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  • Fomorians

    I've always found the vagueness around the Fomorians a little frustrating. Redcaps are still relatively okay (and considered on the side of the Tuatha). Even the Thallain aren't necessarily on the side of the Fomorians. So what exactly are they and why are they so bad? Other kiths already represent dark and primal dreams, so why are the Fomorians that much worse?

    Is it that the Fomorians really represent the Wyld in its truest form, while the Tuatha are relatively ordered? Or are they this part of the Umbra's manifestation of the Wyrm--or, perhaps, the Dreaming manifestations of the sleeping Malfeans themselves, and therefore the universal dream of destruction?

    In mythology, the Fomorians represent primordials like the Titans or Giants. The Neverborn also represent primordial beings and may, in fact, be the deathly reflections of beings like the Yozi in Exalted. Is there a connection?

    Also, why are the motives of the Fomorians so terrible? We know very little about them. Are they really that bad? Why is anything from the Dreaming emerging such a bad thing, if Glamour is so rare? Surely it'd be a positive thing if more fae beings were around in the world?

    I guess what I'm saying is: can we have some more information on the Fomorians in C20, pretty please?

  • #2
    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
    I guess what I'm saying is: can we have some more information on the Fomorians in C20, pretty please?
    ^_____________^

    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
    Is it that the Fomorians really represent the Wyld in its truest form, while the Tuatha are relatively ordered? Or are they this part of the Umbra's manifestation of the Wyrm--or, perhaps, the Dreaming manifestations of the sleeping Malfeans themselves, and therefore the universal dream of destruction?
    The Wyld and the Wyrm are pretty meaningless concepts under the Changeling: The Dreaming umbrella. Changeling, historically, has made mention of the realm of the dead and other other-realms besides the Dreaming, but are they the Umbra or the Shadowlands and do Malfeans slumber in any of them? I would say not necessarily by default, but there are enough parallels that STs could include them in their Changeling chronicle if they want to.

    If we throw out the other gamelines' cosmologies and focus purely on Changeling: The Dreaming, we know the Tuatha de Danaan arose with the rise of humanity and the Fomorians predate them. If the Tuatha were created by/created humanity's higher order thoughts and emotions and the Dreaming reflects the Tuathan Dream, what kind of world would give rise to the Fomorians/the Fomorians create? What would the Dreaming look like under the sway of the Fomorian Dream? My guess is that it wouldn't be hospitable to humans or the Kithain.


    Charlie Cantrell
    Onyx Path Freelancer
    Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition, Conquering Heroes, Book of Freeholds, Guide to the Night, C20 Players Guide

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    • #3
      Just like vampire and Demon generally expect a fairly strong familiarity with Christianity the Tuatha/Formorian setup sort of just assumes the player will be familiar with the Invasion cycle in Irish Myth and to a lesser extent mythological parallels across different cultures. Broadly speaking there are two sorts of myth cycles about rebellion there's the ones like Christianity where the Rebels rise up to overthrow the cosmic order and the proper people smack them down and order is maintained in the face of these rebels. The other method is basically the new generation comes in and imposes a proper order on a more primal situation which is basically what the Invasions cover.. of course with the Irish they keep doing that far more than others.

      So with this in mind taking parallels from other nations we can compare the Formorians to the Titans, Tiamat etc. These are generally the further you go back monsters who are as much a force of nature as a person, storms with teeth, dragons who are the ocean etc where as the Gods coming in and by smacking around the Storm with teeth end up taming the sky. So if the Tuatha are sort of "Divine" level Kithain I think Formorians should look more like "Divine" level Inanimae but as Inanimae are part of the world that has been tamed by Tuatha the Formorians should come off as some mix of person, monster and profoundly unnatural phenomenon, hurricanes of glass, Wildifres that burn cold, but also as much dragons and Krackens and sometimes people.

      You could do worse in trying to conceptuallize the Formorians than by taking ques from Primordials in Exalted.

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      • #4
        If you are planning on using crossover material, especially Werewolf and Mage, I would say that the Fomorians are creatures of the Wyrm. Some Fomorians may follow the Wyrm of Balance rather than the Corrupter of later ages, and want to restore balance to the cosmos. Kithain more in touch with the Wyld (Redcaps, Unseelie Satyrs etc) would have more in common with spirits of the Wyrm of Balance than other Wyld fae.

        For creating player characters of these creatures, I would make them via Dark Ages: Fae. Particularly Trueborn Fae of the Winter Court (darkness, nightmares and terror). These Fae are NOT subject to Banality in the sense that Changelings are, rather they are prone to either becoming Lost (Bedlam) or Locked (becoming Mortal and forgetting its fae nature). So though True Fae are very powerful, they usually keep a low profile.

        Last edited by MythAdvocate; 10-16-2015, 09:12 PM.


        “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
        Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

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        • #5
          Fomorians are in Apocalypse as the Vo'lag, a race of wyrmish giants that live under the earth. So I'm pretty sure that won't help too much :P

          The thing is, we're saddled with Balor One Eye and the Fomorians as evil, since the Tuatha saw them as evil. Considering how much inspiration Changeling took from Tuatha and how vaunted Tuatha de Denan are among celtic cultures, they will always end up as the wicked precusors that had to be wiped out. I'd actually play that angle up, and make them a whole different, alien type of Fae - Slaine had an excellent idea there.


