* The Forge World Columnus is assaulted by the Ork Weirdwaaagh! led by the Weirdboy Zagdakka. Iron Hands Clan Raukaan, a Raven Guard Shadow Company, and the entire Legio Ferrax Titan Legion are among the defenders. The Orks are defeated and Zagdakka killed, though at the cost of the entire Raven Guards company and Shadow Captain Stenn, who were used as bait for the Ork Warlord and allowed to die by Warleader Kristos.
* As a result of Warleader Kristos’ actions on Columnus, seen to be not of logic but the settling of a score with the Raven Guard, the Kristosian Conclave is called on Medusa to debate his actions there, but the conclave expands to become a general debate on the chapter’s philosophy. During the 200 years of the conclave, no Iron Father is elected to lead the Iron Council.
So I got a Saskia deck for my birthday and I’m gonna turning it into a token deck that I can go wide with instead of just using Saskia as a beatstick like I have been for the past week. I’m so far thinking Aurelia the Warleader, Assemble the Legion, Boros Battleshaper, Dictate of Heliod, and Gratuitous Violence. Anyone have any suggestions?
no of course not, but there is something called development or journey to become skilled at a certain thing. O was from what i gathered all season and previous seasons that was training to be a warrior not a commander or leader. C and B havent been developing or trying to develop into leaders. so for O turn to be a leader its not really earned is it ?
Well y’all are acting like she’s a great leader. No. She won the conclave– with help I might add. Support and encouragement from Indra and Kane, advice form Bellamy, A bit of life saving from Ilian. And an alliance with Roan. This plus her own cunning and cleverness. She gets to say what happens with the bunker.
But she’s not the commander. She’s not getting the flame. Maybe they look at her as the warleader now. She’s in charge of the bunker. I guess. We don’t know. We haven’t seen it yet.
Look. They rule by trial by battle. We’re you guys pretending they WEREN’T savages? I actually think a lot of you were.
There is a development. It starts here. If that’s actually where they’re going with it at all. I actually could see Octavia being the bridge between the sky people and the grounders. She’s ALWAYS crossed the lines, learned as much about them as possible, trained with them. Accepted their beliefs. This is not actually called “cultural appropriation.” It’s closer to “assimilation.” Clarke lived with them for a while but kept herself separate. No matter how Lxa thought she elevated herself. Octavia actually accepted the grounders a lot more than anyone. In the future she could be the leader.
I told you guys that this narrative of Octanakin was not the story they were telling and she was going to be redeemed. I told you she was one of the most important characters. People’s bias against her is hurting their interpretation and making it hard to process her (major) role in the narrative.
Calm down and watch the show and see what they do with it.
How bad a king would Renly have been? He seems to treat the position like a popular kid would as homecoming king
Very bad. Here’s a couple things I’ve written about him.
Likening Renly’s Rebellion to Robert’s Rebellion is a pure surface-level read of the Rebellion. To
say that Robert was looking to become a king because he was a great
warleader and warfighter is an active denial. Renly is doing it to give
his rebellion a greater sense of meaning, a noble purpose beyond: “Hey
guys, you know what? I think being a king is just really awesome.”
Robert’s Rebellion is not an usurpation of the Throne, it was a war over
whether Aerys’s actions were permissible for a king, and the rebel’s
position was that, if you perform actions like this, you lose the right to rule.
To equate it to Renly’s naked power grab, or any of the other feudal
‘pissing matches’ that Rohanne Webber believes are so vital to noble
power is a mistake at best, a deliberate misread at worst. Robert’s
Rebellion was neither a naked power grab nor a fight for pride…it came
down to very real questions of tyranny, (one wrestled with in our own
world by philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, thinkers whose
writings have a profound influence on our modern notion of government).
Why! Sorry to bother you, but Im really interested in that post where you said the Cousland Warden could have a strong claim on the throne. Can you please please talk a bit more about it? I love the political aspects of DA-
It’s not a problem, I love talking about politics too. Though I’m not as well versed in medieval politics as I’d like to be.
The problem with the politics in DA is that they’re often glossed over or forgotten entirely.
If we’re going by Middle Ages rules, GoT rules would come closest. Cousland, technically, should be like the Lannisters or the Starks. More powerful than that even. They’re the second most powerful family in the realm after the King, come from a distinguished noble line which dates back to antiquity, and the child of an exceedingly popular war hero that many nobles wanted to have take over the throne instead of Cailan after Maric died.
Cousland descends from:
1) The most powerful landowner in the realm.
This means vassals, lots of vassals, lots of bannermen, lots of smaller lords who owe them their allegiance, and lots of blood ties to other noble houses. This is in opposition to Loghain who, while a war hero, is a commoner. Most loyalties and allegiances to him stem from Fereldan’s most recent war with Orlais.
They should actually be able to call up an army on their name alone.
Cousland is the one Grey Warden candidate you can pick who is literally hamfisted into the role. They have options. Bioware doesn’t want you to think it, but they do. They are the one Warden candidate who can pretty much give Duncan the middle finger at any point between A to B and depending on how you want to think about it, they’ve a duty to do exactly that in the name of keeping their family name alive. With their mother and father dead, and their brother missing, they are the acting Teyrn Cousland.
Unless they want to suicide the family line and all their responsibility therein, they have no business joining the Grey Wardens. They should be the Sebastian of DA: Origins. On a mission to gain alliances to regain the family lands and restore the title stolen from them by one of Loghain’s bannermen.
They’d be able to find themselves some loyal retainers who escaped Howe and make a dash for the nearest supportive Bann in order to rally the troops to oust Howe.
2) Ancient House. Ancient name. Popular House. Popular name.
All those qualities buy a lot of currency, and Cousland isn’t a bastard like Alistair. They’re a known quantity. They should have about as many connections to the rest of the Bannorn, if not more, than Anora. Old family alliances they can trade on and barter favors for.
Seriously, knocking off Bryce Cousland is like trying to knock off the Earl of Warwick or the Duke of York. You can, sure, but they’re so well insulated that you’d piss everyone off and launch the country straight into civil war.
What did Loghain say to Howe when he came up with this plan?
“Howe, I’ll give you the Teyrnir if you knock off the Couslands when we destabilize the country thus making it easier for Orlais to invade.”
Loghain should have never wanted Bryce dead along with Cailan. He should’ve wanted him neutered, tied up, seen the majority of his forces destroyed, and left in a vulnerable position where he’d be forced to rely on Loghain for assistance when the Orlesian “invasion” that Loghain foresaw finally came.
You want a man like Bryce leashed and providing stability for you, not dead. And if Bryce won’t do, assassinate him and make one of his children take up the cause. Let them deal with taking over their position and forcing them to rely on you. Meanwhile, keeping the Couslands close lends Loghain the legitimacy he needs as he cannot claim the throne for himself or through his daughter.
Neither of them have any legitimacy and only able to rule by force or arms.
The convenient solution would be to take the wet behind the ears Teynir just come off the two experienced members of their family murdered at Ostagar, marry them to Anora to lend the throne the legitimacy it needs in the wake of Cailan’s planned death and reassure the people or marry the surviving daughter himself to unite their lands, and move forward from there.
Bloodlines are valuable.
The North went to war with the South over the death of Eddard Stark.
“You killed my liege lord! I will take vengeance!”
This is ridiculously common because with their liege dead, the banns who stood for Cousland must now work to maintain their status quo. Their power has been crippled.
The Bannorn was willing to put Bryce on the throne, shunting Cailan from claiming his birthright. This tells me that, for all their supposedly the vaunted True Kings, the Theiriens didn’t have a powerful grip on the monarchy, and they also lacked the faith and trust of their Banns.
If Cousland is male, why would Anora have any interest in a marriage alliance with Alistair when the more popular and legitimate option is standing right there? Why wouldn’t anyone else bring it up or treat you like you’re unimportant?
If Cousland is female, possibly the last surviving female of the Cousland bloodline, why doesn’t Arl Eamon jump on that? Sure, a male Cousland is bad when it comes to his designs on the throne for Alistair but a female? Female Cousland would give Alistair the legitimacy he (as a bastard) needs and give him (with Eamon as proxy) a significant status boost/hold over their lands/means to disrupt Loghain and Howe’s stranghold/nice sob story to villainize Loghain in the eyes of the populace and lure in the Cousland aligned nobles.
A marriage alliance should’ve been one of the things that was on everyone’s mind at the conclave and the Banns who didn’t care for either option should’ve been pushing for Cousland, regardless of gender, to throw their hat in the ring.
TLDR: Loghain is stupid.
3) The Theirin line is not that strong.
This may be resulting from the fact that Bioware really, really, really doesn’t understand how politics work but if Maric’s seat was unsteady enough that the Bannorn could knock him off in favor of one of his own then his grip wasn’t strong. Cailan also, as far as we know, wasn’t a strong king.
Whatever mystic strength they’re endowed with, they suck at politics and not in an endearing way.
4) The one Warden army.
You can’t say they haven’t proven themselves on the field of battle or as a diplomat, bringing an alliance of Mages or Templars, Elves or Werewolves, and dwarves in true Gondor calls for aid fashion.
They’re the Aragorn in this equation, not Alistair.
They took a ragtag band of misfits and united Fereldan to stand against the Blight. They murdered their way through the Deep Roads. They’ve killed their way in, and out of, at least a few castles by the time they’ve arrived in Denerim. They’ve fought through demons and Abominations in the Tower.
They’ve got the bastard son of the previous king tagging along at their heel, who lets them do the talking for him.
(I’d be seriously concerned about this if I was Arl Eamon.)
Everything about them says, “I am a competent warleader, mass murderer, I will slay your house and your guard if you disagree with me. I don’t need that massive army I amassed behind me to walk onto the battlefield and wreck your shit. I’ve face tanked all the ogres. Hear me roar.”
Let’s be honest, if you had to choose between Alistair, Anora, and the guy/girl who could probably murder everyone in the room if they felt like it, who’d you choose?
Honestly, all Wardens should have the ability to become King or Queen. By the point they’ve hit Denerim, they’ve pretty much reached Warlord Who Bends Knee Because They Feel Like It status. The Viking lord who when gifted with Normandy grabbed the French King by the foot on his horse and hung him off it when he lifted it up to kiss it. The French King demanded he kiss his foot as a show of homage. The other guy didn’t care and he didn’t have to because he had them by the shorthairs.
Winner by the sword.
Your Inquisitor had even less reason not to conquer the world, by the way. They had a private army, independently funded, and loyal to a cult of personality rather than ideals. No one wants an Inquisition because you never have a way to make it stop until it burns itself out.
Seriously, all the Inquisitor has to do is point at a local lord and say, “My Andrastian gifted senses tell me that this man is in league with demons!” and the majority of the populace would believe them then they could take the lord for all his land and money turning it over to someone more agreeable to Inquisition policy.
You’re killing me, Bioware!
This is how the Church worked. You can see the same concepts at play beautifully (and terrifyingly) in The Witcher 3 when they’re overturning the houses of rich setting minorities like sorceresses and ransacking them.
