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the Grigori,What about them?

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by Dumanios, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. Dumanios

    Dumanios MLG

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    I would like to know more about the Grigori.

    I know this.

    Leader:Cassiel,who is Philosophical,Industrious,Agnostic and Adaptive.Is Neutral.:)

    UBs:Grigori Palace,Grigori Tavern and Adventurer's Guild.;)

    UUs: Dragon Slayer,Luonattor and Adventurer.:D
     
  2. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Chieftain

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    Where to begin? If you haven't read Cassiel's 'pedia, and those of his UUs, do that right about now.
    There's some debate about Cassiel's exact relation to religion, and whether he tolerates it so long as it does not grow too large or ambitious, or actively seeks its eradication in all things.
    Their military is a loose alliance of city militias; they rely mostly on adventurers for combat, and most of their soldiers are not professionals, but citizen volunteers.
    The Grigori are a popular choice, lore-wise, for "who would you live under" type questions. Apparently, a lot of this forum agrees with Cassiel's stance towards the gods.
    The Luonnotar, whose name I can never properly spell, are tolerated by Cassiel, although only warily. They believe that the universe was created by a supreme power greater than all the other angels and gods, the One. Technically, they're correct, but they have absolutely no evidence to back this up, while the other religions' gods are rather hard to deny. So a denizen of Erebus, having only the evidence of his own eyes and history, could be forgiven for thinking them mad. They're immune to magic at any rate; the gods are worried knocking the Luonnotar off would anger the One who, frankly, they haven't exactly been loyal to. But that's a very, very long story. The other religions, of course, despise them; they're preaching heresy against literally every god on Erebus. You don't make priestly friends that way.
     
  3. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Cassiel was the archangel of Dagda, the God/Angel of Balance. He, like all angels except the original 21, was created after The One had sundered Creation from the True Heaven and cast all the angels out. This was after Nemed had become the father of mankind (and the other intelligent races), but still quite early, before the Godswar began. The One saw that everything he had created had been corrupted by Agares' taint, including the good gods, and that they would be unable to withstand his holiness if he remained. The One had tasked the angels still loyal to him with protecting Creation and leading it to enlightenment, while the evil angels sought to destroy it. The evil angels began creating their demons and beast to wage war on Creation, and the good created similar holy armies for its defense. Not all angels were made for war though, as (despite what many some angels seem to think) their purpose was not simply fighting evil but protecting the innocent. The first angel each god made was his/her archangel, a more human embodiment of the gods sphere. Cassiel was one of these.

    Dagda, the angel of balance/force/agreements/reality arising from mutual agreement, was not involved in the Godswar, as he is the epitome of neutrality. As the war waged on, Cassiel saw the destruction it was causing and was determined to put a stop to it. He convinced Dagda to join with the other neutral gods to enforce a ceasefire and arrange for a treaty to end the war once and for all. This treaty was The Compact. Although it was Cassiel's idea, he was appalled by the shape it took. He wanted the gods' petty squabbles to not effect humanity, but several clauses of the Compact instead reduced humanity to pawns of the gods. The gods couldn't wage war directly with armies of angels and dragons, but they were allowed to use men as weapons to carry on the war indirectly and to collect the souls of mortals. (I'm not sure, but I suspect that he may have first learned of The One during these negotiations, and this knowledge may have changed his mind about the purpose of man and the failings of the Gods.) Once the Compact was signed, Dagda was its staunchest supporter. Cassiel, however, could never bring himself to agree to it, so he chose to fall before the meeting was over. Dagda withdrew his ara from him, and Cassiel became essentially a mortal man. (Basium fell in a similar way and is also mortal, but for very different reasons. While Cassiel didn't think the Compact went far enough, Basium would not accept any agreement that wouldn't let him fight demons personally.)



    Once the first empire of man, Patria, was founded, the fallen Cassiel became a widely known and respected Philosopher. He of course didn't really like the fame, but used it to spread his notions of the gods short comings. For some unknown reason though, he has never revealed The One to humanity. Perhaps The One asked that he not be revealed for some reason known to no lesser being. Perhaps Cassiel just really thinks that he doesn't want to be known, just like he thinks that The One does not like being worshiped. Still, I prefer to think that Agares may have demanded that revealing The One would be a violation of the compact, and would give him the souls. I like to think that this one requirement was the biggest reason for Cassiel's fall. I also like to think that Sirona and Lugus arranged that the Compact would grant absolute immunity from any god to any mortal who managed t discover the truth of The One without divine intervention, so that the Luonnatar's immunity to magic has a deeper cause that Junil simply not wanting to harm the innocent.


