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The why of Nidal


Pathfinder Campaign Setting General Discussion

Silver Crusade

Why has Chielax not taken over Nidal. It has to be more than Chielax wanting to have an object lesson in bad bargining, vis vi Zol-Kuthon and the Nidalese people. I can see the Lawfulgood populacesof the innersea putting up with Chielax and Asmodus but I can't see them not forming a crusade to smite Nidal and burn those creepy no good worshipers of a twisted god so the evil does not spread to their lands.

Cheliax

Why conquer those who are basically most friendly around you. Cheliax isn't really in a position to conquer anyone right now, to much trouble with insurrection. It's powerful front covers a society of opulence and excess that isn't as powerful as it ought to be.

Also the forest borders of Nidal murder whatever enters it, and I imagine Her Majesty's Army is thinking "if it ain't broke..."

Also from the Nidallese point of view, Cheliax is the example of "bad bargaining".

You should read the Nightglass novel.

Cheliax

Lou Diamond wrote:

Why has Chielax not taken over Nidal. It has to be more than Chielax wanting to have an object lesson in bad bargining, vis vi Zol-Kuthon and the Nidalese people. I can see the Lawfulgood populacesof the innersea putting up with Chielax and Asmodus but I can't see them not forming a crusade to smite Nidal and burn those creepy no good worshipers of a twisted god so the evil does not spread to their lands.

Cheliax conquered Nidal in 4338 AR. Nidal is still a vassal state to Cheliax. Read.

Cheliax

Lou Diamond wrote:

Why has Chielax not taken over Nidal. It has to be more than Chielax wanting to have an object lesson in bad bargining, vis vi Zol-Kuthon and the Nidalese people. I can see the Lawfulgood populacesof the innersea putting up with Chielax and Asmodus but I can't see them not forming a crusade to smite Nidal and burn those creepy no good worshipers of a twisted god so the evil does not spread to their lands.

Cheliax conquered Nidal in 4338 AR. Nidal is still a vassal state to Cheliax. Read.

Cheliax

Doh, I was thinking conquer as in make it an official part of the motherland :p


I,think its a lot harder to fully annex territories and keep them than to simply bully them. Without modern instant communication rising people across distances to you socially requires a lot of man power.

What you end up with usually is internal autonomous regions that break away the moment your weak. This is basically what already happened to cheliax.

The current method cheliax has of buffer nations for example is what Russia used post ww2 its less costly militarily and if a war happens you can support them but its someone else's infrastructure getting destroyed.

Also having your army eaten by a forest is embarasing.

Silver Crusade

I understand that Nidal us a vasal state of Chielax. My inartfly post should have read is why the church of Asmoseus allows the worship of Zol-Kuthon in terrority that asmodeans control.


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Because the Asmodean church isn't even in charge of Cheliax (that's House "We don't serve Hell, Hell serves us" Thrune), as can be evidenced by worship of, for instance, Iomedae being allowed there.

And I also suspect that anyone trying to root Zon-Kuthon out of Nidal may have a proper fight on their hands. A painful fight. A tortuously painful fight.

Cheliax

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Kajehase wrote:

Because the Asmodean church isn't even in charge of Cheliax (that's House "We don't serve Hell, Hell serves us" Thrune), as can be evidenced by worship of, for instance, Iomedae being allowed there.

And I also suspect that anyone trying to root Zon-Kuthon out of Nidal may have a proper fight on their hands. A painful fight. A tortuously painful fight.

And that's in case of victory. Otherwise, there will be an eternity of suffering.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

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I recommend reading the Pathfinder Tales novel Nightglass, if you haven't already. While it does not directly answer your question, it does provide a lot of additional context on the Nidal/Cheliax relationship that you may find quite interesting.


It's also my understanding that Zon-Kuthon isn't bound to the plane of shadow any longer AND has an object from the First Vault of Abadar.

I think a lot of people are content to let Zon play with his toys, unless Nidal begins to turn it's attention to it's neighbors.


Cheliax is guarded by Asmodeus.

Nidal is guarded by Zon-Kuthon.

It'd be close to all-out war between those two if the two nations did fight. That would leave quite a mess on the map, don't you agree?


