[Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

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

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[Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:34 pm

From Geoff's thread over in the Magic Mirror board, where he has been telling us about his upcoming Mystara campaign....


Chimpman wrote:We know that back in Shimmering Lands time the process for creating Soulforged was perfected and widely used. That being the process of extracting a dwarven soul from its body (as an Elder's way of extending their own life) and placing it into a new body made of stone. Denwarf (Dranwyrf back then) himself went through the process at one point and has survived through the ages to come back and help his people at various points in time.

However, we know something else about Denwarf... eventually he went crazy. What if the bodies of the Soulforged allowed more than just the dwarven soul to get inside. What if Other Things could get inside too. That might be why the creation of Soulforged bodies fell out of fashion after the Shimmering Lands collapsed. Denwarf could be an anomaly... probably protected to some extent by Kagyar so that he could complete the tasks his immortal patron had set for him, but other Soulforged would have become corrupted by the Outer Beings and would have been destroyed by their peers.

So what might sit beneath Dengar? Could it be remnants of Denwarf's original Estate... remnants that include the apparatus and knowledge required to create a Soulforged body? If so, some unscrupulous dwarves might want to gain such knowledge, either to create their own Soulforged bodies, or to create an army of Soulforged warriors (filled with who knows what). Either way, should such knowledge come back into use, Bad Things(TM) are sure to happen.

RobJN wrote:Hmm. This sounds a bit like a certain process performed at a certain facility, but with a body made mostly of flesh, rather than stone.... And we've seen just the beginning of what happens when a presence other than the intended one takes up residence inside the shell...

Chimpman wrote:It does doesn't it! :twisted: Oh! This idea may be just what I was looking for a while back when I wanted to tie in some BC 2300 villains with Thorn's Mystara. Could the World Mountain/Balck Sands area be a facility housing Shrikes and Sirens? If it is, then perhaps this is where the dwarves pry loose the secrets of creating the Soulforged in the first place. This could be the set for my first Shimmering Lands based adventure! :mrgreen:

I'm opening this topic to bounce some ideas around, mainly with John, but I don't want to limit it to just our ramblings. This is a portion of Mystara's history that is a bit of a blind spot for me, and I would like to learn more about the cultures that formed in the wake of the Great Rain of Fire, but also those that predated it, and left ruins beneath ruins beneath ruins.

Blackmoor did a healthy bit of exploring as that Empire grew, fought wars and planted colonies all along the Lands to the West. What became of those colonies? How much of that lore is canon, and what have other Mystaraphiles written about the lands and peoples that might have grown up around (or been there because of) Imperial Blackmoor expansion and trade before the planet shifted on its axis? How much of that was left when the lands stabilized and the ice receded?

I'd like to take this opportunity to dig into some of the possible activities of the Last Daughters of the First Kingdom, to further seed their legends and legacies throughout what would become the Known World. And if I can help John write a few adventures in the process, well, that's just peachy :mrgreen:
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:29 am

Thanks for the topic Rob, good idea!
RobJN wrote:I'd like to take this opportunity to dig into some of the possible activities of the Last Daughters of the First Kingdom, to further seed their legends and legacies throughout what would become the Known World. And if I can help John write a few adventures in the process, well, that's just peachy :mrgreen:

One nation that's kind of been living on the outskirts of my thoughts is Grondheim, the nation of giants and fey who are ruled by the Troll Queen. Since we've been talking about the Last Daughters, it strikes me that they would have been a treasure that the Troll Queen might have wanted to claim as her own. As the dwarves of the Shimmering Lands moved into their new home (in what would later be parts of Rockhome, Ethengar, and the Northern Reaches) they displaced many giant clans that had been living there before them. If the World Mountain really was a Blackmoorian outpost housing some of the Last Daughters, this territory would have been hotly disputed between Grondheim and the newly forming Shimmering Lands.

The dwarves who discovered it would probably have seen much of their lost legacy within, and been eager to reclaim that lost knowledge and power. Their first attempts at backward engineering the Last Daughters could have led to the Soulborn... but who's to say they stopped there? They could have continued their research, possibly trying to revive some of the Daughters themselves. It could also be that Shades coming through the Gate of Light would have flocked to this area as well... possibly looking for a way to integrate their own souls into the vessels stored there in order to once again interact with the lands of the living.

