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    Baklunish Won the War
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    Forum Moderator

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    Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:53 am  
    Baklunish Won the War

    This is summarized from a chat I had the other night about Baklunish lore.

    Theory: The Baklunish were about to, or had just, won the Baklunish-Suloise War.

    Fact 1: The B-S Wars were from 5031-5094SD. (63 years)
    Fact 2: Suloise migrate. (5069 SD) "The Suel Peoples, mainly fleeing from the great wars in the Suloise Empire, moved..."
    Fact 3: No printed source says the Baklunish migrated until after the Invoked Devastation. "When the (ID) came upon the Baklunish, their own magi brought down the Rain of Colorless Fire in a last terrible curse...."
    "Meanwhile sufficient numbers of Baklunish remained to hold the northern plains and maintain their small states."

    Speculation: The wars raged on for a few generations, 19 years into it they both hire humanoids in a bid to win, with no change either. It's only after 38 years of war is there a clear change in direction of the conflict, the Suel people start to flee in droves. This is not of course in warning to the Twin Cataclysms, that doesn't happen for another 25 years! Plus, if the Invoked Devastation had been a weapon commonly known by the public the Baklunish could have defended against it rather than call on a 'last minute curse'. Put simply, there was cause for the Oerids to migrate (humanoid pillaging), there was cause for Suel to flee, but none evidently for the Bakluns to flee.
    The operative word in the quote on fact 2 is "fleeing from the great wars IN the Suloise Empire. The Baklunish were winning and making territorial advances into the Empire, an empire that probably had never known such defeat and so the populace panicked, fleeing to the Flanaess where the Oerids had been heard to be settling a mere 12 years prior. Those Suel in power however didn't want to lose the Empire of over 5000 years to their rival so rather than flee with the first wave they called upon their Power Mages to devise a way to reverse the tide of war.
    Rampant Speculation: The Suel decided to feint the Baklun Padishahs with a Doomsday Peace signing that would make Rary's treachery pale in comparison. Delegates (nobles, power mages, whoever) met at the capital of the Baklunish empire to sign an armistace declaring the Bakluns victors, suing for peace so the Suel Empire could remain. In secret however they had the means or tools to bring about the Invoked Devastation. (how it was done is another debate entirely) What they hadn't counted on was the ability of the Wizard-Priests to get payback.

    So to sum up, the Suel fled, they struck first using the I.D. and still lost in the end. The Baklunish won. Happy
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 14, 2007 5:24 am  

    Wow.
    Now that's some hardcore heresy.
    And the analysis is tight. Looking at it spelled out, it seems so obvious.
    Great work!
    Now to do something horrible with it. >: )
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:50 am  

    That was pretty good.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:25 am  

    I fail to see how any of this is "hardcore heresy". As stated, the cited text lends itself to this interpretation. And the Baklunish didn't migrate anywhere really. They are still in their homeland, albeit mainly because the IC didn't burn everything to ash.

    Really good extrapolation, and illustative of the debased and devious evil of the ancient Suel. Mort gets a gold star on this one.

    Now, if we can just retcon that whole horrible Islamification thing...

    <Cebrion ties a piece of raw meat to the topic and sets Sam loose on it>
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    Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:30 am  

    Nice analysis, mortellan! If the Suel were continually being driven back, perhaps it's those losses than lead them to settle the Sunelan Coast regions (as defined by TalMeta)---they could have been invested as a fall-back position putting another mountain range between the Suel and the Bakluni.

    If the Bakluni were clear victors, though, I would expect their influence to have been more prominent than than of the Suel in the Flanaess proper. I'll have to noodle on that further....
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    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:54 pm  

    The war may not have been won, but the tide could very well have turned against the Suel. The Suel were looking for a means of winning the war, stalling for time as Mort suggested. As to the Suneland coast, I'd rather that it was always a part of hte Suel empire, or had been a part of it for quite some time. The Suel Empire flourished for a huge amount of time, so I'd expect them to expand over time. The Suneland coast is right there on the border so it might as well have been a part of the empire for a long time. The Suel-Bakluni wars seems a good enough reason for the pre-Twin Cataclysms migrations east.
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:52 pm  

    The other possibility, not necessarily exclusive to Mortellan's theory, is a civil war in the Suel Imperium coinciding with the war against the Baklunish. With emperor Ad-Zol's troops invested heavily in the northern front in a war perhaps greater than any the empire had faced in centuries, the other Suel noble houses used the opportunity to turn against both the house of Ad-Zol and one another. Ancient rivalries flared, and the Suel nobles became determined to wipe out their rivals while the empire slid into anarchy.

    One problem was lack of confidence in the leadership, but there were more serious stresses that had been part of the empire since the House Wars millennia ago, bitter feuds that wouldn't go away. When some houses roused to defend the Emperor, their rivals took advantage of the crisis to rid themselves of their enemies once and for all.

