Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by spawning of Bob, Nov 12, 2015.
Bob, you're steam-rolling these cartoons. It's like a very localised renaissance.
You, however, are a walking talking dark ages of cartooning. All the image links in business raptor (both locations) are broken.
I hadn't planned to illustrate this, but it turns out to dovetail nicely with another series I have been working on forever. Expect to see these images repackaged.
Unfortunately it does slow my output of Seraphon facts somewhat.
I have find the above two points reductive, and take issue with the idea that the Slann background is completely departed from their classic depictions re: Great Plan and sleepy-weepiness. Note that my opinions are derived from the scraps of fluff I currently have available, so I can't really justify the pretension in the last sentence.
Anyway. I don't think the Slann have changed much at all from their depictions in pre-AoS/"world that was". The game has changed but the players have remained the same, and along with them the motifs for each piece. I had a struggle here to prevent myself from falling into a pit of chess references. Anyhow, a few points which I think back up my argument:
The Great Plan has simply been replaced by a direct involvement in The Great Game. Thematically it's all very similar: Slann take their time to think on how to progress their unknowable designs, the only difference being that it isn't mandated by their predecessors. As such all the inscrutable/enigmatic/mysterious/unfathomable plotting is preserved well, in my opinion.
Similarly, the Slann were seen as docile creatures, inward thinking in terms of their contemplation with little active role outside of their temple cities. In AoS this is preserved, with the difference here being the swapping of "sleeping meditating on plaques" to "I see time differently and thus can't directly relate to them mortals". The end result is, again, similar.
My point here is that there are definite cosmetic differences, but the overall thematics remain the same. For me the themes presented are the most important aspect in defining the character. I find little thematic difference therefore my super-intelligent psychic toads remain super-intelligent psychic toads. All is well.
As to my "reductive" statement on the Sigmarines, whilst I do definitely hold reservations regarding the depth of AoS's fluff, I don't think it's as bad as you make it out to be. For example, whilst Sigamr doves love a good recycle, each iteration is costed: Nagash steals part of the soul every time a Sigmarine dies/each re-forging takes longer and harder/only a limited amount of sigmarite remains, albeit still being a pretty massive load.
@spawning of Bob End Times-AoS summary for you:
New chaos rift opens in the heart of The Empire and consumes everything. Sigmar remains with the core of the planet which is hurtling through space, along with a number of angry souls. Star Dragon King likes Sigmar because he's given a pretty necklace, and shows Sigmar the Mortal Realms. The old Avatars from the End Times are reborn as gods per their respective realm. Sigmar coaxes them into an uneasy alliance. Alliance begins to break down (Gorkamorka wants to be Orkish, Nagash wants to play Sauron, Alarielle wants to spend her time gardening,..) which leads to weaknesses Chaos can exploit. Sigmar seals himself in Azyr as the realms are ravaged and begins making the Stormcast.
Bite-sized and digestible for the busy life of the working man/woman/space-lizard.
And now I return to my hangover.
Well according to that first quote the slann has a plan. The old ones failed and left. The slann became gods in their own right. If I am reading and comprehending it all correctly. They don't come right out and say they're gods. But they're standing toe to toe with the demon gods, and on even ground with Sigmar. And they could be sleeping while contemplating he next move. Then when it is time to strike they summon an army and go to battle. Seems to me it hasn't changed that much.
You both give me comfort. While slapping me down.
Am I messed up or what?
It's 50 Shades of Goblin Grey all over again.
Ps. I noticed that this is the first big post I've posted on L-O for the last two months. Gods it felt cathartic.
I accept that no mention of the Old Ones doesn't not mean they don't still not exist. Which is oddly comforting.
The slann aren't bowing the knee to Sigmar in this book, which leaves Dracothion as a possible contender for a god of the seraphon.
He doesn't do anything else in the book other than what is referred to above, but the battle standards borne by Saurus, Saurus Guard and Saurus Knights are now called Stardrake icons "that pulse with the terrifying essence of a celestial predator". These add 1 to the battleshock rolls of nearby enemies.
So where do the seraphon go to unwind after a long day of ferociously and mercilessly slaying?
It seems that the world-that-was was unknown to Dracothion, and he led the slann to the mortal realms - where he installed them in High Azyr which is not a mortal realm.
High Azyr is "an empire within the stars, far above even the highest towers of Sigmaron or the light of Sigendil that burns above it. Beyond the reach of all but the slann themselves, this is the place where the seraphon dwell, waiting for the call of the Starmasters" (8)
"... their realm hidden amongst the stars themselves, where no mortal may ever tread." (6)
Sounds like a pretty cool place, yeah? Must be amazingly described.
This is literally as close as the battletome came to describing High Azyr: "Without uttering a word the slann began to glow, and their immediate surroundings slowly faded to be replaced by the city of blood and death." (22)
"their immediate surroundings"? I think we can call that an expository near miss.
Later on we get to hear how individual stars in a constellation are champions or cohorts ready for the summoning, which to my mind suggests that dormant seraphon are generally some light years apart, assuming that they have a corporeal existence at all.
There is no mention of cities, society or anything else outside the field of battle. The only recorded interaction between seraphon in "their immediate surroundings" as above (which I admit is not 100% certain that it is High Azyr anyway) where, "Scrabbling up the side of his master's palanquin, Starpriest Iki'qual held up the seer stone for the slann to see." (22) Up would imply gravity, as would needing a comfy chair. Iki'qual later whispers, which implies atmosphere.
So we have a sweeping literary vista open up: "High Azyr, where gravity holds everything downwards. Especially the air. But not the palanquins."
It is so beautiful. It makes me feel like writing a haiku.
Meanwhile, there is nothing to indicate that Saurus Guard protect their masters anywhere other than in the mortal realms. No more centuries of vigil and intimidating skink priests
Also, "...the slann have no need of the (realm) gates to pass between realms" therefore home base is unreachable (and possibly intangible) and therefore the seraphon are under no direct external threat.
Fluff wise, I call that a disaster. At least we had a trickle of Dark Elves, Skaven and fortune hunters to make good old Lustria insecure. For that matter, the jungle itself was a threat.
I have been robbed of a setting (other than battle) in which to develop silly and 2 dimensional characters. @pendrake has been robbed of a steamy, swampy jungle. And the worst thing, the very worst thing is that High Azyr has no complaints department for me to send a strongly worded email to.
OK, so the Slann are sole mortal survivors of the world that was. I wouldn't go so far as to say they are gods, mostly because they can manifest at will on the mortal plane, but they are still stupid powerful. Hooray!
They hang out in High Azyr and enjoy the heaviness of the air.
What about seraphon?
Slann are slann. Seraphon are different.
Seraphon are claimed - by dodgy sounding mystics like the Moon Monks of Hysh and the Prophets of the Whispering Tower and the Virgin Nuns of Castle Anthrax - to be "the children of Dracothion, spawned from its breath during the age of myth." or "fashioned of daemon stuff, but all that is known for sure is that they do not appear without the presence of the slann." And “Oh, wicked, bad, naughty seraphon! They have been setting alight to our beacon, which, I just remembered, is grail-shaped. It's not the first time we've had this problem.” (8)
"Summoned to the battlefield from high Azyr by the vast intellects of the slann starmasters…blah blah blah… the very stuff of the stars themselves.” (4)
“No mortal or daemon can bear to look upon their coming as the army solidifies, materializing from the falling starlight like embers cast forth from a flame” (8) Please note, flames do not cast forth embers.
“Some ride down from the heavens on falling stars, while others appear in beams of sunlight, striking down through dark roiling clouds.” (12)
Now for the interesting bit about Seraphon physiology.
“Murglurk drove his blade into the saurian warrior, but no blood splilled forth. Instead only light shone from the wound.” (9) and “…but as the (vampire) fiend tried to drink, she realized too late that it was celestial energy which flowed beneath the saurus’ hide, not the blood she sought.” (13)
Starlight for blood? That could pose some interesting problems.
Well, if GW doesn't say what 'High Azyr' looks like, that means we could make it whatever we want.
If the slann are so powerful, they could probably shape their surroundings to mimic what they are used too. (I.e. the old temple cities, jungles, or whatever).
So, until GW clariffies what High Azyr looks like, I'm going to assume the section my slann inhabits looks like a floating temple-city, with different districts and such, and shaped to a style that Lord Malzareth likes. His army and support staff would live the city, for him to summon and deploy as they see fit, and he can call on other slann's domains to provide reinforcements when necessary.
My slann is going to have a really big TV and an extra palanquin which is refrigerated and always full of cold beverages. There might be some other stuff, but he won't be going outside a lot to look at it anyway.
Thank you GW!
So to date, this has been stuff that kinda makes sense.
Then there is the whole stars constellations bit doesn't, so I have just decided to treat it as metaphorical / symbolic and move on.
Force organisation: the smallest military unit is the cohort - a gathering of warriors under a single leader. When several cohorts are gathered together under a Slann, they become a starhost. (22)
"Just as stars form patterns in the sky, so too does the starhost embody a specific battlefield role. When a slann goes to war, he will summons those cohorts that, working in conjunction, are best equipped to defeat his foe. Should a stoic defence be required, thick ranks of saurus guard and saurus warriors might be called upon, mustered beneath a reptilian champion. If formidable enemy defences bar the slann's way a monstrous cohort of stegadons, bastiladons or other terrifying warbeasts will take shape from the slann's distant memories." (22)
The brightest starhosts and cohorts combined make up the highest order military formation, a constellation. (22)
"Why stop there?" says Bob. If there are is no points cost, I'm going to field a GALAXY!
All of the above makes sense. The next 4 pages of don't.
"Constellations revolve around their core stars. Blazing brightest is the slann, to which all other stars are connected" (23) Therefore it is a real constellation, which behaves nothing like a real constellation. check.
Linked together the stars form a portentious shape - like a real constellation. The sample one depicted looks like a join-the-dots duck. Not unlike a real constellation, given that scorpio's tail, is the only bit of a zodiacal sign that looks like it is advertised.
"The constellation of Sotek's Fangs rises above the mortal realms when the winds of Azyr blow strong. Like a glimmering maw it appears from beneath the horizon, each shimmering star a seraphon cohort waiting for the call of the slann starmaster Zectoka.
"Blazing upon the tip of the longest curving fang is the scar veteran Ku-Quar..." (25) Uh-huh.
So they are real stars? What happens if they need to be summoned during the day? Do the stars go out when they are summoned? Are the stars above the mortal realms (and high above the reach of Sigmaron) not stars as we know them but shiny happy places full of lizards?
As I said, I'll treat those pages as if some shroom addled goblins wrote them. After they finished the ruleset....
ANyhoo, in italics above, you will note that the seraphon are summoned from the slann's distant memories. (22)
"they (the slann) have restored their armies, remembering them into existence. Creatures of flesh and blood no more, the seraphon are wrought of star magic, true beings of Azyr."(4)
"...their warriors never more than a thought away."
Memory being the funny thing that it is, they remembered blot toads, but not skink chiefs (you heard it here first - no skink chiefs in the battletome).
Now if you could conjure anything, wouldn't you conjure the Dark-Elf-moves-10"-and-looks-dead-sexy cold ones? And what happens if you aren't fully focused while you are summoning?
Slann Pro-Tips #23:
Never Summon While you are Hungry
email is so last century.....
You are the coolest old geezer on the site, gramps.
You are genius
Thanks for that youngling.
Now, if you had a slann to remember where your other set of spectacles are.....
(edited to troll the geriatric)
I know one pair is on my head somewhere!
I'm just saying that this makes sense. It explains why some remember skink starseer (formerly Tetto'Ekko) as pink, others as blue and some as green. Or how some remember woogity kroxigors while others remember smaller die-cast krox. Or how my slann remembers Nintendo characters... which may or may not go hand in hand with the hungry slann remembering Mayor McCheese and Frylok!
Good. In Bowser's special universe AoS fluff makes sense.
GW must be super-stoked about cornering that section of the market.