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Author Topic: Land Of The Eshal  (Read 23009 times)

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Offline Scrasamax

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Firstborn of the Gods: the Cuada
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2004, 11:30:03 AM »
It is a common misperception of the Eshal that the Cuada with their toxic skin, psychic abilities, and innate connection to water spirits are the firstborn of the gods, just as they themselves are the Brave People. This is a misperception the Cuada are not going to correct.

Cuada Physiology
The Cuada are a diminutive race compared to the large and agressive Eshal, or the powerfully muscled Anura. They stand four feet tall with a strong, but soft tail that adds another two to three feet to their length. They prefer to move upright as it puts them at eye level, or slightly higher wen dealing with the typically quadruped Curd and Eshal.

They are very noticable for their skin coloration, scarlet red, sky blue, lime green, lemon yellow and fiery orange are all common colors that the Cuada come in. Most have a series of spots, or stripes of a different color, most often white over their skin. This is a prime signal that they are not only poisonous, but very poisonous. The poison seeps from their very skin, and contact with bare skin is enough to transfer the poison. Thus far, there have been no races able to develope a resistance to the poison, though certain types of leather and cloth have been known to slow speed of contact or offer a poison barrier.

Cuada poison is a neurotoxin that causes siezures, muscle cramps and spasms, and a painful death. They developed this defence a long time ago to counter the fact that they have no teeth, no claws, no bony or scaly armor. They are for the most part contented scavengers and grazers.

Cuada Psychic Abilities
Eavery cuada has the innate ability to sense the presence of a sentient, or animal mind. This is as easy for them as it is for a human to see someone walking towards them. The structures that make this possible are a series of tiny receptors that cover their heads much like the electrically sensitive ampulai of lorenzi that sharks have. Some Cuada are able to hone their ability to actually discern thoughts and read minds, and the most gifted are able to force their will on others. These mind controlling Cuada are the high priests and druids of the race.

Cuada History
The Cuada are a recent arrival in Tarrod, having immigrated from a more tropical location. The reason for their migration has been lost, but they have found a valuable position among the eel-men. When the Cuada arrived, the eshal were locked in a loosing battle with the Mer-folk, the Anura, and the Lurdi. The tribes were scattered and had no strong leader.

Toltop, leader of the Cuada discerned that the Eshal would be more likely to accept them than the arrogant and vain mer-folk. The Cuada joined with the nearest tribes and served as councilors and advisors to the warriors. Guided by the Cuada, the Eshal scored victories against the Mer-folk. The victories helped to unify the tribes and the Cuada were pleased.

Eventually the proud merfolk were beaten in slavery, and the Eshal turned their attention elsewhere, hunting the Lurdi, the Curd, and the Anura. The Cuada encouraged this aggression as it increased the lands and wealth of the whole, as well as depleting the rapacious strength of the Eshal.


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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2004, 09:13:44 PM »
I think the Cuada should have grinding molars to chew their plant food, but no sharp teeth.Apart from that they're *perfect* .

Offline Maggot

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Suggestions for the mer-folk
« Reply #27 on: September 11, 2004, 03:29:18 AM »
I've been thinking about the mer-folk and would like some suggestion to help me out with their pre-conquest history.How do you think the mer-folk would have been like ruled?Would their culture have been dominated by a priestly cult ,or by a secular council of senators and knights,elected from among the noble families like the leadership of the ancient Greek city-states?
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Offline Scrasamax

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2004, 03:44:08 AM »
I think that the Merfolk were once organized in a fashion similar to the Greek citystates. Each lagoon, or bay was the home of a Merfolk city and the surrounding waters were their claimed domain. Since Tarrod does not seem to lend itself to being fortified, the cities could only feasibly claim what they could patrol, but being strong swimmers, they could patrol quite alot.

The Merfolk are also obsessed with the Cult of Victory a concept that someone who never looses is deserving of adoration. In their early contact with the disorganized eshal, and anura, the merfolk scored many victories.

Following the distant arrival of the Cuada, the cult was broken. The Merfolk fell out of unity, each city state championing its own best warrior as being the only one capable of leading the warshoals. This divided the merfolk as they raged in debate over the matter, some spilling into the canals as dissident merfolk fought in duels of honor. Others were exiled during the time of turmoil. All the while the Eshal war machine gained ground and momentum until they smashed through the merfolk defences, sacked the coral atolls and looted the palaces of the deep.

The merfolk survive, but a desperate shadow, still divided by the petty strifes of their arrogance and vanity.


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Offline Maggot

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The Merfolk:The fall of a once glorious people
« Reply #29 on: September 11, 2004, 07:51:44 AM »
The merfolk,once the most glorious and gifted of the races of Tarrod...With their mighty armies and dashing warriors,they held off the raiding Eshal.But that was in ages past.Now they are the slaves of the Eshal,tending the plantations and propeties of the hated Emperor and his vile blood lusting priests.How could these once mighty folk have sunk so low?


  The might of the merfolk had lain in the strength of their unity.Unlike the scattered,fractious Eshal and Anura,the merfolk were not split into warring tribes,each vying for dominance over the other.No,the mer folk were civilized beings that would not go to war against their own kind.At the begining of their history,when each of the various mer folk groups had settled in the respective bays and lagoons that they claimed as their own,the elders form each clan made a sacred pact.In the name of the War Godess Asar,that swore never to turn their weapons against one another.War could only be declared on the ''savages'' that surounded them,never on fellow mer- folk.In addition,if any one nation was attacked by the maruding Eshal,the others would be obligated to come to it's aid. Called the ''Pelia''.as long as this sacred pact held,their race would remain strong and proud.

  So it was for centuries.Each city state stuck to the waters of the bay or lagoon claimed by it,never harbouring ambitions that would break the Pellia in any way.Any nation that found it's self struggling to fend off an Eshal raid,would have it's call for aid answered by it's nearest neighbours.The alliance was kept strong by celebrations that honoured the Pellia.The Speakers of every nation would gather to repeat the vows taken by thier ancestors.How could they falter,when it seemed that the Pellia would endure forever?

  Alas,one warrior's hubris and dreams of glory,would shatter the source of their strength,although he meant well.His name,now reviled by all mer-folk,was Daiymon.Born in the wealthy city-state of Aflan,he joined the famous Aflainain army at the age of 18 and quickly rose within it's ranks,thanks to his brilliance as a warrior and strategist.In his 25 years of service,he bloodied the Eshal repeatedly and was elected both War Chief and Speaker of the governing councill.His greatest moment of glory came,when his skills as as a tactician helped the generals of the combined armies of the mer-folk nations,to victory against a large Eshal hoarde that had attacked a neighbouring city state.Following this,the people of Aflan feted him as great hero.This was then that ambition begun pricking him.Why should he,the brilliant tactician that was responsibled for that great victory,be forced to work with those mediocre fools from the other nations?In his opinion,only he was worthy of leading the warshoals.In this he was backed by the both the  Elders sitting on the Councill and the common people of Aflan.Their hero was right,only the great Daiymon was worthy of leading the warshaols.

 At the next gathering of the Speakers,Daiymon demanded that sole controll of the warshoals be handed to him.The other Speakers were shocked and denounced him as an autocrat.Livid,he returned to Aflan.That very night,he had a dream where the Goddes Asar spoke to him,urging him  to assume sole controll of the war shoals,by force if necesary.With it,he would destroy the Eshal menace for good,the Godess promised.The very next day,he declared war on the other city-states.The Pellia had been violated.The consequences that followed,would be grim indeed.
 
 For 15 years he fought against the other other city-states,defeating some of them and forcing their warriors to join his army.In the end however,he was crushed by the combined might of the other states and executed for violating the Pellia.Sadly,there was no turning back.The Generals of the other nations who had been instrumental in defeating Daiymon,claimed sole credit for the victory.War broke out anew,as each city state tried to make it's own General supreme leader of the war shoals.Millions died,as the populations of entire states were decimated.Those elders who tried to honour the Pellia,were denounced as traitors and were exiled.All this while the Eshal remained strangley quiet.

 Finally,after 10 years of warfare,the ravaged nations were forced to declare a truce.It was too late for their race by then.Seemingly out of nowhere, millions of Eshal warriors appeared,mounted on hideous monsters of the deep,the like of which the mer-folk had never seen before.Easily crushing the resistance put up by the depleted warshaols,they occupied and razed the palaces of the merfolk,reducing their beautiful palaces and temples to rubble.The survivors were then rounded up and brought in chains to the capital of the Eshal as slaves.

 They are now in bondage,with entire mer folk families being the propety of of powerful and wealthy Eshal and having no rights at all.Each High Priest has an army of mer folk slaves to work on his sea weed plantations,as do the War Chiefs and the Emperor himself.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2004, 08:17:14 AM »
Top notch Maggot. I like the addition of the arrogant hero and the brutal civil war that followed afterwards.

Perhaps we could bring up some of the beasts that were ridden into battle. Were they the bony fishes, hungry sharks, what about Eshal Kraken wranglers? This is getting interesting


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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #31 on: September 11, 2004, 06:14:51 PM »
I believe the original theory that he told me was that they rode huge water-snakes, but maybe he's changed his mind.
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #32 on: September 11, 2004, 06:34:16 PM »
The Merfolk remind me of the Ancient Greek city states. Very intresting, their own greed for power led to their enslavement.

There are all kinds of things that could be ridden into battle.Sharks, killer whales, tamed dunkelostious's, ect.The latter would be a little like elephants.Fearsome but hard to control in battle.

I look forward to more.  :D

Offline Maggot

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The Beasts of the Eshal
« Reply #33 on: September 11, 2004, 09:34:21 PM »
Yeah.I'd like to start a list of the various kinds of animals the Eshal ride into battle.This would go a great way in explaining the invincibility of the Eshal in battle.If any of you have ideas like Chekaman's,descibe the beast in question and it's purpose on the battle field. Fire away!
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2004, 09:48:47 PM »
It's late where I am but I will explain about the Dunkelostous's place in battle tomorrow afternoon UK time.

Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Great Serpents
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2004, 09:56:59 PM »
The Great Serpents are the primary form of riding transportation for the Eshal. These massive, venomous creatures are one of the primary reasons that the Eshal were so successful in running roughshod over the cities of the Mer-folk. There are only two races who have learned to tame these beasts- the Eshal, and the mysterious Snake-Riders, men from the east of Tarrod who have recently begun to raid the Eshal while riding Great Serpents.
Great Serpents are, on average, about 13 feet (about 4 meters) from snout to tip of the tail. Their bodies, save their underbellies, are lined with tiny, brightly-colored scales; there is a ridge of large, plate-like scales down the center. The head is reminiscent of a snake's, with horned ridges over the eyes and jawline. Like a land-borne snake, they smell with an organ in their tongue. They have short, triangular razor-sharp teeth, which they use to great effect; the edges of these teeth secrete a powerful venom.
Great Serpents can travel very, very fast, faster than any land-horse, and are strong enough to crush the rider's enemies in the coils of its tail. They travel by undulating their bodies in a rapid fashion, and thus, riders of Great Serpents must either have a harness-bar (in the case of Eshal) or a harness-saddle (in the case of Snake-Riders).
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The Uuluun
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2004, 10:53:27 PM »
Swimming with the Great Western Tide that sweeps towards Tarrod from the far west of the Ocean, the mighty and enigmatic Uuluun sing songs that speak of the unfathomable gods of the deep, and wrestle each other in seabed-shaking contests of strength and martial skill.

