What Are the Differences Between Geb and Tar-Baphon?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

Sczarni

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I love reading about the ancient necromancer lords, and I am curious about what are the real differences, other than their names and location, between Geb and Tar-Baphon? It seems like the only one is that Geb was actually successful in making a functional undead nation whereas Tar-Baphon got his arse kicked and sealed away.

What in their philosophies and actions made it prudent for Aroden to fight Tar-Baphon and have a crusade led against his nation of undead and not such a massive undertaking been attempted against Geb? Did Geb not reanimate one of Aroden's heralds and use her as a mockery and a slap in the face against worshipper of Aroden and those of the holy knights who seek to vanquish the taint of undead on Golarion?

The most I have read about anything being done about Geb are agents of Ozem sneaking in and attempting to sabotage things, but no where have I seen any cohesive effort to take the nation down.

Anyone have any insight as to why the citizens of Golarion reacted to the rise of both of these necromancers in such vastly different ways, and why Geb is free to rule his own plot of land while Tar-Baphon was imprisoned within his.


It seems to me that I recall Tar-Baphon going out and picking a fight with Aroden, which probably drew his interest (all in the name of a master plot, as it turns out, by T-B).

The links between Aroden and TB's source of power in one of the Azlanti Runelords also links him more closely to Aroden than is Geb.

(Plus, TB killed Aroden's herald first! Geb was just an also-ran.)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

One of the impressions that I received is that Geb wasn't as active broadly as Tar Baphon. Geb, mostly just stayed in his own little section of Garund & only really got into it with Nex.
The Arazni thing was as much a reaction as anything else, the Knights of Ozem invaded his domain, he didn't go looking...
I suspect, also, that Geb, unlike Tar Baphon didn't really intend to become an all-powerful undead blight on creation, he just really hated Nex, enough so that the uncertainty of what 'really' happened to Nex as a result of their war was enough to bring Geb back from death.

Dark Archive

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Tar-Baphon was an active expansionist evil, sweeping over the lands around him and quite possibly being ready to usher in an undead apocalypse. If the tenets of the Whispering Way are to be believed, he's still kind of interested in killing every man, woman and child on the planet.

Geb stayed within his boundaries, far from any of the great nations to his north, and spent most of his energies fighting Nex, an equally powerful and amoral wizard who *also* picked a more or less out of the way place to set up shop. Unlike Tar-Baphon, he didn't even choose to embrace undeath, and, even centuries later, the ruling Blood Lords of Geb include a number of still living necromancers, while the 'Dead Laws' only give the intelligent dead *the same rights as the living,* (not, as Tar-Baphon would likely have it, no rights at all). Obviously, as one of many slaver nations in Golarion (the rest all dominated by living folk), there are indeed living people without rights, and there are also undead (skeletons and zombies, mostly) who also have no rights, and undead like mohrgs, with their appetite for murder, who aren't tolerated.

Fighting Tar-Baphon is a struggle to survive, as his goals include the destruction and subjugation of everyone around him, while Geb, given that his nation sells food to it's northern rival (and former enemy), is actually kind of a 'good neighbor,' and possibly more so than Qadira or Cheliax or Molthune or Razmiran, who have a history of either conquering nearby nations, or trying to do so, or expanding into places where they are not welcome.

Any forces for good spent opposing Geb, ignoring the vast apocalyptic threat of the Worldwound, or the lesser but active threats of Cheliax, Belkzen, Irrisen, etc. is just basically handing Team Evil a win, as they subtract from the forces of good to attack a nation that, while evil and unsavory and monstrous, *isn't actually threatening anyone.*

Which leaves the Knights of Ozem, who could someday realize that, by abandoning their responsibilities in Avistan and going on a crusade against some Garundi dude who had never heard of them (and wasn't threatening anyone), they pretty much sowed what they had reaped, which coming on the heels of messing up so bad that they got their *god* killed, had to sting. Given the alternative, of admitting they dun goofed, and are actively further weakening the forces of good by continuing their quixotic quest against Geb, I imagine the Knights of Ozem will continue to do the least good possible, while clinging to their self-righteousness and denial, since it's all they have left.

Sczarni

Alright that all makes sense. Thanks for the responses guys.


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Set wrote:
Which leaves the Knights of Ozem, who could someday realize that, by abandoning their responsibilities...

Just wanted to address this last bit - by and large, the Knights of Ozem haven't abandoned their responsibilities. They're operating out of Lastwall, keeping watch over Gallowspire while keeping the Tyrant's lingering undead suppressed.

Carrion Crown Book 6:
The party can even recruit a group of Knights of Ozem on the way to Renchurch and Gallowspire - the party comes across a quartet of L9 undead-scourge paladins. They're not as strong as the PCs at that point (who should be L13), but a quartet of L9 paladins are not chumps. The Knights regularly and actively patrol Gallowspire's environs, which are incredibly dangerous.

As best I can tell, the group of Knights of Ozem who went off and attacked Geb in an attempt to gain glory were a renegade faction, and they're still paying for their error - Geb reanimated the whole lot of them as undead slaves, and they serve as Arazni's bodyguards to this day.

