Ravenloft: Prisoners of the Mist

Public (OOC) => Roleplay and Gameplay Resources => Other Settings => Topic started by: Bluebomber4evr on February 18, 2012, 12:50:51 AM

Title: Mystara
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on February 18, 2012, 12:50:51 AM
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Introduction:

Mystara is the world where most of the Original D&D modules were set, and therefore is one of the oldest D&D settings alongside Blackmoor and Greyhawk.

The Known World of Mystara is a diverse melting point, it's a world of high fantasy and high magic, it's a world of immortals who shape the world to their own ends, it's also a coherent and consistent world.

The Known World today is fit to burst with pressures between the civilizations and external threats mounting. It is over one thousand years after the crowning of the first emperor of Thyatis (1019 AC) and the small corner on the southeast corner of the continent of Brun, the Known World, which has already undergone much recent change is going to change the face of the whole planet - and perhaps even more than just the face.

Mystara is a planet smaller than Earth, 6,190 miles in diameter. Matera, Mystara's one visible moon, marks off the months in its orbit. The planet is hollow and has another world within it, a primitive land of floating continents and dinosaurs. There are large openings on each of Mystara's poles that lead to this Hollow World.

The world of Mystara is surrounded by a magical bubble known as the Sky-Shield. This Sky-Shield, situated 15 miles (24 km) above the ground, allows objects to enter the world of Mystara, but not to leave.

Races:

HUMANS

Humans come in all shapes and sizes, without really any common theme to unite them. Historians claim that all the humans on Mystara are descendants from three ancient races of humans: the Neathar, the Oltec, and the Tangor. A fourth major race, the Alphatians, arrived on Mystara just over 2,000 years ago, and have also contributed to the various cultures now found today. With such a short life-span (compared to demihumans), humans have evolved rapidly and there are now more races of humans on Mystara than one can possibly keep track of.

Humans can be found on all the continents of Mystara, and seem to have adapted to almost any climate. As mentioned, there are too many races of humans to describe fully, but the two most common are the Thyatians with their olive complexion and dark hair as well as the Common Alphatians with coppery complexions and brown or red hair.

If there is anything that can be said to generalize humans is that they are all unique. Racial unity is rare, and only takes place when there is a non-human threat close by. Otherwise, they fight more often amongst themselves than with other races.

DWARVES
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The dwarves of Mystara, often called Rockborn dwarves, all came from the same source: the mountains of Rockhome. They claim that Kagyar - their patron Immortal - created them circa BC 1800, and they have since spread throughout the continent of Brun. Some have even sailed across the sea and made their homes in the land of the now sunken continent of Alphatia. Whether the dwarves have colonized other continents during the past remains to be discovered.

Dwarves are lawful beings who only change their ways of life after a very, very long period of time. Every dwarven colony still speaks the exact same dialect of Dengar that is still used in Rockhome. The same holds true for their physical characteristics: all dwarves on Mystara are still identical to their racial ancestors. Rockborn dwarves are the only race of Dwarves that exist on the surface of Mystara.

Rockborn dwarves are stocky and muscular with a deep tan or light brown skin, often with ruddy cheeks. Their hair is often black, gray, or brown, with similar colors for their bright eyes. They vary in height between 4 and 4½ feet. (Rockborn dwarves are considered to be the hill dwarves of Mystara, as described in the PHB)

A second race of dwarves, the Kogolor dwarves, have been found in the Hollow World. There doesn't appear to be any connection between these dwarves and Rockborn dwarves.

ELVES
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The elves claim that they were born from the soul of Mystara and the Immortal Ordana several thousand years ago. At first, guardian spirits of the land watched over them, but then one day they were let free to inhabit the world of Mystara. Some sages speculate that the ancient elves were actually colonists from another world, much like the Alphatians. The departure of the "guardian spirits" is interpreted as a loss of contact with their homeworld. Elves scoff at this idea, however.

Five main races of elves exist on Mystara: the aquarendi, the ee'ar, the shadow elves, the shiye elves, and the sylvan elves. Sages claim that all except the shadow elves evolved (or arrived, depending on the sage) while the elves were still watched over by the "guardian spirits." In general, elves stand about 5 feet in height, are more slender than humans, and have pointed ears.

The most common race of elves encountered are the sylvan elves who are named after their legendary homeland, the Sylvan Realms. Sylvan elves have either pale blond hair and blue eyes, or dark hair and intense green eyes. A few clans have red hair, and grey is also not unheard of. Unlike all other elven races, sylvan elves can grow mustaches and beards, a trait that is often noticed among the elves of Belcadiz. Sylvan elves are scattered throughout the continent of Brun and Davania, and almost all the elven clans found in the Known World and the Savage Coast are sylvan elves. Sylvan elves prefer the simple life and live high up in the trees of many forests. Some clans have different attitudes, however. The Belcadiz of Glantri enjoy prestige, reputation and living in human-styled houses, while the Meditor and Verdier elves of Minrothad love money and are renown sailors. The sylvan elves of the Savage Coast have actually abandoned all elven ways and adapted the lifestyles of the nations they live in.

The aquarendi are an aquatic race of elves that inhabit the various seas of Mystara. Gill slits in their neck permit them to breath while underwater. They have webs between their fingers and toes, and small fins on their ankles. Green and blue hair is common among the sea elves, although brown or black have been spotted on rare occasions. Skin colors range from light tan for those living near the shore to bright green or blue for those living deep beneath the sea.

The ee'aar are a rare race of winged elves that inhabit the western end of the Savage Coast and the Arm of the Immortals. They look much as the sylvan elves, except appear much more delicate and with more angular facial features. Of course, they also have large feathered wings with a wingspan of at least 10 feet (3 meters). They usually have white or silver hair, although black and gray are not uncommon. Their wings are the same color as their hair. Eyes tend to be amber, violet, or deep green.
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The shadow elves are a mysterious race of underground elves. They have gray skin and white hair, and their philosophies appear to be much different than other elves. To date, not much is known about them. Shadow elves inhabit the nation of Aengmor in the Known World with rumors of a large empire deep underground. The nation of Schattenalfheim in the Hollow World is also composed of shadow elves.
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Finally, the shiye elves are slightly taller than other elves. When the elves left their ancient homeland, the shiye elves went with the sylvan elves and helped create the Sylvan Realms. But the differences in philosophies, especially the shiye's xenophobia, eventually caused them to leave. Their new migration brought them to the continent of Alphatia were they founded Shiye-Lawr, the largest nation of shiye elves. They usually have silver hair and amber eyes, although a few rare shiye elves have pale golden hair and violet eyes. They are more reclusive than sylvan elves, and live a much more ordered life than their chaotic cousins. Shiye elves are found throughout Alphatian territories such as Norwold and Bellissaria. Also, one colony of shiye elves seems to have settled in Eusdria on the Savage Coast.

GNOMES

Like dwarves, gnomes claim they were created by their patron Immortal - Garal Glitterlode - who also placed them in the mountains of the area now known as Rockhome. Unlike the dwarves, however, gnomish colonization of the rest of the world wasn't so successful. Only when they colonized areas with the dwarves (such as Highforge in Karameikos or Stoutfellow in Alphatia) did their colonies survive. Seeing how they couldn't forge nations on the ground, the gnomes of Mystara built Serraine, their wondrous flying city, and there they remain to this day. Still, small scattered communities can still be found in the Known World and Norwold. Elsewhere, gnomes do not seem to be present.

Strictly speaking, there is only one race of Gnomes present on Mystara, and they are simply known as Mystaran Gnomes. The second "race" of gnomes are the sky gnomes which inhabit the flying city of Serraine. Physically the two races of gnomes are identical (hence the reference to just one race of gnomes), although their attitude and culture are so different that many sages prefer to separate them into two races.

Gnomes stand about 3½ feet tall and have rather pronounced noses of which they are quite proud. They have either pale blond or red hair, which often turns white as they age. Their skin ranges from dark tan to woody brown, and they usually have bright blue eyes.

HALF-ELVES

Half-elves are so rare in the Known World as to be almost legendary. Many sages believe that a Mystaran elf/Mystaran human couple somehow have a harder time at producing offspring than is reportedly possible on other worlds. When they do, the result is invariably a half-elf. Strangely enough, half-elves are more common on the Savage Coast. Some speculate Immortal involvement, others a side effect of the Red Curse. Half-elves are unknown in the rest of the world.

Half-elves appear like a mix between their human and elven ancestors, hence can have a large variety of appearances. A look through both the human and elven races can give an idea of the possibilities. Despite this, half-elves are considered to be of one race: Half-elven (or Half-human if you're talking to an elf). Unlike most other worlds, half-elves aren't treated with total scorn by the elves of Mystara; they are so rare that most are curious about half-elves and will gladly accept their company for a while just to learn more about them.

HIN (Halflings)
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The Hin, often called halflings by other races, are a small folk who enjoy a good life. Hin have no knowledge of their creation or arrival, although historians trace them back to the original elven homeland, leading them to speculate they "appeared" (that is, were either created or arrived from another world) with the elves. Hin tend to blend in with the surrounding communities rather than create their own. Most Hin are therefore found in human nations. The Five Shires of the Known World and the city-state of Leeha in Norwold are the only known true Hin communities. On the Savage Coast, they have been completely absorbed into the local nations.

Hin rarely grow larger than 3 feet in height. They have ruddy complexions, sandy to dark-brown hair, and blue or hazel eyes. Their faces are small and childlike when compared to a human. Hin also have thick hair atop each foot.

GOBLINOIDS

Goblinoids is a generic term used to describe various barbaric races seemingly related to goblins. There are far too many types of goblinoids to describe here, and many volumes at the very least would be required. Suffice to say that the following goblinoid species are present on Mystara: bugbear, gnoll, goblin, half-ogre, half-orc, hobgoblin, kobold, ogre, orc, and troll. Of those mentioned above, kobolds seem limited to the Known World (sages speculate that they nearly wiped themselves out along with the gnomes during intense racial wars), while the rest can be found in all areas of Mystara.

Within each species of goblinoid there are several dozens to hundreds of races. For example, in the Broken Lands, there are three main races of orcs: yellow orcs, red orcs, and the hyborean common orc. Several hundred other orc races exist outside the Broken Lands.

LUPINS
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Lupins are race of dog-people that have spread over the world of Mystara. The origins of the lupins are unclear; some believe they are merely a type of more civilized gnolls, and if this were the case, then gnolls would be a race of lupins and not goblinoids. Others think that they are the descendants of the Hutaakans, a race created by the Immortal Pflarr during the height of the Nithian Empire. Because of this belief, some lupin have returned to worshiping Pflarr, and this has caused much trouble in the lupin nation of Renardy.

Over the centuries, lupins have scattered over most of Brun and the rest of Mystara, evolving into several different races. Like humans and other short-lived species, there are too many races of lupins to mention here, just as there are far too many breeds of dogs to describe in a couple of paragraphs. I shall therefore limit this entry to naming a few and giving a general location where they can be found.

Grand Bloodhound are excellent trackers from the nation of Renardy, while the Carrasquito are a small breed that live in El Grande Carrascal of the Savage Coast. The Ogrish Chow-Chow was once a slave race to the ogre-magi of Ochalea but are now free. The Foxfolk is scattered throughout Brun, while the Glantrian Mountaineer is limited to the Glantrian Alps. The Heldann Shepherd are a goat and sheep raising race found in the Heldannic Territories.

Many, many more exist, especially cross-breeds and mongrels (as they are called). For a more complete list and better descriptions, I strongly recommend the article entitled "Lupins of the Mystara setting" found in Dragon Magazine #237


RAKASTA
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The Rakasta are a race of cat-like beings who also claim that a patron Immortal created them. This time, it is the Immortal Ka who transformed a cat into a human when she fell in love with her master. But when Ba-steh (the human/cat in question) still behaved like a cat, Ka instead transformed her and her human lover into cat-people: the first Rakasta. When this happened is still unknown, but it is believed to have occurred prior to the Great Rain of Fire, explaining how they have since spread throughout most of the world and even beyond--Mystara has a second moon, Patera, invisible to those on Mystara. Patera is inhabited by rakasta who have a culture resembling Japan. They call Patera "Myoshima." Rakasta have adapted to various climates and evolved into several sub-races.

Rakasta are mainly wild, and most have fled lands that were colonized by humans, and as such are almost unheard of in the Known World. Rakasta have one nation on the Savage Coast, Bellayne, but beyond that are mostly scattered tribes throughout the world. Like all short-lived races (that is, those of less than 100 years), rakasta have evolved rapidly and many races now apparently exist in the wild, so below we'll only describe those who often come in contact with the rest of the civilized world. In general, rakasta are man-sized, but weight easily two or three times as much. One noticeable difference in the fact that rakasta need 12 hours of sleep per day.

The msongo, also known as the Fast Runners, have a coarse coat varying from yellowish-gray to golden. A reddish-fawn with small dark spots is also common among them. They are tall and lanky, but can achieve great speeds when running. The msongo are known to inhabit the Meghala Kimata grasslands of Davania, the Steps of Jen of Skothar, and on the Thothian Plateau on the Isle of Dawn.

The jakar are found in the rainforests of the Arm of the Immortals. They have beautiful spotted coats which are prized by Vilaverdan hunters. Not much is known about them except that most Vilaverdans hunting the jakar fail to return from their expeditions.

Mountain rakasta are the most common rakasta of the Savage Coast, and have also been spotted in the remote wilderness of Norwold. Their fur varies from plain grey-brown to reddish and even black. A tribe of mountain rakasta is rumored to inhabit the Kurish Massif, and if this is true, they are the only known rakasta in the Known World.

Many other races of rakasta exist, and those seeking more information should look up the "Rakasta of Mystara," found in Dragon Magazine #247.

Magic:

Mystara is a high-magic world. Mages are commonplace, and most civilized nations have schools that teach magic. Magic is an accepted part of life in most centers of civilization, such as the Known World. In frontier areas such as Norwold, magic is treated with much more suspicion and superstition.

Religion:

The people of Mystara worship powerful beings known as Immortals. These beings fill in the same roles as Gods (or Powers) would on another world, and most religions focus on the desires of the Immortals. The main difference between Immortals and Gods are that the Immortals were all once mortal that have since advanced to a state of being far beyond their former peers by accomplishing deeds of heroic proportion.

Some claim that the Immortals are merely another family or collection of gods. The name Immortal merely refers to the group of Mystaran deities, much like Olympians refers to the gods of the Greek people, and Aesir is the name of the Norse powers. Or, perhaps the cultures of Mystara simply developed the term Immortal instead of God. Some reverse the same debate, stating that Gods and Powers are merely other terms used to describe Immortals.

Other sages state that Immortals are not Gods. They are powerful beings akin to Gods and Powers, and are definitely deities in their own rights, but they are not the same. They use the fact that Immortals have been slain by very powerful mortals on rare occasions, while Gods simply cannot be slain by mortals.

Regardless, whatever the Immortals truly are simply does not matter to most people. They are more powerful than mortals can imagine. They serve as the basis of faith and grant clerics and priests their spells. With their powers and priests, they manipulate the world into outcomes that they favor. Anything beyond that is probably beyond mortal comprehension anyway.

Curiously, on Mystara the conflict between Law and Chaos is considered slightly more important than the conflict between Good and Evil.

On-line Resources:

http://pandius.com/
http://www3.telus.net/strawberryjamm/mystara_d20/main.html
Title: Re: Mystara
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on February 18, 2012, 12:55:36 AM
Geography:

THE KNOWN WORLD

The Known World has cultures and a level of technological development that resemble the Europe of our Earth around the 15th century, but without gunpowder. Nations of the known world display a great range of government types. Some nations are populated entirely by demihumans and/or humanoids. By common convention, the boundaries of the "Known World" are those covered in the world map as originally published in the module X1, The Isle of Dread, plus Norwold, the Isle of Dawn, and (pre Wrath of the Immortals) Alphatia.

The Known World is the seat of civilization on the world of Mystara. It is the place where technology is at its peak. It is the place where art and music are awe inspiring. Civilization is almost everywhere, and it is rare indeed to walk for more than a day and not have any village or town to rest in for the night.

In this enlightened land, education is on the rise, and most people can read and write. It is an age of knowledge and discoveries. Even magic, once held secret by old mages in their remote towers, can now be learned through various schools and universities. Slavery is almost abolished, and most people are considered citizens of their nations, having the freedom to do as they please. Diplomacy is the favored method of accomplishing one's goals, and savage brutality is almost non-existent.

Of course, this does not mean there is no danger to be found. Some places are still savage, such as the Atruaghin clans or the hordes of the Ethengar Steppes. Goblinoids can still be found almost everywhere, and their brutality is unmatched in the entire world. Even diplomatic nations cannot achieve everything with words, and therefore their armies march across the land. It is simply that, here, in the Known World, such events are normally much rarer than anywhere else on Mystara.

Instead of brute force, this land is ripe with intrigue and behind-the-scenes powers. Manipulations are everywhere, and strong guilds and organizations rule almost as much as the kings on their thrones. Those that think that adventure cannot be found here in the Known World simply aren't looking in the right place.

The Known World is a large stretch of land found in the south-eastern margin on the continent of Brun. It is bordered by the Sea of Dread to the south at roughly 35 degrees North of latitude (with a few island nations reaching 32 degrees North). The Sea of Dawn lies to the east, while the deserts of the Great Wastes are to the west. The Mengul Mountain Range, at approximately 45 degrees North of Latitude mark the northern borders of the Known World. Within this land are 21 nations, most of them enlightened, but a few still hold on to barbaric traditions. These nations have influenced every other corner of the world, and just as Mystara is the center of the multiverse, the Known World can honestly be said to be the core or heart of Mystara.

THE ALPHATIAN SEA

The once mighty Alphatian Empire has sunk beneath the ocean, and in its place now sits the Alphatian Sea. Dotted with several hundred isles representing the top of drowned mountains, the Alphatian Sea is rich with pirates and island fortresses.

The Alphatian Sea is also the place to be to search for magical treasures. The ocean floor is littered with thousands upon thousands of magical items from the former Empire, and many adventurers are doing their best to try and acquire them. Several hundred have been found already, and most now reside in the hands of the pirates who then plundered the treasure-seekers. Those who manage to acquire an Alphatian Artifact always find fame and glory with it.

The people of the Alphatian Sea are mostly free citizens, most belonging to the New Alphatian Confederate Empire (annoyingly called NACE by most of the commoners). They are well educated, mainly literate, and boast a larger percent of mages than most of the world. Some are also slaves, which is still legal and acceptable. Slaves are only very rarely able to read or write.

Only a few nations of the area do not belong to the NACE, and although ships from around the world sail here, the Alphatian Sea is territory claimed by the NACE. Still, they have far too few ships to patrol everywhere, hence pirates are able to roam freely and do almost anything they please.

Adventurers come to seek fame for defeating some of the most notorious pirates of the world, while others come in search of sunken treasure. Reputation and glory is more important than anything else, an insults rarely go unchallenged. All in all, it is a swashbuckling place with endless adventures on the high seas. On the Alphatian Sea, fame and glory mean everything!

The Alphatian Sea has one minor continent known as Bellissaria on its southern-eastern margin, located roughly between 30 and 40 degrees North of latitude. This is where most of the NACE forces are concentrated, and the only place where the law is effectively maintained. To the west, Norwold and the Isle of Dawn mark the end of the Alphatian Sea, while the continent of Skothar indicates its eastern limits. The north is bordered only by the glaciers marking the north pole and the entrance to the Hollow World. The southern waters eventually turn into the Sea of Dawn (toward the Southwest) and the Bellissarian Sea (toward the Southeast).

NORWOLD

The lands to the far north of civilization is a land of constant warfare and power struggles between the nobility. Once united as the Kingdom of Norwold, with the disappearance of Alphatia, the region's former king was unable to hold onto the reins of power. Now the land is dotted with hundreds of small kingdoms, counties, baronies, and other type of dominions.

The realms of Norwold follow the old practice of feudalism, with the local lord controlling all aspects of life within the dominion. All the rest are merely peasants who toll at their leader's whims. Some are lucky and have benevolent rulers, while others are treated no better than slaves by the tyrants who hold the crown.

The level of education in Norwold varies greatly, as do the cultures of the inhabitants. Those who colonized from Alphatia tend to be literate, as do the people conquered by the Heldannic Knights (thanks to their forced education of the ways of Vanya). Those of Thyatian descent are semi-literate, while the native Antalian people are mainly uneducated.

Norwold is a land where the title of nobility hangs loosely on anyone with power. Rulers rise and fall constantly, and their power reaches only as far as their armies can reach. Alliances are made as lesser nobles swear fealty to more powerful ones, only to find independence once their liege is overthrown.

Many adventurers with money and time to spare try to carve out their own dominions within the valleys of Norwold, only to have another self-proclaimed noble take it away with his own army. Those with patience enough to try again, or those capable enough of holding their own can quickly forge a dominion that will last years. Norwold is the place where the bold and daring can hope to carve out a nation of their own.

Encompassing all the northeastern area of the continent of Brun, Norwold stretches from the frozen Arctic Ocean all the way south to the Mengul Mountains (at a latitude of approximately 45 degrees North). The beach along the Alphatian Sea delineates the Eastern margin, while the imposing Icereach Range cuts off western Norwold from the rest of the world.

THE SEA OF DAWN

To the east of the Known World, where the sun rises every morning, lies the Sea of Dawn. It is a place rumored to be mystical in nature by many tavern tales, and perhaps it is. Three exotic cultures can be found in this area, notably the Thothians, the Ochaleans, and the Pearl Islanders.

The rest of the nations, however, are either Thyatian or Alphatian in origin, and many bear the numerous scars of war between the two Empires. For the Sea of Dawn is the border between the Old World and the Alphatian Sea, and it is where the two cultures clash, more often violently than not.

The Isle of Dawn, a continent size island in the north of the Sea of Dawn, is a militaristic land where armies march constantly and battles take place almost daily. Such constant warfare has spread to the nearby Alatian Islands as well, and glory can easily be found by brilliant tacticians and expert mercenaries. The battles between the Empires have died down since the signing of the Treaty of Dawn (or Isle of Dawn Treaty), yet it only takes a spark to start the war all over again.

Still, another threat seems to be looming over the area, and many of the nations are fearful of an attack by strange spiders found on the Thothian Plateau. The nature of these Aranea is unknown, and whether there will be a war or not is also unclear. But if there is, the people of the Isle of Dawn will be used to it.

The southern islands, however, are peaceful in nature, and no trip is more relaxing that one to Ochalea or the Pearl Islands. It is from these nations that the Sea of Dawn receives a mystical description when talked about, for surely no one talks with pride about the constant wars on the Isle of Dawn.

The people of the Sea of Dawn are educated, and except for the Pearl Islanders, a majority can actually read and write. Both Thyatian and Alphatian are well known, and it is rare to find someone who cannot speak both languages.

The Sea of Dawn is officially the sea along the eastern coast of the Known World, ending upon reaching the continents of Bellissaria and Alphatia. Since the sinking of Alphatia, the former Eastern Sea of Dawn has now become part of the New Alphatian Sea. The Sea of Dawn ends northward when it reaches the coast of Norwold, and its southern end borders the Jungle Coast on Davania (at approximately 15 degrees North of latitude). West of the southern Sea of Dawn is the Sea of Dread, while to the east is the Bellissarian Sea.

THE JUNGLE COAST

Across the Sea of Dread lies the mighty continent of Davania. Its northern shores is covered with a lush, vibrant jungle teeming with life and dangers. Within these jungles are several clans of savages and barbarians, some humans, others not.

Most of the Jungle Coast is unexplored, and no one is exactly sure what can be found in the vast new territory. Rumors abound of strange primitive cultures with wondrous architectures, such as crystal pyramids or deep sacrificial pits.

The lands of the Jungle Coast are currently undergoing a mass colonization by the Empire of Thyatis and the Heldannic Knights. The natives, however, are none too pleased, and many battles arise from the competition for territory and defending of homeland. Still, the advance of civilization is steady, and there is much progress in the proper education of the locals.

The Jungle Coast is a place where one can brave the new land, carve out territory for the settlers, and defend the poor farmer from the savage natives. All in all, if you enjoy exploration and the new frontier, the jungle coast is the place to go.

The Jungle Coast is a stretch of several hundred miles on the northern shores of Davania. Its exact size is still unknown as it is mostly unexplored. A rough estimate of its borders would be the Cestian Sea to the east, the Meghales Amosses Desert in the south and the Adakkian Mounts to the west. The northern shores of the Jungle Coast, which borders onto the Sea of Dread, are located at approximately 15 degrees North of latitude.

THE SAVAGE COAST

The Savage Coast is a coastal area located in the south central part of the Brun continent, to the south and west of Hule. This part of Mystara is affected by the Red Curse, which eventually kills its inhabitants through mutation unless the metal cinnabryl is worn in contact with the body. This area's swashbuckling flavor is very different than that of the "Known World", closer in atmosphere to that of the Age of Exploration than the fantasy middle-ages/renaissance tone of the Known World. The Savage Coast is complete with gunpowder ("Smokepowder") weaponry.

The specifics of the "Red Curse" also tend to keep the inhabitants of the Savage Coast within the region, as debilitating affects result if they leave the cursed area.

The Savage Coast is a frontier land, with continuous goblinoid invasions and squabbles between the local lords. Most of the land is in ruins and is mainly unexplored. Colonized over the centuries by the riff-raft of the Known World, most people are unscrupulous and the law of the jungle often prevails. The natives who lived there (goblinoids, savage rakasta and lupins, etc) are none too friendly either, and are often hostile towards humans and demihumans.

Some of the natives are more civilized, such as the rakasta of Bellayne or the lupins of Renardry. In fact, along the Savage Coast, race is often ignored and non-humans can fit in easily to human society. Instead, nationality is the main source of pride, and several nations have had century long feuds in which there appears to be no end in sight.

In this land, the local lords make the rules, and others are poor and uneducated peasants who must follow their whim. Many an adventurer has broken free of this feudalism and wanders the land, without a home, in search of fortune and fame. There are more adventurers without loyalties on the Savage Coast than anywhere else on Mystara.

Unique to this land is a strange metal called Red Steel. This metal is as strong as normal steel, but much lighter, making it a prized possession by all warriors. Red Steel is more precious than gold, and rulers have sacrificed entire armies to try and control its trade. Many grand quests has the goal of finding Red Steel, and many wars still go on because of it.

Finally, the entire land is falls under the sway of the dreaded Red Curse. This affliction deforms all those it affects, transforming them into hideous beasts. Even stranger, some of the inhabitants seem to have learned how to control this curse, gaining wondrous magical powers known as Legacies. It is rumored than once you are affected by the Red Curse, you cannot leave the Savage Coast otherwise the curse will destroy you.

Adventure can be found by exploring the many ruins and searching for ancient artifacts. But on the Savage Coast, Red Steel and the mastery of Legacies are the true keys to power and fame!

Located to the west of the Known World, the Savage Coast stretches almost 2000 miles in length. It's southern shores lie against the Western Sea of Dread at a latitude of about 30 degrees North. The west is blocked by Yalu Bay. To the east, the Great Waste separates the Savage Coast from the Known World. Finally, the north is bordered by the Yazak Steppes, home of the endless hordes of goblinoids.

THE HOLLOW WORLD

The Hollow World is a legendary place only recently discovered to be real.

The Planet of Mystara, c. 1000 AC:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/r4jhKi6WJGKRlAEfbv9Sbe0r8E8j1IWpCstAZf6L95hyuyIBOloDX6xLh9XNo_oLcWzaityglMUmdTE22CBRb5zxqggkgfWD-kjmhs8iU5SlnnKS8qgHe6eO2vrEPDbL1FOZN1fiTouOAqMl85hj5EYiTbTozHIK_7pa8EPItqc7Zcrg_mm7SJuC46bHjVh4dWZdcnohRtnKXPQ4D0wZm2hv68o0kZYrtRarLQioTkoF6tOtSbTx_IKKxGFuFS_TsHvOJv083clqhxrJvxivVvT3dOhZ8smVKdodtPCJyZMfmUS4K7yTb9_kMsLNVR99Jk3jHz80pMIYsGGkzYNrx-G13cMkdLz4CWyZmU3NkKOnN_rXyOTEDXyhQIkbSXclYL1O0MZFURRVsq82Ny6Y6EMM7erQUp86LHMnE95TDDmmm6DWL7UljM_LDPWe7z7wolwYHSS8wHbWuyizi5CXSPHLnQgUQKpYi8YPpEFiH0l_ml_Wa2Xt8g7v9V4IoASvIZif4tbLEc-iQi0lP28xSTVL64Srbm7_Bx3zMcnPBpOTT37zBbRUF2JRS7RO-6nFwUVjN5UfNYrSu--oQ13ElwRTFh4clXFMfw78r1aY2-UxfH3EzT8=w887-h482-no)
Title: Re: Mystara - Immortals
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on February 19, 2012, 08:42:44 PM
Immortals
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/HWZg89BYhTQgFYpmJr4GPqoCv1tQFtYEG1DF0eeMvQyLbpFCv2n_CTVz_jqj94oe_U9BCDEki5g1h-n8C5WpknWwEachXb4zDUjXkIj-0CrXPPGhJ2D5BJ8zQBgiNXBnpNts_2c7pKt9qw4otduekz03kqxyXwvQ8WQIzP5oHjRBuRedSGPsHxq4XUT2_ykmWTMcZTlFVh-mpNuSn0g4sgR2RBl9NMEy0ekTobbqDa6Q-743f9UwhYzOm5DkYcidqH52z3DjEqOac0GpwRDdVY_6TPduIzNPDH3X9ljug21slW7Bw5129NNqBq5Ax2YBBTopaXHi2cROwzENnjxOuuzw0CbLJpYONISwXdj6ZiwzMR5Qj1Yxn05flvsRxki76dPuOGMqJMi98DtpDKD-fe5-tPaatyp436FRpDU-QB-AYXCxPc59BwPnmHOwcbkjeRbakBWbuoBhdArTHic4UdBkAyZenapTDa7mo1524823b0PkdB57RFAKnVxxRxOvLmvvDh3u9wyFuYH-cK7g6S5ky-UshlfgD0dECpMKlxtFVsDaDpfqi1PHzRXCdvkIZfd1PUWW5QGtnHjzmPhViccf0pJr_Kt18P2lOkIE9bKhVZv3q4o=w531-h477-no)

The most powerful beings on Mystara are not even on Mystara; they live on other planes of existence and wield huge amounts of power. In the past they have made the world their plaything, raising plateaus, carving craters, and banishing civilizations much as a house mistress rearranges her furnishings. These are the Immortals, and hold power that in other worlds might make them as to gods.

The Immortals of Mystara are not truly gods, however. Rather, they are powerful mortals who have advanced well beyond their former peers. Some have forgotten their mortal roots, and some claim divine guidance or inspiration (some of these share the names of other, elder gods from far-off lands). Despite all their power, the Immortals have their own limitations, and despite their name, they have proved killable.

Many Immortals have adopted one or more groups of individuals as their own chosen people, providing particular powers and advantages to priests who venerate them. This is not required of all Immortals, all peoples, or all priests, though many benefit from this relationship.

Spheres of Power

All the Immortals draw power from two principal sources: from the veneration that they receive from their own followers and especially from the bond they share with their own Sphere. Because of this their ultimate aim is to increase their number of followers in the Multiverse, in order to rise up the hierarchy and reach the zenith of power. However at the same time, they must put before their personal designs the importance of their Sphere of power, and try their best to increase the Sphere's influence in the Multiverse. These are the two principal reasons for life for every existing Immortal.

The entire universe can in fact be divided into five components called Spheres of Power that are the Spheres of Matter, Energy, Time, Thought and Entropy (or Sphere of Death). Every existing thing in the Multiverse is made up from these five components, mixed in varied percentages. The Spheres of Power are not a defined place of reality, but rather the five primal forces that make up the universe, being invisible and immeasurable that link all the existing things in the Multiverse and which manifest with more or less intensity in the many planes of existence The Spheres also represent a series of concepts, philosophical essences and ways of seeing the universe that distinguishes the Immortal, a common denominator by which the Immortals are recognised and to which they are joined, since it shares with each the ideas that are its basis, given that everyone represents more of the other element that distinguish the essence of an Immortal.

Every Immortal can serve just one Sphere of power, trying to increase its influence, or to maintain the status quo in the relationships between the various Spheres. The main aim of the Multiverse is in fact, balancing of the Spheres of power. If a Sphere should gain an excessive dominance over the others, the final victory could not be that of Entropy, since all the Spheres are essential for the harmony. Although each Sphere constantly strives for its own predominance and growth, the other Spheres try to keep it in balance, impeding or at least delaying the ascension.

All the alignments are present in each Sphere, but one of them is dominant. Each being philosophically associated to an element that is symbolic to a particular type of alignment, favouring a certain class in the ascension of the mortals among the divine hierarchy, and in virtue of its philosophy is directly opposed to at least one other Sphere.

The Spheres of power in which the Multiverse is divided are explained more thoroughly as follows:

 :arrow: Energy: for the denizens of this Sphere, magic, the vital energy and the imponderable are the most important things that in the universe, and therefore they simultaneously preserve, worship, and enhance it by any means. They seek to create and exploit the energy present in Matter and in Chaos, and at the same time are opposed to any attempt of rationalizing and imprisoning the final and immeasurable essence of the universe. Its principal aim is the creation of new energy and activity. Energy is extremely active and dynamic: pursuing the modification and the transformation of things by the means of consuming Matter, the slowing down of Time and the attempt of constraining Thought to liberate more Energy. Energy is extremely creative and has the capacity of channeling the magical essence for creating and molding real items. Energy is associated with the element of fire, represents the Chaotic alignments (disorder and diversification) and favors the arcane classes. It's opposed to Thought’s efforts to tighten its control, and attempts to transform Matter, whilst resisting the devastation of Time.

 :arrow: Entropy: for the denizens of this Sphere, Chaos, destruction and anarchy are the fundamental laws of the universe, and the only ones acknowledged and respected. They do their best to increase entropy and confusion in the Multiverse, subvert and destroy the constituted order in order to return the universe to Chaos, and admire any of their particular ways to the destruction of the various mortal races and to the submission of the weak. The other four Spheres are opposed to Entropy, yet acknowledge its importance in the functioning of each of them. Entropy is the weakness of the universe, the waste and the ruin, it is the attempt of bringing everything to it’s end; at the same time, even its existence isn’t conceivable or possible without that of the other powers, afterwards, it seeks to subdue them, before bringing total destruction. The Immortals of this Sphere represent, for the majority of mortals, the faithless, despicable and demonic creatures, whilst for others they are leaders to follow or imitate in order to achieve power and the ultimate freedom. Entropy is opposed to all four of the other Spheres (destroying Matter, draining Energy, arresting the passage of Time and preventing coherent Thought) and being associated with the Void, but doesn’t favor any class in particular in the ascension towards Immortality, even if preferring the Evil and Chaotic creatures.

 :arrow: Matter: for the denizens of this Sphere, what counts is order and immutability. They try to bring a definite form to the universe, to Matter, Thought and Energy, of containing Chaos in the mesh of logic and immutable laws, and especially of withstanding the corruption of Matter caused by Time. The aim of Matter is the resistance to ruin and destruction and is therefore characterised by a tendency to strength and stability. Matter, in its three forms, represents the constituent elements of all things and also, in ruin, uses the elements for creating new orderly forms. Matter is associated with the element of Earth, represents the Lawful alignments (order and form in all things) and favors the warrior classes. It opposes the efforts of the Sphere of Time of changing the creation and supplies to Thought the existing order.

 :arrow: Thought: for the denizens of this Sphere, the capacity of comprehending the unknown and of rating any experience is the ultimate reason of life of any being. They try to make the mind and Thought prevail over Matter and Energy and of escape the passage of Time and the degradation that it brings to things and to knowledge. The ultimate aim of Thought is the application of category to all that exists and the reduction of the other Spheres to its instruments. Thought is the real essence of the Immortals: it is realization, philosophy knowledge. Thought tries to analyze everything and can manipulate the other powers of the universe. It doesn’t represent any one alignment, but the understanding of all three, and favors the scoundrel classes (rogues, etc.), which is theoretically more eclectic. Thought is associated with the element air, is opposed to the chaotic excesses of the Sphere of Energy and try of manipulate the effects of Time for creating order and form in Matter.

 :arrow: Time: for the denizens of this Sphere, the flow of Time rules the life of the universe, and it promotes a continuing and regular change. Its aim is the promotion of the changes in all things and the maintenance of the passage of Time. Time is everywhere, running and flowing, recycling the lessons of the past in order to make them relevant in the present. It is a creative force that gives birth and obsolescence in order to change things. For this is the hammer that brings change within Matter and Energy, and in order to avoid total destruction to the ravages of entropy, which would stop any further change. Time is associated with the element water, represents the Neutral alignments, since this is a balance between change and stability, and favors the divine classes. It is opposed to the endeavors of the Sphere of Matter that try to withstand change, causes a loss of Energy through the passage of Time and supply to Thought the lessons from history.

Immortal Hierarchy

Within each Sphere, the Immortals measure their own power based on a hierarchical scale made of ranks and levels. The lowest rank is that of Initiate, to which belong all the “novices”, (a being who has recently achieved Immortality and still haven’t begun to expand their own influence in the Multiverse), or those that, despite being ‘old’ by Immortal standards, prefer not to actively act within the universe and they concentrate their attention on few projects.

Following next is the rank of Temporal, in which is a large slice of the Immortals; who are mainly active in the Prime and try to always carve out more space personally exploring the outer planes and participate in missions given them by their hierarch superiors.

In the rank of Celestial instead has within it those Immortals whose position has been consolidated for a long time (usually centuries), wisely maneuvering their own faithful on the Prime and in the Outer Planes, and attempting to climb the summit of power personally engaging in many projects in the Multiverse. However, many of them are by now fixed in the hierarchical scale because of an indolent complacence of their status, which causes them to not risk anything in order to not lose anything.

The rank Empyreal is populated by Immortals recognized for centuries by mortals; they are creatures that inspire veneration and respect, who are active in the entire Multiverse with different projects, and that happily leave the Initiates and Temporals the exploration of the Multiverse to concentrate instead on the game of power with the members of a higher standing, ultimately risking their mortal identities on the Prime Plane in order to increase their own Sphere of influence. They climb higher before reaching the top rank of Eternal, in which are a few Immortals for each Sphere of power (even if there isn’t a ‘fixed number’ in this regard); millenarian divinities that are able to accumulate power thanks to their unending work of manipulation of the mortals and of their equals, an ability that has the rest frightened but also envious. They are usually at the center of grand multi-planar projects, of epic and age old quests, and many of them rarely remain inactive for long. They are so close to the summit that they are seen as dangerous rivals by the hierarchs, who try to control and check them, and at the same time they are objects of envy for the lesser ranks, who try to take advantage of their influence and knowledge in order to be able to reach their level.

The rank of Hierarch is finally a privilege of few Immortals millenarians, often identified with some elemental force and known by the majority of the existing cultures in the Multiverse. All the existing members of the First Generation of Immortals have the rank of Hierarch (like Thanatos, Hel, Odin, Ixion and Valerias) and in most cases they are Supreme Hierarchs (Immortals of 36th level as head of the Sphere of Power) of their respective Sphere.

There exists innumerable Immortals of each level, but only one Supreme Hierarch (of 36th level), and each time that an Immortal becomes as powerful he must challenge the current head of his Sphere, the result is a duel (at times physical, but much more often hard-fought strokes of projects and machinations for weakening the rival in the Multiverse) by which one of the two inevitably loses out and is reduced in power (effectively losing a level). This however happens very rarely (as happened to Hel ultimately in the Wrath of the Immortals campaign, in 1009 AC, when she was replaced by Thanatos at the zenith of Entropy), and is always an event that never brings great disruption within of the Sphere (given that the objectives of a Supreme Hierarch coincides with the interests of the Sphere, and they are immutable).

A partial listing of the Immortals of the Known World follows. Player characters may wish to follow these individuals.

Al-Kalim: The Patron of the Eternal Truth and the Desert Garden, Al-Kalim has only recently attained his Immortality. He is closely connected with the people of Ylaruam, from whom he arose. He penned the Nameh, a tome by which the Ylari devote their lives.

Alphaks: An evil Immortal devoted to the destruction of Alphatia, Alphaks continues to meddle with the sinking of that island continent. He is known as the Roaring Demon, and his symbol is a horned skull against a phoenix-like flame.

Asterius: The Patron of Trade, merchants, and thieves, Asterius is naturally venerated by caravan travelers, merchants, and robbers. His symbol is the moon.

Atruaghin: An Immortal who has given his name to the people of the Atruaghin Plateau, Atruaghin is in turn served by other, lesser Immortals.

Bozdogan: An Immortal of lies, half-truths, deception, and politicians, Bozdogan enjoys being the object of far-off Hule's main faith, which has raised treachery to an art form.

Great One: Immortal of all the dragons, Great One is served by three other Immortal dragons: Diamond (lawful dragons), Pearl (chaotic dragons), and Opal (neutral dragons).

Halav: An Immortal of warfare, Halav is one of three major Immortals venerated by the Traladaran people. He and the others (Petra the warrior priest and Zirchev of the forest) have priests dedicated to their name in both of Karameikos's major churches.

Ilsundal: The patron of elves, Ilsundal's name is recognized among the various elven peoples. Other elven heroes and heroines have become Immortals for smaller followings.

Ixion: An Immortal of the sun, Ixion's symbol is the flaming wheel. He is seen as a force in opposition to evil such as Alphaks.

Ka the Preserver: Chief architect of the Hollow World, this ancient Immortal seeks to preserve cultures and species from utter extinction.

Kagyar: The patron of the dwarvish peoples and believed to be their creator, Kagyar is the architypal craftsman venerated by the dwarves.

Korotiku: Also known as "The Spider," this ancient Immortal of tricksters is generally benign in his mischief, and is the favorite Immortal of clever fighters and rogues.

Koryis: A patron of peace and prosperity, Koryis's following is strongest in those regions where such attributes are valued, such as in Darokin. His symbol is a hand, held palm-forward.

Minroth: Minroth is another patron of prosperity, but in this case of the Minrothad Guilds, which venerates his name.

Odin: A patron bearing the name of an extra-dimensional god, Odin is accused of being that god in Immortal guise, and by others as being an imposter taking on the mantle of a deity. Regardless, his worship is strongest in the savage northern reaches, along with others of the Norse pantheon, including Thor, Frey, Freyja, and (more secretly) Loki and Hel.

Protius: An old Thyatian Immortal, Protius takes command of the ocean and is known as the Old Man of the Sea. His symbol is the trident.

Rad: While the Glantrians dislike religion in general and priests in particular, they do have an embodiment of the source of magic, known as the Radiance. Rad was the personification of this force, but has not been heard from since the recent War of the Immortals, which caused the disappearance of Alphatia and the appearance of the Great Crater. His whereabouts are unknown.

Rafiel: Patron of the shadow elves, little is known of Rafiel save that they are his chosen people, and his symbol is a book with a star on the cover.

Tarastia: The patroness of Justice and Revenge, Tarastia's cult is strong among Thyatians, particularly those looking for retribution.

Thanatos: An Immortal of entropy and death, Thanatos is shunned throughout the Known World, but he is venerated in the urban hives of Thyatis.

Tubak: The Patron of Law and Order among the Ethengarian peoples, Tubak is a harsh but fair Immortal. Other Ethengarian Immortals are Yamuga (Patroness of prosperity and renewal) and Cretia (Patroness of jokes and punishment).

Valerias: The Patroness of romance and passion, Valerias's name is evoked by Thyatians and others in the name of love. Her symbol is the thorned rose, symbolizing beauty and its threat.

Vanya: An Immortal Patroness of war and conquest, Vanya's best (and most savage) servants are the Heldannic Knights, who have oppressed entire peoples in her name.

Click here for a full list of Mystara's Immortals and the proper alignments and domains for their clerics. (http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=18979.msg221145#msg221145)
Title: Re: Mystara - History of the Known World pt. 1
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on February 21, 2012, 03:04:50 AM
History

Years are denoted by the Tyatian calender. BC = Before the Crowning of the first Thyatian Emperor. AC = After the Crowning of the first Thyatian Emperor. The current year is 1019 AC.

6000 BC: There is no true civilisation in the Outer World. Humans are tribal hunter-gatherers, living mostly in plains and light forests. They are divided into three great races: Neathar (light-skinned), Oltec (copper-skinned), and Tanagoro (black-skinned). Dwarves are barbaric mountain and foothill dwellers, mostly goatherds. Elves are sheltered, protected and nurtured by the forest-spirits they worship; they do not need to work or suffer. There are no monstrous humanoids on the world to threaten the demihumans. Halflings live in the rolling hills and forests of the southern continent, some distance from the elves, whom they respect greatly.

5300 BC: The Brute-Men tribes begin to fall upon one another in savage, irrational wars. These wars rage, off and on, for three centuries.

5000 BC: The childhood of the elves is over; the forest spirits stop sheltering them, forcing them to leave paradise and to seek their own futures. The first great elf civilisation, Evergrun, develops on the southern continent in areas now under the southern icecap.

Far across the galaxy, on another world, a race of pale-skinned humans called the Alphatians begins to rise to pre-eminence and to study mighty magics.

4500 BC: Beastmen - reincarnated souls of evil beings - appear in the upper Borean Valley, a frozen land north of Blackmoor. These beastmen are wild, chaotic creatures that do not breed true; whelps may have some or none of the traits of their parents, may be of different size and appearance. This is all brought about by the magic of Hel, an Immortal of the sphere of Entropy, who wants to introduce more confusion, dismay, and death into the world.

4000 BC: The human Blackmoor civilisation begins a meteoric rise due to its great success in developing powerful sciences and technologies. It conquers and assimilates all surrounding human tribes and quickly grows very powerful.

Another human civilisation, the Oltecs, begins a more stately rise toward civilisation in lands far to the south of Blackmoor. Protected by deep forests and sheltering hills, they do not have any communication with Blackmoor.

On the Alphatians' world, the Alphatians defeat the Cypris civilisation... and begin to be assimilated by it.

3500 BC: The Blackmoor civilisation is flourishing. It conducts trade and intermittent war with the southern elves, at the other end of the world. Four clans of elves colonise in the region near Blackmoor. Both the southern and the colonial elves embrace Blackmoor's technology. Blackmoor priests demand the extermination of the "unnatural" beastmen in the Borean Valley, and promote holy wars to hunt down and destroy those creatures.

Following a failed military coup, a rift occurs in the Oltec civilisation; the more aggressive Azcan tribes declare their independence and begin to wage war on the Oltecs. According to modern Azcan histories, the hated former masters were overthrown and enslaved. In fact, the Oltecs and Azcans exist side by side for almost five centuries, alternating war and commerce, until outside forces literally destroy the world they know.

The widespread Neathar race is beginning to undergo development; the language in individual areas changes rapidly into very different dialects, and the independent Neathar tribes no longer recognise a kinship or a common origin among themselves.

On the Alphatians' world, the Alphatian/Cypris civilisation uses its magical knowledge to begin colonisation and conquest of nearby planets and exploration of the elemental planes.

3200 BC: The Blackmoor crusades drive the Beastmen farther north, into the land called Hyperborea; they adapt to the colder climate and survive.

3000 BC: Some Blackmoor devices explode, shifting the axis of the Known World in an event later called the Great Rain of Fire or the Planetshift. Blackmoor becomes the north pole and its civilisation disappears. The elven civilisation becomes the south pole; the elves are able to migrate to the area called Grunland (which now begins centuries of volcanic upheaval that lead to its being renamed Vulcania).

Melting ice caps raise ocean level by several hundred feet. Lowland marshes and coastal plains along the southern edge of the northern continent are flooded.

Survivors of the elven colony near Blackmoor flee to the newly-formed Broken Lands; they burrow deep into the ground to survive the after effects of the Great Rain of Fire. These are the ancestors of the Shadow Elves.

Two races of humans come to the land that will later be called the Minaean Coast. From the east comes Tangor Man, driven from his home by climatic changes brought on by the Great Rain of Fire. From across the waters to the west comes Oltec Man on one of his great colonising migrations.

The ice caps recede from the southern edge of the continent of Brun. Spirits are drawn in to merge with the world.

One of the most dangerous Blackmoor devices is left untouched in the Broken Lands.

The Great Rain of Fire is seen by Azcans and Oltecs alike as an important part of their mysticism: the End of the Fifth Sun.

On the Alphatians' world, Alphatian aggression is gradually supplanted by Cypric self-absorption; other-planetary conquests and colonies are left to fend for themselves as Alphatian study of magic turns inward.

3000 - 2500 BC: Formerly arctic areas of the Known World, including most of the lands covered in the Gazetteer series, slowly become habitable as the ice recedes from former polar regions.

2900 BC: The Immortal named Garal Glitterlode creates the gnomish race, planting colonies of them in the land that will later become Rockhome and the mountains of the northern continent.

2800 BC: New elven nation on the southern continent land of Vulcania divides on magic vs. technology. A separatist branch of the southern elves, led by Ilsundal the Wise, decides to abandon Blackmoor technology and return to the nature-oriented magic of their ancestors. They begin a long migration northward in the hope of finding the lost colony of elves that had settled near Blackmoor.

Azcans and Oltecs on the outer world have practically vanished, dispersed across the world and culturally transformed in every case. A small number of survivors take refuge in the caves of a mighty plateau. These are the ancestors of the modern Atruaghin Clan. This plateau, although impressive, is nowhere near as grand as the one that now stands in the lands north of the Sea of Dread. They retain a dim memory, retold and altered into myth and folklore, of Azcan and Oltec glory and strife. They also remember the mysterious disappearance of many kin.

2500 BC: Gnomes and dwarves enter the Northern Reaches region and settle in its hills and mountains as the continental ice sheets recede.

The Taymora humans settle the southern shores of the northern continent.

Climatic changes due to the axial shift have rendered the lands of Blackmoor and the elves uninhabitable. In Vulcania, the elvish civilisation is losing its battle with the elements; it has forgotten most of its magic and its Blackmoor technology is failing. A second separatist group of southern elves begins its long march northward.

2400 BC: The land that was Hyborea is now warming up; the Beastmen migrate to the area that was once Blackmoor, which is now the northern pole, and thrive there. They are beginning to breed true, in recognisable species. The tribes gather at Urzud.

A great volcanic explosion occurs in Vulcania, destroying the remnants of the southern elvish civilization.

A human culture, the Antalian tribes (descendants of the Neathar) are flourishing in the area later to be called Norwold. They are a blond, warlike culture with bronze weapons and armor.

2300 BC: Ilsundal's elves cross the Strait of Izonda to the Immortal's Arm, then head east along the Savage Coast. Another group takes another route through the Addakian Sound, where they rejoin Ilsundal's band and continue with them.

2200 BC: Some elves break off from Ilsundal's migration and eventually find their way to the frozen valleys of Glantri, where they settle. A few survivors from the second migration from Vulcania also reach Glantri and settle among their cousins. (GAZ3)

Some Tanagoro colonists from halfway around the world reach the Serpent Peninsula and decide they like the abundant rain forests. However, the elves regard their slash-and-burn agriculture with horror. Eventually, they work out a compromise: the Tanagoros keep to the coastlines and forest fringes, while the elves withdraw deeper into the forest.

2100 BC: Meditor and Verdier elf clans leave Ilsundal's northward migrations and settle in southern Traldar lands (Karameikos).

The main force of Ilsundal's migration reaches the Sylvan Realm, far to the west of lands such as Karameikos and Thyatis.

2000 BC: The Beastmen have now evolved into the modern species of orcs, goblins, ogres, giants, and trolls.

The Ethengars arrive on the fertile lands of the Steppes.

First human settlements in the coastal and island lowlands of the Northern Reaches.

2000 - 1750 BC: An agricultural settlement flourishes along the River Nithia. It swiftly becomes the seat of a fast-growing culture.

Tribal humans, swarthy descendants of Oltec and Neathar tribes, also settle in the coastal and island lowlands of the Northern Reaches, in the Ethengar Steppes.

Antalian colonists migrate southward into the lands later to be called the Northern Reaches.

1900 BC: On the great continent to the east of Alphatia and Bellissaria, a nomadic, cavalry-based race of warriors grows strong. These are the Jennites, copper-skinned descendants of an Oltec expeditionary party; their language and customs have evolved far away from their Oltec origins.

1800 BC: The dwarfish race on the Known World is slowly, inevitably dying out. The Immortal called Kagyar the Artisan takes all remaining dwarves in the Known World. Half he transplants to the Hollow World, and half he reshapes into a new dwarven race. Now there are no remnants of the original dwarven race on the outer world. Some of the "new dwarves" are returned to the Northern Reaches, where the largest dwarf colonies had been, and eventually become the Modrigswerg clans; others are planted in the Rockhome region. Both groups are given false memories and believe that the Modrigswerg dwarves also originally lived in the Rockhome lands. (GAZ6)

In the Sylvan Realm, Ilsundal creates the first elvish Tree of Life and becomes an Immortal.

The Steel Wars divide the humanoid tribes. Plague, famine, and massacres ravage Urzud, and the population dwindles.

1750 BC: The earthquakes that rock the Sea of Dread drastically change the Serpent Peninsula. The Tanagoro culture collapses into warring tribes. They tear the original Atruaghin Plateau from the mainland, forming the Ierendi islands.

Copper-skinned people fleeing the earthquakes that destroyed the original Atruaghin Plateau join light-skinned Urduk tribesmen, descendants of the Neathar tribesmen, in the Great Waste.

Elsewhere, a series of great volcanic eruptions and earthquakes split several large land masses away from what is now the Five Shires and Atruaghin Clans area; aboriginal (Neathar-descended) peoples called the Makai and lizardmen called Malpheggi are stranded on the new islands. The Taymora civilisation is destroyed. The plateau under which the surviving Azcans have been living largely collapses, killing many of them and leaving the survivors in a shattered, hostile land.

1750 - 1500 BC: The human tribes along the River Nithia progress from Bronze Age to Iron Age metals technology.

Meditor elves are stranded on the newly formed Minrothad Isles.

1725 BC: King Loark of the humanoids organises an army of humanoids known as the Great Horde. They migrate southeastwards into the lands of men, ravaging as they go, continuing Loark's Quest for a Blue Knife. Great waves of hill goblins, trolls, and giants especially begin moving southward into areas now occupied by human settlers.

1720 BC: Akilla-Khan conquers the southern steppes of Ethengar.

1711 BC: Great Horde reaches pre-khanate Ethengar. Akilla-Khan allies with King Loark against the Ethengarian nomads.

1710 BC: The Great Horde of King Loark invades the Ethengar Steppes and enslaves the primitive Ethengars. King Loark's horde is joined by Akilla-Khan's humanoid horde. Together they ravage the steppes.

1709 BC: Akilla-Khan betrays King Loark in exchange for lands west of the Dol-Anur. The Great Horde is defeated at the Battle of Chongor, in ancient Ethengar. King Loark's Great Horde splinters; the trolls head east, the goblins south, and the rest of the Great Horde is driven out of the steppes into the Broken Lands and settles there

1700 BC: The elves of Glantri discover, in the Broken Lands, a strange artifact from the lost Blackmoor civilisation. They tinker with it, and the artifact explodes cataclysmically, sending impenetrable clouds into the sky (which last for years), and spreading a strange rotting plague among the surviving elves - those who were far enough away to survive. The elves shelter themselves in the deepest caves of Glantri. They find an incredible series of caverns there and begin a years-long migration. The travelling tribes are separated from one another. These are the ancestors of the Hollow World's Gentle Folk, Icevale Elves, and the Schattenalfen. A fourth group, led by an elf named Atziann, has no survivors save that king. Some emerge, years later, hundreds of miles south, past the Broken lands. Some perish.

The catastrophe forms the Land of the Black Sand in the Ethengar Steppes.

The local cataclysm rakes the Broken Lands and buries the Great Horde. King Loark dies, and his horde breaks apart. Giants, and trolls are driven south into the Northern Reaches in successive waves of migration.

1691 BC: Baka betrays Akilla-Khan and drives his humanoids into the Broken Lands.

1690 BC: Akilla-Khan builds a fortress in the Broken Lands, and starts raiding Glantri and Ethengar borders.

1688 BC: Akilla-Khan retires from the world and becomes an Immortal, taking the name of Yagrai. Unaware of the truth, Ethengarians rejoice. Baka declared Khan of all Ethengars.

1681 BC: Baka Khan is poisoned. The Ethengars war over his successor. The War of Succession starts.

1680 BC: Land masses split further, forming 10 islands south of the Five Shires.

Verdier elves build ships and join their cousins, the Meditor clan, in the Sea of Dread.

1675 BC: Tahkati Stormtamer unites the tribes that are now known as the Children of the Horse and leads them in conquest of the other tribes that now make up the Atruaghin Clans.

1600 BC: Tensions erupt between the two largest Jennite hordes: One horde, the more traditional of the two, has woman warriors, while the other has virtually enslaved its women. The Immortal Tarastia enjoins the more traditional horde to conquer the other, but the resulting holy war all but destroys Jennite civilisation. (By the time the Alphatians reach the Known World, six centuries later, the outer-world Jennites have regressed to stone-age barbarism, their previous glory all but forgotten.)

1500 BC: Nithian culture begins its climb to greatness. One colonial expedition led by the Nithian Traldar clan travels to the lands now known as Karameikos. As these colonies spread out, they become the first humans to inhabit Darokin.

The Immortal Pflarr creates a jackal-headed servitor-race he calls the Hutaaka. He uses many of them as agents, heralds, and servants throughout the known world; he plants a large colony of them in mountains south of the Nithians.

Modest Bronze Age human cultures in the eastern lowlands of the Northern Reaches.

Sophisticated gnomish and dwarven cultures co-exist with primitive giantish clans in the western uplands of the Northern Reaches.

The elf Atziann attains Immortality and adopts the Azcan form of his name, Atzanteotl, "Atziann the Divine." He begins whispering to selected Shadow Elves and Azcan rulers of the power and glory he can bring them, and lures them away from their faiths. Increasing numbers of Shadow Elves (especially those of the Schattenalfen clan) turn from the worship of Rafiel to that of Atzanteotl; likewise, many Azcans turn away from Otzitiotl and Kalaktatla. Only Atruatzin, the Azcan priest-king, who would later become Atruaghin, resists the Immortal.

A group of halflings pause in their northward migration at Thanegia Island. Dismayed by the unrest in the land, they quickly move on.

On the Alphatians' world, the civilization has achieved total mastery of its environment; the great universities are at the peak of their powers and just beginning to indulge in serious scholastic competitions and squabbles.

1410 BC: Atruatzin reaches the surface world in his quest for meaning in his life. He finds the lost descendants of the surface world Azcans and Oltecs living in the shattered lands north of the Sea of Dread.

1400 BC: Within a few generations, the Traldar settlers have suffered enormous population losses (through bad winters, animal attacks, and disease), have lost most of the materials and time necessary to forge metal (and consequently have forgotten how), and have reverted to a pre-agrarian lifestyle. They now fall under the domination of the Hutaaka humanoid people from the northern mountainous region. (GAZ1)

Denwarf, golem-like leader of the Known World's dwarves, settles his people in the great cavern called Dengar and disappears into the lower caverns.

Atruatzin, who now calls himself Atruaghin, unites the warring tribes he lives among. His skill as a warrior and leader makes this a challenging, but not impossible task. The newly unified people begin to call themselves the Children of Atruaghin - the outside world calls them the Atruaghin Clans.

1300 BC: The halflings from the southern continent, long-abandoned by their friends the elves, and increasingly endangered by the ever-growing human population, make a mass naval migration to the northern continent. They settle the area later called the Five Shires, which they name Faerdinel. They become friends with a declining, pacifistic clan of elves called the Gentle Folk.

1299 BC: Vestland trolls miss a turn and pop-up in Broken Lands. Trollhattan is founded. Bagni Gullymaw eats an elephant. Nithia enslaves the Black Moon horde of trolls.

1296 BC: Ogres kill King Wogar's Great Shaman at the Battle of Khuzud, and flee with his treasure. They settle in the Sind Desert and learn local culture.

1290 BC: The outer-world Shadow Elf city of Aengmor is "destroyed" (actually, merely surrounded by lava and made uninhabitable) during a volcanic eruption; many Schattenalfen escape, burrowing deeper into the crust of the earth. Actually, this is part of a grand scheme of Atzanteotl, their patron.

1270 BC: Great Drought dries up the ogres' wells in Sind. The ogres migrate east, devastating and enslaving Sind villages.

A great goblin horde lead by Wogar drives through Hule. They ravage the land, slaughtering many people and enslaving the others. Their reign of terror ends when Hosadus, a young holy man, convinces the horde's leaders that the sacred blue knife they seek lies to the east, beyond the Black Mountains - beyond even the Great Waste. Wogar and most of his horde move on, spurred by the unexpected revelation. The remainder stays in Hule as followers of Hosadus.

1269 BC: Ogres settle in Broken Lands. They found Ogremoor.

1265 BC: Ahmanni Turtlerider and Atruaghin become lovers. Atruaghin's ageless nature becomes apparent, making marriage between them impossible.

1263 BC: Wogar becomes an Immortal. His tribe continues along the coast to Atruaghin. They learn the use of feathers, war paints, light cavalry tactics, and scalping.

1262 BC: A small band of Urduk explorers from Sindh stumbles upon the ancient city of the Karimari, and convinces them to reduce their isolationism.

1260 BC: Atruaghin leaves the Atruaghin Clans to explore the surface world in a search for the nature of his seemingly eternal youth. He appoints new chiefs to each of the Clans and establishes the Words of Atruaghin that his people live by to this day.

1257 BC: Wogar Tribe, Red Orcs, conquers and enslaves the people of the Atruaghin Clans. Their rule is oppressive and savage.

1254 BC: Wogar Tribe splits into three nations. One settles south of Atruaghin, another in the Five Shires. The last goes north, and torches a trading post called Akorros, then moves to central Broken Lands.

1190 BC: Descendants of the Great Horde resurface in the Broken Lands. The Tribes meet again and discover the Rock of Oenkmar and a knife they mistake for one of their legendary artifacts. End of the Quest for a Blue Knife. Truce proclaimed.

1104 BC: Underground elves discover the Refuge of Stone and take the name of shadow elves unto themselves. Building work begins on the City of Stars. Myfallar The Old is chosen as temporary King.

1100 BC: Nithians lead by Minroth colonise the islands later to be called the Minrothad islands, and found Harbortown.

Nithians under Prince Ramenhotep establish the colony of Thothia on the Isle of Dawn. This is the eastern extent of Nithian colonisation.

1090 BC: On the Alphatians' world, the Followers of Flame begin their serious rivalry with the Followers of Air.

1050 BC: Great wizards of the Nithians, inspired by the Immortal Pflarr's servant race (the Hutaaka), create the gnoll race by magically blending trolls and gnomes. But they've been deluded that the results might be an equivalent servant-race for the Nithians; instead, the gnolls turn out to be savage, strong, warlike, and prolific. They rebel; they escape and later invade Karameikos. Nithian priests visit the Shamans of Oenkmar.

1040 BC: Tarasfir is enthroned as the first King of the Shadow Elves selected by the shamans of Rafiel.

1027 BC: On the Alphatians' world, sporadic violence breaks out between the Followers of Flame and Followers of Air.

1010 BC: On the Alphatians' world, a temporary peace results from one academian's proposal of the Flame vs. Air essay debate.

1009 BC: On the Alphatians' world, Emperor Alphaks I arbitrarily declares the Flames to have won the debate. Outrage, protest, rebellion and revolt result; the Followers of Flame war with the Followers of Air.

1000 BC: The Broken Lands are overpopulated. Broken Lands orcs, ogres, trolls, gnolls, and goblins migrate outward, especially southward, displacing other humanoid tribes before them. All forces join and raid Rockhome; they are defeated by dwarven King Blystar III. Minor raids go on for 500 years.

Orcs from the Broken Lands invade and conquer the region now known as the Five Shires. Their reign is brutal, to say the least.

Gnolls cross southern Darokin and invade Traldar lands, destroying their Golden Age. Most of the Darokin humans flee north, right into orc territory, where few survive. The Hutaakans retreat to their valley while the Traldar and gnolls practically annihilate one another. By the time the gnolls retreat, the Traldar population is 20% of its pre-invasion amount. Many seafaring Traldar, led by a lesser king named Milen, flee south across the Sea of Dread, and reach the southern continent to the east of what would later be called the Hinterlands. They travel far upriver, and establish a new kingdom there.

Elsewhere, non-human tribal movements pit tribes of orcs and goblins against the dwarves.

Gruugrakh gnolls, fleeing their Nithian masters, first come to the Plain of Fire and settle there.

The Nithian Empire is at its peak; it is the first post-Blackmoor empire in the world. It features monumental architecture, large urban complexes in the delta region of the River Nithia, conquest of neighbouring states, establishment of more remote colonies, and the development of sophisticated arts and culture. Colonies are planted in the Makai islands (south of the Five Shires area), where they conquer the aboriginal natives. The humans of the Northern Reaches areas are conquered and enslaved by the Nithian Empire. The Nithians, made curious about the southern continent by the Traldar flight in that direction, transport many Northern Reaches slaves to Harbortown and thence to the southern continent, to colonise there. This is the southern limit of Nithian expansion, and it isn't very successful; The Northern Reaches slaves soon rebel and slay their Nithian overlords. These tribes carve out their own territory in the southern continent, and are the forefathers of the Thyatian, Kerendan and Hattian tribes who later found the empire of Thyatis.

Black explorers from Tangor find and colonise the Pearl Islands.

1000 - 610 BC: Orcs, part of the migration from the Broken Lands, invade the Five Shires region and enslave the halflings. The Gentle Folk elves of the Five Shires region disappear or are destroyed by the orcs. Over a period of four hundred years, the halflings are conquered and reconquered by orcs, dwarves, and bandits of different races; eventually they reclaim their land and establish Shaerdon, a strong nation of hin.

896 BC: First shadow-elf exploration to the surface world ends in disaster with few survivors.

801 BC: Orcs conquer Shaerdon once more.

800 BC: The ice finally recedes to the north of Glantri.

Elves led by Mealiden Starwatcher leave the Sylvan Realm via the magical rainbow; they carry nine seedlings of the tree of life with them. They land in the forested regions of what would later be called Thyatis, but are driven out by the warlike humans there, and flee northward. The Callarii clan settles in Traladara territory; most of the rest settle in a windy steppes area. Elvish wizards begin to alter those steppes with their magic, changing the land nearly overnight into terrain where a mighty forest could flourish. In the process, they drive orcs from the open lands to the west.

One of the elf-clans, the Shiye, listens to the guidance of the elf-immortal Eiryndul and makes a dangerous crossing to the continent of Alphatia, where they set up their own kingdom in the deep central forests of that continent.

Deep in the southern continent, the Milenians, descendants of the Traldar, are flourishing, conquering the surrounding tribes, and establishing a strong empire.

Human clans begin building permanent settlements in Darokin.

795 BC: Atruaghin recalls the memory of that great plateau that once stood in the lands of his people. Using magics and powers that he has acquired from his travels throughout the Known and Hollow Worlds, he calls it back into existence that the Children of Atruaghin might never again fear invasion. Atruaghin, having completed the Path of the Polymath, becomes an Immortal in the Sphere of Thought in recognition of his lifelong struggle against entropy.

792 BC: Atzanteotl begins to turn Danel Tigerstripes against Atruaghin and his followers. Atruaghin sends Hattani Stoneclaw, leader of the Bear Clan, to prevent his corruption. The intervention is too late, the Children of the Tiger begin to worship Atzanteotl and Hattani Stoneclaw becomes an Immortal.

Second shadow-elf expedition to the surface lands emerges in the Broken Lands. Failure of this expedition leads to abandonment of further attempts to reach surface.

700 BC: Thanatos, Immortal of the Sphere of Entropy, helped by the Immortal Ranivorus, corrupts the Pharaoh of the Nithians. The Pharaoh turns the Nithian empire toward worship of Entropy.

The Nithian colonists in Thothia turn away from the Entropic faith of their homeland and increasingly turn to a new form of mysticism.

Mealiden is acclaimed king of Alfheim.

610 BC: Inspired by the example of Atruaghin and his people some two centuries before, the Hin revolt against the humanoids and reclaim their place as an independent state. The modern Five Shires are born.

609 BC: The Restoration of the hin nation; Gunzuth the Clanless becomes the first (and last) Sheriff of the reunited Shaerdon.

600 BC: Three warrior-tribes from the southern continent (the Thyatians, Kerendans, and Hattians), hard-pressed by the Milenians to the south, migrate to the northern continent.

572 BC: The hin formally organise their land into five semiautonomous Shires, each ruled by an elected Sheriff.

572 BC: Gunzuth dies, splitting the rule of Shaerdon among his five sons; the Five Shires are founded.

556 BC: A boy named Yav is born to an elven mother and a Tanagoro father in the Serpent Peninsula. He is the strongest seer yet known in the area, and his many timely warnings of hurricanes and other disasters make him a hero.

529 BC: A series of abuses by the Serpent Peninsula seers cause a major revolt. Elven purists slaughter every seer they can find. Some take more extreme measures, killing people of mixed elven and human blood regardless of their precognitive abilities. The unrest ends with the power of the seers broken and the Sheyallia elves fleeing the wrath of the Tanagoro people. Yav vanishes; it is thought the elves killed him.

500 BC: The Traldar are in the midst of their Dark Age. Communication between communities is infrequent. Local dialects begin to differ widely. The national epic of King Halav is the only thing which gives the people a sense of unity. Linguistic changes are already advanced enough that the people consider themselves Traladara, descendants of the Traldar, the people of King Halav. (GAZ1)

Oenkmar Rock sinks into the earth.

Elsewhere, the Nithian Empire, having incurred Immortal dislike, abruptly ends; the Immortals alter the climate, divert the headwaters of the River Nithia, promote social unrest, deny magical powers to their clerics, and take other actions which cause the Empire to collapse catastrophically. The Immortals use magic to ensure that almost all trace of the Empire is wiped from the face of the Known World. The colonies are systematically destroyed - except for Thothia, which has already turned away from the Entropic faith which led to the destruction of Nithia.

Ancestors of modern Alasiyan peoples withdraw to desert basins and establish a nomadic culture. Weak mainland human tribal cultures in the Northern Reaches are at the mercy of giantish clans. The remaining Black Moon gnolls scatter east and west.

In the Ierendi islands, the Malpheggi lizard men, doomed to extinction by a parasitic plague brought by the Nithian colonists, wipe out the Nithians before dying themselves. This is part of the Immortal plan to destroy the Nithian Empire.

By now, the steppes where Mealiden's elves settled have become the mighty Canolbarth forest.

By now, the Thyatians, Kerendans and Hattians have conquered and assimilated the human tribes who opposed them; they are now in full control of the region which will one day be called Thyatis.

Yav, known as Mulogo, convinces the Tanagoro people of the Serpent Peninsula to sail across the Western Sea and settle on the Immortal's Arm.

493 BC: Queen Ubdala of the Broken Lands raises Great Horde again. She recruits goblins and gnolls in the Altan Tepes, and marches north.

492 BC: At the battle of Sardal Pass, they are routed, the orcs utterly massacred. Ubdala dies. Hordes routed south and west, crowding Cruth mountains and Altan Tepes. Gnomes kicked out.

490 BC: Kobold clans are driven into the uplands of the Northern Reaches from the west. They overrun and exterminate the gnomes, and occupy their subterranean kingdoms.

480 BC: Yav leaves the Tanagoro and sails back to the Serpent Peninsula to search for what was causing the unnatural greed and selfish thoughts (not to mention precognitive abilities) of residents.

475 BC: Dwarves begin exploration and colonization of neighboring territories.

400 BC: The prophet Mulogo (actually Yav) reappears and leads the People of Yav from the Immortal's Arm back to Thanegia Island.

350 BC: Mealiden abdicates the throne to follow Ilsundal's path to Immortality. Alevar of the Grunalf clan becomes king of Alfheim.

200 BC: By now, orcs control the land to the west of the Streel River, as far south as Akorros. They also control the Broken Lands, southern Glantri, and most of Ethengar. Humans control the areas south of Akorros; elves control Alfheim to the east.

Alphatians begin settling the region of the Peninsula of Esterhold. They use their magic and sophisticated military forces to drive most of the Jennites back several hundred miles and enslave the rest.

The centuries-old Milenian Empire begins to weaken.

192 BC: The Alphatians, annoyed by the piratical activities of the Thyatian tribes, launch a campaign to conquer Thyatis.

190 BC: The Alphatians complete their conquest of Thyatis; Thyatis is now part of the Alphatian empire.

150 BC: The outer-world Shadow Elves contact the humanoid tribes of the Broken Lands, spreading their hatred of the above-ground elves and persuading the humanoids to attack Alfheim.

100 BC: The Milenian civilisation has grown soft and decadent. It enslaves surrounding tribes and nations; most soldiers in the Milenian army are conscripts from conquered tribes.

Newcomers reach Skothar's southwestern shores. They come from the continent of Davania, fleeing the collapse of the Milenian Empire and seeking to establish a colony where their way of life could survive. They find the coast already inhabited, and ask and are granted permission by the nearby natives to settle a stretch of wilderness between two prosperous Jennite cities.

50 BC: The decadent Milenian civilisation collapses utterly under the attacks of surrounding tribes.

2 BC: Lucinius Trenzantenbium, a Thyatian-born, Alphatian-trained wizard, kills the Alphatian wizards in Thyatis and declares himself King of Thyatis; war breaks out between Thyatis and Alphatia.

0 AC: The economies of both Thyatis and Alphatia have been wrecked by the war; the two powers conduct a peace treaty in the city of Edairo, the capital of Thothia (on the Isle of Dawn). Later, in Thyatis, General Zendrolion Tatriokanitas assassinates King Lucinius and several other kings gathered there, and crowns himself Emperor of Thyatis, Ochalea and the Pearl Islands. The Thyatians celebrate for weeks. Thyatians do some trading with Minroth islanders.

The Traladara begin a period of regrowth as trade is slowly established with southern peoples. Peaceable demihumans (the Callarii elves and the Highforge gnomes) settle in Traladara territories; warlike demihumans (goblins, hobgoblins, orcs) do as well, in lesser numbers.

Early Alasiyan agricultural settlements along coastal plain and interior desert oases.

1 AC: Yav reappears once again, attempting to fix an artifact. However, the fix drains all ambition from the Tanagoro.

20 AC: Emperor Zendrolion dies. Empress Valentia the Justiciar issues her Citizen's Proclamation and initiates other reforms.

21 AC: Ansel Darokin declares himself King of Darokin, beginning the reign of the Eastwind Kings.

67 AC: Orcs living near Lake Amsorak wrest most of Darokin from its human inhabitants in this bloody summer. The humans and elves of Darokin join forces to drive the orcs out; they're successful. Thousands of orcs flee into Nagpuri, slaying and pillaging as they overrun the lands. Nagpuri's warriors must contend with orc troubles for the next decade.

87 AC: Aden I, King of Darokin, is killed by orcs, ending the Eastwind reign.

88 AC: Orcs make major gains against the leaderless Darokin humans, forcing the Elves of Alfheim to support Corwyn Attleson as a compromise choice to lead Darokin. The reign of Darokin Kings begins. (GAZ10/GAZ11)

100 AC: Descendants of Makistani tribal nomads are driven into Ylaruam from Ethengar by Muhuli Khan and settle the Ust-Urt Valley.

Celedryl of the Erendyl clan is crowned king of Alfheim.

100 - 150 AC: Three prominent families rise to power in the Asanda plain - the Pratikutas of Putnabad (which includes present-day Jaibul and Jalawar), the Rastrapalas of Shajarkand, and the Mahavarmans of Nagpuri and Gunjab. Throughout the century, successive generations gain and lose power and ground in almost constant struggles for control.

122 AC: In Darokin, Corwyn I dies after a long and successful reign. His son, Corwyn II, assumes power.

130 AC: First contact by humanoids with shadow elves. Shadow elves rejected by Celedryl. Campaign of shadow-elf incitement of humanoids against surface elves begins.

150 AC: Thyatians begin colonising into the southeastern coastal plain and the foothills of the Altan Tepes range in Ylaruam, enslaving and assimilating, and scattering the indigenous population.

179 AC: The Pratikutas seize control of the entire length of the Asanda River and most of the Salt Swamp - despite internal problems with revolts and rebellions.

186 AC: Rajah Vijay Pratikuta dies, leaving Putnabad to Sarad, his only son. Rajah Sarad's weak rule loses all but a fraction of Putnabad's territory. Newly-powerful families rule in Jalawar and Jhengal. Other rajahs suspect these new rulers are shape shifters.

200 AC: Rockhome dwarves begin colonising into outside lands; they are usually welcomed into human communities.

The Atruaghin Clans begin trade with Sind and Darokin.

250 AC: The Alphatians begin colonising into the northern and central coastal plain of Ylaruam, enslaving and scattering the indigenous population. Some of the Ylari driven out by the Alphatian and Thyatian aggression migrate to Darokin. The Alphatians also found the colony of New Alphatia on the Isle of Dread; Alphatian magic is adapted to seafaring needs.

Alphatian settlers colonise the side of Trader's Isle left uninhabited by the Minroth traders. At first they fight, but soon trade wins over war.

Nomads driven from their homelands in Ylaruam by Thyatian colonists make their way into Darokin and then into Sind. They bring with them single-humped dromedaries, fine horses, and techniques for making flying carpets. Some settle in Sindhi towns. Many more find kindred spirits in the Urduk nomads west of Sind and add their herds and desert traditions to those of their new-found brethren. Rajahs seeking to strengthen their armies with Ylari warriors try to attract Ylari settlers to their lands.

284 AC: Minrothian and Alphatian cultures clash on Dread Island over slave trading issues; elves force the humans to make peace.

