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g33k

Who/what are the Kitori these days?

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22 minutes ago, g33k said:

will Kitori-in-general find enough use for Tt that it becomes unusually-common among them?  I will assert yes, because the entire Kitori schtick is the human/troll interface, that is also the AA core cult function.  It will simply becomes a cultural staple, like blue jeans (well, OK... maybe not that ubiquitous).

I think there really is little need for Tradetalk though.  As something of a pidgin tongue, Tradetalk works where there is a broad divergence of languages and merchants/traders are largely passing through.  The Kitori have been adjacent to and commingled with the Heortlings since the Dawn. It does not take long for a pidgin tongue to evolve to a creole and then to a native dialect.  This would be the natural case for the Kitori - they will use a Heortling dialect (with more Darktongue influence) and also use Darktongue to speak to the trolls.

Since the Kitori occupy the back woods (literally) with no other through traffic there would not be any additional pressure/need to learn Tradetalk (except for those AA merchants trekking off to Dagori Inkarth or other distant locations).

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The Argan Argar cult as it exists in the 1620s primarily emphasizes that you learn Darktongue and one other language to an extremely sophisticated level, making no particular requirements on which.  I would expect the Argan Argar initiate or priest in charge of language training in a given 'modern' Kitori tula to focus on teaching the community's young people in whatever the dominant human language is and darktongue, along with learning to read and write in darktongue for those with the time and aptitude.

Edited by dumuzid
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I would expect the Kitori to speak a dialect of Heortling thick with elements of Darktongue, possibly a hybrid of those. Pure (though probably accented) Darktongue and accented Heortling are probable, too.

As to Tradetalk, back when Issaries still had the Trade/Communication/Equal Exchange rune in RQ3, someone asked why he had only one of these, and the semi-serious answer was that he traded the other away, probably to Argan Argar.

At the onset of the Second Age, the people in Heortland came from several ethnicities, as listed in the Foreigner Laws of Aventus (History of the Heortling Peoples p.72) :

- Hendriki (Heortlings)

- Heortling immigrants from the former Orgovaltes lands, and further north, possibly retreating from the early Bright Empire, possibly evacuating the war zone after Arkat's arrival

- Pelaskite coastal fisherfolk, spread out from their dawn survival site at Old Karse (not counted among the foreigners?)

- Pelaskite coast*al people from the Rightarm Isles

- Esrolian immigrants across the Mirrorsea (coastal)

- Esvulari expanding northwards

- the inhabitants of the Zarur Wilds

The Kitori Shadowlords would visit all of these groups for the ancient Shadow Tribute, and be able to converse with them easily. Quite a few Darktongue terms will have entered the Heortling language in these exchanges.

The Esrolian and possible Pelaskite elements in the language probably diminished to loan words or occasional alternative terms (think Danish influence on the Northumbrian dialects).

 

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On 4/10/2020 at 11:55 PM, Sir_Godspeed said:

I'm not going to get into a very detailed discussion on trade hypotheticals, but it just seems weird to me that a geographical region that within the last five hundred years has received large demographic shifts (Kerofinelans escaping the True Golden Horde) and has mostly been isolated except long-range high-value, low-volume trade through Maniria, has not has internal homogenization when it's located around a calm, resource-rich, navigable piece of water.

From 1120 to 1320, the tribes around the Mirrorsea were greatly weakened and impoverished by the Closing and the Dragonkill War. The Esrolians and the Heortlings are basic the same people with different primary gods. The Caladralanders clustered around their volcanoes. The folk of God Forgot tried to re-establish a logical society, etc. Maybe they would have eventually had internal homogenisation, but Belintar came to power and he emphasised the unity of the land AND the elemental associations of the Sixths. The different nature of each Sixth was reinforced, while at the same time they were able to cooperate harmoniously through Belintar. For three centuries, the distinctive character of each Sixth was supported by Belintar, who alone embodied the Whole. The gods were invited to visit and bless their lands. 

I mean there is a reason the place is called the Holy Country!

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1 hour ago, Jeff said:

From 1120 to 1320, the tribes around the Mirrorsea were greatly weakened and impoverished by the Closing and the Dragonkill War. The Esrolians and the Heortlings are basic the same people with different primary gods. The Caladralanders clustered around their volcanoes. The folk of God Forgot tried to re-establish a logical society, etc. Maybe they would have eventually had internal homogenisation, but Belintar came to power and he emphasised the unity of the land AND the elemental associations of the Sixths. The different nature of each Sixth was reinforced, while at the same time they were able to cooperate harmoniously through Belintar. For three centuries, the distinctive character of each Sixth was supported by Belintar, who alone embodied the Whole. The gods were invited to visit and bless their lands. 

