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How Dangerous are the Devas?

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  • How Dangerous are the Devas?

    First of all, I am not Hindu, and I know very little about its religion beyond what I've learned through second or third hand exposure.

    However, it has been brought to my attention that the Devas have access to an extremely powerful armory that could be compared to modern day WMD's.

    Basically, you're fighting a Deva and suddenly they whip out a divine powered rocket launcher to blow your face off, or something like that.

    And apparently, this arsenal was the inspiration behind the Rinnegan's Asura Path, which turns the user's body into a military grade cyborg.

    So now I'm wondering just how powerful would the Devas actually be in the Scion universe, and what kind of Birthright weapons might they give out to their Scions?
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 10-12-2017, 08:46 PM.

  • #2
    Hmm... the Deva's weapon panoply is considerable for two reasons: Firstly, the scale of damage they can cause - While the Astras of Indra and the other members of his court are usually described as only being able to destroy an army or two at once, the weapons of the Trimurti and others are often described as continent, if not outright world destroying. Part of that, I'm sure, is hyperbole... but do you really want to test that?

    Secondly, the sheer number of weapons available. Whereas in other Pantheons some of the most powerful and warlike deities have special weapons (The Greeks have Zeus' thunderbolt, Athena's aegis and Poseidon's trident and that's pretty much it as far as I know, not counting things like Eros' arrows which is technically a weapon but not quite the same thing) pretty much every named Deva has several weapons that they just keep around. Gods without a lick of Warrior like Surya or Prithvi have them. Brahma, the Creator who literally does not fight ever (except that one time he killed someone by throwing a flower at them) has THREE world destroying weapons to his name. Vishnu and Shiva have even more each and Durga is a walking armory.

    Two other more minor points... firstly, the Deva's superweapons are commonly called Astras, even in India... technically however, Astra is only the term for a ranged superweapon... the term for a melee superweapon is Shastra. It's just that no warrior worth his salt would be caught dead in melee in Hindu myth which considers ranged combat far more glorious and honorable (to the point where the ancient Hindu scripture on war is literally just called Dhanur Veda, 'The Knowledge of the Bow') compared to melee, so we pretty much never see the melee superweapons used and Astra has just become the generally accepted term for superweapon regardless of range of use. There's a reason the great Heroes of the Mahabharata, Arjuna and Karna, are both archers while the villain of the piece Duryodhana is a wrestler.

    In addition, Astras, in most interpretations, are as much spiritual as physical. While some of the most iconic ones like Vishnu's discus and Shiva's trident manifest physically, they aren't necessarily physical objects... they are spiritual weapons that are invoked and released through physical conduits. When the archers of the Mahabharata are shooting Astras at each other, they're not literally shooting special arrows around... they are invoking the power of the Astras they have received into otherwise normal arrows and shooting those. And since this physical conduit doesn't even have to be a traditional weapon, we have stories of people throwing around blades of grass that can split continents apart

    As for how this translates over to Scion... I don't know if you've read the Scion 2e Deva Preview, but it explicitly mentions that the Deva are universally feared for their stockpile of WMDs, which no other Pantheon wants to test In addition, Hindu myth is chock full of stories of the Deva giving out weapons like candy to their worshipers, so Deva Scions are likely to be well armed indeed... the Deva PSP, Yoga, explicitly has a Boon that lets you ask to borrow any Deva's Relic weapons... so go crazy

    EDIT : Sadly I am not familiar enough with Naruto to comment on the Asura Path, though Asura have sometime also gained Astras from the Deva.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Samudra View Post
      EDIT : Sadly I am not familiar enough with Naruto to comment on the Asura Path, though Asura have sometime also gained Astras from the Deva.

      Ah, well to summarize, there's this extremely rare power (basically achieved through spiritual enlightenment) called the Rinnegan which gives you access to 6 abilities named after the various sections of the Hindu afterlife.

      The Astra Path gives you the ability to transform your body parts into mechanical weapons, such as rocket launchers, flexible saws, laser cannons, est.

      The other 5 paths are as followers


      Deva Path - Allows you to manipulate attractive and repulsive forces. Even giving you the ability to create planetoids with the aid of a gravity well.

      Human Path - Allows you to extract people's souls and read their minds.

      Animal Path - Allows you to summon and control a wide variety of powerful beasts and mythical creatures.

      Preta Path - Allows you to absorb all forms of Chakra, which can be used to cancel out other abilities which rely on it.

