This post has the following content warnings:
Apr 01, 2023 12:39 AM
nau!razmir makes a strategic alliance with lastwall
+ Show First Post
Total: 503
Posts Per Page:

"And how long after their death can it be used?"


"A week at fourth, a year at sixth."


"Mmm. Unfortunate." So much for emptying Hell directly... which weakens the extent to which industrial production of Reincarnate spells is a threat to Cheliax. So.


Does he have the power to take a middle road.

This is a surprisingly difficult question. Cheliax's protection of Razmiran comes from their (correct!) belief that he can be paid to support them in their inevitable-unless-Cyprian-dies war with Galt; they therefore consider him a useful ally amongst the minor powers. Razmir is not so ignorant in the ways of savage Avistan that he does not comprehend this; his diplomats are corrupt and mendacious, but having grown up amongst the barbarians they understand their ways, and they cannot hide their thoughts from the Living God. He therefore has an excellent theoretical understanding of the logic of diplomacy.

His practical experience, however, remains a series of bungles and failures matched only by all the other low-WIS, low-CHA people who have managed to conquer countries by being Just That Badass, mitigated only slightly by Detect Thoughts. Razmir does not know if Him supporting Lastwall will so greatly offend Cheliax that they decide he is better off dead; they probably cannot kill him - they repeatedly failed to kill Felandriel Morgethai during the Andoran war, and her school is much more accessible than the set of demiplanes that is where his power lies, and which he never leaves save to one of the most defended fortresses in his kingdom. Perhaps they could throw a sufficiently overwhelming quantity of eighth-circle spells at him to drag him from his plane-nest, or invent a sufficiently cunning scheme to lure him out of it, or assemble a sufficient number of adventurers and constructs and bound outsiders to destroy him when he ventures outside. But these seem implausible to him.

But they could take Razmiran from him. Or, to be more specific, Cyprian could take Razmiran from him, if he was willing to accept the prospect of Razmir throwing all the offensive firepower a ninth-circle can provide at making Cyprian regret it. Razmir has the power to destroy cities from the safety of his demiplane, but he does not have the power to hold territory, collect taxes, or demand worship without administrative tools that Galt can shatter.

... In which case he does not need Cheliax, he merely wants them, and an... alternative patron... would be valuable. And - if an alternative patron would be valuable - than Cheliax will have their chance to bid to learn of it.

Unless they believe he is a firm ally of Lastwall, armed with the power to conquer death without diamonds or the vast expense of Clone, in which case destroying him becomes an absolute necessity. Asmodeus can destroy him, even if Aspexia Rugatonn cannot.

And if he does not have the power to betray Cheliax, than where will his plans for ascension go? The time will come when Asmodeus realizes that Razmir is a demigod in truth, and then he had best be able to make himself beyond Asmodeus's power to easily destroy.


"We will need to speak with Iomedae personally to negotiate the affairs of gods," he says. "Unless these go extraordinarily well, We will not provide Lastwall with anything that will greatly alter the balance of power, but We can engage in lesser exchanges, of recruitment of new servitors, of mundane trade, and of operations against the Worldwound paid for by Lastwall but that serve all the allies of the Worldwound Treaty. These details will be handled by Our ambassadorial staff and Our priesthood," specifically loyal priests incapable of considering that Razmir might not be a god serving to monitor the loyalty of his treacherous and deceitful diplomatic corps. "You are correct that Our negotiations with Lastwall would need to be handled as a supplement to the Worldwound treaty; We can provide support for the Worldwound without recognizing Lastwall in a unique manner, nor without them requiring Us to deny Our own nature."

The Ustulav affair is much better than he'd hoped. Which is the most obvious trap by Lastwall, but...

... But as long as He is not required to appear in person, there are very few opportunities for an overt betrayal.

(Well, by Lastwall. If Galt or Cheliax has subverted Riudaure and is trying to use him to send Lastwall and Razmiran into a war, there are a great many opportunities for an overt betrayal - prospects that he can recognize in theory, but has no idea how to avert in practice.)


"Understood." Speak to Iomedae personally. Right. Well, Razmir is Razmir.

"I've been using my fourth-circle slots for more Plant Growth."


"None of Our servants urgently require resurrection." All of his elderly priests either died more than a week ago or are not in poor health for their age. "It will take Our servitors some time to obtain the required spell components," since he personally has more important things to do. "We will alert you when Our servants require your services." And study the spell himself.


"As you command."


And Razmir will toss her a small sack containing two Lesser Extend metamagic rods.

"From my private workshop," he says. "To make up for the spells, once We have need of them."



"Thank you, my Lord."

