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Discussion Ancient History, when the Slann were young. How do Slann age and change?

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    What did the Slann act like when they were young....er.

    This should apply equally to Lizardmen and Seraphon since I want to cover Slann changing over time.

    I’m going to reference X-Men: First Class and Charles Xavier. Sure it’s not a big surprise he had a full head of hair and two working legs, but the interesting thing was that he got drunk at a party, flirted shamelessly and was frequently showing off. He still had the same powers and goals though. It was still the same Charles Xavier.


    Slann are known for barely moving and not speaking much. Their utterances are rare and vague. Though younger Slann will say full sentences and even have conversations with Skinks, but they still are creatures of few words. Slann have great power but they don’t generally do much unless they think about it very carefully. They are often focusing on the big picture so much they ignore their immediate surrounding.

    Generally, fifth generation Slann are more verbose, more social, and less contemplative than second and third generation Slann. This implies but does not mean that all the Slann were generally like that when they were younger.

    Slann are sapient beings with free will, they have to change somewhat over time. The question is how much did they change?

    Ignoring the wider implications of time travel in the Warhammer world, if a Skink priest met his master thousands of years in the past. Would they be like hmmm, he’s thinner and more spry. Or would his thoughts be more like how could this possibly be my master?



    So Skinks and Saurus emerge from the Spawning pools full grown physically and they have the basics of their skill sets and language at birth. Depending on whose writing they can pretty much be full competent adults within a few weeks or maybe a few years. In the case of a Saurus, you can probably hand them a sharp object when they are still wet from the spawning pool and say “stab those Daemons!” and they’ll do okay.

    What about the Slann, did the Slann have a period akin to childhood or adolescence? For them a quick growth to adulthood could be a hundred years. This mainly for items of interest, I don’t think this will have a long-term impact on historical development. Even a Slann is technically an adult they could have rebellious adolescent behavior. Generally Slann obey their elder Slann, but would there be any adolescent rebellion? “You don’t understand me! I’m running away to shore up the world with my Great Plan!” In my fluff pieces, I view Merestar a little like this. Turochlitan was an adolescent dream, but Merastar did not implement as an adolescent. More like the Slann equivalent of a man looking in the mirror “Where is that wide-eyed dreamer you used to be?” then doing something clichéd for a mid-life crisis.



    TANGENT. There have been no new Slann spawned during or after the Great Catastrophe. Did they emerge from pools like Skinks, Sauri, and Kroxigor are spawned? How many pools did the Old Ones use? Did single pools spawn multiple generations? Did the Slann spawn as individuals or in groups? Are any of the Slann's spawning pools still around? Do these pools have residual magic or powers or do they just appear to casual observers as ordinary ponds?



    The Slann tendency towards contemplation and taking actions very carefully. Did Slann emerge out of the pool this way? One option is just they get cautious as they get older. Maybe they are wracked by guilt for every mistake they ever made. The longer they live, the more mistakes they make, so the more contemplative they become. Another option is the Slann are forced by physiology to be slow acting over time. The Slann are effectively un-aging and have incredible intellects. Their brains do not physically grow (or at least do not grow much), and they have to pack more and more memories in there. It could take a while for an old Slann to sort through his own mighty reserves of wisdom to find something relevant to whatever short term situation he is faced with.



    Another option is that the Slann basically plod along same as ever until something big happens. The cautious slow moving aspect to nearly ever Slann personality could be a result of the Great Catastrophe. Apart from relic hunting, the Slann didn’t do much during the Age of Isolation. During the Age of the Rat and the Serpent, the Skinks did the heavy lifting. Then came the Age of Strife, and the Slann became a little more proactive. “I know we wanted to figure out the permutations and related effects of Sotek’s coming, but we did know Sotek was coming and the Skaven are here. Maybe we can spare a few Slann to DEFEND OUR CITIES AND SUBJECTS!”



    Then the End Times happened, ignoring the terrifying physical and spiritual ramifications about the transformation from Lizardmen to Seraphon, I’m going to look at the Slann alone. 1) They are a lot more proactive than they used to be. 2) They are more independent of other Slann than they used to be, and 3) they are likely to think of the non-reptilian Forces of Order as beings worth considering in their plans.

    It’s possible that some of this personality change is physiological and spiritual. Maybe once free of their earthly prisons they can think clearer and make decisions faster. More likely (but not mutually exclusive), they are being more proactive in action and more accommodating to the other Forces of Order because they want to compensate for their past mistakes. Well we tried isolationism and slow actions last time, and the world died. Time to try something new!

    These could be a pragmatic choices. They could be less apt to work closely with other Slann because a lot of their spawning brothers died in the End Times, and they now have more worlds to cover. Likewise they place more demands on the other Forces of Order to quell Chaos because they don’t have enough loyal minions formed from starlight to fix the universe’s problems all by themselves. The End Times made this clear.



    Anyway, what are your thoughts on how Slann learn, live and grow? What are your thoughts on their pasts and futures?

    EDIT: I plan to use these ideas to help me figure out what organic Lizardmen history would look like and how Temple Cities would be laid out. I imagine if Slann switched from micromanaging to laissez faire that would have a huge impact on what Temple Cities look like.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  2. pendrake
    Skink Chief

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I sort of had the idea that Slann can only be produced / spawned if an old one present and available.
     
  3. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    That is the general consensus. I just was curious if the spawning pools were still around and if they had any powers to do things other spawn Slann. Even if they reverted to dormant pools of ordinary water, they would probably still be held in high reverence.
     
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  4. pendrake
    Skink Chief

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    Not still around.
    More like spawning tanks buried in the spaceships of the Old Ones.
    The Knowledge to use one was never shared, the Slann can't reproduce by any natural means.
    There might not be any such equipment in the ships that remained dirtside.
     
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  5. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Okay, my main purpose wasn't talk about Slann spawning pools. My main purpose was to get other people's thoughts on how Slann think, grow, adapt, or decline over time with an eye to writing more interesting and well-fleshed out characters.

    My secondary purpose is that I'm also trying to figure out Temple Cities. I'm not a huge fan of the official temple city diagrams. I am guessing that since the new is based on the old, Temple Cities would develop in unforeseen ways if the Slann collectively revert from micro-managers to hands-off managers. Temple Cities could be littered with half finished projects or the Skinks could be laboring endlessly on something because no Slann bothered to tell them "Stop, I only meant for you to do that for ten years."
     
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  6. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you on this one for sure, exactly why I made my own temple city maps to be "more closely" aligned with an actual Mayan city layout.


    As far as the slann spawnings are concerned, this definately bears some more research. This is what I can think of off the top of my head, most of it I believe is canon with extra details filled in by what I can guess from the sources, answering a few of the questions I infered from above.



    1) Why were the Slann spawned? Each of the Slann generations were spawned for a specific purpose, so each spawning was technically unique and a way for the Old Ones to have trusted managers to control their operations on the landscape of the Old/New World.

    First Generation- trained BY THE OLD ONES THEMSELVES. They were the chief managers and the go-betweens for the Old Ones and the rest of the slann. Their was probably at least one First Spawned Slann for each Old One, each responsible for reporting directly to their superior and then dispensing their orders. They are also responsible for the instruction of each succeeding generation. Kroak was the first, and I think the prime Slann of the entire generation, taught by Tepok and many others, so he may be unique.​

    Second Generation- also supremely powerful, these Slann were spawned to aid in the Old Ones power to shape the World to their desires. These Slann were spawned to alter the alignment of the World, bringing it closer to the Sun, to affect weather patterns and grow the great jungles that allow life to thrive on a once dead planet. They could move mountains!!! Hence these Slann were accomplished geomancers and learned in the astrological arts (just like Mazdamundi, one of 5 of the 2nd Generation left in existence). These beings were the direct proteges of the First Spawning of Slann, and were the most powerful. ​

    Third Generation- As the empire of the Old Ones grew, they needed more managers to control their burgeoning projects and undertakings on the newly shaping world. The Third Spawning added to the Old Ones power, and were tasked with the construction of the great mystical geomantic web that encircled the planet, and focused the magic on the construction of the great Temple Cities of the world (Itza and Tlaxtlan already existed by this point, as well as the other largest cities). This generation would become the great managers of the Temple Cities, running their daily affairs and directing the efforts of their immediate surroundings. ​

    Fourth Generation-The next generation follows the same theme as the previous three: the Old Ones needed more managers and magical power brokers to conduct even greater projects. The Fourth Generation was spawned with the separation of the continents in mind: these Slann created the vast World Pond that separated the Old World from the New. They also began the construction of all the remaining temple cities, as well as the smaller cites that doted the world (the smaller temple cities being the Kahouns I believe). Once their tasks were done, the Fourth Generations settled the large number of temple cities and assisted with the control of the Polar Warp Gates, guiding their energy along the geomantic web to keep the vast quantities of magical energy under control. ​

    Fifth Generation- the last Slann to be spawned. During this time the Old Ones and their armies undertook the primordial wars to destroy all creations which they wished to expunge from the World and from existence. I am sure during this time these Slann were spawned to not only add to the vast number of magical projects the Old Ones had already constructed, but to be the lowest levels of field commanders to lead the Saurus Legions in their wars of genocide against the Orcs (Orks?), the Fimir, the Shaggoths, and the Dragons. By having Slann on this lowest level of management, the Old Ones ensured they could have avatars of their own godly and otherworldly magical strengths to ensure the success of their ultimate goals.
    2) How were the Slann spawnings different from the saurus, skinks, or other servants of the Old Ones?- Unlike the rest of the lizardmen sub-races, the Slann were not based on what essentially amounts to cloning technology. The Old Ones did not need more automaton-like servants of war to conduct violence on their behalf, nor did they need fleeting or nimble artisans, nor beasts of burden. The Old Ones needed beings made in their own image; ones of great power, who could direct the flowering of the world according to their fancy. Because of these they needed beings that were A) very powerful, B) very intelligent, and C) able to take instructions and implement them.

    I find it unlikely that the Slann were "clones" of each other, nor is it likely they were birthed from spawning pools equipped with 100% knowledge of their entire purpose in life, for these reasons:

    2.A) the Slann were taught. This is evidence taken from the information from Lord Kroak, who was taught by the Old Ones themselves. it stands to reason that he and the other Slann were born with a huge amount of natural talent (like the primarchs from 40K), but once born they needed to be instructed in the ways of the world and how to control their power by their masters. Imagine what would have happened if the primarchs had been born in the direct shadow of the emperor? I believe something similiar happened here; the Old Ones wanted to create and then teach their perfect servants.

    2.B) the Slann didn't know the plan. Why create clones without instructions if the Old Ones never intended to leave? The Slann didn't NEED to know everything, they just needed to implement the messages they received on high, and to use the army of servants and warriors at their disposal to carry it out. This required a huge amound of inborn intellect, but NOT ones that were omniscient or born with "all the answers."
    3) How were the Slann spawned?- I have no idea, but I came up with these points to mull over.

    - the Slann look like frogs, so it is possible when they were first "spawned" they looked like tadpoles. Unlike the saurus and skinks, which emerge fully grown from the glowing pools of arcane origin, fully prepared to begin their duties, the Slann emerged as infants. True that even as infants (like the primarchs of 40K), they were frogs of great power and natural instinct, but they were young and inexperienced, and in need of teachers.

    - LOCATION- where were the slann spawned? I think this passage about the Amazons is interesting:

    Emerald Pools- “The only warmbloods that even know of the pool’s existence are the savage human tribeswomen of the region, and these hold them in as much reverence as the Slann, bathing in the glowing green waters of life” (Lizardmen Army Book, 7th ed. 2009 page 35)

    - why would the Slann bathe here? What if these Emerald Pools were not just tools to provide everlasting life, but was also the Slann birth place?? It is possible the Slann "tadpoles" were incubated in the Old One laboratories, then released into these mystical pools to grow into adolescence, where the emerged as tiny froglings (less corpulant than the Slann of today, still able to life their own body weight), where they were then greeted by a Slann of an older spawning to take over their tutorship in the magical arts (or in the case of the First Spawning, the Old Ones themselves!).


    I hope this helps get some ideas going! :vulcan:

     
  7. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I like what you got but this blurb has me wondering about some details.

    We know the only four Lustrian cities with a second generation Slann are Itza, Tlaxtlan, Hexoatl, and Xlanhuapec (the Big Four). There are vague references to a fifth surviving second generation Slann and he an either be the star of your army fluff or the Lord of Zlatan in the Southlands.

    I believe point, every Temple City on the map had a second generation Slann presiding over it. Apart from Itza, I don't believe the Big Four were necessarily the first four cities, they are just the four cities that the modern surviving Slann opted to relocate most of their power to. I figure most of the official Temple cities, ruined and otherwise would have been built before the Great Catastrophe. Most of the Kahouns built after the Great Catastrophe. I also figured the Temple Cities were built at roughly the same time, but now that you brought up something different, maybe they started with Itza and branched outwards.

    I'm curious, the mystic ley lines on the map on page 25 connect a lot of temple cities and monuments to the Old Ones. Did the Slann build their cities and monuments at ley line intersections in order to use the magical energy, or did they build the cities first and then place the ley lines down? Your description suggests the Slann put the magical ley lines down, but I always assume they opted to build around the ley lines rather than force the lines of magic to confirm to their whims.
     
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  8. Warden
    Skar-Veteran

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    I see your point. It is hard to determine exactly which temple-cities were built first (other than Itza of course). I used the research that went into my timeline of lizardmen events:

    Here we have Itza arriving first, then Xlanhuapec, then Tlaxtlan, and so on.

    I am not 100% sure exactly which Lizardmen book this comes from, and I am willing to bet that the exact order of the cities changes drastically from book to book.

    I definitely think its possible that Itza was the "base" from which the Old Ones began to orchestrate their great plan, maybe it marks the location where the Old One's first ships landed on the planet? The location of the original First Contact?

    I do agree that even though their might have been a 2nd generation Slann at each major city in ancient times, with 3rd generation minimum at all the others; but nowadays since so many of the temple cities have been lost the Slann have shuffled around to relocate to the few remaining extant cities (Itza, Hexoatl, Xlanhuapec, Tlaxtlan, maybe Zlatlan).

    I would assume that the Old Ones/Slann constructed the cities at key-intersections to control the flow of magical energy across the planet; as if in our real world we could construct giant machines at common air-and-weather current locations in order to control the weather and use it for power/experiments/stuff. That way the Old Ones could more effectively harness magical power/use it for there own ends.

    Now that I am thinking about it more it seems like a chicken-and-egg scenario: which came first, the magical ley lines or the intersection node constructions?


    One more thing I want to work on eventually is a full list of all known Slann in the Warhammer universe, labelled by spawning generation, city/known location, and description/details. Right now all I have to go on is an abbreviated list from lexicanum, but the descriptions are not very fleshed out. However aside from Kroak and Mazdamundi there is precious little actual information about this ancient race.
     
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  9. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I added this link to the Lustriapedia as formal resource. Page numbers is nice and all, but it doesn't tell me whether it's worth looking up the info or not.

    If someone wants to send me a list of official GW Slann with a sentence or two description what they did, I can put their blurb Lustriapedia glossary and credit the contributor.


    So Lord Huinitenuchli is mentioned in passing as a Slann in early books but in Thanqol he is official the Second Generation Slann ruling over Xlanhuapec, the city of mists. Lord Adohi-Tehga is the ruler of the Tlaxtlan, the City of the Moon. I named the Slann lord of Xlanhuapec Xixlatel (Zee-slah-tell) at the end of my piece “Dead Water”. I’m pretty sure Thanqol was published before I posted “Dead Water,” but I was slow to reading Thanqol. I actually based this off of High Saurian loosely but I forgot what his name means! Because I changed the spelling a bit to make it easier to spell and say, I can’t reverse engineer what earlier me thought. Doesn’t matter, I know how to pronounce Xixlatel, I do not know how to pronounce Huinitenuchli, so that’s what I’m going to use.


    So far in my fluff pieces Xixlatel, hasn’t done anything other than wake up from his latest long nap, but I do have a plan for my writing. Assuming I ever get around to it. I mostly write about the heroics of Skinks and Sauri struggling against great odds. The Slann’s conflict is a background event. Basically my Slann cold war moves a centimeter for every meter my Skink and Saurus characters go. My plan for Xixlatel is pretty simple so far. The Slann are dividing along ideological lines on whether to follow Merestars or Mazdamundi’s interpretation of the Great Plan and Lord Xixlatel is the most powerful Slann to be publicly neutral and most of his subordinates in Xlanhuapec are following his lead. Thus, both sides are desperate (or what passes for desperate among Slann) to flip Xixlatel to their side.


    I do not believe any official source beat me to naming the ruler of Itza. I chose the name Lord Chuqxlata(Chook-slot-ta) in 2013, and because my fluff pieces have the Slann of Itza being in disagreement with the Slann of Klodorex, Chuqxlata is actually an antagonist, albeit a well-meaning one. I chose Chuqxlata to loosely translate into “Unmoving Mind.”


    I have not come up with a story purpose for Lord Adoi-Tehga, my metaplot is complex enough without involving him. He can sleep through the End Times in Scalenexverse unless I need him which I doubt I will. I like the name though, Adah-hee-tay-gah is exotic but relatively easy to pronounce


    I encourage everyone to come up with their own Slann personalities and methods.
     
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  10. pendrake
    Skink Chief

    pendrake Well-Known Member

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    I figure the sequence was this:
    • Spaceships of the Old Ones arrive.
    • Warp Gates are placed.
    • Planet is moved and also terra-formed.
    • Ley lines are created as a consequence of operating the warp gates / moving, tilting, adjusting the planet.
    • The great ships of the old ones are landed at convenient intersections of ley lines.
    • Cities, but sometimes monuments, are built atop the spaceships.
    • All this construction organizes and straightens the ley lines rendering them very useful.
    • (Fast forward 2500 years to the End of the End Times.)
    • The spaceships uproot the remains of each city and take-off abandoning the Great Plan as a bad job...
     
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