Evil Finnish Chaos Beast wrote:

Cheliax is guarded by Asmodeus.

Nidal is guarded by Zon-Kuthon.

Is this accurate though? I mean have the actual "terms" of the Cheliax agreement been published anywhere?

Does Asmodeus protect Cheliax or House Thrune?

I would be very surprised if there wasn't small print somewhere in the contract.

Of course I'm sure Asmodeus would be happy to extend his protection to all of Cheliax...for a price.


House Thrune rules Cheliax. By extension, protection of House Thrune includes protection of Cheliax, if only the area of Egorian.


all contracts with hell has the "changable by asmodeus, as he sees fit" -clausule :D So good luck in making any deal stick there against his best intrest.

Andoran

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In the scene of national politics, a friendly vassal state is worth much more than a land grab. You can trade with them, you can trade through them, you're not accountable for actions that you may "suggest" to them. Think about why the US (out of a quickly-scrapped 1927 plan) never thought to invade Canada - there's just no advantage in it.

Cheliax has everything they need from Nidal. No need to push it.

Andoran

Also, I feel that House Thrune would enjoy it if Cheliax could corrupt the Andoran government to the point where they would serve as a vassal state. Far more so than a simple re-conquering of the area, even. It's the infernal way!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Maybe Nidal is exactly right where it wants to be.

Cheliax is having no shortage of trouble with its own inner conflicts and far flung holdings slipping out of their fingers. Nidal on the other hand...

For a seemingly submissive state, they seem to be the ones that define the relationship.

(still really need to read Nightglass, have it, haven't had time...yet)


Since this thread is about Nidal, I'll ask this here.

I read that Zon-Kuthon stretched the First Shadow across the land of Nidal but it doesn't really describe what exactly that means. Maybe I missed it in the various texts about Nidal but I've always accepted it to mean that the land is cloaked in perpetual night. Is that true?

If not, oops, but my players think it's awesome to have a spot in the world where it's always night time.

Andoran

I think the First Shadow's effects are more subtle - nothing that affects characters directly, but allows for greater incursions into Nidal from the Shadow Plane. It's probably cloudy and dim there, 24/7.

Contributor

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I don't read it as all of Nidal being under a cloak of perpetual night. Among other things, that would make it awfully difficult to grow crops (yes, they could import food, but for much of its history Nidal was a highly insular nation and it doesn't seem desirable for its deity to impose perpetual import dependence on his people like that. Plus back in the day they were all Proud Horselords and whatnot, and absolutely no sun = no grass = all your horses are gonna die too).

Twilight or low light, on the other hand, might be feasible, particularly if it were limited to specific points. Over time, selectively bred crops might be able to adapt to that, and those most severely affected would be able to import food from the less affected hinterlands. The land would be less fertile, most likely, but you'd be able to get by.

Also, this eliminates the problem of how you handle the borders (because it would be a little goofy, IMO, if as soon as you crossed the line into Nidal it was all BAM!, total darkness, as if you'd stepped under a spiritual umbrella). ALSO also that's more "shadowy" than total darkness would be.

So in my view, Nidal is almost normal at the borders. Almost. Not quite. But enough that you could easily miss the differences, assume it's just a cloudy day, and find yourself wandering in accidentally.

Then, as you go deeper and Z-K's influence/hold become stronger near the nation's spiritual centers, the light dwindles and the shadows become more pronounced. It's all very gradual, but by the time you reach a major center like Pangolais (beneath its black-leaved trees) or Nisroch (covered by perpetual storms), the land effectively IS under perpetual twilight.


Interesting thoughts, Liane and great world building. I just finished Nightglass, a great look into Nidal. Will there be a sequel?

Contributor

Thanks, I'm glad you thought so. :)

I'm waiting to hear back about that, actually. Just turned in the outline a couple of days ago.

The proposed new book is only loosely a "sequel," though. It does include a couple of familiar faces, but most of the cast is new, and the storyline is 85-90% separate from anything that happens in Nightglass.


I'm reading it right now as well, just got to chapter six. I think you've done a masterful job of taking a kooky little country that had devoted itself to the equally kooky god of BDSM (okay, maybe that one would be Calistria, but Zon-Kuhon is definitely the god of S&M) and made it real and visceral and horrific.

