Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

For writers working on documentation, story prose, announcements, and all kinds of Wesnoth text.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Pentarctagon » January 12th, 2018, 8:40 pm

To go along with the renaming of the Khalifate to the Dunefolk, another topic that needs to be brought up(and has been intermittently brought up in the other threads) is what the Dunefolk's racial description should be. So, since the faction renaming and race renaming are more or less complete(pending the PR on github), and the unit renaming is at the polling stage, now seems like a good time to start a separate topic for this.

The Dunefolk's existing race description is quite literally:
This race does not have a description yet.


There is also, to my knowledge, little to no mainline lore established about the faction, nor any mainline campaign that provides any detail, so they are effectively a blank slate. That said, there has certainly been some discussion of this in the past:
The Khalifate Resource and Balance Thread
Story of the Khalifate
A rough draft by Noy

So, who are the Dunefolk? How did they get to the Great Continent? When did they get there? Do they use magic? Are there Jinn? The sky's the limit here :)
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code
User avatar
Pentarctagon
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3062
Joined: March 22nd, 2009, 10:50 pm
Location: Earth (occasionally)

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby skeptical_troll » January 12th, 2018, 9:54 pm

Hoping to do something useful, I just report here the characterization I gave to the 'Dunefolk', formerly known as Khalifate, when I wrote the campaign 'Return from the Abyss'.

First of all, I read in the 'idea' section that you note a lack of interest from UMC authors around this faction. In my personal experience, what hold me the most at the beginning was the fact that so little about the Khalifate was established in the lore, hence I was a bit afraid the whatever decision I made about their history/culture etc.. might become outdated soon, and my campaign garbage. I know that UMC don't have to be consistent with mainline, but it would be kind of weird, if not annoying, to play an UMC which mentions how happy was Konrad to kill Lisar and marry Asheviere...
The only thing I was sure about (ironically :lol: ) was that the nation they lived in is called 'Khalifate' and is hence ruled by a 'Khalif'. So now I certainly praise this attempt of establishing some facts, although it's not completely clear to me how decisions will be taken.

Coming back to RftA, I basically followed what I proposed in the 'history of the Khalifate' thread: the Dunefolk came from the Old Continent, as everyone seemed to agree upon, but through an underground route instead of a bridge of whatever nature, analogous to how Burin the Lost got to the Green Isle in tRoW. The route was then used for some time for trade and communications, but it eventually collapsed and the contact between the two continent was lost. In summary, the Dunefolk are still living on both sides of the ocean, but those in the Great Continent are separated from their fatherland in the west, and some of them are desperately trying to find another route to return there, either above or below the surface.

Reguarding the political/social structure: the Khalifate is a federation of city-states (ruled by 'emirs' in my case), which are fairly independent except that they pay tributes to the supreme leader (the 'Khalif') and their economy is strongly focused on trade.
User avatar
skeptical_troll
 
Posts: 317
Joined: August 31st, 2015, 11:06 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Pentarctagon » January 12th, 2018, 10:28 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:it's not completely clear to me how decisions will be taken.


The first step, I think, is really just to get all the ideas consolidated and "on the table", so to speak. Once that's done, then decisions can be made on the higher level details(ie: do they use magic? yes|no, if no - why not?). And then from there, specific details and wording can be proposed, and from that a description created.
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code
User avatar
Pentarctagon
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 3062
Joined: March 22nd, 2009, 10:50 pm
Location: Earth (occasionally)

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Kasdel » January 13th, 2018, 12:27 am

This is the culmination of my lore ideas for the Dunefolk's origin, written in a literary way.
Read below. I might write another part detailing what they did while in Wesnoth, if you guys like this one. (I hope you do) :)
If there's any lore mistake or inconsistency, please point out. I don't know much about Wesnoth lore, to be frank.

"Blood among the sand":
User avatar
Kasdel
 
Posts: 13
Joined: January 7th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Celtic_Minstrel » January 13th, 2018, 2:12 am

A few thoughts about the Dunefolk...