          What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.

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          • #6
            The Fomorians in the Lebor Galaba Erenn are really anomalous and don't seem to match up with the Formorians in Changeling very much. They seem to have become aquatic. Or not. They might live on some islands out there where Tir nan Og is. Or not. They definitely can marry into Tuatha De families (the part with Danu only gets added when you have to distinguish that the "De" in question isn't the Christian "De") but they might be their ancestors (kinda like the giants are of the Aesir) - e.g. it seems very likely that the Daghda's father is probably a Fomorian.... The might be one of the conquering groups, or the might just be some sort of indigenous folks that persist on the island despite the wave after wave of folks that come through.

            In general, I just stop really thinking of the Fomorians of the Dreaming as matching up with the Fomorians of what we've got of Irish mythology. They seems to represent something very different except when viewed at a certain angle in very specific light. I kind of like the idea they are to the Inanimae what the Tuatha are to the Sidhe. Primal as compared to elemental. The dreams of rocks cracking in the frost, forests as they burn, the endless grinding cycle of the waves against the shore....

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
              Fomorians are in Apocalypse as the Vo'lag, a race of wyrmish giants that live under the earth. So I'm pretty sure that won't help too much :P

              The thing is, we're saddled with Balor One Eye and the Fomorians as evil, since the Tuatha saw them as evil. Considering how much inspiration Changeling took from Tuatha and how vaunted Tuatha de Denan are among celtic cultures, they will always end up as the wicked precusors that had to be wiped out. I'd actually play that angle up, and make them a whole different, alien type of Fae - Slaine had an excellent idea there.
              The Tuatha thought "prettiest guy should rule" was also a reasonable method of determining who gets to be king. Tuatha kind of have some special traits there, but that's more for bitching in Scion than here. in Dreaming I think the Tuatha are less the irish pantheon and more a covering for the gods of men vs the more primal entities.

              So with that we kind of have two options. The Formorians are the "natural" state of the Dreaming preHumanity or if we want to go more crazy/interesting they are the surviving Dreams of countless dead races as they have faded from the Scene on Earth. For crossover arguments on the last one you have the Mokole and Etherite book claiming prehuman civilizations.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lian View Post
                So with that we kind of have two options. The Formorians are the "natural" state of the Dreaming preHumanity or if we want to go more crazy/interesting they are the surviving Dreams of countless dead races as they have faded from the Scene on Earth. For crossover arguments on the last one you have the Mokole and Etherite book claiming prehuman civilizations.
                Oh, I like the idea of them being prehuman dreams. Hominid civilization is a fascinating subject to ponder (even without the supernatural elements of the World(s) of Darkness. I could see Ice Age civilization shaping many Fomorian type fae, and those fae being quite primal and scary.



                “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
                Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MythAdvocate View Post

                  Oh, I like the idea of them being prehuman dreams. Hominid civilization is a fascinating subject to ponder (even without the supernatural elements of the World(s) of Darkness. I could see Ice Age civilization shaping many Fomorian type fae, and those fae being quite primal and scary.

                  Well boht the Mokole and Etherites state there was a dinosaur civilization so you can go really nuts if you want especially without time gets wonky in the Dreaming.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lian View Post

                    The Tuatha thought "prettiest guy should rule" was also a reasonable method of determining who gets to be king. Tuatha kind of have some special traits there, but that's more for bitching in Scion than here. in Dreaming I think the Tuatha are less the irish pantheon and more a covering for the gods of men vs the more primal entities.
                    .
                    You couldn't be scarred or have imperfections and lead. You did NOT have to be particularly attractive. The Dagda was a King of the Tuatha, but he is usually (but not always) described as handsome at all. Nuada didn't lose the kingship for not being handsome. He was still handsome. He was just missing an arm. As soon as he got the arm back (in the flesh not the silver one) he was eligible to be king again. And it's not even consistent. Finn Mac Cumhal couldn't be in the Fianna unless he had no scars or imperfections, but the leader of the Fianna at the time was Goll Mac Morna, whose first name indicated he was missing an eye (which he had lost to Finn's dad).

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                    • #11
                      I like all these suggestions. I particularly like the idea of them being the natural denizens of the Dreaming before the Tuatha came along. If we buy DA:Fae's story of the fae taking shelter in the Dreaming and basically rewriting their own past, perhaps that's when they usurped those previous entities to take shelter from Banality.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lian View Post
                        Well boht the Mokole and Etherites state there was a dinosaur civilization so you can go really nuts if you want especially without time gets wonky in the Dreaming.
                        Sounds like a good place from whence dragons, reptilians and serpentmen might come from... Dreams of the Thurian Age.

                        But as for the Fomorians. As the "Lords of Winter" I could see the reign of the Fomorians being thematically linked with the last great Ice Age. Similarly the Tuatha de Dannon are often linked with the progression of the Proto Indo-Europeans. and their Bronze Age civilization supplanting the previous Stone and Copper-Age civilizations. Some delightful symbolism to be drawn from here.


