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Old 01-12-2015, 07:50 PM
Charles Phipps Charles Phipps is offline

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Default Bwonsamdi - Grim Reaper of Azeroth or just Trolls?

Posted in another thread:


That assumes Bwonsamdi is a Troll God versus an essential part of the natural order in Azeroth. For all we know, the various nonhuman races venerate him the same way which the Trolls do. You're right, though, an absence of evidence does not lend itself to evidence.

In this case, I think it's important to also remember WOW has been very strict about ALMOST never using the word god in its fiction. The Titans are gods in all but name as are many other beings but the only actual gods-gods are the Old Gods.

It's important to remember Bwonsamdi and the Titans serve the ROLE of gods in religion but exist independently out of it. Like worshiping gravity, gravity exists in a role apart from the fact you venerate it as a god.

In Bwonsamdi's case, he may be the Grim Reaper of Azeroth whether people worship him as such or not.


So, what's your take on him? Troll religious figure or Spirit of Death which just happens to have been given a name by the Trolls?
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:32 PM
Eelgrin Eelgrin is offline

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I remember there being a passage in Shadows of the Horde where Vol'jin, in the midst of a vision granted by Bwonsamdi, senses Titan magic. It could have been that he was sensing a memory of Titan magic within the context of the vision (a great ceremonial Zandalari gathering) but I don't recall the Zandalari explicitly using Titan magic outside of their interactions with the mogu. I'm still unsure why Titans were referenced there.

Thought it was odd that a loa called "Samedi" is mentioned in this Nagrand quest: http://www.wowhead.com/quest=34916/t...sing-of-samedi . He's described as the "loa of the grave." Not sure if this is supposed to refer to Bwonsamdi, or what. Could be an oversight, I guess - it seems odd that they'd suddenly introduce an alternate name for him.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:47 PM
Charles Phipps Charles Phipps is offline

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Well, Bwonsamdi is a very very poor disguise for Baron Samedi so it's possible it's just a writer screw-up.

I'm inclined to think the Loa should be representations of natural Azeroth forces, though.

So, really, everyone goes to Bwonsamdi's realm in the void unless they have a god which takes them elsewhere like the Light.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:48 PM
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Also from Shadows of the Horde, Bwonsamdi mentions remembering a time before Trolls were Trolls, so he apparently predates the oldest known sentient species on the planet.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:49 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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My guess would be he's god of trolls specifically, but can go after anybody else who doesn't happen to be spoken for by another divinity.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:55 PM
Charles Phipps Charles Phipps is offline

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
My guess would be he's god of trolls specifically, but can go after anybody else who doesn't happen to be spoken for by another divinity.
I do think he's got no special tie to Trolls, except for the fact they worship him, too.

Maybe the Loa are like the Aspects or the programs which "re-set" the world.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:00 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Originally Posted by Charles Phipps View Post
I do think he's got no special tie to Trolls, except for the fact they worship him, too.

Maybe the Loa are like the Aspects or the programs which "re-set" the world.
Having Loa be related to the titans would really suck.

Narrows the setting and reduces flavor by reducing variety.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:44 PM
Charles Phipps Charles Phipps is offline

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Having Loa be related to the titans would really suck.

Narrows the setting and reduces flavor by reducing variety.
One of the elements which makes Azeroth unique, though, is they don't actually just go, "a bunch of mutually exclusive gods are hanging around having a party together" like every other D&D setting but Dragonlance, Dark Sun, and Eberron. Even Eberron is pushing it.

Azeroth doesn't really have deities, deities, as the Titans are halfway between aliens and gods just like the Naaru. You could view Azeroth through a "pure science" lens as much as a spiritual or magical one.

We do, however, know Azeroth was created by the Titans and presumably all spiritual beings related to nature are related to the Titans. This is just common sense. We also know the Titans have given a bunch of spirits of Azeroth sentience and use them like computer programs. There's the pseudo-Norse panethon, for example.

Having the Bwon being the same way is very fitting with the setting.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:57 PM
ARM3481 ARM3481 is offline

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Having Loa be related to the titans would really suck.

Narrows the setting and reduces flavor by reducing variety.
Pretty sure it's established that the loas predate the titans' arrival (as a group, that is - obviously some specific ones may have come into being since then).

At the same time, that doesn't necessarily mean some ancient loas couldn't have been altered by the titans, the Old Gods, and/or the war between them. There are lots of loas after all, ranging in scope and power from the tribes' pantheons of gods, to primal animal spirits, to familiar spirits who watch over individual troll families, and it's hard to imagine they all emerged from that sort of global upheaval completely unscathed.

Hakkar in particular strikes me as a loa who could have come out of the aftermath damaged or corrupted, and therefore got banished like everything else that Old Gods' shenanigans permanently "broke" beyond the point of being able to safely coexist with the rest of the planet.

