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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  01:05:27  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
The only source of which I'm aware is in Dragon #228, in Ed Greenwood's 'The Athalantean Campaign', where they are mentioned in passing. Two NPC wizards from Unther are mentioned in the article as well and may have had some connection to the secret society, but it is not made explicit, if so.

What is known about them is that they were a society of Untheri battlemages founded in 229 DR and lasting about 20 years. They destroyed many armies sent against them by local lords, presumably lords ruling in Gilgeam's name.

From this I conclude that they were in some way rebelling against Gilgeam's rule or at least the status quo of Unther and perhaps even the Old Empires as a whole. That might suggest connections to the earlier secret society of wizards following the Theurgist Adept, Thayd, but such connections, if any, remain speculation, as far as I'm aware.

Around 249 DR, they had all been slain or lost on other planes. Some records and hidden magic mus have survived, as their magics formed a great part of the arcane arsenal of the Red Wizards many centuries later.

Is there anything else known about them?

Do the novels about Elminster's youth ever mention explicitly whether some Untheri NPCs are current or former members of this society? Are there any more mentions of Unther or the Old Empires in the 3rd century DR in those novels?

Is the secret society of the Black Flame mentioned in any of the novels set leading up to the Spellplague or after it, in Thay or the Old Empires?

Perhaps in connection with Red Wizards of Thay or the Black Flame Zealots of Kossuth's church, with whom there might be some connection?

I'm considering a historical figure, the author of a journal that the PCs will come across and the purported author of a much more secret set of books, one of which is said to detail his sojourn under the great city of Unthalass and his observations on the dark queen that rules there.

I thought that I would name him Manishtushu and have him live in the late 2nd century and early 3rd century DR. He'd have been one of the founding members of the Black Flame and ultimately dispatched by slayers in the service of Gilgeam's Grand Vizier (Sukkal rabi'u) at the time, Umamaita Magâunô, sometime near 250 DR.

I'm wondering about the magical traditions that he would have studied and the ancient mysteries that he would have unearthed over his career. If he was a quester for forbidden lore and the darkest magic, in the tradition of a Clark Ashton Smith character (e.g. Azédarac, Eibon or Malygris), what ancient evil tomes (or antediluvian petroglyphs) might he have read in his dark studies?

What shadowy hints to unspeakable horrors and profane mysteries might be gleaned from reading his cryptic journal?

Might he have studied Narfelli demonbinding, only three centuries lost during his lifetime?

Or the elemental secrets of the Raumathari battlemages?

The nation of Eltabranar, under the rulership of the Lord of the Hidden Layer himself, existed at this time, between 106 DR and 211 DR, when it was destroyed. An ill-advised invasion of both Mulhorand and Unther in 202 DR precipitated its fall and might well have been a part of the personal history of a number of mages who went on to form the Black Flame.

If Manishtushu had translated some truly ancient tome of eldritch knowledge, that was old beyond the knowing even in his lifetime, where would such a work have originally come from?

One possibility would, of course, be the Narathmault or modern Dun-Tharos, which was already a place of dark power to the dark elves of the Sethomiir clan of Ilythiiri, long before the Nar ever emerged in the area. On the other hand, that single location cannot be the source of absolutely all ancient evil in the Realms.

Imaskar is a bit stereotypical, though I'm sure he's read some Imaskari translations of even older works, translating them into more modern (for him) languages.

What about pre-human evils in the Old Empires area?

Were there dark magicians and scholars of ancient evils in sarrukhian Okoth? If so, where might their places of mystery have been?

What other ancient realms occupied some part of the lands that the Second Untheri Empire ruled?

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sleyvas
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  03:02:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had done some research into the group sometime last year. The red wizards have ties to this group in that a lot of their initial fire magic came from this group. I would definitely link this group to the worship of Kossuth, who is known as the Black Flame and has Black Flame zealots worshipping him. I would also have this group tied to Raumathar and have "unearthed" lore from Raumathari ruins. Having this group involved with the city of Kensten and Tyratauros in the Priador would fit (note Kensten is where Bezantur is, but it's not called Bezantur until its renamed after the red wizard uprising and the city is named after the first high priest of Kossuth to support the uprising). This would put the group in the lands that will become Thay, and thus make it very easy for the red wizards to have been involved with learning from the group.

Also, its noted that some of the members are lost in travels to other planes, so they may come back later.

I personally see the black flame as primarily wizards/sorcerers, but I would not be surprised if there were a significant number of theurges in their group who cast both divine and arcane magic and served Kossuth.

There's also some lore on the black flame (modern cult tied to Kossuth) in these articles

http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20050126a
http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20050202a
http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20050209a

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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LordofBones
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826 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  04:42:57  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
http://archivesofnethys.com/PrestigeClassesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Blackfire%20Adept

Refluff/recrunch and have fun.
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  06:33:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
According to the timeline in that same article, the Black Flame Mages created many spells, most of which became the basis for Thayan magic.
quote:
229 DR, Year of the Black Flame: A cabal of wizards calling themselves “The Black Flame” forms in Unther and destroys several armies sent by local rulers to slay them. Over the 20 summers that follow, they develop many important magics, but dwindle in numbers, destroyed by rivals, or lost in travels to other planes. They leave behind many powerful spells that later form much of the arsenal of the Red Wizards of Thay.

