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  1. #1
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Realm of the White Witch

    Discussion thread for Realm of the White Witch. If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.

    Hmm, I've tried to put some fluff up for the Realm of the White Witch. To make it playable I've called it Gandvick (thanks to Larry Saw for the idea) and called the White Witch 'Queen Karena' to give her a veneer of respectability.

    Any comments? Does it need an observation banner?

    Any alternate names for the realm/witch?
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 12-30-2008 at 11:27 PM.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    If we have a proper name for it, we should move the page to Gandvick.

    We certainly can't place an observation on a main realm page. If we have controversial stuff, it should go on a separate page. What material are you concerned about?

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    I've called it Gandvick (thanks to Larry Saw for the idea)
    Is there an explanation to go with that name? That is, what is the reason behind his inspiration? I'd like to hear it.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    Any alternate names for the realm/witch?
    The obvious name for the realm is Pohjola! As Wikipedia puts it, "Pohjola is a location in Finnish mythology and is usually translated as Northland in English.... the Mistress of Pohjola is Louhi, an evil witch of great power." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pohjola) One nice touch is that while most of the Rjurik names are faux (or actual) Norwegian or Swedish, the second biggest town in the White Witch's realm is Oulu, which is a real city in Finland.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    This works very nicely!

    "The Mistress of Pohjola is Louhi, an evil witch of great power." She had a magic mill of plenty, and the White Witch is a financial genius, also enjoying plenty.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    According to Larry Saw, who found the name, Gandvick was the name the British sailors called a Scandinavian country of sorcerers, they apparently bought wind from the sorcerers who lived there...

    I figured that as the realm was ruled by sorcerers for most of its existence the name was fairly appropriate.

    Another thought was a netherlands approach, 'holland' - as the brits call it. The first sailors we met came from the county of holland, so we named the country after the county... As such the realm could have several names depending on who you ask.

    What doesn't really work in my mind is calling it 'the white witch's realm' - that's a domain description not a domain name! It also immediately makes the realm the obvious local big bad with whom none trade or make treaty.

    You get a similar issue with the Magian, he is officially a court advisor, yet Pipyret is supposed to be named after him since it was conquered (liberated)? Much better to have it still called Pipyret... The Raven's domain should also be known by its former name with most Vos believing (or at least hoping) that he is still the Tsar whose body he stole.

    Back to the WW realm, Pohjola sounds fine - although the ending a little soft compared to most other Rjurik names.

    My concerns are:
    * name change, particularly of an iconic awnie and her realm, could be contentious in themselves.

    * I did a history write up which is extrapolated from canon but could be disputed since it suggests that Queen Karena is not generally known as the WW, indicates emnity with Bervinnig and possibly influence on his decline, suggests that the druids may not be absolutely opposed to the temple of Kreisha by making her philosophy part of a cycle of winter and summer, etc.

    * I have assumed a mixed population - including goblins and elves. It suits the WWs pragmatism that she would have conquered the goblins rather than slaughtered them, but some might dislike the idea of a human ruling goblins. Similarly with the elves, although I slanted to taxes bit to suggest that they pay basically lip service at best. I wonder how many artifacts recovered by her elven wizards actually reach Mandal, very few if they are elven in nature or designed to harm the elves I expect!

    * I have given her some mages - albeit elven ones. Some people don't like the idea of wizards in the Highlands at all, and the WW realm with its history could be very opposed to them. From a practical viewpoint if the WW gets RP from sources via a vassal regent then she gets even stronger... For that though she would need to trust a wizard and consider paying for sources to be more cost effective than expanding her guild network.


    This may be best settled by multiple pages (like we did for the Independent churches of Sera and the White Hand) which show the 'public realm' and the 'dm secret realm'.

  6. #6
    I always thought, that "Pohjola" means "North" in Finnish. At least family name of one acquaitance of mine - Pohjolainen - means "northman". We have here in our community at least some people from Norway and Sweden, maybe from Denmark too. I'll be glad to hear their advices on quasi-scandinavian names.

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gheal View Post
    I always thought, that "Pohjola" means "North" in Finnish.
    It does. The White Witch's Realm is also the second-northernmost realm in Rjurik (the most northerly is Hogunmark). One of its province names, Nordcapp, is Norwegian for North Cape, meaning the northernmost point in mainland Europe. Another is Kandalask, modified from Kandalaksha, an Arctic port in the Russian part of the Scandinavian penninsula; this is presumably a reference to the fact that the White Witch, as a priestess of Kriesha, is culturally more Vos than Rjurik. Rovan comes from Rovaniemi, a city in Finland which is pretty much due north of Oulu and due west of Kandalaksha. Pitea is in Sweden, nearly due west from Oulu across the Gulf of Bothnia. Bjornoya and Soroya are islands off the Norwegian coast. I suspect if I were to keep digging, I'd find real Scandinavian place names for every one of the White Witch's provinces, and nearly every province in Rjurik.

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    According to Larry Saw, who found the name, Gandvick was the name the British sailors called a Scandinavian country of sorcerers
    Sure, "gand" as in "Gandalf", which is Old Norse for "sorcerer elf" (literally wand-elf), and vick for "vik" (meaning "cove" or "inlet") as in "viking" (literally, "guy who sails away").

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    I figured that as the realm was ruled by sorcerers for most of its existence the name was fairly appropriate.
    It was? I would have thought "sorcerer's cove" applied much better to the coast of Lluabraight.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    What doesn't really work in my mind is calling it 'the white witch's realm' - that's a domain description not a domain name!
    That's how all the awnsheghlien are treated -- "The Siren's Realm", "The Banshegh's Realm", "The Vampire's Realm", "The Lamia's Realm", "The Manticore's Realm", "The Gorgon's Crown", etc. They all had other names once, but nowadays all anyone cares about is that they are ruled by big bad scary monsters.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    It also immediately makes the realm the obvious local big bad with whom none trade or make treaty.
    I think this is what the original designers intended, though in many cases I think the normal human realms are much more likely to trade with the awnsheghlien than the elves (the major exception being Tuarhievel vs. the Gorgon). I agree that I would prefer to restore the pre-awnie names like Ust Atka (Raven), Pipryet (Magian), Besaiam (Lamia) and so on, which requires inventing such older names for realms (like the White Witch's) which don't have any.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    Back to the WW realm, Pohjola sounds fine - although the ending a little soft compared to most other Rjurik names.
    That's because it's Finnish and they're Norse. You could also try Pohjoinen (north, as a compass point), Pohjanmaa (a modern Finnish geographical region), or Pohjantähti (the North Star). I would like to keep some explicit connection to the evil realm from the Kalevala.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    I have assumed a mixed population - including goblins and elves.
    I really, really dislike such things in my Cerilia. Having an awnshegh rule goblins and humans, as the Gorgon does, is just possible, but adding elves to the mix strikes me as a really bad idea -- unless, of course, the White Witch is really just Llaeddra of Lluabraight in disguise, in which case both the gobbos and the humies are equally mere slaves of the Sidhelien.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryancaveney View Post


    I really, really dislike such things in my Cerilia. Having an awnshegh rule goblins and humans, as the Gorgon does, is just possible, but adding elves to the mix strikes me as a really bad idea -- unless, of course, the White Witch is really just Llaeddra of Lluabraight in disguise, in which case both the gobbos and the humies are equally mere slaves of the Sidhelien.
    I agree, the "tribes" of elves in her lands makes no sense to me, compared to the "death before assimilation" attitude of the Lluabright elves. If you could make this more mysterious, then one could wonder about elven diplomats or puppetmasters, then you're talking.


    Also-- Gandvick or Gandvik? I note that nearly all other Rjurik names end in -ik.

    If the realm really had been ruled by centuries of wizards, then one could easily suppose dozens of magic-ful abandoned wizards' towers or houses or dungeons all over the place, no? Such a band of magic-slingers need some historical detailing of their own.

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    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Also-- Gandvick or Gandvik? I note that nearly all other Rjurik names end in -ik.
    Yes, it would have to be Gandvik, or even Gandveik; Gandvick would be a Brecht or Anuirean misspelling of the Rjurik original.

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