Mogreth

Rebuilding the world in the wake of the Great Rain of Fire.

Moderators: Seer of Yhog, Havard

Post Reply
User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:17 pm

Monsters, hmmm... I can see anything native to swampy or watery environments being kept for the games (they would flood the arena to accommodate the beasts):

Aquatic Monsters & Animals
Hydras, shark-kin, aquatic dinosaurs, crocodiles (some giant), giant crabs, mermen, giant fish, devilfish, sea snakes, fallen slaves*

Swamp Monsters & Animals
Young black dragons (special shows only - perhaps whenever a good elf has been captured), lizard-kin criminals, puddings and jellies, red worms, fallen slaves*

Land Monsters & Animals
Giant insects, giant spiders, beholders, puddings and jellies, basilisks, dinosaurs, great cats, giant scorpions, manscorpions, displacer beasts, medusae, giants, cyclops, lizard-kin criminals, minotaurs, owl bears, giant weasels, giant shrews, fallen slaves*

In addition to the above, lesser servitors of the Outer Beings are occasionally granted to the sorcerer kings for their own purposes. Some of these end up in the arenas.

*Fallen slaves are the animated remains of those who have died in the arena. They are often reanimated until they are no longer viable bodies.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:15 pm

A Meeting with a Sorcerer King

Drugyr was ushered into the audience chamber by a robed troglodyte, and told to wait at the foot of an impressive black marble dais. He looked around the room, noting the rich ornamentation and furnishings, as well as the black-robed slaves standing against one wall, half hidden by a pillar. He recognised some of his countrymen’s handiwork. Clearly, Tuurash was immensely wealthy. Just then, his host entered the chamber from a curtained alcove at the top of the dais. The squat lizard man was almost lost in the voluminous robes that he wore, but even the folds of that cloth of gold could not conceal the creature’s obesity. Drugyr was reminded of an apple perched on a pair of sticks. The lizard man held out a flabby palm and waved the dwarf to approach him.

“Drugyr! Welcome to my home! I trust your journey to our fine city did not inconvenience you,” he asked in a watery voice. He grinned at his guest – an unattractive sight.

“Not at all, my lord sorcerer king! The journey was slow but I had opportunity to see the sights before my arrival. Isshum is truly an unforgettable sight,” replied the dwarf. He could have done without the experience of hearing a game at the arena as he passed it by.

“Well it should be, my dwarven friend, well it should be. Please sit; the cushions are very fine. And please, have some sweets! They come from one of the realms across the southern sea – some place I’ve never heard of – but their like I have never tasted. I have developed a craving for them.” Tuurash scooped out a handful of gooey blobs from a silver bucket, while Drugyr took one. It was soft, and tasted strongly of honey mixed with some pungent spice. Not altogether unpleasant, but his teeth began to ache with the sweetness.

“Now,” Tuurash continued, “I know your Elder has sent you on an important errand, but I have a proposal for him. One so important to me that I have taken personal interest in it. Tell your master that I have seen you personally. I shall give you my token before you depart as proof. He shall then know how important our business is to me. But before that,” he paused, with another horrible grin, “some entertainment! I always enjoy a diversion after a long trip, myself.” He pointed at a slave in the corner, “You! Come here!”

The slave, a stooped greying man with a heavily scarred face, shuffled to the foot of the dais, and bowed low. “How may I be of service, oh anointed one,” he asked with a thick accent.

“It has been long since I heard the Song of the Homecoming. I would like to hear the sixth through fourteenth verses. Proceed.”

The slave bowed low again and began to recite a poem in what Drugyr recognised to be the High Tongue. He sat in amazement as the man, who looked to be an unlettered Antalian, went through the recitation without pause, while Tuurash lay back on his cushion, closed his eyes, and stuffed his maw with more sweets. Once the slave had finished, he sat up once more, and clapped his blubbery hands. “Excellent! You have done very well. You may go back to your corner. Uthak,” he called to a troglodyte servant, “give the slave a sweet; he has pleased me today.”

He turned once more to his companion, “See, my friend? These human beasts are not quite as stupid as we thought. This one managed to learn all 57 verses of the Song! A far more impressive display than many of my students can muster. That one has been very good – I may even give it a name!”

“But on to business. As you know, we are facing numerous pressures from Taymor in the south. There are many opinions within the Circle as to what must be done, but I believe Mogreth must act differently this time if we are to have a lasting victory on the ground. Theliir has been attacked twice this season! It is well that the garrison commander has been given the white rod for his unforgivable lapse in judgement. But we will not be able to break this stalemate without the aid of our friends in the Shimmering Lands. If your clan were to contribute a couple of battalions, perhaps even some of your giant warriors, our plan to strike west of Theliir into the eastern Taymoran heartland would bear fruit. Many slaves would be yielded, and we would surely acquire many secrets from the treacherous lords of Taymor. Your own people, of course, would stand to benefit materially, and magically.” Tuurash leaned towards the dwarf, his hot breath a mixture of spiced honey and meat. “What do you think your Elder would say?”

Drugyr looked at the sorcerer king intently. He had been watching his host carefully to see whether he was secretly casting any spells, but he could not tell. “I think, my lord sorcerer king, that my Elder would consider your written proposal with all due diligence.”

Tuurash stuffed more sweets into his mouth and chewed noisily. He snapped his fingers and another slave appeared from behind a curtain, bearing a platinum cup. She knelt on the ground and proffered it to him, her ashen face staring at the ground. Turrash snatched the cup, emptied its contents in one gulp, and then tossed it back at her. “It’s gone sour! Get me another!” After she scurried away he turned to his troglodyte servant once more, “Uthak, after she returns with a fresh cup, have her shovel offal for two weeks. If this error happens again, I will need a new cupbearer.”

Tuurash turned back to Drugyr, “My apologies for the interruption, my friend. It is only reasonable that those who work hardest should enjoy the most comforts, and spoiled wine irritates me. Now then, I thank you for your reply. Please accompany Uthak to the hallway, where you will be escorted to my clerk, who will provide the documents your master requires. It was pleasurable meeting with you. Perhaps the next time we meet, I shall take you to a game at the arena. Yes, I think that would be most enjoyable! Farewell!”
Last edited by Seer of Yhog on Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7929
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: Mogreth

Post by Chimpman » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:17 pm

I love the meeting with a sorcerer king... so much so, that I had to respond in kind with "A day in the Life" ;)
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:36 pm

Chimpman very kindly did up a most awesome cover page for this growing tome. Thank you John!! 8-)

It is not nifty?
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:09 pm

Government and the Law in Mogreth

“General Shariss! Come to me!”

The lizard man commander stepped away from his officers and approached the sorcerer king, carefully avoiding eye contact. He knelt on the ground at the appropriate distance, and removed his crown.

“Master, I present myself to you.”

“You have much to explain! I left the defence of Theliir to your garrison, but the city was besieged not once, but twice! On the second occasion, I am told, the Taymorans were nearly victorious!”

“Master, our intelligence was faulty; the Taymoran force was twice the anticipated size, and we suspect they had support from local bandits, who, as you know, are largely comprised of escaped slaves. I can-”

The sorcerer king struck the general with his staff. “Silence! I do not care how many bandits were involved, or what they did! That, general, is your problem. Your failure is inexcusable! You have shamed our people, shamed the nation, and you have shamed our forefathers with your ineptitude! You shall be thrashed, and then,” he paused meaningfully, “the white rod.”

Shariss’s eyes widened, and he prostrated himself before the sorcerer king. “I beg of you, spare me the white rod! I shall take any other punishment gladly. Throw me into the arena! Assign me to the temple! But please, not the rod!”

A black-armoured troglodyte kicked Shariss in the ribs repeatedly until he lay whimpering. The sorcerer king halted him with a raised hand. “No, Shariss the Shamed, it shall be the white rod for you; I have spoken! Felss, gather four of your strongest warriors, strip him, and beat him for an hour. Do not kill him. Once you are finished, send for me.”

Without another word the sorcerer king retreated to his tent, while the troglodytes went about their work with relish. Shariss’s wails and groans echoed throughout the camp until, at the appointed time, the sorcerer king was called to administer the final punishment. Upon seeing his master, Shariss struggled weakly in the arms of his captors.

“Shariss the Shamed, from this day forth you are dead to us. Nevermore shall you reside in Mogreth, and nevermore shall you enjoy the blessings of your race. Hereafter you will bear only a dagger and whatever you may hold in your hands. I command you now, bearer of the white rod, to wander the lands of our enemies until such time as you die in misery. The mark of the white rod on your brow shall forever mark you as accursed, and death awaits you should you ever return to our lands, or name yourself as you once were. Even the slaves shall look in your eyes, and see your failure.” The sorcerer king leaned forward, pressed a small white rod of crystal against Shariss’s forehead, and uttered a guttural word. The crystal glowed brightly, and Shariss screamed in agony. The stench of burning flesh filled the air. When the master stepped back, everyone present could see that the softly glowing rod was now embedded in Shariss’s forehead.

Without another word, Shariss staggered to his feet and donned a black robe that lay before him. He strapped on the belt and dagger that lay beside it, and departed for Taymor without another word with his head hung low, while his father watched impassively.


Government

Mogreth is ruled by five lizard man sorcerer kings, collectively known as the Circle, who determine all matters of law and policy. No decision is made without their involvement. The Circle meets regularly, in secret, to discuss pressing matters and to debate one or another sorcerer king’s proposals. Such meetings often take the better part of a day, during which the most powerful member – known as the First of the Circle – remains silent. He or she will speak only to resolve deadlocks. Decisions are made by consensus, and once three out of five are in agreement, the remainder must support them.

Supporting the Circle in its deliberations is an extensive bureaucracy of lizard man clerks, record-keepers, and advisors who translate the decisions they receive from their masters into laws and policies. Almost all of these officials are well-born.

The Legal System of Mogreth

The legal system used by Mogreth is based on that used in ancient Y’hog and the First Empire of Mogreth. In that system, the carnifex were considered to be flawless beings, who only rarely made mistakes. All errors or crimes were attributed to the flawed natures of the races who served the carnifex, who, being imperfect, could not be expected to execute their duties to the level required. As a result, a system of punishments was designed to encourage and coerce the lesser races to improve their natures and live in accordance with their masters, or be destroyed. While it served the powerful carnifex very well for millennia, it increasingly highlights the imperfections of the lizard men who currently rule – a difference that has not gone unnoticed among the lower classes.

Whenever a law is broken, or an accusation is made, the plaintiff and defendant are brought before a clerk of a sorcerer king (almost always a mid- to upper caste lizard man), who hears the case on the spot and makes a decision. Once the decision is made, it cannot be appealed. Assigned punishments are carried out immediately.

The severity of punishments is largely determined by the race and caste of the guilty party. Generally speaking, lizard men receive the most lenient punishments except in cases where they have committed blasphemy, but lizard men of lower castes may find themselves on an equal footing with mid-caste frogfolk, as well as troglodyte servants of sorcerer kings. However, what is considered lenient varies. Lizard men are keenly aware of their elite status, and to them the loss of that status is often more crippling than mutilation or death, as they will have lowered themselves in the eyes of society – possibly permanently. Other races know they will never join the ruling class, and so physical punishment – especially that which would impede their ability to earn a livelihood – is most feared.

The most common crimes, and their punishments, are outlined below:

Theft: Loss of hand (slaves and lower castes), branding (middle castes), fines (upper caste).

Assault on Upper Caste: Death by scourging (slaves), enslavement (lower castes), forced labour or mutilation (middle castes).

Assault on Equal or Lower Caste: Arena (slaves), whipping (lower castes), fines (middle caste), fines (upper caste – only if assault committed against other upper caste members, otherwise no punishment).

Murder of Upper Caste: Death by scourging (slaves), arena (lower castes), enslavement (middle castes), whipping (upper caste).

Murder of Equal or Lower Caste: Arena (slaves and lower castes), death by scourging (middle castes), white rod (upper caste – only if committed against other upper caste members, otherwise no punishment).

Blasphemy: Death by scourging (all castes).

