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The Petal Throne • View topic - Legends of Mihálli


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 Post subject: Legends of Mihálli
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:41 pm 
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The Tékumel-material at my disposal says that to the common tékumelyani, Mihálli, the shape-shifters, is a creature of the legends.

My idea is to introduce them to the characters of my campaign in the form of such legends. My only problem is that this is as far as my imagination will go in this matter. I will hence appreciate any help with already existing legends, inspiration to home made legends and so on.

This worthless scribe humble accept any information wich could help.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:19 pm 
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Well one of the things I can remember is that legends say that the Mihalli can be detected by their red eyes regardless of form they have assumed. I think this is also mentioned in the novel "The Man of Gold"

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 Post subject: the Red Eye clan
PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:31 am 
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"Well one of the things I can remember is that legends say that the Mihalli can be detected by their red eyes regardless of form they have assumed. I think this is also mentioned in the novel 'The Man of Gold'"

Yes, they quote that part of "Man of Gold" here on this site.

There is one NPC presented in the books that is rumored to take advice from a Mihálli shape-shifter, but I wasn't able to find him just now. A problem with having the information spread over several books.

That would be another way to introduce them though, to let the characters be involved in one of a Mihállis incomprehensive plots, but it doesn't seem like the easiest way. Actually, two of the characters in the characters possé is Mihálli, but that havn't been uncovered yet.

After the current scenario, they will return to Jakálla. I don't know what will happens next.

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 Post subject: canonical Mihalli
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:42 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:23 pm 
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Barker's second novel, Flamesong, has the most information about Mihalli.

Yes, I've been thinking of buying some of his novels for quite a while now. I guess it's just a matter of money right now. Being broke sucks.

(but see Flamesong for a Mihalli trap!)

I understand that you don't want to ruin the book for other people, but if you could PM me about it you would have no less than a Medium Favor to collect from me! (I don't think it would keep me from buy and read the book anyway)

If you need legendary inspiration, consider borrowing from ancient myths. I imagine the myths of ancient India, China, or elsewhere in Asia would fit pretty well with just a few name changes.

Great advice - thats really something worth contemplate a little. :)

Mihalli could have the role as the trickster, like Loke in nordic mythology. He often change shapes to trick and win advantages (but usually don't end up as a winner, despite this). There is some tales about the indian gods, especially Hanuman (but Tékumel doesn't have any monkeys! :() and Ganesha (a chlén-headed demon, anyone? ;)), that I really like. The legendary Mihalli could also be a mysterious advisor to Hrugga (as you mentioned), with similarities to the epic of Gilgamesh.

One is Ngala, a more or less ruined city to the west that is a special holy site for Dlamelish and Hrihayal.

This is hilarious! :D

The characters of my campaign is in N'gala right now. At a whim I moved N'gala to the coast, more or less where the ruined fortress (of Hrugga) is now, and let the characters ship, a hrú called Little Rainbow, be sucked in to the ruins by some twisted weather magic. They are right in some sinister trap right now, not knowing how to get out of it. In the djungle inland awaits Yugao, ripped from The Temple of the Doomed Prince here on this site, and with him the presence of his terrible godess (whos name should not be mentioned!). I would let you have a glimpse of my chronicle, but the forum where I've posted it is down for the moment (and I guess you can't understand swedish anyway...). It got a foreword by Lord Ksárul, who acts as the narrator, that I'm particulary satisfied with (one of the 10 keys to his prison is hidden in Yugao's lair (an ancient temple of unknown origin) - his godess have tried to figure it out, but the concept of a key is something to abstract for her alien mind).

Oh. Sorry. Got a little carried away there...

You seem to be part of the same mail list as my buddy, who I got the information about N'gala from in the first place. :)

(search the Blue Room archive on this site for more about him)

Yes, I have only just begun to tap the information available there, I guess.

hope this helps

Sure!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:29 pm 
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 Post subject: A puppet show!
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 9:51 am 
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In a realm many planes from Tékumel rules a mighty demon lord called Gánu the Chlén-headed. Although he is a cunning magician and possess several items and servants with magic capabilities (like his cart, that let him travel trough the planes, and its humble cart drivers, who is always silent but find ways to help Gánu anyway), he is very kind and also somewhat slow (his sight isn't what it used to be either). His cat-like advisor, called Mihálli of the Many Shapes, has an ability to get him into trouble though, and at that times her eyes burn with a sinister red glow (something Gánu always miss to spot, and does hence never have any reason be suspicious of her). The adventures that he because of that have to embark upon take him to many strange places (and sometimes all the way to Tékumel!), and he often meet resistance set up by Mihálli or drawn into more trouble by one of her many shapes. By his kindness, his often cunning cart drivers, or merely by luck, Gánu always winds up at the winning end in these adventures, and is able to go back to his far away home a little wiser - and often richer too. The stories usually end with one of Gánu's famous words of wisdom, popular because they doesn't really say anything - like: "Even a turtle sometimes lies on his back".

The stories about Gánu is mostly told by puppet masters. In those, Mihállis sinister side is shown by lifting her otherwise closed eyelids and reveal two small red stones beneath. Mihállis different shapes is always ridiculously easy to see trough (she could for example put on a simple dress made of hmá hide to portray Mihi the Talking Hmá), but Gánu is never able to recognize her. In the more sofisticated shows, the doll of Mihálli is lit to cast a long shadow - why that is isn't commonly known, but it has been said to be a special trait of Mihálli to always cast a long shadow. The doll of Gánu also has an habit to stop to gnaw a little on one of the spectators legs, and then make a long penetrating howling sound that anybody can recognize as particulary chlénish.

Oh, and Tekumel does have something vaguely monkey-like.

But I want real monkeys! :( ;)

The beastiary is available to me, but I havn't really read it yet.

It sounds like you have a lively game!

Yes! I'm really enjoying it. I loved to spin in parts of Tékumel's legendary and epic sides to my present plot, and the inspiration from the Temple of the Doomed Prince has been worth its weight in gold (although the dungeon-crawling bits are quite different - ergo, it isn't the thoughness of the opposition that matters but the tension and atmosphere it gives). The next step of my campaign will be somewhat more down-to-earth, but will consist of a spoonfull of Mihálli, one or two demons, a stolen artifact called the Stone of Madness, and quite possibly a visit to the blue room of Lord Ksárul (who am I kidding? Down-to-earth?!). If the characters still possess the key, one of the most devout fractions of the temple of Lord Ksárul will begin to search for them (I don't remember their name, but the most isolationistic of them mentioned in the book of the Gods of Change). It will take place behind the walls of Jakálla, and maybe later on the island of Vrá, where the characters come from.

Probably, I keep an eye on a bunch of Tekumel lists.

Respect... ;)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:21 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:24 pm 
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:26 pm 
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I was going to say that if you think of fairy tales and such, Mihalli can be a common bugaboo enemy in many guises. Kind of like the witch in Grimm's. They could also be used to scare kids, like talk of the boogieman. "Be good or the Mihalli will replace the serving girl and serve you poisoned breakfast!"

Fairy tales, nursery rhymes, scary 'ghost' stories, themes in novels and plays, etc. All are fair game.

I like this. I would kind of enjoy putting in a "be good or the Mihalli..." or two during gameplay. Since one of the characters is only 13 years old, it would even be proper... ;)

I will mail you about the question in your second post. :)

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 Post subject: The Mihalli
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:38 pm 
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Please accept this excerpt from the Professor's publication in one of the first Dragon magazines (the Dragon #8 by TSR)
" The Mihalli are an ancient nonhuman race which came with humanity to Tekumel- but not with humanity's knowledge or blessings! When the planet was cut off from interstellar humanspace, the Mihalli, who had set up a small spy post beneath the planet's surface, were cut off as well and could not return to their original world. As human technology declined, the Mihalli increased and developed their powers. At last there was a final armageddon between the much more numerous human forces and the Mihalli, and this ended with the destruction of the latter's home areas with nuclear fission bombs. With most of the mihalli area a mass of glass-like slag, the race was assumed to be dead. Humanity continued down along the road to barbarism, and only a few final automatic safeguards against Mihalli resurgence were left. These have lasted through the long, slow decay of human technology until the present. Now, however a very few Mihalli have appeared, the most prominent being the chief minister of Yan Kor, the devious Lord Fu Hsi- who may ore may not be an actual Mihalli. More have been seen in connection with the iniquitous ring of Zu'ur drug smugglers, possibly in alliance with Yan Kor or possibly working with the terrible Hlyss. It is thus possible to meet one or small Mihalli parties in the deeper underworld laybrinths..."(Barker, 1976)

This gives you some idea of Mihalli as they may work with beings on Tekumel.
Further, the old Empire of the Petal Throne system integrated the Mihalli as follows;
"The main problem with the Mihalli is really not their magic or thsir powers, but rather the fact that their motives and attitudes are totally incomprehensible to mankind. They behave in ways which can only appear random to humans, since the Mihalli seems to function simultaneously in this dimension and in others as well. They may appear neutral (only rarely-5% chance-friendly) on one turn and become the opposite the next. Their objectives hardly ever seem the same twice. Their Balls of Immediate Evantuation are usable only by magic users or priests of Levels XIV-up, and will instantly scramble the brains of anyone below these levels trying to use them. They will always defend if attacked, and will only rarely (1% chance) offer a magical item to a human party. A random dice roll is thus necessary each turn to determine what the Mihalli will do."(Barker, 1976)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:01 pm 
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 Post subject: Fu Hsi
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:24 am 
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Fu Hsi... an enigma.

Is he a being that carries an 'aspect' of a demon or god similar to that carried by Prince Dhich'une?

Is he a totally alien 'demon race' thing that is employed by the things that exist on 'the other side of the planet'?

I only know that I walked into a comment by the good professor many years ago... didn't think much of it then, but it went something like this...

[me] "Gee professor, we had some idiot magician (npc) try to raise the leman of Ru'utlanesh and she tried to seduce some imperials ?
[the professor] "I see."
[me] "Then Lord Fu Hsi persuaded her to leave"
[the professor] "Unsurprising, since she's his mom".

I am totally hoping that the professor was being facetious.
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 Post subject: Re: Fu Hsi
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:55 am 
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