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Fiction Historian's Notes - Lustrian Language

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Rikard, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Rikard

    Rikard Well-Known Member

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    Yet something else I haven't given up on and intend on seeing through to the end.

    I felt it best to put all the comments, musings and info from the Historian in The Third Dawn in a separate thread, though whenever I update one topic, I'll put a link across to the other so updates should still fit in nicely and hopefully without splitting up the various stories too much.

    And with that said....here we go.

    Historian's Note:
    My lord, I feel at this stage I owe you an apology, the wealth and magnitude of the information you have provided me with has made me forget my place and protocol. I would therefore like to take a small aside from my musings and translations to provide you with some much needed information with regards to myself and my purpose with these works.

    All information that I supply, including my speculations are always made from a point of fact, or reference to the evidence supplied. It matters not if such information is trustworthy, or complete fallacy, I report facts in the most unbiased manner, as any good Historian should do. Personal beliefs, bias and opinions have no place in the presentation, for the act of doing so cheapens the telling.

    I am, much like yourself, a devote follower of Sigmar, I regularly flagellate, even lead processions and festivities made in his honour. I am regularly tested, my faith and constitution tested to the highest level, my works scrutinized down the the ink and parchment on which they lay. Not once have I been found wanting, never have I been viewed with suspicion, nor my words held in doubt, nor judged as verging on the heretical.

    My job is and always has been to provide the facts, in many ways I am a teller of stories, a vessel of information, you will not find me wanting.

    With that now said I shall press into greater detail as your lordship requested I examine, the nature of the Lustrian Deities, The Old Ones.

    As I previously mentioned, I have found little information at best and having reviewed all previous findings, absolutely no information on what they actually look like, a very strange discovery as every other culture, even the heretical ones, have a clear notion of what their Gods look like. Yet the Lustrian culture is unlike any other, the word "God" or near enough translation doesn't even occur. In many ways this could be directly linked to the Lizardmen's attitude toward The Old Ones, they don't "believe", indeed the word belief does not even feature to the Lizardmen, for they KNEW them, the notion of belief is a ridiculous concept. Asking a Lizardman on his/her belief in The Old Ones would be akin to asking a citizen of the Empire in his or her belief in the town cryer.

    Why would anyone believe in something they know to be real?

    As for the titles of The Old Ones, as I stated previously these are more descriptive of the nature, rather than the form, something all races use. For example, if describing a particularly odious, or devious individual, one might use the term "Toad like", or the slur "Rat". One, or two word honorifics that encompass a multitude of descriptive characteristics, including their physical appearance and behaviour.

    With The Old Ones however it serves only a basic description of being in question, for how does one accurately describe the infinite? Much of the terms used are made more in reference to the "spawnings" presented by the associated Old One. Huanchi (as I mentioned previous) is often titled as the "Jaguar God", yet he is in no way affiliated with the animal in question, but those blessed by him/her have an affinity with stealth and are capable of effortless navigating through dense jungle terrain. Huanchi is therefore the Jaguar God, but it is just as important to note that this does NOT tell us anything about the Huanchi him/herself.

    Building on from this I will now cover the Lizardman pantheons, which are just as much of a muddle. All other religions have pantheons for their gods, an individual god's position within their pantheon is almost always dependent upon their power, influence, followers, etc. The pantheon of The Old Ones however is very different (with perhaps one exception that I will cover shortly). The Lustrian pantheon weighs heavily on how active an Old One is, the more prophecies that occur in relation to an Old One, or an increase in spawnings of a particular Old One, will increase, or decrease their position. Power, might and worshipers never come into play, for what use is the most powerful of Gods, if they take no role in their subjects' lives?

    Even more interestingly, The Old Ones seem to treat their pantheon as a position or equal honour and responsibility, some in the first tier even (for want of a better phrase) "giving up" their seat for an Old One in a lower tier for a time, as they might become dormant for as long as a thousand years or so, before returning and their "Mark" once again becoming manifest. In this way, the Pantheon is shared and every Old One, is given their due time to dwell in both the First tier AND the Third tier.

