View Full Version : MOD: "Pagan Slav" nation
November 23rd, 2005, 06:02 PM
A while ago I began considering Slav-like nation for Dominions...3. Why for Dominions3 ? Because I don't own full version of Dom2 and think it's a bit too late to buy it now (not to mention limited funds). Dom3 is also said to have better modding capabilities and automated resource calculation for units. The latter is important for someone who's not yet a Dominions guru.
I find myself liking Dominions more and more.
Slavic peoples are badly neglected in formal history. I come from Poland, and there's hardly any mention of pagan slavic culture on history lessons. It usually starts with year 966 when Poland become oficially christian. There's lots of evidence that Church tried its best to erase/overwrite pagan culture.
First, I need to gather information and extract important bits.
Post 1: introduction
Post 2: latest build; unit stats, specific data.
Post 3: important information
Post 4: Misc/background. Anything goes.
...at least this is the initial plan. I'm going to edit and update the 4 first posts.
November 23rd, 2005, 06:05 PM
This post will contain very specific information about the nation. I'll probably attach the mod file here one day.
November 23rd, 2005, 06:06 PM
I try to be brief in this post.
Mod inspired by pagan slavic culture and mythology.
I don't know yet ! "Slav" or similar sounds too primitive. Don't rush me.
The earliest era
0, or -1
Candidates to Starting spells:
Could be some kind of curse, scrying/divination, summoning.
Candidates to National spells
Spells available ONLY to this nation: summons, without doubt.
cost 100, or 150. Slavic temples (buildings) were quite rare. They usually fenced some trees/groves. Besides, Slavs usually had no special altars in homes - because gods were believed to be "always there". Gods are always watching.
My current favorite is 2Fire 2Nature 1aStral
possible Capitol sites:
Bald Mountain (Lysa Gora/Lysa Hora) - major cult site and/or a place where witches congregate,
Oak Grove - Major oak grove ? Oak groves were sacred to Slavs. (perhaps groves as temples are better idea)
Thunder Oak - althrough already present as regular site in Dom2, trees were sacred to Slavs. Especially ones struck by lightning. Especially oaks.
Some Kind Of Temple - temples built by Slavs were quite rare, and built only in major cult sites. Such temples would be devoted to multiple deities.
possible Magic paths:
Primarily fire (I think mostly on priests), nature and astral. A bit of water, earth or air - but most probably the 3 I mentioned first.
Wise women (sing. Vedma, plural Vedmy) or men (Vedmin, Vedmini) with knowledge of herbs, healing, divination, curses, charms. In other words, nature and astral.
pretenders to Pretenders:
Ones related to fire, nature/earth, a bit of astral; water also makes sense.
Slavic gods were quite often depicted as giants.
Phoenix, Solar Disc(squirrels report it's in Dom3), Great Mother, Lord of Fertility, Daughter of the Land, Vampire Queen (vampires are very slavic), ***** Queen, Divine Serpent, Wyrm, Monolith, Oracle.... to be continued.
candidates: Unique pretenders:
Probably not all of them are going to make it.
- Mounted giant riding giant boar, see Veles
- divine Bear ?
to be continued
candidates: National heroes:
-Baba Yaga - an old sorceress living in a cabin on chicken leg. She travels in a mortar and uses her broom to erase traces. Fence around her cabin is decorated with human skulls and bones. She is said to have power over Kosciej(Koschey), and over waters of Life and Death. She eats people ,too http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/laugh.gif
Nature2, Death2, Astral2, can heal afflictions, forest survival, swamp survival (for flavor). Stealth makes sense.
- Liho (or Likho, if you use Wikipedia spelling) is an evil spirit and personification of misfortune. Russian sources define it more precisely as one-eyed old woman.
In Dominions, I would make it stealthy and cause misfortune in current province. I may give it immortality or astral magic.
- Prince Ivan figures in many russian folk tales. I need to research him more. Would probably be a thug of some sort, possibly mounted.
- Koschey(Kosciej, Koschei, etc)
Koschei is extremely difficult to kill. His soul is hidden separate from his body inside a needle, which is in an egg, which is in a duck, which is in a hare, which is in an iron chest, which is buried under a green oak tree, which is on the island of Buyan. An evil magician.
National commanders: (descriptions are rough sketches)
Keeper of sacred fire
Dressed light robes, leather or furs atbest. No other protection or weapons.
(perhaps holy3 instead; they're meant to be highest priests of the nation). They perform rituals, ask gods for guidance, and make the fire burn at all times.
Vyedma (or Vedma, I use phonetical spelling. You'd have no idea how to pronounce "Wied&#378;ma").
A wise woman, skilled in arts of herbalism, healing, divination. Proficient in charms and curses, so beware. They're feared and desired (for their skills) at the same time.
There are records saying witches would curse enemies and ask gods for help (!) before battles. On top of that, banishing demons and blessing troops fits very well to ancient slav witches.
