[Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

“You think your people will be free? You think you have escaped me? You mortals will have nothing but war, not a moment of peace until a new God of War rises to replace me.” Discuss the Sundered Empire featured in the Chainmail campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.

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[Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:12 pm

Chainmail Set 3 includes a miniature called the Skeletal Equiceph, but I can't find anything about a non-undead equiceph in the Sundered Empire.
Image

The Model Tactics page for the Skeletal Equiceph has these undead anthro-horse critters allied with Ahmut’s Legion. The Battle Tactics! download for the Skeletal Equiceph might be something that could be reverse-engineered to try to work out the stats of a living equiceph.

But what I'm wondering is: what happened to these guys? Did they have a society that was wiped out? Did Ahmut's Legion bring them in (already dead) from somewhere else (like the Celestial Imperium or that island to the North West of the Chainmail area)?

I did discover that D&D Miniatures also had a Skeletal Equiceph (a different mini, if you follow the link) that is said to be an Underdark monster.

I also found a thread at GitP that stated the equiceph in the Miniatures Handbook was said to have come from across the sea.

But I'm not sure if the Miniatures Handbook is connected to Greyhawk (either in a GH lite way or a Chainmail way) so I'm not really closer to finding a link.

Does anyone have the Miniatures Handbook or another source that could help out?

EDIT: I found the Art Gallery for D&D Miniatures Handbook. Here is a picture of a equiceph that is not dead:
Image

The armour and weapons certainly match the undead version from Chainmail, but is there any canon link between Chainmail and D&D Miniatures?
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Dartamian » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:09 pm

From the Miniatures Handbook

Equicephs are merciless and relentless slavers, raiding out of their forest homes to take captives. They often raid nearby hills to capture hobgoblins, which are accustomed to following orders and are small enough for equicephs to push around. But equicephs aren't picky. They'll make slaves of any creatures that they can catch and coerce.
The equicephs are long-lost remnants of a distant, peaceful civilization. This ancient society maintained the peace by exiling its worst criminals to a land across the sea. The equicephs are the descendants of these cruel lawbreakers. They retain the superior intellect and insight of their ancestors, though they apply their gifts to villiany rather than to harmony. Whether the peaceful equiceph society still survives somewhere over the horizon or has long ago fallen is a disputed matter of legend.


The only connection between Miniatures Handbook and Chainmail would be Greyhawk is the default setting for v.3.5
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:13 am

Icarus quoted one of the Chainmail supplements in this thread:

The equicephs were one of the Old Races that used to dominate Western Oerik. Large, horse-headed humanoids, they were a peaceful people. Rampaging Abyssal armies wiped them out during the Demon War, and no living equiceph has been seen since. Clerics of Nerull, always fond of plundering battlefields, found the remains of a tribe of equicephs. Now the Skeletal Equiceph walks the world again, brought back to unlife by forbidden magic and denied peace even in death.


The evil equicephs described in the Miniatures Handbook would be descendants (in the Flanaess) of the exiles from the peaceful, fallen civilization that had once existed in Western Oerik.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:49 am

Thanks both!

Dartamian wrote:From the Miniatures Handbook

Equicephs are merciless and relentless slavers, raiding out of their forest homes to take captives. They often raid nearby hills to capture hobgoblins, which are accustomed to following orders and are small enough for equicephs to push around. But equicephs aren't picky. They'll make slaves of any creatures that they can catch and coerce.
The equicephs are long-lost remnants of a distant, peaceful civilization. This ancient society maintained the peace by exiling its worst criminals to a land across the sea. The equicephs are the descendants of these cruel lawbreakers. They retain the superior intellect and insight of their ancestors, though they apply their gifts to villiany rather than to harmony. Whether the peaceful equiceph society still survives somewhere over the horizon or has long ago fallen is a disputed matter of legend.


The only connection between Miniatures Handbook and Chainmail would be Greyhawk is the default setting for v.3.5


It shouldn't be too hard to recreate the Western Oerik version. Perhaps only the alignment needs changing. I might put Miniatures Handbook on my wishlist.

ripvanwormer wrote:Icarus quoted one of the Chainmail supplements in this thread:

The equicephs were one of the Old Races that used to dominate Western Oerik. Large, horse-headed humanoids, they were a peaceful people. Rampaging Abyssal armies wiped them out during the Demon War, and no living equiceph has been seen since. Clerics of Nerull, always fond of plundering battlefields, found the remains of a tribe of equicephs. Now the Skeletal Equiceph walks the world again, brought back to unlife by forbidden magic and denied peace even in death.


The evil equicephs described in the Miniatures Handbook would be descendants (in the Flanaess) of the exiles from the peaceful, fallen civilization that had once existed in Western Oerik.


I wonder why that Canonfire! thread didn't come up on my Google search. :?

Dartamian's quote implies that the equicephs crossed over a sea. I was wondering if they had migrated across Shaofeng (and maybe left some survivors behind).

Perhaps the Chainmail equicephs could have discovered Fireland or that "Australian island" in the past and created a prison colony there. Then those crimimal equicephs could have stolen a ship and sailed west to the Flanaess (or wherever the Miniatures Handbook fits with).
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:55 pm

I got quoted ... by ripvanwormer!!! <fanboy squeal>
Alright, now that my life is complete, I can act like an adult again.

I happen to think that the equicephs are a pretty cool concept. Love the thread, Big Mac.
I really like the fact that it only says they haven't "been seen" since the Demon Wars. There's nothing that really says that they couldn't be reclusive little pandas hiding out in the bamboo forests somewhere. :) And that it says that the matter is up for debate, and refers to what would be Western Oerik (in our vesion of the story) as something nearly mythical.

Another thing that I mentioned later in the thread that Ripvanwormer linked above, is the actual flavor-text for the equiceph:
Miniatures Handbook wrote:This humanlike creature stands almost 11 feet tall and has a head and legs like those of a horse. It wears heavy armor and wields a mighty axe of curious design.
Oviously, it goes without saying that these guys are in the Large catagory. But ... well, hey, I don't know if you use 3rd Ed. stats or not, but this may help:
Large Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 4d8+4 (22 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 30 ft. in splint mail (6 squares); base speed 40 ft.
Armor Class: 20 (–1 size, +5 natural, +6 splint mail), touch 9, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+12
Attack: Greataxe +8 melee (3d6+6/×3) or javelin +3 ranged (1d8+4)
Full Attack: Greataxe +8 melee (3d6+6/×3) or javelin +3 ranged (1d8+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +7
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 12
Skills: Intimidate +8, Survival +8
Feats: Endurance, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (greataxe)
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, slave band (1 plus 2–8 hobgoblin warriors [slaves]), or gang (2–6)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Often lawful evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +2

By 3rd Ed. process, deliniated in Savage Species I believe, the Equiceph's stats would be: +8 Str, +2 Con, +2 Wis, +2 Cha
As far as art in the Miniature's Handbook goes, this one is one that always baffled me:
Image
I'm not entirely certain what the guy in the middle is supposed to be. Is it a Hound Archon? It looks more like a horse-face than a dog-face. It's a poorly illustrated whatever-it-is. At first I thought it was an Equiceph, but that may be wishful thinking.

