Let’s Play Some Mancala – I mean Mercana? Mercala? – I mean, no don’t use Mercana like that!
This is everything having to do with Mercala and Mercana -- since the two are mutually exclusive and it'd feel weird to stratify them in two posts. Also, I added a few healing lore bits that had to do with Mercana as well, though that will be a separate post altogether whenever someone gets around to it.
Who are the major players of the Mercalan Faith and what does their power hierarchy look like?
Neus wrote: Well, Mercala's incarnation is pretty much the majorest of players. There are also Church Knights, who deal with protecting her and members of the faith. Other than that, there really isn't much of a system.
Is Ashe in any sort of relationship?
Neus wrote:… The current incarnation of Mercala is Adena Mehana; the current head of the Church Knights is her sister, Ashe Mehana.
A question about healing? Would a Curate/Lantern Bearer be able to regrow missing digits (fingers/toes) without having the missing piece on hand (say the missing finger/toe was obliterated in some manner)
Neus wrote: Ashe is in a long-term work relationship with Mercala.
Are Curates/Lantern Bearers apart of the church then? Or is there some direct link to Mercala when you're a curate or Lantern bearer? What really -is- the connection between Mercala and Curate/Lantern Bearers?
Neus wrote: They could, yes, though they must weigh the benefits of doing so against the tenets of Mercala.
Also, what are the consequences for going against the tenets of Mercala?[/quote]
Neus wrote: If they use Mercana, that's it.
Neus wrote: The Church won't like you and if you're helping spread chaos with it, you will probably be put down by a high-ranking Church Knight.
… Mercala and what occurred that led to Elves?
Neus wrote:… Any relation Mercala has to Elves is speculation, as far as I know!
I'm not sure if this was asked before or not, but how are Mechanations healed by potions and Mercala magic? Do they have sort of an 'immune' system that repairs bodily damage over time just like living things? Or is it perhaps that Mercala domain magic is more along the lines of restoring something to it's former state rather than life or healing?
Neus wrote: Magic is magic; Mercalan magic heals. It doesn't care if you're made of flesh or not, if you're 'alive'. As for potions... let's not think about that too hard.
Is the Mercalan-domain spell Rescue anywhere akin to the Void? I honestly doubt it since it's Mercalan-domain and seems to use Mercalan-domain energies, so if it is then that sort of defeats the purpose. But anyway, it'd be nice to know what kind of actual, lore-wise (and technical-wise) teleportation function it has, since it's risen some querent arousal.
Neus wrote: I answered this in-game, but there's no teleportation involved in it. It's like a really fast (faster than the eye) pull that can't be stopped.
Are Mercalan magics capable of healing disabilities that you were born with? (IE blind, mute, deaf.)
Neus wrote: Depending on the severity of the condition, it is possible, yes. Although sometimes even Mercana will not work and no one seems to understand why.
What constitutes an emergency in which Mercalan/healing magic should be used to aid another from injury, contusions, etc? This is all going by ethics and the Church Charter (which I'm sure there is one).
Neus wrote: If waiting for normal medical treatment would result in the death of the person, that is a valid time to use your magic. If a threat, such as a monster, is about and the only way to make sure it's stopped is to heal someone who can defeat it, that is another valid use. If you are pursuing a greater threat towards others, such as monsters (but not mortals), then it can be used without much worry.
Generally speaking, Mercala favors life over death.
What kind of dental care exists in this world, if any? Are cavities and the like something mercalan arcana could treat if the caster thought it was fine against Mercala's tenets and all that jazz?
Neus wrote: Mercana can probably regenerate teeth, yes; though unless it's a serious issue... Doctors can also probably treat it themselves, which is preferable.
How do the Mercalan peeps view the Dullahan(s)?
Neus wrote:The same they view vampires, most likely. Primarily as threats, but more concerned with containing the threat, since it is still technically life, and all life has value. May require being put down at some point. That sort of thing.
I know I'm late for the February questions, but what if someone using healing magic but they don't worship Mercala? Would the church still hunt them down, or not, because they're not a part of the church?
Neus wrote:Depends on if they're using healing magic 'destructively' and to what extent. If you're healing old granny's broken hip, they likely won't care. If you're healing the entire town of everything from scrapes to stab wounds, they're a loooot less forgiving. Remember, the ultimate goal of the Mercalan Church in regards to healing magic is to make sure mankind don't develop a dependency on it, so you should weigh the specific case against that to determine your answer.