293 AC: Last of the orc tribes driven from Darokin.

300 AC: The water elf trading port of Seahome is established on Alfeisle in the Minrothad isles.

313 AC: The Hattian Rebellion. Emperor Alexian II crushes the revolt and establishes Thyatian dominance.

360 AC: Minroth traders carry slaves for Thyatian Empire; halfling slaves are introduced to the Isles of Dread.

390 AC: Disastrous humanoid raid on Alfheim. Some orcs captured.

395 AC: The Flaems, an offshoot of the Alphatians from the original Alphatian homeworld, settle the Glantri area where they discover the Radiance. They bring natural strains of bear and boar lycanthropy.

400 AC: Ostland raiders range south to Thyatis and north to Norwold. Mainland Northern Reaches tribes are victimised by the sea raiders and by giantish clans.

The Flaems discover that other, enemy Alphatians are in possession of the mighty Alphatian empire to the east.

The Traladaran village of Marilenev begins doing more trade business than fishing and begins slow, gradual growth from the increasing trade. Thyatian clerics learn the "Song of King Halav" and commit it to writing for the first time. The Church of Traladara is founded.

Rogue Alphatian wizards attempting to develop a hardier, more powerful Alphatian race create fast-spreading magical strains of the curses of vampirism and lycanthropy.

401 AC: A two-month epidemic of lycanthropy in Alphatia results in thousands of werecreatures and dozens of weretypes. The newly-formed Alphatian Center for Disease Control acts quickly to limit the effects of the epidemic.

406 AC: The magical strain of lycanthropy stabilises into seven primary weretypes - wolf, boar, tiger, bear, bat, fox, and giant hawk.

425 AC: Minrothad traders unwittingly introduce lycanthropy to Sind. The disease threatens to overrun every level of Sindhi society. Weretigers are especially prevalent. Other shape shifters already in Sind see this as an opportunity to unite their kind - doppelgangers and mujinas allying with lycanthropes - and seize complete control of the area.

443 - 445 AC: Expeditions of elves and humans attempt to purge Dread Island of all lycanthropes; human population is decimated; this time is called the Silver Purge. Similar events take place in Undersea, during the Night of the Long Knives; many weresharks flee to deeper waters. Werecreatures know this time as the Great Persecution.

1000 AC: Minrothad celebrates 150 years of nationhood. Oran Meditor makes public appearances to stop rumours of his continued ill health.

In Glantri, the Brotherhood of Free Wolves is pressing hard for their own Principality under the leadership of Sire Malachie du Marais, Baron of Morlay.

Werecreatures in the southern waters of Undersea grow in numbers and strength.

Vestland is a modern nation and a strong, independent trading partner with the nations of Mystara. Ostland is a powerful, independent ally of Thyatis, aggressive and belligerent, barbaric in culture and religious practices. Soderfjord is a weak alliance of feuding minor jarls, victimised by giantish clans and Ostland pirates.

Ylaruam is under governance of sultans from Preceptors faction of al-Kalim's descendants. Its culture and economy flourishes.

Shark-kin take up arms against the land dwellers; devilfish increase their attacks on Undersea; the numbers of undead and werecreatures in the southern waters grows at an alarming rate.

Everast XV is on the throne of Rockhome.

Prince Haldemar of Alphatia foils a plot by the Rajah of Jaibul to add Putnabad to the Rajahstan of Jaibul.

The Immortals begin a conflict that eventually begins to affect mortals throughout the world.

Aegos becomes the site for an Alphatian project to dig a pit through Mystara's mantle into the Hollow World.

1001 AC: Political lobbyists introduce a bill allowing the practice of clerical magic in Glantri under very strict conditions. Clerics must obtain a letter of sanction from the ruler of the dominion they wish to practice clerical magic, and the ruler has free rein over the terms of the sanction - fees imposed, types of magic allowed (healing only, etc.), expiration of the letter, and so forth. Clerics are still forbidden to preach their beliefs, regardless of any letters of sanction, and only Parliament of the Council of Princes may grant a letter of sanction to clerics operating within the free territories of Glantri.

The Council of Princes is evenly split over the matter, and the measure goes to the House of Lords at Parliament. Sire Malachie du Marais votes against it, but the measure passes. The White Wolf prepares for an infestation of lycanthropy-fighting clerics.

The Inheritors face internal conflicts and reorganise the aligned societies (the Brotherhood of Order, the Neutral Alliance, and the Friends of Freedom) into the three Orders of the Inheritors (the Order of the Ruby, the Order of Crimson, and the Order of the Flame). (RS)

1002 AC: Sire Malachie learns of an enormous silver deposit in the bedrock beneath le Chateau de Malinbois. This is a serious obstacle to his plans to control Malinbois.

1003 AC: The Council of Princes approves and Act of Enfeoffment in the economically depressed area of Bramyra, ending years of chaotic contests for control of the area.

1004 AC: A gold strike in les Montagnes Noires leads to a rapid influx of population with the Valley of Wolves in Glantri. Sire Malachie must contend with the fact that the majority of the newcomers are unwanted - they put a great strain on the taxed natural resources of the valley, strip the mountains of precious minerals Sire Malachie hoped to control for himself, and clash with the resident populations (both werewolves and non-lycanthropes).

The Council of Princes approves an Act of Enfeoffment in the area of Fort Sablestone. Sire Malachie attempts to capitalise on the Council of Prince's current willingness to create new Principalities. The White Wolf is also amused at this - if the Council grants an Act of Enfeoffment in the Valley of Wolves, it will become the thirteenth Principality.

Thyatis city suffers an enormous riot by the poorer citizens, who have seen a steady decline in the quality and quantity of free bread passed out by the officials. This has little effect on anyone not in - or under - Thyatis city. The wererats of Thyatis participate in the riot, as they depend on the free bread almost as much as Thyatis' poor do.

Both Alphatia's mages and Thyatis' military forces become more pushy and uptight than usual.

An Alphatian elf, Troikithus, uncovers evidence of the Brotherhood of the Radiance, and reports it to Empress Eriadna. A week later, his body is found floating in one of Glantri City's canals.

Relations between Glantri and the Empire of Alphatia become strained, as the Alphatian Council of Wizards accuses the Glantrian Great School of Magic of harbouring followers of the Entropic Immortals and using forbidden, evil magics. Spies and counter-spies make matters worse. Prince Etienne d'Ambreville is swept up in the politics and espionage between the two magocracies.

Clerical missionaries of the Immortal Vanya from the Heldann Territories are slaughtered while travelling through the Ethengar Khanates.

Several Glantrian nobles having dinner together are assassinated by a bombardment of lightning bolts, fire balls, and other powerful magics. The sole survivor, Prince Innocenti di Malapietra, testifies the killers were wearing Alphatian clothing.

Thyatis reinforces Glantri's demand to surrender the assassins, to everyone's surprise.

Without benefit of a declaration of war, the Heldannic Knights send several punitive raids into Ethengar, launching deadly lance-cavalry attacks against Ethengarian encampments and slaughtering every last man, woman, and child encountered.

Humanoids from the Black Mountains invade Graakhalia in force. The Master's spies learned of the routes through Graakhalia to tunnels beneath Sind; his agents made sure the humanoids heard there was rich plunder to be had beneath the Plain of Fire. The Graakhalians fight fiercely, then desperately, as band after band of orcs, goblins, bugbears, hobgoblins, and other humanoids press deeper into Graakhalia's labyrinths.

A band of Glantrians are sentenced to death for the arson of dozens of temples of the Immortal Asterius.

Glantrian adventurers escaping from Alphatia start a fire in Aasla as a distraction, which grows into a firestorm and devastates the city.

Humanoids secure Graakhalia's upper levels against the elves and gnolls, paving the way for the Master of Hule's plot to seize Sind. Hulean agents struggle to consolidate the bickering humanoids into an army that can hold Graakhalia while the Master moves additional forces into place.

Kiritan ul-Nervi, egged on by Hulean agents, stages a coup against his brother, Rajadhiraja Chandra ul-Nervi. The counter-uprising of Sind's people is met by thousands of humanoids and brigands appearing out of the earth itself to fight on the side of the new Rajadhiraja. More humanoids pour into Sind from the Plain of Fire, reinforced by Urduk nomads and a tribe of ogres from the Sind Desert. The civil war sets rajah against rajah as factions fight for control. Kiritan's forces quickly gain control of Sayr Ulan. Many loyalist Sindhis die protecting their ruler from assassins, and the Rajadhiraja flees to Ulimwengu.

1005 AC: The Council of Princes in Glantri approves an Act of Enfeoffment for la Vallee des Loups in favour of Sire Malachie du Marais.

Ethengar hordes attack the Heldannic Territories.

Prompted by attacks from Bellayne, the goblinoids of the Yazak steppes begin unifying. Robrenn attacks and irritates the Yazi goblinoids. (RS)

An internal holy war begins in Narvaez. The church of Narvaez unifies the factions by providing an external enemy: the other Savage Baronies. Narvaez carries its Inquisition to the other Baronies. (RS)

Empress Eriadna of Alphatia issues a proclamation of war against Glantri. In return, Glantri, backed by the Empire of Thyatis and the Heldann Freeholds, declares war on Alphatia.

Rajadhiraja Kiritan ul-Nervi consolidates his position as Sind's new ruler. He seems blind to the fact that he's merely a puppet, and that the Master of Hule pulls his strings. Many rajahs accept the situation, seeing opportunities to increase their own power. Only Rani Drisana of Jalawar, Rajah Mohan of Baratkand, and Maharajah Kami of Peshmir refuse to recognise Kiritan's claim to the crown.

Alphatia starts building up its forces in preparation for eliminating the Empire of Thyatis as an obstacle to invading Glantri.

The three rajahs of Sind who refuse to acknowledge Kiritan as Rajadhiraja attempt to overthrow the usurper. Their efforts are hampered by the fact that their mumlykets are separated by mumlykets whose rulers have sworn obedience to Kiritan. Opposed from without by Kiritan's Hule-backed forces and from within by spies and stooges, the attempted coup fails miserably. Maharajah Kabir Rudraksha of Kadesh seizes the opportunity to invade Peshmir, taking 87-year-old Maharajah Kami prisoner and setting his son Hara up as Peshmir's new Maharajah.

Alphatian wizards travel secretly to Glantri, and set loose hordes of monsters - many from other planes. Many of these monsters spill over the borders into Sind. Some join the Master's forces; others simply roam about looking for trouble.

In Jalawar, Inay Paramesh, a distant relative of the Madhars, overthrows Rani Drisana Madhar. Without the help of Kiritan's elite guard, Inay could not have hoped to succeed. Vijay Niranjan, the rani's half-brother, falls in the fighting, as does Rohit, her first husband. Drisana escapes with her husband Bhagwandas. The two flee to Ulimwengu in search of Rajadhiraja Chandra ul-Nervi.

The Alphatians on the Isle of Dawn assault the Fortress of Kendach and the Hold of Fenswatch. After a few weeks, West Portage is taken.

On the trail of rajadhiraja Chandra ul-Nervi, Drisana Madhar reaches Ulimwengu. She learns that he passed through Karimari territory on his way to seek help from Yavdlom, then travelled back through hoping to drum up support among the Urduk nomads who did not join the Master's forces. Drisana stays in Ulimwengu, hoping to convince the Karimari to supply warriors, elephants, and triceratops in the event Chandra ul-Nervi can form an army to regain his throne.

His power over Sind now relatively secure, the Master convinces Kiritan to invade Darokin. The combined forces of Sind's armies and the Desert Nomads overwhelm Darokin's defences and drive the Republic's armies before them. Akesoli falls within weeks, and the armies soon reach the city of Darokin itself. A substantial number of weretypes live secretly in Darokin - merchants and adventurers who contracted lycanthropy while abroad.

1006 AC: Torreón, Vilaverde, and Texeiras ally with Narvaez, rather than fight that state. The other five baronies (Guadalante, Cimmaron, Almarrón, Saragón, and Gargoña) ally to fight against the Narvaez alliance. Gauchos and Swashbuckler "freedom fighters" prove effective against the naval power and mercenaries of the Narvaez alliance. (RS)

Hule attacks the Savage Baronies. The baronies end their conflict to unite against Hule. (RS)

Glantrian wizard-adventurers travel to Alphatia and harass the nobles there - fire-bombings, hit-and-runs, and the like.

Duke Stefan declares Karameikos independent from Thyatis, now the Kingdom of Karameikos.

Chandra ul-Nervi hastily pulls together his own army of Urduk nomads, mercenaries, brigands, and outlaws from the Barren Plains and the Sind Desert to retake Sind while its fighting forces are occupied in Darokin. His ragtag army includes nearly 100 Karimari warriors with their /moto moto rods/ and mounted on elephants and triceratops, a number of Yavdlom warriors disgusted at their nation's policy of non-interference with "destiny", and loyal Sindhis who fled their homes when the civil war broke out. Panicking, Kiritan withdraws his armies from Darokin to meet his brother's threat.

The forces of Karameikos (including some werecreatures, although they try to keep that secret), Alfheim and the Five Shires march to the defence of the city of Darokin. They lift the siege, and over the next few weeks slowly drive back the Desert Nomads. The Master's forces, weakened by their sudden loss of manpower, begin to lose the ground they had gained in Darokin.

As the eastern armies drive the Desert Nomads from Darokin, Kiritan's armies barely manage to hold off Chandra ul-Nervi's irregular troops. Disgusted with this turn of events, the Master diverts his reserve forces to reinforce Kiritan's armies - rather than sending them to Darokin as he'd originally planned. The sudden influx of humanoids turns the tide against Chandra ul-Nervi. His forces decimated and scattered, the rajadhiraja flees back through Ulimwengu. The Master relinquishes his hold on Darokin, but tightens his grip on Sind.

Days after Chandra ul-Nervi's defeat, a devastating meteor sent by the Master of Desert Nomads smashes through the skyshield and slams into the Darokin/Glantri border. The impact creates an enormous crater north of Lake Amsorak. It destroys a mountain range, and raises an impenetrable cloud above the two nations. The resulting earthquake knocks down buildings in Akesoli and devastates the village of Chandbali. The dust cloud rising from the impact is larger than some countries. It covers all of southern Glantri and northern Darokin and extends over northeastern Sind. For days it blocks the sun. When it finally settles, ash and dust cover everything, smothering plants and fouling drinking water. The harvest is ruined, and a winter famine threatens.

The trees of the Canolbarth begin to darken, twist, and mutate, becoming increasingly inhospitable to the elves.

The dwarves of Rockhome, dismayed at the events of the surface world, retreat into their subterranean communities.

The Master of Hule decides that Chandra ul-Nervi must be eliminated as a potential threat to the conquest of Sind. He sends ten divisions across the Great Waste to Ulimwengu, certain that 10,000 soldiers would be more than enough to overrun the primitive Karimari forces and drive the deposed ruler out of his hiding place. The few soldiers and humanoids who survive the resulting massacre bring word of Ulimwengu's magical defences back to Hule. The Master is surprised to learn that the Karimari are far more than they appear. His magics penetrate the illusions that had kept the truth of Shani Kijiji and the Karimari from him.

The Master's attack on Ulimwengu is enough to convince even the most progressive-thinking Karimari to close their borders once more. All refugees are politely asked to leave - immediately. Chandra ul-Nervi and Drisana Madha seek shelter among the Yavdlom people.

The Great Khan of Ethengar, whose people have suffered from several savage raids by the Heldannic Knights, invades the Heldann Territories. His forces march straight to the capital, Freiburg, and lay siege to it.

On the Isle of Dawn, the Alphatian army attempts to secure the centre of the island, turning its attention to Redstone Castle.

Zealot followers of the "Desert Garden" philosophy of al-Kalim cross the Altan Tepes into northern Thyatis, and take Fort Nikos without a single loss of life on either side. The next day, they seize the town of Biazzan, also without a fight.

1007 AC: Yazi gnolls attack the Savage Baronies, which have been severely weakened by previous conflicts. The Master of Hule sets a curse on his enemies, inflicting floods and other natural disasters on the Savage Baronies. (RS)

Reston of Akesoli becomes King of Ierendi.

The Heldannic Knights and Empire of Thyatis formally sign a treaty of alliance.

King Thar of the Broken Lands leads his humanoid hordes in raids on southern Glantri, finally besieging Glantri City itself.

Kiritan vows to root out the last of his brother's supporters and begins a systematic program of oppression. The Master of Hule and his agents are more than happy to assist.

The Graakhalians stage a last-ditch effort to drive the humanoids from Graakhalia. They're soundly defeated. Nearly half their population has died fighting or of starvation (no time for harvests) since Graakhalia was invaded. The survivors retreat deep underground, into territory hitherto unexplored.

On the Isle of Dawn, the Alphatians take Newkirk in a surprise attack. Within a couple of weeks, Redstone Castle's commanders surrender.

Thousands of humanoids from the Broken Lands move into Glantri and Darokin; some enter northeastern Sind, adding to its misery. A few spill over into Graakhalia.

The Ylari forces in Biazzan decide to withdraw. The entire force slips away before the Thyatians are aware, getting all their people and most of Biazzan's wealth across the mountains safely.

Shadow Elves invade, conquer, and settle Alfheim, transmuting the forest and forcing the Alfheim elves to flee north to Wendar and south to Karameikos. Bands break away to brave the Desert Nomads in search of the long-lost Sheyallia elves. They find no sign of their brethren.

Plague erupts in the Heldann Freeholds, starting in the city of Freiburg.

An elf from Alfheim stumbles on a Sheyallia elf sheltering with a Sindhi family in Baratkand. The two gather together as many elves as they can and enter Graakhalia in search of the scattered Graakhalians.

Ochalea and the Pearl Island capitalise on the war raging between Thyatis and Alphatia to declare their independence.

The elves fleeing southward from Alfheim are trapped by a harsh winter in the icy foothills of the Cruth mountains.

1008 AC: Countless uprisings, civil unrest, riots, and assassination attempts disturb Kiritan ul-Nervi's rule. The Master orders him to tighten his control of his nation or suffer the consequences.

Helskir is overrun by Alphatians, who quickly sweep south and capture the northern 2/3 of the Isle of Dawn. Within a few days, Eruul Zaar is crowned king of Helskir by Empress Eriadna herself.

Military forces from the Five Shires join the army of Darokin to help keep order there and defend Darokin from the humanoids occupying the Great Crater.

The Alfheim elves reach Karameikos, and are ceded land in the east of that kingdom.

Plague spreads throughout the north, reaching Glantri through Ethengar. With little clerical magic to combat it, Glantri's population is devastated. Lycanthropes seem just as susceptible as normal folk, and the Valley of Wolves loses many werewolves.

The many clerics of Heldann are increasingly winning the war against the plague. Healthy combined forces from the Heldannic Knights and Ostland penetrate into the Ethengar Khanates and, at the community of Tromso, massacre some of the armies which attacked their territories.

The Alphatian Naval Fleet sails around the northern end of the Isle of Dawn and engages the Thyatian fleet. Great harm is inflicted by both sides, and eventually the Alphatian navy retreats to the Isle of Dawn.

Ethengarians attack Alfheim elves crossing their territory to reach Wendar in the north.

Glantri is finally recovering from the plague, and is able to drive most of the humanoids out of Glantri into the Great Crater. Thar's hordes now decide to attack Darokin, but are driven back by the armies there.

The Alphatian Navy makes landfall in Ylaruam, at the town of Cubia, two days sailing from the Thyatian border.
Title: Re: Mystara - History of the Known World pt. 2
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on February 21, 2012, 03:24:35 AM
1009 AC: Chandra ul-Nervi, sick at heart at the abuses his brother has been heaping on the Sindhi people, surrenders himself to an agent of the Master of Hule. He agrees to return as Rajadhiraja - under Hule's control - in order to stop the worst abuses. The Master sees this as a way to quiet Sind's unrest and promptly replaces Kiritan with Chandra ul-Nervi.

Spring: The Heldannic Knights launch a force to come, somewhat belatedly, to Glantri's rescue. Knights make an epic ride through Rockhome, Ylaruam, and Darokin, joining the Darokin army in time to push Thar's forces down into the Crater.

Spring: The Alphatian forces marching in by land slam into Fort Zendrol and capture it. For the first time in decades, Alphatian forces march across the border into mainland Thyatis.

Summer: The Alphatian military machine rolls through the Thyatian duchy of Tel Akbir.

Fall: The second group of Alfheim elves leaves the northern Glantrian mountains and enters the nation of Wendar. The Glantrian plague follows them there.

Fall: Thyatis, hard-pressed by the Alphatian military juggernaut, sues Empress Eriadna for peace.

Fall: A storm of tremendous force deluges the Alphatian city of Sundsvall with rain, hail, and lightning - and drains the world of magic. For an entire week, no magic works, either on Mystara or in the Hollow World. Lycanthropes can no longer transform and are stuck in whatever form they were in when the storm struck. When magic returns, so does lycanthropy and its effects. The storm and its after-effects were caused by an Immortal artifact, the Nucleus of the Spheres, the source of the radiance, a magical power unique to Glantri.

Fall: Magic stops working, and Yazak goblinoids sack the capital of Herath. Though magic is restored a few days later, the Red Curse has spread across the coast. Inheritors of the baronies begin introducing cinnabryl throughout the coast, while taking control of most of the cinnabryl mines as well.

Winter: The Thousand Wizards of Alphatia teleport to the skies over Glantri City and begin a magical bombardment. The Nucleus of the Spheres is forever changed and Glantri is devastated. Immediately afterward, earthquakes rock Alphatia, and the continent sinks deep beneath the sea. Etienne d'Ambreville vanishes.

1010 AC: The nations of the Known World begin the long, difficult process of rebuilding.

In Glantri, the Principality of Fenswick is enfeoffed.

Sind is still occupied by the Master's forces. Chandra ul-Nervi is a virtual prisoner in his palace; the rajahs and maharajahs are no more than puppet rulers. The Master licks his wounds and launches more attacks against Darokin - from the sea.

Dwarves stumble upon the city of Oenkmar.

Unusual amounts of snow runoff from the mountains flood Graakhalia, Darokin, and the Five Shires.

The shadow elves in Aengmor (former Alfheim) realize that without the Alfheim elves' maintenance spells, their forest will die. In desperation, they enlist the help of elves in Norwold in developing spells similar to those spells the Alfheim elves had used.

Thyatis drives hard into the Alphatian regions of the Isle of Dawn, retaking all of the Isle except Helskir and Thothia. Thyatis also drives Ylaruam's small forces from its territory on Brun.

Hule raids Darokin, threatening trade with the west.

Three Alphatian mages posing as magical spirits invade the Atruaghin Plateau, subjugate the Clans, and destroy the World Elevator.

The Great Khan of Ethengar attacks the Heldannic Territories, hoping for a quick victory while the Heldannic forces are occupied with conquering Landfall and other matters. Months of besieging Grauenberg, skirmishing with Heldannic troops, and raiding Heldannic settlements result in very little gain for Moglai Khan. Changing tactics, he proposes peace with the Heldanners, and they become uneasy allies.

King Thar steps down in favor of his adviser, King Kol IV of the kobolds.

Rockhome dwarves resurface, drive off humanoid invaders.

Darokin, The Five Shires, Ylaruam, Rockhome, and Karameikos form the Western Defense League, each pledging to aid any of the League's members in time of war or disaster.

Henri battles Isidore and Richard over who will succeed Etienne d'Ambrevilles as Prince of Nouvelle Averoigne. Isidore kills Henri in a magical duel.

The Five Shires declare war on the Black Eagle Barony and march in to free its oppressed people.

1011 AC: Plague, famine, and food riots strike Thyatis City and the countryside.

Karameikan School of Magecraft founded at Krakatos, near Specularum.

Atruaghin Clans revolt against their Alphatian masters, regain their freedom.

Heldannic Knights seize Oceansend in Norwold, establish Heldannic rule.

Inevitable death of Canolbarth becomes obvious.

New Kolland becomes the first humanoid principality in Glantri, with King Kol as its Prince.

Civil war in Rockhome between King Everast XV and the mad golem Denwarf; King Everast XVI crowned.

Thar allies himself with King Alebane of Ogremoor to invade Rockhome while the dwarves are caught in a civil war. The campaign is a disaster; in disgrace, Thar flees to the Makkres Mountains of Vestland.

Thothia retaliates against Thyatis. Rallying the "Alphatian Irregulars" (divisions of the fragmented Alphatian military), Pharaoh Ramenhotep pushes the Thyatian armies out of Thothia, through Trikelios, and all the way to Ekto.

The Five Shires capture Ludwig von Hendriks, the Black Eagle Baron.

1012 AC: Joam Astlar appointed Sheriff of Seashire; Jaervosz Dustyboots pursues the nefarious Black Eagle.

Riots continue in Thyatis. Emperor Thincol I dies; Eusebius succeeds him.

Specularum, Karameikos is renamed to Mirros. King Stefan names his daughter, Adriana, heir.

Port of Neuhafen opens in Heldannic Territories.

Soderfjord Jarldoms enter the modern age by electing a king: Ragnar I, the Stout.

Humanoids, dwarves, and shadow elves war for Oenkmar, ancient city sacred to the elves, who win it.

Magical rain slows Canolbarth's inevitable death.

The first Annual World Games are held in Selenica.

Subtle events mold a darker, more sinister Glantri.

The Great Waste is primarily home to creatures loyal to the Master of Hule and to people trying desperately to survive in spite of the invaders.

Source: http://pandius.com/timeline.html
Title: Re: Mystara - Organizations and Power Groups of the Known World
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on February 21, 2012, 03:30:23 AM
Organizations of the Known World

Foresters
Primary Classes: Ranger, Druid.
The Foresters is an organization of humans trained in the Way of the Forest by Vyalian Druids. Only Rangers and Druids may join the organization. They are trained to develop their wilderness skills and druidic abilities. Foresters have a dual role, both in defeating monsters to keep the rural population safe, and to protect woodland creatures from humans. The Foresters are active mostly in Thyatis and Karameikos, but may also be encountered in other parts of the Known World. Since the events War of the Immortals it has been rumored that the displaced Alfheim Elves have found allies among the Foresters and that the Foresters will help the Alfheimers regain their lost forest.

League of Rakes
Primary Classes: Rogue, Bard
The League of Rakes is known as the most efficient spy network in Thyatis. The members consider themselves Thieves with Honour or Gentlemen Spies. The organization is independent; it does not work for the emperor. Anyone may use their services, as long as they are willing to pay. Members of the League do not steal, nor are they assassins, but their code of honour allows them to relay information. The organization is based in Thyatis City, but its representatives may be found all over the Known World (and elsewhere too). It is even rumored that they have infiltrated the DDC on occasions. They are known for possessing a large number of magical items and gnomish devices that help their members become the best spies in the Known World.
Allies and enemies: Rakes are disliked by Thieves guilds and other criminal organizations because they are seen to move into their territory without being 'proper thieves'. On the other hand, the League of Rakes is quite popular among respectable citizens, because of their honor code.

Storm Legion
Primary Class: Fighters
Storm Legion is a fighting order based on the island of Hattias in the Empire of Thyatis.
They propagate human dominance over non-humans and maintain that women should be slaves for men. Storm Legionaries are usually found in Thyatis, Karameikos and Heldann, but they may also be encountered elsewhere. They honour Ares (Alphaks) as their patron of war.
Allies and Enemies: Nobody really likes the Storm Legionaries as they are seen as a brutal and hateful lot. The Legionaries enjoy support in Hattians though.
The Legionaries consider the Sisterhood of the Sword as enemies since they promote unsuitable roles for women and the Foresters because they encourage a demi-human way of life.

Sisterhood of the Sword
Primary Classes: Fighter, Paladin
The sisterhood of the sword is an order of Fighting Women in Thyatis. Due to the influence of the Storm Legionaries and others, fighting women are scorned in the empire and the Sisterhood works to change this.
Allies and Enemies: The Sisterhood of the Sword are enemies of the Storm Legion, because of its hateful attitude towards fighting women and women in general.
The Sisterhood is allied with the Sisterhood of the Gray Lady. The Sisterhood dislikes the Heldannic Knights because of their associations with Hattias.

Order of Retebius
Primary Classes: Fighter, Paladin, Ranger This is a military order in Thyatis, under the command of the Emperor. Members of the Order are trained with using Wyverns as mounts. They are a very prestigious branch of the Thyatian armed forces and enjoy wide popularity among the population.
Allies and Enemies: The Order is very popular throughout the Empire and among its allies, but disliked by countries with not so good relations with Thyatis. The Order is on friendly terms with the Knights if the Air, many of whom are retired Retebius members.
Note: According to the Dawn of the Emperors the Order used a wide range of creatures as mounts including Dragons. Bruce Heard later unofficially suggested that this be changed to Wyverns, hence that change in this description.

Knights of the Air
Primary Classes: Fighter, Paladin, Ranger Knights of the Air is an order mainly consisting of retired members of the Order of Retebius, but the main requirement for membership is requiring a flying mount. Not surprisingly, most members use Wyverns as mounts, but griffons are also popular, especially among elven members.
Allies and enemies: The order is on friendly terms with the Order of Retebius. Foresters are also friendly towards the Knights since many of their members are elves. The Knights are seen as servants of the Emperor and are thus liked or hated depending on how the individual feels about Thyatis.

The Iron Ring
Primary Classes: Thief, Fighter, Warrior, Thug (UA), Brigand (KoK)
The Iron Ring is an organization of slavers based in Halag, Karameikos. Their main activity is kidnapping Traldarans and halflings from the Five Shires and selling them off as slaves to Thyatis or Indentured Servants to Darokin. They have good connections among the Hattian nobility.
Allies and Enemies: The Iron Ring is illegal in Karameikos. However, it receives support from many among the Karameikan aristocracy as well as among the Hattian nobility. They are on friendly terms with the Storm Legion, who secretly has encouraged the Iron Ring to capture more halfling and elf slaves.
Note: After Von Hendriks was driven out of Halag, the Iron Ring moved its center of operations somewhere else, but continued its activity with the support of others within Karameikan aristocracy.

Sisterhood of the Gray Lady
Primary Classes: Fighter, Paladin.
This is a fighting order for Thyatian women devout to Vanya.
Allies and Enemies: the sisterhood is allied with the Sisterhood of the Sword, and enemies of the Storm Legion.

Holy Order of Kagyar
Primary Class: Cleric (Dwarves)
This is a religious order serving Kagyar. Only dwarves are permitted and almost all dwarven clerics belong to this order, though dwarven clerics outside Rockhome sometimes take up the worship of other Immortals.
Their basic ethos is to serve Kagyar. They are not allowed to heal non-dwarves, nor are they allowed to use any magic to destroy matter.
Allies and Enemies: The Order of Kagyar is downright hostile to Dwarven Clerics following Immortals outside the Dwarven Pantheon (Kagyar, Garl, Terra). They dislike Foresters due to their association with elves.
They are allied with the Hammer of Kagyar, but don't always approve of the actions of that organization.

Cult of Halav
Primary Class: Cleric
The Cult of Halav is religious organization of fanatic followers of Halav. Most simply view these guys as silly and annoying, but the cult is actually on the verge of being taken over by agents of Entropy.
Allies and Enemies: Although few take them seriously, the Cult of Halav considers itself a fierce enemy of the Church of Karameikos and the Knights of the Griffon. The Church of Traladara is allied with the Cult of Halav, but is worried about the direction that the Cult is taking.

The Thorn
Primary Class: Rogue (Dwarf)
This organization started out as a club for young dwarven pranksters who wanted to annoy the elves of Alfheim. They arranged "raids" on Alfheim elves, but never caused serious harm. In fact, the Dwarves of the Thorn were the dwarves in Rockhome who had most contact with elves. With the destruction of Alfheim, The Thorn changed. The dwarves realized the seriousness of the situation and decided that they wanted to help their elven rivals regain their forest.
The Thorn has contacted elven refugees in Karameikos and is working alongside the elves opposing the Shadow elves.
Allies and Enemies: After the War of the Immortals, The Thorn is allied with the Alfheim refugees including the extreme organization the Alfheim Avengers, as well as the Foresters. Their sudden sympathy for the elves is met with surprise and confusion among other dwarves. The Hammer of Kagyar has even shown strong dislike for the Thorn since their change in attitude.

Kagyar's Hammer
Primary Classes: Cleric, Fighter, Paladin (Dwarf) Kagyar's Hammer is a religious fighting order in Rockhome, serving Kagyar. Most members spend their life fighting evil, but parts of the order have become quite extreme and propagate dwarven supremacy.
Especially, many show hate towards elves.
Allies and Enemies: Although not official policy, many among the Kagyar's Hammer are hostile towards elves and Foresters, and even show strong dislike for the Thorn after that organization suddenly became elf-friendly. The order is allied with the Order of Kagyar.

Knights of the Griffon
Primary Classes: Fighter, Cleric, Paladin The Knights of the Griffon are a religious fighting order associated with the Church of Karameikos. They are loyal servants of the High Patriarch of the Church of Karameikos (currently Jowett). Anyone can be a member of the order, but only nobles can gain the title Knight of the Griffon.
Allies and Enemies: The Knights are allied with the Church of Karameikos, and with King Stefan. The Cult of Halav considers it their enemies and the Church of Traladara often speaks out against the Knights. The Knights hate the Iron Ring above all other Karameikan criminal organizations.

Shire Masters
Primary Class: Druid (Halfling)
The Shire Masters, sometimes just called Hin Masters, are druids of the Five Shires and the Shires of Leeha.
They have a special status in Hin society and are respected by all Halflings. They serve as judges in disputes between the clans and protectors of the Hin Homelands.
The Shire Masters enjoy a unique position within the Five Shires, but rarely leave the borders of the Halfling Homelands.
Allies and Enemies: Shire Masters are respected and honored by all Halflings. They hate the Iron Ring since its members abduct Halflings to sell as slaves.
They are on friendly terms with elves and Foresters, as well as other druids.

Mystic order of the Temple of Will
Primary Classes: Monk, Psionic Classes.
The Temple of Will is an order of Monks based on Ierendi. Combining the philosophies of Alphatia and Ochalea, these Monks seek inner enlightenment. Some among the order have even developed psionic talents.
The Temple is based in Ierendi, but its Monks may be found all over the Known World.
Allies and Enemies: The Temple of Will has few enemies or allies, as its monks tend to keep to themselves.
They have some relations with the Mystic Order of Ochalea, though they have philosophical disagreements.


Mystic Order of Ochalea
Primary Classes: Monk, Psionic Classes, Cleric These mystics are followers of Korotiku and seek inner enlightenment following the Great Spider's Example. Although often very serious, the Monks also believe that humour is a virtue. They are widely known for their martial arts. Although based in Ochalea, the monks of the order often travel widely in order to learn more about the world. Ochalean Temples have also been established in other Known World countries with some success.
Allies and Enemies: They have some relations with the Mystic Order of the Temple of Will, though they have philosophical disagreements.

Source: http://pandius.com/knwn_org.html
Title: Re: Mystara - Cosmology
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on February 25, 2012, 02:10:23 AM
Cosmology

Mystara's cosmology is vastly different from most other D&D settings.

Planes of Existence

In game terms, the phrase "plane of existence" (or simply Plane) refers to an area seen by mortal beings as a three-dimensional volume of unmeasurable size. This is different than in geometry, in which a plane is a flat two-dimensional area. One Plane contains the PC homeworlds, other planets, moons, stars, other objects, and vast distances between them in which there is almost nothing. This plane is called the Prime Plane (or merely the Prime).

Any attempt at finding an end to this space will fail, for it extends without end in all normal directions (height, width, etc.). Any such plane of infinite size is tailed a universe.

One other plane, the Ethereal, touches the Prime at all points. Most adventurers from the Prime are quite familiar with the Ether, for it can be entered by using various magical effects and devices. The Ether is also an area through which characters must pass to reach the nearby planes of the four elements. The Prime and Elemental planes are connected by tubes that reach through the Ether, forming a branching network very similar to the roots of a tree.

From a greater perspective, this group of six planes of existence—the Prime, Ether, and the four Elemental Planes—are collectively called the Inner Planes.

The Inner Planes are surrounded by the Astral Plane, which is connected to the Elemental and Ethereal Planes but not to the Prime. Ear beyond the Inner Planes, across this vast "astral ocean," are other planes of existence, the homes of the Immortals and other beings. These other planes are commonly called the Outer Planes, a provincial and relative term that is nevertheless in common use because of the Prime-planar origin of most Immortals.

Only three of the known planes of existence are infinite in size—the Prime, Ethereal, and Astral. All others are limited, or "bounded" planes, or pocket universes. Together, all these planes, bounded and infinite, Inner and Outer, is collectively called the Multiverse.

The Importance of the Prime

The Prime Plane is special in several ways. It is the only one in which the five Spheres of Power (Matter, Energy, Time, Thought, and Entropy) all blend together perfectly, in precisely equal proportions. It is also the only plane in which the four elements of Air, Earth, Fire, and Water blend perfectly, again in equal proportions. Every other plane of existence contains some imbalance in elements, Spheres, or both.

All Immortals, including those of Entropy, are extremely careful not to disturb the balance of all things in the Prime Plane. Their caution is in their own self-interest, for the Prime Plane is the only plane from which new Immortals consistently arise. For Immortals cannot create Immortal offspring. The only way Immortals can replenish their numbers, to maintain their commanding positions as controllers of all of existence, is by finding, encouraging, and testing exceptional mortals who wish to achieve Immortality.

Breeding experiments have not improved the odds. On the rare occasions when Immortals have masqueraded as mortals (as documented by dozens of ancient myths), their offspring were mortals and neither more nor less likely to achieve Immortality than other humans of purely mortal origin. Such meddling poses dangers to the balance of the Prime that such attempts were abandoned long ago.

Potential Immortals are often discovered in planes other than the Prime, but few of these succeed in reaching Immortality. Those who do reach Immortality have never achieved greatness within the Immortal hierarchy. Immortals believe that this is because of the flaws caused by the imbalances in the native planes of such creatures.

Dimensions

Just as the five Spheres govern the multiverse, five dimensions govern each plane of existence. Each dimension is a way of measuring physical size or distance. Each dimension is a real direction perpendicular to every other. Time, often mistakenly called the fourth dimension, is not a direction, but one of the Spheres.

Imagine one dimension as a straight line on a piece of paper. Another line crossing it at a 90 degree angle shows a second direction, forming a plus sign on the paper. To add a third direction perpendicular to both, imagine a line passing through the center of the plus, leading above and below the fiat paper Easy so far, for most of us. But the next dimension is in a direction perpendicular to all three of those lines, a direction that we as players are simply not equipped to see. We can, however, assume that Immortal characters can see, use, live within, and even ignore this dimension as naturally as we do the first three.

Thus, a mortal can be simply defined as a being who is equipped to perceive only three dimensions at once. An Immortal can perceive four dimensions at once—but four only.

However, a fifth direction lurks around the corner, perpendicular to all of the first four dimensions. It is normally as impossible for Immortals to see this fifth direction as it is for humans to perceive the fourth. Its effect on mortals, who rarely but occasionally catch
glimpses of its existence, can be horrifying. Mortals commonly call this fifth direction the Dimension of Nightmares. This bothersome name does not denote a place; it is a simple tag attached, through ignorance, to a direction that no mortal or Immortal can perceive.

Although all five directions are real, measurable distances, the latter two are commonly called "imaginary" dimensions by mortals. This is merely a natural refusal to admit their reality; they exist nevertheless.

The five known dimensions have been given names to define what each dimension is commonly used to measure when used in conjunction with other dimensions. The first dimension measures length or distance between two points, and thus has a beginning and an end. The second dimension measures breadth and direction of the object in the first dimension. The third dimension measures volume or magnitude or size of an object. The fourth dimension defines the relation between two objects, finding all points of similarity,
or convergence. And finally, the fifth dimension measures the unique nature or essence of an object in relation to all others, or divergence.

If an object exists in only a few of the five dimensions, the first dimension by which it is measured—even if this is actually the second or third dimension—is viewed by creatures who perceive dimensions from the same perspective as the object, as the object's length. Dimensions that cannot be perceived do not appear to exist to the character's perceptions.

Vortexes and Wormholes

A vortex is an invisible hole in a plane, with elemental matter either whirling into or erupting out of it. A current of elemental matter flows in one direction, to or from the elemental plane.

If seen by a see invisibility spell or similar magic, it appears as a shimmering colored circle from the front or back—but cannot be seen at all from the side; it has no thickness. On the Prime Plane, the color of the vortex matches the plane to which it leads—blue for Air, brown for Earth, red for Fire, and green for Water. Other colors match other more distant planes. On other planes, a vortex leading to the Prime Plane is a multi-colored swirl of the four elemental colors. A vortex may appear to float in the air or lie on a surface. A natural elemental vortex is always located in the element corresponding to its destination (whirlpool, volcano), but a created vortex (by a gate spell) may appear anywhere.

A wormhole is a connecting passage between planes. It is simply a round tube with wrinkled sides, appearing very similar to a dungeon corridor but without any corners. However, a wormhole seems to be a vertical passage, rather than horizontal, because of the current through it. Traveling in the wormhole with the current is easier than traveling against it.

A wormhole is never straight, bending and winding along its entire length, thus its name. Many of the things inside a wormhole are made of elemental material (matching the plane to which it leads), but other elements and creatures are often present. Wormholes cannot be seen from the Prime Plane, and only the outside can be seen from the Ether. The outer surface looks like a wrinkled, lumpy gray tube; it is sticky. The surface is actually made of ectoplasm (solid ether), compressed by the magic needed to create the wormhole. Wormholes vary in size, from a thick string size to a pillar or slightly curved wall.

Each wormhole is usually 10 miles long or more. The network of permanent wormholes between the Prime Plane and elemental planes looks similar to the roots of a plant; each small wormhole joins a larger one, until all the smaller wormholes connect to one huge wormhole connected to the elemental plane itself.

Creatures and things in a wormhole are magically changed into the "proper" element when they reach the elemental plane, unless protected by powerful magic.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/gwFzJTubFRn7rVs0h2jyd-kUL-boqDiCjvSUApla0gN2WfgJ872Uz2tJTCX9GFHKtNT0J9WAt5gkdiVInfzlk0u0npUqfEZc5hXRhvTvVJrlUpbBkz7nE9jMmwdXs-AnDm5rny9eHKiwjYY5CPnrjrlFaj091K9JghoLA51w45PEYQuRiwxp6UegovNOoM8zdf34z7eotWRDoS3szXtKGr8gyT7n0x_oQ-S1zx1XRfmX0lw7MAG4wz_pLtlDNvD2h1Nwpzb-T0dm78FWle34cbuATj07vil4-vxK9Bi_qXPY3NkHoVPuv-zXafPxzkIYKGoOmcPA0-ES-_wed3JolnLUYJYHNlCHYskZAmTS8t365nHlDsPjt_TRabd37vFrMwIRB_UPt4srCUzXqr0Fz0YoggIDlk33-bX7CjF2doHbDSe8eCOPFdS_BNSHhS4wXVYDqYd_nnY67SO6N5efAnxQ9k3lESBlY3sOtYAR8A2ZZn6BYvOo-mAD_cDbC-GUVqVmT8s-qgYsr4D-exqMlcUiVCsd4dkPjmuvKHZr2nMZzHLMcsPrM0t6N9xWz7BWZHXnYw0Ozr5E4g7ich6r-tZTvBSq-p1Uz0fGpquUpbt6wnUlrZQ=w432-h722-no)

The Outer Planes

Because of the extremely wide variety of life forms found in the many planes of existence, and the infinite number of Outer Planes, descriptions cannot be given for each.

Home Planes of Immortals all have certain common characteristics, starting with those given in the Players' Book. However, those notes apply only to a starting plane. Immortals of Celestial and higher status have planes which are larger and more developed than the starting details given. Most of the Outer Planes are larger than that starting size, though some may be smaller.

Dimensions

Most (95%) of the Outer Planes are five-dimensional spaces, but not all. Some are four-dimensional, and a few have only three or fewer dimensions.

Of every billion Outer Planes, there are 950 million pentaspaces, 47.5 million tetraspaces, 2,375,000 trispaces, 11,875 dispaces, and 6,250 monospaces. This last type is often completely undetectable from the Astral Plane, and has only been discovered with great difficulty.

A monospace (one-dimensional plane of existence) is simply a line. Peculiar life forms are only found in 1 % of the known monoplanes.

A dispace (two-dimensional plane of existence) is a perfectly flat surface. Life forms have been found in about 10% of such spaces.

A trispace (three-dimensional plane of existence) is easily understood, as this is the apparent size of all planes to the mortal perspective. Life forms have been found in 90% of the known planes of this type. Humans and most other mortal beings can enter and function within tridimensional space, but Immortals can do so only with difficulty, as they must compress their size (from four to three dimensions) to do so.

A tetraspace (four-dimensional plane of existence) is easily visualized by Immortals, since they are four-dimensional beings. Life forms are found in over 99% of the planes of this type. All known life forms can function easily within such spaces.

A pentaspace (five-dimensional plane of existence), the most common type by far, is hard for Immortals to visualize fully, and the task is impossible for mortals. Life forms are believed to exist in three-dimensional portions of all planes of this type, and any form may be found. The three infinite planes are pentaspaces.

It is hypothesized that many pentaspaces actually possess other dimensions than the known five. But since these dimensions cannot be traveled in or perceived, they are grouped with true pentaspaces.

There are no known hexaspaces (six-dimensional planes of existence) because of the existence of the Dimensional Vortex. The Dimensional Vortex exists beyond the known five dimensions. Whenever an Immortal tries to pass beyond the first five dimensions, he or
she enters a special realm. Immortals perceive this realm as a whirlpool of infinite size, made of a watery form of ether. Some Immortals have been lost in the huge swirling mass for many years; they are known to still live, but are missing, and presumed unrecoverable. The Immortals have made many attempts to explore, penetrate, and solve the mystery of this vast whirlpool, but have never succeeded. This swirling chaos is called the Dimensional Vortex.

Perhaps even worse than the existence of the barrier is the simple fact that some creatures, presumably life forces but of a type different from all others, enter and leave the Dimensional Vortex. Simply called vortex creatures by Immortals, these beings are powerful and greatly feared. The Immortals believe that the vortex creatures are servants of the Old Ones -- beings as powerful and removed from Immortals as Immortals are to mortals, sent to observe, correct, or destroy.

Dimensions and Magic

For reasons unknown to Immortals, mortals and Immortals who enter a plane with three or fewer dimensions are unable to use magical powers of any sort. Magical items likewise become entirely non-magical in such spaces. Immortals who enter a tetraspace are similarly limited to magical use by standard means (i.e. memorization and casting, rather than simple Power expenditure).

This phenomenon occurs because magic draws power from the dimension(s) that the user cannot perceive. A two-dimensional life form within a trispace might be able to use powers which, from its limited perspective, are the equivalent of magic.

Some magic may even use additional dimensions beyond the fifth, but because of the sixth-dimensional vortex, these dimensions may not be perceived nor traveled to.

Visiting Planes with Fewer Dimensions

Both mortals and Immortals may visit a plane with fewer dimensions than their form by first compressing themselves with a wish or other means, in incorporeal form, or by possessing a creature native to the plane. Any other attempt results in failure and the victim
must make an Immortal level Constitution check or suffer 1-100 points of damage. Unfortunately, such journeys often turn out to be one way because of the loss of magic-using abilities. To return, either a permanent gate needs to be created ahead of time or someone else must rescue the traveler from a magical plane.

Dimensional Contiguity

For a plane, object, or creature to exist, its dimensions must be numbered in sequence. A typical three-dimensional creature may exist in dimensions 1 , 2 , and 3 (such as Normal humans), dimensions 3, 4, and 5 (such as Nightmare creatures), or even dimensions 2,
3, and 4 (such as nippers, native to the Astral Plane, which seem to turn into squashed two-dimensional bugs if viewed from Normal or Nightmare perspective when taken to any other plane).

Planes and objects are not limited to three-dimensional existence, though most mortals are three-dimensional creatures. Immortals are four-dimensional, and baaka are five-dimensional. Other strange creatures are known to exist in only one or two dimensions. This same principle also applies to planes of existence, most often observed in the variety of the Outer Planes, and objects of all sorts.

Whatever the number of dimensions of a plane's or object's real existence, the sequence of numbers may not contain a gap. In terms used by the Immortals, the dimensions must be contiguous—not merely adjacent, but adjacent at all points. This invariable law of dimensional contiguity has no known exceptions.

It has further been discovered that interdimensional travel must be contiguous. It is to say that to travel to the fourth dimension, you must first travel through the third or fifth dimension.

Unusual Dimensional Effects

A one-dimensional object or plane has length, but no width (direction) nor depth (volume). If a two-dimensional being is struck by the edge of a one-dimensional object, it may be sliced in half. This effect is the same as described for a weapon with slicing ability—the victim must make a successful unmodified DC30 Fortitude Save or lose half his hit points. However, a being who exists in three or more dimensions is completely unaffected by being struck by a one-dimensional object or plane, and is also unable to affect it by physical means. The creature's two remaining dimensions bind the figure together against the severing force. For example, a normal human adventurer who discovers a monospacial plane or object can reach through it, but cannot grasp it.

An identical effect occurs if an object or plane limited to two-dimensional existence strikes a three-dimensional being, but only if an edge is contacted.

Dimensional Aberrations

Some few planes of existence are dimensionally asymmetrical; that is, the dimensions within are not all the same length. As a simple example, imagine a two-dimensional plane which, instead of a perfect square, is the silhouette of an hourglass. A similar effect can occur in some multidimensional planes of existence.

The net effect of such distortion varies. If multiple dimensions compress at the same point, severe visual distortions may appear. Limited or curtailed magical effect and ranges is the most common symptom of dimensional aberration. This is most obvious when magic-using residents of one part of a plane find themselves unable to use magic in another part of the same plane.

All three of the known infinite planes, the Prime, Ethereal, and Astral, contain areas of dimensional aberration. Most of the principal residents of these planes are located well away from the distorted region.

Unfortunately, dimensional aberrations are not static phenomena; they move in waves. Magic-using residents of a plane may be subjected to regular cycles of limited or nonexistent magic, or may suffer a sudden and unexpected removal of magical power. Similarly, an entire technological civilization in the midst of a dimensionally turbulent area may suddenly find itself populated by magic-users when the aberration passes.

Immortals may sometimes erect obstacles to block or reduce the effects of the waves of dimensional distortion.

Many causes produce this type of turbulence, including the very motion of stellar and planetary bodies. A fluctuating mass, like a quasar, is another common disruptive influence, producing an effect sometimes called gravity waves that may distort dimensions.

Most of the planes of existence are free of major disturbances of this type, and many Outer planes have dimensions that are totally stable. But the three most critical planes of existence are affected by these distortions, and dimensional aberration is thus a natural enemy of all Immortals.

Boundaries

All known planes of existence border on other known planes, primarily the Astral and Ethereal Planes. If a plane of existence does not contact one of the other known planes of existence, it may not be reached by any means, magical or power use. The plane has no reference point from which to determine its location, and thus does not exist.

Planar Boundaries

A planar boundary is that region of a plane of existence at which another plane is adjacent to it and may be entered. A plane need not necessarily be contiguous. Two types of planar boundaries can be seen in the Astral Plane—one unique type at the Ethereal Plane, and another type at the edge of each of the Outer Planes.

The Astral-Ethereal Boundary

If the Astral Plane is imagined as an ocean, the Ethereal Plane is the sea bottom. If one travels far enough through the Astral Plane toward the Inner Planes, the Ether eventually appears. The only way to continue is to either enter the Ether or bypass it by using a magical gate. The Prime and Elemental Planes are not adjacent to the Astral Plane. After entering the Ethereal Plane, a traveler may move directly to either the Prime or an Elemental Plane which are overlapped by the ether.

Since the Astral and Ethereal are both planes of infinite size, this boundary is also infinite. The boundary does not block magical sight. From the Astral Plane the boundary appears as dull gray, because the Ether itself is gray. Once found, it is thus unmistakeable. From the Ether, the Astral Plane is visible at a distance, appearing as a shimmering light that grows brighter as approached.

A traveler may cross the Astral-Ethereal boundary from either direction by the usual magical means (such as plane travel), but it resists all non-magical attempts. If the boundary is damaged in any way, it automatically seals itself. The substance of the Astral and Ethereal Planes will not mix, nor can a permanent non-magical hole be made in the boundary.

Other Planar Boundaries

From a viewpoint in the Astral Plane, the boundary of any other pentaspace (except the Ethereal, as described above) appears as a silvery surface. This surface may be perfectly smooth or may have edges.

The size of this boundary bears no relation to the size of the plane within it. The boundary only indicates the amount of the plane which is adjacent to the Astral Plane. A pentaspacial teraplane (the maximum sized five-dimensional space) may appear as a tiny ball if it has very few points adjacent to the Astral Plane.

This degree of adjacency may be reduced by an Immortal through permanent Power expenditure, resulting in the shrinking of the planar boundary.

Some Outer Planes are not adjacent to the Astral Plane at all, being adjacent only to another Outer Plane. Such areas are utterly undetectable from the Astral Plane. A few have been discovered by Immortals in the course of exploration. The Home Planes of
some Hierarchs and Eternals have been deliberately and successfully hidden in this way, accessible only through one or more other Outer Planes.

The number of apparent dimensions of a planar boundary are determined by the relationship between the dimensions of the plane contained therein and the dimensions perceived by the observer. Every pentaspace appears to a normal Immortal observer as a four-dimensional solid. A tetraspace appears the same if its dimensional orientation is the reverse of normal (i.e. if it contains the 2nd through 5th dimensions), since the dimension it lacks (the 1st) is the same one that the Immortal observer also lacks (while in the Astral Plane). If the tetraspace is the first through fourth dimensions, it appears three-dimensional, since the only common dimensions are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

Planar boundaries are not observable from within planes of existence except in the case of infinite contiguity, such as the border between the Ethereal and Prime Planes.

Examination of the boundary of an Outer plane with magical aid, such as detect invisible, reveals a slight tint to the silvery color. This color reveals the Sphere which is dominant in the plane: pink for Energy, tan for Matter, light blue for Thought, light green for Time, and gray for Entropy. When multiple Spheres are present in perfect balance, a spectrum of colors can be observed. Astral explorers may thus gain forewarning of planar bias without actually entering a plane. If a powerful magical aid (such as true seeing) is used, some small part of the actual interior of the plane can also be examined, to the range limit of the effect employed.

Dimensional Boundaries

A more perplexing situation arises with the limits of the dimensions within a bounded plane. Although a planar boundary cannot be seen from within a plane of existence, the limit of its dimensions can be reached. To cross a planar boundary from within a plane requires the use of magic or power.

In most cases, a plane contains a few stars and planets surrounded by empty space. From within the plane, the emptiness seems to continue infinitely, despite the boundary limits. Or, if you desire, the answer to a question of "What's beyond the world's edge?"
might literally be "Nothing!"

Optical effects aside, the practical effect on those who approach the dimensional boundary is relevant. The result of such actions depends on the number of dimensions within the plane.

Monospace: Stop. There is nowhere else to go except back; the creature is literally at the end of the line.

Dispace: Stretch. The inherent instability of bounded dispacial planes causes an odd result. Magical pressure may be applied to the boundary, and enough pressure will cause one dimension to enlarge, while the other contracts. This may continue until the space becomes very nearly monospacial, but not entirely, at which time the distortion is stopped. Pressure may then be applied to the other boundary, with the effect of re-widening the plane. The total area of the plane always remains constant.

Trispace: Slip. The creature seems to move, but it is illusory. Slippage occurs that results in no actual distance traveled.

Tetraspace: Skip. Movement is possible, but only along another dimension from that of the original movement. A change of position results, but not in the direction intended.

Pentaspace: Loop. The creature continues moving in the same apparent direction, but is actually moved from one end of the plane to the other. The effect is the same as movement around the interior of a cylinder in a direction parallel to either end.

Known Planes

The Prime Plane

The Prime Plane is the Material Plane of the Mystaran Multiverse and, as with most cosmologies, defines what is considered normal. It is much like our own universe, consisting of an infinite vacuum with billions of stars forming galaxies and orbited by planets, many of which are inhabited.

The Prime Plane is a typical Material Plane possessing all of the standard traits as described in The d20 System Reference Document (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/planes.htm#materialPlane).

The Ethereal Plane

In the Mystaran Multiverse the Ethereal Plane, also called the "Ether", entirely surrounds the Prime Plane and the four Elemental Planes. The Ethereal is 'coexistent' and 'coterminous' with these planes, meaning that every point on the Prime Plane and on the Elemental Planes touches a point on the Ethereal, although there are areas of the Ethereal that do not border the Prime or the Elemental Planes. These coexistent regions of other planes are visible from the Ethereal Plane, but it appears muted and indistinct, its colors blurring into each other and its edges turning fuzzy.

While it is possible to see into the Prime Plane and the Elemental Planes from the coexistent regions of the Ethereal Plane, the Ethereal Plane is usually invisible to those on the other planes. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on a coexistent plane, and vice versa. A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, incorporeal, and utterly silent to someone on a coexistent plane.

The Ethereal Plane is mostly empty of structures and impediments. However, the plane has its own inhabitants. Some of these are other ethereal travelers, but the ghosts found here pose a particular peril to those who walk the fog.

Ethereal Plane Traits

The Mystaran Ethereal Plane is very similar to the standard Ethereal Plane as described in The d20 System Reference Document [d20-SRD].

Regarding magic, spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings can cross into the Ethereal from a coexistent plane. Spellcasters on a coexistent plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells, of course. While it is possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on a coexistent plane, the reverse still isn't possible. As stated above, no magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to a coexistent plane, including force attacks.

Deep Ethereal and Multiple Ethereals

The Mystaran Ethereal Plane uses the Deep Ethereal and Multiple Ethereals options from the Manual of the Planes [MotP]. Note, however, that the regions of the Ethereal that are coexistent with the Elemental Planes do not take on any of the elemental, energy or sphere traits of those planes.

Restricted Travel on the Ethereal

The Manual of the Planes [MotP] suggests options for restricting travel on the Ethereal through certain, so-called, ethereal solids: Gorgon's Blood, heavy metals and plants. None of these ethereal solids are found in the baseline Mystaran lore, but DM's may certainly choose to implement any of these restrictions if desired.  The Gorgon's Blood idea would be particularly appropriate in a Mystaran campaign. 

The Spirit World

There is a hard-to-find region in the Deep Ethereal of the Mystaran Multiverse which is home to a race of spirit creatures. This region is the Spirit World, which is described in the The Golden Khan of Ethengar Gazetteer [GAZ 12]. The Spirit World can usually only be found with the help of a spirit guide or use of the spirit walk spell.

Upon entering the Spirit World the traveler is surrounded by a white mist but this mist soon clears to reveal many different types of terrain: deserts, cities, frozen ice fields, steppes, jungles, fields of lava and fire... This terrain is an illusion growing out of the traveler's own mind or possibly placed there by the spirits themselves.

A permanent gate to the Spirit World is located in the Sea of Black Sand in the Ethengar Khanates.  It was created by a cataclysmic event that shook Mystara in the dawn of its history.

Ethereal Curtains

Ethereal Curtains, as described in the Manual of the Planes [MotP] exist in the Ethereal Plane of the Mystaran Multiverse but an Outer Plane must allow access from the Astral for it to have a corresponding curtain since curtains usually create conduits through the Astral.

Very rarely a curtain may be found that leads to the Shadow Plane and 5% of these curtains actually form a conduit through the Deep Shadow and to the Negative Energy Plane.

The Plane of Shadow

The Plane of Shadow is a transitive plane made up of sub-regions that are each coexistent with another plane in the Mystaran Multiverse. It is a world of black and white that looks like a photographic negative of the terrain from the coexistent plane. Each region connects to a deeper part of the Shadow Plane called the Deep Shadow and beyond the Deep Shadow lies an infinite number of alternate dimensions.  In theory, with the right spell cast in the right location, a character could use the Plane of Shadow to visit other realities.

The Plane of Shadow is magically morphic, and parts continually flow onto other planes. As a result, creating a precise map of the plane is next to impossible, despite the presence of landmarks.

The Plane of Shadow is coexistent with every plane in the Mystaran Multiverse except the Astral Plane. Knowledgeable planar travelers can use the Plane of Shadow to cover great distances on a coexistent plane very quickly.  Spells like Plane Shift and Travel use the Shadow Plane to form conduits between the planes, however these spells can not access the Deep Shadow and thus restrict planar travelers to movement between coterminous regions only. For this reason, most planar travel in Mystara is accomplished one plane at a time, in accordance with the Mystaran planar addressing scheme.

Shadows of other Planes

The Mystaran Shadow Plane uses a version of the "Shadows of Other Planes" option mentioned in the Manual of the Planes [MotP].  The plane is split into separate regions, each one coexistent with a different plane (there is a shadow region coexistent with every plane in the Mystaran Multiverse except the Astral Plane). Wherever two planes are coterminous the regions of the shadow coexistent with those planes are also coterminous.

Deep Shadow and Alternate Dimensions

In a manner similar to the Deep Ethereal of the Ethereal Plane, each region of the Shadow Plane is connected to every other region through an area called the Deep Shadow. This is the area of extreme terrain that the Manual of the Planes [MotP] refers to when describing how a planar travel might locate the Material Plane of an alternate dimension.

Alternate Material Planes do exist beyond the Deep Shadow but it is not possible to reach them in the same manner described in the Manual of the Planes [MotP]. Instead, alternate dimensions can only be accessed through a dimensional node - a weak spot between the dimensions.  Dimensional nodes are usually located on the most distant and dangerous Outer Planes where the laws of the Mystaran Multiverse begin to break down.

With the right spell cast by a dimensional node, a conduit that tunnels through the Plane of Shadow may be created that allows access from the Mystaran Multiverse to another dimension. Although it is theoretically possible to run into such a conduit through random exploration, such an occurrence would be extremely rare and could only occur in the Deep Shadow or in a region bordering the plane from which the conduit originates.

Shadow Portals

Portals from the Plane of Shadow to other planes are mainly found along the border regions where the Plane of Shadow region coexistent with one plane is coterminous with the Plane of Shadow region coexistent with another plane.  However, these portals only go to the planes along that border.

The only other portals on the Plane of Shadow are found in the Darklands regions of the Deep Shadow and lead to the Negative Energy Plane. There are no portals leading from the Plane of Shadow to the Astral Plane as these two planes are neither coexistent nor coterminous in the Mystaran Multiverse.

For these reasons, travelers on the Shadow Plane are forced to access planes one plane at a time, in accordance with the Mystaran planar addressing scheme. It takes 1d4 hours of constant travel to find a random portal.

The Astral Plane

Much like the Prime Plane, the Astral Plane contains vast reaches of nearly empty space. Planets, stars, and other typical huge objects can be found here. Entire outer planes found "in" the Astral Plane are bubble-like; completely isolated and surrounded by the Astral.

In the Astral Plane, all things appear to be outlined in a sparkling, shimmering substance. Mortals perceive themselves as flat, two-dimensional beings, while Immortals will be seen as solid three-dimensional beings. Huge objects that are normally three-dimensional appear to be two-dimensional. Most outer planes and Immortal constructs will appear three-dimensional.

The Astral Boundary

The Astral Plane can be reached from the elemental planes by using a magical gate, or from the Ethereal Plane at the Astral boundary. From the Ethereal Plane, the boundary appears as a distant shimmering light that becomes brighter as it is approached. The boundary can be crossed magically in either direction (using plane shift, etc.), but no permanent crossing exists or can be made. From the Astral Plane, the Ethereal boundary appears as an unmistakeable dull gray. Magical sight can penetrate the boundary in
both directions.

Movement

Normal movement when on the Astral Plane (such as walking) is only possible when a surface is present. The usual means of travel is by flight. Gravity is present only when a solid is nearby, and has only minor effects (similar to Ether-Prime gravity effects).

Magical travel loses one dimension of capacity. Teleport allows three-dimensional flight, as the fly spell (dimension door allows flight at half speed). A fly spell allows levitation. A levitation spell is useless.

There are no signposts to inner or outer planes, so it is very easy for the inexperienced to get lost; a wish or magical navigation aid might be critically important if adventuring here.

Because of its central position with respect to planar travel in the Mystaran Multiverse the Astral Plane is the assumed starting point in the planar addressing scheme used by Mystaran characters and Immortals to refer to the, frequently complicated, path of planes that must be taken to reach any other known plane. For example, the planar address for the Prime Plane is "Ethereal-Prime", since one must travel from the Astral through the Ethereal to reach the Prime.  Similarly, the address to the outer plane known as Old Alphatia is "Draesdan-Old Alphatia", since one must travel from the Astral through Draesdan to reach Old Alphatia.

Effects on Magic

The magical strength of any item in the Astral Plane is reduced by one; a sword +4 becomes a sword +3 in all respects while there. An item of +1 enchantment becomes non-magical on this plane.

Three-dimensional magic of mortals becomes two-dimensional, parallel with the caster. Thus a fireball would create a disc-like explosion that might not harm someone standing very close to the center. The caster can learn to rotate the two-dimensional
effect after 3 to 6 castings, so as to be able to cause the explosion to occur in a nonparallel direction. In any event, area effect spells will cause no damage if a saving throw is made.

Magic of Immortal origin remains fully three-dimensional. On the Astral Plane, all mortals suffer a -5 saving throw penalty against magical effects of Immortal origin.

The Elemental Planes

The Elemental Planes are the most recognizable.  They are Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.
   
On the Plane of Earth, the atmosphere is foamy, transparent, gaseous soil; normal visibility is limited to 60 feet.  Liquids are mud (which cannot be strained to separate the soil), lava, and oil.  Solids are earth and stone.  Gravity is normal, and one needs a create air or survival spell to breath.
   
On the Plane of Air, the atmosphere is, of course, air; vision is normal.  Liquids are transparent, airy liquids and solids are solidified clouds.  No spells are needed to survive here.  Gravity works the same.
   
On the Plane of Water, the atmosphere is a thick, heavy fog that cannot be inhaled; visibility is reduced to 60 feet.  Most liquids are normal water, and most solids are unmelting, crystalline ice.  Survival requires a water breathing, create air, or survival spell.
   
On the Plane of Fire, the atmosphere is plasma; visibility is reduced to 120 feet.  Liquids include liquefied or condensed fire or lava, and solids are solidified fire.  To survive on the plane, characters need create air and resist fire spells, or a survival spell.
   
All spells and elemental related combat fall under the effects of Dominance and Opposition.  The principals are as follows:

Earth has dominance over Air; Air has dominance over Water; Water has dominance over Fire, Fire has dominance over Earth; Earth and Water are in opposition; Air and Fire are in opposition.

This basically has this effect: when a creature or spell effect has dominance over another, it does double damage, creatures who have dominance over a type of attack take minimum damage from the other, and opposition gives the opposing groups a -4 to reaction rolls when dealing with each other.  For instance, a mage fighting an air elemental can do double damage with earth-based spells, and minimum damage with water based spells.  Air and fire elementals each have a -4 to their reaction rolls when dealing with each other.  When dealing with some spells, translations need to occur.  Any spell that deals with solids, liquids, or gases, should use the medium of that Plane.

The dominant spheres in the elemental planes are as follows: Earth-->Matter; Air-->Thought; Fire-->Energy; Water-->Time.

Brynn
   
This is the home plane of Matter.  It appears to be a single flat world stretching on for unlimited distances. But, this is not true. The plane has boundaries, all be it light-years apart. One who standson the rim of this world can look out and see nothingness; there are no stars.

The world is literally flat.  One side has a breathable atmosphere, while the other is a complete vacuum. In the sky parade a long line of suns and moons. Brynn has a definite cycle of day and night, but the sun and moon are different each cycle. The surface of the planet boasts many dramatic geological features, whether it is a mountain range here with a mesa right by it, or a long plain interrupted by a volcano, all visitors will be amazed by the solidity of the place. The surface is covered with all manners of vegetation; while most of it is forests, there are huge expanses of grasses, grains, flowers, rolling hills covered in mushrooms, and seas filled with islands and floating algae. The planet’s interior is filled with caves and tunnels, some as beautiful as entering a giant geode.
   
One thing to note with Brynn is there is no visible corruption on the planet. Things that would die and rot away on the Prime Plane merely change slowly into the substance below them (a dead body left in the mountains would eventually become part of the mountains). Undead and other natives to the Negative material plane of a status less the Exalted lose 1 hit point per round until they leave. When they run out of hit points, they are transformed permanently into stone. Mortals taken to this plane do not age.  Children cannot be conceived, nor can seeds for plants develop. Time travels half as fast here as it does on the Prime. Magical spells that cause a change (wether it be through damage, changes in ways of thinking, or the like) do not work here (making spells of Alteration, Evocation, Invocation, Abjuration, Enchantment, Charm, Chronomancy, Necromancy, and Conjuration non-existent).

Draesten
   
This plane is the home plane of Energy. It is one of the most beautiful planes of existence. It is a vast expanse of space filled with colorful, flickering energy; it looks like a vast nebula that somehow reminds one of Las Vegas. Many of the suns are circled by planets that can and do support life. Observers would be struck by the sense of motion: the energy in the solar systems are constantly changing color, planets around the suns suddenly reverse their orbits, suns shrink and grow....the whole plane acts like a living thing. Likewise, the planets in this plane seem to be alive. The basic elements of them, air earth, and water, are constantly changing place. What was a valley one day may be an ocean the next. Most of the planets are covered in jungle growth, and homes are soon overrun if not maintained.
   
On this plane, all things, including visitors, are fused with energy. Living things may fly as per the spell for an unlimited amount of time, and any creature may cast the haste spell on himself three times per day. All the powers fade when leaving the plane. While on this plane, mortal spell casters have the capacity to meditate and memorize twice as many spells as normal. This power likewise fades when they leave the plane. Time travels at twice the normal rate, and no spells are needed to survive here, not even in the void (it is filled with breathable energy).

Entrem
   
This is the home plane of Time. It is a vast plane filled with breathable air.  No sun is visible, but the whole plane glows as if effected by a continual light spell, and thus, there is no night. There are no planets here, but it is filled with innumerable planet sized globules of water. Tendril of water form rivers that stretch from globule to globule in on direction. Living things grow on these water-worlds and water-ways, including island-sized clumps of vegetable matter on which grow trees, crops, and civilizations. The people of these civilizations live as fishers and traders; they build mighty boats and ships to sail from world to world on the tendril rivers.

Gravity is the same here, no spell is needed to breath the air (but water breathing might come in handy), and movement on water works normally (but space requires flight or teleport or some other instantaneous travel spell). Time, however, is somewhat abnormal. It is not unusual for a “Time-Storm” to sweep through and reset a conversation the PCS may be having...with the native unaware of the backwards motion. Time passes abnormally for both people and spells here as well. Whenever the characters leave the plane, the DM should roll 1d20 and compare it to the following table to see how much time has elapsed on the Prime. All changes are proportional (for instance, a spell might work at ten times the effect, but only last one-tenth normal).

Mirage

This is the home plane of Thought. This plane initially resembles the Ethereal Plane, because it is full of breathable gray fog, but it is also crammed full of objects: planets and suns of all shapes and sizes (round, square, flat, hand shaped). Every planet contains innumerable species of plants, animals, humanoids, and monsters growing in great profusion next to each other, disregarding the laws of nature. Most planet surfaces are normal (land, water), but some are completely alien.

In this plane, though becomes reality. When a character first comes here, every and all thoughts the character has become visible in the air around him. After a turn of struggling with this (and usually great embarrassment), the character can control this display so that only the thoughts he wants visible are. However, all dreams and nightmares become visible, no matter what.
   
Time passes normally here, and no spells are needed to breath or move about on planets (excluding those that are too alien), but some type of movement spell is needed to move between planetary systems. Magic spell function as normal, but all characters who enter this plane can cast many spells:

light, continual light, create water, create food, phantasmal force, and projected image any number of times per day; growth of animals, sticks to snakes, animate objects, create normal animals, control temperatures 10' radius, invisibility, create air, hallucinary terrain, wood-wall, stonewall, wall of iron, ironwall, and steelwall three times per day; and weather control, polymorph others, polymorph self, create normal monsters, create any monster, and shapechange one time per day.  On Mirage, create any monster can make new species of monsters (much of what the character thinks can become real here).

Pyts
   
This is the home plane of the sphere of Entropy. Pyts is a vast plane of darkness filled with foul-smelling poisonous gas. It has many moons - moons that radiate there own light instead of reflecting - but no suns. Planets look like various odd things; some look like spiders that have crawled up and died, others like volcanoes, and still others that look like talons, tombstones, sharks, or other foreboding things. The surfaces are filled with hostile environments: deserts, swamps, brutal mountain ranges. There are many citadels here for the communities, all made in the savage, Gothic style from bleak, black stone.  All-in-all, it is not a pleasant place.
   
Gravity works as normal here, a survival spell is needed to breath or else the characters must save vs poison every round or die, and movement in the void between planets requires teleport or other transportation spells. All food and drink spoil in a day here. For each day a living creature from another plane stays here, they temporarily lose 1 point of Charisma. When they reach 0, they change as if under the effect of a polymorph spell to some fiendish shape (such as a gargoyle), but do not gain any special abilities.  The Charisma returns when they leave, and those who had changed shape return to normal.
   
The priestly ability to turn undead does not function here, and only Entropic Immortals or undead may use the priestly “control undead” power. Only the reverse form of helpful or curative spells work here. Holy Water cannot be created here, and Holy Water brought here is changed into a potent acid that will inflict 1d8 point of damage to any being  it is splashed upon. If this acid is taken from Pyts, it reverts to foul drinking water. Time passes at one tenth the normal speed of the Prime.

Old Alphatia
   
This is the old home of the people of the New Alphatian Empire. It is a vast area filled with air that is stirred by winds. It is filled with stars, each of which is a sun; many of these suns are circled by planets. At the center is an eye catching nebula containing one of the biggest and brightest suns. The nebula was once home to the Alphatians. The void was once airless, but the air mages cast powerful spells to fill the space with air... an event which upset the fire mages and eventually led to their downfall (see the time line or the description of Alphaks). The war destroyed the home of the Alphatians and many other planets; many of the survivors fled this plane and went to the Known World. However, many other survivors remained. They dwelled on the chucks of floating matter that were once the planet. These people are the Cypri, a copper-skinned race much like the “common” Alphatians of the Known World. No “pure” Alphatian remains here. Each island is now an independent nation.
   
One of the areas visitors are most likely to find is called Paradise Island. Here the natives wear loin cloths and colorful robes, and they decorate themselves with feathers and flowers. They eat the fruit of the zzonga plant, which drains its victims of all their ambitions (some zzonga can be found on the Known World).  Outsiders who get in the habit of eating zzonga will suffer the same effects and not wish to leave; if forcibly taken and denied the fruit for 1d4 days, they will return to normal (but with a bad hang over).
   
Energy is the dominant sphere here, which causes many magical abilities. No spells are needed to survive, but flight or instant travel spells, or just a sailing ship to take advantage of the winds, are needed to travel from planetoid to planetoid. Everyone born in Old Alphatia has the automatic abilities of a 1st level wizard.

The Dimension of Nightmares
   
Floating in the Ethereal Plane is a node that allows entry into a hazardous dimension. It is a twisted unreal version of the Prime, a place where both Mortals and Immortals dare not tread. The worlds, people, even the architecture is terrifying to look upon.
   
There is a certain “bleed through” between the Prime and Nightmare Demiplane. People in the rest of the Multiverse sometimes see and visit this plane in the dreams. The reverse is also true, where some of the intelligent nightmare creatures see humans and the like in there dreams. What doesn’t help is that both beings see the other as hideously ugly and frightening. In fact, the Diabolus (http://www.lomion.de/cmm/diabolus.php) have a tail poisonous to people from the Prime, and humans’ bite has a similar effect on them.  Likewise, magic from either plane cannot directly harm each other.

Two types of Nightmare creatures are known to have visited and even settled on the Prime. They are the diaboli and malfera, where even a few of them have overcome their dread of humankind.

(This is most likely the Far Realm)

The Dimension of Myth
   
Even harder to believe is that one with enough power from Mystara could find a completely alternate dimension!  This dimension vaguely resembles the multiverse in several ways (layout, civilizations).  The planet that corresponds with Mystara is much like Earth in the Middle Ages; each nation and culture corresponds with one of our planet.  However, in that dimension, magic works and magical creatures that are merely mythical on Earth are prevalent.  Also, the cultures are isolated unlike Mystara (a pegasus will only be found in cultures that believed in winged horses and so on).
   
The houses of Sylaire (the D’ambrevilles), Klantyre (the McGregors), and Malachi du Marias all came from this world.

(This is actually an alternate Prime Material Plane and the home of the Gothic Earth of Ravenloft: Masque of the Red Death and d20 Modern)
Title: Re: Mystara - The Known World - Miscellaneous
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:36:16 PM
Miscellaneous

Languages:

Alphatian (Alphatian Empire, Minaean Coast, Glantri (Flaemish), Helskir, Ochalea)
Thyatian (Thyatian Empire, Alatian Islands, Five Shires, Glantri, Heldann (Hattian), Ierendi (for trade), Helskir, Karameikos, Norwold, Rockhome)
Atruaghin (Atruaghin clans, probably different from clan to clan, the Horse Clan doesn't have a spoken language but uses hand signals.)
Darokinian (Darokin, Five Shires, Ierendi, Sind (not much))
Milenian (many dialects in Davania)
Thratian (Thyatian Hinterlands)
Denagoth (Denagoth)
Jennite (Jen, Esterhold, Minaean Coast)
Ethengarian (Ethengar, Glantri)
Traldaran (Karameikos, Glantri)
Averoignian (Glantri)
Kaelic (Glantri)
Urduk (Sind, Sind Desert, Barren Plain)
Sindhi (Sind, Sind Desert, Barren Plain)
Heldannic (Heldann, Northern Reaches, Norwold, Qeodhar, Wendar)
Hulean or Hulian (Hule)
Makai (Ierendi)
Thothian (Thothia)
Minaean (Minaean Coast)
Minrothad (Minrothad)
Nuar (Pearl Islands)
Karimari (Ulimwengu)
Yavdlom or Yavi (Yavdlom)
Ylari (Ylaruam)
Emerondian (Emerond)
Slag (Savage Coast Common tongue, used in the city-states, the Savage Baronies, Robrenn, Eusdria, Renardy and Herath, known by traders in southern Hule, northern Yavdlom, Bellayne and Tortles )
Slagich (City States)
Verdan (Vilaverde, Texeiras)
Espa (the other Savage Baronies)
Ranax (Robrenn)
Eusdrian (Eusdria)

Calender:

The Mystaran calendar is made up of twelve months, each consisting of four weeks of seven days each. There are therefore 28 days in each month and a total of 336 days in a year; there are no leap-days. A Mystaran day is 26 hours long.

