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metcalph

Genertelan Vadeli population estimates

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Continued from a question on the RQ forum.

The Vadeli in Umathela and Afadjann number between 1 and 3% of the total population.  So I think that Genertela would have on average 2% of Vadeli by total population (I could refine it by reference to coastal cities which makes some Umathelan cities quarter Vadeli but this is getting too complicated for now.

FRONELA:

Loskalm: Total population 3.2 million.  Vadeli population: 64,000.  Most would probably be concentrated in Tarins as a result of the Old Vadel ruins.

Akem:  Total population 600,000.  Vadeli population 12,000.  

SESHNELA:

Arolanit:  Total population: 190,000.  Vadeli population 3,800.  Probably concentrated in Laufol.

Castle Coast: Total population: 50,000.  Vadeli population: 1000.  

Quinpolic Cities:  Total population: 970,000.  Vadeli population: 19,400

Seshnela:  Total population 1,870,000.  Vadeli population: 8,000.  I've assessed the total population on the three coastal provinces rather than the country as a whole.

MANIRIA:

New Coast:  Total population: 50,000.  Vadeli population: 1000.  Probably in Fay Jee.  

New Fens:  Total population 20,000:  Vadeli population: 400.  

Khorst:  Total population 15,000.  Vadeli population: 300.

CONCLUSION: 

This gives a total Vadeli population of ~110,000.  I'm less than convinced that the New Coast would have more Vadeli than Handra and Khorst.

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7 hours ago, metcalph said:

Continued from a question on the RQ forum.

The Vadeli in Umathela and Afadjann number between 1 and 3% of the total population.  So I think that Genertela would have on average 2% of Vadeli by total population (I could refine it by reference to coastal cities which makes some Umathelan cities quarter Vadeli but this is getting too complicated for now.

regions snipped.

All Vadeli in Umathela and Fonrit appear to be urban populations, and looking at their history, most likely only in cities on the coast or on navigable rivers, or as hostages for good behavior (for some weird reasons, these guys appear to be mostly very young) in more secluded places.. The ancient Vadeli have had it with subsistence agriculture and fisheries for centuries, and the young generations has little ambitions in that direction, either (unless it promises a negative selection bias for disappearance due to unknown but accepted causes).

7 hours ago, metcalph said:

CONCLUSION: 

This gives a total Vadeli population of ~110,000.  I'm less than convinced that the New Coast would have more Vadeli than Handra and Khorst.

Looks way too high to me. In Umathela and Fonrit the Vadeli had the advantage of information monopoly and possession of the Opening rites over the natives, and so they went there in a much larger wave than re-occupying niches in Western ports. In Genertela they are a parasite in a hostile terrain, whereas in Pamaltela they were a parasite in an unprepared terrain, giving them way higher growth rates.

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On 12/3/2018 at 8:11 AM, metcalph said:

Loskalm: Total population 3.2 million.  Vadeli population: 64,000.  Most would probably be concentrated in Tarins as a result of the Old Vadel ruins.

Tarins has a combined urban population of ca. 80,000 people, iirc, which coupled with the impression that the Vadeli are mostly urbanites, and your assertion that most of (ie. at least half and a bit) are settled there, means that something like 30,000 of those 80,000 would be Vadeli. That can't be right, can it?

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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I'd be surprised if they were anything like evenly distributed. I'd expect them to be thicker in places like the Quinipolc League or Safelster and thinner in places like Akem or Loksalm where their behaviour would he less tolerated.

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Sorry for the newbie question but what's a Vadeli? I searched the material I have and found only two references (in the sourcebook): "Vadeli sailors" that can be sighted in Nochet (p.33) and as adherents of Malkion (p.86).

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30 minutes ago, drablak said:

Sorry for the newbie question but what's a Vadeli? I searched the material I have and found only two references (in the sourcebook): "Vadeli sailors" that can be sighted in Nochet (p.33) and as adherents of Malkion (p.86).

