[Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

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[Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:55 am

I'm wondering what races might make up the Free Thinkers Union, FTU. I suppose, that is the same as asking what races (other than illithids) are found on Glyth. Here is the description of them from SJR2 Realmspace
SJR2 Realmspace page 41 wrote:The Under-underdark: Deep in the ground, deep even by mind flayer standards, lives a group of terrorists - humanoids known as the Free Thinkers Union. The FTU occasionally leads raids into the illithid areas of control, in hopes of retrieving and saving as many of their brethen as possible.

None of the FTU members are afraid of death. They realize that they would die at the hands of the mind flayers anyway, and dying in the service of one's fellows is an honorable death. It is believe that they number several hundred now, but that is only speculation. It would be impossible for outsiders to locate or speak with them, because the illtihids are between the surface of the planet and them.

They must be sucessful, because the illithids are constantly trying to find their location to exterminate them.
From that, I was wondering if the FTU would be made up of Underdark races. But then, the description does suggest they are liberating illithid captives, so I looked at the rest of LotV and SJR2.

LotV seems to suggest the other humanoids on the planet live below the surface (in mind flayer cities) and travel to the surface to collect resources. But SJR2 seems to suggest that the other humanoids on the planet live in ranches, in the remaining forests, and get hearded from ranch to ranch, to keep them busy.
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Re: [Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

Post by Big Mac » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:55 pm

Big Mac wrote:LotV seems to suggest the other humanoids on the planet live below the surface (in mind flayer cities) and travel to the surface to collect resources. But SJR2 seems to suggest that the other humanoids on the planet live in ranches, in the remaining forests, and get hearded from ranch to ranch, to keep them busy.
Here is more detail on what Jeff Grubb said about the mind-flayer controlled humanoids of Glyth:

Lorebook of the Void has these quotes:
Lorebook of the Void page 94 wrote:All races of the servants of the illithids, as are any who violate the territorial rights of the rulers. "Land on Glyth and become property" is the rule of thumb.
That says "all races", but I guess it means "all the races on the planet", rather than "all the races that exist".
Lorebook of the Void page 95 wrote:Mind flayer cities dot the underground, with work-numbed slaves sent out to gather those above-ground resources still available or to war with other mind flayer cities.
This tells us there are slaves living underground, and that they go up to the surface to gather resources and attack other mind flayer cities.
Lorebook of the Void page 95 wrote:As with any tyranny, there are rebels, lurking in the shadowy sub-tunels and seeking to overthrow the majority rule. They are portrayed in the same light here as orcs and kobolds are on Toril - destructive vermin who deserve only a quick and sudden death.
From that, I thought (when I first read this) that the unnamed rebels might just be orcs and kobolds. But reading it again, it seems to suggest that they are treated the same way that orcs and kobolds are on Toril. So they really could be from any humanoid race.

I would definitely say that Jeff Grubb's rebels must be the same people that are in the Free Thinkers Union.
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Re: [Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

Post by Big Mac » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:36 am

Big Mac wrote:LotV seems to suggest the other humanoids on the planet live below the surface (in mind flayer cities) and travel to the surface to collect resources. But SJR2 seems to suggest that the other humanoids on the planet live in ranches, in the remaining forests, and get hearded from ranch to ranch, to keep them busy.
Here is more detail on what Dale "Slade" Henson said about the mind-flayer controlled humanoids of Glyth:

SJR2 Realmspace has these quotes:
SJR2 Realmspace page 39 wrote:Population Analysis: Mind flayers and many humanoid races.
I'm not sure what "many" would be, but I am guessing that Glyth was once a fairly normal earth body and that the surface has been "terraformed" by the illithids, because SJR2 says that a sage worked out that the illithids have only been there for about 100 years. (This also kind of suggests that nobody visited Glyth before the illithids got here. :? )
SJR2 Realmspace page 39 wrote:What forests do remain are in control of the underground-dwelling inhabitants of the planet. The rest are purposefully burned off to limit the possible hiding places for their runaway cattle.
So far that kind of matches what Jeff Grubb said.
SJR2 Realmspace page 40 wrote:The illithids often trade their food cattle - humanoids - to others in order to try out someone else's breeding process, all with a goal of increasing the flavour of the brain. <snip>

These skull cattle are kept on ranches in what forests remain on this burned-out world. The illithids laughingly call these dismal locations Skull Sod. The humanoids are herded from one location to the next, from this watering hole, the that pasture; the constant moving keeps their sense of direction off. The humanoids are well cared for, as herded animal care goes.