I would theorize that considering the order was quasi-religious, that perhaps 'circle magic' was developed by them which went on to be an important part of Thay's repertoire as well.

I just happened to have been rereading that article yesterday (I needed to address some of the listed 'fallen realms' found only in that article).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 22 Apr 2018 06:39:04
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LordofBones
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  07:43:41  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That's really odd, because we haven't really seen Thayvian spells save those developed by modern Red Wizards, like Tam's create dread warrior and magetunnel. Even in the Haunted Lands trilogy, we clearly see non-core spells (glasstrike comes to mind), but not anything exclusive to the Red Wizards in a duel among the leaders of the Red Wizards in the country of the Red Wizards.
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Markustay
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  09:02:22  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I believe that article was still written at the time we had that thing called 'Southern Magic', which we never really saw mechanics for. I personally think that's the basis for Sorcery starting in 3e (since that word and those cultures had very close geographic origins).

Anyhow, it was written by Ed, and he always maintained that 'Southern Magic was different', even if the rules or even the setting never reflected that very well. Also, it was presumably a mixture of Arcane and Divine magic, so things like circle magic and non-memorized spells would also lend itself to the development of magic in Thay. Not that we saw much sorcery in Thay at all, but there may have been a point - right at the beginning - when such may have been dominant, and contact with the northern cultures over time influenced them away from all that, and into a more structured, uniform 'schools of magic' setup (Vancian Casting). In fact, it may have even had something to do with Larloch's fallen enclave - we know Szass Tam had Netherese artifacts, and the Netherese were masters of Vancian Magic, so maybe that was part of it. Heck, they mave have even gotten their hands on a couple of Nether Scrolls.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  12:40:11  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I would theorize that considering the order was quasi-religious, that perhaps 'circle magic' was developed by them which went on to be an important part of Thay's repertoire as well.


Do we know that the Black Flame was religious in any way?

I mean, is that based on anything other than the similarity of the name to a crusader order of Kossuth a millenia later?

They could have been obsessive seekers after forbidden knowledge, who rejected organised religion in favour of the mysteries found in antediluvian tomes. The 'Black Flame' could have been a reference to the light of eldricht knowledge.

They also could have been secular, pragmatic types, who sought wordly power through arcane might, not scrupling to make compacts even with archfiends like Eltab, but approaching such agreements as business-like propositions, shorn of superstitious awe. Their secret society might have had more in common with the Sicilian mafia than any kind of religious cult. The 'Black Flame' might have been nothing more than a self-descroptor that they believed would conceal their true identities (as nobles of Unther, no doubt), while ensuring that Untheri society feared them and rendered them appropriate respect.

Or the 'Black Flame' might have been a magical substance they had learned to imbue their magic with, perhaps from fiends, perhaps from ancient tomes of prehuman lore, or an artifact of some kind. The mages of the 'Black Flame' might have drawn Gilgeam's ire not through worshipping other gods than him (in any case, not yet illegal at this time), but by claiming powers equal or greater than his because of their potent magics.

Or, most likely of all, the mages of the 'Black Flame' consisted of men (and perhaps women) of varying motivations and attitudes, with some perhaps worshipping demons or dark, antediluvian deities, but others devoting themselves to the study of magic to the exclusion of any religious sensibility.


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Icelander
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  12:57:56  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

http://archivesofnethys.com/PrestigeClassesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Blackfire%20Adept

Refluff/recrunch and have fun.


This is an interesting approach, especially considering that in my campaign, I have the Enclave (Untheri secret society) date back far into the mists of time, use an Imaskari portal nexus and extraplanar fortress in the Metos as their secret headquarters and be concerned with the integrity of the fabric of reality, to the extent that one of their most important positions is 'The Gatekeeper'.

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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  20:43:38  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Well, I believe that article was still written at the time we had that thing called 'Southern Magic', which we never really saw mechanics for. I personally think that's the basis for Sorcery starting in 3e (since that word and those cultures had very close geographic origins).

Anyhow, it was written by Ed, and he always maintained that 'Southern Magic was different', even if the rules or even the setting never reflected that very well. Also, it was presumably a mixture of Arcane and Divine magic, so things like circle magic and non-memorized spells would also lend itself to the development of magic in Thay. Not that we saw much sorcery in Thay at all, but there may have been a point - right at the beginning - when such may have been dominant, and contact with the northern cultures over time influenced them away from all that, and into a more structured, uniform 'schools of magic' setup (Vancian Casting). In fact, it may have even had something to do with Larloch's fallen enclave - we know Szass Tam had Netherese artifacts, and the Netherese were masters of Vancian Magic, so maybe that was part of it. Heck, they mave have even gotten their hands on a couple of Nether Scrolls.