Does Mercalan magic have any limitations whatsoever to what it's capable of recovering, beyond an obviously dead person? To add to that--
Neus wrote:Missing organs or limbs (depending on the size) cannot be regenerated. You might be able to regenerate missing digits (fingers/toes) if you're quick.
How much experience does it require to recover more grevious wounds with Mercalan magic? Would any healer, regardless of training, be able to use it to regenerate limbs and organs, so long as they knew 'Graft'?
Neus wrote: Experience isn't so much the issue as it is focus issues. Healing with Mercana consumes a lot of focus, and it gets much more focus hungry the larger the project.
About how common are practioners of Mercalan magic? As in--in your average small rural village(100~ people or so), how unlikely/likely is it that at least -one- person living there would be capable of using it?
Neus wrote:Typically the church deploys them on a basis of need and has at least one within reasonable distance to known settlements, although some are so far out of the way that they need to fetch a priest from a bigger town if they need one. The knowledge and use of Mercana is highly regulated by the church for obvious reasons, so it's not something the village apothecary does on the side.
What exactly are the Tenants of Mercala? We know their policy on exercising restraint of healing magic unless it's necessary and that they aren't fond of Huggessoa or their followers but what else does the Mercalan faith encourage/discourage?
Neus wrote: What you mentioned is the big one, but she also teaches a lot of generic 'good neighbor' stuff, like generosity, honesty, and so on.
Huggessoa has Vampires, Zera has Zerans but does Mercala have a race to call her own? (Definitely not Elves, nope.)
Neus wrote:Maybe. Maybe you already know them well.
What's the Mercalan Church's view on Mechanations? Are they seen as just another form of life and whatnot? What about Doriad?
Neus wrote:2) Mercala celebrates all forms of life that aren't unlife. I would say she has a soft spot for Doriad in particular, for some reason.
How is Holy Water made? From Mercalan Priests blessing water or-?
Neus wrote:Holy water is water blessed with light magic.
-Are there any Mercalan-related factions aside from the Sun's Ichor and Church Knights aside from the church itself? Which, if any, could be playable upon approval?
-What are Mercalan faith's view on pre-marital sex and prostitution?
-Would a vampire ever knowingly be allowed to join the church of Mercala, assuming they were a good person and upheld the tenents?
Neus wrote:Probably, although they might not be very accepted.
When was Sun's Ichor founded, and when was it denounced?
How large was it in terms of members, approximately? Are we talking maybe a dozen, or a few hundred?
Did they operate internationally, or were they mostly only present in Lordwain/Lispool?
I find it a little odd they could take Mercala's teachings that far when she's still around. What did The Voice have to say about their actions, if anything? Am I wrong to assume she just kept quiet until they started making mistakes?
1) 40 years or so. It's mentioned the children of the original Sun's Ichor are rumored to be running around and playing at vampire hunting, so it would be around that timeframe. That would also make the Church Knights a '40 years or so' order, since they were established after the Sun's Ichor was denounced.
2) About a hundred men at its peak.
3) They went wherever they were told vampires were, so all over.
4) This is a complicated answer. First of all, Mercala doesn't speak all of the time. Since speaking causes stress to the Voice, she only really speaks through her when necessary. Secondly, you're assuming that Mercala particularly disagrees with vampire hunting. The issue wasn't the action, but the method; the Sun's Ichor were extremely cruel, which reflected badly on the Church, which is very bad for Mercala. When the Sun's Ichor gained infamy, she was forced to act, denounced them, and established the Church Knights.
Do we know the existence of bacteria/microscopic life?
And how would Mercana affect them?
Neus wrote:1) To some degree.
2) Not much, if at all, but it depends.
Not sure if this has already been answered before but what kind of education system does Sigrogana have?
Is there a certain school that's most popular in Cellsvich? Or in any of the areas in Sigrogana?
Can you name one if so?
Neus wrote:... Mercalan priest/esses will often help the less fortunate in some ways, such as by learning to read and so on, if they can.
While most forms of magic are banned or whatnot within Oniga's walls, how do they look on Mercana being used (to treat wounds and all that)? Is that much acceptable?
Neus wrote:1) Mercana is one of the few forms of magic allowed in Oniga, at least, the healing portion of it.
Why are crucifixes symbols of Mercala? Historically they were used as methods of execution, and while Christianity has ties to them due to Jesus being executed on one, as far as I'm aware the Mercalan faith doesn't have that the to bring together a religion of life and healing and a method of execution.
Neus wrote:The cross represents the sword of Mercala, Vajistra.
