What do you want from a Lost Omens: Old Cheliax?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

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CorvusMask wrote:
I mean, there are all core ancestries in almost every location in Inner Sea Region. I know that in Kintargo there are several noteworthy dwarf npcs, but they aren't noteworthy enough to be listed in population outside of the "other misc" category.

Menador Keep was built and for a time occupied by dwarves, so there is a notable historic presence in the region at least. After its demolition, I could imagine their descendants joining the Ravounel side of the rebuilding effort (or being drafted into the Chelish side, or both), and some particularly disgruntled descendants of the site's owners suing or pursuing a feud with the Silver Ravens.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
I mean, there are all core ancestries in almost every location in Inner Sea Region. I know that in Kintargo there are several noteworthy dwarf npcs, but they aren't noteworthy enough to be listed in population outside of the "other misc" category.
Menador Keep was built and for a time occupied by dwarves, so there is a notable historic presence in the region at least. After its demolition, I could imagine their descendants joining the Ravounel side of the rebuilding effort (or being drafted into the Chelish side, or both), and some particularly disgruntled descendants of the site's owners suing or pursuing a feud with the Silver Ravens.

Coming in with 2e has so spoiled me; I'm surprised how little we actually know about the elf, dwarf, and halfling cultures of the well-trod bits of the Inner Sea from 1e. I'd definitely be keen for a deeper dive on what it's actually like to be a Chelish dwarf or one of the Mierani elves!

Thanks for the tip on Menador Keep! Looking into it, the 1e Cheliax book says it was built by dwarves during the Age of Darkness, so that thing is ancient. It's a testament to dwarven ingenuity that their buildings can last 9000 years... but I would imagine its builders are long gone.

Radiant Oath

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Besides, this ain't Warhammer Fantasy! There's no Great Book of Grudges meticulously cataloging every percieved slight to the dwarven people to be avenged with disproportionate amounts of violence! :P


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Yeah, it feels like both "build everything to last/if you're going to do it, do it right" and realizing "just like after I die, other people are going to use the stuff I leave behind that remains useful, when a community dies then other peoples are going to use the stuff they leave behind that remains useful, and neither of these things are bad" are both very Dwarfy things to believe.

Remember, Golarion's Dwarves, even if they are conservative or stubborn, are also people who are supposed to be wise. So they're change averse, but not fundamentally unreasonable or unfamiliar with good ideas.

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Yeah, it feels like both "build everything to last/if you're going to do it, do it right" and realizing "just like after I die, other people are going to use the stuff I leave behind that remains useful, when a community dies then other peoples are going to use the stuff they leave behind that remains useful, and neither of these things are bad" are both very Dwarfy things to believe.

But "smashing a long-term useful thing in pursuit of a momentary advantage, which didn't even turn out to be necessary in the end" (in the event, Cheliax was not able to muster an army rapidly enough to intervene in Ravounel before the uprising against Barzillai was successful and before the Kintargo Contract was known to all relevant parties) runs in direct contrast to that attitude, and could generate some ill will.

(The point here is to generate conflict, stories depend upon conflict.)


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I don’t ever expect or want Zon-Kuthon to be redeemed, and I like Nidal too much to see it gone, but I have to wonder if the stories of finding that missing piece of Dou-Bral and carving off a free piece of Nidal might play nicely together.

Dark Archive

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Honestly though, depending on true nature of Zon-Kuthon, rescuing/redeeming Dou-Bral and getting rid of Zon-Kuthon might be two different things


CorvusMask wrote:
Honestly though, depending on true nature of Zon-Kuthon, rescuing/redeeming Dou-Bral and getting rid of Zon-Kuthon might be two different things

Oh, absolutely - I imagine whatever's left of Dou-Bral's goodness was severed from ZK and locked away inside a black hole.

