The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setting.)

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The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setting.)

Postby mister c » Mon May 11, 2015 7:21 am

This has probably been addressed before;


What is your take on The Cult of Halav from GAZ1 etc?

One of my players runs a cleric of Halav, though very much a member of the Temple of Traladara, he has recently been asking awkward questions about the CoH, and I have been roughing out some answers. My current take is that Orcus or some other Entropic Immortal is behind it in an attempt to destabilize the region (I always felt that Orcus had a particular thing against Traladara/Karameikos).

However, I wondered what other DM's and players think.
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Re: The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setti

Postby agathokles » Mon May 11, 2015 3:33 pm

I think Orcus is a viable option. However, this does not explain why the other Immortals have been silent about the Cult of Halav. It might be an attempt by Halav to back Duke Stefan, instead. Up to now, this remains unexplained in my campaign, so I'm keeping both options open.

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Re: The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setti

Postby Hugin » Mon May 11, 2015 4:40 pm

mister c wrote:My current take is that Orcus or some other Entropic Immortal is behind it in an attempt to destabilize the region...

Ok. I have never thought of something like this for the Cult of Halav before.

...

But I'm thinking of it now! :twisted:
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Re: The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setti

Postby Zendrolion » Mon May 11, 2015 11:25 pm

mister c wrote:This has probably been addressed before;


What is your take on The Cult of Halav from GAZ1 etc?

[...]

However, I wondered what other DM's and players think.

Orcus is behind the Cult also in my campaign. Sergyev's visions were indeed inspired by Halav, and the split of the Cult from the Church of Traladara follows an attempt by Halav to diversify his following in Karameikos - should Stefan succeed in tying togther the two ethnicities of his realm - and thus preserve a role for his cult in a possible future of the Grand Duchy. Unofrtunately for him, during the years of the Karameikan Civil War (1006-1011 AC), which happened in my campaign due to the secession of Karameikos from the Thyatian Empire, Sergyev died as did some of the senior member of the Cult of Halav. Orcus quietly began to infiltrate his followers in the Cult and to grant spells to the Cult's new priests.

Halav and the other Immortals did not realize the true, new nature of the Cult, and thought some sort of philosophy or force was behind it; they did not suspect an Entropic Immortal, since the Cult's clerics never showed evil powers or spells and the Cult's attitude continued to be more or less the same (even with more emphasis on an egalitarian and eschatological message able to incite a growing following among peasants and poor people). The same which happened in WotI with Hel and the Cult of Balthac. After some time, Halav realized some other Immortal was behind the Cult (even if he did not discover who), so he began to oppose it, and the Church of Traladara declared the Cult a blasphemous and heretical sect which the Duke (and then King) should have banned or destroyed.

Something which is about to happen in my current campaign year, AC 1014. Orcus' plan is to use the Cult to cause trouble in Karameikos between Traladarans and Thyatians as well as among Traladarans themselves; he also want to use the Cult as a trigger to rise a large goblinoid army from the Dymrak Forest and surroundings to plunge Karameikos in another, long, and devastating time of war. In fact, once banned by the King, the Cult's most fanatic leaders will use an ancient ritual to force King Stefan's own destiny upon him, more or less as per agathokles' The Dymrak Dread adventure.
"The prince should study historical accounts of the actions of great men, to see how they conducted themselves in war; he should study the
causes of their victories and defeats, so as to avoid the defeats and imitate the victories" N. Machiavelli, The Prince, XIV, 5
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Re: The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setti

Postby mister c » Tue May 12, 2015 7:15 am

this does not explain why the other Immortals have been silent about the Cult of Halav


Ah, true, though they kept quiet about Hel being the power behind Balthac too in WotI.
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Re: The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setti

Postby religon » Tue May 12, 2015 5:58 pm

(I am speaking to AC 1000 in my campaign.)
My take is that the Traladaran people have long lived with cultists in the service of entropic Immortals or abominations from the Dimensional Vortex (Lovecraft-ian). These cultists, pre-dating the Cult of Halav, are in the habit of summoning Spectral Hounds and other abominations to further their earthly aims. By Mystaran terms, these cults have traditionally been low-level and not threatening to end to the world, but seek riches, slay enemies and seize local power.

Sergyev's visions were not inspired by Halav, but Halav sympathizes with Traladaran nationalistic sentiments that the cultists have in abundance. I use an Alignment system like Holmes (LG, LE, CN, N, LN, CE, CG). Some LE clerics to Halav both worship Halav and are secretly cultists trying to further their dark ambitions. Halav continues to grant spells to these clerics. Immortals don't understand beings from the Dimensional Vortex and beyond. (Perhaps a quest to inform Halav of his neglect in this matter?)

Sergyev is under the thrall of an unnamed Old One. Sergyev believes this Old One will favor him and the cultists if he can awake the Old One from his slumbers. It requires the sacrifice of a king to wake this Old One. Stefan Karameikos will do. The ruse is to declare him a living Immortal, kidnap him (or overthrow him) and slay him to raise a creature spelled only with consonants. Most cultists only know that practicing the dark rituals bring them good fortune, wealth, favor with the ladies, and other worldly gain. Sergyev's theology is confusing, but his fervor is infectious. The anti-Thyatian sentiments within the cult is a result of national pride. It is a bit of a muddled objective that the cult both seeks Stefan's favor to trick him and wants to overthrow him. The Duke mistrusts the cult.
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Re: The Cult of Halav (Possible spoilers re Karameikan setti

Postby Vikshade » Wed May 03, 2017 7:01 am

This is fantastic! Thank you everyone. I have been running adventures in Karameikos for 30 years now and this has never occurred to me before.
My current group just finished Skarda's Mirror and I made him a member of the Cult of Halav. They are heading into the Wrath of Immortals soon and I will be using the civil war idea of Zendrolion as well! You are all awesome.
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