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dumuzid last won the day on October 30 2021

dumuzid had the most liked content!

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  • Kimantor


  • RPG Biography
    D&D of course, Fading Suns, both Worlds of Darkness, Exalted, now mostly RuneQuest.
  • Current games
    Running a band of Eaglebrown Warlocks down the Zola Fel. Somebody's gotta take Corflu.

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  1. There's both hot trolls and more conventional dark trolls in Pamaltela; there's even a Castle of Lead in the Tarmo Mountains that's said to be home to mistress race trolls. Think of it as two migrations: the first wave was Moorgaki's, during the first great outpouring of the trolls from the Underworld, which ravaged the Artmali before they were defeated and changed by Pamalt. The second came much later in the Gods War, when the southern elements of the Uz Queendom at the foot of the Spike migrated south from its collapse. I'm relatively sure that the Pamaltelan dark trolls have produced trollkin since the Curse of Kin, in contrast to the hot trolls who never have, and presumably also great trolls since Cragspider's quest. I think there are a few obstacles to dark troll trade in the Fonritian cities, and the first is geography. All the dark troll centers of Pamaltela that I know of are in the unforested heights of the Tarmo Mountains, where they live and rule similarly to Dagori Inkarth. The Tarmo range is not contiguous with Fonrit; between the mountains and the Fonritian city-states are the deep jungles of Vralos and the Malkioni cities of Umathela. The elf jungles are likely just as dangerous for uninvited dark trolls to traverse as Genertelan elf forests, and I doubt insect caravans are especially welcome in the Umathelan littoral, so I would expect that most troll merchandise that makes it to Fonrit would do so through intermediaries in the jungle and coastal zones: Umathelan humans and Vralos hot trolls who can move more freely through the intervening regions to actually contact Fonritian markets. You may get the odd enterprising Argan Argar troll merchant who launches expeditions further afield, but those sorts of endeavors strike me as exceptions that prove the rule. Of course, given the fraught history between the Fonritian states and their neighbors to the west and south, intermediaries willing or able to carry the trade may be thin on the ground sometimes. The second issue is religio-cultural. There's a strong Solar element to the Fonritian cult complex, particularly its martial elements. For a concrete example see Isten, the great frontier fortress-city of the Gargos Valley, where the altars to Varama the Shackled Sun smoke "with sacrifices of captive aldryami and hill barbarians," per the Guide. It's the sort of presentation that's likely to make trade trolls wary of contact without some serious good faith bargaining from the human side. And, well, these the rulers of Fonrit we're talking about. Otherwise, there's the nature of troll external commerce in general. To maintain stable trade relations with trolls you've got to be willing to go along with their Argan Argar trolls' concept of the Equal Exchange, which seems so at odds with every precept of Fonritian society that I have a hard time imagining many Fonritian rulers or merchants abiding by it. You might see Zorak Zoran mercenaries from Tarmo in the Fonritian cities, and the occasional captured slave, but between their appetites and their tendency (described in some old fiction) to embrace death through starvation rather than live in human captivity I think they'd make particularly expensive, dangerous and unreliable slaves in Fonrit.
  2. There's an element to the Fonritian masirin that makes them in many ways more frightening and dangerous than the Vadeli themselves: their connection to the God Learners. The Middle Sea Empire conquered and colonized Fonrit around four centuries after Garangordos first entered the region from Laskal, about a century after the conquest of Teshnos. The Guide describes them defeating a confederation of the Fonritian cities. I don't know that any existing sources describe exactly when first contact happened, but given Fonrit's proximity to Umathela I can't imagine it took MSE explorers long to find the place once the Waertagi monopoly on ocean sailing was broken. They had both time and opportunity to observe Fonritian culture before the conquest, and examples like the founding of Eest in Teshnos to teach them a great deal about manipulating the myth structures of fully foreign cultures towards their own ends. God Learner societies within the MSE would've had broad and deep access to Fonritian cult lore after the conquest, and one of the main results of their research seems to have been defining Ompalam's place in the Monomyth: as an equivalent to the Invisible God, which could have theoretically allowed them to fully syncretize Fonritian and Jrustelan Malkioni practice. They did not have much time to execute any plans for major religious and cultural change in Fonrit as widespread revolts toppled the MSE colonial structure in Fonrit less than thirty years after the original conquest was completed. Nevertheless, the "Ompalam is the Invisible God" belief remains widespread in Fonrit into the 1600s ST. There are two elements of the revolts against the MSE worth highlighting here. First: in Afadjann, the effort was spearheaded by a jann who managed to "enslave Darleester the Noose," and so was able to wield the full power and authority of Garangordos within the Fonritian system. That seems to mean authority over the other janns, temporarily suspending the infighting and intrigue that normally keep the city-states from cooperating effectively, and it suggests a supreme expression of the Glorious Ones' power to enslave others, bringing them permanently into the Ompalam chain of ownership. This leads me to believe that any successful revolt against the MSE by the janns must have resulted in them capturing and subsequently enslaving some of their opponents. I'd even suggest that capturing the highest-status officials and magicians available would've been a primary war aim of the janns, and that possession of especially valuable MSE captives would've been a source of bitter contention between the janns once their victory was achieved. If these inferences are accurate, then the fall of the MSE in Afadjann results in at least some of the janns owning former MSE slaves who could be compelled through the magic of Darleester and Ompalam to divulge all their secrets to their new masters. This would make Afadjann one of the primary areas of Glorantha where the thought and teachings of the God Learners survived in an unbroken line through the catastrophes that ended the Second Age. Second, there is the particular way the revolts played out in Kareeshtu, to the north of Afadjann. The leader who rose to the head of the Kareeshtan effort was a rebel MSE governor. The Guide does not give their name, or specific fate, and as far as I know neither does any other publicly available source. Given the location though, I've theorized elsewhere on this forum that this rebel governor is connected to (and possibly identical to) Archidomides the Undying, the immortal ruler of modern Golden Kareeshtu. Whether that attribution is correct or not, a successful revolt supported and led by MSE secessionists suggests that Kareeshtu is another area where the God Learner intellectual tradition survived mostly intact through the terminal Second Age. I think access to God Learner thought and techniques gives the Fonritian ruling class a truly frightening degree of finesse when manipulating the God Time, at a level comparable to what's been achieved by the Travel & Journeyers of the Lunar Empire. The capture of God Learner slaves would have given them the ability to examine their myths in detail from both the internal, Fonritian perspective and the detached, Jrusteli Monomyth perspective, plus information about the wider Gloranthan monomyth, which present a dazzling array of potential insights for them to mine and harness. The peculiar state of the god Artmal circa the early 1620s is a potential result of this synthesis: his worship is permitted among the Veldang slaves of Fonrit as Artmal the Slave, but their ability to access and explore the rest of his mythic landscape is next to nonexistent. According to the Guide, Artmal's full God Time presence will only become accessible once his fragmented parts are rejoined and he is healed of his old wounds, by the Red Sword Quest of Gebel and Gabaryanga. Until then, the Fonritian rulers have engineered a situation that allows their Veldang slaves an outlet of worship for their ancestral god, but only a form that reinforces their position as the subjugated foundation of Fonritian society. After Oenriko Rocks the janns have Vadeli slaves who won't die of old age like the captured God Learners of centuries ago as long as they're allowed to fulfill their caste obligations, some of whom may have personally experienced the Vadeli empire of Oabil in God Time Pamaltela. The Vadeli have experience with turning the tables in these sorts of situations (see The Kachasti War in Revealed Mythologies), but in the meantime the janns have at least some time to mine Vadeli mythic and sorcerous knowledge to augment their existing command of the ancient Vadeli sources of Pamaltela and the surviving knowledge gleaned from the God Learners before the Veldang Revolution brings the Hero Wars to Fonrit. Post-script: Post-post script:
  3. More specifically the Glorious Ones are equivalent to the Seven Mothers, but yeah, pretty much exactly. Garangordos is probably closest to Teelo Astara, the focal point of the enterprise who ultimately has to die for the scheme to fully succeed, but the two don't line up perfectly in parallel. AFAIK the Seven Mothers don't have a direct equivalent within their number for Jokotu, the trickster-traitor who knifes Garangordos once the Veldang conquests and elf genocides that founded Fonrit were done, either.
  4. Oh, yeah, I understand; I'm trying to express that this motivation is a little less clear in the Prosopaedia when the Ompalam- and Pamalt-centered sections aren't side-by-side, highlighting the differences between each other.
  5. The text from the Guide and Revealed Mythologies that the Pamaltela-related Prosopaedia entries seem to draw from does shift subtly from pro-Pamalt to pro-Garangordos/Ompalam in-universe perspectives as it touches on relevant subject matter. Some of that voice seems to have survived the editorial journey into the Prosopaedia, but without the context of the surrounding material of its sources the, uh, motivation behind those rhetorical flourishes is missing.
  6. That's part of the nature of the place. Lots of big, wealthy cities with highly productive suburban and rural surrounding areas, plus a tendency to specialize local production towards the crafts supported by one or another Glorious One cult and a lack of strong superregional authority (with the possible exception of Golden Kareeshtu), will tend to create a scattering of several mid-sized to large economic centers rather than a few very big ones.
  7. When you sail up the Janube from Sog, Galastar is the last major river port before the Sweet Sea
  8. Force Discorporation on him with a heavy snort of hazia, and have a shaman spirit prepped and ready to Spirit Combat his spirit into submission. Then the shaman can use Command spells to get him to tell you whatever you need.
  9. By the time Storn was ready to bargain earnestly our Storm Bull was already berserk and fighting on after being disemboweled, so we just finished the job and took the head to the 'newts.
  10. dumuzid