Are Curates of other religions possible? Would one dedicated to say, [NATURE GOD HERE] be capable of casting Graft/Rescue/Quickness and things like that with having a bit more flavorful 'trappings' for their deity of choice? ([NATURE GOD]s would be something like a green glow and minty freshness or something. Iunno.)
Tying into that, are all "Mercalan Domain" spells.. inherently tied to Mercala? There's been quite a bit of confusion on this. Distortion, for instance, is a Mercalan Domain spell. As is Apodis or whatever from the Apus or whatever. It just seems that, while not everything with the Hugeossan domain is "Hugeossan" by nature... that the same should likely apply to the Mercalan domain since we have things like Phoenix which... technically aren't Mercalan and more inviting a pseudo-elemental into a flame or whatever which. Really seems like a bad time for everyone.
Neus wrote:1) Healing magic from gods other than Mercala is rare, which is why she's such a big deal. Enchantment spells you could make some argument for but probably not healing spells.
2) Yes, pretty much. Healing and light magic are what she does. Like I said, though, you could make some sort of argument for 'bending the rules' for spells that aren't healing related.
With the Mercalan faith and such, are there any proper ways to venerate the higher ups other than showing a massive amount of respect?
How would you respect or talk to The Voice or Vajistra properly? What would you do if you found yourself in Mercala's presence beyond 'sit down and shut up'? And so on for church knights or other high-ranking church officials as well?
Neus wrote:Shouldn't take a lot of imagination. If you're talking to the Voice, you're talking to the person who literally hosts your goddess. It'd be like talking to a Queen, you'd call her Your Holiness, kneel until told to rise, never touch or speak against them, etc. Vajistra is the right hand of Mercala so much of the same, but that position is a bit more 'human' so any steps out of line aren't (literally) disrespecting a goddess.
Church Knights are knights, so they're some bloke with a title. If you're trying to be respectful, you'd call them Sir/Ser/Lady [Whoever], and so on.
How difficult is it to meet with the Voice?
Is the Voice human, or any other race? Maybe an Elf? I can't remember if this was answered.
When the Voice isn't possessed by Mercala, how is she like? Naturally, she would have her own personality -- or perhaps she is a singular being with Mercala's own personality?
Neus wrote:1) As in a private meeting? Pretty difficult depending on your standing. She speaks fairly often in public, though.
2) She is the same race as Ashe.
3) Adena has her own personality, yes. Many who have met her describe her as kind and compassionate.
If a Lantern Bearer works by binding elementals to a lantern, does Phoenix actually count as Mercalan magic? (I mean, it's listed as Mercalan Domain, sure, but that's mechanical.) What is the Church's view on non-magical accelerated healing methods such as Ki?
Neus wrote:Pseudoelementals, and yes, Mercala tends to have domain over most magic that heals wounds as a rule. I'm sure if you asked the Church if it counts, they'd say yes. As for Ki, that's more of a spiritual healing that is not as potent nor as widespread as Mercalan magic, so it doesn't count.
Is using mercalan domain healing magic considered abuse of Mercana when used in a spar? I feel as if this comes up a lot as it's been slowly slinking it's way in to just casual spars nowadays.
Neus wrote:If it's not an emergency then yes, that would be abuse, albeit on the low end of the scale.
The wiki entry for Vajistra seems to clearly imply that Ashe, and perhaps her Church Knights by extension, execute apostates and Mercana abusers. Recently, I've seen the idea pop up a few times as well. Is this a thing that only happens in Lispool, or do they do this in other nations as well? Are they only allowed to act in this capacity in certain places?
I can perhaps see the governments of nations where Mercala worship is dominant tolerating it, but why would Egwyn/Alstalsia/Oniga allow members of a foreign government/religion to kill people in their own cities for breaking foreign religious laws? Does Ashe just ignore local laws and catch people outside the cities where she's not legally allowed to act?
Neus wrote:It happens everywhere. In more developed parts of the world such as Sigrogana and Alstalsia, they will go through due process, and often times the authorities themselves will arrest the person in question and ship them off to Lispool to whatever fate awaits them. They are almost obligated to do so, because the Mercalan faith is so popular, and upsetting the faith will result in them no longer supporting your country. Having Mercalan healers is considered very important because they are your only option in emergency situations. They have the support of the common people, which gives them a lot of influence, and since they leverage it so rarely it's even more powerful; if the Mercalan Church calls you out, people are going to listen, because it happens so rarely.
There are times when the Church gets stonewalled trying to obtain abusers but depending on the level of offense, they may let consider it not worth the effort and let it go until they have a better opportunity (if ever). Also, Ashe herself is like a walking nuclear weapon; she is an extremely capable fighter with divine powers far exceeding anything the average guard has seen. Vajistra, the sword, is also extremely dangerous. No one knows exactly what it's capable of, but everyone fears it; even Sadie gives its power some credibility.
Ultimately people trust the Mercalan Church and working with them is much more beneficial in the long run than not.
1- What happens to the soul of the target when Vajistra deletes their life and turns them into a zombie-to-become-ash-after? (By erasing the Nairyfian Domain and the Mercalan Domain from the target's semblance) Is it erased along or they just get a free trip to Lazarus?
2- Does Vampires have Mercalan Domain essence into them to keep them in motion? (I'm speculating it would also turn the 'Unliving' [vamps] into ashes for removing whatever soul or curse that keeps them alive, since Mercalan = Life, and Vampires are not Undead, but 'Unliving' according to somewhere I read it. I don't know Huggessoan enough to form a theory, nor I think it is the trick behind the Undead, sooo...)
Neus wrote:1) The soul is separate from the body, so if the body were to be destroyed, it would just go to Lazarus.
2) You sound like you're referring to something that existed in SL1, but there's no such thing as Mercalan Domain essence in SL2.
When is the Voice's birthday?
Also, something a bit imposing, but:
When Ashe said that Mercala was the essence of all Life, and therefore she is the goddess of all Life, in what capacity is she truly the goddess of all Life?
Was Mercala the original progenitor of the nomadic race of humans before the Gods came from the Void?
Or, was she simply responsible for bringing verdure and such to Sigrogana planet (therefore, a big part of life) when she convinced Nairyf to plow a sun into a sword (assuming the intensity when there were two suns was immense, and considering the environment now, it can be safely assumed that Sigrogana was pretty much a wasteland back when two suns existed)?
And how much does she have to do with the mortal soul/soul in general (or in some cases, pseudo-immortal souls barring undead and un-undead)?
It's okay not to answer these because they're somewhat specific, but a bit too much about Mercala's lore is a bit obfuscated (even if the debates are fun). Feel free to clarify what you can. (Don't worry I wont' ask about Doriads.)
Also, you did mention That Big Tree on Mersales. I'll try not to ask for specifics, but a bit of lore would be appreciated for the religious elves that may exist in the meta-canon. What can you tell us about That Big Tree? Any practices? Anything at all you may have already drafted up/come up with?
Also, one more thing: since Mercana can't be used to scan/sense for any variable or invariable internal injuries, contusions, or sickness (I honestly don't see why not, especially in the case of a very powerful healer of sorts, and if being used directly on the patient aside from cues), would Ki be able to? If not, are there any Karatynn technologies that would be able to?
Neus wrote:1) The same day as Christmas (very creative, I know.)
2) I wouldn't take Ashe's eloquence literally, since all she was saying is that you can't kill the Voice because Mercala's healing magic is so powerful that it would simply heal them as you tried. The Vajistra legend may or may not be embellished.
3) Mercala is unrelated to souls.
4) There's a big, magic, sacred tree on Mersales. It never wilts or loses its leaves. It's special to the elves. That's about it.
5) Ki most likely wouldn't be able to do so, and there isn't any common or portable technology that would help.
How would the church react to spell thiefs stealing mercana
Neus wrote:Usually the church only makes a fuss over people using Mercana.
If you're not of Mereclan faith, would only using the bare minimum, lets say just from curate, would said character be hunted down by the church? And on that matter how much do priest and priestess frown upon those who abuse Mereclan dominated spells? (As an add-on to Lolztripd's question)
Neus wrote:What is the 'bare minimum'? Generally, the church doesn't like people not of the fate using Mercana, but if you're not attracting attention they aren't going to be actively looking for you. Don't understand the second question, you'll have to clarify what you mean by 'Mercana dominated spells'.
How are insane/suicidal people generally dealt with? (Someone engaging in public self-harm, for example.)
Neus wrote:10) Prison or asylum, some may be treated by Mercalans.
1) Do the gods have servants, excluding their mortal worshipers, beyond Mercala's Shine Knights?
Neus wrote:1) Not really, no. Shine Knights aren't really servants, they're more manifestations of Mercalan's power.