But there is still the Troll Queen and her ilk sitting there at the corner of my consciousness, and I doubt she would be willing to let lesser creatures claim her treasure. It's possible that she herself (or her predecessors) had some hand in their creation, and that she even shares some familial link with the Daughters. I'm going to have to go back and read your blog entries regarding their creation again to refresh my memory on all of the players involved.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:00 am

Chimpman wrote:Thanks for the topic Rob, good idea!
One nation that's kind of been living on the outskirts of my thoughts is Grondheim, the nation of giants and fey who are ruled by the Troll Queen. Since we've been talking about the Last Daughters, it strikes me that they would have been a treasure that the Troll Queen might have wanted to claim as her own. As the dwarves of the Shimmering Lands moved into their new home (in what would later be parts of Rockhome, Ethengar, and the Northern Reaches) they displaced many giant clans that had been living there before them. If the World Mountain really was a Blackmoorian outpost housing some of the Last Daughters, this territory would have been hotly disputed between Grondheim and the newly forming Shimmering Lands.

Some initial thoughts on this (not a lot of time before I have to get to work!): We know the original Daughters (we'll call them the Progenitors) are part fey, and their clones share the same genetics: the clone bodies do not age, they cannot be poisoned or fall ill (they regenerate the damage within the span of hours, if not days). Wounds heal in minutes or hours, even those inflicted by fire and acid. Perhaps the Troll Queen coveted these abilities. Could she have wanted the (yes, we know it's cliche'd!) eternal youth and immortality the Daughters possessed? I'm thinking a couple things here: either her tampering caused the Daughters to fight back, cursing the Troll Queen with the hideousness of the "current" trolls, and making them vulnerable to fire and acid

Or, perhaps her experiments were partially successful, and current trolls are hideously twisted descendants of a colony's worth of clone stock?
Edit: We know that banshees are what we get when a siren's soul fragment loses its body. Perhaps a troll is what we get when a shrike's shell is awakened without a Daughters' consciousness?

Either way, I think I will build in a deep-seated hatred of trolls into the Daughters' psyches -- so bad that they will actually "go Nova" and fully open the can of whoop-butt not seen since the battles of the Borean Valleys (the devastation? Five shrikes and a siren in their 'Shivar' aspect).

Chimpman wrote:The dwarves who discovered it would probably have seen much of their lost legacy within, and been eager to reclaim that lost knowledge and power. Their first attempts at backward engineering the Last Daughters could have led to the Soulborn... but who's to say they stopped there? They could have continued their research, possibly trying to revive some of the Daughters themselves. It could also be that Shades coming through the Gate of Light would have flocked to this area as well... possibly looking for a way to integrate their own souls into the vessels stored there in order to once again interact with the lands of the living.

When Blackmoor was destroyed, the city, surrounding countryside, all those people were vaporized, and the spire of black rock standing in a crater of black glass is all that remains of the site. The crater isn't actually glass, but Andahar Onyx, and a reflection of the World that Was was burned into the polished surface. The people, cities survived, inverted, "living" on the Other Side of the reflection (dubbed the 'Fusion Boundary')

Blackmoor survived, the Lightning Road system still functions. The only problem is that those traveling from a Blackmoor Gate on the Other Side of the Fusion Boundary will have no body once they hit the Destination Gate... emerging as a shade. Thus far, the only exception to this has been the Reaper-class of Daughters, who can cross the Fusion Boundary without the aid of the Lightning Roads.

Chimpman wrote:But there is still the Troll Queen and her ilk sitting there at the corner of my consciousness, and I doubt she would be willing to let lesser creatures claim her treasure. It's possible that she herself (or her predecessors) had some hand in their creation, and that she even shares some familial link with the Daughters. I'm going to have to go back and read your blog entries regarding their creation again to refresh my memory on all of the players involved.
See my notes above, I think we may be close to the same page here..... :o
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:41 am

Oh man, those are some great ideas up there. I'm going to take a step back first though, and review some of the information gleaned from your blog about Uther and the fey:
1) Uther's father declined the offer of the fey queen (to give up his firstborn child)
2) Uther (before he actually takes his father's place as Baron) accepts the fey queen's offer.
3) Uther disappears after his castle has been taken - presumable escaped to the lands of fey.
4) When Uther emerges he brings with him 2 twin girls. There are a couple of possibilities here (though in both cases I'm assuming that Uther sired the girls with a fey woman - possibly the queen herself).
- The first possibility is that neither of the girl's are his first born, but that there was one child who came before them that stayed with the queen. This could mean that there is another Pendragon line ruling over some kingdom in the fey realm.
- The second is that he gave up one of the twins (or both of them) and then the queen sent them back out with their father to perform some task that she had set for them.

The trolls of BC 2300 really are fey creatures and not creatures of the mortal world. They can take on a pleasing form when dealing with mortals (usually to broker some horrible deal whereby the mortal gives up their first born child ;) ), but also posses a second hideous and often terrifying form.