    The exception:
    Sotek current resides as the dominant Old One, prior to this he/she was considered a minor Old One (the only one I have been able to find) but rose to per-eminence during an incredibly brutal war that near overwhelmed the continent. Sotek is associated with ferocity and serpents (Refer below, Note: I) and seen as a very minor character prior too, specifically an Old One of the Skinks (a smaller Lizardmen) and until this grand emergence, resided in the Fifth Tier of the Lustrian pantheon.

    Regarding the tiers of the pantheon:
    I have now found reference to Five tiers within the Lustrian pantheon, the are:

    The First Tier:
    Active Old Ones, that is to say Old Ones whose markings can be seen on current Lizardmen within Lustrian society and whose prophecies have recently emerged/are currently being addressed. (It should also be noted that Markings of an Old One are directly linked to prophecy, a need for a particular prophecy, or stellar event means an increase in the markings of that particular Old One).

    Presently the first tier contains the largest number of Old Ones, they are as follows:

    Sotek, Serpent God
    - Ruling Old One.

    Chotec, Lord of the Sun
    - Second in command, previously the ruling Old One.

    Itzl, Old One of cold-blooded beasts

    Tepok, the inscrutable, Old One of magic and wisdom

    Huanchi, Jaguar, Old One of the earth and night
    - Returned in the last three hundred years from the Second Tier.

    Tzunki, lord of Water, agility, and keen eyesight
    - Recently returned (the last one hundred years) from the Third Tier.

    Tlazcotl (possibly also called Tlaxcotl), the impassive, patient, and determined
    - Interestingly enough, has often been towards the lower end of the First Tier, or the higher end of the Second Tier.

    Quetzl, The Protector, Warrior-Defender
    - Possibly due to move to the Second or Third Tier in the next hundred years or so, Quetzl has been prominent in the First Tier for the last five thousand years.

    The Second Tier:
    Inactive/Passive Old Ones, Old Ones whose markings have not been seen for three hundred years, but individuals who carry such markings are still alive. No prophecies currently exist, or are still active.

    The Third Tier:
    Dormant Old Ones, Old Ones who have not been seen, or mentioned in many thousands of years, their markings are rare, individuals carrying such markings are likely thousands of years old. Any prophecies linked to such an Old One are likely unfulfilled.

    The Fourth Tier:
    The forgotten, Old Ones who exist now only in name, no markings exist, or have been witnessed in the world for thousands, if not tens of thousands of year. Ceremonies and events in their honour are carried up, yet they are sombre affairs as none who conduct them remember the significance of the words spoken. It could be that these Old Ones have turned their backs on their subjects altogether, fallen, or are engaged upon a task of such complexity and import that they cannot attend to their subjects until such matters are resolved. Any prophecies associated with these Old Ones have likely been forgotten, or lost.

    The Fifth Tier:
    The lost, Old Ones within this Tier are remembered, but with the exception of Xholankha they are no longer honoured, nor celebrated. Old Ones within this tier have no current subjects carrying their mark or blessing, nor are such markings remembered. Outcast would perhaps make for a more accurate reference were it not for the Old One Xholankha. Other Old Ones within this Tier include Rigg The Outcast and Xolotl The Un-named.

    At present I have found reference to only three Old Ones within this Tier, yet each is so different from the other that I will have to elaborate further.

    Concerning Xholankha.
    One could be forgiven for thinking that Xholankha belongs in the Fourth Tier, as he/she exists almost in name alone, no spawnings, or markings have ever been documented, nor any prophecies recorded. There is of course a slim chance that this is with good reason, due to the length of inactivity (more than eleven thousand years for what I've been able to deduce so far and it could well be longer). Xholankha is referred to simply as "The Lost", what few references I have been able to find so far have been vague, but it appears that many thousands of years ago Chaos did not exist, it was only after some terrible calamity that it spread like a ravaging cancer. In this disastrous event it appears that the Old Ones fled the world, as fighting would have seen them annihilated and by guiding, influencing and lending their power from a distance they stood a much greater chance of saving the world. Xholankha however did not flee with the rest and stayed to protect the world, but perished in the fight, some of the sources claim Xholankha is still alive and embarked on a near impossible quest to heal the world from within, yet this seems unlikely as there are no separate references to a way of purging Chaos from within and the number of counter-claims to his death are much greater.

    Concerning Rigg.
    Reasons for Rigg's disgrace are hazy at best, but from what I've been able to discern so far, it appears she (Indeed: She) broke a law, or pack with the other Old Ones and took on a true physical form and gender. She refused to return to her original state and actively left the other Old Ones to start a kingdom and civilization of her own (I've found reference to a place called "Amazon Island", I shall look into this further). As with Xholankha, she remained on the world during the spread of Chaos and apparently survived, though references towards her do not continue after that point. It appears the Lizardmen respect and tolerate this kingdom of Rigg and do not encroach on it, but nor do they celebrate her.

    Concerning Xolotl.
    Also referred to as "The Un-named", possibly a poor translation on my part, a more accurate term would be "title-less" as this Old One was disgraced due to some terrible act (though no mention of what that act have I been able to find). Xolotl's named is not spoken for fear of invocation, any prophecies associated with Xolotl are hidden away and not honoured. Any individuals carrying this Old One's mark are swiftly hunted down and destroyed (There has been no mention of any individuals possessing his mark, perhaps due to direct intervention from the other Old Ones). As for his fate, I cannot say, no reference have I been able to find beyond his exclusion from the pantheon.

    Note I: It should be noted that serpents in Lustrian culture are not viewed in the same way as they are in others. They are a symbol of medicine, even healing, although fabled for their venom, many botanists have remarked that a great deal of serpents have immunity to all manner of plagues, diseases and poisons.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  2. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    This has so much good stuff in I wish I can like it twice. I like the scholarly outsiders narration style a lot, but I really like the meta! I'm not sure I like the tier system, but that's okay.

    Rather than quote everything. I'll just go over the pieces that really stimulated my grey matter.

    I like the part where you compare knowing and believing. I touched on this briefly in my piece on Lizardmen religious practices. I concluded that you could interpret this to mean the Lizardmen don't have many outward expressions of worship because they don't need it. It could also lead to Lizardmen making outward displays all the time.

    Logically I believe that since Lizardmen don't believe, they know, they wouldn't need many outward displays of worship. That being said, for story purposes I find Lizardmen religious ceremonies as a backdrop to stories too interesting a literary tool for me to discard it. I also like to play up what the Lizardmen don't know. At the very least, they know the Old Ones are real, but they don't know if they are still active. They don't know what the Great Plan because there is a lot of differing ways to interpret the golden plaques. If a Slann cannot figure it out, what hope do the Skinks have. And what if the plaques are incomplete! There is plenty of things for Lizardmen to have faith without knowledge. This is good because I think uncertainty has more story potential than certainty.

    Considering my fluff location Klodorex has fledgling cult of Xholanka I was practically drooling over your elaboration on Xholanka. I do have spawnings marked by Xholanka and well, remember the "May you live interesting times" is both a blessing and curse.

    Anyway the idea of him trying to cleans the earth from within....amazing. Did you read that somewhere or did you come up with that yourself. I may have to steal it.

    I did have my own godly meta that I was thinking of adding to my fluff pieces but it's so BIG I don't know how I could work it into a short story.

    The Old Ones were literally too good for this world. They couldn't act on it directly without being tainted. Since they are perfection incarnate they cannot change without becoming imperfect. If they acted directly on an imperfect world they would eventually be destroyed by the contradiction. This was why they created the Lizardmen to be their hands, but the Lizardmen were just there to to detail work.

    This means the Old Ones were literally helpless against Chaos, and had to flee entirely or be destroyed.

    The Old Ones last act was to create a new race of gods. Like most things the Old Ones did, they mostly failed.

    The Old Ones created children, to serve their plans, aka the New Ones. The plan was the New Ones would be creatures of Order but they would take on a tiny bit of Chaos into their essence. The idea was this would work like an inoculation. Just enough Chaos would be in them to give them immunity to corruption but they would still act as the near perfect scions of Order on the world.

