Idol Speculation

Maleos: That's a question Saul might be able to provide some insight on after the Usurper Experiment: "If Aether underlies everything, and lead is a thing, how can lead block the effects of aether manipulation?"

Saul: long diatribe about symbolic alchemy "So, in summary, it doesn't really block the aether so much as it channels it into and along it because it's such a symbolic sink."

Maleos: Huh. "Does that imply if we had lead sculpted into the right shape, we could produce magical effects without a spellcaster? Just. Aether ripple goes in one end, spell effect comes out the other?"

Saul: "Theoretically, I think that's true, but I don't know how you'd craft something so precisely to channel the flow that well. And it would still require a source of power."

Maleos: "I have a feeling we may find something. If you and I could come up with that idea with as little as we know, somebody's bound to have tried it at some point in the past. As for the source of power, that's obvious. The lead device is useless without a piece of what Comprehend Languages translates as 'Usurper.' "

Saul: "I'd prefer that what Darias referred to as the 'blob' remain in its container whenever I'm within, I don't know, a few miles…"

Maleos: "At least I know what to do if we're ever attacked by a more powerful spellcaster than us."

Saul: "Aside from run?"

Maleos: "I don't think our magic is good enough yet to successfully run from such a spellcaster. No. The way I figure it, I'd Counterspell with Dispell Magic, Aida would run up to it and hit it with a hammer. So would Darias, despite instructions otherwise. If the opponent's magic is so much better than ours that this plan can't succeed, we unbag the box and open it. With all three spellcasters on the ground vomiting, our front line quickly dispatches the enemy, then we close the lid again. It won't be fun. But it'd work. Unless the enemy spellcaster also has more muscle than us, then we're pretty doomed."

Saul: "Fair point. Though I really, really hope we don't have to resort to this plan."

Maleos: "So do I. Oh, speaking of last-resort plans, how was that Rage working out for you?"

Saul: "Well, I'm told I smashed a few things."

Saul: "Unfortunately, the timing wasn't entirely perfect. I lost control of my active spell. But still, Aida and Darias managed to do some significant damage, as did Yoshirou-Mura."

Maleos: "Sorry about that. I wanted to hit Aida with it, but I think she was single-handedly circling the outskirts mopping up the invasion by that point."

Saul: "Yoshirou-Mura held quite a group pinned while Aida and Darias circled around and flanked, and I do believe that played out rather well."

Maleos: "I caught glimpses of a few Tragn on the way in and lit them up. Then I worked out their elemental resistances and started lighting them up in a different sense. We can probably safely assume they're warded against fire from now on, by the way."

Saul: "Are you certain? If so, I'll have to rethink some of my strategies."

Maleos: "I tend to open with Merciful Fireball because it's cheaper to cast than the other variants, and safe enough to use with impunity. For a while, I wasn't sure if it was failing against Tragn because of the Merciful or because of the Fire. In that battle, I tested out lots of different combinations. Merciful Acid worked."

Saul: "Frost and ice…" (this sounds like a curse of some sort)

Maleos: "I know, I know, but it worked didn't it?"

Saul: "Fire spells are among my specialties…."

Maleos: "I might be able to teach you how to substitute energy the way I do it, but it's… fairly extravagant, if I'm honest. I'm trading two spells for one when I do it. The sad thing is, sometimes that's a good trade-off when you factor in the amount of time it takes to cast the two spells."

Saul: "I understand, it's just… vexing."

Maleos: "So your powers are really in tune with Pelor, huh?"

Saul: "From what you've told me of Pelor, that seems to be the case."

Maleos: *stares*

Maleos: *continues staring*

Maleos: "Wait. You're telling me I know more about Pelor than you do?"

Saul: (He only knows of the name Pelor through you!)

Saul: (YOU guys told him his insignia looks like Pelor, etc.)

Saul: (He basically is saying that he's not sure if who he worships is Pelor, but that might be based on how you've described Pelor. He doesn't remember.)

Maleos: "Oh, gods…" *slow facepalm* "Saul, I had no idea… I just assumed your knowledge of religion was one of the skills you'd still have inherently even after losing your memory. Like Alchemy, or knowledge of the Planes… if you only know the name Pelor because of us… it's almost certain that you actually worshiped Onónion Birvir or some other sun or fire diety."

Saul: "I remember lots of fragments, lots of facts and feelings, but I don't remember everything. Sometimes names slip my mind, or I can see pictures but can't put them into words, or just can't quite understand what I can see in my head."

Maleos: *ponders, eyes flitting back and forth occasionally* "Okay. What fragments do you remember about… the deity depicted on your shield?" (can't remember if it was armor or shield.)

Saul: (There's a lot, but some of the specifics he's forgotten. In general, the deity does seem largely similar to what you know of Pelor, but there are differences.)

Maleos: (Which differences specifically?)

Saul: Oh, sure, make me open a page.

Saul: For example, the imagery associated is different. The diety he describes has different aspects or depictions of aspects than you've seen.

Saul: There are also a couple of parables he can recall fragments of that you're not familiar with.

Maleos: We need to know those aspects. It'll help us look into it the next time we run into some priests, and it may even help us figure out new tactics for Saul.

Saul: So, do you remember what Pelor looks like?

Saul: If not, it's on your wiki

Maleos: Dah. Golden-yellow robes, big ol bear of a man, golden breastplate and argia greatsword, pillar of flame.

Saul: So, he does have a similar set of aspects - there are 4, though he describes them a little differently. The Father, The Lover, The Warrior, and The Destructor.

Maleos: Okay. Tell me about them.

Saul: The Father is apparently similar to the Hearth aspect, when you think about it. He's a large man, warm and caring, with a salt-and-pepper beard and hair. He's depicted as surrounded by a large family or a lot of children and grandchildren. If you think Santa Claus without the colorful clothing, you wouldn't be far off.

Maleos: Yeah they do seem to correspond superficially.

Saul: The Lover seems to correspond superficially to the Passion aspect of the god. He's depicted as a large man in the prime of his life. He's huge and powerful, muscular (in the old-school sense - modern terms, he'd be a little "chubby" because he's powerful due to manual labor rather than spending a billion hours at the gym). He's usually pictured with one or more women swooning over him. He's radiantly blonde with amber eyes and is usually carrying a full pouch in his left hand and an odd, arc-shaped device in his right.

Maleos: "What's that for?"

Saul: That's one of the things he can't quite place.

Maleos: "Huh. Can you draw it?"

Saul: Sure, but you've never seen anything like it.

Maleos: Does it seem like a scoop or more like a blade?

Saul: It's a metal device that looks like a complex quarter-arc with an oddly-placed handle. It might be a blade of some sort

Maleos: "Hmmm… could be a bag of seed and some sort of harvesting blade."

Saul: Could be.

Maleos: *kinda… tries to imagine holding such a device and pulling or pushing it through some wheat stalks, to figure out how it would be properly used for that…*

Maleos: "Maybe you use it to harvest crops kinda… like…" *sorta pantomimes it with his hands*

Saul: (Harvesting with it would be awkward, unless there's a non-awkward way to wield it you're not thinking of. Or it could be that the plants they're harvesting are different from those crops you're most familiar with.)

Maleos: (Okay.)

Saul: The Warrior aspect seems to correspond most to the Isle's Battle aspect. He's, again, depicted as large and muscular. He has a heavily-scarred face and left arm. He wears a polished breastplate of a gold-like material that's stronger and lighter than gold (talk to Darias and dharven and you'll eventually figure out it's largely similar to bronze). He wields a giant metal morningstar (a large mace, but with a large cylindrical spiked head).

Maleos: "How did he get the scars?"

Saul: "In battle."

Saul: (He doesn't wear arm or leg armor, just the breastplate, and the scars are where the breastplate ain't. Apparently he's depicted as having been injured in battle, and the parables do speak of battles he's barely won.)

Maleos: "Scrappy fighter. Underdog emerges victorious. I like it. But… the scars may indicate he's not as focused on Healing as Pelor is."

Saul: (The healing aspects seem to tie more closely to the Father and a little bit to the Lover. The Warrior seems less associated with that. Parables do speak of him summoning fire to smite his enemies.)

Maleos: (Gotcha, okay. I suppose scars could actually even be SYMBOLIC of healing, as opposed to dying.)

Saul: (A little, but less so)

Maleos: Okay. And Destructor?

Saul: And finally, the Destructor seems most closely akin to the Wrath aspect of the Isle, again if such a comparison is warranted. The Destructor is depicted as a flame-wreathed, bronze-skinned giant ("twice as tall as a man" in most parables). He throws fire and explosions and can sunder the earth, "transforming earth to liquid fire."

Maleos: "Mmmm. Yes. It's all very similar, but slightly different. Well, let's see… I don't suppose you can just change which aspects of your god you invoke at will or anything, but… I can think of a few things it would make sense for you to be as good at as fire. Blinding your enemies with light. Fire resistance probably won't affect that. If there's a spell to make you twice as large, or better yet, make Aida twice as large, that might be an option… possibly terrain disruption of some sort, though you'd think that would be more Earth than Fire… maybe making plants grow… what properties of the sun am I overlooking?"

Saul: "I can't think of anything obvious."

Maleos: "Perhaps what we should be asking ourselves is how would Tragn think of the sun?"

Saul: "If we knew more about them, we could better answer that question."

Maleos: "Well, we know a little. They're lizards. Apparently adapted to living in wintry, snowy regions. They like caves. When they have magic to burn, they burn it on fire resistance. I think blinding them with a ray of light might be a good opening move next time we encounter them. If it turns out they have resistance against that, too, I guess focus on buffs, healing and physical combat."

Maleos: Heat Metal seemed to work that one time. Or was that on a Troll?

Saul: (I can't remember without referring to my notes. I think it was a troll)

Maleos: (But do trolls even carry metal items?)

Saul: (often, no, but I think you ran across a few that were wielding. I know you came across some that were wielding, I should say, but I don't know if that's when Heat Metal got used)

Maleos: If not weilding, had chains and collars on them

Maleos: "Actually, Saul… you raise a good point. We know far too little about the Tragn, and I don't just mean tactically. As much as I'd hate to divert us from our next destination… now might be our last chance to find out what motivates them before things really get crazy. If I tell the Compass we want to learn more, it'll tell me where to go to learn more. Might be a guy in a library, might be a Tragn encampment we could infiltrate using Invisibility."

Saul: "That could be something to consider once we've determined what is going on here. For all we know, the tragn could be still coming to us."

Maleos: "If they knew where we were headed, they should have hit us before we got to the town, or else arrived well ahead of us and completely taken over…" *trails off* "Fuck. Troll Village." *scowls*

Maleos: "But yeah… I see two or maybe three possible implications forming here, and I don't like any of them."

Saul: "When do you?"

Maleos: Maleos thinks for a long time, than says "Halvar. After we drove off the worm creature, but before we found the bag of obviously ill-gotten loot that had been smuggled into our rooms. Things were really looking up there, for a bit."

Saul: "… We also slew an ice-lizard…"

Maleos: "Between the necromantic ritual, the initial uncertainty surrounding the lightning bird, and the pressing need to beat the army back to Akihito-Raime, I can't really call that a bright spot. We won, and I'm pretty sure it was a net positive for the aelphin. It was… fine. Probably."

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