- "Welcome to Lamus. I am Jord of the A'Mar. We are pleased to have you here, to share our world with us."
The A'Mar were the Human settlers of the Outer Rim moon Lamus. The initial settlers on the moon encountered an astronomical oddity on their third night on the world; while camping near the Wellspring—the source of all surface water on the moon—the settlers observed an eclipse that lasted the whole day. Having initially refrained from drinking from the Wellspring, toward the end of the eclipse, they gave in. The eclipse and the fast before drinking the waters became a powerful ritual for the A'Mar which they repeated every 30 years at the next eclipse. It came to be known as the Vigil and took on spiritual significance.
Over ten generations, the A'Mar lived on the moon, building small agrarian settlements in harmony with the forests. They received some offworlders, who on occasion chose to permanently join the A'Mar on the moon. However, at one observance of the Vigil, only one A'Mar, the six-year-old Olianna, was eligible to fulfill the ritual. Jord, the A'Mar leader of the time, asked a group of offworlders to protect the girl in exchange for parts needed to repair their starship.
Biology and appearance[edit | edit source]
Society and culture[edit | edit source]
- "The Vigil begins in the morning. You are welcome in our homes tonight, or you may stay in your ship. We ask only that you do not drink from the Wellspring before the Vigil is complete."
Located on Lamus was a wellspring from which all water on the moon flowed. The A'Mar developed a particular custom relating to the wellspring over the ten generations they were present on the moon. This ritual, known as the Vigil, coincided with an eclipse of the sun caused by one of the planets in the star system. It involved members of the A'Mar standing watch over the wellspring during the night and drinking from its waters. The vigil could only be carried out by A'Mar that had never before drunk from the Wellspring.
The Vigil originated with the first settlers on the moon, who had camped near the Wellspring. During the night of the eclipse, the settlers were extremely afraid. With the advent of morning, they realized the nature of the eclipse; however, they maintained the tradition throughout their time on the moon. It became important for how they viewed civilization, and the initial affection for the site turned into a spiritual connection with the Wellspring. The name that took for themselves, the A'Mar, actually meant "People of the Emerald Sky," a label derived from the appearance of the night sky during the Vigil.
A second ritual tied with the Vigil was the Beastlord's Hunt. This was a rite of passage for the young men and women among the A'Mar in which they hunted the quasi-mythical Beastlord, said to be "the mightiest of gundarks." The hunters involved were not allowed to ask for any help from other A'Mar for the duration of the hunt, which lasted for the whole eclipse.
Having settled on Lamus, the A'Mar were content to remain on the world; consequently, they dismantled their original starships, storing the parts in nearby caves. Over the ten generations, they did not significantly develop the moon, instead building in harmony with the land itself. The A'Mar were a mirthful people who always welcomed offworld visitors with bunches of orange and red flowers.
History[edit | edit source]
Initial settlement[edit | edit source]
The A'Mar were Human settlers who colonized Lamus, the moon of an Outer Rim planet which was located in the Sertar sector of the Trans-Hydian region. After only two days on the moon, the settlers discovered the Wellspring. It was the sole place on the moon where water came to the surface; the water that emerged was warm and frothy, having passed through the moon's core. The settlers camped overnight by the Wellspring, but did not drink from it, suspicious as to whether it was safe. However, the following morning, the sun did not rise. Instead, all that was visible was a halo of fire that marked the edge of an intervening planet whose orbit exactly matched that of the sun's path. The settlers became progressively nervous during the day and finally drank from the Wellspring. They found the water surprisingly refreshing, and when the sun rose the following morning, they realized they had observed an eclipse.
The eclipse reoccurred every 30 years and it slowly became a tradition among the A'Mar to re-enact the day and night without water before drinking from the spring during the event. A seer among the A'Mar foretold that the Vigil must be kept only by those that have not previously drunk from the Wellspring and that if the ritual was not kept, the A'Mar connection to its waters would be severed. The A'Mar also developed another ritual relating the Vigil, in which young members of the tribe went on a coming-of-age hunt.
Satisfied with their choice of settlement, the A'Mar carefully dismantled the starships that had brought them there, storing the components in caves. They established settlements on Lamus, the largest being Vidge-Ribu—a low-tech, yet thriving agrarian town of fifteen hundred inhabitants. On occasion, they received offworld visitors, offering what hospitality they could. Some of these visitors even chose to remain on the world and avoid the politics and worries of the galaxy.
Vigil dilemma[edit | edit source]
- "Nobody's s'pose to drink out of this today. Not until the real sun's up. He can't."
For ten generations, the A'Mar observed the Vigil without incident. However, a problem arose during the year when the Vigil was due to occur for the eleventh generation. One group of youth was killed while out hunting in the woods, and another got lost and drunk from the Wellspring to keep themselves alive. This left only one child in that generation, Olianna, who had not drunk from the Wellspring and who was thus eligible to carry out the ceremony. Close to the time of the Vigil, a group of offworlders arrived on Lamus with a broken ship. The leader of the A'Mar, Jord, welcomed them and offered them parts to repair their ship. In addition, however, she also asked if they would accompany the six-year old Olianna during the Vigil.
That same Vigil, a group of eight A'Mar youths undertook the "Beastlord's Hunt." While the hunters had never before encountered the creature for which the ritual was named, on this occasion, the group was attacked by a Brachian Beastlord, a ferocious sub-species of gundark. It struck from the shadows, almost killing the hunter Jeg, before being wounded itself. The hunters were forbidden from asking any help from other A'Mar during the Vigil, but knowing that offworlders were guarding the Wellspring, they hoped to persuade them to allow Jeg to drink from the water and be healed.
Having been led to the Wellspring by Jord, the offworlders were then left there with Olianna. Around mid-afternoon, their sentries detected the approach of the hunting group. They were then faced with an ethical dilemma: break the age-old tradition of the Vigil and allow the boy to drink, or refuse him the water and try and heal him through other means. The hunters promised not to tell Jorg and the other A'Mar of any violation, but Olianna argued against breaking the custom.
The situation was further complicated when the wounded Beastlord approached the Wellspring, wanting to drink its waters to aid in its own healing. Emerging from the forest, it tried to cross the thirty meters to the bubbling waters, fighting any who tried to stop it. The offworlders successfully managed to prevent the beast from drinking of the waters and kept Jeg alive without the water. As a reward, the party was allowed to drink and received the starship parts they needed to repair its ship.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- "This could spark some interesting roleplaying. Will the heroes forbid Jeg from drinking, effectively condemning him to a painful death? If so, will they do it to uphold the beliefs of the moon's inhabitants or simply to make sure they get the parts needed to fix their ship?"
- ―Morrie Mullins
The A'Mar were created by Morrie Mullins for the roleplaying adventure The Wellspring. It was released on the Wizards of the Coast website on December 18, 2003 as a stand-alone adventure compatible with any era of play. Consequently, it did not specify when in the timeline the adventure occurred, nor did it give a placement for Lamus. This was so the gamemaster could place the moon in any system that suited his larger campaign. In 2009, The Essential Atlas gave Lamus an entry in its Appendix, placing it in the Outer Rim Territories.
In the adventure, Mullins indicates that "ultimately, the heroes were supposed to stand the Vigil and prevent any person or creature from drinking from the Wellspring until the sun rose." However, there are ways in which the players may fail in this goal. They may refuse to undertake the Vigil, allow Jeg to drink, or allow the beast to drink. If any of these situations occur, Jord detects the failure through a tremor in the Force and doubts that the beneficial effect of the Wellspring will continue. If the heroes try their best but still fail, she will give them the parts they need and thank them. If, however, they act badly, she will respond angrily, although she will still provide them with the parts.