Over the years, I’ve had a number of ideas and opinions about Vimary’s default state in the main rulebook. This week I’m going to consolidate and make them a bit more concrete.
H’lkar and the Skyrealms
I’ve always been a little iffy on Hl’kar’s borders being so close to the Nation. Given the general theme in the main rulebook that Z’bri are seen as kind of boogeymen, a broken race that was defeated by the Fatimas and sent packing, it seems odd that they would be so close to Tribals (especially given the Z’bri’s particular needs).
To that end, in My Vimary Hl’kar’s borders end at the far shore of the Great River. Tribal lands don’t actually extend all the way to the shore, with the area between the Seven Fingers and the near bank somewhat of a no-man’s land. Similarly, there are no Skyrealms directly above the Tribals – the Skyrealms exist in the Discarded Lands. The Seven Fingers are more individual watch/signal fortresses spread along the Nation’s borders – but they have an added function (as you’ll see below).
The Pact of the Dome
The Pact of the Dome in My Vimary serves to contain the Tribals within the boundaries of the Nation, through arcane Z’bri and Fatimal rituals and artifacts that discourage Tribals from venturing beyond them. The effects are varied, including disorientation that turns the Tribal around until they arrive back where they started or overcoming the Tribal with terror. Those that succeed in pushing past it find themselves disconnected from their Fatima and, per the pact, fair game for the Z’bri beyond. For their part, the Z’bri are bound from crossing into Tribal land, with effects including disconnect from The Seed.
The Seven Fingers are the engine for the Dome, with boundary markers between them. The Joanites who man the Seven Fingers are hand picked, and while they don’t know the particulars they are definitely aware that the Z’bri are still out there, and what the consequences are for Tribals who cross the border. The public mission of protecting Tribal lands and being on the lookout for the return of the Z’bri is a cover for their true purpose – keeping Tribals in and trying to intercept those who try to get past the boundaries. Needless to say, the presence of the Z’bri/Fatimal artifacts at the core of each tower is a closely held secret and being in close proximity does have some side effects.
The Fatimas were very quick to realize that they could offer relief from the effects of crossing the Dome, by granting relics created from their physical forms. These relics form the basis for Dahlian caravans, Agnite scavenging parties, Joanite patrols and other missions into the Outlands. The Z’bri are aware that Tribals are leaving Vimary using these protections, but to date the Baron hasn’t pressed the issue with the Fatimas. It’s almost certain the Melanis have discovered similar means of entering the Dome
The Fallen and Hom
Banishment likely wouldn’t exist without the Pact of the Dome. The Fatimas need a way to keep the population compliant and complacent, and Banished Tribals provide the Z’bri with fresh bodies. This part doesn’t change so much from canon – Tribals gets Banished for dissent, sticking their noses where they don’t belong, crime, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and in absentia.
But like Hl’kar, having a “thriving” Fallen community right under the Tribals’ noses feels a little off. Especially since Fallen are portrayed as sneaking into Vimary (Bazaar in particular, notably in the introductory scenario), this would mean crossing a lot of hostile territory with a very high risk of being caught. An explanation, one that I’ve used myself, is that the general population are at the worst ambivalent to the presence of Fallen and at best sympathetic – but it always felt clumsy.
As a result Hom doesn’t exist in My Vimary in the same form as canon. It’s flooded with only the tops of the tallest structures breaching the surface. It won’t become the Hom of the main rulebook until Children of Lilith. The Fallen population subsequently is a lot lower than the estimates in the Tribe 8 Companion, and the majority of them live underground. This provides some neat opportunities, from giving them a believable means to sneak into Tribal lands to providing opportunities to interact with Keepers, Z’bri, and other inhabitants of the underground. It likely would change the details, but not the intent, of the Tribal actions against the Fallen in Children of Lilith and make the end of the Cycle even more dramatic than it already is.
I think these changes to the setting keep things in the spirit of Tribe 8, while making things a little more interesting and add some more dramatic possibilities. I know there’s a few things that I’ve thought of and forgotten, but those can always be for a later time.