Tolat, Tentacles, and all manner of things that begin with the le tter T

From: Sandy Petersen (SPetersen@ensemblestudios.com)
Date: Wed 03 Jun 1998 - 18:35:55 EEST


Xavier LLobet
>I recently wanted to create a new charachter and I decided that it
would be a bold Trowjang amazone from the distant >island of the same
name, in Teshnos. But the problem came when I noticed that I knew
NOTHING about the God of these >women, TOLAT

Tolat is the god of Love and Death. For the Amazons, he is a war god, as
well as the personal lover of every one of them. He is also an
astronomical object. The Amazons, of course, do not name him "Tolat". He
is called this because a certain large pale planet is identified with
him by the Amazons

TOLAT'S LOVE ASPECT: Once a year all the Amazons except for a
sufficiency of guards retire to their huts and await Tolat's arrival. He
comes and they each make love to him. Sex with Tolat is, presumably, 294
times as good as sex with a normal man, because all his partners are
orgasmically fulfilled until the next year. I personally suspect that
all the guards that night are on punishment duty, since they miss out on
Tolat's visit. I also suspect that for the next couple of days, the
Amazons are very relaxed and might walk kind of funny.
        There is no doubt a big important ceremony when a young Amazon
is finally old enough for her first visit from Tolat. "Now at last you
are a woman." She probably gets her first armor and weapons (obviously
she's been playing & training with weapons before now, but these are the
first weapons that actually belong to her personally), and the following
summer she gets the three privileges of womanhood: she can leave the
island to go raiding, she can fish on the ocean (as opposed to just
freshwater), and she can hunt birds and reptiles (instead of just
invertebrates and mammals). Note that the "age of womanhood" is
determined by the Amazon herself. She, and only she, gets to decide if
she's ready for Tolat's visit. Of course, in practice, peer and maternal
pressure and example help to determine this.

CHILDREN: if an Amazon does a special fertility prayer the day before
Tolat's visit, then she will automatically get pregnant on that day. The
Amazons have two fertility prayers; one involves only the Amazon
herself, and the other requires the participation of a captured man. The
man is ceremonially sacrificed the day after Tolat's visit. The
difference between the two prayers is that the first always results in a
daughter, but that daughter is generally very similar to the mother in
appearance, talents, etc. The second ritual, involving the to-be-slain
man, results in a daughter only half the time, but the daughter can vary
quite widely from her mother. Of course, if a son is born, he is subject
to one of three fates; turned into a eunuch slave, sacrificed to Tolat,
or, if he is born on the Unholy Day of Trowjang, he is ritually
scarified and given away to Teshnan or Kralori traders.
        To keep Amazon bloodlines from stagnating, the second ritual is
periodically recommended by the Amazon chiefs, despite the risks.
        Of course, all Amazon pregnancies begin on the same day of the
year. The pregnancies last about 270 days (the same as on Earth), which
means they end about 20-30 days before the holy day of Tolat, giving the
mothers just enough time to get ready for their next romantic visit.
Basically, for several weeks before Tolat's holy day, the frequency of
Amazon raids is diminished, and neighboring lands really look forward to
this season of year.

MEN: men usually get pretty short shrift from the Amazons. Basically, a
man has only five possible functions in Amazon society:
        1) use his corpse to feed the fishes or vultures
        2) hold him aboard the raiding ship until ransom is paid.
(Rare.)
        3) take him back to Trowjang for torture and sacrifice.
        4) take him back to Trowjang for participation in the second
fertility prayer, and then sacrifice him (sans torture).
        5) take him back to Trowjang as a slave; this last is not that
common, because the Amazons are not really a slave-based society.
However, an occasional male captive has such obviously useful abilities
that he is taken as a permanent slave. Of course, such slaves are
gelded, because a whole man should not be allowed to live on the soil of
Trowjang more than a week (so all sacrifices must be held within a week
after the man first touches land).

WOMEN: Amazons feel no special bond of friendship with women from other
lands, and are perfectly willing to kill them. However, they also have
no special axe to grind with regards to such woman, and don't
necessarily seek them out for torment. Usually they hold them in some
contempt, at least the non-combatant ones. A woman that sails to
Trowjang and seeks refuge among the Amazons is always accepted, though
she is distrusted and kept in a separate hut for at least a year, lest
she be a spy. Promising female children captured in raids are nearly
always returned to Trowjang to be raised as an Amazon.

TOLAT'S WAR ASPECT: the Amazons are ferocious. Even if you normally use
the alternate female stats when rolling up human PCs, use the male stats
for Amazons (except for recent converts). Though they are racially
Kralori, they do not get the -1 Size or +1 Power of other Kralori
peoples.
        The Amazons are a spirit-magic-using theistic culture, all the
adults of whom are initiates of Tolat. Many different and unusual
spirits dwell on their island, and their religion incorporates some
shamanistic practices to deal with these entities. While their spirits,
Rune magic, and spirit magic is suitable and useful for their chosen way
of life, they are not generally considered a magicially proficient
people by their enemies. The threat of the Amazons is not that they will
blast you with their terrifying incantations, but that they will gut you
like a fish.
        Frequently-used spirit spells include the obvious ones:
Bladesharp, Firearrow, Protection, Heal, Haste, etc. They know the Parry
spell.
        Rune magic includes Berserker, Fear, Shield, and similar things.

        Special Rune magic includes the two pregnancy rituals mentioned
above, Reflect Tolat, and Strongspear.

Reflect Tolat 2 point Rune spell
touch, temporal, non-stackable, reusable
Adds +10 to each of the target's STR, CON, DEX, and APP for the spell's
duration. In addition, the target is indefatigable while the spell is in
effect -- she cannot get tired or fatigued, has no ill effects from
hunger or lack of sleep, and so forth. The target must have engaged in
lovemaking with the god Tolat at some point in her life.

Strongspear 1 point Rune spell
ranged, temporal, non-stackable, reusable
Makes a wooden weapon haft unbreakable. Its armor points do not change,
but no matter how much damage is parried by the weapon, its armor points
will not decrease. Despite the name, it works on axe hafts, flails,
etc., as well as spears.

**********
TENTACLES
The Con in Germany was terrific. Fabian Kuechler is a prince, and I
really enjoyed my time at his house, imposing on him, his mother, and
father. Wendy loved every second, and I am strongly considering
returning to Germany for the next Tentacle, even though I'm not invited
as a GoH.

Sandy P.

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