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Populating the Hollow World: Immortal Action

by Andrew Theisen

It isn't explicitly addressed, to my knowledge, in HW materials, but I'm curious as to what the process is about the Immortals populating sections of the land with OW cultures. There are countless references to them sweeping up large groups of OW cultures and dropping them into the HW, but nothing really specific as to how it occurs. Added to that is the question of how it is perceived by the members of the cultures themselves.

I'm going to address both subjects separately:


As I see it, there are a couple of ways the process can be accomplished.

1) Immortals just gather up a suitably large sampling of the populace and drops them in the territory chosen.

It doesn't seem to be the best means. One, if they are dropped with just the clothes off their backs, it would be extremely difficult for them to restart things. Some cultures would be fine (Neathar, Brute-Men) as they are hunter-gatherers, but with increasing industrialisation, it would be proportionately harder for them to settle into their niches.

2) Immortals select a suitable terrain, modify it according to the cultures needs, and drop several settlements wholesale into the region along with the inhabitants.

This would seem to be the most likely method, especially given what the HW sourcebook has to say about each region having very narrow ranges of temperatures and no seasons; that smacks of definite design. It does raise the question of whether the Immortals drop existing settlements wholesale into the HW (removing them from the OW)- something that seems to be implied in at least a few cases; Ranak, IIRC, is one such case- or whether they create all new settlements and place the inhabitants within. (The first case in turn raises the question of how the OW people regard the sudden disappearance of settlements.)


Those latter questions lead into the next thing I'm pondering, which is how the movement is perceived and recorded by the people now living in the HW.

Again, a couple of options present themselves:

1) "We've always been here": The Immortals perform memory alterations on the newly displaced inhabitants, so that they believe that they've always lived in the settlements they now live in (whether transplanted or newly created), and that the sun was always Red. Any legends/myths/histories about the Outer World are modified so that they reference the new lands of the Hollow World.

2) "We're living somewhere else": The Immortals don't perform memory alterations, and the inhabitants are stunned and shocked to find themselves initially in a new land, despite the possible familiarity of their settlements, and they are left to try and explain it cosmologically through the creation of new mythologies and possible communion with their patron Immortals.

I think (and I'll have to double check) that the Azca gazetteer addresses it a little bit, in regards to the Azcan viewing their appearance in the HW as a new era in their mythology (the era of the Red Sun or something), but I don't think it's been touched on elsewhere. Not sure if it would be the same with all cultures, or whether it would be different.

I think the more modern a culture, the more complications this option would cause. With older cultures, where histories are transmitted orally rather than written down, the transition would be eased considerably with each generation, and the transplantation would be mythologised. With more modern cultures, I would think some memory alteration would almost be a necessity, or at least you'd have to come up with some creative methods of transplantation that didn't require it (an example that comes to mind might be having several ships in an armada being caught in a terrible storm blowing them off course, and when they finally free themselves, they find themselves in a new and unusual land- something that might be used for more modern era Merry Pirate additions, for instance.)

Following further in the vein of this thread, some info on a couple of existing nations in the Hollow World:

1) Azcans: They believe that their old world was destroyed, as their mythologies/prophecies had foreseen, but that they were saved by the grace of their Immortal patrons and sent to a new world. (This raises, IMO, some interesting questions as to how the survival/saving of the Oltecs- whom they know also exist in the Hollow World- fits into their mythology.) It doesn't appear that they view the Hollow World as a sort of "Afterlife", but just a world that was created after the old one was destroyed.

2) Nithians: They had their memories altered so that they believe they have always lived in the Hollow World. There are still remnants of the Outer World Nithian Empire that have been hidden away by Thanatos and Ranivorus, and I'm not sure how a Nithian would view such information if he or she were to come across it (would they be able to piece together some notion of the Outer World, or would they just believe it was ancient unrecorded history).

3) Milenians: No real information on how they view their existence in the Hollow World that I can find. They know of the Traldar, and their ancestral ties to those people, but it isn't clear whether they remember that as part of their documented history, whether they are implanted with false memories that they originated in the Traldar part of the Hollow World, or whether those times were so ancient they are only recorded as mythology rather than history, and that is where the Milenian/Traldar sense of kinship originates.