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[COURT OF SWORDS // E70 Q&A] Chariot Crashes Against the Walls


(Twitch: SageOfTheWood) #61

He cast “Gentle Repose”, and that was just to get Utrix’s weird corpse bugs off of him, not to make his body last longer. The spell does protect the body from decay, but Ramus technically(?) isn’t dead. Adam specifically mentioned when he cast it that nobody had ever thought to try to cast it before on a living person, which is why the fact that it did anything to Ramus (his soul started reacting in heaven, temporarily drawing the attention of a Celestial) has probably more to do with his spiritual state than his physical one.

He doesn’t have an upper soul, but he does still have the lower one, and he still needs air, food, and water, and can still naturally heal, meaning he is (probably?) still physically alive.

Although, what exactly “being alive” means in CoS has a lot to do with having a soul, and Adam may have been meaning nobody had thought to cast it on a living corpse, but I think you can see my point.

(sythmaster) #62

Yeah!! It did flow really well! And towards the middle, kind of like what happened with the Balance of Power Live Live show, Dan and Matt and JP were all watching along w/ the rolls and helping keep track.

Definitely had that “we’re all on the same team” vibe rather than adversarial! The whole thing was cool to see! Making the scale of things larger makes sense, always keeping fights 1-1 even when the get to high-level play is kind of… weird? Idk, high level stuff gets weird regardless, haha.

I think the hard part will just be “budgeting time” w/ JP and the others to help make the 2hr+ fight work. I kind of liked that Kali wasn’t there though. If the fight had gone a bit longer, intercutting rounds with stuff Kalimat was doing could have been a nice way to keep things fresh (and to give your brain a rest!)

:adamwizard: -sorcery A+!!

(korulski) #63

That’s the real question and I’d assume you’re as eager to find out as we are :smiley:

[Warning! Musings and rambling ahead]
But even if they don’t, between Tulpa and Prisoner we learned that they want things and compete. Which means they can lose something (even if it only means not getting something). And I think that Prisoner is not completely bs-ing Kalimat, and at least they (Prisoner) are invested in concepts of choice and freedom? I think?

And those are really interesting concepts in context of reincarnation. Right to restart. Unburdening yourself. And if Farang are immortal, a whole new level of freedom and choice (Hello Planescape my old friend)…

CoS makes my brain spin in most pleasant of ways. Especially Ramus. Who has right to do as he pleases w/o afterlife and somehow still is ready to risk and sacrifice for Berg and Tower, which means he is prolly the most moral, decent, mortal in CoS? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

(SirKillsalot101) #64

@AdamKoebel Was the fight intended to be for a 4 man party? And not, basically 2?

Remus and Berg seemed to be VERY lucky to be alive.

(Twitch: Kotuhi) #65

So @AdamKoebel what is a Bodhisattva (assuming that it’s spelt like that) in CoS? Is it the same as it is in our world? I assume it’s a rank of sorts? My two guesses are either it’s a state of being that a mortal can attain that transcends factions and is recognised by all, which in normal times would make sense but I wonder how that would play out now that heaven is at war (at least for now)? Or it’s a rank in the Tower faction (maybe all of the Arcana have the same rank). I’m guessing that it’s not like it is irl as Berg has definitely not attained enlightenment :wink:

(DesmondDentresti) #66

I’m thinking its what Hassan has going. I think that at some point, you get a call from heaven like - listen, you arent a god or even a demi-god but you are doing some next level encouraging of the cycle… So like, congrats! You are an Arhat now!

Paraphrasing: The Arhat were perfect individuals that earned the right to avoid Saṃsāra (Reincarnation).
Being as Hassan is ‘perfect’ for the tower, it is likely he earned their version of the title.

And I cant see the ‘higher rank’ of a clergy of The Star being idolised for their love of suffering while the option of enlightenment is available. They probably have a different cool name that Adam hasnt had to think up yet.

(Joshkie1973) #67

The Fountain being destroyed would be the end; as I see it, but the Arcana falling would be just the begaining of what ever is to grow out of the ashes.

(Thekontiki) #68

So in that case, does this mean that Justice and Judgement priests globally (or at least whatever chunk of the globe (if it even IS a globe!)) are fighting each other over this conflict over what to do about the City of Brass?