I also thought that your presentation of the Joyful Things was, well, unnerving as hell. They were another thing that I thought seemed ridiculous but you managed to make them seem plausible. Well, as plausible as anything else in Golarion.


Yeah. Those Joyful Things were creepy. What are they? Was there anything printed on them before?

So no reappearance of the protagonist in the planned sequel? Too bad

Spoiler:
I was hoping to see him coming to a new god.

Also what's with his sorcerer buddy's arm ? I didn't get it. Is he an oracle too with the wasting curse?

Is there anything known on the Triune?
Liane, how do you imagine them or their back story?


brreitz wrote:
I think the First Shadow's effects are more subtle - nothing that affects characters directly, but allows for greater incursions into Nidal from the Shadow Plane. It's probably cloudy and dim there, 24/7.

Longtime residents seem to get paler or less colorful in the long run. (red hair turning black, or hair turning white)


The Joymaking wrote:


In an effort to concentrate the sensation of pain, this practice allows the wealthiest and luckiest of Kuthites to have their limbs and non-vital organs amputated so that they remain a helpless head and torso, destined to live the rest of their lives as the subjects of limitless torture.

I got that off of Pathfinder Wiki, but they devote a paragraph to it in the back of Faiths of Corruption, in the section on holidays.

Oh yeah, like Numfar said, he's a sorcerer. The arm decay thing made me think his bloodline is probably Undead.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thanael wrote:
Also what's with his sorcerer buddy's arm ? I didn't get it. Is he an oracle too with the wasting curse?

He's a Sorcerer. If you'd like more info you should also read Misery's Mirror. It was a great read (it's the reason I picked up Nightglass actually.)

Contributor

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Thanael wrote:

Yeah. Those Joyful Things were creepy. What are they? Was there anything printed on them before?

So no reappearance of the protagonist in the planned sequel?

Is there anything known on the Triune?
Liane, how do you imagine them or their back story?

The Joyful Things pre-exist Nightglass. I put them in because I was all "wut" when I first read about them and then thought, hey, they'd probably make a good illustrative example of the excesses of devotion and how that could make you an object of contempt even within Kuthite faith (as well as admiration; I feel like Kuthites probably have a lot of ambivalence on that point, given that crippling obviously makes you weaker, but self-mutilation in Z-K's name is supposed to be praiseworthy).

So that was the original intent of including them, but I don't think too much of that actually made it into the finished book. They ended up mostly just being creepy wall decorations. That kind of thing happens to me a lot.

Isiem will be back.

re: the Triune -- I was specifically instructed not to name them or reveal much about their backstory. Evidently that is an Intentional Mystery of Golarion and I will say no more about it here.

And yes, Ascaros is an undead bloodline sorcerer.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'm about halfway through the novel (it sat on my shelf until I read Misery's Mirror...then I had make it my next read!)

Great job. I really like how you captured the feel of Nidal and made it make a little sense...how people who didn't know any better would accept such a horrible nation...

I'm not done reading it yet, but it's been agreat read so far. (Now I gotta go find some of the other stuff you wrote too...)


Liane Merciel wrote:

I'm waiting to hear back about that, actually. Just turned in the outline a couple of days ago.

The proposed new book is only loosely a "sequel," though. It does include a couple of familiar faces, but most of the cast is new, and the storyline is 85-90% separate from anything that happens in Nightglass.

Oh! (Sorry to dig up an old thread...)

I'm on chapter 8 of Nightglass and hearing about a possibly sequel already has me squealing with delight. I haven't quite made it to the entrance of the strix yet, but they've always fascinated me - just curious, but would they maybe be showing up in the sequel?


brreitz wrote:
In the scene of national politics, a friendly vassal state is worth much more than a land grab. You can trade with them, you can trade through them, you're not accountable for actions that you may "suggest" to them. Think about why the US (out of a quickly-scrapped 1927 plan) never thought to invade Canada - there's just no advantage in it.

