Background of the Taphrian campaigns

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    • Background of the Taphrian campaigns

      EDIT: Jump to Background of the Taphrian campaigns
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      -=-=-


      Hi, fluff lovers!

      As we are developing many Homebrew factions located in Taphria, I had the inspiration to provide some background for friendly campaigns in that continent.
      The many Taphrian Homebrew Army Books may be found here: It's time for Africa !
      The map of Taphria with Homeberw factions is here below:


      And here is a text to present the factions.
      C&C welcome! The task is a collective one, everyone may participate.


      -=-=-

      Embassy report to my Emperor, the Ras Taphrian
      Chapter 1 – The Journey

      I, Dar-Vin, Grand Priest of Dhuraz the Preserved, was sent from Kegiz Gavem to represent the Ras Taphrian to the Queen of the Arandai Empire in the City of Aldan in Celeda Ablan, and seek an Alliance.
      We were four such Ambassadors to be sent the same day, with our escorts, in four directions. Only I made it to Aldan.

      My journey across the Empire of the Koghi was uneventful, thanks to the protection of the great Mansa Ouali IV.

      When we reached the Great Ocean, we could buy a large pirogue. The difficulty was to determine in which direction to go. Fortunately, after one week at sea, we were captured by a Beluga frigate belonging to the Imperial Fleet. Despite not talking the language, I knew enough Avrasian to converse with the pilot and explain him the goal of our embassy.

      We were brought initially to Caracen, a High Elf archipelago off the coasts of Taphria. They created there an incredibly rich colony, literally sweating wealth and leisure life, guarded by the largest and most powerful fleet one can imagine to exist.

      It took us three months to be able to pronounce decently what the protocol considered to be the minimum formula for when we would meet the Queen. During that time, we were provided an interpreter, who managed to speak our language quite decently at the end of that period.

      Finally, we were able to embark to Aldan. We were not permitted to see the coast before going pierside. An impressive welcome party showed that we were expected. The wealth displayed was beyond description, and shows how powerful the Empire is. Their architecture is strange but seems evolved as well.

      We were admitted in the Queen’s palace. Our escort was always utterly polite, but we could not mutter anything among ourselves without them knowing it.
      For ten days, we would meet progressively higher ranked officials. Their bureaucracy is beyond description. I had in particular to explain at length how we Dwarves could have a Priest, let alone a High Priest. They were less interested in learning the religion itself. They seem to find hard to believe that we could have any religion at all. How desperate is that race if they have no faith of their own! [/i]

      Finally, we were admitted to see the Queen. We were only authorized to recite the protocol formula we were taught, and the interpreter did not give us any opportunity to elaborate. It was only after that meeting that we were explained that our embassy was agreed and all other discussions would happen with the Deputy Fleet Admiral.

      We never saw the Queen again. Admittedly, setting the room as we have seen it must be a demanding task, given the unbelievable wealth which was displayed, and the number of servants dancing and playing music.


      -=-=-
      Chapter 2 – Teaching the Elves the History of Taphria

      The discussions were long and hard. We had to explain all the politics of Taphria since the Dawn of Ages.

      How our Kingdom emerged from the resistance of Dhuraz and his followers, and the demise of the Saurians. How we were the Masters of Taphria and all civilized nations bowed to us.

      How we traded initially with our brethren in Vetia, at a time when the Human Empire of Phatep, along the Napaat River, allowed it.

      How the time of Setesh came and the Empire of the Dead became an obstacle, and how we investigated the whole continent, in search of alternatives and to enforce our legitimacy as the Masters of Taphria.

      How we found friendly Humans in the Western plains, who had domesticated camels and the large animals of the Great Dry Savannah. How, after centuries, they established stable trade routes across the Great Desert, with strange Humans with pale skin who settled on the Northern Shores.

      How we found friendly Humans in the Southern mountain, who lived in harmony with animals. How some of them separated, and migrated along with their Cattle ancestors. How some others migrated with their Monkey ancestors and taught Apes to be friendly with us.

      How these Humans discovered that some Saurians had survived the Great Fall, and had established a mysterious city in the middle of the Rainforest. How the Humans could never overtake them, partially due to the horrible beasts which were found there.

