shit how do prayers even work
how do atheist, or even deicidal player characters use them
i’m talking to a friend about this and she’s as confused as i am
her character is flat-out deicidal, but mine is atheist/mehtheist for the greater part of her career, and even when she does align herself with a god it’s not worship, because she sees gods as fallible, if very powerful, mortals, with all the capability to fuck up as humans do. and she can’t worship that. she’s not even sure what worship would entail for her. maybe the closest thing she has is her practically-heart-eyes for zaros? because she met him, properly, and had that chat with him, and was like “YOU. ARE. AMAZING. YOUR GOALS ALIGN NEARLY PERFECTLY. WITH MINE. I AM FULLY ON YOUR TEAM. LET US NOT HAVE GODS AS OBJECTS OF WORSHIP, BUT AS LEADERS AND PROTECTORS” and
zaros says that he doesn’t care if the player swears fealty to him
the question was “you don’t want me to worship you?”
important word choice here, i think. because lielac totally swears fealty to zaros. but she doesn’t worship him. she can’t. worship is for perfect things, and she has found nothing perfect in her travels.
so. point of the post: how do atheist characters access prayers/curses?
It’s an alternate way of utilising the anima mundi? Like, channeling different aspects of it to Magic (maybe Magic uses one ‘frequency’ (or set of ‘frequencies’) and Prayers another). Theistic characters attribute their successes to their chosen gods, but this isn’t to say this is the case (gods could have taught their followers how to do it originally, but the abilities are only unique to a faction insofar that they’ve managed to keep it secret).
The Lunar and Ancient Spellbooks lie on different frequencies to the Standard one, and you can only access one at a time without a lot of effort, likewise with Ancient Curses vs Prayers.
Or maybe it’s some other thing entirely, but from within the person Praying rather than any gods (maybe when we Pray we’re utilising the powers of the Elder Gods, rather than the Young ones*? Well, that’s a scary prospect).
*But in using Ancient Curses, we can channel the power of a Transcendent God, Seren’s Prayers probably will be the same way. In both cases Zaros + Seren have decided we’re awesome enough to deserve access to their abilities, and we’ve consented to receiving them. No worship necessary. And we’re probably immune to their loyalty/love fields. Probably. Maybe being a Transcendent God allows you to let multiple mortals channel your own power without proximity or consciously having to give permission every time? Who knows?
Ooooo. Although none of this explains how we can use magic or prayers on planets like Freneskae or Yu’biusk that have barely an Anima Mundi to speak of. At least, I think Yu’biusk got a bit wrecked when Bandos had that one tantrum of his. But Freneskae, Freneskae definitely is an inhospitable ball of pain.