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(TFT) Names for Folk--a bit late
I'm posting this for someone who's not a list member (only subscribers
to one of the lists can post), but who reads us through the archive website.
All non-list replies should be addressed to JodyM529@aol.com, not to me.
>>>>> Forwarded message from email@example.com
Uh, hello everyone:
I am afraid I'm not a regular subscriber anymore, but I am an archive
afficionado. Consequently this posting is relatively late; hopefully you
kind peoples won't present me as a burnt offerring to your Ancestral Gods.
I've seen how heated some of the debates get... (haw)
Still, I followed this thread and I just had to respond. I find the use of
the word "folk" particularly compelling since it is one I use to describe
different branches of "The Human Family Tree" in my own campaign world.
Here all of Humankin is aware, even if only subconsciously, that all their
folk are related. Usually this relationship is not a happy one in my
superstitious, antediluvian, racially intolerant bronze age world of Ardha.
Knowing, deep down, that you and your kind are actually related to those who
hunt your people as animals on the moonless nights makes the PCs hatred burn
brighter and hopefully drives home the inherent nastiness of cannibalism (or
so I like to think). I've hacked-up and rearranged not only TFT rules but
Traditional Fantasy (racial) Concepts significantly to fit them into a
setting perhaps best described as a time "before" these 'races' came into
being (i.e. became fully differentiated).
Not surprisingly, each of the 'Mannvolk' likes to view itself as the "trunk"
of the Human Family Tree but the three basic ethnic groups (Utresian, Vris
and Esni) that make up the 'Plainfolk' most commonly occupy this role. The
'Plainfolk's' majority in numbers and tendency to kill anybody who disagrees
with them go a long way toward promoting such a viewpoint. 'Plainfolk' refer
to themselves as "Purefolk" or "Truefolk", other peoples of The Human Family
instead use epithets like "Madmen", "Cattle", or "Morons". 'Plainfolk' look
a lot like the people you see around you every day, i.e. humans. Obviously
there are many other branches of The Tree, but to curb this very long-winded
narrative and address the discussion as such, "halflings" as you refer to
them, or individuals possessing the blood of more than one People or Folk,
typically find themselves cast out of society. 'Plainfolk' normally offer
such individuals up as burnt offerings to their Ancestral Gods. At the very
least, most 'Plainfolk' utterly shun such individuals. In the Utresian
tongue (which sounds an awful lot like spoken Esperanto) these outcasts are
known as 'abomeni'; "abominations" or "abominable ones". This expression is
very generic and also used to refer to anyone exhibiting Marks of the
Unspeakable (aka. Marks of Chaos, i.e. mutations).
As far as "hobbitses" go, the closest you'd get on antediluvian, "barbaric"
Arda is a people known by the Vris tongue as 'Kobolden'. 'Koboldenvolk'
comprise two basic ethnic groups; "Wickers" (rural agriculturalists utilizing
primarily wooden artefacts) and "Tinkers" (subterranian smiths and miners
born to shaping stone and earth). 'Koboldenvolk' are an independent, quiet,
even dour people who build their communities far away from others and want as
little to do with 'Plainfolk' as possible. Physically, they are about 4 feet
tall with thin, gawky builds; greyish skin; and plain-featured, somewhat
conical heads (it's truly uncanny how much they resemble Cardboard Heroes'
Goblins colored grey). When they're not being exploited or harassed by the
other peoples of The Human Family, "Wickers" and "Tinkers" exist in a simple
symbiosis with one another. On the forested hills Wickers clear away trees
and undergrowth to make room for their gently sloping barley and wheat fields
and their hamlets of round-roofed pit houses. They fashion most of their
structures (and indeed many other things) out of wicker work, hence their
name. Under and inside these hills dwell the Tinkers; they have an almost
instinctive ability to work stone and earth. Their tunnels and mines seem an
almost natural part of Arda, as if put there by the world itself. Tinker
metal work sets a difficult standard for most other Folk to even match, for
Tinkers smith not only copper and bronze but even the Grey Metal which
occasionally falls from the sky. When passing through Kobold communities in
the hills if travellers place their ears to the ground and listen very
carefully they may just barely be able to hear the ceaseless "tink, tink,
tink..." of the "Tinkers'" picks. Tinker and Wicker communities are
interwoven; they literally exist on top of one another. Wickers provide
Tinkers with the food they are too busy smithing or mining to grow while
Tinkers fashion metal tools for the Wickers who are too busy farming and
nurturing saplings to smith for themselves.
That is, at least, in theory. All too often Wickers end their lives on the
iron dinner plates and Tinkers in the subterranian hell-forges in the
trackless, labyrinthine caverns of a place known as Outer Stygia. But all
that is another, equally long, story...
Anyway, for those of you who bothered to persevere through all this nonsense,
I hope it illustrates that it is indeed possible to take a somewhat different
approach to Traditional Fantasy Races. None of those old rules are carved
in Tinkerstone, do what you want with them! Have fun dammit!
P.S. If you want stats, LMK.
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