I kind of wanted to suggest a sackbut for the instrument for zeke a while back, but then decided not to as I was not sure on the tech in the court of swords universe. just listening to the post show video.
Everyone already answering all the questions. Y’all are lore nerd pros and I love it.
we try doing the best we can meanwhile you are not around
I wonder if Berg has bad ‘luck’ because he is secretly a half-elf and doesn’t know it.
Ooooh I like that. Doesn’t even have to be half-elf since birth. Maybe he acquired that trait when he received Tulpa, or when he was near death so many times and maybe some part of Tulpa fused with Berg to keep him going. I mean, Tulpa had lots or opportunities to get to know Bergs physiology and learn to interact with it, they’ve been together since Season 2, so around a decade I believe!
Adam always said in this world there’s no true half-orc, if you have any orc blood, you’re orc - pure breed or a single orc ancestor 5 generations ago? Doesn’t matter. Same with dwarves, who are different degrees of “half-human”. So it’s probably similar with half-elfs.
But if I remember right, we have never actually seen an elf in their physical form, Half elves end up latching on to babies or seemingly possessed/replaced by something. There aren’t physically half of something. There soul is what is the problem, it can’t be seen by heaven, which was seen when the only known half-elf was stuck without Justice being able to serve them.
You may ask why Heaven can still see Berg if he is one? Perhaps the ‘golden’ elves take over their body, not giving their host any real choice while the ‘silver’ just acts as a more… symbiotic relationship, helping their host but also getting something in return.
Didn’t you answer the question yourself? Something latched onto Berg and gave him the “half-elf trait”, secretly. Half-X does not mean father or mother was Full-X, just somehow some part of Berg became that. Maybe 1% maybe less. He didn’t lose his soul, his soul just shares it’s space with something more. Heaven still sees the soul, just not the other part?!
I love theories
Btw when Azriel touched the floating coffin stone in the D20 room (week 27, part 4), he got a vision of someone being put into that coffin. That might as well have been Tulpa himself.
The answer of his quest “Why do bad things keep happening to me” is probably as follows.
CoS Theology Stuff
He accrued far too much dharma in his past lives. There are a few different things that help explain this. First and foremost, he is a half-orc. While things like material wealth are not considered when you enter the next cycle (a poor human and a rich human are both equivalent karmic options; being born poor is not a punishment nor rich a reward), the race or species absolutely is considered. The best being tianshi (sorry for spelling), then dragonborn or genasi, then dwarf or human, down the line to orcs, etc. Beyond that would be animals with less sentience. Berg being born an orc is supposed to be a “punishment” in order to correct his behavior and push him towards the karmic path.
While I stated previously that material wealth isn’t considered here, the very fact that he was born an orc means he was more likely to be poor and more likely to be a slave. From Berg’s perspective, these are some “bad things” that happened to him. From the karmic perspective it is not necessarily so. The bracers are intended to help reduce dharma by letting you atone for a spiritual mistake. This is obviously not how they are always actually used (the corrupt tribunal was an example of this) but this is the theory. Also, it is easier to be free of materialism when you are born poor, than as a rich merchant or noble. In a way, it could be construed that being born an orc is an easier karmic difficulty. Thus the fish, who don’t worry about the city burning, are on the karmic path without having to do very much. It is easier for sure, but further from enlightenment.
But Berg’s journey has not seemed like easy mode at all! Why is that? Well in a way, Berg actually has been doing a pretty good job when it comes to enlightenment. He serves the Tower and has let so many things go, which is what he should do in order to prevent the accrual of dharma. Ramus was theologically correct in stating that Maud being around was bad for Berg’s soul. Before she had reappeared, Berg had done the theologically correct thing when he had given her up at the scrying pool. My primary point here is that Berg has gone through a great amount of suffering, and faced many obstacles, but they haven’t necessarily made his path more difficult, theologically. In fact, these hardships have made Berg more likely to let things go and accept the flow of the Fountain.
So whether you consider it a punishment or an easier difficulty, what did Berg do to reach this point. Why, from Berg’s perspective, do bad things keep happening? As I initially stated, it is because of the dharma accrued in his past lives. A theory that I have grown to like is that Berg is actually the reincarnation of a fan favorite- Emperor Fei. Some will argue “but Emperor Fei was a great hero! He fought the mara and was seen as a wise man!”. While those things may very well be true, that does not mean he followed the flow of the Fountain. The grand hammer, “The Apology”, must be an apology for something. Some mistake or misstep that he made, possibly accruing dharma. Perhaps the hammer depicted him slaying mara as atonement for his own dealings with them? Even more likely, it is because some inaction of his allowed the mara to triumph. Either way, an apology was issued. Interestingly enough, the apology was not accepted until bathed in the waters of the fake fountain. Was it accepted because it was Fountain water (purification) or because it was a fake (the mara accepted it)? I’m unsure. But the fact that the Emperor’s face is still seen on modern coins is probably not the best for a karmic path. Having riches makes it difficult to let go. When the money has your face on it, that must make materialism even stronger. That being said, I don’t believe Adam intended for this from the beginning, but Berg getting his hands on the weapon of a former life, and understanding his past mistakes as he learns more about the weapon is a very cool way to work on Berg’s enlightenment, so I suspect Adam likes this theory now.
Now if Berg wanted to learn about his past lives (the cause for sure, even if the Fei theory is untrue), it may very well be possible. Especially with his religious connections. Asking the people of the Tower may not be the best, since they may see it as not letting go, but perhaps they will interpret it as “let me know what I should be leaving behind right now”. That being said, Judgement is the ally of the Tower, and they probably keep records of this stuff. If Berg asked, from his favored position in the Tower, they may be able to give him a straight answer- “X units of dharma from Y instance, Z units of dharma from W instance, etc.”. I don’t think Berg would think of this, nor do I think he would be able to understand all of this theology stuff with 8 int and 6 wis, but this would be a possible way to get a direct answer.
So I don’t think it is likely he is a half-elf, but his “bad luck” comes from these theological reasons. The farang exist outside of this theology, so it would be an odd coincidence atop all of these other reasons for “bad luck”. I also suspect that if he were a half-elf, his alignment would be void and not water, but we haven’t actually learned the alignment of any half-elves yet (or seen any alive on screen) so I can’t be sure. Though it could be that all born under the sign of the void would be called “half-elf” even if they had no connection to the Farang.
I honestly think being an orc might not mean anything and is just a rumor. Just a thought.
But ultimately my theory of him having bad luck because he is a half-elf falls flat because he had bad luck before he ever became one.
Though he could still be a half elf, it is a shame we didn’t get to see someone thought themselves to be a half-elf, it could give us more answers.
Unrelated to this episode, but it would be interesting to see that, since berg is a half-orc, the other half of his bloodline is farang. Or even the original non-orc half was pushed out and replaced by this foreign passenger
I took that as how they’re treated socially. Anyone with any orc bloodline is accepted amongst orc-kind and typically looked down on by most others. But that doesn’t mean they’re physically a full orc
Nevermind, I was beaten to it lol