Treason*: Arena (slaves and lower castes), death by scourging (middle castes), white rod (upper caste).

*The notion of treason in Mogreth also encompasses failing in any duty to the nation that has been entrusted to a person. This includes any quest assigned by a sorcerer king.

The White Rod

The most feared punishment among the upper classes is the white rod, which entails a permanent loss of status, and the designation of the recipient as a nonperson. In this punishment, a piece of softly glowing magical quartz crystal is embedded in the forehead of the criminal. Any attempt to remove the crystal will result in the immediate death of its bearer. Bearers of the white rod are exiled from Mogreth forever, and no citizen of Mogreth may speak with them, or they will face the same punishment.

Those condemned in this manner are compelled by a powerful geas to wander forever. If a bearer stays in one place for more than a day, the rod begins to heat up, causing unbearable pain but no lasting damage. Furthermore, they are forbidden from owning anything more than what they can comfortably carry in both hands – otherwise, the crystal heats up. All who are sentenced to the white rod are given a small dagger – this is provided so that they may end their own lives.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7929
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: Mogreth

Post by Chimpman » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:28 pm

Heh... I like that one a lot. The "Father" bit at the end is great :D. I think you've just provided me with another NPC - one known only as "The Wanderer". It sounds like many who receive the White Rod can hardly bear the shame and would end their lives quickly... however I'm sure there are a few hardy souls out there who could sustain themselves with a sense of determination (to prove their peers wrong), or the hope of finding a cure, or... vengeance. Forced to mingle with the lesser races of the world in order to achieve their goals. Always on the move, constantly seeking pawns with which to enact their revenge. Sounds like fun.

And... speaking of fathers... how many sons and daughters might the typical lizard have? I'm assuming that like most reptiles they will produce a clutch of eggs, but I could be off. The frogfolk and trogs would probably be very similar. What's your take on this?

I used to have this great computer game (Dragon Lord) in which you were a wizard who raised dragons from eggs. Once you had them grown you could send them out to raid villages and to find magical components. Anyway, the cool part (or so I thought) was that you could then mix potions and "feed" them to your eggs to produce different characteristics in your dragons. I bet the Mogreth might do something very similar, especially to their servitor races - magically enhancing the young while still in the eggs in order to produce the kind of servants they need.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:39 am

Chimpman wrote:It sounds like many who receive the White Rod can hardly bear the shame and would end their lives quickly...
That's what the authorities hope will happen...
Chimpman wrote:however I'm sure there are a few hardy souls out there who could sustain themselves with a sense of determination (to prove their peers wrong), or the hope of finding a cure, or... vengeance. Forced to mingle with the lesser races of the world in order to achieve their goals. Always on the move, constantly seeking pawns with which to enact their revenge. Sounds like fun.
And a lot of them do return to Mogreth, at the head of armies or bands of marauders intent on causing some serious damage. It's happened many times.
Chimpman wrote:And... speaking of fathers... how many sons and daughters might the typical lizard have? I'm assuming that like most reptiles they will produce a clutch of eggs, but I could be off. The frogfolk and trogs would probably be very similar. What's your take on this?
I think lizard men produce 2-6 eggs, frogfolk and trogs might produce a bit more. The better fed a lizard-kin is, the fewer eggs they produce (IMO) because biologically the odds of survival are greater (therefore, more young are likely to survive - ergo, no need for huge clutches of eggs). Carnifex produced (again, IMO) one egg at a time, maybe two.

Eggs in the upper classes are tended by servants (the mother is, of course, too important to keep them warm herself), on a family (i.e., mating pair) basis. Those in the lower classes are grouped together in communal creches, where tenders take turns incubating them. Parents instinctively know which young are theirs. The way young are raised depends on class - lower classes raise them communally in a large extended family (usually on the basis of profession, or neighbourhood), while upper classes rear their young (well, their servants do) in much the same manner as wealthy humans. Again, they can do this because they have sufficient resources to care for offspring without needing an extended family. Thus, lizard men from the upper classes are more likely to grow up in an environment that would be quite similar to other races (parents, children, servants). However, familial bonds are sustained by duty, and often extend only as far as the needs of one's family, or one's social class, and if it becomes necessary to sacrifice or punish a child (see above), so be it. Anyhow, this is venturing into society, and that's coming soon.

However, many exiles who reproduced *did* care for their offspring....
Chimpman wrote:I used to have this great computer game (Dragon Lord) in which you were a wizard who raised dragons from eggs. Once you had them grown you could send them out to raid villages and to find magical components. Anyway, the cool part (or so I thought) was that you could then mix potions and "feed" them to your eggs to produce different characteristics in your dragons. I bet the Mogreth might do something very similar, especially to their servitor races - magically enhancing the young while still in the eggs in order to produce the kind of servants they need.
Dragon's Breath! I used to have this! And yes, they definitely did this, too.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7929
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: Mogreth

Post by Chimpman » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:41 pm

Hi Geoff, I've been wondering what kind of animals might be in the KW around this time - things used as draft animals or riding animals. It strikes me that in current day Rockhome, the Broken Lands, and in the Shadow Elf lands, these cultures all make use of riding lizards. The latter two also use skinwings as mounts. Would either of these two mounts (or both) have their origins in Mogreth? What's your take on this?
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:13 pm

Chimpman wrote:What's your take on this?
Heehee! :twisted:

Ahem.

Remember how some of the Carnie knowledge of selective breeding managed to survive the sinking of Yh'og and the collapse of the First Empire? Trogs weren't the only guinea pigs.

The Carnies used a large, voracious beast they called a V'rugh. Take the Fell Beast from LoTR, remove its wings and triple it in bulk, but retain its original brain size - that will give you an idea of what it looked like. In their drive to produce a completely controllable beast of burden, the Carnies ended up creating an animal that had to be under guidance all the time, or it became unmanageable. And a beast weighing about 10 tons can be very unmanageable, when it wants to be. A desperate ploy in battle was to unleash a mob of the creatures into an advancing army - this would cover a Carnie retreat, and create chaos.

As long as the Carnies could rely on a steady supply of trog handlers (usually injured warriors), they were fine. After Y'hog fell, the V'rugh lived on in the former colonies, finding its way to Mogreth. Unfortunately, the harsher environment meant that there wasn't enough food to sustain such a huge creature, so it was bred down in size a bit (about 6 tons), but the Carnies couldn't improve its demeanour. When the First Empire fell, Mogreth lost its trog handlers in the chaos. The V'rugh went wild, and it took a couple of generations (the V'rughs', not the lizard men's) before suitable handlers could be trained. In the meantime, they grew more accustomed to their environment, and became even leaner (averaging about 5 tons).

Today, the V'rugh is once more the common beast of burden. Mogreth's merchants use them extensively (one V'rugh can carry about three wagons' worth of goods in huge, platformed saddlebags); although neighbouring realms dislike the look of the animals. They are also used to till the fields where there are insufficient slaves and oxen. On rare occasions, well-trained (and armoured) V'rugh are used to ferry large groups of soldiers to and from battlefields - a terrifying sight.

As to what happened to them after Mogreth fell...I imagine most died in the chaos, but some undoubtedly escaped into the wilderness. As it adapted to the local environment, there are probably still a few of them out there as of AC 1000.

The riding lizards probably also have their origin in Mogreth, as the locals still needed mounts they could ride. They may have been an offshoot of the V'rugh, done through magic (V'rughs only had two legs). I think it's reasonable to imagine that skinwings were also used in Mogreth - it fits the motif, at any rate!
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7929
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: Mogreth

Post by Chimpman » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:15 pm

A slight aside - as I'm going through material for the HW, and looking over Sharon's articles on the Hollow Moon, a thought ocured to me. Would the immortals have saved Mogreth (the Third Empire now) somewhere in the Hollow World? If so, where would you place them?
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:00 pm

That's a very good question, and, in working on Selhomarr again, I have been thinking about it.

My initial reaction would be that the Immortals would only have saved Mogreth if the Outer Being-worshipping elements could somehow be purged from its society. Certainly doable (HW Nithia is an example of a successful cleanup) on an Immortal scale. I've already established in the material that there is an undercurrent within Mogrethian society that rejects the Faith, and secretly venerates the Immortals - their patrons would definitely want to protect them. These folk would probably have seized the opportunity, in the dying days of the Second Empire, to rise up and try to take over (possibly spurred by the Immortals). They probably took over a town or two, and the sorcerer kings mustered their armies to wipe out the rebels.

And, in that moment, the great flood happened (just to make things dramatic). The rebels were preparing to die (free, at least), and a great wave of water blotted out the sky. Everything went dark, and then the sky became strangely red...

As far as locations go, HW Mogreth should be far away from the Malpheggi lizard men (to minimise confusion, and because the Malpheggi patron (Ka?) wouldn't want his people corrupted) - a good place would be in the large swampy delta of northern Suridal, a stone's throw from Selhomarr. Needless to say, finding an organised realm of lizard men close to home would stir up the Selhomarrians, as memories of Y'hog bubbled to the surface. For their part, the Mogrethians still have little love of humans (they're still considered animals, or at best fit only to be servants), but they are perhaps a little less brutal about it because they would have depended on the willing co-operation of their slaves to survive during the time before their transfer to the HW. Needless to say, the first encounter would probably have ended in a battle.

That said, I'm open to other ideas, as far as location goes.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:55 pm

Here's the location I was thinking of....

Image
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7929
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: Mogreth

Post by Chimpman » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:09 pm

Hmmm :) I like it. Wouldn't want those Selhomarrians to get lonely down there. Mogreth would have been there for a fairly long time though. If it was destroyed by flood circa 1700 BC, that's 2700 years in the HW! Would this placement impact your Selhomarr history, because I'm sure that given that amount of time, the two nations would find each other.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:26 pm

I agree that Selhomarr needs a neighbour, too. Some particularly nasty Immortals may have placed the Mogrethians there just to spite Ixion, too. But you're right that they should have crossed swords numerous times over the past 2700 years. However, Selhomarrian history is going to be pretty drastically rewritten anyway, both to make it more eventful and to darken it a bit more. So far, we've got (all ideas developed since I started fleshing out the 8-mile hex map):

- a civil war involving Regelnis (hence all the battle markers and ruined cities), which used to be much bigger than it is now.
- a fallen kingdom that embraced the Outer Beings (Ildarinos).
- Illaria's Folly, and the desolation.
- who knows what else (there's a lot of map left to do!)

Adding several battles with Mogreth (possibly another reason why Selhomarr hasn't expanded there) won't overbalance things too much, IMO! :D When I get around to fleshing out the north, expect to see more battle sites and ruins.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Society in Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:21 pm

A Day at the Arena

The air was stifling, and smelled of sour wine, salt, old leather, and cooked meat. Drugyr reclined uneasily on the cushions on Tuurash’s sheltered balcony next to his host, who seemed even more enormous than during the dwarf’s previous visit, if that was possible. Before him, and far below, lay the pristine sands of the Arena. Between him and that golden oval lay tier upon tier of stone benches, crammed with troglodytes and frogfolk on the lower levels, and occupied by lizard men – in slightly less cramped conditions – above them. Above and behind him, blocked from view by the gaudy canvas sheets that Tuurash used to shield himself and his guests from the sun, was a ring of empty stone thrones. Tuurash had told him that the highest level was reserved for the Great Kings, who had all vanished before the fall of Blackmoor. Although many thought the kings were all long dead, the thrones were kept meticulously clean, and unoccupied, in anticipation of their return.

In fact, were it not for the what happened in the Arena, Drugyr would have liked very much to study the great building in detail. Much had been destroyed in the Great Rain of Fire, and those things that had weathered the great tremors were often badly damaged. The Arena, aside from being slightly worn down by the elements, looked pretty much as it did when it was built more than 2,000 years previously – or so his host told him. Tuurash had been truthful on other matters, and the dwarf doubted this was any exception.

Drugyr’s reflections were interrupted by the blast of trumpets from below. At that sound, the loud buzz of more than 20,000 voices rose into a great cheer. At the far end of the arena, a pair bronze doors – each twice the height of a man - opened, revealing a long, dark tunnel stretching beneath the benches. From within emerged a squad of lizard man soldiers in lacquered armour bearing seven brightly coloured banners – the personal symbols of the sorcerer kings, Tuurash explained – followed by a larger line of troglodyte warriors, who in turn led an even longer procession of shackled, naked slaves.

“I truly wish the First would dispense with this pageantry,” growled an emaciated lizard man, whom Tuurash had introduced as Khalgoth of Theliir. “The mob is far too beastly to appreciate such fineries! Just give them their games and be done with it, I say.”

Tuurash chortled loudly. “Patience, my friend! The First is nothing, if not astute. He, or at least his advisors, understands very well what it takes to keep a crowd happy. The commoners need their diversions.”

“I understand well enough,” retorted Khalgoth, “but were the First to spend any time in Theliir, he would understand that soldiers are for battlefields! As we speak, the Taymoran monkeys-”

“You forget yourself, Fourth,” hissed Tuurash. “We are in Isshum, and his palace is nearby. Rest assured that he watches us.” Khalgoth bowed his head, straightened, and helped himself to a tiny handful of fried meat on a nearby silver platter.

“Drugyr,” said Tuurash, “please help yourself to this fine feast! We will be entertained all day, and this is but the first course!”

Drugyr looked at the huge spread of food beside him, which would have easily fed all of his mistress’s personal servants for the entire day. Yet, Tuurash, Khalgoth and the other robed lizard man – Mashgar of Ssugath, he thought – only picked at the offerings. In fact, that was something he had noticed at other functions he had attended in Isshum – lizard men, or at least the upper castes, held lavish feasts but ate sparingly. He mentioned this to his host.

“Ah,” said Tuurash as he sipped from a goblet, “you have noticed something of our affinity to the simple lizards of nature. We do not need to eat meals regularly, as warm-blooded folk must do. We digest our food slowly, and although we take great pleasure in eating, should we eat too much we become lethargic, as we do in cold temperatures. Any of us here could eat everything you see twice over, but then we would rest for days. Those of us in the upper castes cannot afford to be so vulnerable, so we respect our natures, while still demonstrating that we have stature. Thus, we only eat the tiniest amounts of each course, and leave the remainder in the streets afterwards for the lower classes to devour. And this they do, greedily, and afterwards they rest for days. I am not divulging anything in saying this is one of our weaknesses.”

Drugyr looked again at Tuurash’s formidable bulk. “But,” Tuurash added sheepishly, “there are times when indulgence is worth it. Not here, though.”

A loud roar arose from the mob below. Drugyr craned his neck to see what was happening. Already, the sand was stained red in many places – the first amusement usually involved getting the slaves to fight over a single weapon – but his attention was fixed on a large, two-legged lizard with enormous jaws, who had sprung out of the gate and devoured the nearest slave in two bites. The remaining men and women were fleeing in panic to the other end of the arena, as the crowd jeered.

“We’re in for a treat, mmmhmmm,” mumbled Mashgar, licking a sugar-coated insect on a stick. “I thought old Longtooth had died. It’s been, mmmm, a good 20 years since he was brought from the south. Good to see some quality entertainment. I may, mmmhmm, have to bet.”

“Save your money; he’s old, and the odds are long,” muttered Khalgoth.

“You’re just sore that you lost last time,” said Tuurash with a gurgling laugh. “A profitable day, that was. You bought me my newest pleasure barge, you know.”

“It seems that the crowds don’t think that beast is a bad bet,” added Drugyr. Down below, spectators were mobbing liveried troglodytes, thrusting small purses at them in exchange for slips of papyrus. On a balcony above the doors, a large wooden board had been erected, on which other troglodytes had written names. Numbers, written on wooden plaques, hung on hooks next to the names. Every so often, some of the plaques would be replaced by others, bearing different numbers. Tuurash had told him that the odds would change frequently during the day.

“Oh, look! The slaves are getting weapons now! This should be exciting,” exclaimed Tuurash. Some of the slaves – those who had been soldiers at one time, Drugyr guessed – were approaching the beast, spears in hand, in some semblance of a formation. The troglodytes by the betting board were already changing the odds. The crowd, likely those who had bet in favour of the beast, began shouting in anger.

The beast whipped its tail, bowling over a number of men. As it leaped for the nearest one, several spears sprouted along its flank, and it reared up, bellowing in agony. A woman ran up from behind, ducked between the animal’s legs, and jabbed her spear into its belly. The beast roared again and sideswiped her with its enormous head, grabbing her in passing. The crowd cheered as the creature shook its prey like a rag doll, and dropped her. She lay unmoving, as the sand around her turned crimson.

The other combatants regrouped while the beast gulped down its latest meal. “I hope Haskess raises the fallen,” grumbled Khalgoth, “These games do get a little dull after a while. There is only so much fear that can be instilled by wild beasts, no matter how horrific they may be.”

“I thought, mmhmm, I heard Isshkarath say something about the Champion making an appearance,” said Mashgar, still struggling with his insect on a stick. “He’s always good at beating the odds. I, mmhmm, remember one time-“

“The Champion died last year; they are searching for a replacement,” said Tuurash, gulping down more wine. “Where have you been?”
“Doing my research,” retorted Mashgar.

“If ‘research’ involves consorting with your own-” began Tuurash, his voice rising.

“No! No, honourable Second! I admit to having done it in the past, but no more! I believe I proved that we cannot recover the old blood in that manner,” replied Mashgar, bowing, in a supplicating voice.

Drugyr choked on his wine. He had heard whispered rumours that some of the sorcerer kings were seeking a means of becoming more like the vanished Great Kings, whose power, it was even more quietly whispered, was supposed to be far greater than even that of the First. It was called “recovering the old blood”, and he had heard that some of the sorcerer kings had committed acts that were blasphemous even by Mogreth’s standards. To hear proof of it turned his stomach. Tuurash looked at the dwarf intently for a second, before another chorus of shouts from below drew everyone’s attention back to the game.

