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View Full Version : Regarding the Crimson Mantle *spoilers*



Jagos
2009-07-19, 10:48 AM
It's a weird thing. I believe that in Start of Darkness, we have the Mantle being passed while the High Priest is killed by Paladins.

If even Paladins are aware of the Crimson Mantle, how is it that it continues to be passed? What doesn't make sense to me is how you can pass the mantle to another goblin when they are dead on the battle field?

Does the Mantle pass automatically to the next High Cleric of the Dark One or does it just fade away until someone is high enough?

Kish
2009-07-19, 10:52 AM
Does the Mantle pass automatically to the next High Cleric of the Dark One or does it just fade away until someone is high enough?
In Start of Darkness, the former Bearer of the Crimson Mantle handed the Mantle off to a first-level cleric, while all the paladins ignored the Mantle itself. Make of that information what you will.

Daefos
2009-07-19, 10:53 AM
Based on the scene in question, it seems like it simply passes to the first goblin to put it on. Clerical powers may be required, but since we've only ever seen Redcloak acquiring it, we can't be sure.

As to why the paladins, who apparently know of the Crimson Mantle and the threat it poses, allow it to be passed on rather than simply taking and hiding it, that's a trickier question to answer.

NerfTW
2009-07-19, 10:54 AM
Because Red Cloak escaped. They may or may not realize that the mantle is an artifact and not just a symbol of his station. But that doesn't matter, because he ran away to protect the mantle and the plan.

pflare
2009-07-19, 10:57 AM
I belive the Paladins thought that the crimson mantle was an organization and not an artifact so they didn't think to destroy it. Also any goblinoid can use it so Redcloak was able to use it.

hamishspence
2009-07-19, 11:02 AM
More likely "The Bearer of the Crimson Mantle" as a title, given that Miko refers to Redcloak by this name.

Ancalagon
2009-07-19, 11:18 AM
As to why the paladins, who apparently know of the Crimson Mantle and the threat it poses, allow it to be passed on rather than simply taking and hiding it, that's a trickier question to answer.

As the scene makes not much sense othervise, I'd say the mantle has some kind of magic that makes it "slip out of the area of attention". It's an artefact, so why not?

"This is not the mantle you are looking for - go, do something useful, fight some more or whatever, here's nothing else to see for you!"

The Extinguisher
2009-07-19, 11:30 AM
Or they don't know about it's power. Only that the leader of the goblins wears a red cloak. They could think it's purely symbolical.

Jagos
2009-07-19, 12:01 PM
Even then, I would think that someone would take a souvenir. And if they always saw a red cloak, even a Paladin with former knowledge (read a book, told a friend about the battle...) should be able to make a knowledge check on it.

Optimystik
2009-07-19, 12:05 PM
Or they don't know about it's power. Only that the leader of the goblins wears a red cloak. They could think it's purely symbolical.

This would be my theory.

Some sort of protection from detection spells (specifically, alignment) is probably at hand also, since evil artifacts tend to register pretty high on the detect-o-meter.

factotum
2009-07-19, 12:08 PM
It could be the paladins were too busy tracking down and killing the remaining goblins to realise they'd missed the most important one of all--namely, the young cleric who could take and use the Crimson Mantle. Also, it's unclear how the paladins actually found out about the Mantle in the first place--seems pretty unlikely a goblin would have told them about it!

Ancalagon
2009-07-19, 12:20 PM
It could be the paladins were too busy tracking down and killing the remaining goblins to realise they'd missed the most important one of all--namely, the young cleric who could take and use the Crimson Mantle. Also, it's unclear how the paladins actually found out about the Mantle in the first place--seems pretty unlikely a goblin would have told them about it!

Maybe they have seen "some guy in a crimson mantle commanding the goblins" over and over again over the years and decades? Lawful Good, not Lawful Stupid.