 

Our discussion was mainly focused on lingusitic affinity. Did Belintar keep their languages apart? That would seem excessive to me (both in-universe and from a writing perspective).

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2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Our discussion was mainly focused on lingusitic affinity. Did Belintar keep their languages apart? That would seem excessive to me (both in-universe and from a writing perspective).

Writing is in the Theyalan script. So an Esrolian can read Sartarite, etc. The God Forgot are outliers and keep their Western script because of religious purposes.

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Just now, Jeff said:

Writing is in the Theyalan script. So an Esrolian can read Sartarite, etc. The God Forgot are outliers and keep their Western script because of religious purposes.

But as for maintaining different languages, that's pretty normal. If you look at the lands around the Aegean Sea, they spoke four dialects of Greek (which could be thought of as analogous to Esrolian and Heartlander being dialects of Theyalan), as well as the non-Greek languages of Thracian, Carian, and Lydian, and whatever ancient Macedonian was (Greek dialect? separate Hellenic language?). 

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Our discussion was mainly focused on lingusitic affinity. Did Belintar keep their languages apart? That would seem excessive to me (both in-universe and from a writing perspective).

A little excess can be a marvelous thing. Preserving linguistic diversity supports an unusually robust knowledge worker population: the beards need to be able to run multiple translations of documentation and Trade remains critical across communities. We charge for Trade Services. And as Issaries rejoices, AA recedes just a little farther into the background. This pleases the god king for multiple reasons.

Admittedly we can imagine a history where Trade absorbs the birth languages that came before but that isn't god's way.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

But as for maintaining different languages, that's pretty normal.

It still is. My wife speaks Bashkort, Tatar, Uzbek and Russian and can get by in Turkish and Khazak. She was talking to a Russian interpreter from Azerbaijan and they were having a conversation in Azeri, which she doesn't speak but is similar enough to the languages she does speak that they could both do the tricky bits in their head.

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I'm not claiming that all languages that are close to each other inevitably become more similar, but comparisons to real life are of limited use when something like the Closing and the Dragonkill haven't really occured. (I mean, maybe, sorta, desertification or depopulation leading to isolation, but usually in less extreme and durable terms than the above, afaik).

So in Kethaela we have these factors that in my opinion speak to Heortling and Esrolian being similar languages (which, I feel is necessary to point out before this discussion pivots too far elsewhere, was my original point. )

- Esrolia and Heortling coming from a common language family, Theyalan, and arguably the common sub-family, "South Theyalan", thus having a basic affinity to begin with.

- The Dragonkill would have sent large numbers of speakers of a similar language ("Imperial Kerofinelan"? "Middle Heortling"? "Late Theyalan?" Whatever the name, doesn't really matter) into both Esrolia and Heortland. 

- The Closing would have closed most of the avenues for mass-volume transport, and the results were severe de-urbanization in Esrolia, at least, implying that such trade was indeed vital and of a much larger volume/value than whatever the Trader Princes of Maniria could sustain with caravans. 

- The Geographical isolation from interior Genertela by the Crossline making trade or migration overland impossible. 

- Prax is a big IF, but overall it's my impression that due to the major cultural differences (religion, marriage rites, subsistence styles, etc.) large-scale cultural crossover is not the norm, although there are obvious examples of it happening at various points (Pol Joni, etc.) 

- The Mirrorsea remaining open and representing one of the few avenues for low-cost transport and also a major source of food for everyone living around it, thus making traversal desireable to some extent, though naturally bulk foodstuffs will generally be consumed in the vicinity of the entrepot, as opposed to being transported long-distance. 


Basically, based on these factors, it's my personal opinion/impression that even if Esrolian and Heortling/Heortlander had diverged during the Second Age, it seems highly plausible that they would come closer during the first parts of the Third Age due to common cultural and geographical isolation. 

Another possible scenario is of a kind of Sumer-Akkadian widespread bilingualism, albeit between two languages of the same family rather than between to unrelated languages, muddling the situation a bit. 

A third possibility is that the above factors were so devastating that no regional exchange of material and immaterial culture was possible or desireable, making them retreat in local regions, almost like a mini-Darkness, but Jeff doesn't seem to think so, and it does sound a bit too extreme for me too.

