Sunday, February 28, 2016

     Well, I've almost finished the first miniature, just need to paint the axe head and parts of the helmet. Should have it done in the next couple of days. I think that I'll do the second miniature as a follower of Karakán.

Here is the second part of my background on Pecháno. This time I’ll look at Pecháno’s political structure. Again, as I stated in Part I, much the following information was gleaned from Phil over in The Blue Room while it was still active, and private correspondences we exchanged. Speaking of which, I also plan on eventually posting what he had to say about the Three States of the Triangle.

Part II

Political Structure                                                                

Tapestry of the first Beneshchán,
surrounded by the Seven Deities of the Rising Peaks,
Hall of Bones –Mechanéno.
Pecháno is a feudal monarchy, which is ruled by a king, or to use the Pecháni title: Chægósh. The current Chægósh (c. 2367AS) is the senior oligarch of the old ruling clan of Mechanéno, the Beneshchán. The Chægósh is selected by his clan. The position is not exclusively hereditary to the Beneshchán, but it tends to become almost so by virtue of the fact that his lineage and his entourage make up the most powerful people in the land. Usually the Beneshchán have ruled, again by virtue of power and proximity to the ancient throne of Mechanéno. A few Rekhmél rulers are quoted in the histories, as are a sprinkling of members of other clans a long time ago. The Chægósh is not secluded, like the Tsolyáni Emperors, but goes forth with his heroes to hunt Ssü and lead heroic expeditions into old Ssuyál. The reigning Chægósh is a youngish man who calls himself just “Beneshchán,” as is the custom. If he ever had a personal name, it is never used. The king presides over the Assembly of High Lords in which the Beneshchán and their rivals, the Rekhmél of Teshkóa, predominate. Lands belonging to these two ruling houses are divided into smaller and smaller fiefs amongst descending tiers of vassals. The system is carried even further than it is in Salarvyá: every landowner, no matter how minor, is someone’s vassal, and if he sells (technically “enfeoffs”) a piece of land to another, he then becomes that person’s feudal overlord. Since no land is actually ever truly “sold,” a buyer becomes the “vassal” of the person from who he buys the land. Even the priests of the Seven Deities of the Rising Peaks are vassals because they own the land upon which their temples stand and must be responsible to some higher suzerain. The same is true of the professional clans, which own their shops and clan houses. Only those who are not landowners – i.e. clerks, employees, retainers, etc. –are not vassals and hence have fewer rights under the system.    

Monday, February 22, 2016

Some Miniatures

I recently “discovered” a great blog: “chirine’s workbench” . Created by a member of MAR Barker’s “Thursday Night Group”, a founding member no less, it serves as a great forum where one can learn what it was like to adventure in Phil’s Tékumel. Not only are there many wonderful anecdotes, but Chirine is also a prolific miniature collector and painter. He has miniatures dating back to the mid ‘70s, many of which were used in the game and served to represent PC’s. Ever wonder what Dave Arneson’s Capt Harchar, or Sword-Swinger looked like? Well go to Chirine’s blog and find out!
Taking this trip back in time has inspired me to dust off some old miniatures (literally) and buy some new ones. My plan is to get a good solid core of the Shemek’s old unit, the Nchésh of the Splendid Slayers of Ssü, and hopefully get them on the table top soon. In the mean time I decided to do some individual minis which I plan on using in the game I recently started. 

I haven’t completely decided on a colour scheme, but this mini (an old Ral Partha Chaos Warrior I believe) screams Vimúhla to me so I think that it will have to have some orange on it. 

The second miniature which I believe is an ancient (pre 40k) Citadel: Warrior of Chaos and I believe that I may have used him as a proxy for Shemek back in the day. 

Any way, I will post updates on the WIP, and once I get my feet wet with these two I will start to repaint the original Shemek hiTankolel.     


Saturday, February 20, 2016


I have long had a fascination with Tékumel, but especially with Pecháno. I don’t know what it is about this tiny nation that appeals to me; perhaps it’s their proximity to the dreaded Ssü, and the incessant conflict that this mandates. Maybe it’s because of all the nations on Tékumel they are the one nation that are truly caught between a “rock and a hard place”: Ssuyál to the north, and Salarvyá to the south, east, west... What ever the reason, not only have I been bitten by the Tékumel bug, but have also been smitten with Pecháni fever! 
About 20 years ago I was fortunate enough to share a brief correspondence with Professor Barker. As a purist I was adamant that my Pecháni adventures would be 100% authentic. I quickly became obsessed with creating an accurate image of this land, and just as quickly realised the futility of my vision. At the time the Blue Room was chugging along in all its glory and after posting a few long questions I was surprised at not only getting a reply from MAR Barker directly, but also privately via his university email. Even though he provided me with a lot of fodder for my game the one thing that I remember was that he told me that Pecháno was not really developed and that essentially I had quite a free rein to go where my imagination took me. Ultimately, as Phil said on numerous occasions to all who wanted to adventure on his world “your Tékumel is not my Tékumel.” Basically do what you want and make it your own. Well I did that, albeit with help from Phil, and this is what I came up with. The document that I created in 2002 for the benefit of my then players was developed from quite a few sources. Obviously I relied heavily on the Sourcebooks, both Volumes 1 and 2, and other articles published by Prof. Barker.  I also used the responses to the Blue Room messages, and my private correspondence with Phil. Here’s what I came up with.