Standard Week
Code: [Select]
Days            Date
Lunadain 1 NM 8 FQ 15 FM 22 LQ
Gromdain 2 9 16 23
Tserdain 3 10 17 24
Moldain 4 11 18 25
Nytdain 5 12 19 26
Loshdain 6 13 20 27
Soladain 7 14 21 28

NM = New Moon; FQ = First Quarter; FM = Full Moon; LQ = Last Quarter

Most nations have adopted the Thyatian calendar which is dated from the crowning of their first Emperor, Zendrolion I Tatriokanitas. It is currently the year After Crowning 1019.

The name of the months and days depends on the nation. A few examples for the months follow:

Months of the Year

Code: [Select]
nation: Thyatis Five Shires Ethengar Rockhome
SEASON
midwinter Nuwmont* Clabbas* Amai         Wharlin
late winter Vatermont Vuuldiir Hiskmai Morlin
early spring Thaumont Maehin         Yalmai         Hralin*
middle spring Flaurmont Odelin         Haimai         Hwyrlin
late spring Yarthmont Gondulrim Kevamai Styrlin
early summer Klarmont Mithintle Seimai         Bahrlin
midsummer Felmont Goldaun Lingmai Buhrlin
late summer Fyrmont Fyrtal         Tringmai Klintlin
early fall Ambyrmont Aumbyr         Demai         Birrlin
middle fall Sviftmont Ssantiir Chagai* Biflin
late fall Eirmont Tembiit Rinpoch Jhyrlin
early winter Kaldmont Dauntil Komai         Kuldlin

*: marks the first day of the year.

Mystaran Horoscope:

Many Mystaran cultures practice a form of astrology in which every month of the year corresponds to an animal or monster totem (a star sign). Children born under one of the totem signs are expected to acquire personality traits appropriate to that sign. These traits are governed by the child's Ascendance and Influence.

Code: [Select]
Date of Birth Month Star Sign Traits
1 Nuwmont Manticore Cunning, ardent, brave
2 Vatermont Hydra         Shrewd, self-cantered, resourceful
3 Thaumont Centaur Vigorous, strong, generous
4 Flaurmont Basilisk Robust, passionate, domineering
5 Yarthmont Chimera Confident, charismatic, possessive
6 Klarmont Gorgon         Reserved, private, studious
7 Felmont Griffon Warm, practical, steadfast
8 Fyrmont Dragon         Ambitious, cold, independent
9 Ambyrmont Salamander Calm, practical, miserly
10 Sviftmont Pegasus Enterprising, flighty, imaginative
11 Eirmont Warrior Astute, efficient, courageous
12 Kaldmont Giant         Selfish, strong, stubborn

Code: [Select]
Week Ascendancy Traits
1st Sun         Proud, authoritarian, predictable; leans toward Lawful alignment
2nd Land            Earthly, steady, rational; leans toward Neutral alignment
3rd Sea         Creative, mercurial, unpredictable; leans toward Chaotic alignment
4th Sky         Philosophical, versatile, tempestuous; no particular alignment tendency

Code: [Select]
Time of Day Influence Traits
Sun is up Winds of Law Fortifies lawful temperaments; sways neutral disposition toward good; curbs chaotic personalities
Moon is up Winds of Chaos Undermines lawful tendencies; sways neutral disposition toward chaos; intensifies chaotic behaviour
Both are up Winds of Wisdom Tempers all dispositions with prudence, caution, common sense
Neither are up none         Bodes either great luck or hardship for the child

Days of Dread

Ever since the conclusion of the War of the Immortals in AC 1009, magic ceases to work completely for the entire day on the last day of each year. These "Days of Dread" cause havoc in the more magically-inclined nations: spells fail, magic items do not function, magical creatures lose their abilities, shapechangers such as lycanthropes are stuck in whatever form they were in when the Day of Dread began, the Sun of the Hollow World goes dark, etc. Immortal-powered magic still works on these days, and artifacts made by the Immortals will still function properly. As the Days of Dread are an annual event, mages around the world have begun to plan for them in advance: they lock up magical specimens in special non-magic containment cells, travel to other planes of existence to avoid being caught vulnerable, etc.
Title: Re: Mystara - The Known World
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:36:57 PM
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/q9WnrGIxsq3xIZIKL6zYGRlHQ0SrUE6SdV1C9LOGyL_KrD7aG70uGDS3P9F8o7BxXaDO3IhHJt5wO-SyohkQfqv1SSeR64Y_EUDZuUxk0wJX4PoqvGAd1u2SA6GWl-jY21r6Zh-fP6p0E-ndeBbZzo0zFqb3M8pkG4d-bDG8DzA-T4WloHR7hihJlpJcF9O756XwqJqCyHIHwwlyiO_jRs_f1F3utYcyPLhmvQEmvDF6fAexfChDkGZmNqCM1FQ0Px5ZUv0iqijzlvnCcurq8PiRlqa6eCO6jDTzYCH96VifbVecAXCDfUQQyROsEqTpjmi_qAC5zbhpeI98HbnaDPfT60pjRjJl8-MINEmwCSk5k-p-xeli4rDViLZDLQmT89oWUf4qlJ_lPQwDLkzYKB7ESPpdjpAxxXBKHDA9woTdBB8fKUyrqN3pTag99-N10rXtQUHt4-U0-iUvHD1ao1TEKwRCyjc9sB6UFBkrvGy9FBw4bf83Y_P5mCLhJwXDmmmSvgJ5D7gn36Wkz0GsNucl5JYW14YNg5VOxbr254moA-WvV11dM4M2cwbHVYC0TURJtlk01Z7zxLoOIGjqV9hloJUBeA6pg9tMfcRqcoX9lic0MrI=w817-h950-no)

The Known World is the best documented area of Mystara. Most published adventures and other supplements pertain to these nations. The rest of the world is cast from the perspective of adventurers and merchants of these lands.

Culturally, the Known World is a microcosm inspired by many real-world nations and peoples, from the Vikings to Classic Arabians, and the Byzantine Empire to Native American cultures. It offers the maximum diversity for your playing experience. The dominant culture is that of the Empire of Thyatis.

Geographically, the Known World region is a series of plains and basins separated by the spurs of the Altan Range in the south and east and the Amsorak-Wendarian mountain complex in the northwest. The remaining land formations include the southern Coastal
Lowlands, the Alaysian Basin, the Streel Plain, the Ethengar Steppes, the Broken Lands, the Sea of Dread Islands, the Northern Reaches, the Glantrian Valleys, and finally, the Atruaghin Plateau and Lowlands.

The Empire of Thyatis
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BVE4KEaUzRTTcQqgVC4auOevsRaSPItToJz-ZfZHNytBzWcV38mOZE4kO__blzJ1e-0r3zkVHWRB3pngQwsSjfnIymTv9kBKkwUDP_8AQq6H6TKWix4AcrPphjLMWmBXyljkHSPRd68P68YK8Nx9PD516ZsLgjYbbYLto9Zsztpdryxg79b1havTOyckuD1a0XJA-sXs7FSaogzG54XumCv2N20mneYWbLAXC5gEgRHRDggCt8ME7VE09VzjDTM4GvkBa9kpmEkA8Rhhxbe-1NmjJKDdf1xHcbFl7ye9YBZW6JFl7XZ3-Dl9mjnP47sXMV1Y0F3fDSBPeFgkHOLtvpd-Pqyl3tE2fUM_wklPek6nvFCTp6HQ7RcicbZHgYNEp0XP1V-7GT0ap1Iqj5y357eEaK4SGzILiTFKl44CQObDjw5JYGMqc-9zqfYY_LcxcCz-8yLYVWiuA4D_H_GI9BLffixjtb1avYb4VIkmKLJ6UUR8cTx_fkw7447fUYixH9SI66eqz3zbC-JtLLUywo-cwdzbxV3PwdUobvxADS2KWY-Te262qzAEtIB-Qvb5FvnYacTimYoDAsL-plSIM0qtKEFyG7eXdvbREMSsMip-MAlNHJY=w824-h307-no)

Inspiration: Byzantine Empire; Kerendians are inspired by medieval Greeks, Hattians are inspired by the Germanic Holy Roman Empire.
Ruler: Emperor Eusebius I Torion

Though the Known World’s Empire of Thyatis is small – not much larger than its neighbors – its power is great, and its influence profound. The ancient Empire rules several large territories overseas, such as Ochalea and the Pearl Islands, the Isle of Dawn, and Davania.

Thyatis has been a major player in the Known World for over a millenium, such that the official reckoning of time and the common language throughout most of the Known World is Thyatian. Thyatis has had a knack for conquering various territories and then letting them get away. Seriously depleted by a recent war with the former nation of Alphatia (a land that no longer exists in the Known World), Thyatis suffered a number of setbacks and now teeters on the brink of disintegration.

The Thyatian people are cosmopolitan, urbane and interested in new things to the point of faddishness; they also prize efficiency, and dearly love their heroes. Thyatians quickly assimilate those they have conquered, granting new subjects all the rights and duties of citizenship.

On the downside, the favor of its people is fickle. Thyatians are also obsessively pragmatic to the point of being bloodthirsty and callous, treacherous and conniving.

Thyatians consider the gladiatorial arenas – installed during the Alphatian occupation – as the foremost entertainment, along with circuses, and melodramatic tragedy.

The original three tribes tended towards a light olive skin tone, with hair ranging from light to dark brown. Over the centuries, Thyatians have freely intermingled with other groups in the Empire, Kerendans less so, and Hattians
hardly at all.

The mainland also has substantial representatives from other ethnic and racial groups: Pearl Islanders, Ochaleans, Traladarans, Alasiyani, Hinterlanders – even common and pure Alphatians reside in Thyatis. Demihumans can be found most everywhere in the mainland outside of Hattias. It is even possible to encounter humanoids in the heavy urban centers like Thyatis City.

The Kingdom of Karameikos
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/bUPgAf3RDoOx0FJWowtu417VMGrrm188WfR1UNsJnCi6mcso53xV-UjvuB8IixvlFIdy9YgCauZ7u6j-9EPQfXjiskjK-KBTY47Py3EwKLJdy8bsDW5CHLm4MxUngkwg9h2WQ6gvFwxnCJ_ABk9lA328ieCeiccPgLyg274MZdY388aAeq3-nM9n8yR_2ShWw8TzJ9JyIAgMfiS12SlJtOWWIvUSxJ8vD07YD08vRBi907ML_KPBeP62j1PdiqCoFi0iHjYoJBpd5l4iUfnX1TsS_z577S6VE2CrbIv7XN-4HgI0qPcdhTOUG1kanAPJ-B76Bsi67WEHNy57BlS48-zPS5BV5vcXjnJ0yAEQgQbWXX2Vq6tB7OfL68crdtPRURVTC_96mSsVJPVMu9Q1lFWBh5DL8kFRYBn_9fjxQmwqiSPziqvmuMxEEujqD-RjR_XaGW8T0fl2cMtPWJHpg4ZArRe5cICXpL0szn5YJdIgXC18OZr06jWnKbzTGTVuHVdU-gFMDP2dkDUMZqY2ybBr1vK_W3jj9hyy09fOVs7eCwP9XI7PpKF3X4jBU_T1jApFxZVTlcwIsMAPJZmCgT6myd3JsmO03P4PmvawBLmrrLwyzgA=w707-h591-no)

Inspiration: Medieval Romania/Balkans
Ruler: King Stefan Karameikos I

The Kingdom of Karameikos is a young nation on the verge of potential greatness. The land sits between Thyatis and the Five Shires. Its borders extend from the coast up to the forested slopes of the Altan Tepes, but little of the land is actually under the King’s control. The thick Radlebb and Dymrak Forests conceal traces of the region’s past, humanoid menaces, and other dangers. The Kingdom’s people are divided, sometimes bitterly so, between the native Traladarans and Thyatians, but the citizens are slowly coming to see themselves as Karameikans. Previously a Grand Duchy under the Thyatian Empire's control, Stefan Karameikos declared his nation's independence in AC 1006. Thyatis, beleaguered by its own internal problems, was either unwilling or unable to recapture the land.

This nation consists of roughly 300,000 humans (30% Thyatian, 70% Traladaran) and 15,000 demi-humans. An untold number of humanoids and giants are spread throughout the wilderness.

The indigenous Traladarans are a pale, dark-haired people who are energetic, romantic, artistic, and superstitious. They are ruled by a conquering class of Thyatians. There are many frictions between the Thyatians and Traladarans, but increasingly they think of themselves as a single nation.

Local elves are divided into two clans. The vigorous, horse-breeding Callarii inhabit the Radlebb Woods and Rifflian (1,700), while the secretive Vyalia dwell in the eastern Dymrak. Highforge supports five gnomish clans and the Stronghollow dwarves. Gnome-King
Dorfus Hilltopper does not recognize the authority of Mirros. Halflings are scattered about in the human settlements.

The Five Shires
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/O7nOgDv_reSYkR7dNQbBoG2q9DgbF9rjnDIoOVN5N8Eud61UJPkcB2HMQsfPU2_hQxeliqzdI5cKXGFToTmQJOCifs29x0ILSSxDiBebhzYILldN1p9-NfhkC55UkNX420i0JwXYeLXotaAgNrtXjA8yMP3VTLcolmH4NfUXj8WCwfJEGil_M4VVD_pgGxaHE4SUxmQkxHMrA4tbYWxSsmITd6vSexbfUeal37Q0ImCilsLuEe0uhYIef4-3IrRrQYi2f6CtsYzQMYWteGa_QPaaQkMuElqZpWi7yJNXI18du7fwjEwVXxTfT2hIMwBqeImmRqeiG6Iygdq8vCxapzvotWm9zfvyuj6VkmrcZUrXb3e14Be2DCn2amjbUkkvHXxsCaK83gGDwZhirJ_kZRle5j33122JAtIpZnpJCOBg52C5MA9mcdtGluLbXchQYlMpgzDIctbe6zDuYWUo3byJwy-medHna6OdlOXnj4Uh5lONw01qOMeWAp_NZXpPMKcP-HU5bXnhGfA8qNG4ackaodWgstQCZ8WdINBkiCLJSsBm8AY-NocnMxoE45qTZYtpkOsRlDyJWZmyp0JEsQLMKfm0rmNFbGF_x2zlraABuAJ8FTA=w636-h385-no)

Inspiration: mythic English countryside mixed with sea dogs; Classic Tolkein Halflings, with Mystaran original twists.
Rulers: The Council of Five Sheriffs: Sildil Seaeyes, Delune Darkeyes, Tarisco Highnose, Maeragh Littlelaughs, and Joam Astlar

The Five Shires is the homeland of 210,000 hin, also known as halflings. Some 10,000 non-halflings join them in a fertile, coastal triangle south of the Cruth Mountains. As the name implies, the nation is divided into five semiautonomous Shires.

Shire culture revolves around the clans; all but a few clanless individuals belong to one of the Hundred Clans, each of which has its own territory. Sadly, the hin have all but lost their ancestral tongue, Lalor, and now must use the languages of neighboring human lands.

Before attaining adulthood and assuming family or clan-related occupations, young hin are encouraged to go “on yallara”, or out into the world. The antics of the yallaren have given halflings an at-times unsavory reputation for mischief and larceny. Older, Shiredwelling
hin, though, tend to be a conservative, less rambunctious folk who take their enjoyment from story-telling and music (especially singing).

Those who serve the clan well can rise to leadership positions such as the clanhead or loremaster. In addition, well-established hin adventurers are accorded the title of Guardians of the Shires, or Knight Heroes.

Every true clan has a Crucible of Blackflame. Blackflame is a mysterious substance found in the caves beneath the Shires, and it was a key component in hin independence. It is a kind of anti-fire; burning cold, emanating darkness while casting shadows of light, and even reconstituting burned items. Normally flammable material passes through unharmed (save cold), while items such as stone catch fire. The crucible itself is a pyramid-shaped, wooden container. Hin loremasters, (or Keepers of the Flame), can use the crucible to create various magical items and effects, including a web of shadows and oil of moonlight.


Aengmor (Formerly Alfheim)

Inspiration: Unique Shamanistic mix of typical Celtic/Nordic Elven culture, and Aztec/Incan/Mayan Underworld Elven Culture.
Ruler: Radiant Princess Tanadaleyeo

Alfheim was in its heyday a powerful elven nation situated in the magical forest of Canolbarth, surrounded by Darokin territory. The woods were corrupted by a pale-skinned, underground race known as the shadow elves, who broke the magic of the forest, reduced its great trees to twisted mockeries of their former selves, and drove the native elves out. These elven refugees have migrated into Darokin, Glantri, Karameikos, and north to Wendar. Canolbarth is now a blasted, withered forest, its former tree-cities rotting wreckage.

The shadow elves treat Aengmor as a conquered colony belonging to an underground settlement known as the City of Stars.

Aengmor's main settlement is the city of Rafielton, built on the wreckage of Alfheim city, with great expanses of linen providing shade for the light-sensitive shadow elves. Most of the remaining elven cities lie in ruins, abandoned by shadow and surface elves alike, but one region, known as the Sump, serves as a major shadow elf staging area. The shadow elves emerged into the surface world through an opening at the Sump, where a number of Canolbarth rivers flow underground.

Shadow elves are reclusive to the point of xenophobia, and they venerate dark Immortals. They do not suffer trespassers, looters or raiders gladly.

Atruaghin Clans
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rX_N-0ewWdG6ZwUGLmdJYF_Hjk2BBBP-TQDjf9IPtY3JcJaAmHuA7faGmolVB91F3W3UGjc0VioRMZN75mvYqlDVS0hSL_Yp7P7A4T2a6oHXGREbeEmTm7PlArlDeVKLlblOfoNd5wdcqBL8FosE6Jr2OYRkUsSZwrfrn3cQAw9QT5UwM1PnhSuXCDjfTEuE6x9a53p9lkaoUpH8VE8CDgjOghIAm1BJm7RYCzucqHc6a86X-pPxsbTubqRvP1Rd_hR1bG0hPiFxchqWDgdwskQ9_8eSzCMO0c_YBF-xknoptAx0exZqs0k1K2t_Da9UsyoiHqfCeJ4Y4Sz4qfKKH9PHemXx6dJMMyE4plLcrmpO260TXacmNGCnBAXj1OQjvDWVBn7Yj3oU0uoCW5DyImzroVWcQXZe6WAgCrFjRTirQfesT9cKm2vs6AJnT_M7va36XfRHojqz1e8w98T0Pw5GSUj3OApyboDbS6z29StNbf5Wap-j6unAZgA2l3NM_pkQJDoIokxf-U14bq33l0bELM0sKJRFJ1u55XXCGC8oY51anS63IpRtqfG7Uor2eGQDhzwqxZ5hT_By20AY5UPsJu4hWVuGeWhDmxCEPyn_NN69niE=w829-h469-no)

Inspiration: Native American tribes of North and Central America
Rulers: Atruaghin peoples are broken down into several clans, each with its own territory and culture. The clans break down into smaller tribes, and tribes into individual families.

South and west of Darokin the land rises in a sudden plateau with cliffs a half-mile high. This fertile plateau serves as the home of the Atruaghin peoples, a group similar to several of Earth's native American cultures.

There are five clans:

The Children of the Horse inhabit the central northern half of the plateau. They are nomadic, following the buffalo herds on their horses and establishing only temporary settlements in tents known as "tipis." As their clan name suggests, they are excellent horseback riders. They have no spoken language and communicate solely through sign language. Though they are excellent warriors, they do not kill their own people and rarely come in contact with outsiders. Because of this they engage in practice wars known as "counting coups."

The Children of the Bear live on the northeastern-most regions of the plateau. This region is dry and flat, and is mostly desert with dry hot winds. The Bear Clan escapes these winds by carving their homes into the cliffsides. They are masterful farmers, craftsmen, and architects. They maintain a remarkable machine known as the World Elevator, which allows access to the plateau from Darokin. Because of this, the Bear Clan is the most well-known of the Atruaghin Clans in the Known World.

The Children of the Turtle build their stout homes on the southern shores of Atruaghin territory. Here, they travel the seas to fish and reach the scattered islands where they hunt for game to feed their people. They are also skilled whalers. The Turtle Clan are masters at woodworking, known for their great canoes and totem poles.

The Children of the Tiger live in the dense jungle regions southeast of the plateau. They are harsh and violent and are considered wicked by the other Atruaghin Clans. They are the only clan that makes war on the others. The Tiger Clan builds stone cities centered around squat step-pyramids. They are skilled metalworkers and have superior weaponry compared to the other Atruaghin Clans. Their religion is violent and wicked, and they engage is human sacrifice and ritual self-mutilation to appease their Immortals. The Tiger Clan is fascinated with death and views magic that brings back the dead (such as resurrection spells) as sacrilegious and profane.

The Children of the Elk live along the southern edge of the plateau. This region is dominated by pine forests and grasslands. The Elk Clans live in farming villages near the shores of lakes. They wear clothing made of deerskin and ceremonial belts that consist of cylindrical beads made from the shells of freshwater clams. These clamshell beads are known as "wampari," and wampari belts hold significance in Elk Clan culture. Elk Clan warriors primarily use tomahawk axes as their weapon of choice, which they use to scalp fallen foes.

Ethengar Khanate
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lUtU0FNHe0ivHKPVL8wFTUtzCMDb5lg10-MTBId24TrxzDsjztAWxHO7RfMkvLpc0lDy3jATBML1nUiWiUKnSQhsnevYTlb63mS_f8tWEFZhv-cNclxrGX9eNVOVI6yX4IbAMThQI1Q3VaJ3DlNEWYBTW7YG1jl_iYh1nz0Ct-pg4gnTmStxWNKtu8gPcWdthvDMlEHMzH7RCS2DcPpeBsRSRJOKLQGs0K7XdirQ3fcBnYMx7CfnePzGYxT1bKN_bHkNZjmSYGZA7ik3rNese89hYmmXcsiptGHeuWV40-c-miDRYIEpvtL-V9V9z5eF-XOVpRQoorv0Rfg85BWSsTjvEi5ZqC82E1YFznAhhsep8J42bn0eOeo-I56quxRLMLrzaJyJlb37BkpC65v8Z6BTZ9kzUyHZWVrU6XSpVdK-Y7KD_ZfMOStn-Rz8ll6GYlp84viBx5hEWwIF-VOeEC3yIhg_S5hNIIkbW0fK1BL3r8HyAhJpBBw9XM8wKL-OVPH2UOkG2ElYxnJsDxSIF3ysc2tVAsEfD7j7v3aH2J7eA_QO2dyGOihLu3zugOTLnKH93acJWnS-3PpCemcxdKsg2H7VHHzFyCauL1JA3CbQG7KP7Ko=w551-h293-no)

Inspiration: medieval Mongolia
Ruler: Moglai Khan, Golden Khan and Lord of the Steppes

Ethengar occupies a huge, grassy plain to the north of Darokin and to the east of Glantri. It is stark, open country occupied by powerful, dangerous horsemen whose culture resembles that of the Earthly Mongols of Ghengis Khan.

Ethengar is a khanate -- a loose federation of nomadic tribes led by chieftans, occasionally gathered (as they are at present) at the command of a greater chieftan (a great khan). Often the various tribes war against each other when they aren't fighting the Heldannic Knights, Ostland troops, or Glantrian wizards.

On the surface, Ethengar seems inhabited by savage, bloodthirsty, dangerous horsemen. Upon examinaton of their culture, however, one is struck by the fact that these deeply spiritual, reverent people live in harmony with their harsh, windswept land (and happen to be savage, bloodthirsty and dangerous).

The Heldannic Freeholds
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/vSRgZRJrSUh1Q2arwYorRfjvDGI81om8MQJKHatpDs00uSMLCQ7bZFjRQdCTVuSqZ-ogTh0blaqv5DFmqBO2ybKAfjrAL97uabmOmp8dPa3RimLqYnT3oaSX8nA6I0WSEvbmLe_3SujRAiYnzWDPDChbIRqrDF7xXmYjQLM13hY4Xej151BClCm7-bffUyocWS59ITY0SebgbTGjq3_GjDZOtddOYUVhjZkn_Xon47FKzoB7FGu0KpvfFL_s1JbmNAJlJBJNounRiaUV4g_Wy2NiFuKW8oSZM500FkmQ9dKQmx6T419gY9xa4NecRSGZFvmdEVGWfvt_U_vOWSiRLoKdCQxgB0qnT6IGpzCWzJ-2Lm-VSknqS3zF_ZUDLB5G3DIzYvms9PGDK99u6rZ_iwzaVvCf1lGk7haab6r_wvw-6sqTDuQcDScKW7jqAVFr823mcMSLaKAGIKuzPbav0A54pDpx-PR8cyBA3JtGk2l4sak-Z1L_I71aUsvg4BI_SskiwtBggwxDWXRLMfHvf8D9dqLkg3hMG4hxCR5IEs-2uONAwuFvcSk0KcUw2VB4RsYEB-DEg9o-Lpu1Q4d4yqh_arasHZdDJup4TF8VIIS0xjtkYs8=w524-h387-no)

Inspiration: The freeholds are inspired by the Icelandic sagas; the Heldannic Knights are inspired by the Knights Templar and Teutonic Knights
Ruler: Ober-Herr Wulf von Klagendorf

Originally a group of Antalian Freeholds similar to the neighboring Northern Reaches, the territory was conquered by a group of Thyatian refugees from the island of Hattias who were too intolerant for the Thyatian government's tastes (which is saying a good deal in itself). These Heldannic Knights rule the territory with an iron hand, and they are always looking for new people to oppress.

The Heldannic Knights form a theocracy devoted to Vanya, a woman warrior who has attained Immortal status. They believe that Vanya has special plans for the transplanted Heldannic people, plans that involve world domination and subjugation of all non-Hattian peoples.

The Northern Reaches (Ostland, Vestland and the Soderfjords)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rJvKKCeuncb9K25w0oW7PGj7aGAp6cFmSLUkuJh_2wz6tguvOCk0DQWyln4E1BUmS-pfc34uaMFPRPfzTA2h1U8xIn6vVL2HjI9VXpVVnXcWG_zz4SkQrf0CzAKPBJ25bfl0QpXdXwlZeEvXiNLtcRB1mKZ3FJe6P4YtGcfQz866u-Xr-usQeEdjih0Nn3ZSRy1FcNHcbdkUrtGh2Zyskpkd8zGRaaHjZlz1S-H5hBGwJ-tv8RbzXQvJXsVsGLEfz2JSVe0E1Av1aMIn47lPQ_XWCbmUdMEH8ZUmvZZ4t6_tNpOQLJ6hKUPX-XI5sv4PIkUJQhmJHFohtNdAlD3TB7j2TYGYZge30jbB9o4yhIjJSDZR2FB1R4yb05brTwEx1QmVEpbmYInOxiBdgzFODn9IkfaJbrJ9k4oAdVNFyQjEF5CSjT4vVvS2G8tt_gSkItq6ndXS5phmIlj38S_oWghU9NOw7Z3QdkcP6UuO4oXY9ktkxslgmqN4fuanZMND_UBK3rcoVjQvSkFPouTqx_yR7x5H0rJfQRA9pcMqQ4KGUO4-NQnhmZACC9fLghc8ZR-HoPMkkp4u4ll7uxyWu8PfatJT2Ozt2BAtNXJwzRQgDRwktxA=w684-h478-no)

Inspiration: Ostland: Scandinavia ca 800 AD; Soderfjord: Scandinavia c. 1000 AD; Vestland: Scandinavia c. 1200 AD
Rulers: Ostland - King Finn; Vestland - King Harald Gudmundson; Soderfjord - King Ragnar the Stout

The nations of the Northern Reaches are located north of Ylaruam and Rockhome, along the coast of the Sea of Dawn. These three independent nations share a common ancestry, and as such may be considered together. All are dominated by Antalians, who are similar in appearance and behavior to the Vikings of Earth. The people of Ostland are the most traditional (bloodthirsty), those of Vestland the most forward-thinking (western), and those of the Soderfjord Jarldoms the most chaotic (treacherous).

All three nations are monarchies, and both Vestland and Ostland trace their roots to a common ruler. The Ostland crown is heavily influenced by a traditional religious hierarchy. The Soderfjords are a collection of smaller competing baronies (or jarldoms) that choose one of their number as the warleader or jarl -- a thankless position that usually lasts only as long as the lesser jarls so choose.

The Northern Reaches are strongly dedicated to a group of Immortals with names and attributes similar to the Norse Pantheon -- Odin, Thor, and Loki. Whether these powerful Immortals are truly the extraplanar powers, or instead are servants or imposters, remains to be seen.

Rockhome

Inspiration: Classic Nordic and Tolkien Dwarves
Ruler: King Everast XVI

The homeland of the dwarves is nested among the Altan Tepes Mountains north of Karameikos. Most of the dwarves of the Known World can track their ancestry back to this land. It is noted for towering peaks, ice-cold lakes, and great underground cities full of dwarves.

A dwarven king rules Rockhome, heavily influenced by the powerful dwarven families or clans that operate through a senate in the Thyatian style.

Dengar is the dwarven capital built at the base of Mount Everast. It is separated into upper and lower cities, the upper region being a heavily fortified surface community, with the real power (and the bulk of the population) located in the caverns of Lower Dengar.

The dwarves value craftsmanship, honesty, and family honor. They do not respect farmers or wizards (particularly Glantrian wizards).

Emirates of Ylaruam

Inspiration: Emirates that existed across the Islamic lands. 15th Century; Nithians - Modern Egyptian Descendants of ancient Egyptians; Makistani - Far Eastern Islamics, Turko-Mongol people; Alasiyans - True Arabic people
Ruler: Sultan Mohammed al-Kalim

An arid region of rocky badlands and sandy wastes to the north of Thyatis and Karameikos, Ylaruam is the home of a proud desert-dwelling race of humans similar to the Earthly Bedouins of Arabia.

A sultan rules Ylaruam, advised by a grand vizier, who in turn oversees a large, organized bureaucracy of departments called voucheries. Ylaruam is divided into emirates to facilitate easy control of these voucheries. Unlike the bloated and corrupt bureaucracy of Thyatis to the south, the Ylari bureaucracy is well-organized, devoted, and efficient.

The most important site in Ylaruam is not on the map, but in the heart. The natives of Ylaruam overthrew their colonial masters under the leadership of a great philosopher and warrior named Al-Kalim, who has since become an Immortal. Al-Kalim's words, the Nameh, have become the guiding principle of his people, and encourage devotion, loyalty, honesty, and bravery. Even the oasis-capital of Ylaruam pales before the shining example of Ylari belief.

The Ylari respect storytellers, warriors, and scholars. They dislike mages, particularly Glantrians (there's a pattern developing here) and those who use fire-based magics. Ylari hold grudges for a long time.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/jAfK6xuX6SStCtfQJnJA76Fdesm_Q7e0SQXTwrfL0VmszcSXobFqM6rbtB_DdaamXO2TQE8vFgYNWGlsCDvNPsb2so-0bwgGaCPE9M7xwcna3h_NrghHkM-yH2IZwOPsnrCCczOnP1MA7097UrxD6LI0PEIOlRR8HwVolNNy80nVvP0eT0YP-6Ui8vg2TLaxRnP77QkpnUgigpNb9hVHw2zzoTequOjxFk949CQL1VDagunKoT2x5aNTCWAehXK11_7ksA30pVkBwf0UnnRLt2GwkRLD3aBrNZU6YsfCWOB1_w1ZkH3I2O1yPrQjI8_eZ7inS4JHKROZ7LwBuzj1c0-hGdRyXW3-b3dpF-OuuauKrX7uk-0L3kX2Si7EhFZdBl4pVRCsIbh9T_NNmnbSiwzyHZyLD5YHo9FNrrp7Af9GTjZD0oO0j_BTHZfOrckXT6m8IieuWTcJfPy6vtIbAteuhnGsjaXp-X_-mN_CTNphDmCJxStsDxmjBFDDTXmNERuhgRm41BEmXvW13yqCA7x1xmNwvbt7WazlRghHlJ41m2E1eW1IO19Kk1ZG_ZeTyEauJPvnptSQYV4KRRca6No28R0Tcl7WIRkWyTFjw0R7T_KDAIE=w685-h479-no)

The Principalities of Glantri
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Gij2zw59oJsQ92yqOnZ-kBv97Nsylub9CdF3XGTeJxYYPP3qiCQPUU4vk_pbOU9ZhiY0kgx_Lwnd5RBj_Lgm9Bad2YaOxiNeA9YjYLfSxcjox33Df6EB46bu1EHH6g8q-eHWB_J4InfnkAztGMNYbtmNoWtcoIWiPHLQ2zrFkL93Qjc0xOV069EJDAMkTsPCwrMF2U0Qe_0kPog4r8sECFCjlEsOG-3aOt4-pZFd1bD1pnSkayiC5A3vACKUewGSZn7X_4agWmOy7zQnqRQMGZRar3gwqlgGk1dp6MTTIMnvenEOh4idVSM_YmmiZUms-RrVG4RsEEc6aeiZiMmC16O9tpmZjO6Oy-R_gYppiHxwa4_zUoILOGCfgQVxvpEBHF5FWbkh9T9x67v_uUCLjQ9R1W4VK-oqrs_k92iIuZdXemjFAzXnoSgWNjbOIblXznAoIw55QwT7zAGGuXmtVK97BXsGpmGObSkYAs7y3Mmu8jmYTTkPerPNDDBE3b2AeuyWyxBZrsrFdebvcUuPC05ADwDvE8BUEdqCnKc1qrxxQosgA5X2hUUG0MqYkziousUT4UTnzb3SCqtMeveav9sai4QWja8IXDvH39wWu5PWCntSFC0=w654-h345-no)

Inspiration: Aalban - Lower Germanic States, Bavaria, Austria; Belcadiz - Spain; Bergdhoven - Netherlands, Flemish lands; Blackhill - Bohemia and Silesia; Boldavia - Transylvania and Wallachia; Caurenze - Northern Italian City-States; Erewan - Celtic nations, British Isles, Gaulic; Klantyre - Scotland; Krondahar - Silk Road, Hun / Mongol influenced Eastern Europe and Turkey; Nouvelle Averoigne - France, especially central and Northern France; Glantri city is based off of Venice
Rulers: A council of wizard-princes/princesses: Isidore d'Ambreville, Carnelia de Belcadiz y Fedorias, Jagger von Drachenfels, Carlotina Erewan, Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany, Harald of Haaskinz, Dolores Hillsbury, Kol XIV, Urmahid Krinagar, Malachie du Marais, Brannart McGregor, Jherek Virayana, Juliana Vlaardoen

Located to the north and west of Karameikos, beyond Darokin and the Broken Lands, Glantri is a magocracy -- that is, a nation ruled by wizards, for the benefit of wizards. Glantrian wizards consider other classes and races inferior, particularly dwarves and all manner of priests, both of whom the locals actively persecute. Most people in the Known World consider Glantrian mages the most advanced and powerful of all, while viewing Glantrian politics as byzantine and treacherous.

Glantri is divided into principalities -- small princedoms in which the prince's rule is law. Humans, (at least, most of the rest of the world hopes they're humans) rule the majority of these principalities, but there are elves, lycanthropes and even a kobold in charge as well. The rulers all have magical abilities and sit on a central council.

Glantri City is the largest community in the nation and is about the size of Karameikos' capital city of Mirros. Unlike, Mirros, Glantri City was built over a swamp, such that the city is criss-crossed by canals and the gondola is the easiest method of transportation. Glantri City is also the nation's seat of government and magical research.

Mages rule here, and furthermore they are everywhere; one cannot toss a small stone without striking a wizard, a familiar, or a magical creation. Magic is a national industry, but politics is the national passion. Everyone has an angle and very few have qualms about sacrificing their allies to reach their ends.

The Republic of Darokin
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ka5CKMywJU7DZjA3TcLNLFOlKsKvZXIewSCXO7jkwaw5znswqdNCunMFgFodO62AVe_M4quWYG4Yzg6ggfa7FcliYDEmRP4xaHw45sHn60XJMk6D9o-oqipsAlkGD8F_1QzGvcFI-h7Wi_AoLmNFcSxH-hA6Opt5wdZ2yW-6XYFcjIcFaxUDJHsV-ZkewYk7wgxETmLbTZqseb1uppf1ccSk4npRFpD1QG0d5D-WDGk933LKzosGg0n7IoXesrD2EoAxmztuiLuIQayXMxs7yzT5KrGVLFImWJD3JemFQ0UPzcCXXu-uLuOcNa6C6Sig70fwqLVKLKfA56ETnirIdstsEpeJ-skt9eWvXDMkeAC90zjrhOHpbRgYCR_lNyLkAerAArMJUCEcmWF3VJA_nPGPsfitkKJWSfIw_f_XZxOgEDNv0xbZIDHyl_AQ4Zk2BKL6CRnYMKDEe2t3RMVDhcxuZOr101PB_ipQU2FB9LRs95y-HbOvdkt8NeXghPfjfWtyHkG2fKZ5Cy_kStWPcrP360p7S_zd0VGKgUWV0B2zmIugwEveOk73qNGiV6euGb9QHFUlozXDNoHuNp7Kuc258De2k2iQhexDcyKCCxmw8CKJswk=w436-h731-no)

Inspiration: Venice or Genoa in medieval Italy, mixed with the Hanseatic League
Ruler: Chancellor Corwyn Mauntea

Darokin is Karameikos's northern neighbor, and caravans regularly come down from Selenica, Darokin's westernmost city, along the King's Road into Karameikos. Darokin is the most mercantile nation in the Known World, and the traders are recognized far and wide for their sharp dealing and glib sales pitches. Once a peaceful, profitable nation, Darokin has now come under attack from pirates in the south, desert fanatics from the west, orcs from the Broken Lands in the north, and shadow elves in the east.

Darokin is a republic, at least on paper. In reality it is a plutocracy, where money talks and the golden rule is in force ("He who has the gold makes the rules"). The head of the Merchants' Council is a human named Corwyn Mauntea, but most decisions are made with an eye toward the bottom line and how it will profit Darokin and its burgeoning merchant class.

Darokin's capital is located in the heart of the country and at the center of a web of major mercantile cities connected by good roads. While smaller than Mirros, Darokin City seems more bustling, active, and generally wealthier than the Karameikan capital. Darokin has a large middle class, and all within it try to advance their own ends.

The nation of Darokin is made up of bits that have been unclaimed by other nations, and as a result sprawls over a vast amount of terrain. Darokin completely encompasses the nation of Aengmor (formerly Alfheim), though most of its border expanses remain wild and uncontrolled.

Darokin is in no way as safe and secure as its prized Diplomatic Corps lets on. The natives of Darokin are as plotting and dangerous as their Glantrian neighbors, but they are more pleasant about it.

The Broken Lands
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7zRUk8wACu_DfUAVuUeK2BjLTe-pC5hp4BQrc2290yNrTlDnyxbMl2pZCN5DeiLxy5i1tOo01iXvFEYddYWHknSor1FQXeD4DPEptyrDSfp-_Q0NYiJGGE5HPl0E5FbZmpfRfGzABTute2sgn2goNU4V0fQgtDzP5HbDXJ03xym7W9CK8dhgCgpKQLwmRjQOABXEDJ4MAx6WiJmRiNqHUszdFTONrO1KEFunbNN6_fiCJ8QjXjZ5_z8TgTs2vX9xoaxvkHMZRPk0Wt4FuLoILYLJMOIpmBDxiAIkmuSp6sGZ61MWk4XpRh7m2GYYaY2wlGwE8GlcBJtZnKq72NGBaJw4DXg3SWNrnNll4VfwXVEpMGy9vK9g59zWTMFDCacg6tgEi0tpBrC5rodX9VvVSOrAyUCqOV0KeuDesV92QWzjqhA8fGq_3aCrvo-w8wabandSwTkvVhBqA5As3hBG6nvBUFbSuTul8ouTTqUqgVpunTEslR_qtFRvwpkZGmFlpSAiSFkwUg9uhsEtenbmWzGItWiuPIddeU-RFlDne-6OlEtn4VnwJMtH4K-Hb8aGW86IRwWLfYimBnnwLTYzpKfYGXusX2PM2SfBSjt8RHSjJRb33Jk=w632-h486-no)

Rulers: Various humanoid chieftans - King Kol (kobolds), Alebane (ogres), Xilochtli (shadow elves), Thar (orcs)

Squeezed into the rocky badlands between Glantri and Darokin, and in the sprawling caverns below, this blasted landscape is the home of rival tribes of humanoids, united only in their hatred of men, elves, and dwarves.

Who runs the Broken Lands? It depends on who you talk to, where you are, and what time it is. Usual humanoid politics revolve around those who have the most powerful forces beating on all others until they all reach an agreement. Then they all invade Glantri or Darokin. Current powers involve King Kol, a kobold with the support of Glantri; Alebane, an ogre with strong cross-species support; Xilochtli, a shadow elf ruling a powerful underground city; and Thar, who until recently ran the entire show.

The Broken Lands recently saw an expansion of its domain in the recent Thyatian/Alphatian war. In the course of this war, an Immortal directed a large meteor to strike the Darokin/Glantri border (it remains unclear which was the actual target). This meteor further demolished the local terrain and created the Great Crater, which quickly became inhabited by humanoids under the supposed rulership of King Kol.

The Kingdom of Ierendi
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7ytqcMIqICwdiDoWpJj9wK-RG_ZWgavd17DNJOX3s9DsbAESxwunZWKRG_ZURqehUmDM5gI1gwYLw4MD24eNSE675nt2jUHScDnvbRiFsq3Db9UyQrnltbgbdkxJe9XALxFkChjsUp00svaQ2BLnjKMU92El0hYBKqtn5z9TSyFFh0hCws350Xo-od1QCaXfnK0y8lQANFD-pf5eif-iph-oSqeKW-ivUYGuQqgxY7ZjRhZbnj8eigMRbdvVVErud6yU5XS3_p_NYsGTPTuZ1pxI0kgHo_IT3eDWQ3uAw57VN74hms_5dORRx2uU1w2hSDZspNX11wSOktJ1jCtH6aZCMVWEXC1uj4COOCWtHdJ7iOiQStsg5XOBPDSa91xRBpbMp57CK2cuHh2dUDIweTKyYZP8AH-OoQZ1BXmSEvYG0N6OfANtAX1RtT3McbghJUV9HyX0fL9g-1M-cS5DDqrHUKfhH9hJLSxMR7q0ESvVk4WihXwXkDdlyTOUwktaDaW_PvrLZmyNNjqvGI-UFNbgf2WFMSXqaBasdIIxMK95J2XcmiA4d4zlnM4sHtT-6tZSTIa1EYp6knmKOHbdkip96HRpTKzr0KuJsQcWDENSo1LAFBE=w636-h364-no)

Inspiration: Makai - Hawaiian; Nuari - Maori
Ruler: King Reston

Situated to the south and west of Karameikos, Ierendi is a loose confederation of islands, each with its own personality and attitudes. A chaotic coalition, the nation pulls together when threatened by outsiders.

Ierendi holds a yearly tournament, and the winner becomes the king or queen of the kingdom for the next year. Most of the real power rests in the hands of a bureaucracy and the local government, but choosing a new king remains a great excuse for a celebration.

Ierendi thrives on a tourist trade, of all things -- visitors from other nations come to Ierendi for fun, adventure, and the feeling of danger. Note the use of the word feeling -- most of these visitors from Darokin, Karameikos, or Thyatis could find real danger not more than 20 miles from their houses, but in Ierendi adventure supposedly takes place in generally positive environments.

The main event each year is the grand tournament for the crown. It is heavily weighted in favor of the warrior class, and the winner rules in the great, indefensible coral castle of Ierendi, throwing parties, making announcements, and generally being kept away from the mechanisms of real government.

Ierendi is one of the most beautiful and leisurely places in the Known World. That is not to say it is without peril, but the dangers at least look good.

The Minrothad Guilds
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/w8BrsSTRiSH0ZbMFuQyHJ1Q9Ia5pxJlwYelnlULF-BGymky7wxGMM9L6BhoJtT1j4pJH3OJYAUHdwUzkAbhONDSPvWPjDYnofhZTrVmZkT0UTgVnD_5GZo5Lt923v2z781E-rHhzWOWpWbQ41kRGo5iOE7CvRJFA0BKCcbDRt2Y2pzQsdaSWvCO05M8eUWFfVKIVHYEM6udGgJnggWn3OJHHG3xJgTxJyL80vwcLYWj9YACwFIaKzRHbH6ujjiS8Znsvy59LNC4CEOke_hAJGB2DNzfbTR6xazcy12bje2awobxYIn9nFy3f9jz4EMFNCJCpVlYyW2yLtldG6DkcJPzSMvGaT12wg0FGx8tSZaN18zxUahINifJe7TEyJvBa5rBNy0wPcfX5Lq8LmzrCcD-NT3hC94CCA55mQxpSuSExhDKqDFxR9TnJA7lSBg_e1BGNNJvP5q7rZM6MWx5CsrF46fZyZGTAJ-v2DHLhaHOUrFb-waUz0NncwNt5HbDnpr5FPtysvunk5uQOC1BLGg2qgTBPJ8QlUX3F6lGxhT7UUvRr3U1-F8Z3sAbaA9OaJBEgbC_u8LB6-Yo-0Bx_D9KNmkrzV5S1JhoWdTYxdHkUwtlhftU=w676-h617-no)

Inspiration: a mix of Italian Sea Merchantry and East Indies Trading Company as a culture and nation
Ruler: Guild Master Oran Meditor

Situated to the south and east of Karameikos, Minrothad is an organized coalition of seagoing merchants whose reach spans the Sea of Dread and the Sea of Dawn, some of their agents reaching as far west as the Savage Coast.

Like Darokin, the other major trading nation, Minrothad is a plotcracy, ruled by the wealthier classes. Unlike Darokinians, the people of Minrothad have dispensed with the illusion of republican thought, and most power rests in the hands of an elected (for life) Guild Master. The current ruling Guild Master is Oran Meditor.

Citizens of Minrothad live for trade and trade to live. The seat of government is the city of Minrothad on Trader's Isle, a bustling den of commerce and intrigue.

As in Darokin, money talks, but mere gold does not buy a place among the Minrothaddan merchant princes. The natives of Minrothad remain clannish and suspicious of strangers who pry too much.

Sind
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5L2TAZDZ9QWuaKbNX-4_2pFT9leK7MENUA6G3QiQmzFgrDD62RMuGhvP7iOMxOx4apbRt28c7P6SWH3ilqYsaKfz8T3mBP6QC4kb0OrDiTGirpJIHkM4tdH-S92_VMzKvKRhKMdgqLQKU6Se8eHvay9W8i_cjE7squXKvCA5i5YpYX1lykb0e0EcUaAZDu9ecZgV23EkRiZsJzDokStdYla6I6BRGt1SJHd0clY2qIvQJYAf2pfV6zeKV3wa-odH9sPs8_6Prwnyq0baGqLcVT6p2fbBJfrvGdCF2Pk9AY1oH8dKni5dHI5IKs0HQ-CT6KdgmaqR1ksH4j79TdHY15Qs5x61Fk4mIeRLOdiLvqO6tqyr2a5CfG9h2nzGhhibmVYmlvAzsbaqLihj9-YqpqMpd9fWxbEgK537ZiDaVKiocd5gQ5Nn1lAIaML4Gg6FDYYLM_VqfyftUTON8RDtM81aLCYRq_OhumHuqVIEXDvCWV_HZewuiUHMtx59uhXuNdSmpwtLtdJixRNybL3QALvTUzcgwSNbsJcstJB5wcQGfH19Q3xvHh7REs1XyVp2g8qmcZIg0LIxIdq_PrWJ33YWmbVuRXikeLy9MT1-gOiK0Kx40Cc=w527-h391-no)

Inspiration: India
Ruler: Rajadhiraja Chandra ul Nervi

The western border of the Known World, Sind is a relatively unpleasant land of salt swamps, deserts, and rocky wastes. Its population moved in and thrived during more pleasant times, and as a result packs itself tightly in teeming cities. The culture of Sind resembles that of Earth's early Indian subcontinent.

Sind is currently under the control of a despot from even further west known as the Master of Hule. Under the Master's directions, raids by land and sea based out of Sind continue to assail western Darokin.

Most interesting about Sind is not its overpacked cities or Hule-dominated government, but what lies further west. Beyond the Sind Desert and the Plain of Fire sprawl the mythical lands of the Red Steel. Beginning with the mighty city of Slagovich and moving west, this region harbors great heroes and mighty magic. News comes infrequently from Slagovich, but what news does come brims with wondrous adventure and terrible monsters.

Sind is a dangerous, deadly place, made more so by the agents of the mysterious Master of Hule.

Wendar

Inspiration: High-brow fantasy
Ruler: King Gylharen

With the corruption of Canolbarth and the fall of Alfheim, Wendar remains the only elven kingdom in the Known World. Tucked beyond the borders of Glantri and Ethengar, it has the otherworldly nature of a land still under the control of elven magics.

Wendar is a monarchy in the traditional elven manner. Gylharen the Wizard-King rules this land.

Wendar had been forgotten by other nations of the Known World, due to its very remoteness. That changed when it took in the bulk of the Alfheim refugees. Now there are regular parties of elves (exiles and natives) exploring the rest of Mystara and looking for a way to battle the shadow elves and reclaim Alfheim.

Wendar is unique among nations in that its population is evenly split between men and elves. The humans are thought to be related to the natives of Heldann, but the origin of the elves remains unresolved. Wendarian elves are fair-skinned with blonde or brown hair and green or blue eyes. The elvish term for Wendar is “Genalleth,” and “Kevareth” refers to the hill country near the pass leading to Heldann.

Wendar is in a state of uneasy peace with Denagoth. Denagoth has launched invasions in the past, most recently during the Wizards’ War, and the two sides guard the pass across the Menguls. Denagothian agents actively work to undermine Wendar and steal the protective Elvenstar.

Denagoth
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/i0eDxZzuS03IpRFi0odvc-RKffTcrNxOeBaMds-voK352oUutjE-kqTSUEH_6-HukCD4a1L31zdnFi3N7Sy8g2rjG_bz-pGa_4xq5xoDWU09TQrdRp1STEGts6CVB-SG153qXQXurRapJwtdUjtJqYcdLXRSzEJtvH0inZzzJy7ZDsAKLuOeAjiT6jBcY_GYy2KHFco_MqpAMLOoHVU4aur1au5qxhFV78wsOnkBeR1zuBORkjxCDqI-KwdkC_Bnzzp8atQgRPyrAXcx-pCYVQscDy3jy8iTpvZVeYHsO11KfCL2yHq1WSGdBu9e8hgGkbT2kQl7KQD_a5qW-BxtCX_MkpFj_RcuVU53Hb3KSnFsefUA16reYtFD69Ol6_yvb0oQ8GLx3LfgtA92h2Rk8qVXqclAhNYDHFi4-2QvAlb9YNPMB3Bidg0teyxwsnQs1OEne5r2By8l7brP2nbhelvkUshh3rPFzcoIWw7xXOxrBcnbBfp77WCm1ir5P2U4BV5DJXpp_Ijx7VPJ5YO4uU0ihOeA1oAzyQMgIHPzMDymzgGcyokDDh5bHHtfiFIsTcWROrPcbq2MWEO2Hi_kEZmOO0tjiNEqn3cxb_nFs_OGdtjPkg8=w536-h439-no)

Inspiration: High-brow and pulp fantasy
Ruler: The Shadow Lord (Landryn Teriak)

Behind the protective shield of the Mengul Mountains lies the Denagothian Plateau. The plateau itself is a dreary plain some 7,000 feet in altitude. The Great Forest of Geffron takes up the plateau’s southern end and eastern rim. The Lothenar is a smaller wood near the northern wastes. Both forests once housed elven communities, but the Lothenar were recently destroyed, and the Geffronell remain hard-pressed. The southern Naga River is unnavigable until it enters Heldann (as the Elber).

Denagoth was once home to Essuria, a golden civilization whose literature and magic marvel went unrivaled until the evil reign of Landryn Teriak brought down the wrath of the barbarian hordes of Henadin. Landryn was thought slain by a gold dragon as he fled west, but a curse-afflicted Landryn resurfaced in the west under the guise of the Shadow Lord. He established a new Denagothian kingdom at Gereth Minar. He has since allied with various humanoid tribes, invaded Wendar in the Wizards’ War, and ordered the
destruction of the Lothenar. Landryn craves the Elvenstar as a means of curing his withering affliction.

The Denagothians are fair to swarthy in complexion, with hair light brown to black, eyes blue or brown. The ancient Temple of Idris dominates the community with its black dragon imagery. They share the land with humanoid tribes. Small villages are scattered across the large, central grassland, the Plains of Avien. Barbarian tribes exist further east.

Norwold
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/9q8GLvKi_Nh8JrHdzpLfkNWb00Rm-yQ4TyQpmsu5G0HNLwgvH5kxxj0-0ZTS0365aHjc2jol9m8Bg6FRyaZJpxoSNzacSu7U6k_bpu49XTDxFc0CTFvxDLrYV6CrRCgYfBE1cm1ExL3AwX_cEbSdAh15qeqN5cmMLOwoXUeSdywiWhmFe4ZHLNyjnaub2VCFyuyMsVixf3qurgHCq_KOjUQaFke2B4l0WKHA_7isoiubuReC5gPMaKrvyD1cXgtPTsUM0o8MdWzK-P6WuVjkAJ0WJAxxK_VfL-UVe1WsAP16wKeQCdi9ZDxn9Lu74ogBJA6RabMlzwCXnyCSR-73vj9gl0y6SKHI1wl3xQ4EgrSrB1iAY_f6JMoMy9xcZlherUDU8jxkzBUfO2uRXc6SlkF3Ju-Hyhzayy64gaUhBvFHOrDshvOLno5KOL5lsENuJHOW-MC9xQ3nCHLBFE8XZSYsDF1mg06J9Nyb95dYTs1BVbnvd_v4LfEUaB93ti1hSQpwoth34CgNBuqdi0sYS060hQda-CBYgTpMxw5Ek7wupxZnC0y5gpjcEJsQPcrqmLWbNq0W-1LoP7vP1z5RIR7iK91SOWvNbDSySx83UbxeICOJJH0=w668-h748-no)

Inspiration: Scandanavia, Finland, and Dark Ages Russia
Ruler: King Ericall of Alpha

Norwold is a northern region of Brun with temperate to arctic zones. It is an unsettled, barbarous land awaiting those with the power and drive to carve out their own domains. Many mountain caps remain snow-covered all year, and glaciers are still present. Precipitation falls every 4 days, and the south is well forested. Still lakes, bogs and rivers can be found throughout Norwold.

King Ericall is the right-hearted if wrong-headed ruler of Norwold. The son of Empress Eriadna (of now-vanished Alphatia) and General Torenal, Ericall is under pressure to control his fief and make it productive.

Norwold has long been a prize for the competing interests of Alphatia and Thyatis, but the young Heldannic Order also has designs on the region. Meanwhile, King Ericall is seeking to solidify his dominion and bring Oceansend, Leeha, and Helskir on the Isle of Dawn under his authority. With Alphatia gone from the surface world, Ericall finally had an independent nation to rule, but due to increasing threats from the Heldannic Knights he joined N.A.C.E. (New Alphatian Confederated Empire) shortly after it formed in AC 1013.

Most of the native humans of Norwold are descendants of the ancient Antalians. In some areas, they are sedentary; in others, semi-nomadic. There are at least three great barbarian tribes in Norwold (15,000 each) that gather in large conclaves during the summer solstice. There is also a significant number of Alphatians and Thyatians living in the major population centers.

There are seven halfling clanholds on the western shore of the Great Bay that form Leehashire. Several dozen Foresthome communities of 200-1200 elves each exist throughout Norwold. There is at least one dwarven kingdom, Stormhaven, which lies in the mountains near Oceansend.

Norwold teems with a chilly wilderness that awaits exploration. Ruins are tucked away, housing the ancient history of the land. With little in the way of formal rule, Norwold is ripe for characters to establish their own dominions. Would-be lords can place their allegiance with Ericall or one of the quarreling empires, or they could go it alone. They face menaces in the guise of the Wyrmsteeth dragons and the frost giants of Frosthaven, and trouble could arise with the local barbarians. Warfare, too, will be a sure problem
facing rulers, as will courtly intrigue and betrayal.
Title: Re: Mystara - The Isle of Dawn
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:37:49 PM
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6F0HVDjthSOwD7iSfQByFmjDGsIKg6FBXnGuhKVj2YUJhanvpTAcdkSREpdnmeBMTu2OBxZGMvDw1GIcgwyVbI2sSoGrgzBfqoDBNDeOrh1J5lTQRzVANSZlaF1zFKoKjH1-yKigkWfK3zbLkd2cpJcdguOqjctdktoPy2dHIllJqpY_zHVzZiSE4jL-OO_Ca_gPjkV4WGkt3R4KSEG5wWilyQa2aC6_lby5_QuZIMvk1HtZNaws1ZQHfuM_bT23HkfyaUQcFGPRrovEgQZNszrRTbT31ZUUB4q4pSzIBjY0Ncty_TaaSGlfzx9d_pIJSbli9VuEM5GbSBzfm1fUzHgETOnEBfhs2faDn6pzgb9nI9QvnX4t3PPSJEUjS_GiFzspGPyVprd-bUfRBNN9b_zf8EPuEREJxvuLkQHOSsYnBeBspactYPGZhMBMmvx3KwW-jnkb1To2gWO6OG3VY43IsTTPYb04gwqumEBVP9D_y5QrE1oTapc31M2Hyhkru-UxJsFgxmD0avQGFoZK9jDmvjSXj7aiPd50FPD6Lg_g6dglg6QWYZXRJFeGcRe3H1IVEtTAaCHJjvHE9TFPPMMAOLVhCEsQoMM-fSUo2u9ME08JEU=w685-h871-no)

Isle of Dawn

This large island is separated into two distinct regions. The northern half, inhabited by Alphatians, and the southern half, inhabited by people of Nithian descent. The Isle of Dawn was a part of the Alphatian Empire, but the destruction of Alphatia at the end of the War of the Immortals has left the island in a chaotic state, and it was eventually claimed by Thyatis.

Province of Dunadale

Inspiration: Wales and Cornwall
Ruler: Duke Edmondo Tiberia

The Province of Dunadale (Duchy) was in fact a kingdom of the Empire of Alphatia until it was conquered in AC 1010. The Thyatian rulership of the dominion was confirmed with the Isle of Dawn Treaty, after which Governor-General Tiberia was named Duke of the land. Now the Thyatian population is on the rise, while Alphatian residents are slowly moving back to Alphatian dominions. Starting from the shoreline, the first 120 kilometres (75 miles) inland are flat and suitable for farming. This is where most colonists sent to the Isle of Dawn from mainland Thyatis make their new homes. Beyond these plains, hills and bogs dominate. In fact, most valleys between the hilltops are swamplands, and entire patrols have disappeared into the muck. The Dunadale Bogs, as they are known, cover over half of the dominion. In fact, many creatures and bandits make their lairs within these swamps (including Mario's Marauders, if reports are accurate). Entire Legions are often sent to patrol the borders to the Dunadale Bogs, but still raids make it in and out without problem. The Duke rules the province from the City of Dunadale.

County of Furmenglaive

Inspiration: Scotland
Rulesr: Phileus Furmenglaive (Count), Lyra Furmenglaive (Countess)

Furmenglaive (County) is the province Thyatians enjoy the least being stationed at. The people claim that their hills are the home to undead, lycanthropes, and evil wizards. Even Castle Furmenglaive, a black fortress sitting atop a large cliff overlooking the sea, looks and feels haunted. Strange noises are reported by most Legionnaires who stay at the castle, especially during periods of the full moon. One lieutenant in fact even claimed werewolves lived within the castle walls, but the Count and Countess deny these claims. The province itself is mainly hills and grasslands, with forests near the border to Caerdwicca. Most villages in the province are well fortified, and the townsfolk diligently patrol the town walls - they do not take their fear of the monsters in the hills lightly. Many patrols sent into the wilderness have never returned.

County of Kendach

Inspiration: Bretons
Ruler: Marie Kendach (Countess)

Castle Kendach is the heart of the county of the same name. This small province is mainly flat farmlands located just south of the narrowest point of the Isle of Dawn. The southern edge of the county is in fact dominated by marshy wetlands where goblinoids and bandits are known to make their camps. Kendach has always had a military heart out of all the Thyatian Provinces, and for a soldier, there is no better place to live. Their fortresses are in top condition, and everything in town has centred their industry on entertaining the military. Thyatian soldiers mostly enjoy the numerous brothels and seedy taverns that can be found through the town of Kendach. Kendach laws are more intolerant toward Alphatians, and more recently, of Westrourkites and Helskians. It is believed that this is because of the Countess' desire of revenge against Alphatians for killing her mother during the Wrath of the Immortals. Her anger toward Westrourkites and Helskians (if it is indeed because of anger) is probably because they have since declared independence from the Empire.

County of Redstone

Inspiration: Ireland
Rulers: Anaxibius Torion (Count), Stefania Torion (Countess)

Redstone (County) is another province renown for its military. While Kendach is regarded as the best place to be posted as a Thyatian Legionnaire, Redstone is definitely the best training ground for new recruits. Its smiths and armorers are in fact the most renowned of the entire Isle of Dawn. As to be expected from new recruits, the military part of the population tend to be rowdy and noisy. The local inhabitants, however, are rather superstitious and hold many beliefs in ghosts and faeries and such. In fact, no Legionnaire or official have ever seen any fey creatures in the land, yet everyone can swear that someone they know has. Sidhes are reported in Sidhe Woods, and it is said that evil faeries control the giant wolves that attack travellers near Ashton Woods. People even keep vigils for the Redstone Lough monster. In terms of land, Redstone has everything from the hobgoblin infested Fengallen Marshes in the west to the Sutherland Grasslands in the north atop the huge cliffs overlooking the Western Sea of Dawn. Farmlands dominate the north-west, while the southern coast is mainly hills.

Province of Septentriona

Inspiration: Celtiberians
Ruler: Deitica Baralius (Governor-General)

The province of Septentriona is actually a protectorate under military jurisdiction. Currently, Governor-General Deitica Baralius is in charge of this dense forest wilderness. This land is one of the two places being colonized by Thyatians from the mainland (the other being Dunadale). Still, people here report many strange sightings within the dark woods, and patrols of Legionnaires have in fact disappeared without a trace. The colonists claim that the forest is haunted and that the shadows come alive and slay all those who trespass. This is how the area received the name Shadow Coast during the past couple of decades. What exactly goes on in those woods is anyone's guess. Apparently, the woods are so thick that sunlight barely reaches the ground beneath the canopies, so the "shadows" people see can be any number of creatures simply misidentified because of the poor lighting. The Emperor is keeping Septentriona as imperial territory so he can carve it up as dominions granted to heroes who have helped the Empire.

Barony of West Portage

Inspiration: Bretons
Ruler: Periandra Docerius (Baroness)

West Portage (Barony) is the famous province renown for the Crossdawn Road. This road crosses the narrowest point of the Isle of Dawn, and many merchants prefer to make an overland travel from East Portage to West Portage rather than sail around the entire island. The rugged lands of West Portage have absolutely no resources to offer the people living there. In fact, their entire industry relies on the trade and commerce that uses the Crossdawn Road. More so than any other community on the Isle of Dawn, the people of West Portage are so used to having their city change hands from one empire to the other that they don't even notice anymore. In fact, they simply ignore whoever is in charge and get on about their lives. West Portage is crawling with thieves hoping to get their hands on some (and even all) of the cargo that crosses through the town. Any Legionnaire posted to West Portage is sure to have his hands full with bandits and rogues. Captain Jules Docerius tries his best to rout these thieves, but they are much too clever.

Barony of Caerdwicca

Inspiration: Scotland
Ruler: Uthgaard McRhomaag (Baron)

Caerdwicca (Barony) is a small forested province just south of the Thothian Plateau. The barony is rather poor compared to most dominions, and there is no military stronghold to speak of. In fact, McRhomaag Castle is nothing more than a simple two-story building with a wooden wall and ditch surrounding it. The Baron doesn't seem to fear attacks or pirate raids. In fact, pirates docked in the ports often and act respectable when in the Caerdwicca Town. Rumors claim that the Baron McRhomaag has made several deals with these pirates. The people of the town don't complain and in fact enjoy the business goods brought to them by these fraudulent merchants. In fact, their largest concerns at the moment come from the several reported sightings of giant spiders near the Thothian Plateau.

City-State of East Portage

Inspiration: Bretons
Ruler: Quicklimn (King and General)

East Portage is a hilly kingdom, thus dubbing its other name the Kingdom of Hillvale. From its position on the eastern side of the Isle of Dawn isthmus, East Portage has carved its place and future in portaging goods across the isthmus to West Portage. This effort saves many days in any sea voyage around the northern or southern tips of the island. If it were not for this role, East Portage would probably be no more than a simple agricultural kingdom. The capital of East Portage is the town of East Portage. Architecture is of a predominantly Alphatian design, however Thyatian designs are also prevalent. As one would imagine, the town has ample harbour and shipyard facilities to load and offload cargoes for the overland journey west. Facilities for this cargo ferrying are also in abundance. The streets are usually congested with wagons. Likewise the cobbled streets are littered with the waste products of the beasts of burden. And one cannot go down a street without seeing a stable, blacksmith shop, or wainwright. During the summer months the smell is quite bad. East Portage has traditionally been an Alphatian holding. As such, the populace is mostly Alphatian. The populace's interaction with its Thyatian neighbours has seen the rise of a noticeable Thyatian minority and some adoption of Thyatian ways. As one would expect, the bulk of the populace deals with the transport of goods across the isthmus. The people of East Portage did not carry themselves well after the Great War. Their behavior is not exactly a shining point in their history and they know it. They tend to ignore that period. Many become aggressive if pressed on the matter.

Grand Duchy of Westrourke

Inspiration: Celts
Rulers: Duke Thrainkell Firestorm, Duchess Holva Firestorm

The large dominion of Westrourke is now approximately half the size it was before the war with Alphatia. General Martigan of the Alphatian forces spearheaded the assault into Newkirk where he slew Duke Donegal Firestorm and conquered the Grand Duchy for the sunken Empire. In AC 1009, when the land was reclaimed by Thyatis, Thrainkell Firestorm, Donegal's heir, was forced to give up some of his northern lands to Helskir as well as the large peninsula containing Redstone to form a new County for the Empire. Westrourke still remains one of the largest dominions on the Isle of Dawn.

The inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Westrourke are a mix of Thyatian, Alphatian, and Ostlander colonists from centuries back. As with most people on the Isle of Dawn, they grow weary of the constant invasions from Alphatia and would rather just be left alone. There is a marked prejudice against Alphatians in the area, as many people here suffered tremendously during the war, and have yet to forgive their tormentors. Even the Alphatians who have lived among the Westrourkites for years are now distrusted and looked down upon. Many of them have left toward Alphatian dominions. It seems that the people are happy about Duke Firestorm's recently acquired semi-independence from the Empire. They believe that their lives will now be better because of it. However, Westrourke is still part of Thyatis, regardless what any agreements might say, and if the Emperor asks for his help, the Duke will rush to his aid.

Finally, it seems that Newkirk is attracting a fair host of bounty hunters. Duke Firestorm has offered a reward of 250,000 lucins (gp) to anyone who can bring him General Martigan alive. It appears the Duke is seeking revenge for the death of his father. General Martigan was a count in the lands of Norwold, but became independent after the sinking of Alphatia, and then abandoned the court life altogether to go adventuring. He and his party are very powerful, and it is believed they have left Mystara altogether to wander the outer planes.

Kingdom of Thothia
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/4syKQGfNNfagqLm1ujvFXdTaDBefq-6XicwIpKSh-iINKASPoNvLRhCBZpK9iqLcSNbNgw03w1fqBvmJrnto-0TdZmPeycgnnUI_qYLQB1_gbn3gi7gHCn6JQPx4-r1eJsmXi8xNT7DMNtRqx07E3xS0rVnxcjchKetEGRtiCO12S6DugWExMLOZLTO48M0pf46VuB9qDFwJugczhTJAVL6RPzj__EwJtnhU37-g6GbHnR8nI1kdRjTO3XBXmpMP6dGvY3u00rGamEx5DpoEanIC_19L5l_PtFQtnU2kiMSAATciNLcwNbRR8bnzto3uIhiEYmLdQoWhHaeJD6TIGSJjXjZmVLF9tp-7T9y55dHCUpJo-1ngAEzRYEnbJnO5Pz66OJaozIhLwXI63KupotBwfhkpgbE_Rz99kf3KOiXYjnz09VKcJd1ktUxypCOA4j9rkj8S4ASaG-s16qt-iPbzS2AoK3cRrhJt1EAh0vxEqalNbnSa3gua437SwGdUlNSlhOMBtHAHfdPVor_7jTA5dHM2nrdVq0hXpGzcUQG9AyQL6zRLeR1UX0ZD9Be7Bkx7lq-o-7EPp9JUhIYROOzrmNZ4jjY5HcBwRb8NB6YT-nfFBys=w680-h562-no)

Inspiration: Ancient Egypt
Ruler: Pharaoh Ramenhotep XXIV

Thothia is mainly one large desert, yet there is farming land as well, mostly along the Aurora River, especially in the fertile delta at the river's mouth. The desert is very inhospitable, and filled with pyramids, which serve to house the Thothian dead. While an expensive way to bury the dead, it comes in handy when they need to raise them all to fight in their army, as they did against Thyatis during the War of the Immortals. The southeastern most edge of the kingdom is a dry grassland where a few herders dwell, but they are mostly scarce. Instead, the grassland is the home of the cat-people called rakasta, who run around and hunt for food. The rakasta are not considered to be citizens of Thothia, yet the nobles often use them in their armies or as pets. Not much is known about the Thothian Plateau. Most who go there don't come back, and those that do claim they were attacked by giant spiders called araneas by the locals. The plateau seems to be heavily forested, a sharp contrast to the desert and grassland of Thothia down below. 

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2csEGUsI6weGZdQENGbeyyWT6wrXTA3NYm-ysb37no9t_0EjTn2ZLCILhi2DvHfxaJcAvDKdA4zKynR4rWTxlD5rdfnQknxWElUCET8IAN3mKW4WOuXQBCuAaMApmONbH9Ko0R4Zt84GGf3qQPK2h_GH40MWdEC7Shx5uhjT4pi2NRoJ0Th2RPHptgnXNjot--Ys6vxAColSlr1y4KN1EkE_iQsbpqcTomU-u_XWK-Odkfastp_MXFSXeSEOj2NWPHavaDat3L6IzlzloJIhNJWDFVH11kbyVLXMbskTwqq5YxI8zX35ArhZHwQ1Ny9b7CMGVXbLZxBVixdMTIBsooqj7kIydev-kXoh6eJeojIsfpUo3_mQSMLt7Rue99pfT7hYr1Ab0nQUdcS9VRkxrLOocOHTJZC2Q_fqXRwM5P-xdEXghYoAKo2P-3gi_5Um5-UgmtKXicxSYJ5eG_YVHPJ8uUm83vZcnc91HGR5zHVDsz6-xiLM7V4ljYfmTxjNabgMyyL6RCJSfrzKbPTptDanoFKKEIBhEEd0wU_WC5av21aIEUoWfdXdgzgD4B9WvqkQUbl-w-71-whUqZg-fYMIIDJ47DtYT1o2QJ-qx87Yfz-SAOo=w480-h429-no)

The Thothians are a strange people. They call themselves civilized, yet refuse to deal with other cultures. They are a small people, with brownish skin and red hair, although mainy Alphatians have fled here since the war and have now mingled with them. The Thothians have a deep respect for the dead, and any form of grave robbing is a capital offence here. This respect comes from their religion towards the Immortal Rathanos. In fact, their king, called a pharaoh, must be a priest of Rathanos, making Thothia a theocracy of sorts. There is another religion in Thothia, although one without any Immortal. A game called "The Spider's Web" is holy to them, but the pharaoh does not approve of this game. He is trying to get his people to abandon it, and the mysticism that goes with it. This has something to do with the pharaoh's father, Ramenhotep XXIII, who was controlled by a spider-demon. It seems that he was overthrown by adventurers just before the turn of the century (circa AC 1000), and the new pharaoh doesn't want the spiders back. It is unknown if these spiders are related to the aranea of the plateau.

Thothia prefers to be left alone, so they do not influence the world much. Of course, when Thyatis invaded them after Alphatia sank, the pharaoh showed the Thyatians just how much they wanted to be alone. They animated most of their dead and sent them off to defeat the invaders. Add magical statues and golems into the group, and one can see that Thothia is powerful indeed. They conquered lands that were originally Alphatian until there was a peace treaty between Thothia and Thyatis. This Treaty of Dawn, as some call it, defined what territories belonged to Alphatia and which would be given to Thyatis. In it, Thothia was granted control of the Great Escarpment, now called the Thothian Plateau. Soon after, Thothia joined the New Alphatian Confederate Empire, re-establishing its loyalties to the empress. Since then, not much has happened. Except for on the plateau. The Thyatian colonists there have been fleeing into mainland Thothia, asking for help against the araneas that live there. Thothia does not care much about the Thyatians left on their land, but now the spider monsters actually are raiding into Thothia proper. Many believe that Ramenhotep XXIV will be doing something about it soon.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yKdFkBND8t-Oi9dUPVo0ThDFxcTDLei4dqnlQd2ELyW2WbsfkW5OUcCsF_pSvGfz4eQuVEVrSsSOgmKWlp00EdZv7Wp2idk2iBvHwR2QMW_6SjiKkbY5exGh6GELL33LPcTrOXwGYFyw1h7pThVznsc1MX3WINA24QdbjTlSQjvo9Hx9yuzhIAWaUxuhbavfSH3_Otc0KvCMCiptB9XtU7BGojbM8eBs8X_6Q9_FeGSDlPo0G7UiHFQt86fI5vG5LdEU8OF94MyhNFsitaSGOQ38arGbhYOLPLtSFz0tsTLYGwxkYZ6QR4oqnOjS6KzFPB2--doN6Qyn7ElGQRV2w-8l6FZlLWEVl5xFEpT8CMImut7r8IwjrvG5-UlzBbpWFW0Fj9ImLvtWAKbRIWQCF69f1DMUWujq357lYZte5_ho54naG7rS86ugiKOvHrdkL6cl_4cn_3oPOyBEVdwPSRbyBG--DUiAGebPPdRDWT5pwffrNbCtoKqnh3HHTbw52u_G8PRr7Ors3GaLEKfssmLMT1jhQtUN4td-i2EaAFMCBYRqQxsfYuR1pEgj1R_BXVAZ7Ozpl0U9rsAwgBsmvZV4RWkKGP1alNpA0YwfQf050flUoJM=w546-h414-no)
Title: Re: Mystara - The Sea of Dawn
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:38:29 PM
Sea of Dawn

Ochalea
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/AJhPhXe3gaO4Rd_dEXvGbNE7Qf5RmgVP9wtRrLL86-RDICGBM5gz9FrVantXKO8HugJeMQa56FgwHuFDoAKSfLmvZAAnF5Hl5cKfw14iHUrf0cpSbROMbC5z0Z_MD0YDeD2-RoKfDtP_CrBT6YjDs9e3i4G5Ulfm8jEH4YqzShdA5bTfEP9lYjZRNW0VqSsoollPZ_CiZ1S_bYy1oAGyNrRwQJKJlZ6naaMA_NnlJd3z4y3Ra9Oa3VanXtrTJ5eS8vYo2KemYSbbEc0qk-KhlRuHITc2RxDoHcZa0-C8Zzf9X1Se5zQRszHovWc9LoSCOCsiWBOuUwP6cx8-q5w75ZASt43mgygRMfGM7VKSZul8Z7237b860YjqmF3nKDw8lhs1W88pTY5sBjeA85SGF9fl_5yktcCzHnqiDjak2h1SJ-SSkwj6VGBCPgWlOtLysq_OjAsU1na1lCawReXPzZFBAsrpERN19WVL7wZD5BRahm4qbu6cUjmIOK3v2Amp3UHkco8VL8kd_E9ph8-cWv5jLZEKpd-bCvvPwWoJe4zZkGM9sK08H8-99H46GUZKWvydoX4YmPrwqm37yJd4aYlkXOyfsZCZKU644iWXDOtOhX_jwa4=w817-h309-no)

Inspiration: China/Taiwan
Ruler: King Teng Lin-Dieu

In the blue waters of the Sea of Dread lies a large island that is home to the Ochaleans. Once part of the great Thyatian Empire, King Teng Lin-Dieu has managed to successfully rebel and keep his island to himself.

Once a volcanic island, the remains of volcanoes dot the islands, but these mountains, although still rather big, are too small to be considered true mountains. There are exceptions to this, however. First of all, between the hills, the valleys are well protected from the elements and the water runoffs create fertile land. The largest of these valleys houses the Shino-gawa River. This huge river crosses almost the entire nation, starting from the hills around the town of Wongzhao Tsuhao, then moves down to the lake around the town of Chungklang. From this lake, the largest one in Ochalea, the Shino-gawa then pours into the Sea of Dread another 70 or so miles away. Various areas along the shores of this river are forested and very productive for agriculture; productive enough to feed the entire population as well as leave some for export.

