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Colymar lands – the first evil


Stephen L

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Apologies, that my ideas from an existing thread

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/15065-ideas-for-bonding-ritual-with-hatchling-dinosaurs/

have matured, so my questions are going in a somewhat different direction now...

So, the situation in my campaign is this, the adventurers have had interactions with Orgovale Summer, I’m guessing the first human ancestress of the lands.  Firstly, liberating her and becoming High priest as the published adventure The Dragon of Thunder Hills.  Then, in their first sacred time, flying to the stars to free the star maiden Erena and unite her with her love, Orgovale Summer’s son Illavarn.

Now, its sea season, and there’s dinosaurs hatching, which the players will doubtless try bonding with (as the original thread), and thinking about it, it seems plausible that this re-enacts the first pact between the humans and a draconic land.  Orgovale will be in attendance (following on from how the first sacred time played out).  Which is all excellent stuff (Tarndisi might also show an interest, for various reasons).

But if I have the earth spirts/goddesses/ first ancestress attending and blessing the birth, I imagine, to balance it, there should be a first evil, that will try and curse the proceedings.

The first evil, in the Colymar lands?  hmm  The first that comes to my mind is the Cinder Pits, where from memory, Illavarn presumption in building halls that reach to the stars is punished by the Star Lords, when they tear the hall down in flames.  The pits themselves a haunted by fire demons, the Venebain.  But I wonder if there could be a deeper evil at its roots.  It’s too early in mythology perhaps for Chaos?  But perhaps it could be the first scorching of Darkness by Fire.  A Darkness witch coming to curse the event would work for me, as there quite a preponderance of Fire rune in the party…

But does this makes sense?  Is there an obvious first evil appropriate for the Colymar Lands?  Something that resonates and twists that first Dragon/Human compact that must have happened when humans first came to settle Dragon Pass, perhaps culminating in Yerezum Storn?

Thanks for your trouble, if you've any ideas to share.

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1 hour ago, Stephen L said:

But if I have the earth spirts/goddesses/ first ancestress attending and blessing the birth, I imagine, to balance it, there should be a first evil, that will try and curse the proceedings.

The first evil, in the Colymar lands?  hmm  The first that comes to my mind is the Cinder Pits, where from memory, Illavarn presumption in building halls that reach to the stars is punished by the Star Lords, when they tear the hall down in flames.  The pits themselves a haunted by fire demons, the Venebain.  But I wonder if there could be a deeper evil at its roots.  It’s too early in mythology perhaps for Chaos?  But perhaps it could be the first scorching of Darkness by Fire.  A Darkness witch coming to curse the event would work for me, as there quite a preponderance of Fire rune in the party…

I'd offer slight caveats about worrying too much about "first" anything, and what is or isn't too "early".  The God Time is, after all...  very timey-wimey.  And Ernaldan Consciousness dates back to the Green Age, and the Orlanth one "only" to the Stagnation Age, so they might disagree on that point if pressed to name a "first".  But that said, yes, the Cinder Pits are from "before" the Chaos Age.  The most obvious Darkness tie-in would be with the Shadowlands period, which obviously would be later still.  I'm not sure of this region would be within the Kitori Tribute area, but certainly the later (re)settlers from Esrolia and Heortland would have mythic memories of that.

Personally I'd be inclined to go with whatever Ancient Enemy, either of your take on the Colymar, or what's particular to your group, that works best for the story.  So a Darkness Enemy would be great for your PCs, in a "I have this hammer, woo, a nail!" sort of way.  Conversely a Fire enemy would put them in a more awkward spot, if they're Runically less keen on the "remedy here is the Evil-Emperor-stabbity" approach.  Which might be exactly the narrative tension you want, or more headache than you need. 🙂

 

1 hour ago, Stephen L said:

But does this makes sense?  Is there an obvious first evil appropriate for the Colymar Lands?  Something that resonates and twists that first Dragon/Human compact that must have happened when humans first came to settle Dragon Pass, perhaps culminating in Yerezum Storn?

When humans first came to the area?  That'd tie into the exodus from the Spike.  Or the King of Dragon Pass resettlement narrative?  The latter would tie very directly into Colymar history, but I'm not clear if you're looking for a God Time tie-in here.

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3 hours ago, Stephen L said:

The first evil, in the Colymar lands?  hmm  The first that comes to my mind is the Cinder Pits, where from memory, Illavarn presumption in building halls that reach to the stars is punished by the Star Lords, when they tear the hall down in flames.  The pits themselves a haunted by fire demons, the Venebain.  But I wonder if there could be a deeper evil at its roots.  It’s too early in mythology perhaps for Chaos?  But perhaps it could be the first scorching of Darkness by Fire.  A Darkness witch coming to curse the event would work for me, as there quite a preponderance of Fire rune in the party…

But does this makes sense?  Is there an obvious first evil appropriate for the Colymar Lands?  Something that resonates and twists that first Dragon/Human compact that must have happened when humans first came to settle Dragon Pass, perhaps culminating in Yerezum Storn?

In my Colymar Campaign, the Lunars (via a Lunar witch) summoned the Star Warriors to descend into the midst of the Colymar Harvest rituals.  The Orlanthi guarding the ritual had to fight the Star demons (theoretically it was the intersection of a Lunar heroquest with the ritual but mythically that worked fine).  The descent of the Star demons gives an opening for the demons of the Cinder Pits to escape their boundaries too.