I wonder what the peaceful culture of the Equicephs would've been like. Would they be omnivorous? Herbivores? ... what would their attire look like? would there be special clothing or jewelry they'd wear that related to their equine appearance? ... how about deity? They'd likely serve an existing god, or (I'd like to believe) there'd be some reference to a new deity. Perhaps they weren't overly religious, and didn't invovle themselves with gods much. Or perhaps, they valued wisdom and understanding more than anything, like the ancient Greeks.

Now that I think about it, I kind of like your idea of the "across the sea". The Miniatures Handbook didn't ever have any place that it "fit in". Sadly, once the game converted to "D&D Miniatures" rather than "Chainmail", they started including things from other settings like Thay, from the Forgotten Realms. Still, the "default" setting in Third Edition was WoG, or GH-Lite, or whatever one wants to call it. But, nevertheless, I guess they could really be found anywhere that is across a vast expanse of water; sea, ocean, what have you. I kind of like the idea of a "prison colony" somewhere, and a continuing evolution of the race's location. That would also explain why they aren't commonly found in the Flanaess, but, are found as raiders and slavers.

Anyway ... just a bit of thinking out loud.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:02 am

Icarus wrote:I got quoted ... by ripvanwormer!!! <fanboy squeal>
Alright, now that my life is complete, I can act like an adult again.


Ripvanwormer is awesome (something I don't think is said enough) so getting namechecked or quoted by him is pretty cool. :cool:

Icarus wrote:I happen to think that the equicephs are a pretty cool concept. Love the thread, Big Mac.
I really like the fact that it only says they haven't "been seen" since the Demon Wars. There's nothing that really says that they couldn't be reclusive little pandas hiding out in the bamboo forests somewhere. :) And that it says that the matter is up for debate, and refers to what would be Western Oerik (in our vesion of the story) as something nearly mythical.


Something that kept coming up in my search results was not just "skeletal equiceph", but "skeletial equiceph" and the word underdark (or to be more exact "Under Dark" as two words)! :shock:

These guys were made for both the Chainmail game and the D&D Miniatures game (and the miniatures are actually different, but dressed in almost identical armour). Here is just one page that mentions "Under Dark" in the title:
D & D Minis: Skeletal Equiceph # 39 - Under Dark

So I'm wondering if this "one tribe of equicephs" that got turned into undead was living in the Underoerth. Or maybe some of the living equicephs could be in the Underoerth.

Icarus wrote:Another thing that I mentioned later in the thread that Ripvanwormer linked above, is the actual flavor-text for the equiceph:
Miniatures Handbook wrote:This humanlike creature stands almost 11 feet tall and has a head and legs like those of a horse. It wears heavy armor and wields a mighty axe of curious design.


I love those mysteriously designed axes. Quite clearly the design of them (and the armour) is a reflection of the culture of the pre-Demon War era. If these guys were "one of the Old Races that used to dominate Western Oerik" there could be relics of their culture all across the Western Oerik area. And the undead equicephs could have been dug up from a destroyed city (or a long forgotten battleground).

What is both exciting and frustrating in equal measure is that the canon gives you a view of something great through a tiny keyhole, you can only see a fraction of something that is much larger and very interesting, but with the Chainmail line being abandoned (and the equiceph not being picked up by a later product - as far as I know they are not in 4e yet) we can't get that door unlocked and open to see what the greater thing is. ;(

Perhaps if we can work out where Ahmut’s Legion have been, we can estimate the areas where they may have discovered long-dead equicephs. It would still be a guess, but an educated one.

Icarus wrote:Oviously, it goes without saying that these guys are in the Large catagory. But ... well, hey, I don't know if you use 3rd Ed. stats or not, but this may help:
Large Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 4d8+4 (22 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 30 ft. in splint mail (6 squares); base speed 40 ft.
Armor Class: 20 (–1 size, +5 natural, +6 splint mail), touch 9, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+12
Attack: Greataxe +8 melee (3d6+6/×3) or javelin +3 ranged (1d8+4)
Full Attack: Greataxe +8 melee (3d6+6/×3) or javelin +3 ranged (1d8+4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: —
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +7
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 12
Skills: Intimidate +8, Survival +8
Feats: Endurance, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (greataxe)
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary, slave band (1 plus 2–8 hobgoblin warriors [slaves]), or gang (2–6)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Often lawful evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +2


I use 3e, but think it would be great for these guys (and more Chainmail monsters) to get retro-converted, so that people that play with older rules can use them too.

One thing that is a bit strange is that the Battle Sheet for the Skeletal Equiceph has different stats:
Battle Sheet - Skeletal Equiceph wrote:Skeletal Equiceph
Model from CHAINMAIL Set 3
LARGE UNDEAD
Hit Dice: 4d12 (26 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 30 ft. (splint mail); base 40 ft
AC: 18 (–1 size, +1 Dex, +2 natural, +6 splint mail)
Attacks: Huge axe +5 melee
Damage: Huge axe 2d8+6
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.
Special Qualities:
Undead
Cold immunity
Half damage from piercing and slashing weapons
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +4
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 12, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1
Feats: Improved Initiative
CR: 2


Obviously the Chainmail one is undead, so things like the d12 HD are to be expected, but the Miniatures Handbook version has darkvision (not just low-light vision, like an elf, but darkvision like a drow). That would seem to fit in with the idea of the living equicephs being found in the under dark!

Icarus wrote:By 3rd Ed. process, deliniated in Savage Species I believe, the Equiceph's stats would be: +8 Str, +2 Con, +2 Wis, +2 Cha
As far as art in the Miniature's Handbook goes, this one is one that always baffled me:
Image
I'm not entirely certain what the guy in the middle is supposed to be. Is it a Hound Archon? It looks more like a horse-face than a dog-face. It's a poorly illustrated whatever-it-is. At first I thought it was an Equiceph, but that may be wishful thinking.


It is hard to say. Sometimes the angle of an illustration makes it hard to work out how tall a critter is (I know I can slouch and "loose" about one or two feet in height, as I've done that in the past to be more on an eye-to-eye basis with some of my shorter friends…and they have not believed I've done it until I've stood up properly. LOL)

Logic actually suggests to me that if you are going to have animal-headed humanoids, or centaur-like critters or other animal/human hybrids, that there could be some that fit the ecological niche of dwarves or giants, as well as human-height ones. (I know, for example that long extinct relatives of horses were known to be as small as dogs are today.) Maybe that guy could be a short "cousin" of an equiceph - or maybe he could be an equiceph child. :? However, I'll have to remind me that fantasy is not always logical. :lol:

Icarus wrote:I wonder what the peaceful culture of the Equicephs would've been like. Would they be omnivorous? Herbivores? ... what would their attire look like? would there be special clothing or jewelry they'd wear that related to their equine appearance? ... how about deity? They'd likely serve an existing god, or (I'd like to believe) there'd be some reference to a new deity. Perhaps they weren't overly religious, and didn't invovle themselves with gods much. Or perhaps, they valued wisdom and understanding more than anything, like the ancient Greeks.


