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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:53 pm 
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I think this I is slightly problematic. Not so much due to the MRB stating that the Geluroise “have always been a religious folk” – this single fact can easily be ignored – but due to the rest of the history of Weyrth. Gelure was for many centuries ruled by the highly religious Xanarian Empire, it is adjactent to the very centre of this religion and the Imperial Xanarians have a past history of mercilessly persecuting pagans and proselytizing far and wide. These well-established facts make it unlikely in the extreme that the Imperial Faith would not have long since penetrated all of Gelure and driven Paganism into very few, scattered, and tiny pockets. And while Uglub could certainly try to reintroduce Paganism, this would surely be a project of several lifetimes, not a few scant decades – if Uglub was not using magic of a colossal scope.


I think you could look at the Moors in Europe and see an interesting parallel. Look at Don Alfonso Henriques and his rebellion against the Moors of portugal. Further, remember how quickly the English went protestant over a King's desire to divorce... Both scenarios had several other contingent variables but in each case the societies of each country vehemently or violently overthrew the dominant religion.

Also, remember that Gelure was never a place of dominant Xanarian faith. The Pagan traditions of rural life were likely never fully overcome. Also, with crusades constantly pushing south and east and with pagan or atheist nations to the north, north east and north west, Gelure is not necessarily dominated by the Xanarian Empire's influence.

In my fluff for the supp I address this by introducing a history of failed missionary campaigns into the north of Gelure. The inspiration came from the movie "the mission" with the scene of the missionary on the cross going over the waterfall after being rejected by the indiginous tribes. Imagine that but on a grander scale. This discouragement and the distraction of the crusades left the missionaries to the more urban cities and the southern areas. Combine that with corruption at the highest levels during the dispute and the church taking ever higher tithes and indulgences, and you have a populace that is willing to go against a faith they either never thought of as their own or think of as already apostasized.

Remember that all the reformationists and protestant breakaways also did what they did with the threat of infinite damnation hanging over their heads.

Then there is also the influence of the Thayrs in Weyrth. My fluff inserted them as a heavy pagan influence in Gelure which also has some other effects.

Lastly, Uglub's claim of being the dark betrayer reborn is somewhat tongue in cheek. He sees the church as a total hypocritic lie that uses its misunderstanding of real events centuries ago to enrich itself and enslave its followers. They withold the truth from their followers and impverish and punish them not for faith or salvation but for their own worldly lusts. If speaking the truth makes him the devil incarnate and therefore the scourge of the Xanarian church, why should he deny it? Instead he embraces the label.

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Being a fantasy realm with little direct historical model, it is especially hard to make Gelure believable. At the core of this problem lie the relations between Uglub, the feudal nobility and the general populace. If this is implausible, Gelure will probably never feel right.

Throughout absolutely all cultures and all eras, a few facts hold true about the nobility:

1) They resent any monarchs limiting their power.
2) They resent outsiders or those of low birth to rise to their rank of power, let alone surpass them.
3) They want none out of their number to rise above themselves.


These are generalizations and therefore generally applicable. However, two factors can mitigate several of these:

Greed and fear.

Uglub emplys greed by offering rapid promotions within nobility for success and he uses fear to counteract the resentment mentioned. Uglub could care less about internal tensions and infighting, and infact encourages cutthroat competition if it increases results so he could care less about what nobles might resent. Blowing up a few heads with his otherworldy power in public works wonders for discontent.

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To usurp power, prospective tyrants use the masses to remove monarchs and nobles from power. And it is vital for them to stay in the masses’ good graces. As soon as they loose the masses’ favour, they are invariably overthrown by the powers they themselves overthrew in the beginning. This played out thousands of time in the course of human history and seems to be one of the unalterable patterns of history.


So yes, the nobles resent those that rise from below, but those that do are also most popular with the masses. Pissing off the masses is problematic. Also, those that Uglub raises tend to be favored by Uglub. Pissing off Uglub tends to be bad for the lifespan. The Nobles that figure out that the system can work to their gain are the ones that stick around, the others are usually lost to quick attrition.

