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In the Temple of Pflarr in B10 there is a library full of documents that PC's can read to get a "true" picture of the history of the Lost Valley - seeing as to my astonishment my players actually did this, here's what I wrote up for them (I also had something in mind if they examined the frescos but they didn't)
These are supposed to be "exerts" from the library, interpreted by the clever characters on the party (with some of my reasoning afterwards) - they didn't get to see the dates though :-)
I'd be interested in what anyone else's take on the events and so on - I've tinkered with the timeline in a few places as well (one of the reasons why I didn't quote dates for my PC's) :-)
PS in the end they persuaded the Traldar to leave the valley and settle in Haven - which just goes to show that they always do something you never expect. Oh and some Hutaakan priests are on their way to Specularum to start manipulating people ;-)
Hutaakan historyby Jon Cole
"And Great Pflarr stood upon the Island in the Sky and with a gesture and command caused the dust of the land and the packs of Jackals to form together into his children the Hutaakan. And he spake unto them and commanded that they worship him, and serve him, and do his will." - There are several Hutaakan creation myths, varying from their creation from Jackals to their creation from dust and sticks. (The Island in the Sky is the top of the mountain in the middle of the Lost Valley)
"And the Hutaakans went forth to the shores of the lake, and builded there a great Temple that they might worship them, and dwelt there in wonderment. And by the will of Pflarr, the waters receded from the lands, and it was revealed to the wise that the land had been cloaked in water. But now, seeing the needs of his peoples Pflarr willed that the icy flood should recede, that the Hutaakan might grow and prosper. And on a time, Great Pflarr would take his chosen to him to do him service among places and peoples unknown to the wise."
- The Hutaakan world seems to expand as they explore it. This does not appear to be regarded as unusual, merely that the confines of their world grow larger. (I'd decided that Pflarr created the Hutaakans in the valley, and also that the valley itself had been a large lake. During the cataclysms of ~ -1700 the lake floor had cracked, and over time the waters seeped away into the caves under Darokin / Alfheim. The Isle in the Sky was originally just that, an island, as time passed the waters receded, revealing a world for the Hutaakans to colonise. Eventually they discover the way out of the valley and begin exploring outside of their own safe world.)
"By the will of Pflarr it came to be that the encircling walls of Hutaaka should be found to be breached, and his servants were sent forth to find what they may. And seeing that the lands were fair and empty they sent to Hutaaka, and the wise sent forth others that they might dwell in the lands. But fearing that the sacred lands of Hutaaka be uncovered by the peoples of the world beyond, the wise called forth the arts that had been revealed unto them by Almighty Pflarr, and set forth guardians in the likeness of Pflarr that should bar the way to the lands, grant passage only to the enlightened."
- Earlier references speak of exploration in this period, followed by the establishment of several settlements in the lands beyond. At about this period the Hutaakan begin crafting guardian statues. The last few references from this period speak of Princes to the east who know of Pflarr, but worship lesser gods.
"Under the order of the Wise, the functionaries are directing the workers in the construction of aqueducts for they have seen that the waters of Lake Mzenkyr do recede beyond the bounds set for them by scripture. And so, for the glory of Pflarr we shall see to it that the Spring That Sings shall flow forth as was foretold, and replenish the Lake. And many are the numbers of those who have gone into the mountains seeking out new springs and flows that they might be sent forth to the growth of the sacred waters. And the Wise have said unto us that if the fortune of Pflarr shines forth upon us that the word should go forth to any and all of those of the people that dwell apart from Hutaaka that they might learn of Pflarr's bounty and benefit of his favour."
- There are hints of a structured caste based system in Hutaaka. Great works are undertaken, and there is an increase in reports of wonders being raised to the glory of Pflarr. The others outside of the valley that they speak of seem to be Hutaakan colonists in other lands, however they may also refer to humans of other races as the exact terminology is unclear. (The receding Lake became a bit of a feature in my interpretation of the Valley - the Valley still leaks, and the Hutaakans have to divert water through culverts to feed it - hence the fountains everywhere.)