Shadow Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Honestly though, depending on true nature of Zon-Kuthon, rescuing/redeeming Dou-Bral and getting rid of Zon-Kuthon might be two different things
Oh, absolutely - I imagine whatever's left of Dou-Bral's goodness was severed from ZK and locked away inside a black hole.

A metaphorical, metaphysical, or physical one? Any option is cool.


zimmerwald1915 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:
Honestly though, depending on true nature of Zon-Kuthon, rescuing/redeeming Dou-Bral and getting rid of Zon-Kuthon might be two different things
Oh, absolutely - I imagine whatever's left of Dou-Bral's goodness was severed from ZK and locked away inside a black hole.
A metaphorical, metaphysical, or physical one? Any option is cool.

I imagine something as profound as "all the goodness in the heart of a god of love and art" is the sort of thing that becomes physical when it's cut from the host, which feels like the most likely answer for what happened to him.


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As much as I dislike cosmic horror, an alien god that just happens to wear Dou-Bral's skin is also a way to go.


Kasoh wrote:
As much as I dislike cosmic horror, an alien god that just happens to wear Dou-Bral's skin is also a way to go.

We can have both! Whatever he made contact with that so changed him is likely still out there, but I like to believe that the lost piece of his soul (alluded to in the Shadowcaster archetype's lore) is out there, too.


Idk I personally always liked the idea that Zon-Kuthon still loves Shelyn and so they have a sort of non-aggression agreement of "I don't mess with you, you don't mess with me". Even if that is a conceit of the forums and not directly from the books.

Also, I was pretty sure that whatever happened to him was implied to be related in some way to the Great Old Ones. Specially given how Zon-Kuthon isn't exactly an active evil and more of a "Leave me alone with my PSTD torturing myself in the darkness is the only way I remain sane".

As far as what that means for Old Cheliax. Honestly, I think part of Nidal's charm is that it is very secretive. Few people know what goes on inside that country and that is just the way the people from there like it. IF too much gets revealed it will lose some of the mystery.

Dark Archive

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I mean, I'm personally thinking of one of writer's headcanon(I forgot who it was, but they told their headcanon in one of secrets of golarion panels years ago) that Zon-Kuthon was deity from previous multiverse who created some sort of time capsule outside of multiverse that called to his reincarnation from new multiverse and then he took his body for himself.

While actual canon might not be anything like that, its interesting idea of how they could be same person but different person at same time x'D


Definitely a lot of ways to do it, which is why it's probably best to leave it vague. It's fun to have a deity that is clearly broken, and no one knows why.

Liberty's Edge

Based on the Shadowcaster archetype, I feel Zon-Kuthon is what can happen to a deity who loses their instinct for self-preservation (aka inner Light).

I find it fascinating that it caused Dou-Bral to turn into Zon-kuthon.


I say that the Chelish Crown should abolish slavery as I can see no reason for them to maintain slavery and many reasons to abolish it. Not because the Crown is good hearted they are not. It would confound their enemies at no cost to the crown. They could even rid themselves of a lawless menace again at no cost to the crown. They could even inflict their former subjects on their former province without any cost to the Crown and not violate the treaty.


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Elric200 wrote:
I say that the Chelish Crown should abolish slavery as I can see no reason for them to maintain slavery and many reasons to abolish it. Not because the Crown is good hearted they are not. It would confound their enemies at no cost to the crown. They could even rid themselves of a lawless menace again at no cost to the crown. They could even inflict their former subjects on their former province without any cost to the Crown and not violate the treaty.

Asmodeus has “free a slave” as an Anathema and generally is a force for dominance and obedience. I don’t think Thrune can outlaw slavery without drawbacks from their divine patron.

But at the same time, Paizo’s stance is clear; if Katapesh, of all places, can have abolition, then anything is possible. Interesting to see if it does happen, but there's some form of consequence that further imperils Cheliax, and how Abrogail responds to that. They've taken a lot of losses - let the dog backed into the corner bite some!


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Cheliax unceremoniously ending slavery with zero conflict would not only the most anti-climactic way to end the whole thing, but it would also go entirely against everything they stand for.