However, the points you make are excellent reasons why Uglub is sorely hated by the neighboring countries.

"Look what he is doing to his own country! What will he do when he conquers ours?"

So the opposition to him is easy to rile in the more stratified Cyrinthmeir and slightly less on this ground (more from religious grounds) in the slightly more egalitarian Empire with its pseudo greek democratic roots.


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The problem I see with Uglub is not gaining favour with the masses, but keeping it. Consider: You have got a people with a late-medieval outlook, meaning that religion is central to their lifes. To them, the scripture is absolutely true down to the last letter. Now this people finds out that its secular leader is the very son of the devil and leading them on a path of sure damnation. Try to envision it. The certainty of an eternity in Hell for a few decades of slightly increased economical well-being and a few legal privileges. Not the best of deals.


You base this on an assumption of the faith of the masses that I addressed above. Let me know if you think that would resolve this concern or if more detail on the Gelurian faith system and demographics would be useful. I admit I did not flesh this out as deep as I could have in my notes.

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I sincerely can’t think of any way how Uglub could stay in favour with the Geluroise. But if he looses this favour, there is little between himself and a counter-coup by the nobility.


Another inspiration when considering this is post weirmach (SP?) germany. Poverty and unrest was the leverage needed for a certain charismatic personality to rise to power, nationalism and wealth were the tools of retention followed by war against long standing enemies that united the masses behind the sense of country before self. This was backed by brutal suppression of dissent and rich rewards for service to the country.

I liberally pulled ideas from Lenin's dynasty after the Czar's and Hitler's recovery of Germany from a destitute nation to a threat to all of europe in but a decade.

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Because of this scarcity of allies, some very serious thought should be given to Uglub avoiding anything that might alienate the nobility, to him courting the nobility, allying himself with them and heaping honours and privileges on them.


Combine all that with a heaping handful of gut wrenching fear and paranoia and you have what I was aiming at.

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Unless it can be made plausible why the masses would trade the salvation of their souls for a few gold coins.


Lets just say "Judas" and replace gold with silver and leave it at that.


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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:20 pm 
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ashren wrote:
A long list of very good points.


^ What he said.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:14 pm 
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ashren wrote:
I think you could look at the Moors in Europe and see an interesting parallel. Look at Don Alfonso Henriques and his rebellion against the Moors of portugal. Further, remember how quickly the English went protestant over a King's desire to divorce...


Religiously, the Muslim Moors were a minority. The majority of Iberians had clung to Christendom – for over 350 years of Muslim domination. And the switch between Catholicism and Protestantism certainly can not be compared with a switch from Christianity to, well, Satanism.

ashren wrote:
Also, remember that Gelure was never a place of dominant Xanarian faith. The Pagan traditions of rural life were likely never fully overcome.


How so? The survival of pagan traditions in more than scattered, remote and tiny pockets goes clearly counter to everything we have learned from European history, especially for an area adjacent to the very centre of Christendom/Xanarism. That the Xanarians would have left their own backyard pagan is, IMO, plainly absurd. At least for me a Gelure that is by around 1400 Weyr not at the very least 90% of the Xanarian faith could never be even remotely believable.

ashren wrote:
This discouragement and the distraction of the crusades left the missionaries to the more urban cities and the southern areas.


If you read what Jake has written about Weyrth’s history, the period of strong missionary activity is long before the onset of the crusades. Even if one discounted this, how likely is it that the Church made its effort to proselytize Krym-Kahan while its own backyard is still largely pagan?

ashren wrote:
However, two factors can mitigate several of these:

Greed and fear.


These have worked not even for a single historical usurper I know of when he lost the support of the masses. And with Uglub posing as the Dark Betrayer reborn, I cannot see how he can retain this support, as I have already voiced my opinion that the vast population majority in Gelure would certainly have to be adherents of the Imperial faith.

ashren wrote:
Let me know if you think that would resolve this concern or if more detail on the Gelurian faith system and demographics would be useful.