Uuluun average about 20 feet (about 6 meters) in length, with a tail of about the same length. They have very wide chests and shoulders, while their hips are relatively narrow in comparison; their necks are about 6 feet of their body length, and are topped with a long-snouted, dragonesque head with curling black horns that spiral away from the head. The chin, jawline, and eyebrows are spiny ridges. The jaw is filled with razor-sharp, crocodilian teeth of the same glittering black bone as their horns. The claws of their four-fingered, webbed hands, and long-toed, fin-like feet are also of this bone. Their skin is leathery, not scaled, but their underbellies and pectoral muscles are made from hard, shield-like cartilage. Their long tails end in a burst of spines. Periodically along the tail and at the shoulders, there are pairs of smallish, spiny fins. Overall, they give the impression of a snaky, wingless dragon that is streamlined for underwater travel.
Uuluun live most of their lives underwater. They breed, are born, and die in the water, and the sea is their only true home. However, they do have the ability to breathe air for a limited period- two hours at most.

Uuluun are a mysterious people, vastly intelligent and cultured, especially in comparison to the barbaric inhabitants of Tarrod. They originate in the far west, in the Ocean, in a place they refer to as Hluufwuuuoh, "Far-Away Home", which every Uuluun is born in, but which they return to only at the middle of their 300-year-long life cycle, to breed, and at the end, to die. They live in migratory clans of 4-5 mated pairs, plus young, who follow the great currents and fish-paths across the seabed to who knows where. Some of these clans come to Tarrod, or come close, in the very least. The western coast, especially in southwest, bears much evidence of the Uuluun- thought-provoking sculptures of shell and rock, carefully-constructed seabed warrens, short, introspective poems carved into rock-shelves, and the gifts of wisdom which they pass on to friendly species they may meet. Many a tribe of Anura has been gifted with some insight into life by Uuluun wanderers, and many Eshal scholars note a similarity between the Anura ideals of honour and valour and the same ideals of the Uuluun.

Uuluun are a mighty people, but they are, for the most part, nonviolent. It is true that Laiuufohohwuuth, the Black Uuluun, wreaked bloody havoc across the western portion of Tarrod for some 80 years before Eshal warriors slew him, and it is also true that Uuluun clans often attack Eshal and Lurdi settlements, but the Uuluun more often dispose of their violent energies through ritual wrestling and sport-fighting. All forms of Uuluun combat are unarmed- most Uuluun fight by grappling with their enemies, hoping that their hard skins, spiny portions, and incredible might will tilt the balance in their favor. Uuluun wrestling is brutal, truly a sight to behold. Nobody ever forgets the sight of two intertwined sea-dragons, smashing themselves against the sea-cliffs.
Uuluun highly uphold the ideals of valour, honor, and martial skill. The perfect Uuluun, if ever a being such existed, would have deep insight and great wisdom, as well as a great sense of self, but they would also be strong, brave (though not thick-headedly so), and skillfull in battle. Uuluun are prone to feats of valour and heroism, though they are not stupid in this- they will not try to do something which is clearly beyond their means, or try to salvage an obviously lost cause.

Uuluun Naming Conventions- Huuu, Hyuulwuu, Ohluu, Ahlyuuu, Ayuu, Kwuuuoh, Woh, Aiuulyoh, Uuohl, Ohohuumuu, et cetera.
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Offline Maggot

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Ranchowen
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2004, 01:54:36 AM »
Ranchowen are aquatic beasts that are ridden by high ranking Eshal warriors.A lot more comfortable to ride than Great Serpents and infinitley more docile,they are highly prized live stock that are bred and reared in special hatcheries by skilled Eshal animal trainers.

 The Rachowen is a large but fast beast,which can travel quicky in both water and land.It has a large but sleek body that normally measures 15 feet from the large head that resembles a lizard's,to it's  trailing,prehensile tail that is ridged with small bony protusions,used to spear small fish and has 6 strong legs that end in webbed feet.With strong,fast strides of it's legs, it can cut through water easily.On land it can lope fast on those same legs,although it won't be as anywhere as fast as is in water.The most distinguishing thing about it however,is the large,colourfully patterened carpace that covers it's back.Resembling an over sized turtle shell,it is a wide,oval surface. on which even a large Eshal warrior can rest his rear comfortably..The rest of it's body is covered with large,armour like grey scales that are difficult to pierce.This means that a Ranchowen can take a lot of damage,before it finally succumbs to to enemy missiles discharged at it.

 Now to describe the advantages it enjoys over the Great Serpents.It  has remarkable endurance and though not as fast as a Great Serpent,it can run or swim for far longer without tiring.In addition,unlike Great Serpents that are know for their foul tempers,Ranchowen are intellignt,good natured things that are easily trained,only snapping in self defence when attacked.The one disadvantage,is that they  reach sexual maturity slowly and are thus hard to breed.
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Offline Maggot

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Groll
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2004, 05:34:22 AM »
A vast,ray like thing with a ''wing-span'' of 25 feet,the Groll  appears intimidating to someone who has never seen it before.In truth,it is just a big,aquatic cow/pack horse that spends most of it's time placidly grazing on sea weed and algae.Eshal peasants rear them for their flesh and the secretions of the male Groll,which is fermented to brew an intoxicating drink.

 The warriors use them to transport large burdens over long distances.Their strength and ability to glide easily with their ''wings'',make them the best animals for the purpose of luggage carrying.They are however,very timid and are sent into fits of terror if they catch the whiff of a Great Serpent or Ranchowen.
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2004, 08:47:34 AM »
Dunkleoustous

The Dunkleoustous is a 12 foot long armoured fish with bony ridges in it's huge jaws that serve as teeth, and a two foot long mouth.The first three feet of it's body are covered in natural armour plating that is almost impossible to penetrate with a weapon. These highly fierce fish are very good at breaking down the morale of an opposing army and are used as the spearhead of a charge. An Eashal sits on a saddle mounted on the head.

Having said this, they are very labour intensive to feed and have to be trained from when they are very small.And there is a danger that they could end up panicking and fleeing through their own lines, in which case they have to be killed with a blade thrust by their driver through an eye to reach the brain.

They are the aquatic equivilant of elephants in a battle situation-very dangerous, but no army can afford to have large numbers of them.

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Kraken
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2004, 09:00:31 AM »
Taming these many armed nightmares, is seen by the Eshal as an ultimate test of a warrior's courage persevarance and courage.The Krakens are regarded as the ferocious spawn of certain water sprites.Hence,capturing one and forcing it to obey you,is seen as an act of great courage.Young warriors who accomplish this are immediately promoted by their superiors,though more often that not,the young warrior ends up being Kraken lunch.Vicious and murderous in the extreme,the Kraken has to be starved and prodded with a spear for days before it submits to being trained.Even then,the rider must have a spear at the ready,lest it's hunger gets the better of it.Ironically,the very same hunger makes it a fearsome weapon once it is has been trained to see enemies such as Anura and Lurdi fighters as it's prey,instead of the Eshal warrior who rides it.It was a squardon of Kraken riders that slew the dread Black Uuluun.
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Offline Maggot

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Great Crabs
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2004, 04:46:38 AM »
Standing 14 feet tall and possesing a huge,broad carpace,this garangutan crustacean makes a terrifying sight,especially when it clacks  lethal looking pincers that can lift a Lurdi clean off the ground.Suprisingly,it is only next to the Ranchowen when it comes to obeying commands given to it.Due perhaps to the fact that it is a scavengar rather than predator,it is not as aggresive as a Great Serpent or a Kraken.As long as it is amply rewarded with rotting meat for correctly carrying out a command given to it.Add a high spawning rate and you have an excellent battle beast.


 In battle,an Eshal warrior mounted on it's back,will order it to shred enemy fighters to bits.As it's hard carpace is invulnerble,slaying one can only be acomplished by ripping open it's soft underbelly.Not a very easy thing to do,with it's massive pincers swooping down.Their purpose is to clear the way for the rest of the army,making it easier for them to penetrate enemie's ranks.

Coming soon:A list of equipment carried by the Eshal of all 3 castes
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Offline very_veiwtiful_joe

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2004, 01:28:50 PM »
i think that the lurdi should be graceful in battle with maybe short swords or rapiers. A rapier is a long thin sword of sorts that is mainly used for fencing.
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Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2004, 04:26:04 PM »
Except that the Lurdi are primitives who do not have metal working, in fact I would imagine the metalworking would be ranked as greater sorcery in Tarrod. For weapons, when the Lurdi use them would likely be saw toothed hatchets, and spears made from the teeth of giant sea monsters.

Seeing as the entire continent is water logged, and all of its residents are water-aspected, i think that their weapons come from carving, or shaping in the water, and thencareful drying. Edges come from sharpened bone, or teeth set in a groove akin to the Aztec Macana. Metal would be alien to them,and would only be feasible if it was bronze, as iron weapons will quickly rust in the water.


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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2004, 05:04:52 PM »
Joe, we now what a rapier is, we aren't stupid.
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2004, 07:24:23 PM »
Metal weapons would be almost unknown. Perhaps a high ranking Eshal priest or general could have a cerimonial golden sword,as gold does not rust, but apart from that weapons would be bone,teeth or tusk.

Offline Maggot

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Weapons and equipment carried by your Eshal warrior
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2004, 10:21:05 PM »
Poth-A slender,six foot long,spear carried by a mounted Eshal warrior.The haft is made of cypress and the spear head is carved from bone.When used in a large cavalry charge,they cut a vast swath through opposing forces.

 Daq-A stout,thick club made of cypress wood and studded with thick,stone knobs.If an enemy needs to be captured alive for a sacrifice,he can be disabled with a blow to the ankle.Is the main weapon carried by Eshal foot warriors.

 Routh-Small throwing spears that are no more than 3 feet long.Have a willow haft and a spear head carved from a Ranchowen's spike.Are able to hit an enemy at a great distance,if used with a spear thrower.Not normally used for warfare that takes place in water.

(I'll be coming up with more weapons later.If you guys have any weapons you want too add,go ahead.I want the Eshal arsernal to as long and diverse,as possible)
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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2004, 10:46:19 PM »
Lorhal - The traditional weapon of the Merfolk, a barbed trident made of carved bone, usually a pelvic bone or very large shoulder blade attached to a cypress haft. The eshal adopted the weapon when they discovered that the barbs were effective in hunting the more agile Anura.

Tak - akin to the Aztec Macana, it is a large cypress plank with lurdi teeth set into a central groove. The weapon vaguely resembles the bar of a chainsaw, but instead of a steel chain, there is a row of razor sharp, flesh shredding lurdi teeth. These weapons are only carried by eshal who have fought the lurdi and are ideally made from the teeth of a lurdi slain in battle

Drah - a large dagger made from a single heavy bone, generally the ribs of Uuluun, or some other great beast. It is a single edged blade meant to punch deep into the flesh of an enemy.

Gat - a long stick with a pad of leather on the end. The leather pad will be worn for a long time by a cuada before being affixed to the end of the gat. The leather, impregnated with the Cuadas natural toxin allows them to strike foes at a distance and hopefully escape their dying throws as their nervou system suffers catastrophic failure


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Offline Maggot

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2004, 05:22:31 AM »
Teq-Two large stones bound together with strong twine and swung around to brain an enemy.Very much like a bola,a traditional South American weapon.

 Fowt-A carefully crafted weapon,it is a stone disc that is ringed with the shredding teeth of a slain Lurdi.A swinging weapon like the Teq,it has a hole bored in the centre,through which a cured strip of Groll hide is strung.When swung at tightly packed masses of enemies from a distance it can blind and stun many.As with the Tak,only warriors who have slain a Lurdi carry it.

 Lah-Large stone knob with a hollow centre,that can be slipped over the tip of a warrior's tail.Using his strong tail,he can lash out at the faces of foes.A side arm that is used by a foot warrior when he has lost his Daq or Tak.
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Offline Maggot

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Armour and metal working
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2004, 09:53:02 PM »
What kind of armour do you think Eshal warriors would wear,if any? And do you think that metalworking should be a skill practiced by some of the priests,albeit metal working that's limited to non-rust metals like gold?It would go well with the idea of metal working being an almost magical art,something only the  priests can do.Precious metals and gem stones could be used to make ceremonial items which are given to priets and high ranking warriors as Cheka man suggested.
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