Monday, September 7, 2015

A Trip to Stone Mountain, Part 1 - The Republic of Strathar

    My father and my little brother were in town today, and together we went to Stone Mountain. This was a bad idea, for a variety of reasons, but propriety demanded that I not say anything, at least, not before I get my present for my birthday on the 19th.

    Anyway, as I was roasting in the sun and cursing my poor fortune, I thought of this blog, and knew I would be remiss if I did not use this experience as inspiration. I mean, look at this place:

    So this got me to thinking, how could I use this experience for something in Numenera? First, I had to figure out what are the essential traits of Stone Mountain. I boiled it down to two:

  1. A big ass rock.
  2. A memorial to a conquered nation.
    Item one didn't seem all that interesting at first, so I set to thinking about item two. What conquered nations are there in the Ninth World? None that are given much attention, but there is one vanquished nation that is at least mentioned in passing.

The Republic of Strathar

    The Stratharians are hardly remembered, now, save for the deadly moths which they tamed to serve as beasts of war and still bear their name. They were originally nothing more than a race of loosely affiliated barbarian tribes, who fought and raided in the southeastern Steadfast, in the plains along the southern edge of the Voil Chasm all the way to the Black Riage.
    Roughly 300 years ago, the burgeoning Pytharon Empire enveloped Stratharian lands, imposing martial law and hunting down their raiding parties. The Stratharians suffered under Pytharon rule for decades, until they discovered the secret that would make them famous.
    A Stratharian chieftain named Hevoth bought the services of the then-famous nano-witch Gatalla Strith, who discovered a ruined prior-world structure in the foothills of the Black Riage. At Hevoth's bidding, Gatalla discovered a way to restore the ancient broadcasting equipment in the ruins, and used it to control and goad the deadly moths.
    Armed with this radical new weapon, the Stratharians fought back against the Empire, and as more and more chieftains flocked to Hevoth's side, the campaign for Stratharian independence began. Seeking legitimacy, the other chieftains named Hevoth the Grand Chieftain, officially seceded from the Pytharon Empire, and declared their ancestral lands the Republic of Strathar.

The Battle of Rockfall

    Years passed, and the attacks from the Pytharon Empire were methodical and ruthless. Hevoth realized that the war moths were not enough, so set about looking for new weapons. A raiding party uncovered an ancient cache of gravity obviators, and Hevoth envisioned a fleet of flying ships, raining down destruction on the helpless legionnaires below. A few of these ships were constructed, but they were all captured and burned by the Pytharons.
    Desperate for a solution, Hevoth hit upon a stroke of genius, or madness, some said. The ancient ruins where Gatalla had discovered the means to control the war moths had long ago become the seat of Hevoth's capital and a mighty stronghold.
    Hevoth equipped an army of men with detonations and ray-emitters, and ordered them to blast shafts into the mountain, wide enough and deep enough to encompass all of the stronghold's underground laboratories and breeding pits. They installed the gravity obviators in these pits, powered them up, and tore a massive chunk of rock free from the Black Riage. The result was a floating island, nearly a square mile in size.
    The remaining Stratharian forces rallied to this flying fortress, and marched against the Pytharon legion on the open plains. Though intimidated by Hevoth's new weapon, the Pytharons charged, and engaged the Stratharian forces in the shadow of the island.
    It soon became clear, however, despite the siege engines atop the island, and despite the war moths, the Stratharians were outnumbered and doomed to slaughter. Overcome with grief and anger, Hevoth ordered that the gravity obviators be shut off, for a suicidal strike against the Pytharons.
    The obviators did not cut off all at once, so the island rolled over before it fell. Nevertheless, 2 billion tons of rock crushed the warring armies.
    In the chaos that followed, the surviving Stratharians found that they could no longer control their moths, as Hevoth's castle, along with its prior-world broadcasting equipment, had been destroyed in the fall. The moths turned on their handlers, killing most of the survivors. The Battle of Rockfall, as it would later be known, ended the short-lived Republic of Strathar and effectively wiped out the Stratharian race.

    Aaaaand this post is long enough. For my next post, I will detail Hevoth's Rock as it stands in the Ninth World of the present. as well as the surrounding lands, drawing inspiration from several more pictures I snapped on my cell phone.


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  2. Thanks man, this gave me a thought for my game. Good point as well. Even with only a thousand years of history there are still going to be modern monuments and displaced peoples.

    1. Glad to hear it. I figured that the Pytharon Empire was a good place to put this, seeing as how it's the nation in the Steadfast billed as having the most relatively recent history.