Username Password
   or Create an Account
HomeForumsFAQArticlesReviewsDownloadsLinksTop 20Feedback
 Features
 
Greyhawk Wiki
Is Down :(


 
Canonfire :: View topic - Shadows and slow shadows
Shadows and slow shadows

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
rasgon
GreySage


Joined: Aug 03, 2001
Posts: 2737
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:58 am    Post subject: Shadows and slow shadows Reply with quote

From MC5, the Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium Appendix:

Quote:
Slow shadows, like shadows, are believed to be a race of long-dead people cursed to madness and a split existence on the Prime and Negative Material planes... Sages speculate that shadows and slow shadows, when they lived, were bitter enemies. Their cruel, wicked ways and constant warfare brought down a terrible curse upon both races. Now the two people continue their ancient battle, never dying, cursed to insanity, recruiting new shadows and slow shadows from the living.


What do we make of this? Are shadows and slow shadows the remnants of the ancient Suloise and Baklunish who died in the Twin Cataclysms? If so, which was which? Or were they a different group of bitter enemies, like the peoples of Sulm and Itar, or the githzerai and githyanki?

Of course, if shadows and slow shadows were the Baklunish and the Suel, what of the shadows descended from the accursed inhabitants of Veralos?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
Black Hand of Oblivion


Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 3549
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go with the cursed angle then not the Suel and Baklunish. They weren't cursed, just power mad and vengeful (edit: and foolish). The Flan would be a better choice in my opinion (and Veralos fulfills part of the story well), or some older peoples that pre-date all of them and that are lost to time (and they might not even be human, just humanoid).
_________________
- Moderator/Admin/Member -


Last edited by Cebrion on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:21 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mortellan
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: Feb 26, 2004
Posts: 2528
Location: Ullinois

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed with Cebrion.

The Flannae are messed up. Veralos evidently went south. Sulm's curse is well known. The Sinking Isle culture was cursed iirc. Not to mention the Isles of Woe who also sank. Then there is the folk who followed Vecna. I'm sure we could add more...

So yeah if a people were turned into shadows it had to be Flan.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Icarus
Master Greytalker


Joined: Nov 01, 2007
Posts: 602
Location: NOW IN Cape May, NJ! Loving the new digs!

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:38 am    Post subject: Shadow Curses Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
If you go with the cursed angle then not the Suel and Baklunish. They weren't cursed, just power mad and vengeful (edit: and foolish).

While I do not disagree that the Flan would certainly be good options, I'm curious why the Suel Baklunish War is categorically ruled out.
There's nothing of which I am aware that says that there couldn't be remnants of the Suel and Baklunish Empires that could be shadows and slow-shadows. Why could some of them not have been cursed with these forms, and still haunt the ancient ruined places of the old empires.

Again, I'm not discounting Flan or any other possibilities ... I'm just asking why we're saying these in particular weren't cursed. We don't specifically know that.
All of the other places mentioned already have other curses, so why would we assume that they had even more curses piled on top of that to punish them even further. They already have a unique curse - I think that it would make sense to add the curse to a civilization that does not already have something that makes them memorable in their own right.
_________________
Gallery of Artwork - take a look at my published illustrations.
W. Kristoph Nolen, artist - my professional Facebook page.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
Black Hand of Oblivion


Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 3549
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sort of curse described for shadows is some sort of divine retribution for their race's wickedness, and it is the curse that ended them, not something else. That is not the case whatsoever with the Suel and Baklunish - they kicked each other's arses right well enough all on their own, with no curse required. I think that already makes them memorable in their own right, or I am forgetting a bunch of other empires that mutually annihilated each other somewhere else in the Flanaess? The Suel and Baklunish are not exactly hurting for attention or anything [edit: well, maybe the lands of the former empires are; a tome for each would be very nice].

The Ur-Flan? Could very likely have been cursed. Sulm? Definitely cursed; in its own unique way. But, there are still Flan around. The whole race wasn't cursed, but the Veralos story fits very well. Of the known human races, the (Ancient) Flan work the best. They have the whole multiple ancient and lost kingdoms thing going for them, and with a lack of explanation as to why they fell in some cases. One reason some of those kingdoms could have fallen was a curse of divine retribution for their wickedness. Makes for a good story; especially for adventurers who might want to poke their noses into the ruins of such ancient kingdoms. There are more than a few pulp (and other) stories featuring ancient ruined cities inhabited by the cursed spirits of former inhabitants, and they are often described as shadows. It's an old trope.

One could go with a more literal "long dead race" angle, and a long dead race probably won't be remembered or even known of all that well, if at all, and that means not the Suel, the Baklunish, the Oeridians, and not even the Ancient Flan, even though they fit the bill fairly literally considering the Veralos story. For simplicity, just go with the Veralos angle, but one need not do so. I do like the Veralos story though, and I guess Greyhawk doesn't really need "Veralos: shadow cursed location #1", plus a bunch of other shadow cursed locations on top of it. That just ruins the novelty then, and we don't need to imagine the gods saying,

"Wow! Those people are just wicked awful! I think we need to punish them."
"You thinking what I'm thinking?"
"Shadow curse?"
"Yep!"
"But we've done that a few times already..."
"Because its awesome!"
"Okay. Shadow curse it is...again."
"Yeah!"
Laughing

So, perhaps leave it to just Veralos, and look to do something else entirely different so far as the form other curses might take.
_________________
- Moderator/Admin/Member -


Last edited by Cebrion on Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
rasgon
GreySage


Joined: Aug 03, 2001
Posts: 2737
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cebrion wrote:
it is the curse that ended them, not something else.


That assumption isn't supported by the text, which only says they were wicked and warlike and in retribution they were cursed. The curse could well have happened after their deaths.

Suloise and Baklunish: ...Whoops.

Gods: Okay.

Gods: Now you've done it.

Gods: Do you think we're letting you into the Outer Planes after this mess?

Gods: Try existing partially on the Negative Plane for a few thousand years while you think about what you've done.

Quote:
I think that already makes them memorable in their own right


This is probably true, though.

The big problem with Veralos is that they don't have an enemy to be the slow shadows. They were panicking about the Oeridian migrations when they made their tragic bargain, but they weren't actually fighting them. I suppose you could tweak the history a bit so that there were some Oeridian-Veralosian battles, though. Or perhaps the Veralosians turned on one another in their last days.

One canonical source of slow shadows is the "The Beckoner in the Dark" adventure card in the From the Ashes boxed set, where in the Cairn Hills there are murals of an unknown human race. "...unlike any native Flanaess race" (there's the use of "Flanaess" as the adjectival form of Flanaess) "with characteristic dark wooly hair, slightly slanted eyes, and unusually long and slender limbs and hands." Slow shadows are encountered in the dungeon, as well as a soul beckoner.

The Dim Forest also has slow shadows, and the Caves of Deadly Shadows in the Yatils. The former is the result of a rift leading to the Plane of Shadow (according to Dragon #418) and the latter a curse meant to bind an artifact of Pelor, so the "Beckoner" people might be the best candidates.

Carashast's Caves of Sleep also contain both shadows and slow shadows, so perhaps the warring peoples were the confederation of Oeridian tribes who slaughtered each other at Bad Deep.

Other possible things to consider: the demon lord Lupercio (detailed in Faces of Evil: The Fiends) resembles a vast slow shadow, at least superficially. The demon prince Thralhavoc is (according to Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss) the demon lord of undead shadows and subterfuge. Rhyxali, the demon princess of shadow (and Graz'zt's sister), claims authority over shadow demons. And Xan Yae is goddess of shadow.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
Black Hand of Oblivion


Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 3549
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
Cebrion wrote:
it is the curse that ended them, not something else.


That assumption isn't supported by the text, which only says they were wicked and warlike and in retribution they were cursed. The curse could well have happened after their deaths.

Suloise and Baklunish: ...Whoops.

Gods: Okay.

Gods: Now you've done it.

Gods: Do you think we're letting you into the Outer Planes after this mess?

Gods: Try existing partially on the Negative Plane for a few thousand years while you think about what you've done.

I am not basing anything on it being specifically supported. As with most things Greyhawk, one can make the point of assuming a lot of things due to there being so little concrete information; often by design. Wiggle room is a good thing. As to the above, that would be a poor way to go about it, story-wise that is. Cursing a whole group of folks is an object lesson. You don't want souls to experience it...somewhere. You want those fettered by the mortal coil to experience it. You want it to be dramatic. That's if there is actually some sort of curse of divine retribution going on. Another direction could be taken though, and that is the groups are just referred to by others as being cursed due to the dark path they went down of their own volition, which is a perfectly good way to go with it too. No divine retribution, just a horrible end.
Quote:
The big problem with Veralos is that they don't have an enemy to be the slow shadows. They were panicking about the Oeridian migrations when they made their tragic bargain, but they weren't actually fighting them.

The enemy just isn't mentioned specifically. That there is a threat that drove them to what they did is mentioned. The Oeridians were enemies, and the people of Veralos would have had some sort of contact with them. There has to be some sort of impetus for them which leads to their choosing to do what they did. But, as you mention, it might not be the Oeridians at all...
Quote:
One canonical source of slow shadows is the "The Beckoner in the Dark" adventure card in the From the Ashes boxed set, where in the Cairn Hills there are murals of an unknown human race. "...unlike any native Flanaess race" (there's the use of "Flanaess" as the adjectival form of Flanaess) "with characteristic dark wooly hair, slightly slanted eyes, and unusually long and slender limbs and hands." Slow shadows are encountered in the dungeon, as well as a soul beckoner.

And there you go. Many assumptions can be made about something not utterly defined.
Quote:
Carashast's Caves of Sleep also contain both shadows and slow shadows, so perhaps the warring peoples were the confederation of Oeridian tribes who slaughtered each other at Bad Deep.

Interesting place, interesting idea, and a pretty dang good fit to boot. Hmmm.... Maybe leave Veralos and go with this instead. It also sounds more horrible, seeing as it is something that is growing and not just some contained out-of-the-way place. Great adventure site seed to be sure.
Quote:
Other possible things to consider: the demon lord Lupercio (detailed in Faces of Evil: The Fiends) resembles a vast slow shadow, at least superficially. The demon prince Thralhavoc is (according to Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss) the demon lord of undead shadows and subterfuge. Rhyxali, the demon princess of shadow (and Graz'zt's sister), claims authority over shadow demons.

Nice list of evil that could have drawn the two factions into mutual destruction. In this instance, it seems best they were not really cursed into becoming what they are - they fell into it. Others would simply refer to them as being cursed, which works. Thralhavoc seems particularly well-suited for the key antagonist in a story of setting two groups against one another ultimately to have both fall under his sway. Very fiendish.
_________________
- Moderator/Admin/Member -
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Canonfire phpBB2 theme by Jakob Persson (http://www.eddingschronicles.com).
Powered by phpBB © 2001 phpBB Group
All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Stone textures by Patty Herford
Ported for PHP-Nuke by nukemods.com
Forums ©


Canonfire! is a production of the Thursday Group in assocation with GREYtalk and Canonfire! Enterprises

Contact the Webmaster.  Long Live Spidasa!

PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
Page Generation: 0.20 Seconds