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First let me say that I am sorry for your loss.

 

 

On the topic of a new book, I think that Northern Pamaltela might be the only thing not hemmed in with official projects.  Although YGMV I have seen the depiction of the Lunars shift greatly over the years......from Roman-esqe thugs, to an Alexandrian system, to more of a Persian or even Assyrian look. 

Pamaltela is more of a blank slate in that regard, but it would be nice to (literally) see some representation.  Who knows, maybe I can find some figures for it?

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Men of the West now has a color wrap-around cover by Mark Smylie. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/325525/Men-of-the-West?src=hottest_filtered?affiliate_id=2310005  

Will just leave this here...

In happier times, this would have made me delighted and astonished, so I will share it here.  

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6 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

... There has been an official work on the Uz in the works for some time, so like Kralorela it is not viable ...

Alternatively, there is the simple fact that your works, to date, have not been replacing the "official" works, but supplementing them.

If you took (for example) the canonical Uz material, and NDA'ed with Chaosium for early access to relevant passages of the new ms., I bet YOUR  Armies of the Uz  (or whatever you called your product) would be similarly supplementary to the official work, when that came out.

Same for Kralorela.

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

If you took (for example) the canonical Uz material, and NDA'ed with Chaosium for early access to relevant passages of the new ms., I bet YOUR  Armies of the Uz  (or whatever you called your product) would be similarly supplementary to the official work, when that came out.

It's a few years since I saw a draft. Uz armies are basically war gangs. The only ones that seem more organized are part of the Kimantorings and those are covered in Armies & Enemies.

2 hours ago, g33k said:

Same for Kralorela.

With an official product in the works and a JC publication already present, it is a bit... crowded. Whilst I have read some books on Chinese ancient warfare, I have no knowledge of some of the genres that seem to feed into Kralorela.

At the moment I am assessing Pamaltela as a possibility, though I need to check with Chaosium.

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After working through my books (presently sitting in piles of books or disorganized on shelves) have found a fair number on Africa - but, all pretty much of the Colonial Era. I suspect that much of the Guide illustrations on Fonrit are derived in part from the Benin Bronzes, and whilst I have seen some of these, I don't have a book about them (cue search online for books).

Some of the West African states had significant armies, but, there's relatively little on them available outside academic circles, and other than documentation about them by the Colonial powers, there's very little available. However, this lack of documentation is true, even for armies we tend to think of as well documented (Macedonians, Successors, yes, even the Romans). So I am pondering whether to embark on this project. European armed forces only became superior to those they encountered, when the advantage of rifles over muskets became apparent, and even then weren't a guarantee of victory.

There is a bit of a disconnect, because most Gloranthan cultures are roughly equivalents of Late Bronze Age/Iron Age, and whilst bronze (and iron) working goes back a long way in West Africa, there's virtually nothing known of those earlier cultures, and it is necessary to rely upon almost modern cultures, like the Oyo and others dating to around the 12th Century onwards.

Am not sure if this is a sufficient basis. Obviously Fonrit isn't a copy of a West African empire, so getting the look and feel is important. Horses weren't unknown in West Africa, and many states had cavalry described as knights by Europeans, and of course, horses are rare in Pamaltela.

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One thing which I think you would do perfectly and which I really would like to see are the Second Age conflicts (Middle Sea Empire navies, Machine Wars, Kotor Wars, Six-Legged Empire, False Dragons Ring, Lopers, Teshnos) done right. Mongoose did not provide anything in way of inspirational illustrations, and their text descriptions often veered off what I would have expected (metal-reinforced skeletons rather than Flesh-Machines?). Draconic shenanigans and perhaps some portrayals of the Third Council dragon-form leaders might be nice. Dara Happa Stirs probably offers the most canonical entryway.

 

Contemporary northern Pamaltela could include a lot of naval stuff. Vadeli vessels, Umathelan variants thereof (or God Learner designs returned from blueprints?), Kareeshtan Warsails (I haven't seen any depiction of these), and variations of the Maslo/Sendereven catamarans.

