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scott-martin last won the day on December 24 2019

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About scott-martin

  • Rank
    King of Birds


  • RPG Biography
    Standing on the shoulders of giants leaves me cold.
  • Current games
    That sugar cane that tasted good
    That cinnamon, that's Hollywood
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  • Blurb
    the catacombs appear

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  1. IMG the deep tantra of it is that you don't have any children right now. TKT is past all of this. She's never coming back to Fertility and is focused on the world beyond. BBG refuses motherhood for compelling biographical reasons. And MG in the middle started out like Ernalda, suffered losses and became angry. Initiates can cross back and forth depending on circumstances and their own needs.
  2. Maybe you've discovered an eastern cognate of the "-sket" we see in Dawn Age likitite communities, where the "-chet" is a collective form and "no-" is a special (defective?) case of what would ordinarily be a legendary founder name in the "-sket" zone. In that scenario experts need to determine who or what was a Fili . . . possibly a local likita or other lost earth figure. Since we sometimes say "goose egg" to refer to zero the "No-" may even connote something like what it does in the original English "not yet" story. This is the interstitial city that exists as a negotiation among the symbols of the preexisting great families of the region, not partaking in any mythic founder in itself beyond the sacred goose girl and her egg. A placeholder, a riddle. It's interesting that Lhankor was already there before the Dawn, presumably along with the waertagi familiar with other likita communities. But this is a tangent at best around the great stuff happening around Saird. I wonder if Mirin's "cross" wasn't left there by western colonists, pilgrims or crusaders whose ways persisted.
  3. Pedants can consult Guide 651, hipsters will always have Elder Secrets 1.45 although the Kalikan Lights are new to the Guide.
  4. I like this people already because they remind me of the people Gerda meets on the way to how you say, Snödrottningen. It's one of his sadder stories but has a happy ending once all the tantric sacrifices are added up. This has got me thinking of a myth for them that might incorporate and subvert a few of your edits here. I had forgotten who Kalikos was before he was drafted into the Lunar economy. The fragment in the Entekosiad is very evocative in terms of how the decision to push back Valind is coincidentally the moment the old king "decides it is time to retire." Unfortunately Kalikos has no loved ones left to inherit so the rule in the mundane year passes down to more mundane guys. This is probably their Sacred Time ceremony, or one of them: when the cold becomes intolerable, you do something about it so a new generation can thrive. Ironically this shows us how to best hack the modern icebreaker complex but that's a side story. The important thing here is the characters you have: at least one snow queen (possibly in distinct facets or phases), a cold miser, at least one youth (who might be cold miser at the office or vice versa). Your musk ox people may not have what we consider a "normal" earth mother role for girls to evolve into and through . . . the choice may be more Elsa / Anna, queen or Gerda and how hard you need hearts around you to be. This is a very Altinelan concern. I forgot to say that classic Greg and Sandy would probably have at least teased an aurora orientis and an aurora occidentalis to light the world's other corners but nobody who sees the former comes back to talk about it and I suspect very few have endured the latter. Other jumpers. But yeah, the south is probably painful . . . although down there you either drink fire for breakfast anyway or you're chaotic.
  5. From the perspective of theistic cult authorities, I actually think it's the attitude. It probably isn't posted official policy anywhere . . . there's unlikely to be a little placard in the vestibule of every shrine, "No Shamans, No Sorcerers" . . . but heterodox consciousness leaves marks that a halfway alert god talker can recognize. In other words, POW speaks to POW and a fully hatched shaman will present so weirdly to the examiners that s/he will almost always fail to convince. The theistic community doesn't really need to know or care about what a fetch is, what color yours is, how you were trained or any of that Great Expectations crap. You're a weirdo and the cult rejects you. This rejection is part of the shamanic awakening process for many people born in the wrong place and time. It's okay. Robust societies develop ways to redirect your abilities in a context that works out for everyone. In Dragon Pass, for example, you could have ended up with the weirdos at Old Wind or found a niche in the magical ecology of a local community. Now, of course, some talent scout in the Sartar Magical Union will probably grab you and the problem is solved. If you aren't in a robust enough society, you wander until you stop. Functionally the nature of the initiation into the fetch ("how heroes work") is definitely a factor into why you freak the mundanes but very few Gloranthans are in a position to even theorize about this. And if you try to support yourself doing shamanic work in the community, the authorities are definitely going to resent a competitor, especially if you're better at what you do than they are.