Figuring out how to "fix" things by putting down Arazni the lich is a long-term goal of the Knights, but their primary duty is to keep Ustalav's Virlych county under control, and they're still doing that. They're trying to obtain Arazni's canopic jars as they get the chance, but they aren't sending squads on suicide missions to Geb.

As to Geb himself - Geb's self-contained. While he's a terrible and spiteful ghost, he spends much of his time in a bummed out funk and can't leave his nation's borders. Arazni's the one who's actually running Geb at this point, and would presumably be the mastermind if the nation went hostile and started expanding again. Considering Geb's limitation as a ghost, expanding his nation's borders, even temporarily, is what's needed to extend his personal influence.


Dot. I think of Tar-Baphon as an evil overlord first and a necromancer only incidentally, and Geb the other way around.

Also the Whispering Tyrant is playing the evil overlord necromancer-lich Horned King trope more or less straight, while Geb is sort of skewing expectations by being a ghost rather than the more "traditional" lich or vampire.


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Gallowspire is the Realm/Castle of the Undead Lord trope played straight. Geb is that same trope subverted and played with extensively, for example the tireless undead who till fields to grow food to feed the country's living populace and to sell abroad, and the intelligent undead and living people who form partnerships and even friendships, as per the web short Blood Crimes.


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Geb is more cuddly.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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Indeed. Geb hated Nex so much that he couldn't stop, even in death, and became a ghost. His reason for still existing is basically so he'll be there to kill Nex if he ever returns to the Material Plane. Geb (the nation) was more or less a settled issue by the time Aroden came around. Wiping them off the planet might be a good thing, long term-wise, but would be difficult in the extreme, but in the short term Geb isn't doing anything any slave-owning society doesn't do.

Tar-Baphon is a evil dude who loved death and power so much be became a lich and tried to conquer the world, which is just unacceptable to the people who live in said world.

Might be interesting to see what happens if Tar-Baphon marched his legion up to Geb's border and the two have to throw down over control of hordes of undead.


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Geb was the kind of necrommancer who really didn't wanted to become an undead himself but be pragmatic about mindless undeads making life for the living easier. However his obsession for eradicate Nex became so great this project was twisted into the Geb we know now, one in which intelligent undead made the elite of society. Geb is a very pragmatic and rational individual (if we ignore his obsession for Nex), a good example of this is the commerce relation with the nation once ruled by his arch-nemesis and the rules which basically force intelligent undead behave like civilized individuals and not mindless hunger driven beasts.
Tar-Baphon is just an insane nhilist (or used to be, the imprisonment on Gallowspire perhaps has changed his mind) which pretty much was a pawn of a bigger threat.

Silver Crusade

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Quandary wrote:
Geb is more cuddly.

Screwed up as it may be, this is spot on. Geb is certainly more sane and personable and less completely wackadoo evil.

Speaking extremely relatively of course. ;)

If I had to choose between two of those particular devils to deal with, it'd be Geb. But damn I'd still be reluctant about that. Dude was a nasty piece of work even before he got undeaded.

That and Geb has kept his good looks much better.


Sounds like Geb invented True Blood.


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Espagnoll wrote:


Tar-Baphon is just an insane nhilist (or used to be, the imprisonment on Gallowspire perhaps has changed his mind) which pretty much was a pawn of a bigger threat.

I have a vision of a party busting into gallowspire to find T-B surrounded by mounds of yarn. "Nah, done with the conquest thing. I've taken up knitting. Here, have a scarf! It matches your armor!"


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Sczarni

mellowgoth wrote:
Espagnoll wrote:


Tar-Baphon is just an insane nhilist (or used to be, the imprisonment on Gallowspire perhaps has changed his mind) which pretty much was a pawn of a bigger threat.
I have a vision of a party busting into gallowspire to find T-B surrounded by mounds of yarn. "Nah, done with the conquest thing. I've taken up knitting. Here, have a scarf! It matches your armor!"

That gave me a good chuckle.


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Espagnoll wrote:

Quote:
Tar-Baphon is just an insane nhilist (or used to be, the imprisonment on Gallowspire perhaps has changed his mind) which pretty much was a pawn of a bigger threat.

LOL! So the party finally batters their way through the levels of Gallowspire only to be met by Tar-Baphon wearing a flowing white robe, lyre in hand..."Welcome heroes, have you heard the word of Shelyn?"


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WitchyTangles wrote:

Espagnoll wrote:

Quote:
Tar-Baphon is just an insane nhilist (or used to be, the imprisonment on Gallowspire perhaps has changed his mind) which pretty much was a pawn of a bigger threat.
LOL! So the party finally batters their way through the levels of Gallowspire only to be met by Tar-Baphon wearing a flowing white robe, lyre in hand..."Welcome heroes, have you heard the word of Shelyn?"

Nah, Brah, he's become a Stoner down there.


Smoking up his all his papyrus. The spells scribed on them make it even more trippie.
Personally, I hope he never gets out, but we have some AP's in Geb and/or Nex dealing with Geb, Nex, and Arazni.


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Maybe not as significant as some of the above differences, but Tar-Baphon supplemented his undead armies with united orc hordes (being right beside Belkzen can't have hurt).

When confronted with the obvious threat of positive energy-channellers, TB hedged his bets with some living troops, whereas Geb just outlawed the channelling of positive energy.

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