Given the armour worn by the equiceph looks very skirt-like, I would suggest that they would probably wear something similar to kilts. But that is just a random guess.

I think they would be herbivores, but if in doubt, the larger pool of information about minotaurs could be checked to see what they like to eat. Being a herbivore would not stop a critter from learning to kill. And perhaps the peaceful culture could have laws that only allow equicephs to kill (or fight) in self-defence. That would allow the military stuff we see in the undead to exist (as part of the peaceful culture), without being used aggressively.

Everyone else seems to have at least one god (especially in 3e, where monsters need to have domains for their clerics). But there is no reason why they would need to be aggressively religious. The greek-like thing could be interesting, as it could fit them in with the culture that gave us minotaurs. And if they were greek, you could lift things from the Minoan civilisation. They had a trading civilisation that travelled widely (and that would seem to be a good fit). Better still, there is a theory (pax Minoica) that the Minoans had a peaceful civilisation! (This theory is now being disputed, but is a good fit for the equiceph culture.)

Icarus wrote:Now that I think about it, I kind of like your idea of the "across the sea". The Miniatures Handbook didn't ever have any place that it "fit in". Sadly, once the game converted to "D&D Miniatures" rather than "Chainmail", they started including things from other settings like Thay, from the Forgotten Realms. Still, the "default" setting in Third Edition was WoG, or GH-Lite, or whatever one wants to call it. But, nevertheless, I guess they could really be found anywhere that is across a vast expanse of water; sea, ocean, what have you. I kind of like the idea of a "prison colony" somewhere, and a continuing evolution of the race's location. That would also explain why they aren't commonly found in the Flanaess, but, are found as raiders and slavers.

Anyway ... just a bit of thinking out loud.


The Miniatures Handbook does include a spell called Mordenkainen’s Buzzing Bee so it is definately a GH-lite book. Mind you, there is also mention of a Purple Dragon Knight. So that would need to be removed or rebooted (with a new name)…

…unless…

…we copied the Wild Elves thing that took drow from Forgotten Realms to Dragonlance and imported a small amount of Purple Dragon Knights from FR to GH.

I would say that if we make the Miniatures Handbook equicephs into the "exiles" from the "peaceful civilisation" and that peaceful civilisation is the "long lost" one from Chainmail, then that would suggest that the Miniatures Handbook "campaign setting" should be the setting that is away from Western Oerik (and over the sea).

I think that would make the two miniatures games provide two campaign settings that fit into different regions of Oerth.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby NiTessine » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:13 am

Icarus wrote:Image
I'm not entirely certain what the guy in the middle is supposed to be. Is it a Hound Archon? It looks more like a horse-face than a dog-face. It's a poorly illustrated whatever-it-is. At first I thought it was an Equiceph, but that may be wishful thinking.


Hound archon. Here's what the D&D Miniatures hound archon from the Harbinger set looks like. They're based on the same concept art, I'd imagine.
Image
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:28 am

So, a bit of Thread Necromancy, here .... but, since the Equicephs are discussed almost nowhere else, I thought it would be counter-productive to continue the conversation elsewhere.

I was reading back over the thread, and something occurred to me that was never really addressed:
We talked about how the equicephs of Western Oerik were only known in their undead form after Ahmut's Legion had found their remains, and had raised them. It was cited
Clerics of Nerul ... found the remains of a tribe of equicephs. Now the Skeletal Equiceph walks the world again, brought back to unlife by forbidden magic ...
The part that is sticking with me is "a tribe".
That's a pretty specific word, speaking in an anthropological sense.
The Equicephs were tribal.
That doesn't make them nomads, or anything like that ... but, there's connotations that go along with "tribal". ... it's not necessarily quite the same as a "clan", but, the concepts are somewhat similar. ... it's also notable that the Romans used the word to describe the Assembly of the People, or Tribal Assembly, which was a very developed and intricate system.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that I think equiceph culture wasn't a developed Nation or State, and that they may not have been anything like an indigenous tribe. It is likely that they weren't an organized culture to the extent that they had a systemic government. ... they likely had some form of local leadership that had similar values and norms, but, never grew into a complicated political system.

Now, what does this mean to our setting? <chuckle> Who knows?
But, I imagine them to be something like an early Roman/Greek organization, or perhaps the early confederations or independent khanates of Mongolia before the rise of Temujin, Genghis Khan. (Not in culture, just in organization.)
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Havard » Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:03 pm

How about basing them off the Etruscans?

Do we know why these tribes were killed? Did any survive or do we only have the undead versions now?

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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby ripvanwormer » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:50 pm

They were wiped out in the Demon Wars, which was Yeenoghu and Baphomet invading Western Oerik with hordes of minotaurs, gnolls, and demons approximately 1000 years ago. Some descendants of equiceph criminals survive in the Flanaess (if you want them in your campaign).
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:56 pm

Icarus wrote:So, a bit of Thread Necromancy, here .... but, since the Equicephs are discussed almost nowhere else, I thought it would be counter-productive to continue the conversation elsewhere.


There are no rules against thread necromancy at The Piazza. So long as you have something significant to say (and not just a "that's cool" comment) feel free to reopen any conversation. (Worst case scenario is that someone might have stopped posting at The Piazza...or might have forgotten what they were talking about. :lol: )

Icarus wrote:I was reading back over the thread, and something occurred to me that was never really addressed:
We talked about how the equicephs of Western Oerik were only known in their undead form after Ahmut's Legion had found their remains, and had raised them. It was cited
Clerics of Nerul ... found the remains of a tribe of equicephs. Now the Skeletal Equiceph walks the world again, brought back to unlife by forbidden magic ...
The part that is sticking with me is "a tribe".
That's a pretty specific word, speaking in an anthropological sense.
The Equicephs were tribal.
That doesn't make them nomads, or anything like that ... but, there's connotations that go along with "tribal". ... it's not necessarily quite the same as a "clan", but, the concepts are somewhat similar. ... it's also notable that the Romans used the word to describe the Assembly of the People, or Tribal Assembly, which was a very developed and intricate system.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that I think equiceph culture wasn't a developed Nation or State, and that they may not have been anything like an indigenous tribe. It is likely that they weren't an organized culture to the extent that they had a systemic government. ... they likely had some form of local leadership that had similar values and norms, but, never grew into a complicated political system.


Nice spot. :cool:

Wikipedia's definition of tribe is:
Tribe at Wikipdia wrote:A tribe is a group of distinct people, dependent on their land for their livelihood, who are largely self-sufficient, and not integrated into the national society.


So that would mean that there would have been a geographical area of Western Oerik, where the equicephs worked the land in some way.

I don't know if we have an ecology of the equiceph. I would have thought that they would harvest grasses, for the majority of their diet. We know that the undead and living versions have some sort of armoured skirts. So the equiceph's of the Sundered Empire need to have the technology to make that sort of stuff for themselves.

Icarus wrote:Now, what does this mean to our setting? <chuckle> Who knows?
But, I imagine them to be something like an early Roman/Greek organization, or perhaps the early confederations or independent khanates of Mongolia before the rise of Temujin, Genghis Khan. (Not in culture, just in organization.)


