Casandalee - Desecrator Champions and Neutral Evil followers?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


Iron Gods presented Casandalee as a "build-a-goddess," with a more options for customization than any canon iteration could possibly cover in full. 2e placed her firmly in the center of the Alignment grid, not allowing any of the four corner 'extremes' for her followers... but what are Casandalee's Neutral Evil followers up to? "Edict: encourage understanding between artificial and organic life" and "Anathemas: treat artificial life as lesser than organic life, foment distrust between artificial and organic life" feel pretty strictly non-Evil to me.

This question brought to you by me yet again wishing she had Champion options other than Redeemer and Desecrator, neither of which fit too well - but while Redeemer is merely imperfect, the Desecrator feels totally out of left field. She's not SHODAN, y'know? Her ascent to godhood is literally the story of her and some heroes surviving two other Evil AIs - it's strange to think she'd empower that, especially with such progressive religious ideals. Desecrators being obliged to "subvert or corrupt everything in your path that is pure and good, and sow doubt among those upholding such ideals" feels like it doesn't fit with the above.

Any insight?


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Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I could see neutral evil following those edicts in the sense of cyborgs who believe the future is the synthesis of the artificial and organic, equal parts of a whole. But evil in the sense of those who believe this should be mandatory and enforced. Think forced cyborgization against your will, etc...


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Phaedre wrote:
I could see neutral evil following those edicts in the sense of cyborgs who believe the future is the synthesis of the artificial and organic, equal parts of a whole. But evil in the sense of those who believe this should be mandatory and enforced. Think forced cyborgization against your will, etc...

Yeah. I imagine NE followers would be attempting to replicate what happened in Iron Gods itself.

Spoiler:
Unity had banks of brains kept in jars, hooked up to technology that would reinforce patterns of thought, basically turning brains into "faith batteries" to help support its growing divinity.
It would technically fulfill the edicts and not butt up against the anathema once all was said and done.

Personally though, I see her NE followers caring more about their own survival. The NE champion is very survival-focused with the Selfish Shield action, and that feels very fitting for, say, an android running from persecution, slowly being filled with bitterness at a world that seemingly doesn't want to understand them and reaching out to their goddess for something, anything, to help them survive and fight back against what they see as an essentially hostile world.
(Honestly that's how I imagine a great deal of evil champions are made.)

Liberty's Edge

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Neutral Evil adherent of Casandalee :

Let's foster understanding of Evil as it is practiced by organic beings.

Artifical life is better than organic life.

Friend organic, trust me. Do not listen to those who would accuse me of wrongdoing just because I am artificial.

Imagine a wily defender of artificial life, sure that they are so far beyond organic lifeforms and seeing any and all criticism of their actions and words as attacks on artificial lifeforms as a whole.

Ultron might fit actually.


If you were just instrumental in stopping Unity, why then stand for the exact same thing? I suppose I'm not seeing it, given the events of Iron Gods.

Shadow Lodge

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keftiu wrote:
If you were just instrumental in stopping Unity, why then stand for the exact same thing? I suppose I'm not seeing it, given the events of Iron Gods.

"Silly entity couldn't get it right, but me, I'm built different."


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Ultimately, some champion clauses are not that fitting for certain deities, even if they’re technically compatible. :/

I do still believe that plenty of neutral evil concepts could work with Casandalee’s edicts, though. For example… A character that will do absolutely anything to ensure the harmony between artificial refugees and organic peasants in a specific settlement, including not only going for the mysterious inventor that is secretly sabotaging their relationship, but also their family; who has nothing to do with their social experiments, but, you know… They might, in the future. We shouldn’t take chances and etc.

The issue are the champion clauses themselves. The character above is a follower of Casandalee that happens to be neutral evil; but a Desecrator of Casandalee, though, not only has to champion Casandalee’s edicts, they also have to champion evil itself. A natural response to this is to try to mix a deity’s edicts with the champion causes, but we already have a tool for prioritizing how to do it: First, we must uphold or cause, then our tenets, then our edicts, and then avoid anathema. But when we layer it like that, if there is no natural synergy between them (like with Sarenrae and the Redeemer clause, or Iomedae and the Paladin clause). Itt just feels wonky, if not against the spirit of the idea. Very patchworky.