Yes, it certainly would. But I fear that we will never see eye to eye on this, as I consider anything but a vast majority of Geluroises being of the Imperial faith absurd in the extreme.

ashren wrote:
Lets just say "Judas" and replace gold with silver and leave it at that.


A nation of Judases? Come on!

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Religiously, the Muslim Moors were a minority. The majority of Iberians had clung to Christendom – for over 350 years of Muslim domination. And the switch between Catholicism and Protestantism certainly can not be compared with a switch from Christianity to, well, Satanism.


You make my point for me. 350 years dominated by a religion and BLAM tossed it overboard to return to what they and their parents worshipped. It can happen if the factors are right. I found it is just as easy to make the assumption in creating fictional background material that the factors are right rather than make the same assumption that the factors are wrong.

Also, the satanism reference is abit off since its all relative to perspective. The heresy is, well, heretical and gets you expressly damned to hell all the same and many a reformer was called a servant of the devil or accused of being possessed by the devil and so on. Plus the xanarian faith has not, in my fluff, endeared itself to the public.

We can think of Uglub as making a case that what the Xanarians call the dark betrayoer was actually the hero of the story who valiantly sacrificed himself to stop Xanar, the man who claimed a divine right to enslave humanity and who raped the women of every land he conquered to promote his own progeny and whose church continues to abuse and enslave mankind to fulfill its worldly lusts yadda yadda yadda.


The key is whether or not the Xanarian faith was set in stone in Gelure for all time and eternity and whether the faith was absolutist throughout. If the assumption is yes, then there is a problem, if the assumption is not necessarily so then the willing suspension of disbelief is possible. I propose a scenario where the faith was not 100% embraced for a variety of reasons and then in recent history was filthy corrupt and horribly abusive.

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How so? The survival of pagan traditions in more than scattered, remote and tiny pockets goes clearly counter to everything we have learned from European history, especially for an area adjacent to the very centre of Christendom/Xanarism. That the Xanarians would have left their own backyard pagan is, IMO, plainly absurd. At least for me a Gelure that is by around 1400 Weyr not at the very least 90% of the Xanarian faith could never be even remotely believable.


How not so? The established fiction is not even there in the core book and we can simply create the background necessary for the situation we need. I would contend that the xanarian faith as a way of life is centered in the south and Urban where as the pagan traditions common in Angharad and Picti and Stahl (including its fashionable atheism) can be present in the rural areas and the north. Given the terrain in the north its hardly improbable. I would point out that historic christianity has hardly been monolithic near the seat of catholocism much less so in the area of it's birth. Many aspects of the Roman Empire after its conversion to official christianity never adopted christianity as a bedrock faith. Even the official conversion of many of the roman states to christianity was arguably political. What is there to say that this is not the case in Gelure? Nothing but our imaginations. Remember that the xanarian expansion was miltaristic and imperialistic and it may not have endeared itself overwhelmingly to its conquered inhabitants, they did afterall rebel and become independent.

Point in fact, the discussion of Gelure's independence from the empire is probably key to this whole discussion! I will carry on in the same vein a while longer but we can probably reconcile everything we need in the discussion of the separation of Gelure from the empire. I have that in my notes somewhere too...


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These have worked not even for a single historical usurper I know of when he lost the support of the masses. And with Uglub posing as the Dark Betrayer reborn, I cannot see how he can retain this support, as I have already voiced my opinion that the vast population majority in Gelure would certainly have to be adherents of the Imperial faith.


Lenin? Stalin? Mao? Hitler? Modern history alone is rife with real examples of shortlived and lasting dictatorships that used these methods.

Further, you are again assuming that Uglub's reign will be long term and lasting and that everybody just loves him. Those assumptions need not be true. In my draft there are large contingents of the populace that hate uglub for precisely the reason you mention, but they operate in secrecy for the same reason that resistance to most tyrannies operate in secret - fear.