I realize "homogenization" might have been a too absolute term, as I was more trying to convey a trend of increased mutualism rather than a complete shift to just being the same language (which I agree is unlikely and unecessary), but I'll just have to live with my mistakes, I suppose. 

If that's non-canon, then fair enough. I know that Runequest rules probably have Sartarite (a subtype of Heortling/Heortlander I presume, possibly with other influences) and Esrolian at some percentage of mutual intelligibility. I'm also guessing it's reasonably high.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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12 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

even if Esrolian and Heortling/Heortlander had diverged during the Second Age, it seems highly plausible that they would come closer during the first parts of the Third Age due to common cultural and geographical isolation. 

These are big questions and the answers are fertile. Thanks for opening the door.

For me it truly does boil down to "the god king didn't want the elemental languages to converge so they didn't." The deep logic behind that blanket "NO" is where it gets interesting. Esrolian has a long history of isolating from the more overtly Storm-facing rival system across the bay, even to the point of eradicating Orlanth from time to time. I think about Dansk and Svenska. The vocabulary and syntax might be practically identical but the social and political compensations of pretending that they are distinct and unintelligible override the convenience of everyone admitting that they can understand each other.

There's also the nuance that "Esrolian" may easily survive in the female mysteries of Heortland (craft terminology, cradle rhymes and any other argot you want to shift into when you don't want the men to follow the code) but that's not the landscape male-oriented adventurers experience on that side of the bay. "Heortling" as a construct is implicitly gendered as a kind of rejection of the Esrolian universal. It's all in Freud.

Geographically the field of admixture would have skirted the Plateau so negotiating transmission or maintaining diversity was the Only Old One's headache. (I need to take a closer look at his background role in the terminal Dawn Age material in light of what we know now.) Behind the scenes I do see the potential for heightened political divergence and (failed) unification in the Adjustment Wars era with a tendency to drive vernacular Esrolian underground as it were . . . there's a lot we still need to learn about Imperial Ernalda. Ezkankekko is strangely absent from the record (OOO AWOL) and might even be sleeping through the Kill for all I know.

By 1250 the Earth Arm is apparently united against the gender trouble of the Imarjarins and only incels talk shepherd language. Either way these are fragile and increasingly isolated populations as you note, with linguistic enclaves ossifying like pueblos across the American Southwest. We don't know a lot about this era because with the coming of blessed Belintar we see it was a dark age of failed coping strategies. 

Belintar loves a pan-elemental system and bureaucratically enshrines the Esrolian/Heortling split. If anybody raises meaningful resistance their names are even lost to the unsympathetic lunar records we have. 

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16 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

If anybody raises meaningful resistance their names are even lost to the unsympathetic lunar records we have. 

to be fair to the immediately post-Conquest Kethaelans, the last guy who raised meaningful resistance was killed and resurrected to preach Belintar's good news.  I reckon the officially designated Sixths accepted their governors with a lot more docility after a visit from Andrin "the Renewed."

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There is the element of the Adjustment Wars that finished only after the Dragonkill. While Heortlander certainly would have seen an upswing during the successful years of the Adjustment Wars, once the backlash came against the Hendriki invaders their dialect would quite likely have become a dialect non grata.

Thus, for identity politics, I suppose that a majority of Esrolians would have avoided the stronger Storm Speech influence on Theyalan and would instead have intentionally brought more Earth Speech into their dialect. This may have reached into different ways of simplification of the language at backstreet level while at the same time introducing more complicated influence in the language of the upper crust.

And while some houses may have retained more adjusted ways, the next change was brought to Esrolian with the annexation of (previously adjusted) Porthomeka by Caladralanders and the spread of the Warm Earth influences just before Belintar took over.

Belintar had his own reasons to encourage identity politics.

Esrolian may have been on the upsurge around 1470 when the Orendanae were strong in the region. For Sartar, the "Always Another Way" mantra offered a good climate to bring in his changes, even if he overcame the Orendanae champion and decided the contest with the FHQ for himself.  But then, if Sartar promoted any language or dialect, that would have been Tradetalk.

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Do Kitori worship Chalana Arroy or Xiola Umbar? Do they herd insects or sheep etc.? Do they practice any agriculture? Do Ergeshi worship darkness deities in secret, and if so, which ones?

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14 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Do Kitori worship Chalana Arroy or Xiola Umbar?

