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 Post subject: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:58 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Michigan
I don’t think these exist. Obviously Valinor represent important parts of the gods. Pride, patience, etc. But what about lesser things? Could these have lesser beings to represent them? After all, everything about a god is sacred. What would happen to a Val that claimed to be a “lesser Valinor” and insisted on being called, “The Navel Lint of Illiir?” Would he be able to be a divine caster of Illiir? (I would think so) A member of a Church? (I would think not) Burned at the stake by the inquisition on site? (depends on if they think he is harmlessly crazy, but I suspect so…)

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:04 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:08 am
Posts: 1361
Hello,

No there are not lesser Valinor in the Arcanis cosmology.

A Val who claimed that he/she was so, would probably not be able to be a divine caster as the Church wouldn't teach him or accept him into the clerisy in the first place. If he were already a caster and had a psychotic break to cause him to spout such heresy would be able to continue to case divine spells, assuming his faith remained strong.

As for the Church and Inquisition, they would either have him sequestered if he were harmless or do away with him as a heretic if he were not.

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:33 am 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
Posts: 802
Location: Michigan
Thanks! That's pretty much what I suspected with the inquisition, which is pretty much a character concept killer. :)

I was surprised at the not being able to be a caster because you can't get into a church idea though. (but not terribly surprised) I hadn't realized you HAD to be a member of a church. I thought if you were a divine archetype and never took a church related background/path (annointed priest, templar, divine champion, etc) that you might be able to be a divine caster without a church - though I knew that might get you in trouble as a potential heretic if the inquisition found you. But I figures that if you weren't prostelytizing or spouting off anything crazy you'd probably be pretty safe.

I take it that is incorrect?

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:55 am 
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Location: Central Alberta
Magic does not work the same way in Arcanis as it does in other systems (including the 3.5 Arcanis). The nature of the Arcanum has been discussed many times on the boards, and also there is a good summery in the Core Book.

Psionic Magic is a natural ability of all Val, though only those who have been awakened can make use of it. When awakened, they gain an innate ability to manipulate the fabric of the Arcanum with their mind.

Elder Magic and Eldritch Magic requires that you have the 'spark' of the Arcane, giving you a genetic ability to manipulate the Arcanum. Elder requires intense study, while Eldritch is effectively improvisation rather than memorization.

Primal Magic is you basically selling your soul to a powerful being (Minor God, Elder Elemental, Nature Spirit, etc) who grants you a portion of their power, which manifests as an ability to manipulate the Arcanum.

Divine Magic is you memorizing specific spells by rote until they are burned into your mind forever, and it is your faith in the Gods rather than an innate spark or someone giving you the power which fuels your magical abilities.

For a Divine Caster, you are taught the spells BY the Church, which means that no matter what your background is you have to be a member of that church because nobody else would teach you their super-secret magical knowledge. In a similar way to leaders in the past not actively supporting the spread of literacy and knowledge among the peasants, if the Church simply publishes their unique magical traditions for all to see, it removes a lot of their power and authority over the populace. After all, if anyone can manipulate the word of the Gods, what's so special about a priest? The way I see it, if you are a Divine Caster, but without a church background, it means you were raised 1) By the Church, or 2) Were sent to a specific Church-school where you picked up. Either way, you are a member of THAT church.

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:14 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Michigan
Nierite wrote:
Divine Magic is you memorizing specific spells by rote until they are burned into your mind forever, and it is your faith in the Gods rather than an innate spark or someone giving you the power which fuels your magical abilities.

For a Divine Caster, you are taught the spells BY the Church, which means that no matter what your background is you have to be a member of that church because nobody else would teach you their super-secret magical knowledge. In a similar way to leaders in the past not actively supporting the spread of literacy and knowledge among the peasants, if the Church simply publishes their unique magical traditions for all to see, it removes a lot of their power and authority over the populace. After all, if anyone can manipulate the word of the Gods, what's so special about a priest? The way I see it, if you are a Divine Caster, but without a church background, it means you were raised 1) By the Church, or 2) Were sent to a specific Church-school where you picked up. Either way, you are a member of THAT church.


I can see the logic of that, but didn't think it was that clearly supported by the system. It would seem that if there was no means for a divine caster to learn spells except through their church, and then exactly as their church teaches it, that there would be a lot fewer schisms, cults, and heretics running around with spellcasting power. I mean, at some time when someone says to themselves, "I want to worship a dark aspect of Illiir!" and actually does and starts casting spells from that aspect of Illiir, you have to ask yourself where he learned to do that? At some point, there has to be a way for one to find out exactly how a god requirees a spell to be done to have it work without a church being involved, or there would be a lot fewer churches/faiths/divisions

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:36 am
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the schisms between human religons is mainly political (mother church / milandric orthodox, being a direct result of Sabinius) and other human religon differences come from groups of people out of contact for a long time ( like the hainese and the known lands) or from old secret cults (like the bramble cult of larissans from the old campaign)

the other cults are infernal cults, the the cult of the thousand eyed man.

to specifically address the idea of a dark cult of Illir, it would have to be a longstanding secret cult, and things like that never happen in arcanis ( except they happen all the time )

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:53 pm 
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A lot of the 'cults' of the modern age stemmed from the loss of knowledge of the First Imperium. As cities became isolated, they began worshiping fewer and fewer of the Pantheon (which is why Illonia is 'Illiirite' or Nishanpur is 'Sarishan' instead of them all being Pantheonistic). When you start removing gods that are not your Patron, you begin experimenting with Divine spells that were at the time either secret, or slight modifications to produce the effects you want. Think of it as Magical Evolution, with the priests of one god beginning to fill the niches that were once filled with Pantheonistic Priests.

Now, how did this just 'happen?' Well, remember that there was almost 2,000 years between the fall of the First Imperium and the Time of Terror. That is almost the entire length of the First Imperium for isolated pockets of humanity to tweek the established cants and modify them, and then forget they were ever modified, making them the new correct version of that cant. In the modern times, there is nothing specifically different about the cants of the Dark Triumvirate, Mother Church of Coryan, and Milandric Orthodox Church as they all began as Mother Church. One group may allow some cants to be taught while others consider them heretical (ie: Cancerse vs. Milandesian views of necromancy spells under the pervue of Neroth), but they all come from the same pot.

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Haakon Marcus val'Virdan, Divine Holy Judge of Nier
Ruma val'Vasik, Martial Crusader and Master of the Spear
Jorma Osterman, Arcane Coryani Battlemage


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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:08 am
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Hello (I'd address you by name, but you don't sign your posts),

I think we have two issues here:

1 - My definition of a schism and yours are very different

2 I think D&Disms are coloring your perception on how religion/divine magic works.

As Josh said, the schisms in the religions of Acanis is more of a political and ecclesiastical nature rather than, we're worshipping this version of Illiir.

All the human pantheon religions are derivatives of the Pantheonistic religion of the Imperium of Man. There, all known aspects of the Gods (good or ill in the viewpoint of Man) were acknowledged if not worshipped out right.

So where did the darker aspects and spells come from, such as the heretical cult of Larissa? Either these were Cants that were lost or ignored/discarded by the modern church or presumably, a Valinor of that God taught the Cants to the ancient priests and they were written down.

According to the beliefs in the Known Lands, the Valinor were a far more common sight during the early days of the Imperium than they are now.

So, bottom line - you need to be taught a Cant by someone (ostensibly the Church) before you can cast it. There are no spontaneously awakened divine caster in Arcanis.

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:06 am
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Location: Portland OR
I think the original question is an interesting one. And while I know objectively there is no such thing as a "lesser valinor" ... I'm not convinced you couldn't sell that idea in some quarters with a sufficiency of snake oil. If I recall correctly in the old campaign module "7th Sin" there was an incubus falsely presenting itself as "the Tongue of Larissa."

And many players in the last campaign had A LOT of questions about Nelson's character the Dagger of Cadic. I know in the last cycle of mods the players finally had a chance to briefly meet the DoC and indeed ask him if he was a valinor of some type. Which the DoC essentially refused to answer.

So sure, call yourself the Halitosis of Neroth (or whatever). Just be ready to be treated as a fringy freak guy most people don't want to be around. And who is in big trouble from one or more religious groups.

As for spell casting...its absolutely true that there are no "spontaneous" priests who have a revelation and start slinging Cants. But if you take the divine archetype without taking Initiate or Templar I think you can cut the strings a bit about what sect you belong too ... maybe you have access to ancient scrolls or maybe you have training from a Sword Saint who isn't quite by the book. Cutting the strings kinda sucks for you though ... again the various churches aren't happy you exist and everyone and their dog gets to smite you.

On the whole I think this kind of concept is much better suited for a home campaign than for the Legends campaign because this guy (or gal) is going to be a square peg in a round hole if a module ever requires you to make a delivery to Elandre or whoever has succeeded Sabinius. Still I can see role playing appeal ...

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 Post subject: Re: lesser Valinor
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:17 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:37 pm
Posts: 802
Location: Michigan
OK, I get it (now). It wasn’t clear from the Arcanis “World of Shattered Empires” Roleplaying Book. I’m finding that a lot of things that are canon aren’t in the rules, and thus as someone coming to this pretty much new, it appears there is room for interpretation where there is clearly not. I very much appreciate your input in clearing things up.

I will say that I think what is coloring my perception is more my real world education on religion and my understanding that priests should have a close relationship with their God. I always assumed this is what taught them their divine magic in the game world, not necessarily the infrastructure of a church that just happens to have a store of scrolls with the secret rituals written down. To make one rely on a bureaucracy to learn spells, but a personal faith to be able to cast them seems…. counterintuitive to me. In many faiths it would seem that just the types of people you would need to be to wade through the Church hierarchy to earn access to the highest Cants would be exactly the opposite of the type of people who would actually have the faith to use them; but apparently that is not the case. It must lead to dramatically different structures to the churches of different Gods.

It also means that from a god’s perspective there really are no heretical versions of a faith, right? As long as long as the priest can cast spells, he/she must be using a cant handed down from said god (or his valinor) and empowered by the specific god. So how can any faith that gets spells heretical? I could see a church argueing that one is misusing a spell in a way it wasn’t intended, but it doesn’t seem like a Church would ever cast out a spell as unacceptable in any way, considering that their god endorsed it.

As for schisms, I was thinking that different Churches often (but not always) had different takes on their Gods (usually growing over time). Obviously the difference between Milandir and the Mother Church are pretty minor and the schism is recent, but I thought that difference in approach for the church of Neroth in Canceri vs. mother Church are dramatically different. I would think that the Cants from Canceri would generally have a darker aspect to them than the Mother Church cants, but what you’re saying is that a “Benediction of the Gods” Cant to Neroth cast by a Canceri vs. a Mother church caster are identical, despite their different approach to the nature of their god… and despite their language? Can cants be translated into any language and still work? Or are all cants in some mother tongue independent of home nation? If they have to be in some ancient church tongue than that would be a uniting force that would also explain some of the importance of the church education, but I thought they were intelligible invocations of a god.

So, we’ve determined that a “Benediction of the Gods” cast by any Nerothian is identical to that cast by any other. But is a “Benediction of the Gods” cast by a Nerothian identical to one cast by illiirite? Or are all divine cants 100% unique to their god? I assume from the original pantheonistic nature of the church that they are not unique, but that would mean that 80% of cants could be learned by studying another church, which seems to not be the intent of the system.

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