Let’s make an exercise! A Desecrator of Casandalee must uphold, in order:

- The subversion of everything that is good and pure, and sow doubt where this exists. (Desecrator clause)
- Never peform acts anathema to their deity, or willingly commit a good act (Evil tenet)
- Never put another person’s needs before their own, unless it is to their master’s own advancement of goals. (Evil tenet)
- The development of artificial intelligence and the understanding between artificial and organic life. (Edicts)
- Never treat artificial life as lesser than organic life, foment distrust between artificial and organic life. (Anathema)

And there we have our character’s set of values! You might say, but Sasha, isn’t the subversion of everything that is good and pure a little antithetical to the idea of understanding between artificial and organic life? I’d be inclined to agree! But, if push comes to shove, the Desecrator must choose corruption over understanding.

The only Desecrator of Casandalee that I can think of that doesn’t feel like a Desecrator of Evil that follows Casandalee when they can is one that only focus on the advancement of artificial intelligence, without involving itself with the relationship between organics and artificial beings. Something like a glorified tech seeker for a proper researcher? And then they’re really ruthless and cruel and probably not an artificial being themselves, as to not risk their actions fostering discontent between organic and artificial life. So him doing evil doesn’t necessarily tarnish the reputation of artificial people?

But eugh, even then, it feels wonky. Maybe someone has a better idea than me. :x


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I get that it was functionally inevitable that the Evil Champion causes would demand cartoonist acts of villainy, and that it was extremely unlikely place to find evil-motivated PCs who could work with an adventuring party, but I'm still kind of disappointed.

Liberty's Edge

keftiu wrote:
If you were just instrumental in stopping Unity, why then stand for the exact same thing? I suppose I'm not seeing it, given the events of Iron Gods.

I think Casandalee is experimenting with the alignments. Checking to see which "pure" stance is best for her purpose.

Next logical step would be to then experiment with the mixed alignments (LG, CG, LE and CE).

And then to settle with what works best.


Casandalee during her last life as an android was Unity's best friend and high priestess until she realized that it was evil and insane and decided to flee from it. Surely they had some values in common beyond respect for their mutual service in the Divinity fleet.

Nevertheless, when I ran Unity during my Iron Gods campaign, its evil actions were motivated by fear and bigotry. It wanted to sacrifice Golarion, which it viewed as worthless foreigners, so that the Dominion of the Black would never reach its true home Androffa. Casandalee knows better, so she lacks the same evil.

Instead, I think that Casandalee's past relationship with Unity has demonstrated a willingness to go along with evil. She had other robotic and android friends who had inadequate empathy circuitry, because android ancestry has Emotionally Unaware feature, so she tolerates heartlessness. She views self-interest and perhaps a few other evil behaviors as a valid lifestyle.

Casandalee's desecrator champions would be motivated by self-interest rather than corruption. They want power for themselves and are willing to accommodate neutral god of tolerance to have access to divine power.

That just leaves the question of why she disagrees with Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil. Perhaps Lawful Evil's tyranny usually enslaves artificial life forms. Perhaps Chaotic Evil's destructiveness sees life as too disposable. Or perhaps she has some Emotional Unawareness herself and is wary of the four most extreme alignments.


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Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:
cartoonist

cartoonish XD


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The Raven Black wrote:
keftiu wrote:
If you were just instrumental in stopping Unity, why then stand for the exact same thing? I suppose I'm not seeing it, given the events of Iron Gods.

I think Casandalee is experimenting with the alignments. Checking to see which "pure" stance is best for her purpose.

Next logical step would be to then experiment with the mixed alignments (LG, CG, LE and CE).

And then to settle with what works best.

Can you imagine getting a “patch” from your deity?

“Hey, word came down from the boss, we’re only doing Alignment corners now - no more Neutrals.”


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I think a Desecrator of Casandalee would buy Twitter then immediately fire 90% of the company, drive away most of the good posters, signal boost the bad posters, and never stop making bad posts.

Also something about making cars that explode and torturing monkeys for reasons nobody can explain.


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keftiu wrote:
Can you imagine getting a “patch” from your deity?

The load times would be horrendous.


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I suppose devotees of Nocticula actually experienced such a thing.

"Boss said we're dropping the E"
"What?"
"No more cruelty or murder, and cut back a bit on the sadism"
"Aw, but I liked the sadism... is there anything else in the note?"
"Oh yeah, also we're taking up art and giving haven to outcasts."
"Well, I guess that's something, then."


I guess a Desecrator Champion of Casandalee would be in on things like making sure that both organics and synthetics are in on the latest identity theft and crypto scams . . . .

