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[court of swords // e66 // q&a] bmx


(apepi) #21

I mean he is not following the Arcane, but is not necessarily being greedy… He actually is more in line with the Farang if anything…

(Partor6) #22

I’m not 100% on this but can’t Ramus have decided to non-lethal him with his aoe?

(profnesbitt) #23

I believe non lethal can only apply to melee attacks so you can’t even non lethal with a ranged weapon let alone a spell.

(apepi) #24

Magic is never nonlethal.

(profnesbitt) #25

I can’t wait until the aftermath of this one that was great. When did you decide Farsaad would look to the Mara for power? Was that going to happen either way after the immortals left or did something the PCs do spur the decision?

(too_angry) #26

Hey, so that means both Sali and Utrix have “enslaved” a demon at some point.
Something to put on his wizard portfolio!

(TwilightBorealis) #27

But it isn't about greed. Adam specifically said that if you were destined to buy two loaves and give one to charity, it would be just as evil to give both to charity as it would to keep both or not buy any loaves. A big problem that many of us have (including me) is that we immediately color situations with our own perspective and morality. In the CoS universe, the most moral character we have met is Hassan , who is so moral that he actually lacks the lower soul. He is the opposite of Ramus. But viewers in chat often say "oh Hassan is evil" and the like, when he is cosmologically 100% right. It is just that we can't tear our own philosophy away from it because it is so entwined with the way we think.

(apepi) #28

@profnesbittAnd And as soon as it is his turn, Sali will not only have to make a death save, but he will have a failed one already because of Ramus’ aura.

(apepi) #29

I somewhat disagree. Hassan actually follows the Tower, but is not longer caring about Arcana as a whole and just focusing on the tower/destroying part not caring if anything is able to be rebirthed. His whole plan is folly, he has no way to destroy the Farang, so will end up burning the world to stop the Farang from getting it. No matter what the world will burn if either of them continue their actions.

And he may be moral to the Arcana, but that is not the only way a person can be moral(look at the Farang.

(Twilight_Spark) #30

I don’t think this requires a spoiler: My impression is that, while Heaven essentially have a large number of opinions and mechanisms (IE the arcana) for harnessing and interpreting the Fountain’s power, the arcana are merely their attempt to comprehend and codify something that’s a bit beyond them.

Following on from that, my impression of morality in the CoS cosmology is that everyone has at best a heuristic grasp of what may or may not cause them to accrue dharma. If you have your fortune read, your “obeying it” or “not obeying it” is so subjective (as with tarot readings “IRL”) that it is difficult to go entirely astray from a possible reading of the fortune.

Who really knows what the path is towards enlightenment? Heaven has a system that they think works better than randomly doing whatever the fuck, but is there actually hard evidence that trying to follow their interpretation of the arcana is a faster path to enlightenment? Adam can correct me, but I think this is intentionally left vague. It leaves the viewer to ponder: What is morality in a universe that may have some form of destiny/enlightenment, but nobody has a more than cursory grasp on how it works?

(AdamKoebel) #31

Hazan is the perfect servant to the Arcana - he is the Tower’s embodiment and doesn’t need to worry about the Arcana at large. There are others whose job that is.

(AdamKoebel) #32

The only knowable thing is interpreted by the gods and priests and stuff. All the fountain “wants” is for everything to become one with its magical power. Everyone is at least a little wrong but being right is oblivion when it comes down to it.

(TwilightBorealis) #33

But the farang aren’t moral or immoral. They exist outside the realm of morality because the morality of the Arcana (the morality of the CoS universe) is designed around mortals with souls. The whole system of reincarnation is based to help raise mortals to enlightenment and oneness with the Fountain. Of course there are other systems of morality, but those do not apply to souled mortals in this universe- you can believe whatever you want but dharma will still accrue with the morality imposed by Heaven. There is an objective morality, and there are consequences after death based upon that morality.

It is a semantics argument in the truest sense. It is determining the moral semantics of the world we are discussing. It is the kind of discussion that finds its home in formal logic, so I like it quite a bit.

(apepi) #34

Is he a perfect servant if he really doesn’t seem to get the choice of not being able to follow it? :slight_smile:

The whole thing about it is being able to choose to follow it, but if he is just an implement of the Tower, not a servant. He is serving the Tower, but not Fate.

(DesmondDentresti) #35

The path to enlightenment is a little less a question of morality as it is a person walking on a series of escalators… And on the 3rd floor of this 5 floor building is the only doorway in or out of the building with a sticky note next to it saying ‘True Enlightenent’ stuck covering a sign that say ‘Soul Gem Battery Factory’… Then there is a person on a loudhailer shouting “No… The one behind you… Now its the one to the left!” trying to get you to go in the door as quickly as possible, even though they know its really your only option in the end.

How much do you want to look around the building, how many misheard or ignored ‘suggestions’ do you pass up before you find yourself at the door.

(apepi) #36

Actually your kind of wrong, the morality/alignment in the game, is element based(air, water, fire, and etc), and I believe it even existed before the Arcana did.

I don’t think Fate/Arcana inherently changes your soul, I believe it makes you want to change your soul to align yourself with the Fountain and reach oblivion. The Arcana and Fate shit is all bs, and it shows you a method to reach singularity with the Fountain.