      Naraka Path - Allows you to summon the King of Hell in order to interrogate people, or to heal their wounds. During the interrogation process, if you lie or refuse to answer the summoner, then the King of Hell rips out your tongue and consumes it, where you'll most likely bleed to death shortly after.

      Outer Path - Allows you to control the forces of life and death

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      • #4
        I'm pretty certain those six are from certain traditions of Buddhist myth, not Hindu, though obviously the two religions have a number of terms in common.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Samudra View Post
          I'm pretty certain those six are from certain traditions of Buddhist myth, not Hindu, though obviously the two religions have a number of terms in common.

          Probably true. In fact, it might have been inspired by the Buddhist afterlife, and I mixed them up by accident. Like I said, I don't have an extensive knowledge on the subject.

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          • #6
            I’m pretty comfortable with the notion that the Deva are the strongest theopolitical* Superpower among the pantheons.

            *Overworld version of geopolitical


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            • #7
              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
              I’m pretty comfortable with the notion that the Deva are the strongest theopolitical* Superpower among the pantheons.

              *Overworld version of geopolitical

              They do have millions of deities, after all.

              Basically, this equates to the Titans attempting to fight a nation who's entire population is comprised of Legend 9+ beings.

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              • #8
                Yeah, of all the Pantheons, I'm pretty confident consistently placing the Deva as the Superpower of all of the Pantheons. They have the numbers, several members who are functioning on a massive power scale, and the Astras.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Watcher View Post
                  Yeah, of all the Pantheons, I'm pretty confident consistently placing the Deva as the Superpower of all of the Pantheons. They have the numbers, several members who are functioning on a massive power scale, and the Astras.
                  Not to mention being more or less the only pantheon that has had an unbroken chain of mainstream worshipers even in the real world. (Ok maybe the Shen and Kami as well, but not to the same degree.)

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                  • #10
                    And for sheer number of worshippers their only competition includes a couple Levantine and middle eastern religions too busy with millenia old internecine and intranecine blood feuds and factional squabbles to likely play ball as effectively with other pantheons and right below them Buddhism who they have a strong history with.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by vonpenguin View Post

                      Not to mention being more or less the only pantheon that has had an unbroken chain of mainstream worshipers even in the real world. (Ok maybe the Shen and Kami as well, but not to the same degree.)
                      In the World that isn’t true though. All the pantheons have had continuous worship.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

                        In the World that isn’t true though. All the pantheons have had continuous worship.
                        True that... though interestingly, this also implies that in the World the Deva have even more of a worshiper base than they do IRL, since fewer of their ancestral adherents in Asia converted to the Abrahamic religions.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Samudra View Post

                          True that... though interestingly, this also implies that in the World the Deva have even more of a worshiper base than they do IRL, since fewer of their ancestral adherents in Asia converted to the Abrahamic religions.

                          I'm not sure it works proportionally across the board like that. Since most of the non-continuously worshipped Pantheons are in the West (+ Egypt), I think that's where there are less total Christians and Muslims* than in reality to make room for said religions.

                          *The total Jewish population was devastated in reality in the 20th century, I think it's fair that they don't have take the hit in the World.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post


                            I'm not sure it works proportionally across the board like that. Since most of the non-continuously worshipped Pantheons are in the West (+ Egypt), I think that's where there are less total Christians and Muslims* than in reality to make room for said religions.

                            *The total Jewish population was devastated in reality in the 20th century, I think it's fair that they don't have take the hit in the World.
                            Hmm, definitely... I don't mean to say that if, say, the population of Theoi worshipers in the World is three times as much as they are in the real world, that the number of Hindus in the World is likewise going to be three times as much as IRL... but I do expect that they, as well as Pantheons like the Shen and Kami, will have more worshipers than IRL. I am interested to know how Zoroastrianism fares in the World though... if that religion was not as overtaken by Islam in it's ancestral homeland of Iran then what caused their large scale migration to India... or are there just fewer Parsis in India since fewer felt the need to flee Iran.

                            Given that there were notable Parsis involved in the Indian Independence Struggle, and Parsis have had a significant impact on Indian business, science and industry since then, that bit of history changing could have pretty important consequences in this part of the world.
                            Last edited by Samudra; 10-13-2017, 04:12 PM.

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                            • #15
                              We might also say that habit of constantly flirting with death adds to the threat they pose.

                              The Deva die all the time, only to come right back to life later on.

                              So all of that together means you have millions of deities, with access to apocalyptic weapons, and who refuse to stay down after managing to kill them.

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