      How the Saurians let Pygmies raise blood-sucking entities in parts of the rainforest, to protect themselves from Humans.

      How unsophisticated Elves failed to establish a stronghold in that rainforest, and remained ever since in an island off the coast, unable to overcome the Saurians nor the Cattle Humans.

      How Elves came more often on the Eastern Shores of Taphria, where we could trade peacefully.

      How a new race arrived in Taphria, and settled in the heights above the Naptesh Undead Empire, and is ever since a strong nuisance for honest Dwarves. How this new race, Goblins, is sometimes followed by larger and more salvage Orcs. How hard it is to understand that race.

      How a small troop of Vermins arrived from the North and moved West, and evolved to become a powerful nation, living under mud pyramids.

      How our cousins from across the sea betrayed our ideals and allied with Daemons, forcing us to cease our relations with them.

      How Humans discovered the excesses of religions, which have ever since incited them to war against each other.

      How a rift opened up close to us, from which an interrupted flow of Daemons threatens all the populations.

      How we realized that other pale Humans invaded the North of the Continent, and fought everyone. How their horses were selected for Taphrian climate and spread over to the Black Human Empire of the Koghi.

      How other pale Humans arrived to the South of Taphria, in search of gold, and started to persecute the Human tribes established there.

      How Elves changed their habits on the Eastern Coast, and instead of trading peacefully, endeavoured to hunt game and capture slaves.


      -=-=-
      Chapter 3 – The Scramble for Taphria Treaty

      Only after we had explained all the internal History of Taphria did the Elves explain us a bit of History of the rest of the World.

      How they had ruled Vetia, along with our brethren.

      How they had explored the World.

      How they had internal fighting which benefitted other races, who invaded Vetia.

      How they became the Rulers of the Seas, and established an Empire in Shadarikadesha.
      How they decided to emancipate a bit more the Humans there, and how competing factions took advantage of their generosity.

      How various Human Empires and Kingdoms established in Vetia had the arrogance to consider that the World was theirs to colonize.

      How these Humans from Vetia decided to sign a Treaty, which would divide the World among themselves, regardless of the legitimacy of Arandai dominance who ruled before them, and regardless of the desires of the local populations.

      How the Elves had no territorial claim on Taphria, and they were not contesting our own claim over the whole continent.


      -=-=-
      Chapter 4 – Recent Developments

      Trying to engage the Elves to help us, we presented the latest developments.

      How the Humans in the North had melted with the local populations and how they were fighting together the Undead, which would leave the Goblins unabated, to our dismay.

      How the same Humans were a cause of perturbation for the Great Desert Trade, which caused the Koghi to look for new tribes to dominate. How the endless amount of gold they were able to trade caused a wave of exploration by pale Humans across the continent.

      How the Vermins would search for new lands to colonize for their ever growing population.

      How the Saurians had decided to rule once more all other races, starting with the rainforest. How our allies the Apes were a prime target for them.

      How the invasion of Southern Taphria by pale Humans in search of gold caused the loss of precious land for the Human populations living in the mountains, who were indispensable providers of food for us. How new tribes started to migrate across the continent, in search of new land to settle, but found none empty.

      How some Elves were pulling strings behind and inciting tribes and races against each other, and were taking slaves from all of them.


      -=-=-
      Chapter 5 – Inacceptable Help Offered and Refused

      After the Deputy Admiral had listened to all we had to say, he told us to wait for the reply. We were escorted to our quarters, where we waited for a whole month.
      We were becoming desperate for a reply, all the more that the Elven food and the lack of beer were starting to damage our intestines.

      Finally, the reply came.
      Unfortunately, it was not what we had hoped for.

      The Elves agreed to share the world with us:

      They would rule the seas surrounding Taphria, and all the islands and lands overseas, without any interference from us.

      They would leave to our Ras Taphria the title of ruler of the whole Taphrian continent. But they would not commit a single Elf to help us on land, except at times and locations of their choice.

      Each time they would help us, they would indicate to us some merchandise, for which our tradesmen would have to trade exclusively with their own. If we refused, no peril would lead them to help us anymore.

