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Old 11-04-2020, 09:44 AM   #1
LoneWolf23k
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

So, one thing that's always puzzled me in the Banestorm setting, has been the Djinn Lands. The Mysterious land in the south-east of Ytarria ruled by "Djinn" who are actually powreful human mages, each with their own castle in a small high-mana area. Who actually turn out to be the vessels for Ascended Elven super-mages.

There's never been that much detail about what Djinn Land society is like, aside from the idea that the Djinn rule over a population of wandering tribesmen, in a manner that reminds me of the Goa'uld from the Stargate universe. Only somewhat nicer. We do find out the Djinn occasionally engage in proxy wars with each other, via their numerous tribal servants.

But I think this could use more fleshing out. For one thing, we don't have a single example of a named Djinn. For another, we don't get much information on the various tribes in service to the Djinn. So, let's riff on ideas for the Djinn Lands.

To get started, let's name a Djinn. Should the name be a composite of the Ascended One's name and the human host? Should the host simply adopt the Ascended One's name? Would the Ascended One even use it's original Elven name, or would it have adopted a new name to represent it's new state of being?
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:04 AM   #2
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

Nitpick: It's in the southwest.

I've never paid much attention to the Djinn Lands, because they've never come up in my small number of Yrth games and I find them a little uninspiring. If I was going to flesh the Djinn themselves out, it would probably be only a little, as shadowy background figures backing the face-to-face antagonists who are making life difficult for the PCs (ie: bedouin tribesmen engaged in a brushfire conflict somewhere the PCs want to be, like around an ancient ruin they want to explore/loot, or on the route of a caravan they're guarding). I picture each having an Elven name that they use among themselves on the rare occasions that they communicate, a name belonging to their vessel that is long-forgotten and would only be important as a vulnerability for certain kinds of magic, and a fanciful use-name that is either self-chosen or bestowed by their slave/cultists and reflective of the sort of obsequious thing a bunch of terrified tribesmen would call their personal minor patron deity, like, "The Voice of the Desert Wind," or, "The Watcher in the Sky Over the Dunes," or something.

Last edited by Gold & Appel Inc; 11-04-2020 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

I see it as a place for high fantasy Symbad type adventure. A place where everything is possible, but with lots of low mana areas, so not a place for mages, but a places adventurers to see wonders.

It may also be a place for wondrous cities, cities in the sky, etc. and a crazy mage overlord in each one. Wars between dinosaur mounted archers vs jaguar mounted knight; giant forest populated by giant animals and plants; mountains of glass with caves filled with riches and monsters, and some heavy movers and shakers to bind all this into a campaign to regain some magical artifact or because some super-powerful entities felt bored.

I think it is very vague so you can do anything potentially highly disturbing to the medieval Terran cultures of Ytarria, far away and hard to reach, so any consequences of the place will have trouble reaching the "normal" kingdoms.
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Old 11-04-2020, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

Amusingly, in our Fantasy Grounds game (streamed over at https://www.twitch.tv/olympusrpg every Saturday at 5pm to 9pm Central), the characters are entering the Djinn Lands proper this week and I'm looking forward to fleshing it out in our version of Yrth...
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf23k View Post
So, one thing that's always puzzled me in the Banestorm setting, has been the Djinn Lands. The Mysterious land in the south-east of Ytarria ruled by "Djinn" who are actually powreful human mages, each with their own castle in a small high-mana area. Who actually turn out to be the vessels for Ascended Elven super-mages.
I kind of hate their take on djinn and am using the more traditional versions semi-ripped off from the 3E "Arabian Nights" game. I do sort of envision it as the djinn all basically constantly fighting amongst one another over territory and the like (though they rarely get involved personally and stick (generally) to proxy wars), and your reference to the Goa'uld from SG-1 definitely fits my mental image with regards to how they're in charge of the peoples ... although my versions actually are ridiculously, absurdly, over-the-top powerful entities that, within limits, can do anything they want to with the snap of a finger. Each of my djinn have regular human servants but also have elite non-human guards & generals - one djinn uses centaurs, another snake people (yuan-ti in D&D terms), another utilizes felinoids, etc.

It's also going to be a location of High Mana almost entirely with the conceit that the No Mana effect of the Great Desert has led to Mana gathering more strongly in the Djinn Lands. This means crazy stuff like Manastorms (sandstorms with wild magic effects jammed in there) and the like.

Ultimately, I just want the players to have fun in a completely bugnuts crazy location so their characters have some whacky tales to tell when they get back to what they consider civilization...
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Last edited by Rigil_Kent; 11-04-2020 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Typo!
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:58 AM   #5
ericthered
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

I agree that the area was left as an open area for the GM to insert stuff, but I do think that exploring the idea has merit. Maybe we'll get a nice version out of this.



Its been a while since we did a proper world-building question game...



Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf23k View Post
To get started, let's name a Djinn. Should the name be a composite of the Ascended One's name and the human host? Should the host simply adopt the Ascended One's name? Would the Ascended One even use it's original Elven name, or would it have adopted a new name to represent it's new state of being?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
. I picture each having an Elven name that they use among themselves on the rare occasions that they communicate, a name belonging to their vessel that is long-forgotten and would only be important as a vulnerability for certain kinds of magic, and a fanciful use-name that is either self-chosen or bestowed by their slave/cultists and reflective of the sort of obsequious thing a bunch of terrified tribesmen would call their personal minor patron deity, like, "The Voice of the Desert Wind," or, "The Watcher in the Sky Over the Dunes," or something.

This is a great trio: The name of each half, plus a title. The titles should be individual enough to distinguish them from other djinn.



Elf Name: Alinar
Human Name: Rashad (but more needs to come)

Djinn Title: Watcher in the Sky Over the Dunes, or "Dune Watcher" for short



I'm not sold on the title: does someone have a better one?



Question 2) What physical or natural structure covers Alinar's body and the surrounding High Mana zone?
Question 3) How long has Rashad been Alinar's host?
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I'm not sold on the title: does someone have a better one?

Question 2) What physical or natural structure covers Alinar's body and the surrounding High Mana zone?
Question 3) How long has Rashad been Alinar's host?
1) Pass.

2) According to the book (p 176), the physical body is actually surrounded by a low mana zone, as it sucks up the ambient mana to power the manifestation of the Djinn. For our boy Alinar, I'm picturing a not-too-interesting looking tomb, buried with a very hidden entrance because he has to visit his body occasionally. It should be filled with mostly mundane traps, also well-concealed so as not to draw attention themselves, but full-bore Raiders of the Lost Ark stuff to snuff those who choose to poke their noses around anyway. The giveaway is the presence of a small but diligent garrison disguised as a nomad trading post where there is unfortunately no natural spring, necessitating the transport of water to it on the regular. The casual observer might think it's a peculiar place to put such a thing, but to the informed one it screams, "Djinn body here!"

3) Maybe 50 years or so. Long enough to make it obvious that the settlement is no temporary one of convenience if such an obvious bigshot has been visible there long enough to build a reputation, and to motivate Alinar to start looking to replace Rashad in the not so distant future.

Question 4: Who are Alinar's enemies? Presuming they are not so brazen as to violate the gentleman's agreement concerning his resting place directly, how are they plotting to mess with it surreptitiously or otherwise acting against his interests?

Question 5: What manner of strange people and things populate his domain in the nearby high mana area he spends most of his time hanging out at?
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:16 AM   #7
LoneWolf23k
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

4) Considering the Djinn Lands are just South of the Orclands, I imagine the Djinn have to deal with infrequent incursions from Orc raiders. And since the Great Desert is just next door, they probably deal with Reptilefolk raiders as well.

