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[COURT OF SWORDS // E129 // Q&A] But Dad I Want a Cult

what a strange story we’re telling


what happened with ramus senseis severed head that hes been carrying around? is he just high on fountain juice?


Hey @AdamKoebel I got a few questions for you. Care for you to give me some clarifications?
If Berg is possessed and ‘‘knows’’ or doesn’t in a way why doesn’t he just share it with the party?
Is this possession a form of the Mara doing their thing?
Was Novum freed after the Embers of Imix were informed of his whereabouts?
And what of Persnigetron? Is he dead?
If Unnamed and Amira came back with their ‘‘souls’’ in tact to the world out of the Void would they become insane like that one time Unnamed took off her mask?
Do they even possess souls to begin with?
Can Ramus even regrow a limb? Because last time I checked he isn’t a Flesh Crafter. Is he?

Berg is aware but not in charge I think.

Yes - he’s the old man’s “dark passenger”


I was feeling a little creative while watching the show, so I wrote this haiku:
the world once inert
from changeless to powerless
objects to dancers


Not Adam here, but I can help with some of these that I can figure out from the existing lore:

  • If Berg is possessed and ‘‘knows’’ or doesn’t in a way why doesn’t he just share it with the party?

Berg’s just the passenger, so he knows what’s happening but can’t control it, thus can’t say anything to the party. The show hasn’t explored whether Berg can talk to the old man, though.

  • Is this possession a form of the Mara doing their thing?

It’s not heavenly, but ghosts occur without the Mara’s influence. This one isn’t tasked with anything in particular, so isn’t likely to be Mara-directed, but maybe this guy had an easier time becoming a ghost because of proximity to Mara activity.

  • Was Novum freed after the Embers of Imix were informed of his whereabouts?

Yes, the valley burned.

  • And what of Persnigetron? Is he dead?

He’s wily, so he probably escaped.

  • If Unnamed and Amira came back with their ‘‘souls’’ in tact to the world out of the Void would they become insane like that one time Unnamed took off her mask?

If they were purely in their void forms, it’s unclear what continued exposure to the world would do. They’d probably acclimate a little bit, but it would be like constantly being high on hard drugs. It might be too much for their bodies, as there’s no counterpressure. Perhaps the spiritual equivalent of being 10,000 leagues under the sea without any sort of protection.

  • Do they even possess souls to begin with?

No, no souls in the Void.

  • Can Ramus even regrow a limb? Because last time I checked he isn’t a Flesh Crafter. Is he?

There’s a 7th level Cleric spell, Regenerate, that could do it. It’d take 2 minutes of sustained concentration.


I’m curious if the Court of Cups will come into play in this character arc/series. I don’t want it to interrupt the natural flow; I’m very hooked on it right now. I am curious though about it’s culture and influence on the world. Could be a nice place to go on holiday if the King of Black Rivers has his way.


Great idea for a Krillsmas getaway!

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As always, amazing episode!

I was thinking during the episode that Court of Coins names seem to resemble Court of the Void names. However where CotV names are descriptive and kind of tell you who the person is in a nutshell, Coin names are descriptive while cloaking a person in mystery. Very opposite. I wonder if people in the CotV would particularly dislike Court of Coins names.

Also…those spirals. The veins are places where reality bleed through…and somehow the spirals can create a vein or are related to it somehow. Are the Mara poking holes in reality? If veins are appearing more frequently, and the Court of Swords has been ravaged and taken over…how many other spirals are there? Just how weak is the fabric of The World? I can really feel the build up to the as of yet undetermined distant future and it is exciting.

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Oldest continuous running Parliament in the world, the Løgting in Tinganes, The Faroe Islands is from 825.
1194 years old. The Faroe Islands.

The oldest country with breaks in its system is The Republic of San Marino 301 BCE or Japan 660 BCE. However, it was not until at least the eighth century CE that Japanese culture and Buddhism spread across the islands. Over its long history, Japan has had many different types of governments and leaders. And San Marino has had its issues that disqualify its existence as being labelled continuous.
2320 years old. Republic of San Marino
2679 years old. The State of Japan

The Danish monarchy is the oldest continuous royal line in the world, dating back to Harthacnut I of Denmark, though on might go longer but then it becomes semi-legendary. At least 1103 year old unbroken, ruling royal line all the way to their current ruling monarch, but historic documents describe the geographic area and the people living there— the Danes —as early as 500 AD. Landmarks and placenames such as Dannevirke though are from 300 AD. And the Romans fought them around 113 BC, making them the only recognisable nation from that time that is still in its recognisable place, form and government.
Their flag is the oldest in the world, having just rounded 800 years.
Between 2132-1103 years old. The Kingdom of Denmark.
(Depending on how you measure.)

China is a tough sell too as far as it being a cohesive nation, but the history leading to it’s current iteration, the People’s Republic of China, is well documented and the culture is recognisable throughout history. China has the longest continuous ‘recorded’ history of any existing country in the world — 3,500 years of written history. And even 3,500 years ago China’s civilization was old. The current state and parliament is from 1949 but one might arbitrarily set its birth all the way from there back 3500 years.
Between 3500-70 years old. People’s Republic of China.
(Depending on how you measure.)

Egypt is weird too but Egypt existence could be argued to start with the king, Narmer, in approximately 3100 BCE, and ended with the death of Cleopatra VII in 30 BCE.
3070 years old. Egypt.
(Depending on how you measure. Egypt had a thousand and one problems in its time.)

And these have battled regular human controversy, They’ve all managed longevity, each in their own impressive way.

The four nations mentioned in Court of Swords, have surpassed them all, Rome, Babylon, Carthage, The Mayans, Ethiopia, for a few honourable mentions.

The four courts has existed, in a world with, gods, primordials, heresy, mara, Court infighting and unthinkable human ambition. Mix that with a hundred races unknown to us, the ones we know, and these four Empires are left with an excellent record for survival. Sturdy as stone. Rocks that the sea of time couldn’t erode. The myriad of ways these empires without real-world comparison must’ve been tested cannot be fathomed.

Imagine then, the namesake of this masterpiece of a series, the Court of Swords. Not only has it stood strong like the other three courts. But it’s described as the strongest, absent competition in the matter of warfare. Necromancy is described as having happened before, so is ‘far world’(The bell, the mirror) invasions, Emporer Fae battled through “a sea of demons”. Mara was well-known to the level 1 group that first saw the zombie flowers, and knew how to battle it(Until they didn’t. But they KNEW what it was.).

With all these knowns, I struggle a bit to see how a Mara-Necromancer-Worm sponsored rebel, have given this heaven mandated colossus of history, The Mighty and Ancient Court of Swords, such a blow, that it’s destruction and defeat, is already a foregone conclusion. Three-wheeled wagon, methphors and bad omens aside. Seems like they have been tested and survived hits like this before to make it for so long, with such might.

Rome fell to internal strife, corruption and finally barbarians.
Constatinobel fell to a massive Ottoman force in 1458.

The Martial giant of our world fell to the usuals when the court would still be relatively young… The fantastic world you’ve created is much more dangerous. The barbarians are not just barbarians, theyre also goliaths, orcs and so on. The list of dangers is dizzying, as such, the massive feat to have survived in this world, for 10.000 years, cannot be understated.

That is why I’m a bit puzzled as to why it all seems so… Hopeless for the namesake of the series.

Sorry if I worded some of the things weird, or oversaturated some of my thoughts here. English is not my first nor second language.

Hope you are well. And as always - Stay awesome, Adam. (And you Mathsquad.)

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Has it though…? There may have been a few “lapses” in the dominion of Heaven that is no longer remembered or recorded and wouldn’t exactly be advertised by heaven. Also magic and the machine of religion allow the tendrils of influence to run deeper than that of the Mara. They can meddle and tweak to their hearts content. I’m sure disbelief in something that could pose a threat to the whole court played a part in the CoS’s downfall. Pride cometh before the fall. As for the Court of Wands, the Fareng might have been a wholly alien and new invasion with no contemporary similar threats. And the PCs went a bit heavy (if necessary) on the scorched earth tactics. It could also have been a threat that was buried until the cards of fate fell the way they did. I’m sure there is much behind the curtain that Adam has yet to reveal that could shed light on how the metaphysical power structures operate. A healthy dose of mystery helps it as a show and a campaign. That being said, I do also find the necromancer to be a bit more potent than might be expected given what we know. I suspect the PC’s meddling disrupted the fragile balance as it usually does in campaign settings.

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two words.

player characters.



thank you!

The Court of the Void names tend to be given by others to recognize deeds or misdeeds. Obstinate Bugfucker wasn’t his first choice, right? Court of the Void names are a way to record past deeds. You wake up and your name is Gun Princess you might have some clues about how to act.

The Court of Coins has names that mean things like Little Silver Chalice or Ten Pillars of Gold, but they also directly translate. I was saying to Zeke that when we say “Little Silver Chalice” the characters in the game’s language are probably saying something closer to Xiǎo Yínbēi. We translate on our own, whereas characters with names like Thui probably have no clear or obvious connection to the original meaning of that name.

Which means Sorrowful Plum’s mother was probably from the Court of Coins, or at least a Northern Prefecture where they take on Coins culture and merge it with the Swords culture of the Southern Prefectures.

spirals are a sigil of the Great Green Worm, and probably their presence in the world is a sign of his influence, or might just be a natural thing? or it might be too hard to tell the difference until it’s too late.

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it’s having the best time you can have when you’ve got nobody.

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Gotcha :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Yea, overthinking things.

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Well next session is going to be quite interesting! I’m curious if “Berg” and Agni will have any interactions. I’m sure Agni will be thrilled to see Berg in his current state.

Also very curious to see how the “ritual” goes down. Are you going to take some liberties from AW projects? Its not like there’s a spell that Ramus or Maharib have. While I have no doubt its going to be an awesome scene for everyone I’m curious if (and how) the chaos plateau will rear its ugly head. I can see like you asking those questions from Blades for setting up Rituals or doing something like the Love Letters again?

Blades Ritual Process

Ritual Questions

  1. GM asks: “What does the ritual do and how is it weird?” Player answers.
  2. Player asks: “What must I do to perform the ritual, and what is its price?” GM answers. A ritual takes at least one downtime activity to perform and inflicts stress on the caster according to its magnitude. If performance of the ritual is dangerous or troublesome in some way, it requires an action roll (usually Attune). A ritual may also have additional costs, such as a sacrifice, rare item, the start of a dire progress clock, etc.
  3. GM asks: “What new belief or fear does knowledge of this ritual and its attendant occult forces instill in you?” Player answers.

SRD page link is available here

All kinds of fun questions leading into that stuff! Really looking forward to it! (Though I know the whole thing could also end quickly and badly)

On a side note, at the beginning you and Zeke were discussing the politics and “foreign affairs” related to Court of Coins and the Dwarven Society and for some reason my brain went right to “O, like Saudi Arabia now. Gotcha” So maybe there’s some sort of resource or technology(?) that the dwarves have that is trade-worthy of the “legal oversight”. I’m not sure if there’s some sort of closer equivalence to the cultural touchstones you’ve been using.

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Another amazing episode.

Berg multiclassing into Perv gives him expertise in sleight of hand I’m sure. Haha

I really hope they can bring Unnamed back, we will really see how much of the person resides in the soul and how much the body carries. It might be a brand new character with different memories just residing in her body. Also I really hope their subclass changes to draconic sorcerer (Maybe some kind of necrotic shadow dragon) after this and they can change all their spells and metamagics if Zeke wants.


I’m interested to see Agni and ‘Berg’ interact, will she be able to instantly tell he’s possessed? Could she just purge the possession away with some of her fire? It’s going to be good interactions no matter what, I love Agni :smiley:


I hope Old Man Berg rolls to seduce Agni.