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09-24-2012, 02:20 AM #1
Historical and Mythical Elements of the Vos
I'd like to begin by giving a nod to the Rjurik as I see them to be the softer Norse/Scots combination with the druids and focus on nature. I differ in that I don't think they have the elements of the Mythic Vikings. This is grossly oversimplifying them, but I know the issue would come up.
There are some play on words that I think contribute to my focus on the Vos. That is the Scandinavian Rus = Vos and Asgaard = Vosgaard. I am attempting to go with a bordering region that touches. Taking the Volga river and using its first letter to replace a few things you get a lot of Vos stuff. There isn't a major semblance that I have, and I am sure there isn't one. As I said its just a play on words. Also I am sure there are a lot more plays that can be made.
The major historical reference I am going to dissect the Vikings. Viking itself is a V word that describes the Vos, though a more distorted impression of that group of people. Therefore I am thinking the Vos are a much more fantastical culture. The elements of the Viking that I would like to attribute to the Vos are in the list below. This isn't a comprehensive list, more of a start so it is not limited to the following.
Berserker: I think this explains itself.
Ragnarok (Doom of the Gods): This would explain most of their culture as they see the destruction of all things as imminent even the gods. A very Belinik outlook.
Fimbulvetr (winter of winters): This justifies their Heartless Wastes as a home as the end is near. A very Kriesha outlook.
Valhalla: warrior culture.
God of War (Thor absent thunder): Although to some this would reflect Cuiraecen, to others the son of Haelyn and Nesirie is their attempt at usurping Belenik. Obviously a different outlook on the gods here. But it is hinted at that the gods are not as pure as the previous pantheon. That is to say they all absorbed parts of all the old gods, even Azrai. Therefore with this outlook it isn't so difficult to muster a comprehension that Cuiraecen and Belenik are at odds with being the god of war.
Mercenaries/Raiders/Pirates: typical things to go a viking.
Fatalism: They accept death in their everyday life. To them the world is harsh and is always a battle of survival. Death isn't as ugly to them as the softer civilized folk of the rest of Cerilia.
Some elements of the Picts although this isn't really an easy group to define historically.
Skin Tattoos: Tattoo Magic
Magical race: Vos Magical Aptitude with Vorynn before the flight of the shadow.
Neolithic: savage compared to our standards.
Headhunters: Headhunters, eat the hearts of their enemies, torture, and barbarity.
Other possible ideas I have are not quite good fits. I've read some suggestions from the Huns, Mongols, Visigoths, and other likely candidates to use for historical references.
Fantastical fits are Conan's nihilistic outlook, his fierceness, and an Arthurian kind of kinship, which I believe fits perfectly for the Vos. I refer to a more neolithic version of the myth of Arthur, not the post Roman vision.
The Picts of Hyborea seem to also have some elements of Vos-like culture, but they are not a complete fit either. I even jokingly posted the Vos as Klingons on my current pbem with the skull looking shaved and their warlike culture.
Why this topic and why now? I am playing an under utilized Vos character in Anuire and have been thinking about this alot. I am wondering if anyone has ideas they've come up with that they'd like to share to maybe help me out with my creative process.One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.
09-24-2012, 03:34 AM #2
Personally I tend to see the Vos as inspired by the Goths, Huns and the Mongols - the races known for their widespread invasions but little for their civilisation or management of the areas they conquer. I know little of their culture and mythology.
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09-24-2012, 08:28 PM #3
From what I know central Europe seems to have a lot of bleed over from Norse and Celtic myths. I am unsure of other influences like from the east.One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.
10-03-2012, 12:34 AM #4
Other than tattoo magic and technology level, the comparison to the Picts doesn't work for me, but then I've studied what there is to be found about them quite a bit. The Picts spent just as much time in diplomat dealings with their neighbors as they did fighting them, and no Vos tsarevo would have let in missionaries like King Nectan did in the Pictish kingdoms. Add to that their very convoluted method of choosing kings, which had very little to do with force of arms and everything to do with matrilineal descent and the fact that most of their reign changes were pretty peaceful by their day and time, and I don't see the Picts. Vandals, Goths, and Huns, those I can see.
