow Unther enthusiast in my interpretation of Gilgeam.

Ps I think you meant messemprar for the revolt.


Yeah, that was meant to be Messemprar. Will fix it.

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

652 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  19:21:20  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I already said, it's all well and good if you want to go for an incompetent Gilgeam. The sources are few and kind of disagree with each other so whatever.

I just want to point out that you're attributing Gilgeam's 1350s paranoia and ennui to the Gilgeam of the 400s at the apex of the Second Empire and that's not something I would be comfortable in doing.

After loosing all the acquired territories (with the last blows being in the 900s with the war with Tchazzar) I can see him shutting off from the world in denial, but not while he was at the apex of power.

Also, but that's nitpicking, each god can hear anything spoken after his/her proper name and no god has attention problems (meaning they can hear as many voices as they want) especially if they are the major god of their pantheon (which Gilgeam was, before the ToT). This means that to get informed of everything officially happening in Unther he just had to add his name or one of his titles in the formal procedures for the most important stuff (trials, contracts, ecc...) which is something so simple that defeats the whole "he can't know everything" argument. That is, until he couldn't stand Unther's decline anymore and turned everything off, and that's when he closed himself in Unthalass and stopped caring.
But it makes no sense for him to do that in 482 when the first 2 cities rebel.
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dazzlerdal
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4118 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  19:37:04  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
He can't have been that attentive and involved. The first two cities to rebel did not have the backing of a demigod (Tchazzar) on their side and yet no mention is made of his involvement in the campaign to retake it ( despite his documented love of combat ).

The God rules are different from edition to edition so cannot be used to justify a claim such as Gilgeam knows about everything in unther. If that was true why didn't he (or enlil) know about tiamats secret cults in unther centuries ago (it's difficult to plot against someone without mentioning his name).

A manifestation of his paranoia is the removal of other gods from unther and that began with hoar over a millennia ago. That's just one of the reasons why I believe he has been a nutter since he became the godking and almost certainly beforehand.

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Demzer
Senior Scribe

652 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  20:17:51  Show Profile Send Demzer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal
He can't have been that attentive and involved.



That's you own personal opinion, going against all the canon sources we have about him being a lawful hands-on ruler descending into tiranny and paranoia over centuries of setbacks.


quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

... did not have the backing of a demigod (Tchazzar) on their side ...



Tchazzar was a red dragon, not a demigod.

We know nothing about what transpired with Assuran, being another "war god" he could've been kicked out simply because he didn't fit in Gilgeam's lawful schemes (where the subservient Ramman was enough) when he took over as head of the pantheon. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to think that Gilgeam was mad from the start and canon explicitily states the contrary.

I already pointed out all the times that Gilgeam didn't march out to war and pointed out it was strange.

Saying that he didn't knew that all his conquered territories were slipping out of his grasp is a supremely cheesy explanation, also canon says that he turned more tyrannical and paranoid at each setback, thus he knew about them. And did nothing. This last bit is the part that interests me, why he did nothing, but apparently you are satisfied with the trope of the incompetent tyrant.
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moonbeast
Senior Scribe

USA
475 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2018 :  11:21:06  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Archmage of Nowhere

If that's the case i'm a little confused.

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

So when Tchazzar and Chessenta "conquered" Unther and controlled it for over a century, where was Gilgeam?

-- George Krashos



I guess the topic implies that you are unsatisfied with Unther being vassalized while Gilgeam was still around, but doesn't that just support a more hands off approach to being a deity?

Vs say like Lolth who would literally walk over to the invading army and give each soldier a personal wedgy or at least give someone the power to do it for her and creepily watch.


The problem with your analogy is that Gilgeam was portrayed as an active "god-king" who actually ruled over interacted directly with the Untheric mortals. He was portrayed similar to the Greek demigod Hercules… who lived among the mortals and had many of them as his adventuring companions, and rarely did he (if ever) reside in the "Heavens of the Gods" (i.e. Mount Olympus).

Therefore, the OP's question is actually a very good one.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2018 :  11:50:18  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by moonbeast

The problem with your analogy is that Gilgeam was portrayed as an active "god-king" who actually ruled over interacted directly with the Untheric mortals. He was portrayed similar to the Greek demigod Hercules… who lived among the mortals and had many of them as his adventuring companions, and rarely did he (if ever) reside in the "Heavens of the Gods" (i.e. Mount Olympus).

Therefore, the OP's question is actually a very good one.


Gilgeam was in many ways like Hercules, while he was a Crown-Prince for more than a thousand years. He even started his rule in a similar manner.

Granted, travelling around having adventures and slaying legendary monsters is not actually good rulership, as it pretty much precludes being on top of what the bureaucrats who rule in your name are actually doing on a day-to-day basis, not to mention that while you may learn the true state of whatever place you visit in your adventures, your absence from the capital means that you are in more or less total ignorance about the larger picture, as collated by scribes and clerks in the capital from reports from the provinces.

