Monday, February 2, 2009

Re: Goals of Gods?

Subject: Re: [GREYTALK] Goals of Gods?
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 1999 19:48:34 EST
From: "Rip Van Wormer"
Reply-To: The GREYtalk Discussion List

In a message dated 3/16/99 12:57:15 AM Eastern Standard Time, Rasgon@AOL.COM

> The Primal Order game, besides offering thorough divine mechanics for those
> who feel need them, offered the concept of a non-intervention plane, where
> gods simply aren't able to appear in person. This may be a result of a
> divine agreement (in which case it may be secretly violated), or a natural law of
> the plane in question.

On Oerth, of course, this is a result of divine agreement (I can't think of any natural law that would affect Nerull and Pholtus and not Beory and Iuz). It might not even be a formal one: maybe no one wants to be the first to step in and start a war. There have probably been divine wars before on Oerth: several small ones instead of one big one, IMO between the lawful and chaotic halves of the Oeridian pantheon (the Suel pantheon is too unwindy to associate with the Wind Dukes), between the elf and drow pantheons, possibly between the Suel and Baklunish gods and Olman and Southern Hepmon panthons, and Titan-Olympian style combats here and there.

Beory and Fharlanghn and Iuz and Wastri and whatever others you add are simply gods who no one has wanted to/been able to force out. Beory and St. Cuthbert are supposed to be allied to maybe try to force out Iuz, but if enough other gods rally to support him (Graz'zt, Iuz, and Iggwilv are enough to counter St. Cuthbert alone, but if Beory offers "indirect" assistance, as _A Guide_ tells us, will they be enough? Nerull's not going to help Iuz in anything, especially if he conquers the Horned Society, but even if he doesn't (they're rivals over the Theoparts and any other evil artifacts they want). Zuggtmoy will help if she's free, but I can't think of any other god who cares jack squat about Iuz (Incabulos has nothing to gain, Hextor hates him because Iuz sort-of threatens the Great Kingdom, but I suppose Erythnul might like him,
except that he's a rival for humanoid worshippers). I guess Beory's assistance might simply be providing St. Cuthbert with a bridge to manifest on the plane directly (possibly he forms a body made of earth and vegetation), and St. Cuthbert needs to get Graz'zt and Zuggtmoy out of the way before he can be sure to win.

What must be the case is that there are extremely legalistic agreements protecting the Prime Material from direct divine intervention. Gods who were on the Prime Material before the agreement are exempt until they leave (Beory has been around since the creation, Wastri and Fharlanghn are either very ancient or were, like Iuz, mortal when they first arrived). St. Cuthbert would be exempt because he doesn't actually bring a body to the plane. This would be enforced by warding spells by the gods themselves.

A Guide to the World of Greyhawk Fantasy Setting talks about all sorts of gods entering the Prime Material at will, but as this might lead to conflict and anyway isn't as interesting as the loophole idea we can assume they mean PIECES of the gods small enough to squeeze through the wards (avatars).

The possibility also exists that the agreement doesn't bind gods willing to forfeit the right to their worshippers souls (souls being the most valuable resource the Prime Material has to offer).

Final possibility: gods aren't allowed to build major realms on the Prime. The whole planet is Beory's realm, Fharlanghn wanders, and Wastri and Iuz are only able to create tiny demigod-sized realms (the Vast Swamp and Iuz) with no power to control them. Other gods can slip in and out, but aren't allowed by treaty to form major centers of power there.

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