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 Ask the DREAMING DARK


A Source of Inspiration 

Disclaimer: Eberron is property of Wizards of the Coast. I am not an employee of Wizards of the Coast, and any answers given here are in no way sanctioned by Wizards of the Coast. This is NOT official material, and may be contradicted in future Eberron sourcebooks or articles. My answers are in this forum my opinions and reflect how I might run a situation in MY personal campaign – nothing more.

October 11, 2006

Q:  While there is information on how the Silver Flame feels about Kalok
Shash, there is very little information on how followers of Kalok Shash
view the Silver Flame (and other religions). How do they view the Silver
Flame and other religions?

By and large, they don't. The Ghaash'kala are a relatively primitive society with very little contact with the outside world, and their primary concern is maintaining their own faith and their vigil. The religions of foreigners are only of interest if they affect this vigil. The Ghaash'kala may decide that followers of the Silver Flame or devotees of Dol Arrah are misguided people who truly worship Kalok Shash, but they probably won't waste a lot of time debating the point; they'd adopt more of a patronizing "You're on the right track, you just haven't learned the right name" attitude. Meanwhile, they will oppose religions that clearly traffic with dark forces, not because of any interest in the religion, but simply because the purpose of Kalok Shash is to bind the darkness.


Q: How is a Ghaash'kala viewed outside the Demon Wastes? Would anyone
really know much about them?

 

Only scholars and inhabitants of the northern Eldeen Reaches would have any knowledge of the Ghaash'kala. Most people would probably assume that the Ghaash'kala are from some exotic clan in the Shadow Marches.


Q. Do the Ghaash'kala look any different from the Monster Manual Orcs?
Do they have different skin pigmentation or eye color?

 

Nothing especially unusual. I think skin color is typically gray, but there's certainly room for variation.


Q. Is it conceivable that a younger member of a tribe might be sent out
with a missionary group of the Silver Flame to both learn more about the
outside world and to teach the Silver Flame about Kalok Shash?

 

According to page 36 of the PGtE, Ghaash'kala are forbidden from leaving the Demon Wastes because they believe that they themselves are tainted by the evil of the Wastes. Could a ghost guardian leave? Certainly. The question is whether he has struck out on his own, following his own curiosity and turning against the traditions of the clans… or whether the sar'malaan of his clan has had a vision that requires him to leave, in spite of tradition. If the latter is true – if he's been sent out to fulfil a prophecy – he may actually be afraid that he carries the taint of darkness within him and that he may bring evil to the outer lands.

 

Q. Can people tell the difference between Inspired vessels and Quori possessed Inspired? I would think the only difference is the bonus to charisma the Quori provides.

And you'd be right to think so. There is no obvious physical difference between a vessel that is currently Inspired and one that is not.


Q. Do Kalashtar and Inspired look alike to each other? How about to other races?
 

In my opinion the kalashtar and the empty vessels are similar in appearance, but by no means identical. As such, I would require an Inspired seeking to impersonate a kalashtar to use the Disguise skill. However, because the two races are similar in appearance, I would personally drop the usual -2 penalty for impersonating a member of another race (just as kalashtar and Inspired take no penalty for impersonating humans).  


Q. What exactly do the Inspired vessels think they are getting themselves into?

 

They believe that they will serve as vessels of the il-altas, the enlightened spirits of those who have gone before. As such, they are aware that the spirit will take possession of their body, but they consider this to be a tremendous honor. To begin with, it gives them a chance to serve their society in a way no one else can; beyond that it is the final spiritual step in becoming an il-altas. Think of it as a person being told "You will become the avatar of a god, and this service will move you one step closer to godhood yourself."

 

This will be examined in far more detail in Secrets of Sarlona.


Q. Why are there so many Inspired vessels uninhabited? Are the Quori short of numbers?
 

To begin with, yes, there are fewer quori than there are people. However, the quori are immortal. Their numbers are static. They do not reproduce, but whena   quori dies, a new spirit rises to take its place. So, to begin with the quori do have limited numbers.

 

Second, empty vessels are soulbound to one specific quori spirit, and this is genetic. They can volunteer to serve as hosts for any quori, just like any human can, with all the usual restrictions of such possession. But only vessels of the bound bloodline can be possessed against their will, and claimed even if their Charisma is lower than that of the spirit. Given that a spirit only possesses one body at a time – and that he wants to have backups – you end up with empty vessels.

 

Finally, there is the fact that empty vessels perform many administrative tasks that require a trusted person but which would really be a waste of a quori. There aren't really a lot of tsoreva champing at the bit to be assistant sub-minister of agriculture. Should the quori run out of bodies, he can always claim the assistant sub-minister… but there's no reason to spend a lot of time in him.


Q.  I can't exactly pin down what somewhat informed people think about the Inspired vessels' connection to the Quori.

 

Neither can most people. The Inspired themselves typically describe it as if they are sort of like the kalashtar – that they are "inspired" by the il-altas. Since people at least vaguely understand the kalashtar, this is what most people latch onto. If someone said "You're lying! Your spirit is from Dal Quor!" the Inspired would shrug and say "Believe what you will. You see these 'quori' as some sort of alien horrors. But aren't dreams a part of our minds? The il-altas are the distillation of our dreams, and their wisdom flows through me. You fear what you cannot understand." Furthermore, most vessels are truly devoted to the spirits, and even if "freed" from possession will maintain this devotion; THEY don't know the difference between a "quori" and the il-altas. Many *kalashtar* know the truth of the matter, but again, on some level, what difference does it make? The vessels are willing participants; Riedra is a seemingly peaceful nation that has never acted in an aggressive manner towards Khorvaire; even if their leaders were possessed by pit fiends, without some obvious proof of hostile intent, would the average person care? Obviously it depends on the person, but that's the basic issue.

 

If pressed, an Inspired will certainly acknowledge that you are speaking to the possessing spirit, and that the spirit is in full control of the vessel; among other things, when a vessel assumes the formal position of the Inspired in Riedran society, it usually takes the name of the spirit as a symbol of this; thus, you have leaders in Riedra who have served for a thousand years, though they have gone through many hosts. However, the Inspired will emphasize their benign nature and the voluntary aspect of the possession.


Ask the Dreaming Dark Archives:

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