Ram and Abalach-Re


#1

New thread breaking off from the children of dragons thread so we can remain on topic there, but further explore Abalach-Re and the city of Raam.

I think all the SMs are crazy. They’ve lived for eternities, and all done, seen, and experienced countless things, both good and bad. There’s no way they haven’t been broken themselves a few times along the way.

That being said, just saying she’s crazy or doesn’t care seems a great disservice to AR. I want to know more about her motivations and reasoning, the whys and hows of her crazy. She’s one of the most interesting SMs there is. She took Raam: the wealthiest of the cities (at least until its gem mines ran dry), and the birthplace of “modern” Tarandan psionic teaching/thought. She orchestrated the attack and assassination of Dregoth, who by all rights should have curb-stomped everyone (with the possible exception of Hamanu, if you want to play up Hamanu’s “specialness”), and then proceeded to systematically loot his research and treasure. She also (according to the adventures) did that whole Rafernard scheme and—by the rules as written—will succeed in an epic spell she made to skip 4 defiler metamorphosis steps unless the PCs stop her. That all speaks to a lot of motivation, smarts, and planning on her part. On top of all that, her relationship with her city (open rebellion, borderline anarchy), her relationship with motherhood (simply labelling her a slut who can’t figure out birth control—which I think a lot of people do, unfortunately—is just lazy and misogynistic), the Badna religion . . .

Yes, she’s crazy. But her crazy is INTERESTING, on so many levels.

I am not a fan calling everything that doesn’t make sense to us crazy. I think it originates from Hollywood Hitler in the movies, where Hitler is crazy, mentally ill. I think he probably wasn’t mentally ill (“crazy”), but this Hollywood Hitler template is the basic template we are dealing with whenever thinking of a dictator. I think that most of the SKs are probably sane, it’s just that we cannot comprehend what it means to be an immortal and virtual demigod.

I would say that Abalach-Re is bored. She has seen everything and done everything imaginable. So she purposely creates chaos in her city for her amusement. The idea of one of her templars being mugged in an alleyway is hilarious to her.

It’s ironic that Dregoth has the planar gate because Abalach-Re would be the first to say sayonara to Athas if she knew it was possible to leave.

MOAR ideas about Raam and Abalach-Re, please.


(Stuart Lynch) #2

I agree she’s bored. After the Betrayal of Rajaat she’s got so many plans and interests. As the centuries wore on I’d guess she saw the futility of existence as a SQ - the only thing she has to fear is another Champion and she’s been careful not to piss off the others.

I think the chaos in Raam is partly a case of “let’s see what happens if I do this” as a way of relieving boredom, and partly a case of neglect in that she’s bored of the day to day minutiae of running a city.

Most of the Champions have something to keep them going - Kalak is obsessed with becoming a full dragon in one go…it likely took centuries to develop the spell. Daskinor is in cloud cuckoo land, Oronis is focused on rejuvenating the planet and atoning for his misdeeds. Borys is Rajaat’s jailer. Nibenay seems to be researching some sort of time travel spell while laying plans to avoid going rage beast. Lalali-Puy is so wrapped up in her Forest Goddess delusion she’s off with the fairies. Tectuktitlay I’m not sure about and Hamanu is trying to hold back Rajaat’s transformation. Only Albeorn and Uyness seem not to have an obsession.

I’m not sure what Andropinis was doing to while away the centuries (although I’m willing to bet his attention is now focused since being imprisoned in the Black), but Abalach-Re? She did what she set out to do (exterminate the Orc). She does her bit to keep the Warbringer locked away. I see her gambit in Forest Maker as being almost a last throw of the dice to do something interesting - whether she succeeds or dies it’s an experience and has diverted her for a few years.


#3

And pretending to be a preserver via the artifact that she was using is really a trademark of Abalach-Re. It’s not enough that she has a project to do, but she wants to have fun doing it. And she is having a ton of fun in Forest Maker while pretending to be an avangion called Rafernard.

Before many of them reach the trees, there is a great rustling, followed by a burst of bright light. Before anyone can react, a humanoid with radiant silver skin and gossamer wings rises from the trees and hovers in the air above you, its wings unfurled majestically. The creature appears too delicate to live.

As a tremendous feeling of well-being floods you, a melodic voice, soft as a summer breeze, addresses you:

Welcome to the Forest Reborn, you poor, mere mortals! I am Rafernard, and I have created this impressive miracle you see before you.
Well done, worthy pilgrims, on your surviving the
grueling trek! For now, wander the woods at your leisure; eat of the fruit of the trees, drink the cold, clean water. Follow the path to the right and you shall find places to sleep built on the branches of the big trees. There is still much to be done, and we have enemies who would see this forest destroyed. Rest for now, for soon we must decide what actions to take against our oppressors. The battle will be difficult, but the end result, the reforestation of your land, will be worth the struggle. Once again, welcome! Eat and rest now. You are safe. Any questions you have you may ask of me tomorrow.

Welcome, poor mere mortals indeed. You can almost sense her holding back laughter.


(Mr Eco) #4

I wouldn’t call her bored, maybe disappointed that the city didn’t go as planned. She didn’t seem to have forced her will on others; this could possibly explain her desperate, albeit unsuccessful, efforts to present a fake figure as a true deity, and the rebellious nature of the city’s nobles.


(Felix Gonzalez) #5

Lol, this had me smiling. Dear olde Abalach-Re! I looked through stuff before writing this, but it seems notoriously difficult to obtain much information on the matter of this SQ (with similar results when searching for infornation on Nibenay, i guess there’s a reason he’s called the Shadow King). I had hoped to contribute some canon material to this topic, but, alas it was not meant to be.
Maybe this will be of some use (, if you have not seen it yet of course). It is strictly non-canon.


(Andrea Ferrari) #6

I agree that the whole “insecure Abalach-Re” (and even the Badna thing) are basically huge “pranks” made by the Sorcerer Queen.

I don’t see all SKs are crazy, but I think they’re quite “messed up”. They fought for hundreds of years with the intent of making Athas into their paradise, but they ended making it a desert hellhole. Their immortality can be see as both as a blessing and as a curse, with the whole “you see every loved one dying before you” (only Dregoth has his “eternal life long friend” MA). And they know that Rajaat is not killed, but simply imprisoned.

I agree with the fact that Abalach-Re would be the first that’d leave Athas if she had the Planar Gate. Dregoth could, but don’t do it due ho his obsession to get revenge on his killers and obtain godhood ON Athas (quite a sad irony, since I think that a being of his power could ascend to goodhood without too much toubles on another setting).


(Stuart Lynch) #7

I don’t see AR as having a problem exercising her power and authority wheh she needs to. She did after lead a sizeable Raamin army to the Ivory Triangle in the novel The Cerulan Storm. Not exactly the work of someone unable to control her people.

If she’d survived the Prism Pentad I suspect AR would have whipped Raam back into a semblance of order for a bit. Which would have made for an interesting alteration to Dregoth Ascending.


(Matthew T Laux) #8

I always assumed she orchestrated the death of Sielba. Another sorcerer QUEEN, right next door, with fabulous amounts of wealth(enough to pay for the construction of Ur Draxa). She was jealous. Sure, Manu did the actual killing and sacking at Yaramuke. But which SM had an agent in place, waiting, when ol’ Farcluun(with a little help from our heroes) tried to rob the palace of Sielba?
I never saw her as bored, seeing as she was the most active SM around. She made a fairly badass artifact(Star of Badna), modified another badass artifact(skull of… whatever that druid’s name was), had dozens of kids(even though she didn’t raise them, she still carried them for months and gave birth), organized Dregoth’s assassination, plundered Dregoth’s magic factory under everyone else’s nose, and she attempted to skip several levels of transformation.
Unlike most of you, i don’t think her faults are some sort of game she’s playing. I believe she is legitimately insecure(her task was orcs, after all), and can’t run a city for shit because she’s too busy trying to prove herself.


(Stuart Lynch) #9

Yes she’s active, but there’s no overarching goal to any of her activities. Kalak was researching the 10-stage Draconic transformation and building the focus structure. Oronis has his New Kurn restoration project; Dregoth has been busy building his master race and researching Divinity. AR in comparison has done a lot of random and unconnected things. That’s often a sign of people who are bored with things and are trying desperately to find something to occupy their time with.
She’s still evil, powerful, inept and dangerous.


(Felix Gonzalez) #10

Agreed, she’s like Chet Morton from The Hardy Boys books, whimsical, always moving from one project to the next.
Like me! :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

OR . . .

she’s done a lot of SEEMINGLY random and unconnected things, all part and parcel of some larger plot of hers playing out over centuries.


#12

The Abalach-Re of my campaign had many children and was sadistic and ambitious to an Olympian extreme, the opposite of bored, and the rising power of Tyr threatened her existence. She spawned monstrosities sired by titans, fiends, and the ghastly spiders of the Abyss and launched them all against Urik and Tyr at the head of her swarms of troops. She seduced her neighbor, Tec of Draj, into joining the war of annihilation. As the battle turned against them, they combined their metamorphoses and by defiling tens of thousands of troops and refugees and merged into a two-headed abomination belching poison and radiating death. While the abomination was destroyed, later a cache of eggs was found in a foul shrine beneath the Alabaster Palace. The eggs and their caretakers were destroyed, but as the last templar wheezed out his passing, he smiled, “Not all…”