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    Canonfire :: View topic - For The Origins of the Olman
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    For The Origins of the Olman
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    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 25, 2005 10:52 am  
    For The Origins of the Olman

    Tamoachan Revisited - The Origins of the Olman By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung can be found here:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=712&mode=thread&order=2&thold=0

    Nice application of the "New Approach to GH Canon?" I am going to have to review my module. Who needs a postfest! (I would love to see one on the Olman anyway.)

    One of the things that jumped out at me was the blue figure representing the sea peoples, other islanders and sea dwelling folk. This was of interest to me as for summer postfest III I did an article explaining the origins of the Pan Lung in the Hool Marshes. I had a gnome (what does a gnome know!) saying that they came up through the Amedio from the south in connection with pre-Olman bullywugs described in Moore’s the Green Nightmare in OJ.

    Black, white and red are obvious colorations, but blue is different, even though the connection to the sea is clear. Perhaps they were aquatic elves. Perhaps these people were from the islands to the south, rather than north, and had the same or similar coloration as the Olman, and thus needed to be distinguished. Polynesian? That would seem to suggest a lineage for the Olman similar to that disputed for South American Indians today. Southeast Asian to Polynesia to South America = Nippon to islands to Amedio in reference to Greyhawk Adventures Oerth map. Maybe blue has an ancestor connection. Maybe tattoos.

    I have the Pan Lung exhibiting a coloration shift to the blue end of the spectrum on the way to the Hool. That was mostly to give them less of an Oriental feel for the Flanaess, but an interesting connection nonetheless.

    This article will be useful when I get around to developing Olman NPC slaves to replace the "skins" caravan in UK2. Queequeg from Moby **** would fit nicely into my campaign. Although it would be more appropriate for a Touv, I am determined to work in Marley’s Redemption Song: “Old pirates yes that rob I, stole I to the merchant ship...
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    Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:23 am  

    Moby **** is my favorite piece of "literature." You can't go wrong! Happy

    I like the Polynesian influence idea but tried not to tie things down too tightly. Clearly, from Tamoachan, the Polynesians were not the principle inspiration for the Olman. However, the island chains beyond the Olman group suggest a possible Polynesian analog.
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    Thu Aug 25, 2005 12:41 pm  

    I am going to have to take another look at the Savage Olman Postfest forum. I gave up on it because of the corn-dogging, but I see that there is a lot of stuff in there.
    Master Greytalker

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    Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:59 am  

    I would highly advise anyone interested to read the Aztec creation story here. It explains the truth of the four colored figures (the four Tezcatlipocas). They have no relationship whatsoever to human(oid) skin colors. As it is likely that Mssrs. Johnson & Leason drew from real-world mythology, then it should not be assumed that the four figures represent human(oid) races of the Flanaess. Rather, the scene in question depicts the Olman creation story.

    As to the Camazotz–Zotz–Zotilaha debate, I will cite here every reference to those names contained within C1 The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan:
    Quote:
    ...Camazotz, the bat-god to whom the temple is dedicated.

    Quote:
    ...its master, Camazotz (Ka-ma'-zōtz) or Zotzilaha (Zōtz-ēl-a'-a), the vampire god of the underworld to whom this shrine was originally dedicated.

    Quote:
    ...a servant of shadow-loving Zotz.

    Quote:
    ...the mask and the pendant of Zotz...

    Quote:
    ...gaining his powers through his allegiance to Zotz.

    Quote:
    The jade pendant of Zotz, worth 77 g.p., may be acknowledged by his agents as a pass.

    Quote:
    ...every violator of the tomb will receive a visit from either Tloques-popolocas or some other agent of Zotz...

    Quote:
    CHILD OF ZOTZILAHA (Zōtz-ē-la'-ha: bat-god of the underworld)

    Quote:
    This creature is a nereid.... She is an agent of Camazotz, the undead god.

    Quote:
    The water in the fountain is really a water wierd...an agent of Camazotz.

    Quote:
    A word or pass from Zotz, the bat-god, will gain free passage.

    Quote:
    ...a jade placard bearing the image of Zotz...

    Quote:
    ...Camazotz, the bat-god to whom this temple is dedicated...


    From the above, we see Camazotz, Zotz, and Zotzilaha all referred to as the "bat-god". Either the Olmans have a lot of bat-gods, or the three are all the same deity. Furthermore, the nereid — the "Child of Zotzilaha" — is described as a servant of Camazotz. Either these are different names for the same entity, or there is a very complex interplay between Camazotz and Zotzilaha. Again, Occam's Razor dictates that the simplest explanation is the most likely.
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    Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:41 am  

    I will drop in the link to Tamoachan Revisited - The Olman/Touv Wars in this forum as they are related. http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=713&mode=thread&order=2&thold=0

    I have to preface this by saying I do not own the Scarlet Brotherhood, so I do not know if it can be worked into what follows. Also, I do not yet have the patience to carefully work through the names and described images in tHS of Tamoachan. That appears to be a difficult task. I congratulate you GVD and well as Chatdemon for working though them carefully.

    What I do want to point out is a canon issue that I think has been ignored or understated. The Olman had an “empire” and at least according to the description of the Olman PC in Tamoachan, there were Olman “nations”. Both of those words can have different meanings, or be misused. But I think the module, particularly the part that encourages the reader to explore the different mesa-American cultures, would support the idea that the Olman ruled different peoples which had divergent customs, origins, histories, and languages. I have never seen that in the different descriptions of the Olman that I have read. Everything seems to be so uniform.

    Related to this is the idea explicitly expressed it ‘83 boxed set that the different human strains intermix when they meet. Although with the use of the word “or”, the possibility that that did not happen was given for the Amedi Sule. In context, I read the “or” as an “and”, so that individuals are mixed “or” not, but the people as a whole are. I would see Amedi Sule protecting the bloodline among the nobility.

    The mixing of the races is a fundamental premise of GH. So is the give and take of getting to that mixed state. That is how nations get created. For example, with the Keoish nation you have something like OSf. Undoubtedly, there are many who could say exactly why and how it happened as well as what is not reflecting in those three letters (or that it should be Os with a side of f).

    The Olman nations need to be developed. The present state is comparable to saying the Flanaess is inhabited by the Aerdi (not Oeridians) who have fought with the Flan and Sule who also live there to a degree.

