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    Canonfire :: View topic - More on the Hold of the Sea Princes
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    More on the Hold of the Sea Princes
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:59 am  
    More on the Hold of the Sea Princes

    http://unfrozencavemandicechucker.blogspot.com/2013/02/ethnology-of-greyhawk-who-lives-in-hold.html

    First, thanks to the blogger for writing a fun blog.

    Next, using these ideas as I develop my version of THotSP.
    The two sources do appear to conflict.

    I read it like so:
    The majority of local people show a typical Oerid-Suel mix with slight Flan influences.
    A large minority of Amedian Suloise slaves (and some freedmen) exists, reinforced by fresh arrivals from the Amedio Jungle.
    And pockets of endogamous, clannish 'Old' Suel live in certain districts[/i]
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:38 am  

    I've always considered the inland people to be a bit more Suel than Oreidian - not pure Suel, but distinctly fairer than the usual SO mix.

    The port cities, having been pirate havens for so long, are likely a complete ethnological mishmash of mixed blood. All human subtypes (and likely demi-human, and even some humanoids!) are likely to be found, with half-breeds aplenty.

    Imagine "Dread Tortuga" as depicted in "Pirates of the Carribean". Now tone down the excesses with a century or so of 'going legit'. There'll still be plenty of rough edges, and bloodlines will be much more based on accomplishment (legal and otherwise) than purity.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:46 pm  

    Tortuga, nice!


    I am looking at gods next.

    Given the geography, demography, and dominant alignment( Neutral) I think:

    Bralm?
    Joramy (Common deity, neutral aligned, Hell-furnaces fit portfolio)
    Bleredd?
    Xerbo (primary biz and sailing god)
    Boccob? (probably not a popular deity, though. He seems so wizard focused. and wizards aren't that common)
    Obad Hai (freedom aspect may appeal to both freedmen and runaways)
    Velnius ?
    Fharlangn (overland travelers, explorers)
    Celestian (navigators)
    Kelanen (referenced in the Treasures of Greyhawk,IIRC)
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:52 pm  

    It looks like Ehlonna is also worshipped. Maybe just in Berghof, or maybe in other areas as well.
    Her rivalry with Obad Hai could spice things up if I use both powers in the Hold.

    Either her cult or that of Obad Hai may have Golden Bough thing going on someplace.

    Were Nerull cultists present in Treasures of GreyhawK? I will look...
    GreySage

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    Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:41 pm  

    I like the two visions of the Hold mentioned above and want to add that I've imagined the races of the Sea Princes to be less mixed than in other nations.

    Basically, the Suel and Oeridians maintain their family bloodlines from the time of the migrations and don't inter-marry often. The fewer Flan in the land are also excluded from inter-marrying with the Suel an Oeridians, so their race doesn't mix much with the others either.

    Thus, you have slave-owning families of Suel or Oeridian heritage, fighting (mostly politically) amongst themselves, while the Flan are the slaves. In the cities, there are larger populations of free peoples (including demi-humans and humanoids) which inter-breed as often as would be common in most other centers of population in the Flanaess.

    This vision also works with the SOf designation as well as the migrations map and written history.

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    Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:58 pm  

    The Sea Princes are Oerth's version of Umbar. Using ICE's sourcebook, I assume a Suel aristocracy (Numenorean) with Oeridians as a middle class, and a hodgepodge underneath them of serfs and slaves.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:44 am  

    Those are all fun takes on it.

    My slaves vary in ethnic origins, although many are Suloise from the Amedio. But they can also come from among the native poor, debtors, and felons.
    You can't tell who is a slave just by looking at his features. Slave collars or other identification are thus used.
    GreySage

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    Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:05 pm  

    Here's my hot take:

    Freeholder: a mostly archaic collective name for the natives of the Yeomanry (formerly the Yeoman Freeholds; formerly the Northern Freeholds) and the Hold of the Sea Princes (formerly the Southern Freeholds). Though separated by the Hool Marshes and the Tors Hills and the formidable Melkotia Castle, the two peoples share a reputation for fierce independence (from Keoland) and a similar ethnic makeup (both are listed as SOf in the Guide).

    Holdsman or Holder: This is what you call someone from the Hold of the Sea Princes. Holders view themselves as wolves, while they view their Yeoman cousins as sheep, overly domesticated and lacking the fierceness of their southern cousins. As for the Keoish, they may think of themselves as lions, but the Holdsmen know them to be dogs, obedient pets of their masters who dream of becoming wolves.

    Tolax: After the War of the Fiery Kings, the Suloise House of Tolax was given custody over the Kendeen Pass and charged with guarding it from their fortress of Tol Kendeen for the rest of time. Independent from the other houses and answerable only to the Emperor, House Tolax took their charge seriously. They grew a reputation of being harsh as the pass they defended, worshipers of Wee Jas in her role as guardian of the gateway to other realms. House Rhola were the greatest rivals of House Tolax. During their time as emperors of the Suel, the Rhola had expanded their empire far beyond the bounds of the Hellfurnaces into Jeklea Bay and they hungered to do so again, yet they were thwarted by the stubborn will of the Tolax. It wasn't until the ruling imperial house of Zolax initiated the employment of humanoid mercenaries in 5050 SD that circumstances changed. For the first time in centuries, the Tolax were forced to open the gates of Kendeen Pass to permit the entrance of roka, chebi, and hochebi troops. Whether it was wrathful servants of the Tolax who initiated the subsequent battle or whether the humanoids decided to attack Tol Kendeen for sport is unclear, but while the gates were open combat initiated and the castle was destroyed, leaving Kendeen Pass undefended. The Tolax, feeling betrayed by the emperor they served, abandoned their centuries-long vigil and left for the Flanaess, the first of their race to do so, but with Tol Kendeen in ruins the way was open for many to follow. The Tolax eventually settled on the site of what would become known as Gradsul. There they thrived until after the Rain of Colorless Fire, when survivors of their ancient rivals House Rhola decided that Gradsul should be theirs. The outcome was inevitable: the Tolax were driven from their home once again and this time they fled further south, founding Port Toli on the peninsula south of Flotsam Island. From this capital they founded a kingdom built on the labor of captive Flan, who introduced to the culture knowledge of the god Nerull the Reaper. A theological shift began among the Tolax, and they began viewing their patron Wee Jas as not just the guardian of other realms, but specifically the one who guards the world from Nerull. The next cultural shift began with the downfall of Vecna, when necromancers serving the Whispered One began fleeing to the lands of the Tolax to escape the purges of the Neheli. Slipping easily among captive and free Flan, their dark knowledge seeped deep into the Tolax culture, to the point when the Rhola kings of Keoland found it easy to convince their countrymen that the Tolax were a culture of vile necromancers rather than a culture dedicated to defending the world from the horrors of the underworld, and the ensuing wars were inevitable.

    Keoish: The Keoish invaded the Kingdom of Tolax early on in their history, and after a series of exhausting wars conquered it, making Monmurg the seat of their new province, the Duchy of Monmurg. Prior to this, Tolax was a nation of Flan with a Suloise ruling caste, but the Suel-Oerid Keoish brought with them Oeridian gods and cultural ideals like feudalism that came from Oeridian traditions, imposing new faiths and social structures on the Tolax people. With a new conquering power to form common cause with, the Suel and Flan inhabitants of the Tolax kingdom began to blend together, becoming identifiable as a dusky-skinned people with a cultural fixation on death and the afterworld. They may not have been necromancers prior to the invasion, but as a form of guerilla resistance, necromancers began to thrive among them. The gate opens both ways, Tolax are fond of saying as they open it to let in undead to curse their enemies. The province of Souragne near Sasserine to the south is drenched in Tolax culture and lore.

    The Keoish, though not pure Oerids, are as close to Oeridians as the Holders know. After the Hold of the Sea Princes successfully regained its independence from Keoland after the Siege of Westkeep in 453 CY, those of Keoish ethnicity in the Hold began referring to themselves as "Oeridians" in part to relieve themselves of some of the sting of being associated with the imperialist dogs of the Rhola. They often look to Jascar, Phaulkon, Osprem, and Xerbo as patrons, as well as Oeridian gods like Procan, Heironeous, Zilchus, and Fharlanghn.

    Islander: The inhabitants of the islands Flotsom, Jetsom, Fairwind, Illwind, and Sybarate are to some degree a people apart, a mongrel combination of Keoish, Olman, Amedi, Tolax, and other influences, including descendants of the pre-cataclysmic Suel colonies dating back to the Rhola dynasty. The ethnic conflicts of the mainland are of little concern to them. They take a light approach to religion, but favor sea and wind gods as well as chaotic gods like Norebo, Trithereon, and the celestial Gwynharwyf, in addition to demon cults of Dagon and Demogorgon. In Sybarate they favor Sotillion as their patron, as well as the alien Green Man and his dark brother Lord Barleycorn.

    Amedi: Sometimes the descendants of slaves, free Amedi assimilate well into Holder society after a few generations; their tan skins and freckles are not uncommon traits among other Holders. They look to Llerg as their primary patron, though demon cults are not unknown among them.

    Atem: This is an Olman nation found deep within the Amedio Jungle at the source of the Bodal River. The Atem are commonly brought to the Hold of the Sea Princes as slaves, often purchased by Holders in the human trafficking markets of Fort Bodal and Port Elizabeth. They have a strong druidic tradition among their female line, as well as a tradition of female warriors equal to their men. The Atem commonly venerate Chitza-Atlan, Coatlicue, Huehueteotl, Mictlantecuhtli, and Tlazolteotl. Their god Mictlantecuhtli is so much like Nerull in nature and appearance that the two names are used interchangeably by some in the Hold. Free Atem are more likely to blend with the Tolax than any other group apart from the Islanders, and Tolax necromancers sometimes include spirits of the Olman underworld in their books of otherworldly lore.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:07 pm  

    Pretty cool, Rasgon.

    Who are the Tolax? Are they from SKR's Scatlet Brotherhood book? Some guys you made up?

    I like that you include a Petty Gods reference with the Islanders.
    GreySage

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    Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:00 am  

    CombatMedic wrote:
    Who are the Tolax? Are they from SKR's Scatlet Brotherhood book? Some guys you made up?


    They're my version of what Sam Weiss called the Toli. I changed the name as a back-formation from the house of Zolax from the Oerth Journal #1 timeline, and as a way to not blatantly plagiarize him. I tried to make my version different, with a different name and history, and didn't reference his work while writing the above.

    The name comes from Port Toli in the Hold of the Sea Princes, but it seemed odd in the context of what I was writing for a major settlement to have the exact same name as an out-of-power ethnic group, so I felt better about it being slightly different.

    But here's some of his work:

    Grand Sheldomar Timeline Part 1.

    Part II.

    The Rhola and the Toli: The Battle for Jeklea Bay.

    In Sam's version, the Toli are "a prime example of everything bad about the old Suel Imperium," necromancers with no redeeming features, and I wondered what it'd be like if they were instead unfairly maligned and disenfranchised worshipers of Wee Jas with kind of a Voodoo slant to them.

    I like the idea of having ethnic groups that don't precisely correspond to the Migrations-era races, but have their own reasons for animosity and conflict. I thought of making the Tolax be of pure Suloise extraction, but then I'd have to think of something to do with the Flan minority, and I think they're a little more interesting as a blended people.
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:07 am  

    Looks cool. It appeals to my love of all things necromantic and Wee Jas.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:42 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    CombatMedic wrote:
    Who are the Tolax? Are they from SKR's Scatlet Brotherhood book? Some guys you made up?


    They're my version of what Sam Weiss called the Toli. I changed the name as a back-formation from the house of Zolax from the Oerth Journal #1 timeline, and as a way to not blatantly plagiarize him...


    -If you acknowledge him, it's not plagiarism. The Zoli it is! Wink
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:46 am  

    The Shackled City

    Many slaves toil in Cauldron's mines, workshops, and quarries that the city. By law, all wear chains. This has earned the nickname " The Shackled City."
    Slaves also provide most of the workforce on the outlying latifundia.
    A scribe might wear lightweight brass links that do not hinder his range of motion.

    Several times a year , traders bring fresh slaves up from the port at Sasserine after bringing them over the coast route from the Amedian trading posts.

    The city state maintains its formal independence from both Sasserine and the Sea Princes, but enjoys close ties with both. Especially with its sister city and port, Sassrerine.

    Neither settlement is secret or hidden from the rest of the Flanaess.

    Short of buying all those issues of Dungeon, or the SCAP book, does anyone know where to find info on Cauldron , other the the wiki here?
    Is there a player's guide PDF?
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