I'm starting to think that the troll queen and the fey queen are related and that the two had some sort of dispute regarding Uther's deal. The troll queen tried to betray her sister and she and her followers were subsequently banished to the mortal realm. There they bribed, cheated, extorted, and threatened their way into positions of rulership in the giant nation of Grondheim and began a reign of terror against the mortals.

Perhaps the First Daughters were given something by the fey queen... some essence of the once always beautiful troll queen that was stripped from her when she betrayed her sister. That would create quite an incentive for the troll queen to seek out the Daughters in all their incarnations... so that she could once again extract their fey beauty and reclaim what was once her own. Perhaps also the troll queen and her followers practice the changeling arts (taking mortal babies for their own) in a mockery of Uther's bargain, and they plan to use these foundlings as an army to reclaim their homelands from the fey who cast them out.

Running with that idea a bit further could mean that the troll queen was banished circa BC 4000, and that all trolls would be descendants of her and her giantish subjects. That gives such creatures about 1700 years to proliferate before the curse strikes them and turns them into ravening beasts. The only problem with this theory is Blackmoorian era trolls. What were they? Degenerate children of the troll queen (and a portent of things to come for the entire race)? or something else?
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:59 am

Your comments have sparked off a whole plethora of ideas (and I'm short on time), so just a quick comment for the moment.
RobJN wrote:Or, perhaps her experiments were partially successful, and current trolls are hideously twisted descendants of a colony's worth of clone stock?
Edit: We know that banshees are what we get when a siren's soul fragment loses its body. Perhaps a troll is what we get when a shrike's shell is awakened without a Daughters' consciousness?

Either way, I think I will build in a deep-seated hatred of trolls into the Daughters' psyches -- so bad that they will actually "go Nova" and fully open the can of whoop-butt not seen since the battles of the Borean Valleys (the devastation? Five shrikes and a siren in their 'Shivar' aspect).

I'm starting to draw some parallels between the Daughter - Troll relationship, and the (Eberron based) Khalashtar - Quori relationship. I kind of like the Troll Queen as an equivalent to the Dreaming Dark - someone who is trying to gather up all the pieces of her essence/soul by killing everyone who has been touched by it in some way (which in this case would be each and every physical form of one of the Daughters - awakened or not).

Interesting side thought... what would this mean for the dwarves who based their Soulbound technology on one of the Daughters? Could dwarven soulbound then also by drawing some of the troll queen's "spirit" to animate themselves? If so it could explain why Grondheim and the Shimmering Lands have so much animosity between them.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:14 am

Triple posting (sorry), but I just realized that this discussion has helped me solve a problem I've been struggling with for ages now - that being how did two separate groups of dwarves (those on Brun - the demon worshipers, and those on Skothar - the technologists) find their way to the same location in order to found the Shimmering Lands?

The answer could lie within the World Mountain... especially if it was a Blackmoorian outpost housing open vessels (such as Thorn's Daughters). The Brunian dwarves, led by the Yardraks and their "other worldly" connections might have been funneled toward the World Mountain in order to allow their masters to gain access to a nearly limitless supply of shells to inhabit. Getting the Brunian dwarves to migrate south was never the problem though... it was getting the Skotharian dwarves to meet up with them. However, if the World Mountain was a Blackmoorian outpost, then the technomantic dwarves may actually have been able to detect it, and were able to follow the signal they were receiving until the found it.

Of course, both groups would have met the resistance of the giants and their fey masters who were already occupying the region and they would have had to join forces in order to secure their new home.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:08 am

So it seems we're looking at some sort of dispute between the sidhe queen of the Skothar fey and the Troll Queen of Grondheim, on Brun.

I'm thinking what would have been known as a "troll" in Blackmoor could have actually been a cross-breed of (fey)-troll and beast man.

Perhaps all the fey-trolls died out in the Great Rain of Fire, leaving only a handful (or even just the one Queen) of "true" trolls. If the Troll Queen was around in the era before the Great Rain of Fire, she would certainly have known about the sidhe queen's union with Uther as that was something of a scandal back then. Fey observed Men, but did not involve themselves with them. They were at best playthings. But then, somehow, the Wizard of the Woods was able to rally the lesser fey to his side to fight off the eldritch abomination known as the Egg of Coot, and then Morgana mingles the pure blood with that of humans!

Perhaps the contention between the two queens arose from the differences between their offspring? Perhaps all of the Troll Queen's attempts resulted in the expression of the beastly/monster aspect (the males, perhaps, would be born as "common" monstrous trolls we know today, the females would appear normal until reaching a certain age and then degenerate -- hmmm, hags, anyone?)

