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 Post subject: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Mar 18, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Da1 page 4 tells us this about Uthers father:

He is descended from a long line of Barons of Blackmoor.
He is the Baron of Blackmoor when he dies
He dies fighting Skandarrians
Uther, “a boy” but also a university graduate, becomes baron of Blackmoor when his father dies.

Bakula
Garbage pits of despair occurs at a time when the “Northern Marches” are under the control of a regency council in Vestfold. The regency council appears led by several co-regents including Bakula. (DW 42&43)
This means that it has to be after 1972 (AD), when the first council is formed.
The Northern Marches are still part of the Great Empire (DW42:MM2)
This means that it has to be before Uther Becomes King.
Ten is also described as a place where Blackmorians can travel and enter into the service of local rulers (sartraps). (DW43:M2,M6) Note that Ross seems to presume a connection between the term Sartraps and the Afridhi, but it seems very unlikely the Afridhi would be hiring infidel mercenaries or tolerating travelers. “Sartrap” could easily be a term more associated with the nomads of Ten who dwell in desert like conditions.

GPoD does not say why Bakula is on the council of regents or exactly what his position is, other than Co-Regent, but he seems to be someone of particular importance, or at least the person of authority around Vestfold where most of the events are taking place. It seems to be assumed he is from Vestfold simply because he is not specified as being from somewhere else - Baron of Glendower or whatever. It would seem likely then, that Bakula is the Earl of Vestfold and “king” of the Northern Marches. If he is the Earl of Vestfold, he is almost certainly an Andahar, because the previous Earl of Vestfold, Ra-All is very likely his father and an Andahar.

Still it remains possible Bakula could also be some other baron, even possibly the Baron of Blackmoor, or less likely, he could have both titles. Bakula then, could be Uther’s father, but the timing is tricky. Uther’s father must be dead by circa 1008 when Uther is described as in charge of Blackmoor. (TWC) In the period 1008-14 Uther is described as both duke and baron of Blackmoor. If Bakula is his father and Uther inherits the barony of Blackmoor when his father dies, Then either Bakula is not earl of Vestfold or there is another heir to Vestfold, since Uther does not also become Earl of Vestfold and a Co- Regent. If there is an older brother who becomes Earl of Vestfold, then how is it that Uther always seems to be in charge?

There’s also several timing issues that present difficulties to the idea of Bakula dying in 1007/8. There’s the Temple of the Frog issue, in that “everyone knows the temple no longer exists” (DW:M6) having been discovered and sacked circa early 1974 (998 on my timeline). The cultists would have needed time some to rebuild, so a date after 1007 would seem preferable to a date before it.

Slavery has been abolished by the council. (DW42:M4) Given that slavery is still present in the FFC, this can not have happened prior to 1000, and probably not before 1002 (1977 when the FFC was published).

Another factor is that Orcs have been largely chased out of the land by the Great Svenny who is now a legendary hero (DW42:M1,43:M3).

So while we can put Bakula as a baron of Blackmoor, have him die at the end of 1007 and fit the events of GPoD into 1005/6 it’s a tight squeeze. It’s workable, but a little tight. My main objection to this is the actual, real time date of the module. My sense of Arnesons campaing is that Blackmoor years followed real years. It was spring in Blackmoor when it was spring in Minnesota, more or less, and I think its no coincidence that the d20 books are set at 1030 - they being published beginning in 2004 and the original campaign having come to a halt at the end of 1974/early75, i.e. about the year 1000. GoPD was published in 1986 and likely written in 1985 or thereabouts – in Blackmoor years that would be 1009. That date fits the facts above a little more comfortably than a 1005 date.

The more likely situation to account for all these hints and complications is that Bakula is the Earl of Vestfold not Baron of Blackmoor, is still alive when Ten falls to the Afridhi , and is not Uther’s father.

Fant
Fant is a natural candidtate because he is the last baron on record before Uther. However, Fant does not die at the hand of Skandaharians, doesn’t seem to be an Andahar, and is described in DoCB as a friend and Companion of Uther.

Alvarez
Alvarez is possibly an Andahar, but maybe not if Ra-All’s promotion to Vestfold meant the entire family moved, as seems likely. Alvarez also does lose his head in a Barbarian raid like Uthers father. But TWC timeline places that in 985 (same year as Uther’s birth) and regardless of timelines Alvarez is pre Fant for sure. The only way around this is to assume that the baron who dies, leading to Uther becoming baron, isn't his biological father, but a step father. Seems a bit too complicated that way.

Mr. X - son of Ra-all?
When Ra-all is promoted to Vestfold, we can assume his “seat” changed and the Barony of Blackmoor was given to a new house. That new house is that of “The Weasel”. The family may have changed yet again when Alvarez was made baron, and perhaps again with Fant.

After the 2nd Coot invasion, Fant remained the defacto baron despite being a Vampire. At this point, however, it seems almost certain the Council of Regents or perhaps the empire would appoint a new baron. To fit the other timelines, that Baron must be Uther’s father and he must be an Andahar.

It’s conceivable that Ra-all had two son’s. Bakula, as the elder son inherits Vestfold etc. The younger son could well be the Andahar who is the father of Uther and is the appointed Baron of Blackmoor after Fant.

Any other candidates?

One interesting tidbit I've noticed is that whoever the father is, he should probably have AL somewhere in his name - all the Barons, except Weasel and Fant, do.

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jun 24, 2012 11:59 am 
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Can't believe I never commented on this.

The recent discussion about the Wizard of the Woods has rekindled my interest in Uther. In my opinion, Bakula is most likely the father of Uther and the son of Ra-All. Uther is 20 years when he becomes Baron of Blackmoor (1005). Nine years later he rebels against the Thonian Emperor.

-Havard

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jun 26, 2012 1:00 pm 
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Havard wrote:
Can't believe I never commented on this.

The recent discussion about the Wizard of the Woods has rekindled my interest in Uther. In my opinion, Bakula is most likely the father of Uther and the son of Ra-All. Uther is 20 years when he becomes Baron of Blackmoor (1005). Nine years later he rebels against the Thonian Emperor.

-Havard


Could be. But that explanation produces a couple puzzles; such as the question of Bakula's position exactly. If he was Baron of Blackmoor, then naturally his son would inherit. But if he is earl or king of Vestfold, then Uther should have been baron of Vestfold, not Blackmoor.

Since 1001 sees the earldom of vestfold eliminated, perhaps Ra-All died without heir. Thus creating a power vacuum filled by the council of regents. Perhaps Bakura is baron of Blackmoor and head of the co regents. That would make him Uther's father.

But, in the 4e timeline, Uther's father (seemingly not "Bakura") is killed in battle in 1005. Since the events of Garbage Pits of Despair take place in summer 1009, and Bakula is still alive, the only way he could be Uthers father is if he was ressurected. Presumably that didn't happen.

So, presuming with you that Bakula is the son of Ra-all and his seat of power is Vestfold, Uthers father has to be somebody else.

So this is the idea I present in my Timeline:

1004 (1980 AD)–
Al-Haza Andahar, a reclusive wizard with an interest in techno gadgetry and one of the last known Andahars, is appointed Baron of Blackmoor by the Council. (DA1:4). He divides his time between a manor house near Blackmoor town and his tower in Bleakwood., a hamlet in the foothills of the Black Mountains east of the Northern Marches.. (AiF,BoA:45 - the connection here is tenuous, based on the observation that the Al-Haza character first appears in print shortly before this time, both Uther and father are scholarly and progressive, and all Andahar Barons prior to Uther have “al” somewhere in their name.)

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jun 27, 2012 8:12 am 
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The problem here is that while the 4E timeline is pretty much a copy and paste from David Ross' Timeline, you are altering one date and getting in trouble because of it.

While I prefer the earlier dating of Garbage Pits as per Ross, a pretty easy fix could be that Ra-All the Wise had two sons, one being Bakula and the other being Uther's father, both ending up on the Council. Bakula then, not having any offspring, died leaving noone to inherit any noble title for Vestfold, making that a kind of neutral ground.

It is interesting seeing Al-Haza here, though I thought he the main villain in AiF? Sort of an odd choice for an Andahar?

-Havard

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jun 27, 2012 11:39 am 
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Havard wrote:
The problem here is that while the 4E timeline is pretty much a copy and paste from David Ross' Timeline,..


Except it really isn't. The 4e timeline is clearly based off Ross, and does cut and paste a good bit of text, but if you carefully compare the two you will see there are quite a few differences, divergences and changes. In our particular case, the Ross timeline merely gives a range of 1002-1005 for the period in which Bakula ascends to the co-regency and Sildonis becomes Wizard of the Wood. The 4e timeline contradicts this giving the earlier and more specific date of 1001.

Havard wrote:
...you are altering one date and getting in trouble because of it.


I'm not the one altering dates Havard, unless you mean altering from Ross. I followed what it says in the printed material and what the original players have said. Ross is a fan work and at times it is simply inaccurate, but perhaps more to the point subsequent Blackmoor publications have revised or replaced his guesses.

Havard wrote:
While I prefer the earlier dating of Garbage Pits as per Ross, a pretty easy fix could be that Ra-All the Wise had two sons, one being Bakula and the other being Uther's father, both ending up on the Council. Bakula then, not having any offspring, died leaving noone to inherit any noble title for Vestfold, making that a kind of neutral ground.

It is interesting seeing Al-Haza here, though I thought he the main villain in AiF? Sort of an odd choice for an Andahar?

-Havard


Yeah, Al- Haza could be Bakula's brother. I haven't tried to specify his exact family relationship. In AiF he isn't a villan at all. He is simply a wizard in a tower, given as an example of "an average wizard's dwelling once he has achieved sufficient wealth and importance."

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jul 01, 2012 8:13 am 
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Aldarron wrote:
Havard wrote:
The problem here is that while the 4E timeline is pretty much a copy and paste from David Ross' Timeline,..


Except it really isn't. The 4e timeline is clearly based off Ross, and does cut and paste a good bit of text, but if you carefully compare the two you will see there are quite a few differences, divergences and changes. In our particular case, the Ross timeline merely gives a range of 1002-1005 for the period in which Bakula ascends to the co-regency and Sildonis becomes Wizard of the Wood. The 4e timeline contradicts this giving the earlier and more specific date of 1001.

Havard wrote:
...you are altering one date and getting in trouble because of it.


I'm not the one altering dates Havard, unless you mean altering from Ross. I followed what it says in the printed material and what the original players have said. Ross is a fan work and at times it is simply inaccurate, but perhaps more to the point subsequent Blackmoor publications have revised or replaced his guesses.


Fair enough. Although I'm not saying Ross' version is perfect, I think you are giving the 4E team too much credit in that their deviations from Ross may have been such thought through decisions. Anyway the sources of the contradiction here is that you are moving Garbage Pits to a later date. The original date works within Ross' framework, but if you move that ahead you also need to move the other dates that cause the problems.

-Havard

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jul 04, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Havard wrote:
Fair enough. Although I'm not saying Ross' version is perfect, I think you are giving the 4E team too much credit in that their deviations from Ross may have been such thought through decisions. Anyway the sources of the contradiction here is that you are moving Garbage Pits to a later date. The original date works within Ross' framework, but if you move that ahead you also need to move the other dates that cause the problems.

-Havard


Likely, some parts of the 4e timeline were given more thought than others. I don't know, but its published by DA's company and is the last word on the matter we'll ever have, so it's the standard I go by. (My only deviation from it is to put the founding of Uberstars mines at 460 instead of 500 to make sense of the statement in the book regarding "nearly 600 years of mining,").

Realisticly, it's not me who "moved" the date of GPoD. Blackmoor events unfold year by year from the beginning of play in 1970. GPoD was published in the late winter/early spring of 1986. The adventure takes place during a warm season so summer or fall 1985 (1009) is the date by default. To change that year would require some textual basis that simply isn't there. Ross changed the date without any valid justification that I can see, to suit his personal preference. Fine for him, of course, but since "official" timelines are silent on the matter, I prefer the actual date, over Ross' whimsical one.

BTW the d20 line takes place 30 years after the FFC. The FFC campaign ended in 1975. The d20 line was first published in 2004 - 29 years later ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jul 17, 2012 10:16 pm 
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IMC, which was "The Promised Land", of course, I had Fant being the Baron for Blackmoor, while Uther was raised
as an orphan, until their confrontation (reread PL I, IV for how we did this). You know, like an infinitely darker version
of this little guy:

Image

Just a nitpick, but I think Uther, as per the published material, formally becomes a baron of Blackmoor as an adult.
Who is ruling during his dark years, again? The Weasel, and Fant, among others, IIRC.

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jul 22, 2012 8:11 pm 
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Le Noir Faineant wrote:
Just a nitpick, but I think Uther, as per the published material, formally becomes a baron of Blackmoor as an adult.
Who is ruling during his dark years, again? The Weasel, and Fant, among others, IIRC.


Fant is the Baron. This is actually a somewhat tricky legal question. Fant is baron when he becomes a vampire. He continues to rule as baron afterward and continues to style himself Baron Fant. So, in Fant's eyes Uther is a usurper, even though Uther is legally made baron (presumably by the council of Regents).

BTW DOCBM has it that as a young man, Uther was a friend and companion to Fant.

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 Post subject: Re: Uther's Father
PostPosted: Jul 24, 2012 7:20 am 
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Hehe, yeah, that's what I based my story upon...

One of my regrets with the game, that we could not linger on that topic a bit longer. :)

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