Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 20

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 19

And the new world begins taking shape. Hykma becomes a commercial center, the Najar Empire officially disintegrates, and the Dwarven Curse on the Bwarlor wears out. The Bwalor are finally able to start a civilization that could rival other nations in power. This is symbolized by the expansion of the previously small city of Balkus into a large port stop in The Maw.

We also see the Hykman League forming which will become similar to the Delian League of ancient Greek history. Cities will join, but then be forcibly prevented from leaving.

652 NA: The Twins, Alixria and Alrdia, the wiliest of the old Najaran Quintet, saw their chance for prosperity alongside Cynelle. In the days of old Najar they had been shining jewels reduced to a dull glean by long centuries of toil, war, and occupation. Now, they too renounced Navillus and declared themselves free of the old ways.

664 NA: The flame of Najar had been extinguished but many of her people yearned for the days of comfort beneath an imperial banner. An exodus from the great valley and the cities of Old Najar began, traveling east, then south down the Lower Maw towards the majestic city of Hykma, untouched by war and turmoil. With her help, refugees settled in the fork north of the Tonsil and build a new city, The Hearth, to house the culture and history of old Najar. Battered by centuries of turmoil, they too embraced peace and extended an olive branch to the mixed city of Farpoint where, removed from the turmoil of the great valley, Najaran and Dwarven kind had melded into a peaceful order.

666 NA: The Rana, almost overwhelmed by the influx of battered and tired refugees into their region, rose to the occasion. First, they constructed a place to house their great sages and the great spawning pools from whence all Rana come. On their great lake they built Pulchrito, an amphibious city of immense beauty, peace, and serenity. With their own affairs in order and under the guidance of the Monks of the Gossamer Waves, the Rana built another city, Domicilius, to the northeast, where the river splits. It was a good place, a bastion for all folk fleeing the horrors of the north and the monsters of the southern jungles.

679 NA: The city of Hykma, a refuge for the princes of old Najar and those that could sail to her shore, swollen by an influx of wealth, history, knowledge, and culture, expanded in extravagant majesty. Long friends with the Rana and happy to welcome their neighbors, both Elven and Najaran, she became a radiant gem on the coast of the Lower Maw, and in time, the capital of a new alliance between her, The Hearth, Pulchrito, and Domicilius. The new alliance was bestowed with the name, The Hykman League. Invitations were extended to Rotandean and Farpoint as well.

691 NA: The Dwarven Curse upon the Bwarlor finally ended. Only a few Bwarlor still gave birth to Dwarven children. The Bwarlor rejoiced. With trade revived on the Maw and an end to much of the turmoil of the previous wars, the Bwarlor looked to their own isle. New wealth began to congeal and soon a new city grew up from the towns. Balkus was born, a mighty port and a safe haven for those crossing the treacherous Maw.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 21

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Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 15

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 14

Remember that Dawrven invasion that took many of the cities from the Najar Empire? And do you remember them ever taking Najar, the capital of the Najar Empire? Because they never took that capital. The invasion stalled after all the other cities were claimed.

Najar became a point of light for the rebellious Humans in the new Dwarven Empire. After a century and a half of minor revolts, the Najarns finally got enough coordination to take back a few of their cities. Cynelle already came back under Human control with help from the Merfolk. Alixria and Alrdia now revolt in unison. Najar and Cynelle help them and the Dwarves are forced to hide in Syluk.

The Elves have similar problems and must also retreat to their capital city. They fortunately do not have an ancient demon god tormenting them. The Elves fare a lot better than the Dwarves.

The end effect of this revolt is to solidify the differences between the Empire Dwarves on the Maw and the Metal Dwarves on Hearthland. The Empire Dwarves continue to make ethical lapses as they are now unwitting pawns of Navillus. The Metal Dwarves… They just want to get away from all this, but there will be more on that later.

453 NA: The Black Prince watched Najar and the lands beneath the Red Peaks. The Holy City began to stir, its people cried out to be saved from the Dwarven tyranny and to know once again the pleasures of Old Najar. And so they took up arms against their oppressors! Full-fledged rebellion broke out in the twin cities of Alixria and Alrdia, enough to clear the way for advancing troops from Najar to reclaim their cities.