10-03-2012, 08:01 AM #5
I read somewhere that they were also head hunters and very savage fighters. Although they are said to be a smaller wirey race as well. On more of a mythological note there are some beliefs that they may have been a magical race, hence the reference with the Vos as they were the chosen of Vorynn the god of magic.
I give the Vos a more germanic size to their build as opposed to the Pict size. I think the Picts in their own mythos and magical culture could have been very similar to the Vos. Although the Vos are cut straight out and given only the brutish mythos of those people. They could still have the old Arthur legends as well. Although that is attributed to celt, welsh and so on, it is found just about everywhere the celts were labeled on the european map. I do think the picts were the foundations of the celt myth and were in decline for much of what we know about them today is the remnants of the last traces of them.
With the Vos fall to Azrai they lost a lot of the magical culture they once had, perhaps we can compare that to the picts of history falling into the human race a more barbaric kind of people and lost touch with their old magical heritage.
I don't think the tech level is even remotely the same. The Vos are clearly in the steel age, which I believe is further advanced than the picts.
Now it doesn't have to be a complete fit, just some elements of the picts. That is the premise. I mean heck those guys were trading with Afghanistan for lapis lazuli for their blue warpaint. That is pretty cool.
I think Vos leadership is somewhat different, but the Arthur myth can fit as a strong unifier for the race. I think it will require him to reconcile the Vos magical heritage in order to do it, however. The Arthur of the Vos would more likely resemble Conan than a Roele. Of course a Conan with a Merlin type by his side. Possibly seeking out the aid of the old Vos on that eastern realm of Zoloskya or w/e the spelling. The Silver Servant.
Along the lines of matrilinial descent, the power struggle between the Male Belenik temples and the Kriesha temples could be evidence that the Vos were once following this practice. Azrai may have tried to suppress the feminine to instill are more masculine warlike society among them for his own purposes. The fact that the female witches of Kriesha struggle for dominance could be a sign of their former natural place in society. That is to say the women of the Vos are predisposed to it as that part lingers in their makeup.
To tie this into the Vos Arthur it could be a reconciliation with his queen rather than a fall like with the Lancelot debauchle. Another return to the old Vos ways, overcoming what the shadow has done.
If you simply take what is given on the Vos of Cerilia, then you can be very limiting in what you want to entail for them. However, to consider what they once were, and that is a factor since the Silver Servant wants to bring that back, then the Picts have a lot to offer.One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.
10-04-2012, 12:41 AM #6
The main comparison that I really see with the Picts is the fear that their neighbors had for them. The Picts, like the Scots and the Irish through most of their history, were about a century behind the power curve in a military technology sense compared to their neighbors, though they were an Iron Age culture. But people feared them. There was an aura about them that remained from their raids against the Roman Empire that were wildly successful and very nearly brought Roman Britain to its knees. Then they were the defacto power in the northern third of Britain for centuries, which allowed myths and legends about their ferocity in battle to arise, mostly because of the battle field traditions that they never lost, like war paint and in the early records of them, trophy taking. So, this fear of them by their neighbors giving rise to myths and legends fits with about half of what you're talking about. Some of the other stuff I don't see, but still makes for an interesting interpretation of Picts that I'll have to look at more.
10-05-2012, 04:54 AM #7
I agree with the commonality with fear from neighbors and possible myths arising from that. Most of what I've learned of the Picts are likely old resources. From what I know there isn't much known about them, therefore what I know, or think I know is likely rooted in myth. Even the name given to them was given by the Romans. The whole tie-in with Arthurian myth and the foundations of Celtic culture are my speculation. I like the idea that the Arthurian myth has been around for a long time and has changed over the centuries and where it is told. A likely arch-type that can be used in any culture.One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.
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