Cheliax's whole thing is that the strong rule the weak and everything should be done according to contracts and law. Do you really think they would willingly lose power like that when they are already on a losing streak? Narratively wise, it would make one of the most evil countries in Golarion less evil for the sake of being less evil. Which just undermines the entire point of having an evil country in the first place.

It's the narrative equivalent of saying Darkseid should stop enslaving people because you don't see a point in it. I am exaggerating a bit but the point stands, let the bad guys be bad guys.


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Temperans wrote:

Cheliax unceremoniously ending slavery with zero conflict would not only the most anti-climactic way to end the whole thing, but it would also go entirely against everything they stand for.

Cheliax's whole thing is that the strong rule the weak and everything should be done according to contracts and law. Do you really think they would willingly lose power like that when they are already on a losing streak? Narratively wise, it would make one of the most evil countries in Golarion less evil for the sake of being less evil. Which just undermines the entire point of having an evil country in the first place.

It's the narrative equivalent of saying Darkseid should stop enslaving people because you don't see a point in it. I am exaggerating a bit but the point stands, let the bad guys be bad guys.

Well, we know that slavery plots have been de-platformed from published adventures, so the only way Cheliax is abolishing slavery is silently and without narrative fanfare. On the other hand, they may well just continue keeping slaves owing to those aforementioned infernal contracts and the religious value placed on indentured servitude, but even then it would be without fanfare.

Narratively, the diabolical empire of Cheliax is probably just not going to mention slavery in a dramatic context, whether they abolish it or not. They hardly need it to keep seeming evil, especially considering it would be exclusively an informed attribute from here on as far as official material goes, so it doesn't really matter one way or the other. Keeping Asmodues' anathema is probably the only real argument to say it still practices despite the global market drying up in the last few years.


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I feel like Blood Lords gives a pretty big indication about how they're going to handle the whole "Slavery in Cheliax" issue going forward. Since what Geb does with people the state considers disposable is arguably much worse than what Cheliax does with the people the state considers disposable.

But in the first adventure you go to "the farm where the workers are all zombie" and not "the ranch where people are raised as food for Geb's upper class."


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1. Cheliax as a functional nation.
- WHY are people choosing to stay in Cheliax (e.g. protection in cities from iron fist law, protection from the outside by strong organisation/armies?)
- HOW are people kept from moving to andoran. Is it necessary, is there resent, is there support?
- The identity of their people and being proud of being from a particular locale. Example, Westcrowni in CoT.

2. Hellknights as a tangible force. What is going on, they feel like they should have nuance yet they are most rage armour saturday cartoon villains. An AP of Hellknights would go a long way (3 books). Nuance in the Law vs Chaos, and the trade offs of chaotic societies and why dedication to order is successful in Cheliax.

3. Cheliax as a functional geopolitical entity. Actual leverage with neighbours. Respect by surrounding nations to not tread too hard on Cheliax toes as the riposte is deadly (and also the degradation of these boundaries). Hand in hand with a "Wars in Europe" sort of setting where all the countries behave more like medieval/romance ones where being at war with each other is common whilst still trading, or only in certain parts, or far away conflicts.

4. Cheliax acting as a deterrent and shield against the hordes of the undead T-B. A nation dedicated to war and order (and politicking), with a veteran army and (part of) a navy, they are still against the undead. Other nations begrudgingly work with Cheliax in those frontiers and their soldiers and agents, despite ruthless and controversial, are effective and well received when in these situations.

In general: Nuance, How it actually is supposed to work, Order vs Chaos in practice and less philosophy.


The ship has sailed on slavery: Paizo is not interested. Whatever form that takes in Cheliax, specifically, is a question for us to daydream about and for the writers to handle, but folks should accept that the deed is already done.

