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Jul 06, 2022 10:00 PM
project lawful goes differently
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Okay but you don't normally talk-- whatever.

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While they're briefing new people, Shelyn wants to bring Kofusachi in on this also. 

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The... trade god from Tian Xia?

Cayden admits that he's only really involved in this project because there are humans shaped in a way they can easily see, and not because it's part of his core portfolios. But he doesn't see any mortals here who are especially Kofusachi-shaped. This is basically a Chaotic Good project, which is a point in favor of Kofusachi, but there is already a Lawful Neutral deity involved. If there does happen to be some particularly trade-shaped halfling then they can loop in Abadar, because this is the Inner Sea. 

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Kofusachi transmits to everyone in the conversation, except Nethys who already knows, a copy of the relevant parts of his decision-making process. 

--

Long ago, when Kofusachi was first a god, Abadar approached him with an offer for trade. They had shared interests, far more so than Kofusachi has with any other god. Abadar would advance them in the Inner Sea; Kofusachi would advance them in Tian Xia; both would benefit from specialization, not having to duplicate effort, not spreading themselves too thin. As part of the agreement, Kofusachi agreed to value contracts and the rule of law more than he would naturally, and Abadar came to value wealth untraded more than he naturally would. If there are two gods who can trade, not just in matters of instrumental goals, but in matters of fundamental values and morality and ways-of-seeing-the-world, it is Abadar and Kofusachi. In a certain sense, that is what they are all about.

In spite of that trade long ago, they are still different gods, and there are some things that Kofusachi can see better than Abadar.  

One way you can talk about Chaotic Good-- a way that is incomplete, but that has some valuable truths in it nonetheless-- is that Chaotic Good is about asymmetric weapons, tools that Good can use but Evil cannot. Asmodeus thinks of Cayden Cailean as the silly party god who ascended by accident, because Asmodeus doesn't understand the power of laughter, and that is why laughter has a power to puncture him that few things do. Asmodeus tolerates Immonhiel treating mortals in his borders, because he thinks of it as a foolish Good god advancing Asmodeus's goals because she is too sentimental to see where her self-interest lies.  

In this frame, Kofusachi's asymmetric weapon is selfishness. 

Evil thinks it has the monopoly on selfishness. But it is not an accident that Elysium is a much better place to live, on a strictly selfish level, than the Abyss or Abaddon or Hell. 

Kofusachi says: you should be happy and free and be able to do as you like, as long as it doesn't hurt other people. And if you are happy, then you won't lash out from your misery, tearing someone else apart to try to ease your own pain or because if you are hurting so much then someone else should have to hurt to. And if you are free, then you will grow and create and take risks and make something new and beautiful in the world that wasn't there before. If you do as you like, you will discover one of the things you like is making people happy. 

If you have climbed up the mountain, your hands bleeding and your knees scraped and your muscles tired, and you've seen the sunrise over it and the world spread before you and you realize that you are okay now, the struggle is over, then the first thing you're going to do is throw down a rope and help someone else up. 

And Kofusachi's weapon is always there. You don't have to make any grand pitch about perfecting the universe or the equal worth of all human beings, to get people on the side of Kofusachi. Even Evil people want to be happy.

Kofusachi loves trade, because the thing that trade is is that everyone involved acts in their own self-interest, and the thing that comes out of it is Good. 

--

Kofusachi does not like disease. 

Pain and grief make people cruel: the sharp-tongued words that come when your body hurts so much you can't think, the anger at a child for not being the one that died, the repression of the love you feel for you child so it won't hurt so much if they die, the bone-deep tiredness that means that even the most well-intentioned person neglects those they love. And sickness makes people poor. Families buy medicine instead of cows or better roofs or food for the children. Sick people can't work, so fields go unplanted, and shoes are poorly made because the shoemaker is too ill to keep their hands steady. Sick children are too bedridden to go to school or their apprenticeships, or too brainfogged to learn much once they're there. The family wage-earner dies, and the children beg on the street, and that matters not just because the children are miserable but because if their parents were alive they would become farmers or merchants or wizards and make everyone's lives better in ways as impossible to track as the ripples in a pond. 

