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  • Protecting an Anathema Relative?

    So I thought it would be interesting to discuss what steps a DB dynast would and should take to protect a relative that Exalted?

    I know that it would be ridiculously improbable for a relative to offer any mercy other than the edge of a Daiklave but I thought it would be interesting to discuss the theoretical situation.
    Last edited by Gigaton-Falcon-Emu; 05-29-2016, 06:55 PM.

  • #2
    If the Anathema has not be outed yet:

    Buy them passage to the threshold.
    Try to keep them from exposing themselves by using their abilities. (Difficult due to Essence Fever)
    Teach them Sorcery so they can learn Disguise of a New Face (Ex2)

    If the Anathema has been outed:

    Smuggle them out to the threshold
    Sign up for the Wyld Hunt and sabotage it.

    /drunk post


    I write things.

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    • #3
      Point them to the nearest Solar tomb, seems like most beginning Solar always end up finding their ways there and getting new artifacts and wish them good luck.

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      • #4
        Give them a job as some sort of close personal assistant, pretending it's nepotism. Then take all of the credit, at least as far as the public is concerned, for the feats they "helped" you perform, while secretly sharing all the rewards for "your" excellent service to the Realm. (This probably works better if they're a Night Caste, or at least have useful Charms they can apply without getting shiny.)

        YMMV on whether this counts as protecting them or if it's just self-serving manipulation, but I figure it can be both!

        Or if it's not safe to keep them around, help them fake their death while they skip town. It's not like the Scarlet Empire has DNA testing, so when your Fire Aspect cousin presents a badly-charred corpse in your clothes of roughly your height and build, who's to argue? (Well, the Sidereals might know better, but it still might keep the heat off for a while.)

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        • #5
          Less improbable than you'd think. It's really hard to believe someone you've known your ENTIRE life, someone you taught how to walk or explained the intricacies of which type of paint chip to eat, is now a soul devouring monster.

          Though on a more cynical line of reasoning, said relative's soul is eaten, and in the meantime you have a very useful ally, albeit an unpopular one, that will probably do all a manner of things for you if you can only keep the Wyld Hunt off their tail.


          Duly Elected Guild Hierarch of the Onyx Path Forums

          http://northernfoxgames.com/

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          • #6
            I think it really depends on the beliefs and convictions of the Dynast. We are probably talking about something equivalent of 17th witch-hunt era fear and indoctrination here. Some will truly believe it is a demon, just mimicking their loved one, and will not only put every ounce into fighting it out of duty; but out of hatred because that thing murdered the person they loved. Others might not believe it, or at least not strongly enough, and while not directly helping, at least giving the person a good head start before sounding the alarm.

            I think there are those that would actually help, trying to keep them hidden, and actively helping them get away. But now we are talking about very rare people.

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            • #7
              I've never had any of the books directly relating to the Dragon Bloods, so what does the realm say Celestial Exalts are? Is it taught that they are people who made deals with demons, people possessed by demons or demons taking the forms of people? The answers to those questions will colour most Dragon Bloods would react.


              My homebrew blog

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              • #8
                Yeah, I don't think it'd be that odd. Very often, in a dispute between your religion and the life of your baby brother, the baby brother is going to win. Especially because I always got the impression that not all Dynasts are exactly super devout to begin with.

                But in general, it's easy to go around killing Anathema when they're people you don't know, but when the Anathema seems to still be the same little brother you used to play pranks on the local monk with, well... shit gets complicated.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mr.Jaxus View Post
                  Is it taught that they are people who made deals with demons, people possessed by demons or demons taking the forms of people? The answers to those questions will colour most Dragon Bloods would react.
                  I think the official story from the Immaculates is that an Anathema is a demon that stole the power of the Sun or Moon, and then inhabits the body of an unpious soul, granting them great power and great madness.

                  I think the important parts stressed is that when someone becomes an Anathema, their soul is cast out/devoured, and the only merciful thing you can do for them is to have the Wyld Hunt slay them, thus releasing them from being ruled by a demon.


                  Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr.Jaxus View Post
                    I've never had any of the books directly relating to the Dragon Bloods, so what does the realm say Celestial Exalts are? Is it taught that they are people who made deals with demons, people possessed by demons or demons taking the forms of people? The answers to those questions will colour most Dragon Bloods would react.
                    People possessed by demons with stolen power, IIRC.


                    Anyway, funny this comes up; I've been rereading Scroll of Exalts, which features Karal Linwei (an up-and-coming officer in Lookshy embroiled in scandal) and her daughter Karal Fire Orchid (the source of said scandal, thanks to completely-accurate rumors that she Exalted as one of the Solar Anathema). She reacts with entirely genuine rage when confronted with the rumors, has dispatched her Dragon-Blooded sons to follow Fire Orchid's trail and gather information so she can buy more time with explanations and excuses, and has discreetly hired another Solar Anathema to bring Fire Orchid to her alive because she refuses to judge until she looks Fire Orchid in the eyes to see if her daughter or a demon looks back.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ElOhTeeBee View Post
                      Anyway, funny this comes up; I've been rereading Scroll of Exalts, which features Karal Linwei (an up-and-coming officer in Lookshy embroiled in scandal) and her daughter Karal Fire Orchid (the source of said scandal, thanks to completely-accurate rumors that she Exalted as one of the Solar Anathema). She reacts with entirely genuine rage when confronted with the rumors, has dispatched her Dragon-Blooded sons to follow Fire Orchid's trail and gather information so she can buy more time with explanations and excuses, and has discreetly hired another Solar Anathema to bring Fire Orchid to her alive because she refuses to judge until she looks Fire Orchid in the eyes to see if her daughter or a demon looks back.
                      In my main forum game, I'm playing a Lookshyan-born Twilight who was discretely asked by Linwei to find Orchid and bring her back. He'll likely want to be there when Linwei comes to her conclusion about Orchid.


                      Disclaimer: In favor of fun and enjoyment, but may speak up to warn you that you're gonna step on a metaphorical land mine

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                      • #12
                        The Lexicon puts it this way:
                        Anathema: The term used by the Immaculate Order to refer to the Solar, Lunar, and recently the Abyssal Exalted. Immaculate doctrine describes the Anathema as persons who have become conduits for dark power and whose souls have been forever tainted by the influence of evil spirits.
                        So, no, not actually possessed; they're the same person, just being corrupted by the dark powers, which, no matter how well they hide it behind a veneer of golden heroics, will eventually erupt into terrible deeds.

                        Chapter two expands on the idea. Anathema are any one or thing that the Immaculate Order finds abhorrent -- which is always Solar, Lunar exalted, but can also be applied to fair folk, beast folk, elementals, demons, as well as any gods or exigents who oppose the Order and the Realm.
                        Last edited by Greyman; 05-30-2016, 06:36 AM.

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                        • #13
                          I've posted this thought experiment before, and I think it's useful here, too.

                          Let's say Bob is an atheist growing up in a small middle-America town circa 1970's. The town has more churches than it does McDonald's by a good bit. Everyone goes to church. Heck, Bob goes to church to be social and avoid social opprobrium. He just doesn't believe. It's just BS. Benign, maybe, but BS.

                          Then Bob has a really shitty day. He's laid off from his job, gets into a car wreck on his way home, and has a message on his voice mail that his Mom is really sick. Bob, despite his physical pain from the car wreck, walks to the local bar to get shit-housed and hope the hangover makes things better in the morning (cause that's how that works, right)? On the way, he meets a smooth guy in a leather jacket, slicked back hair, and he wears sunglasses at night. Smooth Guy seems to know all about Bob, and wants to be his friend. Smooth Guy says he knows Bob's pain, puts his arm around his neck, and offers to help him out. He says he will make a deal with Bob, and Bob's life will be great. Just great. He can make Bob rich, make his Mom well, and all that jazz.

                          Bob isn't drunk yet, and when he pulls away and looks at the man, he realizes there is a faint red glow behind Smooth Guy's shades, and the hints of a tail sticking out from underneath his coat. Bob is 100% sure the tail and the eyes are real.

                          Is Bob likely to think this is just some strange spirit, or just a mutant that wants to help him? In my view, no. He's going to contextualize the tail, the glowing eyes, and the "I can help, let's make a deal" spiel within his experiences growing up in a very Christian community, consuming media that often borrows themes from Christianity. Bob is going to think he's talking to Satan, or at least a demon of some kind. His atheism and smug assertions that the religion of his fellow townspeople is BS is shattered.

                          So, what does Bob do now? Well, stories would have us believe Bob would fool himself into taking Smooth Guy's deal, because otherwise there is no story. And that's a good argument, here. Trying to assist/hide the "Anathema" while agonizing over the truth, and trying to reconstruct a belief system from scrap is a good narrative, particularly if the Dragon-Blood is a PC.

                          I don't think it's the only good narrative, though. Dynast Bob could just as easily denounce the Anathema, sic the Wyld Hunt on him, and then feel crushing guilt, or feel vindicated. Maybe Dynast Bob goes to the Cloister to become a shikari himself, now that his friend/family has been touched directly the the foul taint of Anathema. For an added twist, though, Dynast Bob denounces the Anathema, but in the chaos afterwards, the Anathema does something noble, perhaps saving Dynast Bob's sick Mom. The Anathema escapes later, and Dynast Bob is lauded as a hero, but secretly is conflicted about his own actions. This is a good angle for a PC Solar/Lunar who wants an ongoing drama subplot tying them back to the Realm. Will their Dynast Bob realize the truth and reunite in friendship, or will he shave his head and hunt down the Anathema?

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                          • #14
                            I'm not disagreeing with your awesome post, but I think it is different when the red eyed guy is the cousin you've known your whole life.

                            But for most dragonblooded? Yeah, no matter how nice the solar is, you have a lot of cultural bias to work through.


                            I write things.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post
                              I'm not disagreeing with your awesome post, but I think it is different when the red eyed guy is the cousin you've known your whole life.

                              But for most dragonblooded? Yeah, no matter how nice the solar is, you have a lot of cultural bias to work through.
                              And that they probably don't act like a creepy guy in a bar.

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