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Author Topic: Cort'Mangar- Masterwork  (Read 15228 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #30 on: 10 February 2010, 05:13:06 »

Yeah, these are the options methinks, more or less I'd say. Though 1) isn't an absolute must if you don't want to go with an Erpheronian option...
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« Reply #31 on: 10 February 2010, 05:57:03 »

If you remove the Erpheronian option, then you would be keeping consistent with the lore already on-site. I don't see anything wrong with moving the events forward. You would have a 3000 year gap between the city's destruction and the time when the Erpheronians were born. Those 3000 years could give rise to the orcs that the later humans would have to contend with.

But if Cort'Mangar was built to defend against incursions from Aden, and you can't use the Erpheronians! So that leaves a tribe of Dinali or a pre-Erpheronian human tribe from South Sarvonia. It would be easy to simply create a Dinali tribe that could be involved in the Battle of Osthemangar and get wiped out.
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« Reply #32 on: 26 February 2010, 03:23:53 »

Right. There it is. I think I've fixed the last of those problems, though I forgot to pull out the second colour until I was just about done. Uncertainty Proudmen have been excised and replaced with the Dinali. I tried adapting the previous text but the tone was out of place so it's been removed.
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« Reply #33 on: 27 February 2010, 02:33:01 »

Yellow pen, here I come!

 Overview
Far to the north of Sarvonia, the ruined fortress of Cort’Mangar looms in the north of the peninsula of Caaehl'heroth. The city, believed to have been fortress-like in its days as a settlement now sits cracked and decaying like a putrid egg near the infamous Shadespell Gorge.

So short… You mention first fortress, then city. I think it is a city. Perhaps that it was once believed to be a heavily fortified city would be a better description. Maybe mention the Shades in the Overview or what is believed the city was used for.)

•  Description
"Erpheronia’s majestic castles hold not a candle to these dark ruins. I find them strangely beautiful…" Marvan Swiftrook (Mention who Marvan Swiftrook is for the readers’ understanding. He was an Erpheronian explorer. What were his motives for going up there?) wrote of the broken, jagged spires of Cort'Mangar. These massive towers rise above the cracked and broken walls of the city, which enclose the mist which obscures much of the rest of the city, and its unearthly inhabitants.

The towers of Cort'Mangar, supposedly of dark elven construction, stand easily 160 peds tall in their broken state, as has been estimated by the use of complicated mathematical formulae. The design of these towers is strange, more like they were grown than crafted, resembling nothing more than great black backbones stretching into the sky, splintered tops clawing at the clouds. The towers stand in sharp contrast to the blocky orcish built ruins below. In several places, jagged shards of towers crater the surface of the ruins heavily, or litter the mist covered streets.

Very little can be distinguished from the mists within the city itself. Those structures which are not towers are laid out in an ordered grid, long since broken and mutilated by the destruction of the city. The orcish ruins are blocky with harsh corners and heavy battlements around what must have been doors or windows. Though few remain, orcish wall defenses seem to have tapered to a spike-ringed tower with an open top.

"I can sense a palpable malevolence in the area" is what Swiftrook wrote of the region around Cort'Mangar. It is true that there seems to be less light the closer an observer approaches to the ruins of Cort'Mangar. The cause of this seems to be two-fold. The weather around Cort'Mangar is in a state of permanent changelessness. The air does not stir unprompted and a permanent bank of dark cloud extends for about ten strals from the city. It does not rain or snow within these ten strals usually referred to as the "Desolation of Cort'Mangar". Nothing green grows on this frozen plain. It requires a great deal of effort to do more than crack the ground and digging is nigh impossible for any one man. The second reason for this pervasive darkness is thought to be the sapping influence of the Netherworld. It may be that the proximity to the Shadespell Gorge, or one of its "tributaries" sucks the very light and life out of a place. Few dare approach the ruins and this remains mere conjecture.

The ruins can only be approached by two means. The south, where Marvan Swiftrook undoubtedly made his ill-fated expedition and the west. Initially, only the southern route was known yet, upon later exploration, the Injerín explorer Saryas Kelweather discovered a great bridge that crossed the body of the Shadespell Gorge and ended near the city. This is the only known crossing of the Gorge and remains structurally sound despite its age, suggesting the use of magic in the construction.