    I suggest the following as a staring point:

    Long ago paleolithic proto-amedians with a simple littoral culture and economy migrated from the islands to the southwest of the Amedio. They were the first humans to inhabit the region. They spread along the coasts and islands, eventually working up to northern Hepmonaland.

    As the humanoid cultures of the Amedio fell into decline, the people expanded into the jungles, savanna and mountains of the region. I will call these people the Amedians (A). With the occupation of non-coastal lands, the life experiences of the peoples begins to change and there is the initial trend to different nationalities. Neolithic elements start to appear including domestication of animals and small scale gardening.

    In Hepmonaland, they came into contact with the Touv, who introduced them to more neolithic cultural elements (extensive agriculture and later bronze) as well as bloodlines. I will call these people the Hepmon-Amedians (AT and At). The Hepmon-Amedians, more advanced than the Amedians, re-colonized the Amedio and established the cities.

    Later, with the advent of iron technology represented by the metal crook, and perhaps magic, religion and/or other technology, the Olman finally leave their highland homes in the Hellfurnaces and conquer the Amedio. This could be euphemistically called having the cities claim their independence. The Oman were the last to conquer, at least in Tamoachan, and so their version of history would naturally appear there and all these people would now be know collectively as the Olman.

    Because the Hellfurnaces are adjacent to what was the Sule Imperium, I would say the original Olmen would have a little Sule blood (As), but maybe not. Certainly it would provide the technological advance and the "better than though" attitute necessary to conquer. With the fall of the Sule Imperium and the migration of Sule into both the Amedio and Hepmonaland more Suloise blood would be introduced.

    Essentially, this leaves th greater Amedian region- the Amedio jungle, mountains, islands, savanna and Hepmonaland jungles, with a massive number of possible racial combinations to make up the Olman nations. Without owning the Scarlet Brotherhood, or having the patience to work though the module, I cannot make an educated guess as to what these nations would be. I would think that there would be at least an (At) in the northern Amedio, an (SA) in the south. Just eyeballing it, the greater Amedian region looks like it would hold comfortably five or more nations. Toss in past social decay, tribalism, and if you like (as I do) renewed development, things could be quite interesting.

    I used the A for Amedian to make the point that using Olman lends itself to steriotyping, but O could replace the A in national descriptions. Before that it done, I suggest that it may be possible to harmonize the reportedly very bad history in the Scarlet Brotherhood, by reconceiving the notions or race and nationality.
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    Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:34 am  

    In my analysis of Tamoachan, I too assumed that the colors of the figures in the dioramas were symbolic, and not strict reflections of the skin tones of various human(oid) groups. In my version, red symbolized humans, depicting their ties to the blood of the Olman gods. Black figures were meant to be "not of the blood of the gods" or in other words, humanoids or demihumans, in this case, Elves specifically.

    It's been my opinion for a long time that too literal an interpretation of the dioramas is what led Fred Weining, and later Sean Reynolds down the path to what I consider a poor historical treatment of the Olman. I respect Fred and his work, but must humbly disagree with him on this point.
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    Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:47 pm  

    Hi folks. I finally grabbed a substantial amount of time some time from Lendor's grasp and happily join you today.

    Wolfsire, what is the "Savage Olman Postfest forum"? I don't see such a folder listed in the fora or as a special feature.

    Where to start? First, I agree with Rich and others that we shouldn't regard the colors specified in Tamoachan as signifying Earthly races of humanity. Likely, any analysis of C1 should ignore the very idea of Touv people because Sean's publication succeeds the module.

    I found GVD's argument that the Olman originated in the foothills of the Hellfurnaces convincing although he doesn't indicate their relationships with the ancestral dakon--the d'kana--or with the various humanoid reptiles, lizardmen, troglodytes, etc., that may have once ruled the Amedio Jungle.

    C1 is a funny module. As others have indicated, the authors had produced a tournament module. Later they contributed to Deities & Demigods. They enjoyed Meso-American mythoi but evidently conflated them. Four or five years ago I first began engaging these ideas. I researched various Pre-Columbian--predominantly Aztec--mythoi and obtained a copy of C1. Evidently the authors were evident of the basic notion of what Tamoachan names--a holy paradise, perhaps sacred to Tlaloc, the rain god, and similar to his abode, Tlaloacan.

    C1's Tamoachan presents a melange of many Meso-American myths and legends. In Jameson's critique, it seems more like a pastiche than an authentic collection (thinking of Heidegger and those who've critiqued his ideas in so-called Ethnic Studies).

    Returning to GVD's posts, even having radically critiqued Sean's publication, I may adopt the assertion that the Touv originated in Hepmonaland / Cemanahuac. Previously I'd thought to incorporate a CF! poster's idea (was it the Cruel Summerlord or another?) that the Touv themselves were immigrants from a southerly continent of Oerth--brothers and sisters to two other groups of people who immigrated to other parts of the Flanaess--including those lands south of the ancient Suloise Imperium.

    Having the Touv and a more complex "Olman" people originate in Hepmonaland / Cemanahuac helps detail the Flanaess without venturing farther away than is practicable to describe, i.e., without having to begin describing the mythical "continent" of Anakeri.

    Shifting, I like Wolfsire's suggestion that we resist conflating the Olman as a singular people. Likely there "should" be several nations of people that precede the formations of the Olman dynasties (according to Sean and Roger, there were at least two).

    Moving elsewhere, both Iquander and Tal Meta have presented substantial works about the other nations of people who border Xamaclan. My tendency is to try to incorporate or accomodate their ideas (as well as Gygax's "Changar.")

    Returning to GVD's posts, I suggest interested people review a recent repost by Rip Van Wormer, a.k.a., Rasgon, which indicates that Tlaloc has been supplanted by Merrshaulk. See http://greyhawkonline.com/pitsofevil/viewtopic.php?t=5063&sid=fdd2c87d2eb3f647a4e324f1d4b74587.

    Regarding, "Tloques-Popolocas Yohualli-Ehecatl, the Master of the Outsiders/Others," it may be useful to some readers to note that Ehecatl, the Night Wind of Aztec mythology, has been identified as the dark twin of Quetzalcoatl. Perhaps C1's authors simply seized the connection between the appellation "night wind" and the idea of vampires. No matter. I think that Tloques-Popolocas should be active in the Amedio Jungle, as should the two (or at least one of) the two ancient Olman monks who were ensorcelled in stasis. IMC, they are partially responsible for the (lawful) organization of the Olman resistance to the seeming-conquest of the Scarlet Brotherhood in the "Hook" of the Amedio Jungle.