    This, I think, is the real reason that entire noble houses fled into the Flanaess - they were defeated by other Suel houses one by one.

    There's no question the conflict with the Baklunish was a tough one for the Suel, but whether it would have been winnable if not for the internal Suel war is another question altogether.

    I say this not to disparage the Baklunish or claim they're weaker or less knowledgeable than the Suel were. The Baklunish may well have moved the front past the Sulhauts, and perhaps they would have won regardless of what the Suel had been doing. However, much of the way the Suel houses are presented suggests a civil war to me.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:27 pm  

    Civil war sounds a bit on the heavy side as I don't think a nation would rip itself apart when an enemy is on their doorstep, but house rivals taking advantage of chaos to take shots at each other sounds very in character for the Suel.
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    Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:21 pm  

    Plenty of countries have ripped themselves apart in exactly that fashion. Its entirely plausible that the Suel nobles simplyfound it inconcievable that the Baklunish could truly defeat them, so they didn't feel that there was any danger in ripping into their domestic enemies.
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    Fri Feb 16, 2007 5:57 am  

    I'd go with the supposition that the Suel were not winning and that the ID was their last ditch effort to win the war.

    Reasons for refugees fleeing:

    If the refugees were simply fleeing the Baklunish - why flee their homeland, rather than being internally displaced? Being among your own people in a secure state is surely better than fleeing into the wilds.
    So I don't necessarily buy that argument.

    I also don't buy open civil war in the Imperium (unless it was very, very late on). The first reason is that when countries are assailed from without, it tends to plaster over internal divisions, rather than exacerbate them - at least in the short term.

    An argument can be made that Imperial mishandling of the war did cause some of the nobility to ponder a coup (a la the Von Stauffenburg plot against Hitler). However, I'd suggest that this never came to open warfare (or at least not prolonged warfare) and that it failed, causing the conspirators to flee from the Imperium (rather than being internally displaced). I argue this because there's no evidence of a major collapse in the Suel - unless it happened so late in the war that it triggered the Suel to unleash the ID as the Ultimate Weapon to forestall defeat.

    I like the idea of internal divisions - as it's supported by a few things:

    1: The flight of the emperor's son.
    2: The rise of the Scarlet Brotherhood late in the wars
    3: The apparent disconnect between the ideology of the SB (and the emperor) and Suel noble houses like the Maure, Rhola and Neheli.

    However - I think open and prolonged civil war in the Imperium is unlikely. The heave against the ruling faction either failed, or was cut off by the ID/RoCF.

    P.
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    Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:47 am  

    I always assumed that the initial Suel migrants were those that over a period of time could no longer stomache the decadent and gradually more pervasively evil ruling class.

    If you were an ardent worshipper of Jascar how long would you stay in the Imperium? Same goes for many of the Good and less puritanical neutral deities.

    By the same token you could certainly make a case that as the B-S wars took their toll and as losses mounted, the ruling class broke down further and living conditions continued to worsen. I always imagined the Suel Imperium to rely heavily on conscripted troops and slaves from outlying provinces and colonial holdings. As the war plodded on casualties would no longer be conscripts, slaves and humanoid mercenaries it would start to dilute and bleed out the upper crust elites whether due to attrition or from them fleeing a losing cause.

    The ID was simply a last gasp measure that sealed their fate.
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    Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:22 pm  

    I hadn't gone looking for other canon references, the timeline in the 83 guide had served my theory well enough, but after reading some of the replies I went to The Scarlet Brotherhood and found alot of good stuff on the war that supports much of what everyone said. Here is the essential quotes from the Journal of Kevelli Mauk:

    "The start of the Great War suprised no one. For longer than a year, raiders from both nations stormed across the Haut Range, pillaging and burning homes and farms on either side of the great mountains. In the spring of 5031 SD Emperor Ad-Zol sent nine thousand troops across the mountains to punish the black haired northerners. They were met on the Fields of Padyr by a comparable force sent by the Bakluni Padishah Ramif; after a pitched battle that lasted almost three days, the armies had annihilated one another. The handful of surviving warriors from the Emperor's army retreated to their homeland and reported imminent invasion by the foul Bakluni, and the very air that my people breathed became charged with the fervor of war."

    I hadn't known the Bakluni Padishah was named. Score!

    "By 5070 SD the populations of our cities were falling, far beyond the attrition to be expected from the war with the northerners. Many commoners and even a few minor noble houses escaped the conflict and moved east, across the Harsh Pass and into the lands beyond. The nobles would have liked their contemporaries to believe the move was influenced by tales of the fertile lands and great wealth beyond the Crystalmists, but the truth is that they feared the powerful rival houses, who might take advantage of the exigencies of the war with the dark-eyed northerners to eliminate them."

    So yes, the commoners fled the war as it soured, not wanting to be conscripted and so on. They knew from the Oerid example it was safe to cross east. Why they hadn't before was probably a restriction made by the nobles. The nobles also had their reason to flee now due to ancient vendettas. So instead of civil war which would only accelerate Bakluni victory, there may have been a McCarthy-esque Trial thing going on for Bakluni sympathizers to veil this backstabbing.

    "Most remarkably the emperor's own son had fled the year before this, accompanied by thousands of citizens loyal to him. The emperor sent the houses of Schnai, Cruskii and Fruztii to bring back his son to face justice..."

    This does prove the paranoia of Ad Zol and his extreme incompetence. His son doesn't try to usurp his father as would be expected in that line of work, he leaves over some ideological reason I'll assume. The emperor sends THREE entire houses to find his son. During a pitched war that is an egregious misuse of manpower. They probably never planned on coming back and in hindsight were lucky to be picked to go on the mission.

    Then Mauk goes into the creation of his Brotherhood and stuff about Suel purity:
    "The war with the Bakluni did not prevent contact with their nefarious race, and excursions from rebellious Roka, Chebi and Hochebi, and visitors from the west and south, polluted our people with their flesh and culture."

    Who are the rebellious Roka, Chebi and Hochebi? Sounds familiar but I'm drawing a blank. Anyhow. I just threw these quotes out to support alot of the comments complimenting my initial theory here.
    GreySage

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    Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:58 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    "Most remarkably the emperor's own son had fled the year before this, accompanied by thousands of citizens loyal to him. The emperor sent the houses of Schnai, Cruskii and Fruztii to bring back his son to face justice..."


    This was retconned in the LGG, pages 54 and 55. The ancestors of the northern barbarians were part of the Suel underclass, despised as unmagical rabble with unsophisticated accents. They fled the Rain of Colorless Fire and the awakening of the Hellfurnaces (which makes them late migrants), but had no destination in mind when they arrived in the Flanaess. They certainly weren't pursuing anyone. When they first encountered agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood, they decided these were "the same devious manipulators" who had ruled tyrannically over their ancestors. The Brotherhood told them the story you quote from, but the barbarians didn't buy it for a minute - "Old King Cralstag knew well that his ancestors, be they slaves or scoundrels, were never the lapdogs of an emperor who stank of magic."

    The names Cruski, Schnai, and Fruztii simply mean Ice Clans, Snow Clans, and Frost Clans respectively. They took the names after they arrived in Rhizia.

    Emperor Ad-Zol might have sent bands of bounty hunters after his missing son, but it's unlikely they were noble houses, and they weren't called Cruski, Fruztii, or Schnai. This was a story fabricated by the Brotherhood in an attempt to win over the northmen as allies.

    Quote:
    Who are the rebellious Roka, Chebi and Hochebi?


    Orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins.
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    Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:25 am  

    Why would Mauk make up this fiction and place it in his journal as a basis for the SB, to what purpose?

    What if the SB is correct; it does say three houses, perhaps they were three minor noble houses deemed "worthless" due to the lack of magical power; since magical prowess seems to be highly prized. This lack of magic ability and suel prejudice regarding their "lack of breeding" convinces the emperor to send these houses to punish his son.

    Which is needed from a public relations view to stop further mass desertions, can't have his son deserting without punishment, sets a terrible example to the nobility and general populace. So he sends the three houses declares the traitors will be found and retains the loyalty of more valuable houses for the war effort.

    Once free of the oppression of the empire, slowly over time they decide to not return or try to fulfill their mission; the leaders like the sense of freedom and lack of ridicule. Rather then dwell on the disloyalty of their ancestors and the lack of esteem within the empire; they turn it to positives; left an oppressive empire because they saw the corruption and weakness.

    Were the Schnai, Cruskii and Fruztii loyal houses, a convenient imperial public relations tool or eager explorers; possibly a bit of all three.
    GreySage

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    Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:39 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    Why would Mauk make up this fiction and place it in his journal as a basis for the SB, to what purpose?


    He probably didn't. I doubt the story appears in his journal, regardless of what The Scarlet Brotherhood claimed. Or if it does, it's under a section titled "Ways to fool the northern rubes."

    Possibly, the quote is from a fake journal designed to be found by outsiders.

    The LGG is clear that they didn't start calling themselves Schnai, Cruski, or Fruztii until after they arrived in Rhizia, and that they entered the Flanaess as "a people without a destination."
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    Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:16 pm  

    This is a case where I'm happy with the retcon. It made no sense to send three Houses after one man and have them all end up lost in the same corner of the world. They would've fanned out over the Flanaess if truly pursuing.

    The Roka, Chebi, etc is in the back glossary of the Scarlet Brotherhood book. Found this out too late, thanks. I knew they sounded familiar. With the Suel's humanoids in rebellion that further supplements my theory the Suel Empire was in trouble. However one might argue the Bakluni humanoids were in rebellion too since they were pillaging Oerids instead of fighting southward.
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    Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:26 pm  

    I think the whole "houses of pursuit" and some of the names (Ad-Zol in particular) come from the Oerth Journal 1 timeline. Steve Wilson or Len Lakofka might have originated the idea.

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    Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:18 am  

    That Baklunes were winning the war appears most plausible. A couple thoughts:

    1. In pre-gunpowder warfare, the nomadic horse archer was by far the most dangerous of weapons. The Baklune Empire had them in droves, while the Suel did not. The Salhaut range effectively prevented Baklune nomadic horse archers from threatening the Suel Basin since Suel controlled the mountain passes. After the Fields of Paydir battle, the Suel no longer had the strength to defend the mountain passes, opening the way for the much more mobile Baklune horsemen to devastate the Suel Basin.

    2. The Suel Empire appears to have been fuelled by slavery. Complete devastation of the Baklunis people a'la the Invoked Devastation would leave few war spoils, i.e. slaves. The Suel would likely never use the Invoked Devastation if they thought the war winnable.

    3. The Suel Empire appears to have woefully oppressed many in the empire. They needed a strong military to keep the yokels in line. The destruction of their army in the Fields of Paydir pathed the way for open rebellion.

    4. Large numbers of humanoid mercenaries are dangerous for a nation, look to North Kingdom. Many of the Suel forces would have been tied up suppressing their own humanoids when a warband decided to rampage. With nomadic horse archers integrated into the military and giving a high degree of mobility, the Baklunes could have more efficiently dealt with humanoid mercenery rampages within their own land.
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    Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:38 pm  

    I agree with the retcon, just trying to find an acceptable "canon fix" or atleast a plausible reason.

    Personally I wondered why the war began;
    1) Expansionist empires
    2) Raids over wealth
    3) Suel were isolated due to geography and the established riches appealed more than the effort to build colonies from scratch south or east
    4) Raids back and forth have official sanction or did the war simply escalate out of control
    5) Baklunish start the conflict, not above an opportunistic attack (see Bissel)

    Just curious...
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    Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:21 pm  

    Question Ok, so the Suel exodess went East into the Flaness, did any go West or South? If so, would/could there be a significant "lost" Suel kingdom(s) to be exploited? Cool

    Was there ever any text written concerning these other posibilities? I remember something about a Southern establishment. Did Suel really invent popcorn too? Laughing

    Ok, nix the last question. Great topic, always new the Bakluni had ended up better off than the Suel. I really think Mort hit it on the nose for explaining it. Wonder what ever happened to the spell book that contains the spell for Rain of Colourless Fire? Now thats an artifact to be found. Wink

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    Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:03 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Now, if we can just retcon that whole horrible Islamification thing...

    <Cebrion ties a piece of raw meat to the topic and sets Sam loose on it>


    I already did. Why do you think I wrote the Shining Horde?
    The easiest way to get rid of it was to just have a new horde show up and slaughter everyone.
    GreySage

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    Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:34 pm  

    BusterBudd wrote:
    Wonder what ever happened to the spell book that contains the spell for Rain of Colourless Fire?


    The LGG called them "wizard-priests," which suggests the Rain was at least partly divine in origin. As such, it probably wasn't in a spell book, though it might have been on a single-use scroll.
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    Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:40 am  

    Samwise:
    Quote:
    I already did. Why do you think I wrote the Shining Horde?


    Well, replacing Islamification with "Mongolian Golden Horde-ification" is not exactly the best solution, but I will grant you that it is at least better.

    On to other things now...

    Such a powerful magical effect wasn't cast by a single wizard-priest. I always had the impression that it was more a ritual spell involving a group of spell casters. Other information adds that an actual elemental deity broke the divine rules and actually aided in the working of the magic. For this the deity was cursed and stripped of most of his powers. The ritual could have been recorded in some way, but the Invoked Devastation probably turned it to dust if it was on paper, unless it was protected in some way. A better candidate for the ritual to be recorded upon would be golden tablets, or special stone tablets.

    The best thing is that no Rain of Colorless Fire will likely ever happen again, due to the required involvement of direct divine power. The other thing that is really interesting is that the Suel Mages of Power didnít require any aid from a direct divine source to pull off the Invoked Devastation. That is a good measure of the crazy amounts of power these uber-spellworkers could unleash.

    Even more interesting is that, considering the amount of power the Suel could unleash, it still looks as if the Suel were slowly losing the conflict. Perhaps in way of explanation could be the fact that the power of the clergy was hindered in the Suel Imperium. This goes directly to any clerical support for the military, mostly in the area of healing magic, but also with regard to clerical magic designed to enhance the combat ability of a group, such as bless, chant, prayer, etc. There is also clerical combat magic, which can be devastating as well. Perhaps this was the main reason the Suel failed, or it could be that their own sense of superiority over the Baklunish blinded them to their own shortcomings.
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    Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:47 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Well, replacing Islamification with "Mongolian Golden Horde-ification" is not exactly the best solution, but I will grant you that it is at least better.


    I didn't replace them with the Golden Horde.
    I replaced them with a Lawful Neutral fusion of Oeridians and Baklunish very loosely based on the Khazars.
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    Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:52 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    The LGG called them "wizard-priests," which suggests the Rain was at least partly divine in origin. As such, it probably wasn't in a spell book, though it might have been on a single-use scroll.


    Cebrion wrote:
    Such a powerful magical effect wasn't cast by a single wizard-priest. I always had the impression that it was more a ritual spell involving a group of spell casters. Other information adds that an actual elemental deity broke the divine rules and actually aided in the working of the magic. For this the deity was cursed and stripped of most of his powers. The ritual could have been recorded in some way, but the Invoked Devastation probably turned it to dust if it was on paper, unless it was protected in some way. A better candidate for the ritual to be recorded upon would be golden tablets, or special stone tablets.


    Here's what EGG wrote about Dorgha Torgu:
    Quote:
    It is said that Dorgha Torgu is the outcast of the deities of Oerth. This is because he is the one from whom came the†Rain of Colorless Fire upon the Suel Empire, thus violating both his neutrality and his charge. While the Invoked†Devastation of the Suloise was wrought through the vilest of the evil deities, the response was unjust despite†provocation. Swayed by the evil counsel of that alien thing called an Elder Elemental God, Dorgha Torgu bent dimensions and loosed unnatural elements in his charge to precipitate upon the Suel realm the near-invisible and unquenchable flames that consumed the land.
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    Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:08 am  

    Thanks, I didn't want to go and dig up the info. I didn't recall that the Mages of Power used some sort of evil divine magic to produce the Invoked Devastation though. Does EGG identify this "vilest of deities"? Seems to fly in the face of the Mages of Power not really being all that respectful of divine magic of any kind to have deity involved in the Invoked Devastation, but perhaps the knowledge was revealed to the Mages of Power in such a way that it didn't seem of that origin. At the least it is very odd.

    Now, there really only are two deities that are thought of as being the vilest. One would be Tharizdun, but I imagine that he was chained long before the Twin Cataclysms. Tharizdun isn't really known for being all that vile though, just EVIL. When somebody tells me to think of the vilest of deities, my mind invariably wanders to only one name- Incabulos.
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    Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:06 pm  

    Nice catch Cebrion Confused

    Incabulos fits nicely; personally Nerull is to obvious, not to mention his Oeridian origin. Although it could simply be a nameless demon lord.

    I have a concern trying to de-Islamify the Baklunish, they have always appeared culturally middle-eastern and the religion/political system of the mix is obviously Islamic circa Ottoman Empire. Even the organized structure and emphasis on fate recalls the Ottoman philosophy.

    However GH was created as a mix of various cultures and archetypes;
    I know Islam is a sensitive issue especially now but let us hope that political correctness or anger at the current crisis does not causes some to advocate the removal of this rich gaming opportunity presented with the Baklunish states.

    What next Viking culture seen as too violent so the Thorillian Penisula has to be "reworked"?
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    Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:33 pm  

    Crag wrote:
    I have a concern trying to de-Islamify the Baklunish, they have always appeared culturally middle-eastern and the religion/political system of the mix is obviously Islamic circa Ottoman Empire. Even the organized structure and emphasis on fate recalls the Ottoman philosophy.

    However GH was created as a mix of various cultures and archetypes;
    I know Islam is a sensitive issue especially now but let us hope that political correctness or anger at the current crisis does not causes some to advocate the removal of this rich gaming opportunity presented with the Baklunish states.

    What next Viking culture seen as too violent so the Thorillian Penisula has to be "reworked"?


    It's not a question of PC, although there are certain issues of cultural sensitivity that should be acknowledged.
    It is an issue of excessive real-world cultural linkage, combined with the potential for incomplete understanding of those cultures. In such a case you don't get a role-playing opportunity, you just get a stereotyping opportunity.
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    Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:47 pm  

    I'd much rather that the Invoked Devastation was a purely arcane spell, personally. That would fit my view of the Suel better than turning the Twin Cataclysms into an exchange between the gods, rather than mortals.

    The idea that the Suel had become largely apostate and the Baklunish were very religious is a useful distinction between the two cultures. Granted, one could argue that any pact between Incabulos and the Suel was merely one of mutual advantage rather than worship, but that still reduces the role of mortal hubris which I think is integral to the story. It becomes a mere extraplanar invasion, rather than a story of human overreach. Even among the Baklunish, it should be emphasized that this was a spell, not direct divine intervention.

    In both cases, they were collective spells, channeled by the abilities of spellcasters of great power, not simply divine fury hurled upon the Oerth at mortals' request. The distinction is important, the difference between casting divine hammer and simply praying that Fortubo show up in person.
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Feb 21, 2007 6:41 pm  

    Yeah, the problem with the Baklunish (and worse, the Olman) for me is that they all but pastiches of real world cultures. Inspired by is cool. Heck, its unavoidable. But I'd prefer it folks didn't just say "These guys are the Turks of Greyhawk" or the like. I'd love it if they had a distinctive culture that had middle eastern cultures as a basis. But since no such culture was ever developed, its sort of defaulted to outright cloning.

    Of course, lots of folks like cloning. Living Geoff, for instance, has all but remade Geoff into Wales and done a pretty interesting job about it. Its just that's not what I want to see in my fantasy worlds. I can play in Mythic Europe for that.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Thu Feb 22, 2007 1:07 am  

    Crag wrote:
    I know Islam is a sensitive issue especially now but let us hope that political correctness or anger at the current crisis does not causes some to advocate the removal of this rich gaming opportunity presented with the Baklunish states.


    PC has nothing to do with my opinion.

    SIDETREK: My dislike of the Olman has nothing to do with not liking the Olmec/Aztec civilization. I actually chose to study the Olmec/Aztec due to an interest in them, particularly the development of their architecture and religion. For Greyhawk however, the name Olman could have been entirely different. I see the main problem being Tamoachan, which should have just been avoided altogether or altered rather than latched onto with a death grip. The use of real world names makes things significantly worse.

    BACK ON TOPIC: Likewise, my dislike of the pseudo-Islamic presentation of the Baklunish has nothing to do with not liking Islam. Al' Akbar is probably the worst thing that has been used, but the schism in the Faith is a close second. With all of this lack of creativity, don't be surprised if the Mahdi's name turns out to be "Hudumnam". Yes, there is a wry joke there in the name. Wink What should we expect next? An Ullian khan cultist of Incabulos who is creating pestilences of various types to unleash upon his "great enemy" Veluna? Oy vay! [insert rolleyes emoticon here]

    The reason I do not care for either of these treatments is that they are, quite simply, lacking in imagination. The Olman could have been a completely original "lost world" people/civilization. Somebody with a moderately creative brainstem might instead have come up with something like Al-Quadim for the Baklunish. Alí Quadim is obviously Middle Eastern in its influence but, perhaps oddly to those who Islamified the Baklunish, it plays up the fantastical and mythological aspects associated with Middle East. WTF???!!! Using fantastical mythology for a fantasy RPG???!!! That's just INSANE!!! Happy

    So, THAT is why I loathe the current treatment of the Baklunish(as well as the Olman- I just had to add them in this post too Happy ). Maybe somebody had visions of a Baklunish djinn-culture filled with big blue djinn who sound like Robin Williams. Who knows. In any event, I smack my lips in derision at what has been done to the Baklunish(and to the Olman as well).

    Now that there are the Baklunish/Islamic religious overtones that many people are oversensitive about, that is just yet another reason to acknowledge the Islamification of the Baklunish as a bad idea. Perhaps when Vampire Thrommel returns and preaches of his miraculous vampiric ressurection and he gets nailed(with blessed silver nails of course) to a giant Cuthbertine symbol for the crime of heresy by the Furyondian authorities(who were of course goaded by the Velunese clergy- they've got a system! Wink), then perhaps it will have gone far enough. In all fairness, one must work the Baklunish angle in there somewhere, just so that everyone can be offended in a single go. Wink

    I'm sure there are some Muslims who play D&D, but I doubt that any Muslim wrote the Baklunish as they currently are. I wonder what would happen if some Judaeo-Christian "tweeks" such as those above were added to the story of Greyhawk...

    For one thing, I wouldn't like it, just because it shows a lack of imagination, irregardless of finding it offensive or not. Itís always easier to rip something off rather than make something mostly unique. Perhaps I am just more appreciative of things that people come up with on their own, because it is much more difficult.

    Not meaning to offend anyone, just swinging my baseball bat with the word "Subtlety" engraved on it. Wink
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    Thu Feb 22, 2007 7:01 am  

    LOL the topic has certainly took a turn!

    *clear throat*

    The Baklunish still won.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:07 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    LOL the topic has certainly took a turn!

    *clear throat*

    The Baklunish still won.


    So did the Olman.

    By CY -490, the Suloise interests in the Amedio, through Terabar and Westgate, and represented by enclaves throughout the jungle cities, had grown significantly over the couple of hundred years of trans-Hellfurnace contact. Indeed, it undoubtedly was, at least in part, Suloise machination that resulted in the assassination of the Emperor Tloqasikukuatl.

    While the Suel and the Olman were not openly at war, the Suel orientation for domination of other races could not but result in their attempts to take advantage of the Olman orientation for internal conflict. It just took the Suel a while to get used to the native diseases, climate, local culture, etc. If it had not been for the Rain of Colorless Fire, the Imperium would have eventually included the Amedio. As it was, Tloques-Popolocas Yohualli-Ehecatl, whose assumption of power in Tamoachan is directly attributable to the RoCF, was eventually able to stop the progression of Suel power in the Amedio in CY -170.

    Since then, the Amedi Suel, while still hostile to Olman, have become little different from them. And such hostility is little different than that which arises between Olman tribes. Overall, in the face of Suel aggression, the Olman Empire did better than the Imperium.

    History will show that the Scarlet Brotherhood's impact as little more than a footnote. The Amedio has not been tamed and the SB has only drained the Amedio of Suel blood, less hardy Olman, and contributed to Olman cohesion and the cry "We forward in this generation, triumpantly!"

    Wink
    Master Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:35 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    <rant>


    Ayup. I didn't want to elaborate that much, but there you have it.
    GreySage

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    Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:44 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Perhaps when Vampire Thrommel returns and preaches of his miraculous vampiric ressurection and he gets nailed(with blessed silver nails of course) to a giant Cuthbertine symbol


    He gets nailed to a giant chapeaux. With a giant silver hatpin.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:11 pm  

    I wish I had time to read through this thread and give a proper reply, but I don't have enough online time right now. Perhaps when I get settled (yeah right) I will be able to. In the meantime, here's my notes on the BS Wars:

    - - - - -

    "The start of the Great War surprised no one. For longer than a year, raiders from both nations stormed across the Haut Range, pillaging and burning homes and farms on either side of the great mountains. In the spring of 5031 SD Emperor Ad-Zol sent nine thousand troops across the mountains to punish the black-haired northerners. They were met on the Fields of Padyr by a comparable force sent by the Bakluni Padishah Ramif; after a pitched battle that lasted almost three days, the armies had annihilated one another. The handful of surviving warriors from the Emperor's army retreated to their homeland and reported imminent invasion by the foul Bakluni, and the very air that my people breathed became charged with the fervor of war."

    - from The Journal of Kevelli Mauk [TSB 2]

    TIMELINE OF THE BAKLUNISH-SULOISE WARS [WOGA 9]
    SD BH OR
    5031 2175 160 The Wars Begin
    5050 2194 179 First Humanoid Mercenaries Used
    5058 2202 187 Peak of Oerid Migrations East
    5069 2213 198 Suloise Migrations Begin
    5091 2235 220 Scarlet Brotherhood Founded [TSB]
    5094 2238 223 Twin Cataclysms

    WHAT WERE THE CAUSES OF THE WARS?
    While unclear, it is apparent that some elements of Suloise society felt that their "virtues" were being eroded by outside influences. It is also apparent that the Baklunish Empire was a direct threat to Suloise superiority. Given the manifestos of groups like the Scarlet Brotherhood, which was founded during the Wars, it is likely that the Baklunish culture was slowly making inrodes into that of the Suloise. References to keeping Suel blood pure indicates a rise in inter-racial marriages, which some in the Imperium resented. [WG8 105] What documentation we have points to a stagnant Suloise society, unable to withstand the more vibrant Baklunish to the north, lashing out in an attempt to maintain their cultural identity.

    WHAT CAUSED THE OERIDIAN MIGRATIONS?
    While both sides used mercenaries, bandits, and humanoids to swell their armies [FTA 3], it was deserters in the Baklunish north that uprooted the Oeridians. Euroz, in particular, pillaged north and east out of the Baklunish Empire, driving the Oeridians before them. [WGG 5, TAB] The orcs became so powerful, in fact, that they established maliks within the Satrapy of Ghayar, the most powerful of which was ruled from Mukhazin (present-day Dar-Zaribad). [LGJ5 20]

    WHAT CAUSED THE SULOISE MIGRATIONS?
    It is apparent that the Suel Imperium was falling apart - weakened by interncine strife, it could not withstand the pressure of war with the Baklunish Empire. [WGG 5, FTA 3, GPG 9] With different elements of Suloise society vying for control of the government, the military unable to stop the Baklunish advance, and the civil authorities unable to control rampaging goblin mercenaries [LGG 13] - disaffected Houses would have to chose between living in a crumbling empire or fleeing to greener pastures. [WG8 25]

    WHAT SETTLEMENTS SURVIVED THE TWIN CATACLYSMS?
    Certain settlements in Ekbir, Zeif and Tusmit antedate the Invoked Devastation [WG8 25]. Some present-day villages and trade routes in Bissel were established before the Baklunish-Suloise Wars. [LGG 32] The Satrapy og Ghayar appears to have weathered the ID in good form, as well.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Feb 22, 2007 9:25 pm  

    ignore this post
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Fri Feb 23, 2007 4:50 pm  

    Damn the rip-fu! You probably have a source to quote for this too! Happy

    Nice summary there ephealy.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:40 am  

    Cebrion wrote:
    Damn the rip-fu! You probably have a source to quote for this too! Happy

    Nice summary there ephealy.


    /me is very confident that ONE DAY he will catch rvw making a mistake.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:45 pm  

    Cebrion wrote:
    ...Likewise, my dislike of the pseudo-Islamic presentation of the Baklunish has nothing to do with not liking Islam...
    Now that there are the Baklunish/Islamic religious overtones that many people are oversensitive about, that is just yet another reason to acknowledge the Islamification of the Baklunish as a bad idea...


    -I always assumed (25+ years) that the Southern Bakluni = settled Arab-Islamic, that the Wolf & Tiger Nomads were Mongol/Turk/Uzbek, and that the Paynims were Beduoin, Berber, Mongol, Turk, etc., with modidfications. No big deal.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:15 pm  

    That is the general assumption. Overall the Baklunish are not specifically Arabic though- they are "Eastern". Take the Middle East and combine it with Asia in a giant melting pot and you have the Baklunish. Their religion evidences as much, but unfortunately the Baklunish never did get any expansion on their culture to reflect that. The obvious has been missed by many later authors who wrote to the topic of the real world rather than to the topic of the World of Greyhawk. Greyhawk is not the real world. You can base various groups of the Baklunish on certain real world Middle Eastern/Eastern examples, but none of them are literally the same as their real world counterparts. Take the Wolf Nomads for instance. I generally loathe the Rose Estes Mika Oba books, but I like the artistic representation of the main character on the book covers(though I'd tweak that a bit too), plus some of the tribal descriptions Estes gives are okay. As presented, the Wolf Nomads are decidedly non-Middle Eastern/Eastern-ish, even though their physical appearance may be Middle Eastern/Eastern. Gotta include that "-ish" bit, as it implies at least some similarity to a real world parallel so that you can identify with it in even some minor way, but it is *NOT* exactly the same by any means. Wink

    The main point I like to make is that, even though you can see obvious parallels between Greyhawk lands/peoples and real word historical lands/peoples, nothing was literally plucked from the real world, had a new name pasted onto it, and then stuck into Greyhawk. Most of the real world cut-n-pasting was done by later authors in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer(Thilronnians, Baklunish) and The Scarlet Brotherhood(Olman) supplements. You simply don't see this done so blatantly anywhere else in the basic Greyhawk material. Greyhawk is its own fantasy world, not a version of "mythic earth".
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    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:31 pm  

    However the value of these real world "touchstones" for the player and DM are important. No one needs to present the cultures as an exact replica but as an explaination for those that aren't steeped in GH lore the comparison is invaluable.
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    Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:27 pm  

    Ah this is still one of my personal favorite threads. Nothing new to add however, but it has been fun re-reading.

    Bakluns for the win!
    GreySage

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    Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:55 pm  

    rasgon wrote:
    The other possibility, not necessarily exclusive to Mortellan's theory, is a civil war in the Suel Imperium coinciding with the war against the Baklunish . . . Ancient rivalries flared, and the Suel nobles became determined to wipe out their rivals while the empire slid into anarchy . . . This, I think, is the real reason that entire noble houses fled into the Flanaess - they were defeated by other Suel houses one by one . . . However, much of the way the Suel houses are presented suggests a civil war to me.


    I concur. To think that this scenario was not possible is to deny human nature. I give you Rome. Evil Grin

    Roman Generals continued to wage, what amounted to, Civil War with each other -- albeit minor ones -- in an effort to claim the throne for themselves and this despite threats and attacks from outside forces; the Goths and Parthians for example.

    The Suel were/are every bit as arrogant as the Romans were and more; easily. Power and position within the Empire itself was far more important than something as "trivial" as a war against a bunch of "unwashed barbarians." Razz

    The prevailing attitude would have been: "The only reason the war has lasted this long is because we're not serious about it. Just imagine it, uncouth barbarians defeating our glorious Empire." Laughing

    The reality of the situation would have set in only after it was too late to reverse the situation, thus, the Invoked Devastation; A futile effort to stem the tide. Cool
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