Secrets of the Starstone Cathedral [Tinfoil Hat]


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From the makers of who is really a veiled master comes a new tinfoil hat discussion thread:

SECRETS OF THE STARSTONE CATHEDRAL

To get everyone on the same page, let's talk about what the Starstone Cathedral is.

Pathfinderwiki wrote:


Arguably the holiest location in all the world, the Starstone Cathedral is a monument to divinity. The massive structure was created by Aroden when he raised the Starstone from the depths of the Inner Sea in 1 AR, and the relic is believed to rest within to this day.

So, here's the big takeaways. It was created by Aroden when he raised the fabled Starstone from the sea, houses the Starstone, and people who enter and pass a series of supernatural ordeals ascend.

Now, who's ascended?

Arguably, Aroden. Absolutely Iomedae, Cayden Cailean, and Norgorber. So, four.

There were four bridges leading to the Starstone cathedral, one for each ascended god. Aroden's bridge collapsed following an earthquake after his death.

But who built these bridges?

Crossing the chasm into the Starstone cathedral is a task that leads to the test. Did the city of Absalom commission these bridges? Dis a construction crew risk proximity to the cathedral to build these? Why didn't they repair Aroden's bridge?

But that isn't even the greatest mystery. To get onto that topic, we have to revisit two pieces of official art of the Starstone.

The first piece, from the Guide to Absalom

The second piece, from Champions of Purity

In both of these pieces, zoom in and look at the framework around the primary entrance. You'll see there are six circular recessions flanking the door with a larger, thirteenth recession above the entrance. You'll note that three of these circles are filled with engraved symbols: Iomedae on the left, not at the top or in a particular order. On the right, you'll see Cayden Cailean's symbol followed by the mask of Norgorber.

If these were made by mundane hands, why are they in erratic places instead of from top to bottom or in order of ascension? Why is Aroden's symbol not present? If they aren't handmade, what divine force crafted them?

Why is there a finite number of spaces?

The position of the symbols isn't by alignment as there are only 9 alignments.

Is it by month of ascension? Did Iomedae ascend in Calistril?

If this is the case, does that mean there can only be 12 (possibly 13) ascended deities?

What happens when they all ascend?

WHAT ISN'T THE CHURCH TELLING US?

WHAT DID ARODEN KNOW?


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Robert Brookes wrote:

{. . .}

What happens when they all ascend?
{. . .}

The Gap?


I figured most of those symbols just appeared spontaneously the day after an ascension.


I think the bridges built themselves at the time ofnthe ascension of the gods (although I can't remember where i read that so it might not be accurate). If this is the case it's probably leftover magic that Aroden programmed in. Also if this is true I imagine that the symbols on the door are the same (I'd never noticed them before so thanks for pointing that out.

As for the 13 spaces, I assume the one above the door was Aroden's. The rest could be "yet to be filled", or they could be spaces for those who failed the test...?

Iomedae's ascention is celebrated on the first of Arodes, so I assume that's when she ascended, but maybe not?


Note that in the "Leap of Faith" sidebar in the Guide to Absalom p.17, it mentions that nobody has ever successfully entered the Starstone Cathedral after using the bridge. I'd take this to be weak supporting evidence that the bridges are a manifestation of the temple rather than constructions made by the city, given that they're somehow involved in the trial.

Also, note that Aroden's death is given to be 4606 AR, when clerics of his faith found their prayers unanswered. The collapse of the bridge connecting Aroden's temple to the Starstone Cathedral occurred during the earthquake of 4698 AR. The two events were not linked.

Guide to Absalom p. 16 wrote:
Chelish Embassy: Once this was a grand temple to Aroden, connected by a bridge to the pillar of the Starstone Cathedral. With Aroden dead, the bridge destroyed in an earthquake a decade ago, and most of the god’s faithful migrating to Iomedae, the Grand Council decided to rent out the abandoned temple, and the winning bidders were the representatives of Cheliax. It now serves as the Chelish embassy, and most residents have come to accept dozens of Chelish flags waving within sight of the Starstone.

Also, there is confirmation that the Starstone Cathedral modifies itself based on written lore of the location.

Guide to Absalom p. 52 wrote:
Some believe the Starstone Cathedral is Aroden’s greatest construction, while others say the Starstone itself built the monument that protects it. The cathedral was finished before a single inhabitant arrived in Absalom, though it has continued to grow and expand itself in the centuries since that time.

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Even more suspicious as to why it created 12 (or possibly 13) spaces and what their placement means!


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The Starstone Cathedral is also described in Mythic Adventures although it is rather underwhelming.

After completing a personalized Test, you appear before a panel of all the gods for an interview. If you pass the interview, one of the gods sponsors you, granting you a mythic rank.

Then you go out, do stuff and level up (using the Mythic Adventures rulebook) and perhaps one day become a real god. E.g. Iomedae was just a mythic hero NPC for a long time after the test (immortal & able to grant some spells), until Aroden died and she received her promotion.

So to succeed at the Test: (1) practice your interview skills! and (2) suck up to someone on the panel!

Dark Archive

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Jeven wrote:

The Starstone Cathedral is also described in Mythic Adventures although it is rather underwhelming.

After completing a personalized Test, you appear before a panel of all the gods for an interview. If you pass the interview, one of the gods sponsors you, granting you a mythic rank.

Then you go out, do stuff and level up (using the Mythic Adventures rulebook) and perhaps one day become a real god. E.g. Iomedae was just a mythic hero NPC for a long time after the test (immortal & able to grant some spells), until Aroden died and she received her promotion.

So to succeed at the Test: (1) practice your interview skills! and (2) suck up to someone on the panel!

Huh, that is interesting, as it suggests that Iomedae, Cayden Cailean and Norgorber were sponsored by one of the other 'big 20.' In Iomedae's case, Aroden seems the obvious choice, and Desna might be a suitable choice for sponsoring Cayden, but who chose to sponsor Norgorber?

My first choice would be Asmodeus, but he wouldn't sponsor someone for free...

Zon-Kuthon would be an interesting dark horse choice for sponsor, with reasons remaining as inscrutable as anything he does, or Urgathoa doing it purely on a whim, or Lamashtu explicitly because she wants some juicy new gods around, ripe to eventually devour and tear apart the way she did that beast-god she ate to level herself up.

The sponsorship premise also suggests that a wannabe god has a better chance if they gear towards a 'area of concern' that does not conflict with the current big 20, but appeals to one or more of them, and has an alignment that is sympatico with potential sponsors. (LG and true N being slightly disproportionately represented, and therefore being slightly easier to find a sponsor for?)

Another question would be whether or not Arazni took the test of the Starstone. Like Iomedae, she was one of Aroden's flunkies, who became at least marginally divine, but it's unclear if she went up the old-fashioned way, or also hit up the divine candy dispenser.

(Questions like this, and the bridge collapsing 90 years after the death of Aroden, who may have been a god *before* (or as a result OF) raising up the Starstone and therefore not count as one of 'the four,' are meat and drink for Razmir-as-a-god apologists! Sow doubt and confusion into any attempt to disprove his divinity by pushing out all sorts of contradictory stories to make it harder to find the truth! Fake news!)


^But who says that Norgorber's sponsor is legitimate? Maybe Norgorber figured out how to fake this as well as being able to fake being one entity (I strongly suspect that the theory of Norgorber being four Halfings in a trench coat is at least partly correct . . .).


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Jeven wrote:

The Starstone Cathedral is also described in Mythic Adventures although it is rather underwhelming.

After completing a personalized Test, you appear before a panel of all the gods for an interview. If you pass the interview, one of the gods sponsors you, granting you a mythic rank.

Then you go out, do stuff and level up (using the Mythic Adventures rulebook) and perhaps one day become a real god. E.g. Iomedae was just a mythic hero NPC for a long time after the test (immortal & able to grant some spells), until Aroden died and she received her promotion.

So to succeed at the Test: (1) practice your interview skills! and (2) suck up to someone on the panel!

https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder_RPG/comments/a9aqsq/mortals_could_becom e_gods_over_the_dumbest_things/

"ErikMona
Ah. The reason I was confused is that we just retconned that retcon, or at least I did when I recently did a Pathfinder Friday Twitch interview about the Starstone last week. That regrettable section in Mythic Origins somehow slipped past my attention (I was supposed to review everything we said in print about Aroden or the Starstone, but someone failed to flag this one) during that book's production, and I was pretty livid when I came across it.

The Test of the Starstone isn't about jockeying for the attention of some other god to sponsor you into godhood. It's about taking your destiny by the throat and propelling yourself into divinity.

So yeah, that was dumb, and we've publicly signaled our intention to change it. When we actually detail the Test of the Starstone for real (in the course of an adventure, not four pages of filler), I can assure you the Starstone will work as originally intended, not as presented in the unfortunate resource you cite, which also made me mad. :)"


Zautos' wrote:
Jeven wrote:

The Starstone Cathedral is also described in Mythic Adventures although it is rather underwhelming.

After completing a personalized Test, you appear before a panel of all the gods for an interview. If you pass the interview, one of the gods sponsors you, granting you a mythic rank.

Then you go out, do stuff and level up (using the Mythic Adventures rulebook) and perhaps one day become a real god. E.g. Iomedae was just a mythic hero NPC for a long time after the test (immortal & able to grant some spells), until Aroden died and she received her promotion.

So to succeed at the Test: (1) practice your interview skills! and (2) suck up to someone on the panel!

https://www.reddit.com/r/Pathfinder_RPG/comments/a9aqsq/mortals_could_becom e_gods_over_the_dumbest_things/

"ErikMona
{. . .}"

Linkified for your convenience.

But now I think we should make a story out of this: Various shadowy organizations and entities have been passing around disinformation about the Starstone Test to foil aspirants to divinity . . . .


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dot.

Dark Archive

UnArcaneElection wrote:

But now I think we should make a story out of this: Various shadowy organizations and entities have been passing around disinformation about the Starstone Test to foil aspirants to divinity . . .

This sinister figure (or group!) 'hides in plain site' by tending the Cathedral of Failure, just across the chasm from the Starstone Cathedral. Each failure by a hopeful strengthens the legend of 'the Failed,' and this creates a powerful resource for the occult loremasters cultivating it's power...


^Do you mean Shrine of the Failed?

Dark Archive

UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Do you mean Shrine of the Failed?

Ha, that's actually what I originally typed, until I looked it up in the ISWG and saw that they were calling it the 'enormous Cathedral of Failure, where silent caretakers erect small shrines to unsuccessful seekers of divinity.' (p. 39) I just checked, and that text is copied straight from the original Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting (p. 55), so it's not even, as I'd originally thought, a change from before.

I kind of like the idea of a smaller 'Shrine of the Failed,' aesthetically, but it is what it is.

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