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Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

B. The less powerful we are, the lower the chance of us accidentally unleashing the apocalypse.

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Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

A. Maybe this time we do manage to plant our butt on a golden throne, even if it isn't of the magically floating variety.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

H. The only way to stop violence is more violence.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

1.

H. Alone, swimming in the ocean
E. Jalitha
B. Uncle Jorah
D. Mom
C. Uncle Pagam
F. Alone along the beach
G. Alone in the forest
A. Father

2. L. Yes, to both Ashera and the gods of your people, alongside Jalitha's sky giant, you believe in them both

We had our very first prophecy when our father nearly drowned us in the sea. Although it simple to assume Ashera spoke to us, the source of this message could have been any other god so for now let's keep an open mind towards Jalitha and the teachings of her sky giant.

If we are indeed shaping up to become a prophet of Ashera, then we should go out swimming as often as possible in the hope of receiving more divine messages. For similar reasons there's little need to interact with our father. In fact, doing so may even be detrimental to us and our village. A prophet receives his orders directly from his god, and not through another human being. It's entirely possible the voice in our head only speaks to us and not our father, meaning that only we know the true intention of the gods. (Whoever they may be).

Zybourne Clock fucked around with this message at May 24, 2013 around 02:03

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

SerSpook posted:

It's because, as high priest of Asherah, he certainly has some knowledge and skills to pass down that will be good to know.

I know this game is completely unrelated to Land between the Rivers, but if there's one thing we learned from our time in Akkad it's that rituals that are passed on orally from father to son for thousands of years tend to become multi-generational games of Broken Telephone. Just like Sebek, our father may believe that he has perfect knowledge about the gods. And just like Sebek, it may turn out that some of his knowledge may be wrong or missing. Something spoke to us when we nearly drowned in the sea, and if that voice was a god then I think it's best to get out information straight from the source instead of from a fallible human.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

No on both. There's no need to anger our father for no good reason. Even if he tells us the truth, what good will this knowledge do? I'd also rather not tell our father we're hearing voices. Maybe he hears them too and we get to learn a bit about what it's like to be Asherah's prophet. Alternatively, he thinks we are possessed by sea demons and excommunicates us from the village.

It warms my heart to see so many people in support of building a boat.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Not E.

Outsiders are virtually unheard of in our village. Dad knows just as much about intertribal conflict resolution as we do, which is to say, bugger all.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Asherah eats his own children, and some of the people who undergo the solstice ritual never make it back. I feel stupid right now.

A. Let's not end up on the menu.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

HBar posted:

There's no immediate danger in staying, either.

Except we're a boy and we'll have to undergo this mysterious ritual at some point that makes us either a young adult or dinner. The tribesmen have stone tools, our guests have what appears to be bronze or iron armor and weapons. They might as well be Terminators compared to the tribe, and if a fight breaks out it isn't hard to see who will win.

Any decision that involves us staying behind in the village until we become an adult will inevitably lead to participating in a ritual that could very well get us killed and eaten.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

and .

The tooth might not hold power of its own in that it's only a ritual tool for unlocking a priest's theurgical potency. But that's not a gamble we should take. If it is the conduit of Asherah's magic, we should take it with us. Not necessarily so we may one day fling lightning bolts around everywhere, but mainly so that nobody else will have it.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Flame112 posted:

Does anyone voting to go with these strangers realize that we are like ten years old and just saw them behead our father? Seriously, what the gently caress.

E. Stab an invader.

We're a ten year old boy and the best weapon available to us is a very sharp tooth. Our guests have bronze plates and shields, and wield swords and lances. This is not a fight Og could hope to win, unless he throws the tooth at the guy's throat as a desperate hail Mary. All that will accomplish is that our guest's friends will pile on a now unarmed and defenseless Og.

Fighting simply isn't an option here. Even running away to the ocean would be preferable to that.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Assume for a moment that a ten year old boy can successfully fight and kill a fully grown, sword and shield wielding adult, using nothing more than a dinky shark tooth. The same child then has to fight off many-lots of the dead man's friends, who all witnessed the boy's act and who all carry metal spears. Even if that happens, the tribe is still hosed. Its spiritual leader is dead, and the nearest settlement that could provide a replacement priest is weeks away. A month without a leader is a very long time, and if by some miracle our tribe does get a new priest there is no reason to assume the substitute will train us as his successor instead of his own children.

If you're voting E in the hope of someday learning how to fire fish lasers, you're on the wrong path. Fleeing with the tooth and trying to figure out its mysteries by yourself is probably a more fruitful than trying to stay behind in the village.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

"El and his giants save women and children from danger. No matter how grim the odds, they always triumph over evil. You and your people saved me and Jalitha, so YOU must be El".

Zybourne Clock fucked around with this message at May 29, 2013 around 19:14

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

This will somehow end with us puking up our skeleton.

I'm changing my vote to Not Maxhush.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.



And better sit still or else we might lose an ear.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

1.

2.

It's good to have a friend.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

+

Maybe I would have remained loyal to fish god had the taught us how to use his lasers. But he didn't, so Asherah only has himself to blame.

Zybourne Clock fucked around with this message at Jun 4, 2013 around 11:24

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Changing my vote to A + NOT M.

Vengeance is not going to solve anything. Asherah won't give us a pat on the back and say 'job well done', and if the fish laser spell couldn't even kill three people then it's highly unlikely a single guy could do anything to hurt an entire city filled with El worshipers.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

A is for adventure. We may get caught, but since we don't have a house right now I doubt we'll get grounded.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Theglavwen posted:

Basically, if we weren't praying to him as part of our ritualistic practices, why were we doing it at all? And if it was part of our ritualistic practices, designed to appease a creature we believe in, why have we suddenly stopped doing it, without suggesting a dramatic and immediate shift in our lifelong convictions?

That being said, it certainly seems that the character is quickly becoming one that, indeed, no longer does believe in Asherah. It's weird, out of so-far-established-character, and sudden, but if that's the way it's going, that's the way it's going.

Partly because fake dad beat us whenever we shirked our duties, partly because we simply didn't know any better. To the best of our knowledge, before we met our saviors, everyone in our village prayed to Asherah and we were destined to become the next priest. Fake dad decided our future for us, and it's not like we had any say in the matter. We worshiped Asherah and accepted our future because it was expected of us.

Jalitha told us a lot of stories, one of which was about Sky Giants saving women and children in need. Even when we were very young, we knew Jalitha and us were different from the rest of the villagers. Other children wouldn't play with us, and we were the only two people in town to receive regular beatings. Then one day this strange guy comes to our town. Fake dad tries to strike him down with a light show, and the stranger simply laughs off the attack. A stranger who glows with golden light and claims to be a servant of the very god Jalitha spoke of. It's been some time since we left the tribe and, as far as we know, the world hasn't ended yet. In my opinion, that makes it very believable for Enkidel to acknowledge that El is the stronger god. It's not that we now deny Asherah's existence, it's that we consider him unworthy of our worship. El has been much nicer to us than fish god ever was, so I don't think the change of religion is strange at all.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Theglavwen posted:

Changing religion or deciding that Asherah shouldn't be worshipped is one thing. Doing so immediately, without the slightest reservation, as a little traumatized child, is kind of absurd. Many people come to realize that their ideals and their life-situations don't match up, and reevaluate their beliefs, but it rarely happens quickly, quietly, or easily.

I agree, this indeed how things would work out in the real world. But you shouldn't forget that Jalitha foretold we would be saved by El and his angels, and that Tudiya appeared before us as a literal deus ex machina. Such magic doesn't exist in the real world, so we really don't have a frame of reference to say which reaction is the right one. A sudden change of religion fits the narrative just as well as retaining our old religion does.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

1D. A sense of mischief.

2E. Put Danal on our shoulders.

3J. We want to play a prank on Barkof. Put down the spear, gather some branches and leaves, and have Danal hold them. Then we'll put him on our shoulders, and approach Barkof's tent. We wake him up by making loud noises and pretending to be a tree monster.

Zybourne Clock fucked around with this message at Jun 5, 2013 around 22:15

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Tsyni posted:

Ashera will give us a dozen shark friends. Let's see how Ashera rewards us. This can all be easily explained as an accident if things go sideways.

It's an established fact that Asherah does not offer his followers protection or any other rewards for showing loyalty. The only thing he cares about is that his followers live according to his rules; anyone that deviates can expect a punishment. Attempting to somehow gain Asherah's favor is a fool's errand.

Changing my vote to NOT D, NOT B, NOT F.

Zybourne Clock fucked around with this message at Jun 6, 2013 around 10:31

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

A RICH WHITE MAN posted:

Except for, you know, our dad.

Who also happened to be the tribe's high priest, and also the person who told us in very clear terms that Asherah only punishes and does not reward. The priest likely managed to shoot fish lasers because fish demon wanted us to stay in the village and become the priest's successor. Not because fish demon thought Sushem was a loyal follower who did not deserve to have his son taken away.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

DarkCrawler posted:

B) Worship the wrong god,

...

Whereas in the village we can pick up where dad left off and they have nobody else but us. You want to be planktons in a sea or a really big fish in a small pond?

We worship El, religion isn't going to be an issue. Assuming Enkidel manages to make the perilous trip back home, which is no small feat for an eleven year old boy who has never left his own tribe before, you're not going to be able to pick up where dad left. Enkidel's training was incomplete. He learned to make a few powders and how to collect shells, but the important rituals and things like seeing the future and reading the tides are completely unknown to him. His own people won't even consider him an adult yet, because he never participated in the cannibalistic ritual in the forest.

If, by some miracle, he manages to go home, he will find that things have changed drastically as foretold by his father. The tribe will have a new priest sourced from one of the faraway villages, one that probably wants to put his own progeny in a position of power and will see us as a direct threat. He's also going to be shunned more than before because of his haircut, and that's the best outcome that can be expected. Worst case scenario they won't let him back in, or they kill and eat him.

maxhush posted:

C'mon guys, Asherah has the potential to be a way more interesting than following 'Good God No. 381 (not-Jehovah)'.

Asherah doesn't care about us, as long as we do what he says. He doesn't bless us, and doesn't care if we die or not as long as we don't defy him. He's not going to be our ally, and the only way he's going to do anything of interest is if we antagonize him into doing so.

El, on the other hand, actually sent out one of his angels to save us and Jalitha. He's already more involved with us than fish demon.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

I'm changing my vote for 3 from NOT F to NOT I. At least the people in support of infanticide (where were you people during Land between the Rivers) know there's a possibility they might get away with it. Those who think an eleven year old boy who has never been away from his tribe before can somehow make his way back home through monster-filled darkness are severely overestimating Enkidel's capabilities.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Right now I'm voting for I twice, but that will likely change depending on the outcome of this question:

Diogines, what's the current season?

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

El has our back. We made the right choice to worship him.

M. Climb up that tree and see if we can spot the campfire. The monsters lurking in the shadow were pushed back by El, we can let Danal stay on the ground for a few moments without having to fear that he'll be eaten the moment we lose him out of sight.

As for the anti-voting, I can see why people want to see it gone. But my biggest fear is that if this is done, there will be a question in the near future with 10 different options of which only one is in favor of Asherah. Even if team El is much larger than team fish demon, if their votes are spread out over four different options, team fish might win by unifying behind their one option to eat Danal or something. I won't vote on this matter, because I think it's something Diogines should decide for himself.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

- Because we really can't do it the other way around. That'd be unfair to a six year old, no matter how freakishly huge he is for his age. But really, we should do it because we feel like a big brother.

- Adventure.

- I want to know if Barkof sometimes hears his boss talk in a strange angelic manner.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

C. We're adventurers at heart.

"Does the king sometimes speak to you without actually speaking?"

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

C + M

Grab a torch and try to scare/lure the monster away from the group. At the very least that should give our god-warrior companions an opportunity to strike.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Cutting our hand with the shark tooth to summon lightning and kill those lizards will probably work. It's also a terrible idea that will end up getting us killed if you recall the specifics of what happened to Sushem when he invoked the spell. All of his blood disappeared, as if Asherah drained him like a caprisun. We might save our friends by firing fishlasers, but it'll be the last thing we do.

My votes:

O. This is not a time to be scared. Throughout or life, El has always had out back. El's servants rescued us from cannibals, just like Jalitha's stories foretold. When we were surrounded and lost in a dark forest, El kept the monsters away. He'll save us again.

R. "Great El, please aide me in protecting my friends and family. Please guide this spear with your power".

F.

Zybourne Clock fucked around with this message at Jun 13, 2013 around 23:47

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Theglavwen posted:

I mean, how is S any more 'trying to get us killed' than any of the others? Unless it's just a case of 'Asherah related things = terrible = instant game over'?

A while ago, this happened:

quote:

One of the men stabs your father in the chest, no blood spurts out and it does not seem to slow him down, nor do the next two spears to pierce his chest have any obvious effect.

Asherah is a cannibal. The tribe we grew up in are cannibals, and they worship teeth. Sushem used a shark tooth in his ritual. It doesn't take that large a leap of logic to foresee what cutting yourself with that ritual tooth will do: it'll drain all of Enkidel's blood as an offering to Asherah, after which he gets to throw around lightning for a bit and then he dies.

Fish demon is nobody's friend. You're not going to get any protection from him, the best you can hope for is that he feels indifferent about your fate. This isn't speculation, it's pretty much exactly what Sushem told us. The sooner we abandon fish demon, the better,

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Theglavwen posted:

It's possible that all of our blood will be sucked out to fuel Asherah's lightning and Dio will end the game; it's also possible that we could throw our spear at a monster, and have it regenerate and encorporate the spear into its frame, and become an evil spear monster, twice as powerful as before! I don't personally think either is very likely.

I think this is a disingenuous thing to say. We've seen Sushem perform the ritual before and we know what the consequences are. Tudiya's men stabbed him in the chest several times and it didn't cause him to bleed. You'd think that if the tooth only drained a little bit of blood there'd still be at least some blood seeping from Sushem's wounds, but that wasn't the case. There's at least some evidence that using the tooth is a very bad idea, and you can't just handwave that away.

Diogines, I want to recall the events surrounding Sushem's death. When Tudiya separated the priest's head from his body, did we get a good look at it? If so, did we see any blood seeping from his corpse at all?

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

I'm changing my vote to not SSS.

e: I really don't want to shoot down people's ideas, I just think that using the tooth is this game's equivalent of trying to vomit up our own skeleton.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Theglavwen posted:

It is a bit, yes, the two examples aren't perfectly equivalent, there is slightly more evidence for the blood sucking tooth than the other example, but not enough to put it substantially further into the realm of likely outcomes, I don't think. The complete absence of blood is intriguing, I'll grant, but I'd say it's much more likely that it was simply part of the 'immortal' effect Asherah was imbuing Shushem with; wouldn't have been a very effective invulnerability if he'd actually been bleeding out and taking wounds, and when you couple that with the fact that cutting his palm seemed to be Shushem's standard go-to supplication, and that it doesn't seem terribly sensible for Shushem to have immediately enacted a desperate, last-stand sort of maneuver in response to only just encountering some strangers who hadn't even evidenced particular maliciousness or threat, you have to make a pretty serious leap to the assumption that Asherah rituals are a one-time life-for-lightning sort of deal.

Who knows, maybe Shushem had actually forseen this, and was indeed offering his life to try and change the outcome he thought was coming. I'd still bet, in that case, though that there's a bit more to it than just cutting your palm a bit and asking for lightning. Shushem used the tooth often, and cut his palms as a way of offering to Asherah, and didn't suffer for either one in the majority of cases, that we can tell. I imagine that if a full on life-offering does come into it, we'll have a bit more notice, or a chance to cut the ritual off before it completes.

But Sushem did sustain wounds. The spears went straight through his body and Tudiya severed his head in a single clean blow. And why would magically removing someone's blood be essential to making that person immortal? I really don't see the connection you're trying to make there. Fact of the matter is that all of his blood got drained, and that Sushem worshiped a cannibalistic demon and was the leader of a tribe of people who worship teeth. I can't prove that Asherah did in fact squeeze Sushem dry like a juice box, but thematically speaking it's a much better explanation that 'must be related to the magic ritual for some unknown reason'.

Don't forget that Sushem was the high priest of a neolithic tribe, and that Tudiya and crew were like aliens to him. Wine was a completely unknown thing in the tribe. When the king offered him some, he thought they were trying to poison him to death. The tribesmen pointed their spears at the king's men, which is practically the universal way of saying 'get lost, we don't want your kind here'. Tudiya and his men willfully chose to ignore this sign. From Sushem's perspective, he had every reason to suspect them of malice. Considering how he had no patience for our fumbling, it's a miracle he didn't try to fish laser them out of existence any sooner.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

I'm going to interpret our decision to cut our palm with the shark tooth as a panic reaction; we were scared, didn't know what to do, and ended up making a terrible decision by accident.

1. A, C, D. If possible, chuck the tooth at the demons below.
2. K. "Great and benevolent El, please forgive my momentary lapse of judgment. I was scared and acted without thinking. Please don't let the fish demon eat me".

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

Theglavwen posted:

In any of the Asherahn stories we know, do the children of Asherah ever intervene to protect our people? Are there stories of the minor gods serving as intermediaries, or countering their father, saving people from the storms or fish-droughts that accompany his anger? Are we ever taught to ask the minor gods for help?

According to the village priest, Asherah does not shy away from eating his own children. I highly doubt his offspring -- should they actually exist -- are willing to go even anywhere near Asherah, let alone defy his will.

If you're going to pray, pray to El. I doubt there is anyone else who stands a chance against Fish Demon.

Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

quote:

In one story, a man gave many offerings to Asherah, but Asherah came to "bring his wrath" anyway. The man was patient and gentle, so mild he would not even eat fish as he did not want to hurt them and so instead ate seaweed. As he was out collecting seaweed, Asherah's wrath fell upon him. The man cried out to Smis for help as the sea shook and the sky turned dark. Smis left his home, a reef and wrestled with Asherah to try to save the man. Asherah ate Smis's arms which calmed his anger and he swam off.

quote:

There are other stories of the Great Fish trying to help people escape Asherah's wrath, they often fail. When they succeed it is either because they successfully hid them and Asherah ate something else, or Asherah took a bite out of one of the Great Fish instead. Even when people get saved from Asherah, he still eats someone, in every story. Your father does not like those stories, they were mostly shared by the women of your tribe.

The bolded parts are crucial. If we want to have any chance of surviving this ordeal, we have to eat something right this instant. With regards to question 1, I vote C: attempt to eat our (non-dominant) fingers/hand/arm all whilst praying to El that it is enough to satiate the beast's hunger. A bonus that comes with this decision is that if we survive, we will have a permanent reminder as to why we should cut all of our connections to our past self and the cannibal-fish demon we used to serve.

I will not stop praying to El for forgiveness and aide. Ishamel probably is an angel in disguise, and right now he doesn't seem to be having a lot of success in battling Asherah. We need to call for backup. 2E.

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Zybourne Clock
Oct 25, 2011

Poke me.

A + H

The nonbelievers and demon worshipers refuse to see it, but the undeniable truth is that El has always been looking out for us since the day we were born. Jalitha's stories are true; her sky giants exist, they saved us from our abusive fake dad and the cannibal tribe he was a part of. Even after we made the biggest mistake of our short life so far, they haven't given up on us yet. In our moment of despair El sent forth a protector to shield us from the physical manifestation of hunger and death. It is El's will only that decides whether we live or die, his angels will see to it. If this is where we are supposed to die then we should not struggle, we should accept the fate that El has set out for us. Considering that El bothered to personally send an angel after us, he likely does not intend for us to die here. We should trust El, close our eyes, relax, and listen to air as it rushes past us. This is a ride that can only be enjoyed once in a lifetime; it'd be a waste of an experience if we were to shout, scream and cry all the way down.

Once we're back on solid ground, we should thank our angelic savior and the man who employs him.

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