    I had this plan for a while but maybe I can play with the concept of Xholanka or Rigg or both trying to inoculate themselves with a bit of Chaos. Thus becoming Lost or an Outcast in the process. The other Old Ones may have looked at their (presumed) failures at this and revised the idea to create the New Ones.

    A lot of things went wrong with this epic plan to create the New Ones. You can blame this on the Old Ones being rushed or foolish or the four Chaos Gods interfering.

    The first that went wrong is that most of the New Ones usually had more than a tiny bit of Chaos in them. A tiny handful only had a tiny bit of Order in them.

    The second thing that went wrong is that as beings of Order and Chaos the New Ones are very much tied to the world. Being part of the world, they can be influenced by it. As the fledgling races looked to worship for solace in a terrifying world, the New Ones answered the call. Being tied directly to the world, they grew stronger from the worship of mortals, but they found themselves being gradually shaped by their worshipers' hopes and fears. To the point that most of them either outright forgot or simply chose to abandon their Old One's appointed role. In most cases they forgot their original names.

    Some of the New Ones couldn't find worshipers or their worshipers were few in number. Some of these might still be around. If beings start worshiping an entity with similar values they could even emerge as powerful gods. Though a few New Ones might actually be destroyed. I haven't decided if they can truly die or merely fade.

    The New Ones that became the gods of the elves are probably have less Chaos in them than any other New One. Even the Dark Elves follow Order, they just follow a brutal Order. The problem is the Elven gods shaped by their followers are now feuding among themselves.

    The High Elves, Wood Elves, and Dark Elves all worship the same gods and their cultures get farther and farther apart from each other.I don't know if any one is a fan of Rick Riordan. he is my favorite contemporary author, and most of his stories focus on Greek and Roman deities in the modern world. if the principles on the Heroes of Olympus series, then the Elven gods are borderline schizophrenic now because they are not just feuding with each other but they feuding with themselves.

    There was an Order friendly New One that has a bit more Chaos in it than the Elven gods, but is actually more effective at advancing order. Sigmar was merely a man, but the cult of worship around Sigmar attracted a New One associated with strength, valor, loyalty and courage. At this point the New One doesn't remember why it was created and believes that he is Sigmar's spirit. He's not, he's the legend of Sigmar. He still fights for Order out of instinct believing it is the right thing to do, believing he does so out of his free will.

    The two New One that fell furthest from Order are now known as Gork and Mork. They are pretty much Chaos embodied. The only bit of Order they have left stems from the fact that greenskins look to follow strong leaders. Despite their lack of Order, they don't really serve Chaos because they end up clashing with Chaos tainted beings almost as much as they

    There was a New One who had more Order than Gork and Mork but that entity is more dangerous. It became the Horned Rat. The Horned Rat remembers what it was created to do, and plans to follow the mission the Old Ones tasked it with...destroy the four Chaos gods. He amended the Plan though. The Horned Rats wants to replace the Chaos gods, all of them. The Horned Rats original plan was to eradicate every mortal who didn't worship it and then feed off the world's worship to gain enough mystic power to battle the Chaos gods directly, but centuries of being shaped by the Skaven's methods of gaining victory by cannibalizing one's fellows has given it a new plan. Find a way to consume the essence of every New One and steal their power right from the source. In any event, the Horned Rat may be the most powerful New One because it has the near-undivided worship of the world's most populous race. The one thing that provides a check on the Horned Rat's power is that most Skaven are too focused on day-to-day survival to have much time for piety.

    It could be argued that the Dwarf gods are more Order-filled than the others. They might be, but the are among the weakest of the New Ones. The problem is the Dwarfs split their worship between their ancestors and their gods. Only the Chaos Dwarf god Hashut really has anything close to real piety. Much like the New One now known as Sigmar, Hashut was a New One that latched on to the cult of celebrated mortal. Hashut is largely responsible for why the Chaos Dwarfs have wizards and the mainline Dwarfs do not. Still his control is not great and his poorly mixing Chaos/Order essence is why Chaos Dwarfs gradually petrify.

    The New One known as the Lady of the Lake started out as an obscure deity worshiped by Elves. Unfortunately this has made her aloof and mysterious. Her worship by Brettonia is no where near as deep as the Empire's love of Sigmar. The other human deities are too numerous to go into too much detail. There are lot of them though, so they are a varied bunch.

    Much like the Old Ones have specialized roles, the New Ones were hastily created to be specialists as well. Sotek was a New One intended to be a warrior and was helpfully shaped into this by the fervent devotion of Lizardmen. Sotek might have a bit more Chaos in its essence than is optimal but Skink and Saurus worship keeps Sotek on the straight and narrow.

    One warrior New One went far off the rails. Without direct worship, a New One can still draw power on vague hopes and fears. One such warrior New One fed on the collective fear of natural disasters and inclement weather and became an indiscriminate destroyer of Order and Chaos aligned mortals alike. Sentient but arguably not sapient like most of the other New Ones. Then it stumbled onto some worshipers, Ogres. Now the Great Maw has absorbed a lot of the Ogres personality and is gradually evolving sapience though it's very selfish and id driven.

    Sigmar and Hashut were both New Ones that became gods by latching onto the legend of a celebrated (or feared) mortal. There are a fair number of minor gods that fit this bill too, their worship just never spread very far or lasted long. One New One broke the mold.

    A nameless New One vaguely associated with mortals' collective fear of death decided it wanted actual worshipers. Even after Nagash's death, people cursed his name for generations. The New tried to style itself based on the idea of Nagash, but Nagash being a legendary necromancer was not actually truly dead yet. Basically his spirit said "you want to feed off of me? I'm feeding off of you!" It's unclear who won this struggle, but the being known as Nagash is the most human of the New Ones, and is arguably the only Newer One. Nagash has godlike power but can make individualistic plans not indirectly fed to it by the beliefs of it's worshipers. The downside? Nagash cannot absorb the power of his worshipers (mostly people cursing his name) as efficiently, so wields less raw power than the other Warhammer gods. He just has more control. This is the polar opposite of the elven gods who have lots of raw power from the passionate worship of several nations but have very little control because their worshipers pull them in a several directions.
    Nazqua and Rikard like this.
  3. Rikard

    Rikard Well-Known Member

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    And it's my turn to give you the double like for that post, epic break down of thoughts, ideas and writer's interpretation.

    Heh, you haven't seen the piece I've started on the Historian's deciphering of the Lustrian language. :p
    It all started from reading a holiday book (I'm off to Japan in May) and the pronunciations, (apparently every two letters are placed together).
    This then quickly spiraled into an account of a High Elf dignitary, who (let's face it, it's HIGH ELVES we're talking about here), requested he be allowed to greet a Slann in person, got his word places "slightly" off balance and said something he did not wish to. ;)

    BOOM! Couldn't agree me, it's the things we CAN'T imagine and DON'T know that keep us fascinated.

    Muhahahahaha! There's plenty more where that comes from, I've dropped two rather large hint bombs regarding Xholanka and what really happened to him (I don't suppose it would help if I said that the accounts or his death AND the accounts of him surviving to embarked on a quest to heal the world are both true....mysterious indeed is he that hides in the light)

    Elaborated from a later army book where it mentioned some belief he embarked on a "near impossible task that one day he may return from", regardless please do and use it in any way you see fit.

    Rigg I did intend to take further, as there's been some epic fan fluff on the Amazon culture including the immortal Amazon queen.
    As for the Old Ones, please, please, please don't hate me, but I've been painting them in a slightly colder light (drawing reference to the extermination of the undesirable races when they first arrived).
  4. Rikard

    Rikard Well-Known Member

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    What else is a guy to do during lockdown.... >>
    Been too long that I've left this, but I've been working on both sections, the story and the historian's notes.

    Historian's Note II:
    Concerning Lustrian

    My lord, I must apologize for the temporary break in my work, but I feel it of the utmost importance to impart some understanding of native Lustrian.