      Of course, I objected that it was insulting not to give an even status to our Ras compared to their Queen, which seemed to surprise them greatly.

      I also objected that we could not accept an offer which was binding for us and not for them. This apparently was expected from them, and they agreed. But that was their offer, and we had to be happy that it would hold without change in the future.

      They concluded that they would be enchanted to receive us when we would make up our mind. Of course, I did not believe a single word.


      -=-=-
      6 – Organizing the Journey Back

      With no news from the other three Ambassadors sent to Aldan, I understood that the journey was too dangerous to risk all the information to be lost in a single incident.

      I decided to write two copies of this letter, and to split my retinue in three.

      We will take three different itineraries. Hopefully, one group will make it through.


      -=-=-
      7 – If someone finds this letter
      (*)
      If someone finds this letter, may he bring it to Kegiz Gavem, where he will get a hefty reward.

      (*) This chapter is written in ancient Avrasian.


      -=-=-
      Additional comment

      The manuscript was found in a souk in Al-Hisn.
      The shopkeeper could not recall how the sailor who sold it to him had taken possession of it.

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • One note on spelling :

      The Koghian Mansa is called « Ouali ».
      I have no problem with that name, why not ^^
      The issue I have is with the spelling.
      If we suppose a world where Western Taphria was never colonized by the French (and it seems likely now, as the Equitans are stuck in Port-Reynauld), then there is no point in writing Koghian names using the French alphabet.

      So we can go for « Wali », as much as « Ouagadougou » could simply be spelled « Wagadugu ».

      In all my posts on this forum where I have used Malinke words, I have tried to stick to a more « international » spelling as well. (in case you hadn't noticed ;) )

      So, anyway…
      my 5 cents ;)
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • The official background that has been released so far tells us about three Human factions in Taphria : Koghi, Vanhu and al-Qassar.
      • Those three Human factions are mentioned various times in the BRB, are presented in Ninth Scroll 7, and Koghi even has a full story based on them in the WotDG Full AB.
      • Then, the map shows us a Dwarven Hold, Kegiz Gavem. Officially nothing has been published on it. So us turning it into a separate Dwarven faction, inspired by Ethiopia, is homebrew.
      • Then, the map shows a Saurian city, that got a Bantu name, on a Bantu-named river, too, which infers to the presence of some Bantu-speaking human culture there (which could of course just be the Vanhu).
      • The official fluff also states that other factions frequent Taphria regularly : Sonnstahl Vosenlanders, Highborn and Dread Elves, Sagarikan traders, plus the Vanhu are stated to be in an alliance with both the local Saurians and Dwarves.
      Everything is our Taphrian homebrew.
      (credits mostly to @Calisson, @Karak Norn Clansman, @Eldan, @badman341980 and myself, plus many other people who gave us really good hands)
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Although it is not official, it is compatible with all official background I am aware of.
      Including some which was not released yet (for example, Mansa Ouali IV.)

      Social Media Team

      UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • I'm not sure the « Ras Taphria » and the pygmies are official background already ;)
      Or maybe you could better define « compatible » ? :D

      And of course, there's the « hidden » fluff…

      Is king Ouali Wali IV in the hidden fluff, or your invention, that you deem « compatible » with the official fluff ?
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • good job! i'm lovin it.

      I think compatible means that what the bg talking about is in line with the t9a universe and keep in consideration the previous bg without contraditions with that. :)
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      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mercenary Armies ().

    • @Scottish Knight, this :

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      One note on spelling :

      The Koghian Mansa is called « Ouali ».
      I have no problem with that name, why not ^^
      The issue I have is with the spelling.
      If we suppose a world where Western Taphria was never colonized by the French (and it seems likely now, as the Equitans are stuck in Port-Reynauld), then there is no point in writing Koghian names using the French alphabet.

      So we can go for « Wali », as much as « Ouagadougou » could simply be spelled « Wagadugu ».

      In all my posts on this forum where I have used Malinke words, I have tried to stick to a more « international » spelling as well. (in case you hadn't noticed ;) )

      So, anyway…
      my 5 cents ;)

      Calisson wrote:

      Ras Taphria and Pygmies are not defined anywhere in T9A. They are compatible.