Optimystik
2009-07-19, 12:37 PM
The paladins themselves mention discovering the threat the goblins pose via their diviners. In SoD we see past mantle-bearers being slain by the Order of the Scribble (oddly without Soon, even though he and Lirian founded the party (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0276.html)) and by the Sapphire Guard, which was supposedly founded after the Scribble parted ways (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0277.html).)

Ancalagon
2009-07-19, 12:50 PM
(oddly without Soon, even though he and Lirian founded the party (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0276.html)) and by the Sapphire Guard, [...])

I stumbled over that as well but always assumed Soon was just not in the camera-angle (he was holding it or whatever) when the goblin was killed in that scene (or he was injured from the initial attack on the goblins and feel back a bit).

David Argall
2009-07-19, 01:40 PM
I opt for the theory that the paladins just did not know the crimson mantle was The Crimson Mantle. It seems perfectly reasonable to think of it as just a uniform, in which case just leaving it on a dead body is entirely reasonable.

Now we do have a problem as to why it wasn't picked up as treasure and got back in goblin hands. But we are not facing a tremendous problem here. The Mantle had only been around for about 30 years before Redcloak got it. While that could involve a dozen wearers, it is not impossible that there were no more than the 3 previous ones we know of. We are not facing a large number of chances for outsiders to study it, or for it to get stolen. It is possible it has some power to attack a live goblin to put it on and carry it away from danger, but this can be entirely mundane.

NerfTW
2009-07-19, 03:00 PM
Even then, I would think that someone would take a souvenir. And if they always saw a red cloak, even a Paladin with former knowledge (read a book, told a friend about the battle...) should be able to make a knowledge check on it.

There was a battle going on at the time. Souvenir's usually wait until AFTER the threat is dealt with. Not to mention the paladin who did turn around got smited by Red Cloak, who now had full spell slots.

They never say one way or another if they knew about the cloak's powers. We don't see what happens after Red Cloak runs off with Right Eye. For all we know, they said "OH ****" and started searching frantically.

derfenrirwolv
2009-07-19, 05:08 PM
As to why the paladins, who apparently know of the Crimson Mantle and the threat it poses, allow it to be passed on rather than simply taking and hiding it, that's a trickier question to answer.

The paladins were probably being metaphorical, and thought the mantle was a symbol of rank, not a cause.

Nerdanel
2009-07-19, 05:43 PM
We have evidence that goblinoid clerical ranks are indicated by the color of their cloak. The paladins would have figured that out, but there was no reason to think there was more than that to it. Of course the High Priest would have a unique color for himself; that's only to be expected.

Then we have the Crimson Mantle itself, which looks like a ragged red cloak. It's not a great trophy for those interested in taking them, because even though it's unique among goblinoids, the world is full of red cloaks that are available cheap, in volume, and in better condition than the Crimson Mantle. There's just no point in looting that particular piece of seeming junk. After all, in SoD it's an item possessed by a low-level leader of a bunch of poorly-equipped low level goblins we are talking about, the sort of enemies that would be unlikely to have a single +1 weapon among them. Looters would be on lookout for small amounts of money and mundane equipment that might be sold for a some more, not major artifacts.

Looters would likely cast Detect Magic just to be thorough, but I've heard that major artifacts don't have detectable magical auras. (It was mentioned in the famous Head of Vecna story.) I've never seen actual rules text on that though, but even if that turns out not to be true, hiding the magical aura is a simple thing to add to the properties of an artifact.

The Crimson Mantle looks to be intelligently designed by the Dark One as it doesn't seem to grant its wearer any powers that would be obviously out of place for a cleric as seen by an outsider observing them in combat. Thus the Sapphire Guard had no reason to think that the various High Priests weren't relying solely on their own magic.

Gundato
2009-07-19, 05:46 PM
Even then, I would think that someone would take a souvenir. And if they always saw a red cloak, even a Paladin with former knowledge (read a book, told a friend about the battle...) should be able to make a knowledge check on it.

Really?