Other than Kimos, all coastal areas of Pamaltela have invested into the Opening of the Seas, and much of the recent warfare was sea-based.

If you wat to concentrate on the mainland, Fonrit has those funky tachyderms, and the jungles have nice new animal companions for the local Hsunchen. The Exigers may be a little too diverse to give them a thorough treatment.

Pamaltelan trolls have a range of appearances, especially if you take those not-quite-trolls like midget slashers into account.

Anything human south of the Fense range appears to be rather limited in dress and equipment, and might be better served with details on how lineages and totems vary. Tackling the non-humans of the region is quite a different challenge - the Slarge may be rather easy, compared to those Slorifing goblins.

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9 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

After working through my books (presently sitting in piles of books or disorganized on shelves) have found a fair number on Africa - but, all pretty much of the Colonial Era. I suspect that much of the Guide illustrations on Fonrit are derived in part from the Benin Bronzes, and whilst I have seen some of these, I don't have a book about them (cue search online for books).

This is known. Here are the art direction notes for Fonrit.

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6 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

This is known. Here are the art direction notes for Fonrit.

Yes. I have a few books on the Benin bronzes on order. Sadly, there appear to be no actual finds of pieces of armor, but the same is mostly so for other items of bronze armor, world wide - finds are relatively rare compared with the number of pieces there must have been in use, because it was recycled.

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

One thing which I think you would do perfectly and which I really would like to see are the Second Age conflicts (Middle Sea Empire navies, Machine Wars, Kotor Wars, Six-Legged Empire, False Dragons Ring, Lopers, Teshnos) done right.

There's a fair bit of First and Second Age arms and armor illustrated in Men of the West, in part because I wanted to map in my own mind the evolution of the Western cataphract. Only the Zistorite Bronze Turtle galleys are illustrated; no other Zistorite inventions, though some are mentioned in the text.

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2 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Nice.  Which of the shovel-tusks did you refer to as a model?  Gomphotherium?

!i!

Amebelodon. I decided to give it a long trunk.

Hmm, I've made a mistake with the trunk - starts to curve too soon. Need to do more research.

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Another one.

Next I will have to do the crews, though am not certain I have enough 'seed' material for Pamaltela to fill a book.

[The box isn't a 'fighting turret' but the enclosure for a chair - these creatures weren't massive.]

There is an error in this picture - the trunk shouldn't be able to fit between the lower tusks. Will have to amend...

amb forum2.png

Edited by M Helsdon
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Afraid the Pamaltela project is being shelved, based on advice received (which I entirely understand), so this is the only remnant.

Needs a little more work...

I need to think up another project.

 

Afadjanni shovel-tusker forum.png

Edited by M Helsdon
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14 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Afraid the Pamaltela project is being shelved, based on advice received (which I entirely understand), so this is the only remnant.

Needs a little more work...

I need to think up another project.

As I didn't follow the whole discussion, why is it shelved? I play in Pamaltela (more Umathela but still) and would have loved to see some thing about it. I really loved you western book.

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2 hours ago, Manu said:

As I didn't follow the whole discussion, why is it shelved? I play in Pamaltela (more Umathela but still) and would have loved to see some thing about it. I really loved you western book.

Thank you. 

Given recent events, a treatment of Pamaltela would be potentially highly contentious (and I fully accept the advice) and there may be future official development of the region. 

Rather than spend considerable time developing a book that might be very sensitive I have concluded that it is best to shelve the project. 

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In that case, might we entice you to take a look at the participants in the Twin Phoenix Saga? I would love to see a bit more about the Andinni and their minions and foes. That arena north of Vithela and east of Vormain has about as many inhabitants as Maniria and Dragon Pass, and a lot of oddness.