It's probably way to late to say this, but my national pride demands me to! I'd hardly call Canada a 'vassal state', and the U.S. did try to invade Canada in 1812.....and we kinda whooped their ass (no matter what american historians say). If they tried to again, we'd have the support of pretty much the world behind us, and it would sour their relations with their single greatest trading partner for decades, if not centuries.


Popping back in for a moment to say that I finished Nightglass and adored it. It's the quickest I've devoured a book in years!

How much info on the strix did Paizo give you to work with, or were you given free reign regarding customs and the like?


I too wish to read Nightglass, but haven't been able to find a copy. That and I have about fifty half-finished books from various series sitting on a shelf, their siren call being wholly ignored.

Without spoiling it for me, could you give a quick rundown of the main character? I have a hard time reading stories where I despise the protagonist.


Kazarath wrote:

I too wish to read Nightglass, but haven't been able to find a copy. That and I have about fifty half-finished books from various series sitting on a shelf, their siren call being wholly ignored.

Without spoiling it for me, could you give a quick rundown of the main character? I have a hard time reading stories where I despise the protagonist.

You can purchase it on Paizo.com as a PDF/Epub for seven dollars and as far as I can see they also still have print copies for ten dollars. In any case, I can really recommend the book - particularly the Nidal sections.


Kazarath wrote:

...That and I have about fifty half-finished books from various series sitting on a shelf, their siren call being wholly ignored.

Without spoiling it for me, could you give a quick rundown of the main character? I have a hard time reading stories where I despise the protagonist.

Hahaha, nice to know I'm not the only one who does that - has a billion half-read books on their shelf.

As for the main character - he's terribly interesting and very detailed. Not sure what else to say - I'm horrible at these sorts of descriptions. But his actions make sense in the story and it was all very good, I thought. Maybe someone else can give a better description?

Also, Makamu is right - I bought mine as a PDF a few days ago.

Also, anyone know any other fluff info about the strix?

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber
Kazarath wrote:

I too wish to read Nightglass, but haven't been able to find a copy. That and I have about fifty half-finished books from various series sitting on a shelf, their siren call being wholly ignored.

Without spoiling it for me, could you give a quick rundown of the main character? I have a hard time reading stories where I despise the protagonist.

I think the main thing is that I share your hatred of despicable protagonists and I loved this book.

The central character is ace.


So the sequel is 50 Shades of Nidal?
<ducks for cover>


darkwarriorkarg wrote:

So the sequel is 50 Shades of Nidal?

<ducks for cover>

That is a cheap shot :)

Taldor

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

'Midnight in the Garden of Evil and Evil'?

Contributor

Whoops, sorry, I haven't been by these boards in a bit and just saw that this thread got bumped a while back. :)

Taskuhecate wrote:

Popping back in for a moment to say that I finished Nightglass and adored it. It's the quickest I've devoured a book in years!

How much info on the strix did Paizo give you to work with, or were you given free reign regarding customs and the like?

Thanks!

I pretty much had the published stuff and some broad pointers about the general direction/appearance they should have, and other than that it was free reign to make stuff up.

The strix do appear in Nightblade (the sequel) but only very briefly. The new story is not really about them at all.

Contributor

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darkwarriorkarg wrote:
So the sequel is 50 Shades of Nidal?

ahee

No, but now you've got me tempted...


Hahaha, no problem. I forgot about it for a short while too, it seems.

Hmm, ok, I was just curious about that. I'm playing a strix in my campaign and so I've been trying like crazy to find anything about their culture, and your book helped with that. ^^

I might have to pick up Nightblade at some point!

...You could always make some short story parody-thingy called 50 Shades of Nidal for us... XD

Taldor

One scary thing to keep in mind. If you run into a Cheliax military force odds are high a Nidalises torturer will be on staff.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
brreitz wrote:

In the scene of national politics, a friendly vassal state is worth much more than a land grab. You can trade with them, you can trade through them, you're not accountable for actions that you may "suggest" to them. Think about why the US (out of a quickly-scrapped 1927 plan) never thought to invade Canada - there's just no advantage in it.

Cheliax has everything they need from Nidal. No need to push it.

The American colonials DID try to invade Canada to hijack them into the Revolution. The Canadians thrashed them and politely told them to go home.

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