A to Z: O is for Oom Ambar in ThulePosted: April 16, 2011 Filed under: A to Z, adventures, aldeboran 2 Comments
Today is brought to you by the letter O. (unfortunately, today is REALLY the 7th and I am writing this ahead of time and will probably get confused, but there you have it). O is the first letter of “Oom Ambar” (sometimes spelled “Oom Ambarr”; I am notoriously inconsistent in my Aldeboran notes). Oom Ambar (however I spell it) is in Thule. If you have been keeping up with my Aldeboran geography posts, you may know that Thule is east of The Vales, Eord, The Sinking lands, etc. Or you may not know that because I may not have mentioned it. First a word about my process (or lack of) in creating Aldeboran. I have a binder with a lot of paper jammed in it. Every once in a while I get an idea (often by sketching) which I then hopefully remember to jam into my binder (a lot of them are also just floating around my place getting stepped on and wrinkled or are here and there in various sketch and notebooks). The binder is really pretty full so I am going to half to figure something out eventually. That’s really it. Some things are more detailed than others. So here is a map of Thule and Ghent and part of Velar. Velar is one of those places about which ‘not much is known’ mostly because I haven’t made anything up yet.Thule’s inhabitants are (primarily) of 4 castes (each caste being mostly segregated by race, although humans occupy 2 of the castes). At the top are “The Lords of Oom.” There are very few Lords of Oom and they dwell in an underground city deep beneath their capital of Oom Ambar. They almost never visit the surface (most common Thulians have never seen a Lord) and are physically weak but capable of all sorts of miracles through their psychic powers (and possibly the use of ancient technological artifacts). They consider all other Thulians to be no more than cattle (although they might place The Priests in ‘useful trained dog’ category). The priests look like “Humans from the distant future” as envisioned by the authors of one of the pamphlets that they had in the SRA in my grade school.* Below the Lords are the priests of Oom. These are selected from the general population at birth if they have certain talents of the mind that make them useful in carrying out the wishes of the Lords of Oom on the surface. They can hear and communicate with the Lords of Oom via thought. Although physically weak (their mind disciplines and the drugs they take to increase their psychic abilities take a toll), they are a bit more durable than the Lords themselves. Guards and other commoners with special talents are frequently ‘honorary’ members of this caste because of their usefulness to the Priests in carrying out the wishes of The Lords. At the bottom of the caste system is ‘everyone else.’ Most Thulians live in virtual slavery and any individual who shows any sign of talent or ambition is either destroyed or recruited intot the priesthood, the guards, etc. A caste by themselves are The Moorlocks. These creatures dwell in the tunnels beneath the city and are permitted to feed on the general population to keep their numbers in check and maintain the proper state of fear that makes the general population so compliant. Oom Ambar is the capital located in the caldera of an extinct volcano. A single maze-like tunnel (as well as some secret and dangerous trails over the lip of the caldera) give access to the city inside. From my sketch of the entrance tunnel, it appears that the gate to the maze is guarded by a golem with what looks like a big dick… but, not to worry, it is just a loin cloth. *”SRA” was a learning tool for US kids in the 1970s. It was a big box of little color coded booklets where you selected a booklet, read it and answered ‘comprehension’ questions at the end. If you got a certain number right, you were allowed to check that one off your list and read another from the same color. Once you finished all the pamphlets of the same color, you were allowed to graduate to a different, more difficult color. The essays were usually about history or common knowledge — I remember an SRA about “The Cardiff Giant” fondly. One of them was about “The people of the future” whom, the SRA author said, would have machines to do all their work for them so they would have gigantic heads and little shriveled bodies… just like H.G. Well’s story of The Time Machine. This blogger can tell you more about SRAs.
I really like all of this. It is a neat city, and I'll probably lift the entire set up for a game at some point. The drawings are fun, too.
I had forgotten all about SRA's. Weird.
I think it's too bad that a lot of the ideas I have come up for Aldeboran are underused (and appear likely to remain that way). Hope you get some good mileage out of Oom Ambar and the bigheads!