Also, two huge grasslands steppes cover a certain amount of the island. One, on the western shore, is also the location of Beitung, the capital. The second grassland, called the Grasslands of Chi, covers the southern shore of Ochalea. The most southern portion of the flat terrain is actually a tropical jungle thanks to the southerly ocean currents that warm the shores.

Ochaleans are a reserved and religious people who place great importance on manners and proper behaviour. The long-standing following of the traditions of the Immortal Koryis has also made them very quiet, polite, and peaceful. Normal recreational activities in the rest of the Known World, such as drinking and gambling, are illegal here. They do not like violence and prefer to solve all their problems through negotiation.

One of the greatest mysteries of the Ochaleans, however, is their very own traditions. Because of their peaceful ways, Ochaleans believe in the equality of all men. There is no distinction between the respect shown to members of different social classes. But as mentioned above, it is in the equality of men that is followed. By Ochalean tradition, the woman has a lesser role in society, placing her just above that of a convicted slave back in Thyatis. Admittedly, some places in Thyatis are not much better, but at least that is just the behaviour of certain citizens and not an actual law, as it is here in Ochalea. Females are therefore required to stay at home and perform family duties and household chores. There are more arranged marriages in Ochalea than in the entire Empire. A woman has very little choice regarding anything.

One of the most admirable things about these people is that their peaceful nature has made them rather scholarly. The large number of priests, whom are held in high regard here, has helped turned this nation into one of the most educated on the Known World, ranking third behind Glantri and Darokin.

The Pearl Islands
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7vATI2-bQQVB3j6LxKnViq81n9OyJlgGQdbDMdUBJyHoSXrPbRBbwzIGp1Se6OnTsGEI4G3DEMiMN5KtV6U4dNciFabCman3_TyKi9SSmQWZi8Ocyn50NzjatoxBS2vNWoqSdxoKgT_fIjszzcGJTeU87z1uFCK7ZAn2fHyunWu4y0jgL9_zDPMRZJGiX2EEy9x6P7I0Ru6FjpLvwiRa_JJB4-oUlh4uD6ble4r9I5Zb-P1KTcUqtAmLg7a7YOukDqPIP9LCOy_QOm-zzAI9st9WHrVleVCtlUgQMOhePHVOvmsAhDHW5kodWaaUkKKWS4aSyflG5oUD0wGxzvg_sXfFJjfO4wAr1Qmmz0Nf6oF4RcgyeehRIkex-ZN2rn-XyCvanHBdxryPjNO6Ylhj6_njs3BwANcErBNou0RqkZzuB2zcIL9D2KCA1LoaUOPQZNjTj8_xtRNvGfQXap64IqGsR5sUmvEnzE0VZC44-I5tOpMZ-omtCuZjYApouzgbYR96WtL0qS7bVCS6OVD3PxTI3b5erw9i8Ra7GelzDvydgSlfBvFpwz83wEvIj_jYiCNcBYIRu4KSQNn7Np2ZQ_K8B7aeTVnAwWGqrElYOcpRqrvmIMI=w825-h312-no)

Inspiration: Maori and other peoples of the Pacific Islands
Ruler: King Nurokidu Nuar

The Pearl Islands, as they are called by Thyatians, are a series of islands found where the Sea of Dawn meets the Bellissarian Sea. There are five large islands and several hundred smaller ones usually not found on any map. The islands are volcanic in origin, and a few are still active. The volcanic mountains can be seen on every island.

From the shores to the slopes of the mountains, tropical forests are everywhere. From these forests come all the wonderful fruits that will delight everyone's stomach. Not many animals live in the woods, either. One only needs to watch out for the famous draco lizards. Streams collect the runoff waters from the mountains and bring them back down to the ocean.

The Nuari are an energetic people who always strive to do the best they can. They are fierce fighters yet also great philosophers. They believe in individual excellence in everything they do, whether it is warfare, the arts, theology, or magic. Nowhere can pme find better sailors or scouts than on the Pearl Islands.

It is believed that the Nuari are descendants of Tanagoro colonists from long ago. Ancient scrolls claim that they were once a matriarchal society, but now men and women are treated equally. The Nuari have black skin, brown or black hair and eyes. Nuari are taller than the average Thyatian, but also leaner. The Nuari believe that everyone is equal and everyone has the potential to be great. They are therefore nice to everyone, and expect the same in return. Upon meeting a stranger, Nuari present them with a small gift, usually a pretty coloured shell or stone. The stranger is expected to return a similar gift before the day is over, and to do otherwise is considered a sign of disliking the person.

One thing that is shocking to most visitors is the Nuari's lack of concern for wearing clothing. They consider wearing clothing unnatural, and find the rest of the world's ideas about wearing clothing to be very odd.

The Alatian Islands

Aegos

The largest island of the Alatians, Aegos was until recently home to a sleepy community of farmers. Aegos is known for its farmland and pasturage. It occupies a strategic location in the Sea of Dawn, covering access both west into the Sea of Dread and east towards Bellissaria. Aside from some piratical raids back and forth between Furmenglaive and Ne'er-do-well, Aegos was mostly uninvolved in the Great War. Since then it has become the focus of some attention though, due to the tunnel leading to the so-called "Hollow World" which existed in the island's interior. Both Minrothad and Thyatis dedicated themselves to exploiting the potential of this shaft, but have been unable to reopen it following damage it suffered during the war. Repeated attempts have been made to repair it, but after promising starts it always collapses again--it seems the Alphatians made a mistake in building it in an area that is prone to earthquakes. Thyatian engineers have advised giving up on the project, but have been overruled for political reasons by the governments of Minrothad and Thyatis; neither nation wants to fall further behind the NACE and Karameikos in reaping the benefits of exploration and discoveries in the Hollow World. Some say starting a new tunnel elsewhere, in an area less geologically unpredictable, would be wiser in the long run, but so far these proposals have gone nowhere. The people of Aegos are largely of Alphatian decent, but immigrants from Minrothad and Thyatis form a growing segment of the population, drawn here to work on The Pit. So far there has been little conflict between the new settlers and the natives, as the natives are scattered in farms while the immigrants mainly work in Aegopoli and Pittston.

Ne'er-do-well

This pair of none-too-fertile islands has what can only be described as a unique form of government, perhaps possible only within Alphatia's "anything goes" tradition. Here is a naked kleptocracy, a haven for pickpockets, smugglers, pirates, extortionists, and "normal honest criminals," governing the island through the institutions of organized crime. Here is individualism at its most extreme, where people openly use others to their own ends without regard for a common interest. It is said that the people of Ne'er-do-well have yet to find a culture they cannot corrupt or profit from. Ne'er-do-well is alternately "friendly to the world" and akin to a disease, needing the normal nations of the region to do the real work of providing order and civilisation but feeding off them. Lately pirates based in Ne'er-do-well have had a field day; the breakdown of central authority allowed them to raid at will, and only recently with the rise of the Thyatian and NACE influence have their appetites been curbed. Still, they prey on shipping in the region, especially near the Pearl Islands and even Ochalea.

Gaity

Gaity had once been part of the artistry movement to develop the Alatians. For Gaity this effort manifested itself in the resort town of Rainbow Park. The resort was utterly destroyed by the effects of the sinking and the Week without Magic. The subsequent Thyatian occupation and colonization efforts saw the Alphatian populace interned in a concentration camp at the ruins of Rainbow Park. There their treatment was less than hospitable with some 500 perishing from maltreatment. Later, through the efforts of Tristilia and several Alphatian officers serving in the Thyatian military, these interned Alphatians were freed and transported to Esterhold.

Since the Isle of Dawn Treaty has been put in effect, all Thyatian officials and troops have been removed from the isle (they were either sent to Aegos or back to mainland Thyatis). The capital of Paganica has since been a ghost town, as has been Rainbow Park.
After the departure of the Thyatians, the petty barons that had been granted dominions by Eusebius have fought over the land, trying to become the undisputed rulers of the whole isle. Intrigues, plots, assassinations, wars, alliances, betrayals are all common. Trade is nearly nonexistent, and famine is also feared because crops have been destroyed in many places. The country is in a complete state of chaos and anarchy, but Thyatis and the NACE don't want to intervene and break the treaty for such an unimportant land. Ne'er-do-well's thieves, however, may find that the isle suits their needs, and may help a baron of their choice by smuggling weapons for him, in exchange for the right to use the isle as another haven for their piratical activities.

Aeria

The island kingdom of Aeria is part of the Alatian Islands. As with the other Alatians, Aeria never managed to manifest itself into the grandiose mould that its artisan patrons desired. Even the vaunted University of Air Magics was not a major academic facility back in pre-war times Aeria has switched side many times those last years. When Thyatis sent its legions to conquer the former Alphatian territories after the sinking of the continent, Master Aiklin decided to owe fealty to the Empire. But when Thothia kicked the Thyatians out of most of the former Alphatian territories (but not Aegos), the Isle of Dawn Treaty gave control of the island to the Thothians. Aeria regained its independence when Thothia agreed to become member of the New Alphatian Confederate Empire. Thothia granted independence to the island after having put Headmaster Aiklin back on the throne, and after having forced it to become full member of the Confederation. Aeria also has close ties with Karameikos, thanks to Master Terari. The two countries have set up an exchange program that allows students that have graduated from one school to follow complementary courses in the other school if this is the specialty they want to study. It is obvious that King Stefan hopes to build his own sky navy, and neither Aiklin nor the Council oppose the idea. The agreement is a threat to both Thyatis and Glantri, and the Council is thinking over generalising the exchange program to the whole Confederation.
Title: Re: Mystara - The Alphatian Sea
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:39:07 PM
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0r7YRD30_Pt2nkqdUP7M567emaUWY6jGOv6tcTQHgsJhyZ7I9pW_Mnz99qUUVyLs6uFcodIpVVJ-4zDOmGs0JBSKKVDN5m_or0bM6ubPQ5WHTBQl8GerfD15yfoBGr6pDS07GePiORVQCXASRz5q6QvdJovVlkRBxrutnKKY1bIaGKKpMcGx1rgnFcLjvQF9htS1SSLJPHP-XW2H5sZzl8fy_n9lSsVw337W86cP4BwONK2pw-Waa3Nb6kbn7L-LJPxo9YI8uGhz6qxYOdLLayZwnU6_BNBdf62w2yN_kiJqWQ83RfjeV6i6ktyOQo4cMi2Yq4qCs_ANCtLLXNcouxGtsTi7Z3rTur5DaRTkgL1ScOlRMPubzBAkMFYYlJyLgqbndZbe7eQzmdnpYIBd9aJfrlAO1rIgCVva-m4721iFp99vP1n2uHfrGq410tkZh988YOyaSgsbk7miQdlLjuKV8jN98aROKA1uHixY80RJdPKqgqdfVOJQEYAsWeNvdILKuII6h45pX7EJoHg4EcoCeS3BrL4msW27XiY5eBpou-BMDQDZU5kAxim47ffoNji0JBnitF5ecSidllh_vdIQ8vgcV9u1MEkOEyR17eMU-5k26rg=w1111-h908-no)

Alphatian Sea and the New Alphatian Empire

Inspiration: Atlantis
Ruler:The Alphatian Council in Empress Eriadna's name

In the aftermath of the War of the Immortals, most of mainland Alphatia sunk beneath the waves. With Empress Eriadna dead, her son Zandor sought to reunite the tattered remnants of the Empire for his own glory and revenge. Zandor's reign of madness ended in AC 1013 when he was deposed by his half-sister Queen Zynnia of Aquas, Commander Broderick of Seashield and Prince Haldemar of Haaken. Zynnia and the rulers of Bellissaria formed the Alphatian Council to rule the New Alphatian Empire in Empress Eriadna's name. Broderick was named Commander-in-Chief of the new empire's military forces.

Ionace (aka the Isle of NACE, formerly Monster Island)

When Alphatia sank beneath the waves, the tops of the Kerothar Mountains stayed above the waterline forming Monster Island. Until AY 2013 (AC 1013) this island was not given much attention. It was only with the discovery of the mineral known as mnemonic mineral that Monster Island began to draw much interest.

With Zandor's removal as emperor, Monster Island was chosen as the new seat of government for what was to become the NACE. On Amphimir 15, AY 2014 (Vatermont 15, AC 1014), the island was officially renamed Ionace. Ionace is under the direct jurisdiction of the ruling council. It is here where the NACE Council meets to administer the new empire.

Ionace is a fast-paced place. The populace seems to be forever heading for some appointment or just returning from one. The council hall is the focal point for this pedestrian traffic. The sinking has altered the structure of the ruling elite class and opened the door for a new generation of nobles. Prior to the War of the Immortals, Alphatia was a magocracy, and only spellcasters had any power in society. Non-magic-users were peasants at best and slaves at worst. Now, while magic is still important and the ruling class are still spellcasters, non-spellcasters can advance much further in society. A good example of this change is Commander Broderick.

Bellissaria

This large island continent was once a backwater of the Alphatian Empire, but with Alphatia's destruction it is now much more prominent. The huge island has rich soil, low-lying but pretty mountains, and vast plains.  Bellissaria is made up of six kingdoms: Dawnrim, Horken, Lagrius, Meriander and Notrion. The inhabitants are all Alphatian.

Up until the War of the Immortals, the island's history is quite uneventful, which is the way the island's various kings like it. They learned their magic, paid their taxes, kept the commoners growing crops, provided support to the Empire in times of war, and kept to themselves otherwise. The island's history is similar to that of mainland Alphatia, except that periods of decadence and decay were not so bad here--and periods of prosperity were never so good.

The denizens of Bellissaria--aristocrat and commoner alike--tend to be very close-mouthed. They don't like strangers, don't like adventurers, don't like noise, don't like trouble. Inns are few; where they are present, their operators don't like noise or problem guests. Taverns are common...but when strangers wander in the door, everyone clams up.

Laws in Bellissaria are strictly oriented to pacify or get rid of trouble-makers. Exile is a common punishment for crimes of both high and low justice. And exile is almost always a permanent sentence; local rulers and judges hardly ever reconsider.

Bellissaria is a land of close-minded nobles and superstitious peasants. By the standards of the rest of the world, as the old joke has it, Bellissaria is a great place to be thrown out of. The recent waves of Alphatian refugees after the mainland sank beneath the waves has upset the Bellissarian natives.

Kingdom of Qeodhar

Yanifey and disreputable types that were no longer welcomed on Alphatia proper settled this cold, barren island. Despite several attempts to achieve respectability, Baron Norlan is more known for continuing these traditions than for stamping them out. An island of rugged seamen, the people of Qeodhar are known for their whaling and sealing, but also for less respectable occupations. Farend, the capital, is known for shipyards that build stout vessels, well able to survive the severe weather of this area. The people themselves are largely of typical northern stock, taciturn and suspicious.

Floating Ar
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Floating Ar is comprised of numerous landmasses enchanted with magics, affording them lift. Essentially, the kingdom is a grouping of floating islands. Prior to the war, Floating Ar was part of Ar, a kingdom on the Alphatian mainland. When the mainland sank, the islands remained in their lofty altitudes. With the mainland gone, the kingdom was moved to its present location above the Yannivey Islands. Basically, before the war Floating Ar had been the residences of the ruling class (spellcasters), while the lands of Ar served as the agricultural base. With Ar gone, new food sources were needed. Such a movement was a major undertaking, taking six months to travel the 350 odd miles to their present location.

The Floating Arians quickly set about occupying the Yannivey Chain to meld it to its needs. The Yannivey fared little better than their Yanifey forebears. The fate of the Yanifey tribesmen is uncertain and still under debate. The good news is that much of the criminal aspect of the chain was destroyed. All in all things are on an upswing for Floating Ar.

The people of Floating Ar are predominantly Alphatian. A large number of elves live there as well, establishing themselves as a powerful minority. Due to the isles' pre-war standing, one will see a far greater ratio of spellcasters living there than in any other kingdoms. Of course this ratio would be much greater had there not been a sizeable return of non-spellcasters from the war and the bulk of the skyship fleet surviving the sinking. Another race that populates Floating Ar are the pegataurs, a magical crossbreed of elves and pegasi (essentially, flying centaurs). Pre-war the pegataurs had only second-class status, but Post-war they have gained ground socially and have a strong presence in the military.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/0kpVQI5VkjBAELZTxrSaR5eMNOYyPI9Yct80zJr4fXlDW_kqIClJE1VUhi0OcnGIRwdS4tW0ucBxSYDRjGN1pP5ZJjBoIPJtChBR2PDxuL7FsO6MdZisfKMvhRJ5i6JNfl96dib6clDkC9URhGvV9Pev70EYKhUg946Qr7dpp2RyUJnc-dvBKEfEADF_DCf66gVVUCNipLMh2uCLNWWmB2aXhz81yofbbBo5N8zvGv34s7dJpT8xck8gV854vdmLfC0fr9enGwrc8Ix5B_MAaHlrP4EdLDOb99c8gyyfYqP8BsWLcrvIpCfw3RLYRHc3OIAto2lVv-F0euB1eD5HKXd6MMVG048rrxRjkYNTKpZIahaiD00sk2c5LUQmsC5iEMLIpj8zXp2cw0fukxN6E1SCQhYKvxCQplHXcWcsrXl5QW_tqQZkzPxQ1qGvkIkkIR7FmSLZ4oIg7eJspsgDcH2Y3B3H8qwK9W4ZbhOcLrJu_55j65gtO1cpnYzAbyPV9DyRPzf7iD230WBRYK5iWKVWqdETKqy-UTrEw1msA5KiBF32mltKStinoWSuVCXh9uFAoOqGbMhZPQzFmh3wWV-HtDl8pQySinLlUzcLEjzE_xboJmA=w828-h583-no)

Sea-Kingdom of Aquas
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This nation consists mainly of the great underwater domed city of Seashield. Nearby are four smaller domed villages that survived the earthquake that sank Alphatia. Each of these communities is housed within a large, magically-created transparent dome of flawless crystal. Within the domes people live in tall but sturdily built, crowded towers. Each tower constitutes an independent household; many are themselves watertight when properly sealed. Seashield's lower levels are built right into the solid bedrock, and can also be sealed in an emergency. These precautions -- and the heroic actions of Seashield's founder, King Zyndryl, who gave his life to protect his people -- allowed Seashield to survive the catastrophic earthquakes that shook Alphatia.

The domed communities have mechanical airlocks built and maintained by gnomes and dwarves.  Teleport spells are often used to travel between domes or to and from the surface.

Soon after Alphatia sank, self-styled Emperor Zandor reached Aquas. Though he'd played no part in the saving of Aquas, he declared himself its hero and demanded that the histories be rewritten with him taking credit for the heroism of King Zyndryl. For this and other crimes, he earned the hatred of his half-sister Zynnia, the rightful heir to Aquas. By AC 1013 Zynnia, along with Commander Broderick and Prince Haldemar of Haaken, deposed Zandor and took the rightful throne of Aquas.

Yannivey Islands
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fHTL-mFyDFfgTF8I3mhPTpoH_Gewawm9FzXgHhK1FD1CNPCEJOHab3F8G7IvtuBoi5cHTURy5YmqIPtvNj7PIa6y-cx3v_2pVCtTn7BPINRCkd8EvqoOyT9Xf21n6i4g3rbX314aud91cAWXKoHXp-PiJ8W1U3abk8kwJa0k6s67xOqfx6mDBjIkeCQ-H5M_WLLIMef3inIX_WMeD5gPf1gZoa0yJUWooxS1x2xqnpEofXbt1_oIFGRXOcjvFqxuUI4zjLqSODsHnDzgZBc_Mqxt0YiNGIh_rVuOp5AI_y66OlheV_CWXnCDIAmdsl6d8Gadb3XWUG9GYCBE7jqVeSWW5XbAZaBcb8QYlLLfYnlnSQvkOOkKM0FKtYD2Hqt9ytYN6Z8ynsz07RX-ZraPuriDfsDNwh5-wk-5prDAP7PLR5WEBxZoucxIrB0zIAdptEuU8VwjbFRS5c3QBK0rcoWLx1q6MdxueQtCwskG0usswY3_HN6kLNybwl0P1kIyD56RaUamw8dDxiSFbv1UEM8_UbejHMcidiOeMmRdnBCfC9O22NVwdnAO_L-3JdwHRf1TAhkqDeAZvYa21IXR7we_5KbnJrlTxQuwbWzC61_VHyII4eQ=w820-h301-no)

These barely habitable rocks poking out of the ocean are occupied by a mixture of original Yanifey stock and fugitives fleeing Alphatian justice. Today the Yannivey Islands are inhabited by scrawny, paranoid men and women with olive skin (a blending of pale Yanifey and coppery Alphatian) and dark hair.

Long ago, Yanifey tribes descended from the Antalians thinly occupied the area between Brun and Skothar, but Alphatians arriving on Mystara drove them away. Some Yanifeys ended up on the islands north of Alphatia. In the last two millenia, the Yanniveys have come to be known as a haven for fugitives. However, they're a haven where most fugitives die of exposure or starvation before they learn how to survive.

Very little plant life grows on these bleak islands. Fish are abundant in the surrounding seas. They attract birds, seals, sea lions, whales and other sea creatures. The most dangerous encounters on the islands involve the brigands, bandits, pirates and theives who live here.
Title: Re: Mystara - Skothar
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:41:21 PM
Republic of Esterhold

Ruler: President Favian Vern

Esterhold, a broad peninsula on Skothar's western shores, is a rolling land of sparse forest, scrub brush, and tough grasses. Its bare and unproductive soil requires back-breaking labor to produce even adequate crops. Grass fires are not uncommon, and can be devastating. The peninsula's central plateau is mostly rocky desert and badlands.

But there is mineral wealth in abundance here, and this is what attracted Alphatian settlers and aristocrats here to this distant, dismal land. Alphatian emperors granted two settlements the status of kingdoms -- Blackrock, claiming the peninsula's northwestern tip, and Verdan, a military community protecting Alphatian settlements from the "wild" Jennite clansmen to the east.

For many, many years, the "tamed" Jennites were forced to labor as slaves in the Alphatian communities, while the Alphatian aristocrats lived in luxury. Jennite resentment grew into outright rebellion in AC 1012, shortly after Zandor claimed the Alphatian throne. The Jennite rebels gained assistance from Prince Haldemar of Haaken and his old friend Favian Vern, although the rebellion was not truly successful until Zandor had been deposed later that year. When the Council of New Alphatia convened for the first time, Favian Vern was crowned King of Blackrock. Vern's first official act was to free all of the Jennite slaves in his kingdom.

When the Alphatian Council had to decide about the future of Verdan, King Favian of Blackrock came up with an interesting, though unusual, alternative: He proposed to regroup all of the territories of the Esterhold Peninsula into a single state, the Republic of Esterhold, which would be governed by an elected ruler. It would be composed of provinces, each with an elected governor, who elect the president. Elections could occur every six years; when there is a tie for the naming of the president, the Council decides. The governor would be the ruler of his own province, and the president would decide on matters concerning the republic as a whole, or for events involving more than one province, the Council or territories outside the provinces.

The Alphatian Council approved King Favian's proposition. Thus the Peninsula became the Republic of Esterhold, with a full seat at the Council. It is composed of five provinces: The Province of Anchorage (provincial capital: Anchorage), the Province of Blackrock (provincial capital: Skyfyr), the Province of Marlin (provincial capital: Port Marlin), the Province of Southrock (provincial capital: Rock Harbour), and the Province of Verdan (provincial capital: Faraway). The central region, composed mainly of desert, broken lands and other badlands, is under the direct administration of the President. Favian Vern was named President of Esterhold until elections can be organized, i.e. until the situation is stabilized. He has appointed temporary governors until the elections; two of them are Jennites who were leaders of the rebels, while the other three are of Alphatian descent-in fact they were the mayors of the cities which are now capitals of the provinces.

The Land of Jen

Inspiration: Scythians and pre-Genghis Khan Mongols
Ruler: Each clan has its own tribal chieftain. The clans have no political unity

The Land of Jen encompasses most of the grassy steppes that stretch across the central region of the Skothar continent, from the western coast and the Esterhold Peninsula to the Nentsun Plateaux far to the east. This land is ringed by mountain ranges to the north, the east, and the southeast, and by the forested hills of the Minaean Coast to the south.

The people of Jen are copper-skinned nomadic herders and horsemen. They rely on New Stone Age technology (well-crafted tools and weapons made of wood, bone, and stone), as the art of forging metal was lost to their ancestors. Jennite craftsmen know how to beat and hammer gold and copper, which they can find in a natural, almost pure state. Most Jennites worship the Immortal Rathanos, although some clans follow other Immortals. Women rarely hold a high position in Jennite society. Masters of the horse and the steppes, Jennite warriors sometimes raid Alphatian or Minaean communities in Esterhold and along Skothar's southwestern coast.

There are no known permanent settlements in the Land of Jen. Along the Minaean Coast, there are rumors of a distant valley where Jennite chieftains have been buried with their wealth.

Minaean Coast

Inspiration: Kushan Empire and Indo-Greek Bactria
Ruler: King Korudon

The Minaean Coast is a vast region stretching along the southwestern bulge of the Skothar continent. Rolling hills rise up from the Steppes of Jen, peak in a hilly range almost tall enough to qualify as mountains, and gradually subside into the coastal lowlands. The entire region is blanketed in forest, and is dotted with open terrain. The climate is surprisingly temperate; in the lowlands, the climate tends to verge on subtropical.

The Minaeans are the principal inhabitants of this forested land. A people of dark complexion with dark brown or black hair, Minaeans are primarily known for piracy, due to the depredations of an infamous band of pirates -- Yodar's Sea Wolves -- that preyed on Alphatian and Bellissarian shipping 70 years ago. Since then, Minaean pirates have harassed so many ships that most people immediately think of pirates whenever they think of Minaeans.

Minaea, the nation's capital city, rests five miles back from the coast, across the Strait of Minaea from Seahaven in Meriander. The coastal town of Piraeus serves as Minaea's port.

Other Minaean cities and towns are scattered throughout the region, connected by a vast network of roads and trails. Each city is semiautonomous, and satellite towns and villages are granted access to community services (libraries, universities, marketplaces, and the like). Minaean cities share a common language, culture, and currency. Trade goods and cultural achievements (literature, plays, music, and so on) flow freely between the cities.

In the wilderness beyond Minaean influence, the forests are inhabited by humanoid tribes. A relatively primitive culture of forest-dwelling human tribes descended from Tangor Man of the Tangor peninsula to the east also live here, and have very little contact with other humans.

Minaea, the capital city, is a prosperous community of some 27,000 people. The city boasts a sophisticated sewer system and is kept relatively clean. Many of Minaea's public buildings are made of stone and have graceful fluted columns. (The buildings are, in fact, reminiscent of those built by the defunct Milenian Empire on the Davanian continent.) The king's palace is a magnificent sprawling complex of stone and brick buildings that practically qualifies as a miniature city in itself.

The history of Minaea goes as far back as BC 100, when colonists fleeing the falling Milenian Empire reached the western shores of Skothar. The Milenian colonists found the coast already inhabited. Not wishing to travel further -- their journey from Davania had already taken nearly two years -- the Milenians asked permission of nearby natives to settle a stretch of wilderness between two prosperous Jennite cities. Permission was granted, and Minaea, as the new settlement was called, soon began trading with its neighbors. Minaea became so prosperous, in fact, that neighboring Jennite communities began to adopt many Minaean ways. A millenium later, the two cultures have slowly and smoothly blended into the one today known as Minaean. Commerce, cultural interchange, and intermarriage has increased between the Minaeans and the Tangors to the east as well, as the two cultures expand towards one another.

Empire of New Thonia

Inspiration: The waning days of the Western Roman Empire, c. 400 AD
Ruler: King/Emperor Iyxis XXXIV

New Thonia is a surviving remnant of the ancient Empire of Thonia, which predated even Blackmoor. Its people are conscious of their history, but surviving in the rugged lands is enough of a challenge that they have never managed to recapture their old glory. They reflect Antalian origin (or, rather, the Antalians reflect a Thonian origin) in their appearance. The history of Thonia since the destruction of Blackmoor has been one of rebuilding, followed by the struggle to survive in their harsh environment.

Thonia has one major city and several smaller towns. The capital is Thorin, built atop the ruin of an ancient, pre-Blackmoor Thonian city, by survivors of that great cataclysm. Thorin is surrounded by a seamless wall, seemingly carved out of a single piece of stone, thrust up from the earth. This wall arcs out into the Bay itself, forming a breakwater and creating the city's port. The wall is immune to natural and unnatural damage (such as Earthquakes or spells), and is protected against normal, non-magical missiles (including non-magic artillery). The battlements likewise protect the defenders during time of war as if protected from evil/good (irregardless of the alignment of the attackers). Numerous pieces of artillery are mounted in and atop the towers that stud the walls. These are operated by ancient mechanisms, allowing them to be aimed and fired with only one crewman, who is protected by 90% cover. They are able to aim these skyward against flying creatures or Alphatian Skyships.

Thorin itself is a large city, covering almost the same area as Sundsvall does, but with a fraction of the population. Much of the interior is parkland, fields, even small gardens or croplands, with the occasional cows, chickens, or goats. The population has gradually dwindled for centuries, if not millennia, and here and there can be found weed-choked ruins (though few of these date back to the time of ancient Thonia or Blackmoor - most of the older ruins are buried under several feet of earth). The palace of the Thonian King (aka "Emperor," though usually only outsiders call him that) is a monumental relic to ancient Thonian architecture, with a gilded dome at its centre and many large windows. The palace is heated magically, and would be quite pleasant if it wasn't for the jury-rigged towers and fortifications built into its sides, obvious later (and somewhat clumsy) additions. The city is defended by a small but elite Royal Guard force, some Royal Marines, and a force of Pegataurs tasked with protecting Thonia against aerial attack.

When Alphatia sank, many thought the Thonians would try to take advantage of this by marching into Esterhold, or at least helping the Jennites recapture that peninsula. But Thonia did nothing. They seem instead satisfied with the disappearance of the Alphatian continent, smugly happy with the "pitiful state" of the surviving Alphatian kingdoms (which have now formed the NACE) - there is little compassion or awareness that the destruction of the Alphatian empire echoes their own experience of long ago. They are just happy that the long shadow cast by Alphatia has been removed, and that now the "glory of elder Thonia will be revealed." Thus the Thonians scheme rather sadly and contemptibly, living in their past with no real energy to actually restore the glories they still dream of and pantomime.

Empire of Tangor

Inspiration: Ashanti Empire of West Africa
Ruler: King Kouffour III

Tangor's climate is sub-tropical. The region sits at the threshold from temperate forest to the first hints of jungle. Agriculture is not particularly popular among the population, and the productive activities concentrate on goat farming in stretches of land that have been deforested. Goat milk and goat meat is the most common food, supplemented by bananas and other tropical fruits that grow near the villages of the area.

The Tangor Empire is the most important kingdom of the Tangor Peninsula. Not only is its population much larger than that of all surrounding nations, but its history has greatly influenced the past of the region, and the empire casts its shadow over all of southwestern Skothar. The empire is a strong political entity; like any typical Tangor state, it is formed as a confederation of several provinces, each of them divided in clans, led by the elders, members of the aristocratic families. The provinces are each ruled by a governor appointed by the central emperor, who is also Governor of the Province of Tangor. Apart from the emperor, all other governors are supported by a Council of Elders, formed by one representative of each clan of Tangor.

The Tangors are a proud race of black-skinned men, with a civilised culture that may seem odd to foreigners. They are extremely good in craftsmanship of all sorts, are humorous and merry, but are also very superstitious ("pious," they say), afraid of taboos and worshiping a myriad of spirits present in Nature, in addition to several Immortals that form the Tangor Pantheon. Tangors set much prize in fighting: they practice several violent sports, and competitions are fierce between a city or village and its neighbours. They don't love city life, preferring to live in towns of medium size, and only the capitals of the provinces, where the bureaucratic, mercantile and political activities take place, have a population of more than 10,000. The Tangors are fond of strangers, but are very quick to take offense (especially regarding religious matters). Although they call other races "barbarians," they respect other cultures and are very interested in Minaeans, with whom they trade exotic fruits and other trading goods (both Minaeans and Tangors view each other's production as "exotic" and are willing to pay big sums for them, thus the trade is satisfactory to both). Tangors do not like travelling, and are completely helpless at sea. This is the main reason why there is so little information about them in Alphatia and Brun.

Island of Zyxl

Ruler: Unknown

Very little is known about this remote island nation, aside from the fact that their galleys have been known to travel eastwards all the way to the nation of Gombar (on the Arm of Immortals' western coast) to trade strange gems from their homeland.

Nentsun

Yet another land that is virtually unknown, Nentsun is the frigid in the north of Skothar. All that is known about its inhabitants is that they are described as "cruel" and have been known to use longboats.
Title: Re: Mystara - Davania pt. 1
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:42:25 PM
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The Continent of Davania

Davania is the sole continent of Mystara's southern hemisphere. Davania's northeastern tip is the area best known to the nations of the Known World.

Davania's northeastern coast, known as the Jungle Coast, is an endless jumble of tropical growth. Dark rain forests blanket much of the land, while swamps and bogs fester in the lowlands. The coastline varies from white, sunwashed, pristine sandy beaches to shadowed, creepy mangrove forests. Further inland, upland hills occasionally give way to great cliffs and rocky, craggy terrain. Many tribes, both humans and humanoids, inhabit the Jungle Coast. The best known are the tribes of the Thyatian Hinterlands -- the Jackal Clan, the Rhino Clan, the Raven Clan and the Leopard Clan.

West of the Jungle Coast lies the Meghala Kimata Plains, a broad expanse of grasslands ranging from short hardy grasses near the central desert to giant grasses taller than a human near the border hills. The Meghalo Fithi River snakes its way through the center of these grasslands. Many towns and city-states line its banks, as well as ruins of ancient Milenian cities.
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South of the Meghala Kimata Plains lies a vast desert. A few tenacious nomadic tribes, both human and humanoid, live here. Unwary travelers not perishing from the heat or lack of water usually succumb to the desert's monsters.

Further west lies the Adakkian Mountians, home to some of Davania's fiercest denizens. Humans tend to avoid these towering peaks, as the mountain range is riddled with caves systems inhabited by humanoids of all types.

The western coast of this portion of Davania receives ample rains. Jungle growth similar to that found on the Jungle Coast blanket the coastal hills, while swamps, marshes and bogs fill the lowlands. A broad, fertile plan known as the Green Coast opens to the Meghata Kimala grasslands further inland.

Few people in the Known World know much about the southern continent.

Thyatian Hinterlands

Inspiration:The Hinterlanders are based on various Celts, particularly the Picts.
Ruler: General Governor Leilah ben Nadir

The Hinterlanders are composed of four clans: the Raven Clan, the Rhino Clan, the Jackal Clan, and the Leopard Clan. The Thyatians began colonizing Davania's northernmost tip about 25 years ago; this area is now known as the Thyatian Hinterlands. The natives -- tall, pale-skinned, blonde warriors -- have successfully resisted many Thyatian advances, but are gradually losing ground. Raven Scarp, once the meeting place of the Raven Clan, is now a thriving Thyatian city serving as the headquarters for the Thyatian military efforts on Davania. Some Hinterlanders, primarily of the Rhino and Raven Clans, have adapted to life under Thyatian rule. Other Hinterlanders, especially the Jackal and Leopard Clans, live as they always have in their jungle homes. Tribes attacked by Thyatian forces simply melt into the jungle growth and reestablish themselves elsewhere.

The Thyatians living in the Hinterlands, especially those who were among the first colonists, and their children, are slightly different from those living on the mainland. Being a distinct minority far from home, many Thyatians in the Hinterlands have adopted some of the local customs, including a more individualistic outlook on life, and a greater reverence for nature. Some have even learned druidic lore and left civilization for the great jungles to start a new life. In other ways, they are still typically Thyatian -- they heartily support their emperor, and the empire itself, and they have a great respect for the legionnaires who serve all around them. They also tend to be rather cosmopolitan, claiming to represent the greatest nation on Mystara, but also one of the most sophisticated ones.

Generally speaking, the two groups seem to get along reasonably well in the towns and cities of the Hinterlands. A large number of the Thyatians living here, especially those who were born here, or those who have lived here a long time, respect the Hinterlanders, and treat them as equals. Intolerant Thyatians, more often than not, tend to be those who have just arrived here, and often they are the ones who have not spent much time around people of other ethnic groups. In the countryside, relations tend to be more strained, it seems, as more land comes under the plough, and the more traditional Hinterlanders are forced to retreat further into the jungles.

City-State of Kastelios

Inspiration: Bronze Age Greek city-states
Ruler: Democratically elected council

The land upon which Kastelios was built was originally a swampy delta, which lay at the junction of the Amoros and Vasilios river systems. When the Milenians came, they used their engineering skills to drain the swamps, and then run sewers underneath the city foundations. This left an area with rich soils, upon which the city was built long ago. The lands immediately surrounding Kastelios are rich farmlands and plains, upon which the villages of Phossos and Kantrios are built. Both of these lie southeast of Kastelios.

The people who inhabit Kastelios are all of Milenian stock, though the blood of paler folk, such as the Hinterlanders, may have been added at some time in the distant past; for the men and women of Kastelios are decidedly fairer in complexion than those of nearby Kalavronti, or Ilioloosti. Despite this difference in appearance, those in Kastelios are no less Milenian than their neighbors. They honor the Immortals Halav, Petra, Zirchev, Protius, and Asterius among others-and they hold a deep regard for the honorable traditions of their ancestors. Their dialect of the Milenian tongue is said to be the closest in form to that spoken by their people when the Milenian Empire was strong.

Unlike many of the other city-states, for example, Kastelios still follows the democratic principles of our ancestors. All citizens of Kastelios elect their representatives to the city council, who in turn elect a spokesperson-one who moderates council debates and represents the city to the outside world. They also regularly hold athletic games of skill, where adventurous souls may prove their mettle at wrestling, running, diskos throwing, and other events. These tend to draw great crowds, and are never dull to watch. The Kastelian people also have a deep respect for knowledge-those who are experts in philosophy or other arts are encouraged to share what they know of their world, and to debate with others. Such competition, both mental and physical, enriches the Kastelian people, and allows them to be the best they can be.

Kastelios maintains some contact with the nations of Brun. To date, the Kastelians have traded with Yavdlom and occasionally Sind. Kastelian merchant-sailors are becoming bolder, and may soon venture farther afield.

Other Milenian city-staes nearby include Ilioloosti, Hrissopoli, Mivosia, and Polatkatsikes.

Emerond

Ruler: King Jerem Rhody

The Kingdom of Emerond occupies the northwestern corner of the Jungle Coast. Covering nearly 68,000 square miles, with a population of 125,000, Emerond is a collection of city-states loosely organized under one monarch. The Emerondians are a green-skinned people with silver hair (descendents of visitors from another world) who tend the jungle like farmers. Their cities are made almost entirely of wood -- much of it still living, magically formed into walls and pillars -- and are well-fortified against attack. Izmira (pop. 12,000), the capital city, is home to the royal family of Emerond. The city seems to grow out of the side of the jungle-cloaked hill on which it resides.

Emerondians use giant insects as vehicles: giant bugs resembling horses (but they can even climb vertical walls), hornets and butterflies for faster movement, and worms for digging holes underground. These insects comprise both the normal species commonly found on Mystara, which the Emerondians tame and train, and unique insect-like creatures originally imported from their lost world. These creatures come in different shapes and have different abilities, but all share an emphatic link with their rider and are more intelligent than common insects. They have also a more menacing appearance, with spikes and thorns protruding from their carapace. These creatures are created and tended in special enclaves administered by druids, where the Emerondians' cattle also live.

Emerond is a kingdom ruled by creatures who look like elves, but are slightly taller, green-skinned and silver-haired. Emerondians are plant-like creatures. They have a chlorophyll-like substance that acts as their blood and has many properties of other bodily fluids. They have a few internal organs used to produce their blood by altering other fluids they ingest (primarily water), to digest the foods and to reproduce. Their skin and muscles have a special feature: they're extremely elastic. Emerondians can actually extend their limbs for many feet long using them normally without loss of sensitivity. They normally drink water (in taverns it's served with some salt or aromatic substances) to replenish their inner fluids and they need much greater quantities than humans do (three times more). The Emerondians use the energy of the sun to produce the inner chemical reaction that transforms outer fluids into blood, much like plants, and only the mature and sane individuals are able to operate this process even at night. Normally the babies and weak old people are totally inactive at night, resting in a cataleptic state to avoid consuming precious energies. Others guard those people to protect them, helped by beasts bred from special plants. Emerondians eat only vegetables, roots and fruits, and cannot tolerate meat of any kind: their metabolism cannot digest it.

The Emerondians have basically only a small set of ethical common laws, since each city-state settles local rules on its own, but every Emerondian obeys the First Law: Never Harm the Forest. Whoever is found guilty of this crime is immediately expelled from the Emerondian society (if he belongs to it) and abandoned alone in the jungle to face the Forest's Judgment, for it is the forest that is the highest power in Emerond. Foreigners who commit sins against the forest are sentenced to the Forbidden Territories instead of being delivered to the forest, because they are considered filthy and would poison it. The Forbidden Territories are, according to the legend, the land where the first generation of Emerondians (Pyrithians) lived when they arrived in Davania. But after some mysterious incident, they were forced to abandon those lands and re-settled west of them. The foreigners are brought to the Hills of Desolation or to the Forbidden City where they will face their punishment, apparently delivered by some ancient evil. So far, none of the foreigners who have been brought there ever returned to Emerond.

N'djatwaland

Ruler: Clanmaster Kitakanga

This mountainous region in southern Davania is inhabited by the N'djatwa, a half-elf, half-ogre race found nowhere else on Mystara.

Many centuries ago lived two large rival clans. One was the Nunjar, a horde of ogres; the other was the Hatwa, a tribe of mountain elves. Survival was very difficult in this land of frigid glaciers and eternal snows. Wood was scarce, and wildlife was equally rare. Relations between the Nunjar and the Hatwa teetered between all outwars and precarious truces. None would leave the mountains, the land of their ancestors and their sacred ground. After centuries of fruitless wars, a great shaman rose from the ogrish ranks. Utaba the Shaman claimed Immortals had spoken to him and had given him the Altar of the Stars -- a powerful relic that was to be the salvation of the holy land. According to the Immortals' directives, he made the prophecy that Nunjarese and Hatwa must
one day all become blood kindred on the Altar of the Stars. Though his philosophy was quite unpopular, Utaba went on preaching for peace. A shower of Hatwa arrows and Nunjarese boulders eventually ended Utaba's bright but ever-so-brief vocation.

Soon thereafter, pestilence and, death swept the hallowed land. Losses became so horrendous that it was painfully obvious both races were doomed. Finally, an elven hero reminded his people of the shaman's fateful prediction, and in total desperation all attempted to follow Utaba's precepts. Each elf and each ogre made a cut on his or her hand, mixing their blood together on the holy altar. So was the blood alliance of Nunjar and Hatwa forever sealed. Racial intermarriage was enforced, and generations later, Nunjarese and Hatwa were no more. Their children, the N'djatwa, flourished and eventually reached the Green Bay. The Altar of the Stars remained at the site at which the races merged, sheltered by an impressive temple at the center of the N'djatwa capital
of M'banyika.

The N'djatwa have lived on the shores of the Green Bay for centuries, even before the Varellyans reached their golden age. In fact, the N'djatwa had regular trade with the latter until the culture of the Vulture Peninsula was obliterated. This did not hurt the N'djatwa, since they could no longer rely on the shipment of goods from Varellya nor on any wealth created by commerce.

The N'djatwa use giant pelicans as flying mounts. Their society is clan-based and still exhibits some ogrish behavior; the N'djatwa take humans and demihumans as slaves and often as not will resort to eating their slaves if hungry. They also, however, inherited many traits from the elves: their cities are delicate and remarkably engineered, they have a love of nature and an aptitude for magic.

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Snartapolis

Ruler: Emperor Dorfin IV

Snartapolis is the capital of a powerful gnomish empire, an empire of legends whose stories of incredible military feat filtered as far north as the Thyatian Hinterlands. The Empire of Snarta -- also referred to by the rest of Vulcanian gnomes as the Evil Empire -- remains absolutely loyal to its monarch, Emperor Dorfin IV, whose authority encompasses Snartapolis and the vast Snartan territories in Vulcania.

In a very distant past, Snartans were common gnomes, mostly hunters and traders who explored faraway places on Davania. They came into contact with the Milenian Empire from whom they found astonishing inspiration. Less then a century later, Snartans eventually bid their Milenian allies farewell and returned South to Vulcania, there to found a nation of their own. Early on, Snartans became known as the Hoplite Republic, a militocracy among which order, discipline, self-sacrifice, and utter courage were the principal values.

Since then, the very sight of an advancing line of Snartan soldiers had been enough to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. Everywhere, the gritty, ferocious warriors taught their foes to fear their trademark: scarlet capes, horsehair helmet plumes, close-ordered shields, each emblazoned with a P (for Proboscidaemon, their first earthshaker), and their phalanxes bristling with spears. Snartans are truly unique on Mystara. Their society, one of the most rigid as can imagined, requires that its citizen remain in all possible ways equal and identical, idealising the concept that each and everyone of them together fights as a single being. Snartan warriors call themselves the "hoi gnomoioi" -- the "Similars".

Much has happened during their long and rich history. Like many other Vulcanian gnomes, they did discover the secret of the volcanoes and their fire elemental pupae. Eventually they learned how to build their first earthshaker. With the many slaves they had captured, they transformed it into one truly gigantic machine upon which rests their mighty capital of Snartapolis.

There came a time when there weren't enough Snartans to sustain the empire that they had conquered. So, it was then that they pushed the logic of their Philosophy of Similarity beyond the limits of nature. Their science of machinery was indeed amazing and they used it again in ways that are even more stunning than the mighty earthshakers themselves. With the desire to expand their numbers while respecting the strictest demands of Similarity, the Snartans developed the ability to create perfect clones. Over the centuries, the "ideal" Snartan mould was created both intellectually and physically. With the advent of mass-cloning, the rest of the original Snartan population eventually disappeared, leaving only one single, prefect Snartan to be reproduced to the infinity. As a result of the clones taking over, the "republic" government based upon Ephors (Overseers) and Elders was abolished and the clones proclaimed their empire. It has been so for centuries, and since then all Snartan are absolutely identical in every way. Naturally, all Snartans can recognise each other and go by distinct names, but nobody outside Snarta really can tell them apart.

Snartapolis itself is a sizeable town, weren't it for the fact that it is built entirely to the proportions of gnomes. It normally appears as a steep hill with a small port and many houses surrounding a temple on the top. The temple, like all places of worship in Snarta, remains very simple, including marble columns and a triangular frontispiece of perfect, mathematical proportions. A strong defensive wall skirts the outer edge of the city. In times of war, which is often, Snartapolis can lift itself upon eight gigantic metal legs powered by monstrous steam engines inside the "hill". Several gates on the outside walls open to reveal giant harpoons whose role is to lodge themselves into the body of enemy earthshakers and reel them closer so the Snartan Hoplites can board them and conquer them.

The small port of Snartapolis contains no water. Instead, it is fitted with a retractable bridge made for its three triremes. The vessels are in fact smaller earthshakers in the shape of ancient galleys. Their uniqueness resides in their "oars". The latter resemble long, insect-like legs. Inside the triremes toil hundreds of gnomes toiling frantically to keep the spring-loaded legs functioning. They crank up the springs, grease up the gears, pour water where parts heat up too fast, spin the fans, and turn the wheels directing the legs, creating a hellish atmosphere amidst the din, stench, and steam of the galleys' clockwork engines. Like their mother earthshaker the triremes are fitted with harpoons mounted inside their scorpion-like tail. Their mission is to slow down an enemy earthshaker until Snartapolis can catch up and deliver the final blow.

Snarta controls another three or four earthshakers besides Snartapolis, to guard the far reaches of its empire. Snartans are universally feared and hated throughout Vulcania. More specifically, their Philosophy of Similarity is their most abhorred feature, as it ensures a swift death or the status of slave to all who differ from their Snartan ideals.
Title: Re: Mystara - Davania pt. 2
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:43:03 PM
Vanya's Rest
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Inspiration: Templar outposts in the Holy Land during the Crusades
Ruler: Castellan Thomas von Wettingen

Around 925 AC, certain Hattian worshippers of Vanya - promising fighters and clerics - received dream messages from their Immortal. She told them to secure their birthright, a land of their own where they could live as they chose. Before this could come to pass, they had to secure for Her a sanctified place, where Her earthly remains could be protected from infidels.

This place in question lies in Davania, on the coast of the Gulf of Mar.

The boldest and most pious, eager to prove their worth to Vanya, and to show respect for Her mortal remains, made a great pilgrimage to that region, as foretold in a dream. They landed after weeks of sailing, and as one force, they stormed the shores, only to find a small settlement, populated by indigenous human tribespeople descended from the Milenians.

These people were driven out, their village destroyed, and the entire region was searched until the remains of Vanya were found. The tribespeople, known as the Meghaddara, were forced to wander the Meghales Amosses Desert and the Aryptian Savannah in search of a new home - and have been the sworn enemies of the Heldannic Knights ever since.

The remains were then reverently placed under a stone cairn, upon which was built the great fortress now known as Vanya's Rest. Once the fort was complete, in 935 AC, Vanya visited Her faithful and told them they had done well, and secured her rest from unbelievers. She then told them that they had to marshal their forces, and return to Hattias, there to bring all who were true to Vanya's Path to the ultimate victory, a home of their own. Most of the Heldannic Knights, as they began to call themselves, returned to Hattias, but they left behind a garrison of elite soldiers to guard the fort.

The land upon which this fortress has been built is largely an unforgiving one. Harsh winds from the Gulf of Mar gust in from the east, forcing great waves to crash against the low cliffs along the coast constantly. Further inland, and beyond the fort, the land descends gradually into the Aryptian Savannah, a largely arid, empty expanse of land. Even within their fort the Heldannic Knights are not completely immune from the elements, for the very winds that smash the shores with waves also bring dampness that chills everyone in this region to the bone. As a result, there is a microclimate here that makes the area feel more like a stretch of land in the Northern Reaches, even though they are not far from the great Aryptian Desert.

The fort itself is built atop the highest of the cliffs, such that the Knights have a commanding view of the countryside and the Gulf in all directions. Due west of the fort, no more than two or three miles distant, lie several small farms, tended by eager colonists. The soils here are relatively poor, but over time good crops have been coaxed from the reluctant earth. These souls assist in supplying the Knights, who would otherwise have to rely totally on supplies brought from home.

When there is little action, many Knights will assist the farmers in harvesting and sowing, as it is in everyone's interest that there be enough food for everyone.

Isle of Cestia

Inspiration: Borneo, Sumatra, and Malaysia
Rulers: Morovoay - King Korbaka & Queen Umay; Ambiroa - King Orkanajee; Manakara - King Mananjary; Androkia - unknown

The land known by many as the Isle of Cestia is an ancient and mysterious place. Far from being a disease-ridden jungle infested with savages, Cestia is the home of four sophisticated nations, from the northernmost nation clockwise they are: Morovoay, Ambiroa, Manakara, and Androkia in the south. Of these four, Manakara and Androkia span the southern two-thirds of the island from east to west. The remaining two, Morovoay and Ambiroa, divide the northern third of Cestia along a north-south line.

Of these four nations, only one of them, Androkia, is peopled by those of Neathar descent; the inhabitants of the other three are of Oltec stock. Of these four nations, Androkia is also the oldest, being a remnant of the lost nation of Varellya, which centred on what is now the Vulture Peninsula, many miles to the south, across the Gulf of Mar. More information on this will be presented in the history section below. The other three nations were founded by the descendants of Oltec refugees from the island of Oceania, who had fled to Cestia during times of trouble in the distant past.

Morovoay is a long, thin nation, stretching along the northwestern coast of Cestia. Much of its territory is taken up by the jungles that cover much of the island, but overall its terrain slopes up gently from the coast, and then quickly becomes very hilly. Hundreds of tiny rivers cut through the nation, providing Morovoay with well-irrigated soils. So productive are the soils that most farmers can get two, or even three, yields annually.

Morovoay's main industries are agriculture, fishing, and hunting. Essentially a society of farmers and hunters, it has no real wish to deal with the other nations. Most of the people here live out their lives in relative comfort, never far from the jungles that feed them. As a neutral nation, Morovoay is at war only with those nations that have attacked it. Hence, it is at war with Ambiroa, with whom it has numerous territorial disputes, and Androkia. The inhabitants of this nation are of Oceanian (Oltec) stock, and have coppery skin and dark hair. Morovoay's main Immortals are Vaati (Vanya), Isonara (Ixion), and Tamarepna (Ordana).

Ambiroa lies on the northeastern coast of Cestia, and it is centred on Nakar Bay. The smallest of the Cestian nations, Ambiroa was left with the poorest land when the nations were forming. Although rich by Known World standards, Ambiroa's agricultural yields are nowhere near as great as Morovoay's. Ambiroa's main resource is its fisheries. The waters of Nakar Bay are filled with fish of all sorts, and the sands at the bottom are dotted with oysters, providing for a healthy supply of pearls.

Ambiroa also has bountiful hardwood forests, which the Ambiroans use for shipbuilding. Among the Cestian nations, the Ambiroans are the best seafarers, having maintained their sailing techniques from the days when their Oceanian ancestors migrated to Cestia. Some of their larger ships are comparable to those of the Known World in terms of hull strength and size. Since it has fewer resources than its neighbours, Ambiroa has long coveted the lands of Morovoay and Manakara, and has on occasion raided the coastal towns and villages of the other two, as well as Androkia. In these raids, the Ambiroans also take slaves, whom they put to work on their farms, and eat on occasion. Ambiroa has also fought numerous border wars with Morovoay, in the hopes of securing vast swaths of prime agricultural land. To date, these invasions have failed. The Immortals worshipped in Ambiroa are Akka-Maa (Atzanteotl) and Vaathana (Wogar).

Manakara is the largest Cestian nation, and it is also the most advanced of them all. It occupies the largest share of the Cestian Range, the mountain range in the northern part of Cestia, and has rich deposits of diamonds, silver, and platinum. Much of Manakara is covered by dense jungle, though there are several large cities scattered throughout. Large numbers of fish also swim in its coastal waters.

What sets Manakara apart is the fact that, unlike its neighbours, it has managed to preserve some Oceanian magic, which is largely of a defensive and elemental nature. As a result, although it has frequent wars with Ambiroa and Androkia, its mages have been able to hold off the opposing armies, even when the enemy outnumbered the defenders. Manakara's magical knowledge was enhanced even more when Haldemar voyaged to the capital city of Tulear in AC 965. Mages from both groups exchanged some of their knowledge during the visit. Generally, the people of Manakara are peaceful, content to live off the land and trade with their peaceful neighbour, Morovoay. As tales circulate about nations on Davania, an ever increasing number of Manakarans are starting to sail further afield, in the hopes of discovering more of their world. The Immortals worshipped by the Manakarans are Alfasha (Alphatia, introduced during the Alphatian visit) and Tamarepna (Ordana).

Of the four Cestian nations, Androkia is unique in that its people are of Varellyan stock, being fair-skinned and dark-haired. Most Androkians subsist on farming and herding, and those living along the coasts make a living from the bountiful seas. The soils are fair, and there is an abundance of animal life, allowing the Androkians to live quite well. A large potion of the Androkian Range, the southern mountains of Cestia, lies within this nation's borders, rich with gold deposits.

Androkia is also unique among these four nations in that it is not a kingdom, but a theocracy. An elite clique of powerful clerics rules this nation, and they pronounce daily what the populace is to think and do. Although few people actively follow the rulings of the clerics, centuries of being ruled by them has left its mark on the people. Many Androkians are highly xenophobic, and would sooner attack a Cestian of Oceanian descent than talk to one. As a result, Androkia is at war with all the other nations on the island. The clerics are dedicated to resurrecting the Varellyan Empire, which they believe was the pinnacle of civilisation, although it was not centred on the worship of those Immortals they venerate today, as they seem to think. In fact, little lore from Varellya has been preserved in Androkia, leaving the people with a mixture of myths and propaganda as a basis for their nationhood. The Immortals worshipped officially in Androkia are Akka-Maa (Atzanteotl) and Thamarassa (Akhor-Kh'a), although many villagers privately venerate Tamarepna (Ordana), and Vaati (Vanya).


Vulture Peninsula (Varellya)

Inspiration: the Skeksis of The Dark Crystal
Ruler: presumably none

This haunted desert is inhabited by the hideous nagpa, vulture-headed humanoids that were once human, but were transformed into monsters due to a fell curse.

There was indeed a vast nation here once, and a brutal war. One of the two princes conjured a powerful monster from the Sphere of Entropy to destroy his rival. He clearly was unable to control the Immortal avatar, and when it had accomplished its crime, it turned on its summoner and obliterated his entire land. He and all his people would be cursed to live, die, and forever return as nagpas -- feeders on carrion as they had once fed on each other in war.

Every year for centuries, the accursed people of Varellya return to the site of the ancient conjuration and sacrifice jewels, precious metals, magical items, books, knowledge, food, anything that may have any value to them, seeking atonement and an end to their wretchedness. Death itself will not break the curse. When death befalls, the souls of the Varellyans return to the mound. Every year at the same time, the ghosts fight their wars all over again, then materialize as embryos inside the black cocoons. Over time, they grow to adult size and breach the cocoons.

Many nagpas wander the far reaches of the world, but they always return to Varellya in soul or in body.

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Pelantan

Very little is known about this large nation other than that it is a Matriarchy and has fierce female warriors known as "Amazons."

Oceania

Oceania is a large island of soaring, desolate mountains littered with ancient ruins. The only known current inhabitants are the fiendish night dragons and undead. To the southeast is Everfeed, an algal-covered island, and beyond that the great oceanic expanse of the Sea of Steam.

Other Locations on Davania

Further east on the Jungle Coast are the Manacapuru tribes. The tattooed savages favor blowguns and other poisoned weapons and are led in worship by shamans adorned in snake outfits. Also present are the Bogdashkan jungle orcs and the Yasuko humans who superficially resemble Ochaleans.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:47:19 PM
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The SAVAGE COAST campaign setting is unique in many ways. Though this fantasy setting has magic, heroes, and everything else one would expect, the new swashbuckling and panache rules add both individual flavor and style. The land also lends fantastic, magical powers to all types of player characters. Still, it is a savage frontier, suffering under a magical bane called the Red Curse.
   
On the Savage Coast, many nonhuman races coexist with humans, and many are available as player character races. Players can choose to be canine, feline, or even turtle people. The curse of the Savage Coast also misshapes some people physically, while granting them spell-like powers known as Legacies. Most player characters have one of these powers, and some even gain additional Legacies.
   
To avoid the deforming effects of the Red Curse, a person must wear cinnabryl, a rare magical ore. As its magical energy depletes with time, cinnabryl becomes red steel. This lightweight yet durable metal can be forged into weapons capable of striking even magical creatures not wounded by normal steel. Naturally, then, cinnabryl is coveted, its acquisition motivating individuals to adventure and nations to war.
   
The SAVAGE COAST campaign is one of survival and battle, of exploration and politics. It can lead to great power--both political and personal--for player characters who are bold enough to seize it.

Pronunciation
The languages of the Savage Baronies (Espa and Verdan) are loosely based on Spanish and Portuguese.  The following guide is designed for readers unfamiliar with these languages.
   
In general, the vowels of these languages are pronounced in the Latin style, as follows:

   a   ah as in father
   e   eh as in pet (ranging to ay as in fray)
   i   ee as in clean (sometimes ih as in hit)
   o   o as in boat
   u   oo as in boot

When two vowels appear together, they are often rolled together (elided). For example, the correct pronunciation of Narvaez is Nahr-bah-ess. Said quickly, however, it sounds more like Nahr-bise. The combination "ão" generally appears together and is pronounced with a final nasal sound: ah-ohn.
   
As for consonants, the letter "j" is almost always pronounced in the same way as the letter "h," but a bit more forcefully, while the letter "v" sounds similar to "b." The symbol "ñ" is pronounced almost like ny, so that señor is pronounced almost like sen-yor. The letter "r" is often lightly trilled. The symbol "ç" is approximated by a hard s (almost a "ts"), so Leãoça is pronounced Leh-ah-OH-tsa.
   
These pronunciations are approximate. The actual sounds tend to be more elegant than these guidelines might lead one to believe. Readers are encouraged to listen to native speakers (as in language audiotapes) for true pronunciations.

Central Themes

Most of the Savage Coast is a brutal land, often plagued by wars. Decades ago, the riffraff of the world--pariahs, criminals, and unscrupulous adventurers--colonized its shores on quests for wealth and power. Sometimes, refugees fleeing humanoid invasions and other scourges migrated to the Savage Coast and remained in the unforgiving land.
   
The Savage Coast has a pronounced "frontier" feel: unexplored areas, old ruins, hostile natives, and so forth. Very little law exists, except as enforced by local nobles or the personally powerful. Often, the law of the jungle prevails. Indeed, the forces of good are an exception more than a rule.
   
Part of the setting's frontier nature results from the existence of several native races beyond the standard humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings. Some of the native cultures could be described as civilized, while others are either relatively savage or so radically different from human norms as to be unrecognizable. These races include the canine lupins, feline rakastas, reptilian tortles and lizard men, and others. Most are available for use as player characters; see the "Player Characters" chapter later in this book for details.
 
In defiance of this harsh, unforgiving environment, the hero is revered not only for prowess and strength, but for style.

Last, but definitely not least, the Red Curse covers most of the Savage Coast, directly or indirectly affecting all those who live there. The magical powers (Legacies) it grants and the horrible deformations it inflicts are fully described in "The Curse and the Legacies," but the following overview explains the basic concepts.

The Red Curse and Legacies

What truly sets this region apart from other places is the curse it bears. Ages ago, a great tragedy befell the land, and ever since, the inhabitants have suffered for it.
   
The Red Curse's physical manifestation in the region, a red dust called vermeil, permeates the affected territory and beyond. Vermeil extends throughout the reaches of the cursed land and into the lands bordering the curse, lending a red cast to everything within it, from a person's skin to the money that changes hands and the metal used to forge weapons. Red dust storms, red rain, crimson plants, and a pinkish sky--all these things distinguish the lands of the Savage Coast. Because the people of the Savage Coast bear this red tint, inhabitants easily recognize newcomers to the land. Although distinguished by vermeil, some outer areas marked by this reddish tint are not directly under the effects of the Red Curse. This area surrounding the cursed lands is called the Haze. The Haze creates a type of buffer zone into which outsiders can journey without being stricken by the curse and Afflicted can travel without detriment.
   
Within the cursed region, mutations and powers mark the people and animals. Some manage to hold off the deforming effects by wearing cinnabryl or using maintain spells. A select few, known as Inheritors, are even able to collect more than one Legacy within themselves, thereby gaining a great benefit from the Red Curse. Therefore, player characters in this setting can acquire amazing powers with which they can perform super-heroic deeds. That makes the SAVAGE COAST setting a wonderful place for adventure.

Immortals
Unlike most other worlds for the AD&D game, the SAVAGE COAST campaign setting does not have gods; instead, it has Immortals. In many ways, Immortals resemble gods: They have great power, they create religions, and they grant clerical spells to their followers. However, because they were once mortal, Immortals are usually more willing to meddle with mortals than are the gods of other worlds. It is even possible for player characters to attain immortality, though rules for such a change are not included here.

Geography and Overview

As mentioned, the Savage Coast is a frontier area, home to many colonies. Some of the colonies have existed for many years, long enough to be establishing their own satellite colonies. Some of the nations and cities have populations in the thousands. Other villages are new, while some have risen, fallen, and now lie in ruins.
   
At the region's far eastern end lies the city of Slagovich, often considered the gateway to the Savage Coast. Slagovich is a city of political intrigue. While not actually within the cursed region itself, Slagovich serves as a clearing point for goods moving to and from the Savage Coast.
   
To the north of Slagovich lies the country of Hule, an empire ruled by a hagiarchy. Most of Hule is also free of the Red Curse, extending far into the borderlands, and its government has recently decreed that its people must stay away from the Savage Coast and its curse.
   
West of Hule, and still north of the cursed lands, are the Yazak Steppes. This area is home to goblins and other humanoids, who occasionally raid the settled lands to the south.
   
Many humanoids live in other nearby places free of the curse: the Great Northway Lands (west of the Yazak Steppes) and the Arm of the Immortals (a short distance across the sea to the west of the Savage Coast). Orcs inhabit the jungles of the Orc's Head Peninsula at the western end of the Savage Coast; most of these areas lie well within the Haze.
   
In the main cursed lands themselves, which cover almost 2,000 miles of coastline, dozens of petty nobles have appeared, each ruling a small area. Thus, the Savage Coast holds numerous duchies, counties, and earldoms, as well as a few places audacious enough to call themselves kingdoms. Humans rule most of the eastern Savage Coast, while nonhuman nations cover most of the west.

Savage Coast Nations and States

Slagovich is one of several city-states on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Hule. The City-States (as they are collectively known) are inhabited mostly by humans. Mostly self-absorbed, these sovereign states band together only temporarily, and only in the face of great danger.
   
On the western coast of the Gulf of Hule, a number of small states and baronies, collectively known as the Savage Baronies, were set up by explorers and conquerors who adventured in the area and then settled there. These baronies (like many other nations of the Savage Coast) once covered more area, but they expanded too fast, and the recent wars that swept the coast set them back. This has left both ruins for the player characters to explore and lands to take for themselves.
   
West of the Savage Baronies are tribal lands belonging to the turtlelike humanoids (tortles) and to various goblin, orc, and gnoll tribes. Past those are the "kingdoms" of Robrenn and Eusdria, both formerly barbaric societies that have recently evolved a semifeudal form of government. Robrenn is a forested land dominated by druids and followers of the druidic way. Eusdria is home to warriors who have been known to go raiding in longships, creating stories remembered in epic poems by their skalds.
   
The most important nonhuman countries of the Savage Coast include Renardy, home to the canine lupins, and Bellayne, home to the feline rakastas. Lupins and rakastas are both descended from nomads who roamed the steppes to the north. Eventually, they settled and adopted a feudal style of government. Renardy has close ties to the Savage Baronies, both economic and cultural. Bellayne still counts several nomadic rakasta tribes as part of its population. Its government comprises a strange mix of feudalism, warrior codes, and mysticism.
   
Farther west lies the nation of Herath. Known as a land of mages, this was once home to the mysterious araneas, a race of arachnid spellcasters. Herath is traditionally isolationist, but the nation has become more friendly with its neighbors in the wake of a recent war that nearly destroyed them all.
   
Above Herath, on the eastern shore of Trident Bay, is an area known as the Bayou. This great marsh and the surrounding regions are home to three races of lizard kin: the shazaks, much like the lizard men described in the MONSTROUS MANUAL tome; the more barbaric gurrash, also called "gator" men; and the diminutive caymas. Each race of lizard kin has its own nation. To the south and west of the Bayou, two regions are home to loose confederacies of tribes. On the southern shore of Trident Bay the wallaras make their home; also known as chameleon men, this race of humanoids is distantly related to dragons. South of the wallaras live the phanatons, a race of monkeylike humanoids who glide from tree to tree in their forest homes.

The phanatons and wallaras live in the northern part of the Orc's Head peninsula. In the midwestern part of the peninsula lies the nation of Nimmur. Once home to winged minotaurs known as enduks, Nimmur is now a nation of manscorpions. Recently, enduks and their allies, flying elves known as ee'aar, have retaken a small part of Nimmur and established a small, independent state. The southern part of the peninsula is home to many tribes of savage orcs.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/UU_g2HPIDKwLxOQVYTvJSGQIOHTLo7ahrS6v_qoEkFFTm-e76hxKwwCoBFBD1GWjDvh2dUV-kKP_budswqpqzrWBLxQ7nj7dMEthRNefxkXtQemDGA3Ry2baFNVdkfUHlEnt-R8MBmUxJBxfPVom4bPs3Jw5VcAP2Wpat8lCdi_h3hiMZVLTL1OnAKYoVuIWB50ZbLmcYSmKcLqC_e882_WPRA7PYyb3w01wHckL78QI6xYF83KOv6iI7X2Tu2YILrlPN71aih5bkhyxXZIskYnNxrlYV59x3aL_-lX5NdFQi-mmVTU5FWDmhRLKPLbGvofTHpAeRVGlj07N3YIsNBewWpnGcPK-b327fWeBw5SFD3IqViDGb2zWiUTatyKB9HczZ01CnDSgYymL8Ikmhn6ZkwO6h-72-zLVA7cIeGPS97jxIQhCtU_paYh3aisxsJzSt8UWKtwEzMNgf1m8urGHwTROqGNOD3Ut45hLHcUxTrPkveC-N6BsVkL6YoGJp_hzBPsqw5IkFXZ2WDx0tDBVO7rHk3SR3PceA-trID6MG5Te47hF0kGiqKhwPetZ7K-fg5qRnx_VgYD6aFbzaBonxta5ZiFiPGffG11s7sXZNzuI7LXE=w1261-h950-no)
A more detailed map of this region can be found here: http://mystara.thorf.co.uk/updated/_08_/savage-coast-central-gulf-of-hule-8.png

Details of the Savage Coast region can be found here: http://pandius.com/TSR2521-SCS1.pdf
Details on PCs from the Savage Coast can be found here: http://pandius.com/TSR2521-SCS2.pdf
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - History
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:48:05 PM
A Brief History

According to the most accepted local calendar, the year is A.C. 1019 (1,019 years after the crowning of the first emperor of Thyatis, the lands whence many of the Savage Coast's human colonists originate). Following is a migration timeline of peoples through the Savage Coast. For a more detailed history of the Savage Baronies region, especially over the last century, refer to "The Savage Baronies" chapter.
   
Four to Five Millennia Past: The first humans in the area, the Oltecs, arrived between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. This coppery-skinned people brought arts, agriculture, and basic metalworking to the region. They are the reason for the predominance of somewhat dark skin among humans of the coast.
   
The Oltecs discovered the presence of the tortles and manscorpions, both races having scattered settlements along the central Savage Coast. Manscorpions were temperamental savages who lived in small bands and had few redeeming qualities. The tortles were harmless and easily dominated and have remained so ever since. For the last 4,000 years they have lived as peaceful farmers and hunters on the edges of other societies.
   
Had the Oltecs pushed farther west, they would have run into the araneas and the wallaras, both thriving civilizations at the time. The araneas were powerful, suspicious mages living in the forests south and east of Trident Bay, while the wallaras were wise, peaceful mystics in the mountains and plains south of Trident Bay.
   
Three Millennia Past: Elves appeared in the region roughly 3,300 years ago, spreading through the eastern and central Savage Coast. However, they did not significantly affect the local cultures because they did not intermingle. While elves and humans held power in the east, the enduks were created in the far west. Their first cities were built about 3,000 years ago on the Orc's Head peninsula.
   
About the same time, the araneas started to disappear, their web cities in the forests replaced by isolated towers inhabited by mages of elven and human form who kept lizard men, the ancestors of the shazaks, as servants and slaves. These folk began calling their land Herath.
   
Two and a Half Millennia Past: About 2,700 years ago, tribes of goblinoids arrived in the Yazak Steppes. Approximately 400 years later, both the elves and Oltecs were decimated by hordes of these goblinoids sweeping through the eastern Savage Coast. (Some elves remained in the areas that would later become Robrenn, Eusdria, Bellayne, and the Savage Baronies.) These same goblinoid hordes caused many lupin and rakasta tribes to relocate to the central part of the Savage Coast.
   
Seventeen Centuries Past: About 17 centuries ago, Nithian pharaohs sent expeditions to colonize the central and eastern Savage Coast. The Nithians (who have since been erased from human knowledge by the Immortals) were a dark-haired, dusky-skinned people, with a proud empire. The Nithians came into conflict with the manscorpions, driving them far to the west and causing them to unite their small bands into large tribes. The manscorpions eventually arrived in the nation of Nimmur, the then-thriving kingdom of the enduks, where they were welcomed.
   
Fifteen Centuries Past: About 1,500 years ago, a series of wars and disasters swept the region. For reasons unknown, the mages of Herath lashed out at the wallaras, resulting in the fall of wallaran civilization. Today, the wallaras remain peaceful, but primitive. At the end of the war, the people of Herath also released their lizard men servants and slaves into the Bayou, where they eventually became known as the shazaks. At about the same time, the manscorpions betrayed the enduks and conquered Nimmur, causing the noble, winged minotaurs to relocate to a peninsula across the sea to the west. Also at this time, the Nithians disappeared from their colonies, leaving behind a strong artistic and philosophical endowment, as well as various artifacts and structures. Dwarves first arrived on the Savage Coast not long after this, settling in some of the areas previously held by the Nithians.
   
Few major events transpired during the next 600 years, yet several changes occurred. The mages of Herath established a central government; the Nimmur of the manscorpions continued to grow in power; the tortles had a brief flirtation with civilization; and lupins and rakastas began to build permanent settlements. The phanatons and shazaks began to rise from complete savagery, forming tribal groups and a few semi-permanent settlements. Meanwhile, the goblins, orcs, gnolls, and related creatures grew in power.
   
Nine Centuries Past: About 900 years ago, another horde of goblinoids moved through the region, wiping out the few small cities the tortles had built, as well as driving lupins and rakastas west, where they came into conflict with the mages of Herath. In response, those mages created the gurrash to serve as warriors. When the gurrash also proved unsuitable, they were dumped into the Bayou, where they displaced the shazaks.
   
The shazaks were motivated to band more closely together and began building permanent villages. Some lupins and rakastas became mages in Herath, and Herath helped bring the ideas of law and government to those races.
   
Five Centuries Past: About 560 years ago, an influx of Traldar arrived, possibly fleeing religious persecution in their homeland. They set up colonies along the coast, founding Slagovich and other city-states. The Traldar had lighter skin than the other humans in the area, being descended in part from Nithians and in part from the light-skinned Neathar. Primarily fishers and traders, the Traldar spread west slowly from Slagovich along the rivers. For the most part, except for the City-States, the Traldar were quickly assimilated by pre-existing cultures in the area. One exception was the group of humans who, with the elves and a few dwarves, founded the nation of Bellayne.
   
About 60 years later, other light-skinned humans moved into the area. These were barbarians from the north, driven to the Savage Coast by Hule. They founded settlements that eventually joined to become the states of Robrenn and Eusdria. Some elves and dwarves already lived in these areas. The elves allied with both Robrenn and Eusdria, while most dwarves allied with Eusdria. At roughly this same time, most of the people of Bellayne were wiped out by a mysterious plague. Many modern historians believe this to be the first recorded mention of the Red Curse. Also concurrent was the creation of the caymas, again by the mages of Herath. Most legends of dragons on the Savage Coast are from this time as well.
   
The rakastas moved into the ruins of Bellayne, allying with the remaining elves and humans. The lupins also established a homeland between Bellayne and Eusdria. Bellayne, Renardy, Eusdria, and Robrenn began evolving to varying degrees of feudalism, aided later by another influx of colonists.
   
The Past Century: The most recent wave of colonization began about a hundred years ago, bringing many humans to the area. These settlers brought with them ideas of true feudalism, including a social order consisting of nobles, knights, and peasants. The lupins of Renardy have emulated these cultures to the greatest extent, even adopting a derivation of their languages. Halflings also came to the Savage Coast, most settling in Eusdria, with a few in Robrenn, Bellayne, the Savage Baronies, and even Herath.
   
With this rash of colonization in the East and the growth of settlements in the center of the coast, the mages of Herath began expanding to the south. There, they came into conflict with the phanatons, who banded together even more firmly, having recently developed primitive government and law.
   
The people of the Savage Baronies also discovered the Red Curse. However, unlike earlier peoples, they did not succumb; they fought back and found ways to control it. Luckily, the Red Curse seemed to be limited to only certain areas of the Savage Coast.
   
For the last several decades, civilization has spread over the coast. Many sages say it spread too fast. Beginning about a decade ago, another series of devastating wars swept the Savage Coast. Hule attacked the City-States and the Savage Baronies. TortlesÑfor the first time in their history--revolted against their oppressors. Peasants in other places also revolted, as did colonies against their parent states. The gnolls, orcs, and goblins who lived along the coast rose against the humans and demihumans. The orcs of the Dark Jungle attacked the manscorpions of Nimmur, and the enduks and ee'aar took advantage of the distraction to attack as well. Border conflicts flared between Bellayne and Shazak; Bellayne and Renardy; Renardy and Eusdria; Eusdria and Robrenn; and among the Savage Baronies. The gurrash attacked the shazaks and the caymas. The goblins of the steppes formed another horde, sweeping into Herath. Natural and unnatural disasters occurred, and plagues moved through the land, accompanied by the expansion of the Red Curse.

The Land Now

The effects of the recent wars are still felt throughout the Savage Coast. Nations tend to be distrustful of one another, though individuals from differing states can still get along (people of conflicting nations often fought together against greater threats). When Herath was invaded about a year ago, the mages fought back but could not prevent the goblin hordes from destroying certain magical wards which had been holding back the Red Curse, causing it to sweep over most of the Savage Coast.
   
Now, thousands of years of ruins, from ancient Nithian pyramids to recently destroyed castles and villages, dot the coast. Paranoid states vie for power; hostile natives strive for survival. People twisted by the Red Curse roam the land and hide in secluded villages. People seek to control the magical metal cinnabryl for its ability to alleviate the curse; others seek the roots of the curse in an effort to eliminate it.
   
Adventure awaits those willing to face the challenges of the lands of the Savage Coast.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 1
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:49:33 PM
An Atlas of the Savage Coast

The present population and cultural mix of the Savage Coast results from a series of migrations into the area, occurring at irregular intervals over the past few thousand years. These large-scale relocations have involved peoples from numerous races and geographical areas; the result is a disparate set of societies, almost a mishmash of cultures. From the hot-blooded Espan civilizations of the Savage Baronies to the vikings of Eusdria and the fierce lizard kin of the Great Bayou, the Savage Coast presents a wide range of cultures. This introduction offers information on the cultures bordering the coastal region in the east.