    The Lustrian language, may well appear simplistic (at a cursory glance), primarily in view of the fact that it contains fewer characters than our own tongue and indeed many others. However this could not be further from the truth, Lustrian is indeed far more complex and intricate than I believe many scholars know, or perhaps, would even admit.

    Annunciation is the first aspect of evidence in my case for such a claim, although appearing fairly linear in it's structure, one quickly finds that this linearity is nothing more than an illusion. For example the symbols used within the language require the speak to pronounce every two letters together.

    So the name "Krok-gar" would be pronounced "Krok" - "Gar"

    However, one must account for the Lustrian tongue, namely the throat and vocal flexibility of the speaker. A's and R's within the dialect are often pronounced as one, little distinction is made for do so would be both difficult and tedious when one possesses a mouth more suited to biting through armour than delivering cunning literary barbs.

    As an addition to the above rule, some characters when directly paired will be pronounced as one, rather than two. One maybe forgiven for excusing the design of the Lustrian throat, however (and in complete contradiction to my claim above), this is where that conclusion ceases. When one considers the variances between the design, shape and even intelligence of the various speakers, the "distances" become so far between that one may as well liken the speech of Elves and Greenskins.

    If I may muddy these literary waters further, despite some letters being pronounced differently when directly paired with a particular second character, then annunciation changes yet again depending on the context in which it is used, not limited to the some of the examples below:

    - If the speaker is a warrior (perhaps one of the Larger "Saurus" warriors, whose speech is deep and hollow).
    - If the speaker has a limited vocabulary, or limited speech capabilities (such as the immense Kroxigor).
    - If the speaker is one of the fabled Mage casts or "Slann" though regards of actual speech can be counted on the fingers of one hand, such accounts do exist.
    - If the speaker is referring to the present, past, or even future events.
    - If the speaker is referring to at hostile, amicable, peaceful or even ambiguous set of events.

    There are indeed more and more variables to taken into account, up to an including the words, sentences and phrases both before, potentially after and even those said by another speaker, up to and including if the other speaker is of a different race and speaking in a different language (I suppose one could argue that notions of condescension, sympathy, confusion, frustration, pity and anger could be considered as comparative factors).

    I am aware that the thread of my point is perhaps unravelling at an exponential rate at this stage, so in order to return some sense I'd like to provided a direct reference to the Eleven explorer Eltharion Athrivelle' are much celebrated philosopher and explorer, who lacked the famed "haughty" nature commonly associated with his kind. Indeed the example below does not come from a separate source, but rather documented and indeed shared by his own hand, including his error and the lesson he requests future scholars to hearken.

    Upon his initial landing within the more Southern territories of Lustria, Eltharion was able to quickly contact and receive permission to an audience with one of the mage-casts a great being named " Ulotp’al". Despite numerous and frequent protests for the Ulotp’al's servants Eltharion was eventually granted to speak directly, without the assistance of a translator.

    At the audience Eltharion who (by his own admissions), had vigorously worked on his speech, utilizing texts and tablets provided. He struck a low bow, before boldly and loudly delivering the following greeting.

    "Great blessings and greetings on your high majesty of this mysterious and sacred land, may a sun never set on your beneficence and may the reunion of species herald in a new dawn not seen since the dawn of this world and all evils that befell it"

    This speech caused quite the stir within the chamber, it wasn't until much later and after a particularly sharp attendant stepped in to continue the audience did Eltharion realize his error and what he actually said was:

    "Good evening celebrated madam of the house of a thousand delights, I require two buxom wenches with large hands, as the wheels have fallen off my horse, for alas, I have spent too long in the company of artichokes."

    It is with considerable credit to Eltharion's humility that this event was recorded, as a warning to any who would attempt to speak Lustrian without a considerable amount of prior research. However this event is unique for two reasons, the first, is that since his unfortunate blunder, no representative has ever been permitted to attempt Lustrian in the presence of any dignitary and it is also the only account to date, of a Slann laughing.

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