Karnathi half elf necromancer wants to impress valenar?

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Karnathi half elf necromancer wants to impress valenar?

Postby tetrasodium » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:33 pm

Thanks to Irma I have a lot more time to develpp some form of web than anticipated, so I wanted to reach out for halp :D

After the players got really interested in why the undead were crawling all over this abandoned town that started as a simple "go kill undead>recover macguffin" simple start to a campaign, I had to make some stuff up & so far players have not really discovered much beyond the fact that some elite karrnarhi zombies are directing regular zombies to look for a possibly stone object about the size of the two sodacans I happened to have for example :D The object in question was supposed to be the control/command rod for a warforged titan that was lost during the invasion.

As a result I have a not yet discovered pseudoplot behind why there are so many elite karrnathi undead searching through a timestop jar factory that used to make rations of warm stew in said jars :D. The 1/2 elf was there when Karrnath destroyewd the facillity & leftbehind a bunch of undead to ensure it would be difficult to reopen.

Breland for whatever reason had a warforged titan whom my players have not yet discovered either :D but the control rod/stone thing for it was lost in the chaos of the battle. I wanted to play the half-elf as a reoccuring sort of a wannabe warleader hoping to be one day chosen as deathless wanting to use his undead+titan to do serious damage to/destroy the darguuls. I don't know much about valenar beyond the basics though. Can anyone suggest some folks who might be interested/offended from that direction? Obviously deneith would be unhappy if the goblins were no longer mercenaries due to a war & orien would be thrilled to deliver food to any cities/towns ravaged by a titan in exchange for whatever they could squeeze out of the victims... any ideas?
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Re: Karnathi half elf necromancer wants to impress valenar?

Postby ThePurple » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:59 pm

Well, first off, I don't think that a *necromancer* that *creates undead* is going to be warmly received by the Valenar elves, since the Valenar are still culturally similar to the Aerenal elves (the main population of the Valenar culture is still in Aerenal, though they *are* distinct), who see negative energy undead as a plague upon the world.

Something to recall is that Valenar don't do "deathless". They achieve immortality by living out the lives of their ancestors (and potentially becoming one of those individuals that future elves live out their own lives emulating). It's the Aereni elves that do the "deathless" thing. And, keep in mind, the deathless are *positive energy undead* rather than *negative energy undead*, like the Karrnathi undead are. The Aereni actually spend a lot of time and effort destroying negative energy undead.

As such, it seems to me that you're conflating a lot of different things: deathless != normal undead; Valenar != Aerenal elves. The Aerenal elves are actively antagonistic towards all other necromantic traditions. They've got the Deathguard, who are an elite fighting force devoted to obliterating all negative energy undead and all necromancers that deal with the like. Your half-elf necromancer is exactly what these Aerenal elves spend their entire lives trying to wipe out.
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Re: Karnathi half elf necromancer wants to impress valenar?

Postby tetrasodium » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:31 am

ThePurple wrote:Well, first off, I don't think that a *necromancer* that *creates undead* is going to be warmly received by the Valenar elves, since the Valenar are still culturally similar to the Aerenal elves (the main population of the Valenar culture is still in Aerenal, though they *are* distinct), who see negative energy undead as a plague upon the world.

Something to recall is that Valenar don't do "deathless". They achieve immortality by living out the lives of their ancestors (and potentially becoming one of those individuals that future elves live out their own lives emulating). It's the Aereni elves that do the "deathless" thing. And, keep in mind, the deathless are *positive energy undead* rather than *negative energy undead*, like the Karrnathi undead are. The Aereni actually spend a lot of time and effort destroying negative energy undead.

As such, it seems to me that you're conflating a lot of different things: deathless != normal undead; Valenar != Aerenal elves. The Aerenal elves are actively antagonistic towards all other necromantic traditions. They've got the Deathguard, who are an elite fighting force devoted to obliterating all negative energy undead and all necromancers that deal with the like. Your half-elf necromancer is exactly what these Aerenal elves spend their entire lives trying to wipe out.



Interesting, hmm. it doesn't look like much more than about a paragraph has been written about the deathguard given how it seems to be roughly the same one all over the internet. are the deathguard part of valenar too? having a bunch of them kill the necromancer & leave the players for dead after teleporting away with the titan or something works well enough given I has wanted to bring up valenar<->darguun tensions & possible battle down the line anyways
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Re: Karnathi half elf necromancer wants to impress valenar?

Postby AvonRekaes » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:05 pm

The Deathguard are basically a militant order of the church of the Undying Court. Their holy mission is to eradicate negative energy undead and those who create them. While it isn't impossible for a Valenar elf to follow the Undying Court, Valenar elves are more culturally dedicated to the Spirits of the Past, a completely different religion that the Undying Court and the Deathguard have no part in.
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Re: Karnathi half elf necromancer wants to impress valenar?

Postby HellcowKeith » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:32 am

If you have access to it, the Deathguard are described in more detail in the Player's Guide to Eberron. Others have hit the critical points. The Aereni - specifically those who follow the faith of the Undying Court, which is most of them - preserve their greatest souls by making them Deathless, which are undead sustained by positive energy. They maintain that Mabaran undead - undead sustained by negative energy - are a threat that is consuming the life force of the world. You can think of this as being akin to global warming - they don't see it as an IMMINENT existential threat, but rather an ongoing threat that will become severe if no one deals with it, and they intend to deal with it.
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Re: Karnathi half elf necromancer wants to impress valenar?

Postby Big Mac » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:19 pm

Maybe you could flip this idea on it's head and go for a cult of elven necromancers who think that the Undying Court are unable to protect the elves with deathless, and that they need to "fight fire with fire" and use their own necromancy to destroy the necromancy of the enemies of the elves.

There are 8 percent elves and 8 percent half-elves in Karnath, so that's a quite large population of elves who might have seen the forces of Fort Bones and Fort Zombie protect the nation from attacks during the Last War. I didn't see anything in Eberron Campaign Setting to suggest that the elves of Karnath, who die, are exempt from having their corpses collected and raised as undead troops, so there may well be some elven and half-elven undead serving in both fortress. If that is the case then elves outside of Karnath might object to undead elves, but elves who live in Karnath and who are not in opposition to the King, may well support the idea.

Perhaps you could have a cult that is a twisted version of the Undying Court, that is secretly controlled by the Blood of Vol, but where the majority of lower level members see themselves as doing almost the exact same thing as the Undying Court.

If you look at The Stillborn, you have a pre-existing organisation that the Blood of Vol would like to subvert. Stick a branch of Stillborn exiles in Karnath and have them work alongside the Emerald Claw for a long period of the Last War and that gives you an excuse to introduce the idea of "using undead rather than destroying them".

And if you subvert the idea of The Deathguard, you can get an elite order of elven knights that use "pure" undead to fight "evil" undead.

Swap out the Ascendant Councilors and Undying Councilors of Aerenal with a very small hidden council made up of liches and mummies and you then have an organisation that cultists within Karnath could revere (in a similar way to the Undying Court) without a direct link to them and an obvious attachment to evil.

Undying Soldiers could be replaced by non-spellcasting cultists within a rebooted Stillborn, who are killed in battle before they die of old age. And if you have an organisation similar to The Stillborn, who revere undead, it wouldn't be too hard to have living people who look dead fighting alongside undead. Dying in battle, defending your fellow elves (and the people of Karnath) could be something that the living troops respect and they could sing songs honoring the sacrifices of specific dead elves that are part of their units.

I know there is no contact with the gods in Eberron, so with other religions it might still be possible to have clerics of good gods hooked up with evil groups and gaining things like healing spells. But with elves gaining power from the Undying Court, I'm not sure that link would work. But that would be the perfect excuse for you to swap out powerless clerics of far-away Aerenal for necromancers of Karnath, who also learn skills like herbalism and who openly work to keep the living alive...as well as working to bring the dead back.

I think this idea of yours has legs. I think you have some minor flaws there (that have already been pointed out) but I think you can still get a lot out of this. Accept that other elves would think of elf/half-elf necromancers are a problem and have your NPCs know that...but believe that they are right and the Undying Council are wrong. Have your NPCs "know" that they have the right solution and find a way to sell that as plausible, and I think you can create enough "reasonable doubt" to justify having good elves follow the leadership this cult. (Given that the humans in that realm are doing the same sort of stuff, I thnk you can "sell" the idea. Remember, you don't need to make your PCs by into the concept. You just need to create a logical reason for why elves in the local area do and why a half-elf necromancer make a lot of sense to them.)

Good luck!
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