The Serpent Peninsula
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(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/w2ffAfL3QOj1zQApdmQOk1AN_GFpgp06Iuo0RGr7nWZ99woIRVbPqbls_68sYTrTVBSj3ejN-p9cRv-EHGaj1L1DpdzfuAvsqNWl_BEbN4WC0GhRYrUYVO1F8P02DPrCzBYdsJiRFYaLyW5fl4Z3u7Mt5MnGOoV6rYNuKCUhn4ZqdpJVWCDn7ML5G6IWyXT5KVrS5qzWFbXAT4hk_NO3TusHhUm1wq0w5SA_v6jJmRzKVxoMb3sRMknsXF0VGnT2NHbRlasc-3bBhgiwpNXcnV2h1oW41zWmBECVhoJQr8vwUnnEemKgFYo6lc836y3VFsFBtiRFlh9vMKTcRvxuMEaJTUcDgGDntKRuXGMEYicNMTn_zMf8y_aJj6kBKyxD6gB859WgC3jVGUXD9ZNC-RqPiKCAkibVjBEa3xcq2V8xhP18ekDMqsZu_-_Q2XQ8keBTVF-nkmzuwVAy1IbLbZ3RSfswXz_6Sgs5YjUJJhCLeQoIcJ7cjMrQNTulIp5YbGd-0bJovjvoHZqxwELS6dRBFD30sRXv434bnPyehiF96V2REcOE_k-OrGHmBSu0_jtSsYpeeNI5yI-j8iBzTcXl5C8tdKvnDY5Rq-BvKAJDjPSHaJXn=w516-h365-no)

As mentioned in the last chapter, the actual Savage Coast is a 2,000-mile stretch of land situated between the Orc's Head Peninsula in the west (discussed in the "Other Places" chapter) and the Serpent Peninsula in the east. The Serpent Peninsula, named for the great variety and high numbers of snakes and similar creatures found in its jungles and swamps, divides the Sea of Dread from the Gulf of Hule and the Western Sea upon which the Savage Coast lies. The majority of this peninsula lies within the Haze, so while marked by vermeil, the Serpent Peninsula is not directly under the effect of the curse.
   
A peaceful culture of seers, Yavdlom dominates the Serpent Peninsula. Their culture centers on the island of Thanegia just south of the peninsula itself. The people of Yavdlom are essentially demi-elves, descendants of elven and dark-skinned human ancestors. Tall and ebony-skinned, they have slightly pointed ears; some even have the arched eyebrows typical of elves.
   
The Yavdlom culture combines both elven and human elements. A high percentage of precognitive or similar abilities among its citizens influences their culture in several ways. Fortunately, the seers of Yavdlom follow the teachings of the Immortal Yav, who encourages responsibility and cooperation, causing most of their influences to be quite positive.
   
Because only those people without prophetic ability can serve in government posts, all seers are relegated to advisory positions within a strict hierarchy according to ability. However, the seers determine which citizens become part of the nobility and how powerful they are, based on predictions regarding how many people they will greatly influence.
   
The seers of Yavdlom also affect other aspects of the culture, from religion to trade. The local economy, based on agriculture and trade, benefits from the advice of the seers.
   
Other groups on the peninsula include the Karimari of the Nakakande Rain Forest and the nomadic hunters (the coppery-skinned Urdukkabilas and the dark-skinned Karatunda) in the Konumtali Savannah. North of the peninsula, the influence of Yavdlom diminishes. In the east, the nation of Sind dominates, while on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Hule, a small handful of independent city-states rule.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/fB-VlgRvC5-3qvru0q4A5fZXN9XdBJIlbkiJ3J-5_bcYjAuCmJGhvhlBurKzSsL8bhGUywI_aHLnDEnZNQ1_4Cg4mQ9sWNH9XjYrEJoI1aJ3ZS6dE5f5wcYvaDBnyPTIjvPAlKOacSvC73PDZpSm56s2ik5kItaKs7pamtoJcP0y4kdevXBYrfxDG96eYbjHCrixKIFoohYBvHSeFSP-kZ7c-I72OhSaXTwLx7lGc4n0-Ucy3pNN5jPc7HQ0u8kW4Rpe-HqZ3xI2mBT7dz5HpdD7Hwwotno1tVmisqyLTCBskcissyiwr5kunkoZofZ6fAAF2gAFKs40PmlpBzaQjkADpMbzrS3kgNllJLU_q5vCmqP3GKrFzIxz0sSgeIF1aAgoYiYNQtBmrFuJ9TkjSeFI_snYlMX0gJUhKgRzDb70NFQP94p1oGCMkgtIHgZqzkEaCPoluho3TDTaDlPVaGxBAY7bm2Qs6wNeoJBMe6_LeLBghxiKjlKLBlrbiG7yhhOgqrMp3vJwbHBVVhdvQaHia9Y14z2rU_JScVZpLvQhEwNAMIrx6NbkPCmaRZwL9rxqw9P7B_Tdn7LiPdHH-yRn2wF7HjeEa_EXGZIcYd_J1QWgbLgR=w687-h506-no)

The City-States

Together, the City-States and Savage Baronies bracket the Gulf of Hule. They are separated by a small arm of Hule, which touches the gulf's northern shores. Hule is a dangerous neighbor, constantly at odds with the smaller nations on its borders.
   
The City-States--Hojah, Nova Svoga, Slagovich, Zagora and Zvornik--are all about five centuries old. Each is ruled by a margrave (prince) who is essentially a hereditary dictator.
   
The humans of the City-States tend toward dark, curly, or wavy hair and reddish-brown skin. This results from a mix of Yavdlom, Oltec, and Traladaran background. Most are slightly shorter than average. They prefer clothing that is dark and almost monotone, though bright scarves and sashes are worn for festivals.

Hojah

Capital: Shkodar (population 7,800--mostly humans,
some dwarves and elves). Ruler: Margrave Bosit Hojah (human, former fighter). Typical NPC: seafaring trader.
   
Hojah (named for its founding family) is a merchant state, like Slagovich. However, while Slagovich trades by both land and sea, the island-state of Hojah trades only by sea. It deals mostly with the other City-States, the Savage Baronies, and the free towns of the region. This state competes fiercely with Slagovich for trade, and while currently at peace, armed conflicts between the two have occurred. Hojah remains on good terms with Zvornik.
   
Hojah maintains most of the lighthouses in the region and has the strongest navy and trade fleet. Because of Hojah's ships, pirates have a difficult time near the City-States.

Nova Svoga

Capital: Nova Svoga (population 5,300--mostly humans, some halflings). Ruler: Stefan Karvich (proud, capable high-level human warrior). Typical NPC: farmer or trapper.
   
A peaceful agricultural state located upriver from Zagora, Nova Svoga shares a very extensive border with Hule. The state suffered badly during the recent wars, during which the margrave and most of his heirs died. Stefan Karvich, the former leader of Nova Svoga's military, now serves as regent for Anya, the five-year-old heir to the throne.

Slagovich

Capital: Slagovich (population 17,400--mostly humans, a few demihumans). Ruler: Margrave Miosz II (human noble, age 24). Typical NPC: merchant or poor, urban peasant.
   
Slagovich is built on a plateau, next to a cliff overlooking the Gulf of Hule. The foot of the cliff opens into a large cavern for ships to sail through. A huge natural shaft connects this cavern to the center of the city. The people of Slagovich control a gate to the Elemental Plane of Water, and for a high fee, the shaft can be sealed and filled with water to bring a ship up to the level of the city. A water lock allows ships to enter the artificial harbor atop the plateau.
   
Hydraulic mechanisms permeate Slagovich. Drawbridges, water locks, and portcullises allow ships to move deep into the city along a series of canals to unload their goods. Sleds, pulled by a network of cables, cart scores of people up and down the city's steeper hills.
   
Slagovich boasts excellent engineers, many adventurers, a bustling merchant business, and a few wealthy nobles, but most of the common people are rather poor. Many houses, especially those farther from the harbor, look poorly maintained. Much of the city's mortar and stonework has a reddish-brown color. High, well defended walls protect Slagovich, except for the slums outside the city. Farms and undeveloped hilly acreage surround it.
   
The ruler of Slagovich, Miosz, ascended to the throne early in his childhood. Despite plots by Hule and an evil Inheritor (Zgozod of the Ruby), he kept his throne, mainly due to the intervention of his uncle Stavro. Stavro serves as an adviser to Miosz and leads the margrave's personal guard, the Knights of HalavÑa small warrior brotherhood that has helped guide Slagovich into a relatively enlightened age.
   
Miosz has no love for Inheritors. They are unwelcome, though not persecuted, in the city. Inheritors who do enter Slagovich are watched closely.
   
The city exports cinnabryl to the Savage Baronies. When cinnabryl is exported (about twice a year), a body of Knights of Halav meet at sea with a small group of Inheritors, who pay for the cinnabryl with red steel. In Slagovich, red steel is used for weapons by the Knights of Halav and the city guard, but only the Knights and guard officers also wear red steel armor.

Zagora

Capital: Zagora (population 9,400--mostly humans, some elves and halflings). Ruler: Margrave Munte III (human, muscular, overweight fighter). Typical NPC: patriotic warrior.
   
Based along a river valley, Zagora shares a long border with Hule. Home to many warriors, Zagora also tends to lead in defense of all the City-States.

Zvornik

Capital: Raska (population 6,700--mostly humans, some dwarves and halflings). Ruler: Margrave Galben Zvornik (human noble, age 87). Typical NPC: farmer or traveling trader.
   
Like Hojah, Zvornik is named for the family that first settled the region. Its population centers around the river, and its traders use small boats that travel the rivers and shorelines of the region. Zvornik competes with Slagovich in trade, sometimes violently, but they are currently at peace. Zvornik and Hojah are allies. However, the current margrave is quite old, and his heir tends toward aggression.

Hule
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The land of Hule, also known as Great Hule and the Sanctified Land, is a large nation to the north of the Savage Coast's City-States and Savage Baronies. Primarily farmland, the nation is a hagiarchy, a government run by the holy men. Though many goblinoids and a few demihumans live in Hule, only humans participate directly in government. Nonhumans can, however, act as advisers to high officials.
   
The leader of Hule is a mysterious individual known only as the Master, the absolute dictator of the land. He leads the clergy in the worship of Hule's patron Immortal, Bozdogan, also known as Loki. Patron of deceit and mischief, Loki has manipulated the people of Hule to create a bureaucracy of liars and thieves. Political intrigue runs rampant in Hule, and to unite the nation, the Master sometimes finds it necessary to create an outside conflict. This has led to Hule's instigation of wars with its neighbors, including the City-States and the Savage Baronies.
   
The people of Hule are divided into many classes: holy men, diviners, hermits, prophets, clergy, and commoners (listed in order of decreasing importance). Holy men are the rulers, individuals whoÑif not actually clergyÑhave been somehow touched by the Immortals. The holy men comprise most of the nation's administration.
   
Diviners act as police, traveling the country freely, though sometimes in disguise. When not disguised, they wear red robes and black masks and carry a crystal amulet. The diviners search for criminals, not only thieves and murderers, but also those who have "wrong thoughts." Wrong thoughts include any ideas that disagree with the official state religion. Therefore, clerics and followers of other Immortals are criminals in Hule. Diviners also seek people worthy of government service, bringing likely candidates before the leaders of Hule for testing.
   
Hermits are people who claim to have had a vision from Bozdogan instructing them to live alone in the wilderness. Peasants sometimes seek out hermits for guidance.
   
Prophets travel the countryside, and while not government officials, are recognized for their great wisdom and judgment. They act as judges, and though they have no real power others almost always accept their decisions.
   
Clerics operate the local temples and shrines, guiding and instructing the people. They try to bring out the "holiness" in each person and even prepare some for testing by the diviners.
   
Commoners are just that: farmers, soldiers, merchants, and crafters. Most follow the state religion and lead relatively peaceful lives unless called to war.
   
Religious services occur every night in Hule, and once a week, clerics lead processions through towns or villages, searching for anything unusual that might be declared a miracle. Commoners usually attend services twice a week.
   
Hule currently remains at peace with the nations of the Savage Coast, recovering from the last set of wars. Huleans still plot and spy, however. Minor events related to Hule occur all the time, especially in the City-States and Savage Baronies.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 2
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 06:50:43 PM
The Savage Baronies

This section details the homelands of most humans of the Savage Coast, lands in which many adventures begin. The Savage Baronies comprise nine small, independent nations that occupy the eastern reaches of the Savage Coast on the western shores of the Gulf of Hule. Each of the baronies was founded by adventurers and conquerors who entered the lands during a wave of colonization just over 100 years ago. Most of the founders were human, but the people of the baronies also include elves, dwarves, and a few halflings.
   
This introductory section gives an overview of the peoples of the Savage Baronies, the customs and prejudices they observe, their adjustment to the Red Curse, and their general environment. In addition, it offers a history of the region. The next few chapters describe each of the baronies in detail.
   
Of the nine small states, six are coastal nations, while three are landlocked. The strongest sea powers among the baronies are Vilaverde and Texeiras. Narvaez and Torreón, lands of mercenaries, supply soldiers for hire to many of the nations of the Savage Coast. The three "enlightened" states are those least repressive and most advanced baronies--Almarrón, Gargoña, and Saragón. The two remaining baronies, Guadalante and Cimmaron, are home to the Gauchos.

Nomenclature

Along the Savage Coast, someone or something from one of the Savage Baronies, is referred to as "baronial." For example, a "baronial long sword" is a long sword made in one of the nine states; a "Baronial" is any person from one of these small nations. The people of the baronies are also referred to as Los Guardianos, "the Guardians," because they defend the Savage Coast from Hule and other powers.
   
Other classifications refer to smaller groups of people or things. People are sometimes referred to according to the language they speak. Inhabitants of Vilaverde and Texeiras, who speak Verdan as a native language, are sometimes referred to as Verdans. Individuals from the other Savage Baronies are sometimes called Espans, because of their native tongue.
   
Each nation also has ways to refer to its inhabitants. Those from Texeiras call themselves Texeiran, while those from Vilaverde refer to themselves as Vilaverdan. Since the cultures of these two states are so closely related, items as well as people from both are sometimes called Verdan. Texeirans are easily offended on this score, because the word Verdan too closely resembles Vilaverdan. The people of Texeiras prefer to be called Texeirans, and woe betide the fool who refers to a Texeiran settlement as a "Verdan colony."

People of the Savage Baronies

The vast majority of the inhabitants of the Savage Baronies are humans, descendants of the Ispans who colonized the area a century ago. Over time, the Ispan colonists split into two groups, Verdans and Espans. The vowel shift delineates the "birth" of a distinct cultural group. Natives of Oltec descent with strains of Nithian and Traladaran ancestry have also entered the mix. Some natives have remained isolated, but the majority intermarried with Ispans.
   
In addition, human colonists from Yavdlom intermarried with both Ispans and natives in Vilaverde and Texeiras, while colonists from faraway Ylaruam intermarried with the people in Saragón. These different influences created modern baronial inhabitants with a very mixed ancestry. It is rare to find a human who is of "pure" descent from any one group. However, a few Ispan households do exist, notably some of the older noble families who have avoided intermarrying with natives for at least the last few generations. Some natives also consider themselves "pure," not realizing their Oltec blood was mixed long ago with Nithian.
   
Resulting from this intermingling, humans of the Savage Baronies tend to be moderately dark-skinned. The Red Curse also causes red overtones. Most humans have straight, black or deep red hair.
   
Also, a few elves, dwarves, and halflings live in the Savage Baronies. Elves make up a significant portion of the population in Torreón, but they are also prominent in Narvaez. Additionally, a few elf families live scattered throughout the other baronies. Dwarves are common in Cimmaron but are seldom found in the other baronies; a handful still live among the elves of the Montoya district in Narvaez. Halflings are more often found in Cimmaron than any other barony, but they are not common even there.
   
Additionally, tortles live in some of the southern baronies, notably Cimmaron, Almarrón, and Narvaez. Other races--including lupins, rakastas, goblinoids, and lizard kin--visit throughout the baronies, but families from those races almost never settle down here. Lupins are the most frequent visitors to the region and are common sights in Vilaverde and Texeiras. Note that some Herathians do live here, but their disguises effectively prevent discovery.

Prejudices

In general, the people of the baronies are tolerant of folk who are different, having come from such a diverse background themselves. The least tolerant nation is Narvaez, but some individuals in each barony still dislike outsiders. While some national prejudice does exist among the people of the Savage Baronies, discrimination because of race is rare.
   
For the most part, humans, elves, dwarves, and halflings are considered equals in the Savage Baronies. They mingle freely and generally get along well with one another. People from other nations might be viewed with curiosity but are treated kindly. Visitors from the furred races (lupins and rakastas) are considered equals as well, though some more insular peasants, unaccustomed to seeing such folk, might view them with fear.
   
Goblinoids, having caused many problems for the baronies over the years, are usually met with disgust, fear, or anger. They are seldom welcome in the towns and cities of the Savage Baronies because they usually come to raid or steal. The presence of a goblinoid, even a peaceful one, might well cause a fight.
   
Lizard kin and the races of the Orc's Head Peninsula are rarely seen in the Savage Baronies. On the infrequent occasions when they do visit, they are subject to close scrutiny. Their odd appearances make them a fearful sight, even to the more educated people of the baronies. However, because they are an unknown quantity, individuals are usually given a chance to prove themselves and are judged on their individual merits. They remind many people of the peaceful tortles found in the southern baronies.
   
Tortles are a special case. While not derided because of their race, they are sometimes looked down upon because because of their peasant status. Like other peasants here, tortles are often characterized as slow and lazy, unwilling to work for a better life. Laziness is a great sin to Baronials, most of whom are staunch believers in the individual's power to succeed through hard work.
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The attitude toward tortles typifies the wealth-related prejudices of Baronials. Many, but not all, members of the nobility look down on those who are less fortunate. The middle class--including merchants, crafters, and adventurersÑtends to view peasants with disdain. Peasants envy the wealthier folk but often forget or repudiate their origins if they come into money, looking down on those who remain peasants.

Conventions

Despite cultural differences, the Savage Baronies have many commonalities, ranging from language to dueling conventions. These often become a basis for comparison and competition. Inhabitants of each land believe their accent or dialect to be more pleasing than others, their variations of the dueling rules more noble, and that their coinage better. The following text points out many similarities to which few Baronials willingly admit.

Clothing
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The people of the Savage Baronies usually wear simple, light, cotton clothing, though suede and leather are popular among the middle and upper classes, especially with Gauchos and Swashbucklers. Swashbucklers and Nobles also wear silks and velvets. Even the poorest people tend to wear at least one brightly-colored item of clothing, and Swashbucklers are positively vibrant in appearance.
   
Clothing is a status symbol among adventurers and the upper classes. Baronial society considers good taste in dress a virtue. Often, adventurers to carry spare clothing for occasions when they want to impress others.

Weapons and Equipment

Most equipment and weapons available in a standard D&D game campaign can be found in the Savage Baronies. Items vary in popularity, however, depending on the exact barony.
   
Due to the spread of swashbuckling, plate mail, field plate, and full plate armor are rarely seen in the baronies, though a few Narvaezan nobles own suits of full plate. Breastplates, however, are extremely common and are worn even by Swashbucklers. Chain mail, ring mail, and scale mail are worn by mercenaries of Narvaez and Torreón and by warriors of Almarrón, Saragón, and Gargoña. Leather and studded leather armor are the types most likely to be found in Vilaverde, Texeiras, Cimmaron, and Guadalante.
   
Heavier armors are avoided by seafarers of the sea powers and mounted Gaucho warriors. Heavy armors are also avoided in Cimmaron because firearms are common, which all but negates the benefits of armor.
   
Cimmaron County is known for making and exporting smokepowder and wheellock pistols. These weapons are frequently seen throughout the Savage Coast, though somewhat less outside the Baronies.
   
The development of firearms has not diminished the popularity of other missile weapons. Hand crossbows are popular among the upper classes in Almarrón, Saragón, and Gargoña, and because they are reasonably common in the baronies, one can be purchased there for only 40 oros (gold pieces), rather than 300 gold pieces as listed in the PHB. Likewise, quarrels for a hand crossbow can be purchased for one dies (silver piece) each.
   
Larger crossbows, both light and heavy, are popular among the mercenaries of Narvaez and Torre—n; the militias of Almarrón, Saragón, and Gargoña; and among the seafarers of Vilaverde and Texeiras. Short bows are popular with peasants throughout the baronies, as are long bows with adventurers. Gauchos of the Savage Baronies swing bolas. The lasso is also a common weapon in Cimmaron, Guadalante, Almarrón, and Saragón.
   
Blades are by far the preferred melee weapons of the Savage Baronies. Because the rapier is the favored armament of the Swashbuckler, it is common throughout the Baronies. Sabres are also popular with both Swashbucklers and Gauchos. Rapiers can be fitted with basket hilts (more common to sabres), but are more likely to have a swept hilt, which has the same game effects as the basket hilt.
   
Swept hilts are sometimes found on short swords as well. Both short swords and long swords are common in Narvaez and Torreón. These weapons tend to have more ornate hilts and guards than their counterparts outside the baronies. It is not unusual to see a forward-angled or curved guard on a long sword.
   
Daggers and similar weapons also tend to be very popular among Baronials, particularly peasants, due to their affordability. Swashbucklers prefer such arms as second weapons, wielded in the off hand, opposite a sabre or rapier; the main-gauche is another popular complement to the rapier. Gauchos like daggers for their many uses and have even been known to duel with daggers on occasion.
   
Red steel weapons are especially popular in the Savage Baronies; while the metal is not readily available, it is still much more common in the Savage Baronies than elsewhere.

The Immortals

Los Guardianos revere several Immortals, the SAVAGE COAST setting's equivalent to deities. Five Immortals are venerated throughout the baronies: the Ambassador (Masauwu), the General (Thor), the Judge (Tarastia), Milan (Mealiden Starwatcher), and Valerias. Some baronies have local patrons as well.
   
In Cimmaron, Kagyar is revered as the patron of artifice and the master of firearms. Al-Kalim is venerated in Saragón as the patron of scholarship, tolerance, and courage. He is the favorite of sages, wizards, and warriors who favor strategic planning.
   
Narvaez also reveres two Immortals: Ixion and the Inquisitor (Vanya). Ixion is the center of the Church of Narvaez. He is the sun, fire, life, power, and wisdom; citizens of Narvaez see him as the one Immortal worthy of true veneration. Much religious persecution has been carried out in his name. The Inquisitor acts as Ixion's avenging servant. She represents pride and the correctness of beliefs, seeking vengeance against those who do not follow the way of Ixion and punishing those who stray.
   
In Vilaverde, Texeiras, and Torreón, the Inquisitor is revered as Fanha (spelled "Faña" in Torreón). She represents war and pride in those states. She is the patron of warriors and the representation of self-defense and vindication, especially against those who deliver insults.

The Red Curse

As mentioned, the Red Curse has existed in baronial lands since well before they were the Savage Baronies, indeed, long before it was even known as the Red Curse. Until AC 1009, the Red Curse was confined to a few isolated spots in the baronies: in valleys and swamps, on certain hills, in selected caverns, and even in the plains of some regions. For the most part, people native to the land just avoided these areas. However, the Ispan colonists and their descendants did not avoid the curse; they studied it.
   
At first, Baronials affected by the Red Curse simply suffered its effects, acquiring Legacies and becoming Afflicted. Wizards, priests, and sages studied Affliction but were largely unable to help its victims. Then, cinnabryl was discovered in what would eventually become Cimmaron. Years later, a Torreóner smith discovered the properties of depleted cinnabryl and named the substance red steel.

Cinnabryl and Red Steel

For almost 80 years, cinnabryl has been mined in the area now known as Cimmaron County. Deposits were also discovered in Terra Vermelha slightly over 40 years ago, and two mines in that region have been operated by Vilaverde for more than 10 years.
   
Red steel, once an extreme rarity because of the low demand for cinnabryl, has become much more common with the recent spread of the Red Curse. Because of the three cinnabryl mines in and near the Savage Baronies, red steel is more common in the Savage Baronies than anywhere else. The City-State of Slagovich even trades cinnabryl to the baronies in return for red steel weapons.
   
In the baronies, most users of cinnabryl are nobles, merchants, mercenaries, or adventurers. Obtaining cinnabryl is a primary motivation for people to become adventurers to make enough money to afford a steady supply of the metal.
   
Most traffic in red steel and cinnabryl is controlled by Inheritors. Cinnabryl is most common in Texeiras, Vilaverde, Cimmaron, and Saragón, and less likely to be found in the other baronies. Red steel is most common in Texeiras, Cimmaron, Saragón, Torreón, and Narvaez; less common in most of the other baronies; and rare in Guadalante. The related substance of smokepowder is most common in Cimmaron and somewhat less common in Guadalante, Vilaverde, and Texeiras. Narvaez and Torreón have both been trying to acquire large amounts of smokepowder to experiment with building large guns; none of these experiments have yet been successful.

Inheritors

Many Inheritors live in in Saragón, including the leader of the Order of Crimson. Inheritors are common throughout the baronies, except for Narvaez, where they are considered outlaws. Inheritors are hated and feared by the peasants of Torreón, who blame Inheritors for keeping cinnabryl from them, causing many peasants to become Afflicted.

The Afflicted

As mentioned, numerous Afflicted live in Torreón, where peasants are too poor to buy cinnabryl. Most of these Afflicted have never used cinnabryl, so their defects are relatively mild.
   
In most of the baronies, Afflicted live in small enclaves isolated from other people, but not always. In Torreón, many Afflicted join the ranks of mercenary units; they make an effective fighting force, with the added factor that their appearance often surprises (and sometimes disgusts) opponents. In Narvaez, few become Afflicted because the church distributes cinnabryl and maintain spells. Those who are Afflicted usually move into small camps within the towns and villages, where they are attended by clergy.
   
In Almarrón, Saragón, and Gargoña, the rare Afflicted are generally cared for by family or friends. However, because some Afflicted cannot stand the thought of being seen by others, they run off to live solitary existences in the wilderness.
   
All baronies except Narvaez, Almarrón, Saragón, and Gargoña have villages formed by Afflicted individuals. Very often, Afflicted are shunned; in response, many gather to build enclaves where they need only traffic among themselves. For the most part, these are squalid shacks of forgotten remnants, but a few are clean and well-built. Afflicted villages typically boast fewer than 30 people and are located away from main roads and trails. Common folk happily avoid the villages of Afflicted. People in these villages seldom hold Inheritors in high regard, even Inheritors who do become Afflicted.
   
Overall, Inheritors are accepted. Many are considered heroes, others as villains. Frequently, Inheritors (especially warriors) are famous in the baronies; a town enjoys the notoriety of claiming a heroic Inheritor as its own.

Threats

The Savage Baronies face many threats to their continued existence, both internal and external. Most threats have been around for decades, and Baronials have established ways to deal with them. However, as evidenced by the last decade, occasional surprises call for extraordinary measures. What follows serves as a quick reference regarding the individual threats.

Hule

The Sanctified Land, Hule, is a nation run by its clergy. The leader of Hule is the Master, a mysterious dictator who leads the nation's veneration of Bozdogan (or Loki), patron of deceit and mischief. Political intrigue within Hule often leads the Master to start an external conflict to unite his people and bring temporary stability to his nation again.
   
Hule is a repressive and often aggressive state. While currently at peace with the other nations of the coast, Hule sends spies in many directions and regularly launches small plots to upset stability in foreign regimes.

The Yazak Steppes

The Yazak Steppes are home to many tribes of goblinoids, notably the so-called "great tribes." The Hupkur, composed of hobgoblins and ogres, is the strongest tribe, but they are located far from the Savage Baronies. A recent alliance between Dankut (orcs and trolls) and Kuttai (orcs and goblins) has many Baronials worried; the alliance is close enough to strike, and an alliance between great tribes almost always preludes an invasion. The closest great tribe to the baronies is the goblin Gosluk; members of this tribe raid into the baronies with some regularity.

The Yazi

The Yazi are goblinoids of the coastal regions. Most prominent of them, at least to observers in the Savage baronies, are the gnolls of El Grande Carrascal and goblins of the Badlands. Gnoll lands have borders with Almarrón, Saragón, Gargoña, Cimmaron, and Guadalante; these nations suffer the gnolls' presence in the region to keep their neighboring baronies from gaining territory in El Grande Carrascal. Gnolls are actually relatively civilized; they both negotiate and engage in honest trade, and they do not immediately attack humans or demihumans.
   
Goblins are another matter. They are definitely warlike, but recent losses keep them in line for the most part. Occasionally, rumors about the Badlands goblins having commerce with the Gosluk of the Yazak Steppes are spread, but the accuracy of such claims is questionable.

Other Nations

The baronies have few problems with nations other than Hule. Of course, relations between the Savage Baronies and the City-States on the eastern Gulf of Hule are unstable because both groups vie for control of the seas. The baronies effectively block commerce between the City-States and the rest of the coast, and pirates based in Vilaverde and Texeiras are known to raid ships from the City-States. The City-States occasionally discuss banding together to destroy the navies of the baronies. Fortunately for the baronies, the City-States are about as likely to work together as are the Savage Baronies themselves.
   
The baronies also trade with nations of the Savage Coast and maintain colonies and outposts in these distant lands. The coastal nations outside the Baronies depend on Texeiran and Vilaverdan shipping for much of their commerce, so they do not want to disrupt such shipping by contesting. Though difficulties occasionally arise, the nations of the Savage Coast tend to be on friendly terms with the baronies.
   
Renardy, in particular, has close ties with the baronies, especially Torreón. The Renardois have adopted several of the styles and conventions of Los Guardianos, from their form of government to their swashbuckling style and dueling conventions.
   
The nations east and south of the City-States, such as Yavdlom and distant Thyatis, are too far away to be of concern to the Savage Baronies. It is possible that Yavdlom might send more colonists or expeditions to the region, but Yavdlom is peaceful, so the possibility represents a trading opportunity more than a threat. Also, it is unlikely Thyatis would be willing or able to devote the time and manpower necessary to tame and reclaim the other, fiercely independent Savage Baronies.

Internal Strife

The Savage Baronies have often been their own greatest threat. Conflicts within a barony and clashes between baronies are all too common. Internal conflicts are discussed in the entries for each barony.
   
As for conflicts between baronies, Torreón has periodic disagreements with Vilaverde and Texeiras over cinnabryl deposits in Terra Vermelha; because Almarr—n's former dictator hired Torre—ner mercenaries to enforce his will, Almarróñans sneer at Torreón. Narvaez does not get along well with any other baronies, particularly Saragón, which it regards as a haven for heretics and the spawn of chaos. Narvaez also wants to compete with the Vilaverdan and Texeiran navies, which escalates tensions there.
   
Except for their problems with Narvaez, the sea powers get along with all the baroniesÑexcept each other. Texeiras and Vilaverde are competitive, and their ships often come into conflict. Texeiras grants letters of marque, sanctioning privateers to prey on Vilaverdan shipping. Likewise, ships from Vilaverde attack Texeiran ships, whether they have letters of marque or not; the Vilaverdan government has been known to grant a retroactive letter of marque to captains who make port in Porto Preto after having raided Texeiran shipping for some months.
   
Except as mentioned, the other Savage Baronies get along with their neighbors. In particular, Gargoña maintains neutrality in most conflicts. It is not unusual for a Gargoñan delegate in the Signatory Council to be elected leader of the council.

The Environment

The climate is warm temperate to subtropical. Overall, this climate is favorable for human habitation. The weather is seldom harsh; it snows in the northern baronies as often as once a decade. Rains come with some frequency, though most downpours soak the coasts rather than traveling far inland. Storms are not uncommon, and the coastal baronies suffer occasional hurricanes. Some flooding occurs each year with runoff from the mountains but is seldom cause for worry.
   
The natural flora and fauna of the region include kudzu, tomatoes, potatoes, maize, plains grasses, deer, alligators, armadillos, prairie dogs, turkeys, and eagles. Monstrous lifeforms of the baronies include many creatures from the MONSTER MANUAL tome. However, few lycanthropes exist on the Savage Coast, and intelligent creatures are limited primarily to goblinoids and those races mentioned as PC races.
   
A few especially horrible monsters are native to the Savage Coast; one such is the Inheritor lich, the undead remnant of an Inheritor who increases his or her power to great levels. Two of these creatures are currently found along the Savage Coast--one in Renardy, the other in the Savage Baronies. The Inheritor lich that inhabits the baronies is called Doomrider, a formidable enemy for any group of would-be heroes.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 3
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 07:07:28 PM
Vilaverde and Texeiras

Sometimes called the Sea Powers, Vilaverde and Texeiras are the strongest naval powers on the entire Savage Coast. These rivals, with their strong seafaring presence, virtually control the western half of the Gulf of Hule. The two states often clash with the aggressive City-States, especially Hojah, Slagovich, and Zvornik.

Like the humans of the other baronies, those in the Sea Powers are primarily Ispan descent, mingled with Oltec, Nithian, and Traladaran blood. In addition, the people of the Sea Powers have intermarried for decades with settlers from Yavdlom tall, ebony-skinned humans with traces of elven blood.

Though the peaceful aspects of Yavdlom culture have done little to cool the hot blood of Guardianos with whom they have intermarried, the present culture of the Sea Powers does revere seers and prophets. Diviners are popular among the seafarers of Vilaverde and Texeiras for their usefulness in predicting the weather on seafaring journeys. Verdans make many long ocean voyages, and their ships have traveled from the Gulf of Hule to the far side of the Orc's Head Peninsula and beyond.

The Sea Powers, besides having an effective, ocean-based fighting force, also boast skilled merchants; they carry goods to many places along the Savage Coast. Despite some jealousy over the Sea Powers' control of Savage Coast shipping, the other nations of the coast value the transportation, communication, and commerce provided by their ships.

In addition, Vilaverde and Texeiras are known for the colonies they have started in various places along the coast. Vilaverde's colonies include Terra Leãoça, O Bastião das Tartarugas, and the recently independent colony of Porto Escorpião. Texeiras maintains the successful colonies of Protectorado da Presa and the Colony of the Horn.

Based roughly on Portugal of the 1500s and 1600s, the Sea Powers are home to explorers, swashbucklers, merchants, and pirates. The people of Vilaverde and Texeiras are a proud folk who form a distinctive political unit among the Savage Baronies; when they ally, none can stand against them at sea. Because few Savage Coast nations are without ports, the threat of naval retaliation is enough to keep other nations from molesting the land holdings of Vilaverde and Texeiras. Both countries prefer the title "Barão" for their lords.

Dominio de Vilaverde

Vilaverde is home to high-spirited people who travel widely across the Savage Coast. Among other nations, Vilaverde is known as a haven for pirates and outlaws, a lawless realm that cares little for civilized society. While this reputation has elements of truth, the dominion is not quite as lawless as it is painted. Its independent people are fiercely patriotic, willing to unify to defend Vilaverde from any difficulty.

Vilaverde's biggest challenge is the defense of its eastern border, the only place Hule has direct contact with the baronies. Along with Terra Vermelha and the eastern reaches of the Yazak Steppes, Vilaverde might seem a flimsy obstacle to Hule's expansion into baronial territories. However, the Vilaverdan fleet is an effective deterrent to Hule's aggression because it could easily destroy Hule's navy and all its coastal assets. Four years ago, Huleans met and defeated a hastily assembled Vilaverdan force at the Battle of Burdür, but before Hule could take advantage of the victory, Vilaverde destroyed most of Hule's shipping ability in two battles in the inlet near Karakoy and sacked several settlements. Rather than risk its other coastal properties, which it had believed well-defended, Hule withdrew from Vilaverde.

The Nation

Vilaverde's landscape is dominated by grasslands, broken by cultivated farmlands, ragged forests, and a few hills. The nation is geographically divided down the centre; a few miles inland from the coast, the land sweeps upward to a plateau several hundred feet above sea level. This slope, known as O Grande Escarpamento, is miles long, stretching the length of the barony. The cliff is broken in many places by gentle slopes leading down to the coastal lowlands; these breaks allow ready travel from lowlands to highlands in every sector of Vilaverde.

Vilaverde has existed for more than a century. Its borders have been relatively constant during that time with occasional minor setbacks and conquests. Vilaverde has never absorbed or conquered another state, nor has another state ever owned, absorbed, or broken away from Vilaverde.

The People

Vilaverdans are known as explorers, adventurers, thieves, pirates, and whalers. The typical citizen encountered in Vilaverde is a Swashbuckler fighter, though Nobles and Local Heroes are relatively common as well. Spellcasters are uncommon, and most mages of Vilaverde are Swashbucklers who prefer a flashy style of magic. Feared on all seas, Vilaverdans are a light-hearted, high-spirited people whom others regard as highly audacious.

The Yavdlom background of the Vilaverdans gives them great respect for divination. Since most of their divination is used at sea, the effects of the Red Curse do not muddle the results as much. Fortune tellers are common in the settlements and are usually consulted before important ventures. Vilaverdans believe in fate and luck and enjoy testing both with games of chance.

The Red Curse

Vilaverdans view the Red Curse simply as a hazard of life, one that causes pain for the "other guy." They seldom think about the Red Curse because life is too short to spend worrying about that which Fate has already planned; whatever happens, happens. Inhabitants of Vilaverde mostly ignore Afflicted because their visages are unpleasant and depressing. In response, Afflicted band together to form their own communities where they blithely ignore the various deformations of their neighbors, acting as if everything is perfectly normal.

The Ruler

Vilaverde is ruled by Barão Jorge "O Temerário" de Vilaverde. Baron Jorge "The Intrepid" is a charismatic human fighter with the Swashbuckler kit. At 55 years old, he shows little sign of age. Proud, quick, and fit, he still holds his own in a sword duel. While a dynamic and dashing individual, Baron Jorge is also a profound thinker who cares deeply about his nation and the welfare of his people. He is ruthless in protecting Vilaverde.

Estado de Texeiras

Like Vilaverde, Texeiras is home to a well-travelled, high-spirited folk. Though also viewed by most Baronials as a home for pirates, Texeiras is recognized as having legitimate merchants. While Vilaverde takes what it wants, Texeiras earns its possessions and trade in most people's minds. Ironically, Texeirans are less often considered thieves by outsiders simply because they are more subtle about their practices.

The people of Texeiras are a little less boisterous than those of Vilaverde but are just as independent and proud. In fact, Texeirans are even more patriotic than Vilaverdans, to the point that they hear insults in even the mildest of criticisms.

The Nation

Most of Texeiras is forested, though the state includes grasslands and abundant farmland as well. Forests are carefully protected because they provide the wood for Texeiran ships. Texeiras also claims a small portion of O Grande Escarpamento, the grasslands that border Terra Vermelha. Situated around the Baia da Sereia, Texeiras is shielded from the worst of the weather in the region.

Texeiras was founded 80 years ago along the eastern edge of Baia da Sereia. Almost 30 years later, it absorbed the Yavdlom colony of Tanaka, which had occupied Cabo dos Cães, now the eastern end of Texeiras. In the same campaign of conquest, Texeiras took over the barony of Marino, which had recently broken from Narvaez to claim the western shores of Baia da Sereia. Narvaez has threatened once or twice to take back the Marino lands but has never matched the naval supremacy of Texeiras. At the moment, Texeiras is on reasonably good terms with Narvaez.

The People

Texeirans, like Vilaverdans, are known as explorers, adventurers, whalers, and privateers. The typical person encountered in Texeiras is more likely a thief than a warrior, usually a charismatic Swashbuckler with expensive tastes and a suave demeanour; the Local Hero, Noble, and Honourbound are also common kits. While warriors and wizards are common in Texeiras, rogues are much more common here than elsewhere in the baronies. Citizens of Texeiras are subtle enough about their thievery that people generally believe them to be an honest, hard-working folk.

The more worldly people of the Savage Coast have learned to be cautious in what they say about a Texeiran, Texeiras, or any product of that state. Texeirans have even been known to suggest duels if someone offers a low price for their goods. Texeirans are a proud lot who try to avenge any insult against them real or imagined.

The Red Curse

Like Vilaverdans, Texeirans seldom think about the Red Curse. Life is too short to dwell on something so depressing. Texeiras boasts a thriving trade in cinnabryl, so Afflicted are relatively uncommon. Texeiran enclaves of Afflicted tend to stay rather cheerful and are well-maintained, like those in Vilaverde; deformations are largely ignored by the inhabitants of the enclaves.

The Ruler

The ruler of Texeiras is Barão Bartolomeu "O Calvo" de Texeiras. Baron "Bart the Bald" is a retired adventurer, a human Swashbuckler thief now in his early 60s. The baron's wife died some years ago, leaving him without an heir. Much speculation exists as to whom he will name to take his place; the front-runner seems to be Dominíca da Solidão (see Protectorado da Presa later in this chapter), but many believe Baron Bart will choose some unknown who impresses him with daring and honor. More than a few adventurers have tried to gain his attention and praise with their activities.
Title: Re: Mystara Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 4
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 07:23:19 PM
Torreón and Narvaez

The humans of these baronies are primarily of Ispan descent, with strong traces of Oltec blood. Narvaez and Torreón are also home to many elf and dwarf families, and a few members of other races are residents of larger settlements in the two states. The people of both states are stereotyped as brave and passionate and are reputed to be fine warriors.

Torreón and Narvaez are known as lands of mercenaries, supplying professional soldiers to other nations of the Savage Coast. Torreóner mercenaries, found throughout the Savage Coast, are known for their loyalty and skill; Narvaezan mercenaries are valued for their fierceness and high standards. Sellswords of both nations are considered skilled professionals, well worth the money required to hire them. While the people of the Sea Powers may dominate the oceans with their navies, these states have strong land forces to be reckoned with.

Each of these nations has a long and violent history of wars and conquests that have allowed them to achieve their present status. The harsh conditions have made their people tough survivors. As a result, Torreón and Narvaez are the most populous of the Savage Baronies, each covering a comparatively large area.

Because of their aggressive histories, these states are often rightly viewed with trepidation. The ruler of Torreón dreams of expanding her nation's boundaries to include more resources and riches. The leaders of Narvaez believe theirs is the only true religion, and many of their more assertive members want to carry the flame of Ixion to the other baronies, even if doing so requires force of arms. Narvaez mounted such a crusade only five years ago aided by Torreón and the Sea Powers. Only by presenting a united front were the remaining baronies able to stave off the military might of these four nations. Narvaez and its allies would probably have worn down their opponents had Hule not chosen to attack all the baronies just then, forcing them to put aside their arguments and face the greater threat.

Now despite their threatening postures, dreams of conquests, and crusades both Torreón and Narvaez are weakened by internal problems: Poverty cripples Torreón, and unrest within the clergy paralyzes Narvaez. Both states try to build and consolidate their forces so they can one day achieve their goals. If those goals were more similar, few obstacles would keep the two states from unifying into a force against which no others could stand.

Baronía de Torreón

This land is notorious for its poverty but respected for its mercenaries, who travel to all parts of the Savage Coast. The majority of Torreón's people are poor, barely managing to eke out a living by farming. Those who are able become mercenaries to fight and sometimes die in someone else's war, leaving their families behind. Most mercenaries earn enough to break the cycle of poverty that enslaves them, but seldom do they make enough extra to send hard coin home for family. Instead, sellswords help their family and friends by encouraging them to become mercenaries as well, passing on rumours of opportunities and putting in a good word when they can. It is a Torreóner aphorism that gaining fighting prowess is the best way to break away from the poverty of the land. Since most Torreóner mercenaries come from deprived backgrounds, they are unwilling to lose steady pay and are loyal to those who supply it.

Thus, while Torreón is a poor land, it is also reputed to produce the most steadfast mercenaries on the Savage Coast. Other nations welcome Torreóner mercenaries for their reliability and worry at the thought of those same mercenaries being turned against them. The existence of so many fighting men and women in Torreón strengthens the nation's reputation as a formidable military presence.

The Nation

One of the few land-locked baronies, Torreón is built around the rich river valley of Rio Guadiana and its tributaries Rio Frio, Rio Torrentes, Rio Tuntos, and Rio Fangoso. Beyond the rich farmland of the river valleys, most of Torreón's hills and flats are thickly forested. Grasslands ripple only in the east where Torreón shares a border with Texeiras and Terra Vermelha. Note that in the east, Torreón occupies the higher ground above the cliffs known as O Grande Escarpamento (which Espans call La Grande Escarpadura). This geographical feature defines and defends Torreón's southern borders.

Torreón has had a violent history. The first political entity to appear in this region was the Barony of Cristobal, founded in 916 on Rio Torrentes. Almost a quarter century later, some successful adventurers settled down and created the Baronies of Alcazar (in 940) and Torreón (in 941). Later still, the Barony of Los Elegidos was established to the north (along Rio Tuntos) and the Barony of Morales in the centre (at the junction of Rio Frio and Rio Fangoso).

The founding of Morales created a problem for Torreón because Morales was laid out in a position where it could control river traffic between Torreón and the other small baronies. With an eye to preventing future problems, Torreón attacked Morales. To settle ongoing border conflicts, Torreón also attacked all its other neighbors. Torreón conquered Morales and Alcazar, extending its holdings to the north, east, and west, weakening Elegidos and Cristobal as well.

Torreón then consolidated its gains, rapidly building several settlements to control extensive portions of the river valleys. A couple of years later, Elegidos disappeared completely and mysteriously, removing a threat from Torreón's northern border. A decade later, Cristobal relinquished its barony claims. Torreón left the remnants of Cristobal as a buffer between itself and the goblinoids of the Yazak Steppes. The tower served to blunt the most recent invasion attempt before being destroyed.

Since consolidating, Torreón has been an aggressive, somewhat expansionist nation. Its baroness, Doña Isabel, plans to continue building her armed forces in the hopes of some day conquering both Texeiras and Terra Vermelha. However, her military build-up has wrecked the local economy through excessive taxation.

The People

Torreón has a racially mixed population. About one-third of its people are elves; in addition, at least half the people in Torreón have some elven blood. The rest of the population is human, leavened by a very few members of other races. Torreón's violent history and prevalent poverty attract few people from other nations (it's hard to imagine a Torreóner native as a model of "the good life"), leaving these humans and elves to the lands they have inhabited for centuries. The humans of this nation are not as mixed as in other baronies; here, they are of primarily Oltec descent, and those of Ispan or Ispan and Oltec mixed ancestry are quite rare.

The common people of Torreón are farmers, but many of those farmers have fighting experience. Torreóners are known to be brave, passionate, hot-tempered, and proud. Like the people of Texeiras, Torreóners are quick to suggest a duel over the smallest offence. Hardships have produced generations of tough and ruthless soldiers in this barony.

Warriors are common in Torreón. The Myrmidon kit is seen most often. Some Honourbound, Swashbucklers, Local Heroes, Gauchos, and a few Defenders (devoted to Faña) are also seen. The nobility is small in Torreón, so the Noble kit is uncommon. While most Torreóner nobles are elven, the rest are humans of pure Ispan descent.

Torreón also has a fair number of Militant wizards and War Priests, but few rogues live in Torreón, which lacks the large population centres and the wealth needed to support them. Most Torreóner rogues are Scouts or Swashbucklers, the latter kit also being used by most Torreóner wizards. Some Inheritors do live in Torreón, but they keep to the larger towns or the company of nobles because they are despised by peasants and Afflicted.

The mercenaries of Torreón are reliable and reasonably priced. A typical fee is one oro (gold piece) per person per week with a bonus percentage allotted for experience, so most common mercenaries in the company actually earn about five dies (silver pieces) per week. Several well-organized mercenary companies operate in the barony, each of which follows a skilled captain. These mercenary captains gather for an Assembly once a year to discuss issues important to them all, such as payment scales and employment opportunities. A person who wishes to form a company of his or her own must go before the Assembly, where the current captains vote on the applicant. If approved by a simple majority vote, the applicant can recruit a mercenary band and seek employment. The captains approve only those individuals who they believe will uphold the honor of Torreón and obey the Assembly's decisions.

Torreóner mercenaries prefer not to fight against other companies of Torreóner mercenaries but will do so if ordered by their employers. However, employers should realize that if they order such a battle, leaders of the involved Torreóner companies meet before the battle and allow any mercenaries who have friends or relatives in the other company a chance to refuse combat, without loss of honor or pay. All Torreóner mercenary captains adhere to this policy, a fact known to most potential employers across the Savage Coast.

Note that some mercenary companies are composed of only Afflicted. Their prices, leadership, and attendance at the Assemblies are the same as for standard companies. Afflicted companies are shunned in polite society but are known to cause dread and disgust in their enemies, sometimes giving them a psychological advantage.

The Red Curse

The Red Curse is a constant threat to the people of Torreón. While citizens in the larger towns do their best to ignore the curse, a very large proportion of the people in Torreón as much as half are Afflicted. Some Afflicted join mercenary companies; most others live in small enclaves. Small size, however, does not guarantee small incidence. Afflicted enclaves are found everywhere in Torreón: ragged sections in towns and villages, tiny farming villages along rivers, and hidden camps in forests and hills.

The people of Torreón never forget the Red Curse, and those who are able go to great lengths to avoid it. Unlike those in the Sea Powers, Afflicted here are not able to pretend they are normal even when among other Afflicted. The Afflicted of Torreón hide themselves from view and avoid contact with most other people, even other Afflicted, shunning themselves before others can.

The Ruler

Baronesa Isabel "La Terrible" de Torreón y Morales, a human noble in her early 30s, rules Torreón with an iron fist. The baronesa has been in charge of the state since her early teens after the death of her father. She had to withstand ruthless political attacks in order to survive, but this has only made her more ruthless in her approach to politics.

Baronía de Narvaez
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Although Narvaez is a larger barony and has a higher population than its neighbors, its people still suffer from excessive taxation by a brutal rulership. In addition, Narvaez endures the Inquisition, which appears unexpectedly to check the loyalty of commoners and nobles alike, ensuring devotion to Ixion.

Narvaez is known for its mercenary forces but is also seen as a dangerous nation that wants to thrust its patron Immortal and his accompanying Inquisitor upon the other nations of the coast. The nation has no real allies, though it gets along reasonably well with Torreón, Texeiras, and Gargoña.

The Nation

Like Torreón, most of Narvaez sits along a river valley; the barony's lands run mostly to farmland and forest, broken by small ranges of hills. The land is very fertile in Narvaez, supporting good farming.

Also like Torreón, Narvaez has had a long and bloody history. It was the first barony founded along the Savage Coast and is the only one ever officially chartered by the distant government of Thyatis. Narvaez once stretched all along the western coast of the Gulf of Hule, from La Escarpadura in the north to the Claw Peninsula in the south. This claim covered land on which humans, dwarves, elves, and tortles were already living, including the lands now known as Cimmaron, Almarrón, Gargoña, and part of present-day Texeiras.

Three years after Narvaez was founded, the southern tip of the barony declared independence. This area eventually became Cimmaron. A year later, another small area broke away from Narvaez, declaring itself the Barony of Montoya; held by elves and dwarves, Montoya included what is known today as Castillo de Los Hidalgos and the nearby range of hills.

In 913, Narvaez was split between two heirs; the north, including most of the present-day barony, remained Narvaez. The south, including present-day Almarrón and Gargoña, became the Barony of Sotto. Sotto had a very rocky history, most of which is detailed under Gargoña and Almarrón.

Narvaez remained relatively stable until 930, when the Barony of Marino splintered off, remaining independent until conquered by Texeiras in 958. In 935, the Barony of Quimeras also declared independence from Narvaez, claiming the land from Ciudad Quimeras to La Escarpadura. Narvaez, fed up, began building military forces. In 937, Narvaez attacked both Quimeras and Montoya, and after a short war, reabsorbed them both. Most Montoyan dwarves fled to other places, but the elves remained to become fully integrated into the population in Narvaez.

By the end of these hostilities, Narvaez established approximately the same borders it holds today. However, the military build-up continued, growing numbers of troops helping Narvaez to retain its territory for more than 70 years. Despite this growth, the barony had remained relatively peaceful, concentrating on fortifying its holdings and building power.

However, five years ago, internal theological dispute escalated into a holy war in Narvaez; to unite the feuding factions, Barón Hugo declared external enemies. The northern states of Torreón, Texeiras, and Vilaverde allied with Narvaez against the remaining baronies. This manufactured war was supplanted by a greater threat when Hule attacked all the baronies, and was later postponed again so the baronies could deal with increasing goblinoid raids. For the last year or so Narvaez has been peaceful, but other baronies still remember the attempted conquest, and many consider Narvaez an enemy.

The People

Like the people of Torreón, the folk of Narvaez are brave, passionate, and easily offended. The hardships faced by Narvaez forged a people both rugged and pitiless. Narvaezans are also devoutly religious, or at least act devout to avoid being persecuted by the state's elite troops, usually known as Los Matónes ("the bullies," with slang connotations of "killer" and "rat"). In addition, natives of Narvaez feel superior to other Guardianos because they are confident in the righteousness of their religion and because they are the oldest of the Savage Baronies some go so far as to say the only legitimate barony.

The people of Narvaez are mostly human, though some dwarves, elves, and half-elves make homes here as well. A few tortle peasant families remain, scattered widely throughout Narvaez, living as peaceful farmers. Members of other races are usually only visitors. Economically, Narvaezans are mixed; while many are peasants, a substantial middle class (which includes the clergy here) and a relatively large nobility also exists.

Like Torreón, Narvaez is known for its mercenaries. Warriors are the most common here, but clerics and rogues are also common. Practically no wizards or druids exist in Narvaez because they are considered heretics to Ixion and have been outlawed. Multi-class characters are more frequently encountered than wizards or druids.

In Narvaez, the most common kit is Myrmidon. War Priests, Local Heroes, Nobles, Swashbucklers, Honourbound, Gauchos, and Scouts are seen as well. Inheritors and Defenders are not legal in Narvaez, nor are they welcome, but sometimes such characters are seen anyway. Swashbucklers have a special place in Narvaez; considered lawbreakers by the government, they are often heroes to the local peasants and merchants. Swashbucklers enjoy thwarting the schemes of the church and of Los Matónes.

The mercenaries of Narvaez should be handled like those of Torreón, with three exceptions. First, they do not have an Assembly; a mercenary captain must be granted a charter through the church before building a company, and all companies are responsible to the church. Second, no Afflicted belong to Narvaezan mercenary companies. Third, some Narvaezans become mercenaries simply so they can travel to other lands and avoid religious persecution.

The best Narvaezan mercenaries are sometimes asked to join Los Elegidos (the correct title of Los Matónes) who answer directly to the baron. The current leader of Los Elegidos is Angelíc de Ariéla, an elf Swashbuckler ranger from a tiny elven settlement in Bosque de Los Ojos. Though she takes her job seriously, Angelíc secretly harbours more liberal views than most of Los Elegidos. She is reasonable in her attitudes and is actually a nice person when allowed to relax. She has been trying to curb the violence, bullying, and persecution found in so many Matónes. Despite Angelíc's efforts, most of Los Elegidos remain little more than thugs.

Los Elegidos have also begun spreading rumours about Angelíc, claiming that she is a sadistic punisher who can use "elven ways" to painfully wring information from even the strongest person; while this is untrue, the threat of someone even worse than the average member of Los Elegidos has worked to loosen many a tongue.

The Red Curse

The people of Narvaez believe the Red Curse to be Ixion's punishment for those who are not devout followers; in a way, they are correct. It is the clergy that distributes cinnabryl to the needy, but the church relies more on maintain spells to keep people healthy. Those who do not see their clergy regularly are thus most likely to become Afflicted. When a citizen manifests an Affliction, he is moved to one of the special enclaves outside the state's major settlements, maintained by Ixion's followers.

The Afflicted of Narvaez believe they are being punished for some transgression and spend much of their time trying to atone by serving Ixion. Many Afflicted become priests themselves, but Afflicted priests usually retreat to monasteries or serve in otherwise isolated capacities; they are not allowed to become part of the church hierarchy.

The Ruler

Barón Hugo "El Despiadado" de Narvaez y Montoya holds the reins of statehood in a tight grip. Baron Hugo "the Merciless" is a human War Priest of Ixion who controls the church as well as the nation. The baron's leadership of Narvaez is never questioned in the slightest. A man in his late 40s, Baron Hugo directs most of his efforts to foreign affairs, such as building a war fleet to break the Sea Powers' hold on shipping.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 5
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 07:33:48 PM
Gargoña, Almarrón, and Saragón

These three states are grouped for several reasons. First, their governments are the least tyrannical among the Savage Baronies. Almarrón was actually a democracy for a time before it became corrupt when the worst dictator in the history of the Savage Baronies took power. The people have recently restored a member of the old nobility to power, and he is a fair and just ruler. Gargoña has remained at peace for the last 25 years, breaking its studied neutrality only twice: first, lending support to the southern baronies to keep the northern ones from overrunning the region; and again, to prevent Hule from achieving similar ambitions. In both cases, Gargoña acted more as a mediator, sending no troops into battle. The leader of Saragón also strives for peace, but leaps to the defence of the downtrodden or the weak.

The rulers of all three states encourage learning and thinking among their people. This promotion of learning and philosophy is another natural grouping for these baronies. Because of this, they are often referred to as the Enlightened States. Gargoña, with its many artists, poets, and philosophers, is considered the cultural center of the Savage Baronies. Saragón is also a center for thinking and learning, home to many sages and scientists. While Almarrón, after a long period of darkness, is just beginning on the road to enlightenment, the state is already becoming known for its fine crafters. All three states encourage the use of magic, and wizards are more common here than elsewhere in the baronies.

In addition to the comparative abundance of wizards, these three states also have a tradition of swashbuckling warriors and rogues. Rather than seafaring Swashbucklers like those found in Vilaverde and Texeiras, the Swashbucklers of the Enlightened States are urban dwellers whose suave and sophisticated air, combined with their streetwise nature, make them accepted anywhere from the courts of nobles to the back alleys of the urban peasantry.

Finally, Gargoña, Almarrón, and Saragón are close together geographically and face many of the same threats. Both Almarrón and Gargoña were formed from territories that once belonged to Narvaez. All three states, because of their proximity to Narvaez and history with that state, are endangered by the aggressive nature of its religion (though Gargoña suffers a much lesser threat because of its peaceful nature).

The Enlightened States tend to think themselves just a little bit better than the other baronies, and perhaps they are. Encouraging peace and freedom, they are the center of baronial culture and the baronies most likely to achieve a peaceful unification.

Baronía de Gargoña

Gargoña is the mildest of the Savage Baronies. Its ruler, Doña Esperanza, works for peace and has given her people a secure and almost prosperous life for the past 25 years. Though Gargoña would probably be unable to resist an invasion, the nation is less of a target than some because of its apparent neutrality. Gargoña is protected from hostilities initiated beyond the Savage Baronies because Saragón, Narvaez, and Almarrón shield it from any overland threats, and the navies of Vilaverde and Texeiras block threats from the sea.

Gargoña is recognised as the centre of culture in the Savage Baronies. Since the state is generally viewed as politically neutral, its scholars are sometimes invited to other nations to serve as advisers or teachers. Most Baronials think of Gargoña as a pleasant place, but some wonder about the fortitude of Gargoñans themselves; they are not seen as people of action.

The Nation

Gargoña is primarily farmland, though dense forests lie along most of the state's borders. A large swamp, Delta de Pozaverde, helps protect the nation from ocean-borne threats, its shallow waters keeping deep-keeled sailing ships from the interior. Skiffs powered by oar or pole ply the waterways of the delta, ferrying commerce to and from seagoing ships.

Like so many of the other baronies, Gargoña has had a history of conflict and sorrow. As mentioned in the last chapter, Narvaez peacefully split into two states in 913: Narvaez in the north and the Barony of Sotto in the south. Sotto was never a stable barony; it existed for less than a quarter century and faced near-constant crises during its short existence.

In 921, the State of Escudor declared independence from Sotto. The tiny nation, built around Castillo de Tordegena, was released by Sotto without a fight and remained independent until it fell to an expanding Almarrón, as detailed below.

Five years later, the Barony of Rivera followed suit; it included Ciudad Real, the Delta de Pozaverde south of Río Maldito, and several square miles of land within Sotto between the river and the present-day border of Almarrón. Sotto objected to this further splintering but was forced to release the barony after a short civil war.

Another eight shaky years passed before the Barony of Gargoña broke from Sotto. When founded, Gargoña encompassed only the land west of Las Navas to the present-day border of Saragón. Again Sotto tried to force the rebellious area to remain united, and again Sotto failed. Gargoña was granted independence in 934. Still, Sotto harboured ill-will toward Gargoña and declared war on the tiny barony in 936.

Despite its size, Gargoña was better organized and fielded a more effective fighting force than its parent barony. By the end of the year, Gargoña had not only defended its original claim, but conquered northern Sotto down to the Sierra Borgosa hills. Gargoña allowed the southern portions of Sotto to reorganize independently; they formed the State of Almarrón.

Gargoña and its new sibling barony remained at peace for just over four decades, consolidating territory, and initiating trade. Gargoña became a stable and reasonably prosperous small state. However, in 977, Almarrón attacked and absorbed Escudor, then turned north and attacked Gargoña and Rivera. To resist the Almarróñan forces, Rivera and Gargoña negotiated a merger, keeping the name Gargoña, in 978. This stronger Gargoña was at least able to hold back Almarróñan advances, while within the aggressive state, Nueva Esperanza took advantage of Almarrón's distraction to declare independence. Almarrón sued for peace with Gargoña in 979.

Gargoña rebuilt its war-trampled borders, and in 986, Doña Esperanza came to power. The baronesa began a policy of neutrality regarding all other baronies, sealing alliances both diplomatically and through astutely arranged marriages. Gargoña has remained at peace ever since. Even when Gargoña allied with the southern baronies against the northern in the recent wars, Doña Esperanza was able to maintain relative neutrality. Aided by her familial relationship with the baron of Narvaez (her daughter is married to Don Hugo's son), Doña Esperanza eventually negotiated the peace that allowed the baronies to cooperate against their larger common enemy, Hule.

The People

Though most inhabitants of Gargoña are human, their tolerant attitude recognizes other races as equals. The barony includes settled families from all races of the Savage Coast, even a few peaceful lizard kin and goblinoids. The typical Gargoñan is an artist, poet, or scholar, yearning for adventure and seeking inspiration. Warriors, rogues and wizards are all popular character types. Priests are less common.

The Swashbuckler is the most encountered kit of Gargoña, though many wizards use the Mystic kit. Defenders, Honorbound, and Scouts have their places, as do the rarer Nobles, Local Heroes, and Gauchos. The Local Hero is the kit most often used for clerics and druids in Gargoña.

The people of Gargoña are dreamers, generally optimistic but given to occasional fits of melancholy. They enjoy their reputations as scholars and artists, but are quick to point out that such skills do not make them any less able in a fight.

The Red Curse

The Red Curse is seen as a great malaise by the people of Gargoña and is the subject of many stories, plays, and treatises. Still, the detrimental effects of the curse are rarely found in Gargoña, and Gargoñan Afflicted are rare. While Gargoña's clergy might not be large, it is devoted; the priests of Gargoña make regular use of maintain spells to help people avoid the Red Curse's effects. The nation also imports some cinnabryl, most of which is purchased and used by those who have chosen an adventuring career.

The few Afflicted Gargoñans remain with their family and friends, who usually try to raise enough money to seek a cure. A few poets never seek respite because they believe the angst of the Red Curse provides them with better inspiration.

The Ruler

Baronesa Esperanza "La Illustre" de Sotto y Rivera rules the nation of Gargoña. Descended from the noble family that once ruled Rivera, this educated lady came to power in Gargoña almost 25 years ago. Very few know it, but she was once a thief with the Local Hero kit. Bored with the life of a pampered noble, she stole for thrills, and as "La Pantera" was a notorious figure in the baronies. When Esperanza was 24, the baron of Gargoña died, and she was chosen to succeed him. Quickly earning her nickname "the Illustrious Baroness," she married into the old Sotto family to cement a political alliance, eventually finding love in the marriage as well. The baronesa gave birth to two daughters, both of whom have been married into ruling families in other baronies: The elder, Dulcinea, is wed to Julio, second son of Barón Hugo of Narvaez; the younger, Caterina, is married to Claudio de Montejo, one of the nobles of Saragón.

Estado de Almarrón
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/XmkbvcXFBYNF0s9wukHkQDSQGAhf1gyhdUWIAcUhx--d573pC0UrJTKu9TQm0eJxbjKLt9I7zm_Eo9ciwn1EgQWgAKSFSaEWBVdQMjRR6s1ckPKUdnOP1aEqeYokvOWlMfPPpaQtZzAK7pJDRjT1JnMbHpneWsZ0nyOtjmIn7M-enqKYseMYjEKhbbd95u1L1m3ngAmcPJgndOQ8l1ssu2aow5asSHbqAu9T5kHWza1dKXOcHnGIb9XMRd9v1QSj2Ho5jDw3CDoMtXDt17LpbsnKuZR7e-9hF617EZ4MeGQasLSrpUxHEYWJx_GyWQnqK46BJ70fz6ExopT5gHfAVJ4PkKfGbfg0ddk0t4pLdRuOrnHEf6wK54m7Iqi18yfCekafGJCoVK2fWO_eAQ-zMS0HlEvx83NWJdvE4yF498nq-1dVoiHHjrFcwkw3gzBzHNMQhwyePfvpOkSe6gcMzjeHifNvf6iqYo72Ll6jDv_wlW171kGGCUiZrTuwNZiUkmh_DxIZDfFLqMfQ9eMxCJqiWYYquuqQrytw-E6FkJVlAxM3xXtVDHdeDzBdAyIuwOo_h_79WmpT9UFjuWUDc5tg_m9BCkZOR5rSkqnu-uSZIyRKJvAe=w579-h337-no)

Almarrón's character is a mystery to many people of the Savage Coast, even its own inhabitants. The state has gone through many ideological upheavals and has recently decided to try a new direction. First organized in 936, it was ruled for decades by a noble family, who led it through many struggles with other nations. Radical changes in sentiment and philosophy led to a democracy for a time, but corruption destroyed that experiment. From the chaos, a dictator rose to power. Recently, the dictator was overthrown, and a member of the nobility was installed as the nation's leader. The current baron wants to lead his state toward learning and enlightenment. Since Almarrón has gone through so many changes, outsiders do not know what to expect in policy or in reaction to outside events. The inhabitants (and even the ruler) are sometimes confused themselves.

Almarrón has always been reclusive; this inward focus has not changed with its new leader; this is the reason for the general lack of knowledge about the state. Like many Guardianos, Almarróñans have the reputation of hot-blooded Swashbucklers. Traders have noticed the new government is encouraging quality crafts in order to increase the nation's output of fine marketable goods. With no other confirmable information, everyone is waiting to see what happens.

The Nation

Much of Almarrón's territory is rocky, inhospitable hill country, but a large, fertile plain occupies the heart of the nation, supporting a majority of the population. Forested slopes and cliffs guard Almarrón's shores.

Almarrón, like so many other baronies, has had a bloody history. Organized from the confused southern portions of Sotto when that barony fell to Gargoña in 936, Almarrón faced difficulties from the very beginning; its people were disorganized and its nobles inexperienced. To help consolidate his new nation, the first baron of Almarrón unified his people in a crusade against the southern holdings of Nueva Esperanza, conquering that area in 939. The singularity of purpose forged in this conquest helped hold the state together for almost four decades.

About 15 years before the founding of Almarrón, a small barony called Escudor broke away from Sotto; when Almarrón emerged from the division of Sotto, Escudor was its neighbor. Unfortunately, Escudor's existence cut off Almarrón's access to the best route inland, and Almarrón blocked Escudor's route to the sea. Many disagreements simmered between the two states, finally boiling over into war in 977.

Almarrón defeated Escudor. Inspired by its victory, Almarrón immediately turned north to initiate hostilities with Gargoña and Rivera. Here it was not so fortunate, or perhaps it was simply better matched. The two states merged to resist Almarrón's aggression. On top of this, while war progressed in the north, the people of Nueva Esperanza began an internal war for independence. Led by their General Cimmaron, the people of Nueva Esperanza won their fight for freedom in 980.

The long years of tension and culminating defeats so disgusted the general populace that the people of Almarrón rose up and overthrew the baron. They embarked on a democracy, using old Traladaran writings as a basis for their government. Almarróñans maintained this experiment for almost 15 years, but revolutionary fervor had slain or exiled the most experienced leaders (the nobility). The people elected to office fell prey to indecision, endless argument, and greed.

In 994, poverty and hot tempers threatened to destroy Almarrón from within. Don Esteban, the mayor of Ciudad Tejillas, intervened. Using the city's garrison, the mayor ousted rival factions, installed himself as dictator, and named himself "El Salvador" (the Saviour). His self-proclaimed title was technically true because he did save Almarrón from complete collapse. However, he then initiated policies that made him very unpopular.

First, he seized what he perceived to be the nation's most important asset: the silver mines in Sierra del Plata, mines that supplied silver for coinage to many other nations. Don Esteban also established taxes on the state's other exports, including coffee and tobacco. Much of this wealth went directly to his own coffers rather than into a national treasury.

The people of Almarrón resented the usurper and his odious tyranny. The poorest peasants ran from the dictator's tax collectors and Torreóner mercenaries. Many bands of insurgents were formed, some dreaming of restoring the old democracy, others loyal to the old baron's still-living son, Barón Maximiliano de Almarrón y Escudor.

In 1008, after 12 years under the dictator, rebel forces were able to take advantage of general unrest and defeat Don Esteban's troops. The dictator was removed from power, and Barón Maximiliano was established as the leader of Almarrón. Don Esteban still lives. He still tries to sway people by claiming to be a commoner who kept the state out of the hands of the nobility. However, Maximiliano is a just ruler, and the people are ready to give the nobility another chance.

The People

Almarrón is a nation of humans though a few families of demihumans are scattered across the state. The people of Almarrón are tired of war and poverty. Many remember the nation's old democracy as a time of trouble; these would rather avoid politics and allow their noble baron to lead.

However, the older inhabitants have lived under several political systems, and in the democracy they were free; they have not forgotten that heady feeling. Under Don Esteban, they lost much of their freedom, and that chafed to the point of revolution. Now, these older citizens have a strong desire to remain free. Having experienced the upheavals of the past, they know they can survive them if they must. Fortunately, the new baron respects their viewpoint.

As a result of its history, Almarrón has no true peasants and only one noble family. Most common people are merchants and farmers, with the baron encouraging the establishment of a "class" of craftspeople. Those interested in adventuring are mostly warriors though rogues, wizards, and priests also take up the lifestyle.

As one might expect of a freedom-loving people, many Swashbucklers live among the Almarróñans. They also have a high number of Local Heroes, many of whom helped overthrow the dictator and have moved on to adventuring careers. Honourbound, Gauchos, and Scouts are encountered with some regularity in Almarrón as well.

The Red Curse

The worst effects of the Red Curse are not prevalent in Almarrón. One of the ways Don Maximiliano won support was by distributing cinnabryl to the people. The baron has used the captured treasure hoard of Don Esteban to purchase this protective metal.

Most people of Almarrón choose to not think about the Red Curse; they dismiss it as something that harms others. The few Afflicted who do live in Almarrón stay with their families and friends and are not judged harshly simply because of deformities.

The Ruler

Barón Maximiliano de Almarrón y Escudor, a human Noble fighter, is an intelligent and a charismatic leader. The baron is not quite 30 years old, born just after his father was removed from power. His pride tempered by exile, the baron spent his early years in Saragón, returning to Almarrón a decade ago to lead freedom fighters against the dictator.

Baronía de Saragón
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Saragón has quite a reputation among the Savage Baronies and along the entire Savage Coast. First, it is known as a haven for sages, scientists, wizards, and other scholars. Second, Inheritors initially came to prominence in Saragón, and the state is still home to many including the leader of the Crimson Inheritors, Audra the Masked. Third, Saragón is the buffer that protects many of the coastal nations from the Yazak goblinoids; this is partially due to the careta de la barrera, the barrier mask, a magical item.

History is a favorite topic of study among the proud, able folk of Saragón. They make good leaders because they are schooled in strategy, tactics, and military history. Many noted adventurers hail from Saragón.

The Nation

When most people picture Saragón, they think of the fertile, river valley farmland of Río Maldito and Río Copos. However, the barony also encompasses wide grasslands ranged by cattle and deep woods including part of Bosque de las Sombras, the Forest of Phantoms. Saragón is very flat, mostly rolling prairieland with just a few hills in the east.

The first Ispan settlers in this region were cattle herders who formed the Barony of Montejo in 909 and built Las Manadas as their capital. Six years later, other colonists founded the State of Aranjuez, claiming the land around what would come to be known as Río Maldito, the Cursed River. The people of Aranjuez were from distant Ylaruam, a land of genies and desert riders.

Both settler groups soon discovered they were not the first occupants of the region. Each encountered human natives of primarily Oltec descent with a heavy admixture of Nithian blood. These natives had not merely intermarried with Nithians but had learned their philosophy and arts as well, retaining the culture even after the Nithians were eradicated. Ispan and Ylari settlers, in turn, intermarried freely with these natives, giving rise to a dark-skinned people with an intriguing philosophical mix.

Both Montejo and Aranjuez were peaceful states. Commerce between them began early between them, they cooperated for defense, and their people mingled. In 962, Yazi gnolls attacked Montejo and Aranjuez, and the two baronies worked together to defeat the invasion. The humans met the gnolls in the forest west of their baronies, their battle ranging through hundreds of square miles of woodland. Eventually the humans defeated the gnolls, but so many lives were lost that the river draining through the forest ran with blood. These reddened waters earned the river its nickname Río Maldito, the Cursed River, a name that eventually stuck and became official. Similarly, the forest became known as Bosque de las Sombras, the Forest of Phantoms, in memory of the people who died there.

After the battle, Montejo and Aranjuez began serious diplomatic talks that resulted in their merger, in 966, into the Barony of Saragón. Saragón has been reasonably peaceful since then, allowing its sages and scientists to flourish. However, peace has been punctuated by conflict: Saragón and Guadalante disagreed over watering rights for cattle, leading to the Battle of Cortesillas in 992 in which Gauchos of the two nations met on the plains near Las Manadas. Despite great losses, no clear winner emerged. Fortunately, the two nations settled their dispute diplomatically with the Treaty of Cortesillas soon after. Not long after this, some brave adventurers discovered the careta de la barrera, a magical mask which has helped Saragón protect its borders ever since by repelling invaders.

Saragón was able to remain at peace until the recent wars, at which time it joined the southern baronies in an alliance against Narvaez. After Gargoña negotiated an end to those hostilities, Saragón helped the baronies fight Hule and aided in defence against the Yazi and Yazak goblinoids.

In 1007, several Yazi gnoll tribes gathered together to attack the baronies. They moved along the western borders of Almarrón and Gargoña, destroying Castillo de Tordegena in Almarrón and Castillo de Pardalupe in Gargoña. Saragón was unable to muster forces in time to help the defenders of those castles, but managed to lure the gnolls into Saragón. Because they wanted to defeat the gnolls, not simply chase them away or drive them back into Almarrón and Gargoña, the Saragóners forsook the protection of the careta de la barrera. Under the leadership of Don Claudio de Tolón (baronet of Montejo) and Don Luis de Manzanas (baronet of Aranjuez), Saragóner troops soundly defeated the gnolls at the Battle of Morrión. They were aided by Sir John of Cimmaron, who led unexpected cavalry reinforcements into the battle at a critical time.

Yazak goblinoids attacked throughout the baronies over the next two years, but were unable to get into Saragón (or through to Almarrón or Gargoña) because the careta de la barrera was once again in place. Unfortunately, when magic failed for a week in 1009, so did the magical mask; some patient goblinoids who had stayed in the area chose that time to attack Torre de Manzanas while Don Luis was at the capital, almost demolishing it. The baronet spent the next few months reclaiming, cleaning, rebuilding, and expanding his tower. The restoration ended only recently, and Don Luis commemorated the opening of his new castle with a celebration.

Saragón has a fair militia and can also call upon its Gauchos for defence in times of trouble. Saragón hires Torreóner mercenary lancers to patrol the borders and take care of small groups of intruders, especially Yazi gnolls who sometimes raid the fertile Río Copos region. In addition to soldiers, Saragón also has the barrier mask, which can strike fear into any force of more than 100 hostile intruders who cross the border intending to do harm. The device has twice prevented armies from Narvaez from invading Saragón. This is fortunate because Los Matónes of Narvaez would certainly create havoc in Saragón.

The People

As in Gargoña, though the great majority of Saragóners are human, all races are accepted. Families of many diverse backgrounds live in Saragón. Human Saragóners are generally browner-skinned than humans of other baronies because of their more extensive intermingling with native populations. Beyond this, two distinct skin-tones exist within the state: medium-dark families of primarily Ispan descent, found in the barony's southern areas; and darker-skinned folk of Ylari descent, most of whom live in northern Saragón. This racial mix, the tolerance of Saragóners, and their love for wizardry all serve to irritate the more zealous among Narvaezans, who would love to bring their Inquisition to Saragón.

The people of Saragón tend to be quick-witted and fiery of temperament; however, their Ylari background and the influence of the long-dead Nithians give them tolerance of others and a reverence for scholarship and storytelling. Saragóners are also insatiably curious about their world and the myriad things in it; they seek to analyze, learn, and understand. Their culture has given rise to countless astronomers and mathematicians. Many Saragóners follow the path to arcane knowledge, becoming wizards or alchemists.

Adventurers are more common in Saragón than in most of the baronies. Besides wizards, both warriors (especially rangers) and rogues are also common; priests are less likely, but some druids study in Saragón. Saragón is where the first vial of crimson essence was created, so it was home to the first Inheritors, many still living here. As Saragón is the only Enlightened State with a large nobility, the Noble kit is often used here as well. There are also Swashbucklers, Local Heroes, Gauchos, Honorbound, Defenders, and Scouts. Wizards become both Militants and Mystics, and clerics are usually War Priests or Local Heroes.

The Red Curse

Just over a decade ago, Luis (then heir to the title of baronet of Manzanas) led an adventuring group that uncovered a prophecy about power to be derived from the Red Curse. The group of adventurers paid a Saragóner alchemist to produce a potion that would allow them to manipulate the Legacies of the Red Curse. For a rather high fee, the alchemist concocted the first vials of crimson essence; he then sold the formula to the adventurers for another large sum.

While the potion was being readied, these 11 adventurers trained themselves to accept the power of the Red Curse, and when they imbibed the crimson essence, they became the first Inheritors. Eventually, the group split up because of differing philosophies. Some belonged to the Brotherhood of Order, while others held memberships in the Friends of Freedom. When Inheritors began to rise to importance in both groups, others, including Luis, joined the Neutral Alliance to balance things out. Eventually, Inheritors came to take over all three groups, which two years ago became the three Orders of the Inheritors: the Orders of the Ruby, Crimson, and Flame.

Because Inheritors have existed in Saragón longer than anywhere else, both cinnabryl and red steel are common in Saragón. Most cinnabryl is imported through the Inheritor network outside of normal trade routes, but it is rumored that a secret cinnabryl mine exists in Saragón, possibly deep beneath Torre de Manzanas. Red steel is mostly gathered by Inheritors.

While cinnabryl is relatively common in Saragón and is distributed fairly to those who need it, Inheritors encourage the use of maintain spells for most people to reduce dependency on cinnabryl. This policy is effective because Saragóner Inheritors take pains to explain to people exactly what cinnabryl does and why it is better for many of them to never use cinnabryl, rather than use it and risk running out.

The people of Saragón are well-educated about the curse and even most children understand its effects. Instead of a cause for fear, the Red Curse is an object of study in Saragón. Afflicted are rare here, and those Afflicted who live in Saragón are readily accepted by their families and friends.

The Ruler

The leader of Saragón is Barón Balthazar de Montejo y Aranjuez. The baron is a human Noble and an experienced wizard. Barón Balthazar has ruled the barony for almost 20 years and is nearly 80 years old. He is a wise ruler who encourages freedom of thought and equality among his people. He has followed the path of Saragón's previous rulers to make his barony prosperous and peaceful while still maintaining its ability to defend itself from attackers.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 6
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 08:09:27 PM
Guadalante and Cimmaron

The cultures which have risen in these two states create an atmosphere unique in the Savage Baronies. Though they have the same fiery temperaments as the other Guardianos, the people of Guadalante and Cimmaron apply their passions in different ways.

Sometimes known as the Lands of the Gauchos, Guadalante and Cimmaron are concerned much more with the land than the sea. Instead of smooth, swashbuckling rogues, these two states have rough, range-riding warriors. The frontier feel is much more prominent in these two states than elsewhere in the Savage Baronies; the people are a little rougher, and perhaps a little tougher, than the dandies and courtiers of the other baronies.

While Vilaverde and Texeiras have the strongest navies and Narvaez and Torreón have the strongest infantries, Guadalante and Cimmaron have the most impressive horsemen. The gauchos of the plains, brought together to fight for their freedom, make formidable light cavalry units.

In addition, Cimmaron is the home of smokepowder and wheellock pistols; Guadalante has made extensive use of these items as well, trading grazing rights to Cimmaron in exchange for weapons. While wheellocks are popular with many Swashbucklers, they are required equipment among Gauchos. Almost every warrior of the two small states knows how to use a smokepowder weapon. In Cimmaron and Guadalante, a belt pistol is the preferred personal defense for many people.

The omnipresence of firearms also influences dueling styles in these two states. While smokepowder weapons are occasionally used for duels in other baronies, duelists of Guadalante and Cimmaron have become famous for their skills. Other baronies may prefer the sword for its elegance, but firearms are the weapons of choice here.

Personal bravery and honor are very important to the people of these lands. Guadalantans and Cimmarons pride themselves on their willingness to fight for what they believe in. They are proud of their heritage of freedom. Neither barony has ever fought to conquer another land; to enforce their will upon others would be the height of hypocrisy for those who love freedom so well.

Guadalante and Cimmaron would be likely to unify if either state saw any need for it. Their ideals are comparable, their people similar, and their governments are friendly to one another. However, both nations are fiercely independent and proud; both feel they are doing fine as they are.

Estado de Guadalante
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/xNKmWXHDOOUng-pzKaU4sBDrsiJBhCbH2Pchtbx7Er9mFjcx3rdXyUr7oXD4AWFNv_EcFnfrU71b5dxrZySmAkLNzz1mWg1hi64kK191D1xwlNzneLZ9kYZjLekq94aMJ_hO3Djqq0tWjp91wjZSnZkGLVqwIJLm1cjB47KK7_KDyaympuaig0bHezbFI77nrg3LcdlytlCkoCUiD2w_2M7lWOXkiNV1IcEHFk6K0DQ3NlFNksyAZup5GKVt3KrGi-vVtRB3rn8lRuY1pJpssqv3LYPCUyTXXpJaJMF9G2I4iAg1h64WgRrcpvrtXyDcz3CWaWDSvwE307TgRwn3eMGclkJlnOGuPNw-gkNsHA7zRq6wExNRfV7ugJDBErD9lCpoYT2n64px3bJXl9UwpTMIS4X4B139VlFWovDCNA69kvZUM3mIClAaESaTazboeytBxzhiZC5SAftMdHsuPYZqXfxZxFG7uSoL3DfdZ6Utu6W-S5yKXQqhXBZUMNFIX1Mo4ZWuMwWhz9Ma9lNoqkHvpLS3QmeM5qhBV1eaqcMoyztpHjzHvQKNCZGgCkm0wwk22dK_1N9iWf84JOIa9WWXM8xnVMnFMYohd-FM5nsQ6kPKm6Il=w621-h512-no)

Guadalante is the most loosely organized of the Savage Baronies. It has only two real population centers, and encompasses mostly open grassland, with a few haciendas and camps scattered across the countryside. Baronials outside of Guadalante and Cimmaron tend to think of Guadalante less as a nation and more as a large ranch. This attitude is irrevocably altered in those people who attempt to attack Guadalante or trespass on its lands; the Gauchos of Guadalante are fiercely proud of their nation, doing all they can to maintain its rights and power.

Most Guardianos picture Guadalantans as crude ruffians with no appreciation for the finer things in life. For the most part, they are correct; the typical Guadalantan would rather sleep under the stars than in a bed.

The Nation

Fertile farmland along the banks of the Río Copos and Río Negro relieves the monotonous expanses of Guadalantan grasslands. Guadalante also claims a small portion of the Sierra Desperada hills on its southern border.

The barony has had a relatively peaceful history, at least in regard to the other baronies. Guadalante was founded in 985 when the States of Copetez and Bigotillos were united through the marriage of their heirs. Copetez had been founded around Ciudad Huelca in 908, and Bigotillos was established north of Río Copos in 947. The two states seldom quarreled because there was enough rangeland to go around. The rulers of the two states often communicated, and their children's match was one of love. When Maria of Copetez married Guillermo of Bigotillos, their parents happily relinquished control of the entire united domain to the newlyweds. The two ruled together, and when Guillermo died, Maria passed the domain on to her son Dante and his wife. Guadalante has been ruled by a married couple ever since.

Except for periodic troubles with Yazak goblinoids to the north and Yazi gnolls to the southeast, Guadalante has had few conflicts. One such was a disagreement with Saragón over watering rights. This argument came to a head at the Battle of Cortesillas but was soon solved with the Treaty of Cortesillas. The only other conflict Guadalante has had with another barony occurred just four years ago when Guadalante allied with the other southern baronies to resist the depredations of Narvaez and its allies. Guadalantan Gauchos proved the effectiveness of cavalry against ground troops in the few battles fought between the baronies before Hule's invasion united them all.

The People

Nearly all Guadalantans are human, but a few demihumans live within the nation's borders. Tortle peasants occasionally work on the haciendas, but lupins and rakastas are not welcome in Guadalante because they tend to spook horses. Goblinoids are discouraged as residents, but peaceable merchants occasionally visit for trade. Few lizard kin have ever strayed into Guadalante, and the Guadalantans find them fascinating when they do visit.

Guadalante is home of the Gauchos, free-spirited wanderers of the pampas. Gauchos can be recognised easily by their calf-high boots, puffy pants, ample shirts, and broad hats. Seldom wearing armour, these range-riders are almost always armed and usually carry at least a dagger and a wheellock pistol; bolas, javelins, and lances are common as well. In peacetime, most Gauchos raise cattle and live in the pampas in large, fortified haciendas.
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Guadalante has a higher proportion of adventurers than most of the other baronies. Most of these are warriors, a few rogues, wizards, and priests leaven the mix. The most common kit in Guadalante is, of course, the Gaucho. Local Heroes, Honorbound, and Nobles are somewhat common, but Swashbucklers, Myrmidons, and Defenders are rare in Guadalante. Those Defenders who do live in Guadalante are usually devoted to the General, though Valerias is quite popular as well. Most Guadalantan wizards are Militants, and the clerics are usually War Priests. Both the Scout and the Bandit are popular among Guadalantan rogues.

The Red Curse

Guadalante gets most of its cinnabryl from Cimmaron but imports barely enough for the nobility, wealthy merchants, and adventurers. Most common folk rely on maintain spells from local clergy, but many still become Afflicted. As in the majority of the Savage Baronies, Afflicted are shunned in Guadalante. However, since the nation is wide open, the Afflicted can find plenty of places where "normal" people are miles away. Several haciendas in Guadalante are run entirely by Afflicted. Those Guadalantans unaffected by the detriments of the Red Curse tend to ignore it; many look upon the Afflicted as something less than human.

The Ruler

Guadalante is an oligarchy ruled by the prominent cattle-trading families. These are Guadalante's nobility perhaps a bit rougher than most, but nobles nonetheless. The current rulers of Guadalante are Don Crístobal "El Barbudo" de Bigotillos y Copetez and his wife, Doña Catalina de Bigotillos y Narvaez, the daughter of Barón Hugo of Narvaez. Don Crístobal "The Bearded" is a rather peaceful if boisterous ex-adventurer. Though a member of the nobility and possessed with the gaucho spirit, Don Crístobal grew up among common folk and is a ranger with the Local Hero kit.

Cimmaron County
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Unusual in many ways and culturally dissimilar to the other Savage Baronies, Cimmaron does share a few characteristics with Guadalante. Cimmaron's state language is common, and while people in most other baronies speak common and either Espa or Verdan, only about one-third of Cimmarons speak a language other than common (usually Espa). All Cimmaron place names are now rendered in common.

Besides the language difference, Cimmarons have distinctive views and habits that set them apart from other Baronials. Their leader prefers the title Count over Baron (though his people have begun to refer to him as a duke), and the state is called a county. Cimmaron is where smokepowder and firearms were developed on the Savage Coast; the people of Cimmaron have a fondness for wheellock pistols and prefer them above all other weapons for dueling. The people of Cimmaron dress differently, preferring suedes and leathers and tending toward darker, rougher, heavier clothing than that found elsewhere in the baronies. Cimmarons are rarely seafarers, even though theirs is a coastal state. While most Baronials are tough, many are light-spirited as well; this is not true in Cimmaron, where the toughness of the people has a cold edge to it. Finally, Cimmaron feels like an uncivilized frontier, a place where people are trying to tame an unruly wilderness and the hostile natives who live there.

Most other Guardianos avoid Cimmaron as too uncivilized a place. This suits Cimmarons just fine because they tend to view the other Baronials (except for Guadalantans, whom they respect) as pampered dandies.

The Nation

Cimmaron is blessed with a good mix of terrain types, from grasslands and farmlands to forests and hills. The soil here is not as fertile as in the other baronies, and Cimmaron tends to appear dry and inhospitable. Those plants that do grow in Cimmaron seem stunted to the eastern eye, and the animals of Cimmaron are skinny compared to specimens found in the other Savage Baronies.

The first modern colonists to come to the Claw Peninsula actually arrived a couple of years before the Ispan wave. These colonists were members of the Brotherhood of Order (also known as the Lawful Brotherhood), the philosophical "ancestors" of the Inheritors of the Order of the Ruby. The Brotherhood originated in the City-States on the other side of the Gulf of Hule. Its colonists located the first Brotherhood outpost at the present site of Old Fort, at the tip of the peninsula.

These colonists were soon followed by shiploads of adventurers from many different parts of the world, particularly Ispans. The first Ispan settlement, then in the lands claimed by Narvaez, was Nueva Esperanza (New Hope), which eventually became known as Smokestone City. Nueva Esperanza declared independence three years after the founding of Narvaez and was allowed to secede without a fight. The people of Nueva Esperanza got to know those of the Brotherhood, and they began a peaceful trading relationship. They also signed a mutual defense pact, and soon Lawful Brotherhood trading posts, defended by Nueva Esperanzan warriors, appeared along the coast. Occasional influxes of colonists from the City-States, and of disaffected Baronials from the north, caused rapid growth along the Savage Coast. Native tortles and dwarves, and a few halfling settlers from far to the east, also joined this odd alliance.

The State of Almarrón was founded in 936; it grew out of the southern remnants of the Barony of Sotto, which was conquered by Gargoña that year. Almarrón needed something to unite its people, so it decided to give them a common enemy in the people of Nueva Esperanza and the surrounding territory. Almarrón's leaders rallied their people by characterising the colonists from the City-States as undesirable gringos. To "claim the land for the Espan people," Almarrón attacked Nueva Esperanza in 939 and quickly took over the entire Claw Peninsula. Some of the Brotherhood of Order went into hiding, while a small sect became the LB Trading Company and maintained many of the group's trading posts.

A cinnabryl mine had been discovered near Nueva Esperanza a few years before Almarrón's conquest; the inhabitants told the Almarróñans that the unusual metal was worthless and poisonous. Thus, the mine was mostly ignored by the conquerors. In 948, a group of dwarves working in the mine began experimenting with steel seed and developed smokepowder; again, the secret was kept from the Almarróñans and remained with a single dwarven family, the Smithy clan.

These dwarven smiths, in their quest for a good use for smokepowder, invented the arquebus in 957. This time, the secret got out to the Almarróñans, but they ignored the "toy" because of its dangers and inaccuracy, preferring to stay with swords. Smokepowder weapons were mostly forgotten, but a young Smithy became enthused about the project almost 15 years later, and with the help of a halfling jeweller named Westron, developed a wheellock pistol in 975.

They demonstrated their weapon to a man named Cimmaron, one of the leaders of a growing movement to throw the Almarróñans out of Nueva Esperanza, who encouraged its secret production. Many of these weapons were produced over the next couple of years, and smokepowder was stockpiled as well.

In 977, Almarrón conquered the tiny state of Escudor and then initiated hostilities with Gargoña and Rivera to the north. This was the opportunity Cimmaron and other leaders had been waiting for, and they began a rebellion against Almarrón in 978. Cimmaron's unit, most armed with wheellock pistols, made quite an impression on the Almarróñan soldiers, routing many of them. In 979, Almarrón ceased its war with Gargoña and turned its full attention to the rebels. Many insurgents lost their lives during a disastrous battle at Old Fort, the site of the original Lawful Brotherhood trading post, after refusing to yield to vastly superior Almarróñan forces.

However, in 980, the self-appointed General Cimmaron led his soldiers to many small victories. His major victory came at the Battle of Hondo, when Cimmaron led his last soldiers in a desperate charge to break the Almarróñan ranks, carrying a wheellock pistol and a red steel sword and rallying his troops with the cry "Remember the Old Fort!" The defeated Almarróñans left the area, and Cimmaron's followers promptly declared him Earl and named the newly-freed region Cimmaron. Nueva Esperanza was renamed Smokestone City to further break from old Ispan ways and became the capital of independent Cimmaron County.

Old General Cimmaron died in 1008 fighting Yazi goblins from the Badlands at the battle known as Longhorn's Last Stand. He was succeeded by his son, John, who is the small nation's current ruler. Except for a minor Tortle Revolt just after he took office and a few problems with Yazi goblinoids, Sir John has had a peaceful two years in charge of Cimmaron.

The People

Cimmaron's population is mostly human, though dwarves are common, and halflings (mostly stouts) are more frequently seen here than elsewhere on the Savage Coast. Like other Baronials, Cimmarons are independent, self-sufficient, and proud; like Guadalantans, they are rough, fond of firearms, and comfortable on horseback. However, the similarities end there. The people of Cimmaron tend to be tougher and cruder than those in the other Savage Baronies.

Adventurers are more common here than in any other barony. Warriors, especially rangers and paladins, are likely to be encountered in Cimmaron more so than in any other barony. The most common warrior kits found here are Gauchos, Honorbound (duelists), and Local Heroes though Defenders, Nobles, and Myrmidons are sometimes seen. The Swashbuckler mentality is not present in Cimmaron, and native Swashbucklers are rare indeed, found mostly among those Cimmarons who choose a life at sea.

Rogues are also found in Cimmaron, most with the Scout or Bandit kit, though a few Local Heroes and Nobles also live here. Bards with the Local Hero kit travel the countryside, stopping in small hamlets to entertain with their guitars in return for a meal and a place to sleep.

Some wizards and priests live in Cimmaron, the vast majority with the Local Hero kit. A few are War Priests and Militant wizards. Multiclass dwarves and humans, usually a warrior class combined with something else, pop up more here than most places.

Many citizens in Cimmaron, not just warriors, carry firearms. Most are wheellocks, some new, some handed down from a parent or other relative who fought in the war for independence. Occasionally an old arquebus is handed down from long ago.

Because of the proliferation of smokepowder weapons in Cimmaron, Inheritors of any type are rare in the barony. Inheritors occasionally visit to engage in trade for cinnabryl, red steel, or even smokepowder. A few especially brave Inheritors live in Cimmaron, but they avoid the public. An Inheritor would be foolish to take part in a firearm duel, but still risks being branded a coward for rejecting such a challenge.

The Red Curse

The Red Curse has long been known in Cimmaron, and is an accepted part of life. Cinnabryl, steel seed, and smokepowder were all discovered or developed here and are readily embraced. Cimmarons understand the Red Curse as well as anybody and recognize its progress.

Since cinnabryl was once discarded after depletion, small stocks of red steel lie around in unexpected places. Also, while cinnabryl is common in Cimmaron, the metal does not always make it into the hands of peasants. Though local clerics use maintain spells to protect their flocks, Afflicted still exist in Cimmaron. Most are peasants, so they are routinely ignored anyway by members of the upper classes. Afflicted here, as in some of the other baronies, remove themselves to small enclaves to spare their friends and families the burden of taking care of them.

The Ruler

The present ruler of Cimmaron is Sir John of the Wain, known to his people as the Duke of Cimarron. He is a calm, unwavering paladin and a skilled duellist with the Honourbound kit. A larger-than-life figure, Sir John hardly seems the type to be a head of state. He earned his nickname "of the wain" (or "of the wagon") driving for the LB Trading Company. During his time with the company, Sir John had many adventures, which have become legendary in Cimmaron.
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El Grande Carrascal

This area lies between Cimmaron, Almarrón, Saragón, and Guadalante. Though the title refers primarily to the cactus scrub in the region, common usage of the name includes badlands, hills, desert, and more all the land outside the borders of the baronies, east of the Sierra Desperada hills, and north of the New Hope River. Home to gnolls and humanoid bandits, El Grande Carrascal is a dangerous place.

Several camps of gnolls inhabit this region; the major tribes are Long Legs, Chiriquis, and Dead Yuccas. While the Long Legs are a savage tribe, the others trade with humans of the region and are willing to negotiate.

The Long Legs were able to unite all the El Grande Carrascal gnoll tribes, major and minor, about three years ago, leading a violent attack against many of the baronies. These gnolls destroyed two castles, one in Almarrón and one in Gargoña, before they were defeated by Saragóner forces (aided by Cimmaron cavalry) at the Battle of Morrión. In late 1008, their alliance fell apart after they were defeated by Cimmaron troops under Sir John, at the Red Creek Battle. Having lost too many of their people, the gnoll tribes went back to a reasonably peaceful existence except for the few remaining Long Legs, who still raid now and again.

An interesting site in El Grande Carrascal is Buenos Viente an ancient, ruined town, possibly Traladaran in origin and named by later Ispans who found it. Buenos Viente stands in the middle of the cactus scrub, a well-preserved set of buildings that appears to have once held more than 3,000 inhabitants. Most of the buildings are made of fired clay, and so have stood up to the ravages of time. Those who have explored the town report eerie voices, like echoes of half-heard conversations. The place seems to be haunted, a true "ghost town."

Bushwhack Prairie and the Badlands

Bushwhack Prairie, named for the bandit ambushes so common there, encompasses the grasslands just west of Cimmaron. Buffalo and wild horses roam the southern portions of the prairie; camps of Gauchos and Bandit encampments are found throughout the region. Fort Whitestone sits at the western edge of Bushwhack Prairie, and sends out regular patrols to watch for goblin raiders and human Bandits. Though the fort has reduced the number of Bandits in the region, more than enough of the lawless men and women still roam the area to make people think twice before traveling through Bushwhack Prairie, even along Bugle Trail (although, at least on the trail, travelers have a much better chance of being rescued by cavalry charging over the hill).

Bushwhack Prairie includes two notable battle sites, the Battle of Hondo where General Cimmaron won independence from Almarrón, and Longhorn's Last Stand where the general met his end 28 years later. Both battle sites are littered with the bones of those who died there, except for the few, like General Cimmaron, whose bones were brought back to Cimmaron for burial.

The goblins who killed General Cimmaron came from the Badlands, a rocky area west of Bushwhack Prairie. Goblins rule the Badlands; their two major tribes are Black Bellies and Flat Noses. Though some Yazi gnolls actually engage in commerce, Yazi goblins of the Badlands are savage destroyers who live by preying on others.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 7
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 08:20:12 PM
Robrenn and Eusdria

The people of Robrenn and Eusdria are descended from the ancient barbarian tribes that fled the marching armies of Hule, far to the north. The barbarians hoped to one day reconquer their homeland, but that day never came. Instead, they came to love their new lands and eventually established medieval societies.

The humans of these nations are taller than average; add four inches to heights rolled according to the method in the PHB (adjust weight upward by about 10 pounds as well). Both nations also have large populations of elves and half-elves. Humans, elves, and half-elves here tend to have blond hair, though some have white or red. Most have sky-blue eyes, though darker blue and shades of green are found as well. Very few people of these nations have brown or hazel eyes, and people with these eye shades are considered exotic.

The Confederated Kingdom of Robrenn

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Robrenn contains vast tracts of forest and is dominated by druids. Harming the forests, or any of the creatures who dwell in them, is usually considered a crime.

Robrenn's people tend to have wavy hair, commonly worn shoulder length (for both sexes). Most wear their hair loose, though warriors typically wear a braid on one side of the head in front of the ear. Clothing worn by people of Robrenn is usually made of cotton, leather, or buckskin in forest colors (predominantly green and brown, with occasional splashes of yellow, red, or orange). Often, at least one item worn has sharp, geometric patterns.

The most common character classes in Robrenn are druid, ranger, fighter, and bard. Popular kits include Local Hero, Noble, Defender, Wokan, War Priest, Bandit, and Scout. Noble druids and bards originate only in Robrenn.

Robrenn is a confederation of sovereign dominions. The fair climate and generous forests were an early boon to this druidic society. Its braided warriors thrived, though over the centuries their barbaric culture mellowed. The tribal chiefs instituted a nobility that slowly allowed a semi-feudal system to replace the tribal structure. The nobles then initiated a confederacy under the rulership of a new king, Robrenn I, chosen by the druids.

Since then, the king's descendants have inherited his title. Should his lineage become extinct, the druids would choose one of the current nobles as the new ruler. In other respects, the nation has a conventional feudal society, with druids replacing the more traditional clerics. However, no real peasant class exists in Robrenn. Non-nobles are known simply as the Folk; they are free and approximately middle class rather than land-bound and poor like peasants. Nobility and warriors must swear allegiance to the ruler and follow the ways of the druids.

Men and women are of equal status in this society. It is the belief of the Robrenn that their chief patron Immortal, Breig, is the mother of nature. As a result, the highest functions among the druids are often limited to women. However, in order to maintain universal balance, right of birth usually (but not exclusively) favours males. For example, the first-born male has priority over a female in the succession for a nobility title or the ownership of a family heirloom. In general, all that is mystical or linked to nature and creation is considered to be the realm of women; all that is material or linked to warfare and destruction is held to be the realm of men. Note that this does not restrict women from becoming warriors, or men from becoming druids, but such instances are uncommon.

To enforce laws and protect borders, the Confederacy maintains a small standing army, the Guard. A vast reserve of trained and armed citizens also exists. The druids provide a set of weapons and armor to each family's first child upon reaching puberty. (A female child has the right to refuse the weapons if a younger male exists in the family.) The "chosen one" must leave the family and remain with the Confederacy's Guard to learn the art of war. Three years later, the young adult earns the title of "Armed Citizen" and can return home.

Because of this policy, many warriors live in Robrenn, as well as a high ratio of multi-class warriors. Each Armed Citizen must provide a month of military service to the Confederacy once a year to support its defense and to stay in shape and ready for battle. In times of war, all Armed Citizens must temporarily return to the Guard.

The druids systematically enforce this system, sometimes quite ruthlessly. Any perceived lack of enthusiasm or poor physical fitness can lead to penances or even banishment. Robrenn's citizens are a fierce and brave people. It was their personality more than any need for warriors that led to the creation of these laws; thus, few actually resent them. Becoming an Armed Citizen is a sign of honor. In this society, Defenders (people with the Defender kit) can rise only among the ranks of Armed Citizens.

Druids are eminently powerful among nobility; they make laws and decide on penalties. The druids may also permit, forbid, or even decree armed conflicts involving the nation. Druids affect the confederacy's ability to attack another realm, or the ability of two dominions to fight each other. The latter is permissible only if druids cannot solve a dispute between two nobles. Considering the deeply rooted respect this society has for druids, disobeying them is almost unheard of and could lead to a civil war.

The druids' Hallowed Forest of Carnuilh covers a vast area of the confederacy. It is a sanctified area that no one but druids and druidic Defenders can enter. At its center is a holy grove where the druids meet once a year, on midsummer's eve. There, they discuss topics of mysticism, consult auguries, and resolve problems.

After each 12 years of continuous rulership, the king of Robrenn must go on a quest. If he succeeds, he remains king for another 12 years. If he fails, he must seek the Great Druid's grove in the Hallowed Forest of Carnuilh. Legends say he returns to the earth that he embodies, thereby allowing the land to flourish again. He is magically "absorbed" by the forest, thus ending his life in this world. No succession can take place until the king dies or joins with the forest. If he flees in shame and dies elsewhere without fulfilling his duty at the grove, years of woe and hardship may strike the kingdom.

The Robrenn honor a wide variety of Immortals. Their belief is that all life came from Breig, also known as the Mother of Nature, the Great Oak, and the Spirit of Eyf. She heads the Robrenn pantheon. Although a druid can choose one Immortal over another as his primary patron, all meet at Carnuilh. Regardless of their individual philosophies, all druids follow the same basic principles. They all revere the Great Druid Maud, daughter of Trestana. Maud is a female, half-elven follower of Breig. (Great Druids in Robrenn are typically female.) Though other Great Druids may exist elsewhere in the world, as far as the Robrenn are concerned, there is only Maud. This Great Druid supervises the entire Savage Coast region, including all the territory from the Gulf of Hule to the western coast of the Orc's Head Peninsula.

The druids also supervise the druidic Defenders, which some think of as "druidic paladins." Defenders are the elite warriors of the nation, often traveling on quests for druids or simply to explore and spread druidic beliefs. Note that druidic Defenders sometimes wear magically crafted wooden armor which has the same game mechanics as metal armor.

Most of Robrenn's lore is oral, handed down by bards and druids. Little has been written (though the people are literate) because the druids believe that memorizing legends and prayers sharpens the mind and prevents their holy knowledge from being vulgarized by ink and vellum. This tradition establishes the bard as a key element of Robrenn culture.

Much of this culture is affected by the druids' dislike of all that "never lived," including man-made objects of metal or stone. Robrenn's druids prefer wood, leather, cloth, and so forth. This attitude prevents the Robrenn from building much with stone. Their forts and towns are usually made of wood, with stone used only for fireplaces or roads. Unfortunately, the policy has been the source of many disasters, especially in times of war.

The plateaus to the north of the Robrenn teem with orcs, ogres, and goblins. Armed riders constantly patrol the northern edge of the confederacy, watching for invasions in the making. A number of murderous wars with the goblinoids have nearly ruined the nation. The most recent of which weakened the state considerably.

Over the course of centuries, the Robrenn developed trade with other nations, especially with Texeiran and Vilaverdan merchants. Robrenn exports wine, mead, sausage, maize, wheat, medicinal herbs and potions, spices, and amber. Cinnabryl and red steel are of little interest to the nation, though raw silver is acceptable in trade, for coinage. Usually, the Robrenn would rather obtain payment in labor. Many people from the nation Savage Baronies make annual circuits through Robrenn as itinerant farm-workers, trading labor for goods. Some Guardiano tradesmen also trade criminals for goods, the convicts being kept as indentured servants. If they serve well, they are released when their allotted period is over and can either return home or accept druidic ways and become one of the Folk.

The Kingdom of Eusdria
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Most Eusdrians have straight hair, and the majority grow it long and form it into one long braid usually worn down the middle of the back but sometimes thrown over the left shoulder. Eusdrians tend toward clothing of cotton and buckskin, though wool and fur are used in the colder, mountainous areas. The clothing is usually made in blues, purples, and whites though greys, greens, and browns are used as well.

Eusdrian society consists of a nobility, which provides the nation's leaders, and a "freeheart" class, which is the normal citizenry. Like Robrenn, Eusdria has no real peasant class. Most freehearts are warriors, but clerics come from this class as well. Though Eusdria does have some thieves and bards, wizards are rare. Popular kits include Local Hero, Noble, Honourbound, Myrmidon, Militant, War Priest, Bandit, Scout, and Skald.

In its past, Eusdria has had a number of clashes with Robrenn. The druids and clerics on either side always spoke against all-out war since both nations largely honor the same Immortals, though by different names. Eusdrian clerics are uncomfortable with the mysterious and "barbaric" ways of Robrenn druids, just as the druids distrust the Eusdrian clerics' "unnatural" and "self-serving" ways. The two kingdoms have maintained a precarious status quo, poised somewhere between cordiality and rampant accusations of heresy.

The biggest difference between Robrenn and Eusdria lies in the greater presence and influence of elves in Eusdria, particularly in the Duchy of Frisonnia and the Barony of Savaria. A great deal of the finer Eusdrian culture has come from the elves, including literature, architecture, and fine arts.

Eusdrians are fond of battle. They believe that death on the battlefield is by far the best way to die, for it opens the path to the land of the Immortals. This ancient belief dates back to their barbarian roots in the north. Before a battle, warriors often celebrate and drink beer mixed with honey, a combination thought to impart strength and courage. Fortunately, the elven love for peace and tranquility has somewhat toned down this predisposition to aggressiveness. At the very least, it has brought order and law to the impetuous Eusdrians.

Elven influence has led the Eusdrians to create several orders of knights, including paladins and Defenders (Order of the Immortals), Honorbound (Knights of Eusdria), rangers (Company of the Wolf), Myrmidons, and others (Order of the Unicorn, Company of the Bear, Warriors of the Sea, and Knights of Niedegard). Instead of fighting for the sake of battle and destruction, the Eusdrians learned to channel their battle fervor through military organizations with a direction. The easiest orders to make popular among early Eusdrians were those dedicated to serving a ruler (particularly the king of Eusdria), and later, orders that served the Immortals. This has given rise to a caste of knights and paladins capable of defending the nation against any foe.

While Myrmidons are common in Eusdria, most warriors use the Honorbound kit. All the nation's Honourbound form a single Company, the Knights of Eusdria, all of whom wear the same emblem (a black raven on a silver field) and specialize in the use of the battle axe. The Honorbound are sworn to first defend the nation in times of trouble, and second obey edicts of their leader.

Many inhabitants of Eusdria are beginning to adopt the firearms and lighter armor of the Savage Baronies. The more traditionalist warriors of the region find this dishonorable.

The present king, Sigismund III, is a half-elf Defender and highly charismatic follower of Tiuz. Sigismund is well known for his even-handedness with his dominions, both elven (Frisonnia and Savaria) and human (Harstal and Mohesia). He dreams of ridding the Yazak Steppes of goblinoids and other monsters and of expanding his kingdom into a holy empire in the name of Tiuz. For the past 20 years of his reign, he has promoted the Warrior's Honor among his people, aspiring for a smaller force of highly competent warriors, in contrast to the massive barbaric hordes of the past. In knighthood, he also sees the possible establishment of a highly mobile, elite, heavy cavalry whose loyalty and prowess would bring the end of the marauding tribes of the steppes. Dwarven crossbowmen from the County of Harstal also go to battle in trains of heavy war wagons that make them something like cavalry in mobile forts. All this allows the king to wage long-lasting wars without pulling normal freehearts away from their lands to be slaughtered in massive battles. Such a loss would weaken the kingdom, as it has many times in the past, and bring hardships to everyone.

Only recently, Eusdria joined Robrenn in a war against the Yazi goblinoids. This was favored by many of the freehearts, and when King Sigismund tried to pull out of the war, many revolted, starting a civil war. As a result, the capital was all but destroyed, but the Honorbound Knights of Eusdria kept the king from death. Consequently, the Honorbound are highly regarded by the king.

King Sigismund has not unleashed his warriors upon the Yazak goblinoids because of a curious phenomenon affecting the Plain of Dreams at the northern limit of the kingdom. Tradition says that the Immortal Lokar lost a bet with Donar and was forced to plant flowers throughout the entire plain. But Lokar cursed the flowers, giving them the power to put people and animals to sleep. These large beds of amber lotuses release clouds of sleeping pollen. The goblinoids apparently have found a way to protect themselves and their mounts from the pollen, allowing them an easy escape after their raids into Mohesia and Frisonnia. As a result of these onslaughts, villages and towns in these two dominions are heavily fortified. Eusdria's king is still hoping to find a reliable defense against the pollen for his own people.

King Sigismund is famous for developing an educational system for the young, supported by royal taxes. With this, he hopes to lead Eusdria to a golden age, amassing enough power to dominate the Savage Coast and eventually destroy Hule. The schools are largely unpopular among the freehearts, however, since they keep children from working in the fields or apprenticing in a craft. The nobles also dislike them because educated subjects are more difficult to rule, and higher taxes are required for construction of school buildings, purchase of books, and payment of preceptors (usually clergymen). The clergy, however, strongly supports the plan as it lends them power over commoners and nobles.

About a decade ago, Eusdria was visited by the Heldannic Knights, from the faraway Heldann freeholds. (There are similarities and thus sympathy between Eusdria and Heldann, but King Sigismund has always suspected the Heldannic Knights' dark and treacherous ways.) When they arrived, the Heldannic Knights arranged for Eusdria to acquire red steel, through the Texeiran Protectorate. In doing so, the Heldannic Knights gained the gratitude of the various orders of Eusdrian knights. This worried King Sigismund greatly. Contact with the Heldannic Knights ceased about five years ago; the rare messages since then have been largely ignored by Sigismund.

Eusdria now imports red steel and a little cinnabryl directly from the Savage Baronies via the Orders of Inheritors. The precious red metal is used to forge excellent battle axes, plate armor, and bastard swords for Eusdrian knights.

Most Eusdrian trade is with the Kingdom of Robrenn and the Texeiran merchant fleet. Eusdria has a small fleet in Reslar and Withimer, but it is no match for experienced Texeiran sea wolves. From the Niedegard Mountains, dwarven miners extract iron and copper, which are largely exported along with beer, honey, furs, timber, and herring.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 8
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 08:29:34 PM
Renardy and Bellayne

The kingdoms of Renardy and Bellayne are the domains of non-humans: lupins and rakastas, respectively. Both races are native to the region, and on the Savage Coast, they are nearly as common as humans.

The Kingdom of Renardy
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Known to its inhabitants as the "Royaume de Renardie," Renardy is the kingdom of the canine lupins. The kingdom's coat of arms shows a golden fox rampant in the 1st and 4th quarters, and fleurs-de-lis in an azure field in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, with royal crown and golden crest overhead.

Early lupins were nomads, tribes of hunters who roamed the Yazak Steppes and the southern central plains. Then, the goblinoids of the Yazak Steppes captured much of the lupins' hunting grounds, scattering many tribes. About 1,000 years ago, five tribes regrouped to the south and formed an alliance to defend their lands against the goblinoids; they are hailed as the founders of Renardy. Over the next 10 centuries, the tribes developed into typical medieval dominions under the authority of a king, who built his capital on the site of an old lupin camp. This site became the city of Louvines, on the Dream River. Most recently, the inhabitants of Renardy have begun imitating the clothing and fighting styles of the Savage Baronies.

The Dream River (or River of Dreams) flows into Renardy from the Plain of Dreams, a vast field of amber lotuses whose pollen induces sleep. To prevent the lotuses from plaguing their lands, lupins installed a water lock whose sole function was to strip out all debris floating on the river (particularly plants) before the water flowed further south. Construction was possible due to the help of lupin clerics, who protected workers against the effects of the plants. Eventually, the water lock grew into the mighty fortress, Château-Roan.

Sleep-producing plants also infested lands nearby, so clerics directed a purge about five centuries ago. They systematically destroyed the plants and scorched the earth, slowly gaining territory to the east and north. This infuriated the goblinoids, who thought their conquered territories were being threatened, so they launched a brutal campaign to slay all lupins. Fortunately, the valiant dog-people held their ground. The war led the lupins to build border fortresses, and most towns and villages erected walls. The late King Gaston de Clairvault ordered the construction of le Grand Mur (the Great Wall) to protect his subjects from the goblinoid hordes and halt the spread of the cursed plants. Today the wall is complete, and the Plain of Louvines is a lush, fertile valley dotted with hamlets and farms.

Within the last hundred years, the lupins have been strongly influenced by the humans of the Savage Coast, especially the people of the Savage Baronies. Renardy has close ties with Torreón and gets along well with Almarrón, Saragón, and Gargoña. The Renardois have even adopted the swashbuckling style of people of the Savage Baronies, and duels are quite popular in Renardy.

The Renardois are at peace with most of their neighbors and have a nonaggression pact with Eusdria. King Louis IV ("the Theatrical") of Renardy has held formal talks with King Sigismund of Eusdria, occasionally discussing an alliance against the goblinoids. King Sigismund is also willing to trade an undisclosed amount of red steel for the lupins' ancient, secret protection against the cursed plants in the Plain of Dreams. Both kings dream of conquering wide swaths of the northern plains Sigismund to gain imperial power, Louis to recover ancestral lupin hunting grounds.

The wine trade is of particular importance to Renardy, affecting many things in the Renardois' daily life, from business to political power. The existence of the small châteaux (country houses and estates) and vineyards have a greater significance than most outsiders might think. Nobles and bourgeois (members of the self-employed middle class) commonly own such châteaux and seek prestige for the quality of their wines. Châteaux range from small fortified manors to well-defended towers. Most have armed guards.

Bourgeois commonly settle north or west, outside the limits of the kingdom on lands that are not part of the established nobility's domains. For a fee, a bourgeois' claim on the land is registered at the Palace of Louvines by the royal bailiff (Bailli du Roi). This practice angers the goblinoids, who see the fringes of their immense tribal land being nibbled away. Renardois nobility defends the bourgeoisie, who are slowly regaining the race's ancestral lands.

Each winter a jury of wine-tasters, the Brotherhood of Vintages, judges which wine in Renardy is the best. The king, bourgeois, and nobles are allowed to present samples, which are numbered but otherwise unmarked to preclude cheating. The winner receives a golden vine leaf from the Brotherhood. A bourgeois who, over time, receives seven leaves is elevated to nobility. The king recognizes the bourgeois as a baron. In exchange for the title, the new baron swears fealty to the king, and the estate becomes a dominion of the kingdom.

Likewise, seven leaves allow a noble to ascend a rank, such as from baron to count, with "Grand Duke" being the highest attainable title. A rank cannot be lost except by royal decree (a punishment for treachery). If a noble's family is dispossessed or becomes extinct, the king divides the land into châteaux. The lords of the manors who administered vineyards for their noble master can purchase the land if they meet a price set by the king, thus becoming bourgeois. Otherwise, the land is auctioned. Until nobility rises from the nouvelle bourgeoisie (new bourgeoisie), the land remains with the king.

Monasteries often own vineyards. Should they win seven leaves, their territory would become a royal dominion under the authority of the Renardois clergy. Depending on the number of awards, the landlord could become an abbot, a bishop, or an archbishop. Although not shown on the map, many such monasteries within larger dominions eventually escape a noble's authority, including taxation and other regulations. Clergymen cannot attain royalty.

The first king of Renardy was put on the throne by allied tribal chiefs. Since then, the crown has been a hereditary title. Should the royal family become extinct, the noble of the highest rank and with the highest number of leaves would become the new king.

Besides prestige, the wine trade encourages territorial and economic growth for the kingdom. The more "leaves" a wine is awarded, the more popular it is among the connoisseurs, and the more expensive it becomes. Legends state that some of the best vintages (seven gold leaves or more) have mystical powers, such as the abilities to heal, instil joy or sadness, enhance strength or bravery, or even compel truth (thus the saying "In Vino Veritas," although simple inebriety often achieves the same results). Of course, wine-growing and fermentation techniques are utterly secret, invaluable family heirlooms never discussed with outsiders.

Competition among vineyards is fierce, if not outright sordid. Almost no guile or villainy is too low. Although lupins tend toward law and good, nearly anything goes when it comes to wine. Local bourgeoisie usually rush to bid for a fallen competitor's land (they may even coerce the latter to sell out) or establish a new claim at the Bailli du Roi should all legal owners of the land be gone or deceased. This is often how nobles and bourgeois increase their domains.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Gdd3yQNZU9zsntBQp6jRXt71VXSyxk6L9s_VpdnZHfS4YjXLMHsPxTKAAWi-qlmogAO0wL0W3qLAUs7QXRIR0uFTDKPG-Y7TwD0PZtUpTf2gktd82tP1gZBXwTHrM4AOXa3k4MY-tiDp7Jr1AOT1AVMcvsgfHO3_pCuA17wIqVt9JGgwXgH78cTfAV1g5Olmu6Q6MhbjM8JPNkJaFeOFYQ8ntaKeI-bmAdaqUukis1Q856fbl9sNEFfiMt4tBnvCkKB2iUvNDDfftEGd-nBbmOWFc4-yhMqfnMB2sejR3gmnB8mXKM5alclEFzSeG7MsN81xmFg-1-C9b-a0W5W1u29uIelRMrH4d08WLl0E0T1xIxVcmVsL0s56JJKS53UA3C2BY2_YHftdISjrXQfpzF6I2GNLZ6I4Fgvryr58hjTN0dQ4xeObHtSBOXGT3l6w-nmtTs68A9bFFPYUdKuYlKAI6OQbn9c66SK-OrhkZuiMXLlC5oOJbkDoJZwXGQstbYYgattstYD3D1whYJZZAXBqWBZ87ha90sMTxwJRUNKKo4Y2QwjvhAdbMongBXnGBfdKgAwaWdaNH31JCBX4gF82twbTX_szii-DqPqyV4SbyTjHytCH=w408-h643-no)

The Kingdom of Bellayne
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/S8V4pGbWZ1KTYLaaQVeGQZmY-VTNd_bMCi41CU4OixwflEsNQcsTUBkOmpLUxqxhaZYanmwZjcR2HKlBx3lORTNzcge-9OJrtyc86V0q3rRxR3RIwgEd0O3QPyZWLzYiDlJ2FVoUgzQacfEDOFvhv6vZBWFlgoie5wqm4K-nUiMcTrVNEzaYC1QL2KgY3ZgiobYVKNKFzzJ4bLDbxiQebyFMi1ztTq8_PGQWvMDHnl0qsKRPS_IPDG2tV2BBeFQtEjibp07mfK0qZGshpgaHgaGYkcY99U_mpWhVJUyzoBxT-c8JogfoKF8DR1Su5-LtlAb_hsO--F83H_HVdc7rnhjh2-uAEZ7q7TNTKrIGqdZDfBnzPXi9NMCp3nw5i3NpSBTy33_Tqm2hnMcP3ZhZaAVwhm0fupGo6v9vVRQR6tJmYzvT_hv9Old882Em-qIk2P-qwiQfYn2eFqaHFWD7BzYGWZdU0Yn6LCDPyG9m3AoSydZV8vjw5q881o__grGD8cmePTYwTv4IaixQ-Mtk5RLOXvjw52RRSS4t3or7gReA_dusxEHdSxmeLR6KhtztLAa9qVXrueMYkIvGjmjiC8JpPHi97q5ZrL8bwuyX9w7q4LhBtZBV=w300-h400-no)

The people of Bellayne are rakastas. Like the lupins, they were pushed toward the coast by goblinoids of the steppes. About 500 years ago, they discovered Bellayne, a nation of mostly humans and some dwarves and elves. The humans had a feudal society, just beginning to develop a system of national laws and justice. Some rakastas settled permanently on the edges of Bellayne, while most remained wanderers. Not long afterward, the humans and many of the demihumans were slain by a mysterious plague. Those remaining citizens invited the rakastas into Bellayne.

A great tribe of savage rakastas eventually settled, most adopting the humans' feudal system and taking over the ruins to establish a society that is an odd mix of human culture and rakastan mystical tradition. Present-day Bellayne has a feudal system of government and a fine system of justice and law. Additionally, many rakastas have begun to shed their traditional ways; the firearms and fighting styles of the Savage Baronies have even managed to take hold in this society. However, this is somewhat misleading, for most rakastas are still warriors at heart. Those settled in Bellayne have simply managed to gain control over their emotions.

In addition, nomadic rakastas still wander the lands of Bellayne and the Yazak Steppes. When within the borders of Bellayne (which they largely ignore), these nomads wander from town to town, trading for (and sometimes stealing) the goods they need to live. The nomads regard the town dwellers with some disdain, not understanding why they would give up the freedom and independence of the nomadic life. The town dwellers, in turn, do not understand why the nomads scorn the comfort and stability of settled life. Many of the nomads are Beast Riders who have feliquine companions (a half-horse, half-lion creature often used as a steed). The town dwellers view these warriors as brave and skilful, but nevertheless savage. When a nomadic tribe faces great hardship, the towns offer solace; in return, the nomads help protect the towns. Note that while town dwellers readily accept humans and demihumans, only a few exceptional elves have found places with the nomads.

Warriors are quite common in Bellayne, with the Noble, Beast Rider, and Honorbound kits the most popular. Defenders, Myrmidons, and Local Heroes are not uncommon though. Wizards of Bellayne include the rare Militants who ride with the nomads and the hermit-like Wokani, who carry on traditions hundreds of years old and are regarded as bizarre eccentrics by most rakastas. Fighting Monks are very popular in Bellayne, blending ancient warrior traditions with scholarly pursuits, and some War Priests are found in Bellayne. Oddly, many thieves live in Bellayne, mostly Scouts and Local Heroes. Bards are also popular. (For information on these kits, see the "Character Kits" chapter.)

Perhaps the greatest innovation in Bellayne is the traditional entertainment. Bellayne harbors a number of illustrious companies of bards, the Heralds of Bellayne. These bards gather information and relate it to the common people, often using illusions and other magic. Their guilds are so eager to find news they will often organize spectacular events or send some of their best members on amazing adventures across the world. Another activity of the guilds is to write colorful manuscripts and sell them to nobility. Each guild has a headquarters in Leminster, where new members are registered, stories are learned, and manuscripts are filed.

Bellayne is also home to several Companies of Honorbound. Each dominion has at least one Company, and each Company usually maintains a hostel in every town of Bellayne. Honorbound are also given quarter in the various castles and towers of Bellayne. The code followed by the Honorbound is a mix of ancient rakastan Beast Rider creeds and elven tradition, even adopting a few human notions of chivalry. The code is followed by all Honorbound, as well as most Beast Riders; most other warriors of Bellayne follow at least the Protocols of the code.

Two Companies of Honorbound are devoted to the queen: the Royal Honorguard, which guards the queen and her household; and the Defenders of Bellayne, who patrol the nation and serve as military leaders in times of war. Each Company allows members of any race, though rakastas are by far the most common. There are many other Companies as well, including single race groups, such as the Company of the Shell, which allows only tortles; the Red Company, which allows only rakastas; and the Friends of the Forests, which allows only elves. Each Company is registered in Leminster and must receive a royal charter to operate legally in Bellayne.

With their strong warrior traditions, the Bellaynish have succeeded in keeping the goblinoids at bay. An organized defense of its land and a disciplined, loyal citizenry have allowed Bellayne to prosper.

Lupins and rakastas competed in the past for territorial control of the Yazak steppes, their common ancestral lands. Although presently at peace, the two races have remained somewhat suspicious of each other for this reason, but the goblinoid threat in the north keeps the two nations friendly. Also, over the years the Bellaynish have developed a taste for Renardois wines, which the latter trade for Bellayne's excellent wools, tea, liquors, and coal.

Bellayne developed land trade with Renardy and other kingdoms with the "help" of Vilaverdan sea traders. Vilaverde established a colony south of Bellayne, its primary goal to control naval access to Theeds. Queen Catherine views Vilaverde's colony of Terra Leãoça (pronounced leh-ah-OH-sa) as a mixed blessing. The Vilaverdan quasi monopoly of sea trade in the region is costly, at best, for Bellayne.

Vilaverde maintains a strong military presence at Rocha dos Gatos (the "Rock of the Cats"), a very large fortress and port of Leãoça that includes Torreón swordsmen and rakasta outcasts. Bellaynish rakastas show outstanding seamanship, but Vilaverdans contend that this is due entirely to the rakastas' amazing ingenuity at avoiding the water altogether. Indeed, very few rakastas master swimming skills, but they still remain without peer when it comes to fishing.

Recently, a community of dwarves established itself in Bellayne after an explorer discovered "black rock" deposits in Penwick. The coal became particularly useful in metal working.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 9
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 08:39:42 PM
Shazak, Ator, and Cay

The western end of the Savage Coast is home to three races of lizard kin: shazaks in the Kingdom of Shazak, gurrash in the Kingdom of Ator, and caymas in the Kingdom of Cay. Each of the races was created by the mages of Herath, who intended them as servants and slave-warriors, but all three proved unsuitable and were released into the Bayou or nearby areas. Since that time, the lizard kin have struggled upward to varying levels of civilization.

The Kingdom of Shazak

The oldest of the three races of lizard kin, shazaks are very similar to the lizard men described in the Monster Manual. Ancient Herathian records indicate that these lizard men existed in the region at least 3,000 years ago, when they were servants and slaves to the human and elven mages who founded Herath while the araneas were disappearing from the region.

The mages later performed experiments to improve the primitive lizard kin. The results were less than satisfactory, and the Herathians eventually abandoned them in the Bayou.

Few of those first lizard kin survived, but those who did grew tough and cunning. They gathered under the leadership of a warrior named Shaz, eventually taking her name as their own ("shazak" means "child of Shaz"). With perseverance and some faith in the Immortals (especially Ka), the early shazaks became more advanced. Later lizard kin were adopted into the tribes of shazaks, and the tribes grew stronger as the toughness of the swamp dwellers was combined with the learning of those who had lived in Herathian cities.

Centuries later, the shazaks were forced to leave the Bayou. The gurrash, another abandoned Herathian experiment, began to displace them. The shazaks adapted to the forests north of Herath, which was a positive factor in their evolution as a species. No longer confined to the wetlands of the Bayou, they developed primitive art forms and a written language.

It is because of the gurrash that the shazak tribes eventually united behind a single war leader almost 250 years ago. Their leader is known as the Shaz, honoring the race's ancient guide. The role of Shaz is now hereditary, much like a king in human society. A Shaz usually has at least one Wokan and one Shaman acting as advisers.

Herath has long been a quiet ally of Shazak because the shazaks form a buffer state on Herath's northern border, keeping the goblinoids and rakastas away. Some caravans even travel all the way to Ah'roog to trade with the shazaks. The Herathian traders then return with pelts, pottery, feathers, rare woods, bat guano (a great fertilizer), live monsters, and such. Some nobles of Herath also hire shazaks as mercenaries. While not as ferocious as gurrash, shazaks are more dependable. Herathians have traditionally used them as expendable front-line troops in times of war. Though Herath is currently at peace with Bellayne, this policy intensified the conflict between Shazak and Bellayne over the forested area between Ah'roog and Bellayne's Marches of Wyndham.

Rakastan war parties have been known to raid into Shazak as far as the battle site called the Rakasta Grave. During the past fifty years, several battles have taken place in that vicinity, within as little as a mile of each other. The shazaks have never been able to really threaten Bellayne's border because of the ominous presence of the hated gurrash to the west. Gurrash incursions into Shazak are as common as they are savage.

In the past century, shazaks have learned to domesticate huge bats found in the caverns under the hills of T'lak between the Shady and Gatorbone Rivers. One or two bats can usually be found in each village, with more in Ah'roog. Shazak has a corps of Beast Rider "knights" who use these huge bats, which are also sometimes used as mounts by important Shamans and Wokani or by the Shaz.

The Kingdom of Ator
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The gurrash were a dismal failure on the part of Herathian wizards, at least as far as the wizards were concerned. It was hoped that a cross between shazaks and alligators would produce a tougher warrior race to fill the ranks of Herath's armies. This mix resulted in the creation of the gurrash. The gurrash turned out to be very tough, very tall, and quite bloodthirsty, while remaining very crude and totally unruly. Early specimens had a tendency to turn against Herathian human troops. They were also absolutely incompatible with shazak troops, whom they viewed as tasty food.

A few attempts at developing a more controllable breed took place, but a large batch of the creatures escaped from the laboratories, forming an uprising and wreaking havoc among the Herathians. After this bloody episode, the surviving gurrash fled into the Bayou despite Herath's frantic efforts to eradicate the whole species. Herathian rulers hired bounty hunters to rid their area of the frightening gurrash threat. It made bounty hunting a booming business for a few decades, but the gurrash quickly outbred the hunters, causing the hunt to become increasingly perilous.

Once the bounty hunters had been discouraged from preying upon them, the gurrash quickly turned against the shazaks, who populated the Bayou at that time. Within a century, shazaks had all but abandoned the Bayou. Fortunately for the shazaks, the gurrash stopped their territorial expansion at the edges of the Bayou, preferring to remain in the murky waters of the wetlands. Since then, the gurrash population has stabilized. Diseases, parasites (many introduced by Herathians), and limited food cause weaker hatchlings to perish.

Occasionally, when the number of gurrash increases beyond what the Bayou's ecology can sustain, the creatures go on a massive rampage into one of their neighbors' territories. Gurrash Shamans usually incite these raids on behalf of their patron Immortal, Goron. The raids are now sacred ritual in which a warrior supposedly gains Goron's favor by spilling the blood of foes in the most savage ways imaginable. Bringing back food is of course useful to the community, but the Shamans secretly understand that the true goal is to limit the gurrash population lest they learn to feed upon one another.

Gurrash monarchs establish themselves by savagery and cruelty. Their rule is based on fear, brutality, and support of the Shamans. A gurrash who equals or bests the current ruler in savagery during a raid as attested to by at least three Shamans can challenge the current ruler. A challenger who defeats the current ruler establishes a new hereditary dynasty (until another challenger comes up). This is what recently happened when Ator defeated King Osh III. She killed the aging king and crowned herself Queen Ator I, thus supplanting the Oshite dynasty with her own Atorite dynasty. She then renamed the nation after herself. She has ruled for 25 years. Should she die unchallenged or undefeated, one of her heirs would become King or Queen Ator II.

Some trading does occur between the gurrash and their mysterious neighbors of the Wallaroo Grasslands. A gurrash Shaman once noticed that if he left something at the southwestern edge of the swamp, the next day something else might be there, usually something of use. After a century, gurrash have come to believe that Goron takes these goods and repays them with something else.

Of course, this is just myth. In fact, wallaras (chameleon men) inhabit these grasslands and conduct the trade. The first "trade" was accidental; when a wallara found a gurrash's huge stone axe, he was so surprised that he left his backpack on the site and walked back to camp with his discovery. Over the years, wallaras found out that if they left something of value after picking up a gurrash item, soon more gurrash objects would be found there. It has led to a regular trade with the unwitting gurrash, and spots have become known for the kinds of items expected there. In some areas food is traded, while in others it could be weapons, shells, or ornamental stones.

The Kingdom of Cay

The last creation of the Herathians was nearly a success. Abandoning attempts to create gigantic and deadly servants, Herathian wizards produced the small caymas. They were bred to become slaves and builders, smart enough to understand construction plans, agile and quick enough to do the job well and without delay, yet small enough to make them weaker than their guards.

The plan almost worked, but the caymas were terribly pretentious and not as bright as expected. Their pride got in the way when a construction flaw needed correcting or when the caymas simply disagreed with the architects. Endless bickering ensued between caymas and their Herathian masters. In the end, caymas deliberately allowed flaws to remain in the Herathian monuments without alerting the architects. Exasperated by a rash of catastrophes, Herathians gave up on all lizard kin experiments and dumped the caymas north of the Bayou.

The tastes of modern caymas are unusual. Never bred to become architects, the caymas still attempt to build things to prove themselves. They lack understanding of sound architecture and engineering, leading them to erect such dubious structures as the Great Citadel of Cay. While these constructions get in the way of raiding gurrash, they would not last long against the experienced military of Bellayne or Herath. However, that is unimportant to the caymas, who are still very proud of their accomplishments.

The people of Cay copied the social structure of other kingdoms and established their own monarchy. Queen Ssa'a presently rules and has been behind the cayma expansion into the open lands north of Cay. The caymas have learned a very primitive way of raising herds of wild aurochs. For herding, they have domesticated small lizards, which they harness to tiny war chariots. Caymas trade some of their auroch meat with the shazaks. They also trade a little cinnabryl from a mine near Hwezzah. Cayma forging and metalworking is quite primitive, but they are learning.

The gurrash never raid or even dare venture into the grasslands, for they believe the region to be Goron's home, taboo to all upon pain of death. The wallaras recognize this taboo and use their camouflage ability to preserve the gurrash beliefs. This provides them with some wealth and a precious immunity against the gurrash's fearsome raids.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 10
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 08:57:18 PM
Herath
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Herath is known by most people as the Kingdom of Mages, and rightly so; roughly three-quarters of its population are wizards. The country has other nicknames as well: the Lands of the Great Magus (because its ruler is a powerful sorcerer) and the Land of Equality (because all races are truly equal there and people are measured only by their magical prowess).

The nation of Herath accepts few visitors from outside its borders, but people who have traveled there report a very egalitarian society. Gender is not a status issue in Herath. Neither does race seem to be a status issue. In Herath, lupins, rakastas, shazaks, humans, and others all live in apparent harmony. Though members of a particular family are almost always of the same apparent race, communities mix race freely; rakastas have no subculture, for example.

Originally inhabited by monstrous, intelligent spiders known as aranea, Herath is now inhabited by human and demihuman wizards. Herathians have slowly established a magocracy over the region of modern Herath. Four domains arose, each ruled by a powerful wizard, who in turn swore allegiance to the "Great Magus in the Forest." Today, the overall realm stretches from the western borders of Bellayne to the northern edge of the Dark Jungle on the Orc's Head Peninsula and reaches an average of 140 miles inland from its shore on the Western Sea.

The people of Herath are accustomed to thinking of their ruler as a quiet and reclusive wizard who stays in his tower at the heart of the dark Forest of the Magus. They have had no reason to complain about their treatment. On occasion, the Great Magus visits, of course the towns and courts of his vassals. Most of Herath's dealings with visiting dignitaries from other nations are done through envoys of the Crown or vassal nobles. So far, no monarch abroad has had reason to suspect anything unusual in Herath at least nothing that is not in keeping with a magocracy. Further, the Forest of the Magus is off limits to all uninvited people. Of course, none of the local folk would enter the forest anyway since it is rumored to be haunted and infested with monsters (a perfect place for wizards).

Herath maintains peace with its neighbors because war would simply be too costly. The Great Magus is far more interested in political intrigue and magical influence than in open warfare. He maintains a delicate balance among his nation's neighbors. The presence of Terra Leãoça, a small Vilaverdan colony, is useful to Herath since the colony is a pain in Bellayne's flank. The Magus quietly supports the colony, in exchange for which Herathian merchant ships can sail through its territorial waters without interference.

The Orc's Head Peninsula

The Orc's Head Peninsula is a vast area that is home to a number of interesting countries and peoples. A brief overview of the most important ones follows. The manscorpions, enduks, and wallaras are all part of the background of the Red Curse; special attention should be paid to them.

The Wallaras
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The arid, grassy outback of Wallara is the homeland of the primitive wallaras, who may be among the eldest races on Mystara. Also known as chameleon men, these tall, spindly beings have lived on the northern coast of the Orc's Head Peninsula for many centuries. The wallaras of Wallara are different from those of other lands, being slightly less primitive. Once a proud and wise race, the wallaras were reduced to their current primitive state through the action of the araneas.

Wallaras

Related to dragons and once the companions of the Immortals, the wallaras degenerated into a more primitive society due to a Herathian spell gone awry. Today, they have struggled back from a nomadic hunter-gatherer existence and have begun to relearn from the past. Many wallaras have settled in small villages, but most now reside in the ancient city of Risilvar, where clues to their past abound.

Appearance: Wallaras are humanoids of many colors whose 7-foot height is emphasized by their extremely slender build. They have spindly arms and legs and walk with a gangling gait that appears awkward to other races. Their skin is slightly scaly with multicoloured mottled red tiger stripes, interrupted by blue, yellow, green, orange, brown, black, and white spotting. Hair is found only on their heads and may be a single color or as mottled and colorful as their skins. They wear loincloths or simple shifts, usually carry net or kangaroo bags with their personal necessities, and occasionally don jewellery.

Personality: The wallaras are a wise people who value the land and their place in it. They are physically active, sometimes walking all day while hunting or gathering food. They are also meditative and spiritual, honoring their Immortal patrons through dance and song. Wallaras can be quite serious but most of them have a humorous side as well, laughing at themselves as easily as at their fellows. Level-headed and practical though they may be, wallaras can be very superstitious, following rituals and customs that seem nonsensical to outsiders.

Wallaras are usually good, but quite a few are neutral. A very few of them are evil. Because most wallaras follow tribal customs and taboos, lawful alignments predominate.

Lifestyle: Wallaras can be nomadic hunter-gatherers, settled villagers who raise crops in addition to hunting, or residents of the ancient city of Risilvar. The latter study the old paintings and try to piece together clues from their past in addition to their other pursuits. Each village has a population of 20 to 80 wallaras led by a headman chosen for his wisdom. He rules along with a council of elders.

All wallara settlements have a magical site known as a tookoo. These special caves, grottos, singular rocks or ancient trees radiate magic and provide the wallaras with a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls.

Risilvar supports over 9,000 wallaras who live in the remains of buildings and caves composing the ancient city. They are ruled by Bakaloo Sunskin, the overchief of all wallaras. There are no female wallaras; new generations are budded from the cast-off skins of elder wallaras and reach maturity in just eight weeks. Often several generations of wallaras from a particular line will live close together and make up a family grouping.

In addition to food gathering, hunting, and fishing, wallaras make their own tools, weapons, and clothing. Some carve or paint stones, and many are honored for their storytelling abilities. Those who live in Risilvar have taken their turn at mining at one time or another. All wallara are expert trackers and can survive in the wilderness near their homes for weeks, even if abandoned with no food or water.

Each tribe claims kinship with either an animal or a plant, which they believe guards them and grants them wisdom. They believe that their ancestors walked the earth along with the Immortals, but when evil times came, some of them grew afraid and changed themselves into animals, birds, rocks, or plants to escape destruction. Most wallara see it as their duty to care for their changed brethren who no longer walk in the original shape the Immortals gave them.

Wallaras revere their elders, and leaders are chosen for their wisdom, proven ability and adherence to wallaran customs. Those who disobey the elders and chosen leaders of their tribes bring evil down upon all in the form of a punishing spirit known as the kurdaitcha man. This terrifying "bogeyman" kills those responsible for failures and may wreak havoc until it is appeased and sent back to the nightmare lands.

Land is very important to the wallaras, but not in the sense of ownership. What is provided by the spirits is to be shared by all and no single person can own the land. Furthermore, though some tribes of wallaras are nomadic, they stay within certain defined territories in their wanderings because those lands are believed to house the spirits of their own changed kin and the ancestors from whom they sprang. Individual wallaras, however, sometimes succumb to a form of wanderlust known as a walkabout. Those on walkabout travel wherever their fancy takes them.

Possessions are few and considered a necessary burden, for even settled villages uproot every few years and move to more fertile ground. For this reason, homes are not built to last. Most are crude bark shelters or huts known as wurlies.

Wallaras have a great sense of fun and fair play. They enjoy games of all sorts, particularly races and war games that show off their weapons, skills, and agility. Even their feuds and wars are conducted like games. When a disagreement arises between two tribes or villages, they meet to decide the issue, choose a certain number of people to fight, and provide them all with the same kinds and numbers of weapons to be used. Then everyone else forms a circle around the combatants to watch their adeptness.

Strict rules are followed in war. Each side begins standing behind a line drawn in the sand. Each warrior receives six of each type of weapon to be used. From behind the lines an individual warrior throws a spear at his counterpart, who tries to deflect it with a shield. After all the spears have been thrown once, the warriors throw boomerangs at one another. These are meant to be jumped over by the warrior on the other side. If a wallara actually throws the boomerang to harm or kill, all present set upon him for his unfair behavior.

When all the boomerangs have been thrown, the warriors may cross the lines and engage in hand-to-hand combat with their nulla-nullas (war clubs). As in the previous weapon matches, each club may be used only once. Warriors must drop the club after one swing whether they land a blow or not. Once all the weapons have been used or whenever anyone is seriously hurt the war is stopped. Whichever side is in better shape is declared the winner and the dispute is settled in their favor. The wounded are now cared for, and everyone joins in a corroboree (a celebration that includes dancing, singing, and storytelling).

Not all of their practices are so light-hearted. There are strict procedures for entering a village or city of the wallara. Strangers are expected to announce their presence by clapping two boomerangs together or moving downwind and carrying a lit branch from an aromatic tree or bush. Once the strangers have been noticed, they are to sit within plain sight of those in the village, but far enough away to make attack difficult, and wait for a delegation to be sent out to meet them.

It is also considered very bad manners and gravely insulting for visitors to approach or enter the village smiling. Since visitors have no way of knowing if illness, injury, or some other difficulty has befallen the village, they should keep a grave expression until they learn that all is well. To do otherwise shows both disrespect and a lack of caring for those who would offer hospitality. Once it is clear that everything is well, smiles and greetings may be exchanged.

Three other matters are considered very serious by the wallaras. First, the dance steps, chants, and sacred objects used in their rituals must be shown respect by all present; these may not be seen by the uninitiated. All steps and rites must be performed correctly.

Secondly, pointed sticks or bones are items used in laying curses; they engender great fear and hostility. Wizards with wands should take particular care not to point them toward wallaras.

Finally, the wallaras have a superstitious dread of other beings' shadows. From the earliest age, young wallaras are taught to stoop or to stand far enough away from someone to keep their shadows from falling on anyone else. Most consider it a harbinger of bad luck to come and believe that those who carelessly let their shadows cover another person deserve punishment.

Flora and Fauna

The land of Wallara lies to the south of Trident Bay, which is known to the wallaras as the Great Billabong. White sand beaches along the shore give rise to dunes and to grasslands where most of the wallaras' small villages are located. Though Wallara boasts several beautiful and surprising geological features, most of its terrain consists of a long, temperate plain covered with tall grasses and small clumps of forest. At intervals, the gnarled branches of a lone baobab or gum tree offers shade in the middle of the outback.

For the most part, the plains area is dry, with small streams, seasonal rivers, and a few ponds and watering holes providing most of the accessible water. During dry seasons streams disappear, rivers become trickles, and smaller ponds dry up. No large rivers flow through Wallara itself, though the Xingá River forms part of Wallara's western border. The indigenous animals and wallaras know how to locate many underground sources of water, and several artesian wells, available for all, have been marked across the grasslands.

In rainy times, the grassland comes alive with dozens of varieties of wildflowers. Spreading colorful carpets across the face of the outback, they attract small animals and insects to the area in droves. Streams fill out. Ponds overflow their banks, and gullies among the few rocky hills become access ways for seasonal brooks and tiny waterfalls.

Farther inland lies a light woodland, primarily of eucalyptus trees, with mountain ash, acacias, mosses, and ferns proliferating where the woods grow more dense. Known as the Kookaroo Forest, these woodlands border the Forbidden Highlands. Farther east, the forest becomes more dense and is called the Woods of Mullawong.

Though this stark land might seem to be desolate and all but uninhabited, several types of animals and birds make Wallara their home. Noisy flocks of galahs (pink and grey parrots) and budgerigars (brightly colored small parrots) flit through the grasslands, gathering at watering holes. Crocodiles lurk beneath the surface of the billabongs, awaiting the unwary. Brightly colored cockatoos abound in the forested areas, while game birds live in the grasslands alongside tiny insect eaters. Snakes, shingleback lizards, and scorpions bask in the fierce sun. Kangaroos leap through the grasslands and forests. Small rodents swarm through the grasslands, especially during rainy seasons. The most feared predators of the outback are dingoes, the wild dogs that form vicious packs and attack travelers and even small villages.

The Forbidden Highlands are mostly sandstone, laced with the forgotten caves of the ancient wallaras. The red sandstone of the highlands is striated with gold, orange, black, and brown, creating an ever changing panorama of round domed hills and jagged, upthrust rock formations. The mountainous expanses thrust up from the forests below or rise in stark splendour from the cracked, rocky desert that forms the foothills.

Some vegetation struggles to grow in the rocky hills of the highlands including patches of porcupine grass, saltbushes, and rare, stunted trees. These take advantage of the fresh water that occasionally flows close enough to the surface to feed the plants' roots. The source of the Forbidden River, the main provider of water in the highlands, lies in salted grounds. Its muddy, brackish water remains inadequate for consumption.

A few creatures survive in the water-starved highlands by adapting to the arid conditions and lack of greenery. Lizards, snakes, insects, birds, and small rodents gather wherever food is available. Most lair underground or in the tangled foliage of dwarf bushes or trees, emerging as the afternoon sun begins its descent.

The Lost City of Risilvar

The lifeless landscape of tortured sandstone formations and crazed, broken wastelands that are the Forbidden Highlands have long served as a holy ground for the wallaras. This is the setting of the ancient lost city of Risilvar. Located above the Kookaroo Forest and north of the Forbidden River, Risilvar was built by the ancient wallaras as a link between them and their Immortal patrons.

Taking advantage of a natural network of caverns, the ancient wallaras built much of their city below ground. Though they linked several central caves together via easily traversed tunnels, most outlying caverns were left separate to provide private quarters or meditation areas. Many wallaras believe that Risilvar once served as the place where their ancestors could meet and walk with the Immortals. They theorize that the city was actually more like a great temple, where only Mendoo dwelled.

Many of these caverns contain quartz and opal. Unlike the minerals found in the nearby mines, these have never been harvested, nor will they ever be. They emerge from the surface of the cave wall and have been polished to bring out their beauty. The wallaras believe that they are the thoughts of the Immortals given solid form and, as such, are not only sacred but serve as foci for Mendoo meditations. As light is brought into the caverns where they grow, the polished crystals and gems glitter and flash.

Where these are not in evidence, ochre-colored paints were used to decorate the walls with such eclectic artwork as the outlines of dozens of hands and elongated figures like wallaras with rays emanating from their heads and hands. Whether these are depictions of their Immortal patrons clothed in wallara form, drawings of ancient, wise leaders, depictions of spirit creatures, or pure fancy, no one now knows.

As in their villages, some cave complexes house several generations of wallaras, living as an extended family, with the elders teaching the youth. Unlike in the villages, however, a great many Mendoo dwell in Risilvar.

In ancient days, the small city of Risilvar served as a place of worship and learning. The ancients painted runes and symbols in their caves and homes that depicted stories of spirits, sky heroes, and Immortals. They complemented the stones already in the caves by decorating with quartz shards, gold nuggets, and polished opal, which they uncovered in the mines at Tooburra and Wirrawa.

Lost along with the wallaras' memories, the city of Risilvar was rediscovered by medicine men on walkabout and today serves as a hallowed place where all the tribes may visit. Indeed, the largest tookoo or sacred place of the wallaras can be found in Risilvar. It is a glittering upthrust rock in a quiet cavern where pure, cool water bubbles up around it. Bakaloo ("Sunskin"), leader of the wallaras, rules from the city and serves as the chief Mendoo for his people. Thousands of other wallaras have taken up residence in the city as the first step to reclaiming and relearning the wisdom from their past.

The Phanatons
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The thickly forested land of Jibarú is home to the monkey-like phanatons. These small, furred humanoids live along the Savage Coast, especially the territory around Jibarú, and protect the wilds they inhabit.

Phanatons

Phanatons have long inhabited the Savage Coast and other areas, but only within the last few centuries have they achieved any measure of civilization-gathering into tribes, using tools, and so forth. The phanatons of Jibarú have formed a tribal confederation, developed religion and art, started using tools, and made initial steps toward a system of laws.

Appearance: Phanatons are furred humanoids about three feet tall. Looking very much like monkeys, phanatons have slender bodies, humanoid hands, dexterous toes, and four-foot-long prehensile tails strong enough to support their body weight. Membranes of skin stretch from arm to leg, and are used to glide. The creatures' fur has markings like those of a raccoon: brownish grey fur with a black "mask" around the eyes and a ringed tail. Phanatons have eyes of bright green, fiery red, or shiny yellow. They almost never wear clothing, but might wear jewellery of wooden beads.

Personality: These spiritual folk have a great love of nature. Though normally peaceful, they strive to protect their forest homes and can fight well when pressed.

Phanatons lead a relatively harsh existence, so they tend to be rather serious. Still, they take joy from life; not jokers or boisterous carousers, they have a quiet sense of humor. Phanatons are cautious and not prone to panic, nor are they easily awed by shows of power.

They tend to be good or neutral and are rarely evil. Most are independent, so chaotic alignments are more common among them than lawful ones.

Lifestyle: Phanatons are settled hunter-gatherers. They live in small tribal villages, groups of family huts on platforms high in the trees. Each village has a chief who meets periodically with other chiefs to discuss policy. Because the village of Itucuá is the oldest and largest in the land of Jibarú, its chief is considered first among equals; he settles disputes among other chiefs.

Being careful not to deplete their supply, phanatons gather fruits and roots from the area around their villages. They have made only minor attempts at agriculture, sometimes guarding a favored tree or planting a small vegetable patch. They trap more often than they hunt, with fish and small birds their most common source of meat, and giant spiders a favored delicacy.

Gathering food is the most common task of phanatons, but religion, learning, and a few crafts are also vital parts of phanaton culture. Most phanatons tend to do things for themselves and their families, but they do cooperate on such major projects as building and village defense.

The family is very important to phanatons, and two or three generations often share the same living quarters. Elders are greatly respected, and the young are cared for and taught by the whole family.

They have their own language. In addition to human-type sounds, the language uses hoots, chatters, and clicks.

Phanatons are wary of most other races, because their forests have often been harmed by them. The exception are the wallaras, whom the phanatons generally like. They tend to distrust wizards and Herathians of any race as Herath has an aggressive policy against phanatons -- for no reason the forest-dwellers can fathom. Once past initial reactions, phanatons generally like elves, especially those from Robrenn, but dislike gurrash; all are dealt with as individuals.

Equipment: Phanatons do not make metal weapons, preferring wood and stone. Though they are technologically primitive, phanatons are not awed by technology; they may be unfamiliar with some of its aspects but are willing to learn about it, if unwilling to use it.

Flora and Fauna

Jibarú lies inland, to the south of Trident Bay. Its eastern border abuts Wallara; to the south it edges the Forbidden Highlands and the kingdom of Nimmur, and to the west, its lofty forests are halted by desolate unclaimed territories.

In the northernmost area, the land is quite similar to that of Wallara. No phanatons make their homes here, though a few hunting bands stalk the kangaroo and emu that wander in from Wallara as well as their native boars and roe deer. They trap chipmunks, rabbits and small birds. Foxes, squirrels, badgers and small wild cats share scrub areas with lizards, butterflies, bees, colorful orioles, woodpeckers, red birds, crows, and owls. Smooth snakes and insect-eating bats appear at night.

The portions of this area fed by the Xingá and Jururú Rivers form wetlands that are home to frogs, turtles, and otters. Ducks, grebes, kingfishers, and reed warblers all make their homes in the reeds along the rivers' banks. Perch, sticklebacks, and piranhas live in the rivers, and dragonflies, mosquitoes, and gnats buzz above the waters. Green, yellow, and brown reeds line the riverbanks, broken by grassy embankments and the few hemlock and weeping willow trees that lean out over the water. Hunters often come to the wetlands to provide variety to their catch.

Most of Jibarú is covered by forest of various types of trees. The mixture includes the more arid varieties found along the border with Wallara, the many types of deciduous trees that comprise the bulk of the country's forested area, and others that tolerate the higher elevations near the Forbidden Highlands. Unlike its neighbor to the east, Jibarú is well-watered, with the Xingá River in the eastern portion of the land, and the piranha-infested Jururú River in the west.

