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2E - Can the Unconquered Sun acknowledge a life debt?

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  • 2E - Can the Unconquered Sun acknowledge a life debt?

    This is something I have thought about ever since picking up Return of the Scarlet Empress. So if my Infernal is part of the kill squad sent to end the UCS, but instead he sneaks allies with him in his Living World to aid him in saving the life of UCS, could Sol Invictus as he is written up, acknowledge that he has been saved? Would his ego allow him to acknowledge that he screwed up and had made himself vulnerable? Is this where, if successful, that an Infernal could petition to be recognized as a child of the UCS, the same as a Solar? How do you think it would play out, assuming that the Infernal was sincere in his reverence of the UCS?

  • #2
    Oh the Unconquered Sun is capable of admitting he's wrong. He doesn't like doing so (most people don't), but he could. It may or may not require him to suppress a Virtue depending, but he can totally do that, and if that's the direction the ST is okay with it going then yeah, it could happen.

    As for what would happen if the Unconquered Sun decided to bless an Infernal, I think sky's the limit and the player and ST could work out whatever they think is cooler. Maybe the Unconquered Sun channels his energy into the Solar, burning out the Yozi taint and the Infernal turns into a full Solar. Maybe the Unconquered Sun adds a small amount of his own Essence to the Infernal and now, while still very much an Infernal, that Infernal would have the ability to create new Heretical Charms that include the themes and concept of the Unconquered Sun. Maybe he gives the Infernal a unique ability, or artifact or title or position in the Heavenly hierarchy. There's lots of possibilities.

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    • #3
      He can do whatever he wants as long as he's willing to suppress his virtues. That said...

      Oh the Unconquered Sun is capable of admitting he's wrong. He doesn't like doing so (most people don't), but he could. It may or may not require him to suppress a Virtue depending, but he can totally do that, and if that's the direction the ST is okay with it going then yeah, it could happen.
      It always requires him to suppress his Conviction, which forbids admitting the possibility of personal error or fallibility. And it often requires that he suppress Valor, which forbids Overlooking or tolerating any challenge or disrespect to his authority, no matter how small.

      On the other hand, depending on the circumstances and your interpretation, he would be *forced* to either acknowledge the debt or suppress Temperance - he cannot lie or exhibit dishonorable conduct, so if he knows in his heart that he owes you a debt, it violates his Temperance to deny it. (Of course, if his life was at risk then his Temperance was suppressed by definition, but let's say this is a separate scene.)

      That doesn't necessarily mean that he'll recognize in exactly the way you want, mind you. And he does always have the option to suppress Temperance. But given that doing so makes him killable, it's not something he does lightly.

      Note that he is already barred by compassion from "refusing to show forgiveness in the face of apparently sincere remorse and a request for leniency", so depending on how you word it you could put him in a situation where he'd have to suppress two virtues.

      But there's another important thing to keep in mind here - all this depends on his understanding of the situation. If he doesn't think that you've actually saved him, and views you as an enemy trying to trick him, then he doesn't have to acknowledge anything. And because of the way he works, he can quite reasonably view any attempt to present him with an ethical dilemma (especially by someone obviously tainted by the Yozis) as a trap. So assuming he can convince himself of this, he'd be entirely able to say "it's a trap, DIE DEMONIC SCUM" and suppress nothing.

      It's debatable whether this would cause his Temperance or Compassion to break once he finds out the truth, but it would definitely put him into the bind between Conviction (admit he screwed up) and Temperance (lie, and behave dishonorably, by refusing to admit it.) It's also unclear whether his Temperance breaks immediately if he does something dishonorable without realizing it (I would say no, he has to do it intentionally, but given that he's literally unbeatable unless you break his Temperance perhaps it's best to err on the side of having it break.)

      That said, I suspect most reasonable STs would have him acknowledge that you saved him unless you truly screwed up your delivery somehow and insulted him or gave him an actual reason to think you're not on the up-and-up.

      Also, thinking about it, I suspect there's some wording he could use that would finesse the Conviction and Temperance requirements without breaking either - I don't think it's necessarily admitting fallibility to acknowledge that he faced serious danger, especially if he faced overwhelming force. So he could acknowledge the great service you performed for him in slightly vague terms that don't specifically say he would have definitely died, for instance. Keep in mind that he has been handling his virtues for a looong time and is probably better at finessing them than you are. You might want to be cautious about pushing the life debt overtly in a way, which he could read as an effort to force his virtues into conflict, as well as disrespect that threatens his Valor - leave him an out that preserves his pride
      Last edited by Aquillion; 03-09-2021, 05:01 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Aquillion View Post

        But there's another important thing to keep in mind here - all this depends on his understanding of the situation. If he doesn't think that you've actually saved him, and views you as an enemy trying to trick him, then he doesn't have to acknowledge anything. And because of the way he works, he can quite reasonably view any attempt to present him with an ethical dilemma (especially by someone obviously tainted by the Yozis) as a trap. So assuming he can convince himself of this, he'd be entirely able to say "it's a trap, DIE DEMONIC SCUM" and suppress nothing.

        I would assume that he has some charm that allows him to auto know everything he needs to about your life and your intentions. After all, he is the god of virtue and it is virtue that motivates you.

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        • #5
          Does the Unconquered Sun necessarily have a value system that says saving a life carries obligation of repayment?

          Or perhaps saving his life in particular? He is the king after all.

          Still, other parts of Second Edition writing in this milieu presented him as a figure who would be grateful for good faith efforts to assist him even if he did regard them as unnecessary. That Sun doesn't even need to think his life was saved, so long as he recognises that the person doing so believes they did and were appropriately motivated in it.

          I can see the Sun thinking that such conduct deserves reward in its own right, rather than tit for that.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mercurial View Post
            This is something I have thought about ever since picking up Return of the Scarlet Empress. So if my Infernal is part of the kill squad sent to end the UCS, but instead he sneaks allies with him in his Living World to aid him in saving the life of UCS, could Sol Invictus as he is written up, acknowledge that he has been saved? Would his ego allow him to acknowledge that he screwed up and had made himself vulnerable? Is this where, if successful, that an Infernal could petition to be recognized as a child of the UCS, the same as a Solar? How do you think it would play out, assuming that the Infernal was sincere in his reverence of the UCS?
            I like your Infernal's style. (If you make/made this guy, I'd love to hear more about him in another thread.)

            I think the big question is how you pitch it.

            If your PC sells it right, it doesn't even have to feel like you are challenging the UCS or his past decision.

            For example, the PC could say to the UCS that he was inspired by the UCS's own actions, or something the UCS likes, to turn on his Yozi masters.

            He could trash talk the Yozi in a way that amuses or pleases the UCS. If you do it right, the Big Guy might decide he likes your PC's take on them.

            You can ask him if you have proven yourself worthy of his legacy through virtue & action. Or you could tell him you want to be his top guy. (Boldness.)

            I wouldn't even phrase it like he made a mistake marking you a Creature of Darkness in the first place.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mercurial View Post

              I would assume that he has some charm that allows him to auto know everything he needs to about your life and your intentions. After all, he is the god of virtue and it is virtue that motivates you.
              It's in Glories, 'As the Morning Reveals' and 'Transcendent Tongue of the Shining One'.

              Interestingly, if his Compassion is suppressed he loses the relevant effect of the latter charm. This is pretty likely, given the last time he suppressed it was to go into the pleasure dome so he could avoid Constantly Suprressing It All The Time.

              If so, he """only""" gets the effect of an Essence 10 Judge's Ear Technique at full dice pool with 10 auto-successes (from Temperence or Conviction). What a rube!
              Last edited by Maseiken; 03-10-2021, 05:34 PM.

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