Southern Magic was fully explained. It was just a different "cipher" and "formulas" used to encode wizardry in Mulan held countries. It was specifically developed to counter other countries getting their secrets.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2018 :  23:09:54  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I had done some research into the group sometime last year. The red wizards have ties to this group in that a lot of their initial fire magic came from this group. I would definitely link this group to the worship of Kossuth, who is known as the Black Flame and has Black Flame zealots worshipping him. I would also have this group tied to Raumathar and have "unearthed" lore from Raumathari ruins. Having this group involved with the city of Kensten and Tyratauros in the Priador would fit (note Kensten is where Bezantur is, but it's not called Bezantur until its renamed after the red wizard uprising and the city is named after the first high priest of Kossuth to support the uprising). This would put the group in the lands that will become Thay, and thus make it very easy for the red wizards to have been involved with learning from the group.

Also, its noted that some of the members are lost in travels to other planes, so they may come back later.

I personally see the black flame as primarily wizards/sorcerers, but I would not be surprised if there were a significant number of theurges in their group who cast both divine and arcane magic and served Kossuth.

There's also some lore on the black flame (modern cult tied to Kossuth) in these articles

http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20050126a
http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20050202a
http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rl/20050209a


Do we know if the Order of the Black Flame dates back before the founding of Thay or not?

If I decide I want to tie some ancient source of lore to the batrachi civilisation that existed in the area even before Okoth, Bazim-Gorag, the Firebringer, does sound like someone who might have inspired zealots of the Black Flame before Kossuth did. Or in competition with Kossuth.

Also, ancient eldritch lore that predates humanity is very Clark Ashton Smith and toad-like antediluvian horrors are right up his alley.

Perhaps the forbidden tome could be a translation of a post-Imaskari book, written by a scholar of the abstruse who lived after the fall of the Empire of Imaskar, but before the founding of Mulhorand and Unther, itself a translation from an ancient sea elven source, which is itself the translation of some undersea runes dating back before the Inner Sea was the Inner Sea, written by primeval batrachi priests of a slithering horror in the deeps.

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Edited by - Icelander on 22 Apr 2018 23:14:54
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  01:44:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just assumed the Black Flame Wizards eventually became the Black Flame Zealots over time (or at least, what was left of them). Going with some of my premise below, their magic was a hybrid of divine & arcane magic, like a Sha'ir, and they would have turned to elemental gods for their spells, until eventually it was just Kossuth.

Thats how I see it, anyway. Your mileage may vary.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Well, I believe that article was still written at the time we had that thing called 'Southern Magic', which we never really saw mechanics for. I personally think that's the basis for Sorcery starting in 3e (since that word and those cultures had very close geographic origins).

Anyhow, it was written by Ed, and he always maintained that 'Southern Magic was different', even if the rules or even the setting never reflected that very well. Also, it was presumably a mixture of Arcane and Divine magic, so things like circle magic and non-memorized spells would also lend itself to the development of magic in Thay. Not that we saw much sorcery in Thay at all, but there may have been a point - right at the beginning - when such may have been dominant, and contact with the northern cultures over time influenced them away from all that, and into a more structured, uniform 'schools of magic' setup (Vancian Casting). In fact, it may have even had something to do with Larloch's fallen enclave - we know Szass Tam had Netherese artifacts, and the Netherese were masters of Vancian Magic, so maybe that was part of it. Heck, they mave have even gotten their hands on a couple of Nether Scrolls.



Southern Magic was fully explained. It was just a different "cipher" and "formulas" used to encode wizardry in Mulan held countries. It was specifically developed to counter other countries getting their secrets.
Explained to make it an east fit for D&D rules, but I am 100% certain that's not how Ed had meant it to be. Not just another way of writing the same spells. That's was just lazy design on their part.

They were supposed to be Gish - able to do both priestly and wizardly magic (but also different from both of those - probably more ritualistic in nature). Since that was OP for players to have, they had to nerf it (as NPCs, they were balanced by the slower, ritual-style methods they employed, which isn't conducive to PCs adventuring). Thus, I felt they just hand-waved what could have been a very cool thing.

Post-3e, I just say sorcery 'came from the south', and that's what southern magic always was. And the Mage-priests of the Mulan were really Sha'ir from Zakhara (not actually from Zakhara - I'm just borrowing the class because its also Middle-Eastern, and they can use both arcane and divine magic, so its a good fit). This is also why 'read magic' wouldn't work. Those weren't spells, they were treatise on how to perform the proper rituals (to send 'the spirits' - in the case of the Mulan they would have been their god's servants - to go fetch them spells). So more like texts on procedure, then any actual spell (since I feel their spells were 'delivered', in priestly/Shi'ar fashion).

Because a 'read magic' spell would work on spellbooks from other worlds, but NOT southern magic, ergo, it most certainly was very different.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Apr 2018 02:35:11
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1577 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  12:04:00  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I just assumed the Black Flame Wizards eventually became the Black Flame Zealots over time (or at least, what was left of them).

That seems unlikely. The organisation known as the 'Black Flame' came to an end some seven centuries before the emergence of Thay. One of the few things we do know about them, in fact, is that they came to an end, they didn't survive under a slightly different name or in another form.

There is no organisational or historical continuity, any more than the modern Icelandic crooner Bogomil Font is a member of the medieval Gnostic sect of the Bogomils. Or, indeed, the Renaissance artists who were inspired by various Ancient artists had any kind of connection to them beyond having read about them or seen their work. People can be inspired by historical figures or movements without there being any kind of direct link.

