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Scott Ruggels

Blast From the past Pt. 2. The Jaggiri

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I decided to  share some of my Rogues Gallery Articles, starting with my Convention bad Guys, or my Trademarked  Therapods, The Jaggiri. Sometime around 1986. Pete Shafer and I did prep work to run at a convention, when Origins was at The los Angeles Airport Hilton, that year.  After running some Champions, but more often Fantasy Hero, I decided to rune Fantasy Hero, with Pete Shafer as Co-GM for a table of around 14-15 people.  The game was full of shady characters, and a fairly deadly swamp (with some novel mechanics), but the climax of the adventure was running into these guys. I kind of disliked elves, but these kind of fell into that. Ancient Civilization with a fairly low opinion of Humans. I published a version of this in Alarums & Excursions, Lee Gold's Gamaing 'zine, but later cleaned it up, around the time I started working on "Champions the Computer Game in 1989. here then is their first appearance in The Rogues Gallery, issue 21. The following are scans from that issue.

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If you have any comments or questions, please post them here. Thank you.

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The following is an NPC Jaggiri with unfortunate luck. Meet Khebokhun General Khomuraht.

 

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This was written around the time that 5th edition arrived, so I did not get a chance to stat him out. If anyone wants to take a crack at him for 6th eedition I would be curious to see. he's not meant to be a balanced character, and probably has a bucket load of Experience, but his health is diminished, so he has to fight with smarts rather than strength. He has by necessity become very fficient in his killing, becoming this Misshapen kings public executioner/ prized athlete.  He would consider it a blessing if someone could put him out of his misery, but pride and professionalism prevent him from ever "throwing" a match. Jaggiri do their best.

 

 

 

 

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 Amongst my friends we discussed making The Jaggiri into, If not an official Hero publication, then a Hero centric splat book. We worried that there wasn't enough material, so we decided to fold in another culture. The Mountain People.  These were a Matrilineal (Near Matriarchal) society, based around a strong religion. The Clergy was exclusively female, but because of limited land resources in the mountains,  land was never divided up, and went to the Oldest female in the family.  The women could marry multiple husbands to work the land, and divide the labor up, so large families on the farmsteads were the norm.  young Single females, if they were not in line to inheret, joined the Priesthood.  The religion and arraingements were not popular in the flatlands, that is until theJaggiri invasion. The Priestesses success against the jaggiri started to win hearts and minds in the occupied territories.  So the Mountain people had to get their development. The following images were development sketches to allow us to think and plan through. Unfortunately the project stalled and fell apart, as most of these things do, But here is the Jaggiri in conflict with  the mountain peoples.

 

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A Jaggiri built bridge, showing it's basic construction, overengineering, and the instructional stellae at each end in both the local language and the Jaggiri block lettering.

 

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Here is the development of the Mountain architecture. The writing is not very clear, but it gives a general look to it, plus it's need to shed snow in those altitudes.  The  Farmhouse is the smallest unitop that has the recognizeable elements of a steeply peaked roof and small, inset windows.

 

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 These notes show the difference between the Godess Worshipping Mountain Peoples, and the God Children worshiping flatlanders architecture with varying degreeds of jaggiri influence (especially in the occupied territories).  I apologize about the 1990's scanner technology that has reduces a lot of my notes to hash here. I cannot be helped as I no longer possess the originals.

 

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First, we needed a look for the Mountain People. Borrowing a lot from the Himalayan populations, here are people we see on the street.  

 

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 Here we see Priestesses practicing their martial arts.  All people in the mountains can fight to some degree, but the Goddess Religion trains their priestesses in a system of Martial Arts.  In D&D Terms that would be munks, that later dual class as clerics, or Paladins.

 

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Here's a domestic scene of a family preparing dinner together, The little round flightless Birds are Chaqs. 

 

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Here is a scene on the market street. Two Priestesses on the left keeping an eye out for trouble, while on the right, a couple consults with a textile merchant. On the far right, Chaqs are for sale.

 

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Here we see the sketch notes on the Chaqs. a small, carnivorous, flightless bird that the Mountain people breed and keep as pest control or an emergency meal.  The birds are active and eat anything that moves small than itself, except other chaqs. In a land without cats, they are ubiquitous around villages and farms.

 

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Another Animals the Mountain peoples use is the Pyan.  It's  ancestor was a mountain goat, but they have been bred for size, strength and stamina. They are rediculously expensive, so that only senior Politicians, Preistesses and the right have them. They are prized.  The jaggiri also prize them as they are tasty.

 

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Here are the develoment notes for the Pyans, once we had a shape for them. yes they only have one horn, and that makes them a threat to an unprepared Jaggiri. 

 

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Here are two priestesses walking a trail, with the senior Priestess astride the Pyan.  This also shows thinking about other  animals the  mountain folk may have domesticasted.

 

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The third major animal they have domesticated is the Yekken, seen below,  I took cues from Yaks and scottish cattle to give the mountain people some muscle and occasional meat, and a source of fibers to weave into warm clothing. These beasts are very cold tolerant, and stolid of outlook, forming Yak like defensive circles, rathe4r than runnin away like other cattle.  Hand raisee they are docile and biddable. In the wild they are scary.  Neeedless to say, Jagirri also find these tasty.  The final animal they have are dogs, but they are only slightly developed past wolves, and because of the cold, tend to be large.

 

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Finally we have an idea of scales. Here is a very small merchant Caravan, but is doing well as the Matriarch of the group is riding a Pyan.  Also the heavy winds in the mountain passes precuse the use of Cloaks, Most clothing is thickly padded, but tailored. 

