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Nedla

 
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Phantasm72
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:19 pm    Post subject: Nedla Reply with quote

Who exactly are the Nedla?

As is the peoples that Turrosh Mak claimed chieftainship too?

From the Ashes had a basic history of the events of the Greyhawk wars, and the Nedla were not mentioned in there, it wasn't until "Wars" was published that Nedla was used. Further works (Slavers, the LGG), are silent on this.

All fan related works always suggest that the Nedla were Mak's orc tribe.
Were they orcs though?
My thoughts they are human - they are referred to as people (as orcs people??).

Nedla sounds much more like a Suel house name (eg Neheli, Rhola, Zelrad, Malhel, Urnst, Maure, etc), than an orc tribe name (Cracked skull, Crooked Claw, Flaming Skull, Shadowmoon, Saltburner, etc).

Humans have a population of about 125,000 in the Pomarj, the most common race being Suel. It had long been rumoured (and confirmed in the Slavers), that Mak had help from the Scarlet Brotherhood in his rise to power. Makes perfect sense that they would unite a Suel house to unite the Pomarj to do their bidding..

So are they orcs, or are they humans?

My thoughts are humans
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you have a decent theory there, Phantasm, but there are some difficulties.

First, I always assumed that the vast majority of the humans listed as living in The Pomarj were slaves. If that is true, the few free humans would have to be individually powerful or part of a very powerful tribe or house.

So, if you go with your Suel theory, you will need to develop a powerful base for a human community within The Pomarj. It will need to have the power to both withstand being overrun by the humanoids and still have the capacity to interact with them for commerce, etc.

If they are not mentioned anywhere else in canon, you are free to design them as you like. Perhaps they are a branch of the Maure who survived when the rest went insane. Are they powerful fighters, mages, priests, or roguish types? What are their main interests beyond simple survival. Are they allied with many of the humanoid tribes, or constantly at war?

SirXaris
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greyhawk Wars, Adventurer's Book (page 15): "After claiming chieftainship of the Nedla peoples, Turrosh Mak seized control of the neighboring tribes."

Then the footnote (36) reads: "How a half-breed—normally ostracized by orcs—gained command of one of the largest tribes in the Pomarj is a mystery."

From this, I gather:

1. The Nedla are one of the largest tribes in the Pomarj.
2. It's strange that Turrosh Mak could gain control of them, because orcs normally ostracize half-breeds like Mak.
3. Therefore, the implication seems to be that the Nedla are orcs. If they were humans, the footnote would have read "How a half-breed—normally ostracised by humans—gained command of one of the largest tribes in the Pomarj is a mystery."

That said, Slavers doesn't mention a tribe called the Nedla at all, and you're right that this name doesn't match the naming pattern of other orc tribes.

One possibility is that "Nedla" is the Orcish translation of the Common words Cracked Skull, which do seem to be one of the strongest orc tribes in the Pomarj (they're the third most numerous) and they're noted to be fanatically loyal to Turrosh Mak—which we might expect if they're the tribe he's from.

On the other hand, maybe the "largest tribe" that Turrosh gained command was one of the neighboring tribes, after he gained command of the Nedla. I can't rule that out, but it would be strange to not name the tribe the footnote was about.

The implication is that the Nedla are orcs, but it doesn't flat out say so. If they're not orcs, then yes, I assume they were some human group. The Pomarj was a collection of petty states prior to Baron Erkin declaring himself king, and perhaps Nedla was one of those states. Maybe it was the barony that produced Erkin.

Perhaps some of the locals still use some of the names of the old baronies and one of the tribes living in the region of Old Nedla are sometimes referred to as "the Nedla peoples."
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grodog
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
From this, I gather:

1. The Nedla are one of the largest tribes in the Pomarj.
2. It's strange that Turrosh Mak could gain control of them, because orcs normally ostracize half-breeds like Mak.
3. Therefore, the implication seems to be that the Nedla are orcs. If they were humans, the footnote would have read "How a half-breed—normally ostracised by humans—gained command of one of the largest tribes in the Pomarj is a mystery."


That squares with Zavoda's index, which lists Nedla as an orc tribe:

Quote:

Nedla Tribe (Orc)[CLN]
GW:ADV - 15
SLV - 109
TSB - 5


Building off of Phantasm72's theory, perhaps it's possible to blend both interpretations: the Nedla were the previous rulers of a unified Pomarj (could still be orc or human, but it plays better as the human vs. orc lineage, too), and Mak claiming the mantle of leadership of the Nedla is akin to Nazis claiming the master Aryan race, or how modern politicians claim to walk in the footsteps of Lincoln---that is, it's a spurious bit of PR management with little-to-no basis in reality, but that still lends the figurehead some veneer of legitimacy among those who pay heed to such things (or otherwise fall victim to the marketing campaign).

Another perhaps: perhaps "Nedla" was newly-coined as a portmanteau that builds from/applies to both the long-gone Pomarj Suel house as well as the contemporary orc tribe, which would explain it sounding phonetically more Suel than Euroz in nature, but still being relevant to the orcs. Most of the orc tribe names are descriptive in nature (Vile Rune, Bone Crusher, etc.) in style vs. being actual names, so presumably they're Common-ized/Anglicized names based on the actual orcish languages and dialects.

Allan.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, okay, so Slavers does mention the Nedla. Per Zavoda's index, page 109: "...Turrosh Mak turning control of the nation over to trusted representatives in the Nedla tribe of orcs..."

And The Scarlet Brotherhood, page 5: "Aid from a red-robed warrior allowed a half-orc named Turrosh Mak to take over as chieftain of his tribe, the Nedla..."

It's still odd that the Nedla aren't mentioned in Slavers' main listing of orc tribes, though I suppose that's because it's straight from Joseph Bloch's article in Dragon Magazine. I'm inclined to think they're another name for the Cracked Skull tribe.
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grodog
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
It's still odd that the Nedla aren't mentioned in Slavers' main listing of orc tribes, though I suppose that's because it's straight from Joseph Bloch's article in Dragon Magazine. I'm inclined to think they're another name for the Cracked Skull tribe.


I pinged Joe to see his thoughts on the Nedla, too.

Allan.
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GreyhawkGrognard
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Rasgon has the right idea. It's clear the Nedla are an orchestra tribe. Whether or not they're the same as the Cracked Skulls is somewhat less certain, but it doesn't seem like conflating the two would conflict with anything.

Joe / GG
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