•  Location
The Ruins of Cort’Mangar are located on Caaehl'heroth the north-eastern most section of Northern Sarvonia. The Ruins lie to the south-west of the Deep Winds Portal at Osthemangar and at one end of the Shadespell Gorge. Cort’Mangar and the immediate region are often referred to as a whole as “The Desolation of Cort’Mangar”. Scholars suspect that a fissure from the Shadespell Gorge extends underneath the city itself, leaking its otherworldly aura into the region. (Excellent description!)

•  People
In the long ago days before Thar (For the reader, who is Thar?); the fortress of Cor’tam Angarek, (lit."City of the Dark Claw" in an ancient, long since dead orcish diaclet) was an orcen fortress, built to keep some enemy (believed to be an offshoot of Ekcra's Dinali people) (You have to define for the reader who Ekcra’s Dinali people were. You’ll need some history in this section as most readers are unfamiliar with the history of the North), from encroaching further into Caael’heroth. The orcs built high walls and tall towers in Cor’tam Angarek and girded it for war. (Also some timelines in here would be great. Keep the dates vague, non-specific as this happened sooooo long ago.)

(Again, not to be specific too much.)During the War of the Chosen, Dark Elves joined the orcs in inhabiting the city, building dark spires of impossible heights, summoning circles and eventually creating twisted, evil creatures for the war. After the destruction of Cort’Mangar1, the exact cause of which remains unknown, the only inhabitants of the ruins are the enigmatic “Shades”, "Hav’ak Lohks” or “Faces of Night" to orcs. Terrible spectres who flit silently among the decaying city. "They do not walk. They…slither on barely perceptible legs. As if their lower bodies are bathed in shadow. I see hundreds of them. Maybe thousands!" Kelweather called these creatures "Náfreánh" (Faded; styrash). The commonly held theory states that these creatures are the spirits of the dead caught between Caelereth and the Netherworld.

(When doing translations, keep them consistent. The standard as recommended by Arti is to have the translation in parenthesis. For example: "Hav’ak Lohks” (orcen lit. “Faces of Night”.) and "Náfreánh" (lit. Styrash “The Faded”.)

•  Climate
The weather surrounding Cort’Mangar can hardly be called such. Like much of Caaehl'heroth (not all of Caaehl’heroth is cloudy and grey! Only the Misty parts and Cort’Mangar. The Kaaer area and Icelands are not.), the ruins are perpetually shrouded in cloudy greyness. It does not rain or snow about Cort’Mangar, nor does the wind blow, making the soundless air seem strangely dead.

This becalmed aura extends for six or seven strals in every direction from the ruins, leaving the ground cold, dusty and desolate. A perpetual black fog lies on the ruins themselves, obscuring the ground from easy inspection, and wreathing the towers like fell smoke.

The air is biting cold, and only grows colder as the approach of the city continues. No wind touches Cort’Mangar, nor its coast and sea-faring vessels daren't approach it for fear of becoming becalmed. Time behaves oddly within the Desolation, twisting and knotting, warping like wood left to dry. There is no discernible pattern to how this behaves, days can last blinks of the eye, or seconds stretch on endlessly until they seem to be days in ending. The air smells of cold and faintly of decay, despite any flesh in the city having rotted away eons ago.

•  Mythology
Fragment of Dinali text, recovered near the orcen ruin of Ogh ca. 730 b.S.
And we fled to the sea, we crossed it and came to land, and were driven back into the sea by monsters.

Osther-Oc Oral History (transcribed and translated from Kh'omchr'om) Who translated it? Is this the Dinali text mentioned above?)

In the far off days of the past, vermin came to the land. The clans fought them, but they could not kill all the vermin, weak as they were they were too many.
To keep the vermin from their lands, the clans built a fortress. They built its walls high and strong. They called it "of the Dark Claw", and there they made camp.
The clans killed the vermin, drove them back across the mountains and thought them crushed and dead and returned to their camps, never more to cross the mountains.
But the vermin returned, and brought more vermin with them.
And music of battle sounded on the plains and the spirits rose up, angered by the blood of the vermin.
The angered spirits tore open the land, and made it barren and drove orc and vermin both from it.
And the spirits rose up and cursed the fortress. They tore down its walls and broke its camps and killed its peoples.
They cursed its people to keep all from it, and to walk the land for as long as mountains are hard and oceans are wet.
And the cursed warriors died and rose up, clothed in the night.
Their faces were the night, and they rose and kept the land from vermin and from orc.

(The Injerin are known to be record keepers so perhaps they have some lore that would help with the history of Cort’mangar. They existed during this time and maybe they have fragments of lore from the dark elves, too. I think another piece of mythology is important here if you can manage it.)


•  History

Author's Note: Information derived from old Erpheronian records and from scrolls recovered by Saryas Kelweather. (Wasn’t the city pre-dated the Erpheronians? Did Saryas get the scrolls from the Injerin libraries? If the Dinali were involved, then maybe records existed from the Eight Winds Bay people who lived in Folkmore (again the Injerin off-shoots).

ca. 9800 b.S. The City of Cor'tam'Angarek is Built
Scholars estimate that the ancient dark elven city of Cor'tam'Angarek is built to function as a fortress city against incursions from the Aden peninsula. It is said that the city had spires far grander and taller than any known in the present day.

ca. 5000 b.S. Cor'tam'Angarek is destroyed during the Battle of Osthemangar
The Battle of Osthemangar rages for many days over most of the northern reaches of Caaehl'heroth. Cor'tam'Angarek's defenders fall to a siege that lasts over several weeks. As the dead lay in the thousands among the fresh ruins, the influence of the Netherworld presence along the chasm somehow infects the bodies. Over time, the name is basterdized and the city of shadow becomes Cort'Mangar. (It is mentioned above that it is unknown how Cort’Mangar came to ruin. Here is why.)

ca. 1000 b.S. Erpheronian Explorer Marvan Swiftrook Discovers Cort’Mangar
Shortly before his disappearance in the Mists, Marvan Swiftrook discovers the Shadespell Gorge and the city of Cort’Mangar. His discovery and narrow escape from the Shades slowly drives him mad. His journal tells of a mysterious people that live in the city now completely overrun with shadow and Netherworld presence.

[1] The compendiumist has attempted to maintain scholarly neutrality by avoiding subscription to any of the dozen theories as to the cause of the opening of the Shadespell Gorge. (It is always good to mention theories of various kinds from various scholars. It gets different points of view to the reader to decide.)
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« Reply #34 on: 27 February 2010, 04:34:27 »

I'd thought of Cort'Mangar as a fortress first, a city second if at all. Doubt this is the last bunch of edits I'll have to make, but we'll try to get the rest done in any case.
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« Reply #35 on: 05 March 2010, 05:31:32 »

Azhira made various good points (got an aura already for that!), so see to address those, Valan! Also the points I made are only partly covered yet, so make sure to go through these things thoroughly!

I guess the concept with the Dinali offshoot works better now. I might suggest however that you give this offshoot tribe of the Dinali at least some sort of unique name, even if it's only a mythical one. Even though not too many specifics are known about them, simply to have it would be good enough. Otherwise they'd just stay vague unnamed somewhat Dinali-related guys, and even if we change the name later, we'd find references to them much easier. So nothing wrong with that, especially as the distinction between the Dinali and these guys is somewhat of importance.
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« Reply #36 on: 03 April 2010, 05:15:31 »

I think I've just about covered everything there, with the exception of the Injerin bits. I've questions I need to ask regarding Kelweather if I'm to have any hope of making sense.
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« Reply #37 on: 05 April 2010, 19:58:01 »

this is me finally getting round to reading this, and aurying you for the fantastically atmospheric descriptions throughout. nice one! thumbup
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« Reply #38 on: 05 April 2010, 22:17:04 »

Here are a few comments from me, Valan.

•  Overview
Far to the north of Sarvonia, the ruined fortress of Cort’Mangar looms in the north of the peninsula of Caaehl'heroth. The city, believed to have been fortress-like in its days as a settlement now sits cracked and decaying like a putrid egg near the infamous Shadespell Gorge. Mmmm. Sounds lovely! Have you ever thought of writing holiday brochure descriptions?

