Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill mortals?

Weird red metals, dominions, immortals, hollow planets, invisible moons, and a lot of glorified magic zeppelins. It's all here.
The Book-House: Find Mystara products, Find Known World products.

Moderators: Havard, Seer of Yhog, Cthulhudrew, Gawain_VIII

Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill mortals?

Postby LoZompatore » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:18 pm

As in the title, although it seems a tongue-twister :mrgreen:

Rephrased, my question is:

Is an Immortal allowed to deliberately kill other mortals while on its Mortal Identity on the Prime Plane?

I'm doing some research but I feel I'm not finding any clear answer to this question in the rules.
I know there are many Mortal Forms on Mystara (Etienne d'Amberville is a prominent example, but also Vanya, Valerias, Atzanteotl, Benekander are known to use Mortal Forms). Indeed such forms could fight against other mortals and be killed by them if the outcomes are bad, but are the Mortal Forms allowed to kill their opponents?

WotI is particularly puzzling, in my opinion, because on page 5 of "Codex of the Immortals" it states:

Most of these Hierarchs recognize that mortal life is unfair enough; a world where Immortals were constantly harming or destroying mortals would be even more unfair.

But then, on page 71, it states:

Mortal Identities are a good way to assist plots without attracting the unwanted attention of rival Immortals. Also, the ban on direct Immortal interference with the Prime Plane does not forbid involvement in Mortal Identity form; such activity does not count as "direct action" for purposes of the ban.


So I'd be tempted to say that anything done by an Immortal while in a Mortal Form does not count as "direct action", including killing people and - to its extremes - even candidates to Immortality of opposing Spheres. This seems to be possible in IM3 module: in the prologue on page 2 the death of three potential mortal candidates is described. It is later revealed that they were killed by a conspiration of four Immortals (Pharamond, Harrow, Mazikeen and Hircismus) but, at the end of the module, all the conspirators are judged in a trial by the five Hierarcs so, likely, the killing of mortals was not an allowed action.

Then there is also this sentence on page 73 of WotI "Codex of the Immortlals":

A few Immortals take on a Mortal Identity identical to the one they wore in their mortal lives; they continue this identity, not letting their friends know that they have, in fact, achieved Immortality. A prime example is Prince Etienne d' Ambreville, ruler of Glantri, who is in fact the Immortal Rad;

Now, if Etienne has to live the same life as before then it could be challanged in a duel to death (for example) by another Glantrian mage and, in order to keep his place as the ruler of Glantri, he necessarily has to kill the mortal opponent (if he manages so).

Nevertheless, I still feel that the spirit of the rule stated by the Hierarcs and shown on page 5 is that Immortals should avoid this kind of interference.

What's your opinion on this matter?
Could you provide any example which allows of forbids direct killing of mortals while in Mortal Form?

I'd like to write down an adventure for Immortal characters and I'd like to know if they could behave as normal adventurers on the Prime Plane if they take a Mortal Identity, of if they must adhere to strict "rules of engagement" and avoid killing other beings.

Thanks a lot for your help! ;)
Last edited by LoZompatore on Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
LoZompatore
Hill Giant
 
Posts: 528
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 8:40 am
Location: Fano, Italy

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Robin » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:43 pm

Hi Lo...;)
interesting question.

I do know that according to the Edda (historic book of northern faith/religion/legends if someone does not know this) spoke that the Godar (The immortals actually), where allowed to battle opponents, but were not allowed to kill them, or keep them dead....this suggests they had to raise them afterwards (probably never using Raise Dead Fully, but a normal Raise Dead...keeping the person bedridden for another 2-3 weeks). (enemies on par with the immortals like dragons, giants, crones, were excempted for some reason, and the rule dis also not apply on other world than Midgard of the Yggdrasil, nor did this rule apply if it was an Immortal war...like the strife of the Frost giants and fire giants against the immortals of Asgard, or the Titans against the greek gods.)

however, both edda and greek legends speak of immortals breaking these laws and being condemend to a very long and very harsh punishment...often based upon the goal they desired to reach....see tantalus torment.
there are also many fairytales and legends of gods affecting mortals with terrible curses...which i deem as direct contact too, yet when the same curse is cast in their36th level max hit point max magic items metc mortal character it is allowed?...this does indeed seem flawed.

as thus i think it (causing death or curse, disease, etc) is possible, but not allowed, if done it has to be resored to lif(or health)e, if not doing this the immortal could be punished by the other immortals reigning in that region of mystara or by the Mystara council.

