Hybrids Anonymous or How to Differentiate an Opaki from a Choirboy

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AuthorTopic: Hybrids Anonymous or How to Differentiate an Opaki from a Choirboy
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Exile and Avernum are unique games in that they don't have ninety-plus races. The Vahnatai in Avernum 2, the Exiles and the Empire citizens all had highly developed, differentiated cultures in the games, with varying architecture, food, clothing, weapons, language, feelings about one another, tools, general lifestyle, etcetera.

What's always bugged me is that the sliths and the nephilim have never had their own cultures as defined in any of the games. They seem like such cool races - with just a bit more detail put in to them they'd be amazing creatures. Many Exile players/Avernites seem to have gotten their own ideas about these races, as is shown in discussion and scenarios.

What I was wondering was if people could put in their own ideas about the slithzerikai and the nephilim down in this thread, both characteristics gleaned from the game and conceived in their own imaginations, ideas about their lifestyles, physical attributes, emotions, language, religion and so on. Note that this is not to be a competition between the nephils and sliths. It is an attempt at developing their characteristics and cultures.
We can use these ideas for Blades scenarios and future discussion, as well as just the fun of sharing/comparing theories. Thank you.

- Rosycat IMAGE(smile000.gif)

[ Tuesday, April 22, 2003 14:02: Message edited by: Associate of Thurston Moore ]

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Aces off.
Posts: 611 | Registered: Friday, January 3 2003 08:00
Law Bringer
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The slithzerikai definitely have an greater civilization than appears in the games. In Gnass and in Lost Bahssikava (A1 only), you learn that the sliths are exiles as well. In fact, they were cast out for being bloodthirsty, demon-worshipping savages. Even the sliths in Exile/Avernum have mages and priests that can match humans, organized crafts, and basic skill in stoneworking (although I believe someone in Gnass says they lived in caves before).

The nephilim seen in the games are similarly not at their best. In Exile, they too have been banished, only they don't have powerful mages like Erika, Patrick, Solberg, and Rone to help them out. On the surface, the only nephilim left are still hiding from the Empire's genocidal policies towards nonhumans. At one point they may have had far more advanced culture and crafts, but most of that was systematically eradicated by the Empire.

?Alorael, who has contributed nothing new. He has just posted a very long-winded explanation of why the other races don't seem as impressive as the humans and vahnatai.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shaper
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A quibble: I thought the Sliths only became demon worshippers after arriving in Exile, and not all of them at that. I thought the cult of ancestor worship through statues more typical and original.

On the Nephilim, you never see a city of theirs in Valorim, their original home, and there's every suggestion that all existing cities were built by the Empire during their invasion via Blackcrag rather than simply siezed from the Nephilim. Are the ruins occassional found recently destroyed by trogas, giants and other plague-creatures or more ancient Nephil cities destroyed by the Empire hundreds of years before? Or aren't they naturally city-dwellers, which would explain why their culture was never complex (like the goblins, who apparently never sussed out metallurgy) and why the Empire swept them aside so easily? And what is the relationship between the Nephilim and the Rakshasi - just their 'patsies' or something more?
Posts: 2333 | Registered: Monday, January 7 2002 08:00
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Where do you see a relationship between nephil and Rashakai? It seems to me that if the Sliths could seal doors like those in the Lost Bavishkaa that tighy that magic couldn't break them, that they must be pretty good. Personally, that is a scenario I want to make with BoA as soon as it comes out.

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Posts: 661 | Registered: Thursday, December 27 2001 08:00
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The Nephilim are a nomadic society. The Rakshasa are tiger demons and have no organized civilization of which to speak; they probably keep Nephilim for amusement.

[ Saturday, April 05, 2003 12:50: Message edited by: J'Ondule La Banniere Noire ]

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desperance -- je me souviens
arena -- et je me souviens de vous
Posts: 2449 | Registered: Monday, October 15 2001 07:00
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Or for food. We know they eat people, after all.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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they both have cities or whatever you might call them. In e3, sliths were brought up from their city to help build new formello, and i came across a small nephil settlement in the mountains in Valorim

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Posts: 615 | Registered: Friday, May 3 2002 07:00
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Small settlements do not a settled society make. Nephilim settlements are almost always of an encampment or opportunistic nature.

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desperance -- je me souviens
arena -- et je me souviens de vous
Posts: 2449 | Registered: Monday, October 15 2001 07:00
Shaper
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Sliths require pools of water in order to breed. Therefore most of their towns are located near water. However, at the same time these towns must be in a relatively warm location; the sliths themselves are cold-blooded.

