The Kingdom of Gwynedd

Welsh tradition credited the founding of Gwynedd to the Brittonic polity of Gododdin (Old Welsh Guotodin, earlier Brittonic form Votadini) from Lothian invading the lands of the Brittonic polities of the Deceangli, Ordovices, and Gangani in the 5th century. The sons of their leader, Cunedda, were said to have possessed the land between the rivers Dee and Teifi. The true borders of the realm varied … Continue reading The Kingdom of Gwynedd

Law, but not Of Law

Notable features of Welsh law include the collective responsibility of kindreds (Welsh: cenedl) for their members; the gavelkind inheritance of land among all and only male descendants; a status-based system of blood money (galanas); slavery and serfdom; the inability of foreigners to naturalize earlier than the fourth generation; and very lax treatment of divorce and legitimacy that scandalized the non-native clergy. Wikipedia In contrast to the former Imperial holdings of Lyonesse … Continue reading Law, but not Of Law

Kobolds

On the one hand, maybe I drop them with the chaos-bred of Kusarikku. On the other hand, maybe they are specifically snake/lizard/dragon-kin enough that they should go somewhere else (like the previously mentioned lizardfolk). Last campaign (all five sessions of it before the TPK), I was definitely playing up the later version D&D interpretation of scaled folk, rather than the early dog-faced version (which if … Continue reading Kobolds

Monster Genealogy for fun and profit

So right now it looks like we’ve got (via the demonic offspring of Tiamat, ultimately): Undead, Lesser Corporeal (Gallu) Wights, Ghouls, Zombies, Skeletons (3, 2, 2, 1 HD) Non-Corporeal (Edimmu) Specters, Wraiths, Shadows (6, 4, 2 HD) Undead, Greater (via Rabisu) Liches, Vampires, Banshee (12, 7-9, 7 HD) Chaos Bred (via Kusarikku) Minotaurs, Ogres, Bugbears, Gnolls, Stone Goblins, Goblins (6, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1/2 … Continue reading Monster Genealogy for fun and profit

Bašmu

Bašmu or Bashmu (lit. “Venomous Snake”) was an ancient Mesopotamian mythological creature, a horned snake with two forelegs and wings. It was also the Akkadian name of the Babylonian constellation equivalent to the Greek Hydra. The Sumerian terms ušum (portrayed with feet, see Ninurta’s Dragon) and muš-šà-tùr (“birth goddess snake”, portrayed without feet) may represent differing iconographic types or different demons. Continue reading Bašmu

Rabisu

In Akkadian mythology the Rabisu (“the vagabond”) or possibly Rabasa are evil vampiric spirits or demons that are always menacing the entrance to the houses and hiding in dark corners, lurking to attack people. It is said that pure sea salt can ban them as the salt represents incorruptible life (salt preserves, and life was first born from the sea). In Hell, they live in the Desert of Anguish, attacking newly arrived souls as they travel down the Road of Bone to the City of the Dead. Continue reading Rabisu

Mukīl rēš lemutti

Mukīl rēš lemutti, meaning “he who holds the head of evil”, was an ancient Mesopotamian winged leonine demon, a harbinger of misfortune associated with benign headaches and wild swings in mood, where the afflicted “continually behaves like an animal caught in a trap.” It was one of the two demons that followed people around, an “evil accomplice” also referred to as rabis lemutti (“he who … Continue reading Mukīl rēš lemutti

Urudimmu

He appears in later iconography paired with Kusarikku, “Bull-Man”, a similar anthropomorphic character, as attendants to the god Šamaš. As one of the eleven spawn of Tiamat in the Enûma Eliš vanquished by Marduk, he was displayed as a trophy on doorways to ward off evil and later became an apotropaic figurine buried in buildings for a similar purpose. Continue reading Urudimmu