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The return of the Waertagi


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A giant ship having to maneuver through a clearly inadequate stretch of water? Sounds like a good time to homage Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo! The Waertagi captain is clearly Klaus Kinski. 

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On 3/11/2021 at 11:23 AM, Joerg said:

I am still puzzled how the Waertagi managed to attack Jrustela during the Closing. That last message from Jrustela - "Damn the torpedos" - seems to suggest that they managed to do a ride-by out of Hell, past that continent, and down Magasta's Pool again.

I always assumed that the torpedos were some sort of Mostali attack.

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15 hours ago, Eff said:

Sounds like a good time to homage Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo! The Waertagi captain is clearly Klaus Kinski. 

I didn't remember the Waertagi had 4D6 CHA but 1D6 APP.

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22 hours ago, Eff said:

A giant ship having to maneuver through a clearly inadequate stretch of water? Sounds like a good time to homage Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo! The Waertagi captain is clearly Klaus Kinski. 

Klaus definitely was mad and self-important enough to be a Gloranthan hero

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On 3/13/2021 at 8:52 AM, ZedAlpha said:

And then during the tumultuous events of the Battle of Cragspider Takes A Bath, trolls rise from their hollows to wreak bloody vengeance on every water-worshipper they can find.

Yet they allied a little earlier to plug up Magasta's Whirlpool...  Alliances shift quickly during the Hero Wars.

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On 3/12/2021 at 7:43 AM, Snugz said:

I'm curious how the other major Western seafaring people, the Vadeli, fit into the Hero Wars. Nary a mention of them in most official sources (although in Pamaltela they're surely actively involved). It's hardly a secret that the Red Vadeli are back but the (blue) Boat Planet would make an ideal time for the Blue Vadeli to return and perhaps Vadeli are doing their own sinister ceremonies w/the Boat Planet heroquest; or corrupting others'. Once the Closing is gone and the Navigationalists/Quinpolics are decimated they probably have a great opportunity in Genertela. Ditto with the "rise" of Mostali block-thing by Jrustela; old allies reconnected w/Orange Guild of Jrustela. Thoughts?

That’s a good question. Any information on the Vadeli implications during the hero wars? Especially for the long run. 

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The Vadeli of Jrustela are in league with the Mostali, even if that means they are going to lose some of their Orange Guild cities. But then those have been infiltrated by non-Vadeli recently, so maybe it is time for them to sell their shares to these newcomers and start anew somewhere else.

(Who would murder Vadeli and then take over their business in a Vadeli-owned city? Kareeshtans?)

 

The Vadeli are the merchants of war and destruction. They sell powerful, powerfully corrupting magics to the highest bidder. The vile magic used by the Seshnegi to destroy Hrelar Amali in the second century? Made and sold by the Vadeli.

 

What do the Waertagi think of the Vadeli, or of the Vadeli using their own ships on the seas?

In the Storm Age, the Waertagi were ready to attack any other naval power. The Vadeli remained connected to their Mostali allies by the Awesome Bridge while the Churkenos Sea lasted. The Waertagi served as naval transport service to the Brithini (or their predecessor empire of Zerendel), making good profits from that, and from supporting the war efforts. Perhaps enough that they didn't mind seeing the war continued.

The Vadeli appear to be quite resigned to conquering a place, corrupting it, and then being thrown out after a while. They are immortal (or at least unaging), so these are minor setbacks if they escape alive (or resurrectable or otherwise recoverable), and probably part of a longer term plan or just an attempt to find a profit that may or may not work out.

 

So who would win a naval battle, a strong Vadeli fleet or a Waertagi returnee fleet?

The Waertagi are masters of the waves and can summon various types - ship eaters, harbor waves, etc. They used to bring merman allies to their fights, but the last merman they had allied with died out in the battle of Tanian's Victory.

 

The Vadeli use hired help as meat shields, and they have magics that can corrupt and kill even the strongest manifestations of the seas' magical power. In the Storm Age, they and their Brithini foes tapped the Neliomi Sea of all its energy, leaving a lifeless stretch of mostly dead water between their islands and the mainland. The Breaking of the World (elsewhere known as the Implosion of the Spike) drowned their vast empire, killing all their slaves and probably enough of the slave masters that they played only a very minor role for the rest of the Gods War. They emerged into the dawn as a leaderless and apparently aimless. Hrestol served some time as their judge after he was exiled from both Seshneg and Brithos, and his son by his Brithini wife inherited the job. His grandson Aignor fathered the second branch of Serpent Kings of Seshnela.

There are no records of the Waertagi actively fighting the Vadeli after the Dawn. And why should they have? The Brown Vadeli stick to their miserable islands or go fishing.

The newly empowered Vadeli are an unknown to both the Brithini and the returned Waertagi. Those Waertagi who had sailed on Dormal-ships would be familiar with them, but the question is whether the returnees consider them as adults.

 

Are the Waertagi interested in the dwarf project of reuniting Jrustela with Slon and Umathela?

This branch of the Breaking of the World was the weakest, deflected to the side when it hit Magnetic Mountain, rather than creating another deep rift towards one corner of the Lozenge. The Seas never established a strong current along this rift. The only mermen directly affected by the raising of Somelz are the Malasp, ancient foes of the Ludoch of the neighboring (and for the time unaffected) Marthino Sea.

There is no record of Malasp and Waertagi cooperating, but then there isn't any record of Malasp and Waertagi not cooperating. The Waertagi did sail the Churkenos Sea while it was there (helping evacuate Tadeniti to the Malkioni mainland, presumably at a price), but when the sea was gone after the land-raising, so were the Waertagi. It isn't quite clear whether the Vadeli evacuated those lands, or whether they were tolerated by the Mostali of the Somelz project.

 

Oee future event which may harm the Vadeli badly is the upcoming flood. All Vadeli lands are coastal, and (other than on Curustus) in low-lying areas.

 

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Nice points as always, Joerg. It seems in Dragon Pass, we can pretty much forget about the Vadeli except as cameos and perhaps as minor troublemakers along the southern coasts where there are fellow Malkioni to mess with. I bet the Vadeli have minor connections to the Lunars and Ralzakark, and maybe stronger to Gagix Twobarb since she's more southern. In the far East, I don't know that they have any influence.

In the south, I'm not so familiar with what they're up to but it seems to be focused on Fonrit and the demonic/slavery stuff there, and the slarges (which they've been blamed for creating and might ally with?) and like you say the Mostali, to the west. Then in Jrustela they've got their (mostly Brown?) gig going. So aside from the latter stuff that seems to leave the West as the big problem area, as we'd expect. With the Dormal/Navigationalist/Quinpolic power crushed by Seshnelans in 1624/5 I bet they see a nice opportunity, and the Boat Planet could be their sign (and enabler). I'd see them rushing into the power vacuum area there to maximize trouble; making everything harder for everyone. Meanwhile the Arkati are ratcheting up their heroquesting and sabre-rattling vs. Seshnela and that is likely to draw Vadeli attention, especially as the Gate of Banir gets thrown back open and Chaos leaks back into the West ("Chaos Miasma") with the urging of Argin Terror, as Arkat the ?Deceiver/Devil/Gbaji?, and whatever Urcheth is... so I bet there's fun stuff for the Vadeli to meddle with.

The Vadeli prospered in the Ice Age so I bet they'd love the flood; maybe even take credit for it? Perhaps commandeering icebergs as undead/slave-crewed battleships? The seas seem like they'll really go bonkers as the Opening ends; and the Dormali wane in influence + Wolf Pirates step aside, distracted by Dragon Pass events? Eventually the Brithini/Waertagi would put their sorcerous feet/fins down and say enough's enough though.

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On 3/19/2021 at 4:59 PM, Joerg said:

There is no record of Malasp and Waertagi cooperating, but then there isn't any record of Malasp and Waertagi not cooperating.

The Waertagi are said to have interbred specifically with the Piscoi. And the other Piscoi avoid the surface, and appear to hate non-aquatic people even more. So the Waertagi almost certainly cooperate with the Malasp - it’s more plausible than extensive cooperation with Yssabau or Gnydron, and both those races are far smaller than the Malasp. 

On 3/19/2021 at 4:59 PM, Joerg said:

They used to bring merman allies to their fights, but the last merman they had allied with died out in the battle of Tanian's Victory.

I think it’s likely the Waertagi enlisted the Malasp to help destroy the God Learners, as their revenge for Tanian’s Victory. 
 

On 3/19/2021 at 4:59 PM, Joerg said:

They emerged into the dawn as a leaderless and apparently aimless. Hrestol served some time as their judge after he was exiled from both Seshneg and Brithos,

IMO the Vadeli welcomed Hrestol and his followers as Judges because they were literally unable to solve certain disputes and questions without any Talar/ Yellow caste Vadeli, who were all destroyed (without losing their immortality, anyway). 

The modern Vadeli often rely on a weird work around - there are exceptions to normal restrictions on other castes exercising leadership authority when commanding a boat, so the modern Vadeli empires are all organised as maritime fleets, with admirals as the highest leadership.

(There is some dark humour to be had in comparing the Vadeli to the sovereign citizens conspiracy theory about everything being maritime law). 

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On 3/19/2021 at 10:46 PM, Snugz said:

It seems in Dragon Pass, we can pretty much forget about the Vadeli except as cameos and perhaps as minor troublemakers along the southern coasts where there are fellow Malkioni to mess with

Most of them are coastal. I think the Vadeli, without their higher castes, are not really able to organise themselves as an organised force away from the coast. They used to have an alliance with the Wolf Pirates, but I think no more. But there are a small number in Nochet, and probably in other coastal cities - and probably Brown Vadeli traders, mostly. 

 

On 3/19/2021 at 10:46 PM, Snugz said:

bet the Vadeli have minor connections to the Lunars and Ralzakark, and maybe stronger to Gagix Twobarb since she's more southern.

I think quite minor in all cases - though the Vadeli might explain why Ralzakark and the Lunars appear to know of Seseine. I don’t know of anything they’ve done in central Peloria, actually. 

On 3/19/2021 at 10:46 PM, Snugz said:

In the south, I'm not so familiar with what they're up to but it seems to be focused on Fonrit and the demonic/slavery stuff there, and the slarges (which they've been blamed for creating and might ally with?) and like you say the Mostali, to the west.

the slavery magic of Fonrit was originally Vadeli magic from the ancient Vadeli empire, coopted by Garangordos centuries ago to for the foundation of modern Fonritian civilisation - but that was a very long time ago, and may not have much direct connection to the modern Vadeli. 
The slarges do not seem to be Vadeli creations, and they actually seem to be very hostile, and the slarges seemed to be largely responsible for the downfall of the Vadeli empire. I think in general the Slarges and Vadeli are not friends. Though the giant Slarges are highly individualistic, so there may be exceptions. 

A reactivation of the Mostali-Vadeli alliances seems likely - not all Mostali, but probably with Slon in the South, and possibly Nida in the West. Neither sounds great news for anyone else - and Nida possibly bringing them into conflict with the Brithini allied Seshnelans, and their Waertagi allies. 

Edited by davecake
Reactivation was autocorrected to deactivation!
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Ahh I see where I got the Vadeli-created-Slarges idea: it came from p14 of Tradetalk 13, so it's non-canonical (but I love the article's over-the-top approach). If I were them I'd still try to take credit for creating them, and try to manipulate them (even if not friends) as the slarges push eastwards.

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1 hour ago, Snugz said:

If I were them I'd still try to take credit for creating them, and try to manipulate them (even if not friends) as the slarges push eastwards.

The flaw in the ‘Vadeli claim credit for the Slarges’ plan is that, thanks to the Slarges destroying their empire, there basically are no Vadeli around in the areas where that would be useful. The Slarges appear to have destroyed all inland presence of the Vadeli. 

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On 3/21/2021 at 9:31 PM, Snugz said:

If I were them I'd still try to take credit for creating them, and try to manipulate them (even if not friends) as the slarges push eastwards.

The Vadeli may, of course, try - but historically failure to manipulate Slarges seems to have been the downfall of the Vadeli empire in Pamaltela. The Vadeli proved adept at manipulating the Artmali/Veldang, but maybe Slarges are not human enough to manipulate emotionally, and too individualist/eccentric to easily manipulate with logic. 
I do have a theory that the Doraddi Slarge creation myth does not mention the unique bicyclic reproduction cycle and the difference between giant and lesser Slarges, so there may be some later myth era about how the species was split in two, known to few besides the Slarges and a fun mystery for PCs to uncover. I never had a good idea for what it was though - but maybe it was to do with a Vadeli attempt to curse the Slarges? Or a Slarge magic to change their species to better destroy the Vadeli? 
I also have a theory that there most of the major Chaotic deities owe their origins, or at least current form and prevalence, to Vadeli magic from the Oabil/Chir empire. We know Ompalam and Darleester are derived from Vadeli slavery magic. And Jraktal seems virtually just an anthropomorphisation of Vadeli Tapping into an evil god. But in addition:

- the Vadeli were masters of undead creation, stealing the spirits for powering their sorcery and the bodies as slaves, which sounds very clearly connected to Gark the Calm

- they manipulated and subverted the human empires expertly, and are known to have indulged in all manner of sexually perverse behaviour, which would explain Seseine and the prevalence of succubi

- Pocharngo seems to specialise in the ritual creation of various weird dangerous servitor races, which sounds like Vadeli sorcerers weaponising Chaotic mutation for their wars against the Brithini and others. 
It would not be surprising if the Vadeli (or maybe Artmali in the late, fully corrupted, stage of their empire) created the Grue as living weapons, night riders, hoons as a weapon against elves, etc. and the watchwere are just too implausibly useful to not be a deliberate creation. 
 

So, of course, if the Blue Vadeli do return, they are likely to first become active in the south, and it will be absolutely thoroughly awful for everyone. 

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3 hours ago, Pentallion said:

No doubt the death of Orlanth provided wind to the waertagi sails, allowing them to escape hell.

The Waertagi usually use the motive power of water, or water beings, to move their ships, but it is a very nice image you paint here.

One might see this as a reprise of the Initiation of Orlanth, when he led all the Others out of their underworld prison.

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Waertagi can be opponents/challenges on the Westfaring part of the Lightbringers Quest (~Grey Shore/Luathela area), with LBQers getting a ride on a Waertagi ship via force or via bargaining, so that could be a tie-in; the Waertagi could use this to benefit from the Storm Tribe's Air magic (for later usage?).

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Is there some mythical link between Sofala, the Turtle Queen who helped Orlanth during his Westfaring quest, and the Waertagi ? 

A Turtle Goddess carrying you and your friends on her shell could be seen as quite similar to a dragonship carrying a Waertagi crew.

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53 minutes ago, Hijabg said:

A Turtle Goddess carrying you and your friends on her shell could be seen as quite similar to a dragonship carrying a Waertagi crew.

Except that in the Strange Fragment from King of Sartar, the Waertagi show no awareness of this relationship as their dragonships ram Sofala. 

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One myth I was told is that there used to be four places of the tutle folk, in the four corners of the (Homeward?) Ocean. They were called the Sofali, after the turtle goddess whose children became their companions and totemic animals, or the Diroti, for they were the first people to build boats.

Two of these populations still exist, one in the southeastern corner of Genertela, one in the northeastern corner of Pamaltela.

According to the myth I was told, there were two such western populations, too, one in the south, and another one in the north.

We have an old Orlanth myth about Orlanth defending the Diroti (turtle people) against the Seabird Army. It is in King of Sartar, p.65 in the hardcover edition/the pdf:

Quote

Orlanth and Sofala
There was a time called the War of the Gods because even the gods fought against each other. Many creatures were harmed at this time, such as when Yinkin lost his fiery breath to the Bad Dogs, or Horse lost his wings and claws and teeth to Orlanth’s blows.
One day Orlanth was walking upon the Western Shore and discovered a battle in action. The  Seabird  Army  had  assembled  to  ambush  the  Seaturtle  Tribe’s  women  and  children. Orlanth found Grandmother Sofala weeping, and asked what she would give to him if he helped her. She said she would give him anything which did not dishonor her or her folk.Orlanth drew his lighting spears then, and called his Wind Army, and they ran among the birds, causing great damage and so much confusion that the birds all fled.
After that the Diroti were a tribe of people who migrated around the world in their little boats. They worshipped Orlanth, and Grandmother Seaturtle, and Father Diros, the Boat God. They were destroyed by the Seabird Army in the Storm Age.
Orlanth did not collect on his debt then, but reserved it to be a return gift for the future.

 

There is one catch with this myth - there is no period in Godtime when there was a Homeward Ocean prior to the Greater Darkness, when Orlanth no longer walked the world but had set off into the Underworld to release Yelm from his prison, and Magasta called all the Rivers of the World (or all the Manthi waters of the world) to  his aid to plug that hole.

However, there were four corners of the world, partially flooded, and there was a western shore. And if I assume that there were two such turtle-riding sea people, then the ones who received aid by Orlanth before being destroyed by the Seabird Army may very well have been the southwestern ones.

 

That leaves the northwestern ones to find. So, just maybe, their turtles were sleeker, and more draconic?

 

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