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Jon Hunter

Balazaar in 1625?

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OK my BacktoBalazar site Publishes a version of Balazar a few years on from Griffin Mountain, but its highly influenced by an previously personal campaign so isn't definitley is not cannon.

However things will have moved on.

All I have been able to surmise from official sources is Von Enkorth has been reassigned to Pavis.

Apart from that change what else do people think would have changes in Balazar since 1617?

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You might have to replace Gondo Holst with some other major villain by now, too.

I am not entirely certain what authorities from the Empire are involved in maintaining the Lunar presence in Elkoi. Is Appius Luxius involved just in his official persona, or does he have personal/family interest there? Does Tarshite royalty still run part of the shop?

A few of the other secret identities may have been made public by now, too, and may be up for replacement by new teenage drama.

1622 will have seen serious troll movement towards Dagori Inkarth from the Elder Wilds, probably with memorable events in eastern Balazar. That's the same event as the Horde traveling from Guhan via Halikiv and Tarsh into Dagori Inkarth, and the Elder Wilds trolls may have been joined by Blue Moon trolls and possibly even Ignorants and Borklakelans. A certain degree of deforestation may remain to remind of this event.

I would expect nothing new from Greatway or the Aldryami, and little new weirdness on the dragonewt front. The southern Votanki would have fled their usual hunting grounds in the Windstop and may have been decimated badly.

Lunar officials who made it out of Sartar might have been re-assigned to Elkoi as a "Corflu-posting", but most prominent ones will have fed the Brown Dragon. Bands of Lunar symp Orlanthi no longer welcome in Sartar might flock to Elkoi or Trilus.

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Some fair ideas....

Apart from monsters and encounters which will change;

  • The trolls stuff is interesting, will read more
  • The windstop will see a northern migration of the Balazarings in the south, and significant losses at Elkoi and the lunar villages
  • Dykene tribes will have migrated north into danger ground, bear woods and this into greater conflict with trolls ands maybe elves
  • I see post dragonrise the Elkoi garrison being withdrawn as the Provincal Army reorganises
  • Therefore Glyptus becomes a weak vulnerable king and probably soon to be replaced
  • Trilus is the strongest position and maybe becomes expansionist

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The first thing to note is that Elkoi is at least 5 miles inside the Windstop, while the other citadels aren’t. It’s possible that it evacuates. I’ll dig out a detail of my regional Windstop  map. I’ve now completed the Balazar area which was incomplete in this version

 

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1 hour ago, David Scott said:

The first thing to note is that Elkoi is at least 5 miles inside the Windstop, while the other citadels aren’t. It’s possible that it evacuates. I’ll dig out a detail of my regional Windstop  map. I’ve now completed the Balazar area which was incomplete in this version

 

With the Balazarings because are nomadic for the most part, they have the ability to migrate into good hunting grounds, probably with a lot of the game as well, there will be hardship, but nowhere near as hard as with farmbound individuals.

Maybe the Windstop would create a full scale evacuation of Elkoi, but with good hunting lands being 5 miles away and its own agriculture not being significant at the moment, it may not be needed.

If it is we may see the Citadel inhabited and taken over by all kinds misanthropes, Tusk riders anyone?

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Don't forget the Pentians.

At some point in the Hero Wars, a Pentian Horde is going to smash through the Redlands and hurtle towards the Lunar Empire. It can go northwards or southwards, but southwards goes smack bang through the Elder Wilds and Balazar. That might affect a Balazar Campaign. Then the Lunars are going to counterattack. Where would they do it? Probably inside the Lunar Empire, but then they'll push the Pentians back, through Balazar and the Elder Wilds. So, a double whammy. When Sheng Seleris comes back, he'll probably push forward again, through Balazar. You'd better get used to hordes passing through.

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Firshala, Granny, Rigitania and Sakkar (through his avatar Greyrunner) worship, that of Durbaddath (by authority of the GodsWall) may all have developed significantly.

Has the Windsword been taken?

An attempt to regrow the Great Tree burnt by Arkat might replace/augment an Aldryan seed-planting.

What relics of the ancient Gork queendom have been unearthed?  

Has Skilfil imported a Rinliddin cult to support the giant vroks?

How far has Holay extended its reach? If they've had to withdraw, have any stayed behind?

