I'm just a little curious...

I really agree that letting things vague gives you more options. (for me, that's the reason that i only bought convenants as an extra book). In addition, i like the truth to be somewhere in between. This usually is the case in the real world as well.


By the way, I loved your story, Gribble :smiley:

I'd also add that, IIRC, real-world druids practiced human sacrifices.
In the Ars world, even if the order accepted this as "ordinary practice of one's religion that we accept even if we don't like it", how do you discern between sacrifice to a Magic or Faerie Deity from sacrifice to a demon? You can't.
I think this is one of the things that timothy wanted you to understand.


Not to throw gas on this fire...

(being a small part of the culture) Have you seen the legal actions of the Native Americans?

I see both points in this discussion...Like the war itself, the sides have an opinion, and like any opinion, you can find ANY proof that you want to back up you theories...

Our game has one Diedne player, and has had many Diedne NPCs... As BG? for this game, I have taken a role in the history for our game...
To put out a usable story, you have to (in this case) know where things came from, to know where they are going....to outline...
In OUR game...
(known stuff here, so you folks in the game who are peeping... :stuck_out_tongue: )

  1. The Diedne had several members that WERE diabolist...(some of this lineage survives-and provides KILLER stories for our Tytalus Diedne.. :laughing: )
  2. Most of the Diedne were NOT Diabolists. Some of these lineages survive...in different forms...
  3. Most of the (aggressors) were sincere and honest about there beliefs in what the Diedne were doing. There were some that did not (* story line here)
  4. There was a reason for it..* They will figure this out in maybe 50-60 years.... :smiley:
    depending.. :wink:
  5. All this ties into 'other things' that have happened....see 4 above.
    (Note: The real problem here is keeping the Tytalus in line and under control (thats a laugh in any circumstance). With his stats what they are, another forty years is going to be tough..well maybe
    :wink: )

..but its sure fun to see it all evolve. I've been at this thread for about a year and a half now (real time), and its getting interesting to see that character (and others) plow through the opposition...well, until the Q sent him after the 'Evil Diedne'. ...

Actually the only historical record for that comes from the writing of Julius Caeser and nowhere else. Given that he had an axe to grind with the Gauls and Celts, its quite reasonable to assume that (as is always the way with an imperialist aggressor) he was falsely ascribing practices to them in order to demonize them and justify HIS actions.

Most here have argued that the record is left open to interpretation, but I would suggest that it really isnt since even 400 years later there is an effective death sentence on anyone who is discovered to have Diedne Magic. That is to my mind wholly slanted toward the "All Diedne were/Are still diabolists" even if they werent even yet born at the time of the Schism.

This is not a neutral concept to do with as you will but one wholly slanted toward guilt without proof. How could any reconciliation or reexamination of possible false accusation ever take place in the Order under such a slanted condition? Surely no Diedne could ever come forth to seek Justice from the Order without being immediately murdered.

So much for "The premise that people continue to bear the guilt of their forbearers is morally bankrupt." It certainly isnt in the Ars milieu.

It really does surprise how few have any sympathy whatsoever for the likely victims (fictional though they may be), I'd certainly hate to discuss your views on today's recipients of unjust violence and genocide.

The undertones of factional loyalty dispayed in this thread made me recall my days of L5R CCG playing fondly. (Shinjo Yokatsu's a Kolat!?!?, Crap!!...well perhaps the Kolat really aren't so bad... I always liked using an inexperienced Akodo Kage anyway)

LOL! Actually this thread was never meant to even be a debate or argument or cause factional divisions. It was meant to explore a concept of possible unjust accusation and what, if any, possibility the canon (or its eventual development) could provide for a reexamination of the FACTS (if any) of that time so that a founding House might be able to clear its name.

It all got misinterpreted out of the starting gate and descending into this in no time.

oh well.

There is nothing in the canon to prevent your envisioned saga from happening. The ultimate fate and guilt or innocence of the Diedne is intentionally vague to allow for any number of stories. If you had added the caveat to your statement, that the Tremere in your saga were unjustified in Marching the Diedne or were tricked into doing it by House Tytalus, this whole thread would have been entirely different.