<snip>When a new humanoid is born, he is placed in a school where learning begins immediately. This process of forced learning continues until the subject is 18 years of age.

At that point, the subject is tested and measured to assess his total brain capacity. If he is in the top five percent, he is given the right to breed - this is also used as a motivator for the humanoids to learn more. Those not in the top percentage are sold to other illithids for dietary intake. The lowest five percentage are outright killed and devoured by the illithids who run the ranch.

All of this ensures the continuation of only the smartest cattle - humanoids who are 1d4 intelligence and wisdom points smarter than the average human, to a maximum of 20. Unfortunately, none of them ever make it of the rance, because the adventuring spirit has been long bred out of them.

The humanoids granted breeding rights are encouraged to produce as many children as possible. These breeders are never sold as brain food until their abilities to produce are extinguished. All the while, they are taught everything possible, except spells that can be used as a method of attack or escape. The hapless humanoids never discover their real purpose for the mind flayers. The herds believe the illithids are a race of teachers who are preparing them for the outside worlds.
This is slightly different from what Jeff Grubb gave is. I don't think it is bad - just different. We have surface dwelling humanoids here, while LotV gave us underground humanoids who visited the surface. And these guys clearly have no idea that they are cattle.

The entry for Justin "Do Good" Demonslayer, has something in it that kind of clashes with the "surface ranch kids" theme that Dale "Slade" Henson just wrote about:
SJR2 Realmspace page 40 wrote:<snip> He pirated wildspace until he came to Glyth. The mind flayers abruptly captured him and threw him in with the rest of the illithid's cattle. He soon found a beautiful lady and fell in love.

When the illithids found out, both humans were to be taken out of the herds.<snip>

Justin escaped once he regained his normal state of consciousness. He climbed to the surface of the planet to wait for his head to heal. Soon, a ship carrying elves landed on the planet. Rushing to the ship, Justin warned them of the impending doom lurking underground, and the elves promptly left, taking Justin with them.
So the story of this NPC, matches Jeff Grubb's original write-up of Glyth, more than it matches Dale "Slade" Henson's write-up of the kids in the ranches. The write up of Justin said he joined a pirate ship almost 30 years ago, so he is well above the age of the ranch kids.

I think the best way to deal with this is to have four groups of humanoids:
1) Children in ranches in the forests on the surface (who think the illithids are teachers),
2) Breeding adults (who still think the illithids are teachers),
3) Humanoids in underground cities sent to the surface to collect resources or to attack other mind-flayer cities and
4) The Free Thinkers Union.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: [Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:28 am

Big Mac wrote:Lorebook of the Void has these quotes:
Lorebook of the Void page 94 wrote:All races of the servants of the illithids, as are any who violate the territorial rights of the rulers. "Land on Glyth and become property" is the rule of thumb.
That says "all races", but I guess it means "all the races on the planet", rather than "all the races that exist".
I think it means both that all races on the planet serve the illithids and that illithids view all races that exist as rightfully their servants. Anyone foolish enough to land on Glyth is likely to be enslaved.

This is similar to what Bruce Cordell wrote in The Illithiad:
The Illithiad page 43 wrote:What is not illithid is thrall

Illithids never truly consider other races as equals. They may sometimes treat nonillithids as peers, but only if such treatment improves trade or other delicate negotiations. Every mind flayer instinctively knows that those creatures it pretends to treat with respect will serve even better as thralls or, at the very least, square meals.
Big Mac wrote:But reading it again, it seems to suggest that they are treated the same way that orcs and kobolds are on Toril. So they really could be from any humanoid race.
They're probably a mixture of different races who have escaped the illithids and found their way to the rebel community in the under-Underdark far below. Humans, grimlocks, a few oortlings, and the descendents of other slaves from countless worlds that the mind flayers purchased from neogi over the years. Some allied githzerai rrakkma bands who planeshift between Glyth and Limbo to fight the hated illithids would also make sense.
Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure what "many" would be, but I am guessing that Glyth was once a fairly normal earth body and that the surface has been "terraformed" by the illithids, because SJR2 says that a sage worked out that the illithids have only been there for about 100 years. (This also kind of suggests that nobody visited Glyth before the illithids got here.
Yes, but note that Glyth had a sizable mind flayer community until around -11,000 DR, when the illithids had to evacuate the planet for some reason. Fan speculation is that they were driven from the world by Gith and her armies during her great rebellion. This was first mentioned in Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark.
Drizzt's Guide to the Underdark page 75 wrote:Oryndoll is one of the oldest illithid communities. Founded over twelve millennia ago, the city began as an illithid enclave settled by refugees from Glyth, a Realmspace planet. After landing on Abeir-Toril, the mind flayers fled the sun for the cool Underdark.
When Realmspace says the mind flayers have only been on Glyth for about a century, it seems to mean they only returned there about a century ago. But it's historically an illithid world, and from the point of view of the squidheads they were only reclaiming what was once theirs.

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Re: [Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

Post by Big Mac » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:28 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Lorebook of the Void has these quotes:
Lorebook of the Void page 94 wrote:All races of the servants of the illithids, as are any who violate the territorial rights of the rulers. "Land on Glyth and become property" is the rule of thumb.
That says "all races", but I guess it means "all the races on the planet", rather than "all the races that exist".
I think it means both that all races on the planet serve the illithids and that illithids view all races that exist as rightfully their servants. Anyone foolish enough to land on Glyth is likely to be enslaved.

This is similar to what Bruce Cordell wrote in The Illithiad:
The Illithiad page 43 wrote:What is not illithid is thrall

Illithids never truly consider other races as equals. They may sometimes treat nonillithids as peers, but only if such treatment improves trade or other delicate negotiations. Every mind flayer instinctively knows that those creatures it pretends to treat with respect will serve even better as thralls or, at the very least, square meals.
That makes a lot of sense. I agree with you there.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:But reading it again, it seems to suggest that they are treated the same way that orcs and kobolds are on Toril. So they really could be from any humanoid race.
They're probably a mixture of different races who have escaped the illithids and found their way to the rebel community in the under-Underdark far below. Humans, grimlocks, a few oortlings, and the descendents of other slaves from countless worlds that the mind flayers purchased from neogi over the years. Some allied githzerai rrakkma bands who planeshift between Glyth and Limbo to fight the hated illithids would also make sense.
I'm guessing that the Free Thinker's Union probably do not have easy access to portals to other planes or worlds.
ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm not sure what "many" would be, but I am guessing that Glyth was once a fairly normal earth body and that the surface has been "terraformed" by the illithids, because SJR2 says that a sage worked out that the illithids have only been there for about 100 years. (This also kind of suggests that nobody visited Glyth before the illithids got here.
Yes, but note that Glyth had a sizable mind flayer community until around -11,000 DR, when the illithids had to evacuate the planet for some reason. Fan speculation is that they were driven from the world by Gith and her armies during her great rebellion. This was first mentioned in Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark.
Drizzt's Guide to the Underdark page 75 wrote:Oryndoll is one of the oldest illithid communities. Founded over twelve millennia ago, the city began as an illithid enclave settled by refugees from Glyth, a Realmspace planet. After landing on Abeir-Toril, the mind flayers fled the sun for the cool Underdark.
When Realmspace says the mind flayers have only been on Glyth for about a century, it seems to mean they only returned there about a century ago. But it's historically an illithid world, and from the point of view of the squidheads they were only reclaiming what was once theirs.
That is a really awesome factoid! :cool: :cool: :cool:

I never knew that Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark had Spelljammer content. I'll have to put that on my list of things to look for.

EDIT: Grand History of the Realms has the same information about Oryndoll/Glyth:
Grand History of the Realms page 14 wrote:c -11,000 DR

The illithid (mind flayer) enclave Oryndoll is settled by refugees from Glyth, one of the wandering stars that circle the same sun as Toril.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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Re: [Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:I'm guessing that the Free Thinker's Union probably do not have easy access to portals to other planes or worlds.
Probably not, but githzerai have an innate ability to plane shift (at 11th level in 3rd edition), so they don't need portals. And they're always eager to fight mind flayers. Githyanki too, though they seem less likely to consider an alliance with other races (red dragons and nightmares aside).

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Re: [Realmspace] Free Thinker's Union

Post by Big Mac » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:18 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm guessing that the Free Thinker's Union probably do not have easy access to portals to other planes or worlds.
Probably not, but githzerai have an innate ability to plane shift (at 11th level in 3rd edition), so they don't need portals. And they're always eager to fight mind flayers. Githyanki too, though they seem less likely to consider an alliance with other races (red dragons and nightmares aside).
I guess it makes sense for them to be there...somewhere. And it would also make sense for Pirates of Gith to be attacking illithid ships in the area of the Sea of Night around Glyth. But I'm not sure they would have a direct relationship with the Free Thinker's Union.

Perhaps they would occasionally rescue the FTU, and slip into the shadows, knowing that, while the mind flayers are spending time and resources trying to destroy the FTU, they are spending less time and resources defending themselves from attacks from other foes. :?
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