Astral2 Nature2 Holy2
Carries a stick, some robes. Lower than usual hp (old women, after all)
I like, at least partially, what RedRover suggested:
Rus Chief (#73): Spear, Broadsword; Scale Mail Hauberk, Round Shield, Helmet.Forest survival
Rus Warrior (#74): Spear, Throwing Axe; Scale Mail Cuirass, Tower Shield, Helmet. Forest survival
Slav Warrior (#75): Spear, Javelin; Furs, Round Shield.
Stealth, forest survival
Hunter/Bartnik (#75): Axe, Javelin; Furs, Round Shield.
forest survival, patrol 2
Basically people living in woods and producing honey.
Slav Archer (#76): Short Bow; No Armor.Stealth and forest survival, perhaps.
Slav Horseman (#77): Spear, Broadsword, Javelin; Mounted, Scale Mail Hauberk, Round Shield, Helmet. Forest survival.
Horsemen with forest survival can be quite interesting.
More less, again - it's a rough sketch. I'll probably extend the unarmored/woodsmen slavs a bit - to represent woodsmen/militia/people defending their home/pushing back raiders.. Slavs did quite a bit raiding themselves, of course.
Slavs are credited as pioneers of ironmaking, so they don't have to be armored with absolute rubbish.
November 23rd, 2005, 06:06 PM
This post serves as a source of inspiration. Information I write here isn't directly related to the mod, but may prove useful. At the end of this post you'll (soon) find links to pages full of slavic information and/or galleries.
I'll start with ancient slavic gods.Tip: I use mostly polish spelling, pronounce "j" as "y"
There were many slavic gods, basically. Depending on period and source, some of them are or aren't considered major; that's not the point. I tried to select most common gods who "overlap" in different sources.
Perun was usually considered the highest god. He was the god of thunder, war, strenght. His holy tree was oak. Places struck by lightning were holy to Slavs - especially Oaks. I vaguely remember a tale of a criminal who fled to a tree recently struck by lighning, knowing that Slavs wouldn't dare to follow him. Other symbols of Perun were mountain, sometimes weapons (trio: axe, spear, bow). The god resembles Thor from the north. Before Scandinavian influences we was supposed to be less war-related. His domain used to be defense rather than offense.
He was supposed to be opponent of Veles and Zmij (Zmey).
In one tale, Perun felt in love in baltic godess of sea Jurata (Yurata). She had a palace in the deeps made entirely of amber. Unfortunately for him she preferred a simple fisherman. Angered Perun destroyed the palace with his lightning, shattering it and killing the godess. The tale explains genesis of amber.
Priests of Perun were keepers of the sacred fire; they would be killed should the fire die. Miniature axes associated with Perun worked as pendants for good luck/health. They were also placed in beds of small children, to make them grow strong.
Christianity replaced Perun with Saint Elijah the Thunderer.
Was another major god, quite possibly another name for Perun. His name means more less "Holy One".
Along with Veles, he is present in a myth of world creation.
His domain was fire, sun, war.
He was depicted as an armed, 4-faced/headed man. Each head would face one side of the world.
God of war, fertility. His symbol was a swallow. A tall god with seven (!) faces. He was supposed to carry seven swords behind his belt, and the eighth in his hand.
Another god of war. He carried golden shield, symbol of sun and victory.
Jaryla was present more on the east, and was more about fertility...
The sun god; depicted as sun itself. Among Slavs it was forbidden to point at sun with your finger. While working on a field, you were not to turn your back to the sun. At dawn, Slavs would bow their head and pray. It should be noted that many Slavs, especially north and east ones, lived in rather cold climate. Sun would protect you from cold and wild animals. The god was worshipped among all slavs.
Son of Svarog - son of the sun ! He was god of fire. Deceased people were burned as a sacrifice to him. If angered, he would punish by sending a wildfire. Respected and feared.
Searing coals were at all times kept among ashes of fireplace. They would be taken to a new home, or given to sons coming out of age
Radogost (Radegast, Radigast - sounds familiar ?)
Fire, crops, hospitality.
Fire, wealth, sun, good luck.
Depending on source - god of magic, oaths, cattle; dwells underworld in the middle of a swamp. Lord of the underworld; Hell's Caretaker if you will ;-).
He's an opponent of Perun, and while not as strong as the thunder/fire/sun god, Perun can't defeat him. There is some kind of balance between good and evil in slavic myths. Some sources claim he was second most worshipped god after Perun.
There's one amusing tale explaining how witches gained their ability to cast spells. Once upon a time there was a girl traveling through forest. Suddenly it started to rain. Not willing to get her clothes wet she took them off and placed in her basket. Once the rain passed, she dressed herself and shortly after met Veles.
Veles asked here what powerful spells did she use to avoid the rain. She said she would tell him, but only after Veles tells her his magic secrets.
Veles was apparently a good friend ot Zmij/Zmey.
The only godess in pantheon of major gods. She was basically patron of women, fertility, water, earth.
At this point it should be apparent that fire/sun was very, very important to Slavs. Fire/sun symbolised (mostly defensive?) war, strenght, health, good luck, wealth. There were multiple fire gods. For these reasons it was very hard for Slavs to grasp the concept of christian Hell - for Slavs, cold was bad, fire was protection. Oh, and does Sunday ring any bells for you ?
At the same time they were close to nature. I'll cover "nature" part later.
