Is Imperial polytheism realistic?

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Orin J.
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Visitor Q wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:26 am
Not sure I buy Hashut being a god of law even within homebrew stuff. Kad'ai fire demons, Bull centaurs, fangs and mass human sacrifice all seem pretty Chaotic to me. Seems like you'd have to write out so much official material there's not much point keeping the name.
fractulis is probably not using the later stuff introduced by the forgeworld releases and trying to stick to earlier material, although even then, there's some mentions of the chaotic mutations they undergo only being retrained by their natrual dwarfen nature. it also doesn't really align with his canonical title "father of darkness" but i guess you could argue that the soot their engines constantly pump out is the real reason the dwarfs favor industry and hashut is a chaos god of pollution......hm.... EDIT: checking the books to see if i'm wrong, they mention his spells showing hashut as the form of a smoking bull with a firey hide in the spells, and claim that the great taurus is a mutation of chaos dwarfs, which lines up with the existence of the bull centaurs.
Last edited by Orin J. on Sat Mar 27, 2021 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dustman
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Earlier, I mentioned the idea of Sigmarism as an aggressive monotheism, actively attempting to supplant other faiths. Not the official lore but that view doesn't strike me as quite plausible, as discussed earlier. Nor is it particularly interesting. I don't feel Manaan, Verana, Taal, Rhya and the others add much. They're mostly window-dressing. Signs of Sigmar, in contrast, are everywhere: comets, hammers, chanting fanatics, flagellants scourging their own flesh. You immediately see he's important in the world. However, monotheistic Sigmarism would still have obvious polytheistic roots in a way that monotheism in the real world does not. Wrote this Sigmarite sermon to express the idea.
Sigmar watches
Brethren!

We walk today in the light but the night draws nigh! Even the mightiest man must taste of death for this wicked world harbors many perils. Orcs, beastmen, disease, famine, the undead, sorcerers and even dread chaos plot our ruination. Howling daemons stalk our very dreams. Woe to the man whose piety does not shield his thoughts. And should you strive all these things, still your flesh shall grow weak and still ye must die.

But be ye not afraid! The Lord Sigmar shelters his people.

Long ago, the world was not as now. Many gods ruled earth, sky and sea. When the Lord Sigmar, champion of man, set down his hammer, Ghal Maraz, the great splitter of souls, and went into the east, the gods prepared a stair before him. He ascended a high mountain and found the gods enthroned under lofty arches of gold. They lauded him and crowned him and sounded many trumpets. Then they set down their own crowns and laid them down their scepters and their power did enter into the Lord Sigmar as in the form of many roaring winds. Where before there many gods, now there is one. Where before they were far, now he is near and his face shines upon the fullness of man; upon the Empire.

Therefore, they who persist in the worship of old gods; Ulric, Morr, Manaan, and such-like; do commit grave heresy, for such things have passed away. Some keep these customs from ignorance but many make a pretense of honoring elder gods, while in truth they bow to dread chaos. Let not the servants of the great enemy hide behind a shield of false-piety. Let not the deluded and the ignorant persist in the worship of former things. The one correct, my brethren, but the other burn without mercy, for they must suffer the torment unending!

Yea, death is no escape for the wicked. When a soul passes from the body, it lingers in the mortal world as a shadow. Some persist more strongly and these we call ghosts but most are altogether unseen. Sigmar’s priests lay the body of the dead in his holy churches that their spirits may pass to the next realm. Those unfortunates whose flesh rots in the field or under the roots of trees instead pass wailing through the shadow realm until found by the divine spirits sent of Lord Sigmar to escort them unto judgment.

Before the door to Sigmar’s high hall sit three rings of judges: firstly, the nine pious judges, secondly, the seven righteous judges, thirdly, the three godly judges. These three are Johann Helsturm the first Theogonist and Great Prophet, Magnus the Savior, who delivered the Empire, and Fritz-Rommel the Wise. The souls of the dead go before whatsoever ring befits their station in life and face the awful judgment of one who sits upon the throne. Those who were lords and leaders of men in life must face one of the three. Those who were of middling condition; burghers, captains of war, engineers, artisans, and other such; must go before one of the seven. The common and the vulgar submit themselves to one of the nine. A soul guided by the prayers of the priests may choose which judge will weigh his case.

Those found worthy enter through the bright door unto Sigmar’s light. There forevermore they feast and rejoice in unending bliss. Blessed are they!

Those found unworthy pass wailing through the grim door unto eternal hellfire. There go murderers, traitors, heathens, adulterous women, mutants, rebellious children, wizards, blasphemers and worshippers of chaos. There the orcs cry in agony forever and ever as righteous punishment for their depredations. There do the vampires writhe in the flame. There is Mannfred Von Carsteins spitted alive upon a stake while bathed in showers of molten silver. There does Asavar Kul groan, up to his neck in icy acidic waters, while fiends gnaw upon his frostbitten skin.

The Lord Sigmar often leads the souls of the faithful to wage war upon the realm of chaos. They take daemons captive and toss them screaming into the hellfire to burn forever with the unrighteous. One day he shall conquer all of long night.

So take heed, brethren, and repent while the day lasts! Take not solace in gods who have passed away, nor crawl to the doomed power of the north, nor commit common wickedness, but seek ye rather the glory of Sigmar, the god who is yet man!

— Dietrich Stottz, Sermon
Capitaneus Fractus
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Orin J. wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:57 am
Visitor Q wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:26 am
Not sure I buy Hashut being a god of law even within homebrew stuff. Kad'ai fire demons, Bull centaurs, fangs and mass human sacrifice all seem pretty Chaotic to me. Seems like you'd have to write out so much official material there's not much point keeping the name.
fractulis is probably not using the later stuff introduced by the forgeworld releases and trying to stick to earlier material, although even then, there's some mentions of the chaotic mutations they undergo only being retrained by their natrual dwarfen nature. it also doesn't really align with his canonical title "father of darkness" but i guess you could argue that the soot their engines constantly pump out is the real reason the dwarfs favor industry and hashut is a chaos god of pollution......hm....
Indeed... albeit I might add relevant later material. In case of Forgeworld release, the main reason I not use them is, however, that I am not aware of them. Still, I am not sure, yet, which "official material" should I write out so much...


My feeling on "natural dwarve nature" is that it can be kept as such: that is part of a resistance of chaos that Dwarves naturally have, and that Law cultist might get... At higher levels, it even strike on the natural tendency of life to evolve, to mutate... Or it can be changed so Hashut cultists rather gets these immutations as a reward of their chaotic god of law (gods of laws being an aspect of the plain Chaos).


On Hashut's canonical title of "father of Darkness" I don't see how it doesn't align with law... It could be a form of address for a god of all religion. Darkness is neither the Chaos, the Cosmos nor the "Balance": darkness is simply the lack of light. A pure space, without any photon to degrade the matier is in a state of darkness. That is something that can, arguably, go as much well with Law than with other religious ideologies.
His aspect as god of Greed might be a little more problematic, but nothing that would be unexplainable, in my humble opinion... As used to state Montesquieu, frugality is sometime perceived as greed:
Montesquieu wrote:Les politiques Grecs qui vivoient dans le gouvernement populaire, ne reconnoiſſoient d’autre force qui pût le ſoutenir, que celle de la vertu. Ceux d’aujourd'hui ne nous parlent que de manufactures, de commerce, de finances, de richeſſes & de luxe même.
Lorſque cette vertu ceſſe, l’ambition entre dans les cœurs qui peuvent la recevoir, & l’avarice entre dans tous. Les déſirs changent d’objets ; ce qu’on aimoit, on ne l’aime plus ; on étoit libre avec les lois, on veut être libre contr’elles ; chaque citoyen eſt comme un eſclave échappé de la maisſn de son maître ; ce qui étoit
maxime, on l’appelle rigueur ; ce qui étoit regle, on l’appelle gêne ; ce qui étoit attention, on l’appelle crainte. C’eſt la frugalité qui y eſt l’avarice, & non pas le désir d’avoir. Autrefois le bien des particuliers faiſoit le tréſor public, mais pour lors le tréſor public devient le patrimoine des particuliers. La république est une dépouille ; & la force n’eſt plus que le pouvoir de quelques citoyens & la licence de tous.

"The politic Greeks who lived under a popular government, knew no other support but virtue. The modern inhabitants of that country are intirely taken up with manufactures, commerce, finances, riches and luxury.
When virtue is banished, ambition invades the hearts of those who are disposed to receive it, and avarice possesses the whole community. The desires now change their objects; what they were fond of before, becomes indifferent; they were free, while under the restraint of laws, they will now be free to act against law; and as every citizen is like a slave escaped from his master's house, what was a maxim of equity, they call rigour; what was a rule of action, they call constraint; and to precaution they give the name of fear. Frugality, and not the thirst of gain, now passes for avarice. Formerly the wealth of individuals constituted the public treasure; but now the public treasure is become the patrimony of private persons. The members of the commonwealth riot on the public spoils, and its strength is only the power of some citizens, and the licentiousness of the whole community." (Montesqieu, L'eſprit des loix, III, iii.)

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Mass human sacrifices are obviously neither Chaotic, nor Lawful: they are violent and might happen in the frame of a Chaotic or a Lawful cult, just like it might happen in the frame of other cults. Human sacrifices were quite widespread in our History which isn't related, by any means, to Warhammer's Chaos Gods... (are Aztec "pretty Chaotic" to Q?).
To quote Wikipedia: "Human sacrifice may be a ritual practiced in a stable society, and may even be conducive to enhance societal unity (see: Sociology of religion), both by creating a bond unifying the sacrificing community, and in combining human sacrifice and capital punishment, by removing individuals that have a negative effect on societal stability (criminals, religious heretics, foreign slaves or prisoners of war)."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sacrifice


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On K'daai fire demons, I've just checked on Internet and they just seem to be daemons whose description might indistinctly make them Chaos daemons or Law daemons... They even are fire daemons, which means they are elemental daemons, which, arguably, might link them to the previously detailed idea of immutations to mineral forms or elemental matier (here as fire). What is elemental matier, if not something that rise after Chaos leave?
Ovidius wrote:... Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum
unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe,
quem dixere chaos: rudis indigestaque moles
nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem
non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum.
nullus adhuc mundo praebebat lumina Titan,
nec nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phoebe,
nec circumfuso pendebat in aere tellus
ponderibus librata suis, nec bracchia longo
margine terrarum porrexerat Amphitrite;
utque erat et tellus illic et pontus et aer,
sic erat instabilis tellus, innabilis unda,
lucis egens aer; nulli sua forma manebat,
obstabatque aliis aliud, quia corpore in uno
frigida pugnabant calidis, umentia siccis,
mollia cum duris, sine pondere, habentia pondus.
Hanc deus et melior litem natura diremit.
nam caelo terras et terris abscidit undas
et liquidum spisso secrevit ab aere caelum.
quae postquam evolvit caecoque exemit acervo,
dissociata locis concordi pace ligavit:
ignea convexi vis et sine pondere caeli
emicuit summaque locum sibi fecit in arce;
proximus est aer illi levitate locoque;
densior his tellus elementaque grandia traxit
et pressa est gravitate sua; circumfluus umor
ultima possedit solidumque coercuit orbem...


"Before the Sea and Lande were made, and Heaven that all doth hide,
In all the worlde one onely face of nature did abide,
Which Chaos hight, a huge rude heape, and nothing else but even
A heavie lump and clottred clod of seedes togither driven,
Of things at strife among themselves, for want of order due.
No sunne as yet with lightsome beames the shapelesse world did vew.
No Moone in growing did repayre hir hornes with borowed light.
Nor yet the earth amiddes the ayre did hang by wondrous slight
Just peysed by hir proper weight. Nor winding in and out
Did Amphitrytee with hir armes embrace the earth about.
For where was earth, was sea and ayre, so was the earth unstable.
The ayre all darke, the sea likewise to beare a ship unable.
No kinde of thing had proper shape, but ech confounded other.
For in one selfesame bodie strove the hote and colde togither,
The moist with drie, the soft with hard, the light with things of weight.
This strife did God and Nature breake, and set in order streight.
The earth from heaven, the sea from earth, he parted orderly,
And from the thicke and foggie ayre, he tooke the lightsome skie.
Which when he once unfolded had, and severed from the blinde
And clodded heape, he setting eche from other did them binde
In endlesse friendship to agree. The fire most pure and bright,
The substance of the heaven it selfe, bicause it was so light
Did mount aloft, and set it selfe in highest place of all.
The second roume of right to ayre, for lightnesse did befall.
The earth more grosse drew down with it eche weighty kinde of matter,
And set it selfe in lowest place. Againe, the waving water
Did lastly chalenge for his place, the utmost coast and bound,
Of all the compasse of the earth, to close the stedfast ground."
(Ovidius, Metamorphoses, I, v. 5-31).
For me, K'daai might easily fit as Law daemons.


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On Bull centaurs, they might stay chaotic creatures (mutants) serving a chaotic god of Law. They weren't created by Hashut, they were created by the collapse of Warp Gates, in the time of the chaotic flood on the Warhammer World: "Many centuries ago, during the Time of Chaos, a fraction of those [dwarrows] that survived the onslaught became horrifically mutated, their stubborn Dwarf resistance to the warping taint overwhelmed utterly by the awful energies to which they were subjected, and so the first Bull Centaurs were born."
One might even replace (or combine) this "stubborn dwarf resistance to the warping taint" by a grace from Hashut.
https://warhammerfantasy.fandom.com/wik ... ur_Renders
Veniam, Duelli Malleum, phantasticum ludum personae uidebo, in fera terra periculosorum aduenturorum ludebam.
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Orin J.
Posts: 438
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Capitaneus Fractus wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:48 am
His [Hashut's] aspect as god of Greed might be a little more problematic, but nothing that would be unexplainable, in my humble opinion...
i mean given that the chaos dwarfs are engaged in an absurd rush of strip-mining to the point they're just digging huge pits for all the tar they're extracting for their oil and enslaving everyone they can can gather including each other when they falter for the sake of running their factories up to produce as much as possible without forthought i'd say the greed aspect of hashut is one of the more solid parts of the the god's detailing. even their choice to sacrifice captured slaved by throwing them in a big iron statue of hashut that's been heated until it glows red speaks of consumption as a conspicuous sign of self-importance.

i mean, i figure your whole "law god" angle is scuttled regardless what with the old lore describing the chaos dwarf sorcerer/priests sacrificing people for entertainment but the greed angle seems to be a fairly straightforward "manifest destiny of the chosen people" sort of thing taken to an extreme and applied to an evil steampunk city.
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