And then she'll accept dismissal with her shiny new magic toys.


And Razmir, alone save constructs and inevitables, will sigh, and go to his workshop and spend a while tinkering with the Greater Quicken metamagic rod he's working on until he feels better, and then he'll stop procrastinating and Plane Shift to one of his most secure fortresses.

One of his divine-imitating staves appears with a finger-snap (His gloves are, among other things, a substitute for a Bag of Holding), and he begins work.

"Delay Pain. Owl's Wisdom." He'll keep casting; there are other spells, and more obscure, to improve your mental functioning and protect you from mental harm, and while he does not actually think that he can match wits with a god (for, in fact, Razmir is not a god yet), he still wishes to ensure that he has as much ability as he can to resist her trickery.

(Perhaps He should not pray to her, since it gives Her an easier opportunity to trick him - to use an Evil ninth-circle wizard against Evil is all to her advantage. And yet - 

- The gods do not need prayer to grant visions - and yet Cyprian has not abruptly been hijacked by sixteen different gods -

- And there are texts, in the fire-scarred libraries of the forgotten Runelords, in books warded against age and time in which the timeless monarchs of Thassilon prepared their rites of ascension, in how to deal with gods, who alone save Aroden amongst those not of their order could threaten their power -

- And he'll need to take the chance some time - )

And when his rites are finished, and his demiplane-fortress warded against attack, attended only by constructs and simulacra and inevitables, Razmir will pray.


For him to turn his mind to the works of Iomedae is, in fact, exceptionally difficult. He is not, fundamentally, a good person; if he had been when he was young, his life would have rubbed it out of him. Everything in Golarion is a parade of petty inconveniences that he still cannot adapt to, from the texture of silk to the incompetence of his subordinates to the very bed on which he sleeps. Nearly all of his attention goes to burying himself in pleasures that distract him from the fundamental suffering of reality, admittedly most commonly the extremely useful pleasure of turning spellsilver into magic items.

But there is still something in Razmir that can look at Hell, and everyone in it being tortured forever because Asmodeus negligibly prefers that even His weakest devils have the chance to engage in tyranny, and rebel, and want that to end. And he can turn his attention to that, and exercise his withered empathy for all of his colleagues who thought they could escape Hell, and were wrong, for thus could he have been.

For he wishes to speak with Iomedae, to negotiate possible terms by which that can be weakened.


The only reason she notices this at all is because She's already paying Razmir much closer attention than she would the default mortal. She's attuned herself to hear the prayers of all who comprehend Her domain, regardless of what Pharasma thinks of them, but Razmir really does...not.

(This is going to be expensive, as answering prayers goes.)

She has not the bandwidth, over this connection she's barely holding with ten times the usual effort, to bring him into the shared mindscape she usually uses for communication—a location near the Worldwound, because there's just something about having deep philosophical conversations amid dramatic snowy landscapes. She drops words in his mind, a bit clumsily, instead. It feels a bit like doing brain surgery from another plane, because it kind of is.




Still, the writings of the Runelords taught him how to negotiate with gods.

And so, in a language that is very close to Ancient Thassalonian, he tries to send, 

Do you swear that you will not use information gained from this [prayer-conversation] against my interests, as opposed to your actions in the counterfactual in which I did not attempt to [pray-initiate communications] today.


I̶ ̴s̴o̶ ̸s̶w̶e̴a̶r̸.̵

(She would not use information revealed in negotiations against Her counterparty, in almost any case, even if he had not asked Her to swear otherwise, for She does not mean to disincentivize talking to her, and it is part of Good to try to establish trust in the middle of an equilibrium of universal defection, even at some small risk to Herself. Also Razmir is not capable of keeping the same oath, but She's already accounted for that.)

(She doesn't say this, because, this conversation is expensive.)


I request information about how [loyal to you/aligned with your interests/capable of doing what you want] and [honest in the context of diplomacy/trustworthy by me to coordinate fairly/capable of delivering on his word] the person who represented himself to me as your agent and as Jean Riudaure is.


Fortunately the answer to this question is actually a very short message in Her internal representation! Unfortunately, Razmir isn't a god, so it might be a bit difficult to interpret on his end.

Riudaure doesn't think of himself as Good, considers himself to be trying to destroy Hell for entirely selfish reasons, went for Lawful Neutral when offered an Atonement—but when they offered to make him a statue in a vault in Heaven until either all Hell or at least his own soul-contract was dealt with, he refused. He's risked his life in Lastwall's service many times, in spite of having Hell awaiting him—and though he's by now valuable enough that Her church would have him Wished back, he wasn't always. He tends to use methods that are...expensive...for Her (like talking to Razmir), but he's never done anything in Her name that was actually net-negative-expected-utility by Her values.

(He doesn't call himself an Iomedaen; has said, instead, that the both of them are Arodenites now in want of a god.)

He's not a diplomat, but he is Lawful, more so than Razmir, anyway. It's not that he never lies—he could hardly have survived this long in his usual occupation without it—but that he draws a very sharp mental distinction between contexts where his words are meant as communication and those where they're meant as optimization over the listener, and this, She will swear, is the former. (She recognizes that from Razmir's perspective, She could be optimizing over him just the same—if Razmir were an actual god she could show him proof otherwise, but few mortals, and none in Golarion, could understand what they were looking at anyway.)

She is confident that his specific statements about Her were truthful and correct, but Razmir can submit specific ones for clarification, if he likes.


Ow ow ow ow ow pain should not be possible. Apparently "discomfort" still is???

He thinks he got "yup, that was Riudaure and he's on my side and trying to communicate honestly," but he now intuits all the horrible words of warning about trying to communicate with gods much better.

I request that you clarify the offer your agent made me about enabling my ascension to godhood, or tell me who [will serve as a proxy for you/will honestly represent your opinions/is capable of speaking for you without deceit] in this matter who I can speak to.

(She is, of course, aware that Razmir has the Gate spell and can just summon a Solar for negotiations, if that's the simplest solution.)

(And he is not deliberately giving the information, but She can, in fact, pick up from examining his soul, if the distance between them is not too great for her to do that, that he actually does have a plan to ascend that he thinks will work and does not require her help, though learning whether or not it is justified might take a little more work.)


S̸h̶o̸u̷l̸d̴ ̶y̷o̵u̷ ̶a̴s̸c̵e̶n̶d̵ ̴t̸o̸d̴a̵y̸,̸ ̷w̷i̵t̶h̴ ̵n̴o̶ ̷a̶l̴l̷i̴e̴s̶ ̵a̵m̸o̸n̵g̴ ̵t̴h̶e̶ ̵e̶x̶i̶s̵t̴i̶n̴g̷ ̷g̸o̴d̴s̵,̸ ̵y̷o̷u̸ ̶w̶o̸u̴l̵d̴ ̷b̵e̶ ̷d̴e̷s̴t̴r̷o̶y̴e̷d̶ ̵b̴y̴ ̴A̴s̸m̷o̶d̸e̶u̴s̷,̷ ̶w̴h̷o̸ ̶d̸o̶e̵s̷ ̷n̵o̶t̶ ̷s̵u̶f̶f̵e̶r̵ ̵r̵i̸v̸a̸l̷s̷ ̷w̷i̶t̶h̸i̴n̵ ̶L̴a̶w̸f̵u̸l̴ ̶E̴v̷i̴l̷ ̴l̸i̵g̶h̴t̴l̴y̶.̷ ̸I̷ ̸o̴f̴f̶e̸r̸ ̶M̷y̵ ̸a̷l̵l̸i̶a̸n̵c̸e̴ ̶a̶g̴a̵i̴n̵s̷t̵ ̴H̶i̷m̴ ̷a̷n̵d̸ ̷a̷n̶y̷ ̴w̵h̴o̴ ̶m̸a̴y̵ ̸s̸e̴e̷k̸ ̴t̶o̶ ̴d̷e̶s̵t̵r̸o̵y̷ ̶y̵o̶u̴,̴ ̷s̶o̸ ̴l̶o̸n̷g̸ ̴a̵s̴ ̴y̴o̶u̶ ̵r̸e̶m̵a̸i̵n̴ ̷i̵n̶d̷e̷p̷e̷n̸d̷e̷n̶t̶ ̴o̷f̷ ̶H̷e̵l̷l̶ ̷a̵n̵d̵ ̵n̴o̶t̸ ̶i̸n̴ ̸f̶a̷c̷t̶ ̴w̸o̴r̵s̴e̵ ̶t̶h̶a̵n̵ ̴i̴t̸.̵ ̸O̶t̸h̷e̷r̴s̶ ̴a̷m̷o̶n̵g̸ ̸t̸h̶e̶ ̵G̸o̷o̶d̶ ̴a̵n̶d̴ ̴N̴e̷u̵t̵r̸a̷l̵ ̴g̴o̵d̷s̷—̸A̶b̸a̶d̷a̴r̷,̵ ̶S̶a̷r̷e̵n̵r̶a̷e̵,̸ ̴E̷r̸a̵s̸t̸i̴l̸—̷m̸i̷g̸h̵t̷ ̶a̶d̵d̴ ̵t̵h̵e̶i̷r̷ ̴s̶u̷p̵p̷o̴r̵t̷ ̵t̵o̵ ̵M̸i̵n̴e̵,̷ ̷g̵i̸v̴e̵n̴ ̴m̶o̴r̸e̵ ̵c̴e̴r̷t̶a̵i̸n̸t̷y̶ ̵a̶b̸o̷u̵t̸ ̴w̷h̵e̵t̷h̸e̴r̷ ̵y̸o̵u̸r̴ ̸a̴s̶c̶e̸n̶s̶i̸o̸n̶ ̴w̸o̷u̵l̷d̵ ̸b̷e̸ ̴p̶o̴s̴i̸t̸i̶v̷e̵ ̷b̸y̶ ̵T̵h̷e̸i̸r̵ ̷v̷a̸l̴u̵e̴s̵—̷I̴ ̴b̵e̵l̴i̵e̵v̵e̸ ̶i̶t̶ ̷o̴u̶g̵h̴t̸ ̴t̷o̷,̷ ̴b̴u̷t̶ ̵a̵m̸ ̶n̵o̵t̸ ̸y̷e̵t̶ ̵s̸u̵r̵e̶ ̶M̴y̴s̷e̸l̷f̵.̸

