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Old 09-25-2014, 03:08 PM   #1
Harry O'Gane
 
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Default [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

A questions for people who are adept with the Christian religious rituals.

In what way would a Lazarite mass be modelled? In other words, what parts of the rituals would remain the same in regards to the Orthodox rituals, but with an addition to the Lazarite belief - the one including the fact that zombies are in fact natural in the eyes of God.

I need some ideas to spice up the upcoming session. Zombies serving wine, being active during a procession and similar?
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

A lot of the answer to that depends on how the zombies in question function and the beliefs of the church. I have some knowledge of the ritual and reasonable reactions to various things based on my use of IRL first principles, but no idea what these zombies are and are viewed as in setting, or what the specific Lazarite beliefs are.

so here are some counter questions.
1 are they sensate (do they do more then there most basic literal instructions ex extrapolate from there commands)
2 are the zombies Sentient as in do they react in ways not in accordance with any instructions explicit or implicit?
3 are they sapient
4 do they retain memories of life?
5 how dose the church view them?
6 what are there legal rites?
7 what are the legal and social rules governing there use in society in general?
8 how dose the Lazarite church view these laws?
9 Also can they speak and do so clearly and loudly?
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:49 PM   #3
sir_pudding
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

They are just GURPS Magic zombies (p. 152).
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Old 09-26-2014, 03:38 AM   #4
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry O'Gane View Post
A questions for people who are adept with the Christian religious rituals.

In what way would a Lazarite mass be modelled? In other words, what parts of the rituals would remain the same in regards to the Orthodox rituals, but with an addition to the Lazarite belief - the one including the fact that zombies are in fact natural in the eyes of God.

I need some ideas to spice up the upcoming session. Zombies serving wine, being active during a procession and similar?
Well, the whole idea of dead people returning, in any way (whether Speak With Dead, as in historical necromancy, or actual reanimation of corpses, as in fantasy necromancy) clashes with Christian theology about the souls of dead people departing the mortal world never to return, immediately upon death.

According to what I've read, the medieval Christian assumption was that any seemingly successful attempt to bring back a dead person's spirit to speak with it, to question it, actually brought you into contact with a Demon, whose sole purpose was to encourage you to perform sins (although some Demons are of course sneaky bastards, who are subtle about such things). Actual animation-based necromancy would have been seen similar, I think.

But perhaps the Yrth setting has a fix for that problem? If not then it's certainly something that need to be addressed, given that Christianity has been in the setting for something like a millenium, if not more, and has had to adopt an official stance to the issue of animated Undead in a fairly magic-rich setting.

Another thing is, what are zombies like, physically? In my Ärth setting, they are rotten and maggot-infested, or quickly become so, and therefore they are completely unsuited for being near food or drink, or even just being indoors (in places where people live - not so much dungeons or basements or mines). I could see them being allowed inside certain types of temples (especially if plenty of incense is burned!), but don't let them near any food or drink!

Bonus question: When you write Orthodox, is that a reference to Orthodox Christianity, as they have (and had) in Greece and Russia and the like, or are you talking about Catholic orthodoxy?
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Well, the whole idea of dead people returning, in any way (whether Speak With Dead, as in historical necromancy, or actual reanimation of corpses, as in fantasy necromancy) clashes with Christian theology about the souls of dead people departing the mortal world never to return, immediately upon death.

According to what I've read, the medieval Christian assumption was that any seemingly successful attempt to bring back a dead person's spirit to speak with it, to question it, actually brought you into contact with a Demon, whose sole purpose was to encourage you to perform sins (although some Demons are of course sneaky bastards, who are subtle about such things). Actual animation-based necromancy would have been seen similar, I think.

But perhaps the Yrth setting has a fix for that problem? If not then it's certainly something that need to be addressed, given that Christianity has been in the setting for something like a millenium, if not more, and has had to adopt an official stance to the issue of animated Undead in a fairly magic-rich setting.
Yes, as the OP mentioned, the Lazarites are cool with the undead. It's the sole major difference between them and mainstream Yrth Christians. Zombies are used as farm and domestic labor routinely, there's an all-vampire monastic order, necromancers are not only tolerated but have exclusive domain over certain civil roles, and the whole island's mana is death-aspected to the point that it keeps the birth rate low.