(TwilightBorealis) #37

Alignment and morality are not the same. Alignment describes a truth about your upper soul and generally expresses itself in your approach to life. It is also visible to others, and unchangeable. It is possible that acting in accordance with your alignment would be the best way to raise your soul towards enlightenment, but that just means that alignment has some relationship with morality, not that it is morality itself. I suspect that there is some relationship there (since being true to your upper soul’s unchanging nature is probably inline with the flow of the universe), but I can easily think of scenarios where behaving in accordance with your alignment could lead you into falling into consort with the mara.

You could propose a morality that is purely based upon being true to alignment, but that is not the morality prescribed to by the four courts.

(Twitch: Brooster) #38

But I think he does have a choice. Based on his conversation with Kalimat this episode , I would venture that he resented his birth and life to such an extent that his goal became to gain so much karma that he never need suffer reincarnation again, but instead ascend directly to unity with the fountain. He’s chosen his path and been rewarded with the destruction of the earthly self he so hated, making him an ideal instrument as the temptation to swerve has been excised from him. Total conjecture, but it seems to fit.

(VyRe40) #39

So… the Mara are a rejection of effective oblivion? Embracing chaotic capitalistic individualism?

(dutrockbridge) #40

@AdamKoebel This was an amazing episode. The tension and conflict brought by you and the players was simply on another level and I feel like the possibilities have been opened up in many different layers of the story.

I’m about to go on a deep dive, and I’m likely forgetting details or major story elements along the way, but I’m fascinated by the role of the Mara in this conflict. (Please forgive any mistakes I make along the way, I have a hard time holding the totality of the series in my brain all at once.)

The Arcana and fountain as a construct seem to have a clear goal of reaching “enlightenment” and returning souls to the fountain through the souls and reincarnation. What the larger goal of this is presumably is in a layer that is not directly understood by the inhabitants of the world.

The Mara, if I remember correctly, basically arise in the negative space of the Arcana and serve as the resistance to the goal of the Arcana. A force which impedes the process of souls reaching enlightenment and returning to the fountain and no longer being reincarnated. From my interpretations, this appears to be a “impediment goal” and not a “winnable conflict”. The Mara serve to prevent the goals of the Arcana and have no direct “win condition”. It is the Yin and the Yang, opposing forces which lead to an equilibrium. Without the Mara, at some point as time proceeds to infinity, the Arcana would complete its goal. The Mara serve as an impediment to the goal, and yet have to direct goal other than obstruction.

The Farang exist as the outsiders. They do not operate within the constructs of the Arcana/Mara, and have their own motivations which happen to see the “world” of the Court of Swords as a potential resource in some other conflict distinct from the concern of the Court of Swords.

Please forgive any misunderstandings I may have, but this has led to a question I am lost in trying to understand as it relates to the Mara. I assume (big mistake) the Mara have the same “blind spots” to the Farang as the members of the Arcana. They are able to deduct their presence via blind spots but not directly as the domain of the Arcana and Mara are souls. This leads assumption leads me to believe the Mara are aware “something” is going on beyond their perception.

To me, based on the narrative of this episode, this leads to an inevitable question. Do the Mara exist to act in opposition to the Arcana, there will be an eternal struggle, or is it the “fuck you, as long as you don’t win, I do”. Do the Mara have grander visions of being in control, or are they willing to subvert themselves as long as the Arcana is blocked in its goal.

By “possessing” Farsad in this episode, is the goal simply to thwart the natural progression of the Arcana and preventing the city from moving towards the Tower and Star in an obstructionist fashion, or are the Mara willing to undermine their own foundations and reasons for existence to simply fuck over the progression of the Arcana? Surely the Mara must understand the presence of the Farang as a matter of “negative space” as the adherents of the Arcana do. Is there an enemy of my enemy is my friend dynamic, or am I willing to sacrifice myself to doom my enemy enough?

Finally, and I apologize for the wall of text, the Sahir seem to occupy a fascinating space that may hold the key to everything that is going on. Where the adherents of the Arcana seem to have a “blind spot” for the Farang, the Sahir who have stepped outside the cycle of the Arcana (big leap of faith here) seem to have awareness of the Farang. I highly doubt Utrix just wasn’t aware of what was in the Oubliette, or at least had some awareness of “otherness” that was there, whether or not it was a preexisting prisoner or not. It feels to me as if Farang are “invisible” to the adherents of the Arcana much like Ramus was invisible to the servant (I’m not sure the proper word) of the Tower when seeking entry. If feels as if the Sahir are the potential bridge between the “world” and the "other. Perhaps mortal perception is more “clear” and only with the devices in place can the hierarchy of the Arcana be blinded.

I feel like with tonights episode the Mara while acting completely as expected, took on an unexpected dimension in the larger story. I don’t care what happens to me as long as you lose is a very different outlook that I have my own goals and want to win. Are the Mara direct or indirect allies of the Farang, or simply unaware of what is going on?

I’m still struggling with how the “otherness” of the Farang tie into all of my thoughts. It feels as if they require “access” to their potential goal of the Fountain for whatever their larger intents are, but there are many different avenues that could follow, be it assimilation (unlikely), domination, eradication (doesn’t seem to fit the access to the Fountain thread), coercion (they haven’t been that subtle so far). It feels as if it’s not as simple as kill everyone and just take control, but with the existence of the “other” it is always hard to gauge the situation.

I apologize for the wall of text, thanks if you read it this far. This episode just thrust questions into my head that I wasn’t expecting at the larger scale, and I’ve spent far too much time trying to generate coherent thoughts from the swirling mass of excitement I have in my head.

Can’t wait for next episode and to see how things evolve!