Belashyrra vs. Orlassk

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Belashyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby enderxenocide0 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:52 pm

I need help justifying something in an upcoming encounter. In my campaign, my players will eventually be trapped in a massive labyrinth made of living stone... that is actually Orlassk's lair. Orlassk resides at the center of this labyrinth and the players will be trying to get there. Orlassk can change parts of the labyrinth and will have statues in the labyrinth that can transport through the stone. If they catch you, they turn you to stone and you fall under Orlassk's control. Anyway. I modeled these off of the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who. The intent is that the statues can't move as long as you're looking at them. Similarly, I decided that Orlassk can only alter parts of the labyrinth that the PCs can't currently see. That's all well and good... but why? It occurred to me that sight is something that's related to Belashyrra. Can I use that? Could Orlassk and Belashyrra have had some sort of feud and Orlassk "lost", rendering him vulnerable to "the servants of Balashyrra" (eyes) or somesuch? Any thoughts?
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby AvonRekaes » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:08 pm

That sounds pretty good. Perhaps it isn't a matter of a persona feud. Perhaps Orlassk is just disgusted by eyes? Like the Master of Silence in the Dragon Below Trilogy modified himself to remove his mouth, maybe Orlassk removed his eyes because he found them distasteful, and hates being observed, and this is reflected in most of his servants.

Another thought just occurred to me, though. Sight and petrification are also linked elsewhere, with Medusas and Basilisks, both with a petrifying gaze. Perhaps if you like the feud with Belashyrra angle more, you can say that Medusas and Basilisks are creations of Belashyyra because of their odd gaze powers, and Orlaask feels slighted that his shtick is being used by Belashyyra. Like an artist known for a specific medium being shown up by another famous artist that started using the same.

My only concern with the "feud" angle is that it seems a very human affair. Do daelkyr experience feelings of rivalry and competition? If they do would they express it the same way humans do?
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby HellcowKeith » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:43 pm

I definitely think it's an interesting concept. Looking at the medusa issue, you could say that it's Belashyrra imposing, but I'd argue the reverse. The Medusa doesn't petrify you when IT sees YOU... it petrifies you when YOU see IT. If you are blind, it doesn't affect you. So it fits this model perfectly: it's something that uses Orlassk's tool (stone) to punish those using Belashyrra's thing (sight).

With that said I agree that a "feud" seems very human. You could argue that it's less a feud than simply a matter of dominion or style. If you think of the daelkyr as artists, Orlassk may be a sculptor while Belashyrra is a painter - it's not a FEUD, it's simply that they prefer to work with different mediums, and for them, "sight" is a medium.
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby enderxenocide0 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:15 pm

Good points, a feud does feel a bit too human. And yeah, I hadn't thought about the petrifying gaze monsters until you mentioned it, but they can easily be related to this, yeah. Thinking of Daelkyr as artists is kind of interesting. I've always viewed them more as cold scientists, doing what they must because they can. Either way, their alien minds blur any art or rationale into something unrecognizable to mortal minds. Maybe, like Avon mentioned, Orlassk was disgusted by Belashyrra's "art" and Medusas are his "graffiti". Or maybe Belashyrra and Orlassk's experiments were somehow mutually exclusive in their eyes and they simply sought ways to further their experiments; no malice toward the other Daelkyr, just a "logical" approach to resolving the problem in their favor. I probably don't actually need to explain it to my players, but I would like to tantalize them with some information, false or otherwise. They will also encounter Belashyrra later in the game, so something they learn from their Orlassk encounter that they can apply to the Belashyrra encounter could be nice.

Ooh... maybe they find a way to see with tremorsense by studying Orlassk and can blind themselves before they encounter Belashyrra to avoid him using their eyes or something. Maybe a potion that turns their eyes to stone... :twisted:
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby AvonRekaes » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:57 pm

Potion that turns your eyes to stone.
...
-files that away in his DM locker-

Btw, what level are your PCs that they're encountering multiple daelkyr lords? O_o
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby Beoric » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:36 am

enderxenocide0 wrote: Or maybe Belashyrra and Orlassk's experiments were somehow mutually exclusive in their eyes and they simply sought ways to further their experiments; no malice toward the other Daelkyr, just a "logical" approach to resolving the problem in their favor.


Well, if medusas are a mixed-media artistic collaboration, perhaps the creatures Orlassk designs himself are simply missing Balashyrra's delivery system. OR, to riff on the pseudo-quantum mechanics from the original source material, it is the nature of Orlassk's creations that there is no certainty as to their form until they are observed.

enderxenocide0 wrote:I probably don't actually need to explain it to my players, but I would like to tantalize them with some information, false or otherwise.


I would vote against explaining anything to do with Xoriat to your players. But if you must, you could label one of Orlassk's machines, in daelkyr, as a "quantum determiner". Your players may or may not get the joke, but the characters certainly won't.
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby enderxenocide0 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:23 am

Beoric wrote:Well, if medusas are a mixed-media artistic collaboration, perhaps the creatures Orlassk designs himself are simply missing Balashyrra's delivery system. OR, to riff on the pseudo-quantum mechanics from the original source material, it is the nature of Orlassk's creations that there is no certainty as to their form until they are observed.

The point isn't that they would be collaboration; quite the opposite, in fact. I'm trying to determine why Orlassk and Belashyrra would be incompatible.
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby HellcowKeith » Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:55 am

I like to think of Daelkyr as artists because art isn't always something that follows a logical path... and it's a better way to think of creatures of passion and madness than focused science. They have a passion they are pursuing, a vision they want to make reality. But it's not necessarily something that an outsider can understand, any more than an abstract artist may be able to explain the vision he sees for an as-yet unpainted work to someone with no mind for art.
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby Beoric » Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:44 pm

enderxenocide0 wrote:
Beoric wrote:Well, if medusas are a mixed-media artistic collaboration, perhaps the creatures Orlassk designs himself are simply missing Balashyrra's delivery system. OR, to riff on the pseudo-quantum mechanics from the original source material, it is the nature of Orlassk's creations that there is no certainty as to their form until they are observed.

The point isn't that they would be collaboration; quite the opposite, in fact. I'm trying to determine why Orlassk and Belashyrra would be incompatible.


Your original question was, "I decided that Orlassk can only alter parts of the labyrinth that the PCs can't currently see. That's all well and good... but why?" That's what I was trying to answer. If you want the two daelkyr to be incompatible for another reason, it might help if you explained why you need them to be incompatible, and why you need the incompatibility to be explainable.

As it is, my only suggestion would be to remember that creatures from the planes are ideas incarnate, and riff off or that. It may be something as simple as "stone cannot see," and "stone blocks sight."
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby enderxenocide0 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:46 pm

AvonRekaes wrote:Btw, what level are your PCs that they're encountering multiple daelkyr lords? O_o

Heh. Level 8. But Orlassk in my campaign is a shadow of his former self. They won't be directly fighting him, anyway. Belashyrra won't be encountered until somewhere between levels 12 and 15, I think. And even then, I don't expect him to be destroyed, but temporarily defeated. I want them to encounter the Daelkyr during the campaign to see that they are alien and incredibly dangerous so that they understand what's at stake when they realize the Gatekeeper seals are in danger of being broken. Dyrrn is the overarching antagonist of the campaign.
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby AvonRekaes » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:19 pm

Dang. I'd really like to play in that game.

I ran a game with a daelkyr big bad, but I invented my own (He was Gagethga, Lord of Shattered Thoughts, and could "shape" his aura of madness to specifically instill disassociative identity disorder in those around him.)
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby enderxenocide0 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:55 pm

Returning to this after over a year... my players are almost at a point where this becomes relevant. I'd like to establish two cults, one dedicated to Belashyrra and the other to Orlassk, that are feuding with each other in my version of Cazhaak Draal. What kind of feud would these two cults have, do you think? What interesting tools or tactics might each cult use? Here's some thoughts:

1. Orlassk's cult might be something akin to the Cult of Black Earth from Princes of the Apocalypse, maybe even led by a medusa rival of Sheshka.

2. I kind of don't want the Belashyrra cult to be led by a Beholder, even though that feels natural.

3. In a previous post above, I mentioned a potion that turns your eyes to stone, but grants tremorsense. May be a tool used by Orlassk's cult.

4. Belashyrra's cult has diviners/oracles of some sort?

What other ideas might we come up with?
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby AvonRekaes » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:42 pm

I know what you mean about the Beholder. It just seems... too on the nose.

What if the Belashyyra cult is lead by a Nothic cleric of the Dragon Below?
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Re: Belashyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby Beoric » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:22 am

I point out that when you consider the snaky hair, medusa also have a lot of eyes. Some could easily be drawn to Belashyrra.
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Re: Belshyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby Big Mac » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:07 am

enderxenocide0 wrote:
Beoric wrote:Well, if medusas are a mixed-media artistic collaboration, perhaps the creatures Orlassk designs himself are simply missing Balashyrra's delivery system. OR, to riff on the pseudo-quantum mechanics from the original source material, it is the nature of Orlassk's creations that there is no certainty as to their form until they are observed.

The point isn't that they would be collaboration; quite the opposite, in fact. I'm trying to determine why Orlassk and Belashyrra would be incompatible.


DDO Wiki suggests that Orlassk and Belashyrra compete with each other in Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Perhaps you could look at these two quest chains and see if you can raid any ideas: :twisted:

There is obviously a level of MMO focus in those quests, but you could look at the monster lists and even see if you can get the maps. The Lord of Stone specifically deals with players seeking out Orlassk to get help against The Lord of Eyes (Belshyrra).

Obviously DDO doesn't have moving dungeons (like you want) but if you looked at all the Orlassk-related maps, you could perhaps use them as areas of the dungeon that Orlassk changes.
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Re: Belashyrra vs. Orlassk

Postby enderxenocide0 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:17 pm

AvonRekaes wrote:I know what you mean about the Beholder. It just seems... too on the nose.

What if the Belashyyra cult is lead by a Nothic cleric of the Dragon Below?

Additionally, I want my players to face a beholder tied to Belashyrra a little later in the campaign, so I don't want to double up beholders. A nothic is an interesting idea that I might look into.

Beoric wrote:I point out that when you consider the snaky hair, medusa also have a lot of eyes. Some could easily be drawn to Belashyrra.

Also true, but like the beholder, I don't want too many medusae. I've already got Sheshka and, potentially, the leader of the Orlassk cult. I definitely want the option of a medusa encounter while in Cazhaak Draal, though.

Big Mac wrote:DDO Wiki suggests that Orlassk and Belashyrra compete with each other in Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Perhaps you could look at these two quest chains and see if you can raid any ideas: :twisted:

There is obviously a level of MMO focus in those quests, but you could look at the monster lists and even see if you can get the maps. The Lord of Stone specifically deals with players seeking out Orlassk to get help against The Lord of Eyes (Belshyrra).

Obviously DDO doesn't have moving dungeons (like you want) but if you looked at all the Orlassk-related maps, you could perhaps use them as areas of the dungeon that Orlassk changes.

Huh. I've never looked much into DDO, but this is interesting. I don't need any additional dungeons, really, but could use some more fleshing out of the cults themselves, if DDO covers that (though I have a sneaking suspicion that the MMO isn't too story-focused).
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