You started by making statements about Tremere’s reasons for the March that are unsupported in canon. There are lots of pro-Pagan people in the Ars Magica crowd, I doubt David would allow the authors to ever make the Diedne truly diabolists. Likewise, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Tremere (or Flambeau) to be the constant villains in the Order. If the other Houses actually thought the Tremere trumped up the Diedne charges, don’t you think the Flambeau and Tytalus would march them, along with the other Pro-Pagan traditions, like the Bjornear and any Ex Misc groups? Therefore, it’s left vague and an issue for each troupe or storyguide to decide on their own.

Well, you presented (and still tends to present) the diedne as obviously the innocent sheep here.

Had you said something like "What if the diedne were truly innocent and the tremere evil bastards? What could a modern diedne do about this? Could he try to rehabilitate his lineage without being murdered?", things would have gone very differently.

By the way (and this is my point of view), as you seem to have a problem with the Dark Secret given by diedne magic, I don't think an emerging diedne would be killed on sight. Not in the "modern" order.
However, he would certainly find himself under a LOT of scrutiny, probably during his entire life. And yes, there would be people trying to kill him, some thinking he's a stinking lying bastard, some out of fear, and some, maybe, trying to cover some dark truth. But there would also be a lot of people willing to examine his case in all fairness. And people willing to learn his secrets. And... the list goes on.

The big problem, however, is simple: How can you prove that you aren't a diabolist? How can you prove this ain't some clever plan to let the order lower its guard?
Thing is, you can't. Great perils and difficulties, little chance of reward (because of the impossibility to prove someone isn't a diabolist, not because of any bias). I think this explains why any "innocent" surviving diedne hides himself.

As an SG? I'd let you try this, discover some tremere were just anti-pagan pro-latin bastards willing to "cleanse" the order, eventually clear your name, and then discover inner diedne secrets, some or most of them diabolical. And then, what would you do? :wink:

I keep thinking of chamber pots and hammers (with apologies to Michael and the participants of a similar exchange concerning canon on the Berk-list a few months back). While I agree that Boxer's idea would make a great story goal in any saga, I do not believe that it requires development as part of the official line. However, I do wish that we, as SGs, had a better idea of what the early Diedne were like (They had to have more than the Diedne Tradition virtue).

I like the example of the Gallic sacrifices recorded by Caesar. They form a perfect parallel to the accusations of the Roman Houses against the druids. If you were trying to redeem House Diedne, I can imagine the impact of discovering in a lost journal that the pretext came directly from a library copy of the Gallic Wars. Nothing like trumped up evidence to justify going to war.

Eh...depends on the game...and the SG. One game I found the SG was Diedne die...others

ARGH! I just spent a decent bit typing up an anaylysis of the Schism War history as presented on pg 10 of the main book, complete with quotes but when I tried to post it up popped the log-in and I lost it all. :cry:

Basically, my point was that the cannon history presented in the main book can be interpreted to support the OP's position or the opposite. There are not enough facts presented there to draw a definitive conclusion. IMHO, the War was a mix of rampant fear and paranoia mixed with idealism, prejudice and a desperate effort to save the dying Order.

I'll be going back over the history presented in the other House books and any other 5th ed. books to see what's presented and see if Atlas continues to maintain the possibilities for both sides of the argument. I hope they do.

Ultimately, unless Atlas publishes an unbiased account of the Schism War, we can't be certain of what happened. IMHO, that uncertainty adds to the setting.

Of course, that's why I said "(and this is my point of view)"

Just as in others, people would say "Oh, you're a diedne? We soooo want your magical secrets, give them all to us please" and pester the character with questions, but not much else :laughing:

I totally agree, that keeping the whole Diedne a bit vague on the fast is best, since (as we clearly see in this thread) ANY decision would leave a lot of ArM players disagreeing.

But what are the possibilities of seeing a supplement, with some Diedne and Druidic traditions? Would they have been a Mystery Cult, with some new and interesting Mysteries? Would they haev been more diverse, with multiple traditions, like Ex Misc?
It'd be a great inspiration. Just some magical traditions, sample spells, new V&Fs and history/organisation stuff about the early Diedne. And just steer clear of any iron clad truths about the Schism War, naming them neither poorp, innocent fluffy sheep og bloodthirsty, demonworshipping villians...of death and destruction.

I would think they were a Mystery Cult, based on the Diedne Magic merit in the book and what is known of the druidic tradition.

