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Old 10-01-2014, 02:13 AM   #31
ericthered
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
I never got the vibe that religion was only social in the Banestorm setting. The book does have a side box on page 56 that states that miracles do occur, so that implies some form of metaphysical reality. It also states that vampires are vulnerable to True Faith, so that should imply something.

Maybe it's just me.
I find that the effects of religion in banestorm are primarily social: If the church has a beef with you, they send soldiers to arrest you rather than praying down fire. You can't conciencly acheive the powers that do happen and those who can pull them off are not even under the control of the church hierarchy -- in fact, they come from differing religions! These Mystical powers are not in anyway part of the church: their true source is up for debate, but its not organized religion.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:37 AM   #32
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

I'm going to an Orthodox burial service in about three hours.

The name of the newly departed is David (note present tense), in case anyone wants to pray for him.

In Slavonic, we will call him the "newly-presented David" for 40 days from his death last Saturday.

About Abydos, if you are still going to portray a fictional/heretical divine liturgy (lower-case), two potentially supernatural moments come to mind:

The Cherubic Hymn

We who mystically represent the Cherubim,
and who sing to the Life-Giving Trinity the thrice-holy hymn,
let us now lay aside all earthly cares
that we may receive the King of all,
escorted invisibly by the angelic orders.
Alleluia


I could imagine some magic, possibly an illusion, that makes the choir members look like Cherubim -- each with three additional heads, four wings, a couple of extra legs, and an auditory illusion to make their voices sound (even) more other-worldly.

The Eucharist

For believers, this is literally playing with fire.

As far as I understand it as an Orthodox n00b, keeping the unprepared away from the Chalice is not to avoid injury to God's majesty or whatever (it's not like we can do anything to Him that we haven't tried to do already), but rather to protect the unprepared themselves from condemnation.

Remember the scene in the third Indiana Jones movie? "For the unrighteous, the cup of Christ holds everlasting damnation". And then Donovan drinks and gets the melt-away-and-crumble-into-dust treatment.

The problem is that if you believe in this kind of thing, none of us is worthy. That is why among other things we say a whole bunch of pre-Communion prayers which are variants on the following idea:

Behold, I draw near the Divine Communion. Burn me not as I partake, O Creator, For Thou art a Fire which burns the unworthy. Rather, cleanse me of all defilement.

For more, google "precommunion prayers".

Last edited by trans; 10-01-2014 at 01:26 PM. Reason: caps, sp., etc.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:54 AM   #33
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I find that the effects of religion in banestorm are primarily social: If the church has a beef with you, they send soldiers to arrest you rather than praying down fire. You can't conciencly acheive the powers that do happen and those who can pull them off are not even under the control of the church hierarchy -- in fact, they come from differing religions! These Mystical powers are not in anyway part of the church: their true source is up for debate, but its not organized religion.
There is no higher power on Yrth other than its denizens, which is why Power Investiture doesn't work at all here, nor does True Faith have any real effect. Heck, even Exorcism has a penalty modifier on Yrth itself, since it is completely barren of any deities.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:51 PM   #34
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

Why wouldn't True Faith work? Wouldn't be like Belief is Magic, to use a TV Tropes term?
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #35
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Why wouldn't True Faith work? Wouldn't be like Belief is Magic, to use a TV Tropes term?
That could be the reason for it to work, but I don't know enough about Yrth to say whether or not it is possible to have that Advantage in that setting.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:42 PM   #36
ericthered
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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There is no higher power on Yrth other than its denizens, which is why Power Investiture doesn't work at all here, nor does True Faith have any real effect. Heck, even Exorcism has a penalty modifier on Yrth itself, since it is completely barren of any deities.
The book specifies that the most common forms are true faith, healing, and higher purpose. the book says True faith works on demons (routinely summoned via spells, the emperor is one for heaven's sake), zombies (common enough in the right campaign), and vampires. This is not nothing.

Of course, these gifts are distributed across a broad number of religious beliefs, so its not really clear what is going on, whether Yrth has a very generous deity acting on it, whether faith alone in a higher power can achieve mystic effects without the power, or if these mystics are just an odd brand of mage.

