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Siran Dunmorgan
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Adventure gaming is more than a hobby: it's a vocation
Adventure gaming is more than a hobby: it's a vocation

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Mad?

Demonic?

The possibilities are intriguing: if the monks indulged in forbidden foods, of what other pleasures might they have partaken?  Was gluttony their only vice? And upon what animal protein did they dine?  Are there other bones waiting to be discovered, that will answer that question?

Consider "The Rats in the Walls"

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What does it mean?

The Yucatan is one of the few places in the real world that can be said to have a meaningful Underworld, and the fact that these artists chose to illustrate elements of the cave environment, rather than elements of the surface world—as at, for example, Chauvet—suggests that they were thinking about it differently as well.

Also, I'd like to hear more description of the cave with the murals: obviously, the artists didn't get there with diving gear, and I don't see much by way of soot marks on what little we see of the roof of the cave.  There must be more to it.

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On the one hand, it's too bad no one has yet found the resources to properly conserve the site; on the other hand... Wow!  An ancient underground city!

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Another good example of reoccupation: the Old Empire builds a fortress, their lord inhabit it for some time, the Old Empire falls, and another folk occupy the site, re-fortify it and rule from there: then, after still more centuries, the whole thing falls into ruin, only to be re-discovered a thousand or more years later.

It's all very like a lot of game settings, aside from a) the meticulous scientific approach to digging it up, b) the more-or-less complete lack of monsters, and—this is very important—c) the fact that it's real .

Not that I'm complaining, mind. ;-)

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Extraordinary.

Another ancient—really ancient—culture found again after so very many years.

Sure, and they seem to have domesticated horses, 9,000 years ago, but I'm not entirely convinced that they constitute a civilization in the sense that we see in the Jericho of a thousand years earlier, where there was clear evidence of the construction of fortified walls. But… maybe the ancestors of these people were the ones Jericho was built to defend against ?

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On the one hand, the idea that weather-related stress is a motivator of human activity is an old one, but being able to draw a correlation between known weather cycles and modern conflicts? Seeing the changes in geopolitics at the micro level?

I can understand why this work is controversial, but I hope the team is able to continue their research. It could point to the salvation—or damnation—of us all.

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Again, the theme of antiquity beneath our very feet: this time, very old. Also this time, sadly, without the re-telling of the thing down the centuries: that would have been very cool, but also rather unlikely, given the extreme antiquity of the site, and the waves of colonization since.

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So very many discoveries are the ones we least expect. Irem of the Pillars, Akkad, all of these are places that we hear of, far off, lost in the mystery of far lands, in our personal narratives, they might as well be Netheril or Xen'drik.

But... what of the lost lands beneath our very feet? The green earth on which we walk, and live and love?

"My grandad told me the story of the lost amphitheatre and I got more and more interested through doing odd jobs at the manor house, whose garden has plenty of Roman remains."

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I'd heard about the H. erectus tools in Crete a while back, but this is the first article I'd seen on it that went into detail about how the age of the site was determined.

The notion of what so many people assume to have been furry pre-humans putting out to sea and discovering unknown lands is... engaging, in a way that reminds me somewhat of the achievements of Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperboreans.

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I hadn't heard about this site: the takeaway quote is:

The Ribãt da Arrifana is a unique Islamic convent in Portugal, which was founded in 1130 by warrior monks to spread Jihad.

It's places like this that provide so much inspiration for traditional adventures. Who—when designing a site like this for a game—would include such redundancy, e.g., the multiple mosques found at the site? Or details such as the apparently numerous cells for sleep and prayer? And yet, here we have an example from life!

As for inspiration:

The Ribãt da Arrifana was founded in the 12th century by the master and warrior monk Sufi Ibn Qasi, who made a pact of non conflict with Portugal’s first king, Dom Afonso Henriques, enabling him to conquer the lands between the Mondego and Tejo.
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