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Old 01-13-2015, 02:50 AM
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It should also be pointed out that the real world Samedi myth involves more than one entity. It's almost like a mini-pantheon revolving around all the aspects of death, so Bwonsamdi may be an aspect of it just as much as he could just be a representative of several loas who embody it.
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Old 01-13-2015, 02:58 AM
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Considering that he predates trolls and titans and that he can also take non-trolls, it does seem like he's a grim reaper of Azeroth. We just don't know which conditions have to be met for him to be the one that claims a soul.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:35 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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It is not 'common sense' that all spiritual entities are related to the titans.

It's "common sense" that spiritual entities have to exist independent of the titans since life and other species predate them.
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Old 01-13-2015, 06:45 AM
Yaskaleh Yaskaleh is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
It is not 'common sense' that all spiritual entities are related to the titans.

It's "common sense" that spiritual entities have to exist independent of the titans since life and other species predate them.
Loas/natural deities/ancients quite likely predates the titans. It is not far fetched that the titans reorganised some of them into their image, most likely that's what separates Elune and the other mysterious elven gods from other loas/ancients.

It would explain the appearences of the elves, Freyas relationship to Elune and more.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:16 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Originally Posted by Yaskaleh View Post
Loas/natural deities/ancients quite likely predates the titans. It is not far fetched that the titans reorganised some of them into their image, most likely that's what separates Elune and the other mysterious elven gods from other loas/ancients.

It would explain the appearences of the elves, Freyas relationship to Elune and more.
I'm not denying that there was likely interaction, but I am not a fan of the notion of Titans just grabbing gods and reshaping them.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:23 AM
Charles Phipps Charles Phipps is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
It is not 'common sense' that all spiritual entities are related to the titans.

It's "common sense" that spiritual entities have to exist independent of the titans since life and other species predate them.
Eh, I'm happy for everything to be tied together in a neat bow.

I know others are the opposite.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:41 AM
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Everything doesn't have to be related to the degree you are advocating, Charles. That sucks the flavor out of pretty much everything. About the most they should be related is: they exist on Azeroth. That's enough. There doesn't need to be deeper ties for everything.


Quote:
Loas/natural deities/ancients quite likely predates the titans. It is not far fetched that the titans reorganised some of them into their image, most likely that's what separates Elune and the other mysterious elven gods from other loas/ancients.

It would explain the appearences of the elves, Freyas relationship to Elune and more.
Interaction is alright, being related/created by the Titans isn't. I'm with Mutterscrawl on this one. The idea that the Titans can intentionally manipulate gods is wrong.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Phipps View Post
We do, however, know Azeroth was created by the Titans and presumably all spiritual beings related to nature are related to the Titans.
Woooah there, hold on a second.

We know the Trolls, Aqir and Faceless Ones predate the Titans' arrival on Azeroth, and we know the Loa predate the Trolls' existence on Azeroth, so where's this coming from?
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:40 AM
Charles Phipps Charles Phipps is offline

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Everything doesn't have to be related to the degree you are advocating, Charles. That sucks the flavor out of pretty much everything. About the most they should be related is: they exist on Azeroth. That's enough. There doesn't need to be deeper ties for everything.
On the contrary, I think it provides a very unique flavor. A flavor I call "Azeroth."

;-)
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Old 01-13-2015, 10:52 AM
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I don't think there are any real gods on Azeroth, just extremely powerful magical creatures. Even the Titans aren't really 'gods' in the omnipotent and immortal sense, they're just individuals that are the best at what they do. I would say Bronsamdi and the other loas are just particularly influential troll spirits.

With magic everything looks godly. Arthas could bring people back from the dead but at the end of the day he was still an imperfect mortal.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:36 AM
Kynrind Kynrind is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Phipps View Post
On the contrary, I think it provides a very unique flavor. A flavor I call "Azeroth."

;-)
Living on the planet (or serving/helping/aiding some of the races that live on the planet) is one thing, you're advocating they all be one family (more or less) THAT is what sucks the flavor out of it. The troll Loa/loa don't use the Light itself, neither does Elune or the taurens Earthmother. Their spells and powers are specific to them. Not to the Light. Their effects are similar to the Light, but again not literally the Light, otherwise when the devoted of those races die, everyone would end up in the same place.

Which doesn't happen. Kaldorei go to their afterlife, the tauren to another, the trolls to another one. Humans go to their own, as do the dwarves and High/Blood elves (those three have some overlap in all likelihood since they have the same religion, but what about the Dwarves that aren't Light worshippers?).

It adds flavor that Elune NOT be a Naaru or linked to the Light like that, that the Tauren Sunwalkers NOT go to the same place as humans and such do when they die. There's a thing called racial diversity. That should stay even in death for the most part. You're wanting ALL of them to be a creation of the Titans and all intertwined to an ugly degree, as if part of one large divine family.

Sorry, I'm not in favor of that at all. That level of homogenization makes me sick.
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Old 01-13-2015, 11:51 AM
Charles Phipps Charles Phipps is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kynrind View Post
Living on the planet (or serving/helping/aiding some of the races that live on the planet) is one thing, you're advocating they all be one family (more or less) THAT is what sucks the flavor out of it. The troll Loa/loa don't use the Light itself, neither does Elune or the taurens Earthmother. Their spells and powers are specific to them. Not to the Light. Their effects are similar to the Light, but again not literally the Light, otherwise when the devoted of those races die, everyone would end up in the same place.

Which doesn't happen. Kaldorei go to their afterlife, the tauren to another, the trolls to another one. Humans go to their own, as do the dwarves and High/Blood elves (those three have some overlap in all likelihood since they have the same religion, but what about the Dwarves that aren't Light worshippers?).

It adds flavor that Elune NOT be a Naaru or linked to the Light like that, that the Tauren Sunwalkers NOT go to the same place as humans and such do when they die. There's a thing called racial diversity. That should stay even in death for the most part. You're wanting ALL of them to be a creation of the Titans and all intertwined to an ugly degree, as if part of one large divine family.

Sorry, I'm not in favor of that at all. That level of homogenization makes me sick.
It's a coherent shared mythology.

Worldbuilding.

If it's not your bag, it's your choice.

I just say how I prefer it.

Bwonsamdi should be the Natural Force behind Death.

Many names from different cultures for the same elemental force.

Just my preference.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:09 PM
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Why doesn't Bwonsamdi do something about undead then since he should consider it an affront against the natural order he is supposed to guard.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:24 PM
Kynrind Kynrind is offline

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Death comes to everything, but it doesn't have to be controlled by one being. That's one of the things I am objecting to. Bwonsambi isn't and shouldn't be THE god of death underlying death and all of its aspects. That's just stupid. it doesn't take any of the other gods into account or other beliefs. Those things would have an impact in how other cultures see death and the afterlife. I can see him as having a part of it, dealing with the trollish afterlife and such but not any one else's unless they ask him for it, or he starts poaching souls (which would open him up to souls supposed to go to him being stolen from him).

You want a shaped mythology. Why? For what reason? The humans, Dwarves and gnomes have a different mythology than the Night elves, than the High/Blood elves or Draenei (there are similarities in the High/Blood elves, but I seriously doubt the way they portrayed the beliefs was -that- similar to the human way of Light worship. Different cultures and all). The Pandaren are completely different from those two groups. The orc way of worship is different than the troll and tauren, completely different than the forsaken and Blood elves and Pandaren.

And even within those races, there are different views. Wildhammer Dwarves aren't the Light worshiping. The tauren angle everything around the Earthmother, the orcs with the ancestors and elements. The goblins believe something else entirely. Even the trolls have differences between them and those trolls that have forgotten about and/or don't revere Bwonsambi? Would their souls go to him or to the deity they worship if any?


All of the races beliefs might have similarities, but they aren't connected that closely and they aren't a shared mythology. Different pantheons aren't the same or connected either.

If Bwomsambi was the natural force behind death, then there would be a lot more than just trolls revering him and so far there hasn't been -any- mention of him being worshiped or even known by other races. You're stretching to try and claim he is a Natural Force behind death. A force behind death, like other racial deities, yes, I can see that; but THE force behind death? No. It makes pretty much everything the other races believe in to be lies since it would be Bwomsambi being the one deciding who goes where and such. This isn't the forgotten Realms and Kelvemar or Hades or any other god of death from other cultures.

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Old 01-13-2015, 12:26 PM
Nazja Nazja is offline

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Why doesn't Bwonsamdi do something about undead then since he should consider it an affront against the natural order he is supposed to guard.
Sylvanas is too sexy. In fact, Vol'jin will promote her to Warlady because his god wills it so.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:50 PM
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Why doesn't Bwonsamdi do something about undead then since he should consider it an affront against the natural order he is supposed to guard.
The relationship between Trolls, loa and the undead is somewhat bizarre.

On the one hand, Bwonsamdi threw a fit over Zalazane denying him tribute by turning Darkspear into undead, but on the other, he's got no problem raising armies of tiki warriors from the spirits of the dead.

Hell, once you finish the Nagrand quest, three shadow hunter spirits start hanging out in your garrison, despite the fact Samedi (who may or may not be Bwonsamdi) is supposed to hate undeath as a trespass on his domain.

So maybe it's more of a case of psychopomp loa hating undeath when it comes to other people using necromancy to usurp their portfolio, rather than an opposition to undeath just on principle. This way, it'd make sense for Bwonsamdi to get mad at a necromancer raising "his" dead, but not really give a damn when someone starts poking around someone else's graveyard.
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