454 NA: The Najaran forces marched towards the mighty fortress of Syluk but stopped in the foothills. No mortal man ordered the halt. Only one whisper from Navillus and one sly smile stopped the army. He would deal with Syluk himself. With no unifying purpose, the armies dispersed. A few Najarn commanders demanded obedience, but a higher power controlled affairs in the Upper Maw.

Morale sank in occupied Syluk. News of the retaking of the twin cities of Alixria and Alrdia had reached the Dwarven commanders from their post in the mountains and with the fall of Cynelle and the Elves on the coast they were surrounded. They were safe at least, they told themselves. No foe could storm the mountain under the fire of Dwarven siege machines and the old city was rich and well supplied for a siege. They had the military might to keep the native population under control and while sabotage continued, it was petty in its nature. And then, soon after the other cities fell, the nights began to grow longer. Restlessness settled in amongst the Dwarves as nightmares plagued their dreams. Animals were born hideously deformed. Crops seemed to whither and turn to ash. And the Najaran sabotage seemed to grow at supernatural speeds.

They were Dwarves of hard metal but as nights grew longer and the pressure grew… they began to break. Madness, paranoia, and strange illnesses plagued the Syluki Dwarves. New military tribunals were formed with harsher punishments. Loyal Dwarf soldiers began to be executed by their own officers for trifling offenses. Suspicions ran rampant. To those in charge it seemed that all of their men were traitors. The few remaining pure souls wept for the fate of Syluk, the city of terror…

467 NA: The Bastards’ invasion horrified the Elves. They had never seen such brutality. The Hobgoblin race terrified the sylvan people as well. The Elves begin setting traps within the forest, both mundane and magical. The Elves set a great ward around Crodolan to prevent any outsiders from entering the city.

475 NA: The darkness in Syluk began to lift. After twenty years of endless sabotage, military tribunals, and sickness, a semblance of order returned to the mountain city. The Empire Dwarves took stock of themselves cut off as they were from the Dwarves on Hearthland. The whispers of Navillus had turned them away from the Holy Books that they used to know. The priesthood corrupted. Human sacrifice began to take place to ward off the evil. Little did the Dwarves know that the souls they sacrifice went to feed the Dark God. Farpoint, the other Dwarven controlled city in the Upper Maw, was too far away to lend aid or even effectively communicate with the Syluki Dwarves.. The Empire Dwarves knew that the crusade must be completed or their failure would be remember in history for eternity. They recruited among the Humans in the city who finally accepted their new masters. Soon, they planned to march to Najar and face the evil master of the Maw as they should’ve done in the first place.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 16

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 14

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 13

The Bwarlorn Dwarves finally get their vengeance in this post. Their act parallels the original Dwarf curse in many ways. They target a group that did not suspect such an attack. The group suffers heavy causalities and then forced pregnancies. The pregnancies result in horrible unwanted mutant babies.

The Bastards of the Book don’t target the Dwarves though. They attack the Dwarven allies, the Elves.

But in the grand scheme of history, rape is just another tragedy of war. What makes this special enough to include?

The creation of a new race because the hybrid genetics is why. The Hobgoblins will come to play a big role in the Lower Maw.

And we’ve also got the Rana slowly developing into their humanitarian selves by founding Gurutama’s equivalent of the real world charity organization, The Red Cross.

429 NA: The group of Najaran men sought to rebel against their Dwarven overlords. They sent scouts into the Eastern Maw to recruit primitive Humans outside of the boundaries of the Empire to assist in fighting the Dwarves. While the small rebellion of these men was one among many to be squashed by the Dwarven jackboots one good thing came of the Najarn scouts’ journey. They made contact with the Rana.

The words of the Najarns troubled the Rana and left a lasting impact. They had never heard of people who openly sought violence upon other intelligent beings. The Rana set about to bring light to all those who wanted to see once again…

The Rana gathered many of their beloved children, great sages, silver-tongued peace-makers, and humble friends, and sent them forth into the world. And they named them, the Monks of the Gossamer Waves, an order of peace, pacifism, and kindness.

441 NA: With each year the ranks of the Bastards of the Tattered Book grew and their fury seemed endless. Many spoke of purging the Metal Tiers and of making the women and children of Hearthland suffer as their men made the Bwarlor suffer. Still more wanted to storm the Najaran coast and join forces with the Najarns against the Empire Dwarves.