I'm also a newbie, but essentially, the Vadeli are a kind of offshoot of the ancient, pre-Time Malkioni peoples of Danmalastan (the lost continent where the Western people/Malkioni come from). I've always mentally parsed them as the Sith to the Malkioni's Jedi (not that Malkioni in general are as heroic as the Jedi, but they are presented as mirror images, in a sense).

The Vadeli are ordered into castes and practice sorcery just like the Malkioni, but for somewhat unknown reasons, they maintain their castes by routinely breaking taboos and performing pretty horrific acts. They are seen as compulsive liars, murderers and betrayers by most other peoples in Glorantha, but they can be powerful, and they are good sailors and traders, so I guess they are tolerated to some extent. Currently, only two of their four castes are seen in the wider world. The Brown Vadeli, ie. their equivalent of the Dronari (worker, craftsman caste), and their Red Vadeli, their equivalent of the Horali (warrior caste). The Blues are rumored to have been seen, ie. their actual sorcerer castes who are rumored to be insanely powerful (possibly rivaling the Brithini, except even more uncaring about mortal lives).

Back in the Gods War, they essentially conspired with the Mostali to backstab the other Malkioni, and after that was done, they betrayed the Mostali, trying to build their own empire, which was crushed with the destruction of the Spike. The only real, sizeable population that survived the Vadeli's attack were the Brithini who were protected by Zzabur (and some other, very tiny populations). The Vadeli themselves kinda went into obscurity until fairly recently, iirc.

After The Opening by Dormal, they went ahead and tried setting up their old Empire, focusing on Pamaltela in the Fonritian and Umathelan regions, presenting themselves as gods, but they were eventually defeated by a local coalition.

 

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm also a newbie, but essentially, the Vadeli ... (clipped extremely detailed and helpful answer)

Thanks for the answer! And if you're a newbie, then I need to find another adjective for my ineptitude! :D 

Edited by drablak
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Well, I guess maybe I'm a bit past that now, but my knowledge is very much based on the newer material that's been published in the last few years, and is mostly centred around the lore-aspect of things, as I'm only just barely getting acquainted with P&P RPGS. compared to many of the other regulars in here, I'm still very much putting out feelers and trying to connect dots.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 10:05 AM, Joerg said:

Looks way too high to me. 

That was my first thought as well -- but then I realized, that's exactly what the Vadeli want you to think.  Yup, just a few harmless sailors in town, nothing to see here.

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14 hours ago, drablak said:

Sorry for the newbie question but what's a Vadeli? I searched the material I have and found only two references (in the sourcebook): "Vadeli sailors" that can be sighted in Nochet (p.33) and as adherents of Malkion (p.86).

The inspiration that Greg had for the Vadeli are the Cainists, a apocryphal Gnostic Sect that reasoned that the God of the Old Testament was the Demiurge who was distinct from the the Readl God and was also evil to boot.  Thereby anything that he condemned (throughout much of the Old Testament) was actually good in the eyes of God.  Which caused some small problems given the Old Testament's prohibitions of murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest.

They are bad sorcerors who mysteriously have not been exterminated. Whatever other gloranthans think about the sorcery-using Malkioni, the Malkioni think of these guys in the same way.  

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On 12/4/2018 at 2:05 AM, Joerg said:

Looks way too high to me. In Umathela and Fonrit the Vadeli had the advantage of information monopoly and possession of the Opening rites over the natives, and so they went there in a much larger wave than re-occupying niches in Western ports. In Genertela they are a parasite in a hostile terrain, whereas in Pamaltela they were a parasite in an unprepared terrain, giving them way higher growth rates.

I am inclined to agree with your assessment.

9 hours ago, metcalph said:

The inspiration that Greg had for the Vadeli are the Cainists, a apocryphal Gnostic Sect that reasoned that the God of the Old Testament was the Demiurge who was distinct from the the Real God and was also evil to boot.  Thereby anything that he condemned (throughout much of the Old Testament) was actually good in the eyes of God.  Which caused some small problems given the Old Testament's prohibitions of murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest.

They are bad sorcerors who mysteriously have not been exterminated. Whatever other gloranthans think about the sorcery-using Malkioni, the Malkioni think of these guys in the same way.  

*Chuckle* Is that where Greg got the idea came from?  Good to know.  On a related note, I looked into the Cainites on Wikipedia and it threw up the following image of the gnostic "Great Archon" known as Abraxas who looks suspiciously like a certain Seshnelan King:

 

 

Edited by Darius West
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My version of the Vadeli is that they scrupulously follow caste law to the letter (so as to maintain immortality), but not a step further. That is why they are immortal, and actually far better at keeping their caste purity than the Brithini. 

They regard most other ‘laws’ of the Malkioni as deceptive nonsense (and may, indeed, regard it as almost their duty to explore). The Brithini try to keep to the spirit of the law of Zzabur. The Vadeli keep strictly to its letter, shamelessly exploit loopholes, and think the Brithini are fuzzy thinking idiots. 

Many of the ‘loopholes’ the Vadeli exploit are because the laws of Zzabur are so ancient, far older than many of the things Zzabur now forbids (which the Vadeli regard as something more like the strongly held opinions of aging and irrelevant and erroneous Zzabur). And the laws of Zzabur predate death, chaos, etc.  He didn’t forbid fooling around with demonic spirits (who weren’t even known prior to the explorations of their great ancestor Viymorn), turning people into zombies en masse (a great Vadeli innovation), enslaving and torturing lesser races (who?), and many other vile practices. And whatever isn’t explicitly forbidden is therefore permitted. 

They have nothing resembling empathy, compassion, or morality. The closest they have is a sort of highly reasoned game theory that says that, under certain conditions, betrayal is unwise, and cooperation can have some short term strategic value  (and those conditions essentially almost never apply to anyone not a Vadeli, almost always anyone not Vadeli is considered a sucker/fair game/a walking blob waiting to be converted into useful resources). Basically, they mostly look at normal humans the way a carnivorous conman would look at a cow that had just won a lottery. (Well the brown ones do. The Red Vadeli look at normal humans more the way a sadistic butcher would look at that cow). They think trust, honour, love etc are weaknesses that can be exploited. They are generally stone cold, to the bone, nihilists and well controlled sociopaths. 

They do still have caste restrictions, but they exploit loopholes. As the blue and yellow are gone, they have to improvise on issues of sorcery and leadership. Brown Vadeli sorcery is often practical, and concerns manipulation of the material world or animals, justified as just a sorcerous extension of crafts and animal husbandry. Many of them are sailors and have nautical magic, others embrace their ancient explorer heritage (and use exploring and movement magic). Red Vadeli magic is almost always combat magic. Vadeli leaders are almost always Admirals or other naval ranks - they exploit a loophole that says a ship always has a commander, no matter the caste of its crew - but they are still forbidden to perform some Talar functions (this is why the Vadeli welcomed Hrestol as a judge, it let them resolve some otherwise unresolvable disputes). 

The Vadeli don’t just enjoy and indulge in torture, forbidden ritual, perverse sex, etc for its own sake. They also have learnt to exploit them for their own purposes. Breaking taboos has power. They have found that perverse sex can create succubi, who make perfect agents of corruption and seduction - possibly this is the origin of the Seseine cult. The Blue Vadeli have necrophiliac necromantic rituals. The Red Vadeli have torture rituals, like a sorcerous version of the Bloody Tusk magic. Probably cannibalism tooo. They think their ability to gain power from doing what disgusts others just shows the superiority of their logic. They also find it all kind of funny. 

The reason the Brithini hate them so very very much, in contrast to their usual dispassionate approach, is that the Brithini have never been able to prove the Vadeli wrong with logic and reason. They *know* the Vadeli are wrong, hate them with every fibre. But they can’t prove them wrong, implicitly reducing the Brithini to being like the emotion driven barbarians they despise. 

The Vadeli are quite logical about most things, and also quite cheery and happy most of the time. They don’t fear death (though they wish to put it off as long as possible). They have a sense of humour, and often enjoy irony, complex wordplay, and laughing at the suffering of other. 

In short, they are smart, and sometimes funny, but in all other ways, they are the worst people you’ve ever me. 

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I am inclined to agree with your assessment.

*Chuckle* Is that where Greg got the idea came from?  Good to know.  On a related note, I looked into the Cainites on Wikipedia and it threw up the following image of the gnostic "Great Archon" known as Abraxas who looks suspiciously like a certain Seshnelan King:

 

Abraxas_gem_scan.svg.png

Same here. Did a bit of a double-take.

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I agree with most of what davecake said. They are, from my impression, pretty much the closest you get to an utterly irredeemably evil race of humans in Glorantha.

 

2 hours ago, davecake said:

My version of the Vadeli is that they scrupulously follow caste law to the letter (so as to maintain immortality), but not a step further. That is why they are immortal, and actually far better at keeping their caste purity than the Brithini. 

They regard most other ‘laws’ of the Malkioni as deceptive nonsense (and may, indeed, regard it as almost their duty to explore). The Brithini try to keep to the spirit of the law of Zzabur. The Vadeli keep strictly to its letter, shamelessly exploit loopholes, and think the Brithini are fuzzy thinking idiots.

This does sound plausible, and you bring up some good points about caste law predating many of the bad stuff humans would later have to face - however I'm not sure if I agree with the assesment that the Brithini follow the spirit of the law. Everything I've read about them has presented them as rules-lawyers and sticklers for literate interpretations themselves - hence why they still wear Ice Age clothing even in subtropic conditions to fulfill zzaburite caste conditions and such.

I would rather argue that the Vadeli either discovered or realized *something* in their journeys in the world, something that would forever alter their caste laws - or indeed implement them differently. Perhaps it goes even back to Viymorn himself: the Six Original Peoples each having their own endemic caste laws, with only the Brithini (Enrovalini) and possibly the Waertagi having survived, and us only knowing the Brithini caste laws (to my knowledge).  Or maybe they discovered or deduced some amoral aspect of one of Malkion's stages, some mental state or logical "gotcha!" about the nature of the world that allows them, or even compels them perhaps (through self-interest, not genuine compulsion as such), to do all these horrible things.

I don't have a lot to present as evidence, it just feels thematically consistent with them as traveling out form Danmalastan, and returning altered, changed, and very, very wrong.

2 hours ago, davecake said:

Many of the ‘loopholes’ the Vadeli exploit are because the laws of Zzabur are so ancient, far older than many of the things Zzabur now forbids (which the Vadeli regard as something more like the strongly held opinions of aging and irrelevant and erroneous Zzabur). And the laws of Zzabur predate death, chaos, etc.  He didn’t forbid fooling around with demonic spirits (who weren’t even known prior to the explorations of their great ancestor Viymorn), turning people into zombies en masse (a great Vadeli innovation), enslaving and torturing lesser races (who?), and many other vile practices. And whatever isn’t explicitly forbidden is therefore permitted. 

As I said above, interesting points.

2 hours ago, davecake said:

Vadeli leaders are almost always Admirals or other naval ranks - they exploit a loophole that says a ship always has a commander, no matter the caste of its crew - but they are still forbidden to perform some Talar functions (this is why the Vadeli welcomed Hrestol as a judge, it let them resolve some otherwise unresolvable disputes). 

This is clever, I like it.

2 hours ago, davecake said:

The reason the Brithini hate them so very very much, in contrast to their usual dispassionate approach, is that the Brithini have never been able to prove the Vadeli wrong with logic and reason. They *know* the Vadeli are wrong, hate them with every fibre. But they can’t prove them wrong, implicitly reducing the Brithini to being like the emotion driven barbarians they despise. 

"TRIGGERED BRITHINI OWNED WITH FACTS AND LOGIC!" ;)

2 hours ago, davecake said:

The Vadeli are quite logical about most things, and also quite cheery and happy most of the time. They don’t fear death (though they wish to put it off as long as possible). They have a sense of humour, and often enjoy irony, complex wordplay, and laughing at the suffering of other. 

In short, they are smart, and sometimes funny, but in all other ways, they are the worst people you’ve ever me. 

They are the very model of affable psycopaths: willing to play along with social customs and mimick ideas of conscience and remorse if it serves them, like a race of Hannibal Lecters. Well, the Browns anyway: the Reds are probably more like classical sociopaths: they don't give a toss about you, and they also don't care whether you know or not.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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The greatest Law mandates that those who fail to follow the Laws will age and die. By systematically and ritually defying all of the other Laws, they they empower themselves to defy the great one. The mandate to grow old and die is just another rule to be broken. 

The Brithini commit to follow all the Laws, and if successful are thus not condemned to age.

The Vadeli commit to break all the laws, so as to by extension break the one that says they must age.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

however I'm not sure if I agree with the assesment that the Brithini follow the spirit of the law. Everything I've read about them has presented them as rules-lawyers and sticklers for literate interpretations themselves - hence why they still wear Ice Age clothing even in subtropic conditions to fulfill zzaburite caste conditions and such.

I wasn’t meaning to imply that Brithini were not sticklers for following caste law themselves. Rather, that the Brithini do everything that Zzabur says they must, and also do the things that they just think Zzabur probably thinks they should. The Vadeli do what they must, and nothing more. 

I do think that yes, quite likely either Viymorn or Vadel discovered something terrible and changed them. Possibly when Viymorn discovers the Underworld.

 

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5 hours ago, davecake said:

I do think that yes, quite likely either Viymorn or Vadel discovered something terrible and changed them. Possibly when Viymorn discovers the Underworld

Now THAT is a moment I'd like to see covered in some sense. My mind immediately went to some "high drama" moment when both Vadel and Viymorn went into the deepest recesses of the Underworld, but only Vadel came out, with new and transformative insights. The Vadeli might even celebrate the patricide that is implied.

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6 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:
12 hours ago, davecake said:

I do think that yes, quite likely either Viymorn or Vadel discovered something terrible and changed them. Possibly when Viymorn discovers the Underworld

Now THAT is a moment I'd like to see covered in some sense. My mind immediately went to some "high drama" moment when both Vadel and Viymorn went into the deepest recesses of the Underworld, but only Vadel came out, with new and transformative insights. The Vadeli might even celebrate the patricide that is implied.

This struggle could have been the encounters with the energy complex that left a significant number of the explorers without spirit (undead) and wandering around the world. They later subjected the Tadeniti (the tribe who taught Zzabur how to skin their ancestor(s) as writing material).

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Hmm... Viymorn=Vivamort?  Yet another sorcerous path to immortality? 

Vadel: "Way to knock that hero quest sideways Dad.  You can't come home as a blood sucking freak, neighbors will talk."

Edited by Darius West
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On 12/6/2018 at 5:37 AM, Darius West said:

Hmm... Viymorn=Vivamort?  Yet another sorcerous path to immortality? 

Vadel: "Way to knock that hero quest sideways Dad.  You can't come home as a blood sucking freak, neighbors will talk."

"File your teeth flat, get the slaves to drain the blood for you, and you'll be fine!"

Edited by Lord High Munchkin
punctuation
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48 minutes ago, Lord High Munchkin said:

"File your teeth flat, get the slaves to drain the blood for you, and you'll be fine!"

I suppose blood-drinking and immortality would not particularly stand out in a Vadeli community.

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The Vadeli seemed to me to epitomize the dangers (from the Brithini point of view) of going out into alien worlds and learning about 'things man was not meant to know'. They were heedless of the dangers of moral and spiritual pollution in their interactions with the southerners and Mostali. Whatever their original sin was, I figure it has to have something to do with that. Time to go re-read Revealed Mythologies again. :)

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