In response to "Missionaries of the Digital Age" from The Escapist Forum: I don't talk about it much, but I have very strong religious convictions that influence every decision I make. In fact, I actively avoid talking about it because most people either a) think I'm mocking Christianity or b) think I'm flat out insane.

Personally, I no more believe the verse that states that Christianity is the only way to Heaven/Nirvana/Paradise then I believe that lichen is self-aware. However, I do believe that it is a way. Even more than I believe that, I believe that you don't need to profess a religion to get to HNP, you simply have to behave in a moral fashion.

Of course, "morals" are vagrant, ethereal things. A "moral" is any belief that is held with total conviction, such as "eating meat is wrong" or "killing another is wrong." A person cannot be "amoral" because "amoral" refers to something that "morals" should not have a bearing on (an example that would apply to most people is what breakfast cereal you are going to have). "Amoral" has, unfortunately, taken on the meaning of "immoral" (a shorthand for contradictory to morals). A situation can be amoral (not having to do with morals), but an act can be immoral (contradictory to morals).

Basically, what I'm trying (and kind of failing) to get at here is that everyone is different, and thus everyone should be allowed to define their own moral code. Religion is not everyone's bag, but it can be a very good place to start defining what you feel is right and wrong. This attempt to educate people who want to know more about Christianity is a good step in the right direction for our culture in my opinion.

- RagnorakTres

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In response to "Robbing Gods" from The Escapist Forum: They did do a pretty good job, and that's a huge part of why I like the story in them. It definitely reminds me of the pagan vs. Christian church rivalry of old (I'm sure very much by design.) The Pagans are influenced by nature but not in the sanitized Disney perspective; they're feral and capricious, not cute and fluffy. The Tenets of the Master Builder harken towards a darker idea of religion than is common now: One of undeniable brutality beneath the control of unyielding rules. The feel is far more medieval than the majority of analogous organizations in other games, which is still pretty damn unique 10 years or so after release.

And I'm surprised that the article didn't mention the religious schism with the Mechanists in the second game. It seemed to be pretty significant to the tone.

I still need to play the third game, though. The engine change and the host of other alterations make it feel less like proper Thief (TM), but it is still worth it from everything else I've heard. Anyone else care to weep over the demise of Looking Glass Studios with me?

- Kilo24

This is an article I wish I'd written myself. The interplay of the three different main factions in the City (Hammerite, Pagan, Keeper) set an excellent backdrop for Garrett's antics, since- despite his bitter protests to not give a whit for the Keepers' balance-favoring priorities- it was in his own best interests as well not to let either the Hammerites nor the Pagans get the upper hand over the other, as that would disrupt his comfortable status quo. The Hammerite/Mechanist schism in Metal Age brought all sorts of problems to our favorite taffer, and signalled the end of his self-interested bystander role with his partnership with Viktoria. And then there was Karras....

Deadly Shadows pretty much put the Keepers in the spotlight and relegated the Hammerite/Pagan feud to a plot point. In fact, in that game it was entirely possible to become buddy-buddy with both factions, and lemme tell you, hearing a Hammerite utter the words "Builder bless thee, Garrett" was like a sledgehammer to the forehead in terms of shock.

Also, because it is one of the most awesome quotes in the game, prefacing one of the most awesome missions in the game ("The Sword"):

"Builds your roofs of dead wood.
Builds your walls of dead stone.
Builds your dreams of dead thoughts.
Comes crying laughing singing back to life, takes what you steal,
and pulls the skins from your dead bones shrieking."

-Clay tablet in an abandoned Trickster temple

- The Rogue Wolf

A riveting read and an excellent use of that opening quote. I'd love to read that book someday.

The Thief series is one of the few where you can sensibly deconstruct it and analyse themes like Religion. Each game analysis the three factions' motivations and structures in turn while using the others to compare them again.

As has been said, particularly with the Keepers, you can really see the attraction in their philosophy. A promise of a warm bed and predictable lighting, the surety that comes from creating formidable structures and sturdy weapons... in a world like the City its an enticing option, especially for those not lucky enough to be born into wealth.

- kastanok

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