  1. Everyone seems to want to explain how they arrived from the Old Continent. Why is this such an important thing? While there's some sense in supposing a single origin point for most of humanity on Irdya, does that have to be the Old Continent? Maybe the dunefolk have always been on the Wesnoth continent (at least as long as they've been dunefolk). I don't really have a strong opinion one way or another, but most people seem to think this avenue is out of bounds, which bugs me a little.
  2. I think there should be jinn involved with the dunefolk, but not in a great capacity. I imagine them as being another race that they share the desert with, one with whom they have an uneasy relationship.
  3. The Arabian Nights and similar tales (if they exist) are a good source of inspiration for the culture of the dunefolk, in my opinion. In other words, pre-Islamic Arab culture. However, they are not the only possible source. Someone mentioned the Mongols in the other thread, and some inspiration could probably be taken from places such as the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Ethiopians, and the Berbers, all of which would have known the desert to one degree or another.
  4. While I'm in favour of the name "Khalifates" (yes, plural) to refer to their national structure, I'm not so attached to it that removing it would be a deal-breaker. I do like the general idea of a loose collection of city-states.
  5. I like the idea that magic exists in their society but, for one reason or another, is not prominent and is certainly not encouraged or supported by the ruling class.
  6. The falcon line is quite boring. I like the idea of giving it more of an Arab-esque flavour by replacing it with that mythical bird, the roc. This could be merely a rename, or it could be a more involved change.
Author of The Black Cross of Aleron campaign and Default++ era.
Maintainer of Steelhive.
User avatar
Celtic_Minstrel
Developer
 
Posts: 845
Joined: August 3rd, 2012, 11:26 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby skeptical_troll » January 13th, 2018, 7:39 am

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Everyone seems to want to explain how they arrived from the Old Continent. Why is this such an important thing? While there's some sense in supposing a single origin point for most of humanity on Irdya, does that have to be the Old Continent? Maybe the dunefolk have always been on the Wesnoth continent (at least as long as they've been dunefolk). I don't really have a strong opinion one way or another, but most people seem to think this avenue is out of bounds, which bugs me a little.


I reckon this is because Dunefolk/Khalifate are never mentioned in mainline campaigns, together with the notion that there weren't humans in the Great Continent before Haldric arrived. Basically, if they were already there, it's a bit weird that neither Wesnothians nor elves/dwarves (who has been there for much longer) haven't had contact with them during the time-span of mainline campaigns. So if this is the case, explaining how and why they moved it's clearly an important part of the lore
User avatar
skeptical_troll
 
Posts: 317
Joined: August 31st, 2015, 11:06 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby zookeeper » January 13th, 2018, 10:35 am

skeptical_troll wrote:
Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Everyone seems to want to explain how they arrived from the Old Continent. Why is this such an important thing? While there's some sense in supposing a single origin point for most of humanity on Irdya, does that have to be the Old Continent? Maybe the dunefolk have always been on the Wesnoth continent (at least as long as they've been dunefolk). I don't really have a strong opinion one way or another, but most people seem to think this avenue is out of bounds, which bugs me a little.


I reckon this is because Dunefolk/Khalifate are never mentioned in mainline campaigns, together with the notion that there weren't humans in the Great Continent before Haldric arrived. Basically, if they were already there, it's a bit weird that neither Wesnothians nor elves/dwarves (who has been there for much longer) haven't had contact with them during the time-span of mainline campaigns. So if this is the case, explaining how and why they moved it's clearly an important part of the lore

Yeah, that's pretty much the reason. It's a rather significant part of the lore of the world that humans originate from the Old Continent and started populating the Great Continent in large numbers only during/after TRoW.
User avatar
zookeeper
WML Wizard
 
Posts: 9630
Joined: September 11th, 2004, 10:40 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Xalzar » January 13th, 2018, 11:14 am

Kasdel wrote:An origin story of the Dunefolk

Let's see...

Kasdel wrote:The folk of the east were not one united faction, but several warring ones, vying for the rule of their land, some to elevate it, do good deeds with the power they sought to earn, others standing strong in a meager, desperate self-defense, and those whose thirst for power was as intense as their thirst for immortality. But unlike those who would later be named the Wesfolk, the Dunefolk rose above the endless sea of blood and sweat and dust that remained after the war, to contemplate a land no longer plagued by the fear of dark magic – on their side.

Their neighbors had turned to the irresistible allure of necromancy with the thought that it would make them wiser, stronger, more resilient. But the land was not one to be toyed with. Somehow, whatever energy that coursed through the veins of the Old Continent was giving birth to monsters that surpassed imagination, feral beasts that had no goal but to kill, no purpose but to get their home back from the humans who inhabited it now.


In my headcanon the great war from which the Wesfolk fled was massive and involved great magics, terrible monsters and massive environmental damage, so I like this story. Orcs were most probably involved, since the Lich Lords knew who to call to their aid in the Green Isle.

One other thing that I like is that the Dunefolk finally escaped from the Wesfolk (and monsters) and many centuries (?) later they meet their descendants on the other side. (Hi-de-oh!) :lol: And they could possibly meet the other, worse descendants, the Undead (the Bitter Swamp is not far and AFAIK it was never purged from the remnants of Mal Ravanal's army). Interesting relationships to be had. :mrgreen:

That said, the less is known about the wars in the Old Continent the better IMO. Leaves more space to imagination, and also we can't put too much information in the description page of the faction (and it should focus on the present, with maybe an hint to the past).
Of course, now we are brainstorming so accurate storylines are gladly accepted. :D

Kasdel wrote:Their science-minded people were beginning to grasp how to tame the beasts, the words and sounds they reacted to, the signs that made them angrier, and the ones that turned them calm. Some joined their ranks, first as scientific subjects, then as actual warriors against those that resisted. Wyrms were mounted, feral falcons were trained to live in harmony with humans. Healing had no choice but to be studied intensively, as more and more Dunefolk warriors came back wounded and dying.

I don't know if taming wild beast is being represented in the faction right now. Sure, it could be corrected in the future (I'm referring to the ventilated addition of the Roc, and the less known Wyvern Rider), but right now falconeering is not an outstanding demonstration of that.

Speaking of the development of medicine, very long wars and monster invasions sure justify the experience of their physicians (the Wesfolk resolved the issue by necromancy, which is hilarious :lol: ). I'm also thinking that maybe some special plants or other ingredients helped, and maybe they brought these in their journey to the Great Continent and replanted them. That could explain how they are better than Elvish Shamans: they have better starting materials than the Elves. Does anybody know if there are special plants in Arabic/Middle Eastern mythology?

Kasdel wrote:The unfinished civil war was reignited in the time of peace. For the same unknown reasons as the last time – or perhaps newer ones? – the monsters came back with all their might and crushed faction after faction, warrior after warrior, leaving no other choice but for the remaining, leaderless people to flee. And they did so with magic. The same magic that was thought to have doomed them. [...]
All the mightiest scholars mustered their efforts in one final stand: they created a bridge to the north, where they speculated that a land existed, but couldn’t know for sure, and the bridge began to form, brick by brick, as the menace grew even larger. The more the magical power was used, the more death came after them in the form of stuff worse than dragons.
United under the same purpose, the Dunefolk crossed a bridge made of the magic they feared to escape from the peril of that same magic, while the monsters chased them among the flesh of the deceased.
The bricks fell.
The monsters fell.
And when the horizon seemed to promise only more water, they saw land. A desert land, but teeming with possibilities.
And thus the Dunefolk came to Wesnoth.


Unless the Old Continent is massive has a very strange shape, the Great Continent is considered to be in the East.
If instead both the continents reach the southern pole (is Irdya even a globe?) and then I don't know if we could speak of "north".
But that's nitpicking and not at all important.

Ok so to summarize:
Motive of leaving by Kasdel: Civil War, Monsters and Wesfolk Liches in order of importance
Means of leaving by Kasdel: Magical unstable bridge

skeptical_troll wrote:The Dunefolk came from the Old Continent, as everyone seemed to agree upon, but through an underground route instead of a bridge of whatever nature, analogous to how Burin the Lost got to the Green Isle in tRoW. The route was then used for some time for trade and communications, but it eventually collapsed and the contact between the two continent was lost. In summary, the Dunefolk are still living on both sides of the ocean, but those in the Great Continent are separated from their fatherland in the west, and some of them are desperately trying to find another route to return there, either above or below the surface.


I'm focusing on their origin for now, but I'll say that I'm in agreement with the idea of loose city-states or provinces with a possible higher authority of sorts.
It seems quite strange for a surface-dwelling race to have found such route and to have traveled through it regularly, expecially one that bridges two supposedly far continents (maybe they're nearer in the south).

To summarize:
Motive of leaving by skeptical_troll: Expansion?
Means of leaving by skeptical_troll: Underground Collapsing Tunnel

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Everyone seems to want to explain how they arrived from the Old Continent. Why is this such an important thing? While there's some sense in supposing a single origin point for most of humanity on Irdya, does that have to be the Old Continent? Maybe the dunefolk have always been on the Wesnoth continent (at least as long as they've been dunefolk).

In short:
Motive of leaving by Celtic_Minstrel: They're already here! :shock:
Means of leaving by Celtic_Minstrel: or better, means of approach, land expansion? Exploration?

List of all ideas about their origin flying around and then some::

If I forgot something let me know. :doh:
Last edited by Xalzar on January 13th, 2018, 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Xalzar
 
Posts: 139
Joined: April 4th, 2009, 10:03 pm
Location: New Saurgrath

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby skeptical_troll » January 13th, 2018, 11:35 am

@xalzar: in my version, better described in the other thread, one of them (a marco polo inspired figure) was a merchant and explorer who worked for some time for a dwarf king. In this way he found the route. So at the beginning dunefolk only had trade outposts in the great continent, which then evolved into proper cities before the route was lost. They also have good relations with dwarves, with whom they trade frequently.
User avatar
skeptical_troll
 
Posts: 317
Joined: August 31st, 2015, 11:06 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby max_torch » January 13th, 2018, 3:01 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:in my version, better described in the other thread

@skeptical troll: You can put a direct link to your description in the other thread
Here:
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=41423&start=30#p592907
User avatar
max_torch
 
Posts: 239
Joined: July 31st, 2011, 5:54 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Eagle_11 » January 13th, 2018, 5:14 pm

Spoiler:
User avatar
Eagle_11
Forum Regular
 
Posts: 593
Joined: November 20th, 2013, 12:20 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Xalzar » January 13th, 2018, 6:19 pm

Eagle_11 wrote:...


Dam son/sister! :shock:

I quite like your interpretation, you can make a r- ...a campaign out of this! :lol:
It's fairly apocalyptic, as I expected from the great war in the Old Continent. Thanks for the contribution, I'll add few elements to my list. ;)
User avatar
Xalzar
 
Posts: 139
Joined: April 4th, 2009, 10:03 pm
Location: New Saurgrath

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Eagle_11 » January 13th, 2018, 6:44 pm

Xalzar wrote:Dam son/sister! :shock:

FYI im an human male. :P
User avatar
Eagle_11
Forum Regular
 
Posts: 593
Joined: November 20th, 2013, 12:20 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Celtic_Minstrel » January 13th, 2018, 7:53 pm

Eagle_11: Okay, I don't particularly like the idea that, at some distant point in the past, all humanity was united in a single Empire. As for the rest of your post... I kinda lost interest somewhere in the second paragraph, so I dunno...

zookeeper wrote:
skeptical_troll wrote:I reckon this is because Dunefolk/Khalifate are never mentioned in mainline campaigns, together with the notion that there weren't humans in the Great Continent before Haldric arrived. Basically, if they were already there, it's a bit weird that neither Wesnothians nor elves/dwarves (who has been there for much longer) haven't had contact with them during the time-span of mainline campaigns. So if this is the case, explaining how and why they moved it's clearly an important part of the lore

Yeah, that's pretty much the reason. It's a rather significant part of the lore of the world that humans originate from the Old Continent and started populating the Great Continent in large numbers only during/after TRoW.

