Thursday, September 16, 2021

Heroes of Wargaming Games Workshop & Empire of the Petal Throne rpg- More Metamorphosis Alpha rpg - Slow Boat Generational Ships Observations

Let's return to Empire of the Petal Throne rpg's enemies of mankind, way back in April of 2021 we covered 'Heroes of Wargaming'. And there's an interesting observation from the Hobglobinry blog from 2018 entitled,' The qhal and the Slann. Or: did CJ Cherryh invent the Old World?' Hmmm. No, I don't think she did because of one of the comments of JC; "
Tekumel was probably an influence on Lustria as a whole (what with Tekumel having Meso-American elements). The Amazons do have bolt guns and chainswords, etc., but not the Slann: the ones in Lustria have forgotten their technology (there were the Space Slann for 40K, though, who did have lasers).

But I think the qhal/Slann parallels are stronger than any influence from Barker. There are the numerous warp gates, the mastery of both space and time, and the arrogant interference with other creatures.

And then there are some linguistic clues too: the single-syllable, A-vowelled name and the use of that word "seeding".

As far as I can see, a Tekumel influence on Gate of Ivrel is unlikely. Empire of the Petal Throne was published in 1975; the US first edition of Gate of Ivrel was 1976. Once you factor in writing, submission and publication lead times, as well as the slower rate of cultural transmission in the pre-internet era, it seems improbable that a relatively obscure game could have influenced a book that was most likely well underway or finished by the time it came out." 
But it brings up an interesting question are the Space Slann from actually an interstellar  subrace of Empire of the Petal Throne's Hlutrgú (“the Swamp Frogs”)? We can see a really good & solid blog entry on the alien races of Tekumel from Thoul's Paradise blog right here that covers the Hlutrgu';
Hlutrgú (by Sutherland)

"Hlutrgú (“the Swamp Frogs”) – The illustration to the right shows the Hlutrgú as having four limbs; however, Barker states that they are four-legged creatures and that they “carry darts for spearing or throwing, using their four long arms.”  To me this suggests eight limbs, but perhaps there are only four limbs that can be used either as arms or legs.  (The illustrated Hlutrgú is shown grasping a spear with his 'foot'.)  Regardless, they “hate humans and nonhumans indiscriminately” and “have a particularly ugly reputation for torture and atrocities upon humans who fall into their clutches.”
I have not been able to discern if the Hlutrgú are native to Tékumel or if, in ancient times, they were interstellar partners of mankind" And no the Hlutrgu were not native to Tekumel but were interstellar enemies of mankind. Early Slann may have been either offshoots, biological workers, or possibly another social cast of the Hlutrgu'. And this is evident from the ancient Slann illustration from John Blanche's take on the Slann from the first  Citadel Compendium. Thanks to Jeff's Game Blog for the heads up from 2013. 

If we are using the the idea that early Slann clans  & interstellar tribes are using bolt pistols & the like. And that they were using Empire of the Petal Throne style gateways. Sure they stated that they created those planar gateways. But this is simply propaganda by the Slann. Then they could theoretically pop up literally anyplace. 
So this literally means that if the Slann are a sub species of  the Hlutrgu then they could quite literally pop up just about anyplace with ray guns & wizards blazing. 

This means that these amphibian wizards & warriors  could in theory at least appear anywhere. And that includes in Greyhawk or Blackmoor or who knows what other campaign world setting. I would bet the Cherryh book borrows from Tekumel also. And it also means that there could in theory be pockets of space going Slann in some mini planar universe just waiting for some trespassers aka adventurers from find them. Now for years we've quietly kept this little gem of information in our collective DM back pockets. 
Collectively speaking in theory at least the Slann or the 
the Hlutrgu could appear on one of the Empire of the Petal Throne slow boats. We covered that right over here on the blog back on Sept.6th. 

Several of the adventures of the Goodman Games from James Ward's Metamorphosis Alpha: Warden Adventures could be used as stand in adventure  for a Human Empire generation ship. 

Turn the wrong corner of a generation ship & you could come face to face with a group of very angry & nasty Aztec frogmen led by a giant dark wizard of interstellar frog race looking to sacrifice your party to some dark god. 

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