Alison about Chalana Arroy

From: ian (i.) gorlick (igorlick@bnr.ca)
Date: Fri 03 Feb 1995 - 19:45:00 EET


        Hello, this is Alison Place.

        I was intrigued by all the interesting possibilities that Brian Pinch raised vis-a-vis Chalana Arroy worshippers. I have always preferred the stance that they are absolutely required to protect any intelligent beings under their sleep or befuddle spell, even Chaos spawn. Since Chaotics are the most vicious threat to Chalana Arroy (especially Mallia), allowing CA's to let Chaos be killed removed one of the most stringent requirements that they labour under. It is a far better test of everyone's character to have to let the baddie go. Since CA's must never harm an intelligent creature, waylaying it and letting someone else do the killing is just fudging the issue. It prevents people from thinking that all they have to do is haul some poor CA into the line of fire, and any targets that she takes down with sleep spells are so much dead meat.

        The "never harm a living creature" and "become a vegetarian" clauses seem clear enough, but I'll bet they are bent by some. I am sure that troll consider elves to be on the vegetarian diet, even if they mayn't kill them. For instance, has anyone heard the Buddhist quibble about never killing? A Buddhist who adored fishing claimed that all he did was pull the fish out of the water. If it couldn't breathe air, and thus died, that wasn't his fault. I remember a very sad thing that Dith Pran (the Cambodian assistant in The Killing Fields) told us at a lecture to which we went. Because they (being Buddhists) did not wish to kill their oxen , even though they were starving, people would cut off the animal's tail joint by joint, or they would drink the blood.

        As far as that goes, we don't use the vegetarianism bit at all. A European cultural background (which is heavily used for most Lightbringer cultures) does not include, and never has, a vegetarian diet. It doesn't work in their climates.

        Using the original phrase "intelligent creature" is a better idea, especially if you are worried about where the undead fit in. That way, vampires, ghouls and Zorak Zoran zombies all qualify as protected. It also avoids the logical extension of not allowing others to harm (actually, kill) the meat you eat.

        It is true that I hadn't thought of the ramifications of all the unintelligent creatures that can attack. Most can just be put to sleep, if possible, and then left somewhere comfy to wake up. Someone attacking while on a riding animal could certainly have both be armoured against magical attack, while their mounts could attack also. I would then rule that it is reasonable for her to bring down the mount, if that is possible, and not be penalised. She would, I assume, have to make sure that the animal's spirit would get back to Eiritha or Ernalda for rebirth. If it turns out that the mount is awakened, weeell, she's in heap big trouble. Herdmen could be really annoying!

        A CA cultist who wishes to be obnoxious can still use an awful lot of behaviour without having harmed another. She could still slap, spank, choke, pinch or do numerous other things that do not harm, even if they hurt momentarily. And then there is all the necessary medical stuff that harms while it helps, such as amputations. Does saving a person's life count if the clause "do not harm" must be considered paramount? Using sense, yes, it does.

        All this really adds up to is that there has always been, and should always be, room for different interpretations of the supposedly simple and ironclad guiding vows by which Chalana Arroy cultists are sworn to abide. Getting someone into a nice Catch-22 for gaming fun should be pretty easy.         



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