5) One idea I had was that the Djinn and their close personal retainers (and human host families) live in Magically enabled Luxury (climate controlled castles, magically conjured food on demand, unlimited access to magical healing), while the rest of the Tribes have to rely on the constantly shifting generosity of the Djinn lords.

Last edited by LoneWolf23k; 11-05-2020 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 11-05-2020, 12:00 PM   #8
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf23k View Post
4) Considering the Djinn Lands are just South of the Orclands, I imagine the Djinn have to deal with infrequent incursions from Orc raiders. And since the Great Desert is just next door, they probably deal with Reptilefolk raiders as well.
Meh, those are not enemies, they're pest control! [/dalek] :D

What I mean is: What does Alinar have that other Djinn want?
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Old 11-05-2020, 12:19 PM   #9
Rolando
 
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

I doubt most orcs or reptiles would venture deep into the djin lands, as both tend to be superstitious and may fear strong magic.

Even then only djins near the edge of the orc lands and great desert get to worry about them. I can see the northern djini having a lot of orc slaves or even guards, also use them for magical experiments and sacrifices... I can see the orcs as victims for a change in an adventure, maybe with some lizardfolk as allies to twist the monsters theme.

I also see the castles and palaces of the djins as magical wonders, with magical weather and impossible architecture. Surrounded by other wonders and defenses.

The lands between are low mana, most of them, but there may be lots of magical creatures, creations and natural phenomena due to the djins interventions and "games" to fend of boredom. Many tribes of different races in a kind of post apocalyptic setting. With wastelands/savage-lands surrounding wondrous cities, from those cities sometimes soldiers in magical armor come to raid the tribes or settlements... somewhat like Zardos but with lots of magic and the Wizard is really a powerful wizard.
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Old 11-05-2020, 12:30 PM   #10
ericthered
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Default Re: [Banestorm] Fleshing out the Djinn Lands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
2) According to the book (p 176), the physical body is actually surrounded by a low mana zone, as it sucks up the ambient mana to power the manifestation of the Djinn.
Oops. My bad. You're absolutely right. Its a low mana zone. But nice description. We'll also want to talk about nearby high-mana locations, I suppose.


Quote:
3) Maybe 50 years or so. Long enough to make it obvious that the settlement is no temporary one of convenience if such an obvious bigshot has been visible there long enough to build a reputation, and to motivate Alinar to start looking to replace Rashad in the not so distant future.
Djinn hosts are the next best thing to immortal, and rarely replaced. See page 175. 50 years would make Rashad a new acquisition, a host who still has meaningful family hanging around.


Quote:
Question 4: Who are Alinar's enemies? Presuming they are not so brazen as to violate the gentleman's agreement concerning his resting place directly, how are they plotting to mess with it surreptitiously or otherwise acting against his interests?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneWolf23k View Post
4) Considering the Djinn Lands are just South of the Orclands, I imagine the Djinn have to deal with infrequent incursions from Orc raiders. And since the Great Desert is just next door, they probably deal with Reptilefolk raiders as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
Meh, those are not enemies, they're pest control! [/dalek]

It would be a very few specific Djinn that had to deal with both orcs and reptile-men, up at the northeast tip of the area. We can certainly place Alinar's tomb up in that corner though.



Alinar has fewer djinn neighbors than most, being on the edge of the great desert and the orc lands. He has a long standing feud over a high mana area (neither of them actually live there) with an Djinn that the nomads call "The Weaver of Color and Rain". The spot is also coveted by a nearby Dragon*. The settlement there is currently loyal to Alinar, but the roving tribesfolk surrounding the stationary settlement have slowly been changing their allegiance, persuaded by gifts and threats.


*Dragons actually have fairly similar lifespans, lifestyles, and interests to Ascended ones



Lone Wolf, we need questions from you!


Question 6) How far is Alinar's body from his high mana "Home"?
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Last edited by ericthered; 11-05-2020 at 12:47 PM.
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