A large part of persecuting minorities throughout history has been for money. Jews in Europe were the only ones who handled money because the Catholic Church considered the handling of money unclean. They acted as the medieval banks, lending money because they were forbidden or driven from most other forms of commerce. Jews were persecuted in Europe periodically when either the Church or some Lord wanted a scapegoat and their money.
There are literal religious institutions built around killing people and taking their stuff.
Both the Warden and the Inquisitor fall into this warlord category.
Bioware likes to pretend that they’re not actually powerful enough to change anything, but really they could both knock over the monarchies of Fereldan and Orlais for themselves if they wanted.
Cousland’s just the one with the best excuse to do it and the most cultural backing behind them.
5) Bioware falls under the “My Character is Too Important for My Story” Trope.
Bioware are like a lot of fantasy writers who want their characters to be important. Alistair is the bastard son of a king. You can play an exiled dwarven prince/princess and you’re running around as the last Cousland, the second most powerful family in the realm after the King, trying to get revenge on your house.
The problem with Cousland is that they’re encountering more situations than the others where people should know who they are and accord them their station. If no one knows Castle Cousland has fallen to the Howes (HOW DOES NO ONE KNOW? HOWE IS NOT THAT STEALTHY??? THE CASTLE WAS BURNING???), then they should be recognizable and welcomed by the vast majority of nobles, possibly even commoners, that they encounter.
Unlike Alistair, they should have some level of celebrity on name recognition alone and guesting privileges with a number of Arls and Banns from big to small.
They’re the one Warden who’d have to work hard enough to stay undercover.
It’s not, “Find me two Wardens.”
It’s, “Find me, Cousland.”
The first time I played Cousland, I genuinely forgot how important they were supposed to be halfway through the game and by the time I got to Redcliffe I figured an Arl and a Bann were more important than a Teyrn which was why everyone was so mad at Loghain for taking over the throne because he was acting in a manner so far above his station.
Tiny house that was friends with the previous King seizes the throne through his daughter, the now dowager queen, makes a lot more sense as an insult.
Genuinely, I thought Teyrn was the littlest and teeniest of the houses because of the way no one seemed to care much about who Cousland is or be disturbed by the fact Loghain just handed all the lands to that bastard Arl Howe.
Hell, I’m still confused as to what Howe is even doing in Denerim. He should be dealing with a civil war unless all the Cousland vassals, all their bannermen, and all their vassals’ children have all been wiped out.
Statistically, that’d be about half the Bannorn if not more given that they’ve more ties to the Cousland line through blood than to commoner-born Loghain.
Anora has nothing to offer other than her skill as a ruler (or really an administrator, which is not insignificant), but she is a commoner from a house that has only one generation to its name. Her ability to hold onto the throne comes almost entirely from her father as she doesn’t have any lands to her name or soldiers of her own.
If she keeps the crown, it’s because the Warden backs her and because the Bannorn primarily cares about the status quo returning to normal.
Cousland’s backing, even if only on their name, would lend her the legitimacy she’d need away from her father. An alliance (marriage or otherwise) with them, would give her more social credit to trade with the other Banns when it came time to securing their vote.
It kills me, man. It really does.
There’s probably lots I’m forgetting too, but Cousland is, well, that one Warden who brings way more to the table than anyone else. On name recognition alone. They genuinely don’t belong in the story that Bioware is trying to tell with the Wardens, tbh because their presence directly shoots Alistair’s claim to the throne in the foot and tosses him off a mountain.
It’s painfully obvious that when Bioware was originally structuring this way back when DAO was supposed to be multiplayer like Neverwinter Nights with all the different backgrounds available to play that M!Cousland’s plot was for him to end up as King.
He’s made for it. It’s the natural fantasy trope trajectory for him.
It’s the only way any of the contextual clues and surviving plot lines for the Cousland’s make sense or why their plot more than other is so wound directly into Loghain, the main antagonist’s. The other characters all get their special zones, but Cousland’s trajectory is tied up in the main plot and they should have more insight into what’s happening with Loghain and Fereldan than anyone else.
It is unbalanced and downright weird.
Note: I am not saying Cousland is a more legitimate background pick than any of the others, (though Bioware’s favoritism for the human noble across three different games should be obvious). I’m just saying that they are tied into and their experiences are directly relevant to the main story in a way that the others aren’t.
For Alistair and Anora to be King or Queen, Cousland should not exist. Even if you stripped all the other legitimacy out of them, they’d still have their name and they could trade on that alone in Fereldan and Orleisian society.
I could go on about this for days, though I don’t know if that answered any of your questions.
I do love Cousland but on a setting and story level they drive me nuts because it’s one of the ways that the story falls onto its face.
In the picture: Phasma looking at Finn and baby Finn files
After re-watching The Force Awakens, as it is often the case when you see a movie for a second or third time, I came to appreciate a few characters insights and general details that I had previously missed out on. I would like to share them with you.
Let’s now look at FINN:
Finn’s escape and subsequent journey really are remarkable. His emotions are palpable and there’s that scene where he takes his helmet off on the Star Destroyer where you can literally see all his feelings dancing behind the “glass” of his eyes, like little fires. You get this sense of panicking urgency, this need he has of getting out of the First Order asap, and to me, it all felt very real.
One detail I found fascinating in the opening scene is that Poe - the first meaningful “outsider” Finn iteracts with - is the one who kills his stormtrooper friend (killing the last friendly image of the First Order he has), effectively initiating the domino that will lead to Finn’s “awakening”.
Director Rian Johnson, while addressing The Last Jedi content, commented on how the 2nd instalment of the sequel trilogy will prove to be “testing” for all the main characters.
