[New Koratia] Prying Eyes

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[New Koratia] Prying Eyes

Post by Big Mac »

Ripvanwormer mentioned a short story called Prying Eyes in Havard's D&D Micro-Settings topic:
ripvanwormer wrote:But for what it's worth, Dragon #303 has a short story, "Prying Eyes," apparently set within the T.H. Lain continuity (it's credited to Johnny L. Wilson "from a story idea by T.H. Lain" and functions as a prequel to The Bloody Eye by T.H. Lain) and it mentions a canonical Greyhawk NPC, King Ingemar of the Snow Barbarians. In addition, " Provincial Prior Cause" (by Johnny L. Wilson) in Dungeon #96 serves as a prequel to The Bloody Eye, and it's explicitly set in Ratik (in the World of Greyhawk), and also mentions King Ingemar.
Does anyone have this short story? If so, does it provide any new details about the New Koratia setting?

And how does it fit in with the adventure Provincial Prior Cause?
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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

Post by ripvanwormer »

They're both set on Oerth, not New Koratia.

The short story and the adventure are both about a former priest of Pelor who has rejected the faith and embraced the worship of Gruumsh instead. "Prying Eyes" tells the story of his fall.

In the story, the D&D iconic Jozan is a loyal member of the Soldiers of the Sun (or the Soldiers of Light), a knighthood dedicated to Pelor and inspired by the historical Knights Templar. The order has recently been exiled from the land of the Snow Barbarians by their king Ingemar, a state of affairs Jozan views as deeply unjust. In the middle of combat practice, Jozan suddenly feels a terrible pain in his eye at the same time as his former tutor, Augustin Calmet, has his eye put out by a former archprelate of Pelor—now a priest of Gruumsh—named Guillaume Laude (possibly the same as Thurston Laude in "Provincial Prior Cause?"). Calmet was in Ratik with a sizable amount of the order's gold trying to set up a new headquarters for the order in exile. Jozan knows Calmet is in danger and wants to warn the Grand General of his order, but his superiors won't allow him to until he wins a trial by combat. In the meantime, Laude is tempting Calmet into apostasy using theodicy to argue that Pelor must be either powerless or malevolent. By the end of the story, Calmet abandons the faith of Pelor and converts willingly to the worship of Gruumsh.

"Provincial Prior Cause" takes place after the events of "Prying Eyes." The Grand General believes Calmet has defected from the order with a sizable amount of the order's treasure (we saw in "Prying Eyes" that Calmet had hidden the treasure, and Laude was torturing him to get to it). The Grand General dispatches the PCs to hunt down Calmet and return both him and the treasure to the Soldiers of the Sun. Investigating the priory that was Calmet's last known residence, the PCs can discover evidence of Calmet's defection and embrace of Gruumsh and "the old gods." They can also rescue a relic of the Soldiers of the Sun from desecration, but there's no chance of finding Calmet or Laude in this particular adventure. That's left to later adventures, where the PCs may be directed to travel across the land to a place called Scaun to prevent Calmet from transforming himself into Gruumsh's avatar. Presumably this is the plot of T.H. Lain's The Bloody Eye.

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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

Post by ripvanwormer »

Sorry, I may not have understood what you were asking.

New Koratia isn't mentioned, but there are certainly elements from "Prying Eyes" that you could use to flesh out a New Koratia campaign, such as the Soldiers of the Sun and the conflict between the old gods and the new, since they don't really fit in Greyhawk anyway.

In a Greyhawk campaign, it might make sense to replace the Soldiers of the Sun with the Knight-Protectors of the Great Kingdom, or an order dedicated to Pholtus.

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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

Post by Havard »

This discussion has me further convinced that New Korathia is part of some alternate Oerth. I would assume that the New Korathia Pantheon consists of the Gods from the default 3E Pantheon etc.

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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

Post by Big Mac »

ripvanwormer wrote:They're both set on Oerth, not New Koratia.

The short story and the adventure are both about a former priest of Pelor who has rejected the faith and embraced the worship of Gruumsh instead. "Prying Eyes" tells the story of his fall.
That is definitely the same story as The Bloody Eye. :)
ripvanwormer wrote:In the story, the D&D iconic Jozan is a loyal member of the Soldiers of the Sun (or the Soldiers of Light), a knighthood dedicated to Pelor and inspired by the historical Knights Templar. The order has recently been exiled from the land of the Snow Barbarians by their king Ingemar, a state of affairs Jozan views as deeply unjust.
Jozan is serving the Soldiers of the Sun in The Bloody Eye. And they left because King Ingemar had tried to seize their money. It is a flashback scene, at the start of the novel, so I won't bother with spoiler tags. Here is how it is explained in the novel:
The Bloody Eye pages 15-16 wrote:"My name is Jozan," answered the young priest. "I serve the Soldiers of the Sun." He paused, but when the old man said nothing, he felt uncomfortable and rushed to fill the disconcerting silence. "I haven't actually attained full rank in my order." When the old man merely waited for him to continue, Jozan tried to summarise his story. "My training was interupted when King Ingemar the First heard of the wealth of our order. He declared us to be state criminals and commanded our gold to be confiscated."

When the old many only nodded to inform Jozan that he was paying attention, Jozan explained how his Master General divided the treasury in half and sent the two groups in opposite directions. He spoke of their charge to establish new monastaries beyond the boundries of their homeland, the Kingdom of the Schnai.

"And you were with such a group?" suggested the older priest.

Jozan shook his head. Then, feeling defensive, he hurried to explain himself. "I stayed with the Master General until he was arrested. When he knew that his death was imminent, I was sent here with messages for the Prior who had led the expedition to this land. I sought out this Prior, Augustin Calmet, my former tutor and chaplain, but learned that there was no new monastery. I was directed instead to the burned ashes of a house. Underneath the house was a cavern warded by malformed monsters and the twice-used skins on which Calmet had written a diatribe against Pelor."
According to GLoG, Kingdom of the Schnai is the proper name of the territory of the Snow Barbarians, so that is a definite Greyhawk reference in The Bloody Eye. So I'm really not sure what things like "Prying Eyes" would be classified as "bad Greyhawk" and the T.H. Lain novels would be classified as "not Greyhawk". Surely they are one and the same thing.

The question, as far as I can see it, is: if the Soldiers of the Sun "fled from the Kingdom of the Schnai in opposite directions", where could they have travelled to?

According to this post on the Piazo forums, the Soldiers of the Sun are also found in The Shackled City Adventure Path. So it looks like Paizohawk might have picked up the other half of the exiled Pelor worshippers.

There is also a "Story Hour" thread over at ENWorld (The Parent-Kid Game) where it looks like somebody, called Stockdale, is using the story of Prying Eyes, Provincial Prior Cause and/or The Bloody Eye, as part of a D&D campaign. Sadly Stockdale has not posted at ENWorld since 2008.
ripvanwormer wrote:In the middle of combat practice, Jozan suddenly feels a terrible pain in his eye at the same time as his former tutor, Augustin Calmet, has his eye put out by a former archprelate of Pelor—now a priest of Gruumsh—named Guillaume Laude (possibly the same as Thurston Laude in "Provincial Prior Cause?"). Calmet was in Ratik with a sizable amount of the order's gold trying to set up a new headquarters for the order in exile. Jozan knows Calmet is in danger and wants to warn the Grand General of his order, but his superiors won't allow him to until he wins a trial by combat. In the meantime, Laude is tempting Calmet into apostasy using theodicy to argue that Pelor must be either powerless or malevolent. By the end of the story, Calmet abandons the faith of Pelor and converts willingly to the worship of Gruumsh.
There is a character called Archprelate Laud (without an "e" at the end) in The Bloody Eye. It has to be the same character. Again, it is a flashback scene, at the start of the novel, so I won't bother with spoiler tags. Here is how Laud corrupts Calmet in the novel:
The Bloody Eye pages 9-10 wrote:As Calmet hesitated, he remembered. He recalled his island home, where he served as a missionary priest of Pelor, being invaded by Laud and his henchmen. The House, originally intended as the centre of a new monastery, was burned to the ground. He suffered again the mocking of Laud as the evil one blasphemed the power of Pelor and denied the god's power to save Calmet from the transformation that awaited him.

"If Pelor is provident," he remembered, the archprelate smirking, "he is not potent. If Pelor is potent, he is not provident." Calmet remembered the pain of Laud removing his eye while the villain's minions restrained him. "He who cannot see with two eyes," the vile archprelate intoned, " must find the true sight of one eye."
Calmet is angry at Pelor, for not protecting him from this. He is also angry at Laud.

Laud himself is named as "Guillaume Laud" on page 16 of the novel. I do not recall seeing the name "Thurston Laud" in the book.
ripvanwormer wrote:"Provincial Prior Cause" takes place after the events of "Prying Eyes." The Grand General believes Calmet has defected from the order with a sizable amount of the order's treasure (we saw in "Prying Eyes" that Calmet had hidden the treasure, and Laude was torturing him to get to it). The Grand General dispatches the PCs to hunt down Calmet and return both him and the treasure to the Soldiers of the Sun. Investigating the priory that was Calmet's last known residence, the PCs can discover evidence of Calmet's defection and embrace of Gruumsh and "the old gods." They can also rescue a relic of the Soldiers of the Sun from desecration, but there's no chance of finding Calmet or Laude in this particular adventure. That's left to later adventures, where the PCs may be directed to travel across the land to a place called Scaun to prevent Calmet from transforming himself into Gruumsh's avatar. Presumably this is the plot of T.H. Lain's The Bloody Eye.
Yep. The map in the front of The Bloody Eye is a map of Calmet's mine.

There is a village called Pergue, at the start of the novel, that is located close to a temple of Pelor.
ripvanwormer wrote:Sorry, I may not have understood what you were asking.
I'm really just trying to sort out how the various sources that mention the Iconics connect to each other, to be honest.
ripvanwormer wrote:New Koratia isn't mentioned, but there are certainly elements from "Prying Eyes" that you could use to flesh out a New Koratia campaign, such as the Soldiers of the Sun and the conflict between the old gods and the new, since they don't really fit in Greyhawk anyway.
Prying Eyes definitely fits with The Bloody Eye. :)
ripvanwormer wrote:In a Greyhawk campaign, it might make sense to replace the Soldiers of the Sun with the Knight-Protectors of the Great Kingdom, or an order dedicated to Pholtus.
According to the Pelor article on GLoG, there used to be a paladin order called Lords of Sol, that was quite different to the modern worship of Pelor. No monk orders are mentioned.

Maybe I'll have a skim through The Shacked City, to see if I can find the Soldiers of the Sun mentioned there.
Last edited by Big Mac on Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

Post by Havard »

Big Mac wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:In a Greyhawk campaign, it might make sense to replace the Soldiers of the Sun with the Knight-Protectors of the Great Kingdom, or an order dedicated to Pholtus.
According to the Pelor article on GLoG, there used to be a paladin order called Lords of Sol, that was quite different to the modern worship of Pelor. No monk orders are mentioned.

Maybe I'll have a skim through The Shacked City, to see if I can find the Soldiers of the Sun mentioned there.
The movie Dungeons & Dragons 3: Book of Vile Darkness has a group called the Knights of the New Sun. These were also followers of Pelor. Of course, that movie takes place in the Kingdom of Karkoth, later shown to be part of the Nentir Vale Setting.

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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

Post by ripvanwormer »

Big Mac wrote:There is a character called Archprelate Laud (without an "e" at the end) in The Bloody Eye.
It's spelled without an 'e' on the end in "Prying Eyes" too. The spelling error was mine, sorry. "Thurston Laud" in Dungeon #96 didn't have an 'e' in his name either; I apparently conjured the 'e' out of my imagination. I didn't imagine the fact that he's Guillaume in "Prying Eyes" and Thurston in "Provincial Prior Cause," though.
The Bloody Eye pages 9-10 wrote:"If Pelor is provident," he remembered, the archprelate smirking, "he is not potent. If Pelor is potent, he is not provident."
He says more or less the same thing in "Prying Eyes."
Prying Eyes wrote:"I once served your impotent little god," the apostate lectured Calmet. "I watched the poor starve with Pelor's blessing. I tried to stem the tide of plagues that decimated our population, vainly invoking the alleged power of a capricious god who claimed to love the lowest human. I taught your obscene little catechisms. Now, I have my own. If Pelor is powerful, he is not provident. If Pelor is provident, he is not powerful. Don't you agree?"

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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

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Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:In a Greyhawk campaign, it might make sense to replace the Soldiers of the Sun with the Knight-Protectors of the Great Kingdom, or an order dedicated to Pholtus.
According to the Pelor article on GLoG, there used to be a paladin order called Lords of Sol, that was quite different to the modern worship of Pelor. No monk orders are mentioned.

Maybe I'll have a skim through The Shacked City, to see if I can find the Soldiers of the Sun mentioned there.
The movie Dungeons & Dragons 3: Book of Vile Darkness has a group called the Knights of the New Sun. These were also followers of Pelor. Of course, that movie takes place in the Kingdom of Karkoth, later shown to be part of the Nentir Vale Setting.
I suppose it is also technically possible (although unlikely) that there is a location called "Kingdom of the Schnai" in Nentir Vale and that New Koratia (and all the Iconic stuff from 3e) is over there too.
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Re: [New Koratia] Prying Eyes

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ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:There is a character called Archprelate Laud (without an "e" at the end) in The Bloody Eye.
It's spelled without an 'e' on the end in "Prying Eyes" too. The spelling error was mine, sorry. "Thurston Laud" in Dungeon #96 didn't have an 'e' in his name either; I apparently conjured the 'e' out of my imagination. I didn't imagine the fact that he's Guillaume in "Prying Eyes" and Thurston in "Provincial Prior Cause," though.
Thanks for double-checking this Rip. That is really helpful.

I wonder if he is supposed to have changed his first name, after turning evil. :?
ripvanwormer wrote:
The Bloody Eye pages 9-10 wrote:"If Pelor is provident," he remembered, the archprelate smirking, "he is not potent. If Pelor is potent, he is not provident."
He says more or less the same thing in "Prying Eyes."
Prying Eyes wrote:"I once served your impotent little god," the apostate lectured Calmet. "I watched the poor starve with Pelor's blessing. I tried to stem the tide of plagues that decimated our population, vainly invoking the alleged power of a capricious god who claimed to love the lowest human. I taught your obscene little catechisms. Now, I have my own. If Pelor is powerful, he is not provident. If Pelor is provident, he is not powerful. Don't you agree?"
That is a slightly different story than before. I knew that Calmet was a fallen cleric of Pelor, but didn't notice anything about <insert forename of your choice> Laud being a cleric of Pelor.

Jozan prays to Pelor and asks him to save Calmet, at one point in the novel, but makes no sort of attempt to save Laud. Perhaps he didn't know who Laud was at that point.
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