llamaenterhear

Author Topic: Khazad Collaboration Thread  (Read 1638 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Khazad Collaboration Thread
« on: January 02, 2017, 06:37:03 AM »
God of Fire

God of Destruction

Lord of an Outer Plain
(I would assume Outer Plane, since Khazad on the map is literally all mountain)
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline Aramax

  • Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 593
  • Awards Hall of Heroes 5 Lifeforms Guild Article Guild
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2017, 06:31:50 PM »
These 3 and 3 more demi gods are all thats left of the pantheon
Fighting for peace is like having sex for virginity

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2017, 11:59:25 PM »
I mentioned the God Dahkturin is several of my Decathros subs. For example, when somebody standing an frozen beach feels a warm breeze she says that she turns around half-expecting to see Dahkturin standing there. I also make reference to the Oracles of Dahkturin who live beneath the Kazan mountains. But though i inferred that Dahkturin was a god of fire and destruction I never fleshed out the details in post.  I would like to develop Dahkturin alongside another culture/society, and I would like to see Decathros developed even more. 

Here are the basic idea of Dahkturin.

As a god, Dahkturin falls in to the "human" and fallible type.   Dahkturin would have a defined physical aspects.  Dahkturin would have a personal agenda and not necessarily interested in telling mortals how to live.  (what would that agenda be?)

The Fire plane: The beings on the fire plane will sometimes come to the prime plane to construct items, weapons, that combine multiple elements.  These multi element weapons are incrediblely powerful on the fire plane, but are either short lived or illegal.  So they are sometimes stockpiled (hidden) on this plane. When those weapons are used on this plane they are magical weapons with fire bonuses.  Anyway the residents of the fire plane maintain secret forges beneath volcanos (or areas where the element of fire is at higher ratio to air, earth and water than most place) where they construct the weapons using multiple elements.  My idea is that residents of the fire plane don't exist in a lake fire, but rather in reality not entirely unlike ours, it is not until they come to prime plane that they start resemble what we think of as fire elemental.

Dahkturin also supports, lends power to,  groups of Oracles/sages (knowledgable types) that live in Kazan.


Anyway, can develop the god more or differently, but would like to integrate this god into the Kazan culture or societies.  I know it has been a while, but would you like to do with Kazan?   

Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2017, 03:54:45 PM »
I've imagined Kazan along the lines of the classic Dwarven kingdoms, like Erebor before Smaug, Khazad-Dum/Moria before the Balrog and the goblins, or Nogrod and Belegost from the Silmarillion, before those kingdoms were sacked by dragons and lost to the sea during the sundering of Beleriand.

In Tolkien's mythos, the dwarves were in decline, their kin scattered, their holds lost or broken, and their history turning into myths and legends. I want the Kazan dwarves to be strong and proud, their heathfires bright and their hosts of armored dwarves unassailable.

They are young, and strong.
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2017, 05:17:04 PM »
With dahkturin being a superhuman enity that controls the magma beneath the "earth" and has access to the fire plane, maybe the dwarves trade with those interests, the help to maintain the forges for the Fire "elementals", in fact they could maintain the forges themselves

Perhaps these "classical" dwarves make tools, weapons and objects of desire for the gods, like dwarves did in the Nordic myths.  How far do you want to take these dwarves into the mystical direction?

Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2017, 05:54:47 PM »
The dwarves would ask Dahkturin to bless their forges and their forge masks. They make things, they don't barter for things to be made for them.

As for mystical, I'm thinking more stoic and grounded. Dirty fingers wrapped around heavy hammers, forge masks that look like death masks, creating fortresses of their wealth. They are pretty heavy metal, like some Slayer/Megadeath/Pantera.

If dwarves from Middle Earth migrated to Westeros...
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2017, 07:32:12 PM »
They should colonizing other areas, not digging deeper in to their mined but spreading out in search of other territories.

Tell me more

Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2017, 06:51:35 AM »
They should colonizing other areas, not digging deeper in to their mined but spreading out in search of other territories.

Tell me more

That's thinking like a Plainsdweller, always spreading out.

Monuments and fortresses are built up into the air and down into the ground. The surface is for hunting, farming, and war.

The earth is the home of the dwarf, his comfort is in stone. Not in fields or orchards.

Long of life and slow to reproduce, their plans are defensive and cautious in nature.

Only dragons can match a human's love of conquest.
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2017, 08:41:27 AM »
So no seeking out a Morria or lonely mountain?

So if you don't want a mystical society, are you going to take into account biological, economic and environmental pressures or influences as shaping society? Are there parts of decathro you would like to overlap with or borrow from?

Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2017, 09:08:07 AM »
Moria was Khazad Dum after it fell, and the Lonely Mountain was originally Erebor. They were dwarf kingdoms in decline. So no, there are no haunted dead dwarven holds, if there are, they are smaller, older holdsn not the great Kingdoms.

Dwarves are concrete, elves are mystical and abstract. Mystic dwarves are gnomes and such.

I'm not at all familiar with the rest of Decathros.

What parts of Decathros should Kazan borrow from/overlap with?
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2017, 01:04:27 PM »


But the haunted mines and kingdoms in decline must have been just mines and kingdoms on the upswing at some point. My inference  was that for those locations to have exsisted, dwarves had to travel to those locations. A reoccurring setting in the Lotr was abandoned dwarven mines. If we are doing dwarves on the cultural and economic upswing than there must be dwarves out there building the mines that would latter be abandoned. Consider this, perhaps Kazan could be the expansive dwarven culture that in a few thousand years will leave dark and haunted mines all over decathros. If these the are Tolkien dwarves (all be it with heavy metal athsetic and existing in thinly veiled 15th century Europe like Westeros) but in their cultural peak thus one might expect some expansion.

Some dwarf eventually had to ask "what if I dig over there".  Developing the idea of dwarven expansion need not conflict with the dwarven ideals as you imagine them. We might imagine and implement in a write up a cultural engine for dwarven expansion, that differs from the types on dragon/human conquest you are inferring. Perhaps, the citizens of village will find that one morning a near by hill or sink hole is now hosting dwarven mining expedition.  There may only be room for one master on a mountain. You also mention a desire to develop dwarven military greatness, are their battles just defensive or do they do preemptive strikes?

What story do you want to tell with the dwarves, what ideas do you want us to explore aside for the utilitarian stoicism you have hit on? 

By concrete, do you mean you do want to explore economic and biological motivations with the setting?

Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2017, 03:43:56 PM »
Quote
By concrete, do you mean you do want to explore economic and biological motivations with the setting?

Concrete in the connotation of not working in abstracts, or magic. Dwarves are of the earth, not fire and air. Dwarves, like I said, are stoic. They are hands on ax handles, and hard liquor, cracked skin, dirty beards. They are Hemingway in a world of fantasy.

Quote
What story do you want to tell with the dwarves, what ideas do you want us to explore aside for the utilitarian stoicism you have hit on? 

Don't have one, and don't have any, other than perhaps using the dwarves as an allegory for masculinity and the old ways (contrary to the more androgynous and progressive ways, not so much socially and all that, certainly none of the MRA bulls**t, but splitting firewood instead of turning up the heater, hunting animals for food and not sport, etc)

Quote
You also mention a desire to develop dwarven military greatness, are their battles just defensive or do they do preemptive strikes?

Defensive. Extremely defensive. They represent a high investment unit, and cannot afford to throw numbers away in pointless conflicts. Heavy armor, powerful weapons, fortresses dug into mountains.

Quote
Some dwarf eventually had to ask "what if I dig over there".  Developing the idea of dwarven expansion need not conflict with the dwarven ideals as you imagine them. We might imagine and implement in a write up a cultural engine for dwarven expansion, that differs from the types on dragon/human conquest you are inferring. Perhaps, the citizens of village will find that one morning a near by hill or sink hole is now hosting dwarven mining expedition.

Expansion is driven by population, humans and greenskins MUST expand because their lives are short and their children many. Conversely, those of long life have few children. The elves and the dwarves do not share the cultural and racial need for expansion. There are going to be new kingdoms founded, and new holds excavated, but these are carried out over a longer timeline. Dwarves dont do anything suddenly.

Quote
But the haunted mines and kingdoms in decline must have been just mines and kingdoms on the upswing at some point. My inference  was that for those locations to have exsisted, dwarves had to travel to those locations. A reoccurring setting in the Lotr was abandoned dwarven mines. If we are doing dwarves on the cultural and economic upswing than there must be dwarves out there building the mines that would latter be abandoned. Consider this, perhaps Kazan could be the expansive dwarven culture that in a few thousand years will leave dark and haunted mines all over decathros. If these the are Tolkien dwarves (all be it with heavy metal athsetic and existing in thinly veiled 15th century Europe like Westeros) but in their cultural peak thus one might expect some expansion.

Correct, Kazan is in the end of the upswing, entering into a plateau period.

One of the main themes in LotR is that the Age of Man was beginning. The Elves were leaving, the dragons were slain (Smaug being the last), the dwarves were fading away, leaving Middle Earth to Man.

Expand them if you want.
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2017, 07:56:47 AM »
Okay, I got an idea now.

Offline EchoMirage

  • Caffeinated Alcoholic Blood
  • Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 1927
  • Medice cura te ipsum
  • Awards Golden Creator 5 Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Questor
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2017, 07:58:12 AM »
First of all, some motivational music:


Second, I like Scras' take on the Dwarves. In their world, the Dwarven Way works. A dwarven kingdom is an island of stability, and a line of continuity through the tumult of history. Their high-investment approach means they will weather any less-than-cataclysmic misfortune. The shortcoming of the dwarven way is their slow recovery after such horrendous events, so the success of dwarves as a whole in a fantasy world is dependent on how often these occur, and whether you can actually prepare for them. If you can prepare, Dwarves will be the ultimate doomsday preppers, with stores of dwarven bread to last them a century (and serve as backup weapons).
One shortcoming is that they do not produce throw-away individuals that they could use as conquistadors, missionaries, or suicide bombers. Their low interest in outside matters makes them skip out on alliances (for why would you ally with some hot-headed waif who will drag you into avoidable wars? He'll die on you in 30 years anyway, and likely betray you before then, too). Their consistent ways, durable craftsmanship, and low population growth make them accumulate wealth, making them a target for envy ("Dwarf privilege!").

The abandoned mines will come into being from efforts that were not aimed at expansion, but simply at exploitation of a less significant resource that does not warrant permanent settlement (a few hundred years may still be "transient" in the dwarven sense). The feeling other races get at viewing these deserted works ("surely some great tragedy must have happened here for Dwarves to abandon this") simply stems from the fact that Dwarves never make something shoddy. Most outsiders have never seen the quality of works which Dwarves wish to keep, and thus can't compare. The Dwarves simply left once the best vein ran out, and something else invariably moved in.
As for expansion, Dwarves will think long on where to settle, and then prepare a massive expedition that brings everything it needs. A colony force is not shoddy wagons with a few hapless settlers, but a well-orchestrated migration effort that leaves other races in awe as a legion of Dwarves spills from below ground, moving eldritch machines and armored wagons with their wives, children, wise men, and copies of their lore. A pilot force of agents has spent a decade at least to prepare a smooth voyage. If you want to interrupt it, you better be prepared to fight five thousand very angry Dwarves.

Anything less than the above, such as a lone dwarven family moving somewhere means the Dwarf steering the cart was the lowest of the low, and left on his own volition, wishing to be mediocre among men instead. Admittedly, these exiles make poor ambassadors for the dwarven race, and are the reason why the Dwarves are often seen as poorly articulated angry drunks.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 08:07:42 AM by EchoMirage »
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2017, 02:37:03 PM »
What if the dwarven meritocracy kills the undesirable dwarves, those whose work is shoddy or undesirable?

Offline EchoMirage

  • Caffeinated Alcoholic Blood
  • Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 1927
  • Medice cura te ipsum
  • Awards Golden Creator 5 Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Questor
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2017, 03:15:00 PM »
What if the dwarven meritocracy kills the undesirable dwarves, those whose work is shoddy or undesirable?
Then you don't ever get to see them, because they are a shame, and Dwarves have nothing to be ashamed of. ("No, there's nothing behind that door, it's just a decorative door because we Dwarves like doors. It's a cultural thing. I wouldn't expect a surfacer to get dwarven culture, or, in fact, any sort of culture. Now move along.")
Alternatively, because of their "waste not, want not" attitude, they would have developed ways for these Dwarves to redeem themselves, whether in life or in death (cue Warhammer Slayers - these can regain honour, but only by dying in battle, honourably).
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2017, 03:40:42 PM »
I like both those options and the storytelling oppertunities they offer. In one you get to expose "the great hypocrisy" or "an unpleasant but necessary" truth about the dwarven utopia in Kazan. This raises excellent questions about what we sacrifice for the good of society.  What has more dignity being killed as an undesirable or living as an undesirable? if it is something they hide than that exposes a vanity behind all that dwarven pragmatism and stoicism...so like Hemingway.

In two you get the oppertuntiy for a classic heros journey and you could get factionalism.  There is a popular dogma in history and anthropology that states that ever society has an archetypal ideal and those are the people celebrated, in Kazan it is obviously the craftsdwarf.  The feared dwarven phalanxes could be filled with second class citizens.  Again, I like the obvious potential for story telling and melodrama.

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2017, 03:54:23 PM »
Also this being fantasy and all that you could have a reality where literally every dwarf becomes a master of some craft or art.

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2017, 11:20:06 PM »
Here is what I want to do, I want us to create 3-5 posts.

First I want to write 3 NPCs, dwarven brothers separated by a century or more in age. They will embody different forms of the masculine ideal and represent different periods in this time of transition in which the dwarves change from a rising civilization to a civilization in its golden age. I hope that by exploring these I figures I can unpack the details and character of this region.

For example three brothers could be rarity and could be treated as auspicious novelty in the low birth world of the dwarves.   So if the details of Kazan get worked up, I’d like to incorporate them character profiles.

Youngest Brother:  His entire adult life has been on this cultural plateau, and thus I will do a dwarven Ernest Hemingway. Don’t worry Scras, I going to pull from sources on young Hemingway. I am borrowing aspects from character’s in  The Sun Also Rises, Farewell to Arms, Dorthoy Parker’s 1929 profile, and I will look for some new ones. What sources informed you conception of Hemingway, I will check those out as well?   

Middle Brother: A true stoic, I going to dig only slightly deeper here and go with description of the stoics as provided in Peter Adamson’s “brief” history of philosophy. I also want to give him a severe injury, say the loss of his legs or his arms or paralysis.  How does the dwarven ideal of manhood translate following injury.  This character will have been part of the engine of stability.  If we compare this time period to that of roman, the youngest brother would have come of age in Trajan’s reign and this middle brother came of age during Domitian's reign*.

Oldest Brother: A master craftdwarf from a different time.  He is old, blind (lets say all dwarves go blind late in life) and practically mute. But he can still work blind because dwarves have an excellent memory and a superhuman ability for abstract  spatial reasoning. He was there during the “**Punic wars” not literally the punic wars, but when the dwarves of Kazan transitioned from just another pocket of intelligent beings to being the most advanced race on the continent.  He has lived a completely unexamined life.




Okay, a fair question is who cares about complicated NPC personalities.  Two answers to that. One, I do and Two, these personalities are just a base I hope to spice these guys up with cool weapons, plot hooks and associations with interesting locations. This is were I particularly need help, I want to integrate these personalities into the setting.   So I will need details on the settings like these death mask/forge mask things, the social structure, names and description of important locations, major historical events. fighting styles, popular styles of armor, weapons and fashion. Not all this stuff will make it onto the page, but it will help me get  write.

After the NPCs I want to do  a short post on underground agriculture.

Finally, I want to do a plot.  I would like to incorporate echo’s idea of these moving dwarven “cities”: columns of smoke, huge carts that are pulling mobile forges and smelters and a heavy metal drum beat.  That is a great idea, need to build on it more.   
 


*I know scras and echo are a scholars of history and literature and I have to do lots of reading just to keep up with their off hand references. So if you are like me you may not know about the period of the five good emperors, Dominitian was emperor  not directly following Nero, but very shortly thereafter.  He is known for being an autocrat unpopular with the Roman aristocracy, but he has gotten sort of facelift by recent historians. He brought in 15 years of stability of economic reform, that paved the way for the golden age of the 2nd century (aka Trajan, Hadrian, Antonine and Marcus Aurelius before Joaquin Phoenix ruined it all. (See Mike Duncan’s podcast series history of rome)     


 **At the beginning of the Punic wars, which traditionally are characterised as Rome vs Carthage, Rome was regional power that dominated but did not directly rule Apennine Peninsula. At the end of the Punic Wars Rome had conquered all of Greece, Albaina Macedonia, undisputedly ruled Spain and Sicily, and had subjugated much of North Africa.   Thus I believe the Punic Wars were a Pan-Mediterranean conflict (See Livy’s War with Hannibal). After the Punic Wars we had a Rome primed to move into its golden age over the next two hundred years. Of course this need not be wars. What changed in Kazan that marked the begining of the cultural plateau? 

Offline EchoMirage

  • Caffeinated Alcoholic Blood
  • Strolenati
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 1927
  • Medice cura te ipsum
  • Awards Golden Creator 5 Item Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Questor
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 03:41:05 AM »
As for the craftswarf vs. phalanx dwarf distinction, if you look up early Rome, you will note that the fighters were middle class. To our over-specialised selves, it may appear unlikely, but in fact it was possible to be an excellent all-rounder then. This will be even more true with long-lived Dwarves. A proper Dwarf works well, and when the time comes, fights well.

As for the cultural plateau, it may be a direct result of the dwarven way - they have established procedures that work, and have a tested and true way for most things. Improving anything takes great effort, so their progress will be very slow. Example: a highly efficient steam engine is way better than early combustion engines. Why would Dwarves consider internal combustion an improvement? In human society, there will always be chaos and tumult that leads to improvement leaps (and catastrophes) on a regular basis. Dwarves are *stable*.

(I suggest reading up on how technology improved in the imperial days of Rome, it's ... interesting).

Combined with the slow population growth, their plateau will come when they know how to do everything well enough, and start doing it over and over, just expanding at a glacial pace. The vibrant, progressive Dwarf *loves* innovation. Once they start to scoff at innovation in general, for the sake of the tried and true, that's when the plateau arrives. With a highly technological race, the mindset of technological rigidity will likely be mirrored in rigidity in other areas of life. Nothing is ever perfect - and if you think it is, you prevent improvement.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2017, 07:33:16 AM »


These are some good points.  First as to the solider thing, we just need to decide where to come down on that issue. Do the Dwarves use citizen soldiers who drill on the "weekends" and keep their kit at home like in early Republican Rome or some of the Pre-Alexandrian greek city states?  Are the dwarves hyper-specialized and military service would be just another specialization?  And if so are the fighting dwarves the lesser dwarves (in terms of the social hierarchy)?  If there are a lesser status but specialized, then why do dwarves enter the military (there could be numerous reasons)? How is it incentivized? Does it provide social mobility? Does it come with a weakly-economic and non-political type of celebrity (like gladiators might have)?   Any way, I could see arguments for all forms.  If we answer these questions we might have other answers. Are these gritty heavy metal dwarves ready to charge the line for king and country seduced by the ego stroking nobility and righteousness of personal sacrifice or are they self-motivated individualistic warriors who can work as a tight team but are really in it for personal glory and success (like the early Anglo-saxons or the vikings)?

Quote
As for the cultural plateau, it may be a direct result of the dwarven way - they have established procedures that work, and have a tested and true way for most things. Improving anything takes great effort, so their progress will be very slow. Example: a highly efficient steam engine is way better than early combustion engines. Why would Dwarves consider internal combustion an improvement? In human society, there will always be chaos and tumult that leads to improvement leaps (and catastrophes) on a regular basis. Dwarves are *stable*....Combined with the slow population growth, their plateau will come when they know how to do everything well enough, and start doing it over and over, just expanding at a glacial pace. The vibrant, progressive Dwarf *loves* innovation. Once they start to scoff at innovation in general, for the sake of the tried and true, that's when the plateau arrives. With a highly technological race, the mindset of technological rigidity will likely be mirrored in rigidity in other areas of life. Nothing is ever perfect - and if you think it is, you prevent improvement.
  This is a point I am interested in exploring.  I will try to write up a dwarf that scoffs at innovation vs the older dwarves that sought innovation. Yes, I'd really like to work that theme into a plot, perhaps a specific example of innovation that leads to catastrophe but also expose the mindset of the plateau dwarves vs the upswing dwarves.  This also directly deals with the cliche technological stagnation in fantasy settings that Scras was lamenting in a recent post.

Quote
(I suggest reading up on how technology improved in the imperial days of Rome, it's ... interesting).
  This is something I have often wondered about and not found a good source.  The few histories of the ancient world I have read (really few, I could probably name them all) describe a much better distribution of technology during imperial Rome, changes to what you might call "social technology" but I have not found one that really focuses on the changes in hard technologies.  In terms of physics and math, it often seems to me (evidence of my ignorance and the biases of american education) that you go Aristotle and the knowledge he generated and complied, then a hiccup with Arcamedies, hiccup with Al-Khwarizmi and then *bam* Newton.  So please, fill me in and direct me where to find more, I am really interested.

Offline axlerowes

  • Strolenati
  • Master
  • *
  • Posts: 556
  • Procrastination!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Awards Article Guild Plot Guild Elite Plot Guild Golden Creator Questor NPC Guild
    • Excursions from the Citadel
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2017, 10:52:49 PM »
Still brain storming, here are some notes on the proposed dwarf number 1

Now we have gotten into things that I find interesting.  Dwarves are Hemingway in a fantasy world! Dwarves are embodiments of classical manhood! You tossed out a few examples of what that means but we can explore this deeper.  I have been wondering what the final product of this line of thought might look like. I don’t think a straight forward description done in an encyclopedia-like voice or god-like would be appropriate for this.  What we have thus far is extremely derivative genre work and we won’t need a lot unpacking to get people on the same page. As you say when you say dwarf, most people know what you mean. Plus, I find it more fun to work out all the information first and then present it with a sidelong or indirect view.  I mentioned before, that we write up three characters.  Three dwarven males, brothers perhaps (having three sons might be rarity among dwarves as you describe them) and with the long life spans of dwarves the difference in ages could be large. Each brother could possess different aspects of manhood, we don’t need to and should not make conclusions, but lay out the characters in such a ways the conclusions can be drawn. I don’t know if I will ever get to all three, but here is the notes on the outward personality of the youngest.   

1)   A dwarven Hemingway: The challenge though is that Hemingway was an emo and indulgent dude. So it maybe to much to try and drop all that stuff on the page, but we can put out some discreet details regarding habits and general behaviors.
a.   Big game hunter.  The Ernie dwarf could, like Hemingway, hunt animals for sport. Let say this dwarf does it for the trophy and not for the thrill.  The desire to hunt, to stalk something beautiful and elusive and then to take it for oneself as away of feeling connected to it and in control of it could be very dwarven.  Is a griffin head trophy any less of a treasure than a gem stone?   Is this behavior characteristic of manhood? Not according to your ‘hunt for food not for sport’ example, because this behavior isn’t pragmatic.  But big game hunting probably fits Hemingway’s definition of guts. Of course, this dwarf hunts with traps elaborate traps, cause you know ...dwarves and traps go together.
b.   Confrontational: There is a lot of reasons a person might be confrontational, but lets say our Hemingway, like the original was propertied to be,  is thin skinned. I think this particular trait will be helpful in exploring dwarven    (A mixed blessing with using a Hemingway template is that we all think we know Hemingway.  It is hard not to take autobiographical view of Hemingway’s fiction, and though I recognize the danger in that, I think it is safe to do here because we are talking about the Hemingway persona. You could make a good argument that despite the fist fights and acerbic notes to his critics, Hemingway was not a confrontational person. I’ve always wondered if both the boxer-confrontational- and the narrator –suffering in silence- in The Sun Also Rises represent Hemingway’s different response to romantic turmoil. At any rate, I am going with the brawler who told F. Scott Fitzgerald to “kiss his ass” when that writer criticized his work and inspired Dorothy Parker to throw a type writer has his head. )
c.   Over bearing: I imagine this is the guy who unapologetically tells you how it is. The kind of guy that likes to sit at the head of the table and direct the conversation by asking trivia questions to which he knows the answer and routinely starts sentences with the word “Actually”. Of course as dwarf there are fewer sentences but you take my meaning.  In the realm of this man’s truth there is no room for anyone else’s truth.  I think the voice you have been using to describe the dwarves in this thread could be this guys voice.
d.   Guts and Grace: You can’t have Hemingway without guts right. (I know Scras’s is a literary scholar, but I didn’t really get into Hemingway until my mid-20s, and didn’t learn this thing about “guts” until I started reading Dorothy Parker’s essays a few years ago. Hemingway defined guts as “grace under pressure”. According to Chekov, “grace is doing something effectively with the fewest possible movements.”) I think guts and grace are two things we owe our Hemingway dwarf. It would fit with the Big Game hunting because all your preparation can come down to a single high pressure moment. For all our Ernie dwarf’s faults, if he still has Grace and Guts then he is worth having around.
e.   Younger Generation and Rebel: This guy is s rugged individualist, a rebel. By describing what he rebels against, we get to see what the mainstream dwarves are really about.
f.   Grimdark: It is Scras’s setting and these are the heavy metal dwarves of Westeros (not literally but that is how Scras described em) so untimately this guys fate needs to be tragic and hopeless. Like Hemmingway this is the kind of guy that is going to end up blowing his brains out or the like.


Now I need some details: The main mountain hall, the history of these Grimdark dwarves.



Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2017, 06:18:20 AM »
Thus far I like. Rather than three brothers, I would say a lineage, a dwarf and his son, and his son's son. The 1st dwarf, Ernie, was young when the clan arrived at their new hall at the end of a migration, to move into the first excavations dug into the mountain and to press themselves to the task of burrowing out their new home, and clearing and inspecting the land around it. Among dwarves, Earnie has had a variegated career. He has dug, he has fought, he has made things, but his skills took him most strongly with wood. He was a forestal, tending the woods around the new hold, clearing out undesirable trees, and planting the seeds and acorns of the wood they wanted. He has spent literal centuries raising his family, tending a forest that wasn't there before (free of those bothersome wastrel barmy elves)

He is now old, and the paterfamilias, and very much the epitome of the ideal dwarf. Like you said, when he speaks it is not for conversation, it is to tell everyone how things are going to be, and generally ends said discussions. He is retired. (Hemingway, the Greatest Generation, The Great Depression, killin Nazis, a calloused thumb checking the edge of an ax, the patience that can only be instilled though age and lingering injuries)

The middle dwarf is Earnie's eldest son, the next in line to lead the clan (not all the dwarves in the hold, just the extended family) Born after the establishment of the hold, after the main excavation was complete, he doesn't know a time before the hold. Where his father was a steward and a forestal, this son is a blacksmith, the most respected of dwarven trades. His father can make useful things with hammer and flame, such as nails, ax heads, hammers, climbing gear, and saws. This son can make the great weapons of the dwarves, the moon bladed axes, the banded hammers and flails, and the suits of dwarven armor and the forgemasks that the most gifted smiths wear so that they can get closer to their fires, to work the metal at greater heat. 

He is middle aged, and there are many dwarves who look up to him, because when the drums are beat and it is time to make war, to defend the home, he is among those who lead. (Michael Creighton, young baby boomer/old gen X-er, the 70s oil crisis, watching molten iron poured from a bull ladle, the confidence of the professional professional)

The youngest dwarf is Smitty's youngest son, and by the time of his birth, the hold was well and deeply established. There have been no great wars during his lifetime, and he has the dwarven task of learning, he is unskilled, undisciplined, and has been told that he must apply himself to those dwarven axioms of patience, perfection, stability, excellence, and stoicism.

He is taking up trades and skills that dwarves do not favor, rebelling against their society and it's weird amalgam of libertarian and socialism norms, against their centuries long plans. (Kindle eBook writer, young millennial, celebrity crisis/scandal, deliberately doing a job poorly so you'll be fired because your dad forced you to get the job, the frustration of youth and its inherent lack of focus)
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg

Offline Scrasamax

  • Redneck Hipster
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 3889
  • You say insane like it's a bad thing
  • Awards 2013 Most Submissions 2012 Most Quest Submissions Hall of Heroes 10 Gold Creator 10 Elite Systems Guild Elite Questor
    • Coffee & Cthulhu
    • Awards
Re: Khazad Collaboration Thread
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2017, 06:39:27 AM »
Also, the span of the story with those 3 mentioned dwarves might seem quick, but probably spans between 5 and 7 centuries.

The Hall

Dwarves don't move unless there is a d**ned good reason. Their parent hall is still large and powerful, but like Baptist churches, there was a split among the dwarves, likely along a matter that would only matter to the dwarves, it could be as simple as the feel of the stone under their hands telling them it's time to move, or more pragmatic like looking for a new source of ore to follow. The hold's gold vein might be playing out. Thus, the expeditions started, and Earnie was born and was among the young dwarves who went in the migration. He was a colonialist. The new hall was scouted, with omens and test mines burrowed into the earth. This is a process that might have taken a century or two to play out.

The new hall is never going to be a great fortress of a mountain keep, it wont be a Nogorod, a Menegroth, or a Khazad Dum. But it will still be a decent Dwarven keep. The keep isn't in the friendliest part of the map, and the colonialists had to fight hard to secure it, and then to blaze the roads between the keeps and down to where the humans were (trade is trade, and if humans will accept useless things in exchange for valuable things, that's their problem. they'll trade huge amounts of food, leather, etc in exchange for pretty rocks? hoho very good)

As a more outpost-y type hold, it is closer to non-dwarf lands, leaving greater chance of meeting non-dwarves. Earnie finds non-dwarves to be barbarians, flighy wastrel twits who don't appreciate dwarven values, babbling and generally being a huge pain in his 700 year old arthritic ass. Smitty sees them as useful, humans are willing to fight and die for gold, and if a human army is wiped out, in 40-50 years, their numbers are back. They also trade gold for iron, and food for useless gemstones. Milly quite likes the non-dwarves, they are bright and interesting, noisy and chaotic.
" If the muse comes to your bedside, don’t tell her you’ll f?$! her later."- Allen Ginsberg