Slith Homeland

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AuthorTopic: Slith Homeland
Off With Their Heads
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I have heard a great deal about the Empire's history, and somewhat less about the vahnatai, but I was wondering if anyone had defined a history for the sliths. Is there a conventional explanation for, say, the location of the slith homeland (more specifically than just through the doors below Lost Bahssikava)? Why Lost Bahssikava ceased to exist between Avernums 1 and 2? How long the tunnel is between Lost Bahssikava and the slith homeland? What things are like back in the homeland now? Anything else along these lines?

Once BoA comes out, my first scenario for it will be based on an attempt to rediscover the slith homeland, so I'm just curious to know what's out there already. (If there's nothing, that's better, because it gives me more freedom to invent.)

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Triad Mage
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Down in Slithville, everything is a nice, peaceful society run by priests. Also, it's on the same level as Vahnatai lands - both are in Lower Avernum, although far separated.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
This Side Towards Enemy
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That at least is the accepted slith story you'd find given out at Gnass. The reality, as in almost all cases, is probably a fair bit more brutal and inhospitable.

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The Empire Always Loses: Never Proved to Be a Contributory Factor to Stomach Cancer
Posts: 961 | Registered: Thursday, June 12 2003 07:00
Lifecrafter
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What about Nephil's Gambit? Can't we use that as a reference?

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Posts: 830 | Registered: Tuesday, August 20 2002 07:00
...b10010b...
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That's just set in a remote part of Exile, not actually in the Slith lands.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 2300
Profile #5
Did the Sliths & the Vahnatai ever war in Lower Avernum? You'd think so given they have throughout the Avernum series shown to be... somewhat violent.

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Posts: 267 | Registered: Wednesday, November 27 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
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The sliths you meet in Avernum are the barbaric, demon-worshipping undesirables who were banished from their homeland much like the Avernites were banished from the surface, only for better cause. The majority of the sliths are probably less warlike.

—Alorael, who is fairly sure that the two races have had no contact for a very long time. The vahnatai know of the sliths, but their territories are distant.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Warrior
Member # 2155
Profile #7
quote:
Originally written by Daedalus:

Did the Sliths & the Vahnatai ever war in Lower Avernum? You'd think so given they have throughout the Avernum series shown to be... somewhat violent.
Given that in Avernum 2 the Vahnatai in were altogether as knowing of the existence of the Slithzerkai as they were the humans... I'd think not.
As to the war thing, well the whole reason there were Slithzerkai in Avernum (or the human lands called Avernum) were that they (or at least their said ancestors lead by Sss-thoss) were too violent for the mainstream culture so I would think that the heading of Slithzerkai civilization wouldn't be that violent at all. That and the Sliths in Gnass state that Sss-Thoss had worshipped a "dark god" (I am assuming this is Grah-Hoth like Sss-Thsss) and that the true Slithzerkai Gods were peaceful. It is also plausible to think that advanced creatures like the "Deep" Slithzerkai (for all we know the Slithzerkai in their home might be even more advanced than the Vahnatai) would be far less prone to war than a group of freezing, starving, unintelligent, daemon worshipping barbarians at least.

---Your Slith maniac, Necris Omega

EDIT: Yeah, late on account of Aloraelity, but I fail to care

[ Tuesday, March 02, 2004 14:16: Message edited by: Necris Omega ]

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Razordisk Frisbee Golf
Posts: 168 | Registered: Saturday, October 26 2002 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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So let me see if I've got the timeline here worked out right:

The sliths were living happily in their slithy homeland. (Is there even a term for it? I like The Slith Homeland myself.) They were in Lower Avernum, and at some point they had contact with the vahnatai, specifically the vahnatai of A2 and A3 (which is why those vahnatai had books that mentioned them, as Drakefyre shockedly notes in his theory of Vahnatai Creationism). This remains the situation since some time in the ancient past.

Then, for whatever reason, two slith generations ago (how long is that?), Sss-Thoss gets it into his head to start worshipping a dark god, presumably Grah-Hoth, and he and his followers get banished through really freaking long tunnels that lead from the slith homeland to Lost Bahssikava. They show up in Avernum and are all dark and evil and violent and bad. The sliths who go off to found villages in Gnass and Lost Bahssikava break away from this tradition and become nice and gentle again, unlike their cousins, the Darklings.

Then the Darklings get their butts kicked by the heroes of A1, and even worse by the Empire as they come in and sack and take over all the slith island fortresses.

Is this about right?
How long are two slith generations (ie how long have they been in Avernum)?
Are there still Darklings around after being decimated by the Empire? If so, where?

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Triad Mage
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I'd say that they'd been in Avernum for about 10-15 years before A1. Then Sss-Thsss' grandson moved to the surface after the Empire attacked them (see the Golddale Mines in A3).

