RE: Dragonewts & Kralorela, Telmori, Morocanth

From: Sandy Petersen (SPetersen@ensemblestudios.com)
Date: Mon 08 Dec 1997 - 22:28:32 EET


Metcalfe
>The human-dragonewt relationships are good but the Kralori
>did not learn their dragon magic from the dragonewts
Martin
>Actually, there really is no evidence for or against this statement, as
>far as I interpret what little we know.

There is some information on this. We know that the Kralori emphasize
the dragons themselves, not just the 'newts. We know that they have a
Dragon Rune. "What The Dragon Lord Tells Me" in GoG doesn't particularly
emphasize 'newts. The legends of the land that we have access to talk
about Dragons, not 'newts. Godunya himself is seen as a dragon. We know
that their dragon magics came from the god-king Daruda. We also know
that they have not adopted the dragonewt philosophy or lifestyle, though
there are clearly parallels.
        IMO, the dragonewts are an important part of Kralorela -- they
certainly see 'newts far more often than dragons.

Metcalfe
>Lastly there is considerable doubt from the dragonewts of
>central genertela as to whether the eastern dragonewts are
>proper dragonewts.
        Get real. There are probably about a hundred times as many
'newts in Kralorela as there are in Dragon Pass. There are also probably
about a hundred times as many dragons. Who is likelier to have the
"correct" views? Not that it matters. It's a good thing, IMO, that the
'newts of various lands differ in their biology and cycles. "Culture" is
the wrong word to describe 'newt society, I feel.
        I believe that the various groups of dragonewts differ from one
another more than humans do. I.e., the Kralori dragonewts have less in
common with the Sartar dragonewts than the Kralorelans do with the
Sartarites. Nonetheless, I also believe that dragonewts have more in
common with one another than they do _with_ humans. Thus just serves to
underline the vast gulf between 'newts & humans. Also many of the 'newt
differences, though very real, are hard for humans to detect or
understand.
        Finally, I do not believe that hostility between different bands
of 'newts takes the form that it does between humans (i.e., raids or
war). A Kralori 'newt who felt obliged to express his hostility vs. the
Inhuman King of the Dragon's Eye might do something quite
incomprehensible to human eyes.

Martin
>Somehow I think dragonewts in Kralorela have somewhat more influence on
>affairs than the Char-Un do in Peloria.
I strongly concur. But this influence is probably not of the normal
human-style political type. The dragonewts in Dragon Pass have a great
influence on the humans there, but look at how it's inflicted.

Nils
>Mysticism is what everybody use, even though only a few really master
it, while any knowledge
>of dragon magic is the realm of a select few
        Much as it pains me to differ with Nils (and agree with Peter
Metcalfe ;), I think that the Kralori do not in fact distinguish between
Mysticism & dragon magic. But I don't think they view dragon magic as
part of mysticism either -- I think that the dragon powers are, to a
Kralori, inherent in everything, just as are the Eight Elements (Earth,
Flame, Wind, Water, Hell, Heaven, Chaos, Spirit). Mysticism can access
dragon powers on occasion, and some mystical powers access dragon powers
more than others. But the dragon powers are fundamental to existence --
not just another brand of magic. If you were to ask a Kralori to show
you some dragon magic, he'd probably do something like point to the city
he lived in, and say, "The foundations of that city are built upon a
single vertebra of the Stone Conqueror Wyrm, which is why it does not
need a city wall -- the powers of the Wyrm are such that the city can
never fall in battle." Is he telling the truth or just repeating
superstitious nonsense? Who can tell, in Kralorela?

>I would also imagine that most broo are born smaller than most humans
or animals, so that broobirth occurs well before
>a normal person or farmer would expect the mother to give birth.
        The gestation period is 2 seasons + 1d8 weeks for roughly human
or larger animals. It's probably less for smaller beasts. But in general
I agree that an infant broo is smaller than the norm for many animals.
Certainly smaller than an infant human. But the infant broo also matures
very quickly, like a cow or sheep, and a two-year-old broo is a full
adult. This "fast" maturity is one reason that infant broos are rarely
encountered. This speed in growth may seem exceptional to humans, but it
is actually pretty common among mammals -- humans are notoriously
slow-growing compared to ungulates or carnivores. Even the great apes
mature more quickly than humans. Logically, humans should expect many
other sentient races to mature to adulthood more quickly than we do.

Nick Brooke
>If you want to be a "non-Yanafali" officer, don't think about joining
the Red Army
        Well, I'm of the belief that there are plenty of Lunar Officers
who are no more than lay members of Yanafal -- in fact, probably the

majority. The Empire does have other important war cults, after all --
Yara Aranis, Hwarin Dalthippa, Lodril, even the 7 Mothers. The proper
comparison (I believe) is with West Point -- most officers in the US
Army are _not_ from West Point. But those that are, are very important
and influential out of all proportion to their numbers. And in the Red
Army you'll find that very high-ranking officers are disproportionately
Scimitars, as opposed to the other cults. I do agree that every officer
is required to be at least a lay member of YT, and in some regiments
they probably have to be initiates in order to function properly. It
only makes sense, after all, just as everyone in the Roman Empire had to
give lip service & sacrifice to the Roman Gods. Of course, there were
subversive cults such as the Christians who neglected their patriotic
duty, but they were hardly the cream of the legionnaires.

Paolo asks
> what do Ralians believe about Telmori?
        They think they're an evil chaos-tainted tribe of cannibal
werewolf-worshipers. In the First Age they were part of Gbaji's Monster
Army. Of course, there are plenty of Ralians who don't know much about
the Telmori, and there are plenty more who have heard rumors, but never
actually met them. The Telmori in Sartar have a bad rep, but at least
they were incorporated by Prince Sartar into the kingdom. The Telmori in
Ralios are totally outside the social structure. It's like a whole
nation of monsters or outlaws. Remember -- Telmori don't take prisoners.

They don't demand ransom. They don't even herd cattle. You can't raid
_them_ (they have nothing). You can't trade with them. You can't
intermarry with them. They're a wholly negative influence on nearby
tribes.
        The worst thing is that they come out and cause the most trouble
in times of famine, when humans can barely survive anyway. After they
eat up all the game in their homeland, they come sneaking around
Orlanthi steads, howling their gibbering language, breaking into barns
and killing all the livestock. Brr. The only good Telmori is a dead
Telmori.
        What other opinion could the Ralians possibly have?

>Do they think that all Wolf-people turn into werewolves or do they
know the
> difference between Pure Ones and Cursed Ones, assuming that a
difference
> exists?
        If a difference exists (which I'm not admitting), I don't think
most Ralians care much. Even the Pure Ones are hostile man-eating
monsters.

Peter Metcalfe, discussing the older telmori cycle, and suggesting
Shargash as a possibility.
>However we would need some irregular epicycle of sorts in Shargash's
orbit on the scale of a week or two as the four week >period seems too
long to screw up the Telmori.
        Why is four weeks too long? That's the period of time that a
"real-world" Werewolf is supposed to wait between his monthly
transformations! And in tales & movies it seems quite frequent enough,
to say the least. No doubt the rising of the Red Moon has made things
both significantly worse and significantly better for Telmori in many
ways.

Martin
>Someone responding to Nick Brooke
>Hold on now Nick. First convince me that werewolves don't
>transform on the Full Moon phase regardless of the day of the week. I
>find it hard to believe that the lunar cycle hasn't affected the poor
>beasts. After all, werewolves are traditionally moon-linked creatures.
        That's ME, Sandy Petersen, responding.

>Sorry, Nick is correct on this one -- Telmori are NOT RW werewolves,
and have no known moon-connection. They all >transform on Beastday,
which has always been Wildday.

        Sorry, I totally disagree. The original RQ work had it be the
Full Moon day, and I'm sticking to that. Consider: Wildday is just a
Theyalan mental construct. The Telmori don't even _use_ that calendar
except where they've been culturally bonded to civilized society. We

know that werewolves are cyclic, and we know that they are tainted with
chaos. The Number One cyclic chaos force in the world is the Red Moon. I
maintain that they adhere to her cycle.

>Besides, I love the idea of Cursed Ralian Telmori transforming into
wolves on Freezeday night, seems so much more >appropriate.
        Exactly my point.

>Personally, I find it easy to believe that before the Red Moon
>rose, werewolves transformed on the day of the Blue Streak.

>Well, since that day varies each week, and sometimes occurs up to 3
times
>in a week (though rarely), I say that would be a problematic theory at
>best.
        Why does that make it problematic? It means that their cycles
are irregular, which was probably a bad thing for them. Now with the Red
Moon they can transform on a regular basis and don't have to worry about
these weird cycles. She has brought order out of chaos.

Paolo
>the Pure Ones are not intrinsically dangerous. They are still useful
mercenaries, thanks to divine magic, but they do
>not turn agains their employers on Wildsday nights.
        They certainly _are_ intrinsically dangerous. Er ... if they
exist. Consider: they come from a predator culture which worships
werewolves and keeps gigantic wolves as pets. They are known murderers &
killers who consider other humans as prey, not peers. You can't tell the
difference between a Pure One & a Cursed One in any case ... I believe
that employers tend to hire guards to protect _against_ Telmori. Hiring
Telmori themselves is a foolhardy act -- not quite as stupid as hiring
Scorpion Men, but far more optimistic than hiring trollkin.

Jane Williams
>Where did morocanth come from?
        They were imported by the Golden Age people as allies to help
defend themselves against the horrible Chaos Army led by the devil. The
other Praxian folk were imported likewise, which does _not_ mean they
came from the same place.

>Did they have their own deity, before Waha arrived?
        Who knows?

>Were they created in that strange form for some reason, or what?
        It's no weirder than high llamas, rhinos, bolo lizards, or
humans.

>To what extent are they associated with the Darkness Rune?
        Loosely. They are the most important Darkness beings of Prax,
though, so they get the credit for a lot of Darkness action. Of course,
since they _do_ have the best use of Darkness spirits & magic in Prax,
they tend to specialize in this to some extent, so it's a
self-fulfilling prophecy to some extent.

>What other beings are associated with that Rune, apart from Trolls?
        Giants, most Goblins, Morocanth, Scorpion Men, certain Merfolk,
Tusk Riders, etc.

>Is Darktongue the rune/cult language of Darkness, or is it linked to
the unique senses of trolls?
        It is the language of trolls, which are the premier Darkness
species, and so it has become inextricably linked with the various cults
of Darkness. On the other hand, this is kind of a case of which came
first, the chicken or the egg? But in any case, the hot trolls of
Pamaltela speak Shadowspeech, not Darktongue, and Darkness cults in
lands that do not have trolls usually don't bother with Darktongue.
        Morocanth speak Praxian, like all true people. Some of their
secret societies teach the secret language of Darktongue, though. This
is used for communications when humans can't be allowed to listen in.

>What did Morocanth do in the Chaos wars? IFWW, of course, as everyone
did, and I assume they weren't on the side of Chaos, but is anything
else known? Did their patron deity perhaps get destroyed then?
        Very little is known. There has not been a single morocanth Hero
ever. Their patron deities are now, and as far as they're concerned
always have been, Waha & Eiritha. They do have a kind of tutelary
relationship with the violent war spirit of the Dark Eater, who is kind
of a cross between Malia & Zorak Zoran.

>I gather Prax had a fair amount of Sky worship pre-Waha? If so, how did
they get on with Morocanth, before Morocanth were known to herd "humans"
but also before the bond of "us Praxians v. the rest" was there?
        The Sky worship, such as it was, involved the Golden Folk, not
the Praxians. The Golden Folk are now gone. The lucky ones died.

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