Your idea of using the Roman Tribal Assembly (or Assembly of the People) would certainly give us a structure to build on. The Wikipedia article for Tribal Assembly says:
Tribal Assembly article at Wikipedia wrote:During the years of the Roman Republic, citizens were organized on the basis of 35 tribes: 4 tribes (the "urban tribes") encompassed citizens inside the city of Rome, while the other 31 tribes (the "rural tribes") encompassed citizens outside the city.


So if we had a lost equiceph city, with around four tribes and around thirty one rural tribes, could we use mediaeval dynamics to work out what sort of roles the equicephs in both types of tribes had?

And would Ahmut's Legion have stumbled onto a tribe killed off in battle, a graveyard or some other site of mass death?
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:17 pm

It looks like tribal society is still a thing in the Sundered Empire. Here are a couple of quotes from the Godwar section of the Chainmail Core Rulebook:
Chainmail Core Rulebook page 3 wrote:Even as he died, the God of War knew how to place his weapons. Stratis’s axe dropped among the savage tribes of the
southern lands and was seized by a hobgoblin chieftain named Drazen.


Tht doesn't say that the hobgoblins live in savage tribes. It says that the southern lands have savage tribes. So there might be non-hobgoblin tribes that are (or were) also savage.

Chainmail Core Rulebook page 3 wrote:Stratis’s curse has left some room for hope. Unfortunately, it is the hope that one’s own people will sponsor the next God of War. Every kingdom and tribe fears the consequences should its enemies win. And no one can afford to trust the good intentions of those who, under other circumstances, might be friends.


Here we see that the society of the Sundered Empire is based on kingdoms and tribes. So I guess that, if we wanted to, we could list which societies were kingdoms and which were tribes.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:03 am

Big Mac wrote:It looks like tribal society is still a thing in the Sundered Empire.
You know, I hadn't quite thought of that ... now tha tI think of it, there's obviously gonna be some different types of social/government.
That doesn't say that the hobgoblins live in savage tribes. It says that the southern lands have savage tribes. So there might be non-hobgoblin tribes that are (or were) also savage...
If I had to take a guess, I would probably think that the "savage tribes of the southern lands" is probably referring to Drazen's Horde. While there's not necessarily no humans/demihumans living in the area, they're likely to be few and far between. But, having said that, I think that if there are any, they likely *do* live in tribes. Just like in gazetteers and such, there's always other races listed even in predominantly human or elven areas.
...we see that the society of the Sundered Empire is based on kingdoms and tribes. So I guess that, if we wanted to, we could list which societies were kingdoms and which were tribes.
That'd be one heck of a project. Interesting, to be sure. But, I think, far beyond me. ... I mean, I guess a lot of it would be speculation, and it would involve trying to figure out a lot of information about canon references ... I guess it's not that big of a thing, since there's not that much that's canon.
I think many of the factions are as big as nations like the Baklunish and Suel Empires or the Great Kingdom. And, IMC, I use the Chainmail and the Blackmoon Chronicles material ... the Free States are what's left of the once-proud Empire of Lhynn; and Drazen's Horde, Naresh, and Ahmut's Legion essentially together comprise what would be the Clut of the Black Moon. .... Altenburg and Syzygie are cities in Thalos ... there's not really much other than making up new stuff. The ones that are tribal are already evident, I guess?

At any rate - the Equicephs were clearly tribal, but not necessarily savage; with that I would agree. The bigger question, to me, is: Where did they live?
If they we presume that the burial sites were found by Ahmut's Legion in the area that the Legion most recently controlled during the God War ... then it's fairly clear. But, that's a pretty large place. Like I said before, at least as big as the Suel Empire. There's certainly everything from plains to mountains (and likely woodlands, etc) within that loose boundary.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:59 am

Icarus wrote:
Big Mac wrote:It looks like tribal society is still a thing in the Sundered Empire.
You know, I hadn't quite thought of that ... now tha tI think of it, there's obviously gonna be some different types of social/government.
That doesn't say that the hobgoblins live in savage tribes. It says that the southern lands have savage tribes. So there might be non-hobgoblin tribes that are (or were) also savage...
If I had to take a guess, I would probably think that the "savage tribes of the southern lands" is probably referring to Drazen's Horde. While there's not necessarily no humans/demihumans living in the area, they're likely to be few and far between. But, having said that, I think that if there are any, they likely *do* live in tribes. Just like in gazetteers and such, there's always other races listed even in predominantly human or elven areas.


That sounds about right.

I guess it could be like the Mongols, before Gengis Khan came along and united everyone.

That seems to be Stratis's aim. To get mostly peaceful and independent groups to unify into aggressive factions. Drazen's Horde could easily be the factions that came together, with other savage tribes retaining independence and maybe acting as mercenaries. (I suppose the Chainmail warband rules for what can be added to a Drazen's Horde force could give us a clue about who else is in the area.)

Icarus wrote:
Big Mac wrote: ...we see that the society of the Sundered Empire is based on kingdoms and tribes. So I guess that, if we wanted to, we could list which societies were kingdoms and which were tribes.
That'd be one heck of a project. Interesting, to be sure. But, I think, far beyond me. ... I mean, I guess a lot of it would be speculation, and it would involve trying to figure out a lot of information about canon references ... I guess it's not that big of a thing, since there's not that much that's canon.
I think many of the factions are as big as nations like the Baklunish and Suel Empires or the Great Kingdom. And, IMC, I use the Chainmail and the Blackmoon Chronicles material ... the Free States are what's left of the once-proud Empire of Lhynn, and Drazen's Horde, Naresh, and Ahmut's Legion esserntially together comprise what would be the Clut of the Black Moon. .... Altenburg ans Syzygie are cities in Thalos ... there's not really much other than making up new stuff. The ones that are tribal are already evident, I guess?

At any rate - the Equicephs were clearly tribal, but not necessarily savage; with that I would agree. The bigger question, to me, is: Where did they live?
If they we presume that the burial sites were found by Ahmut's Legion in the area that the Legion most recently controlled during the God War ... then it's fairly clear. But, that's a pretty large place. Like I said before, at least as big as the Suel Empire. There's certainly everything from plains to mountains (and likely woodlands, etc) within that loose boundary.


I see what you mean about it being "beyond you". I don't even know enough about tribes to know how much variety there could be in a "tribal region of Ravilla". But, I'm guessing that, if we could infer additional tribes from the various miniatures that are legal for play with a Drazen's Horde faction, we could work out if we are talking about one or two types of tribes or dozens of types of tribes. That wouldn't let us know what sort of tribal society would be the "best" fit for the area, but it might give us a clue about how much variety could be packed into the zone.

Perhaps it would be worth starting up a new topic to discuss what Empire of Lhynn factions would work as pre-God War tribes in the region. (It might also be worth having a topic to discuss how the Cult of the Black Moon could devolve into Drazen's Horde, Naresh and Ahmut's Legion. I presume that some sort of major collapse would be needed with Stratis's death causing a resurgence in the "Children of the Black Moon". It might even be fun to have an actual Children of the Black Moon cult that wants to unify the area, as part of the push to create a Black Moon war god.)

EDIT: New topic started: [Black Moon Chronicles] Cult of the Black Moon.

If the equicephs have been killed off, then there must have been a more aggressive tribe that went to war with them for some reason. I wonder how "sucessful" the equicephs were and if they left a lot of artifacts behind.

I agree with you on the burial sites. I can't see equicephs taking dead bodies on a long trek to bury them. They must have lived in the general region of the cemeteries. I suppose it is possible that there are undisturbed equiceph burial sites outside the Ahmut's Legion area. If the people there are respectful of the dead, they may be protecting the sites. Maybe Ahmut's Legion might even fight skirmishes to gain control of burial grounds, so that they can expand their forces. :twisted:

I like the idea of looking at the terrain. If we can define "equiceph friendly" terrain then it would be possible to decide if areas outside Ahmut's Region are "equiceph friendly" or not.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:13 pm

Big Mac wrote:If the equicephs have been killed off, then there must have been a more aggressive tribe that went to war with them for some reason.
So, about the equiceph's being killed off ... your assertion that they "must have" been at war with a more aggressive tribe is a little inaccurate. They were, technically at war with an aggressive enemy, but, it didn't have to do with tribal warfare.
Chainmail Miniatures - Set 3 - Fire & Ice (Apr 2002) wrote:Rampaging Abyssal armies wiped them out during the Demon War ...
Because, well, that's what hordes of demons do.

BigMac wrote: I wonder how "sucessful" the equicephs were and if they left a lot of artifacts behind.
I would imagine that in the region in which they were prevalent, they were as successful as any 2,000 year old culture was. ... I mean, outside of monolithic monuments, how many artifacts are found from biblical eras? In the States, the indigenous tribes of aboriginal natives left a fair impact on history. Granted, there weren't many actual buildings, other than in the southwest where Pueblo tribes were. But (outside of the pyramids), I imagine that it could be compared to the archoeological artifacts left behind by the Egyptian, Babylonian, Bantu, Minoan, or any other Bronze or Late Stone Age culture.

BigMac wrote:I agree with you on the burial sites. I can't see equicephs taking dead bodies on a long trek to bury them. They must have lived in the general region of the cemeteries. I suppose it is possible that there are undisturbed equiceph burial sites outside the Ahmut's Legion area. If the people there are respectful of the dead, they may be protecting the sites. Maybe Ahmut's Legion might even fight skirmishes to gain control of burial grounds, so that they can expand their forces.
I like the idea of looking at the terrain. If we can define "equiceph friendly" terrain then it would be possible to decide if areas outside Ahmut's Region are "equiceph friendly" or not.
The "general region" of the cemeteries ... the thing of it is that the Equiceph culture isn't well-specified, but, they are included in Ahmut's Legion. We don't necessarily know that Ahmut's Legion didn't raise them, and then march them along with the other armies of the Legion to where they now occupy territory. But, I'm inclined to think that they were in the vicinity. Mostly for the reason that the area is massive. Imagine, if you will, a people that ranged all the way from Madrid or Monaco, all the way to Hadrian's Wall. That's a *lot* of territory for one culture. In my home state of Texas (which would be similar in size to what we're referring to), there's a half dozen native cultures in that large an area, with dozens of subdivisions therein.
So, if we're working on the principle that equicephs were indigenous to the area now occupied by Ahmut's Legion, then I really can't imagine equicephs having gone much farther than that. While there certainly were geographical features that may've been accommodating to them, I can't imagine that they would have travelled that far.
There may well be "equiceph friendly" terrain out there ... but, unless the equicephs were transplanted there, I find it difficult to postulate them being that far away without actually being a different culture or species altogether. Just as much as Kush and Egypt were different; or Cherokee, Comanche, and Coahuiltecan cultures were all different.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:54 pm

Icarus wrote:
Big Mac wrote:If the equicephs have been killed off, then there must have been a more aggressive tribe that went to war with them for some reason.
So, about the equiceph's being killed off ... your assertion that they "must have" been at war with a more aggressive tribe is a little inaccurate. They were, technically at war with an aggressive enemy, but, it didn't have to do with tribal warfare.
Chainmail Miniatures - Set 3 - Fire & Ice (Apr 2002) wrote:Rampaging Abyssal armies wiped them out during the Demon War ...
Because, well, that's what hordes of demons do.


Thanks. I've not got that book...or at least I didn't have that book. (I just ordered a copy. If you could help me with a list of Chainmail books, I will hunt down the useful ones, give them a read and make less mistakes.)

Icarus wrote:
BigMac wrote: I wonder how "sucessful" the equicephs were and if they left a lot of artifacts behind.
I would imagine that in the region in which they were prevalent, they were as successful as any 2,000 year old culture was. ... I mean, outside of monolithic monuments, how many artifacts are found from biblical eras? In the States, the indigenous tribes of aboriginal natives left a fair impact on history. Granted, there weren't many actual buildings, other than in the southwest where Pueblo tribes were. But (outside of the pyramids), I imagine that it could be compared to the archoeological artifacts left behind by the Egyptian, Babylonian, Bantu, Minoan, or any other Bronze or Late Stone Age culture.


I should have explained myself better. I wasn't just talking about artefacts in the real-world sense. I was also talking about them in the D&D sense. If the equicephs had some sort of spellcasting tradition (either wizardry or shamanism) they should have created some magic items. They kind of look like they are wearing Roman kilts to me (although there may be other cultures that are a better fit). So I wonder if we could look at the mythology of some of the cultures and guess at the sort of magic items they might have made.

There could even be a buried equiceph building, town or city somewhere. Or cave dwellings. Or something more appropriate. :)

Icarus wrote:
BigMac wrote:I agree with you on the burial sites. I can't see equicephs taking dead bodies on a long trek to bury them. They must have lived in the general region of the cemeteries. I suppose it is possible that there are undisturbed equiceph burial sites outside the Ahmut's Legion area. If the people there are respectful of the dead, they may be protecting the sites. Maybe Ahmut's Legion might even fight skirmishes to gain control of burial grounds, so that they can expand their forces.
I like the idea of looking at the terrain. If we can define "equiceph friendly" terrain then it would be possible to decide if areas outside Ahmut's Region are "equiceph friendly" or not.
The "general region" of the cemeteries ... the thing of it is that the Equiceph culture isn't well-specified, but, they are included in Ahmut's Legion. We don't necessarily know that Ahmut's Legion didn't raise them, and then march them along with the other armies of the Legion to where they now occupy territory. But, I'm inclined to think that they were in the vicinity. Mostly for the reason that the area is massive. Imagine, if you will, a people that ranged all the way from Madrid or Monaco, all the way to Hadrian's Wall. That's a *lot* of territory for one culture. In my home state of Texas (which would be similar in size to what we're referring to), there's a half dozen native cultures in that large an area, with dozens of subdivisions therein.
So, if we're working on the principle that equicephs were indigenous to the area now occupied by Ahmut's Legion, then I really can't imagine equicephs having gone much farther than that. While there certainly were geographical features that may've been accommodating to them, I can't imagine that they would have travelled that far.
There may well be "equiceph friendly" terrain out there ... but, unless the equicephs were transplanted there, I find it difficult to postulate them being that far away without actually being a different culture or species altogether. Just as much as Kush and Egypt were different; or Cherokee, Comanche, and Coahuiltecan cultures were all different.