  6. Not a lot of work has been done on the Kalikan Lights or the Lonely Cry so all these ideas can find a home somewhere. Far northern sky/white goddesses are interesting. The sky is a little ragged on the southern edge so they should be familiar with rips and tears in the night that let the light shine through, especially as you get close to the Nargan and other skyfall zones.
  7. Best historical explanation of How They Fell I've heard. Everything was going great until they got distracted and their souls swerved into a cycle of overcorrections and perpetual dinosaurism. Wonder if that darned Soul Arranger played a role.
  8. Always further until after we hit Furthest! Yeah, this is open to a much wider primeval bull zone that sooner or later connects up with the Waha covenant and the East. The persistence of Tawar/Tavar at these two points is striking . . . especially because the Entekosiad is one of the few sources that provide clear geographic markers for something like the origin if we accept that KefTavar really returned "to his people" after the abduction. Of course KefTavar is not necessarily the First Bull but in the absence of a common ancestor with an established geographic reference I'd lean toward his people being the origin in the northwest and the Tawarites bearing that particular expression of the cult all the way to the far side of the Ozur. (The Anaxial's Roster reference feels like an Ocron-era simplification.) Maybe they followed their herds all the way across the continent and the rites mingled with yak people and others. And naturally the Council either knew what it was doing or got extremely lucky sending Praxians up as "missionaries." We've all heard the hints that Lightbringer conversions up here had a strong urox component and then the version of "Orlanth" that initially flourished in the north might well have ended up looking more like Tarumath anyway. Jonatsaga only notes that "Humakt (Resant) is the storm god, having little else to make him stand out." In a revisionist "hsunchen" material culture model it's revealing that the Tawarites are singled out in the Guide for their architectural record, the "enclosures of earth and wood" that I don't think they have in Prax or the Shan Shan but are probably the sacred corral/villages emblematic of the Bisos rites. Not exactly living in caves. On the other hand, the presence of something like Peaceful Cut spirituality is not only obvious here (a parallel Covenant with its own culture hero) but seems to capture one of the enduring mysteries of the Fronelan literature, the "ultimate rite" of the religion of the Loskamite kings teased in the Genertela box. The King Must Die. Long Live The King. Bisos knows mysteries of life, death, sacrifice and resurrection that don't seem to survive in the Praxian expression . . . but probably persisted into what the Losk-Alim retained and built on. There's been talk about Waha being the god of butchers up here. Maybe his role is even more complex. We'll find out. Looking back at the Bisos material I'm starting to think that SerArba's bull "dance" is probably the way they express the hsunchen lycanthropic theme: not as a transformation but as a temporary transference resulting in hybrid forms. The bull rises and prophesies. The man receives horns like Morak in Cults of Prax. This might be the root of what "beast folk" like minotaurs are all about. (Like the minotaurs and more familiar storm bulls, the Enjoreli are noted in archaic texts as berserkers. So, interestingly enough, are the various lion peoples.) Multiple beast relationships that once might have been distinct but got monomythed. Given the profound symbolism here for Carmanian traditionalists I wonder if this the real reason some lunar faction or another collects throwbacks.
  9. Bull people for bull markets . . . much of the development around the bull people of the northwest has happened on these forums so textual evidence is surprisingly scarce. (If any western scholar of Greg's acquaintance in the 1960s made more than a casual study of these people, it sadly hasn't reached me.) I'm sure specialists will correct my lapses fast and furiously. Let's see how we dance around the horns: KefTavar may have "wandered" from the distant West in order to attend the Lord of Beasts conference at Mount Dabur, leaving bull people behind to develop independently as the Tawarites. But we know that he brings Esus back to "his people" and his heirs end up in Worian/Vanstal, so I think it's more likely that the far western bull tribes are the product of a more extensive Elesdandrian diaspora than previously surmised. Either way, you end up with a theoretical "bull belt" at the Dawn stretching from the Ozur to Pelanda and supporting cultural exchange, revival and "recognition." Looking objectively, I have rarely sounded more like a crazy person than in this paragraph. Maybe we up the ante. The fate of the eastern bull peoples is already known. In the west, the Tawarites seem to have earned their special place by preserving a more direct continuity with some archaic (Kef)Tavar complex . . . but the real heart of the confederation seems to be on the other side of the Ozur where you get the Jorri / Jora / Jarins nomenclature as well as Basol. My guess is that EnJORA becomes a condominium between the tribes early on if it doesn't start that way. Maybe the Tawarites don't really dominate until the Akemites force their way into the region and pull the Janube down from the Sweet Sea where their bad blue cousins happen to give the eastern bull people so much trouble. Two blue peoples. Two bull peoples. A story that may rhyme or even overlap. (Judging from survivals in Thantom (the heart of Jora country) boar survivals weave in early and then feed into the Drona ancestral complex.) Now the Enjorelites remain a problem for the children of Malkion well into the terminal First Age, raiding down into Arolanit at least as late as the reign of Palangtar (286-291). In the archaic texts a bull-riding force persists long enough to factor into Talor's northern war on Gbaji. They call themselves the Losk-Alim and that's where we get the name of the modern kingdom. Other bull people evidently settle down and recognize the compensations of storm worship or "civilized" sorcery. Logic Beats Spirit. Valsburg becomes a prison for bull gods. While formally a "hsunchen" beast nation at the Dawn they never seem to bother with the familiar lycanthropic/ecstatic rites. Their "alliance" with the hykimites ("snake masters") to the east often seems more a matter of strategic convenience than shared religious conviction. On a day-to-day level, the Dawn Age beast peoples of the interior found the bull people terrifying and would only challenge the Enjoreli out of desperation. We know this from the memoir of a member of the "Redeli" (a semi-orlanthized bear nation) recorded in the reign of Sonmalos. One thing that's interesting about the fragmentary sources we have for Eleven Beasts survival cultures (Jonatsaga, for example) is the persistence of Hykim or Hikim this far to the west. As with the Pendalite origin myth, the beast is father and a local earth is mother. Snaky mother, tree mother. At the Dawn these are tree mother people, not yet differentiated from the forest. A distinct feminine "Mikyh" is absent except in the Korgatsu of the far east and the inner hermaphroditic mysteries of the Orggee Snake Caves. I don't know if any indigenous dragon presence persisted here into the Dawn or afterward. My gut tells me that snake mastery was never more than a foreign overlay north of Nida, possibly coming up from Vustria through the wolf belt or from "the moon's meeting" described in Entekosiad 37. MGF leads me in the second direction by giving us a more complex historical expression of beast consciousness. Besides, the Entekosiad reference is supremely weird as well as cool because it also creates a pathway for lunar precursors west into the Janube valley. We know Jonat's people acknowledged scattered moon goddesses. This is how a moon gets in underneath what becomes Carmania to wreck that empire. Seven days in the telmorite cycle. So maybe the hykimite snake masters also preserved the otherwise lost mysteries of "crab, mantis and cicada" as well as the Pelandan "dragonewts" who only appear at this point in the Entekosiad and then never again, except maybe as part of that "whole tribe of humans" who fill in for the dragon people after Nysalor breaks the Council. I knew they went west and ultimately link up with the Vustrians. But to get there, maybe some lingered in the bull belt and taught things now lost everywhere else. All of this lore undoubtedly fascinated Black Hralf the Weasel. But it's essential to modern understandings of Carmania as well. This was not some empty void waiting for Syranthir to cross in desperation because suddenly there was enough food for a migrating army. Arkat himself did not consider this route. This was a cultural corridor filled with ghosts and echoes that anyone with Losk-Alimite blood in his veins would have heard if not recognized. This is where bull shahs come from. This is how you find the weapons and/or magical instruments you need to defeat a blue man under the sea. This is why Syranthir goes to the east, to answer the riddle of Sog. And this is ultimately why the Arrolites retrace his steps walking backward like all angels of history. And what happens to the eastern bull people is that they get rolled up into the proto-Spolite Land of Shadows cast out of the emerging Bright Empire. "After they left there was a whole tribe of humans who worshiped the Darkness, and who ate raw meat and did other disgusting and inhuman things to prove they were troll-worthy." There are no dragonewts or hsunchen in modern Peloria and few true troll enclaves. So it goes. But once upon a time the bull riders were friends of the Andam Horde along with lion brothers (extinct in modern Peloria) and skin walkers. And once upon another time in Worian KefTavar was crowned king over the lion, the bear and the deer, not to mention signifying monkey, the fool of the forest.
  10. Noted warrior deity. I see that he and Xemela are "Saints" as well. My intuition is that they originally dug themselves a bit of a design hole with the West and now the theistic parallels are starting to stretch. Personally I don't mind. Let a thousand wests bloom and we'll see which is strongest. I wouldn't mind playing with multiple Invisible God sets for that matter to reflect the mythic reality of intradoctrinal disputes. The Annilla sculpt in particular looks really nice.
  11. At my table I would run this as a kind of Spirit Combat where Ugly and the priest both make their case. This might be a ritual ordeal, a theological debate in front of the community, silent prayer or something else. Either way, God decides whether Ugly has wandered too far from orthodoxy. God's will is revealed through dice rolls. Assign each disputant a "convince the examiners combat score" that might be (POW + CHA) x 5. Cult Lore, Cult Skills and Favored Passions, and Runes can be used to augment but I would limit the disputants to one augment per round. The loser of an opposed roll takes spirit combat damage. God rules against the first person reduced to POW 0. Someone was right and someone was wrong. At the end of the dispute, one person's faith is confirmed and the other one needs to accept the error. The community doesn't have to know what happened. If Ugly wins, he is free from Reprisal for this particular offense. The priest still hates him. If Ugly loses, he doesn't need to give up the weird new magic . . . but the priest will probably make sure to spread the news that Ugly is unwelcome. If your players are really excited about this kind of thing you can build various quests and minigames around things like theological research and sacrificial augments to prove your dedication, but this is probably verging on outright heroquest territory. Note that this is only for deciding worshipper versus religious hierarchy disputes when you don't really care either way. If in your opinion God is unhappy, all you need to do is unleash Reprisal.
  12. From internal geographic cues I'd say the core text comes out of Tanisor in the last few decades before the Ban (1480-99). I love it too. As you point out, it's not entirely compatible with "Zz-b-r Says" . . . the ideas have apparently evolved enough to justify a different technical vocabulary. It's almost as if the blue man didn't actually Know Everything all those centuries ago like his people proclaimed. EDIT @Mirza I hear you. Odds are very good Xeotam is from Ralios so that's where his magical understanding was probably shaped . . . my only qualm is that by the time he gets to work with Aamor, Ralios has become "that land," somewhere non local. Of course the paranoid could say that Xeotam is only allowed to remain in print as a kind of disinformation spread among "educated Malkioni" to waste their time and conceal the inner workings of sorcery. However, in that case its inclusion as an exhibit in the Sourcebook is only going to mislead new fans as well, which nobody wants. An enigmatic document. An early Jonstown contributor concluded that the historical Xeotam was completely insane. I want to talk about horses along with bulls and bears (too slow) but want to linger for a minute on the "srv" root word that denotes the elemental intelligences we call "gods" in the barbarian belt. Srvuali, Srvuela ("the Spike"), Soruvela land of Soruve (the zzaburite devil). This is the land also identified in historical times with the continental interior, sometimes Kethaela (a volcanic land "teeming with krjalki") and sometimes what looks more like Dorastor on the far side of Nida. We also see it of course among the serevings and our new friend Seravus the Enchanter. There are no linguistic coincidences in a civilization where words are power. To get to "Srvuela" from the archaic west you need to go past, through or near Seravus. So I nosed around a little more in a few of the other archaic texts for primal beast references. "Orlanth's Battles Against the Sea" is an unusually structured document knotted together with blue dragons. It's relevant to us now because "The First Beast War was waged at this time. Orlanth and his brothers exterminated many creatures that came from the minds of sorcerers, [i.e. chimerical or "hybrid" forms?] and kept their own favorites." Then there are these fragmentary details: "Lord of Beasts: Orlanth's opponent in the Beast Gamble. Orlanth won every time but once, and so took many useful animals for his descendants, including bulls, boars, cocks, and rams." "During the Gods War Yinkin had to make a hard choice between his various kin. When the Beast Wars began the Serpentbeast Brotherhood seized Yinkin and demanded that he join them or else they would kill him. Orlanth swept through Orandaro until he found Yinkin, and crashed through the barrier and saved him. Orlanth made no demands and asked only for fraternal duty. Later on the Brotherhood seized Yinkin again and demanded that he follow only his father, the great beast spirit Fralar, but Yinkin was loyal to Orlanth and called for the Thunderer, who appeared and freed Yinkin again. That was when Yinkin decided to be a god and not a spirit and incurred the wrath of all the spirit creatures. The Brotherhood mustered all the hsunchen and invaded again, trying to seize all of the game animals to take away. Yinkin fought tooth to tooth and claw to claw with Telmor, and he kept many creatures alive in Dragon Pass because he and his followers defeated the Brotherhood." "Andal. A land to the southwest. It is inhabited by terrible beasts and hsunchen, as well as hostile Helerings." Also there were "deep snakes," powerful monsters of the Serpent Beast Brotherhood purged by Babeester . . . the only good snakes are mom's snakes, apparently. Who is the Brown Dragon? Which "snake" calls the tune of the snakepipe?
  13. The prophecy! Many opportunities for ambitious heroquesters to put a thumb on the scales of empire!
  14. If I can put all the issaries back together maybe these hyenas will leave me alone! Side bonus.
  15. I like a lot of this "modern Malkioni" push back against the bland narcissism of the white wizard doctrine . . . to me they are better and smarter people if they are at least open to these nuances. But I like this part in particular. One idea I toy with is that a native Genertelan wareran population might have initially developed a Western Lands cosmology as a prescriptive spiritual practice, a sort of projected visionary world where the soul could have its adventures and accumulate the experiences required to achieve its goals. Meanwhile the empirical history of these people continued on through the known ancestors and culture heroes similar to the ones everyone else has: son of Aerlit and Warera, son and husband of Phlia, father of the nations, etc. But at some stage the levels were confused so what was initially recognized as the future of the soul replaced the mythic origin and then the people became mental hostages to an artificial past. Obviously some entities benefit from this while the people no longer develop, effectively becoming stereotyped and "immortal." And something like a "sorcery plane" emerges, stark and rigorous. People like the waertagi (YarGan "made the masters of boats, called blue men") spin out or are kicked out along the way. An original native Genertelan "wareran" population may originate in a colder sea and Old Trade was always a myth . . . a little fancy footwork would be required but it answers the underlying question of what Brithos has been doing Since Time. There was one more point on the Plunder of Aron, also. Cults of Terror contains the evocative note that until the Lightbringers came West to meet Arkat, the notion of a Manirian route from Seshnela to Dorastor was apparently unknown. Unless this has been revised away, nobody had even theorized that this approach was possible, leaving the space in between to the beast peoples. I like this because it reflects the way central Genertela was a void in the archaic western fiction. The Seshnegi were apparently familiar with all the coasts but anything northeast of Slontos was alien territory until the map finally filled in and the "krjalki" resolved.
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