•  Description
"Erpheronia’s majestic castles hold not a candle to these dark ruins. I find them strangely beautiful…" Marvan Swiftrook, an early Erpheronian explorer to Caael'heroth, wrote of the broken, jagged spires of Cort'Mangar. These massive towers rise above the cracked and broken walls of the city, which enclose the mist which obscures much of the rest of the city, and its unearthly inhabitants. The words 'cracked' and 'broken' already seem to be making a nuisance of themselves, Valan. Perhaps you could use different words to vary the text a little?

The towers of Cort'Mangar, supposedly of dark elven construction According to who?, stand easily 160 peds tall in their broken state, as has been estimated by the use of complicated mathematical formulae. The design of these towers is strange, more like they were grown than crafted, resembling nothing more than great comma black backbones stretching into the sky, splintered tops clawing at the clouds. The towers stand in sharp contrast to the blocky orcish (I prefer orcen, but there you go!) built ruins below. In several places, jagged shards of towers crater (Towers don't crater a surface. Towers stick up, craters go down. Perhaps 'besmirch' would be better?the surface of the ruins heavily, or (and?) litter the mist covered streets.

Very little can be distinguished from the mists within the city itself. (Very little of the city itself can be distinguished where it is shrouded within the mists) Those structures which (that?) are not towers are laid out in an ordered grid, long since broken and mutilated by the destruction of the city. The orcish ruins are blocky comma with harsh corners and heavy battlements around what must have been doors or windows. Though few remain, orcish wall defenses seem to have tapered to a spike-ringed tower with an open top.

"I can sense a palpable malevolence in the area" is what Swiftrook wrote of the region around Cort'Mangar. It is true that there seems to be less light the closer an observer approaches to the ruins of Cort'Mangar. The cause of this seems to be two-fold. The weather around Cort'Mangar is in a state of permanent changelessness (stagnation?). The air does not stir unprompted and a permanent bank of dark cloud extends for about ten strals from the city (In which direction?). It does not rain or snow within these ten strals comma usually referred to as the "Desolation of Cort'Mangar". Nothing green grows on this frozen plain. It requires a great deal of effort to do more than crack the ground and digging is nigh-on impossible for any one man. The second reason for this pervasive darkness is thought to be the sapping influence of the Netherworld. It may be that the proximity to the Shadespell Gorge, or one of its "tributaries" sucks the very light and life out of a place. Few dare approach the ruins and so this remains mere conjecture. I understand why you use the name Cort'Mangar so freely throughout this paragraph, but perhaps you could replace at least one of the instances with 'the city', or 'that city'? Personally, I think it would read a lot smoother if one of the references to the name were changed.

The ruins can only be approached by two means. The south, where Marvan Swiftrook undoubtedly made his ill-fated expedition comma and the west. Initially, only the southern route was known yet, upon later exploration, the Injerín explorer Saryas Kelweather discovered a great bridge that crossed the body of the Shadespell Gorge and ended near the city. This is the only known crossing of the Gorge and remains structurally sound despite its age, suggesting the use of magic in the construction.

•  Location
The Ruins of Cort’Mangar are located on Caaehl'heroth in the north-eastern most section of Northern Sarvonia. The Ruins lie to the south-west of the Deep Winds Portal at Osthemangar and at one end of the Shadespell Gorge. Cort’Mangar and the immediate region are often referred to as a whole as “The Desolation of Cort’Mangar”. Scholars suspect that a fissure from the Shadespell Gorge extends underneath the city itself, leaking its otherworldly aura into the region. Perhaps you could include some suggestions of distances here? I doubt the explorers would have been able to gauge precise distances due to the mists, etc, so rough estimates would suffice.

•  People
In the long ago days before Thar, the king; the fortress of Cor’tam Angarek, ("City of the Dark Claw" in an ancient, long since dead orcish dialect) was an orcen fortress, built to keep some enemy (believed to be an offshoot of Ekcra's Dinali people), from encroaching further into Caael’heroth. The orcs built high walls and tall towers in Cor’tam Angarek and girded it for war. You use 'orcish' and 'orcen' within the same sentence here. I suggest using either one or t'other. I am prepared to overlook your bestowing the ancient orcs with the skills needed to build tall towers. Personally, I see that as being a much more recent acquisition, but for the sake of this entry I shall not argue the point. After all, you haven't said that they were architecturally sound structures, nor pleasing to the eye!

During the War of the Chosen, Dark Elves joined the orcs in inhabiting the city, building dark spires of impossible heights, summoning circles (What is summoning circles?) and eventually creating twisted, evil creatures for the war. After the destruction of Cort’Mangar1, the exact cause of which remains unknown, the only inhabitants of the ruins are were? the enigmatic “Shades”, "Hav’ak Lohks” (Faces of Night; orcish) to and? orcs. Terrible spectres who flit silently among the decaying city (Who are these terrible spectres? This sentence seems to have been tagged on as an afterthought. Maybe changing the full stop after 'orcs' to a comma would help to integrate it better?). "They do not walk. They…slither on barely perceptible legs. As if their lower bodies are bathed in shadow. I see hundreds of them. Maybe thousands!" Kelweather called these creatures "Náfreánh" (Faded; styrash). The commonly held theory states that these creatures are the spirits of the dead caught between Caelereth and the Netherworld.

•  Climate
The weather surrounding Cort’Mangar can hardly be called such. Like much of western Caaehl'heroth, the ruins are perpetually shrouded in cloudy greyness. It does not rain or snow about Cort’Mangar, nor does the wind blow, making the soundless air seem strangely dead.

This becalmed aura extends for six or seven strals in every direction from the ruins, leaving the ground cold, dusty and desolate. A perpetual black fog lies on the ruins themselves, obscuring the ground from easy inspection, and wreathing the towers like fell smoke.

The air is biting cold, and only grows colder as the approach of the city continues. No wind touches Cort’Mangar, nor its coast comma and sea-faring vessels daren't approach it for fear of becoming becalmed. Time behaves oddly within the Desolation, twisting and knotting, warping like wood left to dry. There is no discernible pattern to how this behaves, days can last blinks of the eye, or blinks stretch on endlessly until they seem to be days in ending. The air smells of cold and faintly of decay, despite any flesh in the city having rotted away eons (Is this word a liitle modern for us medieval simpletons? Perhaps generations would be better?) ago.

•  Mythology
Fragment of Dinali text, recovered near the orcen ruin of Ogh ca. 730 b.S.
And we fled to the sea, we crossed it and came to land, and were driven back into the sea by monsters. Speech marks.

Osther-Oc Oral History (transcribed and translated from Kh'omchr'om) By who?

In the far off days of the past (In the time of our grandsires' grandsires), vermin came to the land. The clans fought them, but they could not kill all the vermin, weak as they were they were too many.
To keep the vermin from their lands, the clans built a fortress. They built its walls high and strong. They called it "of the Dark Claw", and there they made camp.
The clans killed the vermin, drove them back across the mountains and thought them crushed and dead and returned to their camps, never more to cross the mountains.
But the vermin returned, and brought more vermin (I think you can remove the second 'vermin', and the sentence would sound more authentic.) with them.
And music of battle sounded on the plains and the spirits rose up, angered by the blood of the vermin.
The angered spirits tore open the land, and made it barren and drove orc and vermin both from it.
And the spirits rose up (They have already risen up. Perhaps say "And the spirits in their anger cursed the fortress"?) and cursed the fortress. They tore down its walls and broke its camps and killed its peoples.
They cursed its people to keep all from it, and to walk the land for as long as mountains are hard and oceans are wet.
And the cursed warriors died and rose up, clothed in the night.
Their faces were the night, and they rose (Again, they are already risen!) and kept the land from vermin and from orc.
A very well done piece of rarely seen ancient orcen myth, Valan. You have done a very good job of using the basic language of the orcs. I can almost see the original Kh'omchr'om version of this. *note to self: check to see if an original version is possible with what we have available*

•  History

Author's Note: Information derived from old Injerin records and from scrolls recovered by Saryas Kelweather. Do we know where he recovered them from?

ca. 9800 b.S. The City of Cor'tam'Angarek is Built
Scholars estimate that the ancient dark elven city of Cor'tam'Angarek is built to function as a fortress city against incursions from the Aden peninsula. It is said that the city had spires far grander and taller than any known in the present day. Would the dark elves have used Kh'omchr'om in naming a city?

ca. 5000 b.S. Cor'tam'Angarek is destroyed during the Battle of Osthemangar
The Battle of Osthemangar rages for many days over most of the northern reaches of Caaehl'heroth. Cor'tam'Angarek's defenders fall to a siege that lasts over several weeks. As the dead lay in their thousands among the fresh ruins, the influence of the Netherworld presence along the chasm somehow infects the bodies. Over time, the name is bastardized and the city of shadow becomes Cort'Mangar.

Delete one line betwixt here and the passage above.
ca. 4700 b.S.
Injerin records report strange, unnatural weather out of the north-west from across the Sea of Tears. Storms the that? carry the sounds of battle, unnatural wailing and screaming in the wind and a persistent smell of death in the air occur almost monthly for a year before suddenly disappearing.

ca. 1000 b.S. Erpheronian explorer Marvan Swiftrook Discovers Cort’Mangar
Shortly before his disappearance in the Mists, Marvan Swiftrook discovers the Shadespell Gorge and the city of Cort’Mangar. His discovery and narrow escape from the Shades slowly drives him mad. His journal tells of a mysterious people that live in the city now completely overrun with shadow and Netherworld presence.

1??? a.S. Syras Kelweather rediscovers Cort'Mangar
Syras Kelweather rediscovers Cort'Mangar by way of a bridge over the end of the Shadespell Gorge and observes the creatures Swiftrook called "Shades".

[1] The compendiumist has attempted to maintain scholarly neutrality by avoiding subscription to any of the dozen theories as to the cause of the opening of the Shadespell Gorge.

A very interesting account, Valan. You paint a very grim picture of this region, which is as it should be. I was worried that this entry, being at first glance similar to my intended Gates of Hell'wrung, would use much of the terminology, history and ideas I had planned for them. However, I see that you have left more than enough room for another defensive fortress to be built within Caael'heroth, and for that I am grateful!

Overall, I liked this entry very much. Once I started reading, it was impossible to stop. You draw the reader in with your skillful writing, and make us want to know more of this dread place. Well done, Val!
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« Reply #39 on: 06 April 2010, 01:09:36 »

I don't have any more suggestion.  However I just wanted you to know I love what you got here.  This is a wonderfully creepy place.   thumbup thumbup
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« Reply #40 on: 06 April 2010, 02:16:25 »

The fact that we're into complements and nit-picking is quite encouraging from my point of view. Could this possibly be the light at the end of the tunnel?

To clarify for you Thar: Orcs built the city/fortress. stuff. The War of the Chosen happens. Dark Elves show up. They build *really* tall towers. And magic stuff. (The sort of magic that gets shoved into a closet when people mention it!) And then everything went balls up.
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« Reply #41 on: 06 April 2010, 03:31:00 »

I am heartened by the fact that, on this occasion at least, it wasn't the orcs who caused things to go, as you so eloquently said, balls up!

I see you have created some new Kh'omchr'om within this entry, Val. Could you PM me proper translations of them? I'm collecting as many new words as I can from around the site in order to update the dictionary. Thankee in advance.
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« Reply #42 on: 06 April 2010, 04:08:56 »

The person to go to there would be Azhira Thar. I'm borrowing words from her Shadespell Gorge entry.
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Beyond the horizon where the earth and the heavens meet
lies a certain point where they are not joined together and where, by stooping,
one might pass under the roof of the heavens.
Tharoc Wargrider
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« Reply #43 on: 06 April 2010, 04:27:05 »

Hmmm, a cunning ruse, master Nonesuch. I like your style.
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Use the force, Luke.

And if that doesn't work, try switching it off and back on again.
Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #44 on: 06 April 2010, 04:54:16 »

I've changed the use of the word eons to aeons (british spelling does look much nicer, I'll give it that.)

I have the exact translation of which part of "Cor'tam'angarek" means what I think, but it's buried under a few months worth of IRC logs which I am loathe to look through. And I wouldn't know the first thing about cunning. Or flowers for that matter, though I was unaware that roses existed in the north. :P

I'd be happy to try to help you improve the orcen (it really is a much nicer word, I'll have to make sure I change all of the orcish's to it) language. I had an awful time trying to put something together with it.

I've left off some of the changes in the myth section. I've found that texts like that have this odd habit of repetition, but have nixed some of that. Edits in orky lime
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Beyond the horizon where the earth and the heavens meet
lies a certain point where they are not joined together and where, by stooping,
one might pass under the roof of the heavens.
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