Now, while Kylo Ren’s problems, weaknesses and tribulations are often discussed and quite easy to pinpoint, as are Rey’s, Luke’s, Poe’s and Leia’s; Finn the Cupcake’s (a well-earned title, no less) demons haven’t quite received the same amount of attention. Perhaps because they’re - at this point - subtler (and no, I am not talking about Finn’s attachment to those he cares about: I tend to associate that more with his “light side”, since it’s so obvious and out in the open).
Let’s discuss them a bit more in depth:
I have personally found two features of Finn’s that could be conductive to growth or, likewise, darkness. One of them fully escalated and found resolution during TFA, the other hasn’t, as of yet.
1) fear (and, to an extent, sloth) - Finn’s escape was likely catalysed by two factors: fear of killing innocents for a wrong cause and fear for his own life (and, implicitly, fear of growing up/letting go).
While escaping, obedient Finn is also confronted for the first time with his own individuality, in a deep manner.
The questions “who am I?” and “where am I going?” were likely to be the background music to his rocambolesque escape, though more subconsciously than in a Jedi-like meditative manner at that.
Fear of dying is what keeps Finn anchored to his child self. What keeps him from hoping. And daring.
Finn outgrows this the moment he ditches the Outer Rim guys to go fight the First Order at Maz Kanata’s castle, Rey having played a key (human) part in his decision.
After this, Finn gains a piece of his identity, making one step forward towards adulthood.
2) Phasma - yes. Phasma. The captain. The warleader. The steely soldier in a mask …his parental figure, in a sense. The embodiment of Imperial care and “tough love” every subservient citizen should look up to.
Kylo Ren and Rey are not the only ones troubled by their families. Finn is too, in his own way, and by the end of TFA he still struggles to come to terms with it in a mature way.
The line “I’m in charge, I’m in charge now Phasma, I’m in charge!” after he and Han capture the Captain and the wary, aggressive way he holds her captive and orders her around while pointing a blaster at her head prove that beautifully, showing us a rougher, conflicted side of Finn’s that had stayed dormant up until that point.
Everything about this scene with Phasma shouts “trial”. Finn’s self-confidence wavers as he partially loses his cool, portraying the adolescent Phasma trained. It’s as if he is actually doubting his freedom, while in her presence, and hasn’t quite grasped how to handle that.
The TLJ trailer, alongside the purpose of Finn and Rose’s undercover mission, give us reason to think that this Phasma demon will be addressed in the upcoming movie.
Finn does not hate Kylo Ren. He does not hate Hux, nor Snoke. But he could hate Phasma, because of what she attempted shaping him into. Because deep down he feels that he’s not completely free as long as he hasn’t proven that to her. And although as informal as any Imperial training can get, there’s still a level of intimacy a trainer and her stormtrooper share, as opposed to fighting against any other faceless First Order follower.
Phasma acts as a sort of Frollo to Finn’s (able-bodied) Quasimodo.
Will Finn free himself of Phasma’s (literal and figurative) influence without succumbing to hatred?
I’m looking forward to seeing where this is going to end, and I seriously hope Johnson has given this arc the depth it deserves.
Hemlock’s operators struck out on their first official mission to retrieve and catalog a dangerous anomaly. Their journey started with a letter from the ever mysterious Eldritch Eye.
A shard from the abyss hides within a locked box. Held within the vice-like grip of a holy church, its taint goes unappreciated. Unnoticed. Unrespected. Among those holy men it is wasted. They are clouded with delusions of purification and containment.
These holy men will be made to taste the bitter leaves of Hemlock and be relieved of the burden they so unwittingly shoulder. It is your duty to see it done. Seek those who bare our black envelope and bring the will of our cadre to life.
-The Eldritch Eye
With little information beyond that, the operators of Hemlock pieced together a cryptic story that culminated in an excursion into the wintry peaks of the Coerthas region. Lead by the Dotharl Warleader Ajirai. The operators traversed the roads through white out conditions. It didn’t take long for them to pick up a trail. Blood dripped out into a fresh trail leading deep into the woods off from the main road.
Arshavan was perhaps the first to notice the danger that the operators were unwittingly following. Stripped tree branches far above the height of any mundane beast and tracks as large as a Roegadyn man is wide. They were in the territory of a behemoth.
Deep in a stripped wood, the weather turned for the worst. Conditions deteriorated down to 30 fulm visibility. Even worse the trail of blood they had been following went cold. It was the keen eye of Drohkya that righted the party on their path. A distant glowing light of blue deep inside a basin. The closer they came the more apparent the true nature of the basin became. At its center was an allagan tomelith. Circuits along its exterior glowed that cool blue characteristic of all of the felled empire’s creations.
Beneath the snow was hardened red crystal. Koh’a, the party’s arcanist, was the first to feel faint vibrations. They ran through the crystalline crater at a regular interval. Almost like footsteps. It didn’t take long for party to realize where they were. They had stumbled into the domain of the beast.
Confidence was high. Solin, another Dotharl, who lacked fear like so many of her tribe ventured forth. She was the first to lay eyes upon the beast and the blood and viscera that surrounded its den. It was gorging itself upon a fresh kill. A humanoid creature.
Soon Solin’s twin Lunai, and the rest of the operators caught up with the scouting Xaela. Silently they prepared themselves to do battle with a monster. They at least had the benefit of surprise.
With a loud warcry, Lunai and Solin charged the unsuspecting beast. In the open blows, Lunai managed to sheer a horn from the head of the behemoth with their massive sword. The others quickly filed in behind them. Arshavan was the first to catch the beast’s ire. His fluid movements were no match for the force of a several tonze behemoth who slammed its side into him. He found himself reeling. Out of breath. Koh’a set the beast’s hide ablaze with an astral fire aspected orb that burst out from beneath the creature. From behind Khada ducked around the beast’s flailing tail. Her daggers struggled to piece the beasts hide, but the sharp points of her blades managed to rend and tear holes in its hide.
The behemoth, feeling threatened, fell back upon its own innate magic. Drohkya moved deftly with her enchanted blade to silence the beast’s casting in one fell swoop. Sadly it wasn’t enough, the spell completed. A swarm of comets rained down from above upon the attackers. All but Arshavan and Koh’a found themselves hit by the aetherial balls. Most were dazed from their wounds. Unable to act.
With quick thinking on Koh’a’s part, the beast was surrounded in a whirlwind conjured from his spellbook. It’d only last for a moment, but Arshavan managed to turn Koha’s vortex into a twister imbued with astral lightning.
Ajirai summoned forth the experiences of her past lives. In a long ritual that’d take time she began to draw forth power from her unique casting focus. Lunai jumped at the chance to offer a distraction. Thanks to the beast’s short temper, Lunai drew the beast into a frenzy. Soon she found herself gored by the beast. Its only remaining horn dug deep into her side. She clutched onto the beast. She wouldn’t be shook free from it. She’d seemingly do anything to give her warleader the opening her needed. The rest of operators moved in around the beast. Slashing and stabbing at the beast’s limbs in the hopes of crippling it.
Drohkya’s enchanted greatsword tore through the behemoth’s hide and tendons. In one clean motion she had separated leg from torso. The beast collapsed. Bloodied but not beaten. As long as it drew breath it was still dangerous.
In one last desperate attempt. The behemoth swung out with its last good limb. With all the anger and desperation a losing beast would have. It had aims to take Ajirai with it. Solin, like her twin sister, was ever willing to lay her body to win. She caugth the beast’s blow and was sent sailing back several fulms. It bought Ajirai those last few precious moments she needed to finish drawing upon her past lives.
The air above the behemoth turned a sinister red as a large aetherial rock birthed itself into existence. It crashed down upon the beast with the force of a meteor. It tore through the beast, quickly extinguishing the desperate throes of life from it. However before the meteor could finish unleashing its destruction, it began to dissipate. As if there was something inside of the behemoth absorbing all the aetherial energy of the spell. It wasn’t long before the meteor had fizzled out, and all that was left was the charred husk of the behemoth.
It was Khada who took on the glamorous work of digging through the… remnants of the beast. It didn’t take her long to find the very thing they were looking for. A shard so black that it couldn’t even reflect light. Simply being around it would make someone uncomfortable. It’d make someone feel drain of emotion and energy
Koh’a had brought the anomaly’s containment device. A gold lined lockbox. As quickly as he could, he stuffed the ominous shard inside. From there the anomaly would be brought back to Hemlock where it’d recieve proper classification and storage.
(Pictured Aboved, Lunai with a behemoth horn stuck in her side being carted off by Solin)
Some meanderings on how Dalish camps are run. The hierarchy of the clan (such as it is), the Hahrens and apprentices (Including Keeper and Firsts (and Seconds)), and the rest of the clan and all the jobs and responsibilities of the members within (including the children). Hopefully this comprehensible.
I would kindly ask you not to swing your sword in the middle of a brawl, while it is in your office, if there is any killing between guilds we have a lot of paperwork to do up here. I'm sure you know about the paperwork issue from your subordinates. In any case, Maris if you can't find a way to make the ninth a "relatively" peaceful precinct, then we may have to invoke some team-building getaways. From the office of The Warleader, Archangel Second Class Harim
Respectfully, I feel it was justified, as the wall of my office was smashed in and I have a stab wound now….
Hello~ I just wanna say your blog is golden, it has saved me, I love it so much! Also do you have like a masterpost for The Dalish? Specifically things like positions in a clan, things you can get kicked out for, or are just strongly frowned upon. I'm trying to write my Dalish inquisitors backstory and I'm hitting a wall tbh. And what I can find by myself on other sources, so far has been little help. Help please? And thank you for taking the time the read this :)
Thank you for the compliment! I’m glad to have been of help.
I don’t have a Dalish masterpost (or didn’t, I guess), but here’s the best of what I currently have on the blog:
Roles among each clan are stringent and clearly defined. A keeper serves as a leader and spiritual guide, and working in tandem with them is a hahren, who reiterates the Elven lore and tends to the children. Other important positions are being the designated warleader, hearthmistress and crafter. There is also a designated Halla Keeper. Elves can also be a Hunter or a Healer. Each position has an apprenticeship stage, an example being how an elf must kill and present a beast of the forest all by themselves to become a fully-fledged hunter.
As for what can get you kicked out–Well, I do know of a couple Dalish exiles:
Velanna got kicked out for defying the Keeper: “…humans had tried to burn the Dalish out of the woods, to prevent them reaching their farms. Velanna was one the few elves who wanted revenge, but Ilshae [the Keeper] forbade them. When Velanna called her a coward, she was exiled from the clan and only a handful of elves followed her in her quest for vengeance.” (x)
Minaeve was exiled for being the fourth mage in her clan (x), though this appears to be inconsistent with Dalish lore elsewhere in the games, so use your own discretion.
I hope that something here has been helpful. As always, if anyone has anything pertinent to add to this answer, please feel free to do so!
So I’ve been thinking about aravels, and how much the tiny red ships bug me, and devoted far too much time to planning out how I think they work.
To maintain a stable, healthy population, Dalish clans must be 250 members strong minimum. With only so many resources and 250 people to shelter the tiny (though admittedly pretty) delicate little aravels seen in DA:II and Inquisition would not be accurate or useful structures. The large, bulky wooden wagons of Origins would be much more likely, although to be honest they should be bigger. In the Masked Empire Briala describes them as “great wagons” and compares them to buildings. They’re big.
Long post with much rambling and sketchy diagrams ahead:
Captain, are @Guardianforce and @a-boros-named-Seamus, in your precinct. Because if so they need to speak to my boss. All of our bosses. They may end up scorched. From the office of The Warleader, A very worried Archangel Second Class Harim
Yes, they are. I’ve been trying to wrangle them for months.
so sorry if you answered this already! but i was wondering if you know anything about the period while a dalish is a hunter apprentice. I know that to become a hunter they have to kill a beast on their own, but i was wondering what is the usual amount of time a dalish spends as a hunter apprentice and whether they have someone teaching them how to hunt, is there such a role in the clans or is more unofficial than that? thanks in advance!
I’m going to start with your last question first: Is there such a role?
Yes, there is. Dalish Clans have several roles: Keeper (Leader and spiritual guide), Keeper’s First (Keeper’s apprentice), Hahren (Book keeper and teacher), Warleader/General, Hearthmistress (???, a role mentioned in the Virnehn clan), Crafter/Blacksmith, Halla Keeper, Hunter, and Healer. So yes, hunter is a specific role.
Now each role does have an apprenticeship stage, meaning that yes. A hunter does have a mentor who teaches them to hunt, if you ever play/played the Mahariel origin you might remember Pol being taught to shoot a bow by another elf and this is no doubt the start of his apprenticeship as a Dalish.
As you said a hunter must kill a beast in order to become a hunter, it is a rite of passage and even a rite to adulthood. Which you can see with Cammen, as he is not allowed to be bonded/married to Gheyna until he can prove he can provide. He also does not have his vallaslin, though he appears to be reaching that age. It is my speculation, but it appears the lore is also hinting, that for a Dalish to prove to the Keeper they are ready to receive their vallaslin they must at least overcome their apprenticeships.
Thus the age/period of apprenticeship on average would be between 12-18 years of age, though it can extend past, start earlier, start later, or end earlier depending on the talent, work, and success of the apprentice. For instance, a Hunter Lavellan’s codex says they started their apprenticeship young.
I hope this helps and sorry for such a late response, I finally got to set down and just answer some things.
Hey Batcrooks! I know you're all for Beastclans and such, but do you have anything to say on Centaurs? Besides being real hard in Scorched Forest, there' still so little on them. And their 'cousins' hiding out in the Forgotten Cave. I myself have a bit of lore involving them, since they do spend some time in the Southern Icefields; just wondering if they fit anywhere in your lore?
Flight Rising centaurs! Generally, centaurs are not my favorite mythological creature, but Flight Rising centaurs actually have perhaps the MOST (implied) lore of all the Beastclans. Maybe.
Pre-Draconian centaurs were definitely at an advanced level of society. They had both agricultural technology and had progressed to at least Iron Age level tools and weapons.
Note the armor. None of the other beastclans wear it in the history video, and all other beastclans are shown using only spears (and potions/magic), while centaurs also have bows. They were so established as a society and culture that when dragons emerged, they were not, apparently, overly traumatized by it at first, and were able to develop a somewhat healthy relationship of economic trade and knowledge sharing. At least until the warring between flights got so bad they couldn’t really do that reliably anymore.
The most interesting thing about centaurs is what I have headcanoned to be implicated by the strange way the centaur lore is written and how it connects with the different depictions and names of the centaurs.
Could I please get some birthday trivia about Aurelia the Warleader? つ ◕_◕ ༽つ
Angels tend to be more defensive than offensive in flavor, so the fun part of making Boris (Red/White) angels is we get to turn up the aggressiveness. I particularly liked the haste + Relentless Assault combo.
Yowzerz. That’s a lot of stuff. Today continues this series with a look at the flavor parallels between Khans of Tarkir and Dragons of Tarkir. Many cards showed the same person or thing or event in both sets in order to differentiate between the time of Khans and the time of Dragonlords. These are the bread-and-butter cards that show just how much Sarkhan’s actions changed Tarkir.
Clearly, the most impactful change was the death of Turtle McDurdle. While Meandering Towershell wandered Sultai lands in the time of Khans, Dragonlord Silumgar had it smote as a warning to the other clans. Meanie. We’ll miss you, Turtle McDurdle. ;_;7
Other things fared worse in the new timeline, especially the bears. While they were the top predators in Khans, they were a popular snack for Atarka-clan dragons. Few bears remain:
The Atarka clan’s fiery savagery changed more than the bears. Even the landscape has shifted to a much warmer and burnier climate. The elementals of the woods are having a tough time:
While the rocs were the lords of the sky without dragons, the world with dragons has driven the giant birds to the edges of their aerial habitats:
While the colossodons were unmatched in the old timeline, they are perfect meals for dragons in the new one. They rarely grow to the size they once were:
Not everything suffered. Humans and Ainok are the perfect size to eat fish, but things in the water are fairly safe from dragons. Left alone for centuries, the carp have become some of the most ferocious predators of the rivers:
Many cards in both sets showcase the difference between the clans under Khans and the clans under Dragonlords. While Anafenza led the Abzan armies to battle, the Dromoka clan soldiers are led by their peers:
The Abzan also relied on the power of their ancestors to bond together, but the Dromoka claim familial ties to the blood of their Dragonlord. This difference appears in the flavor texts of the following cards:
The Mardu strove to gain a war-name, an honor of deeds benefiting the clan. The Kolaghan, however, simply strive for the fury of battle:
In one timeline, Gvar Barzeel was the adopted orc brother of Anafenza. In another, he was a powerful Kolaghan warleader. Words that echo this change appear in the flavor text of cards of their respective clans:
While the Temur shamans no longer exist, some still practice the ways of their ancestors. Flavor text links the ceremonial antler hats of the old Temur to the secret shamans that hide from the Dragonlords:
On Tarkir, kirins only appear as the herald of a very important person. One arrived when the crazed Sarkhan Vol did, marking him as a key figure in the future (and past) of Tarkir. A kirin also appeared when the temporal forces that brought him to the past whisked him away to his reforged future:
Finally, no card showcases the shift from Khans to Dragonlords more simply than Naturalize. In one timeline, the bones of dragons litter the world. In another, the weapons of the clans rot as relics of a divided Tarkir:
The Tarkir block is about change. One event going differently has drastic implications for the future. Those in power in one timeline are the meek in another. Those that failed before now rise above all others. Is the new timeline better or worse than the old? It’s difficult to say. What’s apparent through the cards is that it’s a whole new world.