    Cassiel has been around for quite a while, as the mortality he chose when he fell makes him vulnerable to murder but not old age. He has shared his philosophy with many generations. His views aren't very practical and he refuses to use what supernatural power he still possesses, so his followers don't always fair all that well. I believe the Age of Ice was very harsh on them. In the Age of Rebirth, many wars between fanatical sects have driven refugees to his lands, where they are all granted sanctuary.


    Cassiel has set up a form of government that can run without him. He isn't so much their political leader as the biggest proponent of his philosophy. The government is Feudal in nature, but not in the normal sense. Offices are not hereditary, and I don't believe the "nobles" are payed anything. These "nobles" are chosen from among the most common men. Cassiel idealizes the yeoman farmer and distrusts politicians and elite specialists, so self sufficient farmers tend to have more influence than city folk. Communities are suppose to take care of themselves whenever possible, and when not the central government wouldn't get involves until it is clear that neighboring communities have been given a chance to offer support and failed to. Grigori communities all maintain local militias, but there isn't really an army and these militias aren't always very well organized or payed. Adventurers are official part of these militias, but they have a habit of going AWOL and never being punished for it. They just come back with riches and tales of their daring quests, buy everyone a pint at the local tavern, and are treated as heroes despite not being there to help defend the town when their enemies actually arrived. The tales of Adventurers often inspire drunk Grigori as much as anything a priest could say to the most devout and so they head out on quests of their own, looking for dragons to slay just for the sake of slaying them. (Cassiel has a bit of a drinking problem too.)


    With all the influx of refugees, plagues and diseases began to spread throughout the nation. These may have been divine curses, or perhaps just unsanitary immigrants. Regardless, Cassiel had the power to cure them but was afraid that performing any miracle would inspire people to create a cult around him. He despises that the gods accept worship and considers it to have a very corrupting effect on their character, so he would never allow this. Instead, he arranged for lore masters and herbalists to join together in the first scientific attempts to diagnose diseases and find natural cures. Thus, the Ordine Medicos (The Order of the Grigori Medics) was formed. They are widely respected healers that are welcomed in nearly any nation, but they are not a not-for-profit organization. They must charge reasonable fees for their services, as they will receive no government funding from Cassiel. Cassiel advocates Protecting the Meek, but socialized medicine doesn't sit well with him. He has a very libertarian philosophy and thinks that government intervention make men less likely to help out their neighbors. He fears unfettered greed in individuals, but not as much as in organizations, including the State. He recognizes this as an evil religion, the worship of Mammon, even though most of those doomed to Mammon's hell never realized that they served this god.


    Cassiel doesn't allow any religious persecution. There will never be a state religion, but no religion will ever be outlawed. People using religion to incite violence or demand that they be payed or obeyed lest the people to go hell may be prosecuted for inciting riots or committing fraud however. The Luonnatar are a small, fairly secretive sect that worships only The One. They aren't really organized, being closer to the first century church rather than the papacy. They teach that the gods are but petulant children who, like men, will be judged when their creator returns on and separates good from evil. They have been persecuted in every empire, as all religions view their teachings as blasphemy. Once a group of them way captured by the Order, who decided that the proper punishment for those who denied Junil's godhood was to perish in holy fire called down from heaven. The Priors cast Pillar of Fire, but Junil saw that the Luonnatar were righteous men who had somehow discovered the truth and he was afraid. He though that The One might have somehow returned or informed them himself, meaning that judgment day was near and the god of justice himself would soon have to face the justice of one far greater than himself. He could not being himself to harm them, so he made his flames burn the ropes that bound them while not harming their flesh. They walked away uninjured, to the amazement of the people. They soon decided that this was powerful and evil witchcraft, and devoted themselves all the more to persecuting them. The Luonnatar were however fortunate enough to reach safety in the Grogori lands, where Cassiel agreed to protect them. Cassiel agrees with them on a lot, but he doesn't like them. Since he considers the desire for worship to be a sin started by Agares, he cannot being himself to believe that The One would want to be worshiped. He thinks that the Luonnatar would be much better off f they ignored spiritual matters and focused their efforts on making their likes and the lives of their fellow man better. They are better about this than any other religion though, so they will always be guaranteed a safe refuge in his lands.
     
  4. Dumanios

    Dumanios MLG

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    Thanks Guys!
     
  5. Imuratep

    Imuratep Cultist of the Old Ones

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    I understand that he does neither persecute nor penalize religious followers, but does Cassiel initiate actions to actively convince the religious followers of his ideas? I always associate with Cassiel the Enlightenment, who did not deny religious believe (in fact integrated it in their philosophy), but tried to convince people that they should live on their own responsability and the Education of the People towards the ideas of Enlightenment was a main concern of the movement.
    Could Kant's quote come from Grigori or is it too libertarian (because FFH still is a medieval society)?
     
  6. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    From a cosmic perspective, Cassiel is very much a libertarian. Whether his nation is governed as such might be a different story, but that very much sounds like him, imo.
     
  7. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Well, I'm not so sure that he would exactly view this immaturity as being self imposed, as the gods have directly acted to increase this immaturity.

    While I guess the sentiment fits, I don't really like the quote's flow. I'm not sure why.

    I've long disliked the conventional translation of "Sapere aude" as "Have courage to use your own understanding;" it would sound much better and be much more literal if it were rendered simply as "Dare to Discern!"




    I sometimes view Cassiel as being as somewhat depressed character who no longer thinks that sharing his philosophies will do much good. I figure that early on he actively tried to convince people a lot, but that he has mostly given up and doesn't really bother anymore, except of course if someone tried to convince him to change his beliefs. Oh, and of course he probably mocks and argues with religious people when he gets really drunk.
     
  8. nadszyszkownik

    nadszyszkownik Chieftain

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    I always viewed Cassiel as somewhat similar to Lucifer from White Wolf's "Demon: The Fallen" (if any of you are familiar with this awsome game). He honestly believes that should humanity reject the divine it would empower itself, that it could do potentially everything from then on, and that this could only be beneficial. He does not allow himself to even think that humanity could bring as much suffering and destruction to the world by itself as the warring gods, if given enough time. He'd believe every deviation from his imagined set of events that would lead to humanity achieving an idealized, atheist state must be an effect of scheming and meddling of outside forces . He probably feels abandoned and betrayed by both other angels, for refusing to acknowledge that only by totally rejecting the divine and looking inwards can humanity be saved, and by humans, who time and again ignore his wisdom and seek communion with higher powers. He drinks himself to death to stave off the feelings of hopelessness and despair (hmm... hopelessness and despair?:satan:) just for a little bit longer. He doesn't really try to achieve anything anymore, he just waits, but does not anticipate anything.
     
  9. Amerigo Arturo

    Amerigo Arturo Chieftain

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    I agree, I see the Cassiel the same way, like the myths of Prometheus or the Angelic Grigori Watchers, he has brought humans enlightenment like the use of fire, astronomy and other knowledge against the will of so called "Gods"or "God".
     
  10. nadszyszkownik

    nadszyszkownik Chieftain

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    I don't actually see Cassiel as a promethean hero who brought people enlightenment (this is dark fantasy after all). He has good intentions but does not realize the he's just selling people a different kind of misery. He wants everyone to abandon gods and other higher powers and concentrate solely on their own selfs and their own capabilities, but he does not understand, or does not want to believe, that a world without wonder is a bleak, hopeless world. It is a world where people feel empty and see no reason and no purpose to their lives, where they just stop caring, where the individuals are powerless against the rules of ruthless, uncaring grand machine of society and the good are few and even more powerless.
     
  11. Amerigo Arturo

    Amerigo Arturo Chieftain

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    I think Cassiel is saddened and frustrated that he can't keep his people safe and untouched from machinations of the other gods and their followers. The war of the false gods will come to the Grigori, and their is little Cassiel can do about it.
     
  12. cyther

    cyther Lord of the Dance

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    I think that Cassiel and his ideas improve the lives of his people greatly. Unfortunately the other civs wish to force him and his people to comform to their beliefs and his lax in leadership and the weak military will lead them to ruin.
     
  13. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    I rather think Cassiel, tho, is the type of person you could go to talk to. Meaning that, unless he's drunk, he'd prolly try to help you if you had a difficult question. Like if you were trying to decide who to pass your business onto. Maybe you have a brother, a few sons, and a nephew. They all want the business, but you're having trouble deciding who would be the best person to give it to. Cassiel'd prolly sit there, listen to your concerns, ask a few blunt questions to get you thinking, and then tell you that in the end it's your decision and no else can make it for you. Now, granted, I doubt he'd ever discuss such a mundane topic (not cuz he's snooty or thinks it beneath him, jus cuz people don't wanna bother him with things like that), but it's a basic example of how I think of Cassiel sometimes.


    @Cyther
    I gotta admit, man. Your sig quote has a lotta truth to it.
     
  14. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

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    I don't think Cassiel wants a world without wonder, just that these wonders be made by the hands of mortals. I also she him as resiegned, knowing men will always fall to the beliefs of gods, and he is trying to keep any few he can away from the gods. In that light, I think the somewhat mornful music is good for him.
     
