Who's Running Things Around Here Anyway?

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Belathauzer
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Who's Running Things Around Here Anyway?

Post by Belathauzer » Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:05 pm

This community board has been a bit quiet lately, so I thought I'd pose a think tank session:

Thunder Rift currently has no established, overall ruler or government. It seems to be a wilderness area with several autonomous/self-governing communities. The main communities are:

Melinir - a mayor is in charge (I believe his name is Valum?)
Torlynn - a burgomaster is in charge (I don't recall if a name was ever given?)
Kleine - seems to be governed by a council (could this be an oligarchy, or perhaps a city run by guilds?)
Hearth-home (dwarves) - they had a King once (Farolas), but now lords seem to be in charge (are these similar in structure to medieval Germanic/Scandinavian feudal systems, or something along the lines of Celtic clans?)

Are these titles and positions earned by election, bequeathed by some greater lord, a birthright? Are the positions for life, or a fixed term?

Havard's Timeline seems to indicate that Melinir, and perhaps all of Thunder Rift had been ruled over by a king at some point:
Havard wrote: AC 350
The King of Melinir and his sons travel to meet the eldest son’s betrothed in Kleine. However, the King’s Barge is destroyed after sailing too close to the Plunging Catatract and is lost on the bottom of Lake Ostrel. Since then, elected Mayors have been the official rulers of Melinir (Thunder Rift).
But would Melinir really have ever been large enough to warrant a king? At best I can see a Landed Knight or Baron in charge of the lands. In fact, a Landed Knight or Baron could possibly be in charge of all of Thunder Rift considering its size. Could he have been a bit too big for his britches and referred to himself as a king? Could this hubris have been a contributing factor in his demise (sabotage/assassination, or shot himself in the foot)?

And what of the dwarven and elven communities? Are these separate and autonomous nations/enclaves that fall within the official boundaries of the established local (human) government (similar in fashion to Alfheim and Darokin) or are they beholden to the same ruler/power structure at some point?

Regardless of who ruled in the past, who would rule now? Do the Quadrial make a good fit as rulers, or are they best left as the Thunder Rift version of the "Justice League"? Should Thunder Rift have a ruler, or should it be left as a wild, fringe/wilderness society?

If Thunder Rift is placed in the Known World of Mystara (regardless of where it is placed - Darokin & Karameikos have both been suggested in the past), should it come under the jurisdiction of the local authorities and power structure? If it falls within the borders of Karameikos (which it does in my setting), would it be part of the Duke's (future King's) domain, or would it still be a wild area, possibly even contested?

I have personally placed it in the mountains at the borders of Karameikos, Thyatis, Ylarum, and Darokin. Since this is a mountainous wilderland filled with all manner of horrible beasties I don't imagine the Duke's men having an occasion to make it up here to enforce any laws often; unless, of course, a garrison was placed in Thunder Rift. I think this placement not only serves to make Thunder Rift both isolated and remote, but putting it so close to international borders could cause some confusion and contention with regards to ownership, especially if it were to hold something of value. Could such a simple valley hold something of such great value to be so hotly contested, similar in fashion to Kashmir on Earth? Could a great source of magic, faith, or power (or all three) provide this source of contention?

What do you guys think? How do you personally handle government in Thunder Rift? Do you have more questions that I may have missed along the lines of who's running things? I'd love to hear all of your ideas.
-- Long live Mystara!

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Havard
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Re: Who's Running Things Around Here Anyway?

Post by Havard » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:00 pm

More Thunder Rift discussion! Gotta love it! :)

Hehe, thought the thread was going to be about something else, but this is more interesting :)


Here are my thoughts:
Belathauzer wrote:This community board has been a bit quiet lately, so I thought I'd pose a think tank session:

Thunder Rift currently has no established, overall ruler or government. It seems to be a wilderness area with several autonomous/self-governing communities. The main communities are:

Melinir - a mayor is in charge (I believe his name is Valum?)
Torlynn - a burgomaster is in charge (I don't recall if a name was ever given?)
Kleine - seems to be governed by a council (could this be an oligarchy, or perhaps a city run by guilds?)
Hearth-home (dwarves) - they had a King once (Farolas), but now lords seem to be in charge (are these similar in structure to medieval Germanic/Scandinavian feudal systems, or something along the lines of Celtic clans?)

Are these titles and positions earned by election, bequeathed by some greater lord, a birthright? Are the positions for life, or a fixed term?

With the exception of Hearth-Home/The Farolas Hills, I think it would be fair to assume that the positions would be elected, or perhaps appointed by the town elders etc. In any case, the vote would probably not be extended to everyone.

The Burgomeister of Torlynn is called Gustovan. He features in Quest for the Silver Sword IIRC.