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Apprentice
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Methinks the Evil Sliths have been exiled in Avernum for much longer than 10-15 years - didn't they hunt down a part of the First Visitation? And wasn't that many, many years before A1? And the slith buildings in the lowest level of Lost Bahssikava have had enough time to become ruined and monster-infested...
Posts: 23 | Registered: Sunday, May 5 2002 07:00
This Side Towards Enemy
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Also, we have to take the story we get with a pinch of salt. We never hear Sss-Thoss' side of the story. I'd think that the strong warrior culture that the sliths display in the games cannot have evolved in two generations. There's probably a good deal of conflict amongst the sliths in Lower Avernum. I personally theorise that the reason Sss-Thoss got chucked out was as much because he was getting too big for his boots as because of his demon worshipping tendencies (perhaps some plot with demonkind for power?)

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The Empire Always Loses: Never Proved to Be a Contributory Factor to Stomach Cancer
Posts: 961 | Registered: Thursday, June 12 2003 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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Okay, new thought.

I just went back to Gnass in A1 and talked with some folks. Sss-Schai, the chief, says "[The Darklings] were expelled, in the mercy of the leaders, and came here, threatened by death should they return. Then the humans arrived. As the war started, decades after we arrived, some of us finally rejected Sss-Thsss."

War between the humans and sliths started "decades after" the sliths arrived. How long ago did humans show up? 70 years before A1? So sliths have been around Avernum for a century, give or take.

Eath, the nanny of the little sliths, corroborates this view. "A century ago it was that we came, forced through Lost Bahssikava, forced through the tunnel for our dark deeds, our dark thoughts, our lust for blood."

Strangely enough, though, Sss-Tass in Lost Bahssikava says, "Our small band has lived here for two hundred years," even though this is clearly the Lost Bahssikava that the sliths of Gnass were talking about. Since the sliths of Gnass have forgotten the location of Lost Bahssikava and only broke away from Sss-Thsss right before the war with humans -- as opposed to the story told by Sss-Hass in Lost Bahssikava, which seems to indicate that the sliths of Lost Bahssikava broke away as soon as they arrived in Avernum -- it seems very possible that the sliths of Gnass don't know what they're talking about.

Ooooorrr... since Eath's "a century" comes from a song, maybe the song is an old one, and Sss-Schai is talking about the original humans to arrive in Avernum, the ones responsible for the Ancient Crypt up north of Formello, which indicates that humans have been in Avernum since long before the First Expedition. (First Visitation? Sounds like space aliens. :) ) However... how the heck could it have been Sss-Thsss's grandfather, in that case? How long do sliths live, anyway?

My issue here is that the sliths of Lost Bahssikava seem to be much more up on their history than the ones of Gnass, having been warlike and crazed for less time and also knowing the location of the tunnel back into the slith homeland, but they say two hundred years, which doesn't seem very realistic. (In A2, Toth-Thsss, the new chief of Gnass, seems to continue the trend of Gnass sliths forgetting their history, because he just says they were exiled "many years" ago.) Actually, I suppose it's just Sss-Tass who says two hundred years, and he admittedly is not one of the elders, but still, it's kind of strange.

In answer to another of my own questions, evidently there are still Darklings around (from Eth-Ath in Gnass in A2, who says, "Many sliths are evil and bent"), but not a lot. Toth-Thsss speaks about the war in the past tense, and says of the two species, "Now, we are becoming fassst friends, united in hating the Empire."

Apologies for the gigantic post. It's just an area of interest for me.

[ Wednesday, March 03, 2004 15:35: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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Well, not having looked at the games, 10-15 was an estimate. But seeing that the First Expedition was 70-80 years before Exile I, then it's presumable that they've been there for a while. I don't think any conclusions can be drawn from the Ancient Crypt - the party is not made of archaeologists, and any observations they have would be far off, especially as they don't know of any other humanoid species, having just come down from the surface.

I don't think that the First Visitation would really count as the first humans coming down - there weren't very many of them, and they never tried to settle anywhere. I'd say that the first exilings and the start of human settlements prompted conflict with the Sliths. I think they would have been quite content to let the humans die out without any help from them. But when the humans bottled up Grah-Hoth, or when they were attempting to, I think that started the real onslaught of Slith attacks.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Off With Their Heads
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Where does the 70-80 year figure come from, anyway? And do we have a date for when the first exiles started coming down? (I'm pretty sure that was in the games somewhere, but I haven't gone back to check.)

For that matter, is there a timeline posted anywhere of, say, when the the war with Grah-Hoth happened, when he was bottled up, etc.? That might be really useful for scenario designers, especially if sources were listed (ie "We think that A2 happens [X] years after A1 because [Person Q] in the games says [blah]").

If such a thing does not exist, I shall make my own.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Warrior
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hmm. I know avernum had to have at least a 20 period,because if you talk to king micah in A:1, he says he has been king for 20 years, now subtract the years for the visitation ;-)

(I'm gonna do more research, I'm good with detail, let's putt this mystery together!)
Posts: 167 | Registered: Saturday, January 31 2004 08:00
Triad Mage
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Because Hawthorne's grandfather sent down the First Expedition, and they floundered around. Leave 20 years for the first humans, 10 years before cities start to form, then 15-20 years later the archmages come down and help a bunch, then Micah becomes king, and then we're at Exile I, about 70 years later.

I'd say that Grah-Hoth was bottled around 35 years before Exile I - you'd have to go back to the prince in Akhronath.

EDIT: Also, specific numbers around 70 years are mentioned somewhere in the games - don't remember where.

[ Friday, March 05, 2004 03:08: Message edited by: Drakefyre ]

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Shock Trooper
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i think i remeeber the spiral crypt in a2 saying that you get a vision of empire soldiers fighting a horde of sliths. it also said that the corpses are old, possibly several hundred years. also if you talk to motrax (spelling?) the dragon he says that he distantly remembers the first visitation. try to get some information from him in a1 (dont know about exile 1 tho....). also in the ancient drypt it says that it looks older than 50 years, which was generaly thought (by avernites) to be the date of the first humans in avernum. so humans have been there for more than 50 years.

[ Friday, March 05, 2004 10:31: Message edited by: Smelly Ogre ]

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"But The Damage is Irreversible"
Posts: 358 | Registered: Monday, October 27 2003 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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Okay, after EXTENSIVE checking, this is what i've come up with. Smelly Ogre is correct in saying that there is a message in the Ancient Crypt that says the First Expedition was fifty years ago. Specifically, when you walk in a few steps for the first time, a message pops up saying, in part, "It was thought that the First Expedition from the Empire about fifty years ago was the first group of humans to explore these caves." The First Expedition was about fifty years ago. I can't find any other source to put a number on it, so without further evidence, I'm sticking with this figure.

However, I can't for the life of me find anything to validate what Shiryu says about Micah's reign. In A1, I can't get Micah to say anything about how long he's been in power, and I've come to him with a fresh party interacting with him for the first time, with a party that just slew Sss-Thsss, and with a party that had defeated Grah-Hoth, and under none of these circumstances do any of the dialogue choices make him respond with the duration of his rule. However, a history book in the sw corner of the central library in Patrick's Tower says that Micah has ruled for forty years.

Micah also says that when he came down, he was impressed with "the land the people who had come down here before me had created," meaning that he was sent down after some exiles had already begun trying to scrape together an existence. Anji, in the ne library in Patrick's Tower, says that when the First Expedition was eradicated, "The Empire decided that it was lethal down here. That's when it started exiling people to these caves," so presumably the exiling started shortly after the First Expedition, and Micah was sent down some time after that.

Avernum wasn't particularly livable until the first Triad (mentioned by Patrick, consisting of Erika, Solberg, and himself) made some genetic alterations to already-existing plants and fungi, as described in the Tower of Magi. It seems likely that the three archmages (who were sent down together or shortly apart, by Rone's account in his memoirs in the Castle, for being "at the wrong end of a political struggle in the Mages' Guild") showed up before Micah. However, by the aforementioned history book, Micah was king when the humans fought Grah-Hoth and imprisoned him.

One final point. The beginning of A1 is in the year 817, according to the date in the game. A2 begins in the same year, which is clearly wrong, because a number of people in A2 refer to events in A1 as happening "years ago." A3 begins in 833, which is plausible. I would like to use a calendar system that assumes that the beginning of A1 is in the year 817 and A3 is in 833, and that A2 falls somewhere in between.

Therefore, I present the following tentative partial timeline:
c. 765: The First Expedition comes down to Avernum and is slaughtered to a man (how and why is the subject of another essay). It may or may not have been the first time that humans set foot in Avernum.
Early 770's: First, the exilings begin. Then, within a few years, the archmages are exiled, and they begin to make Avernum more livable.
c. 775: Micah is exiled, is impressed with his surroundings, and becomes king. He leads the war against Grah-Hoth. Some time later, possibly years, possibly less, Micah, Rone, Erika, Patrick, and "a large band of warriors and a small cadre of mage apprentices" defeat Grah-Hoth in his fortress at Akhronath and trap him in a bottle (according to the account in Rone's memoirs).

Now we can define other events (such as the arrival of the sliths) with respect to these. If the sliths showed up through Lost Bahssikava decades before the humans arrived, and if my timeline is right, then it doesn't matter if they were talking about the First Expedition or the first exiles, because those groups arrived in Avernum relatively close to each other in time. Either way, the sliths showed up at least seventy or eighty years before A1. This makes sense, because Motrax describes the First Expedition as having been obliterated mainly by the sliths, who must have been pretty well-established by that point to have done as much damage to an outfit as powerful and well-equipped as the First Expedition.

Btw, I've never played the Exile games but only the Avernum ones. It may say something quite different in E1 and E2 than in A1 and A2. That may account for the discrepancies between my timeline and the generally accepted one in the BoE community.

EDIT: to add to the evidence, I just went to Skarragath, and when you read a book there, a message pops up saying, "The book lists 'Those who died to defeat Grah-Hoth.'" It mentions, "They all died around forty years ago, roughly the time of the founding of Avernum." Exactly what event is "the founding of Avernum" -- the first exiles showing up, the archmagi making new plants and stuff, Micah taking over as leader, the defeat of Grah-Hoth -- is up for debate, but my suggestion is that they all happened within a few years of each other, in the early- to- mid-770's.

[ Friday, March 05, 2004 16:27: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

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The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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I have problems with your timeline - Erika et al were not exiled until 25/30 years after the First Expedition, by Hawthorne's father.

There is also information in the Exile games that didn't necessarily make the cut into Avernum that should still be treated as canon too.

Micah was exiled and became king before the archmage exilings - but the Avernum them was not the Avernum that we know now.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Off With Their Heads
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Ooh, this could be a lively historical debate! Cite some evidence, Drakey, and let's see if we can fix my timeline so that everything that people say makes sense (including maybe that some of them are wrong).

It is possible, I guess, that Mr. Vogel changed his mind between Exile and Avernum about a few things, so we may not be able to reconcile everything in both trilogies completely, but it would be fun to try.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Triad Mage
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Erika says something along the lines of coming down and aiding either the king or the kingdom, meaning that Micah must have already been exiled, since he was the first (and only) king of Avernum.

There is no doubt about the fact that Erika was exiled by Hawthorne's father.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
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Encyclopedia Ermariana - Trapped in the Closet
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Posts: 9436 | Registered: Wednesday, September 19 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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So I just went back and talked to Erika in A1, A2, and A3.

In A1, she does indeed say, "It was his [King Hawthorne's] father who sent me down here." So I have no doubt of that.

And also, Drakey, you're absolutely right about Erika saying that Micah was there first. In A3, she says, "We found Avernum to be a string of filthy caves.... One of the warriors, named Micah, was trying to bring order, but not having much luck."

However, I found some other odd things while talking with her in A3. First of all, she says about Micah, "He's the king now, and has been for over twenty years." Over twenty years? Yes, double that, according to a history book in Patrick's Tower in A1, which I would think would be a fairly authoritative source. Also, this is the part of A3 where the area is called "Northeastern Upper Exile," where everything else is called Upper Avernum. My suspicion is that this area was only hastily converted into Avernum format, and most of this stuff is left over from Exile. However, it does not directly contradict anything that I've found so far -- except maybe Micah's statement that he was impressed with "the land the people who had come down here before me had created."

So, bottom line: sure, I'm willing to say that the archmagi were exiled shortly after Micah arrived, instead of shortly before. The reason that I believe that they have to have been exiled around the same time as Micah is the quote from the Skarragath book, which indicates that the war against Grah-Hoth mainly took place about forty years ago, and the fact that everyone (Rone, Erika, Micah, etc.) indicate that the archmagi were involved in defeating him, and that the history book in Patrick's Tower says that Micah has ruled for forty years. All of these events seem to have been clustered together, about forty years before A1, and the First Expedition was described in the message upon entrance to the Ancient Crypt as having been fifty years before A1.

What this all means to me is that the archmagi came down shortly after Micah instead of shortly before, presumably in the late 770's. I still can't come up with anything to indicate that "Erika et al were not exiled until 25/30 years after the First Expedition," as Drakefyre has said. It seems more like 10-15 years. Do you have further evidence?

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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I do think that Erika was right in saying that Micah had ruled for 20-some years. As she sees it, he doesn't rule until she gives him real power or authority. Micah probably considered himself ruling from the time he assembled the people together.

This is why I take issue with the "fifty years" before aspect of the First Expedition. It makes much more sense for it to have been 70 years before, because then the other events all make much more sense.

Erika was not sent down to Avernum in the first batch of exilings, which started about 10 years after the First Expedition. She was sent down in the middle of Hawthorne II's reign, and before the reign of terror of Hawthorne III.

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"At times discretion should be thrown aside, and with the foolish we should play the fool." - Menander
====
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Off With Their Heads
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Erm, so what's your timeline?

70 years before A1: First Expedition
50: first exilings
40: cities begin to form; Micah assumes leadership
20: archmagi arrive, defeat Grah-Hoth, make Micah a "real" king

Right? (This I gather from a previous post.)

So what's the deal with the Skarragath book, then? Why are all the deaths "to defeat Grah-Hoth" forty years before A1 if the archmagi didn't arrive and beat him down until twenty years ago?

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00

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