Malazan Book of the Fallen

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Malazan Book of the Fallen

Postby Da Boss » Mon May 07, 2007 6:49 pm

Don't know if anyone here reads these - by Stephen Erikson - cool world (if very complicated!)
The Malazan Book of the Fallen is a fantasy series written by Canadian author Steven Erikson, consisting of six books as of 2006 and projected to be ten books long in total. It is an epic fantasy, wide in scope and encompassing the stories of a very large cast of characters. Each book tells a different chapter in the ongoing saga of the Malazan Empire and its wars. For the first five books, each volume is self-contained, in that the primary conflict of each novel is resolved within that novel. However, many underlying characters and events are delicately interwoven throughout the works of this highly complex series, binding it together.

The history discussed in the novels to date extends back for over 300,000 years and has not been fully revealed. Nevertheless a brief summary follows.
In the beginning there were four Founding Races: the K'Chain Che'Malle, Forkrul Assail, Imass and Jaghut. The K'Chain Che'Malle were a technologically-advanced species employing gravity-based magic who built floating fortresses called 'skykeeps'. The K'Chain Che'Malle were eventually destroyed, largely in a war with their own creations, a resurrected sub-species known as the Short Tails. The Forkrul Assail removed themselves to an unknown location long ago where their fate remains unknown, though individual Forkrul Assail have made appearances in the novels. Around this period, two factions of a group of alien races known as the Tiste invaded the world. This race was divided into three subraces: the Liosan, Edur and Andii. The Liosan have had little contact with the Malazan world, remaining sealed in their own Warren. The Andii were largely wiped out in the invasion with a few surviving at Bluerose; other forerunners of the invasion also remain under Anomander Rake. The Edur decayed into a tribal species.
The humanoid Imass and the tusked Jaghut waged war against one another across many thousands of years, mainly due to the extremely savage and powerful magic of those rare Jaghut known as Tyrants. Although the Imass destroyed the Jaghut over 33 major pogroms, enough escaped by magical means for the Imass to take extraordinary measures to destroy them. The Imass underwent the ritual of Tellann, becoming the T'lan Imass. Their entire race became undead, so they could survive long enough to finally destroy the last remnants of the Jaghut. In the process, the source of their magic shifted from the Hold of Beasts to the newly created Elder Warren of Tellann. Meanwhile, a minor offshoot species of the Imass seems to have evolved into humankind -- another offshoot developed into the Barghast race, as revealed in Memories of Ice. Over 100,000 years ago, the First Empire of humanity came into existence, based on the subcontinent of Seven Cities where the First Emperor sat on the First Throne. The First Empire explored the world, establishing colonies on all of the main continents (possibly bar Assail). A contemporaneous empire, controlled by the High King Kallor, came to dominate the continents of Jacuruku and Korelri and ruled with terror and fear until the last opposition of High Mages summoned down a god from a foreign realm (the Crippled God) to destroy Kallor. They failed. The Crippled God's fall shattered the continent of Korelri and rendered him unable to act for many thousands of years. Kallor, meanwhile, destroyed his own empire once it became clear that elder gods planned to punish him for his exceedingly cruel ways. He was cursed with eternal life and an inability to ascend, but used the power of hundreds of thousands of deaths to curse the Elder Gods in kind.
The First Empire eventually collapsed. The Seven Holy Cities arose on the ashes of its birth continent and the colonies became independent kingdoms. Just over 100 years ago, a band of adventurers and schemers in Malaz City, on an island off the Quon Tali continent, overthrew the lord of the city, Mock, and forged the Malazan people into a military power. Under the leadership of the charismatic Kellanved, Malazan power spread to the mainland, eventually coming to dominate all of Quon Tali and the Falari Isles. Malazan armies then subjugated Seven Cities before launching campaigns on Genabackis and Korelri. The efficiency of the Malazan military was radically bolstered when Kellanved found the long-hidden First Throne under the sands of Seven Cities, allowing him to command the Logros T'lan Imass to do his will. Kellanved and his assassin companion Dancer disappeared for a time on an unknown mission. When they returned, possibly spurred by the apparent assassination of the Empire's greatest general and champion, Dassem Ultor, outside Y'Ghatan on Seven Cities, they were killed by Surly, the head of the Empire's secret service, the Claw. Surly became the Empress, taking the name Laseen. Under her leadership the Malazan Empire continued to grow, but internal dissent among the noble classes of Quon Tali and the threat of a prophecised rebellion on Seven Cities have dogged her reign. On Genabackis the Malazan 2nd Army lays siege to the city of Pale, opposed by Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii warriors. On Korelri the Malazan forces under Greymane fight a gruelling war against the native forces.
Meanwhile, on the far side of the world, the Tiste Edur tribes have been united under the Warlock King Hannan Mosag, who apparently desires peace with the expansionist neighbouring human kingdom of Lether. The House of Shadow has reappeared among the Ascendant powers, sparking a major shift of power in the warrens. And it is said that the Crippled God is chained no longer.
Magic in the Malazan series is accomplished by reaching into a Warren (or sometimes a Hold), or through the mostly forgotten means of taking magic from within or the taking of spirits. Effects common to most warrens include enchantment of objects, large-scale energy blasts and travel through Warren, which allows movement across greater distances than the equivalent time or space within the Malazan world. Only a minority of humans can access Warrens, but those mages who can have access to between one (in most cases) to seven (in special circumstances). Certain Elder races have access to racial Warrens, that seem to be significantly more powerful. On at least one continent of the Malazan world, Warrens do not function but magic can be accessed by way of Holds, which are the primitive and inefficient (though powerful) precursors to Warrens. It is possible that certain modern Warrens are descended from Holds, as many human warrens are descended from Elder Warrens (Telas from Tellann, etc.). Magic can be countered through the use of the magic-deadening ore otataral, though it is ineffective against Elder Warrens.
Warrens can be both an access point to power and a physical realm; some are both while others are only access to power. Within some of the Warrens that exist as physical worlds dwell organized races with families, rulers and kingdoms. As well, some Warrens manifest with variations in different parts of the human realm, resulting in a certain duplication of purpose (i.e., Meanas and Rashan, both essentially being Warrens of Shadow). Warrens may also in some ways mirror or reflect the circumstances and physical properties of the Malazan world. Warrens also exist as the realms of Gods only accessible to priests instead of mages, though the distinctions between the two types of Warrens have not been clarified.
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Postby Silvereye » Tue May 08, 2007 3:31 pm

Superb series, I would highly recomend these to anyone looking for something good to read.

I think that Erikson and Ian Esslemont actually built the world the novels are written in for an RPG to start with.
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Postby Etepete » Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:40 pm

This is a game I'd really like to see and discussion about it pops up here and there. I hope I'm not breaking any board rules in posting a link to one of the siteswhere there's _some_ discussion on this topic. Maybe someone else knows other sites that are debating the specifics of such a game: please post or pm :)
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Postby Da Boss » Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:32 pm

Should be a great and different setting :D Probably not even an expensive licence?
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Postby Da Boss » Wed May 19, 2010 4:37 pm

Bit of Necromancy using Hoods Warren

love to see if RQII could handle this?

make an interesting place for an Eternal Champion game to visit!
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Postby danbuter » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:04 am

I'm part way through Book 4. I wish they'd at least put out some kind of setting guide. This is becoming my favorite fantasy series, possibly passing up A Game of Thrones.
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Postby Da Boss » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:56 am

That would be cool - they are both great series although Song does win out for me mainly due to Danni........... :wink:

The setting for the Book of the Fallen is just so awesome though...........
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Postby walkerd » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:33 am

I am not sure what system the game started in but I believe they used GURPS at the end.
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Postby xintian123 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:41 am

This minimalist design does what a fully padded shoe is able to do, without the extra

materials, allowing a great shedding of materials, which in turn equals reduction of overall

weight.
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Postby Builder » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:22 pm

Da Boss wrote:Bit of Necromancy using Hoods Warren

love to see if RQII could handle this?
I am not sure how well RQII would handle the magic that they throw around in Malazan land, its a bit different from what it currently has. Though I imagine that if they did a book for it they could do a chapter with new magic rules to accommodate the magic.

Over all I think RQII would be fine for it, low powered, gritty, quite lethal, which the Malazan adventures certainly are.

Though I think I remember hearing that there were talks going on somewhere about this license, but I can't remember where.