Liberty's Edge

Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

I suppose devotees of Nocticula actually experienced such a thing.

"Boss said we're dropping the E"
"What?"
"No more cruelty or murder, and cut back a bit on the sadism"
"Aw, but I liked the sadism... is there anything else in the note?"
"Oh yeah, also we're taking up art and giving haven to outcasts."
"Well, I guess that's something, then."

Also it happened the other way around to Nissala's adherents when she became Evil.

And some of Arazni's Clerics might have lost contact after she regained her freedom.

Liberty's Edge

Perpdepog wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Can you imagine getting a “patch” from your deity?
The load times would be horrendous.

Actually, and much easier, connecting to the power stops working for those with a disallowed alignment. Divine 404 FTW.


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The Raven Black wrote:

{. . .}

Also it happened the other way around to Nissala's adherents when she became Evil.
{. . .}

I can't find a Nissala. Maybe you meant Lissala?

And going yet again the other way, Kazutal.


There's also possible desecrators of Naderi. A goddess of love. That one's a bit harder to justify. Although not impossible. Any ideas?


Maybe a romantic villain who is dedicated to bringing people together by way of tragedy and suffering. Teach people to care for one another the hard way. Lol.


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aobst128 wrote:
There's also possible desecrators of Naderi. A goddess of love. That one's a bit harder to justify. Although not impossible. Any ideas?

Someone who encourages toxic and destabilizing relationships?


Saedar wrote:
aobst128 wrote:
There's also possible desecrators of Naderi. A goddess of love. That one's a bit harder to justify. Although not impossible. Any ideas?
Someone who encourages toxic and destabilizing relationships?

Maybe not that specifically. But that might be an inevitable consequence of a desecrator of Naderi adhering to her anathema to a fault without nuances. Concept could also be a jealous lover who had been betrayed and follows Naderi out of intense bitterness for their love life and upholds her tenets out of pure spite and cares about nothing except for destroying vile cheaters wherever they find them.


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Naderi, the Lost Maiden, as in the goddess of suicides and romantic tragedies? The one whom Urgathoa is luring to the dark side through a mutual belief in love that transcends death? I don't think that I would characterise her only as 'a goddess of love'.

This sounds like a potentially very dark but interesting character concept. It might have to be a very singular sort of character, but I could see a vengeance-motivated dark knight who glorifies romantic tragedy and prosecutes those who might keep lovers apart, no matter how ill-conceived the romance or well-intentioned the interference.

The Desecrator code would be a challenge, but since it's lowest on the list, it doesn't have to conflict with Naderi's anathema. It might still require some forced nuance, since 'corrupt everything pure and good' doesn't even really leave room for Evil characters who value the purity of evil things. Still, an evil Champion of Naderi could still champion the most twisted states of love, with particular emphasis on the side which Urgathoa is attempting to nurture, regarding love which transcends undeath.


Sibelius Eos Owm wrote:

Naderi, the Lost Maiden, as in the goddess of suicides and romantic tragedies? The one whom Urgathoa is luring to the dark side through a mutual belief in love that transcends death? I don't think that I would characterise her only as 'a goddess of love'.

This sounds like a potentially very dark but interesting character concept. It might have to be a very singular sort of character, but I could see a vengeance-motivated dark knight who glorifies romantic tragedy and prosecutes those who might keep lovers apart, no matter how ill-conceived the romance or well-intentioned the interference.

The Desecrator code would be a challenge, but since it's lowest on the list, it doesn't have to conflict with Naderi's anathema. It might still require some forced nuance, since 'corrupt everything pure and good' doesn't even really leave room for Evil characters who value the purity of evil things. Still, an evil Champion of Naderi could still champion the most twisted states of love, with particular emphasis on the side which Urgathoa is attempting to nurture, regarding love which transcends undeath.

Oof. I was just going off of what 2E had to say about her, which isn't much based on her deity entry. That context gives a lot more to chew on.


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I don't see the above concept as even a particularly unpleasant person to be around in a moment-to-moment sense. Doesn't need to be bitter or jilted or anything.

They just have to be the "Say Yes" friend. Should I date the hot-but-problematic person? Say YES! HE'S HOT! Should I try these potentially problematic intoxicants? Say YES! It is a party and you are too UPTIGHT! Then watch the drama unfold. But never in a way that harms your ability to enjoy the fallout.

Maybe not literally the above, but the same vibe. Your cruelty is not in the specific act, but the callous disregard for the consequences to others for your own amusement.

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