Part 1.

A Brief Outline on Pecháno.                           


Ssángurrü: Pecháni village, north-east border
Pecháno is a land of plains, forested hills and mountains situated to the southeast of Tsolyánu. Salarvyá borders it to the south, west and east, and Ssuyál and Kilalámu form its northern border. Pecháno is not a big land, measuring some 1400 Tsán in length and 300 Tsán in width. The country is split in half by the Murúkh River, which is located approximately 150 Tsán west of Teshkóa and runs in a north-westerly direction. There are three main urban centres in Pecháno: Mechanéno, the capital, Ogréjja, and Teshkóa. These towns are not large when compared to the cities in the Five Empires; Mechanéno has a population between: 50,000 – 100,000 at the most, whereas Ogréjja and Teshkóa have between: 5,000 – 10,000 inhabitants. At the most Pecháno has about 3 million inhabitants. It is difficult to pin an exact number due to the unreliability of local censuses.

            Pecháno is one of the daughter states of the Engsvanyáli Empire. The Priest-kings split the region into two governorships: one based in Tsatsayágga, the other in Mechanéno. The southern one expanded, while the northern one remained small and limited, locked in eternal battle with the Ssü. There are indeed many similarities between Pecháno and Salarvyá, but the Pecháni are much more open, less greedy, and more harebrained and heroic. Pecháno is, of course, thoroughly oriented towards war, particularly against the Ssü, but also against the great leviathan of Salarvyá to the south. Pecháni children learn several types of fighting the moment they are able to walk. Heroism is highly valued and prowess is measured in terms of “kills”. The Pecháni seem harsh and taciturn to the more “refined” Tsolyáni, but they are essentially decent folk who practice the casual brutality of a feudal warrior society.
            Racially, the Pecháni are very similar to the Salarvyáni. Pecháni males average 1.68 metres (5½ ft) in height. Their complexions are sallow, almost a pale yellowish tan, and they are not as hirsute as the Salarvyáni, although they do have more body hair than the Tsolyáni. Pecháni males have thick wavy black hair, curly or kinky beards, and sickle shaped noses. Pecháni females tend to average about 1.57 metres (5 ft) in height; they are somewhat lighter in colouration than males and tend to be somewhat plump. Obesity is not uncommon in Pecháni females, especially after they have had their first child.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

This blog is about all things Tekumel, but especially all things Pechani. The world created by Professor MAR Barker has been a source of interest to me for decades, and has provided countless hours of enjoyment. Thanks Phil!
I have been fascinated by the world of Tekumel since the mid 1980's when a friend of mine in High School first showed me the Different Worlds printing of  EPT.  I remember going through the rules and the S&G Sourcebook, and being amazed at the complexity and uniqueness of the world. No mistake, it quickly became evident to me that this was a labour of love. There were no familiar Western European and Norse motifs. Dragons weren't hiding in caves and abandoned fortresses waiting to pounce on unwary adventurers. And most surprisingly, to me, there were no Orcs! When I discovered the Ssu, specifically the picture I've posted to the left,  I was hooked on the spot. I had been desperately trying to infuse some novelty into my AD&D game, which was at its height,  for years and finally I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, or perhaps I should say in the dungeon. I infused countless small elements from Tekumel into my cobbled together fantasy world, and ultimately was able to bring the party into Tsolyanu proper where they took Tsolyani identities and adventured for many years. Becoming great champions for the Temples of Ksarul, Vimuhla, and Sarku the erstwhile "Turigand", "Panthagarus" and "Rokeb", respectively,  created paths of mayhem, avoiding the "high ride" only by luck and the efforts of their subtle comrade "Craggy", a master thief, who spent his vast fortune bribing various Jakallan officials. However, Tsolyanu eventually became too hot for them forcing them to split up and go into hiding. In fact, those characters, which were created in 1984, are still alive and living all over the place: one in Western Tsolyanu, one in the City of Sarku, one in Pechano, and one somewhere in Salarvya. I should really figure out what they've been up to all this time.  Perhaps one day we'll return and gather them all together and bring them back to my world...
Let's see how this blog goes.