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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/06/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    So, after the roaring success of my Earth People thread (the responses to which I'm still very thankful for), I've decided to look into another one of the wider areas I've been thinking about: the descendants of Umath and their respective followers. For simplicity's sake, I've lumped them together as "Para-Orlanthi", but just "Storm peoples" work as well. To start off, Umath, the Primal Storm was begat by a union between Sky and Earth, and claimed a realm for himself, the Middle Air, with violence. He was later killed or maimed and chained, essentially leaving him out of the rest of Gloranthan mythology. Not to dwell on basic mythology here, just sort of setting up the threads I want to follow. Before he was brought down, he seems to have begot several descendants with various entities, most famously Orlanth with Kero Fin. He and his associated deities, in conjunction with allied Earth deities, would give rise to the Orlanthi as we know them today. However, this wasn't always the situation, and this is sort of what I'm looking into. Below I'm going to go through some of the stories and events I know about. They are not meant to be exhaustive (but feel free to add to it and help enlighten me/the question), but sort of put some things into perspective. I'm going to keep in mind that all of them have a source, and few can be seen as objectively true or even particularly reliable, but I don't have the patience to mention that after every story, so I'm just putting up this disclaimer. To start off, did Umath himself ever gather about him followers beyond the scope of maybe a band of heroes, ie. something that could feasibly be called a "people", whether clan or tribe? In short, was there were a "Primal Storm"-people? For his descendants, I'm aware that Vadrus had his "Vadrudings", or "Hurt Everything Clan", which besides being featured in (Theyalan) Orlanthi mythology, are also present in Six Ages to a small extent, and seem to be involved in the creation of either the Danmalstani in general or the Waertagi specifically through Aerlit. I'm also aware that Vadrus had some run-ins with draconic entities, and may have released a Heler-equivalent of some kind (not sure how this tale relates to the near-identical take featuring Orlanth). Any information about how the Vadrudings were organized or who they were would be excellent. I'd inquire about their female members as well, however everything I know about them seem to indicate that many of them were probably abducted and held against their will. Given the Piscoi's origin from raped Niiads, and the emphasis on Aerlit's exceptionality in seeking consent, it seems likely to me that the Vadrudings stood for some of, if not all, of the Piscoi storm ancestry. The Dara Happans seem to have included him as one of two prime deities of the group they labelled the "Erlandings" (with Erlandus being Orlanth), although whether these constitute a separate storm people, or were just one of several migrations I have no idea. In Heortling myths, he is active seemingly even before Orlanth (such as in the myth of the First Ring), perhaps indicating he is an older brother (that story is pretty out there in general though, so who knows). We're also told Vadrus fathered a daughter called Molanni, the goddess of Still Air. To me, this seemed like a way for the Orlanthi to account for Entekos, the goddess of "Good Air", who is an air deity of considerable age and notability in Pelanda and later, Peloria as a whole, but is seemingly entirely absent in the actual Air peoples' stories. This was strengthened by her being mentioned as a traitor. However, since she is mentioned by name in the Wedding Contest for Yelm, and contrasted with Dendara (the other possible Entekos-mask/equivalent) I'm not sure how plausible that is. I'm more tempted to see Entekos as a direct daughter of Umath now, but that's pure speculation on my part. In the Gods War, Vadrus was killed by Chaos, and essentially rendered null and void, beyond reach, thus presumably also ending the Vadrudings as a people unified under his rule, if they could ever be said to have been thus. However, before this, Vadrus was, after an attack on Barntar, defeated by Orlanth, and we're told that Valind was given his father's properties. That's the Glacier of course, which seems to me to imply that Vadrus may have already