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    Canonfire :: View topic - Keoland, Elves, and Campaign Hooks
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    Keoland, Elves, and Campaign Hooks
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    Novice

    Joined: May 10, 2006
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    Wed May 10, 2006 7:08 pm  
    Keoland, Elves, and Campaign Hooks

    Hi all,

    Long time lurker, first time poster… maybe that’s why this ended up so lengthy.

    I’m in the enjoyable position of starting up a GH campaign for a group of GH newbies (in fact, some of them are complete RPG newbies), and want to bounce some ideas around for comment. We’ll be playing 2E rules, pre-Wars, probably in the “good old days” of 576. After some consideration, I’ve decided to start the campaign in Keoland. That gives me some great material to work with, without being as overwhelming (to me) as starting in the City of Greyhawk. Also, I really want to leave the campaign direction up to the PC’s – as much as I love ToEE and other classics, I think my new group will have a blast with a setting that provides them more choice and exploration of the world and their long-term adventuring goals rather than present an obvious target dominating the landscape. We’ll be kicking off with U1 and various side-adventures. After that, I have no ultimate goal for the group – I want to create/modify/steal adventures that follow their goals and beliefs. U2/U3 are obviously possibilities, but they could equally well head to Gradsul then Niole Dra for the city life and politics, the Dreadwood or the Hools for some hack-and-slash, or kick around the Hold and the high seas for some piracy/anti-piracy. Maybe ultimately take down the Slavers if they’re drawn to the path of Good.

    So, Keoland… as free-form as I am, I need a little bit more background plot to hang adventures off of, especially in this area and time period. The whole “rebuilding phase” is just a little too static for me. I’ve been soaking up some of the incredibly thoughtful Keoland material here (I’m sure you’re reading this, samwise), but have some ideas of my own which are rather non-canonical. To start off in an odd place, let’s talk about…

    Elves: I’ve tolerated but never really liked the stereotypical D&D elves, modeled as they are after Tolkien. And GH in particular doesn’t do much to accommodate them IMO. LotR is ultimately a great passing away, an extended bidding farewell to an older world, whereas the Flanaess (especially pre-Wars) is very much still in development. Tolkien’s elves were Good, but disappearing. I’m thinking about this campaign seeing elves that are more involved, but also much more ambiguous and behind-the-scenes. What if the elves were a force for Neutrality, perhaps like the Circle of Eight but more interested in the law/chaos axis than good/evil? What if the elves saw the rigid aristocracy of Keolandish nobility and the magic-suppressing efforts of the Silent Ones as pushing the balance too far towards order and were actively working to undermine it? Not in any obvious way, of course – I don’t want to see Keoland take up arms against Celene and blow up the Sheldomar valley. Nor would any but a tiny handful of elves know of such plans. But maybe the ongoing threat of the Dreadwood is in fact part of a much longer-term elven plan to limit the resources of the Lion Throne, despite superficial efforts to the contrary. Such a plan would be a natural outgrowth of Celene’s earlier role in encouraging the independence of the Ulek states and the contraction of Imperial Keoland.

    Possibilities here? Or would it lead to too many canon conflicts? Or perhaps too secretive and shadowy to propel adventures without giving itself away? I’m thinking that this thread, even if the PC’s never truly unravel it, could work itself into various factions (Silent Ones, scheming nobles, pirates, anti-royalist movements) and locations (Dreadwood, Hools, Sea Princes) in interesting ways. And if I feel that the PC’s are getting too close to piercing the veil… well, there are always the Slavers, the Pomarj, Iuz, the ToEE, etc. to draw attention away if necessary. At the same time, I’m not anywhere near the expert on canon or internal consistency that people here are, so I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu May 11, 2006 7:52 am  

    Consider their lifespan. In general, because of the longer lifespan of elves, the the conspiracy likely has the same individuals who started plans hundreds of years prior. I don't have 2nd ed rules with me right now, but I have 1st ed and 3rd.

    Using 1st ed DMG
    High Elves become young adults at 100 and old at 876 years of age and can live to be 1600
    Grey Elves become young adults at 150 and old at 1001 years of age and can live to be 2000
    This means that your elves potentially have had some 700-1800 years of planning. The same group that saw the rise of the Great Kingdom or the City of Greyhawk is likely still around today.

    Using 3rd ed rules, they are adults at 110 and live to 350 + 1-400 more years so there that is 200-600 more years of plots.

    If they are not nicey-nice, they have many years to do a subtle push here and there. If they do not like what they see, they have decades to micromanage.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu May 11, 2006 8:32 am  

    The elves of Keoland generally support the kingdom.
    In the Dreadwood, they have more important things to worry about than modifying the human government. Further, the current King (Kimbertos) is already sympathetic to their goals.
    In the Axewood, they have strong family connections to the Neheli, and no need to diminish the power of their relatives and lovers.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu May 11, 2006 1:56 pm  

    Wyrmy, I understand what you are saying about elves and LOTR, but I cannot agree with your depiction of them generally for Tolkien. LOTR’s was a passing but even in that you get the some idea of the power hunger that elves can have when Galadriel refuses the ring. She wanted it, a few hundred years earlier she would have taken it. Her siblings were even worse. To get a different perspective, I suggest you read the Silmarillion or just do some research about it on the net. Check out Eol, a Dark Elf, long before anyone ever though about a drow.
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu May 11, 2006 4:33 pm  

    I certainly agree that the elves of Middle Earth didn't get to be wise without making lots and lots of mistakes along the way.

    But more importantly, I don't see the D&D/GH elves as being much like the tolkein elves at all. Not unless you say "all elves are like tolkein's, because they live a long time and use magic.". Culturally, there isn't much in common. Elves in LotR avoid humans far, far more than is the case in GH. There are a number of mixed race realms (Duchy of Ulek, Highfolk, and Sunndi for elf dominated ones, plenty of others where elves live as a small minority). There is not, bar this johnny come lately Lendore stuff that indicated the elves of the Flanaess are mariners of any note or have any particular affiliation with the sea or running away. Nor do they look much alike.
    Novice

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    Thu May 11, 2006 5:57 pm  

    @NathanBrazil - Yes, the lengthened lifespans would make any kind of plotting somewhat more believable - much less necessity for "changings of the guard" that would bring in less trustworthy replacements, or simply replacements with different goals.

    @Samwise - "In the Dreadwood, they have more important things to worry about than modifying the human government." What are those things? Maybe I just don't have the right sources, but I haven't seen anything more detailed than vague description of the Dreadwood as a source of evil humanoids. "The elves of Keoland generally support the kingdom." Right, I know that's canon. I guess what I'm asking is whether any other important political/economic/magical/historical relationships break if I choose to rewrite that part.

    @Wolfsire - My comments were about LotR, not the Silmarillion. The Silmarillion elves are indeed much more purposeful and, IMO, more interesting. As to Galadriel, I interpret that passage somewhat differently, but this is not the place to bicker over Tolkien.

    @Vormaerin - "Culturally, there isn't much in common." Again, maybe I'm just missing useful sources, but I don't see much about Elven culture in the Flanaess. Is there some reading you recommend? Your point about mixed race realms is well-taken, but to some extent I think that's just a gameplay crutch. If elves were as isolationist in GH as they are in LotR, then it wouldn't make much sense to use them as a PC race, and it wouldn't really be very "D&D" if you couldn't play an elf.

    Feels like I'm touching some nerves with my elf comments. Sorry, I didn't mean to set anyone off. Just trying to see what could be done with elves without breaking other parts of the world...
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu May 11, 2006 6:32 pm  

    Quote:
    What are those things? Maybe I just don't have the right sources, but I haven't seen anything more detailed than vague description of the Dreadwood as a source of evil humanoids.


    Short Version:
    Evil arachnoids that use Far Realms portals to bring unnatural things that make evil humanoids irrelevant by comparison.
    Long Version:
    Is actually way too long. You can get more hints from the Sheldomar Timeline, and even more from some LG Keoland adventures, but most of it is still not fully written out.

    Quote:
    Right, I know that's canon. I guess what I'm asking is whether any other important political/economic/magical/historical relationships break if I choose to rewrite that part.


    Yes there are. Most are only hinted at in various places, but . . .

    The Suel House Malhel opened a major portal to the Far Realms at Valadis in the Dreadwood just after the creation of the kingdom. This caused a major crisis between the elves and the kingdom, and a major war was only barely averted. Since then, the Dreadwood has been a Royal Protectorate, which essentially means Keoland protects the Dreadwood from everything outside the kingdom, and the Dreadwood inhabitants protect the kingdom from everything in the Dreadwood, as well as having the right to keep everyone out of the Dreadwood. This relationship has lasted for nearly 800 years. That is significant, even to an elf.

    In the north, Baron Anladon of the Axewood split the Keoish part of the Axewood from the Duchy of Ulek in favor of the kingdom when the Duchy of Ulek withdrew from the kingdom in 461. As I noted, significant family relationships exist between the elves and House Neheli in the north.

    As for additional development, in discussion with Gary Holian, I have developed an extensive history regarding the growing split between the Sheldomar elves and the Celenian elves. Given a choice, Sheldomar elves strongly prefer a stable human state to the whims of the grey elven rulers of Celene. (You can find this in the Pre-History of the Sheldomar.)

    So while Celene would, and does, plot to supplant Keoland, almost all elves within the Sheldomar prefer the new state of affairs.
    Novice

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    Fri May 12, 2006 2:57 pm  

    Interesting information, Samwise - thanks for elaborating. Now that you're pointing it out, I see some of the references to the Dreadwood business in the Keoland and Sheldomar articles here that I didn't notice before. It would be nice to be able to read through some of the LG Keoland adventures, since it sounds like most of the Dreadwood information was recently developed. Are any of them available anywhere?
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat May 13, 2006 7:00 am  

    The adventures aren't available, but all the information in them related to this was developed by me, so if you want to get to the source, you are already there. (There is some other stuff related to Valadis that comes from Gary Holian, but we've discussed that extensively since my original development, and it is incorporated into my design.)
    As I noted, most of the details are not fully laid out anywhere because of the degree of spoilers involved in it. If you mosey by the Greytalk chat sometime you can get me to elaborate.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Wed May 17, 2006 7:20 pm  

    Wyrmy, if you heed nothing else in this thread, remember this:

    NEVER, EVER LET "CANON" GET IN THE WAY OF YOUR VISION OF THE WORLD, AND WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. IT IS _YOUR_ VISION THAT PREDOMINATES.

    If you don't like something in canon, just ignore it. Don't feel obligated to add something just because it's in canon. I weave in little bits of canon where I like it, but if it doesn't fit in with me (like Tenh being overrun and turned into an ash wasteland), then screw it.

    That, IMO, is closer to the spirit of Greyhawk than scrupulous research and digging through often-conflicting sources to find something you might not even like. Don't like the way Sean K. Reynolds portrayed Turrosh Mak? Then make up your own plotline. Disagree with how Geoff and Sterich fared against the giants? Then decide on a new set of events. What is officially published by TSR, WotC, and on fan-related sites is all equally valid in its interpretation of Greyhawk. Don't let anyone, whether it's nitescreed's infamous "The Grey in the Hawk", or some obscure Dragon article, tell you what you can and can't do. If you are inspired by my or anyone else's work, great, but don't feel confined by it.
    _________________
    <div align="left">Going to war without Keoland is like going to war without a pipe organ.&nbsp; They both make a lot of noise and they're both a lot of dead weight, so what's the point in taking them along?&nbsp;</div>
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu May 18, 2006 7:27 am  

    Hear! Hear!


    (Straight Dope Science Advisory Board-It is an abbreviation for "hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!")
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu May 18, 2006 1:34 pm  

    "Praise the Lord!"
    Adept Greytalker

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    Thu May 18, 2006 2:26 pm  

    As for the plot ideas involving the elves, I have to say it's a very interesting topic. One suggestion, though: don't create too many organizations and other collections of villains. Most of the villainy in D&D these days (at least as far as I've seen) has been perpetrated by organizations-the Scarlet Brotherhood, the Zhentarim, the drow, etc.

    You don't have to do this-large organized bandit or pirate gangs, merchant banking-houses, nobles that are entirely human and not strange monsters in disguise, evil giant kings or human warriors and wizards that answer to no one except their own twisted desires-all of these are potential antagonists for your players. They don't all have to be specifically-designated organizations.

    As for your idea about Neutral elves, it's a very good possibility. You might like to put some more depth into it-e.g. the elves are defenders of neutrality because they've seen enough of human nature over their millennia of life to know that being too zealously good or evil is a bad thing. Also, whether all the elves approve of this is a good thing-some of them might see it as wrong to meddle in humans' affairs, others think they're helping them, still others see this as a form of cultural superiority, and so on down the line. Real shades of grey can be had here-both the elves and the Keoish can have valid points and morally ambiguous views, and it's interesting to see which side your players take.

    One example I have are the Flan peoples. I consider them akin to the First Nations of North America-royally screwed over both in the past and the present by the new kingdoms that have overrun their ancestral lands. Sterich, Keoland, Furyondy, Nyrond, the Aerdy states, the Urnst states, the Bandits, Greyhawk, Dyvers, the Yeomanry and the Sea Princes all have checkered pasts when it comes to dealing with the Flan.

    Where does that leave the Flan today, many of whom still survive in the further wildlands? Do they interact with the new arrivals? And if so, what does that mean for their culture? If they stick to themselves, are they sealing themselves off from potential allies and friends? Can they afford to let old wounds fester in a world of orcs and goblins? How do they keep their ties to their traditional past while still remaining open to the world? Will they take vengeance on those whose ancestors wronged them? Do two wrongs make a right?

    Now consider things from the point of view of an Oeridian or Suel from one of the above-mentioned countries. How does he or she react on learning about one of the biggest skeletons in their nation's closet? Are they justified in feeling pride in their roots? Can they hold their heads up high? Is it somehow their fault? Do they have to make amends for the sins of their fathers? Is that just how their people act by nature? Where do they stand knowing the past?

    Questions like these can make for great role-playing and character depth, as well as putting in some awesome shades of grey.
    _________________
    <div align="left">Going to war without Keoland is like going to war without a pipe organ.&nbsp; They both make a lot of noise and they're both a lot of dead weight, so what's the point in taking them along?&nbsp;</div>
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu May 18, 2006 5:48 pm  

    I tend to agree with CSL Smile

    Games tend to progress much to rapidly IMHO; why would your PCs even be on the organisations radar (good or evil?). They are simply a new batch of adventurers.

    To often PC run into the Big bad or have lunch with Mordy but no one asks why these people would even bother; one game I played we met no one of note at all.

    Instead of leaping into the established plots of GH there is alot of fun to be had with "generic evil and good" for that matter.

    Atleast make your PCs earn their invitation to "lunch with mordy" instead of simply handing it to them.
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    Thu May 18, 2006 6:11 pm  

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, CSL.

    As for canon, I'm honestly more motivated by laziness than reverence. :) It's nice to stick close enough to canon that you can just take it and personalize it a bit rather than rewrite vast portions of history and politics in addition to all the minutiae that you have to write already. I don't mind spending some time working over the Elves (and what I sketched out is definitely only the kernel of a proper description) because I feel pretty strongly about them. But in changing the role of Elves, I'd rather not trash other parts of canon that I *do* like - which are most pre-War parts, really. I think the Elf thread looks doable - if I decide later on that I want to come back to current Dreadwood canon, I think I can ditch the Malhel part of the story and just say that the Dreadwood situation spiralled out of the Elves' control. Honestly, it's pretty unlikely this campaign will run long enough to reach LG-era anyway - we're all grown-ups now, and can't find time like we used to.

    Also, good points (yours and Crag's) on overdoing organizations. It's easy to let conspiracy theories take over the world, so to speak. I definitely was not envisioning this plot thread as a vast, well-organized Elven conspiracy. Letting it originate from just a few influential individuals is both more realistic and allows for more interesting moral/ethical conflicts as you noted. And the PC's are certainly nowhere close to seeing any of this. It's quite possible they never would see it, depending on what hooks they decide to follow. Maybe they decide to hitchhike to Greyhawk City and leave these plans in the dust. I just like to have some ideas floating around in my head, if only to weave in certain themes if nothing else.
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    Sat May 20, 2006 8:24 am  

    A further suggestion on using a random pirate clan/bandit gang/random warlord as a villain. Sure, these seem generic, but they can actually work pretty well if you flesh them out with some backstory that fits into the setting. Believe it or not, the Fire Knives from FR are actually a good example:

    The Fire Knives started out as a loose confederation of brigand gangs that came together for mutual benefit, becoming more and more organized as time went on and they became more notorious. Some of these bandits were prominenent Cormyrean nobles, who became heavily involved in the group's assassination activities, turning from banditry to murder-for-hire.

    Now a full-fledged assassin's guild, the Fire Knives became more and more composed of rogue Cormyrean nobles, who used their wealth and connections to increase their power. Finally, their intrigues became too much for King Azoun, who broke most of their power and sent them fleeing across the Dragon Coast to Westgate, where they now reside, taking up the assassin trade anew. They still hate Cormyr and its king, and would love nothing more than to take some bloody revenge.


    Sounds pretty generic, doesn't it? Maybe so, but it still ties in very well to the setting's history, keeping it from just popping out of nowhere. It's got its own backstory, and there's nothing keeping you as DM from further fleshing out an organization and creating some particularly notorious/interesting characters for your players to deal with. Original ideas are wonderful things, but they become harder and harder to come up with and keep believable as time goes on, and there's nothing at all wrong with taking a well-worn idea or theme and doing it very well.

    Creating an interesting family history for a villain, spinning a web of disagreement and intrigue among the elves you describe, giving them some background, all that can prevent the whole "been there, done that" syndrome. It's generic, but sometimes generic works, so long as it's executed well. After all, Star Wars hardly has the most original plot in the world, but no one can accuse it of being trite and overdone...
    _________________
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    Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:36 am  

    I have to agree with CSL on the ability of a fairly generic villan to be perfectly serviceable. A mid to high level fighter with a good uniform can make a suprisingly good opponent. Do a few non-game mechanic additionsl and a very little work can give suprising results. A cool uniform; and few unorthodox, but not too powerful followers; a horse with horseshoes that allow it to fly; being known for stealing the whole alter from St. Cuthberts temple.... these things can make a villan. Make him smart enough to research and prepare for the characters, and as they will lick their wounds they will curse his name forever.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:32 am  
    Re: Keoland, Elves, and Campaign Hooks

    wyrmy wrote:
    But maybe the ongoing threat of the Dreadwood is in fact part of a much longer-term elven plan to limit the resources of the Lion Throne, despite superficial efforts to the contrary. Such a plan would be a natural outgrowth of Celene’s earlier role in encouraging the independence of the Ulek states and the contraction of Imperial Keoland.


    The Lortmils demi-humans are a precious resource in GH. They present one of the few areas dominated by demis. This resource can, however, be easily and needless squandered.

    Such, IMO, is the case with the pseudepigraphic "canon" of the Sheldomar timeline. The Sheldomar timeline exists for one very obvious purpose - to feature Keoland prominently (put kindly). While the emphasis on Keoland is certainly natural, it need not be indulged to such an extent that other portions of the southwest Flananess are needlessly denigrated or suborned to Keoland. Unfortunately, the Sheldomar timeline takes exactly this approach, suborning all other areas of the southwestern Flanaess to Keoland.

    Nowhere is this more noticeable than in the case of the demi-human realms of the Lortmils. The Sheldomar timeline, despite its name, gives short shrift to the demi-human realms of the Lortmils, subordinating them to Keoland, pacifying them in the interest of Keoland, or neutering them as anything other than a sideshow to Keoland. The Sheldomar timeline is misnamed as it is the Keoland timeline and sees everything through the lens of Keoland, to a myopic and unnecessary degree.

    As the Keoland timeline, the timeline is a brilliant piece of work. As anything more, as disdpositive of the Sheldomar Valley in the sense of the southwestern Flanaess more generally, it is highly problematic. Nowhere is this more evident than in how it treats the demi-human realms of the Lortmils. To paraphrase the timeline, "Oh. Them. Now, let's get back to Keoland!"

    The southwestern Flanaess is more than Keoland and not every area must derive its essence by or through Keoland. In doing this, however, the Sheldomar timeline creates a fascinating Keoland at the expense of all other parts of the the southwest. Purely wasteful. Especially of Celene and the Ulek states.

    The timeline is, however, not canon. It is not the only way in which to proceed. Think of it as a Keolander's history of the Sheldomar, written purely from a Keolander's point of view. Not necessarily reflective of how things actually are beyond the end of Keoland's nose.

    The Sheldomar timeline is a brilliant work and on the topic of Keoland it is hard to imagine that a better resource could be had. The challenge of the timeline is, however, to find life beyond the timeline, beyond Keoland, for all the other states of the southwest, none more so than the demi-human realms.

    NB - This is not an "attack" but a "critique" of _one aspect_ of the Sheldomar timeline. To say it again, it is a brilliant piece all told. It is, however, not perfect in every particular. IMO.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:43 am  

    That's cool.
    Because your analysis is pretty much completely wrong.