"The lands beyond are not as blessed as our own, even though we travel through them. The wise are treated as heralds of Pflarr and the outsiders gods themselves, and they ape our forms and tongues." -The Hutaaka have a series of reports from distant lands, and it seems that they have explored widely. However the records do not seem to match anything similar to the local geography, and the locations are indecipherable. There are however some records of Hutaakans being taken up by Pflarr to be sent as his messengers to strange and distant places, so magical transportation may well be involved. (Two reasons for all of this really - I decided the Hutaakans needed to know what dwarves were - and the Nithians supposedly never met them, so the Hutaakans must have gone there by a different method.
Also the geography of this corner of the world was quite different in this period - no Alfheim, and no Alasiyan desert for a start. Also in this period I give the Traldar a pseudo-Greek pantheon, but described in Egyptian terms - Aphrodite as Bast, Athena with an Owls head, Apollo with a serpents head etc.)
"The Stars have changed, and we know not why. The omens from beyond the mountains are ill, and Pflarr has sent omens of woe. Blasphemous beastmen come from across the passes to the north, and beset the lands of the peoples of the lowlands. We have counselled them as we may, but the Priests have determined that we must depart. We shall take what we may to the Vaults of Hutaaka, and bare with us a portion of the peoples of the lowlands that they not be utterly overcome."
- The records show a staged retreat from Hutaakan settlements in the lowlands. Over a period of fifty years or so the Hutaakan withdraw their contacts with the outside world, and fall back to their secluded valley. The valley is fortified, but in time the entrance way is besieged by the enemy. There is a reference to Hutaakan Scrying as they search the outside world for news. They see that a great battle rages on the plains, and wipes away both forces. The settlers outside of the valley defeat the beastmen, but the respite is brief, and eventually their culture is shattered. (The beastman invasion. I'd decided that Pflarr's domain was that of Oracle - I've only given each Immortal one Domain each but absolute authority over it. The Hutaakans use their scrying to spy on events outside their valley. I'm not sure on the cannon here, but ATM I'm working on the principle that the Beastman King slain by Halav was Yeenoghu who was brought back by Thanatos from death as a Ghoul of some sort, and then became Ranivorus. The Gnolls were designed by a Nithian wizard - who had been in contact with the Hutaakans - as part of his quest for immortality (as Gorellik from Monster Mythology p83) , Thanatos or one of the other Entropics sticks his oar in causing the Gnoll rebellion.)
"Although we may not venture forth into the lands beyond, our sight still reaches there. We have seen that the legacy of the kings of the lowlands remains, although they are a much changed people. The world we knew has gone, and the wise forbid us from returning to the places beyond, for they have foreseen that these days of calm shall not last. And all in time shall be swept away."
- The Hutaakan seem to use their Scrying to find out about their former territories, but refuse to leave their valley. The Traldar colonists in Hutaaka become subservient to the Hutaakan, and both cultures change. The Hutaakan track the Traldar culture of the outside world - some of them flee across the sea.
"Truly we have been blessed by Pflarr, for we have been given sanctity and security in the heart of the world. For it is seen by the Wise that beyond the cradle of civilisation that all has fallen to decay and darkness. The Wise can not see as far as once they could, for the veil of the world has been cast down by Pflarr, and the Wise have wrought many enchantments to ensure that we shall be ever unseen until we desire it to be so. But of the Empires and Nations of old that we knew, we can see nothing. They have gone to corruption and decay, or have been swept from the lands. The Beastmen of the north have brought forth a distant people, and they war on the steppes.
The cities in the old lands of the Hutaakans have gone to wood and swamp, and the people are wretched and ruined, and further our sight now fails, but Great Pflarr speaks that to these places we must not venture even in thought."
- The Hutaakans seem to maintain their civilisation even though they perceive a dark age surrounding them in the world outside. They speak of having many powerful enchanters - although they do not seem to distinguish between different kinds of magic. (The elves arrive in Alfheim and drive out the local humanoids. Hutaakan Scrying starts to fail - unfamiliarity with the outside world makes it increasingly harder to tune in to any particular place)
"It is of the munificence of Great Pflarr that the mercy of the Wise did cause that the peoples of the lands below us should be given sanctuary within the valley. For though their gods are not as great as Pflarr, even though we raise monuments in their honour also, their priests to tell the peoples of the Traldar that they should work alongside us, and rightly seeing that the Wise are to be respected in all things in exchange for the wisdom that they impart, the Priests of the Traldar have decreed that the Traldar will aid and assist Hutaaka in all that is done. And this has caused much delight in the land and praises unto Pflarr, for many who would once have been of the caste of builders and toilers and farmers may now put aside more mundane work and offer greater works in the glory and name of Pflarr, and have now engaged on the enlargement and beautification of the Temple to Pflarr. "
- Simply put, it seems that the Priestly class of the Traldar becomes the dominant part in their society. As the Hutaakans are ruled by a theocracy, the two cultures become more closely interlinked. The more cultured Hutaakans share some of their knowledge with the Traldar priests, in exchange for which the Traldar population is mobilised to do the work once done by the lower castes of Hutaakan society.
