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Thought notes on Taymora

by James Mishler

Essentially, they are a mix of Canaanite, Hittite, Babylonian/Sumerian, Phoenician, with a touch of fictional Dreamlands from Lovecraft and Kothic/Acheronian from Howard. Each city originally had a slightly different mix; some were more Neathar/Thonian, others Oltec (or Azcan)/Thonian, still others yet Thonian/Tangori, and some were a broader mix of all the various colonist cultures, all dominated by a core group that were descended from the leaders of the Teigh-Mohr Metacorporation (which ruled the area of the Known World in the last century of Blackmoor as a virtual satrapy). Teigh-Mohr concentrated on the technomantic use of necromantic energies to sustain life and power machines... which led to the domination of the Necromancer-Kings and the worship of Nyx.

The Necromancer-Kings and Queens maintained a kind of science-fantasy level of technomancy in their great temple-palace ziggurat complexes (like something out of Vance's Dying Earth, only focusing on necromantic magics... like the Necromongers of the "Chronicles of Riddick," in many ways, though never nearly as powerful), while the general commoners lived little better than peoples of the early 3rd millennium BC in the real world...

The Taymoran script was a kind of cuneiform-style with mixed hieroglyphs of esoteric sort, though written on parchment and vellum and such; it was derived from the computer script used in the "InterZone," the Blackmoor version of the Internet (my Blackmoor was quite technologically advanced at its fall, ca. Star Trek Next Generation level), crossed with various scripts from ancient undead empires of other worlds. It looks like that big ol' pile of gobbledygook you'll find in some web sites' source code... crossed with the scribblings in the Necronomicon in Evil Dead.

In addition to Nyx, each city generally had its own local Immortal or Exalted patron (usually a Demon or some form of ancestor). Cultural differences locally made a bigger difference in the days of the independent city-states (3000 to 2500 BC), less so in the great cosmopolitan era of the Empire (2500 to 2000 BC). The coastal regions were mostly Phoenician/Canaanite-style, the inland regions Hittite (uplands) or Babylonian/Sumerian (valleys).

Pre-Thantos, the Necromancer-Kings and the Empire were actually moderately civilised, if necromantic types can ever be called such... the elite society was neutral evil leaning toward law, while the commoners were lawful neutral leaning toward evil. During the city-state era, blood for the elite came from captured warriors from other city-states (as per sacrifices in Aztec culture in Mesoamerica), an Azcan influence. This continued during the Imperial era, much as it did for the Aztecs, in ritualised combat.

The civilisation turned decadent first, then Thanatos got hold and turned it into a thing of nightmare. Even those cities that still followed Nyx were affected, and turned utterly bloodthirsty and horrific (by comparison). If the great battled before Colhador on Hadas had not wiped out the empire through cataclysm, it would have fallen in short order anyway, due to utter decadence and civil war... and rebellion.

Teigh-Mohr was one of the top ten. Its major concern was pharmacological; it was kinda like Pfizer and those others, concerned with drugs and technomantic devices that extend life, fight necrosis, and so forth; mostly positive elements of necromancy. But they also experimented and developed far more dangerous and vile items, such as advanced zombie troopers and lycanthropic janissaries, as well as full-life extension, such as lichcraft. Those development labs were the ones that were based in the colony, which was, as mentioned, fully owned by Teigh-Mohr.

Slavery was legal in the era of the Grand Republic of Blackmoor (well, at least, where Blackmoor's power extended). The "republic" part of the government had long been subsumed by the corporations (imagine if the Separatists had won in the Star Wars prequels). So effectively Teigh-Mohr was a semi-autonomous government, with the leaders effectively barons, counts, and the CEO a king (as it was with all the metacorporations). As such, and being among the ten wealthiest and most powerful, the Presidency of the Grand Republic often was held by the Teigh-Mohr representative to the High Council.

Teigh-Mohr was founded from a merger of two older companies, both of which date from the earliest days of the colonisation of Brun. Mohr & Mohr was the original pharm-corp, founded by two adventuring brothers who travelled the world searching for potent herbs and spices for use in alchemy. Arthemus Teigh Enterprises was founded by a wizard who sought ancient magical secrets for mass application (Teigh was the "Henry Ford" of his time/space). The non-necromantic units were sold off two generations before the merger with Mohr & Mohr.

The first generation after the GRoF was not unlike a mix of Gamma World and Mad Max; then the Immortals decided to start cleaning things up, and they eliminated a lot of the old technomancy laying around, scoured away many of the ruins, and altered many (though hardly most) memories. The area of the Known World was one of the least affected by the GRoF as it stood; had the Immortals not intervened, Teigh-Mohr may well have arisen as a technomantic necromantic empire. But instead, it was cast back into the bronze age.

By the third generation, all the olden days of Blackmoor were a myth, and Teigh-Mohr had evolved into Taymor. The fortified villages grew into towns, and the fortified towns into cities, and the new culture rose on the ruins of the old. Necromancy, the major operative magic left (for that is what most of the local wizards had been specialised in), ruled, and the worship of Nyx spread from the rulers to the commoners and slaves. Each city-state specialised in different aspects of necromancy (as according to the spells it had available after the war), and new magics were developed using remnants of the old technomancy that remained available. When a city was conquered or absorbed, its magics were melded with those of the conquering city, and even more necromantic "science" developed... it was viral in that way.

In time, the greatest city was Colhador on Hadas (Hadas being the lake the city was founded on). Colhador built a kingdom, as did some other city-states, but the Necromancer-King of Colhador was the strongest and oldest of all of Nyx's children, and eventually he brought all the other cities of Taymor under his banner. For a hundred years the peoples of Taymor mixed, and there was further cultural evolution. Then development stagnated under the rule of the undying kings, and for two centuries Taymor slowly slid into decadence, a chink that Thanatos exploited. Decadence turned to depravity, and the civil war broke out, with the end result that the entirety of Taymor fell into the sea, save for the two great northern kingdoms, Nithia (which changed, though grew again), and the lost nameless kingdom of the west, where now stands Darokin and Alfheim (this kingdom fell in a slave revolt, the slaves making their way north to the steppes, where they became the ancestors of the Ethengar).

As to Agathokles work on Taymor, I've glanced at it, but not really read it in depth... I can tell it is significantly different from my version of Taymor, and while normally I adopt in various other bits of other people's works from the list and boards, I try to keep my Taymor, well, mine. With few exceptions most of the stuff I've done with Mystara have been expansions of existing material; Taymor is the only major element that I developed wholesale from a name and a concept ("Taymor" and "vampires"), so I want to keep it my own. That says nothing about the quality of anything anyone else would do with Taymor, mind you...