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    Default The Goals of the IFCC

    Now that we know quite a bit more about the metaphysics of OotS-land, I wanted to revisit this topic. What do we think the IFCC are after?

    My high-level guess is that they want neither for the world to be destroyed, nor for a clean win by the good guys. Perhaps an alternate goal of "the current world continues, but the balance is somehow drastically shifted towards evil."

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    First, their stated goal to V - laying waste to the upper planes. This is reinforced by their stated goals to Qarr, which I suspect contain more authenticity - "bring down the gods of Good", "we want destructive, unnecessary conflict," and "we don't want either side to truly win." (Presumably, "no side winning" means neither the Gates being restabilized, nor the Dark One gaining control of them.)

    They appear to have initially become aware of the Gates through Sabine. Here they describe it as a "new opportunity" - but are pretty vague about it.

    The IFCC wanted Girard's Gate to be destroyed. I can't figure out if their goal is to destroy all the Gates and release the Snarl, or simply to force a fight at the last gate, but either way they seem to want both Xykon and the Order to be there.

    Blackwing speculates that they might be after the planet in the Snarl rift (or the souls that live there) before he and V get gagged. Now, back then we weren't sure whether the Snarl truly existed - which now we know for a fact it does based on Laurin and the gods' panicky meeting.


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    - The Snarl destroys souls (hopefully I don't need to cite that one )

    - The gods have a tiny window after the last gate falls to destroy the world themselves before the Snarl breaks free and eats their followers. This is preferable to letting the Snarl get them, both for compassionate reasons (Good gods) and pragmatic ones (the souls can continue to power their deities respective homes, increasing their chances - particularly the weaker/newer ones - of surviving to the next reboot.)

    - The gods have failed to destroy past worlds in time.

    - Perhaps most important for the IFCC - the outsiders' memories are wiped each time the world is reset. Assuming this applies to the IFCC as well (since they don't appear to be gods) - this might explain why they needed Sabine's intel to learn of the gates in this world.

    - Evil souls appear to arrive at the IFCC first - well, the human ones anyway.


    Oh, and totally unrelated - is Haerta Bloodsoak still running around out there?

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Note that they said that it was "technically true" that they had a plan to "bring down the gods of Good", which in my opinion strongly suggests that they're also targeting gods of other alignments, and possibly all the gods.
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    In the past, I've been a proponent of an argument that the IFCC plan is just to get the Snarl unleashed, without their being held responsible, because destroying gods (good especially, but neutral, evil, whatever no biggie to them) advances their own relative power. Everything said to Tiamat et al. would still count as technically true for that objective. I'd gone as far as arguing they are trying to destroy/overthrow all gods, leaving themselves as supreme cosmic powers.

    But that's been based upon the place of fiends in the standard D&D cosmology: devils, daemons, demons are not typically seen as servitors of the evil gods (in the way devas, planetars, solars et al. might be seen as servitors of the gods of good - slaad and modrons are a different ballgame) but as an independent power-base. The lords of Hell, Hades and the Abyss are not gods, but nor are they subservient in any way to gods.

    But this raises a question:

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    - Perhaps most important for the IFCC - the outsiders' memories are wiped each time the world is reset. Assuming this applies to the IFCC as well (since they don't appear to be gods) - this might explain why they needed Sabine's intel to learn of the gates in this world.
    Are the fiends in OotS cosmology more like devas et al.? Do arch-fiends like Asmodeus, Orcus, Demogorgon or Charon, comparable in power and authority to gods, exist? Not sure I've seen any direct reference to such arch-fiends in OotS (anyone correct me?) Maybe the receipt of souls by the fiends is just the same as the receipt of souls by the devas, they're operating on a system that serves the gods and don't have independent use/control of souls.

    So:

    -- if the fiends are actually an independent power-base to the gods, I'd have to assume they don't have the god's quiddity. But that doesn't seem likely any more: Loki et al. would long ago have realised their anti-Snarl potential.

    -- if fiends are simply outsiders, subservient to the gods, and get mind-wiped each time around, then they're massively misinformed about the consequences of whatever they're up to. It could still be they're trying to unleash the Snarl, but have totally miscalculated the consequences of doing so, because they don't understand just how subservient they are (and think they can usurp the gods cosmic position).
    Geez, what is it with that guy and needing to figure out all the fiddly little details?

    I know, right? It's called "Suspension of Disbelief"...
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by DeliaP View Post
    So:

    -- if the fiends are actually an independent power-base to the gods, I'd have to assume they don't have the god's quiddity. But that doesn't seem likely any more: Loki et al. would long ago have realised their anti-Snarl potential.

    -- if fiends are simply outsiders, subservient to the gods, and get mind-wiped each time around, then they're massively misinformed about the consequences of whatever they're up to. It could still be they're trying to unleash the Snarl, but have totally miscalculated the consequences of doing so, because they don't understand just how subservient they are (and think they can usurp the gods cosmic position).
    I'd say it could be 50/50 either way. Either the IFCC don't know about the cycle and so are SERIOUSLY underestimating the danger of what they are about to do, or the IFCC does know, and are so pissed at the gods they really want to get back at them, hence what may be an all-or-nothing power play. They're quite enigmatic at the moment though, so it can be hard to say.

    Also, is it possible that they knew about the gates, just not that they had formed? Sabine might not know there were gates, and so didn't find out until Azure City, but the IFCC could have known the gates were a phenomenon long before any of this.
    Last edited by Squire Doodad; 2019-09-16 at 07:14 PM.
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by Squire Doodad View Post
    I'd say it could be 50/50 either way. Either the IFCC don't know about the cycle and so are SERIOUSLY underestimating the danger of what they are about to do, or the IFCC does know, and are so pissed at the gods they really want to get back at them, hence what may be an all-or-nothing power play. They're quite enigmatic at the moment though, so it can be hard to say.
    However they will be finding out much of it pretty soon if they don’t know it already due to their watching of the Order and the fact that the rest of them likely already know or will know before the end of the book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    I recognize that Conservation of Detail is Overrated, but I find the event that I am using as evidence for my theory above important enough/given enough focus to qualify for what I call Elan’s Exception, “Who wastes perfectly good foreshadowing like that?”. Also I have never correctly predicted any event in any piece of media so take this theory with a grain of salt (I call this Peelee’s Ye Old Reminder).

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    I see the IFCC/Devas roles in handling the influx of souls like the mail room at a big company. They pigeon-hole those destined for god-specific afterlifes much like the mail room delivers to different offices. Those going to non-specific afterlifes are sent to the relevant departments, where another level of bureaucrat deals with them. The department work for the people in the office, generate income for them and deal with nonspecific matters that don't require the offices attention.
    While the mail room (IFCC) works for the company (Lower Planes), and the Gods (offices) run the company, the mail room doesn't answer directly to the Gods, even if they process incoming souls for them.
    The IFCC end goal may be exactly as stated; a futile meat-grinder war in the Upper Planes, where the deaths of thousands of Gold Dragons is considered trivial. Their methods, however, aren't as transparent; it's entirely possible they're working on different information to us (it'd be interesting if the IFCC knew something about the Snarl/rifts that we didn't, but also their informations incomplete so they don't know the billion-worlds bigger picture.)

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    Note that they said that it was "technically true" that they had a plan to "bring down the gods of Good", which in my opinion strongly suggests that they're also targeting gods of other alignments, and possibly all the gods.
    They also said honoring their agreement with Tiamat will be easy if their plans work, so they have no problem agreeing to it. That's an odd detail if they just plan on killing Tiamat, herself.
    I'd just like to point out that saying that something unsupported is the case unless someone else can prove that it is not is an utter failure of logic. - Kish

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    Note that they said that it was "technically true" that they had a plan to "bring down the gods of Good", which in my opinion strongly suggests that they're also targeting gods of other alignments, and possibly all the gods.
    I didn't think of it that way initially but I definitely think this is accurate now. It's very in keeping with fiendish ambition.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeliaP View Post
    In the past, I've been a proponent of an argument that the IFCC plan is just to get the Snarl unleashed, without their being held responsible, because destroying gods (good especially, but neutral, evil, whatever no biggie to them) advances their own relative power. Everything said to Tiamat et al. would still count as technically true for that objective. I'd gone as far as arguing they are trying to destroy/overthrow all gods, leaving themselves as supreme cosmic powers.

    But that's been based upon the place of fiends in the standard D&D cosmology: devils, daemons, demons are not typically seen as servitors of the evil gods (in the way devas, planetars, solars et al. might be seen as servitors of the gods of good - slaad and modrons are a different ballgame) but as an independent power-base. The lords of Hell, Hades and the Abyss are not gods, but nor are they subservient in any way to gods.
    I think this approach to them (wildcards/loose cannons who wouldn't mind the gods regardless of alignment to be out of the way) is accurate to OotS as well. After all, they appear to have a "non-compete clause" with the evil gods, which wouldn't be needed at all if they were subservient to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    They also said honoring their agreement with Tiamat will be easy if their plans work, so they have no problem agreeing to it. That's an odd detail if they just plan on killing Tiamat, herself.
    Their agreement with her was 5 good dragons for every evil dragon that died - pretty easy to do if they end up as the sole divinities in the setting, and she definitely does not need to be around for them to fulfill that promise either. Sounds perfectly in keeping with an archdevil's deal to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeliaP View Post
    But this raises a question:



    Are the fiends in OotS cosmology more like devas et al.? Do arch-fiends like Asmodeus, Orcus, Demogorgon or Charon, comparable in power and authority to gods, exist? Not sure I've seen any direct reference to such arch-fiends in OotS (anyone correct me?) Maybe the receipt of souls by the fiends is just the same as the receipt of souls by the devas, they're operating on a system that serves the gods and don't have independent use/control of souls.

    So:

    -- if the fiends are actually an independent power-base to the gods, I'd have to assume they don't have the god's quiddity. But that doesn't seem likely any more: Loki et al. would long ago have realised their anti-Snarl potential.

    -- if fiends are simply outsiders, subservient to the gods, and get mind-wiped each time around, then they're massively misinformed about the consequences of whatever they're up to. It could still be they're trying to unleash the Snarl, but have totally miscalculated the consequences of doing so, because they don't understand just how subservient they are (and think they can usurp the gods cosmic position).
    There might very well be archfiends of some kind. Two reasons:
    1) Someone is keeping the Blood War going in OotS-land, and if the IFCC were the ones in charge then it wouldn't be.
    2) The IFCC appear to report to someone else, because they have "inboxes" and "presentations to the guys downstairs."

    So they're subservient to someone(s). And as mentioned above, if it were the evil gods then they wouldn't need a non-compete clause.

    So the only question left is whether those archfiends, and indeed the IFCC themselves, are included in the mindwipes. Whether they are or not, it would still give them motive to want to break the cycle and rid the cosmology of deities once and for all.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Their agreement with her was 5 good dragons for every evil dragon that died - pretty easy to do if they end up as the sole divinities in the setting, and she definitely does not need to be around for them to fulfill that promise either. Sounds perfectly in keeping with an archdevil's deal to me.
    Except that's not how the discussion was framed - it wasn't "we're probably going to be killing all good beings anyway, so who cares" it was framed as "we'll easily have the power to keep that promise, so it's not a big deal to make it." Their words did not imply any such trickery.
    Last edited by Rrmcklin; 2019-09-18 at 08:26 PM.
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Personally I didn't take it as "We'll be so powerful that it'll be no problem", but rather as "Our plan will bring about so much death if it succeeds that those dragons will be a drop in the ocean".
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    d6 Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Here is a thought.

    Tiamat said that she wanted five good dragons destroyed for each of the black dragons that were killed.

    She being an elder god knows what's up as far as the gates the snarl and the past worlds.

    Is she just giving a go do this thing for me by killing these dragons. Knowing that it doesn't matter because they're going to undo this world anyway. Or does she know something else


    We know that she is the only one that has had any contact with red cloaks deity. Thor seems to think that she is making herself look good by saying that.

    Could this be an insight
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    I think they might well be trying to destroy the world, because, well. That's the quintessential Big Bad Evil Plot, isn't it? And these guys are archfiends- evil for the sake of evil personified.

    And also, we've conveniently already had it established that they don't know that destroying the world won't actually be a big deal to the Gods- they don't remember the last flobbity-jillion times the Gods pulled the trigger on the world.

    Sure, Hel had the same goal, but... well, the Fiends are going about it in a different way. It can still be interesting.

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by Rrmcklin View Post
    Except that's not how the discussion was framed - it wasn't "we're probably going to be killing all good beings anyway, so who cares" it was framed as "we'll easily have the power to keep that promise, so it's not a big deal to make it." Their words did not imply any such trickery.
    I didn't say anything about killing all good beings. Rather, I think their exchange was closer to "We're going to be the only divine beings left (or otherwise the ones calling all the shots somehow) once this is all over, so we can keep the letter of our promise to her while flagrantly ignoring its spirit, without worrying about any repercussions."

    Quote Originally Posted by hrožila View Post
    Personally I didn't take it as "We'll be so powerful that it'll be no problem", but rather as "Our plan will bring about so much death if it succeeds that those dragons will be a drop in the ocean".
    This too, though those aren't mutually exclusive by any means.

    Quote Originally Posted by denthor View Post
    Here is a thought.

    Tiamat said that she wanted five good dragons destroyed for each of the black dragons that were killed.

    She being an elder god knows what's up as far as the gates the snarl and the past worlds.

    Is she just giving a go do this thing for me by killing these dragons. Knowing that it doesn't matter because they're going to undo this world anyway. Or does she know something else


    We know that she is the only one that has had any contact with red cloaks deity. Thor seems to think that she is making herself look good by saying that.

    Could this be an insight
    Tiamat's part of the Western Pantheon. Perhaps she worked out a deal with TDO that he would unleash the Snarl on Marduk first?

    Ultimately, dragons still have souls, and so Tiamat follows the same rules as the other gods. She might have a gambit planned similar to what Hel was working on, something ultimately designed to let her start the next world with more soul power in the bank and thus able to call the shots for her pantheon (or at least have more of a say.)

    Quote Originally Posted by HorizonWalker View Post
    I think they might well be trying to destroy the world, because, well. That's the quintessential Big Bad Evil Plot, isn't it? And these guys are archfiends- evil for the sake of evil personified.

    And also, we've conveniently already had it established that they don't know that destroying the world won't actually be a big deal to the Gods- they don't remember the last flobbity-jillion times the Gods pulled the trigger on the world.

    Sure, Hel had the same goal, but... well, the Fiends are going about it in a different way. It can still be interesting.
    I would hope there's more to it than "nuke everything because we're fiends and then get mindwiped" (even if they don't know about that last part.) At the very least, thanks to Nale and Sabine they must know this isn't world #1, which is enough to piece the rest together.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    At the very least, thanks to Nale and Sabine they must know this isn't world #1, which is enough to piece the rest together.
    'piecing it together' isn't likely from the knowledge Nale was told by Shojo; the fiends would, like every non-god character and us the audience, believe they were fighting for World 2, and know nothing about the mind wipe (as, if they were alive when it happened, their minds would've been wiped). The IFCC might be working on incomplete information; they're just better at bluffing than other characters.

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    'piecing it together' isn't likely from the knowledge Nale was told by Shojo; the fiends would, like every non-god character and us the audience, believe they were fighting for World 2, and know nothing about the mind wipe (as, if they were alive when it happened, their minds would've been wiped). The IFCC might be working on incomplete information; they're just better at bluffing than other characters.
    Not everyone knows that, it's not exactly common knowledge given that Shojo is the one telling the story and the stuff hidden about the Snarl. However, most important outsiders probably know about it, and the IFCC most likely are either relevant enough to count or have finessed their way into getting the info.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by Riftwolf View Post
    'piecing it together' isn't likely from the knowledge Nale was told by Shojo; the fiends would, like every non-god character and us the audience, believe they were fighting for World 2, and know nothing about the mind wipe (as, if they were alive when it happened, their minds would've been wiped). The IFCC might be working on incomplete information; they're just better at bluffing than other characters.
    They might not know they're on world #googol instead of world #2, but what they'll probably realize is that (if they're getting mindwiped along with the rest) that they don't remember the first one - and if they don't, it's not that hard to deduce that if there could be one, there could easily be more than one. Mortals wouldn't think along those lines, but outsiders might.

    And if the minds of archfiends like the IFCC aren't getting wiped, it's all moot anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Who says (all) archfiends were created before this world (correct me if there is something about the D&D lore that shows that they must be older than the world)? I’d argue that at least Cedrik seems to be native to this world, he has a little history with going to demon college even.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    I recognize that Conservation of Detail is Overrated, but I find the event that I am using as evidence for my theory above important enough/given enough focus to qualify for what I call Elan’s Exception, “Who wastes perfectly good foreshadowing like that?”. Also I have never correctly predicted any event in any piece of media so take this theory with a grain of salt (I call this Peelee’s Ye Old Reminder).

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Several times now controlling the Snarl has been hinted at as a possibility that quite a few characters feel are at the very least plausible, so it's very likely that the IFCC believe they at least have a chance to pull it off somewhat. It just seems to me that for Dorukan at least the danger of someone controlling the Snarl was very real, although unlike he predicted the IFCC seem to be ok with the gates being destroyed.

    Also, we never actually see their meeting with Tiamat, and I just think that no god would willingly go through a plan this dangerous if they had nothing to show for it other than an empty promise, especially when it already cost so many black dragons. so if they're tricking Tiamat, they would probably have had to cooked up a pretty convincing story. But honestly from what I remember from their appearances, they seem to be on her side.
    Last edited by Morgana; 2019-09-21 at 05:08 AM.

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    Default Re: The Goals of the IFCC

    Quote Originally Posted by Schroeswald View Post
    Who says (all) archfiends were created before this world (correct me if there is something about the D&D lore that shows that they must be older than the world)? I’d argue that at least Cedrik seems to be native to this world, he has a little history with going to demon college even.
    That could have been [arbitrarily large number] years ago though.
    An explanation of why MitD being any larger than Huge is implausible.

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