    The Sheldomar timeline focuses on Keoland because of the canon references to the Sheldomar available, well over 50% refer to Keoland, either exclusively or inclusively.
    The focus is therefore on Keoland because that is what I had to start with, and neither, nor Gary, were inclined to delve wholesale into thoroughly undeveloped histories.

    Despite that, if you read the timeline, and the related essays, you will a significant amount of development given to the demi-humans, particularly the Dwur of the Lortmils. Among other things you seem to have overlooked:

    The Peaks of Haven is the entire Lortmils range, including the Lorridges, the Kron Hills, the Old Hills, and (when the Olinstaads can hold them) the Drachensgrabs Hills.
    The population includes not only the Dwur, but the Noniz, and the Deep Hobniz as "racial" Dwarves.
    It also includes a significant number of Lightfoot Hobniz and Humans, mostly Rhola Suel, that have become culturally Dwur.
    When it included the Pomarj, the Peaks of Haven had the highest population of any province of Keoland, despite many of them living "outside" the borders of the Principality of Ulek.

    Celene once claimed rule of the entire Sheldomar, as well as the lands beyond the Lortmils as far as the Velverdyva and Selintan Rivers.
    Internal difficulties, followed by a centuries long conflict with Vecna effectively eliminated the influce of Celene beyond the Sheldomar River.
    Expansion across the Sheldomar by Keoland (mostly Neheli Suel) caused additional social pressures, eventually leading to the separation of the Duchy of Ulek from Celene.
    The influence of Half-Olve on this development should not be underestimated.
    The Dreadwood, while a part of Keoland, is closer to an independent nation. I've compared it to the status of the various American Indian nations in relation to the US if the treaties were actually mutually reciprocal.
    That last also applies to the Good Hills Union, which constitutes a major western demi-human "nation."

    So no, it doesn't include detailed lists of every ruler of every demi-human group for the past millenia, or a more comprehensive explanation of their motives at each phase of history. But the demi-humans are certainly quite significant, despite being less than 30% of the population.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:21 am  

    GVD: “The southwestern Flanaess is more than Keoland and not every area must derive its essence by or through Keoland.”

    Yes, but some areas do. Some more than others. IMO, some, particularly the demi-humans do not “derive [their] essence by or through Keoland,” but cannot be disassociated. I think Celene can get very close, but if it were already the case then there might be little impetus for Yolande’s isolationism. Keoland is the elephant in the room.

    GVD: “The timeline is, however, not canon.”

    I could be wrong, but I though I saw something canon that said Keoland did at least send troops into Celene. I am not sure how far that went. IMO, any canon text in that regard should be minimized to emphasize the independence of Celene and the other demi-human states should be handled carefully. But there is probably quite a bit of canon on Keoish-demihuman interactions that was incorporated into the timeline. If would be interesting to find out what is not canon.

    Most of all, I would love to see a Lortmils Timeline with a demihuman bias. IMO, that would be the best thing to do on this issue.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:57 pm  

    Samwise wrote:
    That's cool.
    Because your analysis is pretty much completely wrong.


    Hey Sam,

    YMMV. Smile Opinions are, of course, not susceptible to characterization as “right” or “wrong.”

    I am, moreover, entirely content to leave it to readers to determine for themselves whether the Sheldomar timeline lives up to its title, doing justice to Celene, the Ulek States, the Gran March, and the Hold of the Sea Princes, among other southwestern states, or whether it presents a timeline that is Keoland-centric to the point of bias. I am satisfied that any fair reading will largely conclude that the timeline is not, and should not be, the first or last word on any of aforementioned states, excepting Keoland.

    The idea that the timeline is founded upon canon is, of course, accurate, but only to the extent of actual canon. Gary Holian’s ruminations and your subsequent extrapolations are not canon. Canon with respect to the southwest demands nothing of the greater detail of the timeline. The timeline is, then, one way that canon might be expanded upon. Certainly, nothing demands that, most particularly, Celene and the Hold of the Sea Princes be so historically subordinated to Keoland. Nor that the Ulek States or Gran March, by lesser degrees, be similarly subordinated.

    The timeline is a terrific creation and extremely valuable to any GH fan. It displays, however, a Keoland bias. When discussing the southwestern Flanaess, some Keoland bias is inevitable, but it need not be so all encompassing. It is a matter of degree. IMO, the Keoland bias/hegemony makes Keoland too tidy, as the “once and future superpower,” while suborning other states of the southwestern Flanaess to achieve this monolothic presentation of Keoland, “uber alles.”

    Celene, for example, could (and IMO should) be a substantial check on Keoland’s international ambitions/pretensions. Similarly, the Hold of the Sea Princes. “Internally,” the Gran March and the Knights of the Watch could (and IMO should) be a “wild card” in Keoland’s governance, again, a check. Splitting the difference, the Ulek States.

    Nothing of the sort is found in the timeline, which is no sin, but any such is all but precluded by the monolithic presentation of Keoland as the font of all intrigue, adventure and governance of note in the Sheldomar, which is, IMO, a fault. The challenge, strictly IMO, is to keep all the great parts of the timeline while giving other areas equal time. To coin a phrase, “balance.”

    The OP’s thoughts I think run well in this direction. Again, there are no absolutes but, again, that is the point.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:08 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    GVD: “The southwestern Flanaess is more than Keoland and not every area must derive its essence by or through Keoland.”

    Yes, but some areas do. Some more than others. IMO, some, particularly the demi-humans do not “derive [their] essence by or through Keoland,” but cannot be disassociated. I think Celene can get very close, but if it were already the case then there might be little impetus for Yolande’s isolationism. Keoland is the elephant in the room.


    Agreed. One cannot reasonably suggest otherwise. Yet, even elephants are, if the tales of old wives be told, given pause by mice. I think more could and should be made and said of the "mice" and how they give the "elephant" pause.

    Wolfsire wrote:
    Most of all, I would love to see a Lortmils Timeline with a demihuman bias. IMO, that would be the best thing to do on this issue.


    No doubt that would be interesting. However, I'd fear it would have a high probability of being declared "wrong," not that such should stop anyone.

    In my opinion, the genius of the timeline is not that it "declared" or "established" or "articulated" the history of the "Sheldomar" absolutely but that it provided a highly valuable framework from which to work any number of variations on a theme. Beyond being just a hugely commendable effort, it is, IMO, a marvelous spur to the imagination. I would then resist any lockstep "Keo-think," so to speak.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:24 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    I think more could and should be made and said of the "mice" and how they give the "elephant" pause.


    Any suggestions?

    I was thinking about getting Patriots of Ulek but O-D gave it such a bad review that I figured even $4 would be better spent. But $4 is not much, maybe there could be a Ulekfest. Or a Lortfest.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:48 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Hey Sam,

    YMMV. Smile Opinions are, of course, not susceptible to characterization as “right” or “wrong.”


    They are however subject to being reasonable, and in that respect either right or wrong.
    If it is midnight and you are of the opinion that it is high noon, then your opinion is most assuredly poor, and of little worth to consider.

    Quote:
    The idea that the timeline is founded upon canon is, of course, accurate, but only to the extent of actual canon. Gary Holian’s ruminations and your subsequent extrapolations are not canon. Canon with respect to the southwest demands nothing of the greater detail of the timeline. The timeline is, then, one way that canon might be expanded upon.


    It may not demand, but for the vast majority of the expansions, it very much supports.

    Quote:
    Certainly, nothing demands that, most particularly, Celene and the Hold of the Sea Princes be so historically subordinated to Keoland. Nor that the Ulek States or Gran March, by lesser degrees, be similarly subordinated.


    Except . . .
    1. I never subordinate Celene to Keoland. Indeed, I went out of my way NOT to subordinate Celene to Keoland precisely because it is a hot button issue.
    2. The canon history of the Sea Princes exists exclusively in relationship of its submission to Keoland. It begins with the pirates of Jeklea Bay wresting it from Keoland, moves to it ending its conflicts with Keoland, and ends with it being conquered by the Scarlet Brotherhood. There is nothing else.
    3. While there is little to force the Ulek States to be submissive, the circumstantial evidence is huge. The massive half-elven population of the Duchy, the Rhola house ruling the County, the County being called "Palantine," and the stated close relationship with the Principality, such that it ruled the Pomarj, all speak to such.
    4. The Gran March is probably the worst of your examples, being very clearly noted as created by Keoland in -161 CY, and only becoming slightly self-determining in 438 CY. 598 years of total subordination out of 751 seems pretty darned subordinated to me.

    Quote:
    Celene, for example, could (and IMO should) be a substantial check on Keoland’s international ambitions/pretensions.


    I keep hearing these, but they never have any legitimacy.

    How exactly does Celene, on the other side of a mountain range, provide a check, substantial, minor, or otherwise, on Keoland dominating the region? All Keoland has to do is not cross the Lortmils, and Celene is irrelevant. And of course, that the Hateful Wars grew directly out of Celene expelling Keoish garrisons is constantly overlooked when this assertion is made.

    Quote:
    Similarly, the Hold of the Sea Princes.


    Similarly what? They raid the coasts more when Keoland is fighting in Ket and Veluna, only to be crushed the moment such wars end?
    And, pray tell, is this before or after they decide which of the multiple factions actually rules the country?

    Quote:
    “Internally,” the Gran March and the Knights of the Watch could (and IMO should) be a “wild card” in Keoland’s governance, again, a check.


    Nice quotation marks. So is the Gran March in Keoland or not?
    And where, anywhere!, do I even suggest the Knights of the Watch are irrelevant to Keoland's governance?
    More seriously, why would they be a check, when they were, historically, a leading force in Keoland's expansion?

    Quote:
    Splitting the difference, the Ulek States.


    The Ulek states do what? Suddenly defect to Celene? You know, the same Celene that is sitting out this round of warfare with the humanoids. Hardly.

    Quote:
    Nothing of the sort is found in the timeline, which is no sin, but any such is all but precluded by the monolithic presentation of Keoland as the font of all intrigue, adventure and governance of note in the Sheldomar, which is, IMO, a fault. The challenge, strictly IMO, is to keep all the great parts of the timeline while giving other areas equal time. To coin a phrase, “balance.”


    Probably because at no point in the timeline are any of those anywhere near relevant factors. And while one or more might, theoretically, be so now, that is even more irrelevant as what I presented was a historical timeline, not a future expansion. As it happens, demi-human politics are even more relevant in my Millenium expansions, as are the influences and effects of the Sea Princes and Knights of the Watch.

    As for "balance," to coin a phrase, "BARF." This is background design, not some novel hook that is pretty much non-existent in any canon writings for the setting. There are no "equal air time" rules in history. Either your nation wins or it doesn't.

    So while your opinion might not be classifiable as "wrong" GVD, it most certainly is very poorly, if at all, supported by the canon material, or the actual content of my timeline. Just because someone calls Hamlet, Othello, and MacBeth comedies instead of tragedies doesn't make "right" either.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:53 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    GVDammerung wrote:
    I think more could and should be made and said of the "mice" and how they give the "elephant" pause.


    Any suggestions?

    I was thinking about getting Patriots of Ulek but O-D gave it such a bad review that I figured even $4 would be better spent. But $4 is not much, maybe there could be a Ulekfest. Or a Lortfest.


    I really like Patriots of Ulek. Not so much for the adventure but for the detail on the Duchy of Ulek, particularly one of the maps included. I'd say it is easily worth $4.

    It is easier to, off the cuff, say what Celene should not be, rather than what it should be, in any detail, I think. Celene should not be an also ran or after thought. It is the only olven state. It is old. And these are elves, who take the long, long view. IMO, Celene should be a manipulator state. Isolationist, yes. Uninvolved or quiesent(sp)? No. Isolationism is a human description and in the short term Celene is isolationist. Elves, however, take the long view and are not noted for their stupidity. I'd see Celene subtly influencing Keoland, nudging it in this direction or that, very subtly, but noticeably over the course of Keoland's history. Such nudging would not always be successful but it sometimes would be, thwarting what Keoland might otherwise have done or want to do. Some of this is already canon but the timeline makes any action by Celene seem incidental and isolated or otherwise attributable to some facet of Keoland.

    As for the other states of the SW, that's a lot of territory to cover just at an instant.

    Not sure what to say on postfests. I think the CF braintrust needs to well consider at all events.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:37 pm  

    Oh, to expand on a concept:
    From the Twin Cataclysms to the present (-422 to 591 CY):

    Bissel
    Unspecified/Unorganized 823 years
    Keoish Province 136 years
    Furyondian Province 39 years
    Independent/Supported by Keoland and Furyondy 107 years
    Ket Province 5 years
    Independent 2+ years

    Gran March
    Ruled by Vecna 65 years (and nearly 2,000 years before that)
    Unorganized 196 years
    Keoish Province 598 years
    Semi-palatine Keoish Province 153 years

    Geoff
    Unspecificed/Unorganized 737 years
    Keoish Province 134 years
    Semi-palatine Keoish Province 134 years (not explicity stated)
    Conquered by Giants 7+ years

    Sterich
    Unspecified/Unorganized 192 years
    Keoish Province 813 years
    Conquered by Giants 4 years
    Semi-palatine Keoish Province 3+ years (not explicitly stated)

    Yeomanry
    Unspecified/Unorganized 145 years (not defined, using my dates)
    Ruled by Asberdies 73 years (not defined, using my dates)
    Independent 108 years (not defined, using my dates)
    Keoish Province 456 years (defined)
    Rebellious Keoish Province 100 years (defined)
    Independent 130+ years (defined)

    Sea Princes
    Unspecified/Unorganized 727 years (end date undefined, using my date)
    Keoish Province 128 years (start date undefined, using my date)
    Rebellious Province (my version)/Being Conquered (explicit canon version) 30 years
    Independent 120 years
    Conquered by the Scarlet Brotherhood 5 years
    Civil War 2+ years

    Uleks
    Unspecified/Indepenent 713 years
    Keoish Provinces 169 years
    Independent 130 years

    Now, where exactly in all of that do you not find Keoland dominating the Sheldomar Valley?
    Please note, except the dates when the Yeomanry was controlled by Asberdies, the date Keoland held Monmurg and the surrounding lands, and whether Geoff and the Gran March should be considered palatinate or semi-palatinate states after Tavish II, and Sterich after being liberated, all of those are the canon dates.
    Also note, with whatever other conflicts are specifically mentioned, there is no mention of war between Keoland and Bissel, Geoff, and the Uleks before they joined Keoland, or Keoland and the Sea Princes before the time of Tavish III. While not "proof" those area were unorganized or had no conflicts, there is absolutely nothing to suggest otherwise.

    If you want to propose an alternate political background for the Sheldomar, at least try to be vaguely consistent with canon. Suggesting nations that have never had an independent existence outside of Keoland, or have no canon references other than in relation to Keoland, demonstrates a fatal lack of familiarity with the material.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 3:38 pm  

    Samwise: “… there is no mention of … Keoland and the Sea Princes before the time of Tavish III. While not "proof" those area were unorganized or had no conflicts, there is absolutely nothing to suggest otherwise.”

    “Absolutely nothing to suggest,” I think goes a little too far. Granted these are merely suggestions, but I have been toying with the idea that the title of Plar, as in the noted Plar of Hool, is Flan in orgin as indicated by its wide use, and thus evidence of some organization in the area before Keoland. Similarly, the predominance of Ehlonna from UK2 and 3 could suggest the same thing. I do not doubt these these can be explained by Keoish influences, but I think there is a suggestion, and one worth exploring.
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    Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:00 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    “Absolutely nothing to suggest,” I think goes a little too far. Granted these are merely suggestions, but I have been toying with the idea that the title of Plar, as in the noted Plar of Hool, is Flan in orgin as indicated by its wide use, and thus evidence of some organization in the area before Keoland.


    Despite Westkeep being a Keoish city? I suppose its possible.
    And of course, if you can demonstrate a consistent use of Plar only among the Flan, I'd love to see it proved.

    Quote:
    Similarly, the predominance of Ehlonna from UK2 and 3 could suggest the same thing. I do not doubt these these can be explained by Keoish influences, but I think there is a suggestion, and one worth exploring.


    Except of course you still need a decent reference for the organization in the area before Keoland showed up. Even the Grand Duchy of Berghof, as incompatible with other material as it is, can more easily be reconciled as having been a Keoish province fighting the Sea Princes, then the explanation provided in the Timeline and adjuncts.

    As for another explanation, pray tell, where outside the LGG do you find any elves in the Hold of the Sea Princes?

    I do acknowledge, those at least don't fly blatantly in the face of other material as do GVDs suggestions. So its a start.
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    Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:51 am  

    Before commenting further in an acrimonious environment, I would like to note that I very much enjoyed the Sheldomar timeline and find it an outstanding contribution to both CF and GH more generally. That I do not find it entirely satisfactory in no way diminishes my regard for it or the effort that went into its creation. It is my belief that one can take exception to some portions of any whole without being seen to damn the whole. The whole here is superior, even if I have issue with some of the parts. Onward.

    Samwise wrote:
    There are no "equal air time" rules in history. Either your nation wins or it doesn't.


    It is not "history. It is a fictional creation designed for a roleplaying game. The aim is entirely different and so are the "rules." A fictionalized creation for an RPG should, IMO, make best use of the material for the game. Pseudo-historicism is an affectation that can be indulged so long as the game is furthered. IMO, restated for the umpteenth time, the timeline gives too short shrift to, specific to this thread, the demi-humans of the Sheldomar, in favor of Keoland.

    The second sentence quoted above lies at the heart of my issue with the timeline vis a vis the demis. It is a black and white statement, segregating affairs into winners and losers. It is overly simplistic.

    History, to say nothing of current affairs, demonstrates how clear winners and clear losers are less frequently encountered than might be supposed. Wargames need winners and losers. History has no such need and the moments winner or loser, on a broader view, often appears less so. To the degree that GH is a game, there is nothing wrong with having black hats and white hats. FtA moved GH substantially in this direction from the more gray Folio and 83 set. If, however, GH is to have more verisimiltude, if it is to have even the gloss of actual history, simple winners and losers should more often be avoided, I think.

    The timeline has Keoland the winner and the other states of the Sheldomar, by degrees, losers. It is by this measure not merely oversimplistic, but IMO wasteful of resources that could have seen a more gray depiction of the area. The desire to declare winners and losers, with Keoland the strong winner, is the problem. The timeline is chauvanistic in this regard.

    Samwise wrote:
    Now, where exactly in all of that do you not find Keoland dominating the Sheldomar Valley?


    As I have said, most recently agreeing with Wolfsire, Keoland has dominated the Sheldomar. It is the "elephant." There is no reasonable arguing the point. Rather, where I take issue is with the degree of dominance and how easily or simply the Sheldomar has been dominated.

    The timeline, in keeping with your above quoted "your nation wins or it loses" quote, is in IMO overly simplistic in this regard. The timeline, to be clear is quite complex but how it deals with Keoland's interactions with other states is fairly simply presented.

    I do not dissent from the idea that Keoland has been the largest or dominant player in the Sheldomar. My concern is with how the presentation so myopically focuses on Keoland that other potentially interesting players are given so much lesser roles as to be afterthoughts. If the title were, a Keoland Timeline, I'd have far less an issue, as I think the timeline does wonders for Keoland. IMO, Keoland's prominent role is not diminished by allowing for less ease in dealing with the other constituent states of the Sheldomar. The timeline seems to take a position that anything less than absolute dominance by Keoland, is insufficient. This would, of course, be in accord with your statement that a nation wins or it loses, from which I have already dissented.

    Samwise wrote:
    If you want to propose an alternate political background for the Sheldomar, at least try to be vaguely consistent with canon.


    Well, I don't think anyone would mistake my comments in this thread for such an alternative and I would pick another vehicle for such were I so enclined as the topic demands room. Indeed, as I like the vast majority of the timeline, such an effort would be more readily classifiable as a variation on a theme. Indeed, I had given some thought of pursuing a variation in the guise of The Chronicle of Secret Times, but was backed off the notion, sotto voce. It is, again, a matter of degree, not of wholesale disagreement and not "accept it all or reject it all."

    Samwise wrote:
    Suggesting nations that have never had an independent existence outside of Keoland, or have no canon references other than in relation to Keoland, demonstrates a fatal lack of familiarity with the material.


    That is not what I said. The independent life, the potential that is present for independent meaning, is overly compromised by an over emphasis on Keoland in the timeline, IMO. That canon may make reference to Keoland does not necessarily mean such should be interpreted as meaning Keoland fully predominated. That is one possible interpretation that the timeline well explores. My entire point is that it does not have to be this way necessarily and might well be better if matters were more leavened or balanced, rather than so focused on Keoland uber alles. Some shift in emphasis then, not a wholesale dismissal of the timeline, that would allow for other areas of the Sheldomar to have more opportunity to be more interesting.

    Again, to finesse the matter, the Chronicle of Secret Times suggested itself as the perfect vehicle, a way to hold to the timeline while also allowing for movement away from the strictest reading of the timeline here and there. As I have no desire to trammel on anyone's toes, I am not going to revisit that idea. At your invitation, I can certainly give some thought to means of presenting an "alternative" or "variation" such that I can better illustrate my thought. I would find this preferable to attempting to prove a negative as respects the timeline's handling of Celene, the Hold etc.

    I'll end where I began. The timeline is a marvelous work.
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    Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:46 am  

    SW: “And of course, if you can demonstrate a consistent use of Plar only among the Flan, I'd love to see it proved.”

    - So would I. I don’t think it could be proved by use among the Flan, but maybe. I very well could be wrong, but I was thinking that the title is used all across the Flanaess, including in nations largely Suel and/or Oeridian, but not consistently. That might indicate, or could be intentionally read to indicate, that its origins are Flan even if the largely wiped out Flan do not use the title. Sort of in the way that Native American words are place names like Chicago.

    SW: “Except of course you still need a decent reference for the organization in the area before Keoland showed up.”

    - It would make things easier.

    SW: “Even the Grand Duchy of Berghof, as incompatible with other material as it is, can more easily be reconciled as having been a Keoish province fighting the Sea Princes, then the explanation provided in the Timeline and adjuncts.”

    - For my purposes, I have taken your and Woesinger’s concept of an Oeridian Keoish province. But have it as an overlay upon an older benign Flan culture, which was in turn an overlay upon the Proto-Olman as I described in “The Spiritual Legacy of Lake Spendlowe and the Proto-Olman.” My thought right now is that the Pre-Keoish Flan, at least on the southern edge of the Hool, not all necessarily under the Plar, would not have been so benign and in conflict, at least somewhat, with the tribes around Spendlowe. Both would have products of their environment.

    SW: “As for another explanation, pray tell, where outside the LGG do you find any elves in the Hold of the Sea Princes?”

    -I am not sure why you are asking this. Is it to justify the presence of Ehlonna or to bring it into the demihuman aspect of this thread? For the former, I do not think it is necessary. I would not constrain her faith and would not back out the UK references to her. To the extent one can say her faith would not spread otherwise, there are other sylvan creatures and Elves could have visited the area.

    SW: “I do acknowledge, those at least don't fly blatantly in the face of other material as do GVDs suggestions. So its a start.”

    -I am very glad to read it. I am also very glad to read GVD: “At your invitation, I can certainly give some thought to means of presenting an "alternative" or "variation" such that I can better illustrate my thought. I would find this preferable to attempting to prove a negative as respects the timeline's handling of Celene, the Hold etc.”

    I do feel a Keoish bias in the timeline. It is very unfair. IMO, that is part of what makes it a great work. I would love to see the other side.
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    Tue Jun 06, 2006 7:51 am  

    You keep complaining, yet you still fail to show any reason why it should be otherwise, other than you simply want to see the other nations highlighted more. When it comes to game design, that is a pretty weak reason.
    I gave you the numbers. There are 9 other Sheldomar nations. (I'm leaving out the Pomarj for now.)
    Three were unequivocally created by Keoland.
    Two of those are still a part of Keoland, the other one is dominated by one of those nations.
    Another nation joined somehow and, if liberated, will be part of Keoland.
    One is not part of Keoland, but was for about half of its history.
    One was probably created by Keoland but is currently wracked by civil war, and Kimbertos would like to take it back.
    Three were part of Keoland for a time but are now independent. However, they all have strong ties to Keoland, and at least one would probably prefer to be a part of Keoland again.
    This isn't about winners and losers. It is about who outright settled half the Sheldomar!
    As an aside, when it comes to historical versimilitude, assuming Keoland never settled the low-lands across the Sheldomar River until they brought the Uleks into Keoland is not very realistice. That reduces their power even more.

    Go! Feel free to do a Chronicle of Secret Times! Present a Sheldomar where every nation pushes Keoland around. I will look forward to seeing how you consistent you keep it with all the canon references in the 83 set, FtA, tAB, the LGG, and the LGJ. But do stop projecting things absolutely not intended onto my work.
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    Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:05 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    You keep complaining, yet you still fail to show any reason why it should be otherwise, other than you simply want to see the other nations highlighted more. When it comes to game design, that is a pretty weak reason.


    You have put your finger on it (but it is a good reason, I think). There is nothing "wrong" with the timeline's approach, per se. I seem destined to keep repeating that. It is exactly that I think/feel more could have been done with other nations/areas/peoples if the focus had not been so tightly Keolandish and I feel that this would provide more interesting options within the game. Personal preference? Absolutely. There is no right or wrong approach in an absolute sense as canon is no where near so detailed or preemptory. I then do not suggest disregarding canon but the possibility of alternative readings that might "share the wealth" of neat game design, so to speak.

    Samwise wrote:
    Go! Feel free to do a Chronicle of Secret Times! Present a Sheldomar where every nation pushes Keoland around. I will look forward to seeing how you consistent you keep it with all the canon references in the 83 set, FtA, tAB, the LGG, and the LGJ. But do stop projecting things absolutely not intended onto my work.


    No and no.

    As I am given to understand, you are already underway with a Chronicle of Secret Times, or called "dibs," so to speak, I want to be respectful of that. Besides, I have greatly enjoyed your work and would look forward to reading more. I truly hope you do not see a disagreement over emphasis as a general attack or dislike, as nothing could be further from the truth. Your work on the Sheldomar has been nothing short of brilliant, even if I can quibble here or there. I have tried not to let this minor disagreement color matters more generally. I hope you can appreciate that impulse.

    I'll give consideration to other possible avenues. In any event, as has been discussed previously, the Chronicle is limited to pre Gillum I times.

    And there will be no pushing Keoland around for my part. Keoland's position is secure. It is so secure, in fact, that I think giving other nations etc. a sort of "equal time" (although that overstates the case) is entirely possible without thereby diminishing Keoland. I think Keoland can hold its own within the pagent of the Sheldomar and that both it and the other states can be enriched by allowing the emphasis to ebb and flow a bit. "The quality of mercy is not strained" if Keoland shares some of the wealth for in the final analysis Keoland predominates; it is the "elephant." In a sense, Keoland does not need to so throughly predominate precisely because its dominance is in all events assured.

    I make no claim of knowing your intent. I accept your intent to be exactly what you say it is. I read the document and I see the document this way or that. The two are distinct.

    Again, I hope you do not personalize a disagreement over emphasis within a document that runs to 31 pages and covers the better part of 1000 years. Even if one accepts my critique, it is a minor point when the whole is considered. I have repeatedly tried to make this clear. The timeline is outstanding work. Your work is outstanding. My disagreement is, in context, minor and not a generalized or personalized attack and in no way diminishes my regard for the timeline and your work on it. Like Keoland, your position is so well assured, you need not overly concern yourself that anyone may depart therefrom here or there.

    I very much look forward to seeing more of your vision of the Sheldomar. I may not always accept matters as gospel but I greatly appreciate and respect your work and the time you put into it. It is, worthy of being commented upon, discussed and, yes, debated. That is a compliment.

    At the same time, I hope to see others pick up the ball in the Sheldomar and run with it, independently or taking what you have done as groundwork. That is a compliment. That they may go different ways is beside the point and one of the great things about CF - it is an incubator of ideas.

    Anyway.
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    Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:56 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    You have put your finger on it (but it is a good reason, I think). There is nothing "wrong" with the timeline's approach, per se. I seem destined to keep repeating that. It is exactly that I think/feel more could have been done with other nations/areas/peoples if the focus had not been so tightly Keolandish and I feel that this would provide more interesting options within the game. Personal preference? Absolutely. There is no right or wrong approach in an absolute sense as canon is no where near so detailed or preemptory. I then do not suggest disregarding canon but the possibility of alternative readings that might "share the wealth" of neat game design, so to speak.


    I've said this before and I will repeat it here:
    It was a conscious decision to limit how much non-canon material was added. Since the most material was available for Keoland, that meant most all expansion done related directly to Keoland. Other areas, such as the Yeomanry, have since received direct attention.
    And, as I've said before and will repeat here:
    The timeline represents a work in progress. The additional essays should be considered in combination with it to provide a more complete picture of the Sheldomar. If I had waited to finish a full 250,000 word tome on the Sheldomar, none of that would be available to consider.

    Quote:
    No and no.

    As I am given to understand, you are already underway with a Chronicle of Secret Times, or called "dibs," so to speak, I want to be respectful of that.


    So? That just means I wouldn't be available to work on such a project with someone else. The last I checked, nobody gets to call dibs on what they want to write about.

    Quote:
    I'll give consideration to other possible avenues. In any event, as has been discussed previously, the Chronicle is limited to pre Gillum I times.


    Thats why for me, it is merely a reference name. It will cover everything to the present, and will, like Uhas' Chronicle, be stuff not otherwise suitable for use in "official" histories.

    Quote:
    I make no claim of knowing your intent. I accept your intent to be exactly what you say it is. I read the document and I see the document this way or that. The two are distinct.


    Well, unless you want a scene out of Back to School, not really.
    (Rodney Dangerfield's character hires Kurt Vonnegut to write his midterm paper on Kurt Vonnegut book. The teacher gives him a failing grade and says he completely missed the point, and he shouts on the phone that he is cancelling the check, and tell Kurt Vonnegut "And you don't know Vonnegut!")
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    Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:38 am  

    you guys are good entertainment. Happy

    I think the sheldomar timeline would need another 9-12 documents alongside it that described the region's other nations and subnations. It is a good start for a in depth description of a large area in flanaess. For me it is just a point of waiting for someone to write such material. Sad thing is that i don't see such a thing happening in the near future.

    One thing would be to organise a project that would aim in documenting the whole area where many writers were collaborating towards the goal, but i do not think this would work.

    I would love to see for example stories of how the folk of the good hills union were disappointed by a decision of a late monarch to dig deep in the regions near or in their union. Or a story explaining how the Principality of Ulek would join Keoland if Duke of Gradsul was to be coronated as a king of keoland.

    I think that all this is future development of individual campaigns and the sheldomar timeline would be a good backbone for them. Correct me if i'm wrong Samwise, but the timeline was never intended to be a gazetteer of the valley?
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    Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:41 am  

    BackTo the topic:

    Wasn't there some talk about the extensive cutting of wood in the western fringes of Dreadwood? Why cannot there be an elf or two who got fed up and started thinking badly of humans?
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    Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:50 am  

    Sir_Yubus wrote:
    you guys are good entertainment. Happy

    I think the sheldomar timeline would need another 9-12 documents alongside it that described the region's other nations and subnations. It is a good start for a in depth description of a large area in flanaess. For me it is just a point of waiting for someone to write such material. Sad thing is that i don't see such a thing happening in the near future.


    Actually, I've got half a dozen millenium gaz entries finished, but I've been holding them off waiting to finish more.

    Quote:
    One thing would be to organise a project that would aim in documenting the whole area where many writers were collaborating towards the goal, but i do not think this would work.


    I've asked a couple of people to work on things with me.

    Quote:
    I would love to see for example stories of how the folk of the good hills union were disappointed by a decision of a late monarch to dig deep in the regions near or in their union.


    That's rather complex.
    First, a monarch couldn't make such a decision. The provinces are allodial, and a King can't just send people in whenever he wants to.
    Second, neighboring rulers have made that decision. In Flen, they wound up coming to mutually agreeable terms with the demihumans, and have turned Flen into a major industrial city. In Cryllor, they continue to have issues to the current times, despite Cryllor being the location of the national mint.

    Quote:
    Or a story explaining how the Principality of Ulek would join Keoland if Duke of Gradsul was to be coronated as a king of keoland.


    Well why should be explained in the various documents about Tavish the Great. How is the Prince would simply get fed up waiting for the Duke of Ulek to tell Celene to sod off, and simply declare the Principality part of Keoland again. The Olinstaad gets to do such things.

    Quote:
    I think that all this is future development of individual campaigns and the sheldomar timeline would be a good backbone for them. Correct me if i'm wrong Samwise, but the timeline was never intended to be a gazetteer of the valley?


    Indeed it wasn't. It was supposed to be the outline for such a gaz, although several entries required expansion to be more understandable. A lot of those asides would eventually be deleted when a full gaz is complete.
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    Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:30 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    The last I checked, nobody gets to call dibs on what they want to write about.


    Well, that was not the impression I was given as regards the Chronical, admittedly at a remove, but thank you for the clarification of your understanding of the matter.

    I would have no intention of doing a "spite" project, just to be doing something, in any event.

    As the Chronical is being done by yourself and as I moved away from that thought after being initially flagged off, my thought at this juncture is not to backtrack but to look at other avenues of approach.

    To wit, off the top of my head -

    While Keoland is the largest player in the southwest, Celene, the Gran March (as dictinct from Keoland proper), and the Hold should be equally influential within their respective spheres, IMO, recognizing that canon is so sparse that many interpretations may flourish (to something of the OPs point, I think). Giving due recognition and development of these second rank powers importance, I think, would best serve the needs/interests of the setting, the case then being not one of subordination but of overlapping spheres of influence.

    Expanding on the thought -

    A List Powers of the Southwest: Keoland

    B List Powers of the Southwest: Celene, the Gran March (as distinct from Keoland proper), the Hold of the Sea Princes

    C List Powers of the Southwest: Geoff (historically), the Scarlet Brotherhood, the Ulek States

    D List Powers of the Southwest: the Pomarj, the Olman, the Velunese/Furyondians, the Ketish, (ie the Fringe Powers),

    E List Powers of the Southwest: the Yeomanry, Sterich, Elves of the Dreadwood, Vale of the Mage, Bissel, Giants of the Crystalmists (historically), Drow (ie highly Localized Powers)

    Imagining a ven diagram of variously sized spheres corresponding to list rank, Keoland would not be "pushed around" so much as forced to respond to a variety of challenges posed by the various powers with whom the Keoland sphere intersects. Keoland would have the largest sphere but such wound be a mixed blessing as that sphere would interest so many others, some nearly as large - the B List Powers having individual spheres upwards of 50% the size of Keolands. That sphere in which Keoland would be able to act unilaterally would be relatively small, focus beyond that core area being the issue. Should Keoland focus on asserting itself within one Power's overlapping sphere, it will falter or flag in another, particularly if those other sphere(s) are actively presenting issues.

    The story is then (contrary to what I read in parts of the timeline) not Keolands march through history, with its primary nemisis being itself. Rather, it is the story of Keoland navigating through history, with its primary nemisis being both itself and the other sphere Powers, more or less limited by those spheres. It is not equal time, then, but equal footing within a sphere. Overall, Keoland is the dominate power of the Sheldomar but any closer inspection would reveal that such dominance is subject to extreme nuiance within those areas where Keoland's sphere overlaps that of another Power, particularly those on the B List. Where spheres overlap, particularly those of the B List, there is equal dignity, even as Keoland is acknowledged as the dominant power within the southwest overall.

    I think such an approach presents a rich tapestry of more than just Keoland. E.g., Celene gets its moments in the sun or areas of dominance, without bowing to Keoland. So to the other powers to equal or lesser degrees. Keoland is the engine; it is not the entire car, nor even the chassis. Keoland shares the Sheldomar; it does not own or command it. Too much of the timeline gives me the impression of unfettered Keoland ownership or command of the Sheldomar. This might be fine for Living Greyhawk, particularly the Keoland Triad, but if the setting as a whole is considered, it makes IMO little sense to more or less indenture the entire southwest quadrant of the Flanaess to one power, even Keoland. (In a game design sense, we want DMs to want to play everywhere in the SW, or consider it, not just in Keoland, so we need something of equal dignity, not a sense of subordination.)

    I'm not sure how to get at the ven diagram approach, particularly over historical time. My thought, however, is to move in that direction. I think it would be neat if the reader got a sense of the flow of history as an active agent, with relevance even over historic time. Really, not sure how to get at that. This would be a question of emphasis, not absolutes, which makes matters trickier. Not sure how to best get at that. Something to puzzle over.
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    Wed Jun 07, 2006 7:32 am  

    Sir_Yubus wrote:
    you guys are good entertainment. Happy


    Aim to please. Happy
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:25 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    Expanding on the thought -

    A List Powers of the Southwest: Keoland

    B List Powers of the Southwest: Celene, the Gran March (as distinct from Keoland proper), the Hold of the Sea Princes

    C List Powers of the Southwest: Geoff (historically), the Scarlet Brotherhood, the Ulek States

    D List Powers of the Southwest: the Pomarj, the Olman, the Velunese/Furyondians, the Ketish, (ie the Fringe Powers),

    E List Powers of the Southwest: the Yeomanry, Sterich, Elves of the Dreadwood, Vale of the Mage, Bissel, Giants of the Crystalmists (historically), Drow (ie highly Localized Powers)


    Celene has been diminishing for the last 3,000 years. They have enough influence to remain independent, but as seen by their recent decision to not engage the Pomarj, their leaders are bent on destroying any influence they do have.

    Gran March has influence, but it is overwhelmingly expressed through the Knights of the Watch, and dealt with as such.

    The Hold of the Sea Princes is gone. It won't ever be returning. When it did exist, it was around for 150 years, and had an appropriate level of influence at that time.

    Geoff, like Sterich, was part of Keoland, and had influence appropriate to their size. Following their conquest and liberation (eventual in the case of Geoff), their influence will obviously be reduced. Likewise the Dreadwood is a part of Keoland, and exerts influence like any other province.

    The Ulek states very obviously determine Keoland's relations with the Lortmils demihumans, and have signficant influence with the trans-Sheldomar human population.

    The Scarlet Brotherhood is not a major player. They are a bunch of skulkers and spies, the Sea Princes incursion notwithstanding.

    The Pomarj is a growing power. Whether they will survive remains to be seen.

    Ket, Veluna, and Furyondy only have influence into Bissel. None can exert any relevant pressure south of there.

    The Olman are irrelevant. They are an oppressed minority.

    Bissel was dependent on aid from Keoland and the Gran March, and is only recently freed. Its current influence is barely above catspaw for the power plays of others.

    The Drow and Giants are outside enemies. Their influence is in raiding, not in politics.

    The Mage of the Vale is a mystery.

    Finally, you commit the most critical error of all in analyzing political influence in the Sheldomar:
    Keoland is not a monolithic political entity.
    The Rhola and Neheli are two potent, competing factions, with the Lord's Faction (sometimes called the Oeridian Faction for historical reasons) balancing them. When you ignore that, you get a naturally skewed view of the history of the Sheldomar.
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 7:10 am  

    SW: “The Hold of the Sea Princes is gone. It won't ever be returning.”
    - What brings you to that conclusion and is it limited to LG?

    SW: “The Olman are irrelevant. They are an oppressed minority.”
    - We forward in this generation, triumphantly!

    SW: “Finally, you commit the most critical error of all in analyzing political influence in the Sheldomar: Keoland is not a monolithic political entity.”
    - Borders? We don’t need no stinking borders!
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:22 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    Finally, you commit the most critical error of all in analyzing political influence in the Sheldomar:
    Keoland is not a monolithic political entity.
    The Rhola and Neheli are two potent, competing factions, with the Lord's Faction (sometimes called the Oeridian Faction for historical reasons) balancing them. When you ignore that, you get a naturally skewed view of the history of the Sheldomar.


    This is your great conceit - Keoland is Keoland's only true challenge within the southwest but since Keoland is fractured that is okay because Keoland is one but Keoland is also many. Keoland - the Alpha but also the Omega. Nice attempted slight of hand. The result is, however, the same and your listing (not quoted) reveals the agenda - Keoland as the only state that "matters" in any grand sense in the SW.

    Thankfully, your listing is but your interpretation of the state of affairs, not canon. Canon is loose enough that divining an exact state of affairs is impossible. The question then is which of many alternative visions is most satisfactory. The answer will vary by DM. I suggest the Great Keoland you seem to espose will not be as satisfactory as a more balanced presentation that would see other states having a chance to shine with their own light, recognizing that the answer will vary by DM.

    Again, I smell Living Greyhawk and the Keoland Triad in the timeline. That's fine as far as the RPGA goes. When greater design considerations are taken into account, having an entire quadrant so dominated by one power is bad design. Not everyone will be a Keoland fan or want to play in Keoland's shadow. But yet may find the SW appealing. This is particularly true when consideration is given to the appeal of demis that is substantially muted in GH if Keoland is as you would have it.

    The timeline should not forstall alternate visions but help enable them, unless you imagine that you have declared canonical TRUTH in the timeline. Do you imagine you have set forth canonical TRUTH in the timeline?

    IMO, the timeline is a brilliant vision but it is not the only possible vision, nor even one most supportable by canon, unless one wishes to give Gary Holian a Gygaxian ability to speak canon without publication and yourself Rob Kuntz's ability to know the mind of the "Master."

    Well?

    NB - And if you would you ask for me to "prove" the timeline is not canonical - a negative - as you wrote it and would, in such eventually, be asserting it is canon, I would ask with more right the same of you.
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:55 pm  

    You know, I really don't understand this argument at all. Aside from the fact that it has just been "Yes!" "No!" "Yes!" "No!" for a while now, with nothing new said by either person, I don't really see what the problem is.

    Are Hawai'i', Texas, and New York all the same because they are 'dominated" by the United States? None of them are going to challenge the Fed's military or political hegemony, but that's hardly the same thing as saying they are colorlessly identical or irrelevant or lack influence. Yet if I wrote a "Grand Timeline of North America", it would naturally be necessary to focus on events of national rather than regional importance. When something like the Gran March Gazetteer is done, then more of the local color and distinctiveness will be shown up.

    The problem with Celene (and to a lesser extent the Uleks) is that you need to define elvish (and dwarven) culture clearly in order to see their impact. Personally, I don't see the elves and dwarves as interested in hegemonic power or military activity for its own sake. If they were, there would be evidence of that in the structure of the Flanaessi nations. But there isn't. So Celene's influence would be subtle, as mentioned above. A long term spreading of elf favored ideas not an open clash of elves and men. Given that published sources really don't provide much of anything to say what elves are really like culturally, how do you show the impact they've had? That's going to inevitably be an IMC issue, because its up to each DM to create the elf culture (or leave them as humans in costume, as they are in the core material).
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:31 pm  

    Well I don't claim to have anywhere near the expertise of canon material of GVD or Samwise. I fail to understand why your two views (Keoish vs regional) have to be so opposed.

    Simply put see samwise's timeline as an historical overview of the sheldomar with a Keoish slant. Granted Keoland is the dominate power within the region but that doesn't have to mean overwhelming even when I read the timeline, the thought came quickly that some events and policies have been "glossed over" by Keoland hardly out of character.

    Short war showed Keoish might can be checked, as well as the numerous provinces released, some peaceful others like the pomarj or sea princes violently lost entirely. These views can be seen as Keoish tolerance and sufferance or regional emancipation; I perfer something more grey, the opinion of the lion throne that the areas in question were not worth the effort to retain given the spere of influence concerns elsewhere better to accept "buffer" provinces that are generally friendly.

    Both sides then get to bask in the beneficial enlightenment of their foriegn policy rather than risk the battlefield.

    No doubt the regional players have their own versions opening up the possiblities for their own "histories" like the one in development for Gran March.

    No simple White Hat vs Black Hat, it simply doesn't have to be either or; rather think more grey after all it is Greyhawk. Shocked
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:39 pm  

    Vormaerin wrote:
    You know, I really don't understand this argument at all. Aside from the fact that it has just been "Yes!" "No!" "Yes!" "No!" for a while now, with nothing new said by either person, I don't really see what the problem is.


    Laughing Okay. I've sufficiently made my point and recognize that Sam has made his. Beyond that I suppose it is on me to offer an alternative presentation. We shall see. Happy
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:43 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    No simple White Hat vs Black Hat, it simply doesn't have to be either or; rather think more grey after all it is Greyhawk. Shocked


    Sage counsel. You are a Gentleman and a Scholar! Happy
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:15 pm  

    No, no, no - you don't get it!

    This is the Internet - arguments are supposed to degenerate into futile flaming and name calling!

    What's the world coming to when people start agreeing to differ! Laughing

    Anyway - all this complicated Keoish stuff is why I stick to the east. Aerdy had/has a very simple policy to former vassals: crush them beneath booted heel.

    Rarely worked, mind you, but it's the thought that counts... Happy
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:52 pm  

    Woesinger wrote:
    No, no, no - you don't get it!

    This is the Internet - arguments are supposed to degenerate into futile flaming and name calling!

    What's the world coming to when people start agreeing to differ! Laughing

    Anyway - all this complicated Keoish stuff is why I stick to the east. Aerdy had/has a very simple policy to former vassals: crush them beneath booted heel.

    Rarely worked, mind you, but it's the thought that counts... Happy


    don't get it? Them's fight'n words. Mad ... Wink Actually, IMO vigerous debate (even going over the same thing-- this particular one has been done before), can be a very good thing if it generates new ideas or spin off discussions. GVD has almost committed to doing the Chronolort. Laughing

    I very much look forward to Samwise's reply to:

    SW: “The Hold of the Sea Princes is gone. It won't ever be returning.”
    - What brings you to that conclusion and is it limited to LG?

    It is something I have never though of. Of course I play the '70 and am trying to will tSB back into a corner. But I do not doubt that Sam has a very good justification for such a statement.
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:59 pm  

    Well, not to speak for him, but the structure of the Hold of the Sea Princes was rather anomalous. Piratical governments of that sort generally hold sway only where they are not faced with superior naval power (the barbary pirates and other similar Indian ocean bands). But the Sea Princes' forces were pretty much destroyed and the land is in anarchy.

    Keoland is fighing the Sharrans/Scarlet Brotherhood there now. If the Brotherhood is driven out, it will almost certainly result in the Keoish having naval superiority in Jeklea Bay (either because the Keoish actually destroyed the Brotherhood's navy or because it was recalled to face some threat elsewhere).

    The area might not fall to Keoland outright, especially if Keoland is distracted by other problems that halt or reverse Kimbertos' southern expansion (which may not be as favored by the new king), but whatever arises out of the ashes definitely won't be the "Sea Princes." If Keoland doesn't grab it up for whatever reason, it'll likely turn into a new "Wild Coast" of small statelets and warlords. It won't have the naval power to face the Keoish and other shipping that it once had. Especially if Keoland seizes the Javan River delta at the very least.
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:26 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    SW: “The Hold of the Sea Princes is gone. It won't ever be returning.”
    - What brings you to that conclusion and is it limited to LG?


    The Hold of the Sea Princes is gone. The Scarlet Brotherhood wiped it out. Many of the nobles and upper classes are dead or in slave pens.
    As for the Scarlet Brotherhood state, it is torn by both a factional war, and a servile uprising.
    So whatever comes out of there is not going to be the same as the Hold of the Sea Princes that existed before. It is simply not happening.

    Quote:
    SW: “The Olman are irrelevant. They are an oppressed minority.”
    - We forward in this generation, triumphantly!


    Ahhh . . . no.
    There are a few thousand Olman at most in Keoland. There are more in the Hold, but they are headed for the same self destruction as everyone else there. In the Amedio, they first need to get past the Scarlet Brotherhood, then develop a united political structure, then develop a decent naval technology before becoming a player.

    Quote:
    SW: “Finally, you commit the most critical error of all in analyzing political influence in the Sheldomar: Keoland is not a monolithic political entity.”
    - Borders? We don’t need no stinking borders!


    Heh. Among other things. Happy
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    Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:39 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    This is your great conceit - Keoland is Keoland's only true challenge within the southwest but since Keoland is fractured that is okay because Keoland is one but Keoland is also many. Keoland - the Alpha but also the Omega. Nice attempted slight of hand. The result is, however, the same and your listing (not quoted) reveals the agenda - Keoland as the only state that "matters" in any grand sense in the SW.


    No, this is your greatest failing in appreciating an overview of the area.
    Vormaerin has summarized it quite well, with his comparison of a history of the US somehow "slighting" or "marginalizing" the individual states. It simply doesn't work that way.

    Quote:
    Thankfully, your listing is but your interpretation of the state of affairs, not canon. Canon is loose enough that divining an exact state of affairs is impossible. The question then is which of many alternative visions is most satisfactory. The answer will vary by DM. I suggest the Great Keoland you seem to espose will not be as satisfactory as a more balanced presentation that would see other states having a chance to shine with their own light, recognizing that the answer will vary by DM.

    Again, I smell Living Greyhawk and the Keoland Triad in the timeline. That's fine as far as the RPGA goes. When greater design considerations are taken into account, having an entire quadrant so dominated by one power is bad design. Not everyone will be a Keoland fan or want to play in Keoland's shadow. But yet may find the SW appealing. This is particularly true when consideration is given to the appeal of demis that is substantially muted in GH if Keoland is as you would have it.


    And thus you expose the core of your bias. If you can't get past LG baggage, that is your problem. That you somehow think this is a legitimate reason to criticize something, all you do is diminish the relevance of your complaint.
    "It came from LG, it must be stopped!"

    What is ironic is that you are wrong, despite the timeline being started by me while I was the Keoland Triad POC for help in developing material.

    Quote:
    The timeline should not forstall alternate visions but help enable them, unless you imagine that you have declared canonical TRUTH in the timeline. Do you imagine you have set forth canonical TRUTH in the timeline?


    Then write your own version. If you ae so unhappy with this, then just write your own. But if all you want to do is get my intentions wrong, then the only thing you should be forestalling is your comments.

    Quote:
    IMO, the timeline is a brilliant vision but it is not the only possible vision, nor even one most supportable by canon, unless one wishes to give Gary Holian a Gygaxian ability to speak canon without publication and yourself Rob Kuntz's ability to know the mind of the "Master."

    Well?


    ROFL

    Oh puh-leeeeeeeeze.
    i've already stated quite clearly what the timeline represents. If you want to go desperately grasping at straws, trying to create what I am certain you see as unflattering comparisons, go right ahead. But this is so weak as to merit nothing but mocking dismissal.
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    Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:09 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    So whatever comes out of there is not going to be the same as the Hold of the Sea Princes that existed before. It is simply not happening.


    "Not the same," certainly. "Gone" is another matter, but perhaps probable. I could see a resestablishment of some of the old order to a degree, something similar or a bunch of new states nothing like the old. If you are in canon, you cannot un-ring the bell and it was a loud one.

    Samwise wrote:
    Ahhh . . . no.
    There are a few thousand Olman at most in Keoland. There are more in the Hold, but they are headed for the same self destruction as everyone else there. In the Amedio, they first need to get past the Scarlet Brotherhood, then develop a united political structure, then develop a decent naval technology before becoming a player.


    Ahhh … yes! I agree. The statement, “We forward in this generation, triumphantly!” is a motto I have take from Redemption Song, http://www.leoslyrics.com/listlyrics.php?hid=7I9CtD0xJic%3D, to encourage development of those "need" things you describe rather than a contradiction of “The Olman are irrelevant. They are an oppressed minority.”
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    Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:36 am  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    "Not the same," certainly. "Gone" is another matter, but perhaps probable. I could see a resestablishment of some of the old order to a degree, something similar or a bunch of new states nothing like the old. If you are in canon, you cannot un-ring the bell and it was a loud one.


    Overall, I think the old order is so devastated as to have no chance of returning.
    The Rhola nobility (Jeon and others) who opposed slavery will never accept slavery in the future, and would possibly rejoin Keoland. (Which they do in my millenium gaz.)
    The SB influence is going to be gone.
    The slave rebellion state is headed for self destruction as per various design hints expanded on in early LG dispatchs by Erik Mona. (The leader found the Gauntlet and has become a crazed despot who must be put down.)
    That will leave a power vacuum as you note, that is most likely to be filled by a return of Keoland. Even if it isn't, a slew of reduced pirate holdings will fight each other, as well as irritate Keoland (and likely the Principality of Ulek) to the point they feel they must subdue the region, leading to the same end result.
    It might take 50 years, but the Hold is headed back to being a Keoish province.

    Quote:
    Ahhh … yes! I agree. The statement, “We forward in this generation, triumphantly!” is a motto I have take from Redemption Song, http://www.leoslyrics.com/listlyrics.php?hid=7I9CtD0xJic%3D, to encourage development of those "need" things you describe rather than a contradiction of “The Olman are irrelevant. They are an oppressed minority.”


    Oh, sure. Develop the Olman so they are something more than a stereotyped footnote. But they still won't be a player in the power politics. The two are not mutually exclusive.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Jun 09, 2006 11:34 am  

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:28 pm  

    Glad to help.

    Oh, and re-reading my comment on the Olman, to be sure the intent is clear . . .

    I would love to see more development on the Olman, both within the Sheldomar (Keoland and Monmurg) and the Amedio. I've been a big booster of that for some time, and would really like to see more of what Chiribias was working on some time back, or something similar.

    So will that be your next project Wolfsire?
    Smile
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    Fri Jun 09, 2006 3:40 pm  

    Samwise wrote:
    Glad to help.

    Oh, and re-reading my comment on the Olman, to be sure the intent is clear . . .

    I would love to see more development on the Olman, both within the Sheldomar (Keoland and Monmurg) and the Amedio. I've been a big booster of that for some time, and would really like to see more of what Chiribias was working on some time back, or something similar.

    So will that be your next project Wolfsire?
    Smile


    I do not think so, but I am sure I will come back to the Olman. As goofy as it was, I addressed the idea of Olman revival, and serious issues related thereto, in "Barbakoa, Alligator Accession."

    Right now I am trying to see what I can find on "Plar," so I might write up something on the Plar of Hool. Also, I am slowing working on an adventure in the Hool. The segment of it that I just completed was a new monster related to the Olman. I may end up posting in pieces.

    Olman of Monmurg sounds interesting, although if I did something it would be for the '70, perhaps along the lines of the New Orleans thread we had a little while ago. Along those lines, I was just looking at the LGG reference that said Monmurg was a vacation town for northern nobility. Interesting.

    Before I do any more substantial work on the Olman, I think I want to see what is done with the first part of Savage Tide.

    I will again take this opportunity to say thanks to Chatdemon for getting back on the Olman/Amedio subject. He did so much for the area and it is worth a second look: http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Your_Account&op=userinfo&username=chatdemon
    Master Greytalker

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    Sat Jun 10, 2006 3:13 pm  

    It is sad that a golden opportunity within the Hold for an Olman revivial was wasted, it would have been plausible and a chance to delve into their little known culture by providing an Olman "sparticus" figure to unite the former olman slaves and begin rebuilding.

    Add a coldly devious SB shepard, Black Brotherhood and imperialistic Keoland and the fledging olman populace could even be seen as sympathic by PCs, sadly this was missed, instead we were given an insane olman blood cult and an SB animus failure.

    Well it is entertaining in the short term, in the long term realistically the situation condemns the Hold to reconquest by Keoland sooner or later, another oppurtunity missed to provide an olman showcase that is accessible to the majority of the players of GH.
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    Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:00 am  

    Crag wrote:
    It is sad that a golden opportunity within the Hold for an Olman revivial was wasted, it would have been plausible and a chance to delve into their little known culture by providing an Olman "sparticus" figure to unite the former olman slaves and begin rebuilding.

    Add a coldly devious SB shepard, Black Brotherhood and imperialistic Keoland and the fledging olman populace could even be seen as sympathic by PCs, sadly this was missed, instead we were given an insane olman blood cult and an SB animus failure.

    Well it is entertaining in the short term, in the long term realistically the situation condemns the Hold to reconquest by Keoland sooner or later, another oppurtunity missed to provide an olman showcase that is accessible to the majority of the players of GH.


    Oh, I don’t know. Are you referring to the same thing as Samwise: :“The slave rebellion state is headed for self destruction as per various design hints expanded on in early LG dispatchs by Erik Mona. (The leader found the Gauntlet and has become a crazed despot who must be put down.)”

    I read a couple of LGJs that referenced this, but I am not aware of how far it has gone, but for the purposes argument let us say it went pretty bad. I would think that there is a good chance that when everything settles down, even if Keoland goes in and starts slaughtering Olman there will still be Olman in the Vale and they are going to end up fairly laid back because the shores of Lake Spendlow are so mellow as are the locals under the guidance of Ehlonna. Of course, if the designers so choose, those left could just be the boogiemen lurking the woods. I would not write them off. Let someone else do that.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:18 am  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    I read a couple of LGJs that referenced this, but I am not aware of how far it has gone, but for the purposes argument let us say it went pretty bad. I would think that there is a good chance that when everything settles down, even if Keoland goes in and starts slaughtering Olman there will still be Olman in the Vale and they are going to end up fairly laid back because the shores of Lake Spendlow are so mellow as are the locals under the guidance of Ehlonna. Of course, if the designers so choose, those left could just be the boogiemen lurking the woods. I would not write them off. Let someone else do that.


    I guess it depends on whether you have read UK 2-3 The Sentinel and The Gauntlet.
    The Gauntlet is an evil artifact. It dominates whoever wears it, and uses them to establish an evil empire. There aren't very many options other than killing him or letting him become Iuz South. This extends to him oppressing his own people, since as the Gauntlet, they aren't his own people any more.

    As for the Olman becoming laid back, particularly because of Ehlonna, I strongly doubt that. Why would the Olman completely abandon their culture like that?
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    Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:27 am  

    SW: "I guess it depends on whether you have read UK 2-3 The Sentinel and The Gauntlet.
    The Gauntlet is an evil artifact. It dominates whoever wears it, and uses them to establish an evil empire. There aren't very many options other than killing him or letting him become Iuz South. This extends to him oppressing his own people, since as the Gauntlet, they aren't his own people any more."

    I have read them a few times. I can see why you reach that conclusion, but I do not think it is that simple. The Gauntlet changed its very purpose! It was designed to destroy the Keep of Alderweg, yet it developed the personality you note holding the Keep. If it changed once, perhaps it can change again, assuming it is not destroyed or hidden away. Destroyed is more likely, in which case that issue would be gone. When I read the LGJ articles, I assumed they were just to allow play of UK2-3 in the latter times. But maybe now it just wants to take a blood bath rather than rule the world. What ever the case, there is the Sentinel to deal with. If the LGJ articles were designed for the purpose of having an Iuz South in the Vale, yuck, just go north or south, but YMMV.

    SW: "As for the Olman becoming laid back, particularly because of Ehlonna, I strongly doubt that. Why would the Olman completely abandon their culture like that?"

    I did not say "completely abandon their culture", but then I like to think there is more to their culture than blood cults and that written in tSB. Indeed, I think it would be more appropriate to highlight the not-so-evil aspects of their culture, whatever they might be. It would not just be becaue of Ehlonna. More to the point it would be because their neighbors are followers of Ehlonna, and thus a more immediate concern, and also because the sacrificial mentality common in the jungles, is not encouragead by the climate of the Vale.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:58 am  

    Stuart Kerrigan and I updated events in Berghof in a LG Mysterious Places last year (for what it's worth). Mellow and chilled it ain't.

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg/lgmp/20051213a

    I've gotta go with Sam on this. The chance of a few thousand Olman and Touv slaves (even with Utavo gone or freed from the Gauntlet's influence) setting up a realm of any note in the Hold is pretty small.

    A petty fief? Yes (but even then they'll be under as lot of pressure from the natives who'll want their land back).
    A new Olman empire? Just don't see it.

    Now Xamaclan on the other hand...
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    Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:07 am  

    Woesinger wrote:
    Stuart Kerrigan and I updated events in Berghof in a LG Mysterious Places last year (for what it's worth). Mellow and chilled it ain't.

    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=lg/lgmp/20051213a

    I've gotta go with Sam on this. The chance of a few thousand Olman and Touv slaves (even with Utavo gone or freed from the Gauntlet's influence) setting up a realm of any note in the Hold is pretty small.

    A petty fief? Yes (but even then they'll be under as lot of pressure from the natives who'll want their land back).
    A new Olman empire? Just don't see it.

    Now Xamaclan on the other hand...


    Thanks for posting that link, and I am sorry for not mentioning it.

    You are absolutely correct. It ain't mellow. Those issues would have to be resolved, but I think they can be if designers want it.

    If what I was writing was read as indicating a new Olman empire, or even a petty fief, that was not my intention.

    My intention was to indicate that things can settle down and that the Olman can live there in peace in the area. That might mean a petty fief, several very petty fiefs or just a visible presence without political unity tied to the land.

    Of course if that is not what you want then it does not have to be that way.

    I am just saying that Craig’s statement is not necessarily true.

    As thing are happening, indeed at a crisis, there is still a golden opportunity. As the Olman are there there is still “a chance to delve into their little known culture by providing an Olman "sparticus" figure to unite the former olman slaves and begin rebuilding.”

    “[T]he fledging olman populace could even be seen as sympathic by PCs, sadly this was missed, instead we were given an insane olman blood cult and an SB animus failure.”- Yes, but what happens when Utavo and the Gauntlet are gone.

    The Olman can still be showcased. I think the elements are their to make the sympathetic, which is one of the reasons I wrote The Spiritual Legacy of Lake Spendlowe and the Proto-Olman, http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=777, calling out the features in C1, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, that show them as other than having a jungle blood lust provided in tSB.

    The Vale is still going to be out of the way and of little significance ... unless of course the Amedio is united and sets it sights on the Hold. That IMO is unlikely.
    Master Greytalker

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    Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:37 pm  

    Well - if someone figured out how to get the Gauntlet from Utavo without killing him...perhaps he might the kind and wise leader they need to settle peacefully (though there'll need to be a reckoning before that'll happen).

    Then again, being imprisoned inside his own body by the soul of a long dead Suel megalomaniac (my explanation for the Gauntlet's sentience and apparently changing goals), might leave him a broken man.

    Or perhaps more determined to atone for his sins...?

    I kinda hope that Utavo'll be redeemed rather than just killed.
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