At ground level, the forest is strewn with old leaves and sticks, debris left over from previous falls. This carpet of dry tinder makes it doubly difficult to move silently at ground level. Scattered through this carpet, ferns, flowering bushes, and creepers take advantage of the dappled sunlight that pours down through the branches. Game trails crisscross the area giving evidence of the small bears, porcupines, wolves, and deer found within. Raccoons, squirrels, and birds of all sorts live side by side with the larger animals. Streams and rocky rivulets cut through forest, developing into deep pools, trickling down rock faces, and occasionally pouring down from elevated heights as thin, sparkling waterfalls. Because of the heavy tree cover, rain is frequent and early morning ground mists are quite common. Though it is not hot enough to be tropical, the area is a temperate rainforest.

Mimosa, redbud, dogwood, magnolia, crab apple, and flowering cherry all provide colour, along with the low, shrubby rhododendron. Nuts can be gathered from the hickory, pecan, and black walnut trees, while fig, apple, cherry, and the occasional plum and peach trees provide abundant fruit. In the hills near the Forbidden Highlands, evergreens such as spruce, pine, and fir mingle with the deciduous trees, although the forest itself is less dense in that area. Dozens of varieties makeup the bulk of Jibarú's forest. White birch, oak, beech, ash, alder, and maple are found in profusion, with the mighty oaks serving as "home" trees for phanaton villages more often than not.

Phanaton villages and outposts dot the landscape, though little evidence of them exists at ground level. The small tribal villages consist of groups of family huts built on platforms high in the trees. Phanaton druids persuade the trees to intertwine their limbs so as to provide support for the platforms and huts and train the leaves to help shield sight of the villages from prying eyes. Vine bridges strung among the branches give access from one area to another, though the phanatons' gliding ability makes use of them more as a matter of taste or convenience than necessity. Consequently, many are not repaired regularly. In any case, heavier beings should only trust their weight to the largest of these flimsy crossways.

The City of Itucuá

Itucuá, the capital of Jibarú, is situated in a huge grove of giant oak trees in a bend of the Xingá River. Hundreds of platforms on several different levels are connected by a network of vine bridges and swinging vines. Most platforms have vines or rope ladders that can be dropped to lower levels or to the ground at need. Many of the sturdy wooden platforms hold large huts, though some appear to be mere way-stations among the bridges.

Some are single huts, housing only one phanaton. Many are large huts capable of supporting whole families. Usually the larger huts among the latter are those of the original family. The smaller ones are for sons or daughters and their spouses and children. Many are guest quarters. A few serve as schoolrooms where younger phanatons can learn various crafts and skills. Though families are very close-knit, all the adult phanatons of a village take some interest in and responsibility for teaching the children and seeing to it that they get in no trouble and come to no harm.

Phanatons come and go in dizzying groups walking, gliding, sliding, and climbing among the levels of the city. As one group leaves on patrol, another arrives fresh from a successful hunt. Even some of the busy spider-breeding pens are visible in Itucuá and form a sort of suburb on the eastern side of the city. There, dozens of large and giant spiders are kept as breeding stock and poison reserves. They are well cared for and spared from becoming the main dish (except on certain high feast days). Phanaton children are taught quite early how to feed and care for the spiders. Over time, they learn spider-wrangling, and may eventually be included in raiding parties into Herath in search of new breeding stock.

The "palace" is notably larger than any other platform, once it can be spotted (a difficult proposition at ground level due to its camouflage). Both the platform and the interconnected huts comprising the palace have been constructed of variegated wood and stained with various colors to blend in with the natural foliage of the giant oak. An ingenious series of vines with wooden buckets has been installed in various parts of the city so that clean water may be hauled up from streams below or harvested as drippings from the giant leaves.

The Manscorpions
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The fertile kingdom of Nimmur, once home to the noble enduks, is inhabited by the brutal manscorpions, who treacherously usurped the Kingdom of Nimmur centuries ago.

Manscorpions

Present day Nimmurians are manscorpions who usurped the land from its previous occupants, a race of winged minotaurs (enduks). The current Nimmurians are vicious, ruthless, conniving creatures filled with hatred. Pity and remorse are unknown to them. They crave the sun but they also fear it, for, due to Ixion's curse, the sun incinerates them if they are not protected from it. Ruled by an overking but split into several dominions or city-states, the manscorpions are in constant strife for personal and regional power.

Appearance: Manscorpions have a human torso and a bony-plated, arachnoid body with eight legs. Their spines stretch out to form a long tail with a wicked stinger on the end of it. Their hands have two thick fingers and a long thumb, giving them the appearance of a scorpion's claws. Though bald, they wear elaborate wigs of shoulder-length dark hair and beards (for the males). These are styled into elaborate, curled rows. The wigs are easily kept coiffured and were based upon the styles popular with the enduks.

They used to be relatively dark skinned, with sandy-colored tails and lower bodies, but their long tenure underground and the curse imposed upon them by Ixion has turned them horribly translucent, so that their black hearts, ichor, and internal organs now show through in a repulsive vision of nature gone awry. This is not usually apparent to other races because the Nimmurians cover their bodies with a thick makeup to protect themselves from the lethal effect of the sun. Makeup ranges from brown for the lower castes, to red for warriors, and gold with embellishments for the nobility. Priests usually cover their entire bodies with silver runes over black makeup, without which they couldn't cast spells under the sun. When outside, all manscorpions wear masks featuring monstrous grimaces. The masks provide a visor and dark lenses to protect their fragile eyes.

Clothing (usually thin wool) and armor are designed to be worn over the makeup. Most manscorpions wear elaborate shawls or tunics edged with fringes. Filets to keep their elaborate hair in place are popular for both males and females, as are necklaces, earrings, armbands, and bracelets.

Personality: Manscorpions are greedy, self-serving, and brutal. From the enduks they acquired a veneer of civilization, but the curse that afflicts them made them a paranoid, secretive, and frustrated race. They fear to let others know of their vulnerability to sunlight, though they crave its warmth and illumination. They are warlike and care little for the lives or comfort of others.

Manscorpions are usually neutral and evil in alignment, though some few have a personal code of honor or still worship Idu (Ixion). It is not impossible to find ones such as these who are both lawful and good, it is simply unusual. Though they often appear aloof or reserved, a fierce, angry spirit forms the core of every manscorpion, and competition and aggression burn brightly in each heart. The best of them use these traits to perform great deeds, while the worst give way to their basest instincts.

Lifestyle: To some extent, the manscorpions' lifestyle is dictated by the curse laid upon them by Idu when they drove out the enduks. The Immortal made sunlight excruciatingly painful for them. Normal clothing is insufficient to stop the curse's effects. Only protective makeup and armour can shield them from the deadly rays and the pain. Direct sunlight blinds them unless they wear dark lenses to protect their eyes. Artificial light doesn't affect them.

Because they must constantly shield themselves from the sun, most manscorpions live underground. The cities of the enduks lie atop vast underground networks of manscorpion tunnels, pits, and chasms. Only those manscorpions who have business in the overcities reside there, and even they usually have retreats below ground.

On the surface, manscorpion cities consist of a great many mud brick houses, storehouses, slave quarters, and shops that lie at the feet of a grand palace, a series of monuments (some ruins, some intact), and a great ziggurat that serves as a place of worship. The ziggurat is usually decorated with several colors and has green trees and gardens on some of its levels. Many manscorpions live in these overdwellings, and most visitors assume that the surface picture of the city is the true one. In fact, the surface city usually only holds a fraction of the manscorpion population of the city. The majority of them live in the vast caverns underneath the structures. These are reached by tunnels and sloping ramps constructed under the houses and shops, the palace and the ziggurat. Visitors are discouraged from inquiring too closely about the interiors of these structures in order to keep the underground section of the city secret.

The manscorpions employ large numbers of slaves for raising food, manufacturing fine oils and perfumes, and tending sheep. Manscorpions are omnivorous. Though they prefer meat when available, they can survive on carrion, if necessary. They are soldiers, artists, traders, administrators, and seekers of ancient knowledge-most particularly of lore regarding the ancient star devices, weapons of potentially great destruction, found in many Nimmurian cities. Though not quite as likely to be in positions of authority, a good number of female manscorpions rule dominions and serve as priests, administrators, or troop commanders.

The functional star device in Er and their vast underground warrens are secrets the manscorpions wish to preserve as much as they want to hide their usurpation of enduk land and culture. For these reasons, though they have recently begun to tolerate foreigners in their overcities, they go to elaborate lengths to keep these outsiders away from their ziggurats and the monuments that are the star devices.

The manscorpions adopted the customs, history, and even language of the enduks as their own. They so wished to assume the cultural identity of the enduks, in fact, that they destroyed a great number of the enduks' artworks and historical writings to mask the truth concerning their arrival in Nimmur and their treachery. Though almost everyone calls them manscorpions, they themselves prefer to be called "Nimmurians." Ever since they assumed the ancient Nimmurian cultural identity, they dropped their old tribal structure and in its place created a new dynasty of kings. Today, King Anupalassar II rules over smaller manscorpion provinces owing fealty to the throne of Nimmur. Provincial governors have the hereditary title of prince. The present king earned his nickname, the Firebranded, when his helm was ripped open during an ambush by the orcs of the Dark Jungle. His face was scarred by the sun's rays.

Nimmur is an ally of Herath, although the Nimmurian clergy believe that some day the manscorpions will rule the entire peninsula. On the other hand, Herath hopes to steal the secret of the ancient Nimmurian star devices. Right now, the Nimmurians still have a problem with the unyielding orcs to the south. These orcs are savage creatures that have adapted to the thick jungle of the Orc's Head Peninsula. Nimmur also faces a dilemma with the encroachment of foreign settlers, especially lately as the affluent Herathians move into the city of Er. It is becoming difficult for the clergy to keep unwanted visitors out of the ziggurat quarters in their cities. The manscorpions hope to take the northern coastal lands but mosquito and killer fly infestations have decimated settlers and sheep flocks there in the past.

Equipment: All manscorpions cover themselves with heavy makeup to protect them from the sun and wear clothing or armour. Scribes and other officials might possess clay cylinders with official designs imprinted upon them and stylus and clay tablets for recording transactions or events. Soldiers own their armor and weapons (see below).

Nimmur's Armies

Nimmur maintains permanent, professional troops trained and paid according to precepts laid down by ancient Nimmurian generals. Although nobles compose most of the upper ranks in the army, effective authority is based on actual military rank, not social status.

Towns of a thousand people or more are walled. Most structures are made of dried mud brick sealed against the water by being painted with bitumen. Each town pays for its own army. The troops are disciplined and organized. Each unit of troops wears the same armor and tunics within their respective armies. Conical helms with bronze masks are predominant. Manscorpion armour costs three times that of its human counterpart because of its complexity (larger abdomen and eight leg pieces, tail and sting remaining unarmored). Nimmurians do not use mercenaries.

Flora and Fauna

Nimmur is an agricultural treasure land. Approximately half the country is covered by rich farmland and pasturage. Though the large rivers are to be found farther east, the western and central portions of the country are watered by numerous streams that flow down from the foothills to the north. Nimmur is able to produce enough food to feed itself and sell its excess to other lands. For the most part, the farm and pasture lands are tamed and free of large predators. Rabbits, field mice, skunks, raccoons, foxes, and hawks are plentiful, as are songbirds, owls, and insects. Occasionally, wolves emerge from the woods to harry the sheep that provide food and clothing for the manscorpions.

Land not under cultivation produces another necessary commodity-mud. Almost every building in Nimmur is constructed of dried mud bricks coated with bitumen. Slave laborers industriously turn out mud bricks for new buildings and repair those that have been damaged.

Light forest covers much of the rest of the country, with a small patch of heavy forest near Ennamasur. Many of the older hardwoods and other deciduous trees have been felled and replaced by orchards of apple, cherry, peach, and even orange trees. Many other trees are valued for their aromatic resins or the rare spices they produce. Again, because this area relies so heavily on agriculture and crops, there are few large predators. Bears and wild cats have been encountered along with wolves in the more northerly woods and foothills, and raids from phanatons seeking to keep their borders safe from encroaching manscorpions are an occasional threat.

The coast offers a few good harbors for traders, most especially at Porto Escorpião, the Vilaverdan trading port, which has claim to the best harbor in Nimmur. This fortified trading center also features a marvel: the Lighthouse of Porto Escorpião.

The City of Er

Er is the capital of Nimmur both because of its size (it was the largest city of the enduks) and because it is here that the fleeing enduks failed to fully dismantle their star device. The star device consists of two strange looking columnar monuments that stand in the courtyard of the great temple of Er. From that point, a curious pattern is formed by a series of monuments extending throughout the city.

The city itself is a rough circle, with crisscrossing streets and numerous dwellings and businesses and a central market area. Dominating the whole is a walled area that encloses the palace and the tall, colorful ziggurat of the great temple. Foreigners are becoming a more common sight to the manscorpions of Er, but the elaborately painted, masked, and garbed manscorpions remain strange and unreal to visitors.

Um-Shedu

The small city of Um-Shedu has recently been liberated by a determined band of enduks, ee'aar, and non-evil manscorpions. During a recent orc uprising, the group traveled to the Forbidden Highlands and struck down into the city, taking the defenders by surprise and driving them out. They flooded nearby tunnels and blocked others with strategic cave-ins, rendering them useless to the manscorpions. Using the engineering skills of the enduks, the new defenders of Um-Shedu constructed a stone and mud-brick barrier that blocks access to the city from the south, west, and east. To the north, the elevations of the Forbidden Highlands provide protection from creatures that cannot fly.

The defenders have kept their patrols frequent and well-armed. Spies have failed to infiltrate their councils and manscorpion chariots and soldiers are stymied by the barricades. Siege maneuvers do not work against creatures who have merely to fly elsewhere and return with edibles, and the city is served by an artesian well. Manscorpion spellcasters are countered by ee'aar and enduk spellcasters; despite their best efforts the manscorpions have been unable to dislodge those in Um-Shedu. The defenders hope to fortify the city so it can be used as a staging area from which to launch attacks against the rest of Nimmur.

Denizens of the Dark Jungle

The deep and forbidding jungle that covers the lower part of the Orc's Head Peninsula is home to several savage orc tribes and their ruler, an ancient vermilion dragon known as Pyre. Though often at odds with one another, the tribes cooperate rather than face the dragon's wrath.

Orcs of the Dark Jungle

Although they may seem unintelligent to outsiders, the orcs of the Dark Jungle are cunning, ruthless warriors. Organized into several tribes, the orcs raid caravans, prey upon passing ships, and constantly seek to expand into Nimmur and Herath.

Their success in keeping the more civilized countries from overcoming them can be attributed to their cunning use of the jungle as cover for their attacks and as camouflage for their strongholds, and to the guidance of an ancient vermilion dragon named Pyre.

Appearance: Though they resemble orcs from other parts of the world, orcs of the Dark Jungle have very different modes of dress and decoration. They cover their bodies with the sap of certain plants to turn their skins green or brown and their shamans often draw lines or paint stripes on warriors' bodies to imitate the foliage in which they hide. These dyes leave stains on the skin for several weeks even under rainy conditions. Sometimes the orcs add leaves or mosses to their camouflage. When engaged in warfare, many paint death's heads on their faces. Besides their tusks, many also file their teeth to sharp points.

When not raiding, they frequently adorn themselves with brilliantly colored feathers and clinking jewellery fashioned from shells, river rocks, and stained wooden beads. Among female orcs, scarification of the arms is common, as is tattooing of the chin and brow ridge. Males who have achieved a certain number of kills or who have achieved status in some other way tattoo their entire faces.

Many of those who raid the seas adorn themselves in captured finery and outland weaponry. In general, however, blistering hot temperatures and constant moisture take their toll on fine materials, rendering them useless after even a few days of wearing them in the jungle. Many orcs clothe themselves in woven grass and reeds for everyday wear.

Personality: The orcs respect strength and disdain weakness. Life in the jungle requires toughness and resiliency. Those who cannot survive on their own are preyed upon, abandoned, or killed. Even their kings change frequently, as younger, stronger orcs challenge their elders for the right to rule. It is unusual for a king to rule for more than 12 years.

The orcs know very well that they would not be tolerated elsewhere along the Savage Coast and have no chance of ever living peacefully with their neighbors. What might seem like aggressive, ruthless behavior is mere practicality to the orcs. The jungle provides them with plenty of food but little in the way of luxuries-for those they must raid. That this is also Pyre's bidding is only greater incentive.

Because cooperation within the tribe is essential to their survival, whether hunting, gathering food, or raiding, they are mostly of lawful alignment. Their cruel actions and disdain for sentient life, however, mark most orcs as evil. Some, though, hold to a personal code of honor and almost all can be reasonable if offered something beneficial.

Lifestyle: Several factors determine the lifestyle of the orcs of the Dark Jungle. Most notably, they live in a rainforest. Heat and humidity are extremely high, making heavy armor or clothing a burden rather than a blessing. What sunlight penetrates the upper and lower canopies of the forest is filtered and green; many areas remain dark even at the brightest part of the day.

Perhaps the dark, oppressive atmosphere lends itself to superstition and dread but the orcs believe that the spirits of the dead remain in the trees of their jungle. For the orcs, however, evidence that their beliefs are real is not difficult to come by. Indeed, it is not rare for ebon statues of warriors or influential tribal members thought lost in the jungle to be discovered on some remote trail. The shamans say that the forest spirits have captured their souls.

The orcs build great wooden forts, especially near the entrances to their ancestral caverns. They cut down trees in some areas, haul the trunks to the top of forested hills, and build the structures among the growing trees. These fortifications are very difficult to spot until one is quite close to them. Shamans often direct the builders to carve on the forts' logs the screaming, demented faces of tribal ancestors known to have been taken away by the forest spirits. There are often hundreds of faces for each tribe, some dating back several centuries. Shamans also take the ebon statues found in the jungle and incorporate them into the walls of the forts and temples. This is part of the orcs' ancestral lore.

About half of the Dark Jungle population lives in caverns. These caverns connect to the ancient caves of the Sohktars and to those of the Herathians. The connecting caverns are fortified and heavily guarded by the orcs and the forces at the tunnels' other ends. Because invading one another's territories through these tunnels is virtual suicide due to the heavy guard each race posts, there is very little raiding back and forth through what would seem to be the perfect conduit for waging warfare.

Their success in ambushing Nimmurian and Herathian caravans stems from their ability to conceal themselves cunningly within the foliage along the caravan trail. Dark Jungle orcs have the ability to hide in the forest as a thief can hide in shadows (30% chance either individually or in groups). If the orcs have enough time to set up an ambush, if they use all camouflage usually available to them, and if they remain perfectly motionless, their chances go up to 60%.

Nuts, fruits, roots, and tubers are easily gathered by the non-warriors of the tribe, and dozens of animal species make for fine hunting. Several varieties of fish, frogs, and turtles live in the streams, minor rivers, pools, and small lakes found throughout the jungle. Some tribes even feed on the large insects that infest the lower canopy. Much of the tribes' time is spent gathering and hunting the bountiful food the forest provides. When they are not engaged in food-gathering activities, the orcs make weapons, hold mock fights, dance, plan raids, and prey upon caravans and ships.

All of the major tribes are independent of and to some extent competitive with one another. Dozens of sub-tribes owe fealty to the kings of one or more of the larger ones. Despite the jungle's abundance, resources within the tribal areas cannot keep up with the demands of burgeoning populations. This results in some fierce competition among neighboring tribes for resources or potential booty. Major efforts from Herath and Nimmur to reduce the orcs' power have prompted tribal kings to ally against outside threats, however.

Because of the constant need for warriors most of the orcs are able to fight well. Though females are generally accorded little respect among their society, some few do rise to the rank of warrior or shaman and most can fight when necessary. Though there is inter-tribal raiding and minor warfare, major altercations are deterred by the cloud of Pyre's wrath. The dragon looks unfavorably upon those chiefs who engage in large scale, inter-tribal warfare; both chiefs involved in such are usually executed for their foolishness.

Most of the tribes are sea raiders, sailing out to attack coastal shipping in giant outrigger canoes utilizing both sails and paddles.

The tribes living along the shores of the peninsula have acquired a cunning knowledge of the sea and maritime weather. Their shamans have been granted the magical ability to predict weather. Within the past decade, the substantial increase of merchant traffic between the Texeiran Colony of the Horn, Nimmur, and Slagovich has greatly encouraged the orcs to practice piracy-so far with great success.

Their giant outriggers can hold up to 120 warriors, each of whom paddles when necessary. Fully manned, such war canoes can easily reach twice the speed of a large sailing ship for a short time. The orcs' knowledge of tactics and wind conditions allows them to capture ships easily. Once seen from the shore, the passing ship is hounded by swift-moving orc outriggers taking positions both fore and aft of the ship to block escape maneuvers. Once in place the war canoes come close enough to fire the powerful ballista-mounted harpoons that stick in the ship's hull and rigging. The orcs then tug on the lines attached to the harpoons, pulling themselves closer to the ship. Under scores of arrows fired from the canoes, the target ship's sailors cannot effectively sever the harpoon lines. Eventually, all the canoes come close enough to mount a boarding action. Those on board usually do not survive, though occasionally some are taken as captives for torture or for slaves to give to Pyre. The orcs then quickly plunder the cargo, scuttle the ship, and return to the safety of their jungle lagoons.

The only defense against their raids is either to set out with several well-armed ships or to stay out of sight of the coast. The orcs' ambushes at sea can be as swift as they are unexpected. They operate both in broad daylight and in the middle of the night, homing in on the lanterns of unwary vessels.

The final determining factor in the orcs' lifestyle is their overlord. Pyre has subjected all the orc tribes to his power. Every moon, tribal kings pay tribute to Pyre, in slaves, food, and treasure. In addition, when Pyre desires it, the tribes unite and conduct massive invasions against their northern foes. Pyre plans many of these successful raids as well as helping the orcs defend themselves from those who would steal their land. Their apparent unity and success, therefore, owe a great deal to the dragon's planning. Without Pyre, they might return to their old feuds and defeat themselves, laying the Dark Jungle open to exploitation by Nimmur or Herath.

Language: The orcs of the Dark Jungle speak Yazug, one of three related goblinoid languages. About half the words in this language can be understood by someone who speaks Yazaka, the language used by the goblins of the Yazak Steppes. Many orcs know snippets of Herathi and Nimmurian, learned from captives. An orc who can speak Common is extremely rare.

The Overking

The overking of the orcs is Pyre, a huge, ancient vermilion dragon. Exclusive to the Savage Coast, and possibly unique, vermilion dragons are red chromatic dragons that have been affected by the Red Curse and ingested cinnabryl. Rather than gain only one Legacy, these dragons gain several and hold off the side effects through the cinnabryl they've eaten. They even have the advantage over others in that the acquired Legacies cost them nothing in terms of their abilities. They lose no Strength, Intelligence, or other assets when a new Legacy is gained. Furthermore, even after leaving the area affected by the Red Curse, the magical nature of the dragon combines with the cinnabryl to make the change permanent. They breed true once changed.

Though they still require cinnabryl occasionally, the dragons can live outside the affected area and maintain their powers. They even live longer than normal dragons. The main penalty for them seems to be a tendency to sleep for longer periods of time in between awakenings and to sleep more deeply when at rest.

Pyre was once a normal red dragon with the ability to cast spells. Originally from Robrenn, Pyre gorged himself on cinnabryl when affected by the Red Curse and contaminated himself with the substance in order to gain powers like an Inheritor but without incurring any bad side effects. Because he still has need of cinnabryl, Pyre frequently demands that his orcs raid caravans and ships carrying cargo including the metal or goods that can be easily traded for it.

Flora and Fauna

The Dark Jungle is a teeming cauldron of life filled with hundreds of kinds of trees, insects, birds, and animals. It is always hot, humid, and rainy. During the dry parts of the year, the two great rivers that snake through the area remain mostly within their embankments. During the rainy season (the winter months), it rains daily, sending the river waters flooding across the flat portions of the jungle and covering some areas up to 16 to 20 feet deep for miles on either side. Trees, vegetation, and animal life have all adapted to this yearly inundation.

The rivers provide homes for dozens of varieties of fish, including piranhas and hatchet fish. The latter are the only true flying fish, as they flap their fins and rise out of the water in pursuit of flying insects. Lizards, frogs, and turtles live along the river, as does the dreaded giant black caiman, an aggressive crocodile over 18 feet long. Wading birds like the scarlet ibis share the river with gentle manatees.

Hundreds of types of birds-most boasting bright plumage that the natives use to decorate themselves-and small creatures such as beetles, bees, and butterflies make their homes on the bark or in the leaves of the great trees. Capybaras (large pig-like animals) and anteaters move along the game trails, spotted cats laze upon the branches of the lower canopy, and bluewing butterflies flit in the few beams of bright sunlight that filter down through the overhead canopy. Army ants forge their ways through the detritus on the ground in columns that are miles long and hundreds of feet across.

The trees themselves are giants, towering as much as 100 feet before spreading out in branches and leaves to form the lower canopy. At this level, the branches stretch out toward one another to provide a solid, nearly unbroken trail along which many of the jungle's animals travel. Shallow-rooted, the trees form large buttresses of their roots to anchor themselves in the soil. Twined around and hanging from most of the trees are lianas, thick, strong vines that help the trees anchor themselves together near their crowns. Travelers should beware of the lianas, however, for many are actually large jungle snakes such as the anaconda.

It is impossible to travel far in the jungle without having to cross streams or pools of water. Many of these backwater pools are filled with giant water lilies. Piranhas tend to congregate in these areas. Clouds of fog and mist hover above and among the trees. The rainfall, absorption by the leaves, and hot sunshine conspire to create a damp haze over great portions of the forest.

The central area of the jungle is a cloud forest. The area is a combination of jungle and deciduous vegetation atop hills. The higher elevation means that the air is slightly cooler, with the resulting ever-present fog. In the midst of that area lies a lower elevation along the path of the Forbidden River. This region lies below sea level and stretches to either side of the river in a bog or marsh. Cattails, reeds, and other marsh plants grow in abundance, as do mosquitos and other insects. Mangroves raise their roots above the water, providing homes for poisonous spiders and snakes. Turtles, crabs, and fish live in the bayou waters, while cicadas and warblers sing without pause from the grasses along the banks. This area is also home to the green slime raised by the Green Slayer tribe.

The Colony of the Horn

The Colony of the Horn consists of the small village of Bom Jardim and the Fortaleza da Boa Vista, a combined fortress and prison. Located on the extreme tip of the sandy arm of land that juts out into Trident Bay, the Colony of the Horn is a dumping ground for Texeiran misfits, criminals, and political dissidents.

Half the population of the colony are prisoners, many of whom are afflicted with severe physical deformities due to their forced removal from lands affected by the Red Curse and the confiscation of their cinnabryl. They provide the labor for the colony, from building structures to hauling in fish and attempting to farm what little fertile ground exists there.

Their guards and administrators are little better off. Whether lazy, inept, corrupt, or just plain stupid, these Texeirans have earned their placement in the "pit of misery" known as the Colony of the Horn. Like the prisoners they guard, they have undergone the painful withdrawal from the Red Curse and its protective cinnabryl. Unlike the prisoners, most of these were given the benefit of magical healing to ease the transition and recoup their lost abilities.

Nonetheless, they realize that they, like the criminals they oversee, are for all practical purposes exiled to this backwater. Most are too old or too debilitated to risk returning home and once again undergoing the stresses of the Red Curse.

The village of Bom Jardim arose around a missionary clinic founded to provide relief to the Afflicted or immigrants from the lands in which the Red Curse is active. The priests there help to reverse the horrid transformations and cushion the recovery from the curse's manifestations. Unfortunately, though they would like to be able to offer their services for free, they cannot do so. Texeiras will not fund them because those in charge have no wish to see the dregs of their society return to their homeland-much less will they spend money to "coddle" criminals and misfits.

Porto Escorpião

Almost a quarter of Nimmur's foreign business passes through Porto Escorpião, the Vilaverdan colonial enclave and best port facility in the country. Paying the manscorpions 15,000 nuggets of red steel for the privilege, Vilaverde acquired a promontory near Asur, which overlooks a protected cove. There they were allowed to construct a trading post, a colony of Vilaverde, to which they hold full ownership for a century.

A stone stronghold has been constructed as well as a lighthouse. Several Vilaverdan soldiers and scribes under the command of Don Jorge de Vilaverde (elder son of Baron Jorge, ruler of Vilaverde) maintain order and conduct the business of the port. Porto Escorpião was granted independence two years ago and most of its troops recalled. Some stayed loyal to Don Jorge and remained. The baron recently gave complete control over the holding to his son. Vilaverde and Porto Escorpião maintain cordial relations and tra
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Atlas of the Savage Coast pt. 11
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 10, 2012, 09:00:10 PM
The Arm of the Immortals
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West of the Orc's Head Peninsula, across the sea, lies a long finger of land called the Arm of the Immortals. As mentioned, the main civilizations of the ee'aar and the enduks reside on the Arm. A couple of colonies, sponsored by powers on the Savage Coast, sit on the eastern shores of the peninsula. The kingdoms of Eshu (the land of the enduks) and Aeryl (run by the ee'aar) are located inland on high plateaus in the mountain range that dominates the centre of the Arm of the Immortals. On the far side of the Arm, at least according to the tales of seafarers, lie several states dominated by "demi-ogres," huge humanoids said to be descended from the offspring of humans and ogres.

The rest of the Arm is mostly wild and unexplored. Vast expanses of forests, untouched by humanoids, cover the north, while huge jungles dominate in the south. The Arm covers several climates and numerous geographical features, with a wide variety of wildlife, including many sorts of monsters. In addition, rumors insist that ancient and powerful sites are hidden within the landscape of the Arm. It is even said that the Immortals themselves can be approached through secret portals high in the mountains of the Arm. However, few have explored the Arm and returned, so the facts of the matter are largely unknown at least for the present.

The Enduks and the Ee'aar
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The high mountains of the Great Immortal's Shield are home to the winged elves known as ee'aar.

Ee'aar

These winged elves, known as avariel or al-karak-elam in some areas, are not native to the Savage Coast, so they are rare as player characters. Ee'aar come from Aeryl, a kingdom on the Arm of the Immortals, a peninsula several miles to the west of the Orc's Head Peninsula.

Appearance: Ee'aar look much the same as regular elves, but appear even more delicate with more angular facial features and slightly larger eyes. Ee'aar also have large, feathered wings with a span of 12 feet when unfolded. When folded, the wings stretch from their heels to a few inches above the head, and they cannot be concealed except through magical means.

Ee'aar usually have white or silver hair, though some have hair that is black or a shade of grey; ee'aar wings are about the same color as their hair. Their eyes are amber, violet, or deep green.

Personality: Typical ee'aar are reclusive, preferring the company of their own kind. Those who choose to adventure on the Savage Coast have overcome this tendency enough to associate with others but still tend to be very private. Ee'aar are curious and regard all nature as wondrous and worth protecting. They pity those who cannot fly and do not understand people who voluntarily spend time beneath the ground, away from sky and sun. Most ee'aar are very vibrant, full of humor, and unafraid to show their emotions.

Ee'aar tend toward good and chaotic alignments, with few lawful individuals and even fewer who are evil.

Lifestyle: An ee'aar on the Savage Coast is away from home, where beautiful, fragile looking cities rise to great heights among the mountains. They are accustomed to cold and all forms of weather but only the most daring fly during storms and high winds.

In ee'aar society, male and female are considered equal but there is another dichotomy. About half of the ee'aar have trained for combat and hold to a strict warrior's code. The others know little of war and concentrate more on art and philosophy. It is generally the more martially minded ee'aar who seek adventure on the Savage Coast.

Neither type of ee'aar completely ignores the other side of their personality and it is common to find warriors with artistic talent and thinkers who can defend themselves. Similarly, all ee'aar tend to be very religious without trying to serve as missionaries to the unenlightened.

Ee'aar buildings are composed mostly of glass and are open and spacious. They usually have tall foundations of glass or stone, with open living quarters that can be accessed only from great heights. They seldom have doors, just wide openings for ingress and egress.

Ee'aar sometimes bond in a ceremony similar to marriage but that can be dissolved if both partners agree. Children are cared for by both parents and are rare and therefore precious to both the parents and the community.

Equipment: Technologically advanced in the field of architecture, ee'aar are skilled glassworkers and they create buildings and weapons from glass, which their most powerful wizards enchant with glassteel. An ee'aar character, when created, can purchase weapons of enchanted glass instead of metal, such as a glass short sword or a spear with a glass head. These weapons cost the same as a normal weapon of that type, if purchased by an ee'aar in the ee'aar homeland.

The Kingdom of Aeryl

Aeryl lies among some of the highest peaks of the mountains known as the Great Immortal's Shield. It consists of four clans and royal lands belonging to the throne of Aeryl, which together surround a grassy plateau called Oethrun. The plateau is part of a commonwealth available to all citizens of the kingdom and serves as both a garden and hunting grounds for the ee'aar, the greatest source of food in their kingdom. They maintain a careful balance between hunting and gathering and tending wildlife in order to avoid straining Oethrun's fragile ecology. Because of this and their need to remain flight-worthy, ee'aar never consume more food than is necessary for their health. It is unheard of for an ee'aar to be overweight.

Royal responsibility includes defense of the nation from monsters and invaders. King Enerin is also the clan leader of Mythror, which he rules from Ithuín. His present task is to waylay the explorers from Porto Maldição who are searching for a way to get across the Great Immortal's Shield. The former Vilaverdans, who have now claimed their independence, are seen as loud, greedy, overfed wastrels who will eventually cause trouble for the quiet kingdom of Aeryl.

Troops serve on a voluntary basis for one year every 20 years, which means that 5% of the whole adult population is serving in the army at any time. Clan nobility commands the troops. Armies break down into battle wings of 50 troops and five giant eagles, which then break down into hunting wards of 5-10 troops and one giant eagle. The capital has 12 such wings. The other four cities of Aeryl rely on another eight wings each, for a total of 2,200 ee'aar warriors and 220 giant eagles. For every 50 troops, five commanding nobles ride the giant eagles and carry short bows and swords; 20 fight with the clan weapon of their city (nets, bolas, and so on); the remaining 25 fight with normal swords.

Flora and Fauna

The high peaks of the ee'aar homeland radiate outward from the central plateau. The plateau is covered with grasslands and trees reminiscent of an alpine meadow environment with various nut trees, berry bushes, and a few fruit trees providing food for both the ee'aar and some of the animal inhabitants. The ee'aar also grow hardy grains on part of the plateau and gather honey from the bees that have adapted to the region's cool air. Deer, small pigs, and mountain goats all provide meat for the clans, though many goats are kept for their milk to make goat cheese. Game birds such as pheasants live in the area and the upper lakes are a stopover point for migrating wild geese.

Predators include bears, foxes, mountain lions, and giant eagles. Trees are deciduous rather than tropical due to the coolness.

Above the plateau, the mountains rise above the tree line and are often ringed in clouds; below, the mountain slopes descend into heavy growth forest.

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The Kingdom of Eshu

The high plateau of Eshu serves as the homeland for the displaced enduks, winged-minotaurs driven from their original home in Nimmur by the dreaded manscorpions.

Enduks

Enduks are winged minotaurs, the only "true" minotaurs according to their history and legends (others are cursed versions that lost their wings when they turned to evil). Like the ee'aar, enduks are not native to the Savage Coast but come from the Arm of the Immortals, so they too are rare as player characters. The enduk homeland is the Kingdom of Eshu. Enduks once inhabited the Kingdom of Nimmur, but were betrayed and displaced by the manscorpions.

Appearance: The enduks look like minotaurs with wings. They are humanoid, appearing to be furred humans with heads like those of bulls. Their fur is usually light brown, ranging to black but a very few have creamy-white fur. Enduk wings are feathered black, white, or a shade of grey or blue-grey. Hair (and beard, for males) is coifed into curled rows.

They stand 6 to 7 feet tall and are often well-muscled; enduks who are taller than 7 feet are considered Large creatures and take damage accordingly. Both males and females have horns; these stick out from the sides of their heads (rather than curling close) and are usually ivory-white, though some are yellow, light brown, or grey. White-furred enduks have pearly horns. Horns are 1d6+12 inches long. They typically have brown eyes, though some have black irises.

An enduk's foot has only two large toes, both with hooflike coverings. Their hands look human but have thick, black nails. Enduks are carnivores and have sharp teeth.

Personality: The typical enduk is a religious individual; most are lawful good. They are not very trusting and seldom make friends among the wingless. Enduks are honorable and go to great lengths to keep any promises they make.

Lifestyle: The land of the enduks is closed to most other folk. Once they ruled Nimmur and welcomed all peoples. They opened their kingdom to manscorpions, and later were betrayed by those creatures. Enduks in general want to recapture Nimmur and most enduks who adventure on the Savage Coast try to organize missions to Nimmur to spy on and harass the manscorpions.

Because of their experience in Nimmur, enduks are distrustful of most strangers. The ee'aar are exceptions and are viewed as friends. Enduks hate manscorpions and wingless minotaurs. With most other races, enduks are hesitant and tend toward distrust, but they are generally willing to give each person a chance. Once befriended, they tend to trust more easily; once betrayed, they never forget.

The Kingdom of Eshu is on a large plateau surrounded by towering mountains. The ruler of the land is a priest-king who guides his subjects in religion and in secular life. Eshu is a peaceful land, but is always ready to defend itself against enemies. Most common enduks are farmers, scholars, and artisans, but all are part of the militia.

Enduks walk about as much as they fly. Though they often fly to battle and use flight for strategic advantage, they prefer fighting on the ground.

They live in stone structures close to the ground. Their homes are simple and practical but tend to be large, with huge doorways, because of the enduks' size and wingspan. Enduk buildings have doors, but these are left open unless strangers are present or in the case of some threat. Most enduk structures also have trapdoors on the roofs.

Enduk priests choose lifemates for their people. An initial "marriage" takes place when the enduks are about 12 years old, though the pair can put off cohabitation for as much as two decades, to give them time to get to know one another and to seek adventure if they so desire. Once the final ceremony takes place, the enduk couple bonds for life. Any children are cherished and raised in a loving, deeply religious household.

Equipment: Enduks are usually equipped with a footman's mace or club, a net, and/or a flight lance. They have leather armor or bronze plate mail and carry net bags for personal effects, hanging them from their belts to leave their hands free.

Eshu's Armies

The organization of Eshu's armies is similar to that in present day Nimmur, since the manscorpions copied enduk practices. Armies break down into battle storms of 100 troops, in turn splitting into tactical warbolts of 20 troops. The capital city of Sardon has 12 storms. Erdu and Gildesh have six storms each, and Masur and Enveh have another three each, for a total of 3,000 soldiers.

Flora and Fauna

The land of Eshu occupies a vast plateau similar to Aeryl's Oethrun. It is a heart-shaped grassland that slopes down toward a northern bottleneck, the Gildesh pass. Eshunite rivers drain toward the pass, eventually forming a very high waterfall at the eastern edge of the Great Shield of the Immortals. High mountains surround the kingdom, preventing neighbouring populations from reaching Eshu.

Like Aeryl, the region is rich in farmland and hunting areas. Although it is very well watered, thus having richer soil, Eshu supports almost exactly the same flora and fauna as Aeryl.

The Western Orclands

Spread along the eastern shore of the Arm of the Immortals lies another jungle area known as the Western Orclands. The Ghonam, Yamekh, and Sulkar tribes of orcs rule this jungle. They prey upon ships brought too close to the coast when the navigators become confused by the ee'aar's controllable light spells (this has earned the Vilaverdan port its gloomy name, Porto Maldição, or Port Malediction).

Originally from the orc tribes of the Dark Jungle, the three tribes that inhabit the rainforests of the Arm of the Immortals are the descendants of smaller tribes who refused to be subjugated by larger and more powerful ones or they spring from orcs that were lost at sea in their giant outriggers during raids. Because of a shortage of female orcs among the western orc tribes, females are held in high regard by the tribes and often serve as tribal chiefs or advisers.

The Sulkar tribe claims the southern jungle that lies below the Grubb Nest Marshes. Though there are two good grassland beach areas where ships might land, they are divided by an area of hidden reefs and sand bars that have wrecked many fine vessels that sailed too close to the shore. Much of the rest of the Sulkar lands are forested hills, which form part of the eastern framework for the mountain range known as the Great Immortal's Shield.

The Sulkar have no main fortress, relying on quick strikes and moving their villages to keep the Yamekh from gaining mastery over them. Their current chief is Tookala One Eye, a savvy female who rules by right of having slain the last chief. The best approximation as to the Sulkar population is 1,000 orcs.

The Yamekh tribe to the north also claims an area of coastal grasslands and interior forested hills. Their land lies just north of the swamp and includes several mountains, including Mt. Ej-Täar, an active volcano, and a mine that produces gold. Foreign captives and orc slaves from other tribes are put to work in the mines, while especially intriguing captives may be reserved for sacrifice to the spirit of the volcano, to appease its hunger and keep it from doing more than smoking.

A small jungle area just to the west of the marsh is disputed territory, which both the Sulkar and the Yamekh claim as their own. Both tribes hunt in the area. Both lay traps for the others' hunters, and border clashes between the two are frequent. Like their cousins to the east, the Yamekh have constructed a wooden fortress-city called Yamekh-Pyrr.

The leader of the Yamekh is Furul Fire-breath, though younger challengers are threatening this older orc's position almost daily. He rules from the fortress of Yamekh-Pyrr, which is set among the hills north of the mines. There are approximately 2,200 orcs who claim to be Yamekh.

The Ghonam tribe is the largest and has the most land. Unlike their brethren to the south, the Ghonam's land is mostly low altitude rain forest and a few miles of hilly jungle in the interior. Their main fortress is Ghonam-Pyrr. Led by the half-orc priestess Sutunu, the Ghonam number about 3,000 orcs.

The Ghonam must also contend with a foreign colony along their northern border. Mato Grande and Porto Maldição together form an enclave of civilisation. They serve as trading posts for goods to and from the Kingdom of Nimmur, the Colony of the Horn, and many of the countries that makeup the Savage Coast. The Ghonam have repeatedly tried to overrun either the fortress and village of Mato Grande or Porto Maldição for the riches the colonial port represents. The rest of their northern and part of their western border are formed by the Rot Swamps.

At one time, the Ghonam tried to find a way onto the Eshu plateau. The resultant Battle of Urduk cost many hundreds of orcs their lives. Though many would like to expand into the grasslands to their southwest, the memory of the battle of Urduk is fresh in their minds, and they have given up the idea of trifling with the enduk kingdom.

More recently the Ghonam have been trying to extend their southern border a little farther south, in order to directly threaten Yamekh-Pyrr. They believe that if they can take the fortress, they can subjugate the Yamekh and take over their lucrative mines for themselves. Also, when the Yamekh are no longer in the way, expansion into Sulkar lands will be much easier.

All of these orc tribes have been being pressured to submit to Pyre's overlordship. Thus far, representatives of the dragon have attempted to urge their acceptance but the tribes have been resistant. Though the dragon seems far enough away to ignore, Pyre has simply not stirred himself to action as yet.

The Unclaimed Territories

Stretching along the western coast of the Orc's Head Peninsula from Nimmur to the Colony of the Horn is an area collectively known as the Unclaimed Territories. The Wind Flats is an area of sparse grassland that Nimmur hopes to claim soon. Aided by a new treatment against the black killer flies that infest the region, the manscorpions plan to use the grassland as pasturage for their flocks of sheep.

Low, barren hills partially screen the Wind Flats from the Grey Swamps. The swamps derive their name from the silvery-grey reed that grows abundantly along every water course. The reeds, known as grey slicers, have sharp edges that easily cut through clothing and skin, leaving a thin, painful slit. Slime mold, which coats the reeds and gives them their distinctive color, enters the wound as it is made. A powerful decaying agent, the slime causes the wound to fester and become infected within mere hours.

To the north of the swamp area is another region of sparse grasslands known as the Mosquito Land. Heavy rainfall in this area creates many pools of stagnant water. Mosquitoes breed so quickly and abundantly here that there are hordes of these insects, which literally look like dark clouds moving across the sky. They carry disease in their bites, most notably "the fever," which causes alternating periods of high fever and terrible chills. Many victims of "the fever" suffer periodic bouts of the illness, debilitating them terribly and eventually causing death if left untreated.

Lastly, there is a large territory called the Land of the Shifting Dunes. This stark, sandy area holds miles and miles of nothing but sand and scorpions. The few sea grasses that manage to survive are hardy, but poisonous. No one has officially laid claim to any of these territories as yet.

Porto Maldição

Once a Vilaverdan trading post, Porto Maldição proclaimed its independence when Porto Escorpião became autonomous. Since this small fortress and village were very far away and unimportant, Baron Jorge raised no objections. It is a rundown, seedy port filled with lowlife searching for a quick profit and not too squeamish about how they get it.

Grubb Nest Marshes

The best thing that can be said for the marsh is that it provides a marvelous wetland sanctuary for hundreds of birds and small creatures. The sea hydras, who also make this area their home, prey upon passing ships and the occasional luckless adventurer who strays into their territory. Rot grubs, for whom the swamp is named, infest much of it and usually kill those that the sea hydras miss.

Rot Swamps

Although one might think that this swamp was also infested with rot grubs, it is named for the miasma that hovers over the area. Horrible sulfuric odors, decay, and dead fish combine to create the nauseating stench that permeates the swamp. Those who enter the swamp must successfully make saving throws against petrification upon first entering and every hour thereafter for the first three days of travel, to avoid collapsing into retching. Quicksand and vicious black caimans (crocodiles) are the swamp's other attractions.

Gombar and Suma'a

These two nations on the other side of the Great Immortals Shield have been settled by a race of civilized demi-ogres (mixed human Tanagoro blood) from Tangor. Their kingdoms are made up of merchant-principalities more interested in sea trade than overland exploration. They know of the strait between the southern end of the Arm of the Immortals and Davania that leads to the Western Sea. They haven't settled it because they think only savage nations exist beyond.


The Yazak Steppes

The Yazak Steppes run from Hule in the east to the region north of the Orc's Head Peninsula. These are actually several different, disconnected sets of steppes. Once home to rakastas and lupins, the steppes have been taken over by goblinoid tribes.

The five "great tribes" of goblinoids in the steppes are dangerous to the coastal lands only when they unite into massive hordes that sweep down to raid for food and treasures. The five tribes are the Hupkur, which consists of hobgoblins and ogres; the Huptai, composed of hobgoblins and goblins; the Dankut, mostly orcs with a few trolls; the Kuttai, which includes orcs and goblins; and the Gosluk, made up entirely of goblins. Many of the members of these tribes are Beast Riders. Like lupins, the hobgoblins of the steppes ride dire wolves; goblins ride worgs; and orcs and half-orcs ride specially-bred boars (which sometimes make tasty treats for the worg mounts).

The Hupkur tribe which occupies the lands north of Renardy, Bellayne, and Herath is the strongest and most well organized of the five tribes. A recent alliance between the Kuttai and the Dankut, the tribes closest to the Savage Baronies, provides a substantial threat.

Several small tribes are not allied with any of the larger groups. Of these, the most important is the Tai-luk tribe, a group of goblins occupying a small territory north of the Bayou. The Tai-luk goblins are important only because no other tribes inhabit that rather inhospitable area and because of their proximity to Cay, which could lead to a conflict if the goblins raid the caymas' aurochs.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Miscellaneous
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 14, 2012, 10:40:24 PM
Cultural Inspirations:

Vilaverde and Texeiras (inspiration: Portugal in the 1500s and 1600s, respectively)
Torreón and Narvaez (inspiration: Classic 1500s Spain and Spain under the inquisition, respectively)
Gargoña, Almarrón, and Saragón (inspiration: late 15th century Granada, colonial Mexico, and Moorish Spain, respectively)
Guadalante and Cimmaron (inspiration: colonial Argentina and 19th century Texas w/16th century technology, respectively)
Robrenn and Eusdria (inspiration: Gaul c. 200 BC and the Frankish Kingdom c. 800 AD, respectively)
Renardy and Bellayne (inspiration: 16th century France and England, respectively)
Orc's Head Peninsula, Arm of Immortals, Yazak Steppes, etc. (inspirations: Nimmur - Babylon; Wallaras - aboriginal Australia; Jibaru - Amazon jungle; Colony of the Horn - Australian penal colonies)
(Yavdlom inspirations: Ulimwengu and the Karimari - African pygmies; Karutunda - African bushmen; Urdukkabilas - North African Berbers; Yavi - Swahili/Bantu)
(City States inspiration: Yugoslavia/the Balkans: Hojah - Albania; Slagovich - Croatia; Zvornik - Hungary; Nova Svoga - Bulgaria and Slovenia; Zagora - Romania)
(Hule inspiration: Ottomon Empire)

Table 17.1: CALENDAR OF THE SAVAGE COAST

Days of the Week
Lunadain
Gromdain
Tserdain
Moldain
Nytdain
Loshdain
Soladain

Months (season)
Nuwmont (midwinter)
Vatermont (late winter)
Thaumont (early spring)
Flaurmont (midspring)
Yarthmont (late spring)
Klarmont (early summer)
Felmont (midsummer)
Fyrmont (late summer)
Ambyrmont (early fall)
Sviftmont (midfall)
Eirmont (late fall)
Kaldmont (early winter)

Despite these commonalties and shared backgrounds, no political ties remain between the Savage Coast and the Known World. Communication and trade between them is sporadic at best.

The Savage Coast is also the point of origin of several cultures that have spread to other places. The araneas had their start on the coast, as did the three races of lizard kin, the wallaras, and tortles. Minotaurs are descended from their winged kin (the enduks), while the winged elves of the Savage Coast (the ee'aar) are an offshoot of normal elves. The origins of phanatons, rakastas, and lupins are unsure, but it seems likely that these three races came from elsewhere, spreading simultaneously to the Known World and the Savage Coast. Ironically, many of the so-called savage races of the Savage Coast (phanatons, tortles, wallaras, caymas, gurrash, and shazaks) are less primitive than their cousins in other parts of the world. Similarly, lupins and rakastas have true civilisations only on the Savage Coast; in other places, they have nomadic tribal cultures. It should be noted that the native races do not consider the area a "frontier," and that term is certainly a misnomer in regard to their cultures. Only the humans and demihumans of the eastern coast think of the region in those terms.

Swashbuckling
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/q3jyf9KwtxzNSbfph4lrxAbtwCueeceSz9Sd2Eyu_JrDbdaampkgazohxsd8WLmliYvwgKzGW9aS6yaFFPYlTbdUlXKypkYy5XGOYlG_0kGIMIRkmdHX3LPqe45ukQhT1H8opKBpsBFHfohjx1TUZlbLMs17U3GlOsqT__uxUgPf7rLPgDA42JnIxnpxXeBVdcIw8sRCITpepJf7Xc7a9XnqLqUk7iaTf5JHoYnX7q47ejeI979HUcyKmIg0HZ9OJI4MNmrHkC8zQptkZqXk2SZzCKOu1D5HKTsr9wC_T8P7Frpu7XUG5Tdh8fVYncQib5Wl8CQk741NbzNjg4dnNsFnegjhmLYnM4GS-9BKRWdI5yTJw2UpgU9EFk9RCjPvov6Ks25MZSxOUUOyOmGSv9lG3344VYMM8_N6ODZxQkP4ov_u6AjLbV2yOD2pJWXsXSqFV8tQBsUDSmXFxJCTAIa4UYQHyav3bYOFSrEAvVmV3EWEWPur6XngdtfwxI8nrIhX8RXaRy7rh8DSa_k3W6e1cIg2R4nfccP3nQ_xH0GrZkSP7__CbWjoNe-WOMVFQtS-1FKDhZSK1GEl_7yqw74Rjisq45Yu5h79mMi4umnifT-dgkam=w381-h549-no)

The swashbuckling style is important in the Savage Coast lands. Renardy and the Savage Baronies give rise to that type of person: hot-blooded, dashing, witty, and skilled with the rapier or sabre. Adding spice to the campaign, Swashbucklers are found everywhere as wanderers, special army units, heroes, and pirates.

To encourage the swashbuckling style, several weapons and skills from the rapier and wheellock to the two-weapon style specialisation and Panache Point system have been consciously added to these rules. It is possible to build several different types of swashbucklers, from seafaring privateers to forest-dwelling archers. However, even with the skills and weapons available, it is still necessary for the DM to encourage the proper attitude among the players.

One way to do this is to allow a bit more freeform play. Encourage the players to have their characters swing on ropes or chandeliers, try to fight two opponents at once, and so forth. Promote the use of individual trademarks, from a "K" made with a rapier to a rose left at the scene of a battle.

The DM should also note that tumbling is a bonus proficiency for all true swashbucklers. By widening the definition of tumbling, or by simply using a Dexterity check, the DM can encourage daring feats. Whenever a character wants to do something unusual that depends on Dexterity, roll a simple check to see if it succeeds. Add a colourful description and the game becomes more fun for all involved.

Also, remember that a swashbuckler's style is largely dependent on his charisma. Do not be shy about making reaction rolls or Charisma checks, but foster role-playing as well.

Above all, let the players know that whatever they want to try has a chance to succeed if it is done with style.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - The Red Curse & Legacies pt. 1
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 14, 2012, 11:04:07 PM
The Red Curse and the Legacies

Though the Red Curse is potentially devastating, ways have been found to channel its magical energies; to some individuals the curse is almost a blessing. The Savage Coast is also home to two unique magical substances, vermeil and cinnabryl, and the latter can be used for protection from the Red Curse.

Basic Effects of the Curse

The fundamental effects of the Red Curse are twofold. First, every person who spends time in the cursed area begins to manifest an extraordinary, magical power, known as a Legacy. Second, if preventative measures are not taken, the affected individual usually suffers a change in physical appearance and an attribute loss. Various side effects of the Red Curse exist. For most people, the acquisition of a Legacy means a loss of health, degeneration of mental or physical prowess, and other equally unpleasant physical manifestations.

For example, someone who receives a Legacy of great strength might gain it only in one arm, which could grow to huge proportions, leaving the rest of the body relatively normal. At the same time, the person would lose Intelligence, forgetting those things once learned and possibly even losing the ability to learn.

However, the magical substance cinnabryl prevents the worst effects of the curse, while allowing individuals to enjoy the benefits. Cinnabryl and other magical substances are used to manipulate the curse's magic to beneficial purposes, even allowing some people to gain more than one Legacy.

Origins of the Curse

No mortal is completely sure of the Red Curse's origins. Indeed, many people search for its cause, sure that once it is found, the curse can be lifted. However, many people enjoy the benefits of the curse, from the personal Legacies it gives them to the chaos it imposes on the region, allowing a clever person to rise to great power.

Following are a few commonly held theories concerning the origins of the curse. Each of these circulates the region periodically as legend, but sages study them all.

The Dragonfall

According to this legend, many years ago, dragons roamed the lands and were often seen in the sky. The dragons met in great conclaves, where they decided how they should be governed and how they should relate to other races.

Then, the dragons began to war among themselves for reasons lost in the mists of time. It is said that the leader of all the dragons was saddened by these conflicts; he had believed that the noble dragons were above the petty conflicts of other races.

Eventually, the dragon leader was able to find out who started the conflict, but doing so cost him greatly, for he had to battle other dragons. Grievously wounded, the dragon leader left the scene of the battle and flew to find the instigator, leaving a great trail of his blood.

The great dragon finally found his hated enemy, a powerful human. They fought for many days. In the end, the dragon won, but only at the cost of his own mortal life. As he lay breathing his last, he laid an eternal curse on all the lands where his blood had fallen. So great was his curse that, in effect, he gained immortality. The red vermeil that blows on the winds is the living remnant of his blood, a reminder of his pain. Because of it, the curse is eternal.

The Araneas and Wallaras

Another tale claims that the wallaras, known to many as chameleon men, once had a great and powerful civilization. Descended from dragons, the wallaras were altered to have smaller forms so they might interact more freely with the human and near-human races and spread the wisdom of dragons to them. They brought many great things to the world.

Then came the araneas. They were evil spider beings who, in their arrogance, conducted strange magical experiments on wallaras, releasing a plague that almost destroyed the wallaras completely. The Immortal patron of the wallaras, the dragon known as the Great One, tried to save his chosen people, but his magic was twisted by the araneas and their patrons. In the end, the wallaras devolved into the race of spiritually rich, yet technologically primitive, people that they are today.

The Great One's wrath was terrible. He brought all his magic to bear and laid an aura of magic over the land. The magic was meant to give every living being in the area a magical power, that they might use it to resist the araneas. Alas, the araneas and their patrons again interfered, altering the magic so that with the power came a curse. All who gained the arcane power would be twisted by it.

Still, the Great One fought against the forces of evil and chaos in a battle beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. He fought the enemy until both sides were exhausted by their efforts, but still the Great One persevered. He knew that he would be unable to act for a long time, too late to save the people doomed by the magic he had initiated. With a great effort, the Great One pulled a bone from his body and smashed it above the area that would become known as the Savage Coast.

The blood that rained down dried and became the powdery vermeil, while the pieces of his bone fell deep into the earth, where they turned into the deposits of cinnabryl, the substance that protects from the curse and allows the Great One's blessing to function properly.

Now the araneas are a hated race, nearly extinct. Those few who still exist hide from the sight of all who care for good and order.

The wording of the curse was such that all who lived in the area would suffer, becoming twisted relics of their former selves. The curse was also to draw the greedy and the power-hungry to the area, leading them away from the rest of the world to a secluded place where they would eventually destroy themselves.

Nimmur and the Manscorpions

This legend states that many centuries ago, beings that were half man and half scorpion roamed the land that would become the Savage Coast. They became friends with the ancient people of Nimmur, the ancestors of the enduks. At first, the manscorpions were friendly, even helpful, but they hid a deep and abiding love for chaos. Eventually, they turned against the good people of Nimmur and against the Immortal patron of both races, Ixion, ruler of the Sun.

Ixion was angered, and he took his blessing from the manscorpions, making them vulnerable to the light and heat of the sun. Wherever they stood, manscorpions burnt to piles of red ash, which we now know as vermeil. The power of Ixion was great, and it sank into the land. Now, all people who live here gain power from the land.

Now, the red ash from the manscorpions flies through the air, poisoning all who live near it and giving them bizarre Afflictions unless they dig to find the receptacles of Ixion's power, the magical metal cinnabryl.

The truth of the Red Curse may never be known; it may contain bits of truth from one of the above stories, or all of them, or none of them. Only the Immortals know for sure, and they aren't telling. It is also unknown if the curse can ever be lifted.

The Magical Substances

As mentioned earlier, the Savage Coast is home to several inherently magical materials. Two basic magical substances are found in the region: vermeil and cinnabryl. Both are useful in several ways and can be used to create crimson essence, red steel, steel seed, and smokepowder.

Vermeil

The most obvious non-living manifestation of the curse is vermeil, a reddish dust found in the soil and air of the region. Vermeil is sometimes referred to as dragon's blood. The substance radiates magic, and since it is omnipresent along most of the Savage Coast, detect magic and similar spells are all but useless there.

Vermeil glows very slightly, enough that it can be seen in the dark, but not enough to light an area, unless in great concentration (which is rare). The presence of vermeil in the air causes strange effects at times, such as glowing winds. Because it is extraordinarily difficult to keep vermeil out of metal during processing, coins and other metal items made on the Savage Coast glow slightly and radiate the same hazy magical aura as vermeil.

Vermeil is unavoidably ingested by anyone living in the area, and many blame the substance for the Red Curse, even referring to affected people (those changed physically or suffering from great attribute loss) as being "tainted" or "under vermeil's curse." However, ingesting the substance causes no harm, and by itself, vermeil has no properties other than its hazy magical radiance and those properties common to normal dust. It does not dissolve in water.

Vermeil is a necessary component of the potion crimson essence, as well as of smokepowder, both of which are described in subsequent entries. Because it is a sort of "generic" magical dust, vermeil is also useful as a component of various sorts of magical dusts, powders, and inks, helping other substances to hold enchantments.

Cinnabryl

Cinnabryl is a rare, slightly glowing, shiny red metal. It is smooth and feels almost slick to the touch, leaving a slight residue, reddish in color, when worn next to the skin (just as a copper bracelet leaves a green-blue residue). Cinnabryl does not hold an edge well but is easily shaped with hammer and heat. It has a density slightly less than that of gold and almost exactly twice that of steel.

When worn next to the skin, cinnabryl protects the wearer from the detrimental effects of the Red Curse. Fortunate (or wealthy) people wear jewellery of cinnabryl to protect themselves from the curse. The metal radiates magic and also gives off a slight reddish glow; its radiance is necessary to make crimson essence. A protective item made of cinnabryl is typically called an amulet, while one designed for the creation of crimson essence is called a talisman.

After being worn by a living being for a while, however, cinnabryl's magic becomes depleted; it no longer protects from the curse. Strangely, the metal's weight decreases as its magic depletes, so someone able to test the material's weight and displacement (a jeweler or alchemist, for example) can determine how long a sample of the material will last before becoming fully depleted. Since its usefulness has a time limit, cinnabryl must be replenished periodically. Consequently, it is in great demand and hunted almost constantly. Depleted cinnabryl is called red steel (see the subsequent entry).

Cinnabryl also has effects harmful to those not suffering from vermeil's curse. This keeps most people from taking cinnabryl away from the Savage Coast. When cinnabryl becomes depleted, these potentially harmful effects disappear as well. See "Effects of the Red Curse" below for full details regarding depletion of cinnabryl and the substance's various effects.

Cinnabryl is found in deposits in many places along the Savage Coast, but only in that region. The deposits consist of clusters of rounded nuggets of pure cinnabryl. These nuggets are generally found in reddish clay, and small deposits of steel seed (see subsequent entry) are often found with them.

Unknown to all but the most learned of wizards and sages, cinnabryl is self-perpetuating while in deposits of red clay. That is, the metal produces more nuggets of itself while in that material. (The Nithians designed cinnabryl to be a self-replenishing supply of magical metal.) This replenishment is a slow process, and it is possible to over-mine deposits, which means the metal might some day disappear from the Savage Coast.

Red Steel

When the magical protective effects of cinnabryl have been completely depleted, the remaining substance is red steel. This is a lightweight, dull red metal (it does not glow like cinnabryl and vermeil). Red steel is hard without being brittle, holds an edge very well, and weighs only half as much as steel. Thus, it is in great demand for the making of weapons.

Because red steel is inherently magical, weapons made from it can strike creatures normally hit only by enchanted weapons, as well as those normally struck only by silver or cold iron weapons. Red steel also holds enchantments well, so along the Savage Coast it is the preferred base metal for magical armor, weapons, and other devices. The metal's popularity is spreading wherever it is traded, but most red steel remains on the Savage Coast, due to the efforts of the Inheritors.

It should be noted that red steel does not conduct electricity well. Thus, it is not considered a conductor for shocking grasp spells or similar effects (though it has no real effect against such powerful electrical forces as lightning bolt spells).

Armor of red steel can also adjust its shape when a Legacy is used.

Crimson Essence

This substance is a potion that grants Legacies to the imbiber. In most cases, the power gain is random and temporary, but some people learn how to control multiple Legacies and use crimson essence to possess extra Legacies permanently.

Crimson essence is a liquid medium created from vermeil and other substances. Once the liquid has been prepared, it is carried close to the body and bathed in the radiance of cinnabryl for a time. Some people create cinnabryl talismans with special holders for carrying their potion vials. When ready to be used, crimson essence glows red and sparkles with reflected light.

Creation of crimson essence requires two months (for an Inheritor) or six months (for anyone else).

Steel Seed

Steel seed is a silvery-red, granular substance found with deposits of cinnabryl. Alchemists and sages have determined that steel seed is cinnabryl that has been depleted of its magic before having been mined. These same wise folk have not determined how the substance becomes depleted, however, because it seems to be different from the organic depletion that changes cinnabryl to red steel.

In any case, steel seed is a somewhat hard, slightly brittle substance that radiates magic in a manner similar to vermeil, but steel seed does not glow. It is something like crystallized red steel, but it cannot be forged into weapons or items as that metal can. Steel seed is an important component in smokepowder and may possibly be useful in other magical preparations. The material is found in small amounts wherever cinnabryl deposits are found. The only known large caches of steel seed are found in the cinnabryl mines near Smokestone City, in Cimarron County of the Savage Baronies.

Smokepowder

In the SAVAGE COAST campaign setting, smokepowder can be created by combining vermeil in a specific proportion with steel seed. In all other respects, smokepowder conforms to the description in the DUNGEON MASTER Guide. It can be made only by someone with the appropriate skill and materials. Smokepowder is relatively common in Cimarron County, uncommon in the other Savage Baronies and Renardy, and rare elsewhere.

Note that detonation of smokepowder can affect the depletion rate of cinnabryl.

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Effects of the Red Curse

As mentioned, the Red Curse is actually composed of three different enchantments. The people of the Savage Coast group all effects together, believing the affliction to be a single curse (so they never refer to the "Red Curses"). However, certain terms are used for different effects of the Red Curse. This section of the rules describes each component of the effects of the Red Curse, the time factors involved, and the details of protecting oneself from the curse's detriments.

Generally speaking, the Red Curse affects only intelligent beings. However, animals and monsters have been known to acquire Legacies. Some of these suffer the detriments of the Red Curse as well. Almost all animals of the cursed lands are affected by at least the side effects of the Red Curse.

Benefits: The Legacies

The Red Curse has precisely one beneficial effect: the Legacies. Since this is always accompanied by some malign effect, the people of the Savage Coast never refer to acquisition of a Legacy as a blessing or benefit, but always as part of the curse. The name "Legacy" hearkens to the bane on these lands, for an arcane power gained is considered a legacy of the Red Curse.

The Legacy is the first effect of the curse to manifest. A Legacy is a magical, spell-like power; its use is essentially automatic, but limited, for the user. Legacies are usually directly beneficial to the user but can sometimes be used to aid another.

Detriments: Loss and Change

After a person acquires a Legacy, he begins to lose points from a particular ability score, such as Constitution or Intelligence. The precise number of points lost is variable; the DM should roll 2d4 to determine how many are lost (note that wearing cinnabryl prevents most of this loss). The ability score affected is dependent on the exact Legacy acquired, and is usually more or less the opposite of the arcane power gained. For example, a character who gains a Legacy of Strength loses points from the Intelligence score.

In addition to the ability loss, the character receives another detrimental effect related to the Legacy acquired. In most cases, this is a physical deformation. For example, characters with a Legacy of Armor might grow ugly and uncomfortable scales over their skin.

An individual who suffers ability loss and physical change is referred to as an Afflicted.

Side Effect: Coloring Change

People living in the cursed lands gradually acquire a red tint to their skin and hair. For humans and humanoids, this reddening begins well before adulthood in the Savage Baronies, approximately at adulthood in other lands. The reptilian races, tortles and lizard kin, first manifest redness around the edges of their scales, or in webbed lines through their skin or shells. Furred races like rakastas and lupins gain a red tint to the ends of their hair strands. The winged races ee'aar and enduks redden first at the tips of their feathers.

In all cases, the coloring spreads, eventually causing the whole body to appear red if the character lives long enough. After the initial reddening described above, hair usually colors next, with that on the head acquiring a deep red tint after some time. The exact rate varies, though the rate of spread is rather slow for ee'aar, enduks, gurrash, and caymas; it might take several years for a character of one of these races to acquire red skin, scales, or fur, and they might never get red hair. People of Herath, Renardy, Bellayne, and Shazak redden slightly quicker but never acquire a complete reddish cast. Thus, it might take two to five years for a lupin's coat to turn red, but the color would be limited to the tips of individual strands. In Eusdrians, the skin tone changes little, but a Eusdrian's hair turns a fiery crimson rather quickly, usually over the course of a few months. Wallaras never show any sign of coloring at all.

The people of the Savage Baronies start coloring early, and the process continues rather rapidly. Eventually they acquire a deep, reddish tone to their skin, while their hair often appears to be the dark, blackish-red color of dried blood.

The acquisition of Legacies accelerates this reddening process. A person colors relatively quickly when a Legacy becomes enabled, often serving as a clue that the person has gained the power. In addition, an individual who has acquired a Legacy receives an additional side effect: They begin radiating a slight magical aura. Even those who gain the detrimental effects of the curse but do not gain a Legacy (as with ee'aar, enduks, araneas, and wallaras) acquire this aura. The basic effect of this magical aura is that it befuddles most detection spells. The more Legacies a character gains, the greater the aura.

Characters not native to the cursed lands begin the reddening process when they acquire a Legacy, which gives them a clue as to what is happening to them. Non-natives never color completely, even if they manage to become Inheritors with several Legacies.

The exact amount of coloring a character endures is left to the DM and the player. This should be something of a role-playing choice, influenced by the character's origin and how the player wants the character to look.

Manifestation of Effects

The following text describes the Red Curse's effects on a person not protected by cinnabryl.

For natives, the reddening of skin and hair is typically the first thing to manifest, starting well before the character reaches adulthood, particularly in the Savage Baronies. For all characters, the base starting age can be considered the approximate age of adulthood though most races mature slightly sooner than that.

Most people gain a Legacy when they reach maturity; some develop earlier, while a few gain the power later. Despite what any sage or church might claim about fate, a person's Legacy is essentially random, though related people tend to have related Legacies, and some Legacies are more common in certain regions. In some very small villages, virtually all the people have the same Legacy. The Legacies of the character's relatives and neighbors should influence the choice of the character's initial Legacy.

People who travel into a cursed area after reaching maturity also gain a Legacy unless they belong to a race that does not acquire initial Legacies (araneas for PCs, ee'aar, enduks, and wallaras for NPCs). Non-natives are completely unaffected for a number of days equal to their Constitution score; one day later, the Legacy manifests.

The first indications of the manifestation of a Legacy, in both natives and non-natives, are increased reddening of the person's skin or hair, a tingling in the extremities, and a subdued sense of euphoria and power. This "Time of Grace" lasts for about a week, during which time the person can activate the Legacy once per day. Natives are well acquainted with the symptoms and know that Legacies are activated by force of will. They immediately seek to obtain cinnabryl. A non-native will not automatically understand what is happening and might need to consult a local. Still, the Legacy might be activated in times of stress if the DM deems it appropriate. For example, a non-native whose Legacy has manifested might unconsciously activate it when threatened by a monster. This would certainly be a clue that something strange has happened to the character.

After the Time of Grace, the Legacy becomes fully enabled, and the user can activate it the standard three times per day. This coincides with the beginning of the "Time of Loss," which lasts for 2d4 days. Each day, the person loses one point from the ability listed for the Legacy acquired. If any ability score other than Charisma drops to a score of 0 or below, the character dies. A Charisma of 0 or less simply means that deformation has rendered the character extremely ugly.

After the Time of Loss, the "Time of Change" begins. It is during this period that the physical detriments of the curse manifest. In most cases, the body of the affected individual begins to change in some way. As with the ability loss, this physical change depends on the exact Legacy gained and is detailed with the description of the Legacy. The Time of Change lasts about a week, during which time the body of the affected person transforms slowly. If the person has a Legacy that does not cause a physical transformation, the other detriment(s) begin to slowly occur over this period of time.

Those races who do not gain an initial Legacy still go through the rest of the process the Time of Grace, the Time of Loss, and the Time of Change. As indicated, they do not actually gain a Legacy. However, the DM does determine which Legacy the person would have gained; this dictates the ability affected during the Time of Loss and the physical transformation that takes place during the Time of Change.

Those individuals who have suffered ability loss and physical transformation are referred to as the "Afflicted." Afflicted are considered hideous mutations; they are hunted and destroyed by some people, though their friends might try to obtain cinnabryl to reverse the effects.
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Protection: Cinnabryl

When a person's Legacy first manifests, the individual has a few days to obtain a cinnabryl amulet to hold off the detrimental effects. The amulet should remain in contact with the person, which means either touching the skin or separated from it by no more than a thin layer of cloth.

People who do not obtain cinnabryl deteriorate slowly, as detailed in the previous text. If they begin wearing cinnabryl during the Time of Grace, they lose only one point from the designated ability score, shortening the Time of Loss to one day, but this ability loss is permanent. An individual wearing cinnabryl from the beginning does not go through the Time of Change.

Cinnabryl can also counteract detrimental effects that have already occurred, provided not too much time has passed. If a person begins wearing cinnabryl after the first day of the Time of Loss, the loss of ability score points is halted. The process of loss is reversed, and the character regains ability score points until only 1 point below the original score.

Regardless of when a character begins wearing cinnabryl, 1 point is always permanently lost from the ability score. The loss of that point cannot be reversed by cinnabryl.

If an individual begins wearing cinnabryl during the Time of Change, the progress of the transformation halts immediately. Regardless of how long the character has been changing, the time required to reverse the change is 1d6+4 days. The transformation is slow and rather painful.

If the character stops wearing cinnabryl for a time, the detrimental effects of the curse can occur again. A new Time of Grace begins, lasting only one day, after which the Time of Loss and the Time of Change begin, occurring simultaneously. At such a time, the affected person loses the full 8 points from the designated ability score, a process that requires eight days. The transformation requires the same amount of time, and is quite painful. As with the standard Time of Loss, a character can die (or become exceptionally ugly) because of ability score loss. During this combined Time of Loss and Change, the process can be stopped if the character begins wearing cinnabryl. As with the other times when cinnabryl is worn, the process of loss and change stop immediately. However, after this discontinuation follows a period of stasis; the character remains at the ability score as adjusted and in the state of transformation reached for a period of 2d4 days. After this, reversal begins. The ability score returns at a rate of 1 point per day, again until the character's ability is 1 point below the original score. The reversal of the transformation takes longer, 2d4+6 days.

If the processes of loss and change are ever completed, the person is considered fully Afflicted, and special measures must be taken for restoration. See the following section on "Recovery from Affliction."

Everyone with any common sense considers it important to wear cinnabryl from the moment the effects of the Red Curse are first detected. Naturally, this makes cinnabryl a valued commodity. Most people wear an amulet of cinnabryl, simply a piece of jewellery designed to place cinnabryl near the skin. Inheritors wear cinnabryl talismans, amulets designed to hold a vial for production of crimson essence.

Someone who has been affected by the Red Curse, acquiring a Legacy and suffering the loss of an ability point but using cinnabryl to hold off further change, is considered "Tainted" or "Balanced." The former term is used mostly by the common folk, the latter by Inheritors.

Depletion of Cinnabryl

Whenever cinnabryl is worn next to the skin, its magical properties become depleted. One ounce of the material will deplete in a week (seven days), so if an amulet weighing eight ounces is worn, its power drains in eight weeks. It is the amount worn that is important, rather than the number of items worn. A character wearing two bracelets of cinnabryl, each weighing eight ounces, is protected for 16 weeks. Both items are depleted equally, so if the person removes the bracelets after wearing them together for eight weeks, each would be good for four weeks alone. Since the depletion rate of cinnabryl is so vital to the people, they tend to wear one item at a time, usually an eight-ounce item that has been tested and is guaranteed for eight weeks, or a one-pound item guaranteed for 16 weeks.

Note that the weights mentioned here are for cinnabryl that has not been depleted. As mentioned previously, the substance's weight decreases as its power diminishes. The actual weight of cinnabryl, compared with its mass, indicates how long the cinnabryl item will last. This testing of a cinnabryl item can be performed by jewelers, alchemists, smiths, and some merchants and traders. A player character can learn to test cinnabryl without the alchemy skill, but scales and a marked container for water are required, as is knowledge of the simple equation for the test. Only a truly nasty person would mislead another as to the time a cinnabryl amulet can be expected to last, but such a thing has been known to happen.

Note that detonation of smokepowder can increase the depletion rate of cinnabryl. Fortunately for most people, this affects only cinnabryl worn by Inheritors, due to the odd interaction between the magical substances and the Inheritors' bodies, which have been imbued with the magic of multiple Legacies. A smokepowder explosion within two feet of an Inheritor causes the instant depletion of a week's worth of cinnabryl. The amount of smokepowder that explodes does not matter, as long as it is at least enough to propel a bullet from a wheellock pistol (about one ounce).

If the character is not carrying at least a week's worth of cinnabryl, the amount carried is instantly depleted, and any time left over is applied to the Time of Loss and Change (as detailed previously under "Manifestation of Effects") as if the character had stopped wearing cinnabryl. Thus, an Inheritor caught by a smokepowder explosion while wearing less than an ounce of cinnabryl will experience perhaps several days' worth of the Time of Loss and Change, all in a few seconds. Because of this, and the pronounced effects of cinnabryl deprivation, Inheritors try not to allow themselves to be caught wearing less than an ounce of the metal.
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - The Red Curse & Legacies pt. 2
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 14, 2012, 11:12:22 PM
Recovery from Affliction

Some people become fully Afflicted, either from never wearing cinnabryl or from ceasing to wear it. To become fully Afflicted, an individual must complete both the loss and the change. After this occurs, reversing the detrimental effects of the Red Curse becomes very difficult. Though the remove curse spell normally has little effect on the Red Curse, it is vital in helping an Afflicted recover. The Afflicted must be the recipient of a remove curse spell; the spell does nothing more than make it possible for cinnabryl to be used to reverse the condition. The Afflicted must begin wearing cinnabryl immediately after the remove curse is cast.

During the first week thereafter, nothing happens (except that the cinnabryl depletes at the normal rate). At the end of that week, the Afflicted recovers 1 point lost from an ability score. The character then continues to recover lost points at a rate of 1 point every third day.

Once the ability scores have returned to normal (that is, one point below what they were when the character was originally created), the Afflicted must receive another remove curse spell. This causes the character's physical transformation or other detrimental effect to begin reversing itself. The character must make a DC 15 Fortitude save. If this roll fails, the character can never recover any further and must permanently suffer the effects of the physical change, but if the roll succeeds, the individual's transformation reverses in a process taking 2d4 weeks. The reversal process is very painful and actually causes damage to the character, at a rate of 1d4 hit points per day. Thus, the recovering character will probably require a few healing spells during this period. Natural healing occurs at the normal rate, and the healing proficiency helps as is standard.

A Cure?

As discussed, cinnabryl can protect people from the worst effects of the Red Curse and can even reverse some of these effects. However, no complete cure exists for the Red Curse, only prevention and continuous treatment. It is possible, though more dangerous, to come closer to a cure by leaving the cursed lands and going beyond the safety of the Haze.

