I mean really. D’y ever get a straight answer out of any of them?
Just about everything they say is either b******t or flowery hippie talk. Their chief gods are the Elephant Man and Skeletor. They’ve got cannibals who file their teeth. And they have sorcerers and thieves out the wazoo. Three competing death cults. It’s like Stygia with even more dope, but they bathe over there.
There is one single solitary explanation for everything from their architecture to their religions. Dope. It’s everywhere over there and in everything. Probably the food. There is an entire forest out there filled with crazed animals who got into the dope and now wander around out of their skulls and ready to attack anything that moves.
Grignette’s origin story:
Before I was a barbarian, my momma didn’t know what to make of me, so she sent me off to a bear shaman to see if he could train me. Spent two weeks there doing odd jobs, when one evening he sits a plate full of toadstools in front of me and tells me to eat them.
I retched for about an hour and started feeling real strange. He sends me into the woods and tells me to find my animal spirit guide. I was gone for four days. Don’t remember any of it. A hunting party found me, three quarters naked, in a tree. They eventually take me back to the bear shaman, who pulls a bunch of porcupine quills out of my hide. That’s when the memories start coming back, and it ain’t pretty. He said I’d been bit or scratched by at least five different kinds of animal. Said he thought one was a crocodile, and they’re scarce in Cimmeria. Then he just says “it looks like you and the animals are going to have to go your separate ways.”
I guess that hippie one with nature crap just didn’t work on me. I did learn something important, though. Dope is bad, unless you really like wrestling porcupines. Which is why this Khitai place kind of weirds me out.
First adventures in Khitai:
More evidence, like you need any.
I thought these Hyrkanians were the least … addled guys on the plain. Probably still are. They ride horses, WHICH IS WHAT PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO RIDE, DUH!
But this evening, one of them tells me that I need to go recruit an ally. This guy is out wandering in the fields. He says he loves the wolves. OK, another one… But even if this seems to be an unlikely recruit, he tells me he’ll sign on with us and against the other sodden pack of wolf fans if I kill this mama bear that’s been mean to the wolves. Huh? So anyways there’s this HUGE freakin’ bear in a hollow. I attack it a couple times and run away a couple times. I finally go to the top of the den and spoink it with some arrows. Making it try to charge up a straight vertical put enough damper on its DPS that I was able to kill the damned thing.
Don’t tell Ursa.
The Hyrkanians have me hunting snakes, tigers, and wolves for food. So they’re just as addled as the rest. I’m eating in Chosain tonight.
Food in Khitai:
OK. Food in Khitai. You know it’s strange. There’s one place you should know about, though.
You have to be pals with the Tamarin Tigers guys, who are crazier than most people over there but at least they don’t hang around with ugly smurf demons. You go to their mess hall, and there’s this soup they have. It’s got black mushrooms and bamboo in it, and lots of red and black pepper, and vinegar, and bits of egg, and it’s made with some kind of pork stock. At least, I think it’s pork. Hard to tell with all the spices. If you gotta eat in Khitai, this is the place to go.
[I’ve tracked down some RP stories that were posted on the old Guild Portal, and IIRC on the old, old forums that were even older than the old forums. That old. There’s more of this material if it interests folks now.]