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  • Malfeas is not just kind of unpleasant. There's an endless abrasive wasteland, a silent wind that snatches your soul from your body, and demons that do all kinds of horrible things. Its inhabitants include brutish carnivorous giant apes, enormous intelligent insects that plunge into your body and swim through your flesh like water looking for toxins without permission, deer that hunt men, and wart covered flesh monsters that steal control of your body and puppeteer it.

    The blazing green sun never sets, the passing of a day is marked by clouds of living weapons screaming out their horrible death cries, and night only comes when a titanic shadow dragon covers the sky. When the rain comes it rains acid potent enough to melt flesh from bone, and the plants that grow there are made of lead and bear fruit filled with blood. It's a realm of horror and insanity.


    It's not so intolerable that mortals can't live there under certain circumstances, but it's not nice, is what I'm saying.

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    • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post

      That's not a bad point, but thinking of Hell as a byword for pain and torture would imply humans having a lot more empathy for demons and the Yozis than I would expect them to.

      I doubt most humans with an understanding of Hell are seriously thinking about how painful it is for the inhabitants. Even sorcerers who work with demons regularly probably just think of Hell as their source of convenient slave labor.
      Maybe the causality goes in the other direction - the word "hell" in whatever Creation-language meant "place of suffering and punishment", the Exalted beat up the Primordials and decide to confine them in a place of suffering and punishment, call therefore call it a hell. Since it's so large and so very hellish, it justs gets referred to as Hell, until the original usage mostly dies out and Hell primarily refers to where demons are imprisoned, except for a few edge cases like martial arts techniques and anywhere else we need to justify the word hell being used in a way that doesn't make sense.

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      • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
        That's not a bad point, but thinking of Hell as a byword for pain and torture would imply humans having a lot more empathy for demons and the Yozis than I would expect them to.

        I doubt most humans with an understanding of Hell are seriously thinking about how painful it is for the inhabitants. Even sorcerers who work with demons regularly probably just think of Hell as their source of convenient slave labor.
        While demons may be alien, I don't think they're that alien. In 2e, for example, many of the processes for binding demons involved either offering them release from the pains of Malfeas, or somehow convincing them that they were still in Hell, and that the sorcerer could inflict the same torments if they weren't obedient. And sorcerers definitely talk to demons - even if they're just convenient slaves, quite a number of them are summoned for their knowledge, not just their physical abilities, and part of that knowledge is going to be learning about Malfeas. For example, if a Dragon-Blooded sorcerer summons an agatae to tell her about the doings of Octavian (who she worries that a Lunar opponent has been summoning), the agatae is almost certainly going to mention details of life in Hell in the process of giving out that knowledge, and the fact that many of those details were unpleasant for it to experience is going to be pretty obvious.

        In the First Age, of course, the Exalted had a vested interest in broadcasting how bad Malfeas was, since it was the prison they put their defeated enemies that they were created to fight into. They would want the propaganda boost of keeping the idea that there were great and terrible enemies fresh in the minds of humanity, and to emphasize their power by explaining how those great enemies were now suffering. And post-Usurpation, I don't really see the Dragon-Blooded changing the party line on that very much. They still wouldn't want people thinking it was fine to consort with demons willy-nilly, particularly now that the most powerful ones were now only openly available to their enemies, the Lunars. So they'd want to continue the idea that Hell is full of suffering and torment and the inhabitants unhappy, to keep people from trying to deal with them. And while the Contagion/Crusade might have wiped out a lot of culture from before, there's enough continuity that I think that impression of Malfeas would still be prevalent. And, of course, the Scarlet Empress probably wanted to reinforce the idea of Hell as a bad place to meddle with for the same reason as the Shogunate-era Dragon-blooded did.

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        • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
          a silent wind that snatches your soul from your body,
          She does? I thought Adorjan just kinda shredded/eroded people (and objects, and everything else).

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          • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post

            She does? I thought Adorjan just kinda shredded/eroded people (and objects, and everything else).
            Well, okay she doesn't literally pull your soul out Shang Tsung style, she does take your life pretty quick though.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post

              It's not so intolerable that mortals can't live there under certain circumstances, but it's not nice, is what I'm saying.
              Actually in 2E the atmosphere is actively poisonous to anyone who can't respire Essence.


              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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              • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post

                She does? I thought Adorjan just kinda shredded/eroded people (and objects, and everything else).

                She kills you. Her daughter is a literal storm of arrows that never end, a blinding light, and one that eats corpses. And another one I forget about.