PS: Boy that Shinjo Yokatsu sure screwed the clan over eh? :wink:

Yes, Mystery Cult would make sense. Although, if they came fro diverse Druidic traditions, they might end up as a loose coalition of somewhat comparable (regards to power basis and types of rituals etc.) magical powers and knowledge. This could easily make them labeled as a Societas, as Ex Misc. However, thay'd be much more alike than the Ex Misc traditions, so a Mystery Cult, with the Clan divisions - as the Bjornaers also have - could easily encompass some mechanics for diverse yet interconnected powers.
I doubt they'd be a True Lineage. Right now I can't recall if anything has been written about whether Diedne personally trained a group of followers, or if the House quickly grew by adapting like-minded druids, or if they already was somwhat organized before the Order. These seem to be to be the 3 mechanics used to classify a House/Tradition as True Lineage, Societas or Mystery Cult respectively.
As mentioned above, Mystery Cult seems the logical choice. And boy would I ike to see their Mysteries and special V&Fs. Perhaps I should start a thread to discuss and brainstorm these ideas, just for inspiration. Or perhaps someone else will, if this is interesting enough.

Or with Path divisions such as the Criamon. Religiously I think the Druids were a fairly unified tradition whether of Celtic or Gallic strains.

This article gives fairly detailed points about them:


And there is an excellent write up allowing for both sides of the Demonic/non-Demonic argument for Druidic character creation, albeit only under 4th ed rules (or possibly older, I'm not sure), at the Durenmar.de site...



...and so you have now moved, it seems, to personal attack. Pull your head in.

I think perhaps I've been the most vocal of the critics of your stance, and in real life I incline toward pacifism, am a fully paid-up and voluntarily contributing member of a peak human rights advocacy organisation, and a practicing vegetarian. I have participated in Sorry Day events for my local aboriginal communties. Just because I say you're reading in flakiness to the core setting doesn't mean I, or anyone else in the thread, could not have a civil conversation with you about real world events, and your l;ast comment makes you seem immature.

It's unclear to me how you get from the above to

You did say that the standard setting made you seethe, as I recall.

Taking your new tone at face value, then the answer's pretty straight forward. In previous editions, the Diedne were likely innocent victims, and every "Return of the Diedne" story written in the first ten years of the game seems to have reflected that. I particularly point you toward "The Tempest", which has a druid returning and describes what their powers are in some detail.

The only other comment to make on this was that at the end of 3rd edition, the diabolist druids were planned to return, and decimate the Order, closing Ars Magica's setting down and moving all of us over into "Mage", where Diedne are a type of, is it Nephadi? Pardon my poor spellin, I have not played that game much. Fortunately the game was sold, instead. At least, this was the folklore I heard as a fan at the time.

On edit - I can see that these two paragraphs conflict. In hindsight it was because I. like a lot of people, went from ArM2 to a saga where I played using the ArM3 rules but the ArM2 setting. In ArM3, any living druids were corrupt, because -everything- and -everyone- was corrupt or dead. That's just how bleak the setting was. I mean, the sample PC narrative has the character raping a woman in it. It was that dark. So, druids were either nice but dead, or not dead and therefore likely to stab you in the solar plexus and read oracles from your death spasm. (Is that Dido Sicurus? I'd need to look it up.)

So, in ArM2, they were likely the victims of genocide, because the writers were into "noble savage / projection of virtue on the primitive other Romanticisim. In 3rd, they were either nice but dead, or, when they came back, not nice at all. In 4th, because Tremere were Evil, they as the victims of evil were likely good, but possibly in a morally-complex way. For example, Diedne and her followers extermined a sect of druids who refused to follow a female Archdruid because they thought it would damage their magic and offend their gods (SoI). In the current edition, they are deliberately designed as a complex problem, because that how we now work.

As to your question: the key concern is not that they are under death sentence, because there are parts of House Ex Miscellanea, Jerbiton and Bonisagus that are descended from druids - even possibly Diedne druids.

It's that when they left, the Diedne left a message saying "We will wait until the sun no longer shines and when we come back, you are going to pay." Last time around they got very close to winning the Schism War. The guy in The Tempest, for example is quite capable of destroying many covenants on his own, as a terrorist.