Maybe the support will be short lived, maybe it won't. Thats the fun of the game and open to groups and players to decide in the course of their games. Maybe they are religious members of the rebellion against Uglub or loyalists to the old regime, or maybe they are converts to the nationalist cause and seeking to protect Uglub from such rebels... it makes for fun story telling at the least and lots of SA opportunities. Imagine -Faith : 3 become 1- or -Passion: Loyalty to king in exile- or Faith: -thayr-.

The problem we have is in reconciling what little we know from Jake's core book with what would make for a fun game. We know that Uglub claims to be the dark betrayer, we know that he overthrew the old rulers, and that now people generally support him if they are uncomfortable with the religious impacts of his rhetoric. Remember, not only is he claiming to be the devil but he is inviting witches to come and be part of his reign. The implications of an express trip to hell are fairly well strewn throughout the fluff.

So, we are left with coming up with an explanation for why the population lives with that and for now tolerates Uglub.

So I proposed the scenario I did. Can we improve on it? Certainly. Are we fully constrained by looking at period parallels in real history? Hardly. The freedom we have to create a fun story is fairly limitless given the absolute minimalist canon source of the MRB.

Granted I am very narrativist in my world building, its all about creating a fun game environment. If I want a true simulationist expression of historical earth I would go to the historical supplements in progress. that may explain the dicord between our views. Then again, maybe not.

Lastly, statements like "absurd in the extreme" might not be the most tactful way of expressing disagreement on how to define one scenario in a relatively undefined and open fictional setting. As the king of giving offense, I really don't care, but some might take it wrong.

So thats my thought on the subject. I think a discussion of the rebellion or secession from the empire would alleviate many of your concerns on religious faith. Or you can just decide that in your world Uglub simply neither confirms nor denies that he is the devil incarnate. Whatever floats your boat.

Just my thoughts for the amusement (or apparent frustration) of others.


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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:50 pm 
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ashren wrote:
You make my point for me. 350 years dominated by a religion and BLAM tossed it overboard to return to what they and their parents worshipped.


No, I don’t. You do know that Muslims in Iberia never forced Christian conversions? Apart from a minority of Chrisitians who converted to Islam (called “mozarabs”) for various reasons, the Iberian Chrisitan retained their faith throughout the Muslim period, some 300 to 750 years depending on the area. So much for people abandoning their faiths easily or quickly.

ashren wrote:
Plus the xanarian faith has not, in my fluff, endeared itself to the public.


That’s hard to reconcile with Jake’s statement that the Geluroise “have always been a religious people” and my firm belief that this religion can only have been Xanarism.

ashren wrote:
I propose a scenario where the faith was not 100% embraced for a variety of reasons and then in recent history was filthy corrupt and horribly abusive.


The latter is very well possible and a workable solution, the former is in my opinion extremely unlikely for the backyard of the Seat of the Xanarian Empire (and faith).

ashren wrote:
I would contend that the xanarian faith as a way of life is centered in the south and Urban where as the pagan traditions common in Angharad and Picti and Stahl (including its fashionable atheism) can be present in the rural areas and the north. Given the terrain in the north its hardly improbable. I would point out that historic christianity has hardly been monolithic near the seat of catholocism much less so in the area of it's birth.


The Roman Empire was thoroughly Christianized by about 450 AD; Xanarium was “Xanariarized” right from the start. Even without an initial organised proselytizing effort by the Papacy during the early middle ages, all of southern, western and central Europe was thoroughly Christianized by 900 AD at the very latest. Thorough Christianization of remote Scandinavia and the Slavic peoples took longer, but was completed by 1200 AD, excepting the Lithuaninas and other Balts. When disorganised proselytizing in foreign countries was so effective historically, how can organised proselytizing by a powerful empire in one of its core provinces be any less effective? If you can answer this convincingly, for the entire period of maybe a millennium of Xanarian domination over Gelure, you will dispel my disbelief immediately.

ashren wrote:
Further, you are again assuming that Uglub's reign will be long term and lasting and that everybody just loves him. Those assumptions need not be true.


I haven’t got a problem with the rule being lasting. My problem, as I have outlined, is with a people that in my view should definitely be strong adherents of the Imperial Faith, still being content with being ruled by somebody who is worse than Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pohl Pot combined, who to them is nothing less but the Antichrist. This is not a question of the rule being lasting, it is rather a question as to why it does survive this “revelation” at all for even a single month. I am of the strong opinion that the Geluroise should be horrified, outraged, mortified, whatever, immediately following this revelation. This I consider the critical moment. If Uglub can survive this revelation politically, he can count on the people eventually getting used to his rule and the excitement dying down. And I would dearly like to know by what means he did survive it, as this will set the entire tone for Gelure.

ashren wrote:
In my draft there are large contingents of the populace that hate uglub for precisely the reason you mention, but they operate in secrecy for the same reason that resistance to most tyrannies operate in secret - fear.


Wonderful and interesting, and exactly how I would have envisioned Gelure myself. I am just not convinced about Uglub surviving his extreme heresy politically long enough for a resistance to form. This is the pressing question for me.

ashren wrote:
So, we are left with coming up with an explanation for why the population lives with that and for now tolerates Uglub.


Yes! Exactly. But I am sorry to say that I am just not convinced by your explanations, no offence meant, for the reasons I have given.

ashren wrote:
Granted I am very narrativist in my world building, its all about creating a fun game environment. If I want a true simulationist expression of historical earth I would go to the historical supplements in progress. that may explain the dicord between our views. Then again, maybe not.


This is certainly part of it, but it’s not the entire story. I, too, want something based only loosely on actual history, but if this creation does break my suspension of disbelief, enjoyment goes down the drain. At least I myself would always think: “No way how Gelure could have even in part kept its pagan ways. And no way that an Xanarian people would readily stomach being ruled by the Dark Betrayer.”

ashren wrote:
Lastly, statements like "absurd in the extreme" might not be the most tactful way of expressing disagreement on how to define one scenario in a relatively undefined and open fictional setting.


Sorry, I have to apologize if a gave offense with that statement, that wasn’t my intention. But the fact remains that, from all parallels I know, I sincerely feel that human societies never ever worked that way.

ashren wrote:
Just my thoughts for the amusement (or apparent frustration) of others.


Well, I am hardly frustrated. We are trying to develop Gelure, and trying to knock holes into each others’ reasoning can only strengthen the creation by ferreting out weak points.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:01 pm 
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Grettir, do you have any possible explanation as to how Uglub could have taken over the nation? You shoot down a bunch of ideas, but offer no ideas as to how it may have happened. The problem we are facing is that it did happen(his conquest), and we have to make it make sense. You have the strongest vision of where Gelure comes from, maybe the key to figuring it out lies with you outlining things that make sense to you or even just things that you would be willing to accept.

**edited to clarify a sentence**


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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:34 pm 
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HeadWound wrote:
Grettir, do you have any possible explanation as to how Uglub could have taken over the nation?


None that would convince me any more than what I have already read. I hope that we can arrive at something together.

To me, Gelure being almost entirely Imperial faith by the fall of the Xanarian Empire is a necessity. One might assume that in the two centuries following this event, there was some reascendence of paganism. Not wholesale, that could hardly be made plausible, but maybe in the remote rural areas. In my chronology, I have deliberately remained vague as to countries other than the Xanarian Empire, but I have introduced an invading foreign people as on of the reasons of the Empire’s fall. If one wanted to say that one tribe of these people settled in Gelure and remained true to its pagan ways, we might arrive at a plausible pagan reascendence.

Let me spin this thread further. Let’s say the invaders did eventually, but surprisingly late, convert to the Imperial faith. Being now Xanarians, they do once again condone Xanarian inquisitions. The Xanarians among the Geluroise are reliefed, but the Pagans, once again forced into hiding, are angered – both with the rulers and with the Church.

Fast forward a lifetime. We got a well-hated king and a schism of the nobility, as ashren suggested. Along comes Uglub. He allies with the Geluroise people and the more ruthless of the Geluroise nobility, and overthrows the king. One of Uglub’s noble allies expects to be the new king, but Uglub takes power instead. Having the people’s support, he purges the nobility from his worst enemies and cows the less outspoken ones into submission. He starts to play it extra-nice with the remaining nobility, wooing them. Once he is in firm control of the country, he declares himself to be Pagan and allows the Pagans open worship; the substantial pagan minority rejoices, but the Xanarians frown. More time passes. Uglub maneuvers Pagans into all positions of power in Gelure, and some of the more unscrupulous nobles convert out of opportunism; the others may be influenced magically to do so.

Only now does Uglub to some degree let on that he is the Dark Betrayer returned, and he penalizes Xanarian worship. After decades of suppression, the vengeful Pagans rejoice. Many revolts flare up here and there, but with nobility and part of the population on his side and with a strong army and sorcerous support, Uglub stays in control.

I made this up on the spot, and arrived at a divided people – Pagans and suppressed Xanarians. Just an idea, though, and a none too smooth one at that.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:04 pm 
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My biggest problem is that I am not a historian, not even an amateur one. I have a basic understanding and I read enough books to fake it when running a game, but I don't understand the evolution of a society enough to work on the actual details of Gelure.

However, I feel that the biggest thing that separates Weyrth from Earth is the actual existence of magic. It can be argued, depending on our personal belief whether or not miracles exist in the real world, but magic as presented in the TROS rules does not exist in the real world. How would a powerful sorcerer who claims to be in the know about true religion go about changing a nation? I truly don't think it is as simple as a few conquer spells changing people beliefs and emotions, or even a ritual that puts him in control. I think the more we think about how it would happen in the real world, the more bogged down we will get. However, the more Uglub is understood, we will be able to answer the tougher questions.

I think the key to finding an answer to the issues of making Uglubs rise to power palatable to everyone, is with Uglub himself.

Is Uglub a title, like the Dread Pirate Roberts in "The Princess Bride"? That would go along way to give him the time to take over.
Is he the leader of a cult that has been underground for ages, waiting for the stars to be right, allowing him to temporarily gain enough power to really do some damage?
Is he the gifted son of a noble, that rises to power in a way similar to Petyr Baelish in ASOIAF?
Is he truely a god or at least the manifestation of a god that has decided the time has come for him to claim his throne on Weyrth?
And the list goes on....

The more we understand Uglub, the closer we can get to figuring out what he did, and the less we will be stuck using historical precedent from another world to define this one. Not that there is anything wrong with doing that, but why recreate Earth? Yes, using history as a model for social evolution is good, but there are factors that lead to many things that happened on Earth, that don't hold true to Weyrth. I can see people that use magic to start a religion having more faithful followers than any on Earth. I know it is from a movie, but Thulsa Doom from Conan the Barbarian seems as good a source of material as any history book, when it comes to Gelure.

Just to clarify, because I am never good on forums, I don't want a D&D type mishmash of a typical fantasy world. I really like the gritty realism of everything you guys have posted to create you various nations/settings it just seems that Gelure needs a bit more of the fantasy to make it work than the rest of the world. My favorite books for their settings are ASOIAF by George RR Martin and the Saga of Recluse by L. E. Modesitt, Jr. because they seem to realistically give us a world that has been shaped by it's magic. Thats not to say I think wizards should be running around the countryside, but imagine if (fill in your favorite ruler) had the power of a few vagaries, in addition to the other qualities that lead to their rise in power.


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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:02 pm 
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HeadWound wrote:
The more we understand Uglub, the closer we can get to figuring out what he did, and the less we will be stuck using historical precedent from another world to define this one. Not that there is anything wrong with doing that, but why recreate Earth? Yes, using history as a model for social evolution is good, but there are factors that lead to many things that happened on Earth, that don't hold true to Weyrth. I can see people that use magic to start a religion having more faithful followers than any on Earth. I know it is from a movie, but Thulsa Doom from Conan the Barbarian seems as good a source of material as any history book, when it comes to Gelure.


I can try to answer at least that. The reason to stay reasonably close to real cultures and societies is their familiarity to modern man. When a society is similar to a real one, player’s imagination can easily fill in blanks in the description. We all have certain rough pictures in our heads of “generic” Viking settlements, of “generic” Roman legions, and we have some idea about the workings of society of feudal Japan and of life in a medieval monastery. When we encounter similar things in play, our imaginations immediately fill in the blanks in the referee’s description – familiarity helps us round out the setting.

The more alien the setting, the harder it is to get “into” it. Do you happen to Know the setting of “Empire of the Petal Throne”? It is brilliant, inspired by mainly Aztec and Hindu cultures, with some ancient Egypt added, and with a lot of twists to it. It is rich, believable, and alive, but it is very hard to access – getting even a general idea of what this setting would look like, how the societies work, what life is like there, even what the moral values of the people are takes dozens of hours of study.

So the farther one deviates from well-known models, the more the development work that is to be invested, and the less accessible is the creation.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:20 pm 
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I agree with you about accessibility of the world. I don't want to stray too far from the historical models available, but Gelure is a tough nut to crack with what we are given in the main rules.

I just think the key to making it work with the rest of the world lies with Uglub himself, more so than anything else. I mean, if he is unconcerned with the length of his rule, he would do things differently than if he were trying to set up a dynasty. Or maybe Uglub is a puppet to a real leader, and is being setup to fall so the real savior could take over. I think his motivation and drive need to be examined before anything that works can be made.

I just want to add that I hate the name Uglub.


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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 12:09 am 
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It may be important to note that there is magic in this world.

In our world, polytheistic pagan religions never could stand up to Christianity or Islam, partly because they had absolutely no organization on a grand scale. In Weyrth, this might be a little different. You have real magic-users to rally around. A natural clergy that is, in essence, created by either the presence OR absence of the organized religions presented. If there were a generation in which an extra number of magic-users were born, that could easily cause a surge in paganism, whether they get burned or not.

And it's also possible that the Gelure branch of the Xanarian Church itself is heretical. If a portion of the more popular priests and bishops of Gelure are found by the Inquisition to be guilty of heresy of some kind, that could easily kill off enthusiasm for the church. It could also cause a schism in the church, in which the Gelure branch becomes its own religion. Especially if it's an archbishop or cardinal (or whatever they've got instead of those officers). It's not a static thing, and Gelure's Xanarianism is going to be rather different from Xanaria's, or Stahl's.

There's plenty of situations I can think of to make this plausible. As long as he doesn't come out on day 1 to say "Hey everyone! I'm the Dark Betrayer!", then I think he's ok. He has to introduce everything incrementally, but it's well within the realm of possibility.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:18 am 
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I also hate the name Uglub. For one thing, isn't Gelure supposed to be based on historical France? Uglub isn't even remotely Latin-sounding.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:30 am 
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Daeruin wrote:
I also hate the name Uglub. For one thing, isn't Gelure supposed to be based on historical France? Uglub isn't even remotely Latin-sounding.


I, too, hate the name of Uglub; sounds like an orc. But where in the published material does it say that Gelure is based on France? I feel that this is simply some kind of impression that has somehow crept up, but just because it has, it needn’t be true.

Lyrax wrote:
It may be important to note that there is magic in this world.

In our world, polytheistic pagan religions never could stand up to Christianity or Islam, partly because they had absolutely no organization on a grand scale. In Weyrth, this might be a little different. You have real magic-users to rally around. A natural clergy that is, in essence, created by either the presence OR absence of the organized religions presented. If there were a generation in which an extra number of magic-users were born, that could easily cause a surge in paganism, whether they get burned or not.


I beg to differ. The monotheistic religions were not successful due to the pagans not having real magic, they were successful because they did appeal much more to common people’s spiritual needs than the pagan ones. All pagan belief systems left their adherents alone with one or the other spiritual need. Monotheistic religions made more sense than pagan ones, they were better at addressing the mysteries of life. This is the main reason why pagans did usually fold quickly before monotheistic beliefs, whereas one monotheistic belief did usually not give in to the other quickly or easily.

This is amply demonstrated by the early Chrisitian writings and the writings of their pagan contemporaries, and also by the Muslims drawing right from the beginning a division between religions they considered primitive and those they considered highly developed: Christians, Zoroastrians and Jews, were met with some religious tolerance, whereas all others weren’t.

A second reason is organisation. Monotheistic religions tended to be much more organised than pagan ones. No pagan religion I can think of had any higher rank than “high priest of the local temple”; above that – nothing. This lack of unity or organisation was not conductive to resistance against missionary efforts.

So, to repeat, I don’t think that the existence of magic would alter much. Especially not in the “the-vast-majority-of-people-does-not-even-witness-a-single-magical-act-in-their-entire-lifetimes”-scope of Weyrth. And magic isn’t denied by the Imperial faith, it is well integrated in it – as a tool of the Dark betrayer to darken men’s souls. So I can’t see how a resurgence of magic amongst a people of the Xanarian faith would lead to anything but horrification and an almost hysterical increase in piety: “The agents of the Dark betrayer are at large! Pray, boys, pray!”

Lyrax wrote:
And it's also possible that the Gelure branch of the Xanarian Church itself is heretical. If a portion of the more popular priests and bishops of Gelure are found by the Inquisition to be guilty of heresy of some kind, that could easily kill off enthusiasm for the church. It could also cause a schism in the church, in which the Gelure branch becomes its own religion.


We have already created a recent schism within the Church, with Taveruun. Doing the same with Gelure is not only a strange coincidence, but it would also set a bad example. Will the developers of any country create a schism just because they feel restrained by what has already been developed? Will the Xanarism of every country be in schism with every other country’s?

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Just a side note really, but none of you seem to know what Paganism is and are using it as an odd catch-all for the religous views of these people before the Xanarians moved in. I'm far from an expert myself - but I would like to see this idea that the Pagans would support anyone claming to be the devil anymore than anyone else addressed. Its simply not accurate.

I would also like to point out that no religion that retains power does so without adopting local traditions to some degree.

Anyway, thats not directly related. But with all the talk about absolutes in terms of faith I thought I'd just point out that provided the people go along with the general flow and don't do anything too heritacle they will almost certainly be left to there own devices and minor beliefs.

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 Post subject: Re: General's Hall
PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
So, to repeat, I don’t think that the existence of magic would alter much. Especially not in the “the-vast-majority-of-people-does-not-even-witness-a-single-magical-act-in-their-entire-lifetimes”-scope of Weyrth. And magic isn’t denied by the Imperial faith, it is well integrated in it – as a tool of the Dark betrayer to darken men’s souls. So I can’t see how a resurgence of magic amongst a people of the Xanarian faith would lead to anything but horrification and an almost hysterical increase in piety: “The agents of the Dark betrayer are at large! Pray, boys, pray!”


The thing is, Uglub is set up as the Evil Wizard Ruler. Not by any of us, by the main rulebook. We can alter the stereotypes however we see fit, but magic is the whole basis of this guy and his rule.

If magic doesn't have a huge role in his rise, then it is just another country with another dictator. I don't want magic to be crazy out in the open everywhere, but magic is the only tool we have to make his rule make sense. And if magic is going to be out in the open anywhere, it is Gelure.

In the book, it states:
TROS Main Rules wrote:
He is openly opposed to the "weak" Imperial church and the Xanarian Empire, claiming that it knows not its own history... A history of which he shall remind the world


The statement makes it seem to me that he is using religion as a tool for his control and possible his agenda. (I know that I just stated the obvious, but I'm only human :)) I can't see one man having that big an effect on the world, without magic being heavily involved.

I think I'm gonna stop posting here because I'm very likely to never use Gelure as described in the books as a setting for me and I never meant to spend this much time thinking about it :) I am however, using as much info as I can from Weyrth to help shape the setting in which my games are taking place. So, I definitely have to say thankyou for making me think about nation building in general!


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