      Mansa Ouali IV comes from hidden fluff

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      So you mean it's to late to change that horrible and absurd spelling ?

      @Scottish Knight ?
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Those kinds of questions are somewhat out of my comfort zone!

      We have a resident linguist, when he's not caught up in other things. It's certainly not too late to correct things like that - it's always possible names have been transliterated into other languages, hence spelling issues.

      Executive Board

      Head of Background Team


      Team Scotland ETC 2019 Captain

      "I think of the Abyss as being a pretty good catch all term."
    • what ? !

      geeeeeeeeeez and i was like 100 % certain that they have a higher form of religion, worshipping directly Cosmos itself under the form of one universal god that noone can depict and calling all other gods fake. Much like, you know, islam.

      ……………………………………….

      But then, that would mean they are not proselytizing ??

      I mean, they're just like any other religion in the universe then ?

      why would the Koghi Empire adopt that religion then ???

      that would make it perfectly compatible with the traditional ancestor cult ?

      and we'd have it all wrong in our project ?

      ………………………………………...

      Look, this doesn't look good
      – religion with a myriad gods, we already have Sagarika
      – religion with a special connection to the land, we already have Equitaine
      – anything in between (national / racial pantheon), we have Sonnstahl, Destria, Arcalea, and the various elven and ogre cultures

      So, maybe I'm gonna write something about it, and maybe the BG team would be happy to discuss it ? :D
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Please be cautious about resembling too close to real religions.

      From public background about Qassar,
      "Mujtam - one of the two branches of Alihat religion universal to Qassar...
      Mahab , the other branch."

      Internal, unreleased background for the religion is more detailed about Qassar.
      Let's say that the cultural description is inspired from RL pre-Muslim Arabs and uses Arab-inspired words.
      However, instead of a single Prophet telling about a single God, the prophets were three girls and they told about a trinity of gods - allowing room for lesser gods inspired from older beliefs.

      Besides, it is interesting to note how Islam was perceived in medieval epic stories such as Charlemagne stories: they often mention the three gods of the Saracens, who were mentioned most of the time to be Apolin, Mahom and Tervagan, often Jupiter instead of one of them, sometimes other names, but always 3 gods - proving that they did not understand Islam the slightest. ||

      Full list of Gods that Medieval Christians assumed Muslims to believe in

      "Agrapart, Apolin, Baffumet, Bagot, Balsinant, Barabas, Baratron, Barré, Baufumé, Belgibus, Cahu, Caïn, Capalu, Fabur, Finement, Jason, Jovencel, Jupiter, Lucifier, Loridres, Luciabel, Lucifer, Macabré, Mahomet, Marmouzet, Mars, Noiron, Pilate, Platon, Pluton, Quaïdas, Satanas, Sorape, Tartarin, Tervagant, Ysoré"

      From matieredefrance.blogspot.com/2…vagant-et-les-autres.html

      Social Media Team

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      - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
    • That's a great collection of gods. I love how they managed to get Plato in there, especially. I mean, I can understand giving them some classical demons like Apollyon and Baphomet, or Roman gods like Pluton and Mars, but why Plato...
    • Probably they had a much more advanced philosophy who studied ancient classics,
      some European knight came back with some looted scrolls from the crusades, and explained
      « This all nonsense is extremely precious to the Sarracens, it's from some “Greek” philosopher that is called “Plato” (funny name, if you ask me, sounds very heretical), they worship him like a god –– for Christ's sake, they even dedicate whole teams of scholars to copy his writings ».
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Calisson wrote:

      Internal, unreleased background for the religion is more detailed about Qassar.Let's say that the cultural description is inspired from RL pre-Muslim Arabs and uses Arab-inspired words.
      However, instead of a single Prophet telling about a single God, the prophets were three girls and they told about a trinity of gods - allowing room for lesser gods inspired from older beliefs.
      As much as I totally respect the work of the BG team to provide with an interesting and original fluff, I'm really disappointed in the way that I totally don't know what to do with this now.

      Ah well.

      Will try writing something, still, and rely on you to tell me whether that is compatible.
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa