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Carnadosian Repentance?

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Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by Bewildered   » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:42 pm

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A thought struck me last night, could a Carnadosian repent of black magic and survive, or would Wencit kill them? Yes this assumes their peers don't kill them first! If however they grew up being trained to perform black magic, or die, there's very little choice as regards upholding the laws Wencit adheres too, or even a reason to consider obeying them. SotS gave us <spoiler warning!>an assassin who's consider departing her guild, so why shouldn't a Carnodosian grow a conscience?

And in a similar vein, if a wizard were attacked, or came to the defence of another, killing the attackers would put them on Wencit's hit list right? Just wondering if "grey" wizards can survive Wencit, and what the bounds or magic law are.
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by JeffEngel   » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:43 pm

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Bewildered wrote:A thought struck me last night, could a Carnadosian repent of black magic and survive, or would Wencit kill them? Yes this assumes their peers don't kill them first! If however they grew up being trained to perform black magic, or die, there's very little choice as regards upholding the laws Wencit adheres too, or even a reason to consider obeying them. SotS gave us [snipped!], so why shouldn't a Carnodosian grow a conscience?

And in a similar vein, if a wizard were attacked, or came to the defence of another, killing the attackers would put them on Wencit's hit list right? Just wondering if "grey" wizards can survive Wencit, and what the bounds or magic law are.

There are apparently quite a lot of "grubby" gray-ish wizards in Norfressa that Wencit hasn't showed up and executed. My conjecture is that either (1) he's really busy and can't zap them all, or (2) when he's not offering the training the Council of Ottovar offered, he's going to be lenient about enforcing the Strictures for people who don't dial themselves from gray to black in a hurry.

I'm not sure how much option a Carnadosan has for dialing from black to a light gray. They'll have caught too much attention from Carnadosa, directly or indirectly, to evade attention and a visit from some Anti-Wencit. They'll have tasted too much of power you don't get to use and keep without doing Very Bad Things. They're like heroin addicts, only instead of heroin, they need kitten souls or the equivalent. And they like it. They've had too much practice keeping their consciences out of their way to start listening to them now, or to go all the way and do what they say.
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:47 pm

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JeffEngel wrote:...They're like heroin addicts, only instead of heroin, they need kitten souls or the equivalent. And they like it.


Humans are like Lay's Potato Chips (tm) -- you can't sacrifice just one. :shock:
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by Bewildered   » Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:46 pm

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Certainly a kitten soul addiction would be difficult to kick :P however addicts can and do stop. Whether that means no magic or no kitten magic would be something DW would need to clarify.

And as for being too good at keeping their consciences out of the way, I believe there is RW precedent. Nazi's are generally considered the worst of the worst however several of those slated for execution repented. Okay so a direct parallel would be the Carnodosian acknowledging their guilt and letting Wencit execute them, but that's less interesting than someone trying to right the wrongs they themselves are partly guilty for.
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by hanuman   » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:24 am

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Bewildered wrote:Certainly a kitten soul addiction would be difficult to kick :P however addicts can and do stop. Whether that means no magic or no kitten magic would be something DW would need to clarify.

And as for being too good at keeping their consciences out of the way, I believe there is RW precedent. Nazi's are generally considered the worst of the worst however several of those slated for execution repented. Okay so a direct parallel would be the Carnodosian acknowledging their guilt and letting Wencit execute them, but that's less interesting than someone trying to right the wrongs they themselves are partly guilty for.


I can envision a scenario where a black wizard approaches Wencit with a request to have their talent blocked or stripped away, but remain a wizard and refute the black arts? Not so sure about that...
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by JeffEngel   » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:47 pm

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Bewildered wrote:Certainly a kitten soul addiction would be difficult to kick :P however addicts can and do stop. Whether that means no magic or no kitten magic would be something DW would need to clarify.
It's read to me like it's nearly impossible to resist doing magic if you can do it, and nearly impossible to resist doing more black magic (that is, drawing on sources of power you pretty nearly can't draw on without doing a Very Bad Thing doing so) if you've started doing it.

So kicking the habit, in this case, would be a nearly miraculous exercise of willpower unless you did lose the ability to work magic entirely. And Wencit's considered that as a fate on a par with death, maybe worse. Which leads to...
And as for being too good at keeping their consciences out of the way, I believe there is RW precedent. Nazi's are generally considered the worst of the worst however several of those slated for execution repented. Okay so a direct parallel would be the Carnodosian acknowledging their guilt and letting Wencit execute them, but that's less interesting than someone trying to right the wrongs they themselves are partly guilty for.

... my suspicion that, yes, Carnadosan repentance would take the form of going out with a bang in the midst of fellow Carnadosans (think a Kontovaran Jack MacBryde), or submitting peacefully to Wencit's judgment for violation of the Strictures instead of putting up the futile resistance.

Interesting as the longer-lived redemption story may be, from what we have, it wouldn't read as plausible.
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by louisr   » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:29 pm

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I would imagine that a true Carnadosan, somebody like Varnaythus or our new friend from SOTS who has signed on, knowingly and willingly, with Carnadosa, _can't_ back out any more than a Servant of Krahana could. She's got her hooks into them and ain't letting go. It's not likely that you could become a wizard under the aegis of the Council of Carnadosa and not cross that line, either.

