Sat Oct 01, 2005 5:19 pm
See the link above for the article that triggered Samwise and Woesinger's discussion about the so-called Grand Duchy of Berghof.
My interest in Berghof began when I read the LGJ Campaign Updates and discussed possibly submitting articles to Erik Mona. I acquired and read the relevant modules and then started imagining how to incorporate them into the LGH canon.
In so doing I developed ideas about Utavo the Wise and his multi-racial alliance (Touv, Olman, and possibly Amedian Suel)--connecting their various magicks to the mysterious inhabitants of Lake Spendlowe and attempting to rationalize the German names.
Recently (in the past year), I discussed some of my ideas at the Greychat. Gary Holiand agreed that the Germanic problem might be resolved by creating an Oeridian-led army that was sent into the region (March of Monmurg) and then isolated by the resurgent Toli.
Braiding this with some of Samwise's work, the "grand" appellation (and legal status) might have been established after the death of the Sea Prince--when the "modern" Hold of the Sea Princes was incorporated as a sovereign nation, independent of the Kingdom of Keoland. The "Grand Duchy" may have been a necessary capitulation for the lords of Monmurg and Port Toli, who could not afford to war with Berghof.
In other words, while a "grand duchy" in name, the title and lands were not derived from royalty but instead from the power elite of the Hold of the Sea Princes ("Seolders," to use Jason Farina's old word). However, Berghof may well have been a "duchy" in the sense that it was the demesne of a duke / dux--an imperial general. (Also, recall that tSB holds that the word duke derives from the Suloise-vocca. Perhaps the Seolders--inheritors of the Toli Suel--ultimately called Berghof a grand duchy because of their linguistic / cultural heritage.)
Grand Duke Berghof then could have been a Keogh Oeridian. His army--predominantly Oeridian but already mixed with Suloise and Flan families--may have conquered the region around Lake Spendlowe and used many Old Oeridian words to name its places. These names could be form a distinctive dialect. They may have been replacements for the original Flan-vocca names of certain places--the pass, the site of the citadel, etc. If one accepts these ideas, then these distinctively odd, "Berghovian" (?), words are the German words we read in the UK modules.
In this version of Berghof, the people against whom Grand Duke Berghof struggled were some group of Amedian Toli Suel, who fled into the jungles but retained some of the civilization of their ancestors (including the necromancy). This branch of the Toli Suel may even have settled a significant part of the ports of the Amedio Jungle's "Hook."
Note that I realize that I am comporting with much of what Samwise and Woesinger suggest. Indeed, I hope to braid together as many of the ideas about Berghof as makes sense to me.
For example, Woesinger questions the need to construct magickal artifacts to destroy or defend "Alderweig"--the Citadel of the Eagle. Where he wonders about Firstcomer Suel scavenging "some lore salvaged from the fall of the Imperium[,]" I look instead to the magicks of the mixed Flan and Olman peoples who may have orginally settled and struggled within the region. I prefer to have some Keogh Oeridians and Toli Suel uncovering eldritch mysteries of the Flan and Olman (and perhaps some ancient reptilian spell-casters) rather than merely having the magick be from the Suloise Imperium--not that some of these secrets can't also be part of the lore that resulted in the Gauntlet and the Sentinel).
Regarding the relative power differences between artifacts & relics, lesser artifacts, Epic magic items, "weapons (items) of legacy," and "souped up magic items," I am ignorant, so I make no comment at this time.