The trick with yrth is that its intentionally left vauge, tangled and confusing.
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:42 AM   #37
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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The book specifies that the most common forms are true faith, healing, and higher purpose. the book says True faith works on demons (routinely summoned via spells, the emperor is one for heaven's sake), zombies (common enough in the right campaign), and vampires. This is not nothing.

Of course, these gifts are distributed across a broad number of religious beliefs, so its not really clear what is going on, whether Yrth has a very generous deity acting on it, whether faith alone in a higher power can achieve mystic effects without the power, or if these mystics are just an odd brand of mage.

The trick with yrth is that its intentionally left vauge, tangled and confusing.
You have a point there. I did not mean to devalue True Faith as such, only point out that there is no actual, miracle working God that is present on Yrth, as is the case in most fantasy scenarios where there is a lot of magic. Yrth, although magically abundant, has this "vague, tangled and confusing" feeling to it when it comes to deities.
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Old 10-04-2014, 07:54 PM   #38
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Not that I can actually make use of the reference number, but it would be nice. [snip]
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I just skimmed through the book again and there doesn't appear to be many references to liches. I would think if necromantic studies were encouraged for the clergy you'd see at least a bishop or two who have turned themselves.
Sorry this took so long; insane week at work, and I kept getting sidetracked by reading instead of skimming because there's so much fun stuff in there.

So, looks like I was wrong about actual liches in Abydos: the book doesn't rule them out, but they're never mentioned, either. The word "lich" gets tossed around a lot in reference to mindless shambler type zombies (eg: Lich Street is the zombie district where you go to find the Lich Merchants' Guildhall), strongly-implying that if what fantasy typically refers to as a lich exists here, they're called something else.

The closest thing to the classic sapient skeletal necromancer in the book is people who have Soul Jarred themselves into (usually) their own crudely-animated corpse, and are "piloting" it with Control Zombie, with an example and template on p 47-48 that I was previously half-remembering.

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The only reference I could find to non-human clergy was Nikodorus, founder of the Order of the Holy Blood (pg. 23). He was already a priest when he was unwillingly turned, though. [snip]
p 23 also says, "A very small number of people are also transformed directly into vampires by the order. The order currently has 20 brothers, living in the Monastery of the Holy Blood just outside Abydos. A few nuns are also vampires, but they dwell in crypts under St. Magdalene’s Convent."

So we've got it sounds like about two dozen vampires in the clergy currently, spread between two orders, some of whom were transformed (willingly, I'd expect) by their order. A sample character (Brother Demetrios the Icon Painter) is given on p 50-51, and their Monastery of the Holy Blood is described briefly on p 45.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:05 AM   #39
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Originally Posted by Harry O'Gane View Post
There is no higher power on Yrth other than its denizens, which is why Power Investiture doesn't work at all here, nor does True Faith have any real effect. Heck, even Exorcism has a penalty modifier on Yrth itself, since it is completely barren of any deities.
None of those work on Earth either, and plenty of people still believe in deities! Yrth has mystical orders with well-documented strange powers, and that is more than our world has. The authors were careful to keep the truth of Yrth religions vague.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:52 PM   #40
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Default Re: [Banestorm - Abydos] A Lazarite mass

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Sorry this took so long; insane week at work, and I kept getting sidetracked by reading instead of skimming because there's so much fun stuff in there.
No worries. Hope everything has calmed down at work.

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So we've got it sounds like about two dozen vampires in the clergy currently, spread between two orders, some of whom were transformed (willingly, I'd expect) by their order. A sample character (Brother Demetrios the Icon Painter) is given on p 50-51, and their Monastery of the Holy Blood is described briefly on p 45.
Is there any mention of them being priests or deacons? In Eastern Christianity, monastics are not considered clergy. There are no canonical restrictions to becoming a monk or nun, but there are many restrictions for a man to be made a deacon, more for a priest, and even more for a bishop.

I suppose a case could be made for making vampires clergy in that order (monastic orders are another thing we don't really have in Orthodoxy) since Nikodorus sort of sets a precedence for it. Do vampires and other sentient undead still partake of the Sacraments? I don't recall any information in the book implying things one way or the other.
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