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Lt. Sullust
Cogito Ergo Sum
Polaris
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
SCORPIUS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!!!
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quote:
Originally posted by Lt. Sullust:
Sliths require pools of water in order to breed.
Sounds like my next-door neighbours.

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Posts: 554 | Registered: Sunday, November 25 2001 08:00
Law Bringer
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The nephilim have permanent dwellings both on the surface and in the caves, but their settlements seem to be more substantial in Exile/Avernum. I'd say that they are at least semi-nomadic, but only because staying in one place too long lets the Empire bring its massive armies to bear against them.

Underground, where there are no large human armies and where caves make for easily-defended natural forts, the nephilim feel safer in finding one home and staying in it. On the other hand, this could also be evidence of the leadership of the human Anastasia, who set an example by inhabiting and/or building the main nephil fortress.

?Alorael, who would guess that the nephils aren't nomadic by nature. They certainly seem to be perfectly happy as shopkeepers in human towns when they are able to avoid racism. In fact, there are more nephilim willing to live with humans than sliths. Perhaps the sliths are more xenophobic than the nephilim. Or maybe the humans just seem too alien to reptilian creatures.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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I think it's the temperature issue that hampers slith/other races co-existence. Both the nephilim and humans are warm-blooded, and probably happy at close to the same temp, while the sliths need a lot more warmth.

The sliths definitely have a more civilized feel to them, and more highly developed rituals (look at the "touch three pools to pass", for example).

The nephilim, on the other hand, seem to have exemplified the whole "like herding cats" notion.
Posts: 145 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
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Alec, you know I won't let you bash the Rakshasi like that. Being the resident Rakshasa expert, allow me to explain:

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Concise History of the Creation of the Rakshasic Nation and its Exile into Arngoth

The Rakshasi were one of the magical creatures on Ermarian not to die off on account of diminutive numbers, diseases, or other afflictions that hit genetically unstable beings. They formed an anarchy-like civilization with no infrastructure on northern Vantanas, based on a system of barter. They had some semblance of cities, but the pastoral parts of the population were also numerous.

At that point, a Rakshasa with cunning and guile named Tigerfang opted to gain power. He formed a gang aptly named the "Skullz", and sold the idea of using power to gain riches and more power to many thug-like Rakshasi and thieves. Essentially, a corporate police force. Hired thugs either used their power to force competing merchants to cyphen off money gained from sales into the coffers of the Skullz, or simply killed competing merchants. The system was simple- steal from those who surrender, kill those who don't. It was viciously effective, on account of the good nature of Rakshasi.

At this point, a blacksmith merchant named Olindbar was quite upset with this development. Rallying support from people oppressed by the Skullz, he armed them in steel, and assaulted the Skullz headquarters. Tigerfang escaped, went into seclusion, and renamed himself Sabertooth. His identity remained unknown for many millenia.

Olindbar formed a state based on abolishment of money and its subsequent evils, along with people rallying with each other for their own freedoms. It was called the Rakshasic Empire.

Ten years later, a large dragon appeared in Northern Vantanas, who was as large as a mountain. Many believe that he was a god or demigod who transubstantiated. He saw the Rakshasic state, and realized that it would become a threat to his plan to dominate Ermarian. Therefore, he saw fit to begin attacking Rakshasic villages at random, effectively slashing the number of Rakshasi alive. The Rakshasi on Ermarian were not safe.

Deacon, Archmage among Rakshasi at the time, found another small, cavernous and inhabitable universe called Arngoth that the Rakshasi could move into. The population was sent there, where they found large numbers of small, purple, alien, anubis-like creatures called Arvoss. The Arvoss were adept with psionics and heat, but were quite fragile. The Rakshasi, absorbing heat and being resistant to psionics, were more than able to hold them at bay.

The second large project Deacon started was the creation of the Olindbar Items. These were made so that Olindbar, an excellent archmage and elite warrior, could survive in a fight against Shale. This armor took many years to make, and was (and still is) impervious to all attacks. The axe made can sear through anything without losing its edge.

Olindbar was teleported back to Vantanas, and fought with Shale. The battle began at dawn, and lasted past dusk and into sunset. Mountains crumbled as the two powerhouses rumbled. Finally, twenty-four hours later, the two warriors were exhausted. Shale noticed the sun rising, so he decided to use his specialty technique- Solar Flare. All of the energy from the sun was temporarilly drawn out from the star, and descended upon Olindbar in the form of a pillar, with enough concentrated energy to destroy anything- even Rakshasi, who are able to absorb elements.

When the spell was over, Olindbar was nowhere to be seen. His armor, though, was in perfect condition- not even discolored in the slightest. Shale, however, was not in any more condition to fight, much less move. He burrowed himself into the Earth, where he tried to regain his energy, until his physical form died one hundred years later of a heart attack.

The Rakshasi, having defeated Shale, could not return to Vantanas- already, it was being settled by other races, and other internal troubles were raging, including corruption to the highest degree. Thus, the beginning of the Black Cube Age of the Rakshasic people.

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(The Rakshasi seen in Exile/Avernum are remnants of the Skullz)

[ Sunday, April 06, 2003 13:19: Message edited by: Red Scare ]

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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Heh heh heh.

TM, do you even know anything about the depiction of Rakshasi in traditional mythology?

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I'd be tender, I'd be gentle
And awful sentimental
Regarding love and art
I'd be friends with the sparrows
And the boy who shoots the arrows,
If I only had a heart.
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Babelicious
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Everyone please note that Terror's Martyr here has taken it upon himself to supply the Rakshasa with a history entirely of his own devising and heavily tainted with his own politics.

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Posts: 1074 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
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quote:
Originally posted by The Infinitely Prolonged:
What I was wondering was if people could put in their own ideas about the slithzerikai and the nephilim down in this thread, both characteristics gleaned from the game and conceived in their own twisted imaginations, ideas about their lifestyles, physical attributes, emotions, language, religion and so on.

Good.

The slithzerikai generally seem more hostile towards humans. The Slith Wars, for example. Perhaps this's only because they have numbers, intelligence and strength on their side and have the... er... lizardpower to combat humans. And I wonder why Exiles seem to hate the other two races so much. Is there reason behind their negative feelings, or are they all just manic xenophobes? If the latter, one would think that the Empire's behaviour towards them would have taught them a thing or two. Thoughts?

-Rosycat

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Aces off.
Posts: 611 | Registered: Friday, January 3 2003 08:00
Senile Reptile
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Keep in mind that Exiles aren't all nice people. There are a lot of crazy loons who got sent down to the pit, along with the dissenters. The Exiles come down to The Pit, filled with anger and a taste for revenge against the empire. The Nephils and Sliths have built their own little far away settlements. But some Exiles see the other races as encroaching their land, so some tension builds. When tension builds between different races that don't speak the same languages (generally), one thing leads to another and soon there's a war going on. And after a lot of time passes, the children of all the original Exiles grow up hating the other races because of their parents, so they have inborn prejudices. Same with the children of the other two races.

Hope that wordy explanation cleared it up!

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Polaris
Posts: 1614 | Registered: Wednesday, January 23 2002 08:00
This Side Towards Enemy
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Maybe the reason you find less sliths in human cities is because the sliths have a deeper infrastructure, whereas human cities are a good deal less likely to be ripped apart by adventurers than flimsy nephilim settlements.

I've always imagined Sss-Thoss' expulsion from the Slith homelands to be more political than anything else, and that demon-worship probably came later as an ally to get back at his opponents at home. I'd imagine the Sliths generally live in tribes and the leaders of the largest and most powerful tribes form a council. I suspect that the conditions in the Slith homeland are more amenable to them and therefore there is a greater population by far. This means more breeding pools, hence more tribes. This means it would be near impossible for one tribe alone to gain hegemony. However, I'd imagine that the leader of the most powerful tribe (or maybe the most respected warrior) would be made overall warchief for the tribes to fight rebels and the like.

I'd assume Sss-Thoss was one such warchief and was expelled after a power struggle between those like him who favoured strengthening the warchief's power as a prelude to kingship and those who wished to keep his power in check and subservient to the council.

Then a civil war most likely erupted, but I'd assume a coalition of the Council's supporters would have vanquished the Warchief's party. Sss-Thoss was most likely captured (otherwise he'd just have stuck with guerilla warfare) and since killing him would unleash all hell, exiled to Avernum/Exile. Why do I think this? If it had been less, it would more likely have been like an Athenian ostracism.

Sss-Thoss and those of his followers who had been captured/surrendered would have been allowed to leave. I suspect that more of his supporters might have remained to fight a guerilla war.

The bit at Lost Bahssikava was most likely a propaganda piece, since although I don't doubt Sss-Thoss dabbled among the dark arts (perhaps to help him gain hegemony) I do doubt either that so many would have followed him into exile or that he would not have recanted (or if he had refused to recant, I'd assume he'd have been killed.)

This is all conjecture. If you like it, all to the good. If not, form your own views.
Posts: 1000 | Registered: Thursday, October 11 2001 07:00
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Thuryl- Exile most definitely is not "traditional mythology". As far as I know, Rakshasi are hindu demonic creatures (all female, if I'm not mistaken) who seduce men and kill them by illusioning themselves as women. They also have a habit of killing merchants, and they like pretty things. Smoking opium is a preferable habit.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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quote:
Originally posted by Red Scare:
As far as I know, Rakshasi are hindu demonic creatures (all female, if I'm not mistaken) who seduce men and kill them by illusioning themselves as women. They also have a habit of killing merchants, and they like pretty things. Smoking opium is a preferable habit.
Possibly the funniest thing I've seen posted on these boards.

quote:
they probably keep Nephilim for amusement
You lie! The Rakshasi have no connection with the Nephilim whatsoever! (With the possibility of the Rakshasi graphics having orange skin and big, pointy ears that possibly fool some people into thinking that they look alike.)

quote:
The nephilim, on the other hand, seem to have exemplified the whole "like herding cats" notion.
Exile I states that many Nephilim moved down to the lower caves, instead of staying to fight. So we may be only seeing the more warlike ones. Who knows about the ones who descended? I feel that they may have prospered and built a civilization down there. Perhaps the sinister Vahnati slaughtered them all.

I just got done mutiliating Anastasia in Avernum, and I feel guilty, but only because she fought for the Nephilim's cause on the surface. Though I don't know why she didn't decide to go against the humans. After all, she fought to keep the Nephil at peace/safety with the Empire, so why fight to take land from the Exiles?

(Please pardon my arguing/debating attitude, but I am a debater and a chronic arguer, so please understand. As to my anti-Vahnati ideals, too bad.)

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Posts: 830 | Registered: Tuesday, August 20 2002 07:00
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edit: my original post was short and stupid, now it is long and stupid.

I'd kind of like to do the same thing with ogres, too. they are always thought of as being really dumb, but that is only the ones we see. the normal ogres live high in the mountains, but to get down here the have to eat stupidberries to sustain themselves, so by the time we see them they are kind of slow. by contrast, the smartest human mage going to visit them would be viewed as a dangerous moron, blowing up random stuff.

A smart slithzerakai always knows where his towel is.

[ Monday, April 07, 2003 13:05: Message edited by: The Carbon Steel Wolverine ]

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Posts: 816 | Registered: Friday, October 5 2001 07:00
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Stupidberries. Heh. Sounds like a new breakfast cereal.
I've only played A3, so I really don't have a leg to stand on, but to me the nephilim seemed kinda neolithic. They're cat-like, cats are loners, prefer to roam rather than stay put; so by extension their civilization is propably not as developed as the humans' or sliths. Plus, they didn't really evince any skills in weaponmaking, and, by extension, metalcraft (Althought there was a nephil weaponsmith in there somewhere...). The sliths had their slith spears, and the Radiant Slith Spear was one of the most powerful weapons in A3, so they must have some more advanced technical skills as the nephils.
Also, I'm wondering if there will ever be any half-nephils. Sliths are reptilian, so there won't be any cross-breeding there, but surely a half-cat/half-human would be possible, both being mammals and all.

[ Monday, April 07, 2003 13:20: Message edited by: PBR ]

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Posts: 647 | Registered: Wednesday, February 19 2003 08:00
Law Bringer
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The nephils do make some weapons, and they have good bowmaking and fletching skills (although not with crossbows). However, once again I would cite their oppression as the cause of technological decline. They are unable to mine on a large scale, since the humans would quickly kick them out. They can't trade for materials, since the humans would kill them. They are stuck in small, fortified encampments with only their minimum needs for survival met. It's no wonder that they're not advanced!

?Alorael, who would say that the nephil situation in many ways resembles Africa of the 17th century to early 20th century. The nephilim suffer from acute racism and constant defeats in wars that they are not technologically equipped to win. And each loss sets them further behind. The only difference is that the Empire seems to have a policy of total extermination rather than colonialism or enslavement.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
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Alorael, your mission is clear.
Forget about that sniping business, you need to found a benevolent society for the advancement of the Nephilim.
You could engage prominent members of Avernite society to host tea parties at their manses, you could invite missionaries and other explorers that have lived among the Nephilim to hold talks and give presentations on the state of Nephil affairs, you could hold fundraisers by auctioning off wealthy patrons' gewgaws, etc.
I think someone should take up this cause.

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Posts: 647 | Registered: Wednesday, February 19 2003 08:00
This Side Towards Enemy
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Alternatively, round up all the Nephilim and ship them in chains to the markets of Almaria and Draco and those who don't die of dysentery and aren't beaten to death by their owners will have the chance to watch human society in its sophistication and majesty.

A human/nephil crossbreed is unlikely. It would require that both have the same amount of chromosomes, for one thing.
Posts: 1000 | Registered: Thursday, October 11 2001 07:00

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