Maybe the two queens had a "simple" wager as to which of their kind would outlive the other? If the Troll Queen was involved with the beast men, then she would have been privy to their demonology. One of the sidhe queen's goals in uniting her blood with Uther's was sealing away demonkind. (Quite simply, Mystara was hers, and they couldn't have it.) Perhaps the demons whispered to the Troll Queen of the great help they could be in outliving the sidhe queen, and ensuring the propagation of the Troll Queen's race.

Was the Troll Queen of Grondheim locked in her beastly aspect during the time of the Shimmering Lands? One of the aura effects of Andahar's Engine is the weakening of all forms of deception within a certain number of miles, but the initial activation sent waves of this effect ripping across the entire planet. Could that have stripped away the Troll Queen's beautiful guise? Perhaps the demons promised the trolls the return of their beauty by taking it from the descendants of the sidhe queen...

(Uther's blood is the key that keeps the Engine running. So long as it flows, the demons will be sealed away from Mystara. Why should the demons have to do all the work of hunting down those countless Daughters when some other pawn would gladly do it for them?)
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:48 am

Chimpman wrote:Triple posting (sorry), but I just realized that this discussion has helped me solve a problem I've been struggling with for ages now - that being how did two separate groups of dwarves (those on Brun - the demon worshipers, and those on Skothar - the technologists) find their way to the same location in order to found the Shimmering Lands?

The answer could lie within the World Mountain... especially if it was a Blackmoorian outpost housing open vessels (such as Thorn's Daughters). The Brunian dwarves, led by the Yardraks and their "other worldly" connections might have been funneled toward the World Mountain in order to allow their masters to gain access to a nearly limitless supply of shells to inhabit. Getting the Brunian dwarves to migrate south was never the problem though... it was getting the Skotharian dwarves to meet up with them. However, if the World Mountain was a Blackmoorian outpost, then the technomantic dwarves may actually have been able to detect it, and were able to follow the signal they were receiving until the found it.

Of course, both groups would have met the resistance of the giants and their fey masters who were already occupying the region and they would have had to join forces in order to secure their new home.

Borrowing Havard's precataclysmic map, I've guessed at the possible locations for the World Mountain in the days before the Great Rain of Fire:
Image
Urzud, I think, would have been the furthest west Blackmoor would have pushed in the beast man crusades, and it would have to have been founded after the truce with the Draconic empire. (or they would be facing war on two opposite fronts -- I don't see any way Blackmoor could have carved a path through the dragons' lands.) So I'm thinking they relied on the trade colonies established along "New Thonia," funneling supplies up from the coast and into the continent by way of a series of "steps": Bellerophon to the World Mountain, and from there, to Urzud.

Why not just use the Lightning Roads? Teleportation, and the resulting dimensional folding weakened the barriers between dimensions. Demons had exploited this in the past, pouring through the Origin and Destination Gates. The longer the leap, the easier time the demons had in breaking through (hence why they were able to follow the elves across their Rainbow Bridge even after they'd been sealed away from the Mystaran Prime)

So I'm thinking the World Mountain would have been quite the fortress, probably having been founded and fortified during the time the Draconic Empire was still involved in the Beast Man Crusades. The stockpiles of weapons would have been huge, and the defenses impressive. Cut off from Blackmoor after the Great Rain of Fire, the fortress probably would have gone into Lockdown, activating all manner of technological and magical wards and barriers.

The planetary shifting and resulting quakes and tectonic activity would have been enough to collapse portions of the World Mountain facility, most likely the deeper levels, which would have contained the vrill pools, suspension capsules, and Well of Souls (Wells of Souls?). Daughters awakened prematurely, without the Val'kira binders or a Progenitor shard consciousness and the resulting attachment to the thoughtshare matrix would have been confused, frightened, and very very dangerous -- the embodiment of fey wild magic, and the wild magics of Blackmoor, with only the thought of protecting itself. It is entirely likely that they would not be sane. One almost pities the first dwarves to have cracked the seals or tunneled into the facility.....
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:40 pm

I don't have much to add to the above - I think we're on the same page because I love all of those ideas. I do have a question for you though. Seeing as how we're talking about the fey and that Thorn is a druid, what is the relationship between the two groups? Does Thorn's order have any interactions with the fey and if so how do they get along?

My other main thought is that I'm going to have to give the troll queen an actual name at some point. What is the sidhe queen's name? If the two are related in some way I'd like to show that in their names.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:14 pm

Chimpman wrote:I don't have much to add to the above - I think we're on the same page because I love all of those ideas. I do have a question for you though. Seeing as how we're talking about the fey and that Thorn is a druid, what is the relationship between the two groups? Does Thorn's order have any interactions with the fey and if so how do they get along?