Well, okay, a lot of this makes sense. So it sounds like we basically know the following:
  • The elves and dwarves lived on the great continent long before the arrival of the Wesfolk, ie the humans who would go on to form the kingdom of Wesnoth.
  • The elves and dwarves had no contact with humans prior to the arrival of the Wesfolk.
  • There has been no recorded historical contact between the kingdom of Wesnoth and the Dunefolk.
  • The elves live in the northern forests. The dwarves, in (and partially under) the northern mountains.

Most people assume based on this that the Dunefolk must have arrived later than the Wesfolk. Let's consider the opposite case — that the Dunefolk arrived long before the Wesfolk. Would that fit with the above facts? I think it actually could. As forest-dwellers, the elves probably abhor the desert; they would never consider an expedition across the sands without good reason. If the Dunefolk merely found an oasis or river and settled there, the only way the elves would learn of them would be if the Dunefolk themselves sent an expedition north. There's no risk of contact between the dwarves and the dunefolk, as the dwarves live even further north.

What about once the Wesfolk arrived? Well, if I recall correctly, there's an unfriendly elf-inhabited forest sitting between the desert and the kingdom of Wesnoth, which would be quite a deterrence to Wesnoth humans considering an expedition to the south.

What about the drakes? It's not entirely clear where on the map the drakes primarily inhabit, and it's quite possible that some drake communities border on the desert. This might not be a problem, though. Perhaps the drakes have scattered small communities all across the eastern great continent. This would mean that some drakes would have had contact with the Dunefolk, but those drakes would not have had contact with the Wesfolk and their descendants... though I'm not sure if that quite works since I seem to recall drakes being painted as originating from the Green Isle. Still... maybe some of them left the Green Isle and went east to the great continent long before the Wesfolk arrived.

Then, how did the Dunefolk get to the great continent in the first place? Was it way back during an Ice Age over a connecting bridge between the continents? Or was it (probably more likely) by ship? The other possibilities people have mentioned (magic bridge, underground tunnel) could also work.

And what were the Dunefolk before the left the old continent? I'd prefer to suppose they were never really related to the Wesfolk (or rather, the relationship is lost to the mists of time, long before the identities "wesfolk" and "dunefolk" were born). Did they get dragged into the same war that forced the Wesfolk to flee the old continent? If we're assuming they left before the Wesfolk, it's probably unlikely.

On an unrelated note, I kinda want to know what the old continent is like "today" - what happened after the Wesfolk fled?
Author of The Black Cross of Aleron campaign and Default++ era.
Maintainer of Steelhive.
User avatar
Celtic_Minstrel
Developer
 
Posts: 845
Joined: August 3rd, 2012, 11:26 pm

Re: Dunefolk(previously Khalifate) race description

Postby Kasdel » January 13th, 2018, 10:16 pm

Xalzar wrote:In my headcanon the great war from which the Wesfolk fled was massive and involved great magics, terrible monsters and massive environmental damage, so I like this story. Orcs were most probably involved, since the Lich Lords knew who to call to their aid in the Green Isle.

One other thing that I like is that the Dunefolk finally escaped from the Wesfolk (and monsters) and many centuries (?) later they meet their descendants on the other side. (Hi-de-oh!) :lol: And they could possibly meet the other, worse descendants, the Undead (the Bitter Swamp is not far and AFAIK it was never purged from the remnants of Mal Ravanal's army). Interesting relationships to be had. :mrgreen:

That said, the less is known about the wars in the Old Continent the better IMO. Leaves more space to imagination, and also we can't put too much information in the description page of the faction (and it should focus on the present, with maybe an hint to the past).
Of course, now we are brainstorming so accurate storylines are gladly accepted. :D

Thanks a lot for reading and responding to my story!
I didn't think of the Orcs... if they existed on the Old Continent, (I need to brush up on Wesnoth lore) then I can incorporate them in that origin, yeah.

The reunion between them and the humans on Wesnoth would definitely be something to behold :P I plan to expand on what I already wrote, accompany it with some images and add the "Dunefolk in Wesnoth" part. When they see magic again and necromancy thriving on the Great Continent, what will happen? And will they accept that it can be used for good things, or will they remain with their strict but relatively reasonable laws? What about the drakes? To be continued...

Indeed, part of the Old Continent's origin should be shrouded in mystery, and the description can't encompass it all, but for people brainstorming the lore, it's pretty important that we know of certain details to be incorporated in the Dunefolk's story and clear up the unexplained stuff.

But there's still a lot to explain in my proposed origin story, in particular where the beasts came from, which I think is best to leave up to the imagination. Were they really born because of the use of magic? Was someone actively creating them? Did they just get attracted from all corners of the continent, lured by the mystical powers employed by the Wesfolk?

Xalzar wrote:I don't know if taming wild beast is being represented in the faction right now. Sure, it could be corrected in the future (I'm referring to the ventilated addition of the Roc, and the less known Wyvern Rider), but right now falconeering is not an outstanding demonstration of that.

Speaking of the development of medicine, very long wars and monster invasions sure justify the experience of their physicians (the Wesfolk resolved the issue by necromancy, which is hilarious :lol: ). I'm also thinking that maybe some special plants or other ingredients helped, and maybe they brought these in their journey to the Great Continent and replanted them. That could explain how they are better than Elvish Shamans: they have better starting materials than the Elves. Does anybody know if there are special plants in Arabic/Middle Eastern mythology?

Roc is a great idea. I thought about falconeering in the "falconeering with not-quite-normal falcons" way, but this is better. Also, I think the falcon is in need of a slightly fresher sprite, so rocs are perfect.

The Wyvern Rider was something I thought of as well. We have the sprite, we just need to lore to match it. I mean, are there supposed to be wyverns on the Great Continent if drakes already exist there? If they came from the Old Continent, that issue wouldn't arise.

I did a quick search on plants in Arabian mythology and didn't really find anything, but it would be interesting if they had unique plants that they used in medicine and that were resistant to the dry weather of the desert, so they could replant them on their new home in the Great Continent. You're giving me many good ideas!

Xalzar wrote:Unless the Old Continent is massive has a very strange shape, the Great Continent is considered to be in the East.
If instead both the continents reach the southern pole (is Irdya even a globe?) and then I don't know if we could speak of "north".
But that's nitpicking and not at all important.

I think Irdya should be a globe, or part of one...? There are mentions to the sun (or suns) which is a star (spheric/globe-shaped), and it seems a world fairly similar to our own in terms of seasons and times of day.

I meant east of the Old Continent, not east of the whole world.
According to this sketch by zookeeper for the explanation that served as basis to mine, there's land to the west and east of the Old Continent, and I assumed the Wesfolk lived on the west while the Dunefolk on the east.

But yeah, my geography is messed up. If it's in the direction of the south pole, then it's not really the north... and I'm not sure if that means the east was supposed to be west? Now I'm confused.

Celtic_Minstrel wrote:Everyone seems to want to explain how they arrived from the Old Continent. Why is this such an important thing? While there's some sense in supposing a single origin point for most of humanity on Irdya, does that have to be the Old Continent? Maybe the dunefolk have always been on the Wesnoth continent (at least as long as they've been dunefolk).

It's not such an important thing, but IMO the fact that they aren't native to the Great Continent is more consistent with the existing lore - they weren't always there and well-established when all the big moments in Wesnothian history happened, so they don't need to be retro-fitted - and it makes the Wesnoth world more fleshed out and feel bigger and more alive (the Old Continent can finally have a more detailed story) while opening up potential for an interesting, deep lore for the Dunefolk that's a bit different from the other factions.
User avatar
Kasdel
 
Posts: 13
Joined: January 7th, 2018, 8:22 pm

Next

Return to Writers’ Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest