Jul 06, 2022 10:15 PM
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Hell is truth seen too late.

 

       - Thomas Hobbes

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Character Name: Carissa Sevar      Alignment: Lawful Evil.         Character Level: 7*       Deity: Asmodeus        Homeland: Cheliax         Class: Wizard*          School: Universalist (subschool: Arcane Crafter)    Languages: Chelish Taldane (native), Infernal (not fluent)

STR 8
CON 10
DEX 10
INT 22 (18)
WIS 14
CHA 15

Magic Items:

Armillary amulet, headband of vast intelligence +4

Skills:

Spellcraft +23, +27 when producing magic arms and armor, further +5 from armillary amulet, Bluff +16, Knowledge(Arcana) +16, Appraise +13, Sense Motive +12, Knowledge(Religion) +12, Knowledge(nobility) +11, Knowledge(local) +11, Knowledge(planes) +11, Knowledge(geography) +10, Diplomacy +9, Knowledge(history) lol 

Feats:

magical aptitude
eschew materials
craft wondrous items
craft magic arms and armor
skill focus: spellcraft
skill focus: bluff

Arcane Discovery:

Arcane Builder

Traits:

theoretical magician
convincing liar
suspicious
empty mask

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(*)  Stealth Cleric:  Your character has somehow ended up the cleric of some god, without knowing this about theirself, and their god is laying low.  They do not receive cleric spells or orisons or domains and cannot channel, until either their god wills it so, or your character discovers their nature and succeeds in using it.  Effects on alignment auras are halved.

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PL-log:  Subevent 1 of PL-incident Even She Doesn't Know It

Time:  Day 4 / midday

See also:  Subevent 12 of PL-incident Wrong Genre Savvy Is Contagious Via Mindreading

Notes:  PL-subject #1 is outside Otolmens Containment Zone while event occurs

Epistemic status:  Reconstructed by back-inference from cumulative later observation Nethys is still here, Nethys is still everywhere, Nethys is just not together enough to socialize with other gods

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Irori, in His godhood as in his mortality, is not the kind of martial artist who goes around cleaning up others' messes; he is the kind who cleans up his own.  He is Lawful Neutral, not Lawful Good.

This is how Irori was in life:

A starving beggar girl is not his own doing, and he may walk on past her without qualm.

If the starving girl begs a gold coin from him, and perchance he gives it to her, and later she is beaten and killed for it, that is also not his concern; she made her own choice to ask.  She was too young to know what she did?  What of it?  All mortals are too young in the end.

If the starving girl begs a copper from him, and instead he foolishly gives her a ruby he feels he has not himself properly earned, thinking mainly of the consequences to himself but not to her, and this starts a chain of events in which the girl is kidnapped by a criminal king and interrogated to find where the ruby came from - then there will be one less criminal king in that city before the next day's dawn.  Even if he is young enough, back then, for that to be a dangerous fight, he goes to it without hesitation.  It is not that he is protective; it is that he is responsible.

In godhood Irori cannot afford to be so strict with Himself.  His actions affect too much for too many.  But Irori is still the god who grew out of that mortal - not by being ascended, but by doing it all the hard way.

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A soul that Irori marked for His attention is now calling out to Him, in her hour of trouble and despair.

It is very rare for Irori to intervene, in a case like that.  He would not often do so even if He could do it costlessly.  To protect mortals from trials is not Irori's Way.

And yet Irori does notice, and investigates, and not only because of the Otolmens connection.  For any mortal otherwise strong enough to interest Him, it ought to take extreme conditions to drive her into a state of such utter frantic determination.

This mortal did not ask for Him to meddle in her life, whether by bargaining with Asmodeus or otherwise.  Has she come to some greatly ill fate that is His own doing?

Even if so, as a god facing a god's choices, Irori probably cannot afford to do anything about it.  Probably all He can do is contemplate His own failure and consider how to do better next time.

But it is impossible that He would not want to know.

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Irori cannot easily see much of the mortal realm, aside from the contents of certain determinations and aspirations among those sufficiently already aligned to His ways.  He is looking at minds facing in His own direction.  Flesh and stone are shadows.  Blurry shadows, not legible ones.  He can tell the mortal is in the Imperial palace in Egorian in Cheliax; little more.

The mortal in whose life He meddled thinks that she is facing total extinction, it is the one thing she fears above everything else, and to think one more thought is all of her desire.  She is striving with all all all that is inside her, to avoid that one fate, to continue.  She is in pain.  Another is about her, though Irori cannot well see that one, a being of powerful magic.

That's statistically improbable, to be something that would have happened to the mortal regardless, if Irori's meddling had any effect on her life at all.

...and it is a little extreme as an ill fate of His own doing, to make no effort at all to clean up.

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Of what is she afraid, more specifically?  Most mortal fears are hard for Irori to see, but this fear drives her so, drives her even to try to change herself and her way of thinking.

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The mortal is afraid of being a statue with runes carved on her, buried where no one will ever find her, trapped until the ultimate destruction of the world.

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All right then.  He can take responsibility for this mess of His making, without too much cost.

If this mortal becomes His cleric, Irori will be able to find her again in time.  Eventually He will get around to questing some powerful caster pledged to Him, to bring her forth.  When?  Whenever that becomes convenient to Him.  It may be a hundred years, five hundred, it matters not to a statue.  If the mortal then must leave all she knew behind her, and begin again, well, one must overcome such challenges along the Way.

But Irori should not make her His knowing cleric.  She is near something more than powerful enough to read her mind, and see the knowledge in her if she knows; or maybe just notice by normal means, if she stops being so afraid.  And then this other being will, say, planeshift the mortal into Abaddon instead; or attempt to torment her into giving up Irori.  He does not wish to make the mortal's situation worse again; this would indicate His failure to learn from experience.