The leader of the Hearth-Home dwarves is named Otaras Stoneson. I don't remember his title right now, but he is head of the Farolas Clan. I am thinking we could go by Rockhome standards for the dwarves. Celts are probably not a bad comparison though.

Havard's Timeline seems to indicate that Melinir, and perhaps all of Thunder Rift had been ruled over by a king at some point:
Havard wrote: AC 350
The King of Melinir and his sons travel to meet the eldest son’s betrothed in Kleine. However, the King’s Barge is destroyed after sailing too close to the Plunging Catatract and is lost on the bottom of Lake Ostrel. Since then, elected Mayors have been the official rulers of Melinir (Thunder Rift).
But would Melinir really have ever been large enough to warrant a king? At best I can see a Landed Knight or Baron in charge of the lands. In fact, a Landed Knight or Baron could possibly be in charge of all of Thunder Rift considering its size. Could he have been a bit too big for his britches and referred to himself as a king? Could this hubris have been a contributing factor in his demise (sabotage/assassination, or shot himself in the foot)?
I don't really recall which sourcebook mentions the fact that there is a King's Barge at the bottom of Lake Ostrel, but it was from there we got the idea that Thunder Rift may have had a King. If there ever was a king of the valley, Melinir would have been the most likely seat of power
And what of the dwarven and elven communities? Are these separate and autonomous nations/enclaves that fall within the official boundaries of the established local (human) government (similar in fashion to Alfheim and Darokin) or are they beholden to the same ruler/power structure at some point?
Good questions, though I will have to think about that. Perhaps these rulers swore allegiance to the Human king during this Golden Age, similar to the situation in Karameikos?

Regardless of who ruled in the past, who would rule now? Do the Quadrial make a good fit as rulers, or are they best left as the Thunder Rift version of the "Justice League"? Should Thunder Rift have a ruler, or should it be left as a wild, fringe/wilderness society?
The Quadrial is probably more like the Justice League yeah. At this point it seems like there is very little communication between the settlements. Again, this doesnt really work too well with the scale provided, but on the other hand the small size of the valley also means that the place is packed with humanoids and monsters so you can understand people's reluctance to step outside their home towns.
If Thunder Rift is placed in the Known World of Mystara (regardless of where it is placed - Darokin & Karameikos have both been suggested in the past), should it come under the jurisdiction of the local authorities and power structure? If it falls within the borders of Karameikos (which it does in my setting), would it be part of the Duke's (future King's) domain, or would it still be a wild area, possibly even contested?
I've based my work on the theory that this land is unknown to any ruler. Although the X1 map suggests otherwise, I believe that the borders are not 100% defined. Noone really cares who owns the mountains since you cannot put up a farm there anyway...
I have personally placed it in the mountains at the borders of Karameikos, Thyatis, Ylarum, and Darokin. Since this is a mountainous wilderland filled with all manner of horrible beasties I don't imagine the Duke's men having an occasion to make it up here to enforce any laws often; unless, of course, a garrison was placed in Thunder Rift. I think this placement not only serves to make Thunder Rift both isolated and remote, but putting it so close to international borders could cause some confusion and contention with regards to ownership, especially if it were to hold something of value. Could such a simple valley hold something of such great value to be so hotly contested, similar in fashion to Kashmir on Earth? Could a great source of magic, faith, or power (or all three) provide this source of contention?
That would work too. Perhaps the Keep on the Borderlands (Castellan Keep) is as far into that region that Duke Stefan has been able to push. The border region between Penhaligon and Thunder Rift is inhabited by both Orcs and Giants. And the Caves of Chaos being located in that area doesn't help either :)

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firebee
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Re: Who's Running Things Around Here Anyway?

Post by firebee » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:41 pm

I second Havard's huzzah! I've been mostly running my Karameikos campaign, but it's great to see a Thunder Rift thread again.
Belathauzer wrote:This community board has been a bit quiet lately, so I thought I'd pose a think tank session:

Thunder Rift currently has no established, overall ruler or government. It seems to be a wilderness area with several autonomous/self-governing communities. The main communities are:

Melinir - a mayor is in charge (I believe his name is Valum?)
Torlynn - a burgomaster is in charge (I don't recall if a name was ever given?)
Kleine - seems to be governed by a council (could this be an oligarchy, or perhaps a city run by guilds?)
Hearth-home (dwarves) - they had a King once (Farolas), but now lords seem to be in charge (are these similar in structure to medieval Germanic/Scandinavian feudal systems, or something along the lines of Celtic clans?)

Are these titles and positions earned by election, bequeathed by some greater lord, a birthright? Are the positions for life, or a fixed term?
I would think that there would be some loose confederation of these communities and also the Silvercrest Elves. In the case of the Dwarves and Elves, heredity would seem to be the more normal way of choosing leaders, while I think that elections would work best for the human communities.
Havard's Timeline seems to indicate that Melinir, and perhaps all of Thunder Rift had been ruled over by a king at some point:
Havard wrote: AC 350
The King of Melinir and his sons travel to meet the eldest son’s betrothed in Kleine. However, the King’s Barge is destroyed after sailing too close to the Plunging Catatract and is lost on the bottom of Lake Ostrel. Since then, elected Mayors have been the official rulers of Melinir (Thunder Rift).
But would Melinir really have ever been large enough to warrant a king? At best I can see a Landed Knight or Baron in charge of the lands. In fact, a Landed Knight or Baron could possibly be in charge of all of Thunder Rift considering its size. Could he have been a bit too big for his britches and referred to himself as a king? Could this hubris have been a contributing factor in his demise (sabotage/assassination, or shot himself in the foot)?
There seems to be some evidence of a king in the past as well as a centralized fighter-based government. The Black Knight (from Sword & Shield) seems very interested in reestablishing such a government/social order. As the valley seems to be isolated by geography and/or magic, I think that a monarchy is very plausible, especially before the warrior-wizard war. IMC I've expanded the scale of Thunder Rift significantly, so that the size or TR really isn't an issue.
And what of the dwarven and elven communities? Are these separate and autonomous nations/enclaves that fall within the official boundaries of the established local (human) government (similar in fashion to Alfheim and Darokin) or are they beholden to the same ruler/power structure at some point?
I always envisioned them more like the Dwarves and Elves in Karameikos, semi-autonomous, but more independent due to the lack of a rift-wide government.
Regardless of who ruled in the past, who would rule now? Do the Quadrial make a good fit as rulers, or are they best left as the Thunder Rift version of the "Justice League"? Should Thunder Rift have a ruler, or should it be left as a wild, fringe/wilderness society?
I don't see the Quadrial as really a governing group, but rather a group of powerful adventurers that band togther times of great need. So I see them even more like Marvel's "The Defenders" than DC's JLA. Though I can certainly see them having the ear of all the local community leaders.

IMC there is no current ruler of all of TR. A group of (ironically) chaotic knights, under the Black Knight is trying to move in that direction, but after such a long period of uncentralized government, I don't see anyone flocking to join them of their own free will. I would also see the wizard of Mage Isle and even the Quadrial opposing this as well.
If Thunder Rift is placed in the Known World of Mystara (regardless of where it is placed - Darokin & Karameikos have both been suggested in the past), should it come under the jurisdiction of the local authorities and power structure? If it falls within the borders of Karameikos (which it does in my setting), would it be part of the Duke's (future King's) domain, or would it still be a wild area, possibly even contested?

I have personally placed it in the mountains at the borders of Karameikos, Thyatis, Ylarum, and Darokin. Since this is a mountainous wilderland filled with all manner of horrible beasties I don't imagine the Duke's men having an occasion to make it up here to enforce any laws often; unless, of course, a garrison was placed in Thunder Rift. I think this placement not only serves to make Thunder Rift both isolated and remote, but putting it so close to international borders could cause some confusion and contention with regards to ownership, especially if it were to hold something of value. Could such a simple valley hold something of such great value to be so hotly contested, similar in fashion to Kashmir on Earth? Could a great source of magic, faith, or power (or all three) provide this source of contention?
I've placed TR in the same location IMC. But to handle the fact that I greatly increased it's size and population, I had the monolith be an ancient Nithian device that keeps the valley in a pocket dimension of a sorts, similar to the valley of Haven. Except that instead of hidden valley that only connects to Mystara at certain time intervals, it is connected all the time. So there is no time passage differences, but people/creatures in Karameikos do not "find" TR unless they stumble upon it. As most of the exits from TR are guarded by fierce humanoids, most people don't leave TR either.
What do you guys think? How do you personally handle government in Thunder Rift? Do you have more questions that I may have missed along the lines of who's running things? I'd love to hear all of your ideas.
Tom Mahaney

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hyrieus
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Re: Who's Running Things Around Here Anyway?

Post by hyrieus » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:52 pm

I'd be tempted to say that Melinir wasn't the seat of the old monarchy. A lost town and lost throne just seem to be more rife with adventure opportunities.

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firebee
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Re: Who's Running Things Around Here Anyway?

Post by firebee » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:48 pm

hyrieus wrote:I'd be tempted to say that Melinir wasn't the seat of the old monarchy. A lost town and lost throne just seem to be more rife with adventure opportunities.
Maybe there is a "Lost City" in the Gloomfens.
Tom Mahaney

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