(Twitch: Kotuhi) #69

Ohhh you bring up an interesting point, I wonder how split the Arcana’s church’s are splint in the rest of the world? Since it is the Arcana who are at war with each other and not just the earthly factions I assume there might be conflicts everywhere else too?

(Olf_Himself) #70

I’m starting to wonder if the Farang and their world is the Yang to the Fountain’s Ying.

(AdamKoebel) #71

The Arcana are not at war. The Arcana have no agenda or desire. A wall cannot war with a window. A mountain cannot war with the sea. Their priests and clergy disagree about what to do about the city of brass but the Arcana themselves simply are

(profnesbitt) #72

You did a wonderful job running all those npcs at once it was impressive to watch. It was funny once sali went down it seemed like JP went into how can I help mode and immediately shifted to doing the math for the damage rolls and helped speed things up.

I don’t know if anything like this fight might come up in the future but Wizards put out an Unearthed Arcana called Mass Combat that might have something useful in it. I think it was more for massive battles and I’m not sure how good it was but it might be something worth looking at. Another method Ive seen before to speed up some of the npc vs npc sections of the fights is treating groups of them that are fighting together like swarms are treated (ie swarm of poisonous snakes) so you only have to make one attack roll for all the hobgoblins that are fighting one other npc and they start dealing half damage when their HP gets below half. It’s a lot swingier since it’s one all or nothing roll but if it’s just npcs fighting other npcs I don’t think it’s that big of an issue. I doubt I would carry over the swarm once they start fighting the players though. Personally I think the fight was great the way you ran it and didn’t notice any speed or pacing issues I want to make that clear, all you guys did an amazing job, I just thought I’d share some things I’ve came across for similar situations. Love the show excited for Tuesday every week.

(Twitch: Kotuhi) #73

Then I suppose the rest of the world aren’t at war like the City of Brass is. I think I was mistaken when I said the Arcana, what I should have said was the gods that make up the bureaucracy of the different Arcana factions

(ovis_alba) #74

(I’ll spoiler all of this because I think it has some information from Adam’s GM prep and if someone doesn’t want to know about it, this feels like the savest way to do it, even though most of it is pretty much a list of questions I have in my mind concerning the whole cosmology)

Spoilery ramblings

The question is: the end of what? We have with the Farang at least one “faction” in the world that is completely outside the Fountains jurisdiction and we have another, the Mara, that is in opposition to it already.

Now for the latter one the interesting question is how depended they are on the fountain in the end. I think Adam described the realm of the Mara at some point as pretty much the shadow that is created by the fountain beyond earth, so while they are somewhat the literal absence of divine light, they are also in way created by it as being its shadow. So while the Mara are opposed to the ultimate goal of the fountain, the question is can they exist without it? Does the “antimatter” keep existing if the origin of the matter is destroyed?

For the Farang themselves it seems the answer is easier. They existed and exist outside of the fountain. They don’t rely on it and or almost somewhat invisible to it, so they apparently don’t need the fountain, but do recognise it as a form of energy that might be accessed by them. So the real question for them is: what would become of the fountain in the Farang’s hands? Can they really access it and transform it into soemthing that is useable by them? In what way does the Fountain’s power change and is that form still “useable” by e.g. humans and the other races in a different way? And probably most importantly: in what way are the souls and the fountain connected? Can souls exist without the fountain or are souls even necessary (which is something Ramus is an interesting case study for)?

And thinking about it there is actually another “faction” that seems somewhat seperate from the fountain albeit being probably the closest to it and that is the gods themeselves. As we know they are the ones that are responsible to reincarnate the souls until they can merge into the fountain but while they serve that purpose they themselves aren’t really a part of the same cycle. So it could be possible that the gods can in some form exist independend of the fountain.

So a lot of open(?) questions there, but I could imagine e.g. a scenario where (part of) the Farang take over heaven and then the very big question would be wheather humanity (and because it’s DnD all those other races currently with “souls”) is something that is necessary or even useful to keep around, as that could lead to a situation where pretty much the whole known universe is getting something that is not just a new form of government, but in a way a whole new form of cosmology, which would be something super interesting to see (not that it’s not interesting enough already :smiley: ) .

(Elyoslayer) #75

The farang are obviously a big threat but let’s not forget that the heaven basically controls the world. The arcana are not as half assed as most people think, they are multiple godlike entities that hold dominion over the mortal plane.

(ovis_alba) #76

They do (although in a very different way than mortals seem to understand as the actual “Arcana” seems to only be the filter humanity invented to explain the Fountain to themselves and doesn’t really exist as actual gods), but the power that everything is build on is the Fountain and we don’t know what happens when that gets tempered with.

And at this point, while not easy it seems like something quiet in reach for the Farang maybe even through the party.
Ramus is pretty much invisible to at least a lot of the Beings in Heaven (which he himself is even aware of due to their little meeting at the Tower’s tower) in addition to apparently having a key to get into it and maybe a reason to get there, Kalimat has a secret mission coming from one of the Farang, Berg is carrying Tulpa around with him.
So at this point a lot seems to be going the Farang’s way.

But I actually didn’t even mean to say that I think that’s what’s necessarily going to happen (it’s DnD after all, which isn’t exactly predictable) , it was more of a string of ideas in response to the notion that the destruction of the Fountain would be “The End”, because I could see the destruction or corruption of the Fountain not necessarily be that.

Edit: Also, the potential destruction of anything (in this case the Fountain) is just the most “unknown” thing that could happen. Doesn’t mean it’s the most likely, just the thing that leaves the most room for speculation simply because it would be so different from what has been established so far, which is why it (at least for me) sparks the biggest questions and speculations for me.

(Elyoslayer) #77

Also, Berg I think Berg himself is still being parasitised by a Mara or something if I am not wrong, that’s why the hammer wasn’t attuning to him once it was purified in Utrix’s pseudo fountain that cracked. So the party at this point is pretty fucked up. The only person that isn’t really controlled or heavily affected by otherworldly forces is Salihafa but he might be pretty traumatised after the latest episode, there is only so much a tortle can handle. So a small recap for Berg, he has an elf spirit, a soul Mara parasite and a hand drawing power from primordial fire elemental “gods”, he is almost like a full cab at this point.

(Twitch: SageOfTheWood) #78

I think that its been reasonably established that it is just Tulpa, and not a Mara. Lots of people seem to still think he has a Mara inside him, but even as far back as in the Valley Arc, the thing inside Berg registered as a Fey creature to Azriel’s (I think it was his? It was a while ago…) divine senses. Unless for some incredibly strange reason a Mara can be seen as Fey, and literal Arch-Fey level Elf wouldn’t, I’m decently sure it is just Tulpa mixing it up inside Berg.

(Elyoslayer) #79

It’s still weird then why would a purification on the hammer affect its bond with an elf and also crack and corrupt the fountain since either type of farang can’t really be detected by the power of the fountain. If it’s just a discreet soul parasite with not much of a will of its own and it just feeds on Berg’s soul then it might just be very hard to detect and the incident with Utrix’s fountain might have been a sign.

(ovis_alba) #80

I have just recently caught up on all the episodes so I don’t know how the Utrix fountain was discussed but when watching I kind of had the opposite idea of the Utrix fountain: That thing itself had a very “Mara vibe” to me. Creating your own personal fountain to step out of the reincarnation cycle and get your personal power and not the one you need to share with everyone else, kind of sounds like a Mara thing to me, something the Mara might offer a powerful Wizard to tempt him. I mean at first sight it seems like a good thing with the healing properties and all, but it just felt like that’s the temptation of it, a source of power that is circumventing the fountain (I guess that still leaves the question why it affected Berg so badly, but we’ve also not really seen how the Mara and the Farang would detect or react to each other).

But yeah, my initial impression of the attunement breaking and the Fountain corrupting, was that it might have actually been that the Emperor of Fei clashed with that condensed Mara corruption (something like the Emperor’s last Stand against the Mara) which let to his final sacrifice in the form of the weapon losing the spirit of the Emperor and therefore the attunement, while at the same time also releasing and revealing the origin of that fountain (which could explain where those demons suddenly came from because that still seems like something independent of the Prisoner).

But of course that’s also all pure speculation soley based on that impression that such a fountain replica would actually be less of an homage and more of a “defamation” (blanking on a good english word here).