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Who is Gareth?

by Hervé Musseau

So far, we have hypothesised that Gareth is an alternate ID for some known Immortal, and tried to come up with explanations as to why they keep their true ID hidden and why they set up this unusual faith.

But, what if instead of an addition to one Immortal's beliefs, it was indeed a new Immortal's portfolio?

That's what we'll explore in this 5. Gareth = a new Initiate.

Such a possibility has already been mentioned in a way in the post about Benekander (Benekander is a young Immortal) and in the posts about Loki and other Entropics. Let's take it one step further.

There are again basically two very different possibilities here: either the Initiate is true in his belief, or he's masquerading as a good Immortal. The latter possibility is the one that involves the Initiate being an Entropic, while in the earlier he's probably of one of the other spheres. Let's review the spheres:

Matter: This is certainly a good sphere for Initiate Gareth. Matter favours law and order, which are implied in Gareth's faith. Matter is also often concerned with the preservation of species (especially Ka) which is also a consequence of Gareth's faith in the sense protecting mortals for the Immortals' petty games. Ka sponsored Gareth to protect the mortals from the Immortals themselves.

Energy: Probably not a good sphere for Gareth. Energy tends to be wild and chaotic, very unlike Gareth's teachings. Besides, Gareth's faith undermines Ixion's power base in Sind, which would be a bad move for an Initiate of Energy. Exception is made for Benekander.

Time: One of the major goals of time is to teach mortals and Immortals the lessons of history (Khoronus). After the events of the WotI, the wars that it caused for a quarrel between Immortals, and the fact that an Old One had to intervene to stop it, Immortals of Time have decided to remind both mortals and Immortals the consequences of their acts. This is why Khoronus sponsored Gareth.

Thought: The sphere's goal is to make people think (Korotiku). Gareth tries to make mortals think by themselves instead of relying on the words of Immortals. With this new faith and by declaring he's returned from the Vortex (an idea of Korotiku's), he's also making Immortals ponder on many subjects (including their own actions, the importance of mortals, the Old Ones).

Entropy: Much discussed already in Loki and other Entropics posts. It is a masterpiece of lying and betrayal (unless good PCs investigate..), with the main drawback that the Initiate is not promoting his own beliefs and thus putting himself at great risk if his plot fails.

Principium: Since the four good spheres are tied to the four elemental planes and Entropy is tied to the Negative Plane, it has been theorised by many sages and Immortals that maybe there could be a forgotten 6th sphere, Principium, which would be tied to the Positive Plane and directly oppose Entropy. Could Gareth be the first Immortal of Principium? Could it be that Rad, when his mind is altered by the Old One and he returns as a better man, returns not as an Immortal of Energy but the first of Principium? Could it be that the major blow struck to Entropy by the change in source of power for the NoS is the fact that it has recreated the hated Sphere of Principium? Can you see now why Hel suffered such a major stroke and Thanatos was not so pleased with his being back Hierarch of Entropy? Could it be that Synn was sent in Glantri to shut down the NoS who is now an artifact of Energy producing Immortals of Principium by tapping into the sphere of Entropy? (heck, I love that scenario. I'm sure it'll start a much heated debate. hmm, could evil Brannart now killed by Angus have thereby become the second Immortal of Principium?) In that case, we link to the post about Rad being Gareth, but with a new twist to it. And Loki has reasons to grin, just like Hel and Thanatos.

Why did no one answer when question arose among Immortals as to who that Gareth could be? For Energy and Principium, no one knows. For Entropy, Loki knows but doesn't tell; he just smiles. For Time, Thought and Matter, Khoronus or Korotiku or Ka doesn't tell because it would reveal their plan. Why start in Sind? Well, as good a place as any. For Principium, there is the additional reason that it's as close to Glantri as can be, and the only Immortal of Principium certainly wants to secure the NoS from the Entropics; as Rad he already has his word there, but having an ally as a neighbour isn't bad at all (better than having Bozdogan, anyway).

The main problem with the new Initiate theory is that, how could he get so much followers/power in such a sort time? Well, it would seem that whatever the sphere there is a powerful Immortal (or force, for Principium) behind, that may be of great help.

For any of the three spheres that would have Gareth as a regular Immortal (Time, Thought, Matter), it certainly works best in individual campaigns if you have PCs that are trying to achieve Immortality. In that case, have a PC be sponsored by one of the three old Immortals, a PC that has about the same ethics as Gareth, et voila. For Principium, well, that is giving the world a whole new direction. Especially interesting if your campaign is Immortal-level, or if your PCs have something to do with the Nucleus.