A sideway for immortals to the "restore rule" could be enabling the victim to recover by sending others, defeating an enemy, needing special components, etc
My Deviantart page; http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/ For Mystara hexmaps and Fantasy art (to see all fantasy art; enter and declare you are an adult...frigging exposure rules)
My personal Mystara Blog;http://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/
User avatar
Robin
Fire Giant
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:33 pm
Location: Netherland Groningen

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby stebehil » Sun Jun 04, 2017 6:30 pm

Well, this is indeed an interesting question. It is allowed to have a mortal identity and use it. If this is legal, then the situation may arise that this mortal identity comes into a life or death situation. Perhaps self-defense is allowed, and if the opponent is killed, the immortal should see that the opponent is resurrected, if possible and the immortal does not give himself away as being immortal. If he engineers the death of another mortal, then he will be tried by his fellow immortals. If he takes on his mortal identity for the sole purpose of killing someone, then he probably will be punished. Perhaps it is indeed somewhat similar to our real world: killing in self-defense is still not legal, but if it happens, you will probably not get punished, or lightly. Killing accidentally probably gets you punished, depending on circumstances. Killing deliberately will get you punished, and more harshly than in the other instances. I guess with immortals, some heavy politics will enter the equation as well. If the victim was a candidate for immortality, then the punishment will be more pronounced, especially by the sphere that the candidate was favored by.
stebehil
Gnoll
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:37 pm
Location: Dresden, Germany

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Robin » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:31 pm

immortal law does not need bureaucracy, its complicated enough by itself :P
My Deviantart page; http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/ For Mystara hexmaps and Fantasy art (to see all fantasy art; enter and declare you are an adult...frigging exposure rules)
My personal Mystara Blog;http://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/
User avatar
Robin
Fire Giant
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:33 pm
Location: Netherland Groningen

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby LoZompatore » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:22 pm

Robin and stebehil, thanks a lot for your replies, there is a lot of food for thought in what you say. :)

I posted this question also on "Mystara Reborn" group on Mystara, and I got an answer by Dek Shary (alias DM, the author of the fan-made "Codex Immortalis"). While he is against direct killing of mortals by Immortals in Mortal Form he raises a good point, which basically summarizes as follows:

"If a Mortal Identity kills a mortal, how the other Immortals can possibly detect it?"

I'm more and more persuaded that, if the Mortal Identity avoids blatant actions or obvious mistakes which could betray its true nature, then the other Immortals are not able to identify the Immortal hidden among the crowd of mortals (according to WotI, the powerful "Probe" spell used by the Immortals to screen other Immortals is ineffective on Mortal Forms, producing the same result that would have if cast on a common mortal). So I believe that, if the Immortal keeps a low profile, then its Mortal Identity could act (for example) as any other common adventurer, killing monsters and other people and so on, without fear of direct retribution by the other Immortals.

Again, I believe this is against the spirit of the "non intervention rule" but, for practical purposes, an Immortal in Mortal Identity would be mostly undetectable, so it is able to perform any action a common mortal would do.
Last edited by LoZompatore on Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
LoZompatore
Hill Giant
 
Posts: 528
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 8:40 am
Location: Fano, Italy

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Robin » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:42 pm

ok...thanx

There is a council of immortals scrying mystara on immortal matters, and be certain they follow known mortal identities .
however as can be read in Son of Dawn, they don't see all.

The immortal Heimdall sees and hears everything he lays his eyes upon, as seen from
Oding uses Hlidskjalf in a similar way; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hlidskjalf
Hugin and Munin his ravens do similar.
Tthe three Crones of Crystyck know all of past, or present or future of one single individual they memorize upon using the spindle threads at the base of Ygdrasil

Hermes of the greek sees all while traveling

All these examples are also immortals on mystara (some under other names, or are mortal identities; like the crones)

But as you read behind these words of examples; these visions are limited; Hlidskjalf sees a limited location, Hugin and Munin sees only possible future(Huginn=thought) and the past(munin= memory),https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huginn_and_Muninn each crone sees only one person and each individually only one section of life(past as was/present as is/future as might be), heimdall sees only where his eye falls upon, so only alimited area of Mystara at the same time, and as it revolved below him, he will miss what is on the other sides, and hermes sees only anything within his rapid path of view, which is like any mortal limited in detail and obstructions...and this is also for the council of intrusion(which is as far as i know the name of the council checking on immortals.)


Keep in mind that any high-level mortal will be viewed by immortals on a regular base, especially if it did not exist/or was noted earlier....just for the sake of making it an immortal candidate or rival. and any artifact, will always be screened.viewed or relating information to its immortal if it is sentient...and even the search for artifacts is viewed under close supervision...and thus high-level characters willing to own these things too.

there is a few examples of direct immortal interference noted canonnically; in x4, the great pass temple where the bhuts live, is blown apart (section) by bozdogan/loki as the adventurers anger him...as thus was during woti, they did not punish him directly, but later...be sure they did, just as alphaks redirected the meteor that slammed into glantri/broken lands/darokin, he was subjected to a massive energy loss(ak level draining on an immortal level of power) as was mentioned in a few canon sources.

hope this helps
My Deviantart page; http://6inchnails.deviantart.com/ For Mystara hexmaps and Fantasy art (to see all fantasy art; enter and declare you are an adult...frigging exposure rules)
My personal Mystara Blog;http://breathofmystara.blogspot.nl/
User avatar
Robin
Fire Giant
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:33 pm
Location: Netherland Groningen

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Hugin » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:09 am

Robin wrote:...Hugin and Munin sees only possible future(Huginn=thought) and the past(munin= memory)

Fine, I will tell you what I see in the future, and what Munin has observed in the past; Immortals will continue to walk about in concealed Mortal form, influencing, goading, searching, plotting, and yes, sometimes even killing, but it is not "constantly harming or destroying mortals".

They will mingle undetected among mortals, carefully and precisely, doing what mortals do, and mortals do sometimes kill. But it would not be their first reaction, for while they may be specifically undetected by Immortals, they often carefully observe specific mortals. And to kill a mortal under the eye of another Immortal, even if only a raven... well, that could spell the end of your secrecy.

I must fly... I have said too much as it is.


;)
User avatar
Hugin
Green Dragon
 
Posts: 3859
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 9:40 pm
Location: Fergus, Ontario

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Chimpman » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:08 am

I've always thought the answer was "yes," but here are my assumptions:

1) A Mortal identity is for all intents and purposes "mortal". While the Immortal can not be killed in this way, the Mortal identity can be killed - just as any other mortal.

2) In game terms, a Mortal identity can be of any level. So there could be low level Mortal identities and high level Mortal identities. It just depends on what the Immortal needs at the moment.

3) If a Mortal identity is killed, they are dead. They can't come back (unless mortal means are used to bring them back). So if an Immortal spends years, or decades, or centuries (or millennia) to cultivate a Mortal identity and that identity gets itself killed, then that may be too bad for the Immortal. They lost out.

So while there are benefits of Mortal identities, there are also pitfalls. If Immortals use the Mortal identities to go around killing other mortals, there is a good chance that they themselves could be killed. After all, a Mortal identity can only be a max level 36 character, and there are a ton of real 36 level mortals out there that can take them on.

[In fact I believe this is one of the major plot lines of the PWAs and MAs (Heinrich Oesterhaus was a Mortal identity of Thanatos)]
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.
User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
 
Posts: 7354
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Location: USA, California

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:42 pm

In my games I always gave for granted that an avatar can kill a mortal and even another avatar, although in this last case it almost granted that an open war will start between immortals (in immortal form).
I actually never thought about your interesting question (you may want to add the bit of what happens if two avatars meet and one kills the other in mortal form).
I'm the Real Nowhere Man, sitting in my Nowhere Land,
making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.
User avatar
Yaztromo
The Real Nowhere Man
 
Posts: 798
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 10:55 pm

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Tom Bulls Eye » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:57 am

I may be a bit colored by my profession in this reply, since the attorney's answer to the question would be that "acts must precede legal evaluation".

So, the first question would be (in my lawyers perspective): "Can an immortal kill a mortal?" The answer to this question being an obvious yes, irrespective of the immortal's current apparition. The second question would be: Is it against the law? Again an obvious yes, due to the ban on direct immortal intervention on the prime plane.

The third and final question would then be: Is the act of killing a mortal by an immortal sanctioned under the law?

And this question by and large is the most difficult to answer since, as is also the case in international law governing the relations between states, if you have enough power and influence, then you might get away with it anyway, because, honestly, what immortal would risk war with another immortal over the life of a mortal? But sometimes, think 1st world war and the assasination of the archduke in Sarajevo, a single assasination is all it takes for large nations to declare that they have "casus belli".

So, by and large, a little killing here'n'there might slip by, but blatant abuse would probably bring retribution and sanction.
User avatar
Tom Bulls Eye
Ogre
 
Posts: 261
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:49 pm
Location: Valley of five Surprises

Re: Are Mortal Identities of Immortals allowed to kill morta

Postby Mike » Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:01 pm

I think you have to ask why the law exists: because it is unfair to be a bully when you are more powerful.

If as a mortal you have no more power than other mortals (or at least don't exercise it), then it is all fair. However it is still not fair to kill, since you cannot be killed. Even if your mortal identity is killed, you as an immortal can't be killed, so while "death" hurts it is not real. So I like this idea: in mortal form you can take direct action in the world of mortals, and you can kill them... but not permanently, since that is unfair. So when an immortal kills someone in mortal form, standard practice is to either ensure that they are raised, or to immediately raise them yourself, but surreptitiously so that it appears they somehow survived. A clever immortal can do this in a split-second, before anyone realizes it. Even immortal observers may not be sure what happened.

There's no point in killing someone if you know you can't leave them dead, but sometimes mistakes do happen. When a "mistake" happens, if you fix it and make it as though it never happened, then the immortal court has a tradition to overlook it: no harm no foul. Well except the two weeks of bed rest... you can't kill them but you can stop them for a time.
User avatar
Mike
Ogre
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:49 pm
Location: The Sylvan Realm (Beaverton, OR)


Return to Mystara

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests