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Reworked alternate Atruaghin clansby Greg Weatherup
just noticed that you kept Kadesh & Peshmir, I wonder what could be there now....Kadesh and Peshmir actually aren't intended to be there as places so much, though I borrowed the underlying geography. I envisioned that region being filled with Makistan's locations instead, so a trade trail would link Sablestone with Ylaruam by traveling through Makistan.oh, I figured the Makistani valley was that patch of grassland near the western edge of the map between Ylaruam & Ethengar.
Perhaps the Atruaghi could be replaced into here? They're far more isolated here and hard to get to so it seems more likely they could maintain their lower tech existance in this secluded area. The Tiger clan could become mountain/hill/cave dwellers raiding into Ylaruam, the new Atruaghi lands, Sablestone, and even into whatever becomes of the old Nagpuri area. The Bear clan could live on the cliff face of the Adri-Varma, the Turtle clan along lake Hast (or perhaps on islands, natural or artificial floating ones, in Lake Hast). The Horse clan would likely get along great with the Ethengarians. Would need some more forests for the Elk clan though.
While struggling to fall asleep last night, and having just read the alternate Atruaghin timeline I think I worked out a back story to explain a small group of Atruaghin here, plus expanded upon that area of wilderness where the Clans used to be, I just need to find some time to type it all up before I forget it, but I'll real quick hammer out some of the key points-
I'm presuming Nithia stayed put and didn't get moved with Ylaruam for this...
* The alternate timeline has a long series of natural disasters (volcanic explosions, tidal waves, etc.), invasions, and wars reducing the population. Play that part up and combine it with an exodius fleeing the dog people [Gnolls] and a long journey to a new secluded home.
* Very small population in this region, and the culture and tradition discourages population growth. One of the many problems with the cannon Atruaghin clans was putting five so rich cultures in such a small area, So the concept of the 5 clans are gone - the majority of the small population are simply the Horse clan culture, though I suppose the Bear are numerous enough to be a clan/culture by the cannon delimination. The Turtle is more of a single family group living on a floating artifact (created by the now very minor Immortal Ahmanni) in lake Hast (or perhaps several small artifacts - not sure yet) (inspiration- the floating Islanders of lake Titicaca). Elk clan is gone (though I love the Algonquin inspired culture, their history never meshed well, and in this new smaller home there is no place for them). For tiger clan, see further down.
* Totem poles along the coastline of lake Hast are used to direct the floating artifact, and Ahmanni's role's of Sacrifice, Family, & Beauty are played up amongst her group and all the clans (which again, is only a single family group)
* Atruaghin is a minor warrior hero immortal, he never usurped Tahkati as the main patron of the clans, he never raised any plateau. Asides from Tahkati, most of the other Atruaghin Immortals take big level hits. Of course the people are thus likely not called the "Atruaghin clans" anymore. Tahkati is likely a fourth immortal amongst the Ethengarians as well (Horse people and a Horse diety, seems like a natural fit to me). Hattani changes quite a bit (after all, in cannon history what did he do to be worthy of Immortal status?) if not removed entirely.
* Much like how the Alfheim elves have Ordana-Illsundal-Mealiden as "distant overdiety/world creator"-"patron/people creator"-"local patron/hero", the new clans have The Great Spirit (Ixion, aka Tubak to the Ethengarians) - Tahkati - Mahmatti and/or Hattani, haven't decided which yet (creator of their new home).
* Much like how the Mealiden "clan" formed out of the other alfheim clans, there is a small group devoted to Atruaghin, likely the only one's to construct massive architecture (unless you count the Bear clan cliff dwellings as architecture) but I'm not sure yet just what this group's buildings should look like, an M-Aztec (Atruaghin was originally a fleeing Azcan prince IIRC), M-Mayan, M-Inca, or M-mound builders. They would be along the shores of lake Hast, perhaps in the hills to the south. Again, not a very big grouping at all, more of a single tribe than a full clan.
* Yamuga (Terra) is also becoming increasing important amongst them, likely in conjunction with Mahmatti/Hattani and with the increased Ethengarian contact.
* In the area where the Clan's were in cannon, it is still their ancient homeland before the coming of the gnolls and their flight to their new secluded valley under the guidance of Mahmati and/or Hattani.
* Danel turned against the other clans and joined "the dog people" [Gnolls], and the tiger clan still lives amongst the gnolls in the old homeland. (this changes my above previous ideals, but giving the whole Kadesh-Gunjab-Khurish Massif ranges to the tiger clan was too ambitious I think anyhow). Danel is also obsessed with trying to create or turn his people into a sort of leopard, or jaguar like rakasta race. Attempts to breed gnolls and lupins might have created a sort of degenerate lupin breed.
* Red Orcs likely also returned to the area [the old clan lands], and some of the more Dog-like kobolds also live here (replacing the Hardanger Kobold groups). Not sure yet about Goblins and worgs.... Werejaguars and perhaps even weretigers
* Fleshed out some of the new Ylaruam backstory a bit as well:
-compared thyatian settlements on the coast with Portuguese/Spanish settlements on the moroccan coast / Agadir region in the early 1500's inspiring the rise of the Saadid, which is something I'm interested in, only in this case it the rise of Al-Kalim not the Saadid's.
-Instead of the Nithian ruins as the M-Egypt ruins, now we can use some of the dwarf built Horse clan ruins from the alternate timeline (Tuapantec, Chalcatzengo, etc.)
-The Urduk become even more so the M-Berbers they were meant to be!
I've hammered out the first part of a draft timeline/backstory for the new clans. So far I've focused only on the clans story line (I'll come back to the Ylari part later) and I'm only about 2/3rds done. It's also a first draft, so I haven't spell checked it yet so there is likely a lot of typos. However, I don't know when I'll have time to come back to work on it so I thought I would go ahead and post what I've got so far to see if people like the idea or not, even if it is in a very rough format.
I realised that the ruins from John Biles timeline wouldn't work as M-"Arab era Egyptian ruins" because of the timing, but it's not that big a loss.
2800 BC: A branch of the Azcans has survived the fall of Blackmoor and now huddles in caves inside the plateau which stands on what will eventually become the Dog Clan lands. (JB modified)
2000 BC: The explosion of the Kikianu Caldera hammers the future Atruaghin Clan coast with tidal waves and rains down ash on the land. (JB - this might be troublesome given that Ierendi was moved further away)
1750 BC: The collapse of the Plateau drives the Azcans out into the ruined land to either be nomads or farmers. (JB)
1675 BC: Tahkati Stormtamer unites the Atruaghin Clans ancestors and domesticates the horse, creating a powerful force of cavalry. He sacked the city of Chalcatzengo as his first great victory. His forces drive the farmers before them, westward, creating the Alasiyans when they fuse with the Urduks to the west. (JB modified)
1494 BC: Atruatzin, emperor of the Azcans, is overthrown during a plague in the Azcan civilization in the Hollow World. (JB)
1484 BC: Quauhnahuac, last stronghold of Atruatzin, is sacked, but he and his inner circle escape. (JB)
are those two events fixed or can they be moved to a bit more recently, say 100 years?
1200s BC: Wogar's humanoids, mainly Red Orcs, enslave the Clans and the Alasiyans. Eventually a foreign wanderer (Atruatzin, known to the clan as Atruaghin) leads the clan in a revolt, allies with the Alasiyans and together they drive the Horde out. Afterwards Atruaghin resumes his wanderings.
900s BC: The Gnoll Horde, fleeing their defeat in Traladara, invade the clan lands. All seems hopeless against these Dog headed people of legend, as there numbers are too great. But then a band of heroes appears, lead by the returned legendary Atruaghin, his wife the beautiful Ahmanni, and his son the Druidic sage Mahmatti*. They relate how Hattani, a devout of Yamuga and another son of Atruaghin is creating a refuge for the clan far to the north, if they can only buy time against the gnoll hordes. This band encourages the clan not to simply submit to the gnolls, but to launch a gurrilla resistance against them. At first the strategem works, and the gnolls are largely confounded, until Atzanteotl, learning that his old foe Atruatzin had survived the attack on Quauhnahuac, tempts one of the clan leaders, Danel, into betraying the other clans and joining his Tiger clan with the Gnolls. The betrayal results in many hidden bases being overrun, thousands of civilians and warriors alike being killed, and the resistance nearly crushed. Atruaghin, Mahmatti, and company retreat deeper to the fringes still desperately trying to hold out until word can reach them that Hattani has the new home ready for them, eventually grimly being reduced to a lone fortified citadel. When all now seems lost, finally Mahmatti recieves magical word that Hattani is close and to start the exodius moving. But by now the gnolls and the Tiger clan surround their last base and they don't think they can get the people out. Finally Atruaghin comes up with a desperate plan. Atruaghin will lead a small band in a no-hope mission to delay the gnolls while Mahmatti, desquising their flight as much as he can with his magic, will lead the people out, Atruaghin only asks that Mahmatti take Ahmanni with him, by whatever means, for he knows Ahmanni will not leave his side otherwise and would die with him. Mahmatti, the dutiful son, seeing the seriousness of the situation, reluctantly agrees. Ahmanni, of course, is furious at this (It was said that her screams could be heard all the way to the HQ of the advancing Gnolls)**. Thus the last the clans saw of Atruaghin the warleader was him and a small band preparing for the suicidal fight to delay the gnolls which will hopefully give the people time to flee. Mahmatti wielded great magics in those following days as he guided the clans out of their homeland and then northwards- first he concealed the tracks of the several thousands so the gnolls couldn't follow. At one point he hid the entire group from a gnoll search party by turning everyone, for a while, into tree's in the forest. Then, skirting the coalescing Ylari groups he used dimensional travel magic so that every step they took was like three - so that they were said to have moved at times as swift as "a running elk".
*= Until after I typed it up I hadn't noted the parralels here with Halav, Petra, & Zirchev. I'm notcompletely sold on the idea that Hattani & Mahmatti were the children of Atruaghin & Ahmanni.
**= ultimately I'm not sure If Ahmanni should be dragged away by Mahmatti by force (perhaps scratching and disfiguring his face in the struggle - perhaps even making him loose an eye) or if she should 'nobly accept the neccessary sacrifice' thus affirming her connection as a patron of sacrifice.
When they eventually reach their new home to the north, a long east-west valley between a great mountain range and vast plateau (which hearkens back to legends of their own previous azcan era plateau), with a great lake at the center, they are greeted by Hattani. Hattani is overjoyed to see his brother, his mother, and all the people they saved, but is understandibly saddened at the loss and sacrifice his father had to make. But this new land is different, different climate, different flora & fauna, different weather. The Druid Mahmatti and Hattani, the cleric of Yamuga teach the Clan new methods of agriculture, and there is understandably varying levels of resistance to these new ways. Hattani leads the most willing to adapt up to the cliff face and teaches them to build terraces and to cut dwellings out of the cliff face. Mahmatti stays with those more moderates on the valley floor and teaches them new means of planting (three sisters method rather than the old slash and burn). While those most resistant take to their horses, and clerics of Tahkati teach them how to use their horses to hunt the new creatures called Bison that roam the valley. Ahmanni however, a saddened widow, with her children grown with their own responsibilities, retreats, alone, to the lake shore. Those clansmen who in the old land had lived along the sea coast, find fish and other aquatic products in the lake that are not too dissimilar to what they are used to and they set up fishing villages along the shore. These simple folk, do there part to honour Atruaghin's sacrifice by looking after Ahmanni when they can, makeing sure she has fish and fruits and clothing and whatnot, and assuring that she doesn't starve herself to death when the periods of grief get particularily intense. Visits by her sons can briefly bring her out of her depression, but Mahmatti & Hattani are increasingly busy looking after their peoples and can't visit as frequently as they would like, and Mahmatti in particular feels guilty about dragging her away from Atruaghin, though he still believes it was ultimately the right thing to do*, so he especially visits less and less.
*= If I go with the version where she had disfigured Mahmatti, maybe Ahmanni feels guilty as well.
After a long grieving period, Ahmanni begins constructing a memorial stella (actually the first Totem pole and the first part of what eventually becomes her artifact).