(Of course She's assuming he has a way of ascending without Her help; that isn't in fact a thing gods can do, just make mortals into other gods, or She would have done it to a hundred of her paladins already. She's offering Her help with what comes after.)

̴Y̷o̸u̸r̴ ̸d̶r̸u̴i̶d̸,̴ ̸T̴e̶l̷r̵i̷a̶n̶a̷,̵ ̶o̴u̸g̵h̵t̸ ̵t̴o̶ ̵b̶e̷ ̷a̶b̸l̵e̴ ̴t̵o̵ ̴s̵p̵e̷a̵k̶ ̴t̴o̸ ̶M̶e̸ ̸w̵i̸t̷h̵ ̴l̵e̵s̴s̵ ̶d̷i̷f̸f̸i̸c̶u̵l̸t̷y̶,̶ ̸o̸r̷ ̵y̵o̸u̷ ̷m̸a̷y̶ ̴s̷u̵m̷m̴o̴n̷ ̵o̷n̶e̷ ̸o̸f̸ ̷t̸h̴e̶s̵e̴ ̷a̶r̵c̵h̷o̶n̶s̵—and She transmits their identifying information. There's also at least one person in his command chain who's even more aligned with Her than Telri, but he'll totally betray Razmir as soon as he realizes he's actually Good. Which normally She would encourage, but it would kind of be negotiating in bad faith here.


... Damn.

Razmir had hoped that the example of the lesser Lawful Evil gods (dwindled Lissala who does not answer her last's cultist's pleas, General Susumu the exiled conqueror, Achakek-or-Yaezhing the Lord of Assassins, and all the petty Asura ranas and Oni daimyos and Raksha princes) might proof him against His wrath -

- But he was not the first to walk the Path of Pride, and the Living Gods of Thassalon are no more, and if they did not die in Earthfall then -

Do you Swear that [what you said since my last message] is true.


There are caveats that she didn't explain because they aren't relevant to Razmir—Achaekek, who serves the interest of many gods of all alignments, including Asmodeus; Susumu, whom the Prince of Hell tolerated exactly as long as His half-sister Shizuru was functional to protect Him; many other minor Lawful Evil deities who have domains too specific to possibly threaten or even compete with Him; and Zon-Kuthon, who is an exception to nearly all the usual rules—but yes, if Razmir tries to become a god by his own strength alone, he is very, very unlikely to last long. She so swears.


And Razmir will attempt to break the connection.


Iomedae is not opposed to that! The expense of this conversation was already rapidly nearing the maximum She was willing to pay for it.


And then he will cast a number of combat buffs on himself and his guardians and dispel the Delay Pain.

And almost black out.

Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh


After he is not ambushed and murdered for long enough, and after his headache becomes slightly less punishing, Razmir considers.


Iomedae is not, in fact, on his side. She is on Her side. Persuading him that ascension is possible only through Her is in Her direct interest. Possibly She cannot get out of an oath or possibly he made some error and She can with great ease; aiming him against Asmodeus is something she would undoubtedly use deceit for.

On the other hand, Riudaure can at least be trusted not to betray Iomedae (even if he can only mostly be relied on not to betray Ramzir), and Telriana can communicate with Iomedae more directly. He would have to admit to her that he isn't a god yet, unfortunately, but...

He is going to write down everything that happened before he forgets.

Total: 503
Posts Per Page: