Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ambeon/Silvanesti

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ambeon/Silvanesti

    Just a little thought exercise. Do you think if the books had continued, would the Silvanesti have eventually retaken their homeland and driven the minotaurs off the mainland? If so, how do you think that would have played out? If not, what do you think would have ultimately happened to the Silvanesti people, and would the minotaurs have been content to keep Ambeon or would they have begun conquering nearby lands, as well?
    Formerly Daos Soulstaff

  • #2
    Personally i would have them retake Silvanost and a good portion of the land away from the sea, but lose most of their coastline. Then they have to deal with a Minotaur colony being at their door for several hundred years until finally ousting them. During that time the Silvanesti grow more warlike and work on improving their navy.

    Giving the Silvanesti something new to hate and further differentiating them from the Qualinesti and the other elven races. Also leaving the minotaurs as a threat will add some fun RPG elements to the setting.
    "And me being strictly neutral I bashed everyone in sight!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, in my dragonlance vision, the silvanesti would eventually retake their homeland but with great consequences.

      It all starts with the heir apparent, Balif, son of Gilthanas and Kerianseray and the great journey I had for him. Much of the adventure included freeing Qualinesti to make it a united kindgom of many different races. This adventure includes going to the Lake of Death, receiving Wyrmslayer from the spirit of his grandmother, Laurana, lady of the lake. The surprise twist for the party is that Beryl didn't completely gone after the War of Souls. Her body remains decaying at the bottom of the Lake of Death, but her spirit remains, using the dead to gather magic items so she can draw on their magic to help sustain her and secretly command the knights of Neraka (bandits) currently ruling the Qualinesti forest. Beryl traps Laurana and all the spirits of the elves slain in the War of Souls, preventing them from continuing on to the next life.

      So the adventure has several endings, depending on how the party acts.

      One such ending is that the adventurers round up humans, goblins, dwarves, draconians, elves, centaurs, etc, to form an army to kill Beryl.
      or, Balif can use Wyrmslayer to kill Beryl.
      or Balif can break the last dragonorb, which Beryl uses as her phylactery.

      Thus Laurana and all the lost souls of the Lake of Death will be freed. And interestingly, Laurana may even be resurrected.


      So why am I sharing this? Well, because the Silvanesti adventure I had in mind was restoring Lorac's Nightmare so that the Nightmare may flood the entire forest, killing the minotaur occupation forces and possibly ruining the very forest to protect it. Yeap. It requires: 1) A working dragonorb (Guess where you find one? meaning Beryl ain't dead yet.) 2) An elf of the royal blood of Silvanos (i.e. Laurana, Porthios, Alhana, Gilthas, or Balif. 3) A dragon willing to whisper nightmares into the ear of the elf who's intentionally trapped by the dragonorb. (Good dragons may question this plan as a good one). And said the dragonorb may call evils dragons, as it did Cyan.
      Last edited by Weldon Chen; 03-03-2020, 03:17 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Abernathy View Post
        Personally i would have them retake Silvanost and a good portion of the land away from the sea, but lose most of their coastline. Then they have to deal with a Minotaur colony being at their door for several hundred years until finally ousting them. During that time the Silvanesti grow more warlike and work on improving their navy.

        Giving the Silvanesti something new to hate and further differentiating them from the Qualinesti and the other elven races. Also leaving the minotaurs as a threat will add some fun RPG elements to the setting.
        I agree on the idea of helping differentiate them further from the other elven cultures. But how would they manage to retake even part of their homeland from the minotaurs? Do they make some new allies, are they led by some new great hero, or do they find some secret weapon that helps give them an edge?

        Originally posted by Weldon Chen View Post
        So why am I sharing this? Well, because the Silvanesti adventure I had in mind was restoring Lorac's Nightmare so that the Nightmare may flood the entire forest, killing the minotaur occupation forces and possibly ruining the very forest to protect it. Yeap. It requires: 1) A working dragonorb (Guess where you find one? meaning Beryl ain't dead yet.) 2) An elf of the royal blood of Silvanos (i.e. Laurana, Porthios, Alhana, Gilthas, or Balif. 3) A dragon willing to whisper nightmares into the ear of the elf who's intentionally trapped by the dragonorb. (Good dragons may question this plan as a good one). And said the dragonorb may call evils dragons, as it did Cyan.
        Wow. I mean, causing a Nightmare did work pretty well at expelling the forces of Evil from the Silvanesti lands the first time (granted, it did a pretty good job of expelling everyone else, too). But on the other hand, while a wild gamble, it could work. The Silvanesti were able to clear out the nightmare (eventually) once, they could conceivably do it again.
        Formerly Daos Soulstaff

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Errant Crownguard View Post
          Wow. I mean, causing a Nightmare did work pretty well at expelling the forces of Evil from the Silvanesti lands the first time (granted, it did a pretty good job of expelling everyone else, too). But on the other hand, while a wild gamble, it could work. The Silvanesti were able to clear out the nightmare (eventually) once, they could conceivably do it again.
          It's one of those adventures where I think I'll tend to really put the players in huge moral thumbscrews. For example, will the Nightmare also kill Silvanesti? Will it also kill Minotaur civilians? Will it kill the slaves held by the minotaurs? Will the very Nightmare also bring greater disaster by calling evil dragons? Is an evil dragon necessary for this spell? Or will simply using the dragonorb place the forest under a great dreamscape so minotaurs can be peacefully removed? What does the orb do to the person(s) physically who try to do this? It ultimately killed Lorac. Is intentionally doing this a massive act of evil? or is it good?

          The adventure would allow players to experience the nuances of the Silvanesti situation, to meet Silvanesti guerrilla fighters, peaceful minotaurs, as well as evil ones, to see slaves possibly in the range of the Nightmare. The players may choose to not to do this, but then they'll have to stop the extremists mad enough to try. And if the players choose to restart the Nightmare, they'll have to fight people trying to stop them.
          Last edited by Weldon Chen; 03-03-2020, 03:19 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Honestly, it sounds like my kind of adventure. I'm very big into that moral nuance, shades of grey kind of thing. The sort of moral decisions you have to agonize over, and when it's done, you're still not certain you made the right choice. Many of my players hate that sort of thing, though.
            Formerly Daos Soulstaff

            Comment


            • #7
              I think that the victory for the Silvanesti elves over the minotaurs is pretty much assured.

              The biggest problem is that the minotaur leadership does not know how to fight a war.

              In the war against Golgren, the minotaurs had complete naval supremacy against an enemy whose seat of power is on a peninsula completely surrounded by sea on three sides. Instead of striking the ogres where and when they wished, or seizing key ports like Dragon's Point they instead marched their troops into ambushes in the Khalkist mountains. This wasn't some Hannibal-esque surprise attack either, since they attempted this logistical maneuver multiple times.

              This leads me to believe that the minotaurs are novices at prosecuting a war, probably because the islanders of Mithas and Kothas are just pirates and mercenaries who have never fought a war under their own banner since the conquest of the Imperial League in Taladas. They seem to be counting on their physical strength in pitched battles for victory in imitation of that overseas power or some ideological belief in honour in strength or violence. Either way they are going to be incredibly ill-equipped to fight an asymmetric war of insurgency against the elves.

              So that's the primary reason why the minotaurs will suffer until it has a radical change in leadership, given that the Emperor himself led at least one of these military disasters against the ogres. The minotaurs choose their leadership not through meritocracy or even a trained cadre of noble families groomed from birth to rule and wage war which would gain you a competent officer class. Instead they use formal duels for position which favours stronger younger warriors over those with experience. Aside from the self-inflicted wound of attrition for your own officers, there is no guarantee that the new officers and commanders will have any knowledge of tactics, logistics, or counter-insurgency.

              In the war against the Silvanesti specifically, there are numerous problems that the minotaurs would need to overcome.
              • Silvanest is a sub-arctic boreal forest which means the elves can disappear into uninhabited regions whenever they wish, and ambush the minotaurs whenever they wish. Speaking as someone who lives near a boreal forest, it is extremely unforgiving terrain filled with marshes which freezes over for much of the year. The lumbering minotaur war machine will be unable to campaign into the forests for at least half the year due to the cold weather, while the elves style of fighting can allow strike from hidden strongholds any time of year.
              • The minotaurs style of fighting seems to be based around the brute strength of their warriors, and their style of fighting on land involves pitched battles and overwhelming charges, like a bull. The elves on the other hand have no incentive or inclination to ever fight a pitched battle. The raids from the forest would be so relentless and costly that the manpower and economy of Mithas and Kothas would not be able to endure it. The minotaurs lack any means to counter these tactics as they cannot outmaneuver or force engagement with the elves within the forest to bring their superior strength (and perhaps numbers) to bear.
              • The elves have a wider variety of magic to aid in their struggle than the minotaurs do. Minotaurs have one magical tradition, the clerical magic of Sargonnas, which grants them brute, unsubtle enhancement to their existing battle tactics of overwhelming their enemy with brute strength. On the other hand the elves have clerics of all the gods of good, wizardry, and druidism (possibly bards as well). Just explaining how many advantages this gives to the elves in all aspects of the war is worth a post all on its own, but I don't think I need to explain how this vastly expanded spell options for even novice casters would impact every aspect of the war from intelligence, to resupply, to tactical movements and retreats.
              • The minotaurs have a lot of supply problems. As a boreal forest there is no way to promote large amounts of food production in the territory. The growing season is short, and the topsoil is a thin crust that cannot produce much in the way of food. The elves fed themselves by coaxing abundance out of the forest (aided with magic) to support their cities. To try and get the caloric requirements for a minotaur would put a huge strain on that system. Compounding the problem of course is that minotaurs do not work, they only fight and take. Culturally, they require slave labour for all of their needs. So while elves would be able to live off the land, the minotaurs will probably need to be resupplied by sea, from the Istarian human descendants that work and farm on Mithas and Kothas.

              So the minotaurs can certainly try to occupy the region, and they will probably cause a great deal of suffering, but eventually they will pay so high a price in blood and treasure that it will ruin them. They cannot exploit the resources of the region enough to establish a permanent presence not to be a drain on their slave-run economy. They cannot completely enslave or eradicate the elves because the elves will simply melt into the woods. They are outgunned in magic and cannot engage the enemy in a style of warfare that they can win.

              Even if they use they burn large swathes of the forest down, they would just be left with a barren ruin that won't provide much in the way of resources for them to exploit. I cannot see any scenario where the minotaurs will win and create a minotaur nation there. I would love to debate with someone who can make a case for long-term victory for the minotaurs if they get competent leadership, but I do not have the imagination to conceive of a minotaur victory myself.

              Comment


              • #8
                Call me draconian, but my tactics would include smoking elves out. If the elves don't have control weather, I'd start a lot of forest fires. Elves escaping out of the flames can then be assaulted by troops ready to hit them. The burning of the forest also allow the minotaur to cut away woodland material into managable lands for plantations, as well as open fields to create defensible perimeters that arrows can't reach across.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, setting fire to the woods is exactly what the minotaurs will do. It is practically their religion, and the only way to really control an area of territory for the reasons you mentioned. But they would be left with nothing.

                  But I live right under the boreal forest, hours away from the limits of agriculture. The soil underneath the forest cover is Luvosolic, which means a very thin layer of black dirt over an ash grey nutrient poor subsoil layer. It would be depleted almost immediately with medieval farming techniques and the growing season is extremely short. So you can grow a little barley and rye, but there is a reason the Norse and Baltic peoples lived off the sea for a lot of their diet. If you are going to conquer an area for land, this region is a very poor choice.

                  Plus, who is going to work these plantations? The minotaurs don't do any work other than fighting, so they need slaves. Elves don't "farm" in the human way so they would need to bring their own human slaves from Mithas and Kothas, either to teach the elves or to farm the land directly. This means pulling them away from far more productive land on the isles in exchange for poorer lands that have constant elven raids.

                  You can instead clear pasture to run sheep, goats or cattle which will be more productive than farming crops. It will still deplete fairly quickly but you can keep burning to produce more pasture and move your herds around very easily.

                  However you run into the problem of the cold of a subarctic boreal forest. In the middle ages people in northern lattitudes butchered all but their breeding stock at Michealmas because gathering the necessary fodder to feed animals over the winter was too labour intensive. This kept the herds small and the population borderline vegan for half the year.

                  Neither plantations would be profitable for a colonial sea power, which must produce a surplus to send back home. Otherwise, what is the point?

                  So the minotaurs will loot the heck out of the Silvanesti cities and cause a lot of damage but eventually the whole venture will end in tears and they will have to withdraw. I mean minotaurs can sail anywhere and there are so many more productive regions, where the terrain suits their style of fighting better, that are closer to Mithas and Kothas.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just read through this again and I have to say I LOVE the idea of a module where a large contingent of the Silvanesti try and restore the nightmare. The amount of storylines that can branch out of that is huge.
                    "And me being strictly neutral I bashed everyone in sight!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know if anyone has this. But i would love to make a "whats going on" document for each of the areas of the world after the Dark Disciple trilogy. It breaks my heart every time i think about how the setting got dropped right after Weis did such an amazing job of revamping everything.

                      I didn't read any of the other trilogies. No offense to Richard Knaak or Doug Niles but there prose and feel for the setting just doesn't fit with me (i'm not calling either bad.)
                      "And me being strictly neutral I bashed everyone in sight!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maybe this could be a group project for the forums, creating a module where the party helps liberate Silvanesti from the Minotaurs?
                        Formerly Daos Soulstaff

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, if anyone wanted to take the ball and run with it, go ahead.

                          If you want my advice on a module, I'd go with a map of silvanesti. Carve out regions of the woods, so you have different regions to explore. easy region will be a mini adventure.

                          you'll need silvanost. you need to get to Lorac's throne room, where you can set down the orb.

                          ..... as I think about this, you'll need someone with royal blood. So, Laurana, Porthios, Alhana, Gilthas, or Balif are needed. As you carve out regions, we can place each of the NPCs for the PCs to meet who will become the activator of the orb. So one of the forest regions, there's a portal to Qualinost (lake of death) to get Laurana (after she gets ressurrected).
                          Likewise you'll find Alhana and Porthios maybe on the outskirt regions. Here's a new thought..... what if you need all 5 NPCs. That would make this a robust module. to




                          There should be some intermediate regions with fun little side quests. like a slave prison break (i'm thinking a young Balif is either captured and brought there, or as a mission, PCs have to go into the den of slavery and free the elves. you get to see how terrible or kind the minotaur occupation will be. or a fragile village of minotaur commoners who you know will be sacrificed if the orb is activated.

                          I'd also imagine a scenario where you meet some kirah, who don't want the orb activated, saying there are still too many innocent people in the forest. for each region, the PCs will need to find a regional leader and warn them of the second Nightmare.

                          You'll need one where you find a dragonorb. I think there's an orb from Price of Courage in the Bastion. But I think it's a "good" dragon orb. Anyways, maybe one region has a portal up to Bastion.

                          all of that leads to Silvanost, a trip through to city streets with an epic battle at the throne room.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would put Porthios firmly in the camp of "no way in hell are we bringing the nightmare back." He went through so much getting rid of it the first time. He could be the lead of whichever faction is trying to stop it from happening.
                            "And me being strictly neutral I bashed everyone in sight!"

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X