Somehow the beast had actually been killed; although it had taken most of the remaining slaves with it. The once golden sands were now a reddish-brown muck in many places. The victors barely had time to catch their breaths before the doors opened again, and a mob of beastmen entered the arena, prodded by armed troglodyte soldiers. Once the doors closed, a number of swords and axes were tossed down to the newcomers.

Khalgoth leaned forward, peering intently at the scene. “We might finally get to see a decent melee,” he muttered.

“Ha! Look at how ferociously the beasts charge! I believe they may have been promised their freedom if they win. It’s not hard to motivate those creatures,” said Tuurash with a chuckle.

“Would they get it?” asked Drugyr, overcoming his disgust and eating something suspiciously crunchy.

Tuurash roared with laughter and the sound of clashing steel, and roars of approval from the audience, erupted from below. “Please excuse me, my dear friend, but although it is said that anyone sent to the Arena may win their freedom if they survive the day, none have ever succeeded. It is simply impossible. Many influential members of the upper caste wager a great deal on the games, and the appropriate monster or champion is always chosen to guarantee a decent payout. Certainly, the roster may change to give the slaves a fighting chance, and to create an aura of suspense to keep the audience guessing, but the ultimate outcome, to us, is never in doubt.”

“I believe two slaves actually did live out the day,” began Mashgar.

Tuurash cut him off with a gesture. “It is effectively impossible. Should any slaves be alive close to sundown, the fallen may simply be animated to finish them off. The audiences always love that.”

Drugyr turned his attention back to the game. The last of the human slaves had been cut down by the beastmen, now reduced in number. Judging by the roars of disapproval from the audience, a lot of spectators had not bet on that outcome. The newcomers’ joy over their victory was short-lived, however, as the doors had been opened to admit a pride of lions. The beastmen moved to meet their foes, but the ground had become so slick with gore that many lost their footing. The lions seemed to have no trouble, by comparison. Drugyr suspected that today’s games would end early, and that was something he would not regret.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:23 pm

Society in Mogreth

Overview

Mogreth is one of the oldest nations of Brun during the time period in which this campaign setting is set. The First Empire was established prior to Thonia’s own rise to prominence, and it prospered until Blackmoor became the dominant power in the east. The Second Empire, which claims direct descent from the first, arose during the Great Rain of Fire, and expanded rapidly in the aftermath. The language, government structure, and social institutions from the time of the First Empire survive largely unchanged.

This lineage has instilled in the lizard men a strong sense of superiority. They were creating art and building cities – many of which are still in existence – before their neighbours had even risen above the Stone Age, let alone developed as peoples in their own right. As a result, the folk of Mogreth see other cultures as pale imitations of their own; and consequently, there is little or no need to change the way things are done, because they have always worked. The fact that young nations, such as Taymora, possess a cultural vigour that has been absent in Mogreth for centuries, is largely ignored.

Yet, beneath the veneer of contempt for the “younger races” is an awareness that the Second Empire lives in the shadow of its predecessor. The sorcerer kings are capable of many magical feats, but the archives state plainly that the long-vanished Great Kings were capable of far more. Much of Isshum, for example, was built by the Great Kings, and the city weathered the catastrophic changes wrought by the Great Rain of Fire largely unscathed; but the sorcerer kings have no knowledge of which spells were used in the construction. The greatest monuments and other accomplishments, in fact, date from the First Empire. Thus, the folk of Mogreth know that they are not as great as they once were.

This awareness has produced, in the upper caste at least, a strong desire to reclaim that former glory. The sorcerer kings spend much of their time researching ways to acquire some of the Great Kings’ power, while senior military officers urge an aggressive campaign, preferably against Taymora, to secure more land, slaves, and glory for the people. The middle and lower castes are equally aware of their empire’s faded glory, but their society’s rigid caste system does not allow them to do much about it. Instead, they pursue their crafts and, encouraged by their rulers, seek out diversions. So entertained, the lower classes will, their rulers hope, remain placidly obedient.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:23 pm

The Caste System

Mogreth’s society is caste-based along the lines of race, and it is effectively impossible for anyone to transcend those barriers imposed by the first sorcerer kings, centuries ago. Caste determines the jobs one can perform, where one can live, and what sort of punishment will be received for breaking the law. At the top are the seven sorcerer kings, upper caste lizard men who have mastered the sorcerous arts, and who have demonstrated their power. Within their ranks there is a distinct pecking order, with the First (who goes by no other name) leading them and acting as their unified voice to the world, down to the Seventh.

Below the sorcerer kings are the upper caste, comprised overwhelmingly of lizard men, most of whom enjoy lives of idle leisure. The more ambitious among them try to apprentice themselves to one of the sorcerer kings, in the hope of someday joining their exalted ranks; those without magical inclinations join the army, where they swiftly rise to the topmost ranks. For the rest, life is spent pursuing hobbies, studying, or acquiring wealth. Troglodytes who have faithfully served in a sorcerer king’s household may also find themselves in the upper caste, but this is exceedingly rare. More common are the frogfolk, who tend to pursue spiritual or scholarly vocations.

The middle caste is made up of lizard men who are not so wealthy, or who lack patrons, troglodytes, and frogfolk. There are unspoken gradations within this class. Lizard men work as bureaucrats, own businesses, rent out the land they own, serve as junior officers in the army, and develop their skills as artisans. Troglodytes run businesses and oversee estates for lizard men, and work as skilled master craftsmen in their own right. Frogfolk tend to enter the clergy or bureaucracy, or conduct research on behalf of others. This is the lowest cast that may own land in cities.

The lower caste is overwhelmingly comprised of troglodytes. These folk are Mogreth’s foot soldiers, they oversee its slaves, and they perform all of the menial labour for which slaves cannot be trusted. Some frogfolk are also in this caste – these are the empire’s sailors, but they are also found in the Issus River delta, where they fish, hunt insects, and gather herbs.

At the bottom of Mogreth’s social order are the slaves. As in many other realms, slaves may not own property, and live at the pleasure of their masters. Most slaves in Mogreth work on farms, toil in mines, and perform physical labour on large or dangerous construction sites – basically, anything for which the sorcerer kings would not want to risk troglodyte lives. As in other castes, however, there are tiers among the slaves. Elvish slaves are exceedingly rare (and expensive), and their magical talents make them highly desirable as subjects for the sorcerer kings’ experiments. As a consequence, they are rarely seen outside of a sorcerer king’s lair. Below the elves are humans, by far the majority of slaves, who are considered useful, reasonably intelligent beasts of burden who can be trusted to work in cities if supervised. At the bottom are the beastmen, considered less than animals, who are assigned the most dangerous and dirty jobs of all. Given their chaotic natures, beastmen are often considered more trouble than they are worth.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Fri May 01, 2009 1:33 pm

Daily Life in Mogreth

For most inhabitants of the Second Empire, daily life consists of following one’s profession, and spending whatever time remains with family or friends (within one’s caste, of course). With almost no social mobility to speak of in the lower classes, there is very little incentive for common labourers to work harder than necessary, or to show initiative. Moreover, the nature of work for the lower classes is often physically exhausting, leaving them with little energy to pursue whatever interests they might have.

The upper classes, eager to avoid social strife while retaining a firm grip on political power, provide numerous forms of entertainment to the commoners. Every Mogrethian settlement of town size or larger has its own arena where slaves and animals may be set against each other for the amusement of the masses – although all of these pale in comparison to the Great Arena of Isshum. Games take place daily in major population centres, and once or twice per week in the towns. In addition to the arenas, many larger settlements also stage mock battles, with the combatants using wooden weapons. Although these games do not have official approval, the upper classes generally turn a blind eye to the mayhem that occasionally erupts after a particularly violent match.

In addition to blood sports, the peoples of Mogreth are also entertained by storytellers, jugglers, contortionists, magicians, and musicians, many of whom travel throughout the empire with the financial help of upper class patrons. Some of them do this out of a simple desire to keep the lower classes entertained (and obedient), but a small number want to broaden the horizons of their underlings. In the larger settlements, as well, the upper classes give the generous table-leavings of their numerous feasts to the commoners.

Although there are many temples of the Faith in Mogreth, services are not as well attended as they were in previous centuries. The clergy has noted a certain “spiritual malaise” among the lower classes, and in response (and with the firm urging of the sorcerer kings) have livened up services in order to make them more enticing. Now, lesser servitors are occasionally summoned on the most holy days, and rebellious (or simply unwanted) slaves are sacrificed in ways thought long forgotten.

Members of the upper caste, for their part, pursue their individual hobbies as they see fit, and when they are not doing so, or performing whatever work might be required, they frequently attend social gatherings. Almost any event in one’s life is frequently used as an excuse to hold a lavish feast. The more guests invited, the more (and costlier) food served, the more outrageous the entertainment, the more important the host must be. Some gatherings involve orgies, drugs, or even forbidden practices such as inviting guests from the lower castes, consorting with slaves, or (in particularly secretive or rebellious cliques) venerating the Immortals. The sorcerer kings increasingly suspect that rebel factions within Mogrethian society either have sympathisers, or members, in the upper caste, and some of these functions are actually venues for plotting against the empire. They are correct in this assumption, but the deeply entrenched traditions safeguarding upper caste privacy have prevented them, as yet, from investigating more thoroughly.

In addition to costly parties, members of the upper caste also take in games at the arenas, but they exercise far more restraint, and keep themselves separate from the lower classes. This distance is also maintained at religious services – the upper caste sits in a separate area, and members are expected to attend regularly.
Last edited by Seer of Yhog on Fri May 08, 2009 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7929
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: Mogreth

Post by Chimpman » Fri May 01, 2009 4:14 pm

Just wanted to say I love the story excerpt. I'm really starting to get a good idea about what life in Mogreth is like (both for it's rulers and the underclasses). I can see running a few different campaigns there:

1) The dissatisfied lizard folk - could be lower class lizardfolk, trogs, and possibly even frogfolk involved, that are fed up with the current corruption in their rulers. These folks probably worship the immortals in secret. They would have to go up against the Sorcerer Kings, and perhaps at some point even face a servitor or two of the Outer Beings. They could have ties with lizardfolk living outside of Mogreth, either current exiles or the descendants of exiles that wish to return to their homeland and overthrow the Sorcerer Kings. It's possible that they may even have ties in the slave community...

2) The Slave rebellion - could be run as a more traditional campaign using the slave races (humans, elves, beastmen, and possibly the odd gnome and dwarf), and perhaps a few sympathetic scaled folk as well. The obstacles in this campaign would be much the same as in the first, however they would have the added impediment of being slaves in an oppressive society. Sneaking around the back alleys of cities, setting up underground railroads, and freeing their fellow slaves. Could set something up with a kind of Matrix flavor - giving the slaves a chosen one to liberate them.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts after reading your above posts. Keep them up, I'm really enjoying Mogreth. Now I have to get back to the Shimmering Lands and shore up my timeline. ;)
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue May 05, 2009 7:49 pm

Very interesting thoughts! Consider them stolen for plotline purposes.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Fri May 08, 2009 9:07 pm

Daily life added - a section on family to come and Society should be done.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:09 am

Family

Family structures in Mogreth differ greatly from those in Taymor and the Shimmering Lands – a fact that is hardly surprising given the reptilian (and amphibian) ancestry of the inhabitants. Males and females in the middle and lower castes mate to produce offspring; the decision to stay together over the longer term is more a function of economic necessity and the need to ensure the children’s survival during their first years than any notions of romance. The former reason is especially true in the cities and larger towns, where there are few natural hazards that might endanger children.
Female lizardfolk produce clutches of 4-8 eggs every 1-2 years, whereas troglodytes might produce up to ten, and frogfolk almost 20 annually. Those in higher castes tend to lay smaller clutches, as they are better fed and almost all the young survive, as there are fewer biological imperatives to reproduce in large numbers. Those in the highest caste might only lay one egg per year, if that – much like the long-vanished Carnifex masters, whose low reproductive rates are known even to the commoners. As a result of this phenomenon females derive added status by laying fewer eggs, and offspring from small clutches are widely believed to be more resilient and somewhat blessed. A commoner laying only one egg is a cause for celebration, as the hatchling will surely lead a glorious life. On such occasions, called “egg-blessings”, the female’s neighbours and family shower her with gifts. The social benefits of this elevated status sometimes leads females to secretly dispose of some of their eggs, despite the severe penalties if they are caught.