                        “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
                        Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MythAdvocate View Post

                          Sounds like a good place from whence dragons, reptilians and serpentmen might come from... Dreams of the Thurian Age.

                          But as for the Fomorians. As the "Lords of Winter" I could see the reign of the Fomorians being thematically linked with the last great Ice Age. Similarly the Tuatha de Dannon are often linked with the progression of the Proto Indo-Europeans. and their Bronze Age civilization supplanting the previous Stone and Copper-Age civilizations. Some delightful symbolism to be drawn from here.
                          There doesn't seem to be much of a correlation between the spread of Indo-European languages and the spread of bronze working. It would be nice if there were, but it looks like the language spread came after the technology spread. And before the spread of iron. Or, possibly well well before the spread of bronze. Which way you swing depends on whose glottochronology you buy into. It's all very inconvenient as it would be lovely if to tie everything down to a single early Volkerwanderung.

                          Bronze (really copper until the Cornish and Spanish tin mines are up and going) seems to have spread with some advances in agriculture (which didn't use the copper, copper/bronze was more a high end prestige substance while most functional tools were still stone), some distinctive pottery and, very likely the brewing of beer. The Tuatha De don't really act much like bronze age folks in that part of Europe. The earliest archaeological culture that is identifiable as ancestral to the stuff going on in the Book of Conquests and the Tain are down and out Iron Age folks (almsot certainly La Tene). It's Irish mythology that conflates the mostly Neolithic monuments with the Tuatha when they hand Ireland over to the Milesians and go "underhill" and become the Sidhe (or sail back off for Tir nan Og).

                          Using the term the Tuatha for the Lords of the Dreaming, e.g. the "Super-Sidhe" is a bit of a misnomer. Moreso than the use of the term Sidhe in-game, as it's very difficult to line up the Tuatha as described in CtD with the Tuatha De of Irish mythology on anything other than a broad conceptual level as opposed to a point by point tie in.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ajax View Post

                            There doesn't seem to be much of a correlation between the spread of Indo-European languages and the spread of bronze working. It would be nice if there were, but it looks like the language spread came after the technology spread. And before the spread of iron. Or, possibly well well before the spread of bronze. Which way you swing depends on whose glottochronology you buy into. It's all very inconvenient as it would be lovely if to tie everything down to a single early Volkerwanderung.

                            Bronze (really copper until the Cornish and Spanish tin mines are up and going) seems to have spread with some advances in agriculture (which didn't use the copper, copper/bronze was more a high end prestige substance while most functional tools were still stone), some distinctive pottery and, very likely the brewing of beer. The Tuatha De don't really act much like bronze age folks in that part of Europe. The earliest archaeological culture that is identifiable as ancestral to the stuff going on in the Book of Conquests and the Tain are down and out Iron Age folks (almsot certainly La Tene). It's Irish mythology that conflates the mostly Neolithic monuments with the Tuatha when they hand Ireland over to the Milesians and go "underhill" and become the Sidhe (or sail back off for Tir nan Og).

                            Using the term the Tuatha for the Lords of the Dreaming, e.g. the "Super-Sidhe" is a bit of a misnomer. Moreso than the use of the term Sidhe in-game, as it's very difficult to line up the Tuatha as described in CtD with the Tuatha De of Irish mythology on anything other than a broad conceptual level as opposed to a point by point tie in.

                            Thank you Ajax. That was awesome.

                            However in mentioning Volkerwanderung, you put me in mind of all of those master race and Motherland legends that have so long been the dream of White Supremacists. Thule Society magicians, Theosophists and similar could have been in contact with Fomorians. There is some great conspiracy material out there to fuel a campaign. If the concentration camps were huge human sacrifices to the Lords of the Elder Dark, and the wilder technologies of the Third Reich were inspired superhuman entities...
                            Last edited by MythAdvocate; 10-19-2015, 02:59 PM.


                            “Humpty had always sat on walls, it was his way.”
                            Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy

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                            • #15
                              To me the description of the Fomorians always seemed far more inspired in Lovecraft than anything else, just barely related to the Fomorians of irish mythology (even less than the Tuatha).

                              In this POV, I think they are the collective dreams of whatever existed before humanity. They can be the dreams of animals, of rocks and rivers, of ancient reptilian races, of entire planets and the void itself, of entities beyond the known Umbra... but I think they are all of this. Maybe even some of them were to the other what the Tuatha are now. Maybe one day another thing will rule the world in the place of Humanity, and the modern Fae that survive somehow just take a place among the Fomorian.

                              So they are the collective of alien dreams. The Fae of things the human mind can't even comprehend enough to dream about. That level of strangeness is what makes them so inimical to modern Fae. You can't have the same kind of story with them. They aren't the evil villains that do bad things for selfish reasons. They are the Outer Gods that kill humanity like we were ants because they aren't even aware the ants were there. Some are more conscious, but they don't see humanity or its dreams as heroes or villains, just as a strange plague upon their world. They're not in the wrong side of the moral question. They don't make the question at all.


                              Sorry if I seem too straightforward, or if I don't get you. Autism isn't a forgiving condition.

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