Also I think given the popularity of the books it might not be a cheap license.
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Postby Da Boss » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:39 pm

Well it does vary between low powered and gritty to ultra high power when Dragons and Mortal Swords (etc) clash or stating out a T'lan Imass

I agree would need a great deal of work on the magic - the warens are such an awesome concept though?

just reading the final book in the sequence.

A setting (and character) guide would be really great - and a neccesity for a RPG!? as the setting is a little complex
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Postby Builder » Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:29 pm

Da Boss wrote:Well it does vary between low powered and gritty to ultra high power when Dragons and Mortal Swords (etc) clash or stating out a T'lan Imass

I agree would need a great deal of work on the magic - the warens are such an awesome concept though?

just reading the final book in the sequence.

A setting (and character) guide would be really great - and a neccesity for a RPG!? as the setting is a little complex
I had forgotten about the high powered stuff, but yeah it there so would need to be looked out for.

I love the warrens, I had a go at making a system for them a while back based of D20 with power points.

It would very much need to setting guide, a whole book dedicated to it released at the same time as the main book for it would be a good idea.
Down the street, third door on the left.
Up the ladder, third floor, right hand corridor, 6 doors down.
Through the door, across the field with the space cows to the lamp post.
Climb the lamp post and jump directly upwards.
Land on the bicycle.
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Postby tzunder » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:16 pm

The authors are known roleplayers.
The setting calls out for a RQ/d100 treatment, the whole concepts of Thrones and Avatars would make for a great setting in which Heroes become Gods, oh.. like Glorantha.

In fact the upside is that it would have a lot in common to Glorantha in the rules/cult/deity sense. The downside is that for the gear heads that doesn't produce more rules. [I am not a gear head so it's all upside for me.]

The upside is that the setting is totally different to both Glorantha and the Young Kingdoms, maybe occupying a position closer to a late medieval D&D setting.

It's a viable option to my mind, but I could see the authors wanting to hold out and also seeing if Wizards or Green Ronin or Paizo wanted to do it.

It's not a good fit with 4e since it's a roleplaying setting more than a fighting setting, but Pathfinder would fit, and Green Ronin are more than capable.. they have several house systems that could model it well already.
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Postby Mage » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:50 am

Who would be interested in doing a small Malazan project for Runequest? Could be fun to do a little project.

I love runequest, and the series, but have only read one and a half books. I could test rules and help contribute, maybe even write some homebrew stuff, but my knowledge of the setting is not very large.

On the other hand, I have the enthusiasm. Any takers?
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Postby Da Boss » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:58 pm

Sadly with other commitments and numerous unfinished projects etc I could not lead but would be interested in helping.............

I have read and enjoyed all the main sequence novels

A Races book might be a good start?
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Postby Mage » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:39 pm

I wouldn't say doing an entire 'book' on races would be a good start.

I would propose a few bits and pieces to get a game off the ground: rules and brief backgrounds for playable races, a scenario or two, magic system, some setting unique monsters, regionnal backgrounds on top of cultural backgrounds. A few bits and pieces like that.
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Postby Builder » Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:01 am

I would be interested in contributing.
Down the street, third door on the left.
Up the ladder, third floor, right hand corridor, 6 doors down.
Through the door, across the field with the space cows to the lamp post.
Climb the lamp post and jump directly upwards.
Land on the bicycle.
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Postby Mage » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:24 pm

So where to start?
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Postby Da Boss » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:15 pm

Maybe start a new thread in the general RQ forum - may get some more interest - not sure why Clanger has not joined in yet!

How about starting with the Malaz Empire itself

That would give us some good sections

Background
A warlike and expansionist Empire to help get adventures going.

Personalities
Empress Laseen. Adjunts and Fists, Bridgeburners, etc

The Armies of Conquest
Descritpions of the Army units - the "Heavies" vs the Sappers for instance would be interesting thngs to look at.
The Unique weapons

Warrens of War
The magic of the army

Gods of the Empire
ShadowThrone and Cotillion and a few others?

Allies of Ancient Power
The T'lan Imass

Wikiepedia has some good starting text to nick as a starting point
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Postby Silvereye » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:42 pm

Yeah, I'd be game for helping out.

Not sure starting focussed on the Malaz is a good place to start, something more general with the races and magic might be better.
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