In the lower and middle castes, eggs are tended communally in designated crèches (segregated by race and caste), where mothers take turns tending them all by insulating the eggs in mud and straw and keeping the chamber warm using stoves scattered throughout. Conditions are identical, albeit more rustic, in rural regions. By custom, adult males are forbidden from entering crèches. When hatchlings emerge, they are smelled to identify the mother. Frogfolk lay their eggs in brackish ponds (or indoor pools designed for this purpose in urban areas), where they are guarded until the tadpole-like hatchlings emerge. Upper caste lizard man eggs are tended by dedicated servants, as the mother is generally regarded as too important to perform these duties.

Youth are raised according to their caste. Among the lower and middle castes, the young are cared for as a group by their community, which extends beyond blood relatives to include adults living in the same neighbourhood and occupying similar professions to their parents. Even so, all children know their nest-mates and parents instinctively. Frogfolk are notably different in this respect, as tadpoles belonging to lower and middle castes are tended collectively. Separation according to class occurs at physical maturity. Thus, the young develop greater affection for their siblings and cousins than for their parents. Upper caste lizard men (and frogfolk, to a lesser degree) raise their young in a remarkably similar manner to their regal mammalian counterparts: Children are cared for by servants until they reach adulthood, and may not see their parents for months at a time, depending on the latter’s responsibilities. As a result, familial bonds are developed and sustained on the basis of duty, and not love.

Slaves in Mogreth are forbidden to reproduce. Males who are caught in the act are castrated on a first offence, and executed should they show interest in females afterwards. Females known to be pregnant are also executed, as they are seen as requiring too much upkeep. Nevertheless, illicit relationships between slaves occur far more often than the authorities wish to believe. Open-minded (or rebellious) members of the upper caste have been known to conceal pregnancies, and the resulting offspring, of favoured slaves, and in some cases arrange to have the children sent away to safer havens. Some of these, not coincidentally, have ended up in lizard man communities known to oppose Mogreth.

Thee attitudes discussed above are often absent in lizard man and troglodyte communities outside of Mogreth, as those folk have either never been under the sway of the Carnifex or their lizard man successors, or they discarded those practices long ago.
Last edited by Seer of Yhog on Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Wed Jul 15, 2009 3:12 am

Bringing stuff over from Piazza v. 2...the regional map of Isshum.

Some notes follow:

The other three lined areas are urbanised regions - essentially satellite villages/towns of Isshum. They would have a lot of warehouses, stables, and slave pens for "excess capacity", and during important celebrations in the city, visitors could find lodging in one of the many inns (especially in Kethesh) if they don't want to hunt for accommodation inside the walls.

Ithkarum (pop. 6,000) does double duty as a supplementary port. Veteran foreign traders prefer docking here because the fees are lower (and the officials are easier to bribe), and the locals tend to be more open-minded (they won't alert the authorities if slaves are quietly loaded without any export papers). Some of the locals also worship the Immortals. Foreign spies may operate safe houses here.

Aressh (pop. 1,500) is basically a glorified stockyard for slaves. Rows of barracks, each housing about 200 slaves awaiting final sale. Overall, a very miserable place to visit, but the place does boast a few inns for travellers from the north.

Kethesh (pop. 3,500) sees the most travellers, as the town is basically a giant crossroads. Here visitors may find inns, gambling dens, arenas, drug lounges, and other things to tempt any fancy. Some travellers to Isshum stop here and forget to continue their journey, as the freewheeling spirit of the town keeps them from moving on. Some high-caste dissidents hold parties here.

I will be drawing up a more detailled map of Isshum's downtown (including the arena), but that will only cover a small part of the city. I thought I'd draw up the regional map to give a feel for how the area looks - DMs can flesh out the rest of Isshum if they want. Unless I find time to do it all....
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Seer of Yhog
Outer Being
Posts: 3232
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 1:29 am
Gender: male
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Re: Mogreth

Post by Seer of Yhog » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:52 pm

Piece on family added.
Moderator for Mystara. My moderator voice is heliotrope.

My Blog is here!

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7929
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

Re: Mogreth

Post by Chimpman » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:45 pm

Geoff, very interesting! I'm really looking forward to seeing a city design, especially after the piece on family, because I think that many of the things you talked about would really facilitate a city design that we might find quite alien. I've actually thought along those line myself (especially with regard for frog-folk) for various other projects - some of which are more sci-fi oriented than fantasy - and I have very similar notions to your own.
Seer of Yhog wrote:Slaves in Mogreth are forbidden to reproduce. Males who are caught in the act are castrated on a first offence, and executed should they show interest in females afterwards. Females known to be pregnant are also executed, as they are seen as requiring too much upkeep. Nevertheless, illicit relationships between slaves occur far more often than the authorities wish to believe. Open-minded (or rebellious) members of the upper caste have been known to conceal pregnancies, and the resulting offspring, of favoured slaves, and in some cases arrange to have the children sent away to safer havens. Some of these, not coincidentally, have ended up in lizard man communities known to oppose Mogreth.
This paragraph brought up the most questions in my mind. I went through some of your previous posts on slaves, but wasn't able to find the answers to my questions - I'm sure you've gone over these topics before.
1) Based on previous readings I have the notion that slaves are quite in demand in Mogreth. If this is the case, would the lizards not implement some kind of breeding program to keep their stock up?
2) I also sometimes get the contradictory feeling that slaves outnumber their lizard masters in Mogreth, although I'm not sure why. It might be an impression created by how slaves are treated by the lizards - thrown in mass to horrors in the colleseum, etc... If this is the case it jibes much better with the above paragraph. But we've also spoken about the lizard's need to constantly capture new slaves, in which case it seems like they would want their slaves to breed (because there is a shortage).

I hope I'm making sense. I'm still trying to climb out overdose of meetings coma for the day.
THRESHOLD Magazine - The Mystara Fanzine
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

Post Reply

Return to “2300 BC”