Whether you can become a genuinely black wizard - as opposed to really dark grey - without worshipping Carnadosa, I don't know. Given that much of the difference between white and dark is intent, however, I would think that Wencit would give such a person a chance. How much of a chance, and under what terms, is probably a matter determined on a case-by-case basis. And, perhaps, not by Wencit alone: in such cases he may call in the nearest available Hand, Axe or Champion [or all of the above] for consultation. That, of course, begs the question of the evil they may have already done. Some things would be unforgivable - but could anyone who's gone that far willingly forgo them anyway?

JeffEngel wrote:
Bewildered wrote:Certainly a kitten soul addiction would be difficult to kick :P however addicts can and do stop. Whether that means no magic or no kitten magic would be something DW would need to clarify.
It's read to me like it's nearly impossible to resist doing magic if you can do it, and nearly impossible to resist doing more black magic (that is, drawing on sources of power you pretty nearly can't draw on without doing a Very Bad Thing doing so) if you've started doing it.

So kicking the habit, in this case, would be a nearly miraculous exercise of willpower unless you did lose the ability to work magic entirely. And Wencit's considered that as a fate on a par with death, maybe worse. Which leads to...
And as for being too good at keeping their consciences out of the way, I believe there is RW precedent. Nazi's are generally considered the worst of the worst however several of those slated for execution repented. Okay so a direct parallel would be the Carnodosian acknowledging their guilt and letting Wencit execute them, but that's less interesting than someone trying to right the wrongs they themselves are partly guilty for.

... my suspicion that, yes, Carnadosan repentance would take the form of going out with a bang in the midst of fellow Carnadosans (think a Kontovaran Jack MacBryde), or submitting peacefully to Wencit's judgment for violation of the Strictures instead of putting up the futile resistance.

Interesting as the longer-lived redemption story may be, from what we have, it wouldn't read as plausible.
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by phillies   » Sat Oct 03, 2015 10:16 am

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Humans have free will. They can choose or do better.

As an aside, a comment perhaps of more interest to the author than to most commenters here, an orthodox Jewish message, which is the opposite of an orthodox Christian message, is that you must choose for yourself to to what is right, with no help other than advice from on high. Furthermore, the judgement at the final bar, with the Accuser noting your acts, is whether or not your reasoning as to what was right was the best you could do yourself under the circumstances, not whether a wiser man would have done elsewise. If you have done wrong, you must make compensation, but that compensation (as fixed by an impartial judge) *must be accepted* and once compensation has been made, the matter is done.

One might imagine, someplace in the distant ocean an island run by one or more former black wizards who have repented of their ways. Whether the author does or not is another question.
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by feyhunde   » Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:28 pm

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Bewildered wrote:so why shouldn't a Carnodosian grow a conscience?


I think they should be able to, especially one that was essentially a good kid grown in a bad environment. The biggest thing is whether the Carnodosians would send someone they thought susceptible to redemption.

OTOH redemption for the unlikely is a better story.

I think our little border guard agent is a simple example.
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Re: Carnadosian Repentance?
Post by thanatos   » Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:54 pm

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In Orfressa, the bottom line is always the existence of much clearer moral distinctions. Serving a Dark God willingly make you evil - period. Anything short of that however, the sort of dirty political and military dealings mentioned in the series (like say Baron Cassan's machinations, anyone who hires the Dog Brother and anyone who knowingly deals with dark wizards without practicing magic themselves) are in the "grey" category. Wencit mentions that giving in to the temptation of expedience in the art is dangerous - a moral slippery slope that is difficult to evade.

However, there are also several other elements that RFC mentioned in the last two novels. First, Carnadosa herself does not employ avatars - thus avoiding the mistakes of Shigu and Sharna who both poured their energy wildly into their tools and were weakened when those tools were destroyed in combat. And the reason for this has been that her wizard priests always powerful enough. And I would imagine that, much like Wencit's Oath to Semkirk (patron of white sorcery), Carnadosa's wizard priests swear their own oath to her in return for power and status within her church - Which is the only game in Kontovar these days. Moreover, any wizard requires training and most dark wizards are chary in who they take under their wing, as the apprentice might surpass his master in skill and kill him (thus advancing in the Carnadosan hierarchy and claiming his possessions - which includes all of his magical "research"). RFC's described this hierarchy as a mass of competing wizards, each mistrustful of the other and constantly at each other's throats (with Wencit actually finding this lack of cooperation morbidly amusing and predictable). Moreover, while the art is clearly a hereditary gift, I doubt blood is thicker than water in Kontovar. I would hazard a guess and say that much of Carnadosa's attention is taken up by trying to hammer some cooperation between them, preventing the older and more experienced wizards from preying on the newer ones and getting the older wizards to actually train the new ones. After all, she still needs many wizards for the coming war and having many killed off at a young age is a problem.

So all in all, I would imagine the possibility of that every now and then there is a dark wizard with a conscience who actually cares for the victims his art demands and who realizes how inherently weak dark wizards are compared to white wizards. So the question is, could a dark wizard who's already sworn himself to Carnadosa be able to escape Her after the powers and honor she's granted him or her? An actual Carnadosan wouldn't be able to but a run-of-the-mill dark wizard who hates all of the other dark wizards because they wouldn't let him into their club for whatever reason and who hasn't indulged in his darker desires as much - in other words, a more enlightened sort - might be able to. But then the question becomes, could he get away from the dark and dangerous environment he's operating in and throw himself at Wencit's mercy? Moreover, would Wencit consent to train him given his reticence to reestablish the White Council in Norfressa? This might happen in the future, a final peace of the puzzle that Wencit is putting together. Then again, it might not.
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