    Regarding the naiaid the "Child of Zotzilaha," I agree strongly with GVD (and Rich and Mar) that much of what C1 presents should be interpreted conceptually. Not having read all of Rich and Mar's corpus on the Olman, I nevertheless suggest that the "Child of Zotzilaha" be interpreted not only with the Suel but also with the faerie olve in mind. Indeed, it may be that the naiaid is not connected to either. In other words, I caution against simple / direct correspondences between blonde hair or fair skin and the Suel in the putative worldview of the imaginary Olman. Cf. Gygax's description of Gord's encounter with Kharistylla, the undine.

    On the other hand, the ancient Olman association of blondeness with death may be related to the historical double-front that the refugee / invading Suel posed, when they immigrated south into "Hepmonaland"--thus forcing the then Olman Empire to consolidate and eventually lose its holdings in Cemanahuac. Note also that the city of Tamoachan suggests that centaurs or men riding horses were a scourge of death. Cf. Córtez's conquistadores.

    Toward closing, I note that GVD didn't account for the Sun Stone of the Olman--a kind of simplified Calendario Azteca. Note that Sean evidently transplanted this artifact to the Touv--with Katay's wheel.

    Finally, I ask Rich what he meant by Fred Weining's overtly literal "interpretation of the dioramas." Are you talking about something on Frodo's now-lost webpage or in the LGG?

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    Sun Sep 04, 2005 8:43 pm  

    mtg wrote:

    Finally, I ask Rich what he meant by Fred Weining's overtly literal "interpretation of the dioramas." Are you talking about something on Frodo's now-lost webpage or in the LGG?

    MTG!


    If I remember right, way back on the AOL greyhawk folder days, Fred originally documented the "evidence" for Olman origination in Hepmonaland, which gained acceptance and was later built upon by SKR when compiling Scarlet Brotherhood. I think those old posts, which I wouldn't begin to know where to find now, are what Rich was referring to.
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    Last edited by chibirias on Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:21 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:

    What I do want to point out is a canon issue that I think has been ignored or understated. The Olman had an “empire” and at least according to the description of the Olman PC in Tamoachan, there were Olman “nations”. Both of those words can have different meanings, or be misused. But I think the module, particularly the part that encourages the reader to explore the different mesa-American cultures, would support the idea that the Olman ruled different peoples which had divergent customs, origins, histories, and languages. I have never seen that in the different descriptions of the Olman that I have read. Everything seems to be so uniform.


    The idea that the Olman encompass a broad variety of subcultures is generally well recieved among those who have attempted some study and development of them in the past, most notably me, MTG and chatdemon, with GVD recently joining the crusade.

    I think the term Empire as it applies to the Olman of the Amedio should mean "the body of real estate controlled by Olman factions" instead of "a coherent, centrally administered political entity".

    Likewise, Nations should be used, IMO, in a way similar to its use regarding the Native Americans of North America. The term "Cherokee Nation" doesn't so much describe a formal set of borders that defined their holdings, but instead refers to them as a people and culture, and is used comparitively to differentiate them from their peers.

    Instead of looking at the Olman Empire as something akin to the Roman Empire, approach it in comparison to the Greek "Empire" or the real life Mayan Empire, both of which were less centrally managed coherent nations, but more collections of similar cultured city states, that in times of external war, religious observance or need were allied together, but were just as likely at other times to be fighting amongst themselves over anything and everything.

    Quote:
    Related to this is the idea explicitly expressed it ‘83 boxed set that the different human strains intermix when they meet. Although with the use of the word “or”, the possibility that that did not happen was given for the Amedi Sule. In context, I read the “or” as an “and”, so that individuals are mixed “or” not, but the people as a whole are. I would see Amedi Sule protecting the bloodline among the nobility.


    The problem here is that the Amedi Suel have little or no trace of their Suel heritage left. They are degenerates who "went native" and either adopted the ways of the jungle or fell victim to it or their Olman neighbors, who had no mercy left for any Suel after the behavior of the first Suel explorers, settlers and migrants. Inbreeding due to lack of any major outside humans to interact with (aside from the Olman, who would just as soon kill them than breed with them) furthers the decline of the Amedi culture. The Touv are now separated from the Olman by hundreds of miles of open sea that both cultures have lost the technology to cross with any regularity. This left the Olman and Amedi alone (in terms of human occupancy of the jungle) for centuries to war among themselves, and even now in the face of massive enslavement and genocide by slavers, Scarlet Brotherhood conquistadors, and Keoish "explorers", they are unable to put aside their difference and band together.

    Quote:
    Later, with the advent of iron technology represented by the metal crook, and perhaps magic, religion and/or other technology, the Olman finally leave their highland homes in the Hellfurnaces and conquer the Amedio. This could be euphemistically called having the cities claim their independence.


    IMO, it is important to leave the Olman at a stone age culture, or perhaps a low bronze age level, in order to establish them in parallel to their real world counterparts as well as giving them something to make them different from their peers in the Flanaess. Remember tho, stone age does not mean barbaric. Though the Mayan and (to a lesser extent) Aztec people had little in the way of metal craft, both carved out huge "empires" that lasted thousands of years. Both built impressive structures that stand to this day as testament to their achievement, and both developed mathematics and astronomy that rivalled or exceeded their historical peers in the world. Olman stone age technology, if it is adopted as canon for them, is not due to any lack of intelligence or ingenuity on their part, but simply due to the lack of easily accesible mines for the metals that are relatively easily acquired by their human neighbors in the Flanaess.

    Quote:
    Because the Hellfurnaces are adjacent to what was the Sule Imperium, I would say the original Olmen would have a little Sule blood (As), but maybe not. Certainly it would provide the technological advance and the "better than though" attitute necessary to conquer.


    The Hellfurnaces are a huge, tall range. They're also volcanic. I doubt much in the way of travel across them has been common in any era.

    Also, the points you make about the Suel loaning their ingenuity and bent for conquest to the Olman is flawed on a very basic level. These are human attributes, not Suel. Sure, the Suel take them to extremes, but all humans possess them. In addition, the Olman have a marked lack of epic scale magic which was so intrinsic to the Suel Imperium of old.
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    Last edited by chibirias on Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Sun Sep 04, 2005 9:46 pm  

    DMPrata wrote:


    From the above, we see Camazotz, Zotz, and Zotzilaha all referred to as the "bat-god". Either the Olmans have a lot of bat-gods, or the three are all the same deity. Furthermore, the nereid — the "Child of Zotzilaha" — is described as a servant of Camazotz. Either these are different names for the same entity, or there is a very complex interplay between Camazotz and Zotzilaha. Again, Occam's Razor dictates that the simplest explanation is the most likely.


    To understand the real meaning of these three words (they are real words! Shocked ), one needs to review the Popol Vuh, the Mayan "creation myth" (and try to not to giggle during the part where the frying pans accost the Mayans).

    Zotz (alternately Camalotz) is a sort of aloof death god, and one of the 4 animal demons who helped slay the evil proto-humans before the coming of this age and the arrival of the Mayans.

    Zotzihila is a great dark cave, the underworld, where Zotz dwells, along with, as can be expected in central American caves, lots of bats. The Camazotz, the "Death Bat" or "Snatch Bat", believed to be the Mayan term for the Vampire Bat, and other large bats, were believed to inhabit this cavern with Zotz.

    The confusion as to Zotzhila being the name of a god comes from the myths of the Quiche people of what is now Guatemala, who were a pre/proto-Mayan group that worshipped (among other things) a fire god called Zotzilaha Chamalcan. This god has little relation to Zotz/Camalotz, and the Popol Vuh is quite clear on the meaning of Zotzihila in Mayan myth.
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    Last edited by chibirias on Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:02 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    Wolfsire, what is the "Savage Olman Postfest forum"? I don't see such a folder listed in the fora or as a special feature.

    MTG!


    Marc,
    I think (going by his "corn-dogging" comment Laughing ) that Wolfsire is referring to this thread:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1256

    Therein lies the discussion that spurred GVD's article submissions, based on Rich's earlier Legacy of the Olman Empire article. And a lot of arguing about corn...
    Confused

    Also, for everyone's benefit, here's the links to the related articles on the site:

    Tamoachan Revisited - The Olman/Touv Wars - by GVD
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=713&mode=&order=0&thold=0

    Tamoachan Revisited - The Origins of the Olman - by GVD
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=712&mode=&order=0&thold=0

    Legacy of the Olman Empire 1: Tamoachan and the Origin of the Olman People - by chatdemon
    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=605&mode=&order=0&thold=0
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    Last edited by chibirias on Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:31 am  

    Q-vole Mar! Great to hear from you, and thanks for the links. I hadn't realized what I missed when I was finishing law school, turning 30, and graduating. ;)

    I'm simultaneously reviewing the 4-page thread that GVD started on the Olman and Rich's Legacy of the Olman Empire 1. This post records my responses as I go through them.

    First, something potentially useful for all Olman hermeneuts is that the Earthly codices were designed to be read in a snake-like pattern, starting in the lowest right panel and working one's way up and then down--to the left. This fact enables us to interpret C1 as fundamentally read incorrectly--either by the adventurers, some later scholar, or the narrator. Note that this is related to but different from Crag's suggestion of reading simply from right to left. The explorers of Sacred (though seemingly perverted to evil) Tamoachan may well have ignored certain smaller images...

    Second, regarding Rich's holding that the Olman originated in the Pomarj, or the Trakon Peninsula, as we've (Scottenkainen, Rasgon, me, other GreyTalkers) have called it, I want to riff.

    Rip suggested that the Trakon Peninsula once boasted Flan-Olman seafaring and Tiamat-propitiating societies that might be imagined through a convex lens that holds the image of Greece. Actually I think Rasgon didn't explicitly hold that they were Flan-Olman but rather Flan.

    I raise this point to suggest that folks might connect the Olman to the "Flan," which, as others have argued convincingly, must also be understood as a latter-day label that is applied to a multitudinous and diverse set of groups of people, i.e., Flan is a word of the Common-vocca that derives from an influential Oeridian-vocca; contra Skraeling, which seems to be a word of the Cold Tongue.

    This may address GVD's concerns about providing equal dignity to the Olman and comport with Rich's idea that this connection was truly old--when "the Olman and Flan cultures were both in formative stages[.]" (However, personally I hold that the Touv derive from the emigrating Anakeri peoples. Cf. Jared's works on that subject as well as past discussions of those blue-black people in the southernmost Sea of Dust.)

    Third, to risk stating the obvious, the metal crook is redolent of Rao, neh? If one wished, s/he could interpret this as evidence to support ancestral connections between the Flan and Olman.

    Fifth, regardin GVD's reference to the Dungeon adventure that features Huehueteotl, remember Tzelios's points about the pyramids of Exag, the Vaati, and Skrellingshald--particularly the architecture and treasure of the latter, a.k.a., Tostenhca.

    Fourth, years ago I suggested that folks understand the Azure Sea as less of a wall and more as a collection of highways between the "Flan" and "Olman" peoples. This may also help resolve some of the concerns about the diffusion of wheat, maize, and other ancient grains. Actually, given my point about the different ways that different cultures read, it is fair to interpret the terms "wheat" and "corn" as the closest analogues to the actual Olman crops, which may well be related to wheat and corn but might be ancient grains. I'm relatively ignorant about such things, but I know that various scientists and development experts regularly research the differential nutrition and conditions of the ancient grains.

    Specifically on Samwise's points, ancient Sulm, Itar and the nearby Flan kingdoms, or the Olman cities that Rasgon once imagined in the Tilvanot Peninsula could well be the "homelands" of maize/corn although the Corn Sisters are alive and well. God is Alive, Magic is Afoot!

    Braiding this together with the idea of the Azure Sea being a common road of commerce and cultural diffusion, maize might have been cultivated on the Trakon Peninsula. However, don't forget how important fishing was to those people. Also, one might hold that olives were therein cultivated.

    Sixth, I agree with Tzelios that it's important to critique assumptions about the possibility of cultivating maize/corn or of finding kinds of deer in or near the Amedio Jungle. Specifically, I suggest that the now-Hold of the Sea Princes up to the swamp may well have been a place utilized by the Olman (perhaps later conquered by the Toli Suel). Deer may well have roamed this region. As to maize, I recall dimly that the jungle was "slashed & burned" to provide fecund farmlands by ancient Meso-American socities. Does anyone know if maize was also cultivated in ancient Tenochtitlan in those floating gardens?

    Seventh, I'd like to hear specifically why people dislike Sean's Touv. While they were spun from whole cloth and pitted against the Olman, I'm unsure if people object to the Touv per se--the first human social group introduced with a creation myth--because one can easily reject Sean's origin of the Olman yet keep the Touv.

    Eighth, beyond Nell's archipelago and Tal Meta's work on the lands near Gygax's Changar, I've not given much though to "Zindia" or the Dragon Annual map. Taking Mar's suggestion with my perception that the illustrated Touv look more South Asian (Indian) than Black (African), the Zindians may have hosted immigrants from obscure Anakeri...

    Finally, I connect this post to the final page of the aforementioned "Olman postfest thread." See http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=1256&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=75
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    Mon Sep 05, 2005 2:13 pm  

    That's a lot of points to try and address mtg. Let me see if I can get all of them.

    Regarding the crook:
    Given Rao's portfolio and Jazirian's portfolio, and some other references, I have asserted Rao is essentially the Couatl-bringing deity for some time. Whether that means he was adopted by the Olman from some Flan stand-ins for Cortez, or whether he came to the Flan by way of an Olman messenger is something I leave open.

    Regarding the Azure Sea and cereal grains:
    The Azure Sea is not the issue. The radical differences in the climate, and a steadied evolution of the cereals to the new climates is.
    You mention scientific investigation. Pick up a copy of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, and the whole thing is laid out quite clearly there. Reiterating the various points I made before:
    1. Meso-America has only one native cereal grain, that being maize.
    2. That cereal, maize, took a significant amount of time to evolve to become even the minor staple it is today, as compared to other cereals like wheat, which have been near their current form for over two thousand years.
    3. That cereal, maize, evolved in a climate zone that was sufficiently different from the ones closest to it that it could not be adapted to them quickly. (As in 1-5 years.) Conversely, wheat could spread from the Caucasus across the majority of Eurasia as fast as people could migrate with it.
    4. Among other elements of standard "empires" as opposed to a civilization of city-states, having a high quality cereal is a key element. You can't move feed large armies without it.
    (As a side note, I suggested the Greek city-state comparison to GLH when discussing the Olman "empire" several months ago.)
    So in summary, no. That kind of diffusion is near impossible unless maize appeared in a near modern form, skipping 5-10,000 years worth of evolution, adaptation, and selective breeding.

    And relating to 2 above, no it wasn't grown in the slash-and-burn plots of the Maya, but it was grown in the floating garden plots of Tenochtitlan. The two ecosystems, however much they are both "Meso-American", are radically different.

    And that is why I agree with Mar and her placing the origin of the Olman in the clear, uplands area, at the southern extremity of the Hellfurnces, just south of the Amedio. It has the proper climate for maize, and it is a suitable location for it to expand from along with a people.

    As for disliking the Touv:
    That is primarily because they are little more than a blatant effort to put Africans into a near-Flanaess location, combined with that placement leaving them little option other than to serve as targets of erstwhile ur-colonialists from the Scarlet Brotherhood. (Or whoever might get a fleet together to challenge their blockade of Hepmonaland.)
    I consider that a waste of the cultural potential, a waste of the campaign potential, and an invitation to cheap political theatrics for any looking to expand on the concept.
    And, given the "demand" for canon purity that surfaces whenever convenient, I consider it to be incompatible with the contents of I1 - Dwellers of the Forbidden City, which would make the entire region Asian or Indo-Asian, and not African.
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    Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:18 pm  

    Samwise wrote:

    And relating to 2 above, no it wasn't grown in the slash-and-burn plots of the Maya, but it was grown in the floating garden plots of Tenochtitlan. The two ecosystems, however much they are both "Meso-American", are radically different.


    This is not correct, regarding the Maya. Corn/Maize was the staple food in every known Mayan community. Evidence of corn cultivation has been found at Cival, Palenque, Tikal, Chichen Itza and Calakmul. In addition, all of the sites have yeilded religious artifacts related to Itzamna, the god of the moon and corn, who is said to have created Mayan culture by wrapping the earth in corn husks.

    Corn was very important to the Mayans, and grew readily in their realms at that time. Since then, the climate of Central America has shifted a bit, and now favors the drastic diversity that Sam mentions, deserts in middle and northern Mexico, and jungles in southern Mexico, Guatemala and other ares south of that.

    However, this is sort of a moot point, since the Amedio's climate is obviously based on that of central America today, not 600 to 1000 years ago. Large scale corn cultivation in the jungles of modern Guatemala and Mexico is difficult, even with modern technology. For the Olman to have corn as a staple of their diet, a major reworking of the description of the climate of the Amedio, or an alternate homeland would be required. Obviously, fans agree that the alternate homeland is the answer, but vary on the details.

    One of these days I'll have to put Rich and GVD in their places Laughing and write up the real homeland of the Olman, which I believe to be, as Sam mentioned, the grasslands southwest of the Amedio where the Hellfurnaces finally end.
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    Last edited by chibirias on Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:48 am  

    chibirias wrote:
    . . . The idea that the Olman encompass a broad variety of subcultures is generally well recieved among those who have attempted some study and development of them in the past, most notably me, MTG and chatdemon, with GVD recently joining the crusade.


    Agreed.

    chibirias wrote:
    I think the term Empire as it applies to the Olman of the Amedio should mean "the body of real estate controlled by Olman factions" instead of "a coherent, centrally administered political entity". . . . Instead of looking at the Olman Empire as something akin to the Roman Empire, approach it in comparison to the Greek "Empire" or the real life Mayan Empire, both of which were less centrally managed coherent nations, but more collections of similar cultured city states, that in times of external war, religious observance or need were allied together, but were just as likely at other times to be fighting amongst themselves over anything and everything..


    I agree with this with the caveat that, at certain times, the "empire" will be lead by the nobility of one city-state, while, at other times, another city state will be dominant and its nobility will demand tribute/obedience. If the leading city-state of the time is conquered, its nearest rival, after a "sorting out period" of internecine warfare will restablish the "empire." It is thus not possible to "decapitate" the Olman Empire in a single stroke with the capture of the "capital" or "emperor."

    chibirias wrote:
    The problem here is that the Amedi Suel have little or no trace of their Suel heritage left. They are degenerates who "went native" and either adopted the ways of the jungle or fell victim to it or their Olman neighbors . . .


    IMO, the problem is with the very concept of the Amedi Suel. It, to me, bespeaks of the author's lack of confidence in the Olman as a game concept or the desire to subordinate them to the ubiquitous Suel within the game. But as they are "canon," I favor the "degenerate route, reducing the Amedi Suel to a footnote in the overall scheme of the Amedio, of interest mainly to Suel fascists/nationalists like the SB and the Keolanders.

    chibirias wrote:
    IMO, it is important to leave the Olman at a stone age culture, or perhaps a low bronze age level, in order to establish them in parallel to their real world counterparts as well as giving them something to make them different from their peers in the Flanaess. Remember tho, stone age does not mean barbaric. Though the Mayan and (to a lesser extent) Aztec people had little in the way of metal craft, both carved out huge "empires" that lasted thousands of years. Both built impressive structures that stand to this day as testament to their achievement, and both developed mathematics and astronomy that rivalled or exceeded their historical peers in the world. Olman stone age technology, if it is adopted as canon for them, is not due to any lack of intelligence or ingenuity on their part, but simply due to the lack of easily accesible mines for the metals that are relatively easily acquired by their human neighbors in the Flanaess.


    While I do not disagree with this, I think it very dangerous to too freely suggest "stone-age" lest someone take that too literally either 1) imagining "cavemen" or 2) using it as an "excuse" as to why the Olman "must" be "inevitably" conquered. Perhaps, a term with less "Flintstones" connotations would be better.

    chibirias wrote:
    In addition, the Olman have a marked lack of epic scale magic which was so intrinsic to the Suel Imperium of old.

    Salud,
    Mar


    If by this, it is meant that the Olman did/do not have the capacity to create a Rain of Colorless Fire or an Invoked Devastation, I can agree. If by this it is meant that Olman magics were generally inferior to the Suel, or Baklunish or Oeridian, more generally, I would strongly disagree. Olman magic could certainly be of a different sort but I would in no way see the Olman taking a magical backseat to anyone in terms of general wizardry.

    Magic is the gunpowder of Oerth. Whomever has the gunpowder and the better guns has a distinct advantage over whomever does not. The problem with the Olman is their sterotyping as a people to be conquered in a sort of reverse Manefest Destiny. I would strongly oppose any development of the Olman that would allow the SB, the Keolanders or whomever to just "walk in" and declare the Olman "conquered." Any potential the Olman have to being unique elements to GH would be lost in such a process while the lily that is already the SB or the Keoland, to take two specific examples, would be gilded.

    I think one of the challenges of the Olman is to determine how to maintain them as unique and true to their original influences but also how to imagine them as a fantasy race, in a fantasy setting, that is capable of standing with the other fantasy groups on an equivalent footing.
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    Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:57 am  

    Well I'll have to defer to Mar on maize-eating Mayans. I must have confused the time sequence, I thought they adopted corn as a staple after their main collapse.
    I'd definitely like to see your version of the Olman homeland. It will make my revisions to the Amedio easier. Cool
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    Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:10 am  

    Quote:
    IMO, the problem is with the very concept of the Amedi Suel. It, to me, bespeaks of the author's lack of confidence in the Olman as a game concept or the desire to subordinate them to the ubiquitous Suel within the game. But as they are "canon," I favor the "degenerate route, reducing the Amedi Suel to a footnote in the overall scheme of the Amedio, of interest mainly to Suel fascists/nationalists like the SB and the Keolanders.


    Actually, a close reading of the original versions of the Amedio in the Folio, as well as in most of the 83 set, shows a distinct lack of the Olman.
    "Savages" are there for sure, primarily Suel savages. Whether they have actually mixed with a "native" (or at least previously migrated) race is rather open.
    By canon, aside from C1, you could more easily eliminate the Olman instead of the Amedi Suel.
    And lest that be taken as being "down" on the Olman, consider that it would provide a much more significant opportunity to do them "properly" if they aren't locked into the "savages" model forced by the Scarlet Brotherhood supplement.

    Quote:
    While I do not disagree with this, I think it very dangerous to too freely suggest "stone-age" lest someone take that too literally either 1) imagining "cavemen" or 2) using it as an "excuse" as to why the Olman "must" be "inevitably" conquered. Perhaps, a term with less "Flintstones" connotations would be better.


    But that is the term.
    And as Mar noted, such assumptions are simply incorrect, and solely the fault of the uninformed reader.
    But if such a term is needed, perhaps you could convince the scientific community to adopt something like "supralithic" to account for all those stone age tech communities that managed architectural and agricultural innovations that make modern methods seem second-rate by comparison.
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    Tue Sep 06, 2005 8:50 am  

    Samwise wrote:
    . . . But that is the term. . . .But if such a term is needed, perhaps you could convince the scientific community to adopt something like "supralithic" to account for all those stone age tech communities that managed architectural and agricultural innovations that make modern methods seem second-rate by comparison.


    Not a problem. As "eolithic" is already in the paralance, even if not universally accepted, I suggest "exolithic" for civilizations capable of great craft but still eschewing metalworking etc. in the main.

    Note, however, that nothing demands that the Olman, as a fantasy culture, follow exactly in the footsteps of the actual Mezo-Americans; perhaps the Olman have ironworking capacity, even knowledge of steel. If the Olman did not develop such on their own, perhaps those Amedi Suel transferred the knowledge, one way or another. Or as Woesinger has suggested - dwarves. This is an example of what I mean in refering to imagining the Olman as a fantasy culture but one also beholding to real world models. Would metalworking make the Olman too "un-Mezo-American?" I'm not sure it would.
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    Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:11 am  

    GVD: "I think one of the challenges of the Olman is to determine how to maintain them as unique and true to their original influences but also how to imagine them as a fantasy race, in a fantasy setting, that is capable of standing with the other fantasy groups on an equivalent footing."

    At the risk of being called culturally biased or insensitive, I will suggest straying away from long names that are too meso-american. Olman or Inca is easier to grasp than Toloqualwhattheheckazuma. If ideas cannot be easily understood, they will not be as interesting to most people. I am not suggesting that anyone excise the culturally complicated that might be "alien" to most readers, but I am suggesting that it come in small bites and perhaps require some research.

    Related is the idea of playing off of what people already know and wish to explore. A ziggurat was done in C1. That is one of the most easily accessible cultural element. Cenotes are earning a lot more media time (at least in the magazines I read), and would provide an excellent and appropriate adventure oppurtunity. As hokey as it sounds, a tactful take off of Montezuma's Revenge would be good.

    Finally, on a related topic dicussed in the Dirty Olman Savages? Postfest forum, the idea of a Olman renaissance is beging discussed. Sea monsters and storms have blocked sailing to the south. Here, I will plug my POSTFEST: Berceuse, the Song of Osprem, holiday article, http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=699&mode=thread&order=0&thold=-1 , and suggest that appropriately modified for the Olman, Osprem and Xerbo could spur such a renaissance. That should give the Sule something to think about.
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    Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:54 pm  

    Wolfsire wrote:
    At the risk of being called culturally biased or insensitive, I will suggest straying away from long names that are too meso-american. Olman or Inca is easier to grasp than Toloqualwhattheheckazuma. If ideas cannot be easily understood, they will not be as interesting to most people. I am not suggesting that anyone excise the culturally complicated that might be "alien" to most readers, but I am suggesting that it come in small bites and perhaps require some research.


    In order to preserve the unique flavor of the Olman people, and prevent them from becoming lame -jungle flan-, the language established in C1 must be preserved.

    Maybe the precedent set in C1 is a good solution, whenever an "Olman" word appears, simply place the pronunciation and definition in parantheses directly after it.

    As an example:
    Chibirias (CHEE-bee-ree-us, Goddess of the Earth)

    (yah, it's the name of a real Mayan goddess) Happy
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    Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:33 am  

    GVDammerung wrote:

    I agree with this with the caveat that, at certain times, the "empire" will be lead by the nobility of one city-state, while, at other times, another city state will be dominant and its nobility will demand tribute/obedience. If the leading city-state of the time is conquered, its nearest rival, after a "sorting out period" of internecine warfare will restablish the "empire." It is thus not possible to "decapitate" the Olman Empire in a single stroke with the capture of the "capital" or "emperor."


    Without a doubt. It is possible, and even likely during the life of the Olman society in the Amedio that one or another city state will dominate others and hold sway over the "empire" as a whole. Following the Greek model, we can easily view Tamoachan and Xamaclan as the Athens and Sparta of the Amedio, representing different flavors of advanced Olman politics, culture and military might.

    I also offer that the initial cause of the Olman-Touv wars was possibly rooted in one of these periods where one of the Olman states rose to prominence, and having brought their peers under their banner, through diplomacy or warfare, sought to expand their realm of influence to the various islands off the coast of the jungle, and eventually to Hepmonland beyond. As the influence of the two major city states waned (or at least withdrew back to a manageable territory, in Xamaclan's case), the wars with the Touv drew to a close.

    It is possible, and maybe even inevitable, that Xamaclan, or another yet unknown city state will once again rise to power in the jungle and flex its muscle toward its neighbors in Hepmonaland and the Flanaess. In fact, the dangers posed by Scarlet Brotherhood invasions in the north could be the very stimulus for a strong leader appearing and rallying his city state to greatness...not that I have any such plotline in mind or anything... Wink

    GVD wrote:
    IMO, the problem is with the very concept of the Amedi Suel. It, to me, bespeaks of the author's lack of confidence in the Olman as a game concept or the desire to subordinate them to the ubiquitous Suel within the game. But as they are "canon," I favor the "degenerate route, reducing the Amedi Suel to a footnote in the overall scheme of the Amedio, of interest mainly to Suel fascists/nationalists like the SB and the Keolanders.


    In order to rectify the sovereignity of the Olman civilization as implied in C1 with the presence of Suel immigrants turned Savages (the term used on the Darlene map, btw) obviously documented in the World of Greyhawk Campaign Setting, I suggest that the Jungle be divided into two distinct areas in the post-migrations setting. Quite simply, the Amedi Suel hold dominance in the northern chunk of the Jungle, that portion which is seen on the Darlene map. Obviously, this does not mean that no Olman live here, but it is unlikely that any major city state exists, and those Olman that do dwell here are closer to the barbaric, nomadic tribes that SKR suggested.

    It is interesting to note though that the Green Nightmare article by Roger Moore mentions the Jungle swallowed ruins of an ancient city along the northern shore of Lake Matreyus, which is clearly seen (the lake and shore, not the ruins) on the Darlene map. I offer that this ruin is that of a great Olman city state of old, mighty in the days before the migrations, that was conquered and held by the Suel settlers for some time. In those early days of Suel settlement, however, their ability to survive and thrive in the Jungle was limited, and the city fell into decline and ruin as they slowly learned that unlike in their homeland, magic and might is not always the answer to every problem in the Jungle. The Suel learned a painful lesson here, one known to the Olman for ages, that being that the Jungle is a greedy and jealous mistress, and the moment men fail to steadfastly maintain the little realms they've carved out beneath her canopy, the Jungle quickly devours those realms.


    chibirias wrote:
    While I do not disagree with this, I think it very dangerous to too freely suggest "stone-age" lest someone take that too literally either 1) imagining "cavemen" or 2) using it as an "excuse" as to why the Olman "must" be "inevitably" conquered. Perhaps, a term with less "Flintstones" connotations would be better.


    I understand the concern here, but I try and avoid playing semantics or using awkward terminology to describe a concept that is otherwise simple. IMO, the Olman people never mastered metalcraft beyond even the most rudimentary bronze working, except for a rare and secretive order of 'goldcrafters' whose skill with that soft metal was reserved solely for creating artistic artifacts to honor the gods and important men. (I include this idea of a goldcrafters guild only to comply with the presence of gold "swag" found in C1, and still hold to the idea that the Olman have few or no viable mines. That gold which is found rarely in Olman treasure vaults can be easily explained as the products of trade with the creatures of the Hellfurnace mountains, or the spoils of war with the Touv, melted down and recast into shapes pleasing and significant to the Olman.) This makes the Olman people a stone age culture, and I don't see a need to reinvent the language to cater to those who can't see beyond that label to understand that this does not mean that the Olman are a bunch of neanderthals running around in loincloths with pointy sticks.

    GVD wrote:
    If by this, it is meant that the Olman did/do not have the capacity to create a Rain of Colorless Fire or an Invoked Devastation, I can agree. If by this it is meant that Olman magics were generally inferior to the Suel, or Baklunish or Oeridian, more generally, I would strongly disagree. Olman magic could certainly be of a different sort but I would in no way see the Olman taking a magical backseat to anyone in terms of general wizardry.


    In a sense, I agree. The Olman shouldn't be seen as intrinsically inferior to any group, even when considering the documented arcane might of the ancient Suel. I would venture that the magic possessed by the Olman is of more of a druidic/shamanistic nature, however. Rather than researching spells to cause rifts in the fabric of reality to unleash a flood of hordelings on their enemies, the Olman focus more on subtle manipulation of the Jungle, rivers and seas to their advantage. Summoning and control of the various beasts of the Jungle should also be a common pursuit for Olman spellcasters. So, basically, I'd not say that the Olman magic is inferior to that of the Suel, it's just different. On the open field of battle, Suloise warmages would easily decimate Olman armies, but in the shadowy depths of the Jungle, Olman magic becomes the stuff of Suloise nightmares.

    The same can be said of the supposed arcane and technological "advantage" Keoland and the SB are said to have over Olman and Amedi alike. Yah, in the coastal villages where the sword and spell of the Flanaess are still viable tools, Keoland and the SB enjoy quick and demonstrative success, but as they venture into the shadows of the Jungle and mage and mercenary alike grow weary and blighted by the Jungle's heat and humidity, things become far more uncertain. The expedition of Matreyus into the Jungle is ample evidence for this theory, despite extensive preparation and planning, assumably using the most advanced magic and weapons available to a Keoish explorer, the expedition suffered horrendous losses to Jungle maladies and "savage natives" alike.

    In our campaign, which has ventured into the Jungle a little here and there, the act of brashly storming into the Jungle, relying on the "obvious" superiority of the men of the Flanaess and ignoring the warnings of friendly natives, is known as "Matreyus's Folly".
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    Thu Sep 08, 2005 9:17 am  

    Chibirias:

    “In order to preserve the unique flavor of the Olman people, and prevent them from becoming lame -jungle flan-, the language established in C1 must be preserved.

    “Maybe the precedent set in C1 is a good solution, whenever an "Olman" word appears, simply place the pronunciation and definition in parantheses directly after it.”

    I whole heartedly agree with you premise, “preserve the unique flavor of the Olman people, and prevent them from becoming lame -jungle flan-“, but I do not agree with the unequivocal “must” in your conclusions.

    It would be a shame if any work on the Olman were too complicated to be used.

    Your name, IMO, is not a great example to make you point because it is a relatively short word and its syllables can be fairly easily deduced from its spelling. I think it is border-line, but only because it has four syllables. Fewer would be easier to mentally internalize. More importantly, it is only one word. I doubt I am capable of internalizing twenty five-syllable words in a given article.

    That being said, I think your suggestion of putting a pronunciation with the word is a good one. Also, I would point out that the visual appearance of words, including the use of “x”, “tl” etc, helps create the unique image. However, I would also hazard to guess that those spellings were not pre-Colombian, and so faithfulness to them should only be a function of their utility.

    I do not recall if it was done in the module or not, but I seem to recall Zotzilaha being refered to as Zotz, or something like that. That too seems like an approach that is worthy of consideration.

    For my own part, for the project I am currently working on, I am equating the Aztec Chalchihuitlicue with the Mayan Ix Chel, and using the name of the later because “ee’shell”, is easier to pronounce in addition to the fact that the translation is more appropriate for my purposes.

    On a final note, the Olman and their names need to be considered in the context that the Amedio is not Mesoamerica. Although C1 established certain names as canon, the Olman are not any particular Mesoamerican culture. While they are being developed, consideration should be given to making them appropriate for GH, rather simply trying to puzzle together different earthly bits.
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    Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:43 pm  
    What's up with those Olman names.

    First, let me mention that I can understand the points made in this thread by most. I can see it from both sides. I am specifically referring to maintaining the language-flavor of the words in the Olman/Amedio regions, and their usage.

    The types of names that are difficult are nearly unpronouncable to those who do not read, write, or speak Spanish. Thankfully, I do. Therefore, I can actually say the name "Xuxeanteanlahucozolazapaminanco" out loud (although I did have to practice it a bit). It is the name of the gibbering mouther god-king of Chetanicatla that consumed the three most powerful high priests of the god Huhueteotl, and agglomeratated their names into its own.

    Also, the name Huhueteotl is, by itself a word offering an example of syllables that are foreign to the English-speaking tongue. The "tl" combination, especially at the end or beginning of words, confuses most poeple that would be reading the material. (E.g Tlazarantli, Tlaman, or Tlaloc.)

    That having been said, I entirely agree with Chibirias that we, as DM's, have an obligation to maintain that flavor. Chances are, if someone is interested in running a Olman/Amedio/Hepmonaland adventure or campaign, they are either likely to be able to puzzle them out, or figure out an alternative (such as shortening them, or using descriptions such as "Vampire Bat God" to make it more convertable to note-taking, while still saying the name frequently enough that the players still know it). But the names should maintain their real-world language inspirations, IMO, because the are supposed to be foreign. The majority of PC's in the Flanaess are not giong to know anything about them, and their culture -and by extension, their language- aren't going to be understood. They should be baffled by the unusual sounds, and think it odd. The best way to do that is to make the player's themselves feel that way. It shouldn't be so inaccessible that they can't comprehend what's being said, but there should be a feel of uncertainty and displacement when they encounter these people. I think that the Savage Tide Adventure Path did a fair job of doing so, but left plenty of room for a knowledgable DM to add nore detail, without taking away from the adventure if the DM wasan't able to do that.

    That's my $.02 worth. It's all fun, and DM's can shorten or lengthen names, pronounce them with an accent or not, and it will still be fun for the group that plays together, because ideally, each player is comfortable enough with the others that they have similar tastes, and the DM will know what they're looking for.
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    Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:21 am  

    It is hard to believe that this thread is 3 years old. Glad to see you have taken an interest in it, Icarus.

    The notes in this article directly relate:

    http://www.canonfire.com/cf/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=763
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