It seems that some of the magic of the Untheri society Black Flame came to form a part of the spell arsenal of the Red Wizards, but that is most probable to have occurred because some founding Red Wizards had access to spellbooks written by members of the Black Flame and/or magical creations made by them. Or they studied the spells of someone who had studied the Black Flame, which is even likelier, of course.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Going with some of my premise below, their magic was a hybrid of divine & arcane magic, like a Sha'ir, and they would have turned to elemental gods for their spells, until eventually it was just Kossuth.

Which doesn't really explain why Red Wizards are overwhelmingly secular and the priesthood of Kossuth forms another power bloc in Thay, not a part of the ruling caste.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Explained to make it an east fit for D&D rules, but I am 100% certain that's not how Ed had meant it to be. Not just another way of writing the same spells. That's was just lazy design on their part.

I agree that we should not let simplified D&d rules hamstring Realmslore.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

They were supposed to be Gish - able to do both priestly and wizardly magic (but also different from both of those - probably more ritualistic in nature).

'Gish' has become gamer slang for 'fighter/mage' and has its origins in the Githzerai word for a warrior who can also use arcane magic. It has, to my knowledge, absolutely nothing to do with clerical magic, as Githzerai do not have priests or use priestly magic.

That being said, I can't remember whether Old Empires or another source ever mentioned Southern magic being both divine and arcane. I'm away from my books at the moment.

It seems logical that arcane and divine magic might have become intertwined in Mulhorand, at least, where many mages were also parts of the powerful churches. As for Unther, however, it might not have been as automatic, as it has always had powerful mages that were independent of any church. And I don't see much justification for the 'Black Flame' to have been partly divine in nature, not if the secular magocracy of Thay used many of their magics in their initial arsenal.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Since that was OP for players to have, they had to nerf it (as NPCs, they were balanced by the slower, ritual-style methods they employed, which isn't conducive to PCs adventuring). Thus, I felt they just hand-waved what could have been a very cool thing.

Eh, wizards from different cultures do not need to use fundamentally different rules to be cool and distinct. They can simply know very different spells and, in the case of practitioners of Southern magic, be extremely secretive about their magical tradition.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Post-3e, I just say sorcery 'came from the south', and that's what southern magic always was. And the Mage-priests of the Mulan were really Sha'ir from Zakhara (not actually from Zakhara - I'm just borrowing the class because its also Middle-Eastern, and they can use both arcane and divine magic, so its a good fit). This is also why 'read magic' wouldn't work. Those weren't spells, they were treatise on how to perform the proper rituals (to send 'the spirits' - in the case of the Mulan they would have been their god's servants - to go fetch them spells). So more like texts on procedure, then any actual spell (since I feel their spells were 'delivered', in priestly/Shi'ar fashion).

Who do you feel would deliver the spells for such mage-priests?

Probably not genies.

Divine servitors of the Mulhorandi gods, perhaps?

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Because a 'read magic' spell would work on spellbooks from other worlds, but NOT southern magic, ergo, it most certainly was very different.


While I agree that magical traditions from different cultures should be different, I wouldn't say that this is evidence that the differences went any deeper than the languages that Southern magic is written in being specifically designed to resist easy deciphering.

I personally believe that almost any magical tradition will contain some secret spells or rituals and that obscure, archaic or insular societies will have ways of performing magic that differ substantially from the accepted norm, but that doesn't imply that all of them have to use different D&D magic systems.

You can have a very distinct tradition of magic where wizards are still wizards, merely because different spells are common in each tradition and each of them has some unique magics.

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Edited by - Icelander on 23 Apr 2018 12:05:12
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  13:05:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No, there is nothing canon linking the Black Flame wizards to the Black Flame Zealots or Kossuth. In fact, prior to 3e, I don't believe Kossuth possessed the moniker of "the Black Flame", and he only gained it after the black flame zealots were created, and honestly, I only think that title (the black flame) is used in reference to Kossuth in the GHotR.

However, taking the later references, given that they are so closely linked (i.e. Unther is right near "the Priador, the wizards produced magic surrounding fire, and Thayans study their work, etc..), I can only imagine that probably some surviving members were involved with the Thayan revolt. Kossuth worship is so big in the area such that when the city of Kensten was rebuilt they built a new temple dedicated to him, so if these "black flame" wizards were exploring the "ruins of Raumathar" they would have likely run across worshippers of Kossuth from time to time.

One thing you COULD do revolves around a concept that we've made several spins on around here. Supposedly beneath Amruthar (the independent city in Thay) there was a powerful artifact, but what it was and what it did was undetermined. However, following the ToT, this artifact went quiet. Also DURING the ToT, a firenewt down in Chult is rumored to become the "avatar" of Kossuth. Other materials state that the elemental lords never descended in avatar form. So, we kind of have a contradiction, except that in the most recent material on Chult, the firenewts aren't serving Kossuth. They're serving Imix now instead. You could spin this as something like Imix is the wayward son of Kossuth and the elder elemental eye. Perhaps when "Kossuth" was summoned by the Raumathari at the end of their war with Narfell, perhaps he simply sent Imix in his stead, and afterward Kossuth bound Imix into an artifact beneath Amruthar. Perhaps this is when Kossuth took on the moniker of the "black flame". Anyway, the spin you could do would be something like this "artifact" had been working maybe like a warlock patron for centuries, building up power within its prison slowly gaining power through the pacts formed, until it was able to release itself during the avatar crisis when Kossuth's hold on realmspace was diminished. Imix then appeared down with the firenewts of Chult and began a conversion of them by introducing his new name. Maybe in the time between the time between the avatar crisis and the end of the wailing years, the other princes of elemental evil were also released from imprisonment throughout the realms, which is why they have slowly come to the fore in the last century.

Along these lines, just prior to the avatar crisis was also when the Zulkirs created the portal which summoned a vast horde of fire creatures. Then the salamander war happened. Then the future Zulkir of Evocation, Aznar Thrul, supposedly worked with "Kossuth" to get an army of fire elementals by offering his service. For all we know, this also had something to do with the artifact suddenly stopping working a few months later after the avatar crisis.

Toward this end, one can wonder as to the nature of many elemental entities who were suddenly released following the spellplague. There was Bazim-Gorag as well, who was also of fiery origin. Might we find out something like Kossuth was not on Toril in the spellplague years? Perhaps others were using his name?


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 23 Apr 2018 13:15:05
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  13:53:47  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
in pondering the idea of Bazim-Gorag, I also noted that this lord of fire and chaos and his people, just following the sundering supposedly fled to the "Supreme Throne" which was a realm in Limbo (from GHotR for -31500). Later, when Cyric founded his own domain, it was the Supreme Throne that he took over. Then after the spellplague, supposedly Cyric is bound in the Supreme Throne by Tyr (who disappears/dies), Lathander (who disappears/dies), and Sune (Kiltzi?).... oh, and Heimd.. I mean Helm disappears/dies too. I really, really don't want to equate Bazim-Gorag to Loki, but the fire and chaos would fit. HOWEVER, if this binding of Cyric were to mirror Loki's binding.... and if we were instead to link Valigan Thirdborn/Loki/Cyric.... and say link Bazim-Gorag/Surtr/Imix.... I'm not saying make them the same being, but perhaps something along the lines of all these entities becoming free enable them to awaken something "deeper" and more "primal". Maybe they are the generals to a higher power that mortals are not aware of.

Into all of this also raise a strengthening of the powers of cold as well (Auril takes on the power of wind formerly held by "Talos" when Gruumsh fails in an assault on the house of nature). However, she is also freed from control by the QoA&D.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  14:41:31  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been inclined of late (after rereading George Krashos' article on Jergal) to link the magical alphabet/language and southern magic to variations on the spellweavers code that they used to create the nether scrolls.

The spell weavers are linguistic experts, catalogue the languages and codes of races across the planes and the multiverses. They helped the sarrukh create the nether scrolls and herbal himself secreted the nether scrolls to the dragons led by nagamat in their rebellion.

Most modern civilisations use the weave for their magic so we can assume the magic lphabet/language is actually the symbols used to make the weave. Most of these civilisations have inherited their magic knowledge from the nether scrolls or from dragons so they all use a similar set of codes and thus a unified magic language.


Southern magic is different and in George's article he says Jergal took a set of scrolls South and got stuck in stasis after a big fight. The imaskari found the scrolls and altered then to their own ends. That makes then one of the few races to have accessed the weave without tutelage from the baetith or from someone who ultimately inherited their magical lore from people who learned from the baetith.

So the magic language uses this weird alphabet that the draconic alphabet was ultimately derived from. Whereas southern magic uses the fabric alphabet (their own twisted translation of the magic code they found in the nether scrolls - and the fabric alphabet has long since been lost to time).

The two languages are separate by translation into a lost alphabet and lost language (although pieces of it likely survive in untheric which uses a different alphabet) which makes it very difficult for those using magic to read southern magic.

At least that's my initial thoughts for now.

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Icelander
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  15:40:49  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Note that the Ba'etith, while enormously important for the later history of Faerun and Toril as a whole, were merely a secretive society of scholars at the time of the Creator Races, mostly composed of sarrukh.

As such, the vast majority of the accomplishments of the batrachi race, magical and non-magical, would have been carried out in ignorance of the codification efforts of the Ba'etith. And, contrariwise, the Ba'etith may only have preserved a tiny fragment of the magical lore known to various powerful beings among the Creator Races.

Logically, there are likely to have been innumerable paths of research, experimentation and scholarship among the batrachi, for example, that no sarrukh loremaster ever discovered. If we assume that secrecy, academic jealousy and reclusive researches into the esoteric are not modern inventions, then it is most probable that the Ba'etith never learned even a tiny fraction of the magic that the Creator Races used.

Which means, of course, that various scholars of the abstruse and esoteric might have quested after it, found intriguing fragments and eldritch tomes, poor translations and speculative reconstructions.

Enter the Realms-equivalent to the Pnakotic Manuscripts, the G'harne Fragments, the Parchments of Pnom, the Book of Azathoth, the Book of Eibon, the Testament of Carnamagos, the Necronomicon, Cthäat Aquadingen or the Cultes des Goules.

In these arcane tomes may be found invocations to dread Bazim-Gorag, the Firebringer, Bolothamogg, Him Who Watches from Beyond the Star, Shothotugg, the Eater of Worlds, Y'chak, the Violet Flame, and perhaps even Tsathoggua (in the Realms apparently known to some as Ramenos) and other Great Old Ones.

Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nfah Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

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Edited by - Icelander on 23 Apr 2018 16:34:20
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LordofBones
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  16:16:13  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If Tsathoggua is Ramenos, that's a sad way for him to go.
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Icelander
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  16:19:17  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

If Tsathoggua is Ramenos, that's a sad way for him to go.


quote:
In that secret cave in the bowels of Voormithadreth . . . abides from eldermost eons the god Tsathoggua. You shall know Tsathoggua by his great girth and his batlike furriness and the look of a sleepy black toad which he has eternally. He will rise not from his place, even in the ravening of hunger, but will wait in divine slothfulness for the sacrifice.

Sounds pretty spot on as a description of Ramenos.

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Markustay
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  18:32:37  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knew 'Gish' wasn't quite the term I was looking for, and was hoping someone wouldn't correct me. I forgot what site I'm on. LOL
The term I was actually looking for was 'gestalt' - able to do the stuff from two different classes.

And while you maintain that there is no connection, in the thing I quoted above there is most certainly a connection between Thay and the Black Flame. I did explain it about, but didn't bother to write the whole scenario; I picture it going something like this...

The Black Flame Magi (actually a type of clerical Sha'ir) were mostly wiped out, and the few remaining fled to Sentaria (pre-Thay Thay, and yes, its my own term, but I really HATE how the designers refer to regions by their national names thousands - sometimes tens of thousands - of years before such places ever existed!) There they kept their traditions alive - just barely - until the arrival of thayd and his followers. Now, southern magic was a combination of arcna & divine (I believe it says so canonically where the mage-priests of the Mulan are discussed). As I've said, I picture a class almost identical to the Sha'ir, but with a 'patron', like how Warlocks work). This may have been an adaption on the part of the early Mulan, who didn't have gods, and even when their gods first showed up, they weren't really 'full gods' like elsewhere on toril. Thus, I am picturing more of a 'patronage' thing, the way arch-stuff work with their cults. Instead of a djen, i am picturing small servitor-spirits, not unlike Cherubs, but it could be anything. gods and psuedo-gods should be able to command a bunch of 'lesser' anything, so you could even pick from some of the old school familiars - Quasit, Imp, homonculous, etc., but could include mephits, Dgen, OD&D's familiars (Aryth, Bogan, Fylgar, Gretch, & Ulzaq), and perhaps even some fey. I was picturing it changinging each time (for the Mage-priests of Mulhorand & Unther), but perhaps we could combine it with familiars for the Black Flame Magi.

However, if they have an elemental patron, then I would think their familiars should have an elemental nature as well; if you didn't want to just copy the Djen from Zakhara, you could use mephits instead.

EDIT:
And in the Thay trilogy, the head of the church of Kossuth did sit on the 'High Council' with the Tharchions and Zulkirs, inferring that he - alone of Thay's religious powers - had equal standing with them. Thay has a LONG history of working closely with Kossuth's priesthood, and loosing this golden opportunity to connect two pieces of extremely similar-sounding lore (that already have connections through Thay) seems to be such a waste, IMO.

Anyway, I never finished my original train-of-thought above (as usual). The idea is that at some point the Black Flame Magi broke into two separate pieces; those who continued to pursue purely arcane magic, and those who 'kept the faith'. I think the mistake in thinking here is to just assume the Thay of today (or rather, of 1e/2e/3e) is the way things would have 'always been' in Thay. For all we know, Kossuth-worship may even be tied to why there are plateaus in Thay now (its been hinted at that they may not have always been there).

What I do find extremely odd is that the 'Black Flame' would have evolved into Red Wizards (the component that would have gone with Arcane Magic over divine). Modern Kossuth worshippers in Thay also wear red - I believe they are the ONLY group other than the Red Wizards allowed to do so (this was even mentioned in the trilogy, but they were supposed to wear a very different shade of red... the head guy did not, and it irked the Zulkirs).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 23 Apr 2018 18:43:48
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  19:03:38  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

I've been inclined of late (after rereading George Krashos' article on Jergal) to link the magical alphabet/language and southern magic to variations on the spellweavers code that they used to create the nether scrolls.
Wow... that is so 180º from where my mind went.

I linked it to sorcery, which I link to 'natural magic' of the universe, like what dragons and elves (of old) used. I think of Vancian magic as 'hack magic' - a cheap substitute for the real thing. What the Ba'etith did was find all these 'cheat codes' and organize them into a system.

And just for Shiggles, I'd also name the head Sarrukh that had that idea Jaq'Vaanse.

Also, I just remember some old etymology lore I created, pertaining to ancient proto-language - the 'universal tongue' spoken before the shattering of the First World...

'Ba' is a prefix for 'fallen' (something that has 'lost its way'). Thus, the Batrachi were the Ba'trachi - those moved away from their more familiar, octopodal forms for something more amphibious. That means the 'trachi' were the original Creator race - something modern sages would not realize. The Baatezu were actually the Ba-a'tezu, with 'Tezu' being the ancient word for Celestial (so it would translate 'Celestials who have become tainted').

So, continuing with my own, old Homebrew language lore, Ba'etith may have been something the other sarrukh named them - those who have 'given up the old ways' for other paths (Vancian Magic, as opposed to Primal/High Magic). so 'etith' might be an old sarrukh term for 'Scholar'.

I also have it where the suffix 'ri' means 'corrupted' (so 'Tanar' would be an old word for elemental), and the suffix 'zt' would mean 'betrayer', with racial connotations (hence Graz'zt and Driz'zt). I have to write these all down again - I have forgotten so much of it (since the fire). I had a ton of stuff pertaining to the original fey tongue (Hamafae is only the written form). Drow is actually far closer to the 'old High-Elven' (Faey) than surface elvish is - it didn't have so many corrupting influences over the millennia.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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dazzlerdal
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 23 Apr 2018 :  21:36:02  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well the more I go over GKs article the more I find that is pure lore gold.

The spellweavers gather languages from all over the planes and multiverses, stands to reason they would have discovered more than a few words of power. They used the lesser ones to form the nether scrolls.

The baetith were actually made by spellweavers who underwent a total transformation into sarrukh, and then taught those words of power to the sarrukh and how to bind them to anchors that mean those between the weave could use those words of power much cheaper than normal (in terms of reagents) and with much greater chance of success. The spellweavers did this on purpose knowing the spells were ultimately weaker than ritual magic and that the easier and safer access to magic would likely lead to the destruction of the sarrukh.

Then the spellweavers got burned, only a few survived and those transformed spellweavers that were part of the sarrukh made themselves into part of the weave. Their proteges among the sarrukh did the same thing with the batrachi (transforming themselves into batrachi and repeating the cycle) who in turn did the same to the aearee.

At least that's what I think happened. And it explains how everyone uses the same magic language and same method of casting spells.

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sfdragon
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  01:30:07  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
you know, said spells became the bulk of the arsenal of the red wizards.

the city of Omu in chult was placed there because it was cool and it was something that was never there in past lore as it was not known outsideo f Chult and I doubt any Chultans would have told.

now back to the Black Flame wizards. IS it possible those that were lost in the planes came back to the Realms and swiped their old spells and became the Red Wizards?

that would have been something forgotten.....

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
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Markustay
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  02:14:24  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not understanding the need to turn Spellweavers into Sarrukh. Whats the net gain there?

I like the idea that some of the Black Flame Magi 'left for elsewhere'. I was thinking more wild-magic type stuff (I'm reluctant to say 'they went to Abeir', since that is starting to get WAY over-used). I was thinking it could have been connected to the 'first' (AFAWK) time the Weave collapsed (Karsus' Folly), but the timing is WAY off (like over 500 years). On the other hand, these sorts of periodic 'mini RSE's' happen a lot, supposedly (like the ToT), and stuff gets swapped-around all the time. I was trying to think of somewhere interesting (other than Abeir) they might have gone - the only other setting with 'Black Wizards' that jumps to mind is Conan (although having them go to Stygia isn't much of a stretch - its supposed to be in Earth's past, and something of a proto-Egypt, so it could make some sense, especially if gods {*cough* SET *cough*} were involved).

Or we could just take the easy way out and play the Abeir card... AGAIN.

EDIT:
I just remembered - I actually did 'save' some of them and sent them down to the Utter east, back when I was doing the Utter East project/thread on the WotC boards.There was some sort of 'cowled' (black) wizards in the Blood & Magic video game, and since Mulhorand borders the Golden Waters (which borders the uE) it seemed like a good fit. The premise, I believe (working from memory) is that Mulhorand controlled the Golden Waters for a time, before their energies needed to be directed elsewhere (Thay, Unther, etc.). Basically, 'vasal states' for a short while, during their 'Golden Age' (that's when they also would have controlled both Murghôm and Sephar as well). So the Black Wizards begin to lose ground (are starting to come under attack by the Magepriests, who seem them as competition), and so they fleet to the 'hinterlands' of the empire. Not long after, they establish a new base of operations just to the south (in what may have been 'Ulgaria' back then).

I forget the name of that keep - I need to find that archived thread and turn it into a searchable document for myself. At the time of the Bloodforged Wars, there was only one 'Black Wizard' left. Anyhow, that's how we re-spun that lore way back when. Nothing says various groups could have gone in different directions. it may have been a very large organization at one point. Or (and we may have spun it that way), the reason why there was only one guy left down their in the Utter east was because most of them went to Thay when that was established.

Also, I think we may have toyed with the idea that some of that 'strange magic' they were playing with was Imaskari in origin, which would have definitely rubbed the other Mulan the wrong way...

Hmmmmm... does anything actually say that they were Mulan themselves? What if they were Turami? Would that work better? Or possibly even a leftover group of surviving Imaskari that was under constant attack through bigotry (not that I can blame the Mulan if that's the case). Maybe even half-bloods? I don't know if they would have allowed any 'pure' Imaskari to live at all (even the common folk that had nothing to do with the Artificers would have been persecuted).

And then there's the whole weirdness that Mulan are very light-skinned, which makes ZERO sense considering where they were from. Methinks the Mulan themselves were mostly half-breeds, and even though there was much hatred for the Imaskari, there may have been some lingering preference for 'lighter skin tones' among the rising survivor states (humans are a paradox). It could be the Imaskari-blooded Mulan were the upper class, and the darker people (who may have even been mixed with Turami, who the Mulan seemed to have looked down upon... ancient Egypt vs Nubians, much?)

I am only going this route in my musings here because we know how the Thayans feel about 'pure blooded Mulan', and I am trying to make some sense of that. Darker skin-toned magic-users may have been driven out (like perhaps these 'black flame' guys). So much so they even changed the organization from Black Wizards to Red Wizards (probably because of an early association with Kossuth).

And lastly, I think we even came up with an alternate 'white Order' as well, but I can't recall why.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 24 Apr 2018 02:37:54
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LordofBones
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  04:08:37  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

If Tsathoggua is Ramenos, that's a sad way for him to go.


quote:
In that secret cave in the bowels of Voormithadreth . . . abides from eldermost eons the god Tsathoggua. You shall know Tsathoggua by his great girth and his batlike furriness and the look of a sleepy black toad which he has eternally. He will rise not from his place, even in the ravening of hunger, but will wait in divine slothfulness for the sacrifice.

Sounds pretty spot on as a description of Ramenos.



No, I mean in 4e they killed him off and turned his corpse into abyssal carpet.
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Icelander
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  06:05:25  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

No, I mean in 4e they killed him off and turned his corpse into abyssal carpet.


Well, I've never played a Realms game set later than 1373 DR, so that doesn't matter for any game I'm likely to play.

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Icelander
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Posted - 24 Apr 2018 :  06:50:56  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

And then there's the whole weirdness that Mulan are very light-skinned, which makes ZERO sense considering where they were from.


There have always been racialist theories of white-skinned 'original' Ancient Egyptians and that there was a fundamental racial difference between the Sumarians and the Akkadians (which, depending on how we define 'fundamental', might have some evidential support), and that one or the other of them were part of the 'Original White Race'. At the time the original Realmslore about the Mulan was written, such theories had more mainstream acceptance and were not only confined to a few fringe 'historians' and racists.

That being said, it's not like white skin and light hair and eyes are exclusive to Europeans. You do know that this guy comes from the exact place on Earth where the Untheric part of the Mulan slaves was taken? Not only is Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri whiter than a Klan Grand Dragon, he has flaming red hair and moustache!

All the same, considering the length of time that the Mulan were Imaskari slaves, I agree that they would have mixed with the slaver race/s. Also, the Imaskari Empire was long-lived enough so that all of our recorded Earth history could fit in it. Which makes it silly to assume that there was just one Imaskari race, just as it's impossible that there would have been just one Imskari language. They ruled a vast expanse of the world for a period about matching recorded Earth history.

No matter what the original tribe looked like or what their language was like, Imaskari history is long enough for them to have, through inter-marriage, adaptation, breeding for prestigious characteristics (to mention only some real world factors), gone through most of the language families known in the real world and many of the ethnic groups too.

The thousands of years of history in the Forgotten Realms do not mean anything if scribes keep forgetting how much languages, societies and people can change in just a few hundred years. A thousand years is enough for such diverse languages as Afrikaans, English, German (all varieties) and Yiddish to form from West Germanic. For all the similarities, an educated English speaker still doesn't stand much of a chance at comprehending the language that evolved into English as it sounded a 'mere' thousand years ago.

Two thousand years is enough for all the Romance languages to evolve from Latin. And three thousand years is enough so that some linguists propose that all Indo-European languages may have diverged from one original PIE language in that time (more common estimates are ca 4,500-6,000 years). Go back any further and a familial relationship could theoretically be proposed between almost any languages. We can't prove, one way or another, whether all the languages that came from the Eurasian steppes might not be related that far back into the mists of prehistory and various theories about a Turanian, Altaic, Ural-Altaic, Nostratic, Eurasiatic and/or Indo-Uralic macro- or superfamilies have been advanced.

The almost 10,000 years from the founding of Imaskar to the present Dale Reckoning are enough for a wide variety of language families to have descended from languages originally spoken in the lands of Imaskar. We might expect at least as much variation as that between the real-world language families of Indo-European (inc. Indo-Iranian, all the various Indic languages, various European Indo-European languages, etc.), Uralic (i.e. Finno-Ugric and Samoyedic languages), Turkic, Mongolic, Tungusic, Chukchi–Kamchatkan, Yukaghir, Caucasic and Kartvelian.

In the people who descend from the former inhabitants, we should expect about as much variation in terms of phenotype, skin, hair and eye colour.

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Edited by - Icelander on 24 Apr 2018 06:53:43
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