In my game, the Star/fire demons, the Venebain, are effectively followers of Shargash - basically Underworld fire demons with brimstone smoke, etc.

Not only did the Colymar have to defeat the Star demons in the ritual, but they had to drive the demons back into the Cinder Pits, and then free the Ash Creek Lady (the stream that kept the demons in their place) whose headwaters are in the Starfire Ridge from a prison the demons had created.

 

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11 hours ago, Alex said:

When humans first came to the area?  That'd tie into the exodus from the Spike.  Or the King of Dragon Pass resettlement narrative?  The latter would tie very directly into Colymar history, but I'm not clear if you're looking for a God Time tie-in here.

Whilst I had in mind first settlement, the exodus from the Spike.  However, I imagine the re-settlement post Dragon Kill, would mythically have called on the earlier tradition, and so I'd expect "mythic resonance" between the two.

Thanks jajagappa Akhôrahil, the Star/fire demons, the Venebain make good "the first evil", and really make sense.  I'm very tempted by that route.

However, having slept on it,  "The First x" for Dragon Pass, would would always be draconic.  Perhaps, beneath the Cinder Pit, is a dark, ancient, unknowable draconic hunger, woken from it's slumbers by the presumption of the Star Warriors and Humans at war.  Perhaps it's that insatiable hunger that is the ruin of any compact between Humans/ dragon kind.  It's that hunger that leads to greed, draws one away from the contemplation of the unknowable to the entanglement of the world and the desire for the worldly.  Not the first evil (it is neither good nor bad), but it could be the First Terror.  The third guest, an ancient crone, in black tattered robes, skin patchy and scale like, that comes to curse the event.  

And it couldn't be better as an evil portent for the rest of the campaign.  The Battle of Queens looms, unleashing the dogs of war, awaking that primal hunger (which has already been stirring).

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8 hours ago, Stephen L said:

Whilst I had in mind first settlement, the exodus from the Spike.  However, I imagine the re-settlement post Dragon Kill, would mythically have called on the earlier tradition, and so I'd expect "mythic resonance" between the two.

Absolutely!  Having a rich tradition of oral myth means that whatever happens, you can always be wise after the effect either way. 🙂  So presumably whatever happens after the Dragonkill is seen as recapitulating and confirming the experience and moral lessons from their mythic past.  We fought with/got et by/made a wary peace with/befriended them in the God Time, so we did the same thing in the Resettlement, and we'll do the same thing in future.

 

7 hours ago, Stephen L said:

However, having slept on it,  "The First x" for Dragon Pass, would would always be draconic.  Perhaps, beneath the Cinder Pit, is a dark, ancient, unknowable draconic hunger, woken from it's slumbers by the presumption of the Star Warriors and Humans at war.  Perhaps it's that insatiable hunger that is the ruin of any compact between Humans/ dragon kind.  It's that hunger that leads to greed, draws one away from the contemplation of the unknowable to the entanglement of the world and the desire for the worldly.  Not the first evil (it is neither good nor bad), but it could be the First Terror.  The third guest, an ancient crone, in black tattered robes, skin patchy and scale like, that comes to curse the event.

Hungry. eh?  Sounds very Black Dragon.  Also good for the fire-rune-heads, potentially!

Could still be the First Evil -- Orlanthi aren't short of judgy moral opinions, are dragons get strong opinions.  Until recently trending heavily negative, but doubtless with born-again popularity.  Plus you still have the whole "EWF vs dragonewts vs some other draconic take" angle.

 

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The region is called Dragon Pass, and before it was a pass, it was a dragon's nest. Larnste the Mover came here and sat down to communicate with the dragons, pausing in his seeding the Rockwood Mountains, pushing one such seed very deep into the earth - out of which grew Kero Fin.

Obviously, dragons were here very early - before Kero Fin, way before Quivin. But then, Larnste's Table was in all likelihood present.

Are dragons or their spawn an ancient evil, though? Or did they encounter an evil when establishing their nest?

 

Another story about the orogeny of the Rockwood Mountains tells that there were two peoples living in the area, wishing a barrier between them, but instead Larnste sowed the mountains so that both people found the division going through their midst, with both separate areas experiencing the same intermingling as the unified area had before.

It is possible that one of these peoples were the aldryami, and the other the mostali, or possibly early humans - Tada-shi maybe.

Or the story is even more ancient, and the two peoples were dragons and elder giants.

 

Most of the magical landmarks in Colymar lands seem to stem from Vingkotling times, although the first settlement of the region by storm worshippers is the last station of the Downland Migration. And before that, the Thunder Brothers exploring the region may have encountered and neutralized or at least accommodated older problems. Such as the rock goddess of the Quickstart adventure.

The Durevings met and married a local earth population - subjects of Tada, and probably of Ezel. (The Downland Migration is a pre-Death, post-disintegration of Umath myth cycle of the late Golden Age, and Durev and Orane are fore-shadowing the Wooing of Ernalda.)

And when Vingkot made tribes for the nine of his children still around, these tribes took in people from that Downland Migration, and/or their descendants.

 

Some of the local evils could be the bad graces of the Earth. We know Gouger, the doomsday boar. There may well be older ones,

Spoiler

one possibly linked to the story of the Rock Lizard Mother.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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