    if mortal trolls can manage it, I reckon their demon cousins can too
  11. This story starts in the Darkness, when most of the gods and most of the world were dead, but life clung on in hidden and protected places. The City of Nochet was one, though impoverished and sapped of people and strength by the dying of the world. They could still grow food, but the city was grown too weak to defend itself, and its former defenders, the Storm peoples, were similarly reduced. There was another place where life clung on, the Shadow Plateau and the Palace of Black Glass atop it. The trolls of the plateau survived, led by the son of Argan Argar, Ezkankekko. Ezkankekko was neither a man nor a troll, but something else. He could take the form of every group of people me met: among humans he could seem human, among trolls he seemed a troll, likewise for aldryami, dragonewts, etc. He was always a tall, dark version of the peoples he met. His trolls were starving after enduring a long siege by the monsters of Chaos, and so Ezkankekko reached out to his neighbors and struck a deal with Queen Norinel of Nochet. They married, Ezkankekko brought trolls to defend the city, and the Norinel provided food to sustain the trolls. The Esrolians called Ezkankekko 'Kimantor,' which means "the man you cannot see." When not commanding the defense of Nochet against successive waves of Chaotic invaders, Kimantor ventured out into the dying world to find other outposts of life, and he taught others to do the same. They were called the Kimantorings, his companions and messengers. They found the surviving outposts and redoubts of the peoples of Dragon Pass (humans, aldryami, mostali, dragonewts even some of the last Gold Wheel Dancers. Kimantor made pacts with all of them, requiring tribute and loyalty from these survivor groups in exchange for his friendship and protection. Half of all the tribute gathered was offered for exchange at night markets run by Ezkankekko and his followers where members of this survival network could come to make Equal Exchange, an Argan Argar concept where each party in a bargain gives only what they consider equal to what's being offered them. Survivors came to trade what they could part with, and left with things they could not make or grow themselves. In this way the survivor groups staved off starvation and malnutrition, and increased their prosperity a little in spite of the failing world. Though many parties to these survival pacts had hated each other in earlier ages, they accepted Kimantor's deals now as their only alternative to extinction. As the Darkness drew towards its deepest point, Wakboth the Devil finished killing off his rival Chaos gods and asserted himself as the final and greatest Lord of Terror. He gathered the Chaos monsters who had survived to that point in the Gods War into a last great horde, and they marched on the greatest center of surviving life they could perceive, the survival network pulled together by Ezkankekko. The peoples of the survival pacts banded together behind Ezkankekko to form a common force to defend their homes from the Devil's horde, called the Unity Army. They stood their ground before the Devil, fought him, and destroyed his army--the way the Esrolians tell it, the final battle was outside the ruins of Nochet, which was evacuated and abandoned earlier in the struggle. The Devil fled east into the Wastes, where he was met by Storm Bull and ultimately pinned under the Block. After the war the world began to heal, and the peoples who had contributed to the survival pacts and the Unity Army desired to maintain the friendship and benefits that had come from their mutual support, and prosper together in the new peace. They formed the World Council of Friends, AKA the Unity Council, to continue sharing and working together, with representatives from each of the members peoples and Ezkankekko as a sort of president-emeritus of the group. Fractures spread slowly, as members of the old pacts grew stronger in the restored world and gradually ceased to feel the old deals were necessary, and their connections were strained by long wars with the several successive Solar regimes in the north. The Unity Council finally broke over the issue of the project to create a new god within Time, which Ezkankekko argued against. The Unity Council broke, its factions fought, the God Project party won, the naysayers were cast out, and the Bright Empire of Nysalor followed. The Second Council was made up of the winners of that civil war; the Third Council was the ruling council of the EWF in the Second Age; neither ever succeeded in fully restoring the unity that existed at the Dawn. TL:DR - The Unity Council was formed because its members had banded together in the face of extinction, and in the first centuries after the Dawn that experience remained strong enough for them to set aside their old grudges and cooperate; it fell when those members ceased to consider unity important enough to continue compromising for.
  12. Yeah, I've never been able to find the region Benestros in Afadjann on the AAA, supposed to be the breadbasket of that realm. I asked about it on here a few years ago and I seem to recall jajagappa helping me to settle on situating it near Blue Man Hills in Gargosganda, but I've never seen an official map marker for the place.
  13. Old City might be able to trade some Voralan goods, if any black elves have successfully colonized the tunnels and subsurface ruins. Maybe through the aldryami or uz, depending on which group the Voralans are on best terms with, but I could see Old City humans developing a relationship with Mee Vorala, especially during the troll supremacy.
  14. When my campaign was playing in Pavis circa 1626 I had Moonlighters taken over by an Argan Argar troll priest who came with Argrath from Esrolia. He turned it into a nightclub by the name of the Blind Lamp Club. Esrolian cuisine for the human palate, enthusiastic but not especially skilled trollkin gogo dancers, and the Voralan bartender stocks some wild mushroom brews. My players saw the great troll bouncer explode a man's torso with a swing of his club in a streetfight, too.
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