God of winds, depicted as a winged giant with swollen face. Slavs never liked winds too much, they thought each wind was a demon. They either tried to banish/kill them with throwing knives, rocks etc or bribe with offerings.
Stribog was sometimes said to have four children - four winds, one for each direction/side of the world.
You know how wind can make fallen leaves dance and form a moving, swirling circle ? Ukrainians would say it's an evil spirit and (post-christianisation) throw blessed knives into the circle.
Spirits/gods of familily bonds, tribe...They would determine newborn child's fate by making an invisible mark on its forehead. They would be offered food during various family celebrations, birthdays etc.
They would often even get their separate table. It seems likely that this is where the custom of keeping one empty seat on Xmas comes from (no idea how spread it is, but it's certainly known in Poland).
Godess of fate,homestad, wellfare, luck. A son could "inherit" her from his father. Usually invisible, but sometimes depicted as a beautiful young woman in wedding clotches, or an old, solemn woman with a shiny ring.
Poludnica(Przypoludnica, przeludnica, zytniczka, zytnia baba, miawka)
Takes care of fields and field flowers. She appears on fields on sunny summer afternoons. She roams around fields cursing people with heat strokes, blackouts, headaches, pain of spine, muscles, general weakness, or even death. If she met someone she'd ask him a strange question or riddle. In case of wrong answer she'd force victim to take care of her long, "windy" hair - or she'd tickle him/her to death.
Poludnice (plural) would sometimes dance in rings. There would be no escape for someone caught in such a ring. They were especially dangerous for children left on their own - they could eat the child or bury it alive.
Appearance: Usually a tall, young woman with harsh, pale face, dressed in white dress. Sometimes with a scythe in her hand. Alternatively they would appear as a subtle, blue-grey mist floating in the air, coming down on fields and causing sea-like waves.
Defence: avoid fields around noon. Hide somewhere.
Genesis: Probably souls of girls who died before getting maried.
Male counterpart of Poludnica, especially among south Slavs. Keeper of fields. Appears on noon or dusk. Unfriendly to humans; he would love to confuse them and make them lost. He would try to strangle sleeping people. He was especially hostile to drunkards.
Appearance: varies; a human dressed in white or black, or a dark-skinned dwarf with hair of grass and eyes of different colors.
Defence: Before working in a field you should have somewhere close a cock who cannot sing and two eggs.
Leszy(lesny, lesnik, laskowiec, gajowik, borowy, lesij, lesawik)
Unfriendly demon of woods. He would travel through forests in search of humans, and then make them lose their way. Ruler of forests and animals inhabiting them. Rather than spotting him, it was easier to hear him - he would whistle, sing, and laugh.
Appearance: Like a man living in forest. Sometimes with deer horns on his head. He could take a form of a wolf, owl, boar or hare.
Defence: You should put your clotches on "inside out" or, ummm, what's the word... off by 180 degrees ? :-). If you meet him face to face, you should run and/or make him laugh. Sacrifices/offerings would work, too.
Genesis: Ghosts of hermits or people who died in forest (sudden death).
Dobrochoczy (from Belarus)
Little sources on this one. Similar to Leszy, but more friendly to humans. He would cause good luck to hunters and protect animals. Would help people of pure heart, and punish evil ones with diseases. He would lead lost people back on track.
Appearance: a bear (!), lynx, deer, whirlwind. A shapeshifter; as he travels through woods he's always as tall as a tree next nearest to him.
Odmienica (Mamuna, dziwozona, babula, boginka/bogunka, albasta, lauma, lojma, lisyvka)
A very dangerous female forest demon living near bodies of water. Their favorite mischief would be to kidnap small children. They would swap them with their own ugly offspring. Odmienica would, much like a thief, observe its target for a while first. Sometimes she would try to lure the mother out of the homestad.
Odmienica's child (Odmieniec - changeling) would have ugly body, could have some physical disabilities. Rude behaviour. Big stomach, too big or too small head, thing arms and legs, very hairy body, long fingernails. Such a child would be very malicious, would be afraid of the mother, produce lots of noise, sleep very little, and eat a lot including alcohol. The child would usually die young, but if not it would be crippled, didn't trust anyone and talk in gibberish.
Appearance: Odmienica would usually appear as an ugly old woman, with breasts so big and long she could carry them on her back. Very hairy body, long and straight hair, red hat.
Defence: Wrap child's hand in a stripe of red material; dress it in red hat; prevent child's mouth from coming into contact with moonlight. A mother shouldn't wash child's clotches after nightfall; never leave the child on it's own; sleep with face to her child.
It could also work to take odmienica's child to a junkyard and whip it with a birch branch. It would cause Odmienica to run to help her child, and give the stolen child back.
Genesis: a woman who died as a maiden; an unmarried mother; pregnant woman who died before giving birth.
Wodnik (topielec, utopiec, plywnik, wodanoj, vodnik, vodny, ondyn, nykus)
A male demon inhabiting a body of water. Wodnik is very malicious and unpredictable. He excelled at ambushing and drowning people - he would pull them into whirlpools. Especially people bathing after nightfall. Overflowing rivers , lakes, damaged fishing nets and "tripping over" boats were attributed to Wodnik.
Appearance: a naked young man with green, slender body, dark hair and pale eyes. Always dripping with water.
Genesis: spirits of drowned people and children cursed by their mother.
Topielica(wodnica, brodawica, rusalka, wodjanicha)
Female water demon, counterpart of Wodnik. They liked to seduce, then kill bathing men with their body and beautiful singing.
They would appear mostly in full moon - they were said to gain strenght from its light. They would sit on trees whose branches lean over water. Inactive in winter.
They would cause good luck to fishermen or damage their nets and ambush boats - when they felt like it. They could often be seen over bodies of water taking care of their long hair. They would love to dance and sing. Rings formed by dancing rusalki were dangerous, just like Poludnica.
Appearance: Beautiful, young girls, naked ( http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/laugh.gif ) or dressed in white and light-green skirts. Pale, with long wavy hair (green, dark or light). On head they wore (wossname) rings made of herbs/flowers.
Defence: sacrifice eggs, wrap strings of material around branches which lean over water.
Genesis: maidens who died by drowning.
Some sources I found claim rusalka would die if her hair would ever dry.
The same source points out that free, unkept long hair of rusalka are very important. "Hair rules" for slavs were quite clear - young women/virgins were to keep their hair in one braid and weren't required to cover them.
!= virgin and older women were to keep their hair in two braids and/or covered with a white or red kerchief. Therefore (shortcut here) Rusalka's hair are symbol of freedom. An interesting read: http://www.virginia.edu/slavic/seefa/RUSALKA.HTM
Groups of them would lure sailors onto rocks with their beautiful songs.
Apparance: Young, well-built women with fish tails instead of legs. Light, dark or green hair.
Defence: Avoid them.
Planetnik (chmurnik, planitnyk, oblocznik)
A demon of clouds bringing rain, storms and hail. It would cast thunders, control clouds, or take water from rivers using the rainbow. They would shatter ice in lakes to make hail out of it.
Appearance: a small boy or young man - tall, skinny, pale.
Defense: to banish Planetnik away from a village, take pitchforks, brooms, baking shovels etc outside and lay them on the earth. It helps to make a lot of noise with hammers, metal objects, bells.
But if you want to attract rain, take a maiden and lead her around fields struck by drought while showering her with water.
Genesis: Quite interesting. A living man could become a Planetnik - you'd be kidnapped during by a storm, taken high into the clouds, and return as a Planetnik.
Latawiec (female form - Latawica)
A male or female night/air demon. There was a connection between falling stars and Latawiec/Latawica. The demons excelled at seducing wives and husbands. Latawiec(-ica's) victim would quickly become obsessed with love, would avoid home and family, dance and singing. He/She would often visit the place of first meeting with Latawiec/Latawica, or wander around aimlessly. The love could drive victim insane, and he/she usually soon died.
Appearance: beautiful, young, charming men and women. No one would be able to reject them.
Defense: carry garlic with you.
Genesis: souls of young men and women.
Zmij (russian zmej)
Air dragon living in dark clouds. You could see outline of Zmij in such clouds if you looked carefully. It comes in various incarnations - some are friendly, and some hostile to humans. It could either protect field or badger people with intensive rain.
Another source suggests Zmij was related to Veles and lived in the roots of World Tree.
Ogniki(swiecniki, swieczniki, swicki, swietliki bagienne)
After sun's gone, they would float above swamps and marshes, luring careless travelers with their blinking. They could lead someone away from correct path and cause him to wander around swamps without hope. But sometimes, out of pity, they would lead lost traveler back on path.
Apparance: blinking, floating lights. (will-o-wisp)
It may be important that Ogien means fire in polish.
Genesis: Souls of unjust, evil and cruel people. They are being punished for their sins.
They would usually hide in forests. Mischievous and malicious. They would confuse travelers and lead them away from correct path, especially from short and supposedly foolproof path.
Wampir/Upior(Wapierz, wampierz, wypior, upyr, opyr, vupar, upir, vampir, vaper)
An animated body of a deceased man. Wampir would hate sunlight and leave his grave only during night. It would hunt people and saaaakhhh their blaaaaahhd. That's why they don't decompose. They have short, pointy teeth and fangs used to bite into someone's neck. Belarussian Wupars would instead use their deadly sharp tongues to pierce chests of their victims.
Appearance: Before death they were != pale (sorry for my english), with big heads, and connected eyebrows (I mean the hair). Some believed them to have two hearts - one would die with death of the "vampire-to-be", but the other would keep working. Vampires could take various shapes, but usually bats. The "pir" or "pyr" suffix suggests ability to fly.
Defence: This is where the fun starts.
The most common was wrapping vampire's body with a rope and turning it face to the ground.It was also common to decapitate the body and place its head between its legs. Sometimes they were pierced with sharp objects, like a wooden stake. It would help to put iron into vampire's mouth; altearnatively some stones or coins. Another idea is to put a lot of blades (scythes, knives, sickles) into the coffin so that vampire cripples itself badly when getting up. It could also help fill the coffin with seeds of field poppy - a vampire would cound the seeds before going on a hunt, which should buy you a lot of time. Another idea is to cripple vampire's heels, or stack a lot of heavy boulders on top of vampire's grave. Sometimes they would just cremate the body.
Vamprires were supposed to hate the smell of garlic; and be afraid of silver and plants with thorns.
Genesis: someone dying a sudden death - suicide, plague. Evil and cruel people could become vampires, also witches and sorcerors. It also helps if you have too many teeth.
Strzyga (male form - Strzygon, strzyz, strzyzen); striga,
Sometimes believed to be an early version of a vampire. It would come to human settlements during nights to strangle them and/or suck their blood. It would kill cattle and pigs, too. Favorite work hours - midnight.
Appearance: A dangerous owl-like demon with large wings and claws.
Genesis: souls of small children, especially born before marriage or ones that died during birth.
Defence: find the body of the child, and basically destroy/cripple it.
Spirit of a mine. Keeper of miners' customs. He also guarded treasure/riches of the earth. He caused bad luck to unhonest, greedy and lazy miners, and when bad luck hits you in a mine it usually hits you in the head. He aids honest and truthful miners. His appearance would be perceived as a warning.
Appearance: an elder with long white beard or a miner with dirty face and strange eyes, dressed in a miner's uniform. Sometimes comes in a form of an animal such as mouse, black dog or cat.
Defense: do your job well as a miner and Skarbnik won't harm you.
Wilkolak (wilkok, vlkodlak)
A human capable of taking shape of a wolf at specific time - for example at full moon. He'd become dangerous and agressive, attacking people in murderous frenzy. After the rage was over, the person wouldn't remember anything.
Appearance: Depicted as huge wolves with glowing eyes, sometimes able to speak; or half-men / half wolves.
Protection: They hate silver. Nothing but silver can kill a werewolf.
Genesis: A human could be born with it; or would become a werewolf as a result of being cursed. A person bitten by a werewolf would become werewolf, too.
Czarownica (wiedzma, jedza, baba, ciota, gulnica, matocha)
Wiedzma (vedma) - slavic word for a witch means a person who _knows_. This term was used to describe a person capable of healing, divination, predicting future, spellcasting. It is believed that initially they were deeply respected. Later, especially under christian influence, they became synonymous with evil. They were said to cause hailstorms, droughts, storms, floods, and spread vermin. They could heal as well as harm, cause diseases, and even death. They could cast charms on neighboors or their animals - for profit, or as a revenge for mischief done to them. They could possess a man by using so-called "evil eye".
Appearance: Usually old, skinny and ugly women. Sometimes with iron legs or teeth. They were able to shapeshift into young women, or any animal.
Genesis: Mysterious/lonely women, herbalists etc were perceived as witches.
Origin of Witchcraft
Long ago, when the world was still fairly new, a young woman ventured into the woods to pick mushrooms. In no time at all, the skies opened up upon her and narrowly escaping the rain, she ran beneath a tree, removed all of her clothing, and bundled them up in her bag so they would not get wet. After some time, the rain stopped and the woman resumed her mushroom picking. Weles, Horned God of the forest happened upon her, and asked her what great magick she knew in order to have kept dry during the storm.
"If you show me the secret to your magick, I will show you how I kept dry." she said. Being somewhat easily tempted by a pretty face, Weles proceeded to teach her all of his magickal secrets. After he was done, she told him how she had removed her clothing and hid under a tree.
Knowing that he had been tricked, but had no one but himself to blame, Weles ran off in a rage, and thus, the first Witch came into being.
What's important here (for me) is that it's one of things proving Veles a major god; It is clear that magic is of godly origin !
Like the native Americans, each Slavic tribe had a totem animal that the clan was usually named after. It was considered taboo to kill or eat this animal except for specific religious rituals. Each member of the tribe was thought to have an animal twin, and the death of that twin could cause the death of the tribe member
Insightful. What's more, I can get nation/holy units ideas from here.
Dualism & The Origins of Slavic Belief
The origins of Slavic belief, like that of the rest of the world's, rest in animism and ancestral worship. The first two types of spirit were called the beregyni - female spirits that bring life and are the forerunners of the Rusalki, and Upyr - the spirits of death who eventually became our modern Vampire (Wampyr). From this original dualism sprang belief in all of the nature spirits, and eventually in the Rod and Rozhenitsa, the God and Goddess who imbue the newborn child with a soul and his/her fate. Although nearly all deities were originally ancestral, Rod and Rozhenitsa eventually pulled the Slavic mind out of that way of thinking and opened the doorway for the later "Indo-European" way of thinking, although the original "Old European" way of thinking kept a stronger hold on the average Slav.
Dualism permeates all of Slavic Pagan spirituality and actually seems to be the basis for most of it. This should not be confused with the dualistic good against evil beliefs of the Christian religion which have unfortunately seeped into the Slavic spirituality of today. It is a system of complimenting opposites such as darkness and light, winter and summer, female and male, cold and hot more similar to the yin/yang. The God-brothers Bialybog "white-god" and Czarnebog "black-god" who rule the light half and dark half of the year respectively, are further illustrations of this polarity. Unfortunately, because of the introduction of Christianity, these two gods later became confused with "God" and Satan.
Other examples of dualism are - the two Rozhinitsy, the mother and daughter fates, the spirits of midnight, Polunocnitsa and noon, Poludnitsa - both times seen to be equally as frightening, and the Zorya - Goddesses of dusk and dawn.
I think it's important for designing spellcasters and/or holy units. I may design two holy counterparts, for instance.
The ancient Slavs had a deep sense of reverence for the four elements. Fire and Water were seen as sacred dualistic symbols on the horizontal or earthly plane. Earth and Sky were seen as a more vertical system of duality. High places such as mountaintops or treetops, especially birch, linden and oak, became sacred as meeting places the Sky father and the Earth mother. Where they met, they would join their procreative forces, usually in a flash of lightening and clap of thunder.
The winds were seen as the grandchildren of the God, Stribog. Water was refered to in mythology as the water of life and death and rivers were treated with respect lest they should drown you on your next visit. There are records of human, as well as other sacrifices being made to rivers such as the Dneiper and the Volga. Although many bodies of water had their own deities, most bodies of water were ruled by spirits known as Rusalki or Vodanoi. Fire was personified by the god, Svarozhich and it was considered nearly criminal to spit into a fire. Mati Syra Zemlja or Mother Moist Earth, however, seems to have been given the greatest amount of respect.
No one was allowed to strike Mati Syra Zemlja with a hoe, until the Spring Equinox, Maslenica, as she was considered pregnant until then. Earth was considered so sacred that oaths were sworn while holding a piece of her, sometimes in the mouth and ancient wedding vows were taken while swallowing a small clump of Earth or holding it on the head. The custom of asking the Earth's forgiveness before death was still being observed far into the 20th century and when a priest could not be found it was considered appropriate to confess sins to the Earth.
Elemental random deffinitely makes sense for one of casters.My idea is to have at least 4 elemental/nature summons.
Up to this point all quotes come from this site: http://members.aol.com/HPSofSNERT/beli.html
Modern polish words for spellcasters (male/female)
Wiedzmin/wiedzma, Czarownik/czarownica, mag/NA, Wrozbita/Wrozka, Czarnoksieznik/NA, Znachor/Znachorka, Zielarz/Zielarka(a bit of stretch, it means "herbalist"), Guslarz/Guslarka, Czarodziej/NA, Zaklinacz/NA
(NA's may be a bit misleading: female witches are actually more widely known)
Sunday was a holy day long before Christianity assimilated it in 321 A.D.
Altars in christian churches are usually placed on the east side of the building. Ancient Slavs used to bow to raising sun and praise it.
Christmas Tree is a remnant of ancient Slav tree worship. They used to decorate homestads with green branches to discourage evil spirits.
Slavic new year starts with winter/spring solstice.
(I'm in the process of reading this one, looks quite good)
(low hourly transfer limit, and in polish)
Swastika, the symbol of good, fire, sun (pl)
(low hourly transfer limit... but there are some very cool pictures by Andriej Klimienko I couldn't find anywhere else)
A lot of thanks goes to RedRover for his contributions.
November 26th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Slav Historical Notes
I finally found my copy of Armies of the Dark Ages 600-1066 by Ian Heath. Wargame Research Group. 1980. I recommend the book if you can find it. Here is a summary of the material on 10-11th Century Slavs.
Slav Regional Troops
North Slav (Rus/Varangian)
West Slav (Pole, Pomeranian, Polabian, Wend, Bohemian, Moravian)
South Slav (Serb, Croat, Mazovian, Silesian, Pechneg)
East Slav (Avar, Magyar, Khazar, Bulgar, Pechneg, Alan/Ossetian)
These are homeland areas—everybody fought everybody else and/or served as everybody else’s mercenaries throughout the period. For example, most West Slav cavalry was of East Slav origin and the Varangians got as far south as Byzantium. In general, the Northern Slavs look a lot like Vanheim, but shade into Tribal Warriors and then into Tribal Horsemen as you move south and east.
Rus: Spear/sword/axe/javelin infantry. Varangian heavy infantry held the center of the line when present. Bowmen are always present, mostly asiatic auxiliaries. Common formation is a shield-wall square, with bowmen in the middle. Cavalry, other than small numbers of asiatic auxiliaries, is almost non-existent, though small numbers of horse-mobile Varangian infantry might be available. These invariably fought on foot.
West Slav: Almost all infantry. Ambushes in forest and swamps (terrain survival), surprise attacks, raiding, area defense based on small local fort garrisons (Watchtower-type?) converging on intruders. Poles have small numbers of Norman-style heavy cavalry augmented by Pechneg/Magyar horse archers. More of these heavy cavalry as the period advances. Poland is the cultural center.
South Slav: Like West Slav (but forest/mountain survival) and a greater proportion of Asiatic cavalry. Hungary is the cultural center.
East Slav: Mostly horse tribes, with mountain-based tribal infantry. Ambushes, horse archer skirmishing, and feigned flight are staple tactics (tough to replicate in Dom2 play). Infantry are subject peoples, generally of the poorest military quality. Pechnegs use laagered wagons as a tactical base (new unit type?). Bulgars tended to use bows less than other groups (spear-and-javelin or light lance).
The book also has line drawings of the troop types. Here are some of the more interesting examples (the numbers are illustration numbers), with Dom2 equipment:
Rus Chief (#73): Spear, Broadsword; Scale Mail Hauberk, Round Shield, Helmet.
Rus Warrior (#74): Spear, Throwing Axe; Scale Mail Cuirass, Tower Shield, Helmet.
Slav Warrior (#75): Spear, Javelin; Furs, Round Shield.
Slav Archer (#76): Short Bow; No Armor.
Slav Chieftain (#77): Spear, Broadsword, Javelin; Mounted, Scale Mail Hauberk, Round Shield, Helmet.
(a variant that might be considered:)
Slav Chieftain: Composite Bow, Sabre*; Scale Mail Hauberk, Helmet.
Slav Warrior, Hungarian, 11C (#79): Spear; Almond Shield*, Helmet.
Pole Cavalry, 11C (#80): (Light?) Lance, Broadsword; Mounted, Chain Mail Hauberk, Round Shield, Helmet.
Asiatic Horse Archer (#81): Composite Bow, Sabre*; None.
Variant, Magyar: Composite Bow or Javelin, Hand Axe, Lasso*; Furs, Buckler.
New Weapon Discussion
Sabre: This is a light, slightly curved, single edged sword used by Eastern European and Asian Steppes cavalry. Frankly, the Hand Axe, which also saw widespread use, could be substituted for a sabre in almost every case. However, I still think the Sabre should be added to the game.
There are several different ways to configure this weapon.
1. Lighter and less effective than the Broad Sword, but cheaper.
Say: #nratt 1, #dmg 5, #att 0, #def 0, #len 2, res 2.
Broadsword: #nratt 1, #dmg 6, #att 0, #def 1, #len 2, res 3.
2. Not only cheaper than the Broad Sword, but handier to use defensively (my pick for first testing).
Say: #nratt 1, #dmg 5, #att 0, #def 2, #len 2, res 2.
3. Cheaper than the Broad Sword, but handy in both attack and defense (this is a more fantasy treatment, test carefully):
Say: #nratt 2, #dmg 5, #att 0, #def 1, #len 2, res 2.
4. Overpowered as a national special (Name might be: [Nationname] Sabre; in this case the weapon should not be left generic, IMO.):
Say: #nratt 2, #dmg 6, #att 0, #def 2, #len 2, res 2.
Almond Shield: This is a teardrop-shaped shield that extends roughly to the knee. It was popular in Eastern Europe. It is smaller than the Norman kite shield, which extended to the ankle. Neither of these seem to match the Dom2 “Kite Shield” which appears in all illustrations as the Late Medieval knight’s “heater” shield. Since the latter is of later period and most likely of better construction, I would be reluctant to give the Almond Shield the current Dom2 Kite Shield stats. On the other hand, it should be marginally better than the Round Shield, though of comparable cost. Cavalry can use it; IMO, Norman-style Frankish Cavalry should use it.
Say: #def 3; #prot 3; #enc 1, res 2.
Round Shield: #def 2; #prot 3; #enc 1, res 2.
Tower Shield: #def 4; #prot 3; #enc 2, res 3.
Kite Shield: #def 3; #prot 4; #enc 2, res 4.
Note on Dom2 Tower Shields: These seem to me to be infantry shields about three feet wide and four feet or more tall, and made of wood reinforced with metal. This definition would include certain Greek hoplite shields, the Roman Scutum, the Frankish/Norman kite shield, a Medieval crossbowman’s pavise, and maybe the late Roman oval shield, though this last might be considered somewhat less protective and possibly equal to the proposed Almond Shield in effect.
Lasso: Not sure how this would be incorporated. The source says Magyars used lassos against enemy cavalry; no mention is made of infantry. My approach would be to make this a non-damaging Vine-style entangling attack, with a special “rope coil” explosion sprite. It would mess up the target’s defense and maybe increase encumbrance until a Strength save was made. I wonder if it could be a designated primary weapon when facing an opponent of a certain size (say sz 3 and 4).
Say: #nratt 1, #dmg vine entangle, #att -1, #def -1, #len 6, res 0.
Anyhow, just some thoughts for you to mull over. http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
November 27th, 2005, 05:46 AM
Thanks a lot for your contributions. Unfortunatelly I'm sick, my head feels like it's going to explode and I can't bring myself to work on the mod. I'll get back to it as soon as I can.
November 27th, 2005, 03:25 PM
unlucky dude, hope you get better and good luck with this mod
November 27th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Good luck with the mod. Sounds interesting!
December 15th, 2005, 05:41 PM
I've been secretely editing my posts for a while. So what do you think ? Is there potential for an interesting new nation ?
In my opinion, I'll have to rely on new national summons a lot, because there are lots of spirits and demons in slavic myths.
I'm going to progressively collect more stuff here. As I write it all down, design ideas race through my head.
I'd like one of minor spellcasters to have 1S, but wouldn't it make it too powerful Astral/Communion nation ? I think there's enough of them already, so I'll probably just keep 2S on Vyedmas (biggest caster).
Also keep in mind the units I graciously stole from RedRover's post are just a base I'll be working on.
December 16th, 2005, 11:56 AM
theres more than potention mate and maybe if you tell us all the planned magic lvls (so far) we could give advice on the s1 thing
December 16th, 2005, 04:11 PM
Planned stuff: that's what 2nd post is for. Check out "National Commanders" label in 2nd post.
I'd be happy to also include some kind of minor caster/researcher with 1S 1N 1F, but it could make Slavs too much of an astral nation. Too cost-effective communion isn't what I want for this nation. As it is, Vyedmas are the only astral mage (2) and they should be rather expensive considering their paths.
December 17th, 2005, 02:18 AM
Wow, you have really researched for your mod. That would take lots of time to read through... I can't comment on almost anything, but maybe I have the time to read through it on the Chrismas holiday.
Maybe you could consider going for Holy 4 on the keepers of the sacred fires, Holy 3 on the Vyedmas. This is mainly because the Slavs seem to have been very religious (e.g. not following a criminal to a sacred thunder-stroke oak).
You had there that Fire was most important, but some W, E and A could appear... Is it going to be on the same mage (e.g. some Fire and an elemental random) or on different mages?
I attached TGA's of Vanheim's Midgård theme's Völva and Galderman, and two sprites of the Furman. He is my avatar, and is useful both as a fur-cloaked base sprite and as an arhcers' graphics.
December 17th, 2005, 06:41 AM
I'd rather have Keepers Holy3 at best, Vyedmas and others 2. Sure they were very religious, but there are no mentions of highly developed priests. Some sources say that for a while Slavs had no priest caste whatsover. Priests appeared a bit later, althrough still a long time before christianisation came. That's my reasoning for keeping Holy relatively low.
I think the witches will stay with their Astral Nature Holy. Holy is quite flavourful for witches; astral and nature are simply requirement for curses/charms/divination/fortune telling healing/shapeshifting/herbalism. And like someone said, (I think it was RR) giving witches 3 or more paths would make them too wizard-like.
I'm toying with new spellcaster idea:
Guslarz (or other less Poland specific name if I can find one)
Holy2 Nature1 ElementalRandom1
Guslarz is a word for minor(?) priest/mage. They would conduct village ceremonies at holidays etc.
A question: does Holy influence research speed ? It complicates matters if it does.
One more thing. I just added some insightful quotes to the bottom of 3rd post. It makes some parts of my post redundant, but I may break something if I simply pull out overlapping parts.
December 17th, 2005, 10:11 AM
Holy does not influence research. It might also be possible to give negative research bonus, (like Witchdoctors) if you want to make certain unit worse researcher. I don't remember it having beet tested, but negative Forge bonus works.
January 16th, 2006, 12:54 AM
That's quite interesting. I see this is bascially for 'The earliest era' - what about developing something for the later era? I'd love to see something resembling the armies of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth: a non-barbarian cavalry based nation - with hussars (which should be the best cavalry in the game, causing fear with their 'wings'), overpriced pospolite ruszenie and obsolete infantry http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/happy.gif
January 30th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Fear for hussars may be a little overpowered. I wouldn't go so far, but perhaps it could be balanced.
How about Animal Awe instead ? I don't exactly know how it works, but I suspect it's a kind of awe limited to animals. If you ever wondered why I suggested 'animal' flag for Dominions3 cavalry, wonder no more.
As for later eras... It could make sense to have witches gradually replaced with more 'conventional' priests. But yes, hordes of men at arms sounds interesting. The problem may be that cheap and useless infantry is nothing special among Dominions nations. Why would anyone use it ?
January 30th, 2006, 01:42 PM
Useless infantry would be rather useless, wouldn't it? And if you wanted it to be used, you'd have to make it useful.
Fast (map move 3) infantry with Forest and Mountain Survival, wearing light armor but well trained (Att and Def somewhere 11-14), high-damage weapon AND shield... I could try out a few things with that. It breaks the HI =1, LI & HC =2, LC = 3 rule (H-high, L-low, I-infantry, C-cavalry), though...
They wouldn't even be expensive resources, as those are based purely on equipment.
January 30th, 2006, 01:56 PM
If you get the funds, its not too late. I just reloaded this game after almost a year of it collecting dust and am having a blast all over again.
March 23rd, 2006, 07:44 AM
Hmmm, this sounds quite intresting, B0rsuk. At one point I myself toyed a bit with the idea of a slavic nation with heavy polish flavoring (winged hussars are irresistible http://forum.shrapnelgames.com/images/smilies/laugh.gif )
This also reminded me of my finnic/kalevala based nation idea I have been toying with lately (again). In fact I can see some similarities, namely Perun, the wise men/women and evil water spirits. I've even drafted up variants for all three ages but I'm kinda at loss because my knowledge about finnish mythology isn't so strong in the end.
March 31st, 2006, 03:03 PM
Ask Jurri. He seems to have a good knowledge of Finnish myths, at least to this American's ear.
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