Actually, I've just looked it up. The last message to the Order from Llewellyn of Diedne, in 2nd Ed was:

"We shall last as long as the wind blows hot on the backs of your necks, as long as the storms pound your tower walls, as long as the waves smash the sides of your ships, as long as the merciless sun looks down upon your abominations, sees your sins, and calls out for vengence. We will return to haunt you."

The question is this: if the Diedne still refuse to offer up their secrets, how can the rest of the magi really feel secure? Not just on the diabolism charge, which will be revisted because I'm certain that Magvillius has copies of the evidence they made everyone else destroy, but on the question of if they have the desire to get payback?

The Diedne position, last time around, was that they don't need to submit to scrutiny, and are willing to fight to not do so. If they come back with the same position, then even if you think they were innocent last time, you know perfectly well they are dangerous, angry and secretive right now, and that makes them a tricky problem.

The original write-up of their return goes like this "If the Diedne resurface they will probably attack the Order with elemental magic and hordes of magically-controlled animals." (OoH, Diedne chapter) This happens in "The Tempest". That is, the suggested return for the Diedne in ArM2 was a series of terrorist strikes. In ArM3, it was going to be a series of Infernally-powered terrorist strikes. There are mages in ArM5 setting who pretty much expect that to happen if the Diedne show up again, and you need to find a way to work through that fear.

Archaeology does give us the Lindow Man:


To summarize: while apparently a ritual killing of an Iron Age (2BCE-119AD) man, it is unclear if this is a (willing?) ritual human sacrifice, or an execution of a criminal... much like the current debate. :wink: There is data to support both viewpoints, and it seems to bolster the Bello Gallico text. The timeframe, location and circumstantial evidence to appear to point to druidic killing.

and it does speak a little more on celtic human sacrifice, caveat emptor, as always with wikipedia...



There is inconsistency whatsoever, Timothy. Viewing the record as it is presented in the core rulebook, it essentially jumps from "The Order was in anarchy..." (paraphrase) to " ...The Tremere declared Wizard War on House Diedne..." to which we are told (again paraphrase) "House Flambeau EAGERLY joined" with briefest reference to a Tribunal called for the purpose of - what the record appears to suggest - not rationally and systematically examining concrete proof of Tremere's claims, but simply giving carte blanche to the mass lust for a scapegoat.

My original post started with the suggestion that many of us may have personal sensitivities as players that find particular resonance with certain aspects of the Ars milieu. In this regard, the attempt was to explore how many here might also see a negative resonance with what by the canon account itself, appears to be a fantasy-based correspondence to similar presumptive injustices and murderous campaigns perpetrated by various insitutions/governments throughout our rl history and to the present.

Perhaps my progression from that hypotheses to my own emotive reaction was too abrupt, but the intent was to present my angst at the seeming lack of any viable means of re-examination and redress (and hopefully reconciliation and restitution) of those events based on what FACTS if any might exist or be found in the context of the OOH 1220.

Contrary to what many have argued, I cannot help but see that the present Ars milieu is NOT neutrally disposed to an either/or interpreation but as I have said repeatedly, is pre-disposed to a "death on sight" mandate for any Diedne who surfaces even 400 years later. If it were not so, Diedne would not have to hide or take Dark Secret at character generation as a mandatory flaw.

Thus yes, it makes me seethe, as much as (in my starting hypothesis) it is evocative to my mind of countless acts of illegal aggression (particularly those still ongoing) for which the majority of the world stands idly by and refuses to demand an full accounting from (and as necessary, indictment and conviction of) the truly guilty parties. This largely being the case because the guilty are the rich and powerful voices in the world.

This is how I made that transition, if it helps.

Not having any familiarity with anything prior to 4th ed (and even that having only been a brief period of play before the troupe disbanded), this information is new to me.

Let me say, since it has been suggested at least once in this thread, that my attempt here never had anything to do with a value judgement on the actual literary work of the authors of the various 5th ed supplements or any of the Houses. Each in their own right are exceptionally well researched and written as is the overall milieu itself. David himself knows full well the level of my appreciation for all the Atlas staff and its line as I have told him by email under my real name on more than occasion.

Apologies for any reactionary ad hominems, I tend to get a bit knee-jerk when perceive direct attacks. One of my more prominent failings.