Pretend I am an adventurer: Every time I go visit a kingdom, the king has a crown on his head. That crown is a magical artifact and the source of the entire nation's power! It all makes sense, now!

Seriously. Try to look at this from a perspective of not having Redcloak's perspective in SoD. Yes, a bunch of Goblin leaders have red cloaks. So? It is probably a symbol of the movement.

Jaltum
2009-07-19, 06:01 PM
Worth noting is that I don't think anybody ever guessed there was anything special about Redcloak's red cloak before SoD came out, even when Miko called him The Bearer of the Crimson Mantle! It was obvious that it was a rank thing, since the lower level gobbos had different color cloaks, but there was no reason to think it was magical. And we saw a lot of behind the scenes with Team Evil.

I don't blame the paladins for not figuring it out if the entire rabidly-guessing forum never did.

factotum
2009-07-20, 12:56 AM
Seriously. Try to look at this from a perspective of not having Redcloak's perspective in SoD. Yes, a bunch of Goblin leaders have red cloaks.

Actually, that's the one misdirection the Dark One seems to have forgotten to use--if he made a red cloak a general badge of goblin leadership then no-one would notice any difference in the one slightly tattered red cloak worn by a high-level cleric...

The Extinguisher
2009-07-20, 01:08 AM
We have evidence that goblinoid clerical ranks are indicated by the color of their cloak. The paladins would have figured that out, but there was no reason to think there was more than that to it. Of course the High Priest would have a unique color for himself; that's only to be expected.


Which is funny, because the whole colour thing came around because of the Mantle.

Morquard
2009-07-20, 01:13 AM
Its quite possible that a red mantle has been the symbol of the High Cleric for ages, and the Dark One just either changed the existing piece of crappy looking red cloak into an artifact or created one that looks the same to replace it.

That way over the ages lots of crimson mantles would have been tested, divined, examined and possibly destroyed all with the result that its just a piece of cloth, and the goblins just go and dye another one red for the next High CLeric. So why assume it suddenly changed?

I mean, if I were the Dark One and would like to create an artifact that doesn't draw suspicion, I'd do it like that.

Meg
2009-07-20, 08:36 AM
I've always wondered what would happen if, say, Durkon or Hinjo put it on. Can humans access its powers? And does it have to be a cleric who uses it?

JT Jag
2009-07-20, 08:52 AM
As far as I can tell, and as some other members have already stated, the Sapphire Guard probably think the Crimson Mantle is a strictly symbolic thing and not actually a powerful artifact.

Conuly
2009-07-20, 09:26 AM
I've always wondered what would happen if, say, Durkon or Hinjo put it on. Can humans access its powers? And does it have to be a cleric who uses it?

Those are... really good questions, actually.

Maybe the world aplode.

Xapi
2009-07-20, 09:55 AM
Those are... really good questions, actually.

Maybe the world aplode.

I assume the Mantle has a "goblinoid only" (and probably "Cleric only" too) restriction.

Jaltum
2009-07-20, 11:29 AM
I assume the Mantle has a "goblinoid only" (and probably "Cleric only" too) restriction.

Maybe, but it hasn't been stated definitively, and there's one good reason to wonder--if not, Tsukiko represents a threat to both Xykon and Redcloak (although assumably, not both at once).

David Argall
2009-07-20, 01:59 PM
They never say one way or another if they knew about the cloak's powers. We don't see what happens after Red Cloak runs off with Right Eye. For all we know, they said "OH ****" and started searching frantically.

That's possible, but then we are pretty much having the paladins pretty much thinking "We can just leave this extremely valuable and dangerous item lying around where anybody can take it and go off and have fun chasing down some unimportant goblins." That's not impossible, but it seems quite unlikely.

Of course, we do have the principles of drama saying that evil items will make their way into the wrong hands. The story would get short-circuited if the Crimson Mantle was stuffed in a paladin trophy collection, and so we end up making excuses for why it escaped.