  15. nadszyszkownik

    nadszyszkownik Chieftain

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    I never said Cassiel *wants* a world without wonder, it's just that that's what awaits people if they were to reject the gods. The taint of Agares already stains entire Creation, including all people within it. Rejecting gods won't change anything for the better in the long run. It won't reduce suffering and misery, it won't elevate humans (and others) into any higher state of being. That is because the gods do not really want people to suffer (not all of them that is), they, like people, have their own desires and purposes (for good or ill). That means that (hypothetically) suddenly taking away the human knowledge of the gods and severing any and all contact with them (or even completely removing gods and all supernatural from Creation) will not make the world a better place because the people will still have their own desires and purposes, for good or ill. (And since this is dark fantasy most will be for ill.)
    The bottom line is- until (if!) Creation doesn't become pure enough for The One to return there won't be a truly better tomorrow for anyone, whether alive or dead with the illusion of safety within a good god's vault. And Cassiel doesn't seem to understand it.
     
  16. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

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    Granted. After all, most of the greatest Mid-Evil works were Cathedrals, and the like. Without a God to worship, why would they build these...
     
  17. merciary

    merciary No idea what I'm doing

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    Yet due to this God for which those cathedrals were built a widespread of fanaticism spread across the land, a few centuries of little to no scientific progress was made, and any change or difference was wiped out. Just remember religion is always a double-edged sword.
     
  18. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

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    Yes. I totally agree.
     
  19. UNpatriot

    UNpatriot Chieftain

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    Without cathedrals to build no peasants would have been inhumanely forced to run those treadmills and such used in building them...

    They may seem grand now but they are built on the blood of countless pawns of the system.

    (wait, should I have not listened to Cassiel's diplo music when writing that?)
     
  20. Dean_the_Young

    Dean_the_Young Chieftain

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    Expanding on and past the above debate of religion versus a lack of religion, shouldn't Cassiel's own philosophy spawn philosophical disagreements within the Grigori? (And, by extension, give us another leader for the civilization.)

    I mean, a lot of what gets said about Cassiel and the Grigori is what Cassiel's ideals are: of libertarian tendencies, decentralization, of community-level organization for all matters, his philosophy of personal advancement and of having an ideal of enlightened citizen-farmers and distrusting specialists/special interests/unions/etc.

    In short, quite a deal similar with early-American Jeffersonian democracy.

    But, like the late 1700's early 1800's, not everyone is going to agree about that Cassiel's vision is the best way. And in a philosophical society that celebrates personal choice and individual thought, that's going to come even faster. People can take the exact same considerations and beliefs of Cassiel and reach different conclusions.

    Take the idea of individual advancement. For Cassiel, it's represented in a idealized rural farmer. But it can just as easily be argued to be the very specialists that he dislikes: bankers, merchants, craftsmen, artists. People who believe individual advancement is best done through specialization and making the most of their talents.

    Similarly, the value on individual responsibility leading to Cassiel's disliking of unions and collective bargaining is, ironically, an argument for them. Individuals can recognize that their individual bargaining power is limited, but can work together for greater benefit. Each individual consents to the personal costs of the deal, and by staying faithful him/herself they can keep the agreement going. The success or failure depends on everyone doing their part, and not freeloading.

    The list goes on. Weak decentralized militias aren't going to be ideal for those who live on the borders and are vulnerable to outside agression. Agrarianism isn't ideal to the city-folks who produce a disproportionate amount of industry and commerce and who are certainly going to disagree what the best individual advancement is. These people are going to have a say in councils to, even if Cassiel is the Elder Stateman.


    The Grigori and Cassiel have a strong theme of resembling early Jeffersonian ideals. There's a lot tying them together, and not just beliefs; the Grigori research route to their unique buildings is the benign government civics path, which takes them to civics such as Republic and Liberty and Free Trade. But Jeffersonian democracy wasn't the whole of the American political thought by a long shot, and was constantly but peacefully at odds with Federalism the entire way. And in the end, the industrializing and draw of the cities over the farms (which the Grigori seem to do as well, with city improvements like museums and taverns in the main cities) eventually ending in the triumph of urban federalism over rural Jeffersonianism.

    So, I suppose the question is, why don't we have another Grigori leader who can reflect that difference in 'what's best'; a more centralized, urban slant of the Grigori culture while believing the same basis of beliefs that shape Cassiel's views?
    Spoiler :

    Especially considering the ending of a certain scenario. It would make sense for the next Grigori political leadership to adopt a more centralized, stronger form of governance than what Cassiel might have thought ideal.
     

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