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Author Topic: Mercantile Order  (Read 2492 times)

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Offline Agar

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« on: December 20, 2002, 01:05:15 AM »
Something that occupied my thoughts on the way home one night. I find the paradox interesting.

A god of trade creates a religieous group, devoted to him of course, and charges them to become great fighters to insure the stability of the trade routes. He grants them the ability to perform amazing feats of various types, but there is a great price.

When an individual is inducted into the order, they receive a dream or vision (it may be part of a vision quest to prove one's self worthy) that reveals their afterlife to them. Their life up to that point determines the quality of the afterlife. Trade being a neutral god, people are people when they come to him, they get what they deserve.

Now when the monks, or what have you, need to use their powers, say to knock down a castle's gates or leap a canyon to rebuild a bridge, they can, but must lose a part of their life beyond in the bargin. It's a trade, you see. Soon after using their abilites, they have a dream that reveals what was lost. The brightly lit hall may be missing it's trappings of glory, (one of) the delightful companion(s) that were to help you enjoy your afterlife may give you a kiss goodbye and then fade, in general, the pearly gates become a bit more like a squeaky plastic fence.

This loss would certainly motivate the monks into striving to learn great skills, so as to not have to use a power unless absoultly neccesary. Such monk would be greatly respected by honorable merchants as they are selling off their eternal paradise for the safety of the merchants.
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Offline manfred

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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2002, 05:52:39 AM »
This is good.

What about those evil before, those that had no nice afterlife before them?

Is there any way to improve the afterlife, what would you have to trade it for?

What happens if you abuse your superpowers?

(plot hook) Someone might use it a bit much and is driven crazy as he sees the eternity awaiting him. So he starts to use it ALWAYS, not caring anymore what happens. How to help that mad superhero? It is easy to handle with God of Trade, it will be just very, very, VERY costly.
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Offline Agar

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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2002, 05:38:11 PM »
I dunno what to do about the evil guys. The whole point of the order is paying for what you do, so evil guys get to pay for their past. Maybe they have to go and do something to repay their wrongs, but that seems like they'd be more trouble to use than would be profitable.

Of course, this is all assuming a single good god is in charge of the peoples souls. Maybe the god of trade is buying the souls from the gods that cared for them. That way, any evil guy that had been under the care of an evil god would have had something to look forward to. The forces of good and evil need materials and passage to do their work, they could be trading with the god of trade to keep their lines open. And the god of trade is, of course, the master of making himself indespensible to his clients. That way, they would never need to feel he was a threat to them and he could always serbe their needs.

"And here we have a nice eternity featuring a palace of wonderment. It's in great condition, one one user."  :twisted:
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline DaWergyling

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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2002, 11:45:21 AM »
Another idea:

The god of trade trades the soul of one of those superheros to someone who really wants to inflict lots and lots of pain on them  :twisted:  :twisted:  :twisted: (i.e. trading a paladin's soul to the god of slaughter,  :twisted: trading a bandit's soul to a lawful god,  :twisted: etc.) of course, it's only for those who made the afterlife a cardboard box in New York City. :evil:
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Offline Agar

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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2002, 01:25:47 PM »
I saw the god of trade as more of a facilitator, rather than a stock broker. He would be able to get things done or get you to get things to get it done. A god that was in the buisiness of buying and selling souls would be more like a god of greed, always making sure his side came out ahead, preferably way ahead. That would seem to be the more evil shade of a trade god. A good shade of trade god would be more interested in chairity, an exchange that left the person being "a better person" for having given whatnot away.

The more nuetral trade god would be doing everything to make sure that profits waxed and waned, but never to such drastic level as to drive someone out of business. That would be one less source of trade, after all. He would be making sure business stayed in business. That might mean some prayers to him go unanswered, especially if they are promoting bad business practices.
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Offline DaWergyling

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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2002, 10:24:05 AM »
Hey, maybe there are TWO Gods of trade.

One is a good, honest business person.

And the other is like the Enron CEO
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Offline Strolen

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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2002, 02:41:17 PM »
For those that are evil.

Driven to it because of the need to use the special powers. Perhaps they saved a village from impending doom and used up most of the glory of the afterlife. The village were not very appreciative of the sacrifice, maybe driving him out because they were scared of him or something. So now this guy, who saved a village, is bitter at the treatment after the MAJOR sacrifice he just went through. He also has not much hope for a good afterlife, so what is the use of not using the power. He is already screwed, nobody cares. So he starts using his power  for lesser needs and then he is way screwed and it doesn't even matter, nobody appreciates him anyway. So now he uses the powers whenever he wants and doesn't care who he hurts.

The god, at some point, could take away the gift if they go too far as well. He giveth, he taketh away. That would solve the big abuse problem anyway. The can most definately be bad guys using the power, but if they go too far they loose the power but still retain the d**nation perhaps.

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Offline Agar

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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2002, 03:16:43 PM »
All I can think of for a limit to the powers would be to just have it no longer be available when you use up your afterlife. It would be pretty harsh to have had an afterlife, known it and seen it for the glory it was, and now there's nothing, just blankness. When you die, that's it, you just end, no more existance, not even sitting on your butt in stark nothingness, you just stop being.

If we let them go into the negative, then they could just say, "Well, I;m d**ned anyway, let's make it count for something" and rouge monks would be flying through cities blasting anythign they felt like. Might just punch a hole through the planet to see what was on the other side. Bad things. Nothing that would be good for trade.

Since the more senior monks would have the least hopeful afterlives, they would likely be the ones chilling in the monestary doing what they can to brighten their remaining years. Unlike most monestaries, there are probally lots of wedded couples in this one. Woe be anyone who tried to attack the place. A large group of monks with powers beyond mortals defending their homes, families and, in the case of burn outs, thier paradise on earth.
After a brief retirement while I got married and traveled the country, I'm back. Just getting back into the swing of things for now, but gearing up to hit things up like I used to.

Offline Strolen

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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2002, 03:25:42 PM »
Perhaps there can be a rejuvinating of the good afterlife for good deeds not using the power. You use the power, get a little bad look, then you must build it back up somehow.

Even better, to fit into your idea about the senior monks, after using the power or something, then they get back their afterlife by converting others to the cause. So they could either set up monastaries and churches to convert and teach a new breed of worshippers. For every convert they get, they slowly get back their true afterlife.

This could make them a rather pushy bunch and a unique addition to a world. "Oh geesh, here comes the Order of Hula trying to convert the masses."

There could be evil sects that believe it is ok to convert using force and torture and the others that do it by pure marketing or something. Their could be battles between different schools of thought on the subject as well even. All pressured because they used the power and now must gain it back.

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Offline manfred

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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2003, 07:54:21 AM »
All this talk about The Business God gives certain insights about your whole world. (Good gives peace, Evil offers control, remember?)

If you behaved nicely, you get a nice afterlife.

If you have done everything to get power AND the Evil god liked you, he may allow you to become after death his servant and continue your efforts, for his and yours Power.

The others probably get what they deserve...
What about the others?

If you couldn't be the angel your mamma wanted you to be, or just don't have the talent for an Evil overlord, you can get an acceptable afterlife. It won't be for free, but its a fair trade.

To confuse the thing, trade is partly advertising, so
Quote
The brightly lit hall ... the delightful companion(s) ... the pearly gates
are not the truth. People that have such afterlife, would not wish to trade it, except
for great need for the powers. The afterlife you will get will be somewhat duller. Alternatively, it is the afterlife you may get, if you work very hard. But if it looks bad, it surely is worse...


Various thoughts around the theme:

There is some hope within this world, for even if you screw up badly, there is still a chance you can improve it somewhat.


Quote
...to learn great skills, so as to not have to use a power unless absolutely neccesary.

-you may need the great skills to be able to use the powers. Being infused with Holy Power can hurt badly, or outright kill you. Another reason for the older priests to very carefully consider such use. May be a deterrent for those frail of body or mind, or a plot hook, what happens IF.


Another way to appease the god of trade may be to trade yourself! At least this god is not against his followers hoarding money. But its not the money, its the trade. So, opening new trade routes and finding new contacts is the mission. Before you start singing happily that peace==better trade, there are always the weapon-dealers you should not forget. :twisted: One more option for the old ones, who have surely many good business-friends.


Quote
When you die, that's it, you just end, no more existance, not even sitting on your butt in stark nothingness, you just stop being.

This is individual, and may be actually a welcomed form of afterlife. Or a horror to wait for. Or the sitting in the void forever may be THE punishment. Or never-ending torments. Or trying to reinstall Win.. forever. Or get a 1 Byte connection to Internet. Or...

One man's heaven, another man's hell.
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Offline EchoMirage

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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2005, 04:19:00 PM »
Now, I just gave it a thought...
those who bartered off their afterlife are now in debt, thus they pay with what? Yes, the peace of death. They come back, but not as free-willed people, but rather: tooth fairies, familiars, imps, various spirit creatures like 'guardian angels', muses, ... there could be some poetic justice like a sexist coming backas an unicorn and having to protect fair maidens, while a mercenary might become a fairy meant to watch over kids...
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