A non-Tokugawa take on Vormain as the continuity of the eastern solar empire without any draconic taint might be enlightening, too.

 

On the whole, creators for the Jonstown Compendium seem to have to ride the very sharp blade dividing blatant cultural appropriation and heartfelt admiration for the myths and inspiration from real world cultures remotely or not so remotely resembling the Gloranthans in question, and then avoiding the pitfalls of retelling the colonial propaganda that was considered healthy young adult literature at least in my politically a lot less correct youth.

The Land of Ninja short-hand for Vormain looks very much like an attempt to a) relate the playtest experience of these scenarios from the Chaosium campaign to the rest of the RuneQuest World and b) tie that excellent material somehow into Glorantha.

But then Feist's Midkemia Press version of Caernarfon as Karse and Thieves' World's Sanctuary as Refuge were such truths in the Chaosium house campaign that have faded away from canon, too. There is no reason to to keep a lot of that as a mythical echo, but the refusal to use direct referrals to non-Chaosium IP makes at least economic sense.

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20 minutes ago, Joerg said:

On the whole, creators for the Jonstown Compendium seem to have to ride the very sharp blade dividing blatant cultural appropriation and heartfelt admiration for the myths and inspiration from real world cultures remotely or not so remotely resembling the Gloranthans in question, and then avoiding the pitfalls of retelling the colonial propaganda that was considered healthy young adult literature at least in my politically a lot less correct youth.

I am trying to find the culture from which Dorastor was appropriated, mainly because it would be a great culture to read up on.

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22 minutes ago, Joerg said:

In that case, might we entice you to take a look at the participants in the Twin Phoenix Saga?

Afraid the East is potentially as tricky as Pamaltela.

There's an official Kralorelan book in the works, so trying to write about and illustrate the east would be difficult.

I have someone asking me to look at their Tekumel project...

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2 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I am trying to find the culture from which Dorastor was appropriated, mainly because it would be a great culture to read up on.

The Feldichi probably are based on the Lesser Dryas Atlanteans. Source material is all over Youtube.

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6 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The Feldichi probably are based on the Lesser Dryas Atlanteans. Source material is all over Youtube.

Whew, glad I don't use them, then. I would not want to annoy Lesser Dryas Atlanteans, they have long memories and a longer reach.

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1 minute ago, M Helsdon said:

Afraid the East is potentially as tricky as Pamaltela.

There's an official Kralorelan book in the works, so trying to write about and illustrate the east would be difficult.

That's why I proposed to look far beyond Kralorela, and possibly Vormain.

By the numbers, the Kralori make up probably 60% of the eastern Gloranthan humanity. That's a heavier influence than the Esrolians have on Orlanthi culture, even if you restrict yourself to Maniria, Dragon Pass and Saird, but even then you wouldn't dream of describing the Esrolian Grandmothers regime as the mainstream Orlanthi culture.

Vormain claims continuity from Govmeranen's Empire, although it does burn through quite a few dynasties, and probably moved the capital upward when the seas invaded. The Joserui needn't reflect the RQ3 treatment of kami genii loci, but then that treatment was fairly useful for Dragon Pass spirits of place, too.

The East Islander cultures beyond Haragala (which doesn't sail that close to any Indonesian or nearby cultures as far as I can recognize) don't need to correspond too closely to the Kralori. To them, Mashunasan did it (whatever it was that ended a mythical cycle), and dragons were not involved. Metsyla being recognized as a Phoenix emperor by the Kralori is about the last common link the two culture complexes appear to have.

 

1 minute ago, M Helsdon said:

I have someone asking me to look at their Tekumel project...

Now that's an interesting prospect, too. And might cross- bleed into some of the furthest East cultures, too.

 

2 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Whew, glad I don't use them, then. I would not want to annoy Lesser Dryas Atlanteans, they have long memories and a longer reach.

  They do have quite a fanatical following, certain that The Truth Is Out There, so yes, their reach is immense.

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