Sunday, July 21, 2019

A deep history of Yoon-Suin

I think it's important to have a deep history - a "how did this place came to be" - for your setting.  This "deep history", or cosmology if you like, doesn't have to be detailed, you just need the broad outlines - but said outlines can be very helpful.  

 How do you come up with said outlines?  If you take a decision about your campaign (no elves!!), it can lead to a question - why is that?  "Because I don't like elves" is a perfectly fine reason for you, but sometimes asking what is the "in world" reason can yield interesting rewards.

The Yoon Suin book left many questions unanswered.  These questions led me to my deep history.  Some of these questions were:

- Why are there dwarves but no elves?
- Why is there *one* Topaz dragon.  Why is she there?
-  Why are there so many freaking gods?
- Why do people reincarnate?
- What are the Krakens up to? 

So here are my answers:  

(If my players are reading this, stay out!  That means you Po Befi!) 

1: A very long time ago, a powerful being, called Ikrum, decided to build the wheel of reincarnation - why people die and reborn in Yoon-Suin - for reasons only known to him. Spinning this wheel would require significant spiritual power.
2: To do so, he pierce a small, precise hole from reality into the "divine source". This powers the wheel. The spent divine essence then flowed into a great river, the God River. This is why gods are so plentiful, the river contains the essence of divinity.  Any two-bit spirit that plays their cards *just right* can become a god. However these are weak gods that require sacrifice to sustain themselves and their holy men.  They are often tied to a locale, and many spirits rejects being tied down thus.
3: Ikrum then wandered north and left Yoon Suin because he's not the most stable kinda guy. The *elves* left because they didn't want their elven souls reborn as a "lesser creature"
4: The dragons were *alarmed* by Ikrum's shenanigans but were unable to undo his work. To prevent his return, they have been growing the Mountains of the Moon ever since. This changed their nature, turning them crystalline.
5: The divine essence leached into the Gulf of Morrays where it was fed upon by the Krakens, who grew in power and cunning.  They wanted *true* power, to sample it at the source.
6: The arch-mage Enftebtemang grew alarmed by this, and vowed to block the Krakens from going up river to tap into the Divine Source directly.  To do so, he founded the Yellow City, and created a servitor race, the slugmen (see for more details).  Allies of the arch-mage turned the surrounding jungle into an impenetrable nightmare to prevent the Krakens from simply bypassing the city.
7: Enftebtemang also asked the Dragons of the Mountains of the Moon for help. They agreed, and sent one of their own - the Topaz Dragon. However, she was chosen because she was vain and frivolous, ie more because she wasn't well liked than due to true competence.
8:  Many years passed.  Enftebtemang eventually ran out of life extending magic and passed away - but before doing so told the slugmen how to reproduce.  The slugmen grew numerous and indolent, and placed powerful wards amongst the Topaz Isles.  The Topaz dragon grew immense.   The Yellow City, being the only port connecting the Purple Lands to the rest of the world, became very important, and immensely wealthy. 
9:  Passage over the mountains is still possible near Sugh, which is how the ogre-mages gained access, but is becoming more difficult by the centuries - they are almost impossible today.  Sea travel, or risking the veins of the earth, is the way most travelers reach Yoon Suin today. 

I think that David McGrogan was *very wise* when he crafted the Yoon Suin book - it raises so many tantalizing questions that simulate the imagination. I'm not saying that what I wrote are the best answers - I'm not even sure they are *good* answer. But for me an many others, those answers are possible because of the fertile soil that is Yoon-Suin.

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