 

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Here we see to acolytes training under seior clergy with their usual weapon when dealing with Jaggiri, a Naginata like weapon.  They first train with the staff, and some blades, but also unarmed styles, and once they have attained mastery, they are initiated into the higher level, and learn the signature Spirit Magics. Only Females can be Clergy, as they operate in the image of the Godess.

 

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This is Priestess Miri. She is senior Clergy in the establishment, but is young enough not to have a permanent Posting yet, and she likes it that way. She was radicallized by the Jaggiri incusion into the flatlands, and The Jaggiri learned quickly that the uplander priestesses were dangerous. She descends from the mountains to aid freedom fighters in their battle to throw out the invaders, but she dos not get a lot of help, as the senior clergy and the politicians in her homeland do not want an expansion of the war, since they are so resource poor. Everyone knows there is a stalemate, due to the altitude difference, between the flatlands and the mountains, as Jaggiri have a problem if they lose a "bar" of pressure (Unless they have magical help).so it becomes a long festering and intractable situation where neither side will commit to war, but also not negotiate. Miri gathers groups of volunteers to go on raids into Jaggir Held territory.

 

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Miri is an advanced and powerful practitioner of her clergy's spirit magic  It allows a 100 lb woman to prevail against a 1200 lb. Jaggir. she does not neglect her martial arts, because these summonings have a significant cost, and the power attenuates in distance from the lands ( and graves) of her ancestors.

 

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The results and her attitude for a successful kill.  My thinking was that mechanically, the spell was less a summoning, but more of a really powerful TK< with Halloween special effects.

 

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A two page comic, explaining Priestess Miri.

 

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doers she kill it and traumatize the kids, or does she simply walk off undetected. Decisions, ... decisions.

 

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Back to the Jaggiri.  You will notice a shift in art style from the previous pieces done in the late 80's and early 90's, to this stuff, done in 1996-97, when I bought books on Dinosaurs, especiall those illustrated by Gregory S Paul and worked to rationalize their anatomy closer to a Therapod. I think I had scribbed on this, was a small pencil caption entitled, "Therapoda Jaggirii". education makes a big difference.

 

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This is a colored pencil Jaggiri écorchée. This was done abotu the same time as the above skeleton, so i could get  a better handle on their musculature. such study of Human  improved my figure work dramatically for humans, aand i wanted the understanding to at some point also build a CG  Animatable model of one of these.

 

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The Jaggiri siezed the fertile flat lands and foothills of a vaguely Pharonic culture, that was curb stomped by the invading army. Recognizing the resources here, and the mercantile possibilities, the Jaggiri colonists  step lightly here, so as to not disrupt the economy too much.The native Culture is in steep decline as any sort of optimism has been sapped from the people, who have become somewhat dependent on Jaggiri rule in the just under a century of occupation.  This is intentional as the Jaggiri leadership recognize that any creature that breeds, cares for their  young and will try not to endanger them, especially if Jobs and the economy is dependent on trade with the Jaggiri extents. A Formulation from the grandfather of the current Jaggiri ruler stated that, " wealth is the  strongest pacifier. Only those with nothign  left to lose will chance a fight." The current Ruler has sent their daughter, Princess Sudhirrin to administer to these lands and planning for the aquisition of new ones, as the Jaggiri expand and grow.

 

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The Colonists have integrated somewhat into society, and often work side by side with the native humans. However there is a gulf betwen them marked by status and trust. Jaggiri always assume that Humans are by default dishonest, and therefore will try and verify anything a Human says. It's rare in their experience that they find an honest human.

 

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On the reverse, becausse Jaggiri only consider children non combatants, and tend to be a bit protectiv of anyone' young (and they avoid  hunting animals with calves).  Humans know that with rare exceptions, Jaggiri will do what they say. so in areas comfortable with the Jagiri presence will have neighborhood babysitters keeping an eye and protecting the children.

 

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Here we see a babysitter conversing with a woman, while being a giant coauch for the little ones.

 

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There is Some trade between the flatlands and the uplands, as the flatlands grow grains and seeds and other things that are difficult to get in the mountain. Because of the altitude problem, the Jaggiri will trade in  patrolled towns. Part of the difficulty is the Mountain people are in a Barter economy, and the Jaggiri are a monetary economy, so trade is difficult but highly profitable.  Miri may diserupt trade to force the issue among the mountain people, but so far the Mountain Merchants are more worried about feeding their relatives and towns.

 

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S Princess Sudhirrin "The White", a young, albino, female, has become aware of the disruptions and raids, and has assured her ruler that she will handle it. She's a very clever  leader, and a bit of a fanatic about the fighting arts, and  thinks that killing Priestess Miri will  bring stability back to the flatlands. she has already outlawed open Goddess worship, and will detain or kill any priestess found south of the  bar line. Mentally she is fvery quick and is a capable planner, but is a bit over confident, as being a royal she has never really suffered a strongg set back and a lot of her instruction was By The Book.  The distant Ruler wanted her here to learn some practical skill.  She has, but in areas where she was not already confident.

 

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Miri is waiting for the day she can attack the Princess and bloody the nose of the Jaggiri extents, and pring freedom to the occupied lands.

 

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The fight will be epic.

 

I have a few more bits and pieces, as well as campaign notes as to someone playing a small, immature Jaggir in my western European fantasy Hero game. But tht is late4r.  Tell me what you think.

 

 

 

 

 

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Part Two has been found, Scanned and posted here in it's correct location.  Some of the artwork from the place holder will be returned  to this post:

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 This concludes the Jaggiri material published in Rogues Gallery. If you have any further questions, Please post replies. Thank you.

Scott

 

 

 

 

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