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The conditions for forming a stealth cleric are rare, both intrinsically and by compact.  Gods cannot go about stealth-clericing whomsoever they please.

By compact, to make any cleric, they must have called out to You, or to a predicate that includes You not too broadly.  The natures of god and mortal must be sufficiently aligned, as always for clerics; the only possible exception is your oracle, if you are foolish enough to have one of those, rather than zero.

And improbably:  The pressure of a god upon a mortal's soul, impressing clerichood into it, is usually very detectable to mortals even if you try to be slow and gentle about it.  Even if it is not a revelation in glory, it's there, and the mortal might be suspicious of what had just occurred.  Especially if they'd just prayed for aid.

To create a stealth cleric, she must be extremely distracted while that is happening.

But these strange conditions are met.  And so, like trying to kiss a kitten's forehead softly enough not to wake it, Irori presses himself into Carissa Sevar but gently, not opening yet the new channels whose outlines are traced into her, only forging the connection leading back to Him.

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So now Carissa Sevar is, as most other gods would see it, something of Irori's, though she knows it not.

The thought does not occur to Irori at all, to message Asmodeus claiming victory in a contest that Asmodeus might conceive to Himself to have begun.  The Way is to succeed at what you set your hand to, to win, not to have others acknowledge that you have won.

Carissa Sevar's progress along her Way is all that is meaningful.  Whether she calls Asmodeus Lord for a time is not relevant, except insofar as how that changes her Way, or speeds her progress on it.  If there were any victory to be won here, it would belong to the mortal and not to Irori; for her Way is not the Way of Irori but the Way of Carissa Sevar.

And also if there were any such contest, it would not yet be over, for Carissa Sevar's existence will not end this day.

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Then Irori goes upon His way, for many other matters call Him, and He does not have time to wait around watching a statue be levitated and floated away.

...to, as it turns out, an aftercare chamber.

One really can't blame Irori for not especially guessing that this would be the case.  He was not, in mortal life, the kind of martial artist who gets way into that sort of thing.

Irori definitely isn't expecting the incredibly annoyed call that He gets from Otolmens a few hours later.

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 Osirion's highest ranking spy in Cheliax is not a very flappable person, as one might imagine from the job description, but he looks nervous at present.

 


       "Do you think the world is going to end?" Prince Merenre, sixth circle cleric of Abadar and heir presumptive to the pharaoh, asks him tiredly, looking up from the report. 

"....in truth, your highness, in cases like this, I don't deal in what's actually going to happen, just what people are saying."

      "Ah huh. Do you have plans to spend the next couple of months in Aktun."

"....yes, I do, your highness. Though that's partially because of possibilities less serious than the destruction of the world, and - obviously if my duties require me -"

      "I'm not sure I can afford to pay you enough to stay," Merenre says. "Though do give me time to put an offer together, before you abscond, it will be generous."

"You're not - upset about the report, your highness?"

       "I'm incredibly upset about the report! Almost nothing in it can possibly be true! Half of it contradicts itself! And I will pay you something like half the gems in Osirion for another report of similar quality."


The spy considers it, for a moment. "I'm honored, your highness, by the offer, but - well. Would you take it."

       "- I mean, I'm well past the point where there's vanishing marginal personal utility to money, I'd probably just be weighing how much I want to prevent the destruction of the world."

"Do you ever think, your highness, that maybe the world has it coming?"

        "....no," says Merenre, completely truthfully and a little coldly. 

" - okay, do you ever think that maybe Cheliax has it coming."

       "Cheliax has something coming. I really just wish I knew what it is."

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"Project Lawful was started because of a direct divine vision from Asmodeus Himself."

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"Sounds right, if Project Lawful is the study of our captive cleric, We bargained with Asmodeus for a divine revelation."

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"Do you know the wording -"

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"No except that it apparently was not adequate to get him safely out of Cheliax and to here. We can't - put what We bargained for into words well anyway, and don't know how Asmodeus would have tried to."

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Merenre shifts a bunch of tokens around on the desk in front of him. "Okay. I'm saying, probably Project Lawful is the study of our captive outsider, that one is probably true. 'Asmodeus and Erecura are collaborating on Project Lawful.'"

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"We don't know anything about that."

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"I assume same for Asmodeus and Nethys, Asmodeus and Cayden Cailean - I'm going to say maybe 50 percent for Asmodeus and Nethys, because it'd explain how upset Otolmens is, and, uh, 1 percent for Cayden Cailean. The report author apologized for including it. ....'The library of Project Lawful looks tiny but apparently has as many books available as a major academy library, if someone asks the Project Lawful girl serving as a librarian to 'go look for them in another room', not that there's a Forbiddance in place or anything.'"

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"If our captured cleric is someone who - figured out, somehow, how to borrow books from the First Vault -"

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"....wouldn't you have noticed?"

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" - We might not be allowed to say, if We had noticed, because if there's a way to do that disseminating it is definitely prohibited by godagreements."

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"Right. Well, it's possible, but also mind the possibility that this is abject nonsense, which I think will become more obvious as I read through more of these. -  every devil in Hell has heard of Carissa Sevar by name, I will give you whatever fucking odds you want against that. Project Lawful has been instrumental in all of Cheliax's military victories over Nidal - we did check if they were using any new tactics, and they're not - less than five percent on that - Project Lawful is intensively studying the history of Taldor in order to launch a team of operatives into Taldor's past which will convert Taldor to worship of Asmodeus in the present - less than one percent on that -"

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"Are they intensively studying the history of Taldor, though. If you have access to the First Vault is Taldor a place whose history you'd want to study intensively -"

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