Next Sunday, planeswalkers, will be the final entry of Signs of the Times.
Love your work. About Stannis question I asked moment ago, I hope to know how Robert and Renly differ in their motives for usurpation, and how Stannis is not just being hypocritical in claiming IT. My thoughts are that Robert was being honest in his motives for becoming King and at least had a Targaryen grandmother, however Joffrey and Tommen claimed the IT under false pretenses.
Greetings, I love your analysis. Stannis is my favorite character.
People say Stannis is a hypocrite claiming the IT as his brother usurped
it, and say that Renly was basically doing the same thing as Robert.
What are your thoughts on that?
I’ll grab your two questions together. The bottom line is, Robert and Renly had two incredibly different motives for rebelling. They are only similar in Renly’s mind, and Renly is keenly aware of it. He’s dressing up his usurpation in whatever nice symbols he can, to lend his movement more legitimacy than it had.
Robert’s Rebellion was not a movement to install Robert as the new king of the Seven Kingdoms. Robert was not acclaimed by his bannermen and future vassals until before the Battle of the Trident. Robert’s Rebellion was born out of violent and flagrant feudal overreach on the part of Aerys II and Rhaegar Targaryen. We’ll go over the events in the order they happened.
First, Rhaegar abducts Lyanna Stark (to everyone’s contemporary understanding). For Rhaegar, a married man, to take Lyanna Stark was confirmation of his earlier crowning of Lyanna at Harrenhal as the Queen of Love and Beauty, Rhaegar was declaring openly that Lyanna was his mistress. This shames the Starks (who now cannot fulfill their marriage obligations to the Baratheons and cannot protect their daughters from the predations of the Crown Prince), the Baratheons (Robert’s betrothed is now ‘sullied’ by Rhaegar), and the Martells (whose Elia Martell now runs the risk of being set aside for Lyanna and risking a Blackfyre-type scenario). Affairs were tolerated (even celebrated), but it was expected that men would keep them minimally discreet, and this was anything but subtle). To steal away a noble daughter for personal pleasure was not conduct becoming of the crown prince, but rather of outlaws and brigands.
After that, Brandon Stark gets arrested for calling out for Rhaegar to ‘come out and die,’ and Aerys II seizes Brandon and all of his companions, demanding that their fathers come to King’s Landing. When the fathers came as called by the crown, Aerys had them all rounded up and executed as traitors. When Rickard Stark demanded his right to trial by combat, Aerys instead burns him to death to mock the custom.
Aerys here was misusing his position as feudal overlord. Aerys promises safe passage and then immediately rescinds it, throwing royal credibility into the cesspool (we see this with Aenys Blackfyre and Aegon V’s exiling of Bloodraven to the Wall, royal credibility clearly matters to the Westerosi). In denying Rickard Stark the right to trial, Aerys makes the public statement that royal whim trumps noble privileges, making the feudal oaths sworn to Aerys worthless. At any point, Aerys could murder a noble, even a Lord Paramount, with no right to trial, placing every noble of Westeros under a death sentence. Now, any man can be marked for death by royal writ without warning or recourse.
Brandon Stark’s companions and their unnamed fathers are important here too. The Mallisters depend on the Tullys for protection and the Glovers (Ethan survived, but his father did not) depend upon the Starks, and their nobles were murdered unjustly, thus now, Aerys makes a statement that his desires trump the obligations that a Lord Paramount owes to its own vassal houses. For Aerys, all that matters is that he gets what he wants: a true absolute monarch, beyond reach or question.
Then, Aerys marks Robert Baratheon (Lyanna’s betrothed) and Eddard Stark (the newLord of Winterfell) for death, commanding Jon Arryn to turn over the two boys to the funeral pyre. Aerys commands that Jon break his fosterage contracts (thus commanding him to break two alliances) and guest right (a sacred tradition) and be complicit in the murder of two innocent boys after he just murdered Jon Arryn’s heir! Aerys truly believed nothing was beyond his grasp, and for Jon to comply would be him breaking his oath of alliance to Houses Stark and Baratheon, his oath of guardianship to House Royce (who had two of its members murdered by the king) and his own duty to look after his own family members.