I expect the latter.

14 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Do they herd insects or sheep etc.?

They are in the Troll Woods, so insects, but I believe a good percentage are hunters.

15 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Do they practice any agriculture?

The trolls, no, but might gather/harvest insect products.  The humans, probably small gardens.  There might be mushroom farms too as the area is very cool and damp.

16 minutes ago, Brootse said:

Do Ergeshi worship darkness deities in secret, and if so, which ones?

If by Ergeshi you mean those enslaved by the Sun Dome, then I think they suppress any "temples" or shrines to Darkness within their lands.  But Darkness is all about secrecy...

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On 4/23/2020 at 9:17 PM, Brootse said:

Do Kitori worship Chalana Arroy or Xiola Umbar? Do they herd insects or sheep etc.? Do they practice any agriculture? 

These are more interesting questions! There's about 6000 Kitori. Let's assume 3000 are humans, 1000 are dark trolls, and 2000 are trollkin. The Troll Woods are pretty big, covering over 400 square kilometres. They eat insects, hunt and gather in the Troll Woods, raid the local humans, and most of all trade. During their hey-day, they raided caravans going from Wilmskirk to Karse or demanded a high toll for protection (much more costly and much less secure than the toll Tarkalor imposed afterwards). 

The main god of the Kitori is Argan Argar. The trolls of course worship Kyger Litor as well, although the humans do not (beyond lay member/associated cult worshIp). Zoran Zoran is a main war god.

Best known of the Kitori is Obash Broos-Smasher, a Runelord dark troll from the south, whose spirit ally was an intelligent sylph. He was also of the cult of Argan Argar, and was a troll who did not degrade humans who also worshipped the god. He and his family held the roads to the south, and often raided north into the clans of Sartar, and against Lunar convoys as well.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Jeff said:

These are more interesting questions!

In case you (or anyone) are in obliging mood? :)

Kitori are all humans and trolls? No remnants of the race that were neither and both? 

Whatsup with them killing Broyan? Are they a rising power again with the shadow tribute on their mind? Do they still have ties to the OOO? 

Do they have a thing with the Black House of Arkat. TSR hints at a trollish Arkati..

What do they trade? 

Any hints will be most welcome and vastly over-interpreted.

Edit. Typo. 

Edited by Nick Underwood

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On 7/9/2020 at 5:04 AM, Nick Underwood said:

Kitori are all humans and trolls? No remnants of the race that were neither and both? 

If some of those remained, they would be ancient magical beings - I don't think they are able to reproduce, at least since the OOO died, and I think most of the remaining ones, if not all, died with him. I suspect its a thing for your game - if you want some to exist, have them. 

What mostly remains is their magic - followers of the Nightcult are able to use rune magic to transform between races temporarily. 

On 7/9/2020 at 5:04 AM, Nick Underwood said:

Whatsup with them killing Broyan?

That's a good question. King of Sartar, in the CHDP, suggests its due to Broyans betrayal of the City of Wonders, but the CHDP is an in-world source that may well be very biased pr speculative - it's not clear why the Kitori would be against Broyan, as both of them are representing pre-Belintar powers. It's also possible that the demon that kills Broyan isn't representing the KItori themselves. 

On 7/9/2020 at 5:04 AM, Nick Underwood said:

Are they a rising power again with the shadow tribute on their mind? Do they still have ties to the OOO? 

I doubt it - the Kitori are still weak, and the Volsaxi and the Sun Dome Templars are still around, and still probably prepared to smash any attempt at Kitori resugence. There are a mere 5,000 of them, vs 273,000 Hendriki and the Sun Domers - the Kitori have very little chance of recapturing their former dominance of the area any time soon. 

The do still have ties to the Only Old One, but as the OOO is dead this just amounts to keeping his cult and what is left of his magical secrets alive. 

On 7/9/2020 at 5:04 AM, Nick Underwood said:

Do they have a thing with the Black House of Arkat. TSR hints at a trollish Arkati..

 The House of Black Arkat in the Troll Woods keeps the trollish/Darkness Arkati sorcery tradition alive in Kethaela (it is surely still alive in Ralios as well, though may differ there), is within Kitori langds, and is associated with the Nightcult sub-cult of the Argan Argar cult - most of the Arkati are Argan Argar initiates and Nightcult members first.  

The Temple of Black Arkat, and the House of Black Arkat, are different places, but both are Arkati sorcery strongholds, and probably closely connected to the NIghtcult. The House is in Kitori lands, and its location is probably secret. The Temple is in Esrolia, near the Building Wall and Arrowmound, and is the fortress of the fortified city of Arkat's Hold.

On 7/9/2020 at 5:04 AM, Nick Underwood said:

What do they trade? 

I think they mostly trade troll goods to humans and vice versa. They formerly (prior to Tarkalors defeat of them) got rich by controlling the trade route between Sartar and Esrolia, mostly controlling all the trade from Sartar that used to go via the Marzeel river to Karse, but that was centuries ago. 

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On 7/8/2020 at 11:04 PM, Nick Underwood said:

In case you (or anyone) are in obliging mood? :)

Kitori are all humans and trolls? No remnants of the race that were neither and both? 

Whatsup with them killing Broyan? Are they a rising power again with the shadow tribute on their mind? Do they still have ties to the OOO? 

Do they have a thing with the Black House of Arkat. TSR hints at a trollish Arkati..

What do they trade? 

Any hints will be most welcome and vastly over-interpreted.

Edit. Typo. 

The Kitori are humans or trolls, and not hybrids of both. There is magic that lets a human be a troll or a troll be a human, but that is not the same has being half-troll and half-human.

Who says the Kitori killed Broyan? The Kitori, like the trolls of the Shadow Plateau, worship the OOO as a demigod. They supported Arkat and were rewarded for it, but that was also over a thousand years ago. 

There are about 6000 Kitori, making them the size of a medium sized Sartarite tribe. Their most lucrative trade is between the Shadow Plateau and Dagori Inkarth.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

Who says the Kitori killed Broyan?

They're probably referring to these lines from p. 39 of the Sourcebook, which I wouldn't mind some explication on myself:

"Among the Kitori, a little bright light was snuffed
out, and a demon that had many sharp mouths was let out
of its skin. It sought vengeance, and fell upon the army
of King Broyan while they slept. The king could not keep
it away, because he had betrayed the City of Wonders,
and the Great King was killed there, with his army."

I took this to mean that someone (probably Lunar agents) snuffed out a warding light keeping a Darkness-based spirit of vengeance from Belintar's reign quiescent, which sought out and killed Broyan on pre-set orders to pursue anyone attempting to usurp Belintar the way he deposed Ezkankekko.  Is there an intended interpretation?

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1 hour ago, dumuzid said:

They're probably referring to these lines from p. 39 of the Sourcebook, which I wouldn't mind some explication on myself:

"Among the Kitori, a little bright light was snuffed
out, and a demon that had many sharp mouths was let out
of its skin. It sought vengeance, and fell upon the army
of King Broyan while they slept. The king could not keep
it away, because he had betrayed the City of Wonders,
and the Great King was killed there, with his army."

I took this to mean that someone (probably Lunar agents) snuffed out a warding light keeping a Darkness-based spirit of vengeance from Belintar's reign quiescent, which sought out and killed Broyan on pre-set orders to pursue anyone attempting to usurp Belintar the way he deposed Ezkankekko.  Is there an intended interpretation?

There is. But I am happy to keep it cryptic.

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9 hours ago, Jeff said:

There are about 6000 Kitori, making them the size of a medium sized Sartarite tribe. Their most lucrative trade is between the Shadow Plateau and Dagori Inkarth.

Oooh interesting, now I may have to look into this Kitori business since they might walk by (or near) my Bachad tribe home-base...

I'm wondering how these troll caravans travel through Sartar by the way? I assume they need extremely diplomatic Argan-Argrar priests in the front, take detours to avoid Sun Domes and Heortling clans that are notoriously anti-Darkness, and whenever possible travel under mountain ranges where existing troll tunnel networks are navigable?

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I'm wondering how these troll caravans travel through Sartar by the way?

By night.  Which means that most folk are likely not even aware that they've come through.  They'd avoid the Sun Dome.  They might well use Sartar's roads.  Or they may have their own "Dark" Paths which lead them through.  People may wake in the morning to find signs of denuded vegetation suggesting troll beetle caravans (or trollkin) have been through the area.  

The Dark Paths likely include tunnels, paths over mountains that might be more difficult to humans, or they might use flying insects to avoid or pass through hostile areas.

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I hope that the Kitori get some detailed coverage in a future supplement, hopefully as an option for making player characters and running campaigns. Also aren’t the Torkani and Bachad tribes supposed to be descended from Kitori? 

 

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