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Manu

Looting Artmali ruins

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Pamaltela is full of Artmali ruins. But any idea of what any one could find there? Mudane and magical items?

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These ruins are at least about 2000 years old (if the Dara Happan prehistorical calendar is anywhere realistic). Depending on the available material, it is quite possible that the only visible remnants are earthworks and post holes, or collapsed stone.

Fonrit will have places of Angkor Vat or Tikal quality - before somebody went and cleared away the roots and foliage. But keep in mind that those ruins are less than 1000 years old. Many a ziggurat of Mesopotamia survived as huge piles of shapeless mud.

The Artmali weren't exactly everybody's darling, so their former places will have seen intentional destruction. Otherwise sound masonry will have been toppled, or damaged in assault.

That said, some of these ruins will be eerily well intact, glow bluish depending on the tides, or may house strange and dangerous creatures. Such places will have all kinds of traps and magical dangers that might give Indiana Jones second thoughts, and treasures that were not meant for mortal use. There might be some moon metal if the site is really ancient - the oldest place in Zamokil was built with solidified (metallic) moon-glow. Elsewhere, the Artmali used the urban architecture and materials they had learned from the urban Agimori of Tishamto.

Quite a lot of Artmali Empire ruins will have been built by urban Agimori under their rule, especially south of the Tarmo and Mari mountains. These may be disappointing in terms of blue moon secrets, but may still contain the agents of their destruction.

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6 hours ago, Manu said:

Pamaltela is full of Artmali ruins. But any idea of what any one could find there? Mudane and magical items?

I see three periods for the Artmali - the Colonial Period, the Imperial Period and the Chaotic Period.

COLONIAL PERIOD: the Artmali have descended from the Blue Moon.  They are strong in the Tides (not just attracting the waters of the world but also sensitivity to the occult powers of the Cosmos) and have little use for material things.  The buildings are simple huts, stone caves and other basic quarters.  Because the Artmali settle where the Tidal Forces are strongest, many of these places are later known as important holy spots nowadays even if nobody has any recollection of the Artmali ever having lived there.

IMPERIAL PERIOD:  The Artmali connection to the Tides has waned and they seek solace in material things.  The first stone buildings appear becoming increasingly elaborate as the period progresses.  The buildings are recognizably archaic Fonritan in style (the Fonritans came from Tishamto which had been conquered by the Artmali).  Their weapons are simple tools of stone and bone at first but their seafaring contacts teach them how to work bronze and they pick up Iron from the Iron City.  They learn of Sorcery from the Vadeli and acquire tame beasts from the Desero Hore of Umathela.  They have written inscriptions (I was going to say looks like Linear A but many of the glyphs look Pelorian so I'd say proto-cuniform and petroglyphs.

CHAOTIC PERIOD:  The Artmali have lost contact with the tides and they crave a replacement.  They turn to Chaos *before* Wakboth enters the world.  Their gods are Vovisibor, Pocharngo, Seseine and Ompalam.  The old stone cities are buried over and forgotten while new hideous temples to their new gods are erected,  The cities of the south are largely cleansed by the Firefall and lie within the Nargan.  The cities of the North were devastated by Vovisibor's death which leaves rather more of their civilization to survive.  

 What can be found?  There won't be any major One Ring-style artifacts found in the ruins - the God Learners and the Fonritans looted the whole place back in the Imperial Age.  Treasure-seekers would be better of heroquesting to the Artmali cities in the Storm Age and learn the secrets of the Artmali straight from the source.

What would be useful to any would-be heroes would be the artifacvts with which they manipulated the tides.  These would date from the early Imperial Period when they had to use tools to do what they used to do naturally.  Some examples might be:

DROWSING WAND:  Not just used to find sources of water but also troves of tidal energy.  Mostly they are made from ordinary wood but some speak of wands being made from wood that grew on the Blue Moon.  A special trick is known where such wands can transform into a watery serpent that could fight for the user for a time.

CANOPIC JAR:  What the Artmali used to store their tidal energies in.  The jars are sealed and feel heavy but when broken open, they are empty and lighter in weight.  They usually hold a rune point associated with a specific rune which could be used in place of on'e own rune magics.  The secret of using them is uncommon but not unheard of, the secret of refilling them is much rarer and making new ones is unknown.

TIDAL WELLS:  These rare wells are filled with water that has been blessed by the Light of the Blue Moon.  The waters glow when the Moon is in the sky and turn black when it is in the Underworld.  The glowing waters burn while the black waters freeze.  These wells were apparently used in Artmali metalwork in place of tempers.  Later the Artmali adapted these waters to toughen human flesh but how they prevented water damage at the same time is unknown.

 

 

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