Now, after all this, Rhaegar emerges from Dorne and immediately declares that he shall fight for his father. This is Rhaegar making the statement that the Targaryen dynasty was right in its actions, that he was permitted to abduct Lyanna Stark without consequence, that Jon Arryn was wrong for refusing Aerys’s order, that Rickard Stark did not deserve his right to trial by combat. Now, given what he said to Jaime about a council being called, it’s likely that he didn’t actually believe some of that, but the rebels aren’t privy to his ideas for change (nor does Rhaegar apparently make any effort to do so). So, in the absence of any other claimant (Viserys offers too big of a risk of Targaryen vendetta), Robert is the new king, by acclaim of his future bannermen. So that’s the long story of how Robert got to be king.
Now, we look at Renly. From the start, the contrast is obvious. Renly’s rebellion has been to install himself as the new ruler from the very beginning, under no ideology or pretext. Sure, under blood primogeniture, none of Robert’s kids are eligible to inherit, but Stannis is eligible before Renly is. At the outset, Stannis’s war is not ideological, it is simply “Robert’s children are illegitimate, I’m the next in line for the Iron Throne, so here we go.” Renly’s war doesn’t use Joffrey’s actions as a springboard because there’s no argument to put Stannis aside for the Throne. There’s no matter of ethics, law, or the proper course of governance. Renly’s rebellion is, at its core: “I am the king, and I have an army big enough to kill all who disagree.” Had it been successful, then any new claimant could take the Throne by the same logic, riding a wave of political outsiders and creating the “all against all” of Leviathan horror. So to counteract this, he invents a fiction of worth, that he is the king because he is better suited. However, this claim of merit over Stannis is instantly quelled when we see that he has no objective standard as fitness to rule (that is, only his deduction makes him a ‘better king.’ Privately, he acknowledges Stannis claim as superior with the ‘while he lives’ comment, leading me to believe he doesn’t believe in meritocratic rule as opposed to rule by force. Catelyn is key here with some of her most intelligent political action (and most delightful chapters, seriously go reread ACOK Catelyn III and IV and wonder why people aren’t a fan of Catelyn, she’s easily top five POV-material), she’s the one that pieces together that the Lannister incest must be true for Renly. Renly can easily dismiss Stannis’s claim as self-serving, because it makes him the king by law, but the North was rebelling over the killing of Eddard, not the validity of Joffrey’s parentage, so Catelyn’s promotion of the idea cannot be dismissed as a self-serving ‘truth.’
Likening Renly’s Rebellion to Robert’s Rebellion is a pure surface-level read of the Rebellion. To say that Robert was looking to become a king because he was a great warleader and warfighter is an active denial. Renly is doing it to give his rebellion a greater sense of meaning, a noble purpose beyond: “Hey guys, you know what? I think being a king is just really awesome.” Robert’s Rebellion is not an usurpation of the Throne, it was a war over whether Aerys’s actions were permissible for a king, and the rebel’s position was that, if you perform actions like this, you lose the right to rule. To equate it to Renly’s naked power grab, or any of the other feudal ‘pissing matches’ that Rohanne Webber believes are so vital to noble power is a mistake at best, a deliberate misread at worst. Robert’s Rebellion was neither a naked power grab nor a fight for pride…it came down to very real questions of tyranny, (one wrestled with in our own world by philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, and Rouseau, thinkers whose writings have a profound influence on our modern notion of government).
Now, as to why out-of-universe observers think that Renly and Robert had the same motivations for rebellion, I can’t say why they might think that. I illustrated what the core ideologies were surrounding each of the movements. I can address some arguments I’ve heard, and these may or may not be the reasons your friends use to support their arguments.
Robert just wanted to knock out the Targaryens and take the Throne for himself - Patently false. We see in a So Spake Martin that: “Robert proclaimed his intention to take the throne … around the time
of the Trident. Would not elaborate any further. Mentioned Robert’s
claim being stronger than Eddard Stark’s and Jon Arryn’s, the leaders of
the two other great houses that spearheaded the revolution, due to
blood ties to the Targaryen’s.“ If he only wanted the Throne, why wait until then to declare it?
Robert hated Rhaegar and just wanted to kill him to avenge his macho pride - While I do not doubt that Robert was no friend to Rhaegar, and his speech in Eddard’s chapter clearly show that the thought of Rhaegar abducting and raping Lyanna drove him to fury, Aerys presented an actual threat to his physical safety.
Renly’s war as an ideological one against the established Westerosi culture - That’s a conception of the show, as is the conception of Renly as a sensitive literati. Renly’s cruelly mocks Shireen and Brienne behind their backs, and professes to a distrust of book learning, considering it the provenance of maesters. Hilariously enough, Stannis is the meritocratic, well-educated candidate out of the three Baratheon brothers. Renly, if anything is a creature of the established Westerosi culture.
Aegon/Viserys/Daenerys has a better claim to the Iron Throne - If Aerys lost the right to rule, he lost the ability to pass it on to his descendants. Robert’s establishment of a new regime completes the invalidation of any Targaryen claim through Aerys.
Blood succession is a terrible way to pick a leader - No argument here, but replacing it with “whoever has the most swords is the new leader” isn’t an improvement, by my reckoning.
If you’re eager for more reading, here’s a few great reads on Robert’s and Renly’s Rebellions from other minds. @mademoisellesansa wrote a splendid article a while back examining Robert’s Rebellion under the just war theory. @racefortheironthrone wrote about Renly’s rebellion and his idea on monarchy (as well as Stannis’s) in his Hollow Crowns and Deadly Thrones essay series. @turtle-paced‘s also got a great book/show comparison piece called: Introducing Stannis, for a look at the book and series conception of Stannis and where a lot of the show support for Renly comes from. Turtle’s doing rewatches of Season 1 right now, but I really hope that this essay will be continued in the future.