May 26, 2015 at 11:52 am #16065
Ramalia appears to be a large population within Maniria comparable in size(180,000) to the Ditali(220,000) and Solanthi(140,000). Its population is split between the Malkioni survivors of Slontos and Mraloti boar folk, but the guide gives no breakdown.Is it safe to assume that the majority of the population are Mraloti with a small ruling class of Malkioni? Also the inland 2nd Age cities of Sostur, Wesluk and Ravin, that may have survived the destruction of Slontos, are not present in the guide. What happened to them? The only poulation centre is Bizos, a small city (500 – 5900 population) up near Tarinwood. Is this where the survivors of Slontos cower in fear of the Sea, and are the easern regions of Ramalia deserted and ruined? Any speculation on the worship of the human aspect of Zorak Zoran by the population? Is he a protector of the Mraloti or does his chaos fighting aspect have to relevance to the situation in Ramalia? Are the minions of Krasht at work here?May 27, 2015 at 6:29 am #16076
What happened to [Sostur, Wesluk and Ravin?
They may have survived the initial sinking only to become abandoned in some way to the tyrannical policies and/or hungers of the various Kings of Ramalia. An alternative policy is that the cities were washed away in the high tide of the Sinking of Slontos and thereafter abandoned whereas the waters never reached Bizos.
The only poulation centre is Bizos, a small city (500 – 5900 population) up near Tarinwood. Is this where the survivors of Slontos cower in fear of the Sea, and are the easern regions of Ramalia deserted and ruined?
Since Bizos is the capital of Ramalia, I think it likely the Slontans are living there.
Any speculation on the worship of the human aspect of Zorak Zoran by the population?
He could be a relic from the worship of Arkat.May 30, 2015 at 12:12 pm #16110
I have just read Jamie Revells detailed account of Ramalia and the Mraloti (Tradetalk 10). I’m not sure how much of it fits in with the current canon. A lot of the Mraloti details seem OK, with the spirit tradition Pure Mraloti and Malkioni Fallen Mraloti, perhaps followers of an offshoot of the shattered Church of Slontos (hinted at in Blood Over Gold). I imagine the Slontan overlords follow a version of the Church of Solontos and have done some kind of deal with demon guardians similar to the City of Fay Jee, to protect them from the Terrible Sea and all it brings (choas tainted earth or darkness entities?). Jamie names one such entity as Hastrafaj the Dessicated, a chaos foe of the sea gods.May 30, 2015 at 2:19 pm #16111
The Tradetalk 10 material is largely written for Hero Wars and suffers from the clunky terminology (Sorcerous Cults, Shamanistic Cults etc) as a result.
The main information about Ramalia that has come out since then (besides the Guide) in the Middle Sea Empire which talks of the Opening of the Book of Secrets (the Arkati version of the Necronomicon). The Book was opened, discovered to be blank, and Slontos sank immediately thereafter. I think the information in the Book of Secrets has been psychically loosed and blights the magical landscape of Ramalia.
As for the Mraloti, the writeup is predicated on the information that the Mraloti are Hsunchen thus must use spirits etc and act as classical hsunchen. However that’s not necessarily so and the Guide also states they are degenerate descendants, meaning they will be cursed with a wide variety of dark cults and propitiatory worship.
I’m not enthusiatic about the Hastrafaj as the profusion of minor godlings and sects was one of the worst features of HQ 1 era. I would prefer to work with already known deities and the like (thus the deity of Fay Jee is most likely Ehilm rather than a demon). The Ramalians would be willing to use God Learner artifacts and the like to protect their land which is somewhat different.
The state creed is a mixture of old Slontan doctrines mixed in with dark innovations from the Book of Secrets. The primary thing we are told is that their magicians tap a lot. An idea could be that Valekos is below the sea level and that the magicians are tapping the sea to keep it dry. That way they would have a motivation to kill people landing by sea (as opposed to being full of superstition) and the widespread use of tapping has legitimized its use on other sources (ie peasants). I’m thinking the Tap Sea spells are huge and costly (the sorcerers don’t want to be near the sea and so cast them from a distance) and in order to keep the sea spells going, the sorcerors have been forced to tap the local peasants. At first, it was a desperate tactic and now it is routine. A side effect of the Tap Sea spells is that the land is on a verge of a drought, the crops are poor yet it is always raining.
The Ramalian sorcery schools should ideally be based on a few Slontan wonders. One would be the tapping through the great crystal of dessication. another might be the White Room to suppress Storm worshippers and quiet the natives (the White Room fought the hurricanes during the Seven Hurricane Years). The Slontans also had a Surprise Battalion (destroyed by trolls) which had artefacts effective against Earth, Dragon and Storm, as well as a fire missile which could destroy half a city. You could even give them a Zistorite relic or two or perhaps the Slag Movement (A seshnelan weapon which could liquify the earth) or the Erastis’s Poison Vapor (another Seshnelan Weapon – using gas warfare against the Dragons).
The wealth of Valekos goes into supporting these magical schools with the royal court in charge of collecting taxes and adjudicating resource conflicts. Zorak Zoran is worshipped by the King’s troops because he is useful as a God of Terror to keep the peasants downtrodden. The tax collectors might worship Argan Argar while solace is provided to the peasants through officially-considered-useless priestesses of Xiola Umbar.May 30, 2015 at 3:59 pm #16112
Wow – that has certainly lifted the veil on Ramalia and presented a lot to think about 🙂May 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm #16114
An idea could be that Valekos is below the sea level and that the magicians are tapping the sea to keep it dry.
Perhaps when the Sinking of Slontos occured the western edge of Slontos dropped. Valekos is wedged between the Trachedon Marsh and New Fens which would back up this idea. It would go to explain the “curious friendship with the Tarinwood Aldryami” – a joint effort to hold back the sea from this area.
The Ramalian sorcery schools should ideally be based on a few Slontan wonders.
That would go toward explaining the mistrust of outsiders and control of commerce by the ruling caste – the Ramalians are experimenting with God Learner knowledge, and have a good deal to hide from prying ousiders.
Zorak Zoran is worshipped by the King’s troops because he is useful as a God of Terror to keep the peasants downtrodden. The tax collectors might worship Argan Argar while solace is provided to the peasants through officially-considered-useless priestesses of Xiola Umbar.
I can see how worship of Zorak Zoran would be balanced by worship of his sister Xiolar Umbar. They are both worshiped by humans, and these practices. could have been passed to the Mraloti when Arkat passed through. The guide does state that “the populace reveres the barbaric ancestral cults of Mralot, the fierce boar god”. This could be carried out beside Xiolar Umbar/ Zorak Zoran and give the Pure Mraloti a link to their ancestral origins.
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