"It is said that in the times now passed that there were glories on this mortal sphere that had yet to be matched. But they are no longer so. For it can be seen in the great works of Hutaaka and the prayers in the temples and the treasures in the vaults, that now in this place is seen the greatest lands and works that have ever been beholden by the eyes of the living in this or any land. For Pflarr has given us wonders, and all of the peoples have been made wise by his glory, and although we but reflect on this mortal plane a faint reflection of Almighty Pflarr, all can see that here in is the greatest nation, the finest scholars, the most ennobled peoples and the most learned scholars that have ever walked, and sing we all praises in the name of Pflarr. "
- There are many, many, many references to the delights and wonders wrought by the Hutaakan, who seem to have dedicated themselves entirely to a scholastic Golden Age. There are no references to who provides them with food, work and labour - it does not seem to be a consideration of their society. (The Hutaakans have a mini-golden age fuelled by their Traldar workforce.)
"The Stars have changed, and we know not why. The omens are of terrible portent, and the wise are struck senseless with the magnitude of it. The Traldar dwelling in our grace have angered their gods, and they have been abandoned by them, and the signs we have from the world beyond speak of only terror and darkness there. The world has been swept away in chaos and we can no longer see what transpires there. Only here, in Hutaaka, safe in the palm of Pflarr can we know peace. "
- The Hutaakan feel a mixture of pity and contempt for the Traldar. They pity them for their gods have turned aside from them, but feel contempt because the Traldar have sinned so badly that they have angered their gods.
The Hutaakan continue guiding the Traldar, but their religion and traditions forbid them from initiating the Traldar into the worship of Pflarr. (I'd decided on a pantheon for the pre-Halav Traldar - the Greeks in fact - when Nithia collapses, the Hutaakans hold onto their religion, but the ancient Traldar Gods are forgotten - caught up somehow in the Nithian debacle, wrecking Traldar society. ATM my party are picking up the little clues about ancient Traladaran history and coming up with lots of beautifully incorrect versions of the past.)
"We know not what to do with the peoples of the easterlands. Their lack of faith gives them scant regard for their duties and they will not be advised. The lands to the east hold the gates to beyond, and must be made secure. But the peoples in the east will not be placated and we know not why. Some of them have taken to the hills, and take and plunder rather than perform their works. Already there are places where the Wise will no longer go." - There are murmurings of discontent among the Traldar inhabitants of Hutaaka. The Hutaakan seem unable to understand the cause, and blame it all on the Traldar's godless ways. Most of the Traldar are content however. A few expeditions are sent outside of the valley, but none travel further than the fortified frontier of their lands.
"All of the lands of Hutaaka are enflamed by the discontent of the easterners. They do scant work, and are distrustful of our works, and pay scant respect to the wise or to the markings of the dead, such that of occasion restless spirits are seen to rise again and must be placated. Still much of the elders of the Traldar are less barbaric, but now it has been seen that the younger are ever questioning of our ways, and will not come to us for aid, and rather speak among themselves, and seek to copy us but in manners not suited to them."
- Increasingly the Traldar population is discontent. There are references to some of the Hutaakans having to take upon themselves the roles of overseers as the Traldar can scarcely be trusted to follow written instructions or those give at a distance. Towards the end of the period some Hutaakans even seem to begin doing the work for themselves, although they do nothing to benefit the ungrateful Traldar.
"Great Priestess. The Sacred Enclosure of H'zarfaz has been breached by disrespectful barbarians, and the outer tombs plundered. The vengeful spirit of H'zarfaz himself has risen, and stalks the land seeking retribution for that which was stolen. There is no course of action that will send him to his rest, for his might is beyond the arts of our Wise, and the elders of the Traldar do despair as he moves among their villages seeking out the kith and kin of the plunderers to enact upon his vengeance. Thus they themselves have caught and laid low the perpetrators, and have sacrificed one of them to their gods, but hearing no answer they seek to send the rest to us that we might make offering of them to Pflarr to seek his intercession in sending H'zarfaz to his rest."
- It seems that the powerful undead can only be sent back to his rest once all of the grave-robbers have been slain. The superstitious Traldar Elders know that they do not understand their gods any longer and turn to the Hutaakans. (I couldn't work out if the Hutaakans were actually into Human sacrifice to Kartobea, but seem to recall that lots of RW societies resorted to sacrifice in emergencies - so introducing the concept in terms of good old mummy myths seemed appropriate without portraying either side a being "obviously evil".)
"The insolence of the godless ones is intolerable. They seek to rise outside of their cast, and demand the graces given to the wise. Being unwise themselves they fail to see the duties that wisdom entails. There are many troubles throughout the lands, and the tending of the land is in doubt. The barbarians will not tend to the land, seeking only to hunt. We have what we need for ourselves, but we can not reward their godless ways. Pflarr will not allow them to be blessed with his bounty if they do no honour or toil in his name."
- The Traldar begin to rebel against the Hutaakan caste system. The Hutaakans do not seem to fear this, but pour scorn and pity in equal measure upon the Traldar. The Hutaakan that manage the land are concerned - they can produce enough food for their own needs, but not enough to feed both communities and the Priests refuse to feed the rebellious Traldar. Further, the Traldar refuse to tend the land, or to maintain the system of fountains that provides water for the farms. The Traldar have instead taken to hunting - depleting the wildlife of the valley without providing enough to feed themselves. The Hutaakan decide to weather out the discontent - they will suffer the depletion in variety of food stuffs in order to teach the Traldar responsibility for their own actions. (Complacency is a major feature in these Hutaakans, and they have difficulty understanding why the Traldar don't like being at the bottom of the heap)
"Disaster upon disaster has struck about the land, for all of the lands are now enflamed. The Traldar refuse to work, and attack the Hutaakans that they find. The young have rested leadership of their communities from the old, and the stronger of them have taken up arms. Those among the Traldar who resisted were mercilessly slain, and their bodies have choked the watercourses and stained the lands red with their blood." - A major revolt begins among the Traldar, and their old order is swept away as part of it. Initially the Traldar elders are overthrown, but then the Traldar turn their anger on the Hutaakans.
"The Campaign beyond Lake Mzenkyr has driven the insurgents away for a time, and we have been able to reclaim some of the lands for proper cultivation. In the south we have sought to repair the aqueducts and watercourses that have fallen sine the insolence of the barbarians, but that great work of ages passed is much harder now that some of the secrets of the Wise have been lost."
- Intermittent warfare seems to rock back and forth across the valley. There is a perpetual state of conflict in the middle of the valley as both sides fight for control of the fertile central region. The areas in the south west are being reclaimed for farming, but progress is slow.
"The gates have been shuttered and the east is aflame. The barbarians have risen in the east, and have swept away the Shrines and defaced the Gates of Pflarr. The last of the Wise in the east has passed to the arms of Pflarr, and we can no longer see him for he is beyond our sight. But his loss is not in vain, for he has educated the guardians in the nature of the Barbarians, and they shall no longer allow them passage. No longer can they threaten to bring chaos from the lands beyond to Hutaaka." - There are many accounts in this period of skirmishes between the Hutaakan and the Traldar. Both seem unable to understand the other. The Hutaakan are not warriors, and will not prosecute a war. Rather they deny the resources of the valley to the rebels, and use the guardian statues to prevent the Traldar from entering certain areas. The Traldar respond in ignorance by destroying as many Hutaakan statues and artefacts that they can find, which further infuriates the Hutaakans over their impiety. (Typically of their race, the Hutaakans hide behind defences rather than prosecute a war. They protect their strategic areas with animated statues - in return the Traldar desecrate and destroy any statues - living or not - that they find.)
"We have received and sent emissaries to the Barbarians, and it has been said that there shall be no war amongst our peoples while we each seek the guidance of the gods."
- A truce is negotiated between what passes for the governments of both cultures. Alas both sides quickly break it. Blaming the other, however hostilities decline for a period - villages remain free if attack, and only travellers need properly beware. (1000 years of war was a bit much for me ;-) )
"Outsiders have come from the north, bringing with them tales of a world beyond, but the Wise have decided to keep what they have found a secret from the peoples, for we are now surrounded by terrors and horrors and chaos. The outsiders spake of terrible beasts in the mountains, and many of their number had fallen to them. Worse, they have brought pestilence among us.
This foul disease has spread among the peoples, and on occasion the Wise may not remove it afore disaster occurs. All of the outsiders have now perished of the pestilence, and the plague has spread from us to the barbarians. They accuse us of bringing it ourselves to strike at them, and they make no heed that the Hutaakan are more afflicted that the barbarian - although more of them have perished for they have no method of tending to the sick." - Even in a time of national disaster, the plague, the two cultures of the valley seem unable to come to a mutual accord to save each others lives.
(and I wanted a hint of other possible routes into the valley.)
"There will be an end of it. We have sent forth Scrying into the easterlands, and there we find that the barbarians are destroying everything that we have done there. Although the Wise now say that these lands are not under the guidance of the Hutaakan, they are still Holy to Pflarr and the Wise will not see them besmirched. The clans of barbarians closer to us are quiescence of the moments, and so a number of the Wise and their attendants shall travel to the easterlands to punish the clans that reside there." - A major war effort is dispatched by the Hutaakans. It is followed by means of Scrying from the Temple. The army crushes several clans in the east, and briefly recaptures the Gateway to the outside world, although they can not control the Statues that guard it, and have to withdraw from them. However by the time they withdraw back to the west the surviving barbarian clans have rallied their kin and ambush the army. The death toll on both sides is massive.
"We fear that we fade and change and Pflarr will not reveal his purpose to us. We have studied the records of the past, and have found that the barbarians are not who they once were. They are changed, and we can only guess that at some time when we were lax of vigilance that outsiders came to the easterlands and infiltrated and disposed of the loyal Traldar, and replaced them in order that they might make war upon us." - Religious dogma of this period is based around the idea the Pflarr is testing the Hutaakans. Pflarr intentionally removed the loyal Traldar and replaced them with an Ogre-like race. Alas the Hutaakans did not realise, and allowed the friendly Traldar to be swept away and were then cast into war with the Barbarians. The Hutaakan Wise determine that if this is so that they must utterly remove the Barbarians from their lands in order to purify it. Some scholars muse that then Pflarr may return the loyal Traldar to them. (Hutaakan conceit can not understand why their pupil race has rebelled against them. Also for the first time someone points out that the Traldar have evolved into a distinct sub-race.)
"The One has stirred again, and there are few among us who can placate him. His anger is directed at the Barbarians who have destroyed Pflarr's works, but we must contain him lest he turn upon us. The Wise have undertaken to perform a ritual of binding, but they are unaware of the rituals and offerings that shall be required."
- The Hutaakans become aware of the One - a creature they had thought to be a myth. It lurks somewhere in the valley, and they do everything in their powers to contain it, using old lore and ancient knowledge's (I'd decided that at the fall of Nithia the Immortals had spared the Hutaakans out of respect for Pflarr, and on the understanding that their culture was not tainted by Entropy, but on the condition that they should be isolated in their valley. hence Kartobea is a guardian creature placed at an entrance (via the cracks in the valley floor) to the underground cave network - see I can avoid saying Underdark if I try - I placed a flying one for the skies and had the immortals alter the Statues at the gates for the main entrance.)
"Great Pflarr is displeased with us, for he has sent down a great shaking of the world, such that the great works of the Temple are marred and distorted, and are now beyond our ability to repair. In what way we have erred we may not know. Some of the wise speak that we should seek for knowledge among the barbarians, and that Pflarr has guided us in their means. But other say that Pflarr is angry that the desecration of his shrine and of the great works in his glory by the barbarians, and that we must avenge him and do more.
Moreover, the wise now say that the One who lurks has been set loose by Pflarr to vent his anger on all who have failed him. But the Wise have seen that the One shall prey on the barbarians as they have most angered Great Pflarr."
- The Temple seems to have been struck by an earthquake. Indeed references in earlier works indicate that Pflarr often shows his displeasure by a shaking of the earth. Of course there is no way to tell if any earth tremor might have a natural or supernatural origin. The One of who they speak is first seen as a direct threat at about this time. It may be a coincidence, or it may not. (The valley is not entirely stable.)