Monday, February 15, 2010

My Only Wish Is To See Far Acheron Again (with apologies to Jim Morrison)

...well, actually I wouldn't like to see Acheron again, but Valusia would be a trip. However, since I'm still in the middle of a bunch of terrain pieces, today sees my notes on Acheron go up.

Acheron is the remaining lands of the Old Race (aka Giant-Kings), who once ruled all of Thuria and have "100,000 years of history". The Old Race are long-lived wizards, with demon-tainted blood that gives them claim to be descendents of Set, the Serpent-Lord. They worship the rest of the Old Ones as well, and do so differently than their human subjects, on more of a personal relationship. However, their worship and black sorcery does require human blood and/or sacrifice to work (Note: this is all fiction, in case that wasn't clear).

Humans are their subjects and slaves, and have been since the beginning of time. The original humans they encountered (not the modern Thurians) at the dawn of time worshipped the Great Serpent (aka the Serpent That Speaks - not Set), and the humans have since merged the two religions and the Giant-Kings haven't really noticed. The humans under their rule also worship the Giant-Kings as blessed by Set. Despite being near-gods, the Giant-Kings haven't avoided getting jiggy with their subject women, resulting in hybrids identifiable by their height and pale complection, and talent with dark arts.

The human and hybrid populations grow much faster than the Giant-Kings and do much of the land's grunt work, leaving the Giant-Kings to rule, practice their dark arts, and lord around as living gods. The Lost Lands that separate Acheron from the Seven Empires (and anywhere else of note) have helped the Giant-Kings slip into myth and legend, but these myths and legends are still active and still plotting. They have spies and agents in Valusia (e.g. Guron, high priest of the God of the Black Shadow) and elsewhere, with the aim of regaining their former glory. The current ruler is King Ahotep.

Their capitol city is Luxor, on the Sea of Snakes. Additional cities are Sabatea, Erkulum, and Qarnak. The main river in the country is the Nilus, which later becomes the Styx, post-cataclysm. Their architecture is monolithic, some of the Hyborean Age colossal pyramids of Stygia are theirs. In most cities their architecture is sort of a suped-up real world Egyptian - stepped pyramidal apartment complexes for temples and the middle class. The poor live in block hovels, the true elites live in single pyramids. In other cities, their architecture is Petra-like, built into the sides of cliffs and hills. Generally their buildings are of black stone, but others are sandstone in colour, and all have towers or spires of a dark purple.

Their military has an Assyrian and Hittite flavour, with elite units of four-horse chariots, followed by spear-wielding cavalry, supported by mounted archers. On foot they have light, regular, and heavy spearmen, the first two being from the city levies. They also have light and regular foot bowmen, and the levies also raise slingers. The foot elite are the guardsmen of the king, armed with sword and carrying a shield.


In other news...last night was spent wrestling with polyfill, today I've been spray painting some other pieces and am about to go for a re-match with the polyfill. Had some good news this evening - today was a provincial holiday butI forgot that means the post office (federal) was still at work - so when I opened my front door to take out the recycling, what should I find but my order of pre-painted plastic miniatures (from the D&D line). So a future post will be on those - Kull and Conan and various friends and enemies.

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