One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Also, what do you think about Shiboleth, City of Veils. The theme here is that this area is one of the few areas of the Flaness that does produce Silk, but only in limited quantities. Therefore it is very expensive, and merchants tend to flaunt their wealth by wearing silk veils, ofthen with gold thread and gems encrusted on them.
Wolfsire. What if City of Veils was too Baklunish.What if that is what the Baklunish call Shiboleth. And they have an interest in Shiboleth because that is the only place they can get the Red Silk they like so much? Help here.
I dont know what we need to do with Shiboleth, but Shiboleth is a great name. It reminds me for some reason of the dark and dangerous cities of the Conan series and Howards antediluvian world. Shadizar and such. It is, IMO, a great name, the name of a city with ancient roots and equally ancient secrets. They dont have to be world spanning, continent wide disaster style secrets, but dark and dangerous secrets nonetheless.
Just because of its location GM should have a sizable Baklunish population. Shiboleth is, however, very far to the south. I don't know the history well enough, but it could have been founded long ago by Vecna or before or after if the Baklune empires streached that far. Currently, it would probably be treated something like a ghetto in the traditional sense, self-regulating but kept in its place. Baklunes could have been forced to live there. POWs?
Certainly, the very existance of such a city would have national impact for the Marchers. The Knights and the Army would have to give them special treatment. Would/could the inhabitants serve? How would they be guarded? Would it be regarded as a sin city? Would it take advantage of such a reputation economically? Would it increase prejudice?
I have heard that isolated populations tend to emphasise their cultural differences, so it could be that a lot of people wear veils there to demonstrate their national pride. If that was limited to women, how would the independant and competent women of the March view that?
A quick check of the net seems to indicate that very position:
“A shibboleth is a kind of linguistic password: A way of speaking (a pronunciation, or the use of a particular expression) that identifies one as a member of an 'in' group. The purpose of a shibboleth is exclusionary as much as inclusionary: A person whose way of speaking violates a shibboleth is identified as an outsider and thereby excluded by the group. ... The word shibboleth in ancient Hebrew dialects meant 'ear of grain' (or, some say, 'stream'). Some groups pronounced it with a sh sound, but speakers of related dialects pronounced it with an s. ” http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~kemmer/Words/shibboleth.html
Pronunciation: (shib'u-lith, -leth"), [key]
1. a peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons.
2. a slogan; catchword.
3. a common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.
Wolfsire... I think we have firmly establish that Gran March has a fairly low Baklunish population, due to the anti Baklunish sentiment in the Nation, stemming from the mandate of the KoW. However, I was not implying that Shiboleth is a Baklunish city, rather it is a city that is widely known in the Baklunish lands due to the products it produces. The only Baklunish I see in Shiboleth is possibly the Merchants of Molquolad (I think I remembered the name correctly) and some envoys there to discuss trade, possibly from Ekbir.
In Shiboleth, they are probably more tolerated than in most places, as they would be an important trade partner. As we currently see it, and this is subject to radical change, Shiboleth is a major producer of unique dyes due to the close proximity to the Rushmoors. They also produce a fair amount of finished, dyed cotton and wool, as those are domestic resources of the March. However, they also produce some (not much) high quality silk in the area around Shiboleth.
Madder Rush (or better a Beetle which eats the rush), which produces a rare dye is combined with the equally rare silk This combination could be a highly sought commodity in the West. This is exactly the type trade concession that made many ancient city states, particularly the Phonecians and their shell fish dyes. Madder root is actually a historic source of dye, as are insects.
Shiboleth Silk sounds like something someone would want dosent it?
“When the armies of Keoland pushed northward in a seemingly futile gesture, they found little resistance. Vecna was dead, his empire shattered. The Flan tribes now warred against each other, a primitive rabble easily brought down by a military-religious order of knights formed to do battle with a lich. Compared to that service, settling the lands that would become the Gran March was easy.
Decades later, as indentured Flan dug the foundations of the city of Shiboleth, three remnants of the battle between Vecna and Kas rested upon the floor of the Rushmoors. A hand, an eye, and a sword black as death. Their story had just begun."
 -422 The Twin Cataclysms strike.
 -422 Slerotin leads 12 Houses to the Sheldomar
 -368 Gradsul founded
 -359 Niole Dra Founded
 -357 Empire of Vecna falls as Kas the Bloody-Handed slays the Whispered One, the Lord of the Spider Throne
 -354 Keogh enter the Sheldomar
 -342 Great Council of Niole Dra
I would say the Keoish might have founded Shiboleth to quarantine Baklune. That could be before or after the Twin Cataclysms to either clean up Vecna’s mess or to deal with migrations after. I think there should be some Vecna issues in Shiboleth, if not actuall pieces, maybe some blood stains. Red silk might go good with that.
Cool references Wolfsire. I think that I would make Shiboleth the second city founded by the Keoish. The first would be Lortenford, which you may or maynot be able to find on a map. Yabs is not releasing them quite yet. Check your pm for my message. Lortenford makes, IMO a better foothold town, and therefore would be my choice for crossing the Rushstream. I would think it has the oldest chapterhouse of the KoW in the Sheldomar, though it is a city of secondary commercial significance and is therefore more of a forgotten backwater, with limited political influence.
Shiboleth I think would have been built by indentured tribesmen, but taht does not mean that this was not the location of Fleeth. The spanish and their actions in central america strike me as terribly similar here.
In most cases, the Spainish often refused to recognize that there were even ciities before they arrived. After all, they were only savages.
Fleeth was either an early Keoish city, or a group of Flan who opposed Vecna. I did not read Iquanders piece to say that Vecna died on the spot of Shiboleth. I would say that there is an ancient hatred of vecna brewining in Shiboleth, one so strong and vile that it has itself become evil.
AM: "I did not read Iquanders piece to say that Vecna died on the spot of Shiboleth. I would say that there is an ancient hatred of vecna brewining in Shiboleth, one so strong and vile that it has itself become evil."
I did not either. I don't have any of the materials to look into it. The only cross reference I saw was The Defeat of Vecna by Rasgon at http://www.canonfire.com/cf//modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=29, saying "Vecna exploded" on another plane and the pieces to fell throught a gate. That could mean the pieces were in one spot or an area covering miles. I don't know, but prefer a large area because it allow for contamination.
Also, I don't know if Liches even have blood. Kas, as a vampire, would. If he was an original, but terminated, blood-line as suggested Setanta forum, Vampiric Bloodlines of Oerth, you could do virtually anything reasonable with his blood, with respect to powers and effects, without altering history. For starters, those Beetles, when not muching on contaminated rushes might act like rot grubs.
Madder Rush (or better a Beetle which eats the rush), which produces a rare dye is combined with the equally rare silk This combination could be a highly sought commodity in the West. This is exactly the type trade concession that made many ancient city states, particularly the Phoenicians and their shell fish dyes. Madder root is actually a historic source of dye, as are insects.
Madder eating beetle that produces silk is as good as a respectable non loser Knights of the Watch
Quite seriously though I really like this idea. I did a little reading on silk last night and it appears that though it started in China the production of silk moved across the middle east to Italy, Spain and France which had successful silk industries (we need to be careful we are not victims of our own stereotypes). I was going to suggest the Mulberry tree as the City’s symbolic plant as the silk worm feeds on mulberry leaves, but I think the madder eating beetle that produces it own silk is difference yet not far fetched to give that excellent creative touch. We should go with that. One of the more successful industries in Shilobeth is the madder eating silk producing beetle. Now you just need to name it Anced.
I am sorry after re reading this I see that you not said that the beetle produces silk. Oh well I still think you are on the right track. Oh yeah the silk would be red.
Also I think that the name of Shilobeth should hint at the secret that surrounds it and reflect its nearness to the Rushmoor. Something like the City of Mist and Veils hinting that not all is as it seems. _________________ "Its a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR Tolkien
Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.
"In the early years after the destruction of the empire of Vecna, the Knights struggled to suppress the various Flan Tribes north of the Rushmoors. The Rushmoors themselves, the Knights were reticent to enter.
Filled with quicksand, disease ridden insects, and poisonous creatures of ever description, this area was treacherous by any standard. The evershifting waterways, trackless marshes, and endless expanses of rushes too tall for a man to see over were dangerous enough on their own to kill most men, and claimed nearly a dozen parties of Knights before the expeditions were halted. Even experianced rangers and scouts from the Keoish Army, men experianced in the Hool Marshes and the Dreadwood were reluctant to travel into the Moors. The Rushmoors were the domain of Flan Tribes who knew the ways of the place. And it was the realm of creatures mcuh worse.
After the loss of so many men, the Knights abandoned conquest quietly, and instead began building a new city from which to expand northward, one that could watch over the slumbering swamp. They had first established a base or camp at the fords that crossed the river, where the Lort and Rushflow became the Sheldomar. But this camp was not the city that they needed; its location was forced by their enemies, this new city would stand upon conquered ground.
They forced the conquered tribes of Flan to begin the construction of their new capital, on the site of another ancient city. The Knights did not know the name of this place, for it had been destroyed before they ever crossed the Rushflow. But the Flan huddled around their fires at night, stealing glances at the night. They knew that Vecna had destroyed this city for its defiance, leaving only the rulers alive to carry the tale and mourn their dead.
Only one Tribe worked on the building of the city willingly, and it is from them that the name is taken. During the time of Vecna they had refused to yield to his evil, and it is said they paid a terrible price, though what they never revealed. They were led by a shaman of untold age, one far older than any other living man, she was called Shiùladh, "the midwife." When asked she told the Commander that this place was the Shiuil Bol benth, or the Birthplace. The Knights took this as a good omen, believing it foretold a great realm. Unfamiliar with the Flan tounge, and of no mind to learn it, the Knights called the place Shiboleth.
This tribe did not welcome the Knights, but they accepted their protection and training, and in return taught them the ways of the land. What was good to eat, and what was poisonous. What could bring healing, and keep the diseases away. It is said that this tribe worked on the city until its walls were complete, then with the blessing of the Knights, adopted the ways of the south and settled in the new city.
Later scholars, much more fluent in the language of the Flan, question the original translation. They agree that Shiuladh means midwife, but Shiuil Bol benth is not just "Birthplace," but "Birthplace of Hatred." It is also said that the Midwife also called the place "Dámh Tuanaig," or the Tomb of the Tribe.
It was from the knowledge of this tribe that the economy of the city is derived. As the Knights pushed ever north they lost interest in Shiboleth, its strategic importance being limited. In time, the Knights built Hookhill as their capital, and the Warriors left the streets to merchants, much as they had in Lortenford.
The March was already producing cotton, and a cottage industry of weavers was taking hold. From the first days merchants of Shiboleth had traded with the tribesmen of the Rushmoors, and from them procured several plants which yielded rare and wonderous dyes. Then during the reign of Cedrian I, a young man arrived in Shiboleth with a wagon full of trees, and box filled with small catapillars. Al'Miran To' Abin was the name he gave, and he convinced several wealthy merchants that these trees were the secrets to silk, a cloth rarely seen even in the court of Niole Dra.
Several orchards were planted and for several year Al'Miran and his investors waited. And waited. Nearly ten years they waited. Then, in the fifteenth year of Cedrian's reign, the trees were ready. After so much time it seemed impossible that they could enjoy such great success. The diligent little worms produced cloth of the finest quality, and even the King was wearing silk dyed Shiboleth Red.
Alas, the trees were not as hardy as the worms, and in the last year of Cedrian's reign, an unusually harch winter struck. The catapillars survived well, but on the next spring the trees did not sprout leaves and even the ablest druid was unable to revive them. Al'Miram died penniless, and his descendants changed their name and lived in obscurity.
Nearly one hundred years later, Al'Miram's great grandson, one Naldin Merwith, was a moderately succesful dye trader. He was working with a guide in the Rushmoors, collecting Madder Rush for his next batch of Shiboleth Red, when he noticed a small worm weaving a cocoon on the tuft at the top of the stalk. His excitement could not be contained and he immediately returned to his shop. There he took down the journal of his ancient grandfather had kept of making silk, and went in search of someone who could read Bakluni.
The City of Shiboleth has prospered since its founding as an agricultural and herbal center. Within 150 years of its founding its cottage cloth makers had become a force in the local economy and moved to become the predominant industry, which they still are today. However, Al'Miram's discovery was the tilting point from prosperity to riches. The Silk became popular in the western courts, particularly in those areas that still hold harems. The silk is most often used as a veil, it's vibrant red considered a color of passion, and the fabric considered softer than any other known in the Flaness (though this is contested from a number of quarters).
Oddly, the Baklunish fascination with the silk and it's use as a veil has led to the city's moniker "City of the Veil." In some crude, and often intentional mistranslations it is called "The Veiled City." This is due to the similarity in sound to the Baklunish word for Veil. However, scholars know that this is one of the pranks of history, and that the name actually has nothing to do with the Baklunish West.
It is of note though, that this became a subject of some discussion after the recent invasion of Bissell by Ket. A rather charismatic and ignorant burgher of the city, known as Merchlonwan, began to decry both the use of a Baklunish name for their beloved city, and the silk trade itself. He claimed that both were unpatriotic. Anyone who opposed him, even distinguished veterans and emminent scholars were shouted down as "sympathizers." It should be noted that he was a cotton factor of some influence. Unfortuantely he slipped and hanged himself with a silk rope after a particularly vehement rally. The authorities ruled it an accident.
Though silk is the most profitable of items produced by Barony Shiboleth, it is not the one which brings in the most profit. The dyes of Shiboleth are sought after as far after as the Great Kingdom, and this keeps the trade brisk. Though the dye merchants do not earn as much as they would on silk, they have one hundred times the dye to sell. Therefore, this is the true staple of the local economy.
Last edited by Anced_Math on Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:17 am; edited 2 times in total
Sounds excellent Anced I am very impressed. To add to the city name debate I would think that "City of Veils" or "City of the Veil" could be taken two ways. Once literally as a reference to a silken veil worn by some of the nobility, and perhaps a darker reference to the fact that the present city has a veiled past. Of course, the former is widely known, and the latter only amongst scholars. _________________ The only Good hobbit is a well-done hobbit.
That is nice. I agree with Yabusama, but would not want to change your Flan origination. I do think there should be some recognition that the name in real world is Semitic, which naturally suggests Baklunish. Something like the following could reinforce the death, enemy, mystery, and silk motifs if placed after or at the end of the "scholars" paragraph.
“It is commonly agreed that the current name of the city is derived from Baklunish mispronunciation. Keoish mispronunciations, then derived from varied Sueloise and Oeridians dialects, were too inconstant to take hold. It is not thought to be accidental that in Baklunish “shibboleth” means veiled or shrouded and is used to indicate cultural differences. It is somewhat of a mystery whether such meaning ante- or post-dates the founding of the city.”
City of Lances I think is a good name of Hookhill.
Yabusama given the climate the area East of Hookhill is excellent for wine as well. To me it would be similar to Southern France near the Alps this is good wine country. I wondering if you can add that to the resource map. _________________ "Its a dangerous business going out your front door." JRR Tolkien
Unless you are a Greyhawk Heretic.
Wolfsire, I tried to actually tie in the name to Gaelic, which is (and this is real mushy) the real world equivalent of Flan. I realize that the name is identical to a semitic word, but I am just having difficulty believing that there is anychance that the Knights as we know them would use a Baklunish word. I see no reason that it must happen that way, though I am not opposed to it.
I know what you are saying, and I agree that the Knights would not intentionally name a place with a Baklunish word, although it is generally the exception that proves the rule and things might have been different back then. Before you suggested the Flan, I was thinking perhaps quarantined Baklune named the city, but your explanation is better.
My agreement is why, after your explanation, I said I would not want to change the Flan origin of the city name, and why I indicated ambiguity as to the origin of the Baklunish word. However, I think it would be contrary to intent of Gygax, assuming he named the place; the expectations of those with greater linguistic knowledge than me; the economics of the silk trade, insofar as such a Baklunish name would promote trade; and the mysterious nature of the city to not expressly recognize a Baklunish association with the name. I don’t doubt it could be done in a better way than what I wrote.
Maybe the KotW tried calling it Madderton, and still do, after they figured out that the corruption had greater implications, but nobody but else would call it that. Or maybe they have always insisted it is Flan, as it is, but everyone knows in their heart it is also Baklunish. Such a conflict only adds to the mystery of the city. Consider that it may be one of the few towns in the March without an Indo-European name and that it was abandoned by the KotW. Perhaps the corruption is even the result of the abiding presence of Vecna. He would certainly get a kick out of the Marcher unwittingly naming themselves their enemy and the resulting self-doubt.
Anyway, thanks again for the opportunity to put in my two cents.
Well basically Hookhill describes a hook in a hill with a hook being a bend, so maybe I need to make the 'hill' on my Hookhill map 'hooked' _________________ The only Good hobbit is a well-done hobbit.
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