I do think we need to "guess" here. I think you would make a better guess than me.

As for the equicephs that might have gone somewhere else, I was thinking that there were those living equicephs in the Miniatures Handbook. If we assumed they were Greyhawk-lite equicephs, then there must have been some sort of migration from the Sundered Empire region to wherever they ended up. (I think they were supposed to have been banished, but there presumably would have been various equicephs that were banished from their tribe over time.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:31 pm

Big Mac wrote:I should have explained myself better. I wasn't just talking about artefacts in the real-world sense. I was also talking about them in the D&D sense. If the equicephs had some sort of spellcasting tradition (either wizardry or shamanism) they should have created some magic items. They kind of look like they are wearing Roman kilts to me (although there may be other cultures that are a better fit). So I wonder if we could look at the mythology of some of the cultures and guess at the sort of magic items they might have made.

There could even be a buried equiceph building, town or city somewhere. Or cave dwellings. Or something more appropriate. :)

I couldn't help but chuckle a little when you said that you weren't referring to archaeology, yet ended your post with mention of ancient ruined buildings. :facepalm:
But, that aside, you also mentioned kilts. While it is obvious that because of their anatomy, they're not wearing pants ;) , their clothing (at least in that one illustration) isn't quite a kilt. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that the garment they're wearing isn't only from the waist down. And yet, it's not really continuous in the same way as a toga, either. it's covered with little squares that could be viewed as perhaps being a quilted or padded gambeson. But, because they look flat and hard, I think it's more likely that it's actually a Coat of Plates, which is like a kind of similar to a Central Asian brigadine armor.

I do think we need to "guess" here. I think you would make a better guess than me.

As for the equicephs that might have gone somewhere else, I was thinking that there were those living equicephs in the Miniatures Handbook. If we assumed they were Greyhawk-lite equicephs, then there must have been some sort of migration from the Sundered Empire region to wherever they ended up. (I think they were supposed to have been banished, but there presumably would have been various equicephs that were banished from their tribe over time.
For my part, I don't think that it's really an assumption that they were "Greyhawk-lite". While I realize that they were in a book that contained setting material from other worlds, there's canon reference to them, and I don't think that it's unreasonable to assume that is the same in GH. Mostly for the reason that the felldrakes of Ravilla, for example, are not only in GH, and where they're in other settings they still use the same story line. And in the same book, the characters presented from other worlds are considered canon for their worlds.

At any rate, I think that the word "migration" would be a little strong in a discussion of the movement of the equicephs to another continent or nation. While there's no particular reason to not use the term, I don't think that there would've been many equicephs that chose to leave Western Oerik voluntarily, since it was viewed as a punishment. For example, in discussion of Australia, words like "deportation" , or "transportation" are used.
You are right on the count that they were banished, and in fact, the Miniatures Handbook says:
This ancient society maintained the peace by exiling its worst criminals to a land across the sea.
There certainly would've been many equicephs banished over time, and as with Australia, there would've a sufficient number to make a settlement that eventually became a colony, or slaver's port, or some such.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:47 pm

One of the things that I often wonder about the equicephs is that they are referred to as "one of the Old Races". That implies a lot of things about them, especially in the capitalization, making it a proper noun. Aside from the fact there are obviously other Old Races, and we don't know what they are, there's an implied societal awareness -at least, to me- that indicates that they knew they were one of the earliest people.

Because of this, I follow that line of thought, and end up with their language which, again, we know nothing about. One of the things that is common throughout all of the sentient races and cultures (whether real-world, or in-game) is that they have some word that refers to themselves and another that refers to outsiders. Whether it means "the people" and others are "not-people", or it's "citizens" and "barbarians". Roma, the language of the gypsies, for example, has numerous, various words for themselves and even more for outsiders denoting their gender or place, but they are collectively called the "gadjo".
Since the equiceph culture is referred to as "peaceful" and that they had "superior intellect and insight", I wonder how they would've thought of themselves, and what their word for their own people and culture would've been.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:06 pm

Icarus wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I should have explained myself better. I wasn't just talking about artefacts in the real-world sense. I was also talking about them in the D&D sense. If the equicephs had some sort of spellcasting tradition (either wizardry or shamanism) they should have created some magic items. They kind of look like they are wearing Roman kilts to me (although there may be other cultures that are a better fit). So I wonder if we could look at the mythology of some of the cultures and guess at the sort of magic items they might have made.

There could even be a buried equiceph building, town or city somewhere. Or cave dwellings. Or something more appropriate. :)

I couldn't help but chuckle a little when you said that you weren't referring to archaeology, yet ended your post with mention of ancient ruined buildings. :facepalm:


I did. But to be fair to myself I did say "I wasn't just talking about artefacts...". So I was talking about artefacts...annnnd other stuff. ;)

But sure, an old city might be almost totally gone (especially if the demons attacked it). It could just be a few small fragments that remain (like the Roman stuff that gets dug up under London).

I figure that if equiceph bones are left then anything that lasts as long as bones might turn up. That might not be scientifically accurate, but the "rule of cool" dictates that you don't want all the equicephs to be running around without heads and hands and not wearing any pants, because their pants rotted away.

There might be enough of an excuse to have a few equiceph liches (who are not working for Ahmut's Legion) or some sort of deathless equicephs (archliches, perhaps) who can interact with the PCs and work with them to free the equiceph undead from domination by Ahmut's clerics.

Icarus wrote:But, that aside, you also mentioned kilts. While it is obvious that because of their anatomy, they're not wearing pants ;) , their clothing (at least in that one illustration) isn't quite a kilt. On closer inspection, it becomes clear that the garment they're wearing isn't only from the waist down. And yet, it's not really continuous in the same way as a toga, either. it's covered with little squares that could be viewed as perhaps being a quilted or padded gambeson. But, because they look flat and hard, I think it's more likely that it's actually a Coat of Plates, which is like a kind of similar to a Central Asian brigadine armor.


Great links there. :D

The bridadine article says that italian people wore that sort of armour. So if they also have ties with the Roman empire, you get the tribes connection and an armour conection from one real-world race. Perhaps that means that Italian culture would be a good baseline to build equiceph culture from.

Icarus wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I do think we need to "guess" here. I think you would make a better guess than me.

As for the equicephs that might have gone somewhere else, I was thinking that there were those living equicephs in the Miniatures Handbook. If we assumed they were Greyhawk-lite equicephs, then there must have been some sort of migration from the Sundered Empire region to wherever they ended up. (I think they were supposed to have been banished, but there presumably would have been various equicephs that were banished from their tribe over time.
For my part, I don't think that it's really an assumption that they were "Greyhawk-lite". While I realize that they were in a book that contained setting material from other worlds, there's canon reference to them, and I don't think that it's unreasonable to assume that is the same in GH. Mostly for the reason that the felldrakes of Ravilla, for example, are not only in GH, and where they're in other settings they still use the same story line. And in the same book, the characters presented from other worlds are considered canon for their worlds.

