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    Canonfire :: View topic - Celestian and his clergy
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    Celestian and his clergy
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    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:42 pm  
    Celestian and his clergy

    According to the Greyhawk Wiki, Celestian's clergy, "... will not use their expertise with stars and space to pilot warships or slave ships, and they will not aid unjust conquerors."

    I would like to know if anyone can provide a reference for where this particular information comes from. In my mind, a Cleric of Celestian would be a wonderful retainer for a nation to employ on their warships, especially pirate-hunting warships. But, I don't want to blatantly violate canon in a work I intend to publish soon without good justification. So, I would like some help discovering how this bit of information managed to make its way into the Greyhawk Wiki so that I can interpret it from its original source. I'd also appreciate any other insight anyone would like to offer to explain or justify this restriction or my desire to ignore it.

    Thanks! Happy

    SirXaris
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:45 pm  

    The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook, page 82.

    Quote:
    Celestians are considered useful, if a bit strange, by many spelljamming groups. Since they seek to wander the many spheres, Celestian's priests (and mages who follow this deity) are always willing to pilot long journeys through the Flow. The good-aligned trading companies and mercenary companies thus see Celestians as a convenient resource, and the sight of their starry black robes is a welcome one. However, Celestian's priests will not pilot warships or slaveships. They do not seek conquest and will not aid an unjust conqeror to invade wildspace. They will pilot mercenary ships but only to transport defenders and never into a direct conflict.


    There's no reason they wouldn't be involved with pirate-hunting ships (that would fit with their willingness to help good-aligned traders and mercenaries), but they won't aid in wars or conquest.

    Warships in this context would mean "a ship taking part in a war," rather than "a ship with weapons on it." I wouldn't consider a skirmish with pirates to be a war. Privateers working for a hostile enemy state might be attacked as part of a war, however, and perhaps followers of Celestian might be persuaded to help out against privateers if they were convinced it was for the greater good, or primarily to benefit civilians rather than the state.
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:48 pm  

    Wonderful, rasgon! That's exactly what I was looking for - a copy of the source and an interpretation that allowed me to use a cleric of Celestian on a pirate-hunting galley. Happy

    Thanks!

    SirXaris
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    Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:18 pm  
    Fascinating bit about celestian

    I just want to say thanks to you both for researching and finding little factoids about GH that I had no idea about. I happen to love the idea of Celestian as a deity, but I've never taken a lot of time to research him. One of these days, I am going to ge the opportunity to play a cleric of his that isn't the turn-undead-and-heal-everyone kind of cleric, but a wanderer who worships Fharlangan and Celestian. .
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    GreySage

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    Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:29 pm  
    Re: Fascinating bit about celestian

    Icarus wrote:
    I just want to say thanks to you both for researching and finding little factoids about GH that I had no idea about. I happen to love the idea of Celestian as a deity, but I've never taken a lot of time to research him. One of these days, I am going to ge the opportunity to play a cleric of his that isn't the turn-undead-and-heal-everyone kind of cleric, but a wanderer who worships Fharlangan and Celestian. .


    My pleasure, Icarus. And, just be sure your wandering priest's stout walking stick has a pointy end and he's set. Wink

    SirXaris
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    Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:24 pm  

    One of my all time favorite characters was a half-elven Celestian Monk/cleric. I know you were not supposed to multi-class a monk but a cleric/pilot relagated to try and fill the shoes of a fighter in a 7th-10th level campaign was not a very survivalable scenario without more abilities. The monestary was based in the Gnarly wood forest because it was fairly centrally located between Celene, Greyhawk and the main church of Celestian. The monastary was where the Celestian Sailors(think his majesty's secret service) started their training. their main goal in life was to keep the philogiston lanes open and safe for their fellow Celestian worshipers. Chartering themselves as pilots on pirate hunting ships would have been right up their alley Happy !!
    GreySage

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    Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:14 pm  

    That's interesting Hieden. Thanks for the input. Smile

    SirXaris
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    Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:55 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook, page 82.

    Quote:
    Celestians are considered useful, if a bit strange, by many spelljamming groups. Since they seek to wander the many spheres, Celestian's priests (and mages who follow this deity) are always willing to pilot long journeys through the Flow. The good-aligned trading companies and mercenary companies thus see Celestians as a convenient resource, and the sight of their starry black robes is a welcome one. However, Celestian's priests will not pilot warships or slaveships. They do not seek conquest and will not aid an unjust conqeror to invade wildspace. They will pilot mercenary ships but only to transport defenders and never into a direct conflict.


    There's no reason they wouldn't be involved with pirate-hunting ships (that would fit with their willingness to help good-aligned traders and mercenaries), but they won't aid in wars or conquest.

    Warships in this context would mean "a ship taking part in a war," rather than "a ship with weapons on it." I wouldn't consider a skirmish with pirates to be a war. Privateers working for a hostile enemy state might be attacked as part of a war, however, and perhaps followers of Celestian might be persuaded to help out against privateers if they were convinced it was for the greater good, or primarily to benefit civilians rather than the state.


    -Sir Xaris seems to be satisfied with this, but wouldn't the Spacefarer's Handbook fall under "optional" anyway? i.e., couldn't Sir Xaris (or anyone else) ignore it as not full canon?

    Cleric's of Celestian would make obvious navigators. FWIW, an alternative might be to have a non-Cleric worshipper of Celestian who still has spell abilities (e.g., D&D 3.5 Adept/Expert; AD&D Sage).
    GreySage

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    Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:46 pm  

    Thanks for the support, jamesdglick. You're right, I can ignore it, or justify my reinterpretation, etc. However, it is easier to do so when I know where the quote originally came from so that I can consider its source and context.

    What you've pointed out is that the source of the quote isn't 100% canon. Others have offered interpretations of the quote, based on the full contexts in which it was written, that support my desire to use Celestian's Clerics as navigators on pirate-hunting warships. Put together, that is everything I was looking for. Wink Thanks!

    SirXaris
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    Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:12 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    Thanks for the support, jamesdglick. You're right, I can ignore it, or justify my reinterpretation, etc. However, it is easier to do so when I know where the quote originally came from so that I can consider its source and context.

    What you've pointed out is that the source of the quote isn't 100% canon. Others have offered interpretations of the quote, based on the full contexts in which it was written, that support my desire to use Celestian's Clerics as navigators on pirate-hunting warships. Put together, that is everything I was looking for. Wink Thanks!

    SirXaris


    -I was sort of asking for my benefit. Celestian cleric navigators makes sense, and I don't use (or have) that supplement.
    GreySage

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    Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:05 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    -Sir Xaris seems to be satisfied with this, but wouldn't the Spacefarer's Handbook fall under "optional" anyway? i.e., couldn't Sir Xaris (or anyone else) ignore it as not full canon?


    Everything is optional. If you'd written TSR in 1992 and asked "Do I need a copy of The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook to run my Greyhawk game?" they probably would have written back, "You might find the section on the church of Celestian useful, but no, all you really need is the DMG, PHB, Monstrous Compendium Volume One, and the From the Ashes boxed set." If you'd asked WotC in 2001, they would have said "All you need to run a Greyhawk campaign are the PH, DMG, MM, and either the Dungeons & Dragons Gazetteer or the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer."

    The question of whether or not it's canon, though, is somewhat different. Different people have different ideas of what canon is, and even official Greyhawk has several different canons depending on the era and who's publishing it. Back in the 1st edition era, obviously Spelljammer wasn't canon because it hadn't been created yet. During the 2nd edition era it pretty clearly was canon, since Greyhawk Ruins, Treasures of Greyhawk, From the Ashes, Return of the Eight and The Adventure Begins are all pretty solid Greyhawk sources that all mention spelljammers and spelljamming, and the Spelljammer books pretty much all mention Greyhawk. I don't think there's any doubt that TSR intended for both settings to exist in the same universe, and the clerics of Celestian are the same whether they're on Oerth or in space.

    In 3rd edition, the Spelljammer setting had been pretty well buried and spelljammers were rarely mentioned, except in a few places like Lords of Madness. Canon became split between core canon, Living Greyhawk canon, and Paizo canon, and none of these things really mentioned 2nd edition Spelljammer supplements very much. I think only the core stuff did, and then hardly at all, and not in a context where it was clear that 2nd edition canon still held true.

    But if you think of canon as everything officially published that's connected to Greyhawk, as I do, then I would consider Spelljammer supplements to be canonical. But no, I don't think you need to hunt down The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook to run a Greyhawk campaign or get cool points on this message board.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:51 pm  
    Spelljammer Celestian Canon

    rasgon wrote:
    A whole bunch of stuff that was spot on.

    Rasgon, I've seldom seen it put that simply, or that well.
    I couldn't agree more. I'd tend to agree that it's canon, but, whether or not it's necessary for one's game (or to get cool points), is a horse of a different colour.
    Bravo, sir. Bravo.
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:44 am  

    rasgon wrote:


    jamesdglick wrote:
    -Sir Xaris seems to be satisfied with this, but wouldn't the Spacefarer's Handbook fall under "optional" anyway? i.e., couldn't Sir Xaris (or anyone else) ignore it as not full canon?


    Everything is optional. If you'd written TSR in 1992 and asked "Do I need a copy of The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook to run my Greyhawk game?" they probably would have written back, "You might find the section on the church of Celestian useful, but no, all you really need is the DMG, PHB, Monstrous Compendium Volume One, and the From the Ashes boxed set." If you'd asked WotC in 2001, they would have said "All you need to run a Greyhawk campaign are the PH, DMG, MM, and either the Dungeons & Dragons Gazetteer or the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer."

    -The question of whether or not it's canon, though, is somewhat different...


    -That's what I'm getting at.

    I wouldn't put an optional book, from an edition which most people no longer use, and which was really designed for a campaign other than Greyhawk too far up on the Greyhawk Canon Totem Pole. I'd consider it a precedent for Spelljammer, but not Greyhawk.

    FWIW, Exampes of other "canon" religion changes:

    1) Grummsh was LE in AD&D1. Then he became CE with the general change of alignment for typical orcs. Back in Original D&D, I don't remember any one worrying about Grummsh, who as far as I know, first appeared in Deities & Demigods, but I guess you would say that he was (retroactively CE. Therefore, you could argue that Grummsh has actually gone from CE to LE back to CE;

    2) St Cuthbert went from LG (with LN) tendencies to LN in D&D 3.5;

    3) IIRC, Wee Jas could have clerics of LN, LE, or LG alignment in EGG's original Dragon article (#60-something or other, IIRC, in the AD&D1 era). Then, it was only LN or LE by The Adventure Begins (AD&D2). In D&D 3.5, it looks like we're back to clerics of any lawful alignment;

    4) There was a thread here which discussed the whole Pholtus issue in relation to Dimre a while back (threadomancy, anyone?).

    Religious issues seem to be particulalry vulnerable to canon change (even within Greyhawk). This actually bothers me, but I'm handling it without medication. Laughing

    My point is, that as a guy who actually is rather stuck on the concept of "canon," even I wouldn't worry about what Spacefarer has to say WRT the employment habits of clerics of Celestian...
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:01 am  

    Meanwhile, back on planet "Celestian" ...

    So, without derailing into a flaming debate on religion in canon, or anything else, let's stay on topic about Celestian! That sounds fun!

    Sir Xaris - so, you like the Greyhawk canon as established by Spelljammer enough that you're going to use it. What is it that you're doing with the Celestians out there? I haven't ever really gotten to do much with them, though I have always really liked the idea of priests of the heavens and stars. I think that I mentioned up-thread that I have always wanted to play a cleric that I wrote a history for, and made a character sheet for, and never got around to playing.
    I always liked to imagine Celestian himself, and what he would look like.
    I think there's a description of him somewhere that made me think of this comic book character that is solid black (as in a perfect silhouette no matter how you look at him) with stars shining our from the surface of their skin).

    At any rate ... so, how many places in canon worship him?
    Does the inclusion of Celestian as a major part of a storyline almost mandate the inclusion of the heavenly bodies as physical places?
    How would Celestian be included in planar adventures, since he's extra-terrestrial, but, not specifically planar?
    Are there any other places in lore that Celestian is worshipped? - Sir Xaris, where is your game going to be set?

    Just a few questions intended to provoke conversation on the topic of Celestian - I really like him and would love to see a continuing thread about his use in the campaign.
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:17 am  

    Icarus wrote:
    Meanwhile, back on planet "Celestian" ...

    So, without derailing into a flaming debate on religion in canon, or anything else, let's stay on topic about Celestian! That sounds fun!


    -Uh, it is fun, and we are posting on Celestian. But as you point out:

    Icarus wrote:
    ...At any rate ... so, how many places in canon worship him...Are there any other places in lore that Celestian is worshipped?


    ...his portrayal in Spelljammer brings up a few other issues.

    Icarus wrote:
    ... I always liked to imagine Celestian himself, and what he would look like. I think there's a description of him somewhere that made me think of this comic book character that is solid black (as in a perfect silhouette no matter how you look at him) with stars shining our from the surface of their skin)...


    -That's the way he was portrayed in EGG's original Dragon article, IIRC.
    GreySage

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    Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:02 pm  

    Icarus wrote:
    Sir Xaris - so, you like the Greyhawk canon as established by Spelljammer enough that you're going to use it.


    No, no, no! You misunderstand me. Shocked I am not interested in anything Spelljammer except as an entertaining bit of lore. My campaigns have never extended into Greyspace. Wink

    My sole concern with this thread was to make sure that I wasn't violating some important bit of canon with my intended use of a Cleric of Celestian as a ship's Cleric on a warship tasked with hunting pirates.

    Quote:
    What is it that you're doing with the Celestians out there? Sir Xaris, where is your game going to be set?


    The story of this particular Cleric of Celestian will feature in my soon-to-be-published adventure which takes place in Jeklea Bay in the area of Fort Blackwell on the Amedian peninsula. Govannan and the rest of the crew suffered an aweful fate while pursuing a dread pirate. Losing his life, but not his soul, Govannan was gifted with the privilege of continuing to serve Celestian on Oerth as an intelligent magical item which PCs may discover if they search the wreck of the warship. (I hope I left enough mystery there to avoid too many spoilers. Happy )

    SirXaris


    Last edited by SirXaris on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:09 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:
    No, no, no! You misunderstand me. Shocked I am not interested in anything Spelljammer except as an entertaining bit of lore. My campaigns have never extended into Greyspace. Wink
    Right. I got that. I didn't think you were going up, I just meant that you liked the GH (terrestrial) canon established by SJ. Using SJ canon to augment your game on Oerth.
    Quote:
    ... while pursuing a dread pirate.
    Is this the prestige class "Dread Pirate"? His name wouldn't be Roberts, would it? i loved that class.
    Quote:
    ... gifted with the privilege of continuing to serve Celestian on Oerth as an intelligent magical item

    Have you ever read books by Robin Hobb? She wrote the Farseer Triligoy (Assassin's Aprentice, et al). There was another series about the Bingtown Traders and the Rain Wilds that involve ships that are carved out of a special wood that comes to life and animates the figurehead (and sort of the whole ship). That's what your mention of an intelligent item on the boat made me think of. They're great - Live Ship, Mad Ship, and Ship of Magic. Absolutely some of the top ten book s I've ever read.
    I never thought how a magical ship might be dedicated to a god of travel like Celestian. Hmmm. The possibilities abound.
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    Paladin

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    Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:42 pm  

    Icarus wrote:
    Is this the prestige class "Dread Pirate"? His name wouldn't be Roberts, would it? i loved that class.

    Where is Inigo Montoya when you need him...mahaaaawaaaa Evil Grin
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    GreySage

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    Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:40 pm  

    Icarus wrote:
    Have you ever read books by Robin Hobb? She wrote the Farseer Triligoy (Assassin's Aprentice, et al). There was another series about the Bingtown Traders and the Rain Wilds that involve ships that are carved out of a special wood that comes to life and animates the figurehead (and sort of the whole ship). That's what your mention of an intelligent item on the boat made me think of. They're great - Live Ship, Mad Ship, and Ship of Magic. Absolutely some of the top ten book s I've ever read.


    Wow! You seem uncomfortably prescient, there Icarus. Shocked I have never read, nor even heard of, those books you mention, but I did include a magical ship's figurehead in the adventure. I'm not going to give anything about it away right now, however. You'll just have to wait, like me, until the artists get their portion of the project completed. Oh, you know how that goes. Wink Razz If you have the time and inclination, I've got plenty of picture requests for you to be involved too. Happy

    SirXaris
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    Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:00 am  

    Icarus I will attempt to answer your questions as best I can.
    Celestian is suggested as a God of travel for both spelljammers and planewalkers so his clergy can be used to guide parties in both planar travel as well as space travel(spelljammer). Spelljammer does turn all heavenly bodies into explorable physical places so they(TSR) took care of that problem long ago.
    What can Celestian clerics do in Greyhawk?
    That is a big problem! I believe he was originally mentioned (the early 80s) as a future springboard for spelljammer. Being a cleric a his brother Fharlanghn would be a better fit if you wish to have a Greyhawk only game.
    The main Celestian temple is in the Giff mountains. But there is a main temple in the Lortmils mountain as well. Helping these two temples out in various ways like finding lost artifacts in the Flanaess or helping to defend the temples against raiders could be intrigueing campaign seeds. My character went thru the Die Vecna Die adventure.as well as the Paladin in hell adventure. Trying to get a ship that could not be boarded and was extremely magical was very enticing! Having to give it up because it was actually a plane of the abyss not so enticing... Shocked
    There is also a temple and observatory in the city of Greyhawk itself. The observatory is run by Karol Sagan a low level priest of Celestian. As a fun sub adventure have Karol go on her 5 year trip to a new sphere while your rough and tumble, hardy adventurers take care of her curator and admin duties there.( the keystone cops ) they try to take care of simple tasks and have one misadventure after another!
    As to Mr. James and worrying about "cannon" Celestian sources the complete spacers handbook and the greyhawk adventures hardcover book pretty much say the same thing about Celestian and his church.
    P.S. argueing cannon with Rasgon will get you about as far as trying to run a marathon with no legs... Wink
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    Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:10 pm  
    Celestian and Carl Sagan

    Sir Xaris wrote:
    Wow! You seem uncomfortably prescient, there Icarus. Shocked I have never read, nor even heard of, those books you mention, but I did include a magical ship's figurehead in the adventure.
    You ought to give 'em a perusal. They're fantastic. They're not in an über-magical world; it's fairly low magic, and that's the reason that the ships are so spectacular. I grew up around boats and whatnot, and I can tell you, they are surprizing real. And the emotions and the conflicts in the story are very true to life depictions. No one is a "goodguy" or "badguy", per se. Everyone has flaws, and even the protagonists have failings. These are on my Top Five Series of All Time list. rolleyes Seriously. I actually have a list. Laughing

    Hieden wrote:
    There is also a temple and observatory in the city of Greyhawk itself. The observatory is run by Karol Sagan a low level priest of Celestian.
    An interesting bit about that "talkative middle-aged [human] woman who got the job when predecessor retired and moved away".... Her name is Karol Zagan, but that's a obviously a play on "Carl Sagan", the American astronomer, astrophysicist and author who was famous for being on the PBS series Cosmos. I kind of like that type of homage in the game. 'Tis a good one. ..."billions upon billions of stars ..."
    Hieden wrote:
    As a fun sub adventure have ... hardy adventurers take care of her curator and admin duties there.

    Ah, yes ... the Grey College Observatory, just outside the city walls of Greyhawk. A fun and marvelous place, to be sure, if one were to get to be cartaker of it for a while. One could almost imagine a magical/pseudo-medieval version of the "Stargate: SG1" series set here. Now that I think of it, that might be kind of fun.
    Wow ... now that I think of it even further, there's an adventure seed I've wanted to use since I wrote the Colliseum of Grrth'mar article here on Canonfire a while back. I use Nyambe for source material on Hepmonaland. In one supplement there's a magical device, called Nyango'Da, that would be a great thing for a connection to Planescape, Spelljammer, Dragonstar, or anything else someone wanted to connect other worlds to oerth ... forgive me here: this post just became a book. .. <damn you, Hieden>
    Nyambe, Ancestral Vault: a Sourcebook of Magic Items, Ch. 6: Artifacts, NyangoDa, p. 74-75 wrote:
    NyangoDa - (Minor Artifact)
    This teleportation and planar travel device was discovered on the Isle of the Overpower by the valorous Shombe explorer and sorceress dImba (d-EEM-bah) nearly 200 years ago. Its true origins are unknown, though dImba supposed it was created by the Overpower itself. After discerning its true function, she had the ring transported back to her home in the tUbi Grassland, and placed in a Shombe seasonal village known as a kraal. Normally, the semi-nomadic Shombe live in a kraal for several months until their cattle have used up most of the grasses surrounding the village, then they move to another kraal. dImba planned to build a network of these devices linking her clan’s kraals, allowing them to instantly travel between villages, and eliminating the need for her people to travel through the territory of the lion-folk known as the entare [wemic in D&D]. Despite her best efforts, she was never able to craft a duplicate ring, and eventually the entare killed her and wiped out her entire clan. In this way the ring fell into the hands of the lion-folk, who eventually built a shrine around it, and now use it as a place of initiation for their n’anga clerics. The entare do not know how the ring functions, but they clearly understand it is an object of power.

    The NyangoDa (nye-AHN-goh-DAH) is a large ring made of a strange metal, nearly twenty feet in diameter, with pictographs from an unknown language carved into its surface. Roughly translated from Daka-kara, its name means “doorway to the spirit world.” When the proper ritual is performed, the ring invokes a variant of the teleportation circle spell, allowing teleportation to any similar ring. Slight variations in the ritual allow the user to select a specific destination ring.

    How many of these rings exist, and where they lead is up to the GM. At the GMs discretion, new ritual variants could be discovered through trial and error, though most have been lost for centuries, and will need to be found by examining pictograms carved upon the walls of ancient tombs and ruins.
    Overpowering conjuration; CL 20th; Weight 4,000 lb.

    The book was written by Atlas games, in conjunction with AEG, who produced the D20 Modern Spycraft game, and the Stargate RPG. In Stargate SG-1 Core Rulebook (p460-461) , it makes a back reference to the Nyango'Da, talking about the possibility of a SG team traveling to Nyambe. This would sort of be a neat thing to do with Celestian-ites! In my article I mention above, there's a teleportation circle of sorts, as well, but, it's not "dailed up", there's variable keys (coins) that must be placed in a sort of ritualized way. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a fun little jaunt about, based at the Grey College Observatory. And like the SG teams, so long as everyone comes back in one piece, the populace of Greyhawk City would be none the wiser! ... Hmm. methinks this harkens back to Expedition to the Barrier Peaks for mixing scifi and fantasy. I would keep it cleanly fantasy, though, and not really bring in lasers or anything. Same is true of Spelljammer. Fun stuff, but, when you're running a terrestrial game, it's best to keep it on the ground. Still, it makes for a great way to explore other parts of Oerth without the tedious travel.

    Check out that article, and see what I'm talking about for getting Celestian mixed up in that kind of thing. It could be cool!

    Oh, and BTW, SirXaris, we might could talk about a portrait of a ship's figurehead. :D
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    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
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    Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:56 am  

    Icarus wrote:
    How would Celestian be included in planar adventures, since he's extra-terrestrial, but, not specifically planar?


    His primary plane of residence is the Astral Plane, which makes him more planar than extraterrestrial, really. It gives him equal access to the Outer Planes and the Material Planes in all their facets.

    Planescape's On Hallowed Ground accessory said this about him:

    Quote:
    Celestian is the planewalker's power of choice. For a god of the Prime, he's remarkably well-venerated among planars (chant is the influx of new worshipers might soon win him the rank of greater power).


    ...and it goes on from there.

    As for the question of a hierarchy of canon, I understand why some people may be more ready to accept a source that says GREYHAWK on the cover for Greyhawk campaigns than one that doesn't, and that's perfectly fine. I look it as like comics: the X-Men and the Fantastic Four clearly exist in the same universe, so if something happens to the Human Torch in an X-Men comic I would assume it happened to him from the perspective of his own comic, too. If there's an actual contradiction, yeah, I might go with what the Fantastic Four comic says first.

    The situation isn't really like Gruumsh changing alignment in 3rd edition, because there isn't a contradiction here, just additional information (and in the same edition, no less).

    The justification that I see for it is that Celestian's priests are primarily good and/or neutral. Because they're good, they don't like helping out conquerors. Because they're neutral, they don't like favoring one nation above another when disputes come up. Being good(ish), they don't like slaughtering each other on opposite sides of a conflict, either. So during the conflict between the early Great Kingdom and Nyrond that led up to the Battle of a Fortnight's Length, clerics of Celestian wouldn't have aided either side militarily. If they had fought on both sides, they would have had to see their own allies killing other clerics of Celestian. If they had favored Nyrond against expansionist Aerdy, they might have found themselves unwelcome in the Great Kingdom for generations thereafter.

    So clerics of Celestian find it best to stay out of wars entirely. But that doesn't mean they can't help kill stateless pirates.


    Last edited by rasgon on Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:45 am  
    Celestian and not-ET

    rasgon wrote:

    His primary plane of residence is the Astral Plane, which makes him more planar than extraterrestrial, really. It gives him equal access to the Outer Planes and the Material Planes in all their facets.

    So, Rasgon, you never seem to fail to toss in the good bits. I can't tell you how often I have looked at the descriptions of Celestian and whatnot and never really paid attention to the gods' origin planes. I guess that - considering what you pointed out there - it doesn't really jive to think of Celestian as just a god of the (starry night) sky itself.
    Though I think that I would quibble a tad and say that most of the populace of GH and Oerth would think of him as being primarily concerned not so much with space or planar stuff, but with the heavens within Oerth's crystal sphere. ... although, that being said, the vast majority of the populace of the Oerth hasn't any clue what a "crystal sphere" is.

    I also think that there may be some yokels that don't really know his name all that much anyway, really. Just as in our own world most Christians would be familiar with the "big" names from the bible or history, I'm certain that few would be able to identify anything but a few saints. I tend to think of Celestian as fairly reclusive, though when mentioned, most people know who is being talked about.
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    GreySage

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    Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:33 pm  

    Your average yokel probably doesn't understand the difference between the Astral Plane and the literal sky, but has heard that the afterlife is somewhere up there. The ancient Oeridians, who worshiped sky-gods predominantly, probably assumed all souls traveled to the heavens (which would include the Lower Planes), associating the various planes of existence with various constellations. Thus, Celestian is a psychopomp figure; as the god of those who wander the heavens, he acts as a guide between this world and the next. He'd be something like Saint Peter to Catholics.
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