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                • Originally posted by Epee102 View Post


                  She kills you. Her daughter is a literal storm of arrows that never end, a blinding light, and one that eats corpses. And another one I forget about.
                  Kalmanka, the Arrow Wind: All arrows all the time
                  Vitaris, the Brilliant Wind: Wind made of blinding light
                  Pellegrina, the Grinding Wind: Grinds down anything made of stone
                  Kamilla, the Wind of Promise: Makes dead bodies and folk who want to die disappear


                  Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                  • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post

                    That's not a bad point, but thinking of Hell as a byword for pain and torture would imply humans having a lot more empathy for demons and the Yozis than I would expect them to.

                    I doubt most humans with an understanding of Hell are seriously thinking about how painful it is for the inhabitants.
                    Considering the kinds of people who will pocket the funerals of AIDS victims with signs talking about how those people are burning in Hell, I think the assertion that acknowledging pain constitutes empathy is faulty.

                    Sorcerers might be expected to not be completely agnostic about demons in places besides the Realm with regards to the moral or material perils they present distinct from other spirits. Malfeas can be regarded as Hell solely from its malefic inhabitants being locked together, and regarded as a deserved suffering (or at least imprisonment).

                    Originally posted by autXautY View Post

                    Maybe the causality goes in the other direction - the word "hell" in whatever Creation-language meant "place of suffering and punishment", the Exalted beat up the Primordials and decide to confine them in a place of suffering and punishment, call therefore call it a hell. Since it's so large and so very hellish, it justs gets referred to as Hell, until the original usage mostly dies out and Hell primarily refers to where demons are imprisoned, except for a few edge cases like martial arts techniques and anywhere else we need to justify the word hell being used in a way that doesn't make sense.
                    That would make sense to me, for whatever term is used in Creation's languages.

                    After all, "hell" as a term for the unpleasant Christian afterlife can only enter the lexicon when the Middle German languages it originates from (where it just means a kind of nether world) become more prominent in Christendom, and that takes at least a few centuries. Hades would have originally been the more prominent translation of the associated Hebrew words.

                    Not that it matters much: Hell isn't really mentioned that often in the Gospels. Prominence for the term needs to come first from an increasing theology of damnation that comes from the Medieval period, and then from increasing uses of vernacular languages in religious and scholarly discourse. Nobody writing in Latin was talking about Hell.

                    The point is that I expect in Creation, many words do not exist objectively, and should be primarily applied in a manner that makes them comprehensible to the player rather than getting too hung up on technical meanings. It's the same for why we use "patricians" to describe the nobility of a distinctly matriarchal society.


                    I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                    Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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                    • So I vaguely remember reading somewhere in 2e that charms which add (Essence) successes to rolls such as Mental Invisibility Technique don't count against your dice caps from charms. Does anyone know where this might be if it is actually a thing?


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                      • Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        Considering the kinds of people who will pocket the funerals of AIDS victims with signs talking about how those people are burning in Hell, I think the assertion that acknowledging pain constitutes empathy is faulty.

                        Sorcerers might be expected to not be completely agnostic about demons in places besides the Realm with regards to the moral or material perils they present distinct from other spirits. Malfeas can be regarded as Hell solely from its malefic inhabitants being locked together, and regarded as a deserved suffering (or at least imprisonment).
                        I guess you're right. I can't think of a way to dispute this that doesn't involve pointless hair-splitting (and yes, I realize I began this discussion with pointless hair-splitting). Caress of 1,000 Hells still feels like a reference to specifically (post-medieval, I guess) Christian notions about Hell that don't really exist in Creation, but whatever, it's awesome anyway.

                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        That would make sense to me, for whatever term is used in Creation's languages.

                        After all, "hell" as a term for the unpleasant Christian afterlife can only enter the lexicon when the Middle German languages it originates from (where it just means a kind of nether world) become more prominent in Christendom, and that takes at least a few centuries. Hades would have originally been the more prominent translation of the associated Hebrew words.

                        Not that it matters much: Hell isn't really mentioned that often in the Gospels. Prominence for the term needs to come first from an increasing theology of damnation that comes from the Medieval period, and then from increasing uses of vernacular languages in religious and scholarly discourse. Nobody writing in Latin was talking about Hell.
                        Is there any good source material out there regarding the evolution of Christian beliefs about hell? It seems like something I should read more about.

                        Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                        The point is that I expect in Creation, many words do not exist objectively, and should be primarily applied in a manner that makes them comprehensible to the player rather than getting too hung up on technical meanings. It's the same for why we use "patricians" to describe the nobility of a distinctly matriarchal society.
                        Was the Realm explicitly matriarchal pre-3e? I don't remember it actually being described that way.

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                        • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post



                          Was the Realm explicitly matriarchal pre-3e? I don't remember it actually being described that way.
                          It was a fake matriarchy. With that I mean it was described as matriarchal, but then you have things like Houses of the Bull God, which I read last week, which clearly depicts a pretty patriarchal society for the Realm (around 80% or so of the named NPCs for the Realm and the Imperial Garrison are male. Probably, the percentage is even bigger. The Garrison has a policy to evacuate women and children first in case of an uprising, which is something you expect from a society where women are not expected to be able to defend themselves. The most prominent female NPC is the Satrap´s wife, with a pretty clear "Traditional Christian Wife" vibe to her, at least from my point of view. The Satrap has a lack of authority because he is not seen as manly enough). This was a pattern with Realm´s material, saying it was matriarchal, but then constantly depicting it as it was patriarchal or at best gender-neutral, so I guess it´s normal that a lot of people forgot it was suppossed to be matriarchal.

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                          • Originally posted by Jefepato View Post
                            Caress of 1,000 Hells still feels like a reference to specifically (post-medieval, I guess) Christian notions about Hell that don't really exist in Creation, but whatever, it's awesome anyway.
                            It sounds to me more like a reference to English translations of a Chinese Buddhist concept of the afterlife. As the movie says, Chinese have a lot of Hells.

                            Indeed, I think Malfeas itself is modelled a bit more on those (at least as they were portrayed in World of Darkness games) crossed over a bit with Druhim Vanashta from the Flat Earth books than the Christian Hell. Still a kind of spiritual plane of torment, but the details differed.

                            Originally posted by Jefepato
                            Is there any good source material out there regarding the evolution of Christian beliefs about hell? It seems like something I should read more about.
                            I honestly have no idea. Almost everything I know about the subject (which is pretty... approximate) would be cobbled together from years of reading several things that were often concerned with other subjects like the late Roman Empire and general life in Medieval Europe. A good deal of Wikipedia. Somehow the first time I heard a documentary discuss the early prominence of Arianism instilled a low key lifelong fascination with early Christian schisms around the subject of Christ's divinity, although I honestly think that I primarily read into the deeper ideas they had about defining that were motivated mostly by looking for things that might be used as descriptions for how divinity intermingles with humanity in the Exalted.

                            ... Although any such searches definitely started with some theological terminology that I can't remember off hand. Irish secondary school mandatory religion classes weren't exactly deeply into that stuff, but they did provide the occasional but of the lexicon.

                            Also a general interest in the notion of translated works and etymologies. You just start to wonder at some point why your copy of the Bible refers to Hades.

                            Originally posted by Jefepato
                            Was the Realm explicitly matriarchal pre-3e? I don't remember it actually being described that way.
                            It was described in a sidebar of Exalted: the Dragon Blooded as matrilineal, with certain prejudices against men and a tendency to present them with a glass ceiling while women tended to be prevalent in positions of authority.

                            Then proceeded to not be very good at actually depicting any part of that besides the idea that Dynasts inherited their mother's family name (and even there if one was motivated they could probably find a spot that slipped up).

                            Still, patrician would be one of those words that accumulates meaning beyond its original context or general etymology. Most people hear it, they're not going to be thinking about the fact that it contains the root word pater, they're just going to go to a generic term for somebody of an old money upper class style. That is the context in which it's used in Exalted, hence it has no deeper connotations.

                            Heh, when stuff like this comes up it makes me think about how in Avatar everybody is speaking English but things are written in Chinese, so a direct translation of the characters they used to denote, say, Firebending is "the technique of creating fire". It makes me think that in the languages of Creation, the terms equivalent to "Exalted" are something a bit more intricate and specific, even a tad flowery (but typically spoken as their own distinct contraction) that differentiates it from equivalents to the generic word exalted.


                            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                            • Originally posted by Clophiroth View Post

                              It was a fake matriarchy. With that I mean it was described as matriarchal, but then you have things like Houses of the Bull God, which I read last week, which clearly depicts a pretty patriarchal society for the Realm (around 80% or so of the named NPCs for the Realm and the Imperial Garrison are male. Probably, the percentage is even bigger. The Garrison has a policy to evacuate women and children first in case of an uprising, which is something you expect from a society where women are not expected to be able to defend themselves. The most prominent female NPC is the Satrap´s wife, with a pretty clear "Traditional Christian Wife" vibe to her, at least from my point of view. The Satrap has a lack of authority because he is not seen as manly enough). This was a pattern with Realm´s material, saying it was matriarchal, but then constantly depicting it as it was patriarchal or at best gender-neutral, so I guess it´s normal that a lot of people forgot it was suppossed to be matriarchal.
                              Aren’t Satrapies the part of the Realm with their own culture? Like they were their own countries with their own customs before the Realm took over?

                              I would imagine things are different there compared to the core Realm on the Blessed Isle?

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                              • Originally posted by prototype00 View Post

                                Aren’t Satrapies the part of the Realm with their own culture? Like they were their own countries with their own customs before the Realm took over?

                                I would imagine things are different there compared to the core Realm on the Blessed Isle?
                                I am not talking about the local government.

                                I´m talking about the Imperial administration. Cathaks and Cynis and Ragaras and other Realm´s citizens.

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