It’s not like a nation can’t treat its former slaves incredibly poorly, or trap people in contracts and debt that are slavery in all but name. I don’t understand why people think the infernal empire famous for racism, torture, censorship, colonization, and imperial expansionism is somehow going to become Fluffy Bunny Land without slavery.


Like the outlines of "what's up with Cheliax" is pretty clear. It's an imperial power and security state where "devil worship" is the state religion where "Hell" is considered the ideal society. So the elite are thoroughly insulated cruel hedonists, while everybody else lives in fear of running afoul of the authorities. Note that Cheliax's ability to discover violations of its preferred order is not really any more pronounced than any other state's, they just engage in really excessive punishment when they do catch you so as to discourage others.

But just like it's not necessary to get into specifically what a public execution in Cheliax involves, it's likewise not necessary to dig deep on the systems of oppression that are present. Individual stories can color between those lines as needed.


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If Katapesh can close the curtains on the slave trade (and has, as of the Travel Guide), then that's probably the death knell for it across the Inner Sea region. With the massive defeat dealt to the Chelish navy some years back, the loss of Ravounel, the strain of putting down the Glorious Reclamation, all hope of ever reclaiming Sargava gone, and now the Whispering Tyrant on their doorstep... passing some surface reforms to get Andoren privateers off them and ingratiate themselves with the wider Avistani community doesn't feel so far-fetched.

The best hope for the continent's south is a coalition of the willing, and the smart play for Cheliax is to try and get as close to the heart of that as possible. Abolish slavery, pay your servants a pittance or hitch them to contracts they literally can't read, and suddenly Abrogail II gets to present herself as the "reasonable Asmodean" to her Goodly fellows on the world stage. Allying for war presents a lovely excuse to spread Chelish troops and spies through other nations - being invited in, even! - and a canny victory could leave much of Avistan indebted to the devils.


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Even better, trapping slaves in indentured servitude might even earn a bit if begrudgingly respect from Asmodeus enough that he overlooks the fact that you're technically freeing them into this trap. A deft political manoeuvre which consolidates the state's power and reinforces existing hierarchies might just be the trick.


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keftiu wrote:
I don’t understand why people think the infernal empire famous for racism, torture, censorship, colonization, and imperial expansionism is somehow going to become Fluffy Bunny Land without slavery.

Regardless of anything else, I'd be here for the 'Turn Cheliax into Fluffy Bunny Land' AP.


Keftiu, I think in the larger scale of things Abrogail II more to worry about from the big bad Lich than a bunch of slaves. She also has her lost city state to concern herself with as Asmodeus does not like failure. I could see a Navel interdiction in her former city states future The Queen does not have to invade just choke off all trade without attacking flaged shipping.

Though the Lich is more of a threat than anything else. I could even see
Abrogail engaging in diplomacy to start a reclamation of Lastwall as this in the long run is more profitable outcome for the Empire. They are very evil not stupid and the writers are writing the more of Lawful Stupid than Lawful Evil. Do you really think a bunch of Chaotic Putzs could outsmart an Immortal Pit fiend and the master of lies and their Mythic servant the Queen. There is a lot for the 3 beings of utter evil to do that would take a bunch of Player Characters to foil.


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So the major pressing issues for Cheliax are:
1) Domestic Unrest (people don't generally like living in an oppressive authoritarian state, and the Glorious Reclamation getting as far as it did is worrisome).
2) That Lich up north.
3) The conflict with Andoran that's been brewing for some time.
4) All the L's Cheliax has taken on the world stage (loss of Ravounel and Kintargo, erosion of their naval power, comparative stability of other inner sea powers.)

They're for sure not going to solve all of them, after all Cheliax is in a meaningful sense "the bad guys" as Asmodeus is one of the two primary antagonists for the entire setting (Rovagug is the other). So there's probably a better chance of Nidal becoming a good place than Cheliax, and Nidal becoming non-squicky would require divine intervention (specifically the re-emergence of Dou-Bral somehow.) The main difference between Cheliax and Nidal here is that Nidal really doesn't really pose a threat to its neighboring states (though individual citizens of those states desperately would prefer to never visit Nidal.)


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Possible Cabbage, have any of Chieliax's shipyards have been lost or damaged? I don't know. If not why doesn't the crown levy a new tax on the nobility to rebuild the Navy. Send some fine young nobles to the Navel war college, let them serve the crown and benefit themselves by earning glory for themselves and their families.


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I don’t expect Cheliax to anywhere - they’re the premiere human bad guys in Avistan, and they’re awfully fun to beat up on.

But their current trajectory has Legends all but outright dunking on Abrogail II, and the Whispering Tyrant looms large. I’m happy to have them around, but Cheliax needs something to feel fresh and threatening again. A friendlier face to the outside world that hides rampant internal oppression and widespread subversion beyond their borders would be my preference, but I’m just always a sucker for spy stuff.

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:

The ship has sailed on slavery: Paizo is not interested. Whatever form that takes in Cheliax, specifically, is a question for us to daydream about and for the writers to handle, but folks should accept that the deed is already done.

It’s not like a nation can’t treat its former slaves incredibly poorly, or trap people in contracts and debt that are slavery in all but name. I don’t understand why people think the infernal empire famous for racism, torture, censorship, colonization, and imperial expansionism is somehow going to become Fluffy Bunny Land without slavery.

IIRC Paizo said they would not focus on slavery (or even mention it) in their future products.

Not that it would completely disappear from the setting.

I think it will stay in Cheliax and just withdraw in the background. Not becoming less real. Just far less obvious and relatively easy to ignore.

Liberty's Edge

keftiu wrote:

I don’t expect Cheliax to anywhere - they’re the premiere human bad guys in Avistan, and they’re awfully fun to beat up on.

But their current trajectory has Legends all but outright dunking on Abrogail II, and the Whispering Tyrant looms large. I’m happy to have them around, but Cheliax needs something to feel fresh and threatening again. A friendlier face to the outside world that hides rampant internal oppression and widespread subversion beyond their borders would be my preference, but I’m just always a sucker for spy stuff.

Easy. They take a look a Rokugan's Spider clan and become the lesser evil that saves everyone's bacon.

Liberty's Edge

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I still have my dreams of Cheliax creating the Inner Sea's United Nations to defeat Tar-Baphon.


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I think the primary problem with "Cheliax ramps up shipbuilding" is that their neighbor and rival to the east outstrips Cheliax massively in terms of "supply of tinder" and somewhat in terms of "shipbuilding capability."

So if Cheliax were to engage in a massive effort to rebuild the Navy, that would provoke Andoran into building even more ships.

But one of Cheliax's most important shipyards lied in Kintargo and Ravounel has a ready supply of tinder. Cheliax and Ravounel are nominally allies due to a treaty of necessity, but Ravounel's values are much more in line with those of Andoran and nothing would test that alliance more than things coming to head between Cheliax and Andoran.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But one of Cheliax's most important shipyards lied in Kintargo and Ravounel has a ready supply of tinder. Cheliax and Ravounel are nominally allies due to a treaty of necessity, but Ravounel's values are much more in line with those of Andoran and nothing would test that alliance more than things coming to head between Cheliax and Andoran.

Ravounel would publicly stay out of it unless they were confident Andoran would win. Privately is another matter.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think the primary problem with "Cheliax ramps up shipbuilding" is that their neighbor and rival to the east outstrips Cheliax massively in terms of "supply of tinder" and somewhat in terms of "shipbuilding capability."

So if Cheliax were to engage in a massive effort to rebuild the Navy, that would provoke Andoran into building even more ships.

.....

Here's what a more real geopolitics comes into play: Nirmathas. They are in the path of Tar Baphon and will need help, have trees to exchange.

If not, Cheliax is looking south to Garundi, but they just lost Sargava.
Interesting nuances to include.


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Ravounel is obligated by treaty to support Cheliax if attacked. They would drag their feet to the extent permissible and maybe a little bit further, and would probably be clandestinely assisting their nominal enemy.

It's an awkward situation for sure, which is why I think everybody is going to point to "the Lich up North" as a reason not to start this conflict.

If Ravounel were able to stand up to a Chellish invasion, things might be different, but Ravounel is comparatively tiny and what military power they can accumulate will likely be naval. Legalism and "bigger fish to fry" is essentially what's preventing Cheliax from marching an army over the mountains.


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People are talking as if Tar Barphon would be an enemy of Cheliax. But there is no reason for that to be the case. Cheliax being lawful evil and Tar Barphon being neutral evil makes it so that they are far more likely to be allies than enemies.

Yes, they differ on the whole "being alive" thing. But that's no different to Geb as a whole, and I am pretty sure they have a good relationship with Cheliax.

I say a much more pressing matter is reinforcing their armies as best as possible to ward against any invasion. Specially after the worldwound got closed and Iomedae doesn't have an active crusade to keep track of anymore.


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The point is that "we need to band together to fight off the armies of the undead" is a thing Cheliax will *use* to take pressure off themselves. If the whole War with Andoran thing got started, things were not likely to go well for Cheliax. They took a lot of Ls in first edition, so "point at the Mythic Lich" is a good way for them to deter any states that see blood in the water and want to see Cheliax brought low.

I'm not saying that they won't secretly try to make a deal with TB, but their public position will be "we need to band together to fight off the armies of the dead." Since that's what they need in order to buy time to lick their wounds and rebuild.

The other thing is that while the powers that be in Cheliax are unquestionably evil, they're the sort of evil that "thinks they are taking advantage of literal devils" and do not want their decadence and unquestioned power to be compromised. Tar Baphon may be only one alignment step away from LE, sure, but he still stands against what the decision makers in Cheliax actually want. There's also the national pride thing since Iomedae was literally from Cheliax, and while Asmodeus is the state religion, they don't want to throw in with the ancient enemy of literally the most powerful being from Cheliax.


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Temperans wrote:

People are talking as if Tar Barphon would be an enemy of Cheliax. But there is no reason for that to be the case. Cheliax being lawful evil and Tar Barphon being neutral evil makes it so that they are far more likely to be allies than enemies.

Yes, they differ on the whole "being alive" thing. But that's no different to Geb as a whole, and I am pretty sure they have a good relationship with Cheliax.

I say a much more pressing matter is reinforcing their armies as best as possible to ward against any invasion. Specially after the worldwound got closed and Iomedae doesn't have an active crusade to keep track of anymore.

I'm unconvinced by this. Being sort of close to each other on the alignment scale is poor reason for two evil powers not to come into conflict. There is no comparison with Geb, either. Tar Baphons goal is to turn all living things into undead. Get is rather disdainful of this folly and only puts forth the philosophy that the living and dead may coexist peacefully (if one accepts horrible things happening to some living people). Even if Tar-Baphon were willing to ally with somebody so far beneath him (possible, if he realizes the utility of allies in this hostile climate) it stretches the imagination that many would be inclined to ally with him. Not even Belkzen wants anything to do with him after the short straw he gave them last time.

If cheliax allies with TB it will need to be for better reasons than they're both evil. Declaring a common enemy in TB geta them out of issues on their borders while declaring ally with TB throws their lot in with somebody who will still kill them all when the dust settles, but might not even come to their aid when their neighbours turn hostile.

(True though, it doesn't matter who they declare is their enemy, only thing they're going to do right away is consolidate their power and reinforce their armies for whatever conflict ensues... and perhaps a lot of spy stuff)


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TB and Cheliax's interests have remarkably little overlap. He wants godhood for himself and a tide of undead sweeping across the world. They're an empire sworn to an already-extant god, populated by living mortals who aren't terribly keen on losing out on mortal pleasures or becoming food/victims of lifeless horrors. Cheliax stands to lose much more than they gain there.

I think it's far more likely that Cheliax leverages the help Avistan's other nations need from it against the Whispering Tyrant, getting folks off their back and into their debt.

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
But one of Cheliax's most important shipyards lied in Kintargo and Ravounel has a ready supply of tinder. Cheliax and Ravounel are nominally allies due to a treaty of necessity, but Ravounel's values are much more in line with those of Andoran and nothing would test that alliance more than things coming to head between Cheliax and Andoran.

Kintgaro was never a primary shipyard for Cheliax. Shipbuilding was a primary industry for Kintargo (along with salt production and fishing, among other things), but an industry being important to a city is not the same thing as that city's industry being important to the country. Corentyn, Westcrown, Hinji, Macini, and most especially Ostenso were all far more important shipyards. And Cheliax most certainly has timber aplenty, and the Anferita Wood, Barrowwood, and Whisperwood are near to the important shipyards.

And Ravounel's values are not in line with Andoran's. Andoran expropriated its landlords, implemented universal, equal, and direct suffrage to a sovereign parliament, and has a trade union movement powerful enough to elevate its members to command of the state. Ravounel did not conduct land reform, may or may not have compensated its slaveholders for emancipation, did not implement universal suffrage, has no elections to its Silver Council or Council of Peers (the latter of which preserves every local particularism), and has at most a very small trade union movement. It projects, rather than a revolutionary face, the most backwards-looking self-image possible: that of pre-Thrune Cheliax.


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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
It projects, rather than a revolutionary face, the most backwards-looking self-image possible: that of pre-Thrune Cheliax.

You're not wrong, but I recall that at least one governing board in Ravounel is required to exist with its feudal landowner families represented due to the very thing that provides them relative safety from Chelaxian repercussion.

I wonder how much reform they could do while maintaining the qualifications of the Compact.

I also wonder if any tables sacrificed the country to break the Cheliax's pact with Asmodeous.

Shadow Lodge

Kasoh wrote:
I also wonder if any tables sacrificed the country to break the Cheliax's pact with Asmodeous.

Roguerouge's did, or at least wanted to, I think.

Shadow Lodge

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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm not saying that they won't secretly try to make a deal with TB, but their public position will be "we need to band together to fight off the armies of the dead." Since that's what they need in order to buy time to lick their wounds and rebuild.

They are likely to do this not just as a matter of international politics, but also of internal politics. Stressing the need for national solidarity against Tar Baphon could be a good excuse for Egorian to let up on persecutions of the Iomedean church in exchange for the church's leadership's collaboration with the government (to the point of turning in ex-GR members and/or sympathizers), and also for certain Hellknights to drop their oppositional stance. Hell, it could go so far as to rope in the revolutionaries, abolitionists, and democrats to defense of the state, unless they hold to a line stressing the mutual interest of Cheliax's and Tar Baphon's slaves (living and undead) in their masters' overthrow, a stance that no one in canon seems to hold and which is a difficult and unpopular line to hold to at the best of times.


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It also gives a handy excuse for a crackdown on dissent within Cheliax. Treating abolitionists, rebels, and reformers as fifth columnists who clearly seek to destabilize the empire on TB’s behalf is cynical enough to work.

Liberty's Edge

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zimmerwald1915 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I'm not saying that they won't secretly try to make a deal with TB, but their public position will be "we need to band together to fight off the armies of the dead." Since that's what they need in order to buy time to lick their wounds and rebuild.
They are likely to do this not just as a matter of international politics, but also of internal politics. Stressing the need for national solidarity against Tar Baphon could be a good excuse for Egorian to let up on persecutions of the Iomedean church in exchange for the church's leadership's collaboration with the government (to the point of turning in ex-GR members and/or sympathizers), and also for certain Hellknights to drop their oppositional stance. Hell, it could go so far as to rope in the revolutionaries, abolitionists, and democrats to defense of the state, unless they hold to a line stressing the mutual interest of Cheliax's and Tar Baphon's slaves (living and undead) in their masters' overthrow, a stance that no one in canon seems to hold and which is a difficult and unpopular line to hold to at the best of times.

Still don't see the church of LG Iomedae turning in people to Chelish authorities unless said people are beyond doubt guilty of evil acts.

Liberty's Edge

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keftiu wrote:
It also gives a handy excuse for a crackdown on dissent within Cheliax. Treating abolitionists, rebels, and reformers as fifth columnists who clearly seek to destabilize the empire on TB’s behalf is cynical enough to work.

Merely reactivating the Hellknights' original stance that any weakening of Law paves the way for corruption and destruction should be enough to crack down harshly on dissenters.

Weakness in front of the undead is not a good idea.

Now, some of those dissenters might actually be sponsored by evil forces aiming to weaken Hell's grip on Cheliax, or even by TB himself.


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While I'd personally love to see Cheliax leading the diplomatic front on all TB issues, and having that pave the way to a United Nations-esque organization where their leadership is inherited to, we're already seeing the beginnings of structured international cooperation and I believe that Cheliax is kind of out of it.

Travel Guide information:
The Travel Guide introduces us to the Society of Scales, something akin to an international watch backed by half a dozen of unnamed nations, created as to facilitate law enforcement and just persecution between different countries. They're introduced as an alternative to Hellknights for when crimes are actually worth pursuing in case the target just skips town, and they're portrayed — by the fictional writer, I guess — as more polite than Hellknights, and as actual heroes.

Now, there's an impliciation that these sorts of organizations are granted a series of jurisdictional benefits or rights as to be able to operate between states like that, and I can't imagine the Infernal Throne conceding jurisdiction to anyone gratutiously, especially if they're painted as heroic. (When the HKs are painted as a stick on the mud by the same fictional writer) Maybe if they can put a lot of tabs on how they operate in their territory?

Now, of course, that Cheliax does not back the Scalies does not mean that they won't be able to reinforce themselves as a big player in the international cooperation front, but... Something to keep in mind. I find Andoran or Taldor leading that effort much more likely, to be honest.

But I do really like the idea of having the Infernal Throne acting a little more sneaky, to be honest. If I were to extrapolate (and I may be getting some info wrong in here), Cheliax biggest rival on the Inner Sea is undoubtedly Andoran. Within Cheliax's influence sphere, we got Nidal and Isger, and maybe Molthune. Andoran's sphere is a little thinner, with maybe Galt and Ravounel, and Osirion too, shared with Qadira. The other two biggest players in the Inner Sea are Taldor and Qadira, who rival each other (but probably a little less than before, thanks to Eutropia).

Honestly, they have a lot to gain by projecting a more reasonable image, as keftiu observed! It's probably a little hard to overcome the stigma of being devil worshippers, but otherwise acting within the Inner Sea's interests and controlling what informations gets out with a more cirurgical hand, instead of being all mwahahahaha, could even end up alienating their biggest critics, to be honest.

Could you imagine if Cheliax led the effort against TB, sacrificed a lot of people — sent a lot of minor nobles too to fight, probably cousins of cousins but don't mind that — then, after all that, projected a weakened imagine and then Andoran swept in on them? I dunno, it would make Andoran look really villanous.

And really, that's the best that they can do, imo, and internally too. Make the most militant forces that struggle against them look from unreasonable to downright cruel. Sure, we all know that Iomedeans are undoubtedly goodly even if a little headstrong, but do the people know that? To me, they've always come off as the most militant of all the core 20 followers. Even if it is hard to tarnish their imagine, well... It's easy enough to make them look incompetent. "They did lose Lastwall, right? Are they even able to do anything, at this point?" "Have you heard of Arazni's tale? Betrayed by goodly crusaders, even her own herald ascended, Iomedae didn't consider saving her own old patron... WE don't leave anyone behind like that..." Let the devil worshipping nations act devilish!

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