personified winter winds, however this is not necessarily true, it may have been a novel project started by Valind after his father's disgrace. Curiously, I thought Himile might've been Valind's mother, but Himile is stated as a male, and merely on "good terms" with the god of cold. We know Ice trolls inhabit the glacier, but I assume some kind of semi-demigod people of Storm descent inhabit it as well. Do have any canon mentioned of anything along the lines of "Valindings"? Valind's son, Ygg, is the first case were I can find a clearly stated, presently-extant people of Vadrudi descent. The Yggites reside on the Ygg islands, and are mostly famous for their Wolf Pirates. Most fan interpretations of them I've seen seem to see them as a more brutal and violent version of Heortlings, essentially. To me, it would be interesting to see how their interpretation of mythological events differ. Heortlings see Vadrus as an overly violent bully, Valind as a coward, and Ygg as a nuisance, it seems. Conversely, I could for example see the Yggites viewing Vadrus' death as a courageous sacrifice to protect his kin (or refusing to step down from a challenge, no matter the odds), as opposed to the Heortling view that he was just trying to get Wakboth's power. The Yggites are also a great deal more maritime, compared to their mostly landlocked Orlanthi cousins, as befits the people of the Sea Storm. The wiki seems to use "Vadrudi" as a collective term for all Storm-worshipping people of Fronela (including the Orlanthi Jonatelans), but I'm not sure if that's a very accurate and descriptive usage. Personally I'd limit it to whichever culture can seem to be traced back to, or continue to practice, Vadrus-derived social forms or beliefs, such as, presumably, the Yggites. We also have other children of Vadrus, such as Iphanna and Gagarth, but I've never seen any actual peoples being associated with them, so I will pass by them in silence and leave any inferences about hypothetical mist-people or the Wild Hunt to others. Now, moving on to another son of Umath (EDIT: he seems to only sometimes be ascribed a son of Umath, I must admit I just assumed it. Still, he's a Storm deity, so I'll leave him here.), I'm looking at Ragnaglar. He is most known to me, prior to creating the Unholy Trio, through the Initiation story where it is heavily implied that he is driven mad in the Sex Pit, and in the Descent from the Mountain, where he is accompanied by the Great Goat. I'm not sure if it is Ragnaglar himself who is totemic to the goats, or if the Great Goat is Thed, much like the Great Cow is essentially Uralda , the totemic entity/beast mother of cattle - however it's clear that goats are taboo for the Orlanthi due to their association with him, and that the Broos, who by default are goat-like, are his "children" in some sense. From what I gather, the new Bestiary has retconned their origin from the "Primal Rape" of Thed to a previously existing race of goatmen who followed their ancestor deities, Ragnaglar, Thed and their "adopted" mother Mallia into Chaos-worship. In that sense, I suppose that if there ever was a people we could call the "Ragnaglarings", it would be the Broos. I don't have too much else to say about that, really, aside from that I wonder if this means some Broos can reconnect with some Storm-heritage, or if it's been burnt away by Chaos. Would make for a pretty out-there Heroquest for an enlightened Broo or something (or even leading to Old Wind-style enlightenment, as opposed to Lunar/Nysalorean style)(Addendum: Aside from the Storm association, his goat-association is an interesting parallel to Urox, both being animal-associated, and having a massive duel on either side of the line of Chaos worship.) I'm going to pass Humakt by, since it seems he explicitly had no children or amassed no conventional clan or people, aside from, allegorically at least, Arkat (in his Humakti aspect) within Time. He seems to be a pretty orthodox and integrated aspect of the Orlanthi proper. I'm tempted to say the same for Urox, but throughout the time I've been here, people have mentioned the presence of several Storm people invasions across the world, from the Erlandings, Ram People and Andam horde in Peloria, to the Desero Horse, worshipping the storm god Baraku who tried to cross the Fense in Pamaltela, and who knows elsewhere. Some have raised the possibility that these were Uroxi, or Storm people associated especially with him. I'm also tempted to think of the currently-isolated people of Charg. More importantly, it seems to me, is Urox, or Storm Bull's role as a primal ancestor of the Praxians. Now, the Praxians aren't really Storm People (although they acknowledge various different roles for storms in Prax and the Wastelands), but they are Waha's people, and Waha is Storm Bull/Urox's son, unless this is a later syncretization and innovation. Importantly though, Urox isn't just the ancestor of the humans there, but also the herd animals. There seems to be a reoccurring theme of Horned Storm-patriarchs, such as with the ordeeds of the Andam Horde (with Varnaval the Shepherd King as their "horned patriarch", possibly), Urox of Prax and all its myriad herd beasts, and possibly even Ragnaglar and goats/broos. Heck, with the usage of the term "Rams" from a DH perspective and in Six Ages for Storm people in general and Vingkotlings in particular, and Orlanth's frequent depiction with coiled ram horns, as well as one of his sons, Voriof, being depicted as a literal ram, this seems to be a trend continued across the board. It also ties into the idea that mammals were a new introduction to a previously reptilian and avian surface world. Not sure what the many mammalian Hsunchen would say to that, but that's a matter for another time. Kolat is another of Umath's sons, the Spirit Father. The only "people" I've seen overly associated with him, aside from non-hereditary shamans who are otherwise a part of mainstream Orlanthi society are the Wind Children. Their ancestry eludes me, as they are also noted to worship Orlanth himself. Their wings make me think of Sky-descent as well, but I'm wary of taking such things too literally. Either way, it would be cool to see some connection there. From what I understand, Kolatings aren't celibate, but I could be wrong. I'm also not sure if Kolat's spirits can be seen as his "descendants" or "people" in any meaningful way. So, that's about it, as far as I've read and seen so far, and any thoughts about this is very welcome. Anyone I've neglected? Other cultures perspective on Storm peoples? I've not gone into mainstream Orlanthi (Theyalan, Heortling, Talastaring, Alakoring, etc.) pantheons or peoples, since that would be like ten times what I've written already.
  2. 2 points
    Tarsh and its history in the 1450s is a bit of a mess. This might be because the Illaro dynasty minimized the history of Blond Arim. Also, the death of Erantha Gor and 'birth' of Eneera Tor seems curiously connected. These are my crib notes on the subject: 1430 Spider Wars between Far Point and Cragspider’s trolls. c.1440 Birth of Illaro Blacktooth, later king of the Hendarli tribe. 1448 Orios the Fool is killed by the Mad Sultanate. Several candidates for the kingship emerge: the matrilineal candidate [Erantha Gor] offered by the Earth cult, the Prince of Far Point [Tarkalor the Huge] (slain prior to 1458), Jornkalor of Talfort (a Sylilan/Lunar ally), and Blond Arim (from the ‘Lowlands’). 1449 Aldachuring ‘tribe’ founded. 1449-1453 Tarkalor seizes Bagnot, moves into Kodros Island. 1450 The Quivini, led by the Colymar, reject Tarshite dominion. ‘Chaos Flood’ comes from Snakepipe Hollow; steads along the River are destroyed. [WF 15] Telmori arrive in Tarsh. [WF 15] Tarkalor the Huge raids the Oslir valley into Holay. [WF 15] 1455 Blond Arim kills Erantha Gor using all-women troops and besieges Maranaba [the Shaker Temple] with the help of Lunar magicians. Blond Arim becomes king of all Tarsh (save the Far Point [and Kero Fin?]). Eneera Tor emerges from the womb of the Goddess. Illaro Blacktooth becomes ‘prince of the Kerofini’ and leads their faction to victory in the Civil War (by c.1470). A new incarnation of Sorana Tor manifests to turn back the Lunars. The Telmori pour through the Trader’s Valley en route to Quiviniland. 1458 Jornkalor was captured at Talfort by a Sylilan/Lunar invasion. Blond Arim was ‘killed by treason’, Tovtarsar ‘Gaptooth’ of Alda-Chur attempted to conquer Tarsh but was defeated. Northern Tarsh revolted against the Sylila but Fllichet was annexed by the Empire [?]. The Alda-Churi submit to Illaro and join his invasion of the Quivini. Fall of Dangerford and destruction of the Ferfal Alliance. The Dondalf Flats are seized for the Alda-churi by Tarsh. 1459 Holay, including Filichet, becomes a Lunar province. 1470 Eneera Tor is courted by Temernim of Dunstop; that same year Tastinim, son of Illaro, becomes king of Tarsh. Sartar, a student of the Puppeteers and a Larnsting, enters Dragon Pass from around Whitewall.
  3. 2 points
    Most storm peoples come around as migrating pastoralists descending from the slopes of the Spike - the Beast Riders of Urox, Desero's horde in western Pamaltela, and to some extent possibly even the Hykimi of the Great Forest or their sedentary kin (Pendali, Enjoreli, Enerali). There appear to be mostly male storm gods, whether among the Vadrudi, the Praxian Founders, or the Storm Brothers, and few if any named female air entities. Brastalos, Vinga, Molanni, Iphara... At the onset of the Downland Migration, Orlanth's (paternal) sisters are mentioned, but that's it. When Storm gods mate with Niiads, we get Triolini or coastal westerners (Malkioni, Yggites). Kahar's marriage to Harantara produces the Zabdamar merfolk, not of niiadic descent (although God Learners might identify Harantara with Triolina or Mirintha).
  4. 2 points
    If Masks is in danger of selling through its print run we will just do another print run. Unlike HotOE, reprinting Masks is much more straightforward, as it is all done by one printer and not three.
  5. 2 points
    First you have to catch the sinner - wherever she and her devilish creations may be!
  6. 1 point
    There may be a connection here with people of Sidara in dawn age Imther. They worshipped Sidar the Horned Goat Father and Miapora the Mountain Goat Mother. The Imtherian Orlanthi still herd goats, and may be descendants of these people. If there's a particular Kolating centred culture, I'd assume you'd find it in Longsi Land, in the ancient territory of the Harandrings. This is due to their proximity to Doktados Mountain, Kolat's earthly home. As the local Sacred Peak, the Orlanth worshippers will be travelling here on Holy Days, so there's likely to be some Kolating worship at the same time.
  7. 1 point
    Just like I think that pure elemental water would be isotonic (i.e. drinkable but fairly salty), pure elemental air is breathable. Both are in motion. Respiration takes some of the motion out of the air. So does fire, or tapping. It might be argued that plants take fire and reanimate stale air in the process. In that case, algae might be able to animate air. Water-breathers would take motion out of the water. There might be some way to transfer motion from the sea to the air bubbles, too (simulating the exchange of dissolved gases).
  8. 1 point
    The second printing of the book is likely to arrive in January.
  9. 1 point
    It looks to me like Tikal is north of Dwarf Ford near the opening of Snakepipe Hollow. Is Jeron in or around Too Far? It's said to be at the 'north end' of Trader's Valley / Wideway in King of Sartar. Some time ago Jeff Richard made reference to a canon Stafford map of Second Age Genertela. Is that extant? Will it ever be redrawn for the game? Inquiring minds would like to know...
  10. 1 point
    Borni's Landing is said (on p.182 of the Guide) to be near to the EWF ruins of Jeron, and Borni's Landing is shown on the map on p.180.
  11. 1 point
    See everyone thinks that spiky death hands are cool until you get an itch, and then bang you're suddenly missing an eye...and possibly talking an octave higher.
  12. 1 point
    This is a pretty old thread, so forgive me for threadomancy, but I was wondering regarding the accumulation of air under the seas: is there any noted interaction between Triolini and Blue Elves? The Aldryami pantheon and mythology we see is heavily land-biased, but presumably water-based plants have been around for nearly as long. Would it be possible for them to be "oxygen traders" for underwater settlements?
  13. 1 point
    We think Masks is going to be very popular, but I seriously doubt it will sell out before you get home from work!
  14. 1 point
    Trickster could still have been involved. I mean, imagine the Aldryami coming across the smelly scene of Trickster's careless vandalism of their green space, wondering what the hell to do to clean up the mess. Then someone notices a few humans smoking the strange plants which grew from Tricksters earwax or nasal debris (or worse). Just as they're about to attack, to prevent more careless use of FIRE in their forest, some of the humans who smoked the strange plants started cuddling the trees, behaving like elf friends . Horrible - they burnt some of the plants, used FIRE in the FOREST, inhaled the smoke. Then they cuddled the remaining plants. What a dilemma - they're burning some of the strange plants that Trickster left behind, then started cuddling the trees. That hazia dryad looks cute - a little loopy looking, but very pretty. Maybe the mess left behind by Trickster isn't entirely useless after all... And thus the cult of Green Eurmal was born.
  15. 1 point
    No, it is BLASPHEMY! Burn the heretic I say! And I implore each and any good Puritan Catholic to join me in my rightful couse or action to say Nay! and put the sinner on the stake! This is so wrong for King and Commonwealth alike.
  16. 1 point
    Maybe giant mongoose hunts giant snakes and scorpions. Humongoose? Now I want a giant mongoose pet and call it "Hugh".
  17. 1 point
    I'm just saying that they seemingly scaled up the lynx to be able to do a dog's job, but scaling up a mongoose to do that would also make it less efficient at taking out snakes, because being small and long-ish is a good shape for that sort of duty. It's what allows a lot of mustelids (like ferrets, stoats, etc.) to live in piles of rocks and weed out predatory snakes that are after their young as well. YGWW. EDIT: I forgot to mention, that if anyone wants a massive mongoose, there is there Ichneumon, from medieval European bestiaries. Basically a souped up version that goes after dragons and crocodiles rather than ordinary serpents. Could be interesting to have it as a kind of mongoose demigod or Hscunchen spirit, that hangs out in the waterways of far western Pamaltela, maybe.
  18. 1 point
    It can be difficult. I had a magical situation where I wanted the players to highlight a thing they would have boosted at the expense of something that they would lose. I wasn't that explicit but they were all asked the question of what they would give up - one player said "nothing" which was a legitimate answer that I was not actually expecting. I had nothing at the time to deal with that but, after some hard chewing by my subconscious, he did not lose anything but he gained the boon he was seeking but he also now shows up on ANY detect spell that is cast around him. It is surprisingly disruptive in all kinds of ways and I think he might have to quest to do something about it... Stephen
  19. 1 point
    I thought that Mongoose was eliminated at the end of the Second Age... (well, someone had to...)
  20. 1 point
    Once upon a time, or a myth, the Earth was a great cube floating upon the waters/underworld. Mountains were raised, etc. but coming down from the Spike there were vast plains stretching in all directions. And then the Seas invaded. They began to eat away at corners and then proceeded inland (perhaps pushing the Earth cube down as more waters came ashore). The Seas clearly cut great rifts into the earth with the great Currents and formed some of the Abyssal Plains around the Spike until they were driven back by the Storm Gods and many lands were reclaimed. The Shattering of the Spike and Zzabur's great spells clearly broke more of the Earth, and the Seas filled those voids. But aside from the Void of the Homeward Ocean, I think the great Currents still rush across Deep Earth lands. And it is quite possible that great magical struggles still occur between Earth Goddesses and their stony and fiery minions against the deep Sea Gods. Perhaps in places it's even akin to Kimos where mighty magics rage back and forth: sea mounts and ranges raised by the Earth, only to be torn away by great Doom Currents. All far from the eyes of Mortal Men.
  21. 1 point
    The easiest way would be tidally recharged grottoes, but that is no win with regards to the depths the merfolk can reach. Captured air deities would be an appropriate revanche, at least for piscoi merfolk. Given their divine nature, any problem with unbreathable exhalations can be avoided. Whales could be domesticated to shuttle air into the depths. Not their natural deep diving depths, rather something halfway, so they can release half their air reserve and resurface. Such habitats could be as deep as an hour's dive (assuming that merfolk don't suffer from divers' sickness), giving any merfolk inhabitants enough time to recharge a last time before escaping to the surface. Given what happens in communicating pipes, I wonder what good do you think a snorkel to an underwater diving bell would do (as opposed to what damage...)? You would need a pumping agent like bellows (unlikely and ungloranthan, but feasible if you only pump through bubbles and let them exit below the diving bell) or an indentured air elemental on permanent duty. Belintar's method of producing a realm of overlapping realities of air-breathing and sea bottom on his fish roads did away fairly elegantly with the pesky breathing problems. Given that merfolk ought to be able to travel the sea-bottom parts too, alongside landlubbers plodding the ground, they ought to have some access to breathing just like the land-dwellers after entering the intermediate reality in the appropriate way. (I still want fish swarms to be able to cross through such a Sea Road without experiencing any land dweller effects.) Do we know of any? We have plenty drowned human coastal cities, whether Abzered, Thinobutu, Wenelia, Seshnela, Jrustela or Danmalastan. All of these are within an easy 15 minutes dive for merfolk, usually much less. There is always the possibility of underwater floating cities, too, possibly attached to leviathanic sea creatures never (or extremely rarely) seen in the shallower waters, possibly connected to floating kelp or made from uninhabited nautilus shells. A gnydron sea-ground city would be a forbidding place for air breathers - at least as oppressive as a visit to Trowjang for males. I always wanted to explore the deep rifts between the three fragments of the earth cube. Imagine cliffside habitats, dimly illuminated by occasional lava flows emptying into these rifts, inhabited by a mix of deep sea entities (lesser offspring of tritons and niiads) and underworld entities possibly using domes or similar to interact with the deep sea next to their underground realms. The currents in the gaps needn't be murderous all the way down - after a certain depth, they might have an outward, upward current from all the waters that return to Sramak's River after having rushed down Magasta's Pool. There would be some calm zone in the middle. Mother-of-pearl would cover the flanks of the earth cube here, and probably provide semi-transparent seals for the entrances into the underworld of the earth, some of which will be flooded, other parts of which would be dry. You might meet a few familiar races down there - possibly a pocket of Swems-worshipping mistress race trolls or Kitori, or a mostali workroom whose tunnel was separated from the Decamony by the rift. A civilization of not quite dead, not quite undead is a possibility, too - perhaps cousins of the Alkothi Shadzorings.
  22. 1 point
    One could also have less grandiose cities with more mundane means of oxygenating oneself. You wouldn't want the whole city to be a giant air bubble, but you might have Breathing Halls that are. Having to visit them would be something intermediate in lifestyle terms between frequent snacking expeditions, and decently-spaced cigarette breaks. How those are being replenished is a whole other topic. Physical transportation of air down from the surface in large containers seems excessively onerous, but maybe snorkels, or some kind of air vents on the sea bed. Whether you get breathable air from plants is an angle of glorabiochemistry I dare not speculate on. Or atop subaquatic sea mounts, say. I wonder if there's a Gyndron city someplace? Someplace deep, presumably. That'd be a strange and scary sort of location, even for other merfolk. Not least as you'd be depending on magic or "guest air" if it's beyond the depth you can surface from before you suffocate...
  23. 1 point
    You are correct. Almost all merfolk can stay underwater for about an hour at a time, but must then surface to breathe. Even the surface hating Malaps. And yes, even in modern texts, Malkion is held to be the offspring of Aerlit and Warera. From the forthcoming Sourcebook: Malkion Aerlit was one of the demigods of Air that followed Vadrus in the Gods War. Aerlit spied Warera the Triolini sunning herself upon the shore of the Neliomi Sea. Rather than rape, he carried her away with love, as is befitting the Sea Goddesses. Their child was Malkion. Malkion travelled to the Citadel of Thought where he received the revelation of the Invisible God, Creator and Preserver, the force behind the gods. Malkion taught people to use reason and logic to define and master the rest of the world to obtain liberation from their troubles. This would allow them to shape the universe without enslaving oneself to the gods and deliver them to Solace, a state of inner peace or mystical ambience. With the goddess Britha, Malkion had four sons, Dronar, Horal, Talar, and Zzabur, and one daughter, Menena, and he taught each secrets, duties, and responsibilities. Thus to Dronar, he taught the arts of labor and making; to Horal, he taught the arts of fighting and warfare; to Talar, he taught the arts of rule and mediation; and to Zzabur, he taught the arts of sorcery. Malkion was killed in the Gods War, but his teachings still form the basis of Malkioni philosophy. Adherents include the immortal Brithini and Vadeli, the nations of the West, and the God Learners of the Second Age.