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
Another thing is, what are zombies like, physically? In my Ärth setting, they are rotten and maggot-infested, or quickly become so, and therefore they are completely unsuited for being near food or drink, or even just being indoors (in places where people live - not so much dungeons or basements or mines). I could see them being allowed inside certain types of temples (especially if plenty of incense is burned!), but don't let them near any food or drink!
Abydos has a unique local industry that specializes in zombie flesh-removal for sanitary and cosmetic purposes. Brand new zombies can be rendered into gleaming bone in hours for a reasonable fee. It's a fun book that you should probably read before commenting on its subject at length. ;]

~~~~~~~

@Harry O'Gane: I'd probably keep the standard mass about the same, other than slipping in lip service to God for granting everlasting life to the soul in Heaven and to the body on Yrth and that sort of thing. Old-school Catholic Mass is, frankly, already pretty high on the creep factor, so I'd just work with that instead of doing anything dramatic. Play up the Latin chanting, the stained glass windows depicting horrible tortures and mutilations of the saints, the general morbid "no amount of penitence is ever enough" tone, etc, and you're cooking with gas.

The exception here is funerals. Lazarite funerary customs the way I imagine them can get pretty outlandish, especially if the deceased is scheduled for reanimation. This is a big spiritual deal to these guys, and they're going to treat it as a very positive, possibly even festive, occasion.
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Old 09-26-2014, 05:53 AM   #6
combatmedic
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

I’ve never found any form of the Mass creepy. This might just be you, G&A.


And I prefer it in Latin, with the celebrant facing ad orientam. I rather love stained glass windows.


Did you have one of the particular changes or local variations in mind, something before the Council of Trent?

Unless later arrivals have convinced the Yrthian Curia to alter the liturgy, which seems doubtful, I would take something pre-Tridentine for the basis of rituals and liturgy used by the mainline Church on Yrth. It may have evolved in its own ways since the Banestorm’s first big surge, of course.

But the Lazarites come out of an Eastern background, as I recall. I could check my PDF of Abydos. Do they use Greek?

Note: there are at least two groups called Lazarite in the real world. Neither is in any way sinister, though one has some issues with Moscow last time I checked.
I can only assume the game designers had never heard of either, or figured it was so obscure no one would care if anyone even noticed.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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I’ve never found any form of the Mass creepy. This might just be you, G&A.
Could be. Or maybe the ones you attend are very different from the ones I had to go to when I was a kid.

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
And I prefer it in Latin, with the celebrant facing ad orientam. I rather love stained glass windows.
Don't get me wrong, I think that stuff is neat in its own way. Of course, I also enjoy horror movies. ;]

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
Did you have one of the particular changes or local variations in mind, something before the Council of Trent?

Unless later arrivals have convinced the Yrthian Curia to alter the liturgy, which seems doubtful, I would take something pre-Tridentine for the basis of rituals and liturgy used by the mainline Church on Yrth. It may have evolved in its own ways since the Banestorm’s first big surge, of course.
You're probably right, but that is way more research than I would personally put into this if I were doing it for an Yrth game, when I could just do my (hilarious) Father Horgan impression from memory.

Anyway, my point is that I'd keep most aspects of a non-funerary mass fairly standard for the setting unless there's a good reason for them not to be (eg: vampire monks taking actual blood for communion). These people aren't trying to put on a freak show, they consider themselves (the only) normal Christians of Yrth.

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 09-26-2014 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:23 AM   #8
combatmedic
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

Yeah, the Mass isn't performed as it once was. Not in most places.
I prefer the Tridentine form.

I'm going to a wedding soon where a proper Latin Mass will be celebrated.


As for horror movies, I'm pretty sure loving horror movies is a good fit.
I don't mean that in a flippant way. I just mean that Catholicism and the Gothic go hand in hand, and have done from the start of the Gothic genre. This seems to have affected a certain range of horror films.


I agree about the Lazarite "mass."
I also think it would be more disturbing if it looked a bit more familiar, except for the blasphemous elements.

I'd pattern it more after Eastern forms, based on what I recall from reading Abydos.
Or am I mistaken about that element?
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
I agree about the Lazarite "mass."
I also think it would be more disturbing if it looked a bit more familiar, except for the blasphemous elements.
Totally.

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Originally Posted by combatmedic View Post
I'd pattern it more after Eastern forms, based on what I recall from reading Abydos.
Or am I mistaken about that element?
I need to look it up; haven't actually read it in years. ETA: Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GURPS Banestorm: Abydos p 7
Holy Rites and Icons: When Orthodox Greeks arrived on Agartha in 1190, they brought with them their own Eastern Rite traditions. These included the use of Greek rather than Latin as the liturgical language, and the veneration of icons (holy images, such as paintings of biblical figures and saints). These practices were continued by the Lazarite Church after it rose to dominance in the region.

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 09-26-2014 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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I also think it would be more disturbing if it looked a bit more familiar, except for the blasphemous elements.
I think so, too. It depends on the style the OP prefers: immediate blatant horror, or something subtler, playing up just how deeply weird Abdyos is.
Quote:
I'd pattern it more after Eastern forms, based on what I recall from reading Abydos. Or am I mistaken about that element?
You're correct, from a re-read. They use Greek rather than Latin.
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