As long as the legendary beasts being slain were actually more of a menace to locals than the dramatic fight with Gilgeam was, roving monster hunting was not actively harmful, at least. And it certainly made the God-King popular, in the first few centuries of his rule. And at first, one assumes that Gilgeam periodically spent some time at home between adventures, reforming the latest corrupt bureaucracy that had sprung up while he was away and instituting a new regime filled with more-or-less capable loyalists.

The problem is that as the centuries piled up, the challenges, both of monter hunting and rulership, began to pall. What was exciting and heroic in -900 DR merely seemed routine and boring by -90 DR. So, century by century, Gilgeam seems to have lost interest in ruling Unther, instead focusing on staging incredible set-pieces where he unnecessarily battled legendary beasts that had until then not been a threat to Unther, and, of course, on excesses of hedonistic pleasures and decadent innovation at his court.

For the first few times, leading his hosts to war must have been a glorious adventure and one Gilgeam was quite good at. Even later, he no doubt did it competently and had some fun reaffirming his magnificence, though he'd prefer to be hunting a legendary beast or inventing a new kind of drug-fueled orgy. The problem is that by the time he had gone out dozens or even hundreds of times to deal with rebellious subjects or invading barbarians, Gilgeam couldn't summon up enough energy to care about the endless minutia involved in commanding an army.

Eventually, he couldn't even be bothered to lead the armies even symbolically. After all, Unther was an empire. He had great lords and generals to take care of that sort of thing.

And over more than two thousand years of ruling Unther, Gilgeam must have grown so incomprehensively weary of the actual duties of rulership that nothing but a dire personal threat could ever persuade him to take a personal hand again. Reports from far provinces, mostly a tissue of lies and many months out of date, because no one wanted to offend him until it was absolutely too late to do anything else, had a very low chance of leading to any effective response from the capital.

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Thraskir Skimper
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Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  11:37:30  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why would anyone worship a god who is just a petty person?

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  13:02:06  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thraskir Skimper

Why would anyone worship a god who is just a petty person?


As far as I can tell, most real life and fictional polytheistic religions feature gods who display all the traits of ordinary persons, including pettiness, jealousy, lusts and bad temper. For that matter, as far as I can tell, monotheistic gods are quite capable of petty behaviour as well, based on those religious works I've read.

For all of human history, people have found reasons which seemed sufficient for them to practice such religions. That means I have no trouble believing that they would do so as well in a fictional setting.

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Icelander
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Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  13:32:49  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Demzer


Saying that he didn't knew that all his conquered territories were slipping out of his grasp is a supremely cheesy explanation, also canon says that he turned more tyrannical and paranoid at each setback, thus he knew about them. And did nothing. This last bit is the part that interests me, why he did nothing, but apparently you are satisfied with the trope of the incompetent tyrant.


Gilgeam eventually learned about each setback, of course.

What we are arguing is that as a paranoid tyrant who arbitrarily punishes anyone who displeases him, regardless of fairness or law, he had almost certainly created a bureaucratic culture where avoidance of being the bearer of bad news or even associated with it in any way had become more important than reporting accurately to the center of power.

As such, Gilgeam probably did not learn of potential problems, risks and threats to the provinces in time to take effective action. He would most likely have learned about such threats very late, possibly only after a rebel army had slain the governor. At the time Gilgeam finally got news of how bad things were, sending reinforcements or dispatching slayers in his service would probably be insufficient to retrieve the catastrophe.

In fact, after centuries of neglect, the state of the Untheri army and the machinery of government would probably have been so bad that if an expedition of the scale that would have been needed to reconquer an outlying province once it had been lost would have posed great risks of depleting resources needed to keep other parts of the empire in line.

So, by the time Gilgeam learned of such setbacks as the revolt in Chessenta, it would have been impractical to take action to reverse them. The disastrous example of the Wizard Reach, where Unther's naval strength seems to have been broken by the unsuccessful attempt to reconquer the cities of the League of Samathar, would no doubt have been in the minds of the councilors and generals who were reluctant to push for another such attempt, this time to reconquer Chessenta.

And without the active support of the heads of the army and bureaucracy, who really handled the day-to-day aspects of ruling Unther, the jaded and disinterested Gilgeam of the last centuries of his rule is unlikely to have stirred himself into effective action.

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  13:34:36  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thraskir Skimper

Why would anyone worship a god who is just a petty person?



If you don't offer a prayer at every statue of Gilgeam you pass then you get executed or enslaved or thrown in the arena. If you don't turn up to his holy festivals then the same thing happens.
There are no other gods in unther apart from ramman and ishtar and they are severely restricted.

So in summary people worship Gilgeam because they have no choice.

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