Some questions for August




As a long-time Lone Wolf geek, I had some questions based on my re-readings of the books, including Grey Star, and the history provided in the LW:RPG sourcebook, since you had access to Joe's notes.

1) What do the various races correspond to in our world? The Sommlending are pretty easy and I always viewed the Durenese as being close to the Numenoreans of Tolkien's world. But what are the differences, besides language between Vaderish and ALuvian and Nael? Is one like Mediterranean and the others Slavic or Celtic?
Another that confuses me is the background of the Tianese--are they supposed to be Asiatic in appearance, and if so, why do so many in the Grey Star books appear to be of nearly every type? Are those later immigrants to the Empire? Are the Mythenish Asian too? I don't really get these two groups, and I assume the Masbate are their own category altogether(along with the Telchos.)

2) where do the human races come from? the Drakkarim are apparently from a different world, but what about the Ulnarians, Vaderish, etc? There's a reference to a "Sommer Isles" in the history you wrote, is that on the other side of the planet? Do those lost lands still exist?

3) In the Deathlord of Ixia, we're told that he was a Lieutenant of Agarash, but we are also told in the gazeteer that he drew energies from beyond the Daziarn and that it cursed his entire kingdom to undeath. Did he become affiiliated with the Darkness before or after this act? And he appears much different than the other Ixians, I assume he's not of the same race, and that the Ixians were not themselves evil(as their 15,000 year old ships do not break down when he is slain.)

4) Taklakot is apparently the realm of undead, as well, but that is not the impression given by Grey Star:Forbidden City. They are consistently referred to as "wretches" and "madmen" almost as if they are alive and merely go through bizarre motions of life, but they DO consume flesh. I just assumed they got that food from other "wretches." Undeath seems to lend a particular appearance to the undead. The Mad King of Gyanima definitely had eyes(described by you as rotted out) when Grey Star encounters them, they're just the eyes of a psychotic madman(red-rimmed.) I guess my impression was that these were cursed and ghoulish but ALIVE humans who were either trapped in the city trying to explore and were "lost" to the poison of Taklakot or were born and died there as part of a bizarre line of cannibalistic madmen.
I mean, Hugi even hands the reigns over of a pretend horse to the Guardsman who then believes the ruse because the entire populace of the city is insane--not undead.

Also, the Sunstone seemed to let loose some sort of blast, which blew a huge valley into existence. That seemed to be missing from the description, though that point is less important as it was in the books.

5)Any info on the Kazin ? :)

6) I think the Freedom Guild of Karnali is misdescribed. You describe it as "an oppresive place ironically naming itself the Freedom Guild" but in the second book(just reread it) it seems clear that the Freedom Guild is an underground organization dedicated to slowly bleeding the Shadakine Empire until the time is right for rebellion. The Warward Kiro rules the city as head of the military garrison--the Freedom Guild is his enemy. It is during Grey Star's visit that they throw off the shackles of Shasarak's rule.
Thanks, August.

I didn't want to raise your ire with those last two disputes without you realizing how much your resurrection of Joe's world means to me and I'm sure a lot of us here.
Thanks for the questions, Ghost. Let me get back to my source material in the States and I will gladly tackle them. I 'know' the answers but I want to verify them before I post.

regarding number 4 ghost, I would say that technically sounds like ghouls, which are basically 'alive' flesh eating, nocturnal monsters. Thing Dawn of the Dead.

Zombies, skeletons, etc, would make up your 'normal' undead.

Dunno if that helps, but thats what I had to say. :p
Come on, August, it's been since Nov 19th. Even one answer would be nice.
And since November 19th, I've been in England, managed to be home for seven hours and then in California for an RPGA convention that effectively lasted a full week. Forgive me for having a busy schedule...

Okay, you want answers. Guilt was not necessary. Time was...

Here goes.


1) Use the illustrations in the Magnamund Companion for racial stock. The Masbate are effectively African, The Tianese are most closely related to Korea and yes, they have had a lot of immagrants as have the Mythenish (though the latter is more resistant to both visitors and cross-breeding). As for other answers, you'll have to wait for the regional gazeteers like everyone else (and no, they are not currently on the schedule but there have been discussions).

2) I cannot answer this question yet; we are still talking with Joe about the origins of the cultures and the location of the Sommer Isles. Remember though, you do not have to explain EVERYTHING in Magnamund through mundane cultural drifts and origins; many races simply came into being when humanity first appeared by divine desire.

3) The Deathlord became a servant of Agarash by necessity and fear (even -he- was frightened of Agarash's power). Beyond that, he is not a minion of Naar, is not even truly human, and was not born on Magnamund. His mastery over the native Ixians is a n interesting story in and of itself and will be revealed in a later book. No, the Ixians were not originally evil; you are correct in that assumption.

4) Please remember that the gazeteer is written from the point of view of MS 5000, a good fifty years before Grey Star. At that time, the nation was considered to be filled with undead. It took bravery and desperation for anyone to have to visit the land and so few ever returned that its status as a land of undeath was untouched until it was fully revealed in the GS books. Whether the residents (some might say 'inmates') are cursed or just too deranged to leave this land of death is a question for another time.

As for the Mad King, he possesses a bizaare ability in regards to eyes. His own are long since rotted out but he can take the eyes of someone not born in Taklakot and use them himself for a few months before they too succumb to corpse rot. Because so very few ever visit the land, the Mad King's eyes are usually just rotten pits of ineffable darkness.

5) Nope. :)

6) Once again, remember the time frame of the gazeteer; in MS 5000, no one had become deeply enough acquainted with the Freedom Guild to know it as anything other than the desciption given in the RPG. It would certainly seem ironic to anyone familiar with the Shadakine map that such a place would exist and call itself anything to do with Freedom within the borders of the Wytch-King's realm.

There. Hope that helps,
I had no idea you were still away, I didn't mean for it come across as "guilt tripping" you. Only a friendly reminder and one question answered if you hadn't really looked it up recently.


Thank you for responding I'll look at the answers now :)
I think that Ixian background is going to be fascinating.

I know these are seem trivial questions, but I really feel as if I'm researching the backstory just like I would when delving into TOlkien's work. I think what Joe has created is THAT good, even if it owes much to JRR and Moorcock.