This thread is so good. Thank you, fans.
Court of Swords and this thread specifically makes me think of this quote from Terry Pratchett’s Lords and Ladies:
“Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder.
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels.
Elves are fantastic. They create fantasies.
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour.
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment.
Elves are terrific. They beget terror.
The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.
No one ever said elves are nice.
Elves are bad.”
Some other speculation. When day9 was creating his first character in the Patreon video included in his options Adam said he could be a halfelf even though full elves weren’t an option. This most likely was offered to other players as well at creation I just specifically remember the day9 video. When Ramus and Zawaz Wazaz were asking around about the orb in mong vuot an acolyte mentioned the possibility of the Farang in the valley and having possibly met a halfelf before. I’m not sure if halfelves in this world are created like they would in any other d&d world or if they are babies that are replaced at birth like the old changeling mythology but I’d be willing to bet (complete speculation) that if a woman who was pregnant happened to touch one of the prisms like Berg, Jubilant, and Azriel did, the baby would come out effected.
I’ll have more to add sometime later when I’m at my computer. I started writing a synopsis of the show with significant events and episode citations but ended up getting too busy and didn’t finish. But I tried to find all the mentions of the Farang.
Re-watching some of week 15, 16, and 27…
I had forgotten that we did get a description of what the Farang look like in ep. 27; they’re tall, thin, long pointed ears, faintly glowing pupil-less white eyes. Their armor is just made to look insectoid, so that nixes my earlier theory.
The Farang can store their souls in prepared gem-like vessels, similar to WH40K Eldar.
The Gold Farang are hunting/exterminating the Sliver Farang that are trying to transform (or corrupt, if you prefer) the Shu-Lin Valley; the one that the group encountered was encased in Gold armor and seemed more interested in destroying the artifact they dug up rather than the party.
As fas as Theory stuff, I recall Adam mentioning that the large inspiration for the Farang was the equivalent of French Colonialism in Southeast Asia.
Additionally, I seem to recall a conversation (maybe on discord?) about how half-elves might be adapted to the setting. Though most likely we’ll never see a PC one. IIRC the idea was they were somewhere between a sleeper cell and the control bodies in the Avatar movie.
There’s probably some other nice tidbits in some of the GM Prep vods and possible the Micro-RPG Vods on the Farang as he answers chat questions about Elves.
Good Hunting all,
I’ve been having a lot of fun digging through some of the old episodes with the power of hindsight and seeing the things Adam was cluing us into this early in the show. I kinda forgot about how much of the Farang we actually got to see in the beginning of Berg’s arc.
Can we talk colors for a moment? I’m going back to understand the relationship between the various Farang elements we see at the beginning with our knowledge of the Gold and Silver now. In Week 15 Part 4, Persnidgetron finds one of the silver beetles that flies back to land on the arm of one of the armored Farang with sapphire; however, Adam doesn’t say what color it’s armor is. I assume that it is the same Gold Farang that we see in the next episode (the live show), but why would a Gold Farang be collecting one of the Silver Farang’s beetles? Is this possibly a minor inconsistency, Adam? Or is this something that the Gold Farang would do?
It’s weird because there were these beetles that get described as either silver, platinum, electrum, or blue, and then they fly back to the Gold Farang (who also have the blue light). The strange d8 device is blue, and the ensuing explosion is blue. In the vision Ramus has, no colors are explicitly mentioned. Why would they be using the blue beetles then, but then the gold beetles in Utrix’s domain? This definitely counts as nitpicking, so I can see how this whole Farang war idea could have evolved over the show and the colors towards the beginning didn’t perfectly line up with what they mean now.
I wanted to contrast it with the strange magenta light that was pouring out of the Apology, and I think Berg has radiated with purple light sometimes to. I guess I’m trying to say Blue = Gold and Magenta = Silver?
It’s the goddamn Khalai and Tal’darim all over again!
There’s also the vision Berg has when he gets nailed by one of the Rings that were defending the Seclusium, where he sees himself being killed by “a silver spear” wielded by “the traitor prince.” Presumably this is something his dark passenger experienced.
…unless his passenger harbors the souls of more things than just himself? In the mirror-house, Berg saw the souls of two things he killed (one of the creatures from the House of the Falcon and the Dwarf), absorbed into himself because of the power he inherited from touching that Farang crystal coffin.
Are all Farang capable of taking the souls of the things they kill? Or just the one Berg happens to be carrying around?
something to consider - unlike in a very visual medium like a video game, where color is usually used to indicate allegiance, faction, etc, there may be another thing separating the colors of scarab / armor.
also remember how much i think it’s stupid that high elves are white and drow are black. if you’re going to have a cultural schism, that’s the laziest way to do it.
I much prefer schisms that are over gourds or shoes.
I got you, Adam!! Gold Farang are male, silver Farang are female…
The real problem is that we have very little information about their culture beyond their technology. We know that at some point in their history a schism occurred and it turned violent, but not why.
Why does that sound familiar? lol
That’s the eternal dilemma though, isn’t it? They’re cool cuz they’re so alien to us, and anything we learn about them that would explain their schism would only make them more ‘human,’ for lack of a better word. I think it would be cool where the players never learn the difference between the warring Farang, because it doesn’t actually matter to them and their needs, thus keeping their culture is indescribable.
I feel like that would sort of depend on how much the Farang seize the center stage. They may be utterly alien to the world as we know it, but I think just based on the bits and pieces we’ve seen they aren’t utterly incomprehensible. If some window opens up allowing them to invade in force, we’re inevitably going to wind up seeing more about their own cultural schisms.
Personally, I’m guessing the easiest line to start dividing them up by is what they do to the worlds they conquer. If they’ve done it before, maybe one faction wants to operate by just strip mining magic and resources until they leave one barren husk for a new one, and another faction would rather have a network of sustainable vassal worlds. Still bad news bears regardless of who comes out ahead, but it’s the classic (even if CoS has kicked the alignment grid to the curb) Lawful Evil vs. Chaotic Evil argument. If you salt the earth in your wake there’s nothing left for you to exploit later.
Adam confirmed in the latest GM Prep that the Fountain is their goal; it’s the largest single source of energy in the universe and they want it. They’ve also been trying to get their hands on it for some time, just not successfully. This explains why there are crude depictions of them attacking people and destroying cities in the ancient texts that Ramus read to learn their language.
I assume their ongoing internal conflict is the main reason why the haven’t taken over the world more fully (they certainly seem capable of it), though there could be other reasons.
That’s a cool thought regarding how they want to achieve their goals. Like, is terraforming the population of the CoS world part of their plan to seize the Fountain? Perhaps they harvest the souls of the people they are terraforming, in a similar vein to how the vampires could consume souls to turn people into thralls, as another way of slowly sapping the power of the Fountain. In a way, there’s one faction (Gold?) that is trying to consume the population to take the Fountain, whereas the Passenger may be trying to sneak in through other means that don’t involve the subjugation of civilization.
I’d also like to note for posterity that Adam mentioned in the latest 60.5 Gm prep that the Passenger/Soul Parasite may or may not be a Farang in the sense that we’ve been theorizing, and has been changed by the pseudo-Fountain. I think it’s a super rad possibility for the alternate dimension of the Farang to contain all manners of horrible entities trying to sap the power of the Fountain, like we saw with the strange mind flayer Farang beings. In this way we can have different tiers of these beings and it’s not as simple as “there are Gold and Silver and that’s it.”
O man, I’m wondering what happens if/when we see a full Farang around an elemental or god like Agni?
- Things from the `Farang-verse’ appear as a void of space. (Beetles, scarabs, parts of Berg in “detect magic”)
- Agni was able to see and interact with the Scarab bugs though (The Fight in the vault)
- Farang leave no presence however because they are “not part of the Wheel” nor whatever the Old Gods are in this dimension.
Will the Farang be visible to a full god in Heaven? How do those entities perceive? Do they use the presence of the Soul / Fountain Shard to dictate things?
Was one of the Aasimar at any of the Farang scenes previously? I don’t recall.
I just think it would be a very interesting scene in which one of the players is talking w/ a huge higher up and is like “Watch out! They’re right next to you!” and the entity goes “What’s right next to me?”
The fact that Ramus knows Elvish is pretty much the best (or most lore nerd boner inducing) story hook in this game right now. I hope it gets explored, but you know…PCs do what they want…
I caught that stream a bit after the fact. I’m just wondering even if they ultimately all want the Fountain, it’s possible that this is just another step in an ongoing process (what they may or may not have done to the homeworld of the Gith, for instance), and the Fountain isn’t the end-all goal for them. It could just be me thinking in too many classical D&D terms for Adam’s setting, but at the moment I’m kind of parsing that “All Creation” in regards to the Fountain is kind of a self-contained bubble of planes, and might not be the only one.
Going on this (admittedly maybe false) assumption, the Farang might have done all of this before, and that’s where their divides may have developed. I don’t know, I’m not really expecting a binary split once we really start to get a good look at the Farang. But it seems a plausible enough source for at least one ideological schism. And even if there’s solid 70-30 odds all this goes out the window with our next big revelation about them, it has me extremely curious. If the Fountain can be blind to an entire form of life, maybe it’s a sort of multiverse situation. Maybe the Farang homeworld has it’s own equivalent to the Fountain (personified as an actual deity) that feeds into their cultural motivations.
Not to advocate taking a deep dive into weird dimension hopping or anything. This campaign is still Court of Swords, not Court of Spelljammers.