Re: Thief saints in Seshnela

From: Greg Stafford <Greg_at_khKE6kFg1KkAPsn-kB0b_JGR0Rn5gFXK6gTi_CSM8eD2Kr3KP_jvFZ0mGDclPVodTpgfEQb>
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2008 14:11:54 -0800

YGWV Sam Elliot wrote:

> > This got me thinking, it could even be an order or church that views
> > it as a duty to steal from outsiders. Probably because "We used to be
> > great, and then _they_ stole it all from us. We survive only by
> > stealing some of our own back." In that case it could even go right
> > back to the darkness, the last remnants of some entire
> > religion/society. Now, after so many centuries they are well blended
> > into society, but have never given up their true faith.
> It is this sort of back-to-front thinking which I was trying to explain
> earlier. It is the sort of thing which is used to justify all sorts of
> behaviour and can easily be used to explain why it is fine to thieve.

I called it the "them and us" syndrome, and yes, it can be (an is) used to justify just about anything.

> I just find it is very easy to slip into this whole "The Church [or other
> authority] does it like this" mode of thinking and think that is how
> actually operate. In truth, in the real world, things are an awful
lot more
> interesting.

When I say "The Church this... and that..." I always mean those are its objectives and desires, even dogmas. But not always the way things actually /are/. The chain of Veneration, for instance, is easily abused. There can be saints who are worshipped as one thing, but are really another. But we need to know what the "standard" is, or the "mainstream," before we can understand what the divergences are.

Otherwise we end up thinking that Black Fang is of the same quality and importance as Orlanth.

> The Catholic Church has 10,000 saints (or some equally remarkable figure).
> So, when Greg says:
> > Normally, a "real saint" is one who is sanctioned by the Church. The
> > Church, whether Rokari or Hrestoli or some obscure church, does not
> > sanction theft. God or bad, protection of property rights is pretty
> > standard for mainstream religions.
> ...I kinda wonder if they have so very much control over (a) who was
> canonized in the past, (b) how people revere these figures these days.

You are supposed to wonder just that. Before you spring all over the place, do remember that:

  1. They can HeroQuest and discover who these guys really were, if they wished to.
  2. Reverence? The critical issue is Veneration, or actual worship. Thinking highly of someone is irrelevant compared to who someone gives their life force to. So I am going to assume you actually mean Venerate.

People worship---venerate---in the manner that they were taught to do by the church and their community. That is of course the way of the Church. Control of that power is a primary objective (another is of course Salvation) of the Church.

Can people go and worship---venerate---on their own, without an official church cleric to lead them? Yes, of course they can. Effectiveness may vary, but you will likely have noticed you do not have to be in a church to worship or lead worship. So anyone brave or stupid or adventurous or desperate enough can go off and start their own little church. That's how heretics are made! :-)

> That sort of thing sounds like fun material for a game with a potentially
> dodgy saint.

Of a mainstream one. Imagine some curious Rokari hearing about how wonderful Hrestol was, in the Fronelan church, from a visitor...


    Greg Stafford
    President, Issaries. Inc.

Love without reserve, 
Enjoy without restraint, 
Live without dead time.


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