Since the Greater and Lesser Rains of Fire, the presence of the fey on Brun has been relegated to the deepest and oldest of woods, mostly in Norwold and Wendar. There are very few true fey in the woods of Karameikos, even as heavily wooded as those lands are. Even among the nature-dwelling druidic orders of Traladara, the fey are treated as something of myths and legends. Journeymen chroniclers, teachers, scribes may never see a fey. Only after attaining Name level and settling down or founding a circle does a druid have a chance of seeing the fey, and only then after having been settled for a number of decades enough for the fey to notice that the human hasn't just "moved on."

Thorn's hierarch has had some dealings with the fey in the past, and their relationship has been cool and cordial, kept to a businesslike trading of favors for information for the most part. Thorn himself is unique: in his dealings with Silva and Aurora, he has had more interaction with the fey in two months than most druidic orders may see in the span of several men's lifetimes. More than likely, how the events of the Chronicle turn out will color the dealings between Men and the fey for hundreds of years to come...

Chimpman wrote:My other main thought is that I'm going to have to give the troll queen an actual name at some point. What is the sidhe queen's name? If the two are related in some way I'd like to show that in their names.

The sidhe queen on Skothar has many names: she is known as “Morgana” among humans of the North, “Malbeth” by the dwarves, “Al’mistra Solodon” by the elves of the Red Woods.

Those of an age to remember her from the time of the Second Republic in Thonia name her as the Mother of Secrets, the Grey Lady, She of the Mists, Gatherer of the Dawns.

The Valemen called her “Namestealer.” Among the Peshwah she was known as “Faceless Night,” for there it is said she only appeared during the new moon.

Rowena and Leansethar adopted Uther's usage of the name "Morgana." If the twins know their mother's true name, they never speak it.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:36 am

Slightly new topic for the Think Tank ;). Here are the relevant posts:

RobJN wrote:
Chimpman wrote:The question I do have is about Aurora and Silva and their knowledge of Red Steel. That wouldn't have existed until well into the Nithian Era, so where are they getting their information from? Or are there some specific changes you had in mind for Red Steel in Thorn's Mystara?

The sword Bargle used in the catacombs was made of Red Steel -- Aurora and Silva's first contact with the metal. Bargle mentions that the Black Eagle has an armory filling up with weapons made of the stuff. While cold iron and steel will harm the twins, they can still regenerate from that kind of damage -- not so with Red Steel, not even with the added "oomph" of the white dragonstones' healing.

Jaelle, and the demon infesting her, were privy to all that information, and Aurora means to keep those weapons from falling any further into enemy hands.


Well, Red Steel is still several centuries away from being created in this era, but...
Shimmering Lands wrote:Economy: Demehvand is one of the larger trade centers in the Shimmering Lands, shipping goods from Qivar and Gromevand to the western portions of the country. Lumber is harvested from the northern hills, although the Imyrluran Forest is given a wide berth. Mines also exist on the eastern tip of the Maghkrys Mountains. Gold is a major product, though it comes with a peculiar reddish tint that can not be smelted from the ore. The red gold of Demehvand is rumored to buy the souls of creatures who spend it, and its use is shunned in other parts of the nation. Fiendish arts are also a commodity in Demehvand, with the largest dark library existing in the ancestral halls of Yardrak, deep in the mountain’s roots.


Geoff and I touched on this subject briefly:
Chimpman wrote:
Seer of Yhog wrote:I'm happy to see more being written about the Shimmering Lands! Some details in particular stuck out:

1. The cursed reddish gold

I like this idea, as it gives the region more character. The fact that the "taint" is beyond even dwarven smelting abilities to remove piques my interest. Is this some sort of precursor to red steel, or is there a darker origin here?

Hmmm... being a precursor to Red Steel has merits. I suppose that the Nithians who come afterward might be able to pick up a few secrets from any of this material that is left around.

My first (admittedly unimaginative) thought was that the red gold is a symptom of fiendish presence in the area. It could perhaps also tie in with the Deep Elves and their machinations some how.


Running with those ideas, all of the above might be true. There may indeed be some fiendish red taint to the Yardrak gold, and that might indeed be a precursor to Red Steel. Perhaps the Nithians used the unrefined red gold in their research or as some material component to making Red Steel. That would however mean that there is probably some demonic taint passed through to the modern incarnation of Red Steel in the Savage Coast.

What are the properties of Red Steel in Thorn's Mystara, and which of those properties makes it so deadly to the twins?
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:59 am

Chimpman wrote:Slightly new topic for the Think Tank ;). Here are the relevant posts:


Well, Red Steel is still several centuries away from being created in this era, but...
Shimmering Lands wrote:Economy: Demehvand is one of the larger trade centers in the Shimmering Lands, shipping goods from Qivar and Gromevand to the western portions of the country. Lumber is harvested from the northern hills, although the Imyrluran Forest is given a wide berth. Mines also exist on the eastern tip of the Maghkrys Mountains. Gold is a major product, though it comes with a peculiar reddish tint that can not be smelted from the ore. The red gold of Demehvand is rumored to buy the souls of creatures who spend it, and its use is shunned in other parts of the nation. Fiendish arts are also a commodity in Demehvand, with the largest dark library existing in the ancestral halls of Yardrak, deep in the mountain’s roots.


Geoff and I touched on this subject briefly:
Chimpman wrote:
Seer of Yhog wrote:I'm happy to see more being written about the Shimmering Lands! Some details in particular stuck out:

1. The cursed reddish gold

I like this idea, as it gives the region more character. The fact that the "taint" is beyond even dwarven smelting abilities to remove piques my interest. Is this some sort of precursor to red steel, or is there a darker origin here?

Hmmm... being a precursor to Red Steel has merits. I suppose that the Nithians who come afterward might be able to pick up a few secrets from any of this material that is left around.

My first (admittedly unimaginative) thought was that the red gold is a symptom of fiendish presence in the area. It could perhaps also tie in with the Deep Elves and their machinations some how.


Running with those ideas, all of the above might be true. There may indeed be some fiendish red taint to the Yardrak gold, and that might indeed be a precursor to Red Steel. Perhaps the Nithians used the unrefined red gold in their research or as some material component to making Red Steel. That would however mean that there is probably some demonic taint passed through to the modern incarnation of Red Steel in the Savage Coast.

What are the properties of Red Steel in Thorn's Mystara, and which of those properties makes it so deadly to the twins?

Mystaran canon says that Red Steel is the end result of cinnabryl worn against living tissue, which absorbs the 'protective essence' if you will, fending off the detrimental effects of the Red Curse while allowing the wearer access to all the benefits. The curse itself was a Nithian magic that was supposed to create super soldiers. Having seen their attempts to create a servitor race in their homeland, we should have known this was doomed to not work out as they had planned.....

Cinnabryl is the substance sown into the land by the Nithians, an ore that was to be refined into metals to house great magics. A self-propogating ore.

Finally, the vermeil, is a reddish dust that permeates everything along the Savage Coast. While faintly magical, it serves to cloud magical detections, and binds Ixion's power-consuming curse to the Nithian affliction.

So, we have an occluding magical dust that blows everywhere, gets into everything, and is eaten in minuscule doses by those in the region who later in life develop hideous deformations, and metal that fends off symptoms of Affliction when worn against the skin, the protection which wears off over time. Does this sound like anything we know of here in the Real World...?

The Radiance, at work in a slightly different form, methinks, yet another legacy (pardon the pun) of Blackmoor sciences brought back by those who did not fully understand it.

The deposits of metallic cinnabryl were already seeded along the coast, fallout from the Great Rain of Fire. The Nithian's tampering either reactivated or altered the metal's properties. I'm thinking this metal is either Radiance-enhanced, or is a malfunctioning self-repairing nanometal, probably originally developed as an armor of some sort or another in the World that Was. Depletion leaves only the most concentrated of Radiant effects matrixed into the resulting Red Steel, which cause great harm to biological, magical, and metallic structures (the Daughters being two of those three things)

Rather than a demonic origin, I think Red Steel's being something made of Blackmoor Science(tm) :ugeek: and Nithian Fail(tm) :facepalm: is what proves to be so deadly to the twins -- essentially, Blackmoor weapons being used against Blackmoor weapons: fighting fire with fire.

This is not to disparage the theory of the Yardrak-infested red gold. That in and of itself is quite a bit of pure awesome, and still just as valid on Thorn's Mystara. The initial Flash-Pulse from Andahar's Engine would have forced the demons from their physical bodies, and then driven those ethereal forms back across the ethereal boundary -- but in the split-second between those two events, many of the more powerful demons resisted, and either dove into or were burned into the landscape: the rocks, trees, minerals, wildlife, etc. It is entirely possible that the Yardrak demons migrated into what they knew the races would want to get their hands on (gold!) and from there, begin whispering through the connection already opened up by greed....
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:11 pm

RobJN wrote:This is not to disparage the theory of the Yardrak-infested red gold. That in and of itself is quite a bit of pure awesome, and still just as valid on Thorn's Mystara. The initial Flash-Pulse from Andahar's Engine would have forced the demons from their physical bodies, and then driven those ethereal forms back across the ethereal boundary -- but in the split-second between those two events, many of the more powerful demons resisted, and either dove into or were burned into the landscape: the rocks, trees, minerals, wildlife, etc. It is entirely possible that the Yardrak demons migrated into what they knew the races would want to get their hands on (gold!) and from there, begin whispering through the connection already opened up by greed....

Ok, so perhaps the Yardrak's red gold isn't directly related to Red Steel, but it does contain some demonic presence - that harkens back to my original idea about the material. There is one issue I've been trying to reconcile in my own mind if this is the case... what happened to all that red gold? We have the Yardrak mining and minting the stuff probably for centuries, and they would of course use it to buy things since they and (especially) their masters would want to spread the gold around as much as possible. So where would the major markets be?

The giants and elves to the north are despised enemies, so there is probably very little trade in that direction. The Antalians and humanoids of Urzud might earn more of the gold when they hire on as mercenaries, and the folk of Mogreth probably wouldn't even notice the demonic presence at all. What's a little fiendish gold compared to the unknowable incomprehension of the Outer Beings looming over them all the time ;).

After Mogreth is washed away, the early Nithians might have had some problems in dealing with the red gold. Sure it can buy you weapons and soldiers, but the price might be too high. On the other hand, some unscrupulous pharaoh might want to collect vast amounts of the stuff to line his crypt with. Such "hoarding" of the metal might give the demons a stronger foothold in other parts of the world (which could have been their intent in the first place). Later, when Nithians begin plundering their own ancient crypts, these demons would be re-released on the world and might have played a part in the downfall of that nation.

In the modern era, I see a couple of places where this gold could be cached.
1) The modrigswerg probably still have vast reserves of the stuff. I'm sure it doesn't help their current outlook on life to keep it around, but still... it is so pretty.

2) There may still be hoarded caches of the stuff hidden away in Nithia, especially in the tombs of the earliest pharaohs.

3) There could be some stockpiles in the north and west. The humanoids of Urzud might have been especially susceptible to the substance.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:54 pm

What about dragon hoards? I wonder what sleeping atop a great pile of red gold would do, or consuming it for the Ceremony of Sublimation.... :twisted:
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:38 pm

RobJN wrote:What about dragon hoards? I wonder what sleeping atop a great pile of red gold would do, or consuming it for the Ceremony of Sublimation.... :twisted:

:shock: :o

If the Nithians were actually using some version of the Ceremony of Sublimation for their own purposes (to extend their lives or some such... why else would they stockpile treasure inside those pyramids?? ;) ), we could get some interesting results there as well. I like the way you think Rob.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:59 pm

Chimpman wrote:I like the way you think Rob.

:oops:

It's a gift. :twisted: :ugeek:
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:29 pm

John, have you read mylatest dispatch at Havard's Blog? Might be some ideas worth picking at there. :twisted:
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:02 am

RobJN wrote:John, have you read mylatest dispatch at Havard's Blog? Might be some ideas worth picking at there. :twisted:


Nice article Rob!
The deep, nearly-psychotic hatred between the Sidhe and Trolls seems to originate from these years before the Great Rain of Fire. Were trolls the result of experimentation done by the Egg to blend Beast Man and Sidhe stock? The waning of the numbers of the Sidhe in the North, and growing numbers of Trolls could have been coincidental… but the two events may also be inextricably linked.

:twisted: This is an interesting twist. It could be that the Egg solely is responsible for the creation of trolls. In that case the Egg and its minions would have captured countless sidhe to perform their experiments upon. One the other hand, there could be a sidhe traitor on the other side who is participating in these experiments with the Egg (the aforementioned "auntie" of the twins).

Either case would have been enough justification for the twins to freak out when they encounter the abominations.

The other idea that jumps out at me... if the Egg was responsible for creating the "standard" humanoid strains... then perhaps that says something about what can be found in Urzud. Could there be some remnant of the Egg left in that former bastion of Blackmoor - something that is responsible for changing the beastmen into their present day forms. That's a nice bit of lore that can be added to the humanoid birthplace.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:04 am

Sort of makes you wonder about what the quest for the Blue Knife was really all about, doesn't it? :twisted:
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:09 am

Chimpman wrote:The other idea that jumps out at me... if the Egg was responsible for creating the "standard" humanoid strains... then perhaps that says something about what can be found in Urzud. Could there be some remnant of the Egg left in that former bastion of Blackmoor - something that is responsible for changing the beastmen into their present day forms. That's a nice bit of lore that can be added to the humanoid birthplace.

Was Urzud really a colony of Blackmoor? On the very edge of the war zone, there was no shortage of beast men to capture for experimentation observation. Were the goblinoid races really the work of the Egg? Or was it the result of experiments by the scientists, working to find ways to either exterminate the beast men, or perhaps turn them into troops to fight against their own kind, to save the lives of Men.....
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:44 am

RobJN wrote:Was Urzud really a colony of Blackmoor? On the very edge of the war zone, there was no shortage of beast men to capture for experimentation observation. Were the goblinoid races really the work of the Egg? Or was it the result of experiments by the scientists, working to find ways to either exterminate the beast men, or perhaps turn them into troops to fight against their own kind, to save the lives of Men.....

I have no doubt that Urzud was a Blackmoorian outpost... how firmly was it under the thumb of the Blackmoorian government? That's another question entirely. It could very well have been a "rogue" state, paying lipservice to Blackmoor while pursuing their own secret agendas. Being on the edge of the warzone, Urzud may have been military city/outpost, and perhaps the generals stationed there are attempting to win the war through any means necessary.

I could see this being the "Area 51" of the Blackmoorian world. A secret military base with all kinds of forbidden technology and weapons. Some taken from the Egg of Coot, others from the sidhe, and so on. This could end up being a very scary place after the GRoF.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:53 pm

Chimpman wrote:I could see this being the "Area 51" of the Blackmoorian world. A secret military base with all kinds of forbidden technology and weapons. Some taken from the Egg of Coot, others from the sidhe, and so on. This could end up being a very scary place after the GRoF.


Being at the forefront of the Beast Man crusades, Urzud was a scary place before the Great Rain of Fire. :twisted: I'm going to have to revisit your Urzud thread and see what I can tease out of it to extrapolate backwards in time, to when the fortress was at its height....
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Chimpman » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:26 pm

GP's new Dymrak campaign sparked a thought in me - what if the Witches of Dymrak are actually inheritors of Grondheim. That would mean they would have some ties back to the "Troll Queen" as well as to the twins (through their fey ancestry).

This could have quite an impact for present day Mystara as well. Although I'd say that most of the 9 witches have been replaced over their eons, it is possible that one or more of them (Griselle or Esmerelda perhaps?) is an original (circa BC 2000 or thereabouts- whenever the Troll Curse shatters Grondheim). It is even possible that one of them is the original Troll Queen. In this case the witches might have a darker purpose to their association - to lift the Troll Curse and once again resurrect the Kingdom of Grondheim.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby RobJN » Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:46 pm

Chimpman wrote:GP's new Dymrak campaign sparked a thought in me - what if the Witches of Dymrak are actually inheritors of Grondheim. That would mean they would have some ties back to the "Troll Queen" as well as to the twins (through their fey ancestry).

This could have quite an impact for present day Mystara as well. Although I'd say that most of the 9 witches have been replaced over their eons, it is possible that one or more of them (Griselle or Esmerelda perhaps?) is an original (circa BC 2000 or thereabouts- whenever the Troll Curse shatters Grondheim). It is even possible that one of them is the original Troll Queen. In this case the witches might have a darker purpose to their association - to lift the Troll Curse and once again resurrect the Kingdom of Grondheim.

If not the Troll Queen, then her essence. I'm thinking the witches may have a crude version of the Well of Souls, allowing descendants of the original witches/trolls to inhabit their offspring. Perhaps the eldest daughters, down the line. Elyas would have broken this cycle, having trapped the three most powerful within the Black Opal Eye.
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Re: [Think Tank] Mystara 2300 meets Thorn's Mystara

Postby Havard » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:50 pm

Chimpman wrote:GP's new Dymrak campaign sparked a thought in me - what if the Witches of Dymrak are actually inheritors of Grondheim. That would mean they would have some ties back to the "Troll Queen" as well as to the twins (through their fey ancestry).

This could have quite an impact for present day Mystara as well. Although I'd say that most of the 9 witches have been replaced over their eons, it is possible that one or more of them (Griselle or Esmerelda perhaps?) is an original (circa BC 2000 or thereabouts- whenever the Troll Curse shatters Grondheim). It is even possible that one of them is the original Troll Queen. In this case the witches might have a darker purpose to their association - to lift the Troll Curse and once again resurrect the Kingdom of Grondheim.


Pretty interesting. My original idea for the Hags of Dymrak was that they would have some connection to the Dark Court of the Fey (Winter Court?). Could/Does a similar connection exist with Grondheim?

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