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Author Topic: Larr Nesh brainstorm  (Read 926 times)
Yrthak
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« on: November 14, 2011, 09:01:02 PM »

So, this setting of mine, the one I ran my IH campaign in, with the demons and barbarians and so forth. The one with the sort of dualistic deities I've been fiddling with.
There are a number of nations, or at least nation-sized regions, to it. Our Heroes, Mort de Lumiere and Brum Bloodstone, have only visited a handful of these during their adventures, and there are parts of the world that I so far only have a vague idea of myself. One such is the far north-western region known as Larr Nesh, which they once, very briefly, visited a border-fort of while it was under attack by fish-demons. Needless to say, they didn't learn much about the Neshoi as a people during that encounter besides the fact that they bleed profusely and that fish-demons seem to find them delicious. Brum also took a set of scale-mail from the fort's armoury, which he seems to quite like - perhaps this implies that they make high quality (or at least comfortable) armour? We shall see.

Here's the brief description of Larr Nesh I put in the original, very much incomplete setting thread

Demon-Haunted

In Character

Swept away
Lost in ice
We stride through death and beyond
Lords of life
Pain-rulers
Moonlit snow-shine shows the smile
In our hearts

Cold as the land beneath us, we are enthroned. Greed is our nature, and we are but half-satiated. We are now children once more, and our merest squabbles shatter the lesser-folk, the dying-folk.

We are forever!

Although most of the people are of barbaric stock, the icy northern lands of Larr Nesh are studded with heavily militarised city-states whose culture owes more to the rulers of the country than their subjects. Larr Nesh is ruled by semi-undead Lacedonian aristocrats who fled north from their motherland in ages past, when the armies of the Dark Queen came to topple their nation.
The Lacedonians are principally occupied with their internal conflicts and centuries-old inter-house fueds. As such, the city-states they rule are often mobilising troops against one another, although those to the far east of Larr Nesh are rightfully more concerned about possible incursions by the Zorr than by aggressive neighbours within their borders.

So, that's kind of all I have for Larr Nesh at the moment - that, and it's pretty cold up there. I'm thinking there will be a lot of room for debauched courtly depravity and so on, as the Lacedonian aristocracy have almost undoubtedly been driven insane by their necromantic semi-immortality, and as the flavourtext says, they're almost child-like now, playing at being lords and ladies, sending armies against each other out of spite, cruelty or even just for fun, rather than for concrete military gains.
This begs the question - and it's one I don't yet have an answer for - of why the Neshoi are subservient to them? Sure, they're all immortal and stuff, but the Neshoi are presumably pretty tough, considering they've lived in the harsh far-northern climate for however many generations (and they have really good scale-mail, it would seem), and the Lacedonians are a minority, so they could easily oust them if they really tried.
Also, as an aside, the Lacedonians here are really the only Lacedonians left that anyone knows of - there are a few bands of them who have degenerated into feral, ghoul-like scavengers since the fall of their empire (possibly having been driven even more mad, but made less immortal, than those that made it to Larr Nesh by the magic they tried when the Dark Queen came for them) hiding out in secret corners of Old Lacedon, which is now something of a wasteland that the Snaketalkers hang out in and launch raids from. I'm also thinking the old Lacedonian civilisation may have been the heirs to the now-long-lost knowledge of some cliche "ancients," possibly non-human, so there could be some kind of ties to them amongst the Lacedonians of Larr Nesh, albeit bastardised, twisted, and probably a bit freaky.
The other main thing is that I haven't even started to pin down exactly what strain of undeadishness the Lacedonians have. My mental image is sort of a three-way hybrid of vampire, mummy and ghoul but other than longevity I haven't decided what sort of supernatural powers and/or weaknesses they have or anything. Perhaps sorting this out will help make clear why it is they're able to boss the Neshoi around.

Anyway for some reason I've decided I want to try and flesh this corner of the world out a bit, or at least come up with a few crazy ideas I could potentially improv around in actual play, and as usual I am very grateful for any suggestions or comments you want to throw my way. Maybe tomorrow I'll come up with a reason why the Neshoi put up with their cadaverous masters. One can only hope.
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 09:18:38 PM »

Not sure how to help you develop, as a big picture you seem to be getting what you want. Give us more details and perhaps we can help you flesh out specifics?

So your Neshoi, they might be higher in numbers and in toughness, but are they really? It would seem to me that the necromantic lords of Larr Nesh have rose countless deads since they got there, eventually surpassing the Neshoi in numbers. What's more, each falling Neshoi could join the cadaverous ranks of these infantile and immature rulers.

So I understand that they wage war against each other for various purposes, often of the childish and selfish sort. What do they do against a greater threat? Do they have an old dusty treaty that forces them to cooperate to repel invaders so they can quickly get back to playing generals or what? Maybe one of them acts as a guinea pig, giving the enemy shelter long enough so they think the guinea pig is an ally, but no, it's all just a big conspiracy to more easily eradicate the intruders. The guinea pig looses his base in a mega eldritch catastrophe and then I guess could gain something in return... just ideas.

By the way, Mort de Lumière is &?*%&( HILARIOUS imo. I mean I just had a scenery in my head of some emo computer geek who sees the light for the first day of his life... and dies. Writing it is far from funny but the imagery in my mind is pretty hilarious.

Cheers
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 11:19:24 PM »

option 1) One reason the Neshoi would choose to follow the cadaver-kings is simply out of fear. We are talking capricious, undying rulers with absolute power, some of it possibly sorcerous. If the Lacedonians just set an example once in a while I am sure everyone will think twice before rising up against an enemy whose power seemingly knows no limits.
option 2) Propaganda. The Lacedonians could have branded themselves as god-kings and guardians of the threshold between life and death, promising the Neshoi a perfect afterlife for their service.
option 3) They are busy. The Neshoi have their own feuds and already fight wars amongst themselves. The Lacedonians might just be fuelling age-old grudges.
option 4) When the Lacedonians fled their empire they brought gold and secrets with them and bought the loyalty of hundreds of clan chiefs. These chiefs now serve as barbaric aristocracy, keeping their own people in check in order to further feed their greed.
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 06:53:41 AM »

Magnus Pym

Not sure how to help you develop, as a big picture you seem to be getting what you want. Give us more details and perhaps we can help you flesh out specifics?

It's the details I'm trying to work out tongue

Magnus Pym

So your Neshoi, they might be higher in numbers and in toughness, but are they really? It would seem to me that the necromantic lords of Larr Nesh have rose countless deads since they got there, eventually surpassing the Neshoi in numbers. What's more, each falling Neshoi could join the cadaverous ranks of these infantile and immature rulers.

Sorry, I probably should have been clearer about the exact nature of the Lacedonians' powers over death (not that I'm really sure about them myself yet); they are able to keep themselves "alive" for centuries, even millennia in the case of the oldest, but they're not really necromancers so much as the targets of an ancient, very powerful, necromantic spell. As such, they can't really raise zombie or skeleton armies or anything - the military forces they have are all living Neshoi warriors.

Magnus Pym

So I understand that they wage war against each other for various purposes, often of the childish and selfish sort. What do they do against a greater threat? Do they have an old dusty treaty that forces them to cooperate to repel invaders so they can quickly get back to playing generals or what? Maybe one of them acts as a guinea pig, giving the enemy shelter long enough so they think the guinea pig is an ally, but no, it's all just a big conspiracy to more easily eradicate the intruders. The guinea pig looses his base in a mega eldritch catastrophe and then I guess could gain something in return... just ideas.

Those are some cool ideas. I had kind of imagined that they were too fractious to co-operate in that kind of way, and that those in the east, who are most threatened by the Zorr, simply came off worse against their western kin due to having to commit a lot of their resources to watching the border. I may have to rethink now, as I love the mental image of these insane undead nobles who normally despise one another being forced to work together by some aeons-old piece of legislation.

Superfluous Crow

option 1) One reason the Neshoi would choose to follow the cadaver-kings is simply out of fear. We are talking capricious, undying rulers with absolute power, some of it possibly sorcerous. If the Lacedonians just set an example once in a while I am sure everyone will think twice before rising up against an enemy whose power seemingly knows no limits.
option 2) Propaganda. The Lacedonians could have branded themselves as god-kings and guardians of the threshold between life and death, promising the Neshoi a perfect afterlife for their service.
option 3) They are busy. The Neshoi have their own feuds and already fight wars amongst themselves. The Lacedonians might just be fuelling age-old grudges.
option 4) When the Lacedonians fled their empire they brought gold and secrets with them and bought the loyalty of hundreds of clan chiefs. These chiefs now serve as barbaric aristocracy, keeping their own people in check in order to further feed their greed.

I'm leaning towards a cross between 3 and 4, maybe with a dash of 2 thrown in. Rather than a sudden overthrow of the previous, native rulers, the Lacedonians have slowly worked their way into the original power structures of the Neshoi by effectively buying titles and through intermarriage (yes, ew) with Neshoi nobles and climbed the already-existant hierarchy over the centuries until for the last few hundred years the Lacedonians have held pretty much all the significant positions of power. The political boundaries and rivalries between the different cities and clans of Larr Nesh, as you suggest, should pre-date the Lacedonian arrival, but have become somewhat warped and exaggerated due to the Lacedonians' hijinks over the years.
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 10:20:04 AM »

So I've decided that there are eight great clans of Neshoi nobles, each now dominated by one or two Houses of Lacedonian aristocracy, like so;

Clan Dahel - House of the Mute Hero, House of the Mask
Clan Ezeg Na - House of the Six of Gates, House of the Woman
Clan Han Andani - House of the Five of Cubes, House of the Three of Chains
Clan Krasa Nei - House of the Eight of Lanterns
Clan Terec Ha - House of the Priestess of Bones, House of the Six of Gates
Clan Uc Vath - House of the Ten of Clouds
Clan Vonern - House of the Nine of Vaults, House of the Seven of Skulls
Clan Zana Niesas - House of the Arrow

Clan rivalries are mainly based on the events of the Ancestors' War, a bloody, but relatively short, regional conflict fought at some point in the century before the arrival of the Lacedonians, in which the "ancients" were driven out of Larr Nesh. The heroic sagas telling of the events of the Ancestors' War are well known amongst Neshoi and they tend to judge their cousins from other clans based on what they know of them from these sagas. Three clans (Han Andani, Vonern and Zana Niesas) fought for the "ancients" in the Ancestors' War. I'm not sure yet what that will mean for their standing in modern Larr Nesh.

On a slightly unrelated note, I've experimented with using random generators to name the Clans and Houses. I'm very pleased with the names of the Lacedonian Houses, but a bit more unsure about the Clans - maybe a few need changing? I'll re-post them in the names thread (exciting!) and see what people think.

EDIT: I have embarked on the Herculean task of listing every Lacedonian in Larr Nesh, not just by name, but with a little description. I will see you all in a few years smile

EDIT2: The main settlement-type in Larr Nesh is a fortified castle-town called a hold. Each hold has a number of small satellite villages that grow fewer in number as you get further from the hold, before increasing in frequency again as you near the next hold over. Although holds can grow pretty large, even the biggest would only barely qualify as a city in southern lands. Each clan controls between 8 and 15 holds.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 01:46:34 PM by Kindling » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 07:38:46 PM »

Your clan names are cool, definitely not Neshoi smile Not that your Neshoi names are bad, mind you.
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