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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  23:59:36  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The appeal of Bane's teachings to the nobility

quote:
Originally posted by Demzer

I couldn't find any explicit mention of Fzoul's noble lineage, he was always cited as a member of the church of Bane and his accession to Lordship was through his raising in the ranks of the church and through his allegiance to Manshoon.


It's always been established that Fzoul Chembryl was born noble, although, obviously, he has never been content with merely the comparatively minor wealth and position that were his birthright.
quote:
Originally posted by Villain's Lorebook p. 26

Fzoul is the only child of a minor noble
house of Zhentil Keep. He entered the priesthood of
Bane at an early age, using his skill as an administrator
to ascend the ranks of the church's hierarchy.

In general, the God of Tyranny appeals a lot more to people born into positions of authority and power than it does to people born into subordinate positions. It is also, as I mentioned several times, generally easier to amass power if you start by picking your parents carefully, so you start out with wealth, position and connections.

As far as I can tell, whenever we have information about the family background of priests of Bane, they are either born into the upper classes of the gentry or the true nobility, or they are raised within the church, in itself a background of wealth and privilege compared to the life of most people in a pre-industrial society.

It is, of course, entirely possible for an unusual person to grow up as a member of the disenfranchised majority, the poor and powerless masses, and yet not only come to embrace the doctrine of the Ultimate Tyrant, but actually manage to rise high in Bane's service. It's just that such a background seems to me more likely to be the exception than the rule.

Given that there is a significant benefit to inheriting wealth, connections and position even in our modern, enlightened, allegedly just society, I'd hesitate to posit a fictional church devoted to the ideals of tyranny, based in societies with deep-seated class prejudice, where nepotism has still somehow been completely eradicated and the scions of privilege have no benefits over anyone else.

I don't like Utopias in gaming or fiction, given that injustice and conflict is generally what drives the motivations and adventures of interesting characters, and I see even less need for Utopian ideals to hold sway in societies and sub-cultures that are explicitly identified as being 'evil' in the setting.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely like to feature morally ambiguous characters and belief systems, ostensibly 'Good' characters or societies with ideas that offend most modern people as well as ostensibly 'Evil' ones with logically consistent philosophical justifications and more honourable behaviour than many 'Good' ones. I just don't think the Church of Bane is the right fit for a doctrine of universal egalitarianism, equality of all races and bloodlines, and the rejection of the pervasive classism that defines most societies in the Realms.

The Church of Cyric, now...

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Edited by - Icelander on 11 Aug 2018 00:00:06
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  02:34:07  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mourktar and the Old Empires value of the purity of blood

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

A) fit the reason why the Banites didn't enter the contest in the odd loophole Demzer brought up.

I don't really see the tournament being open only to humans and half-elves only being an 'odd loophole'. I see it as being a fairly typical example of the emphasis of bloodline purity in the Old Empires.

If anything is odd about it, it's the unusual liberalism indicated by the acceptance of half-elves as potential rulers, something which would be controversial in such 'goodly' realms as Waterdeep, Cormyr or Sembia. Of course, the lack of any stipulation for noble blood, pure Untheri heritage and freedom from the taint any non-human blood may have been contributing factors to most of the established interests in Mourktar considering King Theris' plan insanity of the first order.

I guess King Theris really liked elves, for some reason, or at least considered part-elven heritage less shameful than other mixed bloodlines. And he was open to a ruler of foreign blood, the descendant of slaves or any number of other unthinkable options, which the guilds in Mourktar did not agree with, but given King Theris' support with the army, decided to accept for the time being and simply replace any unsuitable leader later, after King Theris' death.

In general, Realmsian societies are not egalitarian in the least and characters who do not care about bloodlines, ancestors and social class are regarded as fringe lunatics, not reasonable voices of progress. Adventurers may defy societal norms, but it's important to recognise that adventurers are usually regarded as a morally suspect, dangerous class of rogues, murderers and lawbreakers who reject the values of civilised society.

The norm in Faerun (and most other places on Toril) is that people are born into a social class and that no matter what deeds someone performs, wealth they amass or power they gather, those who are born noble are still better in an important way.

Social classes and even values are not static across Faerun, of course, and the new merchant nobility of many city-states is very different from older, land-owning nobility, but the philosophical concepts of equality, egalitarianism or any kind of equal innate value of all sapient beings... just don't have much of a following.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

We already have several entirely human Banite leaders (Fzoul Chembryl, Teldorn Darkhope, the church in Mulmaster, etc...), so having a few that are a little different mold might be worth looking at.

Even if we were to assume perfect equality and no hint of prejudice among Banites, just going by normal demographics means that we ought to have at least nineteen entirely human leaders of the church before entertaining the idea of anyone of an exotic race.

Lack of Assuran and Banite competitors in the tournament
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I don't buy the idea that their champion wouldn't work, because Kabbarrath probably has access to other possible claimants he could have tried to use. I do buy that HE couldn't work, and no one wanted to dare cross him from within the church.

King Theris was a sincere worshipper of Assuran. The year after the tournament, King Hippartes, acting as the possessed avatar of Assuran/Hoar, marched with a Chessentan army against Ramman, passing Mourktar on the way. As he obviously didn't sack the city prior to his victory over Ramman, it seems pretty plausible that Mourktar provided troops for his army and thus implicitly recognised his authority.

It is clear that King Theris had the theoretical power to select an heir who was a loyal servant of Assuran. It is equally clear that King-Hippartes-as-Assuran would have been able to rely on at least some support from those Mourktari who were worshippers of Assuran if he chose to demand that he be crowned King of Mourktar after the failed tournament.

Yet King Theris did not select an heir who was a loyal servant of Assuran and, however it happened, King-Hippartes-as-Assuran did not ascend to the throne of Mourktar. Neither did he leave anyone behind to rule in his name.

To me, this and the lack of evidence for a civil war in Mourktar after the tournament suggests that the Church of Assuran in Mourktar accepted that the ruler should not be one of their number. The priests of the Amphitheatre of the First Thunder were content to support King Theris in his choice, in governing the city and in administering the tournament.

There is no mention of the Black Lord's Cloak or Kabarrath Telthaug in Old Empires, probably because when Old Empires was written, Scott Bennie had no idea that Mourktar was supposed to be dominated by the largest temple of Bane in the Realms, but the most reasonable way to fit the Banites into the backstory seems to me to assume that the priests of the Black Lord's Cloak acted more or less in concert with those of Assuran and were content to form the second pillar of support for the King, while he lived.

So, neither faith had a champion in the tournament as either explicit rules or an implicit gentleman's agreement between the faiths provided that the priests should act as impartial judges and no champion should come from their clergy or the ranks of lay worshippers in the city. That seems to me a good way to prevent maneuvering for power from developing into civil war between the two strongest religious power bases in Mourktar after King Theris' death.

Kabarrath Telthaug and wanting power for himself
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

He doesn't seem to be the type of Banite Tyrant who is into propping up another Tyrant... he seems to be the type to want the power himself.

What evidence is there that Kabarrath Telthaug pursues personal power instead of following the older Banite dogma of supporting tyrants?

The older we make him, the longer the period where Kabarrath Telthaug did not rule Mourktar, did not conquer any other part of the Realms and did not seek (or at least did not succeed in attaining) the office of High Imperceptor, even while the High Imperceptor of the 1340s and 1350s was a weak, indecisive man.

Remember also that King Theris and his tiny professional army of 500 men, supported by at most 2,000 militia at need (an unknown number of whom would have been Bane worshippers), was probably not able to retain power in Mourktar during his reign without the active support of Kabarrath Telthaug and the priests of the Black Lord's Cloak.

Certainly the temple could have had a decent chance of seizing power in Mourktar even before his death, assuming that before the Time of Troubles it had even a quarter of the numbers and powers it had in 1369 DR. Yet Dread Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug did not try to seize power and does not seem to have come to rule Mourktar until after King Theris' attempt to select an heir had already failed.

Kabarrath Telthaug seems to have loyally supported King Theris and made no attempt to seize power in Mourktar while Theris lived. After the tournament, it is true that the master of the Black Lord's Cloak eventually came to rule in Mourktar, but that might just have been because of the utter absence of any other competent candidate for tyrant for him to support.

Notice that as soon as the Great Bone Wyrm makes a claim for rulership over the area, Kabarrath Telthaug accepts his suzerainty without any apparent rancour. This was, of course, sensible of him, but it was more in line with Bane's old teachings of supporting the most gifted tyrants his priests could find than the more new-fangled ways of his priests trying to rule personally.

My interpretation of Kabarrath Telthaug is that he is a rational, practical man who believes sincerely and selflessly that the best form of government is the tyranny of the strong over the weak and who has devoted his life to educating, supporting and serving those he considers best suited to rule over others.

Threskel is a harsh land of many dragons and few people, with the herdsmen and fishermen who live there constantly under threat from bandits, beasts and dragons. It's not hard to understand how someone who grew up there would embrace the idea of a strong leader who could protect the people, at the cost of suppressing all individual freedoms as potential sources of division.

No matter how old Kabarrath Telthaug is, his education and experience will be heavily coloured by either stories or personal experience of the tyranny of Gilgeam and Tchazzar. It is plausible that Kabarrath was struck by how much more successful and happy both Chessenta and Unther were under harsh, but active governance, than they are under centuries of neglect, squabbling local governors or rulers and generally ruinous lack of government.

Is it so hard to believe that the Hidden Tyrant of Mourktar has nothing but the best motives for supporting King Theris and the Great Bone Wyrm?

He's just trying to serve his people and his faith.

Cult of the Dragon and the Old Empires
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Based on the statements about Alasklerbanbastos getting changed by a group of Cult of the Dragon cultists located in Mourktar, I get the feel that the Banites were down here as Cult of the Dragon members.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

One thing I do see him mad about though is that Alasklerbanbastos has allied himself with his traditional enemy, the Church of Tiamat.


In Mourktar, the Cult of the Dragon has long existed as a secret society within the Black Lord's Cloak. Not everyone who worshipped Bane also belonged to the Cult of the Dragon and not everyone in the area who supported the Cult of the Dragon served Bane, but there was a significant overlap of membership. It's not implausible that this state of affairs might have existed in other Banite churches in the region as well.

In Unther, the Cult of the Dragon and the Tiamat cult have been enemies and allies at different times. While there have been bloody conflicts between the two, there also exists a heresy within the Tiamatan faith of the Undying Queen, a dracolich version of Tiamat, and servants of the Undying Queen form a Cult of the Dragon secret society within the secret society of the Tiamat cultists in Unther.

Basically, there is copious religious strife among the Cult of the Dragon and the faiths of both Bane and Tiamat in the region of the Old Empires. Multi-layered conspiracies and secret societies within secret societies are the rules, rather than the exception.

A priest of Bane might well ally with a priest of Tiamat against another priest of Bane, assuming that they belonged to different factions of the Cult of the Dragon. And as for those servants of Bane who do not belong to the Cult of the Dragon, they might at different times regard the Cult as a useful tool, as a harmless social club within the temple or as a heresy to be rooted out with torture and executions.

In general, Banite priests probably regard the cultists of the Nemesis of the Gods in Unther as misguided and servants of a deity that must either bow down to Bane or die screaming. Yet political realities mean that they will gravitate toward allegiances with these cultists as long as there are more urgent foes to worry about, such as Gilgeam in the past and the Mulhorandi in the present.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7519 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  14:26:34  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
modern, enlightened, allegedly just society...


I know its odd, but you don't know how much that made me smile. I don't want to get down in the weeds on it, so as not to offend folks, but sometimes I just shake my head when I hear some of the people spouting off what needs to be done. The personal guilt that the majority of this country feels over certain groups who have become overprivileged themselves much more than those they complain against... and most of them don't even seem to realize it because they're too busy complaining while slacking off and expecting others to pave their way. Anyway, please forgive the aside. I know this place can get antagonistic at times, and its good to feel that "we're the same but different" feeling.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

833 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  14:33:40  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wait, the Undying Queen is a heresy? I thought it was an attempt to annoy Falazure, given that Tiamat's Undying Queen form appears in P&P.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7519 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  15:08:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just responding to some of the above without quotes

Yes, I too find it very odd that King Theris was opening up his kingship to anyone (slave, other race of human, noble from another city, possible evil entity, even Mulhorand and Unther), and at the time it was written, other options didn't exist like aasimar, genasi, etc... that would be just as palatable as a half-elf more than likely to the general populace. We know that Bane was officially dead as well when the largest church of his was placed down in Mourktar as he died during the ToT, and at the time of F&A's release he was still dead. So, that being said, the growth of said temple would have almost definitely been before the ToT. It could have been big for well over 300 years, or possibly its main growth only came in say the last 50. What this tells me is that Kabbarrath was probably already a threat to King Theris. It also tells me that King Theris probably foresaw that the Banites would take over if he couldn't find someone much more powerful than himself to replace him. In fact the Banite temple may have only grown so powerful because King Theris himself was a weak ruler. So, I'm basically seeing the whole tournament as King Theris' attempt to forestall his city being taken over by the Banites.


You are right that during the ToT, Assuran in the form of King Hippartes did probably come through, and at that time, probably all of the Banites were quiet little mice since they couldn't cast spells above 2nd level. In fact, they probably threw their support behind Assuran, seeing him as a Tyrant. However, after things were over, which was only a few months later, the Banites suddenly found themselves rudderless, for the word was Bane was dead. I half wonder if somehow the cloak itself wasn't making it possible for them to cast their spells. Hmmmm... though if THAT were true... maybe we DO have a reason for the growth of the temple AFTER the ToTů maybe it drew Banite worshippers from surrounding areas (possibly even Thay, which was busy in the area trying to prop up Messemprar).



Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2018 :  14:37:38  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Wait, the Undying Queen is a heresy? I thought it was an attempt to annoy Falazure, given that Tiamat's Undying Queen form appears in P&P.


It's obviously a heresy to cultists of Tiamat who worship her as the Dark Lady and the Queen of Chromatic Dragons.

Deities are generally a lot more relaxed about variations in worship and mythology than mortal priests are.

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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

833 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2018 :  16:24:50  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Wait, the Undying Queen is a heresy? I thought it was an attempt to annoy Falazure, given that Tiamat's Undying Queen form appears in P&P.


It's obviously a heresy to cultists of Tiamat who worship her as the Dark Lady and the Queen of Chromatic Dragons.

Deities are generally a lot more relaxed about variations in worship and mythology than mortal priests are.



Does it really qualify as a heresy, though? I imagine Tiamat's priests are only too happy to attempt to subvert the Cult of the Dragon from Falazure's Null aspect by worshiping her as a power of draconic undeath. Heresies would be closer to Lathander being Amaunator; something that's inherently irreconcilable with what the orthodox church teaches and what is already accepted of the power in question, while Tiamat being the Undying Queen doesn't really diminish her aspect as the Dark Queen of Dragons. Likewise, Tiamat being the Grandmother of All, Bride of Apsu and Queen of Salt Water isn't really anathema to her priesthood's acceptance of her being the Mistress of Evil Dragonkind.
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2018 :  17:13:08  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Does it really qualify as a heresy, though? I imagine Tiamat's priests are only too happy to attempt to subvert the Cult of the Dragon from Falazure's Null aspect by worshiping her as a power of draconic undeath. Heresies would be closer to Lathander being Amaunator; something that's inherently irreconcilable with what the orthodox church teaches and what is already accepted of the power in question, while Tiamat being the Undying Queen doesn't really diminish her aspect as the Dark Queen of Dragons. Likewise, Tiamat being the Grandmother of All, Bride of Apsu and Queen of Salt Water isn't really anathema to her priesthood's acceptance of her being the Mistress of Evil Dragonkind.


I tend to view Lawful Evil priesthoods as pretty intolerant of any teachings that run contrary to their own, regardless of whether or not it would be theoretically possible for them to take a more enlightened attitude toward religious differences.

To take an example from my campaign, old engravings, hieroglyphs and petroglyphs from around the First Empire of Unther reveal that Nanna-Sin was worshipped under such names as Su'en, Suen, Nanna, Nannaru, Enzu, Asimbabbar, Ellame and many others, and variously held to be the brother or father of Samas/Shamash/Utu and Inanna/Ishtar, as well as the father of Girru/Nusku/Ghibil and Ramman/Haddu/Haddad, not to mention sometime father to Assuran and Marduk, and variously married to Selan, Selah, Elah, Lucha, Ki, Ningal or any number of local nature, moon or other goddesses.

The sources do not suggest that priests of the Lord of the Crescent Moon from different areas of Unther spent much time worrying about the blasphemies and heresies of their wayward fellow priests and their followers. But, then again, the priesthood of the One Who Brings Light to the Dark Places has rarely been overly concerned with prescribing the correct doctrine and behaviour for those who offer to the deity.

By contrast, priesthoods of deities more concerned with order, authority and tradition tend to be a lot more severe about the 'right' form of worship, the correct mythology and the proper tracing of divine relationships. Regional variations of worship still exist, but are far more likely to lead to schisms, inquisitions and armed religious strife than in faiths with more relaxed dogmas.

This is why individual priests and priestesses of Selune or other Chaotic gods can all have their own view on the nature of their deity and the proper way to worship, but within Lawful churches, like Bane's or Tiamat's, differences in dogma lead to schismatic conflicts between the Orthodox church and various different versions, regarded by the majority of the priesthood as heresies.

Both the Church of Bane and the Tiamat cult, in my campaign, are riven with religious strife and sectarian violence, with both personal rivalries and religious fanaticism contributing to the schismatic nature of the faiths. Granted, because both faiths are strongly authoritarian, these struggles are often carried out with political maneuvering, religious inquisitions and secret slayings, not open violence, and priests are often driven by circumstance to make common cause with factions of their faith whom they truly consider heretics (especially when outside threats are pressing).

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Edited by - Icelander on 12 Aug 2018 17:16:47
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2018 :  00:07:17  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Exotic bloodlines in Old Empires
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Yes, I too find it very odd that King Theris was opening up his kingship to anyone (slave, other race of human, noble from another city, possible evil entity, even Mulhorand and Unther), and at the time it was written, other options didn't exist like aasimar, genasi, etc... that would be just as palatable as a half-elf more than likely to the general populace.

People with planar heritage existed in the Realms before 3e, they were merely (properly) regarded as extremely rare, and had difficulty being accepted in human society.

It's often difficult to reconcile the older Realmslore we have, where humans were generally as narrow-minded, xenophobic and parochial as people have tended to be through most of history, with the 3e and later sources, where it seemed that every protagonist was of some new splat-book race, for new bonuses, and aside for these mechanical bonuses, races were simply a superficial re-skin that had no real effect on how society treated them, like in MMORPGs.

In what Realmslore we have that actually stops to consider culture and human behaviour, however, it's generally pretty clear that the humans of Toril are every bit as prejudiced, irrational, unreasonable and tribal as the humans of Earth.

I don't think that a half-elf or even a human of foreign birth would have been acceptable to the people of Mourktar as their ruler. Even those who were fanatically loyal to King Theris no doubt expected that the gods would choose a champion of impeccable blood and connections to win the tournament and become the new heir.

Beings descended from elementals or infernal beings are probably not regarded as even remotely human by most people. They're probably viewed as extraplanar monsters or demons by most people.

There is one kind of non-human that I imagine could be accepted as part of society in the Old Empires, though. If we were to term the remote descendants of incarnations of God-Kings 'aasimar' or 'tieflings', depending on the nature of the deity, I imagine that some part of the nobility of both Mulhorand and Unther would fit into those groups.

Of course, as they'd descend from completely human-looking incarnations, people wouldn't think of them as 'non-human' or belonging to different races at all. They'd not have horns, tails, vestigal wings or any other trace of non-human appearance, instead being more likely to be distinguished with exceptionally heroic stature, beauty and inborn gifts. They'd have divine heritage, which they'd no doubt consider made their bloodline all the more noble.

King Theris and the Banites
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

What this tells me is that Kabbarrath was probably already a threat to King Theris. It also tells me that King Theris probably foresaw that the Banites would take over if he couldn't find someone much more powerful than himself to replace him. In fact the Banite temple may have only grown so powerful because King Theris himself was a weak ruler. So, I'm basically seeing the whole tournament as King Theris' attempt to forestall his city being taken over by the Banites.

I see absolutely no reason to assume that the Banites of the Black Lord's Cloak ever posed any kind of threat to King Theris or that he was in any way a weak king. King Theris ruled Mourktar without any kind of disturbance, so that it was noted as a 'quiet place' during his lifetime.

King Theris' rule seemed unchallenged until he died of old age, with complete control of Mourktar, even enough control so that he could force power groups there to accept a plan for the succession that they felt was literally insane. Indeed, the army of Mourktar was so fiercely loyal to him, personally, that he could afford to utterly ignore the opinion of the majority of the guildmembers who provided Mourktar's wealth. That tells me that King Theris was far from weak and that his position was not under any kind of threat from anyone.

Also, if King Theris had had the least fear of the priest of the Black Lord's Cloak seizing the throne, why would he hold an open tournament for the position of heir? If he believed that his successor needed help against a threat from inside the city, it would make much more sense to select a successor himself, adopt him and make the fiercely loyal army take oaths to serve him.

Indulging a religious prophecy to select a new heir doesn't seem like the action of someone desperate to retain power, it seems like an eccentricity that King Theris got away with because his rule was unchallenged, unquestioned and utterly secure. No doubt King Theris believed that the gods would empower a suitable heir to win the tournament, someone like him as a young man.

I think that King Theris did not want Mourktar to become a theocracy, neither of Bane nor of Assuran, his own god. He wanted a strong, warrior king, who'd be supported by the army and by the temples of Mourktar, as he himself had been for his entire life.

No doubt King Theris believed that whoever won the tournament would also have the qualities needed to defeat the sahuagin, perhaps because King Theris believed that great athletic feats were some kind of reflection of a person's strength of character. It seems like the sort of thing some people in Chessenta might believe, especially if their own legendary ancestors were also legendary athletes.

Attitude of Banites to King-Hippartes-as-Assuran
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

You are right that during the ToT, Assuran in the form of King Hippartes did probably come through, and at that time, probably all of the Banites were quiet little mice since they couldn't cast spells above 2nd level. In fact, they probably threw their support behind Assuran, seeing him as a Tyrant.

I find it interesting to speculate how Dread Imperceptor Kabarrath Telthaug, the priests under him and the city of Mourktar received King-Hippartes-as-Assuran.

I lean toward them having surrendered to him and provided troops, as that seems most plausible in the light of what happened afterwards, but I don't know how willingly they supported him and whether their assistance to his war against Ramman was the minimum they could get away with or if they threw their lot in with him wholeheartedly.

After all, at the time, no god who was not physically present within a mile was responding to the prayers of their worshippers. A lot of priests and lay worshippers found their faith challenged. With Bane silent and Assuran leading a great army at their gates, it must have been a temptation to regard Assuran as the true ultimate tyrant and Bane as a failed or overthrown one.

Bane's Death and the Black Lord's Cloak
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

We know that Bane was officially dead as well when the largest church of his was placed down in Mourktar as he died during the ToT, and at the time of F&A's release he was still dead. So, that being said, the growth of said temple would have almost definitely been before the ToT. It could have been big for well over 300 years, or possibly its main growth only came in say the last 50.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

However, after things were over, which was only a few months later, the Banites suddenly found themselves rudderless, for the word was Bane was dead. I half wonder if somehow the cloak itself wasn't making it possible for them to cast their spells. Hmmmm... though if THAT were true... maybe we DO have a reason for the growth of the temple AFTER the ToTů maybe it drew Banite worshippers from surrounding areas (possibly even Thay, which was busy in the area trying to prop up Messemprar).


It's canon that the priests of Black Lord's Cloak never accepted Bane's death in the Time of Troubles and that they continued to receive spells in his name from 1358-1372 DR.

It's left up to the individual GM whether these spells came from some fragment of Bane still retaining divine power, if Cyric decided for reasons of his own to grant these particular priests spells in the name of Bane or if Iyachtu Xvim, the Godson, granted their spells in his father's name (no doubt hoping to either gradually convert the priests over to his worship or to gradually become Bane in truth, the latter of which might even have happened).

As the priests of the Black Lord's Cloak continued to call on Bane and receive spells in his name, it would not have been implausible for fervent and fanatical worshippers of Bane from all over the Realms to travel there and join the growing army of dark templars, wizards and priests. That provides ample justification for the forces of the temple having grown by leaps and bounds after 1358 DR, as a significant number of Banite priests and holy warriors must have found it difficult to accept a new god like Cyric.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7519 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2018 :  14:33:25  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Agreed, I see the "tieflings" and "aasimar" born of the Mulan manifestations as not manifesting the more angelic or diabolical signs that we're used to. They may possess some signs though that might stand out. I'm thinking things like sparkly skin, shining eyes, eye iris' of a strange color, odd colored hair, perhaps strange birthmarks that are equivalent to runes, etc... They might also possess unnatural charisma, strength, etc...

Also, yes, after having "walked this all back" like we have regarding the ToT, I like the idea that perhaps this temple did have a sudden increase ONLY after the ToT. Like you say, we don't need to detail the "why" (as in was it Xvim, was it the cloak, or even was it Gilgeam posing as Bane until Gilgeam died... all can be options... ). On the option of Bane and Gilgeam somehow being related, that would only be until Gilgeam's own death after the ToT, and at which point the colors of the temple changed to black and green.

As an aside to just throw out for perusal, I do find it interesting as well that Bane and Gilgeam's symbols are very similar (Gilgeam's being "a clenched red fixed backed by a golden sun on a black lozenge" and Bane's being "an upright black hand, palms and fingers together usually on a red field"). There is a part of me that wants to link the two somehow.... but not as in "Gilgeam IS Bane". I'm thinking something much more subtle, like Gilgeam had a child... that child is Bane... and he's vehemently denied ever having had children because of his shame. In fact, I kind of wouldn't be surprised if all the dark three had some small amount of divine blood in them from the get go, since Myrkul came from another culture with close ties to the Mulan, and I'm also of the mindset like you are that Bhaal originated in this general area. I'd also posit that there is SOME kind of tie between Nergal and Jergal, but I like George's idea that he's a spellweaver.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

833 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2018 :  15:25:00  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hands seem to be a relatively common symbol for tyrant deities, so it's not really something particularly outstanding. Hextor's symbol is six arrows in a clenched fist, for example.

I think having the Dark Trinity born with divine blood diminishes them. They were effectively the best of the best, dark paladins and assassins and necromancers so mighty that one of the greatest of Faerun's dark powers took notice and believed them worthy of his many crowns. And they succeeded.
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1743 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2018 :  18:08:21  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

So, neither faith had a champion in the tournament as either explicit rules or an implicit gentleman's agreement between the faiths provided that the priests should act as impartial judges and no champion should come from their clergy or the ranks of lay worshippers in the city.

The rest is sound enough, but the second part here does not seem possible IMO.
Same old reason:
quote:
(from Good Ol' Ed)

Please, everyone: ALWAYS remember that except for fanatics, clergy, or the oppressed [...], all intelligent beings in the Realms worship -- if only in appeasement -- many deities.


People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 13 Aug 2018 :  18:35:34  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

So, neither faith had a champion in the tournament as either explicit rules or an implicit gentleman's agreement between the faiths provided that the priests should act as impartial judges and no champion should come from their clergy or the ranks of lay worshippers in the city.

The rest is sound enough, but the second part here does not seem possible IMO.
Same old reason:
quote:
(from Good Ol' Ed)

Please, everyone: ALWAYS remember that except for fanatics, clergy, or the oppressed [...], all intelligent beings in the Realms worship -- if only in appeasement -- many deities.




'Lay worshippers' does not refer merely to people who occasionally give thanks to a deity, make sacrifices in their name or pray to that deity. It specifically refers to those who devote themselves to service of that god and work, either full-time or at least a significant part of their tenday, for the temple of that god.

The way I'm using the term, the lay worshippers of a temple of Bane are everyone who live and work at the temple without being clergy, i.e. the temple guards, the armourers, the masons, the hostlers, the servants, etc.

There may be many other worshippers of Bane (and other gods) who visit the temple for occasional services or sacrifices, but are not considered to belong to it in the same sense as the lay worshippers who are sworn to the service of the temple, despite not being priests.

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