2- What does healing magic do to broken bones and punctured organs? Magically revert back to pristine state in a blink of an eye like nothing even happened? Or the healing is "as if time is going on reverse" so the bone/organ goes under an 'un-breaking' process back to 'normal'?
3- While healing magic is used, does the target feel even more pain due to their bodies being forcefully mended, or an immense relief as if the magic also numbs the pain away?
4- Healing magic can cure/cleanse illnesses (such as fever, for example), or only medicine/alchemy can do so?
Neus wrote:1) Probably just a dry, boney scent.
3) The latter.
4) Healing magic can usually only treat physical injuries.
5- Does using the Elemental 'Phoenix' from the Lantern Bearer, 'Healing Discharge' from Bonder, or even 'Aid' from Monk, go against the Mercala's Tenants of 'using unnatural healing only in emergencies'?
6- Can you give an example of how an average Mercalan should react upon seeing their God's magic being needlessly used?
5) Yes, though Aid is different enough to not be Mercana and is not as effective, obviously.
6) Lecture the offender on why it's a bad idea, if it continues, report it to the Church higher-ups.
More on the subject of Mercalan healing tenets!
Are Mercalan healers allowed to heal chronic injuries, such as broken legs, arms, etc. given enough reason? Examples could be: that person has to support their family, etc. etc. Would this be on the basis on how the injury was acquired? Would it be counted as an emergency if it was acquired on accident?
Edit: What about healing congenital birth defects (such as blindness. Like, regular blindness, not future vision oracle blindness)? Would it even be possible? If so, would it be frowned upon by the Church since it's a defect that perhaps was caused by """"the grand design"""""?
Edit 2: Can Mercana clear/heal/disappear scarring? If so, how much?
Neus wrote:1) It probably depends on the nature of the injury. Keep in mind that the tenets are all about making people not be reckless or violent. An accident could be acceptable depending on the circumstances.
2) I don't think something like a birth defect would fall under the scope of things that could be healed, since healing is primarily making things the way they were, not what is 'normal'.
3) Yes, scarring would be healable depending on the severity and how long the scar has been acquired for.
The Church has always led people to believe that the over-dependence and use of Mercana promotes chaos and complacency. They've explained why, and done so well. However, it raises one (maybe more) question(s), which are hopefully answered in scripture, maybe?:
If Mercala potentially knew that her boon would potentially cause strife, why would she implement it? Perhaps she didn't mean to, and it was an accident during Heaven's Contention (perhaps when she healed a certain someone)? I have a feeling Mercala would explain this to her followers in some way, because this is a very easy rebuttal to the presence of Mercana, and thus making it seem much more detrimental than it is.
Neus wrote:I guess you could phrase it as not discarding the value of fire just because arson exists, which is to say, just because it can be abused doesn't mean it shouldn't be used to help those in need.
1. Does healing a wound with Mercalan magic cleanse it of infections and the likes?
Neus wrote:It will cleanse the wound, yes.
Throughout my duration of playing the game, I always thought that it was weird that there were plenty of signs and the oracle cards used for contracts. With that being said; What is the literacy rate of Sigrogana and its citizens, as well as how literate are the citizens compared to the other civilizations like Alstalsia and Karaten?
Neus wrote:... It is worth noting that one thing the Church of Mercala does do almost everywhere is teach reading and writing...
What is average training time length of a Priest? (How many years would a Priest trainee need to become a proper Priest?)
Would the Hierarchy ranks of Mercala faith be very similar to Christian religion [Like Bishop is higher than Priest, Cardinal is higher than Bishop?]
[Question to above] What would be highest rank a Player-Priest can go before needing to actually be acknowledged to have that said rank?
Were there any recorded Voices of Mercala, before Adena Mehana?
How old is Adena Mehana? [To confirm the Goddess is a loli meme is true or false.]
What is the Faith's view on Elves? [Distrust? Concerns? Bewilderment?]
If Mercana were intended to be healing, and restorative property. Yet Mercana can be used offensively. Is this in case of self-defense for priests? [To clarify. Mercana have offensive magic. What would be reason behind this?]
Neus wrote:2) There's not any set period of time, though you are typically expected to serve the church for at least 1 year as an Acolyte before you move onto doing Priestly things.
3) Probably. Priest would probably be the highest a player could assume to have before needing permission.
5) She and Ashe are twins, so around the same age as her.
6) Elves are healers so they are generally well respected.
7) Mercala's power is not just in healing, she also governs the general domain of Light magic. Healing is her primary function (and interest), but it doesn't prevent her from having power as well.