But a cruel streak coming from their primitive ancestors inspired another course of action. The Bastards unfurled their black sails and set out, not west to the Hearthland nor north to join the numerous rebellions against the Empire Dwarves. No, the Bastards went south to the ripe forests hidden behind the indomitable Mandibles.

442 NA: It is said that history is doomed to repeat itself, and just as the Dwarves of Hearthland imposed their sons on the Bwarlor, so did these new Dwarves rape the city of Shianosoth and sow their children amongst the innocent Elven people. A new breed coalesced in the shadow of that damned city, mockery of the goodness and order, a savage combination of its three father races: the swiftness and stature of the good Elves, the greed and steadfast determination of Dwarvenkind, and the madness of their grandfather, Humanity. The first Hobgoblins were born into the world…

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 15

Dracula Untold Review

I saw Dracula Untold the other night in theaters.

It was decent, but not as good as the trailers made it seem to me.

The movie attempts to juggle a lot of different themes and ultimately fails on most of them.

The movie attempts to unify the historical story of Vlad the Impaler with the mythological story of Dracula. It does a decent job.

The historical story is heavily condensed, turning a three year war into something that takes about a week, but that’s to be expected when making a movie. The personalities of the participating characters are changed as well, but that was necessary for the story the script writers wanted to tell.

The mythological story is compromised to make Vlad seem more appealing to the audience. This is an origin story, so Vlad doesn’t start off as a horrible bloodsucking villain. He’s a family man who fights the Turks to protect his country as well as his son. He’s all but turned into card-carrying monster by the end of the movie though.

But if Vlad is a good person, how does he become a vampire? The “evil vampire” is a monster that is trapped by a curse within a cave. The vampire can turn someone else into a vampire. If that person does not drink blood within the next three days then they will turn back into a human. However, if they do drink blood then the original vampire will be freed from the cave to do horrible vampire things to people.

Vlad takes this deal with the devil to protect his family from the coming Turk invasion. The three days don’t prove to be enough to stop the Turk invasion, mostly because Vlad wastes his second day doing nothing of significance. Vlad chooses to extend his gift into eternity by drinking blood. He then shares his gift with a few of his loyal soldiers and they wreck the entire Turk army. The tactics employed by the vampires reminded me so much of the short story Out of the Dark by David Weber that I’m sure the script writers read the short story as well.

There’s lots of actions and special effects. A few wonky camera angles that mess up the movie, but those are fortunately rare.

I think my main issue with the movie was the multiple different personas Vlad has. We all act differently in different situations and around different people, there’s nothing unusual about that.

My problem was that there was no obvious transition between Vlad’s different personas.

Vlad comes back home after encountering the original vampire. This is before he makes a deal with the original. The vampire killed two of Vlad’s most loyal soldiers.

Vlad returns to his family, puts on a happy face, and kisses his wife. She notices he seems distant and he says, “I was only distracted by your unbelievable beauty.” Vlad then goes on to play and joke with his children before tucking them into bed before having sex with his wife in the bathtub.

But he just saw two of his men killed by a demon a few hours before this? It is possible that he transitions this quickly. He probably needs to do so often as he is a military ruler of his country with the nickname, “The Impaler,” but the audience does not see this transition. All the movie needed was to show Vlad outside the door to his family room before going in. He could sigh and shake his head before entering, having mentally prepared himself for hiding the brutal murders he just witnessed from his family. Nothing like that is in the movie. It goes straight from a discussion with a monk about the vampire to him reuniting with his family.

That’s not the only issue. When Vlad first accepts the curse of the vampire he understands that it might cost him his soul. He realizes that later on while praying in a church. Yet when he’s about to lose his power if he doesn’t drink blood, he doesn’t remember. The person who he drinks the blood of doesn’t remind him either. There should’ve been some discussion of whether his soul was worth expelling the Turks from Wallachia and saving his son’s life, but there isn’t! We at least get an anguished scream from Vlad after he drinks the blood, but that’s all. No traumatic battle between good and evil within him over becoming a demon. Just a battle over the sin of cannibalism.

Who would I recommend this movie to? Probably not fans of the historical Vlad the Impaler. Too much of the story is changed to truly match the real version.

It feels more like a typical action/adventure movie. If you liked The Mummy or Raiders of the Lost Ark then this will be a good movie for you to watch. Not as good as those classics, but a decent movie with fighting and special effects to entertain you. The characterization isn’t great and the plot… Well we all already know what happens in the Dracula story.

-Mister Ed

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 13

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 12

The Dwarven curse of the Bwarlor created a subrace of Dwarves that were born to Bwarlor mothers and interbred with each other among Bwarlor society. But the evil actions the Dwarves took created another subrace. There was a group of Dwarves that regretted that action and a group of Dwarves that saw it as a necessary punishment for the beard rape of the Dwarven ambassadors sent to Bwolo Isle. The remorseful group of Dwarves grows to become the Metal Dwarves that remain in Hearthland. The vengeful group participated in greater numbers in the invacion of Najar. That group becomes even more corrupted and evil due to its proximity to Navillus and forms the Empire Dwarf subrace.

My personal image of the ideal Dwarf is a Metal Dwarf. One who feels great remorse for his ancestors’ actions and seeks to redeem them through his own just actions. Of course, good must come with bad so the Empire Dwarf subrace exists for the other side of the coin. When I was playing the Dawn of Worlds game I tried to get into the minds of the Dwarves where they always thought their actions were justified, no matter ho horrible. Now that I’m rewriting the timeline, I’m trying to see things from the viewpoints of the other races. The Dwarves don’t look so good from the outside…

Anyways, here’s the next part of the revised timeline.

394 NA: Nearly a century had passed since the Dwarven occupation and Najaran resistance continued just as strong as before. The old aristocracy, united by the will of Navillus, committed brutal, albeit subtle, sabotage. Shipments went missing. Rebels seemed too well armed and organized. Merchants manipulated the economy to thwart Dwarven leaders. Dwarves quickly learned not to go out at night, especially alone, as more and more were savagely attacked, their bodies hung flayed from Dwarvish establishments. The Najaran aristocrats claimed ignorance even as they infiltrated the Dwarven inner circles. Morale seeped away from the occupiers as they continuously rebuilt their missionary schools only to see them burned again.

And amongst the horrors of the occupation the Dwarven lords grew fat and decadent from their new found wealth. The pious behaviors encouraged by The Books were abandoned for the decadent pleasures of Najar and The Maw. They cared less and less for saving the souls of the Humans. Expanding their wealth and luxuries became the goal of the Dwarves in power. In the shadows, the Demon God’s cruelty seeped into the lifeblood of Dwarvenkind.

The Black Prince began to stir, silent during the Dwarven invasion he now whispering old eldritch words to his most devout followers. Soon he said to his people… Soon. But soon was a long time for the immortal Navillus.

412 NA: While the Merfolk were at war with the Dwarves and Elves in principle, many of the sea people continued their profitable trade with the invaders. Drolfo looked for zeal in his people and found it difficult to spot. A few Merfolk still sought battle with the Dwarves and Elves after the capture of Cynelle. The god of the sea raised those people to positions of leadership and ordered them to take Cyflenwi. The Merfolk sent all of their armies to Cyflenwi and handily took it. They claimed the city and its inhabitants for the Merfolk nation.

422 NA: Reesrevo demanded the icy reach of the Grez extend. The Grez armies sculpted and constructed massive glaciers all over the north.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 14

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 12

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 11

This post is all about the initial backlash the Dwarves suffer for the curse they laid upon the Bwarlor. The initial descriptions went into a lot of detail about the new subrace of Dwarves born from Human parents. I’ve removed as much as I could while attempting to preserve the core of the new culture within the timeline. Also, there’s some not nice words in this post, just to warn you.

I plan to write more about each race and subrace in the future. The information on the culture of the Bwaloran Dwarves will be moved out of the timeline and into that section.

346 NA: For many years Dwarf-sons were slaughtered by the Bwarlor, their deaths meant to purge the wombs of Bwarloran women. As the years passed the killings slowed and the Dwarf-sons found a place within Bwarloran society. A horrifying existence, forever a second class, beaten and abused by their own parents. Hatred grew in the hearts of these Dwarves, not for their abusers but for those who cursed them. Guided by the passion of the Humans and tempered by towering hatred for Dwarvenkind, the Bwarloran Dwarves formed an order, the Bastards of the Tattered Book.

The guiding mantra of the Bastards of the Tattered Book is, “We are bastards left on another’s door step.” Abandoned by the Metal Dwarves that cursed them they now intend to destroy the Metal Dwarves, tear up the Books of Prophecy, and become the true DWARF. They are the servant rebelling against their master, creation destroying their creators, sons killing their cruel fathers. They are the Bastards of the Tattered Book, and dammit, they mean business.

349 NA: The Merfolk took notice of the curse now that the first Bwarloran Dwarves had reached adulthood. The Merfolk offered to help ship the Dwarves born to the Humans to the Dwarven kingdom. The Bastards quickly rejected the notion that they wished to be reunited with their “original families.” The Merfolk seers, still unsatisfied, looked to Drolfo for guidance as to why this terrible curse had befallen the Bwarlor lands. Drolfo answered, “A curse from the Dwarves. You must attack the dwarves for there will be no peace with them.” The Merfolk began marshalling their armies.

352 NA: The race of Rana rose from the waters of Tonsil Lake. Some say that they are descended from the stars, riding gossamer strands of heavenly beauty. Amphibious and humanoid, they seem to radiate goodness. They settled in the Tonsil and frolicked, peaceful and happy, little aware of the chaos of the world.

360 NA: After many skirmishes the Landers took Cynelle. The Merfolk returned control of the city to the Najar. The Merfolk learned from this experience and gained advanced knowledge of how to fight inside cities.

366 NA: The Grez froze the Northern Sea to make one solid line of ice.

371 NA: The wraith people built a city in the middle of the New Ice, Ksilardyh.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 13

Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 10

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 9

This post contains one of the more brutal actions within the world of Gurutama. The Dwarves commit an act that is morally equivalent to the Holocaust (I hope the comparison of fictional events to the Holocaust doesn’t offend anyone). I was particularly embarrassed by this action because I was the one who came up with it.

We decided to roll with it and it made Gurutama a much more interesting place. Lots of bad juju on my Dwarves though.

The significance of the events also created a great deal of descriptive text over only two years of the Gurutama Timeline. Just like with the birth of Navillus, the writing is good and important, but the purpose of the timeline is to condense information into an easily accessible package. I removed as much as I could while maintaining the informational core. The event will be discussed in greater detail when I get around to describing the races of Gurutama.

297 NA: Dwarven missionaries arrived on Bwolo Isle to talk with the Bwarlor. The dwarves extended the hand of peace to the Bwarlor people, hoping they would accept and unite against the Najar. The Bwarlorans preferred their pirating lifestyle to open warfare. Plus, why go to war when the Merfolk weren’t?

The Dwarves attempted a strong arm debate tactic by linking the Bwarlorans refusal to fight with their past kinship with the Najarans. The Dwarves did not know that such a comparison was the ultimate insult in Bwarloran culture. The pirate lords shaved off the ambassadors’ beards and hair, striped them naked, and then threw them into port-town’s dirty canals. The Dwarves left Bwolo Isle sputtering curses and swearing swift retribution.

At news of the event, the Grez backed out of the alliance against Najar.

298 NA: The Dwarven sages declared that it was time. The war had been building for a great many centuries. The oldest no longer remembered a time before Navillus and the plans to end the Black Prince’s power over this world. The Dwarven machine, set in motion long ago, finally began to grind its gears and move. Two more tasks remained, quelling any coming opposition from the Bwarlor and the Merfolk.

The Dwarves attempted to pacify the Merfolk with bribes purchase with gold from a new rich mine in the Metal Tiers. Lots of supplies were bought and the Dwarves hoped the Merfolk would be happy with their profiteering and stay out of the war.

Dwarven mages and clerics worked the special magicks of the Books to punish the Bwarlor for their sacrilege. A dark cloud descended upon Bwolo Isle. The black mist came lower and lower until the entire island was covered. Then the screaming started. Every firstborn, child or adult, was taken by an unknown force. Invisible hands snatched the people by their ankles. The Bwarlorans’ nails dragged upon the ground as their families watched in horror. The fog lifted and the people were gone, but the curse was two-fold. From then on and for many centuries after, every firstborn child of a Bwarloran woman would be a Dwarf.

The Dwarves formed up their massive armies and sailed forth on Elven ships for the Najar Empire.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 11