normal Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun

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31 Jan 2019 22:16 #1 by Annora (Karen)
I have just returned from scouting the Blazing Sun in their warcamp.
With my reptilian form and the aid of Arawyn’s fauna (and a great deal of luck!), I was able to observe them for some time.

The cult seems divided amongst itself. About half of them appear eager and ready to fight—sharpening their weapons, preaching their words. The other half appear to be in some sort of trance, with blank stares and lost looks. The only things I heard these members say was amens and generic praises to Valos. Most interestingly: I did notice that one of these ‘lost’ members had a prominent scar across his temples when he removed his helmet. Theory: some sort of lobotomization or brainwashing? Puppetry? Physicians, please weigh in.

I was able to witness the induction of new members into this Order. It appears to be extreme cultlike or military-style indoctrination, designed to break these people down mentally and physically until they believe everything they are told. These members are told to work long hours at hard labor without water, food, or rest, and made to repeat prayers over and over again. These prayers seem to talk about placing the Order above “normal men” and exalt their leaders to be “Hands of Valos” (have any clergy or scholars heard this term before?) These people are told over and over that they are the “chosen of Valos”, until they believe this rhetoric. I saw one member try to question this brainwashing, and he was swiftly bullied by his peers into stepping back in line. Surprisingly (and scarily), he wasn’t bullied physically, but verbally manipulated into submission.
The amount of large scale emotional manipulation and sheer gaslighting that was present here made me have to hold back vomit. While these new members came willingly, it is clear from my observation that they have no idea what they are getting themselves into and are being brainwashed and manipulated by the leadership.

Important Tactical Information: I heard rumbles of people talking about weapons. Unknown what they were referring to. Heard someone mention “these weapons were similar to High Templar Hyram.” Members questioned what a person had to do to "receive such a high blessing to become one of these weapons.” They were told if Valos “deems your soul worthy then [they] shall be rewarded justly."
Turning people into weapons?? Need more information! Does that name ring a bell with anyone?
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS THE ORDER DOING TO THESE POOR PEOPLE
SO MUCH MANIPULATION

Could this be related to the trancelike people mentioned above?

Spotted 7 people in a more guarded area of the warcamp, but even birds could not approach without being shot at. Do not know who these people are or what they are doing. 3 others have recently joined them in the inner sanctum but these three have just been kneeling (probably praying).
Potentially the leaders? Unknown, not enough information.

I am relieved to report that I looked for and saw no light paladins amongst this order. I theorize everyone here draws their power from the same source.

While there are many different opinions on how best to handle this Order, please let this thread be a place to focus on tactical discussion and analysis.



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31 Jan 2019 23:07 #2 by Moostrav Potrevski ()
Replied by Moostrav Potrevski () on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
We thank you Annora,
We are glad for you that no Paladins appear to be with them,

We are familiar with one method in witch one may be turned into a weapon,
We owned one that did this to themselves at one point,
If they happen to be doing this psionicly, we ask them to be ours to deal with.

As someone with this experience, I warn there may be no saving these thralls if their mind has been altered; for those who care for this self indulgent luxury.
To us they still chose to show of their own.

Moostrav Potrevski
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31 Jan 2019 23:17 - 31 Jan 2019 23:19 #3 by Caelvan (Caelvan)
Replied by Caelvan (Caelvan) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
***Not Caelvan***

While I do not know if "Hands of Valos" mean the same as "Hand of Death" I know about the title "Hand" in my faith.

In the sands it is the Hands duty to enact the force behind the Voices(priests) and ensure the wheel of Fate turns. Due to this they are at least a Cleric, but more often Templars, as to have some knowledge of His teachings.

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31 Jan 2019 23:54 #4 by LoisMaxwell (LoisMaxwell)
Replied by LoisMaxwell (LoisMaxwell) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Thank you, Annora. This is incredibly valuable information.

I am in general agreement with Merikh's assessment. "Weapon" and "Hand" used in this way have more traditionally referred to a person who has given themselves over wholeheartedly to a higher power and become something we would equate to a Templar or similar person, rather than a literal armament. It is not impossible that it is a literal statement, but I think it highly unlikely.

If half their number have truly had their minds altered to the point of compliance, it may be possible to hijack the rhetoric to turn them from whatever it is the leadership is intending to have them do (which is probably be cannon fodder).

Speech has patterns. Match the pattern, control the army.

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01 Feb 2019 06:05 #5 by Victor Wainwright (HanSalva)
Replied by Victor Wainwright (HanSalva) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Thank you Annora, I will collect this information for the paper. This is all very good to know.

I will say there were paladins when we fought them in the past, but if you could not detect them then we may be in luck.

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01 Feb 2019 10:39 #6 by Byron Qua (byronqua)
Replied by Byron Qua (byronqua) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Annora,

This is invaluable information.
I am cooking up a strategy as we speak.
My one question. Are the more wayward of the flock easily distinguished from the higher ranking, officers and seasoned followers?

On my honor,

Jericho Hǔ lì (Byron)

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01 Feb 2019 14:37 #7 by Ephrem (bamore62)
Replied by Ephrem (bamore62) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Annora,

Thank you for this information.
Putting yourself at risk to find out this information speaks well of your courage.
Thank you.

However, this information leaves me forlorn.

There are no words....

I shall collect my thoughts and write later regarding the Hands of Valos.

Yours,

Father Ephrem
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01 Feb 2019 17:50 #8 by Moostrav Potrevski ()
Replied by Moostrav Potrevski () on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Jerico,
You will see, as far as their leaders being distinguishable, they most certainly are.
As we say we have seen them.

The one who had the journal, is fairly large built, and carry's themselves as would a delinquent child.
The other we have seen was tall and thin with a mane of dark hair, a cropped short beard, and a well dressed uniform.
There is the centurion clad in armor,
One clad in a red and blue robe,
They have more leaders these are ones that where seen by Therion and others when they entered the inn.

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01 Feb 2019 17:55 #9 by Donald MacFhionnlaigh (raidr0933)
Replied by Donald MacFhionnlaigh (raidr0933) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Speaking as a fighting man....

there are two schools of martial training I am personally aware of.

One states "the sword is a tool. the man is the weapon."

the other states "the mind is the greatest weapon."

-Donny

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01 Feb 2019 18:14 - 01 Feb 2019 18:15 #10 by Moostrav Potrevski ()
Replied by Moostrav Potrevski () on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Donald that is completely irrelevant.

At this point your just insulting yourself, we need to do nothing.

Stop pretending your smart enough to breath, your incompetence is gleaming.

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Last edit: 01 Feb 2019 18:15 by Moostrav Potrevski ().

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01 Feb 2019 18:54 - 01 Feb 2019 18:59 #11 by Ephrem (bamore62)
Replied by Ephrem (bamore62) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
I am not sure if this is relevant, but I will speak of it never the less:

During our time in the Chaos Wastes fighting against Necrophitus when all the Eodran gods walked among us, I was given a gift from Valos. He took the gold crown in the shape of laurels from his own head and place it upon mine. He commended me for my faithfulness to righteousness and then spoke. My Lord's command to me was "Be my heart in this land." After this I consulted with Aldric, who had had a similar encounter with our Lord. The command to Aldric was "Be my hand in this land" and to restore the order of Templar in Arawyn. Aldric has since retired to his well deserved rest from his many labors; others of our faith have taken up this cause, for instance my fellow Valosian (true-Valosian) and cleric, Cyrik.

I am not sure if the Hand of Valos as used by the Burning Sun has any connection to Valos asking Aldric to "be his hand in the land" or to the restoration of the order of Templar. Probably not.

I will consult with the Church of Light regarding this High Templar Hyram. Τhat may offer us a better lead.

Many of you know how much grief to me is caused by this Blazing Sun using the name of Valos. Their despicable evils must be stopped.

Father Ephrem
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Last edit: 01 Feb 2019 18:59 by Ephrem (bamore62). Reason: addition

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01 Feb 2019 19:41 #12 by Annora (Karen)
Replied by Annora (Karen) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Moostrav. Donald.
Take it elsewhere. Not. here.

Jericho,
I did not see any distinguishing insignia or uniform that would allow the average Travancian to easily tell the leaders apart from the foot soldiers.
But, as I said, I was not able to get very close to what I theorized was a meeting of the leaders.
Hopefully the leaders will be leading their troops and well do us the favor of distinguishing themselves.

Ephrem,
If you can look into the name of this High Templar, that would be of great help. Thank you.

Merikh, Lois,
That makes sense. I think it would track that these 'Hands' would be Clerics or Templars.
However, the way they were talking about preparing themselves made me think that there is more to becoming these 'weapons.'



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02 Feb 2019 00:17 #13 by Byron Qua (byronqua)
Replied by Byron Qua (byronqua) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Moostrov and Annora,
I am a champion of your cause and I thank you for your information.
I have no qualms about removing a cancer from our world.
I live by the sword, and I have accepted that karma.
But I would like to reduce collateral damage, as much as possible.

On my honor,

Jericho Hǔ lì (Byron)

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02 Feb 2019 14:48 #14 by Ephrem (bamore62)
Replied by Ephrem (bamore62) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Annora,

I have been puzzled by some of the things in your report - and thank you again for your good work in gathering this intelligence.

The references that Valos himself made, of which I brought up in a previous posting, were tenuous at best. The terms "hand" and "hands" seem to have been nothing more than coincidental, I would think. But still the phrase "Hands of Valos" has never come up in any of my experience from my youth until now. Thinking that there might be some historical reference I sought out information amid the Church libraries in Glangsdale.

When looking for any references to this High Templar Hyram or the Hands of Valos, I found nothing. Absolutely nothing. Upon inquiring and discussing with some of the learned clergy of my Church, they are just as puzzled as I am. I could swear that some of them were looking at me like "...the hell are you talking about?"

This Blazing Sun is using the name of Valos, but there is nothing in our traditions about any of the things of which they speak.

Yours,

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02 Feb 2019 17:27 #15 by Aleister (Aleister)
Replied by Aleister (Aleister) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Gods are not omnipotent.
Consider some things
Are just,
People acting as people do.

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02 Feb 2019 22:49 #16 by Annora (Karen)
Replied by Annora (Karen) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Ephram, I thank you for your research.
But Niko is right.
Religions may be formed around gods, but they are established and maintained by mortals.
These terms may be specific to the Blazing Sun.
Records could have been stricken from your church's archives. We don't know.
Let us stop focusing on the Order of the Blazing Sun as an offshoot of Valosians and look at them as an entity unto themselves.
Analyze them as such and we have a better chance of finding answers.



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02 Feb 2019 23:27 #17 by Moostrav Potrevski ()
Replied by Moostrav Potrevski () on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Good then they are not Valosian.
Lets not call them such,
and remove the power in those words.

Ephram,
We see you fight often. Here we ask you. Fight with your contradictions. We might find no weight in your words, but if you may be so cunning as to catch them with your tenants, and prove to the masses that this is not Valos. We may sway some of the illiterate farmers and such.

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03 Feb 2019 16:27 #18 by Aleister (Aleister)
Replied by Aleister (Aleister) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Oh no.
They are Valosian.
Don't hide what they are.
Recognize them,
And then stop them.

Niko Malagan





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04 Feb 2019 01:15 #19 by Moostrav Potrevski ()
Replied by Moostrav Potrevski () on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
We would argue Niko,
This zealous cult is the product,
Of the light churches intolerance,
And there practices of justifying any "wrong doing" they may commit in the name of what is "good" and their god.
While the rodents reap any and all moral exclusions, while receiving praise.

Because of their utter failure, weather they recognize this or deny their fault historically as an organization, this now becomes the oppressed's mess to clean up. For the ones they persecuted for so long, have only but proven themselves wholly more component.

If we choose to call them Val-osi'an, or Copper Plated Clown Feet, it matters not. What matters is that they die, as an example; and that it is recognized that any saving of those who CHOSE to join this facade is only truly serving the purpose of self gratification for some immoral ignorant individual.

So we don't call them Valosian, we call them cowering baboons. For they have made choices that will end their lives, and hide behind the visage of one of the many wizards posing as something more then themselves.

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04 Feb 2019 12:19 #20 by LoisMaxwell (LoisMaxwell)
Replied by LoisMaxwell (LoisMaxwell) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
To move back to tactics, which was the point of this -

It is somewhat important that we recognize they are Valosians. For those who are unaware, many (if not most) prayers cast by clergy are granted by the gods' celestials (angel, devils, and gargoyles), and not necessarily by the gods themselves. The Blazing Sun is still capable of throwing around Light-aligned prayers. For those of you who intend to focus more on keeping others from joining, or pulling some of this cult away from their masters, "See, Valos gives me power" is likely to be a point of argument for which you will have to prepare a rebuttal.

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04 Feb 2019 16:38 #21 by Byron Qua (byronqua)
Replied by Byron Qua (byronqua) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Lois,

Ma'am, I am new to these lands. So please indulge my question. Being as our targets are Valosion, do they have certain things they are weaker at defending.
All be it the obvious that anything made of flesh is weak to steel. But is there certain schools of magic, excuse the loose use of the term, that are more affective against them.

On my honor,

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04 Feb 2019 16:53 #22 by LoisMaxwell (LoisMaxwell)
Replied by LoisMaxwell (LoisMaxwell) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Please, Jericho, ask me questions whenever you have them. Remember that every question you have is likely shared by others who are too afraid to speak them aloud.

This is pure speculation, but their "Hands" may be tied more directly to a Light/Order divine power source, and thus vulnerable to those who can call upon the aspects of Shadow or Chaos when fighting. As well their priests are likely to be vulnerable much in same way any caster is vulnerable to rapid assault, which prevents giving them concentration time to call upon their prayers.

I believe we will need to see some of their fighting up close and personal before we can learn any specific weakness, however, so take this with a bag of salt.

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04 Feb 2019 22:22 #23 by Jenn Cutter (Jenn)
Replied by Jenn Cutter (Jenn) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Annora,
Your theory about the scars is intriguing. It would most likely take an in-person examination to determine if they are true. That is something I am willing to do, if we get the chance.

Dr. Selby
Quartermaster of the Blood Spirits Mercenary Company
Master, First Class of the Travancian Alchemists' Guild

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13 Feb 2019 01:28 - 13 Feb 2019 01:33 #24 by Zanthios Tartaros (Zanthios)
Replied by Zanthios Tartaros (Zanthios) on topic Tactical and Scouting Report - Order of the Blazing Sun
Maybe if there were any they would be both
Omnipotent and Omniscient, Niko.

If an individual isn't both Omnipotent and Omniscient then maybe they're more so,
beings of significance.

Zanthios Tartaros
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Last edit: 13 Feb 2019 01:33 by Zanthios Tartaros (Zanthios).

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