This is the sort of thing Kofusachi is shaped to see, more than Abadar is; the tremendous waste that is disease, the drag it is on all attempts to make the world better, every investment and every festival that is sacrificed to malaria and the pox, to ameliorate a tremendous suffering that should not be at all.   

--

The other major reason Kofusachi is here is that Abadar gets along with Asmodeus well enough, because Asmodeus always follows his agreements. Kofusachi does not get along with Asmodeus.

Kofusachi really, really fucking hates Cheliax

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Amen, brother. 

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All right, if everyone's read in, they should strategize. 

It's too bad that no one can cleric Bun other than Immonhiel, who doesn't really have clerics because she's spending all her resources on incarnates. Maybe Sarenrae, but Bun's really not shaped for it and it would be costly. Bun is shaped perfectly to be a cleric of Iomedae. If he became Neutral Good--

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If he became Neutral Good in Cheliax?

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Immonhiel isn't unwilling to have clerics, she has one in Mzali, but it is costly and she prefers not to. 

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Cayden Cailean can cleric Tetula whenever it seems like a good idea, although he would probably have to give her some direction in using it to get her to point her abilities anywhere remotely useful, which is why he mostly doesn't cleric people in Cheliax and instead just keeps an eye on them.

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No, you will NOT give levels to ANYONE, Nethys SPECIFICALLY SAID that that would result in a godwar with Zon-Kuthon.

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Asymmetrical weapons, friends. 

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...what do you mean. 

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Cheliax is spending almost no resources on Bun, all things considered. A house, an inquisitor, a few third-circle wizards, twenty or thirty first-year wizard students. It's a token effort. And that token effort is almost entirely because of Inquisitor Chrisor. Everyone he has on the project other than the students is personally loyal to him. Inquisitor Chrisor is spending social capital like water to get the students and the house; he has amassed credibility for years and is spending it all on getting Cheliax to try to use Bun at all.

Conclusion: Asmodeus doesn't care about Bun, because Asmodeus doesn't see the value of medicine. Of course he doesn't. He's Evil. Asmodeus is fundamentally shaped to not understand innovations that make things better for everyone. And it's not going to occur to him that we do.  

But if we start throwing around cleric levels here and paladin levels there, then Asmodeus knows that we think it's important. His pride will be inflamed. He will want to keep Bun at all costs for no other reason than that we want it. And that's how you get the project being monitored by devils and Queen Abrogail. 

So we watch. And we wait. And when the right moment comes, we have the element of surprise. 

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Cayden is still going to send Tetula dreams. 

(He sends them all dreams, all the people who are fundamentally aligned with him and are in Cheliax or Nidal or Razmiran, or who are slaves or have cruel husbands or children they can't afford to feed. He sends them dreams, from time to time, of the tavern that is everywhere and nowhere and has wanted posters on the walls as a mark of honor and that never serves rum. Cayden Cailean is a god of many things and one of the things he is the god of is escape.)

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That seems wise. Doing less than what they would do if they didn't care is less noticeable but may still draw attention.

Immonhiel should also send one of her selves, even if the self must be amnesiac; Asmodeus already tolerates her presence, and it is obvious why she would take an interest in Bun and does not imply any multigod conspiracy, and she may be able to guide matters. 

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This sounds PROMISINGLY like it is NOT GOING TO BE A ZON-KUTHON GODWAR. 

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But if Otolmens tells Asmodeus then it might turn into a godwar.

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She will NOT. She is loyally on the side of NOT GODWAR, and also of VACCINES, which are important to deal with that BIOENGINEERED PLAGUE concept she got from Bun's head and has been asking Nethys lots of questions about. 

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Cayden wonders how long it is going to take Asmodeus to notice that Bun definitely knows things about weapons. 

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With luck, long enough for Tanidio to be redeemed by the power of love.

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Can anybody else see why Bun left Bangkok?

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...no.

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A representative of an organized crime boss tried to convince him to report a murder as a suicide so he pointed a gun at them and told them to get the fuck out of his office. 

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... ... ... are you sure he's not one of yours, Cayden. 

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Maybe if Tanidio keeps getting him drunk. 

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