At any rate, I think that the word "migration" would be a little strong in a discussion of the movement of the equicephs to another continent or nation. While there's no particular reason to not use the term, I don't think that there would've been many equicephs that chose to leave Western Oerik voluntarily, since it was viewed as a punishment. For example, in discussion of Australia, words like "deportation" , or "transportation" are used.
You are right on the count that they were banished, and in fact, the Miniatures Handbook says:
This ancient society maintained the peace by exiling its worst criminals to a land across the sea.
There certainly would've been many equicephs banished over time, and as with Australia, there would've a sufficient number to make a settlement that eventually became a colony, or slaver's port, or some such.


OK. So if we are looking at banishment, in a similar way to the British deportation of criminals to Australia, then that does tell us one thing, that is there, but not directly stated: The equicephs had some sort of seafaring culture that was strong enough to allow them to travel across the seas.

I say this because if they did not have seafaring culture, how would they be able to banish criminals over the sea?

So, if we assume this (at least for a moment) we can then ask if there is an area where equicephs could get from the Ahmut's Horde region of the Chainmail map to the sea? Do they have some coastline? Or failing that, do they have access to a river where flat-bottomed ships (like longships...or maybe briemes).

With a seafaring culture, they could chain banished criminals to oars, and get them to row themselves across the sea to the "land of banished equicephs" and do something similar to the pirate's code (leaving them on the beach with one weapon or somesuch).

The other alternative, would be to get an entire shipload of criminals, give them their own ship, and allow them to sail away themselves. But, if they did things that way, I'm not sure they would have the level of control over the criminals. How would they stop them from coming back? How would they stop them from turning into equiceph pirates who attack the ships of law-abiding equicephs?

Another possibility with a seafaring equiceph culture* that takes criminals to other countries and abandons them there, is that lesser criminals could be forced to serve as crewmen as a punishment. So, there could be an entire complement of criminal equicephs on a seafaring ship, with the petty criminals "earning their freedom" through work and the serious criminals "earning their banishment" through work. :idea:

* = A side benefit of a seafaring equiceph culture, is that I can give the long dead race a number of spelljamming helms and have some of them create an equiceph colony on one or more of the celestial bodies of Greyspace. :twisted:

Have you had any further thoughts on your "equiceph Australia" concept? Would you actually go for a penal colony, with lawful equicephs using banished criminals to try to build a new colony? Or would you go for ones and twos that are dropped off on beaches and left to fend for themselves?

And where would you put this colony? Is there a place for this sort of thing in the Flanaess, or would you put it somewhere like Hepmonoland? :?
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby ripvanwormer » Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:I say this because if they did not have seafaring culture, how would they be able to banish criminals over the sea?


Planar gates are a possibility. Spelljammers? I'd assume they used mundane boats from an Occam's razor perspective, though.

So, if we assume this (at least for a moment) we can then ask if there is an area where equicephs could get from the Ahmut's Horde region of the Chainmail map to the sea?


Drazen's Horde is landlocked, but I think you have to assume that, since they're said to have dominated Western Oerik (along with other Old Races, perhaps, which might have included giants, lizardfolk, perhaps minotaurs and gnolls, perhaps yuan-ti or other serpent folk, maybe centaurs) the equiceph territory was much larger than what is now Drazen's Horde. Since their time was over 1,000 years ago, much of Western Oerik is a blank slate. Most of the modern nations wouldn't have existed then, except the elven empire of Ravilla (the "Le Cronicahe della Luna Nera" PDF indicates that the Empire of Lynn was extant in this era, as well as a human empire in what is now the southern deserts, the Empire of the Phoenix). The equicephs might have preceded elven or human civilization, though; perhaps the time they dominated Western Oerik was before the rise of either human or elf.

Basically I'd assume they could once be found anywhere on the Chainmail map.

Here's the Chainmail continental map, by the way:

Image

And here's the Dragon Annual #1 map:

Image

The other alternative, would be to get an entire shipload of criminals, give them their own ship, and allow them to sail away themselves. But, if they did things that way, Have you had any further thoughts on your "equiceph Australia" concept? Would you actually go for a penal colony, with lawful equicephs using banished criminals to try to build a new colony? Or would you go for ones and twos that are dropped off on beaches and left to fend for themselves?

And where would you put this colony? Is there a place for this sort of thing in the Flanaess, or would you put it somewhere like Hepmonoland? :?


It'd be tempting to put it in what is now the Scarlet Brotherhood; then the lawful evil equicephs can be Scarlet Brotherhood slavers and soldiers, helping to capture slaves in Hepmonaland, the Amedio, and wherever the Scarlet Brotherhood empire extends. Some might work for the Great Kingdom as slavers, too, and as commanders of hobgoblin troops.

However, your mention of Australia reminds me that Oerth has an unnamed, undetailed Australia-like continent that might be a good place to drop some of the weirder Miniatures Handbook creatures. The maps make it look like a relatively short hop by ship from the Tharquish Empire or Ishtarland to this continent.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:But sure, an old city might be almost totally gone (especially if the demons attacked it). It could just be a few small fragments that remain (like the Roman stuff that gets dug up under London). I figure that if equiceph bones are left then anything that lasts as long as bones might turn up. That might not be scientifically accurate, but the "rule of cool" dictates that you don't want all the equicephs to be running around without heads and hands and not wearing any pants, because their pants rotted away.
There might be enough of an excuse to have a few equiceph liches (who are not working for Ahmut's Legion) or some sort of deathless equicephs (archliches, perhaps) who can interact with the PCs and work with them to free the equiceph undead from domination by Ahmut's clerics.
Huh. I hadn't thought of that - actually RPing the ancient culture, and having NPCs from the old culture. I should think that if one were wanting to do that, liches, or some sort of non-evil deathless being, would certainly be a way to have them in the present and able to convey the sense of culture, or something.
The brigdadine article says that italian people wore that sort of armour. So if they also have ties with the Roman empire, you get the tribes connection and an armour conection from one real-world race. Perhaps that means that Italian culture would be a good baseline to build equiceph culture from.
That's kind of the reason that I referred to Central Asian brigadine. On the page I linked, there's a photograph near the bottom that looks much, much more like what the equiceph is wearing in the illustrations. Most especially like the Miniatures Handbook illustration. specifically, there's an illustration of an equiceph (or a very, very similar creature) in The Horde Volume 1, page 48, that shows it dressed in a type of brigadine.
[Edit to include illustration]
Image
There's various schools of thought here ... some say that dwarevs, elves, and other such beings would typically dress in garb of their own culture, or similar to it, and another than says they'd likely incorporate to whatever culture they were near or a part of. The illustration happens to show an equiceph in brigadine - but, there's a whole lot of armor appearing in various styles that would fit into "brigadine", so I wouldn't say that it should be pinned down to Italian=Rome=Ancianet Rome=Tharque=Equiceph.

OK. So if we are looking at banishment, in a similar way to the British deportation of criminals to Australia, then that does tell us one thing, that is there, but not directly stated: The equicephs had some sort of seafaring culture that was strong enough to allow them to travel across the seas. I say this because if they did not have seafaring culture, how would they be able to banish criminals over the sea?[...]
There's a *lot* of good ideas in here ... I really like this. I was kind of taken with some of the ideas, especially the different ways of effectiing the banishment with or without criminals and a crew. Although, it's difficult, for me, to imagine a seafaring race being one with hooves. It seems it would be like an uneasy thing for them to be on a rolling, wet surface. ... although, if they were bound and determined to do so, there's no reason that they wouldn't invent something to get around their hooves onboard. ... but, that seems terribly unlikely the more I think about it. ... although, I *do* like the idea of equicephs using boats that have seated positions, like smaller rowboats, and canoes and such.

* = A side benefit of a seafaring equiceph culture, is that I can give the long dead race a number of spelljamming helms and have some of them create an equiceph colony on one or more of the celestial bodies of Greyspace. :twisted:
It wasn't 'til I read this part that I realized that no matter what I thought about this aspect, and it finally hit me ... as far as they are from any coastline, in an entirely land-locked area ... it's far more likely that the equicephs must've had some other method of travel other than boats, magical or otherwise. They could've easily used magic to effect the banishment. They could've used a method of teleporting others (a Gate, a Teleportation circle, a Banishment spell, or somesuch). Which, in a way, tells us just as much about the equidephs. ... they really hadn't any method of travel "across the sea" from where they are. They could travel by river theoretically, but, the nearest ocean or sea is at least a couple of Empires away, geographically - therefore, they must've had some kind of magical means, of doing so. And if they are able to effect that kind of spellcasting, there were obviously high-level enough casters to use the magic. It's difficult for me to pin down precisely what kind of magic they'd use - despite the fact that "peaceful" implies more like druids, shamans, or certain priests, there's nothing that would seem to indicate that wizardry, sorcery, psionics, or anything else should be precluded.
Last edited by Icarus on Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:50 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:Planar gates are a possibility. Spelljammers? I'd assume they used mundane boats from an Occam's razor perspective, though.
Dang it! Rasgon beat me to it!

Drazen's Horde is landlocked ...
It would be Ahmut's Legion, actually. But, I think that was just a minor clerical error.
... they're said to have dominated Western Oerik (along with other Old Races ...
That I'm aware of, they're not said anywhere to have dominated Western Oerik, just that they were among the Old Races.
Most of the modern nations wouldn't have existed then, except the elven empire of Ravilla (the "Le Cronicahe della Luna Nera" PDF indicates that the Empire of Lynn was extant in this era, as well as a human empire in what is now the southern deserts, the Empire of the Phoenix).
I would caution you against using that PDF as a reference. It's vastly, vastly comprised of fan-material. There's very little of it, actually, that's based on the Chronicles of the Black Moon. While it is a good bit of work, and a nice fun read, it bears little resemblance to the actual source material, and even the timeline is incredibly off. It also includes Lonely Mountain and Isengard, for example. And while that doesn't necessarily indicate that the Black Moon material is inaccurate, let me assure you, it's written to suit that campaign, and not from a point of view of retaining the Black Moon material.

Basically I'd assume they could once be found anywhere on the Chainmail map. ...
It'd be tempting to put it in what is now the Scarlet Brotherhood; then the lawful evil equicephs can be Scarlet Brotherhood slavers and soldiers, helping to capture slaves in Hepmonaland, the Amedio, and wherever the Scarlet Brotherhood empire extends. Some might work for the Great Kingdom as slavers, too, and as commanders of hobgoblin troops.
I'd agree that any of this is certainly possible. Since I mentioned in my last post that I, too, thought that magical travel was possible, there's not any place that's not on the list of places they could be.
I think that I might put them near the Khanates, or the Wolf and Tiger Nomads, simply because I like Mongolian stuff. :P
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:14 am

Icarus wrote:That I'm aware of, they're not said anywhere to have dominated Western Oerik, just that they were among the Old Races.


I was quoting you, above. There are two ways of interpreting that quote ("the equicephs were one of the Old Races that used to dominate Western Oerik"). First, the equicephs used to dominate Western Oerik, and other Old Races dominated it as well (perhaps not simultaneously). Or, second, the Old Races collectively dominated Western Oerik, but the equicephs did not do so in their own right. Both interpretations seem equally valid readings. Regardless, I don't see any reason to believe the equicephs were confined to the region of Ahmut's Legion.

I would caution you against using that PDF as a reference. It's vastly, vastly comprised of fan-material.


That was my impression, and I noticed the references to Isengard and Lonely Mountain. Also, Wendar is a nation in Mystara. That said, it's the reference I have, and it's not like the Chronicles of the Black Moon are Greyhawk canon either.
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby Icarus » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:24 am

ripvanwormer wrote:I was quoting you, above. There are two ways of interpreting that quote ("the equicephs were one of the Old Races that used to dominate Western Oerik").
You're absolutely right, Rip. I hadn't thought to read it that way. Yes, since there's not a comma to make it clear, it could be read in either context.
The more I think on your point of them being anywhere ... I realize that 4,000 years ago in our own history, mankind was pretty much spread across the entire planet, so it's not unfair to assume that the equicephs would've necessarily been limited in any different way.

That was my impression, and I noticed the references to Isengard and Lonely Mountain. Also, Wendar is a nation in Mystara. That said, it's the reference I have, and it's not like the Chronicles of the Black Moon are Greyhawk canon either.
Interestingly, I learned today that there's a back-reference from the Black Moon Chronicles to Greyhawk, in a similar way to the fact that the Dragon Annual map refers to the places of the BMC. There's a map of the City of Lhynn in one of the BMC books that has the "Great Sea" rather than the "Oceanum Titanicum", and an arrow pointing across it to "Greyhawk". Interestingly, it's pointing to the West, and from Lhynn, across the Ocean would be the shortest, fastest way to get to Greyhawk from there.
Although, I would like to point out, I don't use the BMC verbatim out of the graphic novel series. Only in the context that some of the nations are also in Greyhawk as canon, by and large. Some places I assume to be the same, such as the two names for a large forest, "Elvanian" and "Feydrin" because they mean similar things. Others I presume aren't there at all, because the Chainmail factions have displaced them.

Not to cause digression away from the Equiceph topic, but here's a clip of the map that I mentioned; it's originally about a 2 to 2 1/2 inch square:
Image
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Re: [Chainmail] What happened to the equicephs?

Postby ripvanwormer » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:31 am

Icarus wrote:That's kind of the reason that I referred to Central Asian brigadine. On the page I linked, there's a photograph near the bottom that looks much, much more like what the equiceph is wearing in the illustrations. Most especially like the Miniatures Handbook illustration. specifically, there's an illustration of an equiceph (or a very, very similar creature) in The Horde Volume 1, page 48, that shows it dressed in a type of brigadine.
[Edit to include illustration]
Image


That's actually a me-zu oni. Here's another illustration of a me-zu oni from 3rd edition's Oriental Adventures, page 179:

Image

Good find on the mention of Greyhawk in Black Moon Chronicles!
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