Are there more Heortling refugees, or have those hanging around Trilus gone home?

Have either or both of Festering Island and the Chaos Holy Ground developed into major Chaos sites?

Just a few musings off the top of my head.

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6 hours ago, soltakss said:

At some point in the Hero Wars, a Pentian Horde is going to smash through the Redlands and hurtle towards the Lunar Empire.

Glorantha Sourcebook p.185 has the map of the invasion in 1624-25.  It advances through Oraya and along the Arcos towards Torang in Rinliddi.  It's detailed on p.189 and concludes with "In 8/1 (1626), Dranz Goloi suffered his first reversal when the Lunar Army, led by Jar-eel, riding atop the Crimson Bat, routed him outside the walls of Blessed Torang, and revealed herself to be the incarnation of the Red Goddess in the Third Battle of Chaos. Dranz Goloi and the survivors of the nomad army withdrew to the Redlands to regroup and recruit."

 

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5 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

How far has Holay extended its reach? If they've had to withdraw, have any stayed behind?

Unlikely to have taken Elkoi before the Dragonrise - it's a nice little slave entrepot and perhaps Appius Luxius finds it convenient to get young nobles who are too ambitious placed there.

With the Dragonrise, the majority of the Lunar Provincial Admin is wiped out.  Almost all the major figures were there in Sartar.  Even before then, Imther and Aggar were in the midst of rebellions.  Glorantha Sourcebook p.189 notes, "With the Provincial Overseer devoured by the True Dragon, and the Provincial Government in shatters, the hill tribes in Aggar, Talastar, Vanch, Imther, and even Holay rose in rebellion. The rebels in Aggar defeated the remaining Lunar friends in that province and acclaimed one of their own king of Aggar. By end of 8/1 (1626), much of the Lunar Provinces were lost to the Empire, except for such strongholds as Tarsh, Mirin’s Cross, and Vanch. In Imther, an imperial appointee ruled little more than Hilltown."

Elkoi becomes fair game for whoever can claim it.

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Here's the Windstop detail for Balazar:

1811225096_BalazarWindstop.png.64862c8bd6d2c61b5d807ff89272bfeb.png

Yellow - Votanki, Light Green - Southwood Elves, Dark Green - Highwood Elves, Light Grey - Tarsh, Dark Grey - Holay

19 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

With the Balazarings because are nomadic for the most part, they have the ability to migrate into good hunting grounds, probably with a lot of the game as well, there will be hardship, but nowhere near as hard as with farmbound individuals.

A number of clan hearths fall within the Windstop: Flinthill (2), Pure Hearth (5), Taks Mound (7) and Oldtree (8). I'm sure that given the nature of the Votanki, that they would be displaced north, with few if any fatalities.

The Dwerrow river and it's tributaries would freeze. The Dwerrow would be frozen to just above High Bridge, along with the Kintals. The Bilini would freeze just at Summerford, and where it merges with the Rapidwater, a large marshy lake would form. The upper reaches of the Bilini would be frozen or dry. The unfrozen section of the Dwerrow would likely dry up, losing valuable fishing.

At the thaw a similar but smaller deluge can be expected, like the Zola Fel. The marshy lake would drive the melting ice down, scouring the riverbed, and perhaps taking out Highbridge (if you want). The Highwood elves (those who weren't asleep, outside the Windstop) would be doing everything they would to minimise this event, likewise the small number of Southwood Elves.

19 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

Maybe the Windstop would create a full scale evacuation of Elkoi, but with good hunting lands being 5 miles away and its own agriculture not being significant at the moment, it may not be needed.

I can't see the Lunar pavilion providing much protection, so the majority of the Lunars will certainly leave likely travelling north to Soldier Ferry along the caravan route. The local balazarings have been occupied for 4 generations and are not so likely to have clan links in the wild, may perish along with their pigs. The two downriver villages are likely depopulated in the die off. The royal family evacuate with the lunars. I don't think they return. Taklong is granted refuge in Trilus and on his return is a major mover and shaker in the power vacuum, Erapp Barbacon being the major contender if he can be persuade to stay. Blueface will certainly  be influential in this respect, pushing for one of unrecognised children to become king or another clan chief. Cyriel Endelkar returns if only to see what business if any can be salvaged and likely leaves seeing his empire blasted back to the stone age. I'd have Moraring Broom survive and return with Cyriel, he's a member of Yelmalio and so has the support of Taklong, he'll try and sell the inn to the first person who comes along and leave to find the luxuries he once knew.

19 hours ago, Jon Hunter said:

If it is we may see the Citadel inhabited and taken over by all kinds misanthropes, Tusk riders anyone?

The winter is hard and devastating. Although near the edge of the Windstop, it is still frozen. There's little here for Tusk Riders and although they could have travelled north through Southwood (their southern area is shared with the Southwood Elves). I'd personally have some kind of Lunar demon outbreak from the Lunar temple from the doings of Queen Jocestis and Marusa. The defences they left in place have thrived in the dark and cold as befits demons of Jakaleel. Spectral demons now haunt the citadel, those arriving find dozens of dead Tusk Riders inside the walls. The only thing worse than a Tusk Rider, is the thing that kills Tusk Riders. This proves a great problem for the Yelmalio temple and even Blueface.

 

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I ran a Balazaring campaign for many years, eventually under HQ. The players were Votanki, eventually joining Balazar and becoming The Hawklords. It ended just before the windstop.

Elkoi

Themes:

  • Citadel in flux, old ways replaced by new ways that never could fully take hold even after 100 years.
  • Civilised verus hunter gatherers 
  • Aging, disassociate monachy
  • Yelmalio versus Seven Mothers
  • Balazar verus Invaders

Queen Jocestis becomes a priestess under Elecora Kindtongue as the Lunars slowly depopulated this frontier outpost. Elecora dies about 1620 and Jocestis becomes then acting High Priestess. Marusa and Halcyion are reassigned and there is little to do here. Into this void, Taklong begins actively reestablishing Yelmalio amongst the clans, looking for a successor to the ageing King in the guise of Balazar reborn. He has support from the other priests at the other citadels (he is the High Priest) and Blueface. Joh Mith expands his market to Elkoi.

Trilus

Themes:

  • Standard citadel, Yarling is the ideal leader, keeps the old ways alive.
  • Hunter gatherers vesus civilised
  • Young monarchy
  • Foundchild dominates
  • Lightbringers embed. Dushi Sone, Bluebird, Joh Mith, Pay Surney.

Around 1616 Torath Manover leaves with the Windsword, his followers and Some of Pay's. They head south to free Sartar. Pay becomes the defacto head of the Lightbringers at Trilus. She marries Cirtan, Ravena's brother, they have a small holding outside the walls (Cirtan's first wife and family were killed by the Lunars). Euclia becomes a (native) rune lord Vingan, she takes over Pay's adventuring role while he settles down and has children. Pay never recovers from not finding the Windsword and everyone leaving.

Dykene

Themes:

  • Rise of the Yelmalio Hawklords (Guardians of Balazar)
  • The rise of Balazar
  • Increased chaos and murder.
  • change of hunting styles
  • Hawks versus Horse
  • Hawking versus dogs

Around 1619, Karazar is kidnapped and never found around. In the ensuing repercussions,  Praxena Kills the King and escapes. She is caught by Euclia now a Vingan who returns her. Starnia has her tied to a stake outside the citadel (never let pcs advise a future king) and has Sunrider peck her eyes out. It takes a few days for her to die. Starnia Stormrender becomes King. Calamene marries Bodoni Boldface. Chana Greeneyes has a child by Silvanthi Brighteyes who subsequently vanishes (becomes Blueface's apprentice). There is no overt lunar backlash against Praxina's death, however there are many more broo attacks in the Dykene clan regions. Granny Keeneye is much more active against the Yelmalions (as she's subverted by Jakakeel).

That's all I can remember at the moment.

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On 8/30/2018 at 10:03 PM, Jon Hunter said:

Apart from that change what else do people think would have changes in Balazar since 1617?

Firstly, I would be interested in hearing if anyone thought that the Votanki and their swine might relate to First Age hero Aram Yar Udram and his defeat of Gouger who is only a Wyrms High Pass away.  I would imagine as everything became increasingly psychotic around the Ivory Plinth, many refugees may have fled into Balazaar.

Secondly, Balazaar is poor.  Very poor even.  I imagine that they can trade hides into the Lunar Empire, but that is about all.  This means that the region is not of much interest to the Lunars.  On the other hand, that also means that potentially the region could become a major place for Sartarite refugees.  Certainly there is potential for more Sartarites to come there than there presently are.  On the other hand, they won't be from southern Sartar, but are likely to be Vantaros, Princeros and Tovtaros who don't like the present circumstances.  The Tovtaros in particular are in many ways quite close to the Votanki, given that they are both poor hunter societies.  Whatever issues might arise about Yinkin vs Brother Dog could probably be smoothed over via their shared belief in whatever they call Yelmalio these days.

Third.  The Elder Wilds are potentially very important to the Lunar Empire, as if the population survey maps are to be believed, there are loads of Elves and Trolls there, and probably Dwarves as well.  While the Lunars have a lot to worry about on the Pentan frontier, they would be wise to maintain some sort of watch on the Elder Wilds, and certainly a lot more intelligence gathering than a couple of initiates in Elkoi could manage.  There would be room for mercantile and diplomatic missions into the region.

For a bit of fun, you might like to provide hints for reviving the worship of the god Balazar himself worshiped, namely Tharkantus (not Yelmalio again?).

BEWARE ! SPOILER TIME:

 There are some pretty major game changing items to be found in the Elder Wilds, and I'm not even talking about the fabled Wind sword.

Firstly there is that adamantium spike in a rock on the island with the huge crabs.  That thing is worth a king's ransom.  100,000L  or something absurd like that.   Potentially, that sum of money is a game changer that has major political ramifications for a miserably poor region like Balazaar.

Then there is that arm band that lets you control giants.  Apparently it was used to build the three citadels, and ultimately caused the giants to attack Dykene.  Well, suppose you had that arm band and 100,000L?

It is probably worth pointing out the value of Firshala's Prison too.  Potentially the players can start their own religion, and who knows what would happen if they figured out how to free Firshala?  How powerful is she really?

Now consider what that means all together... a free citadel, a pet deity, and 100,000L, and all in an area that is at best an afterthought in Lunar plans.  I think the Roman Empire had more humble origins than that.  Can you say "License to Riot"?

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

I think the Roman Empire had more humble origins than that.

The Roman Empire had an agrarian society capable of metalwork, but I see your point all the same. Also, I doubt any GM would be so generous as to make Firshala a "pet deity." The interpretation of what Firshala and her cult are like should really be done based on what seems interesting and appropriate, not on what's most convenient to the players. That said, I'd be interested in hearing what other people's interpretations of Firshala are, having just read Griffin's Mountain myself recently.

Though admittedly, what is established about Firshala is that her nature is Fire, which means her worship might mean salvation to the Balazarings who find themselves within the Windstop as she might at least prevent them from freezing to death before they can find new hunting grounds and hearths, if not providing help in more esoteric ways appropriate to however you'd interpret her powers with Fire. It could certainly be a quick way to grow the cult's membership and power at the least.

Edited by Leingod
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1 minute ago, Leingod said:

The Roman Empire had an agrarian society capable of metalwork, but I see your point all the same. Also, I doubt any GM would be so generous as to make Firshala a "pet deity." The interpretation of what Firshala and her cult are like should really be done based on what seems interesting and appropriate, not on what's most convenient to the players. That said, I'd be interested in hearing what other people's interpretations of Firshala are, having just read Griffin's Mountain myself recently.

You know what?  If you put your citadel in the right place, you just might get arable land, a water supply, and even some bronze to work nearby.  Then you just need to get your Sartarite exiles and Votanki to co-operate, and hire a few Gustbran smiths, and you can put Rome to shame. You might also be able to expand Balazaar's exports to include decent quality pork salami (they keep pretty well).  

As for Firshala being a "pet deity", well, considering that you start the lineage of her shaman-priests, and no doubt she will be grateful to you, she might not be a "pet", just a darling who has your best interests at heart.  All-in-all it should be a very mutually beneficial arrangement.  While it is presumptuous, Firshala would make an incredibly good wyter if she were amenable, and you had beefed up her POW with worship.

9 minutes ago, Leingod said:

Though admittedly, what is established about Firshala is that her nature is Fire, which means her worship might mean salvation to the Balazarings who find themselves within the Windstop as she might at least prevent them from freezing to death before they can find new hunting grounds and hearths, if not providing help in more esoteric ways appropriate to however you'd interpret her powers with Fire. It could certainly be a quick way to grow the cult's membership and power at the least.

What a brilliant suggestion.  Top marks!  The Windstop was never part of my Balazaar experience back in the day, but it is uncanny how well that fits.  I liked that comment so much I am going to find another comment of yours to like.

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35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

You know what?  If you put your citadel in the right place, you just might get arable land, a water supply, and even some bronze to work nearby.  Then you just need to get your Sartarite exiles and Votanki to co-operate, and hire a few Gustbran smiths, and you can put Rome to shame. You might also be able to expand Balazaar's exports to include decent quality pork salami (they keep pretty well).  

There doesn't seem to be much land in Balazar that would be useful for agriculture, and that might be a mythical as well as geographical thing, as there doesn't seem to be a local agricultural Earth goddess (in the same way that the Votanki didn't raise pigs until Balazar brought them an icon of Mralota).

Speaking of Balazar the king, I imagine one useful step in establishing yourself as his successor (as the king of all of Balazar) would be to introduce a new food-providing goddess the same way he did. Namely, where Balazar's introduction of Mralota and her pigs allowed the citadels to exist in the first place (since you can't feed a sedentary population of 1000+ people on hunting and gathering), you might do some Heroquest or something that introduces Uryarda and her goats. Goats are hardy animals that can thrive in hilly areas and provide a good source of meat, milk and hide (goat skins are the traditional material for parchment). Also, though it's not really applicable here, they can be kept in the same pastures as most other forms of livestock without causing food problems because they tend to prefer different foods; goats prefer to eat a lot of shrubbery, vines and weeds over grasses.

In summation, there's a good reason goats were one of the first animals humans ever domesticated. And Uryarda is the mother of Votank, so technically you'd just be returning her to the family of Votank's descendants.

35 minutes ago, Darius West said:

What a brilliant suggestion.  Top marks!  The Windstop was never part of my Balazaar experience back in the day, but it is uncanny how well that fits.  I liked that comment so much I am going to find another comment of yours to like.

Well, it's really just applying a thought that's already been had on other threads here about Elmal in Sartar, and how his worshipers could potentially become extremely important during the Windstop since Elmal is a Fire god who retains his life-giving warmth, unlike that glorified flashlight Yelmalio.😝

Edited by Leingod
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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Firstly, I would be interested in hearing if anyone thought that the Votanki and their swine might relate to First Age hero Aram Yar Udram and his defeat of Gouger who is only a Wyrms High Pass away

It may be just another case of Joerg splitting hairs, but the Votanki have nothing but contempt for the swine-herding citadel dwellers sharing the muck and squalor of their semi-domesticated beasts. Yalaring Monster-slayer, the king of Trilus, makes that quite clear, even though that doesn't stop him from using the Trilus swine herders to provide for his kingdom.

Balazar has one valuable export commodity: slaves. Especially if you are a Lunar trader traveling there - you might be able to hunt for them rather than buy them from native chieftains. This may require a stealthy retreat rather than official trade with the natives, but profit has always had its own lure.

Harvesting the swine herder population for slaves would be easier. The citadel kings of Elkoi don't appear to have much sympathy for their swine herder subjects, and even less for those of the other two citadels. Nobles from those places captured in slave raids may be ransomed for rare pelts or similar treasures that may make good money in the Empire.

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18 hours ago, Joerg said:

It may be just another case of Joerg splitting hairs, but the Votanki have nothing but contempt for the swine-herding citadel dwellers sharing the muck and squalor of their semi-domesticated beasts. Yalaring Monster-slayer, the king of Trilus, makes that quite clear, even though that doesn't stop him from using the Trilus swine herders to provide for his kingdom.

A fair point.  I was merely making the conjecture, that given the apparent favor of Mralota, and the proximity to the Tusk Riders, that there may have been some sort of historical connection.  I have no doubt that the votanki hunters find all the pig shit in the foul smelling citadels both disgusting and hilarious, and no doubt they wonder how people can live in such a state.  On the other hand, I would imagine that wild boar would be spiritually powerful, plentiful in Balazaar, and a good catch, but of course they have a lot of other totems too. 

18 hours ago, Joerg said:

Balazar has one valuable export commodity: slaves. Especially if you are a Lunar trader traveling there - you might be able to hunt for them rather than buy them from native chieftains. This may require a stealthy retreat rather than official trade with the natives, but profit has always had its own lure. Harvesting the swine herder population for slaves would be easier. The citadel kings of Elkoi don't appear to have much sympathy for their swine herder subjects, and even less for those of the other two citadels. Nobles from those places captured in slave raids may be ransomed for rare pelts or similar treasures that may make good money in the Empire.

A good point well made.  I imagine that catching votanki to use as slaves would be hard work, as they are talented in wilderness stealth and survival, which makes them better slave catchers than slaves.  In terms of the swine herders, as a GM I would be inclined to set up a situation where the rulers had the means of placing them in debt, and then claiming their family members as slaves for non-payment of taxes and so forth.  One of the most callous tricks of rulers is to make their victims blame themselves (not the rulers) for their predicament, and thus surrender to "justice".  I would also expect that while warm bodies sell for a good price in the Empire, the primitive votanki don't have artisan skills comparable to those of more civilized lands and their hard life wouldn't make them attractive, plus they would be skilled at living off the land if they escape.  They would be cheap durable slaves on the low end of the market. 

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19 hours ago, Leingod said:

In summation, there's a good reason goats were one of the first animals humans ever domesticated. And Uryarda is the mother of Votank, so technically you'd just be returning her to the family of Votank's descendants.

While I agree in principle with everything you have suggested, I blanch at the idea of reintroducing broos, err... goats to Balazaar.  

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

While I agree in principle with everything you have suggested, I blanch at the idea of reintroducing broos, err... goats to Balazaar.  

I don't recall broos having any special relationship with goats. Sure, Thed is sometimes depicted with a goat-like head and one of her children is the Black Goat that served Wakboth, but I've seen Ragnaglar depicted with a ram's skull for a head and that doesn't mean sheep are especially evil. Any animal can be twisted by Chaos.

EDIT: Remembered that goats are the "traditional/iconic" animals for broo to spawn from. Fair enough I guess, but again, broo will stick their dicks in literally anything and impregnate it, so it doesn't really make much of a difference.

Edited by Leingod
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7 minutes ago, Leingod said:

I don't recall broos having any special relationship with goats. Sure, Thed is sometimes depicted with a goat-like head and one of her children is the Black Goat that served Wakboth, but I've seen Ragnaglar depicted with a ram's skull for a head and that doesn't mean sheep are especially evil. Any animal can be twisted by Chaos.

For what it's worth, I got it from Greg's own mouth.  He said it was because of goats destructive grazing habits that generate deserts.  He also said that it was primarily an Orlanthi prejudice, but extended to other cultures too.  Thed was the original goat goddess btw.  There is a whole sub-thread in Broo culture that your "pure" broo is a goat broo.  As to Ragnaglar having a ram's head, well, he needs to symbolically represent rapey lust as he was driven crazy during his initiation.  When an Orlanthi sees a goat, he doesn't see a goat, he sees a form of broo, such is the Orlanthi hatred of goats.  I expect Praxians are even less tolerant.  On the other hand, that doesn't mean Votanki have the same prejudice.

Edited by Darius West

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1 minute ago, Darius West said:

For what it's worth, I got it from Greg's own mouth.  He said it was because of goats destructive grazing habits that generate deserts.  He also said that it was primarily an Orlanthi prejudice, but extended to other cultures too.  Thed was the original goat goddess btw.  There is a whole sub-thread in Broo culture that your "pure" broo is a goat broo.  When an Orlanthi sees a goat, he doesn't see a goat, he sees a form of broo, such is the Orlanthi hatred of goats.  I expect Praxians are even less tolerant.  On the other hand, that doesn't mean Votanki have the same prejudice.

They almost certainly don't, as the Votanki are most closely related to the Pelorians, IIRC, and as I already mentioned, Votank's mother is Uryarda, a goat goddess. In which case I expect that Votanki who were made aware of all of this information would find broo even more vile than most Orlanthi do because of that mythical connection, as the broo are essentially borne of the violation and corruption of their "grandmother's" children.

Speaking of Votank, I've been reading up and apparently the Dara Happans associate Votank with Ergesh, the god of slaves. According to them, his father Durbaddath rebelled against Yelm and had his head cut off, but Yelm was merciful and replaced it with a lion's head to heal him, and then Durbaddath offered his son as a slave in gratitude; this is apparently how the Dara Happans justify taking slaves from Balazar. I expect if you wanted to do some Balazaring nation-building, one way to deal with that longstanding issue might be some kind of experimental Heroquesting where you either reveal that Ergesh is not Votank or that Yelm wasn't the one who gave Durbaddath a lion's head (and thus giving Votank/Ergesh to him as a slave didn't happen or happened on false premises or something).

You might also introduce the worship of Durbaddath this way, though I'm not sure in what capacity he would fit into Balazaring society. My guess is that he (being a god with a lion's head and described as a mighty but rebellious god) could be useful as a martial god for Balazaring hunters; Foundchild is no weakling, sure, but he's all about hunting animals, not men. Yelmalio is a very martial god, obviously, but not in a way that plays to the typical Balazaring man's strengths, which are that they know the terrain and they're skilled in tracking and ambushing their targets and then beating a swift retreat into the forests and hills. Durbaddath might provide a valuable way to get more martial hunters who don't have to abandon their strengths.

This all may actually be a prehistorical thing for the Votanki, BTW. In Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind, one of the neighboring peoples are called the Ergeshites by the Hyalorings (a people who broke off from the Dara Happans, who identify Votank as Ergesh). They are known as goat-herders who worship two goat goddesses, and a few events involve meeting Ergeshite warriors, who wear lion pelts.

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

A fair point.  I was merely making the conjecture, that given the apparent favor of Mralota, and the proximity to the Tusk Riders, that there may have been some sort of historical connection.  I have no doubt that the votanki hunters find all the pig shit in the foul smelling citadels both disgusting and hilarious, and no doubt they wonder how people can live in such a state.  On the other hand, I would imagine that wild boar would be spiritually powerful, plentiful in Balazaar, and a good catch, but of course they have a lot of other totems too. 

In my Balazar, Mralota was given to all Votanki. The citadel dwellers farm pigs. The hunter clans hunt them as wild boar. So, their Peaceful Cut allows the souls of Mralota's boar to return to Mralota. 

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Just now, soltakss said:

In my Balazar, Mralota was given to all Votanki. The citadel dwellers farm pigs. The hunter clans hunt them as wild boar. So, their Peaceful Cut allows the souls of Mralota's boar to return to Mralota. 

I don't think Balazar did anything to intentionally keep Mralota out of the hands of rural Votanki, they just never really felt like settling down to raise pigs, and Foundchild already does all that with the Peaceful Cut to pretty much any animal. You don't need to worship Mralota for that, and as the Pig Mother there's really no reason to worship her if you aren't going to raise and herd domestic pigs.

I think in my Balazar, some Votanki hearths and clans will have adopted Mralota and keep a few pigs to supplement their diets (while others disdain pig-herding as beneath them). I think they'd do it like I read in this ancient Greek historian (I forget which) writing about swineherds in Sardinia, where they would somehow train the pigs to respond to a certain whistle and turn them over to forage in the woods and call them home at the end of the day with that whistle. Each family had their own unique whistle taught to them by their parents that only their pigs would respond to, which made it easy to prove if someone had stolen a pig that belonged to you.

Whatever the historical truth of that method or its possibility to implement in real life, I think it makes for an appropriate addition to rural Balazar.

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58 minutes ago, Leingod said:

I don't think Balazar did anything to intentionally keep Mralota out of the hands of rural Votanki, they just never really felt like settling down to raise pigs,

Griffin Mountain specifically says

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Balazar stole the sacred image Mralota the Sow Mother from dragons, and since then the spirit has allowed the citadels to raise those animals safely.

and in the encounter tables section under Herd Beasts, it says

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Along with some small animals and a variety of birds, the herd beasts are the vital resource of the Balazaring peoples. They draw their entire way of life from the hunting of these creatures.

There is no mention of wild boar being hunted anywhere.

IMO pigs are only in the citadels and there are no wild boar in Balazar although YGMV.

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