Leaving the Area

It is dangerous for a character to leave the Savage Coast after being affected by the Red Curse. Once a person leaves the lands marked by vermeil, nothing unusual happens for a number of days equal to the character's Constitution. However, at the end of this period, the character suffers the loss of any and all Legacies. When this occurs, the Legacy or Legacies activate automatically. Each activation has its maximum effect and duration. After one finishes, the next begins, until the character has used each of his Legacies the maximum number of times allowed. In this fashion, the Legacies "burn out" of the character's system.

After all the Legacies have run their course, the character must make a DC 15 Fortitude save. If this save is successful, nothing else happens, but if it fails, the character loses all but 1 hit point and immediately falls unconscious for 1d4 hours. No healing magic less powerful than a heal spell can help the character during this time.

An Afflicted who leaves the cursed lands regains lost ability points at the rate of 1 point per day (though the initial point lost is still not regained). If the character has undergone physical transformation, this condition is not reversed. However, when the character is outside the cursed area, a remove curse spell cast by a 9th-level priest or a 10th-level wizard can restore the individual's body to its natural state. If the detriment was something other than a physical transformation, the effect ceases when the Legacy is lost. The red tint the character acquired while in the lands of the Savage Coast gradually declines over the course of the next year, leaving the character's hair and skin their original colors.

Any character who wears cinnabryl after leaving the cursed lands suffers the loss of 1 point of Constitution per day. This condition is often referred to as the "red blight." It continues until all Constitution has been lost (at which point the character dies), until the cinnabryl depletes completely, or until the individual stops wearing the cinnabryl.

If characters such as this ever go back to the Savage Coast, they are considered non-native persons entering the region for the first time in regard to the time until the Red Curse takes effect again. Legacies possessed before are not automatically regained. If a character remains in the lands long enough to gain a Legacy, he has a 50% chance of obtaining the same Legacy as was initially possessed and a 50% chance of obtaining something else entirely. In either case, the manifestation of symptoms follows the usual course, including the permanent loss of another point from an ability score.

The Haze

Not all of the red lands are visited by the Red Curse. Vermeil extends beyond the cursed lands into the area known as the Haze, eventually fading out completely. The City-States, Hule, Yavdlom, The Arm of the Immortals, most of Orc's Head Peninsula, and several miles of water all around the coast lie within the Haze.

The Haze creates a type of buffer zone around the cursed lands. Both those with Legacies and Afflictions and those from other lands can enter the Haze without danger. Those with Legacies do not run the risk of losing these powers or suffering from the "red blight." People from other places should be wary, because though they will not become Afflicted or gain a Legacy by entering the Haze, they will not know where the actual borders of the Red Curse begin and could wander into a cursed area accidentally.

Because the red coloring reaches beyond the cursed areas, it is almost impossible to detect exactly where the Red Curse actually begins. To make things more complicated, some even say that the Red Curse shifts periodically, places that were once thought safe suddenly becoming cursed.

The Legacies

As mentioned, the sole beneficial effect of the Red Curse is to grant magical powers, or Legacies, to nearly every intelligent living being that enters the cursed area. These powers draw on the same energies as wizard magic. Even Yazi goblinoids are assumed to suffer all the effects of the Red Curse. Some tribes consist only of Afflicted, while others are able to obtain cinnabryl to protect themselves.

Using Legacies

For the most part, the use of a Legacy is automatic; the character wills it to happen, and it does. The character never has to make an ability check to use the Legacy, nor is any expenditure of points required. However, a Legacy can be used only three times each day, and the exact effects, such as duration or damage, are often based on the character's level.

Most Legacies cause no change in the user's body, but a few require temporary changes. For example, to use Amber Paralysis, the character need simply concentrate, but using Entangle requires that the user's hair or fingers grow and move to entangle an enemy.

For the most part, Legacies are treated exactly like spells. The detect magic and dispel magic spells react with Legacies as if they were spells. The remove curse spell has no special effect on individual Legacies. Since Legacies are like spells, their effects and restrictions are quite similar. For instance, elves are 90% immune to the sleep spell, so they are 90% immune to the Sleep Legacy.

The names and effects of the Legacies are too numerous to list here. Typical Legacy effects mimic spells like fireball, water breathing, charm person, etc.; or a physical effect like sprouting wings to fly, fangs to bite, or scales to act as armor.

Inheritors

Members of any PC race can choose to become Inheritors, pursuing a life path that will grant them more Legacies.

An Inheritor's initial Legacy is gained in the same manner as that acquired by anyone else. As with most abilities, the extra Legacies are gained according to character level. Inheritors acquire a second Legacy when they are initiated at 1st level. They use crimson essence to gain an additional Legacy every third level thereafter. Just as a wizard must achieve 3rd level in order to cast 2nd-level spells, so must the Inheritor reach 3rd level before gaining another Legacy; it is a matter of learning to control the energies. As explained, crimson essence normally grants a Legacy only temporarily, but the Inheritor learns to focus the magic of the potion.

Because of their extreme sensitivity to cinnabryl deprivation, Inheritors are particularly careful to maintain their supplies of the metal. They have even developed special societies, the Inheritor Orders, to control the flow of cinnabryl.

Many people view Inheritors as a sort of "curse police" who control the trade and sale of cinnabryl and red steel. Most known cinnabryl mines are in and around the Savage Baronies (one in Cimarron, two mines and scattered deposits in the Red Lands near Vilaverde, Texeiras, and Torreón), though there is one in Cay (near Hwezzah) and one in each Renardy, Bellayne, and Herath. In addition, Slagovich has a cinnabryl mine, which exports most of the material to the Savage Baronies in return for red steel. Except for the mine in Slagovich, Inheritors have taken controlling interests in each of these mines, and they prevent overmining and artificial inflation caused by nonexistent shortages.

However, most people know only that Inheritors have cinnabryl, charging high prices for it. In some ways, this makes cinnabryl protection an elitist thing, available only to the wealthy. On the other hand, the fact that it serves to keep peasants from ever trying cinnabryl can be viewed as a good thing. Cinnabryl is simply too rare for everybody to use, and the evil effects of the Red Curse are much worse for someone who uses cinnabryl and then stops.

Though Inheritors try to educate others about cinnabryl and the Red Curse in general, it is difficult. Some Inheritors just do not care about what others know, while many folk are not willing to listen to explanations. It is difficult for people to care about economic realities when someone they care for has been transformed by the Red Curse. Many people blame the Inheritors when relatives or friends become Afflicted. These problems lead to difficulty for Inheritors, but they are certainly compensated with ready access to cinnabryl and extra Legacies.

Inheritors have been around for many years, though they went unrecognized and have only recently begun organizing into Orders. Now they are almost always recognized, some regarded as heroes, others as villains. Though villains are avoided, everyone still enjoys the notoriety of having one in town; it is very much an "Old West" sort of attitude, as if Inheritors were notorious gunslingers. In the Savage Baronies, challenges between Inheritors are relatively common, and many Inheritors have flashy nicknames (the Red Avenger, The Crimson Kid, Lord Flame, and so forth).
Title: Re: Mystara - Red Steel - Inheritor Orders & Other Organizations
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 18, 2012, 10:46:02 PM
Inheritor Orders

The Order of the Ruby

Inheritors belonging to the Order of the Ruby, once known as the Brotherhood of Order or the Lawful Brotherhood, usually seek to end or reverse the Red Curse. Ruby Inheritors believe that knowledge and control over all matters pertaining to the red curse is the key to removing the curse altogether, and that by gaining Legacies they will better understand the Curse and how to fight it.

Their focus on controlling such things has also led them to gain a strangle hold on the only two cinnabryl mines around Texeiras and Vilaverde, carefully monitoring its output and its distribution. Also, the philosophical ancestors of the Order of the Ruby, the Lawful Brotherhood, founded the LB Trading Company in Cimmaron, a now thriving and powerful business trading in cinnabryl, red steel armor and weapons, smokepowder and the finest firearms in the Savage Coast. Because of this, the Ruby Inheritors are by far the richest of the three Orders and carry the most political sway.

The Order of the Ruby is well known for its controlling of cinnabryl operations. While in Vilaverde and Texeiras there is plenty of cinnabryl for everyone, in areas where cinnabryl is less abundant or harder to purchase, the Order of the Ruby are seen as greedy cinnabryl hoarders. The fact that they are indeed the wealthiest of the orders and that they are concerned about controlling and monitoring cinnabryl trade leads people to believe that they are very hesitant to share cinnabryl and makes Inheritors in general very unpopular amongst the lower class, especially those afflicted by the Red Curse. These accusations of greed are in most cases false, as the Order of the Ruby have a well ordered and fair cinnabryl distribution method to local lords in Vilaverde, Texeiras, Cimmaron and even Saragón who take any real blame for not sharing out the cinnabryl. In Slagovich, Ruby inheritors are despised by the public who believe they are cinnabryl thieves, and in Torreón they are thought of as self important bigots, being put on the same level as Narvaezans. However, the higher class of citizen should treat these inheritors with more respect than those from the Crimson Order or the Order of the Flame, as they relate better to the upper class.

The symbol of a Ruby Inheritor is a large ruby with a rune etched into it, indicating the characters status and rank within the organization. Upon advancing within the order, the inheritor is decorated with additions to his ruby symbol. This ruby is also used as a personal mark, unique to that particular inheritor and is often worn on the left breast or index finger of the left hand. Sometimes, the ruby doubles as a signet ring or sealing stamp, especially so for the Ruby Chroniclers.

Ruby Chroniclers

The Chroniclers are the official research wing of the Order of the Ruby. They are based solely in Boa Mansão, on the third level of the Great Museum in Mansão Square, but also have several rooms dedicated to them at the Mansão Library. They carry out experiments, research and compile information on all aspects of the red curse, cinnabryl, red steel, the afflicted etc. However, the information is not shared with other inheritor orders, and much of it is carried out in secrecy behind barred doors and guarded halls. The head of the Chroniclers, The Chronicler Sage, is always a priest or cleric and holds much influence in the Ruby High Council, having privileges of speech far beyond his/her rank. This elevation of status is also true even for the newest Chronicler members, who are chosen by the Chronicler Sage during their initial training. Chroniclers are always treated with utmost respect by order members because of their important role in reaching the goals of the order. Any mage or priest within the order who learns all the required spells becomes a chronicler, serving either within the library or museum of Texeiras or adventuring throughout the land in search of new information.

The Crimson Order

Once known as the Neutral Alliance, most inheritors of The Crimson Order believe that the Red Curse is a test from the Immortals, both of faith and of peoples handling and use of great power. Good Inheritors of this order believe that Legacies should be used to help others, while those of true neutral alignment believe they must be used to support the balance of nature, and those of evil alignment think the legacies are curses that should be used to test others. The goals of the Crimson Order are focused on helping civilized races survive the Red Curse and bringing awareness of the effects of the curse to the people. Crimson inheritors usually believe that unity is the key to success of these goals, and that by worshiping the immortals people can be protected from the curse.

A Crimson Inheritor's symbol is a length of crimson silk, three inches wide and up to two yards long. This is worn visibly upon their person, either upon the waist, the arms, the head or the shins, but never around the thighs, chest, neck or hands. Higher ranking members have either two lengths of silk, or a wider length, up to one foot wide for Crimson Fathers/Mothers.

The Crimson Order and the Church

The Crimson Order is very closely related to the church and about half of its members are monks, clerics or priests, serving the order from temples or churches (except in Torreón and Narvaez). In Saragón, Gargoña, and Almarrón, even through they are not strongly religious the Crimson Order is more accepted. However, the general view held by the public is both one of fear because of their association with the afflicted and the frightful appearance of their leader, Audra "The Masked", and one of respect because of their willingness to help afflicted and commoners alike. Some believe their religious ways and methods are unnecessary and obsolete. The Crimson Order also takes care of small settlements of the afflicted, dispatching priests weekly to check on their condition and dispense small amounts of cinnabryl.

The Crimson Order also has close business ties with the Mariners Guild, receiving a tax discount in importing cinnabryl from Slagovich, Cimmaron, Vilaverde and Texeiras. Its funding comes mostly from donations, several alchemical businesses and the selling healing services and potions. Further, its adventuring members usually donate most of their gained wealth back to the Order. Also, in Saragón, the Crimson order secretly receives funding from Baron Balthazar de Montejo y Aranjuez and Don Luis de Manzanas.

Because of its ties with the church, most common peoples do not recognize the Crimson Order as being inheritors. Many believe they wear the red sash as part of church ceremony, others believe it is out of respect for the Crimson saints. Thus, members of the Crimson Order less frequently suffer the prejudice of societies unfortunates.

Saints of The Crimson Order

In AC 1000 Cimmaron County's only cinnabryl mine was claimed by an alliance of Yazi gnolls and Chiriquis goblins. The resulting cinnabryl shortage spread throughout Almarrón, Gargoña and Saragón leaving many poor peoples to die from affliction, or be subject to the time of loss and change. It was at that time that a small group of three inheritor priests in Almarrón removed their own cinnabryl to give to the afflicted, sacrificing their own health to save the most needy victims of the red curse. This act of extreme selflessness was heralded as being Saintly, and from that day on, these people have been known as Crimson Saints.

One of the first three saints was Audra Macan, the current Lord Father Crimson, who broke away from the traditional Lawful Brotherhood with his friend Luis to found the Crimson order. Audra had already led a 9 year adventuring career, and continued adventuring for another 5 years after the Inheritors split. He successfully established a reliable (but mediocre) cinnabryl source for the Crimson Order through trade with Slagovich, though it barely meets the Orders needs. More important was his discovery of new clerical spells to combat the red curse, listed in the Red Steel Campaign Book.

Cinnabryl is still in short supply to the Order now, AC 1011, and move will need to be made soon to counter the imminent cinnabryl shortage. The Crimson Order, unlike the Ruby and Flame, owns no cinnabryl mines, instead buying much of its cinnabryl from the free city state of Slagovich, and smaller amounts from Cimmaron, Texeiras and Vilaverde, which are owned by the other inheritor orders. The serious cinnabryl shortage within the order has led to the rise of Crimson Saints.

The Great Conclave

Lastly, the Crimson Order is responsible for organizing the sacred Great Conclave, an event where all inheritors, regardless of their order are invited to come together to discuss arising problems of reducing the number of afflicted, cinnabryl mining shortages, trade of red steel and crimson essence and the sharing of new knowledge about the Red Curse. Conclaves are held annually in the third week of Flaurmont, as spring breaks. Crimson Inheritors often act as mediators between inheritors of the Flame and Ruby, who tend to disagree.

The Order of the Flame

The Order of the Flame is the smallest of the orders. It has also been called the Friends of Freedom, the Chaotic Alliance, and (in some places) the Chaotic Sisterhood. Its philosophies are built around power and freedom. They believe that each man shapes his destiny by his own actions, and that ones destiny is actually a road to power and understanding. Laws are for those who wish to be controlled, boundaries are for those who wish to be trapped, and order is just a facade for suppression. The Flame inheritors also believe that power is necessary to achieve freedom, so that one may battle the 'evil' authorities . Flame inheritors care little about control, and more about having enough freedom and possessions for themselves and their friends. Each member of the Order of the Flame is encouraged to be strongly individualist and gain legacies in order to free those under the iron hand of order. This had led to some rather fanatical behavior.

The symbol of the flame inheritors is a round, red steel disc with an embossed flame on its top. To any non-order members who inspect this, it is solid but strangely lightweight. However, it may be opened, and contains flint, steel, tinder and often crimson essence. These materials are often used in Inheritor initiation and funeral ceremonies. It may be worn anywhere on the body, but during a Conclave it must be clearly visible. Because the Order of the Flame is relatively small, there are no formal markings for rank, as it is made known by the carrying station papers on ones person and word of mouth. However, with the Orders expansion into Torreón, a new marking may be designed.

The Mystery of the Order of the Flame

The Order of the Flame is viewed by the public to be a mysterious cult of some sort. Few people understand their motives or what they stand for but do associate them with having a disregard for laws and boundaries and recognize that they are generally individualists who rarely fit into commoner society. The lack of understanding and the mystery that surrounds the Order of the Flame, generally makes them feared.

Cinnabryl and Holdings

The Order of the Flame has a large influence on the cinnabryl mines in Cimmaron and although they do receive a large percentage (about 23%) of the cinnabryl mined, they do not maintain a strangle hold on the mines like the Ruby inheritors would. Few of the people within the towns of Cimmaron even realize that their cinnabryl is being split between the inheritors, the LB Trading Company, the alchemists guild, the noble families and other factions before it even reaches the merchants.

The Order of the Flame owns several lucrative businesses in Cimmaron, Saragón, Torreón and more recently Texeiras, giving the small order a wealthy income. Businesses include brothels, casinos and taverns. They also have ties with the thieves guild and many alchemists, with whom they trade information, money and cinnabryl for discreet services.

Duties in the Order of the Flame

Duties in the order of the flame are carried out by a small group of people in Smokestone City, including the Great Flame, 20 trusted Advocates and about as many Licentiates again. All other members are told to go out into the world and adventure. The very words spoken at the end of their training days are "Go out and spread the flame, for wherever it burns there will be light!".

Torreón has become a new place for Flame Inheritors to thrive thanks to the Ruby's cinnabryl mine monopoly. A backlash and carefully timed propaganda has led some people to join the Order of the Flame in retaliation. This has opened a new area of growth for the order.

Source: http://pandius.com/inheritr.html
Title: Re: Mystara - The Skies and Stars
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 21, 2012, 04:01:43 PM
The Skies and Stars

The Skies

The Flying City of Serraine
Ruler: Mayor Santarian Keltander
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This city is actually a remarkable flying machine, kept aloft by permanent levitation enchantments and adaptations of ancient Blackmoor jet-thrust devices. Serraine is roughly oval, nearly a mile long, and 3,000 feet wide. One "corner" of the oval points outward instead of being rounded, and a long landing strip has been added to the opposite long edge of the city. Serraine is built in two levels, the city above and the under-city. Serraine, founded and dominated by gnomes, is home to many races, several of whom are interested in the exploration and exploitation of the air.

The population consists of 1,498 gnomes, 125 nagpa (vulture headed-humanoids, see the entry for Varellya, above), 250 tabi (small, intelligent creatures resembling winged monkeys), 10 sphinxes, 80 faenare (winged, bird-like humanoids), 120 pegatuars (elven-featured centaurs with wings, see the entry for Floating Ar, above), 30 harpies, 40 gremlins (3-foot tall humanoids fond of pranks and meddling with mechanical devices), 50 kobolds, 20 orcs, 6 ogres, 100 humans, 70 elves and one cloud giant.

Interesting sites here include a Top Ballista Flying School, a university where piloting skills are taught, and Science Park, a museum of gnomish inventions.

History: In 251 BC, a legendary gnome craftsman named Glimreen Gemeye discovered a jet engine artifact of the destroyed Blackmoor civilization. He and his descendents learned how to use the device in concert with other intelligent races. Over the centuries they constructed an enormous frame, attached flight engines to it, and built a community on it. In AC 39, the flying town made its maiden flight.

Although originally Serraine could stay aloft only for short periods of time, its creators ulitmately learned how to keep it aloft indefinitely. Today, Serraine cruises over the Known World, crossing over settled lands only when those lands are proven to be friendly to the gnomish technicians and their works.

The Stars

The Skyshield

Mystara's Skyshield is a bubble of transparent energy that holds the planet's atmosphere in and makes it difficult for objects to attain outer space. Small objects (with Tonnages up to 1 ton) can penetrate it with little difficulty. Most flying ships capable of reaching the Skyshield at an altitude of 80,000' -- are slowly deflected when they get dose. There are ways for determined adventurers to penetrate the Skyshield, however (see below).

Reentering the atmosphere is much easier than leaving. Ships can break through the Skyshield with little difficulty. They fall rapidly to an altitude of 20,000', then slow to normal Air Speed.

Vortigern's Vortex

The Skyshield occasionally suffers a temporary rip or tear. This my be caused by the passage of objects (meteorites and skyships, as examples) or by natural but unexplained fluctuations in the Skyshield's strength. Whenever a tear occurs, atmosphere escapes into the Void with incredible force. The swam of air creates a freak tornado, known as a Vortigern Vortex (named after the Alphatian wizard who first studied the phenomenon), a whirlhole, or a ripstorm.

These vortices are easy to distinguish from real tornadoes. In clear skies, they appear as shimmering, dancing funnels extending upward as far as the eye can see--all the way to the Skyshleld. They rapidly suck any clouds directly beneath the tear into a ferociously whirling spiral.

If a pilot is crazy enough to sail right into one of these vortices, skilled enough to keep his craft pointed in the direction of the whirling wind, and has a ship sturdy enough to withstand the wind's battering force, he and his ship will be able to penetrate the Skyshield from within the tornado.

Rips in the Skyshkld are temporary and not dangerous -- except to objects caught In the whirling winds. The Skyshield repairs itself, "healing" 100 square feet of tear (a 10'x10' hole) per round. The largest vortex reported was the result of a hole 300' in diameter; It lasted a little more than an hour.

Tubular Breaches

A tubular breach is a reversal of gravity that causes billowing funnels of clouds to rise toward the Skyshield. (An anomaly in Mystara's gravity field causes these dangerous turbulences.) Tubular breaches are temporary, vary greatly in strength, and occur only at very high altltudes (20,000' and above). (A tubular breach was observed once at the peak of a very high mountain in Glantri. Although relatively weak, it picked up rocks and gravel that showered a nearby monastery when the breach ended.)

A tubular breach can be used as a door to space. First the adventurers must find a breach, usually by watching the upper layers of clouds. Their ship must then enter the breach while performing a barrel roll-a perilous maneuver requiring a crack pilot.

If the breach is long enough to penetrate the Skyshield, the ship reaches space safely. If not, the breach flings the ship out into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, and the ship begins a crash dive.

Of course, all sailors and equipment must be properly secured to survive passage through a tubular breach. Few heavy warships or cargo vessels can perform a barrel roll.

Other Routes into Space

Ships may also be enchanted with a spell called reverse gravity to carry them above the maximum altitude allowed by their Lift Capacity.

Would-be space explorers may be brave enough to use magic to create an artificial hole in the Skyshield -- causing a ripstorm in the process. A disintegrate spell will create a 10x10 tear In the Skyshield. Other damaging spells such as fireball or lightning bolt will create a 100 square foot hole for every 40 points of damage inflicted in a single turn.

Other magical means through the Skyshield include traveling ethereally, teleporting across the barrier, or wishing the ship onto the other side.

Space Perils

Two primary dangers face travelers in the Void -- extreme cold and lack of air. A well-designed ship with an airtight hull helps protect against these dangers. Enchantments that provide resistance to cold and a fresh supply of breathable air are essential for any extended travel in space. Ships quipped with create atmosphere and climate enchantments are especially suited to travel through the airless Void between worlds.

Suffocation

Air-breathing creatures caught in space without adequate air supplies may suffocate. In the absolute airlessness of the Void, characters may die much more quickly than they would in the thin upper reaches of an atmosphere. A character can hold his breath for a number of rounds equal to his Constitution score -- half that if exerting himself. After that, he must make a DC 18 Fortitude save each round or suffocate.

A character who has suffocated can recover if air and medical attention are supplied within a number of rounds equal to 1/2 his Constitution score.

Neutral gravity (a type of cosmic glue -- see below) and friction work to counteract the physical effects of the lack of air pressure In the Void. There is no danger of explosive decompression on Mystara's Material Plane.

Freezing

Although the Void between Mystara and its neighboring planets is not at absolute zero, it is colder than an arctic glacier in the middle of a long winter night. Characters exposed to the cold for more than one turn must make a DC 18 Fortitude save each subsequent turn or suffer 1d6 points of cold damage. Heavy winter clothing adds a +1 bonus to the roll. The resist cold spell adds a +2 bonus to the roll, and decreases any damage suffered that turn by 1. Heated environments -- suits, ships, etc. -- can negate these cold effects.

Gravity

Gravity works differently on Mystara's Material Plane than it does in our own universe. Although planets, moons, and asteroids exert gravity in proportion to their mass, objects smaller than 20,000 cn (1 ton) exert no attraction to other objects. Therefore, smaller objects are always attracted to larger objects.

On Mystara's Material Plane, the direction of gravitational attraction depends on the shape of tiie object. Gravity on a roughly spherical body is directed toward the center of the body. If the object is not significantly curved, it has a gravity plane. Unless they have their own propulsion, things that fall off a gravitational object continue falling in a straight line through space until they strike something.

Neutral Gravity

There is another important gravitational effect called neutral gravlty. This is a weak gravitational force that any object weighing over 2,000 tons, such as a large ship or a planet, generates. Neutral gravity simply keeps an object from breaking up and drifting off into the Void of space. Friction does the same for smaller objects, such as ships that are nailed or pegged together. Neutral gravity does not affect anything on an object's surfaces, either outside or inside (in tunnels, on the lower decks of a ship, etc.). Neutral gravity has no equivalent in the common laws of physics affecting other game worlds. Think of it as "cosmic glue."

Planets, Moons, and Other Worlds

Mystara, the site of the Known World and the Hollow World, is only one planet in an entire solar system. There are other planets in the system, and some might be inhabited. There are asteroid fields, rogue comets, and similar wonders to explore -- or to avoid! And right next to Mystara herself are two perfectly good moons for Void travelers to visit.

Matera

This moon, well known to anyone living on the outer surface of Mystara, is a silvery, lifeless, crater-marked satellite. Like the moon of our Earth, it waxes and wanes in a predictable pattern, controlling the tides and lycanthropy, but it isn't very interesting to Mystaran adventurers -- unless, of course, they know of the gateway to the Immortal City of Pandius located in one of Matera's large craters. As of AC 1000, the moon has remained unexplored.

Patera (Myoshima)
Ruler: Emperor Kitahara
Inspiration: Edo Period Japan
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Mystara has a second moon, unknown to all but its inhabitants and a very few other mortal creatures. The Immortals call this moon Patera; its inhabitants call it Myoshima. The moon can't normally be seen by anyone outside its Skyshield, due to its core's unusual light-bending properties. It is small, with a circumference roughly equal to 3,000 miles. The central core of Myoshima is extremely dense and magical, allowing a gravity comparable to that of Mystara.

This moon completes a full revolution around Mystara in three days and twelve hours (or two revolutions per week). Myoshima follows an exact polar orbit above Mystara, so that the moon passes above almost every point on the globe. Myoshima does not have a rotation of its own. One hemisphere (nearside) always faces Mystara, and viewers on the opposite side of Myoshima (farside) never see the world they orbit. The pattern of day and night cycles on Myoshima is thus very complex because of Mystara's axial tilt, which provides its seasons. The sun appears to wobble back and forth across the sky over a 3½-day period as it also appears to travel around the Myoshiman globe along a great cycle every 336 days, Mystara's year. (Myoshiman calendars take a year of study to be understood, and its inhabitants have no fixed cycle of wakefulness or sleep.) Nearside usually receives a small amount of light reflected from Mystara.

Full daylight on Myoshima is not as bright as on Mystara, being more like twilight. The sky changes color during a "day," ranging from fiery tones at noon to tamer red and purple hues at dusk or dawn. This happens because Myoshima has a light-reflecting shield at the immediate edges of its atmosphere. This shield bends light rays except at the extreme ranges of visible spectrum. In effect, this causes the planet to be nearly invisible from the outside and allows little light to filter in (only Mystara, Matera, and the sun can be seen from Myoshima's surface). Myoshima's core generates the light shield's effects.

Myoshima is mostly covered by steaming jungles and earthquake-prone volcanic mountains that surround three freshwater seas. Rain clouds cover a third of Myoshima at all times, and precipitation is abundant. The two polar areas of the moon offer at worst a temperate climate.

The vast majority of the sentient population is made of various breeds of rakasta. Unlike the earthly species, these all have darkvision good to 60 feet.

Myoshima is divided into three major political blocks. The largest and potentially most aggressive is the Empire of Myoshima itself, a nation of feudal provinces controlled by daimyos, with a single emperor who rules them all.

Next is the nation of Rajahstan, made up of twelve allied realms. Each realm is a sovereign state ruled by holy gurus (who handle law, education, religion, and internal politics) and maharajahs (who handle the economy, military, and foreign politics). Together these form the Spiritual Council to run Rajahstani affairs as a whole.

The third block consists of many loosely allied petty kingdoms and principalities. Among the more prominent territories are Kompor-Thap (a valley of a thousand hidden temples), Selimpore (a mercantile matriarchy), Malacayog (a nation of headhunters), and Surabayang (fierce island pirates). These territories are politically aligned with placid Rajahstan against imperial Myoshima -- when they are not fighting each other.

Prince Haldemar of Haaken is known to have visited Myoshima, and the Heldannic Knights have apparently had unfriendly contact with the Myoshimans, but Patera has not been visited by Mystaran diplomats or scholars since Prince Haldemar, in AC 965.

Mystaran Solar System

Ixion - The Sun
Valerius (similar to Venus)
Mystara
Vanya (similar to Mars)
Asterius
Tarastia (similar to Jupiter)
Khoronus (similar to Saturn)
Ordana (similar to Uranus)
Protius (similar to Neptune)
Thanatos (similar to Pluto)

Beyond Thanatos is a disk-shaped world created by the Immortal Terra.
Title: Re: Mystara - Underground Realms
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 21, 2012, 04:40:50 PM
Underground Realms

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Shadow Elves' Territories
Ruler: King Telemon
The shadow elves rule an estimated 500,000 square miles of caverns and caves, interconnected by tunnels, cracks and elf-built canals. These underground territories are roughly 6,000 below the Known World on the continent of Brun. Over the millennia, shadow elves have adapted to their strange environment, and have molded and shaped that environment to their own needs. Shadow elf spellcasters have researched strange magics that allow them alter the living rock, grow crops (primarily fungi) in the absence of sunlight, and protect the shadow elves from the intolerable heat of the lava pools and rivers that run through portions of their lands.

Thousands of caves and tunnels -- some stretching for hundreds of miles -- riddle the Shadow Elves' Territories. Some of these passages lead to the surface in Glantri, the Broken Lands, Darokin, and even more distant lands. There is also a tunnel purported to lead to the fabled "Land of the Red Sun." The shadow elves spend considerable time working on these tunnels -- enlarging them and making them safer and easier for travelers. Many tunnels are flooded with rivers (some navigable by boat). Others are wind shafts and bring fresh air in from the surface. A few are filled with molten magma, and may be home to the prized lava fish.

The shadow elves tend and harvest vast stretches of fungus forests created by a combination of naturally-occurring fungus species and magically-adapted species that the shadow elves brought into the area centuries ago.
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The shadow elves' capital, the City of Stars, is built on the ceiling of a vast natural cavern. Within this cavern, gravity operates very oddly. A wafer-thin gravity null plane approximately bisects the cavern horizontally, and gravity pulls at uniform strengths in opposite directions from this null plane. This unusual effect is apparently local to the cavern. Within the City of Stars lies the temple of Rafiel, the center of shadow elf spiritual life. The Great Cavern is also the site of two shadow elf towns, the acidic Ebon Lake, and the Mines of Torgord.

Other sites of interest within the shadow elves' territories include Dragon Lake (said to be inhabited by a dragon turtle), the Cavern of Continual Rain, the Warrens (a veritable maze of tunnels and passages home to fearsome maggot-like creatures called the "Boneless"), and the desolate Desert of Lost Souls.

History: Some 2,700 years ago, elves living in what would later become Glantri found and accidentally detonated a powerful explosive device from ancient Blackmoor. Fallout irradiated the elven survivors and drove them underground to seek shelter. These surviving elves lived in the caverns beneath the earth for centuries. They built Aengmor, an underground city, but were driven from it by their treacherous patron Immortal, Atzanteotl.

Eventually the shadow elves found the Great Cavern, with its unusual gravity. On one of its walls they discovered the Refuge of Stone, 14 verses inscribed in the rock by the Immortal Rafiel. The Refuge of Stone promised protection and formed the core of the shadow elves' religion. The elves founded the City of the Stars (named because, when viewed from the cavern's opposite "floor," its lights look like the stars of the heavens that the shadow elves left behind so long ago) and prospered as much as the harsh environment allowed. By AC 1000 there were half a million shadow elves, yet their civilization was barely the ghost of a rumor in the Known World.
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The shadow elves' first expedition to the surface ended in disaster, and they soon stopped upward exploration. In AC 330, however, a group of humans exploring deep underground found the shadow elves. The shadow elves' interest in the surface world was rekindled, and they soon sent daring agents to the surface. Over the centuries the shadow elves built up a sophisticated spy network that reached deep into the heart of Alfheim, home of their surface-dwelling cousins. In AC 1007, shadow elves invaded, conquered, and settled Alfheim, renaming it Aengmor after their lost city. In AC 1010, shadow elves exploring in the other direction discovered the Schattenalfen elves of the Hollow World and opened diplomatic relations with their long-lost relatives.

Graakhalia
Ruler: Graakhalia is ruled by a 12-member council (6 elves and 6 gnolls)

This underground society lies beneath the Plain of Fire (also known as the Great Waste), a vast desert west of Sind. It is unusual in that it is shared equally by elves and gnolls.

The Graakhalians' unique society blends aspects of both gnollish and elven culture. But the mix of customs and philosophies has not been even. Gnolls have much shorter lifespans than elves. Because youngsters adapt more quickly than adults -- and pass those adaptations on to their own children -- the Gruugrakh gnoils have been more influenced by elven ways than the other way around.

Life in Graakhalia is harsh; even the thousands of miles of tunnels and caves can support only 25,000 Graakhaiians. The majority are gnolls. Sheyallia elves make up 20% of the population.

Each band of Graakhalians elects its own leader-someone they trust who will protect them from Graakhalia's danger by strength of arms, quick wit, and experience. Bands camped near one another form larger communities that elect their leader the same way.

In addition, the Graakhalians elect a council of twelve members -- six gnolls and six elves. These councillors are almost always individuals who have spent a great deal of time living with and learning the ways of the other race and who have proven their wisdom and
valor. The council decides such things as the guilt or innocence of those accused of serious crimes (murder and abandoning a fellow Graakhalian to his fate in a dangerous situation are considered serious crimes). as well as things that effect Graakhalian society as a whole.

All decisions are reached by majority vote. In deadlocked cases, the council ceremoniously decides by the roll of a sacred wooden die.

Many Graakhalian custom stem from survival techniques the gnolls developed over the first few centuries they occupied Graakh. Others came with the Sheyallia elves. Some of the most important social customs practiced by the Graakhalians evolved during the early years when cooperation between elves and gnolls took concerted effort on the part of both races.

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The Graakhalians train giant horned chameleons as beasts of burden and to help in giant insect hunts. They also train giant foot-pad lizards to accept riders. The Graakhalians raise and train blue-furred giant weasels as pets and hunting companions. Some keep more exotic pets (bats, snakes, and the like). Most animals of Graakhalia are looked on as potential food. The really dangerous ones are avoided whenever possible.

Graakhalians cremate their dead amid great ceremony. Family and friends of a deceased elf or gnoll collect flammable plant material and build the funeral pyre beneath a ventilation shaft. A solemn procession of Graakhalians accompanies the pallbearers on the journey from the camp to the pyre, with scouts providing an honor guard and protection against scavengers. Traditionally, at least one family member and the deceased's best friend make short speeches. Everyone who joined the procession stays for the cremation, chanting and singing songs in honor of the dead. When the fire has burned out, friends and family members gather the ashes and carry them to the lower levels of Graakhaiia. There they scatter the ashes, which will be swept by the annual floods.

Every Graakhalian child's education includes the Venallya, or "time of sharing," when the child leaves his own family to live with one of the other race. Traditionally, the Venallya lasts for at least a year. Some children choose to stay longer. The custom helps ensure greater understanding between elves and gnolls, which leads to greater peace.

Formal education in Graakhalia concentrates on survival skills. Very young children learn which areas to avoid; ways to detect dangerous plants, animals, and terrain; and what to do when they get lost. (Stay right where they are unless there is immediate danger; wait until they hear the scouting parties shout their name before doing anything that might attract predators.) Older students learn basic Graakhalian geography, zoology, and botany. Adolescents learn the nitty-gritty rules of survival and how to hunt.

Many parents teach their children to read and write in the elven script, As well as other, more artistic skills.

"Civilized" visitors may be disgusted by some of the things Gnakhalians eat. But Graakhalians must make do with what they can find Staples in their diet include insects, various types of fungus, pale-fleshed fish from the underground waterways, and animals such as snakes, bats, and giant slugs.

The Graakhalians have a strict code of honor. It governs their behavior towards one another -- especially when interacting with someone of the other race -- and towards strangers. Above all, it stresses the need to remain calm and free of passionate emotion (anger, hatred, jealously, etc.) which may lead to hasty judgements. "Wait and see" is the rule of thumb in any situation where someone's intent is not immediately evident.

Graakhalians thus show a degree of cautious tolerance when they encounter creatures that seem even semi-intelligent. They refrain from attacking any obviously intelligent creature without provocation. On the other hand, creatures that have proven themselves to be enemies in the past may be attacked without warning, with no loss of Graakhalian honor.

One simple offshoot of this code of honor is the custom of keeping to the right when passing someone, especially In narrow tunnels. Right hands -- the usual weapon hands -- are thus kept as far from the other person as possible. Failing to observe this custom is not only a breach of etiquette; it may be taken as a sign of hostile intent.

The Graakhalians strictly forbid intermarriage between elves and gnolls. After the disaster with the Tanagoros, due in part to intermingling between elves and humans, the Sheyallia elves were not wiling to risk the consequences if gnollish and elven blood mixed.

Gruugrakh gnolls practice polygamy, although this isn't as prevalent as it is among other gnolls. Males and females -- among both races -- take equal part in personal relationships and in protecting and providing for the community.

History: When the Gruugrakh gnolls first came to the Plain of Fire (a little after BC 1000), they discovered a strange world of caves, tunnels, mutated plants, and unusual creatures beneath the desert. Having nowhere else to go, they moved in.

Their unfamiliarity with the new environment exacted heavy tolls in the first few years. Many of the strange plants -- and some animals -- proved poisonous to gnolls. The caves and tunnels were themselves treacherous, with cave-ins and rockslides common dangers. But there was plenty of water in the form of underground rivers, streams, and pools -- once the gnolls discovered which water sources were contaminated and which were safe to drink -- and enough food to provide for the tribe. They stayed.

Through successive generations, the Gruugrakh gnolls explored the realm they named Graakh (“Harsh”). Trial and error-often fatal-taught them which foods were safe and which areas to avoid. Over the centuries, Gruugrakh shamans and wokani discovered magical and alchemical properties inherent in various rare minerals, plants, and animals in Graakh. These soon became part of the gnolls’ magical techniques and lore.

Occasionally, humanoids from the Black Mountains stumbled into Graakh while looking for new territory or on their way to raid Sind. The Gruugrakh gnolls tried to ensure that no survivors took word of Graakh back to the humanoid tribes in the Black Mountains.

The all-out Invasion the gnolls feared came at last, hut from an unexpected quarter. In BC 528, three thousand Sheyallia elves fleeing from the Serpent Peninsula stumbled into the Plain of Fire and discovered the intricate networks of caves and tunnels beneath.

At fist, they thought they’d found the perfect solution to their troubles; an underground wonderland with plentiful water and abundant plant life. The elves were puzzled by the stone bulldings they discovered in some of the larger caves, but the area seemed abandoned and there were no signs of the mysterious inhabitants. Trusting to their luck and skllls, the elves settled in and began exploring their new home.

The elves soon learned why there were no animals in the area. In one dreadful afternoon, hundreds of elves succumbed as thousands of yellow mold colonies released in deadly clouds their annual load of spores.

The survivors fled deeper into Graakh's labyrinth. They encountered the Gruugrakh gnolls, who attempted to repel them in a series of bloody skirmishes. But the elves had three very important advantages: superior weapons, superior magic;, and some precognitive abilities that had not yet faded.

A number of elves decided to settle in and stick it out. They scouted out areas the gnolls avoided and temporarily camped there while they explored their environment and familiarized themselves with its dangers. Gruugrakh gnolls continued to attack them, hut the elves held them off. Eventually, gnoilish attacks slowed to occasional raids. Eventually both sides saw the need for negotiation. Slowly, with much mutual distrust and a few near disasters, representatives of the Gruugrakh gnolls and the Sheyallia elves tried to learn one another’s language.

At first, the elves and gnolls settled on a compromise that kept the two cultures in separate territories. As the years passed, many elves and gnolls realized mutual cooperation could benefit both races. Elven magic was a powerfui tool for survival, as was the gnollish knowledge of Graakh in all its moods. But distrust between the elves and gnolls remained a constant problem. Leaders of the two communities finally settled on a drastic soluticn. They ordered their followers to cooperate in a number of joint enterprises, with good behavior ensured by an exchange of hostages. For every gnoll harmed or killed by a violent elf, an elven hostage would suffer, and vice versa.

This exchange of hostages proved to be the key to peaceful interaction between the two races. It also served to expose each race to the customs and ways of the others. Hostages gradually ceased being prisoners and became guests instead. Within a century of the elven arrival, some hands of gnolls and elves had taken to camping together. The leaders of both groups encouraged an exchange program in which children of each race spent a year or more living with families of the other race. Hostages as such were no longer needed.

Life in Graakhalia, as the elves called their new home, settled into an ever more steady routine. Elves and gnolls gradually merged into a united Graakhallan society based on mutual cooperation and peace. Members of the two races lived and hunted side by side, their daily life interrupted occasionally by encroaching humanoids or the everpresent dangers of Graakhalia itself.
Title: Re: Mystara - Hollow World
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 23, 2012, 03:26:57 AM
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The planet of Mystara is not a solid ball like our Earth is. In fact, it's hollow. A tiny sun hangs in the center of the hollow, and vast polar openings permit travel between the inner and outer worlds. The interior landscape is called the "Hollow World," a place of ancient mystery.

The polar openings leading into the Hollow World are so huge that their curvature is very, very gradual. That, combined with the fact that these regions are perpetually shrouded in fog, means that people can travel from the outer world to the inner (or vice-versa) without being aware of it.

The interior red sun sheds daylight at all times in the Hollow World; night never falls, and creatures susceptible to sunlight (such as vampires) are rare indeed. The red sun gives the Hollow World a very different look than the outer world. To the first time visitor, colors seem darker, skin hues seem redder, colors are more vivid and seem somewhat unrealistic. This perpetual daylight affects the way people think of time. People sleep when they're tired and eat when they're hungry. Weather is also different in the Hollow World: there are no seasons. Temperate lands are always mild, deserts are always hot, jungles are always warm and humid. But even without the forces that drive weather patterns on the outer world, the Hollow World experiences storms. Once every few sleeps, a storm rolls over a given area, dropping lots of rain or snow.

Satellites ranging from boulders to worldlets the size of large islands orbit the sun, casting their shadows on the Hollow World's surface. The movement of these Floating Continents help the natives of the Hollow World tell time. Some orbit in the airless Void; others orbit within the atmosphere. Many of these "floating continents" support life and may be populated by interesting life forms. Adventurers can find unusual civilizations on these satellites.

Because the Hollow World curves "up," as if the viewer were standing at the bottom of a bowl, rather than "down" (as the outer world does), the Hollow World has no horizon. Someone in the Hollow World staring off into the distance would see land continuing off into the distance as far as the eye could see, until atmospheric haze blurred his vision and he could see no farther; nowhere would he see a crisp, clear horizon as one has on the outer world.
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The interior world has long been hidden from the outer world—the few outer-world explorers who have found it have either died there, stayed there willingly, or returned without publicizing their discovery. To this day, the existence of the Hollow World is not generally known in the outer world.

The Hollow World is home to monsters, animal species and cultures that have long vanished from the outer world. Every prehistoric animal species is common in the Hollow World. Here, too, are nations that are ancestors of many of the outer world's cultures.

The Hollow World was set up by the Immortals of Mystara. Their influence, primarily through a powerful enchantment called the Spell of Preservation, has kept the cultures they have planted here virtually unchanged; each culture remains frozen at the cultural and technological level it had attained just prior to being brought here. The maps below show several nations of the Hollow World, all of which lie on the great continent of Iciria.

Important Note: On maps of the Hollow World, the directions of East and West are reversed, an effect of its unique configuration. Therefore, if North is at the top, then West is to the right and East is to the left in the Hollow World.

The Worldshield

Although Mystara is smaller than our Earth -- as well as being hollow -- its gravity is the same. This is due to a layer of magical molten rock that runs through the center of Mystara's crust. Called the Worldshield by the Immortals, this layer of lava produces a gravitational field that pulls things toward it from both sides. Thus, on the interior surface of the Hollow World, "up" is toward the internal sun and "down" is toward the Worldshield.

Not all of the Worldshield is molten. The lava has hot spots and cool spots, and in some areas it's solidified. Natural tunnels and caves -- and a few artificial passages and mines -- can penetrate the Worldshield in these areas. There are even a few spots where the Worldshield remains solid all the way through Mystara's mantle. Tunnels through this solidified lava can provide access between the Hollow World and Mystara's surface. Gravity tends to work in strange ways in these areas, though. "Up" and "down" are erratic at best, shifting with the slow movements of the still-molten Worldshield that surrounds the cooler, solid areas.

The Worldshield is strongly anti-magical. Mortal magic generally does not work within 300 miles of the lava layer. (There are fluctuations to this effect, but they tend to be localized and temporary.) This anti-magic effect extends across both polar openings in a band 600 miles thick.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NmlDa4R7-lQGeugkdX4AdrECpTMayGdgVci7f6Sm5OsyCAZbv0Mb_xUjUu8263gCb70fF4BxbvVNrk2MLC2m52QML5bRcpYk1Lh2NV-ASGJ56W6EvMreAyUYf4GynCHg04fUkAs-WlmdbatUWclood0QKmedVeBBNuSMUj-cwJCv3q904RkcK-Btvz_NGnOKWDjfdulAFCC3FVt8GLkbokD7ww5MZseMiUAFOFibgqUUJvxzg-8nirS5-Mq_SseIso8HNOCObL_RogCF2-PNQiv2Brv4qdFP3IMM0_sx2Nf5UUlhamoHXbZXwrRfqFCG7-6wMLGmtkVLN06FKKSGichPJQcysyyCLwzfv_F5cJ6jV9gK1jTAoAkKNlMqBWu0k00skbqUD5NTYw4kWvr9WP2YXf9YsUbdHrsQFC922WV7oz44b5P_vKpvq4JaiKEJ5nrRAbdwupanjvyU7ck2t6yWF-Z0BFK4_dKBl1lnCluuzA5TszaVIul-xXDvEcg6RjQda-sjW1BjUVA5z9XKHeiSw1ze8l0TsmerbHM1rNmvhGxYS0KCkXckn92unrNVr-InrjsHVYiMTjNfvJin_aCpNFzSV_CxKfah0LQ_NP2AVsb3oaTE=w814-h845-no)

Magic in the Hollow World

The Spell of Preservation and the Worldshield strongly influence magic in the Hollow World. Not all spells work the way they do in the outer world. (If a spell does not work in the Hollow World, neither do magical items that simulate the spell.) The following types of spells do not work in the Hollow World:

Spells of divination and communication such as Detect Chaos, Detect Evil, Detect Good, Detect Law, Speak with Dead, Commune, Contact Other Plane, and Detect Thoughts.

Spells of summoning, including any spell that summons up any sort of monster.

Spells of instantaneous transportation, including Word of Recall, Dimension Door, Teleport, Greater Teleport, and Gate.

The War of the Immortals weakened the Worldshield. Some spells the Worldshield once prevented from working now work in the Hollow World. For example, lodestones now point to the center of the closest polar opening. The following types of spells now work when cast in the Hollow World:

Spells of holding, such as Hold Person.

Spells of charming and commanding, such as Geas/Quest and all of the various charm spells.

Spells of immortality, including Raise Dead, Resurrection and Reincarnate.

There are many spells that do work in the Hollow World, but are simply unknown to the native inhabitants. These include many combat spells such as Magic Missile, Sleep, Fireball, Lightning Bolt, Confusion, Polymorph Any Object, Cloudkill, Telekinesis, Power Word Stun, Power Word Blind, Meteor Swarm and Power Word Kill.

Immortal and artifact magic is not affected; Immortals can cast all spells normally.

Common Traits of Hollow World Characters

The Common Tongue

Almost every culture in the Hollow World has its own language. However, there is a "common tongue" which every intelligent being in the Hollow World speaks: Neathar. It is an ancient, simple human language, spoken by the Thousand Tribes of Neathar. Many modern languages known on the outside world (including Traladaran, Thyatian, and others) are descended from Neathar.

When Hollow World residents meet outsiders, they try  to speak to them in Neathar; if the outsiders don't respond to any known tongue, the Hollow World residents usually try to teach them Neathar first (because it's invariably a simpler, faster language to learn than their native language).

The World

Most residents of the Hollow World simply call it "the world." Some use the Neathar word for earth, terat, to give a name to the world. Others call it "the world of the eternal sun."

Measurements

Distance in the Hollow World is usually measured in paces, flights, and marches.

A pace is about three feet.

A flight is the maximum flight of a longbow shaft -- 210 feet, or 70 paces.

A march is the usual amount of distance a character travels between sleeps, which is about 20 miles (or 500 flights).

Time in the Hollow World is usually measured in beats, sleeps, and circles.

A beat is roughly the beat of a ceremonial drum -- or a calm, healthy heart. It represents approximately one second of time.

A sleep is the time from the start of one "night's" sleep to the start of the next. Though someone may sleep a few hours, work a few hours, sleep many hours, and then work many hours, in a very anarchic pattern, a sleep averages out to be about 24 hours, just short of an outer world day.

A circle is the time it takes the Floating Continents to go through all their revolutions around the central sun, and corresponds to exactly one outer-world year; that's the way the Immortals arranged matters.

The World-Change

Most cultures in the Hollow World believe that they have been transported to an entirely new world. They tend to elaborate on this belief: They were denizens of their race who were so noble, so great that the Immortals chose to save them, and the Immortals destroyed the true world -- or made it uninhabitable.

Now, this leads to some confusion when members of two different cultures come together, one of whom was more advanced than the other when it was transplanted from the outer world. If he is well-versed in the history of his culture, one will inevitably say to the other, "Yes, our history speaks of your people, a proud race utterly wiped out by disease a thousand years ago; no, the other world still flourished for a millennium after you died out, and was destroyed after we were brought to the world of the eternal sun..."

The other fellow will then think one of four things:

 :arrow: The speaker is wrong: he's from some entirely different world, and is just remembering his history wrong. (An argument usually results.)
 :arrow: The speaker is lying. (A fight usually results.)
 :arrow: The speaker is just misinterpreting history. The world really was wrecked after the earlier race was saved, and the speaker belongs to a degenerate culture which rose pitifully up from the ashes afterwards. (The speaker's to be pitied, really; best not to shatter his illusions.)
 :arrow: The speaker is telling the truth. (This last result is pretty rare; it usually takes an open-minded scholar to come to that conclusion.)

However, even that exchange of opinions is pretty rare. People in the Hollow World don't have much of a sense of history; few ever received the formal education necessary to become a scholar in ancient history. Most people tend to think that they came from teh real world, and every other culture came from somewhere else.

Clothing and Armor

Because of the Spell of Preservation, characters native to the Hollow World always prefer their own culture's clothing, weapons, and armor. This preference is called the cultural bias. But what does it mean?

Firstly, a Hollow World-born character, even a player-character, must refuse to regularly carry and use a weapon or type of armor which is unlike one of those found in his culture. He could use one in an emergency, but would not want to carry it with him or become proficient with it. If he uses a piece of armor or weapon that is like that of his own culture, but looks a little different, he must try to alter it to make it look more like that of his own culture.

Second, a character must refuse to wear clothing unlike that of his culture unless he is physically forced to do so. (Friends do not force friends to do this; it ends friendships quickly.)

Characters in the Hollow World can defy this restriction to a point, but if they do it too much and for too long they will become outcasts to their people. If a Hollow World character leaves the Hollow World, the Spell of Preservation will slowly fade over time.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/dGzPXVTkZij43sHo9mYg8TcR8P1GwgPFxnb7pLyBI0KC87TFWAhCqiWLDr2_eEOkcNUrZIJLSaIVd_5xeJoPJx_zyjDnTDpLLjIGGZw_YGIPitxzYe8NmsdxmoUJt3R_r-qqJbNQAGVQ0q5pOwVVRgciQIHMnuIGnsQRY5ZgRytrD99I-qpP6y8nQkZfzALt5Ny1TW6PBsm1H7dwfAUfVffNl14Z0DixFPqEZC98OjvYWfR_wb09pBfSo8XrqYzp-FpXvEQ4UeA92iYU9P6whDEZBveNz4eTpGSEv1jP4CvotUbh76KXyUiOOthY3DILNAnVblncvM_P_91d8XAZD3649ylyIoX3ePHMuGY0c7wVasQBF3dCwMIxMwwvIkk1qjPfGbCA4eNp8131eAjMPQkkHqYNEtp5V5Gut027TtD-hbuoyfIH_q6uPOSG6p3JSqtteKbgXVQ8G4ZJjzoCWMeaELVdXmal4_td091msK1srPm8UyonmTzifgiGi8hQEnKa98cK3pTgytOCQR-RNfWm6xH759wo8ddyIauBJ6h-0K81JVMxmAwq9M_ziP3Wd1nDi4IKzRhyhJ2dCH8AuBXaj8ZPJcEFHJb0vgjH2bVhY1-rRapi=w720-h643-no)
Title: Re: Mystara - Hollow World - Geographical Overview
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 23, 2012, 04:04:12 AM
Geographical Overview of the Hollow World
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Azcan Empire:
Inspiration: the Aztecs
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This ancient civilization of copper-skinned folk is dominated by jungle and slash-and-burn farmlands. The majority of its population lives in farming villages, but the empire has a number of large stone cities featuring ancient-style stepped pyramids. Although most of the people are of Neutral alignment, the empire is ruled by wicked clerics who obey Atzanteotl, an Immortal of the Sphere of Entropy (Death). Strangers are normally captured and sacrificed in this land, which is much like the Aztec Empire at its height.

Gentle Folk:

These forests are home to pacifistic elves. Their culture is basic (but more advanced than the Neathar) and their society unspecialized; the elves live by themselves or in small family groups. Neither Neathar nor dinosaurs willingly enter the lands of the Gentle Folk. Adventurers may find these lands a haven in which they can rest.

Jennite Lands:
Inspiration: Indo-Scythians

In the plains south of Tanagoro and west of Nithia dwell nomadic barbarian hunters, who follow large herds of aurochs (an ancient breed of oxen). They are fierce mounted warriors with copper skin and brown hair who scorn non-cavalry cultures. They war with both the Tanagoro and the Nithians.

Kingdom of Nithia:
Inspiration: Ancient Egypt
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/82QQmQwk_jP7rIKWidpF817fygBEA1Rw2Mbz060w-QgrPZQ0grblOtabXoT22uK7lNAVGmcolNmjHxn-jBziZ6at1Lcu1gWOSs775j3dzwJr5lGujRLP7qLY6w_8Ta1fcdplggqqWP4FEmnomf_VlmFOHKM-G34I-YA63sE2WvCgM6kOiJJppnIyIoFqgVofLoas68pm9UtC3oHZ14GWr034LRYzBnvw9XAVhvgjsVOgP_ujRSlcyhh5u5CsmAG4VKlkuMnW081a8CozquKm0KWyei2WaPwp_yDR9GMB-TO3frkfDq7nNWAm8cb_u6LvvmF88TdxldwW57qWs7mbmCslvaHDhS8GtWlMEc2mG3jOhzua5mfaZe-MCpUyUHkmXUB8om8-ihj4qYXMEOEMOiBr7hibQLeJLKp-_21VjF3gzZcIA4LeIjfaIarzN3QLnrmRHIyba-DLcdfz88pxJghOTXeh4uDIQK5T9D-1BI5-9sw69LXsuT_Rsl7Kp5xGRYAAYUsVAlosUZgw8DcAXSLZ31-WUTEUMKjeHqsVnWSph-lnmhshVdGBjqt9myE-kvDTv96UiqciSbgHzngVwjWxG7_AJHLiU_er0YddmaZk6lgIfT2H=w702-h532-no)

This nation, in the southwestern regions of the continent of Iciria, strongly resembles the real-world setting of ancient Egypt. The Nithians are a brown-skinned race of monument-builders. They are a very reverent people, and their ruler, a Pharaoh, is always a cleric. They are also a wealthy people, grown rich on the grain they export and the gold they mine. The Nithians are the perpetual enemies of the Milenians, even though great stretches of wilderness and hostile tribes separate the two empires.

Kubitt Valley:

Lying south of the Schattenalfen and north of the Milenian Empire is Kubitt Valley. Adventurers who go there tend not to come back. It remains a place of mystery.

Malpheggi Swamp:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/PX_a5BLe67nBM7OjStTcn8SKcLMNODWcz8s3ldAaY1Xxm2YPySCd9uh0on-oQ2EDLB2Z-jUCZjn_20OvlZdPvcD3XVPLQA52EFwAtTjdTOAW96aLBccyAeYOZ6YUEAmPf0zkVnH8nGx0f-C9fdvV8oY38LcDeCdNO6iH0e8Pipldg9QyW_TdXlKP60SleUbvIelDpblJHODTgdd5Y1nCz_dQZlxYfbGBvGuF9Ow6aHD_m_u_q77qwIvXViX28dpCTfy6bQ2odDKTVnZdA_3UpAlKKHgfCshQgbCZoRwxaGZiLGzjsbBD1-7sHzRLEq9MP_1KPEWs7OOlTHnSLz7RgbjvZ9Qadr35MqeemQkpm6FAqgXOwr5dX5vhlwUL7KKoQKjTBAIgHcRYadhWY-tAQ2uHNF77yN_2rtTyo2G96VP200ex3MaBCRoK7E3kMZA3H7YW1zvW5hKABOYh_tNsla0LN8jbzksiekLEITR8fLOnQ02k0Edk-HRR5tCozsEAgraXkRJ9WzMkJGeL9A_NqDREsiMjygijaSRhnxbDK2Np_7VhMBNiEKp7RPTGrlRF2s1OCyfnqPSo_vWw-Pfsj0ZbXmrro-ej8ter-pHpErlFlpIWUxbA=w685-h508-no)

This primordial swamp is inhabited chiefly by lizard men with an early Iron Age culture. Their tribal society is matriarchal, and they follow the Immortal Ka. They often guide Azcan and Schattenalfen raiding parties across the swamp to war upon each other. They are otherwise very territorial and, especially, will kill Nithians (their ancient enemies when both lived on the Known World).

Merry Pirates:
Inspiration: the Caribbean during the 1560s

Shipping in the seas off the equatorial coasts of the Azcan and Milenian Empires is often raided by the Merry Pirates, who live on islands many miles to the west. At times, the pirates will land and raid whole towns, and they sometimes raid each others' base towns as well. Their cheerful bluster is legendary, as is their daring. Their culture is much like that of the buccaneers and pirates of the Caribbean, except that there is no gunpowder.

Milenian Empire:
Inspiration: the Roman Empire and Greece under Alexander the Great
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/SdYFB34Sb4sZkcB82TsECPBiIc7O395ZX_PAN0FJHD1nOH4l0CJpd9fH8UfEbqxim0QuSlJbEIaoN7XEXyUMgNftpYjNALyRiI4SMkyURu9mrsrFs16DzNd4vR34k_hZQdUxzwXn-CDn9MUYpOEZjcqsVcKZv2HWpEEYFngBES1F7VUFkJHjC2rDzD-OEmaD4yKalmTTcUArLII9CIh9EXvOUDsBPrp5GHSv0A3t0jv88hqSJnG6W7lLzC6N9YnaGOtIc3DCKZ30xmWmxJWWVaGJVaDDwi46Yp2twgdZxoVqeCUykWdBEi2Z9b7v7gl4sxTLdFs5uS9AFBqiZY44wqTyqeLX2GDtyjXbGQnq6aTlZNsxiIlAbPMLiBg87UgGMbHm09r6V-KJUo17nfX8KLKSY2-ZjI34_gI0TWJY9oe0_Y7h-1suyuR4WAl_OKX2zcliyPaJ2SzZtUgvdDljnYP3wBq1PCPgA5y0Ghl7wuQgyD6ZZfoLwuIOW-9Tbuaqikg-9Qlxx61dmYRwbPYVlUIWwHM-_Dy2n7k5VqvzDG45TRidW5dIAmzq2EkhxMkrXn9LIytU5rzh5JzI1sSA3IELtSExzwSR3cxHwCbJL3SXg4xyFss-=w648-h423-no)

Similar to Classical Greece at its height, this empire is protected by hoplite soldiers with crested helms, bearing long spears and sort swords. It controls much of southern Iciria. Its people are well-known for their architecture, building great homes and public buildings of marble, exquisite statues and columned temples, strong roads and defensive walls. Their perpetual enemies are the Nithians and the Schattenalfen, though they are often raided by the Merry Pirates as well.

Neathar Lands:
Inspiration: Cro-magnon humans in Europe during the Ice Age
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/IXm8XITDaUZblfslsUD1pPQ2b8Wd2B3GSTUHiO_6AGx1arWDTgXRGIrQQz-NngGl1xIjAohrP95lFfjjvxSl1iayPSQNbrJANNf1qV4OIvtrtJALUrpLiNhhbCZcjaP17Aptwvig-ZqQGG5HxLjdSk6lra_WRVWGcfqGKTXAQlpdBUNMSLTRmMgb-zFwBfqD6bg2ThfGWBEIsBj--Ug1K7Ox3EeLVVbFgGVjDAXJFvSTzM2Eydz_wRvCL2WSTj7FHfnSF1POGkglqh2Wscem62jib04Dg_cdRROYquefE93AfoLA0Q2lxrYb-bIOmm-_BDdCwv3duWs5kktpNQaOQBGJmgSqvB2RhY92HDpzG6tC7Hm8auiEk_-SScMQTmxtNvm6TXBxfWv70HPsGG9lo9gN4wUZWpza_yDRfjF5Q3qBr8YkSLK9l44mgZgvu6EvkLAwoZVedNJtP0JXX_Fkhg5D4ZO5EQLfWUe23MivCdurl6rxJJo9N5HInye4qbPjznc1LjIk6pv-sSKDiMdZwiM8fzuXUngLaHygitT2tlgb9o0g-Mp-rcvew7lCS-2-GyT61YBkhUp-DHvGX5PsOTbDEwnIy7Z_covYVoaulflaLSx2y2_z=w521-h736-no)

These prehistoric plains, forests, and jungles are thickly occupied by small tribes of stone-age humans, called the Thousand Tribes of Neathar. The tribes often fight one another, but will ally with one another to drive out an invader. This region has many dinosaurs and other ancient animals per square mile. The Neathar language spoken here is the Common tongue of all the Hollow World.

Schattenalfen Caverns:

Subterranean elves live in the mountains between the Azcans and the Milenians. These are descended from shadow elves who found the Hollow World by accident. Actually taking damage from sunlight (1 hit point/hour), they hate anyone who can withstand the sun. Many follow the evil Immortal Atzanteotl . . . a fact which doesn't prevent the Schattenalfen and Azcans from warring on one another whenever they choose.

Tanagoro Plains:
Inspiration: Zulus of South Africa
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7ko9pAfkWUbjGM_9QRdrlRUBgxBPbdM8-knNtGYjwKtIdF2K6QMPdbuuROqeSu0It1mrmwfyONOLah-UmM6AxeK3bzn58vo-e_le2Uv7TYimaQ2pS8jd4-YVFA8mxJtY_zkbUG7lvcUzo9Z2ZmILsvE17PBoz_ecEO4iN-OZW923TmWAIaP83RU_-eLkHRrXBee1qiKeNXzDwimDKARYg1bXmLB1T8S_q29_YbbGSdSw_BrchpPhR82chsWTXAgM90xdO-xuSEQf-wLxQNeAnSjJI5S96JpLzNEX5DPm04JwBlzTm96z9PYae0vIXhUh8YjGtXUuglNyL6KgT2VsdfJEeTuJb5o74e2RpdYPg3qJFYO-u3ELC9VWb76Jo7NY-9RBxPNb3UMh9NMMXSZxQcTigA-vmp1ZnohmsrViduxy6NiSp5gaH3iTvSoiUcLRGiQZ_6-9Wu6xnN3trguW6Ud8Vs92WDlNUDWlwrwFSAXTWddTSMq4zdhYL2BwA9wbVuCItMP2NwoYuN1xAAfTCLKej9LpKYk1SZD-FwBTtbz9PgSxECjG2JkEPElhJMWkkPCB9TADzqs9fQRS-l-07ixCZelDsPTJ1k4TXhsXytx_sx2CU4v_=w1119-h837-no)

West of Nithia dwell the Tanagoro tribesmen. They live in scattered villages, where they herd cattle (aurochs) and grow grain. The warriors are tall, black, and fierce, holding their own quite well against the Jennites, and destroying occasional invasions by both the Nithians and Milenians. Their culture is much like that of the Zulus of Africa.

The Floating Continent of Alphatia:
Inspiration: Atlantis

Alphatia is a mighty continent of magic-users that once lay to the east of the Thyatian Empire; it sunk beneath the waves during the War of the Immortals but was rescued and brought to the Hollow World by the Immortals as a floating continent.

The floating continent of Alphatia is a broad, rich land divided up into numerous interdependent nations. The southwestern regions, the areas best known to visitors from foreign lands, are sunny and temperate, good for farmlands and pastures. The northwestern regions are chilly and mountainous, far wilder and less settled than the south. The northeastern section of the continent is also chilly wilderness; it has few human settlements, but is dotted with wizards' towers and the summer villas of Alphatian nobles. The southeastern part of Alphatia is flatland with rich soil, thick with farms. The central regions of the continent feature deep, dangerous forests where monsters thrive, where dangerous elves live free, and where the most evil of magic-users conduct their grisly experiments.

Eriadna the Wise is the ruler of Alphatia. Raised from childhood to be a ruler of men, she seized the imperial throne from her own father when the man launched a costly, failed invasion of Thyatis and the Alphatian grand council of wizards threatened to remove the imperial throne from her family line. She magically maintains her appearance at 30, though she is actually 80 and has five adult children. Eriadna was killed by the Sundsvall Maelstrom during the War of the Immortals, but she was wished back to life by the Immortal Alphatia once the continent of Alphatia was recreated in the Hollow World.

The Alphatians are not native to this plane. Their original home, far away in another plane, was destroyed in a war of opposing magic schools. The Alphatians came to Mystara and settled, building a new empire based on magic.

There are two kinds of Alphatians: common and pure. Common Alphatians have coppery skin and brown (sometimes red) hair. Pure Alphatians, a distinct minority, have very pale white skin and dark hair. Neither race has a social class advantage in the empire. In the empire, all spellcasters are considered nobles; nonspellcasters have few rights. Spellcasters and nonspellcasters live under different sets of laws, laws which (naturally) favor the spellcasters.

The Floating Continent of Alphatia is nearly identical to the land-bound version previously rested on the surface world: it is as immense now as it was then. With its lofty orbit of Hollow World and its being encapsulated by its own atmosphere, the continent is a world within its own right. Upon its surface rest all of the pre-war kingdoms, each bearing its previous attributes and geographical features. One will notice that certain scars do exist, denoting damage sustained during the sinking. Strangely enough, the common masses know nothing of the sinking or Alphatia's previous existence on the surface, so most afford the damage to memories of some massive earthquake and the resulting fires.

For most Alphatians living upon the floating continent, their memories have been altered to remove any traces of their existence upon the surface world. Only Alphatia's more knowledgeable and experienced citizens retain the true memories of Alphatia's past. For the unaware, Alphatia has always been in Hollow World and the sinking has been replaced by false memories of massive earthquakes and fierce firestorms. This has also done much to explain missing friends and family members: either killed during the war, killed during the sinking and not revived, and those stranded on the surface world.

Antalians:
Inspiration: Vikings c. 500 AD
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2cXlVwX7Nti0hJ6o5-64u5qyTSq2L0KiifYKlLfGbL9ezGAOAu3Z38SulCrU6SPMsasyQzjCXlnjdfV1axhUp9hO_P_Eis6_b8DSgMtn2EJR-Q_sefeYsIV0n6R342EQapDaukx2_LbzDyirxfHDwwiMXZnxAiFScZp4ONE_na4RrjhfOSgn_0dQ6KIoAMAg68gVnPGP8MerRPohfRBen9NVksDzov90WItiUA864g7o8Y2Hm9SOSaFAHLc94cTisMD5hHDx43bNq1UhK2LFh1pNCrmqweFivtmqtePKdFJe65asW8tZKdHIGOQ_vK8uRVAUMqNq2wah12V4m3jF7CxTiFbi6wB73CtU2nSiNEdFXN0YwWCdPVzR6Y9dzUJn4hY_tS1J5Pb5UXDDclf_9-yp4K0egnuQpeS0k2UaZioyoFcjlG1MdqsBlVRqO_q3Plv_IJAXGiyPWQoLLVLhaYH48mj17x3dwaX--LX3JrldLZBIuCW1cpuCmJlr1LzgsgJAo7H_bgGv24wJW7_2P8hKxZbaKBuAhZvZ2LXSGRkPYnOgzkHwvSbDmrL6M0ZWwzJQRXaC_Oq2Ab18dqsb9gcmmPH1LTrzrA3iofDXEVHLFchuLQtd=w293-h296-no)

The Antalians live in rugged, sub-arctic lands on the shores of the Ostzee, at the foot of snow-capped mountains. The Antalians are a grim, fatalistic and stern people, made hard by the lands they live in. They are a pale race, most having golden hair, though brown and red are not uncommon. Both men and women wear their hair long, with men also having beards. Blue, grey, green, and brown are their eyes. They dress in heavy garments of leather, wool, linen, and furs to protect themselves from the cold.

The Antalians are a hard-living, rough people who lead short lives. They hunt and fish their lands, but like the Traldar they most enjoy raiding and piracy, sailing the seas to sack neighbouring settlements with wild abandon. The highest aspiration, it is said, of an Antalian is to command his own pirate vessel, raiding the coasts until brought down at a young age by either hordes of enemies in overwhelming numbers or by an enemy so strong it is deemed an honour to be slain by it.

Traldar:
Inspiration: Bronze Age Greek city-states
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wot4ZOJmh2NDAB1YnIWrUgq6275Wd-lNKOVaW_Lsc-M4_oPP3XYfX-TKQlv7evqnHyYJtBzwGrlLsCySF9mu2O0fMbus1u4cendM4-RYeurSxEEWhNWJFUyQN7vqvAR7Ok4XfQ0bS8ZU9xCkPJhgCcNasDknsARfkMk6XlQEeVpy-xan2mkcRA5UBzyusMmuZ8mKzvGwQIgPKIbXdiv7tNiKwh0WS83eqod1ye2fAhWj84gsNUwyyBL-DvO0Hu65U1KV2zXcbTgxPMBpvMrXDcgqEsz5W8auMB6-FNuvHPiduSvEffWv6M5zSPh8Zveb3Pbdv9V6eFU--XGvHAdCFa5UwVkplbYgxDQpeWvINEwj2G3SZXDT2er8xdxdZAlNpKKEJUFze4zARB3wFUTPUNxaEAnYtUPwPRYV-k9waLesc6BpaNFAcU5DHr5fjW4ORhX3KlawHiWPE6DidLlhsMGFGt3yHqmBYy1hj5IgWr0RcdyvW_5IgRuOp-yrmoNKUHJCt-AuJYHU6peKynkNEqF5if540zAlGrP41IzRjNe_hkCcamgm27p8JJaG_N-ZlcG9JYKCpe8NHoZFQizurLBZjFLKPkuvYYFkQJl1siWKcJKlKgnD=w885-h712-no)

The Traldar share some things in common with the civilized Milenians, but they are a feuding and squabbling people. The Traldar live in rugged, forested mountains along a series of peninsulas that jut, like stubby fingers, into the Atlass Ocean.

The Traldar people look like Milenians, but with slightly lighter skin, with brown and red hair being common but also some blond-haired members, which are regarded as special. Both men and women wear their hair long, with the men often sporting beards or moustaches, and the women wearing their hair in tails if married but unbound as maidens. Both sexes wear tunics and sandals, with the men's garment reaching their knees but the women's worn like a gown, all dyed in bright colors. The Traldar speak a language somewhat similar to Milenian.

The Traldar nation is divided into numerous squabbling petty city-states, each ruled by a tyrant or king. They make their living growing crops, herding, fishing, exporting wine, olive oil, and wool and raiding each other and their neighbors. Their culture resembles the Heroic Age of Milenia from the time before the empire in that they, like the Antalians, revere foremost brave and great warriors, and the virtues of the hero, and their epics and bard's tales center on the deeds of these heroes.

Oltecs:
Inspiration: the Olmecs

The Oltecs are a people living in mountaintop communities, of superficial aspect they are similar to the Azcans, but their culture is unique.

The Oltecs have carved their hillsides into ledges and steps upon which they plant their crops. This style of agriculture is unique to the Oltecs, but it is also uniquely suited for this hilly region. The hills here, like those of the Kogolor dwarves and the Schattenalfen, are riddled with caves and caverns going deep into the earth. There are also many canyons and crevasses where the Oltecs can find safety from rampaging dinosaurs. The Oltecs have marked their territories with huge heads of carved stone. These they place around their cities and towns, which are always built on hilltops.

The Oltecs look a lot like the Azcans, being a copper-skinned people with dark hair and eyes. Both men and women wear their hair long, the men binding it with decorated headbands while the women wear it in ponytails or bind it up with combs. The Oltecs wear shift-like tunics, often belted, of dull tan (though the wealthier sometimes dye it in brighter colors).

Shahjapur:
Inspiration: Mughal India
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/kQyFgqiq87TKZXOQUBOTA6_e_EPm4V5KPeiY3c-URpMnewKnyIYTquy7UnrhTLDV3HeOJ8OspTk-e9qhA7sFrorzI7A4tXg7ebRmCvRRc_8glHC46VbHcvCnqkJRGgq0TwwBFCCmK4fi0oWzLQWICIohptc6xBSnvrdLZDIQWY9u4q7y7AHf9UvzGapATJJ0XHoh7ZQsIZz4rik4zFrEgyTilm3v7OET7cZx4sFJqmQI_9I2M4lUfQxiEkhJo7C7AEBkhZBns6obiMGkOJryPxhY_k0w_gK3-3QYDsAIOOJ-1e5Oj_4nlHOmiqg8Oybdk1JTK3-nXpdIxLQg7a4wfK6jAwZfQ7etPoYQaB_AzHi5w0b2jRiPSdRCXp0EUsYuVy4IufrWtyWOyMmD7KUR_Vj_sBtld6MoaZpwRKw47mGn77O7Xibu2G4tvwoTrhPevJ7XRNAyLvjL7w0AE63w2HjMkcOVf17t6VxCKI0tCiOVxlzDNMJS7qEHfjskysMeeK9MdDrGHWiM3ghQyVvNAvKuSBNc34wiu-iOc2q_nLwzMYCEQcwmyxCvXzZCk9NxyGTY81YxfWUk62JaoYuLJERl1IAu0l_6PQHIyiy14_dccSe5pzsV=w530-h462-no)

The Shahjapuri inhabit an island realm, and are noted for the rigidity of their social classes and the extreme poverty of the commoners combined with the wealth and power of the rulers. They are a priest and cult-ridden society, a theocracy like that of Nithia.

The Shahjapuri are dusky-skinned natives, slightly lighter skinned than the Nithians, with black hair and eyes. Most Shahjapuri are very thin, starving wretches. Wealthy Shahjapuri are more robust, with physiques like that of the Azcans. Most Shahjapuri wear very little-cotton nappies or simple wraps around their groin, but the richer persons wear fine, colourfully dyed garments of silk.

Most Shahjapuri lead constricted lives, rarely venturing outside of their own neighborhoods or thinking much about philosophical matters (the exception being the samdus and priests). Few leave their communities, except once or twice in their lifetimes for a religious pilgrimage, and discussion of civic and political matters is not engaged in. The Shahjapuri are organized into a rigid social hierarchy, their caste system. Priests are on the top, followed by the rulers of the land and their administrators and soldiers, then the landowners, merchants, and craftsmen form their own caste, followed by the common laborers. Forming another layer of society, not officially considered a caste but in effect suborned below them all, are the untouchables, the unclean ones who are limited to doing the worst jobs and relegated to living in filthy shantytowns outside the cities. These can never interact directly with those of a higher caste. Gender equality does not exist in patriarchal Shahjapur.

Lands of the Brute-Men:
Inspiration: Neanderthals
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wY_DiicJoermLGkdxJTAZE83ts2khibH9OvKZM-abBco_cjAvCmXQX8e570XszCEqQHy7ejEdGMk4EtLLet2hk4wkscPYBPI6LWDefrecLQCbRtumbkCU5y8dAmuphd86YPa0p2O34pyqIkcdL3neBpY1etuoqa7hQL_RlAVC73Pt8U8V-UjihfbMaRSGtCnMVuU6WApENhmoX7bFgnzlYC04h9mSVMch52-oxJbb5_9Jw8GUVEw52LgbumvHhhEwT-4OcPBUt-WHyFDWQ5ZqExF74Spi_Ls89sBegvYmP-623Ch4wF--aLkjURkPP-a1e5LVd7j-rij1c2xybw-IukwfJjrlOPkGtiKhFUXxI1WU7kf4OuqGHVwCfPX1herhglCvkEog85ff7PvUPn3PSOuvsV_7doTYkL1wzheLU6CEPR7sjDlh8ehP-nzuu7Xe0FGdyYJkwN9gHsyxXRStGji9ZVW7a7yex4UIt0ivdxecfAQGrBy704LGk9tgsbGbHZu_iaKS_cdJfI4VuXcEl5-WYucc_60wWAH5axNHxfmUsxhqmZR0TrtNJm8HJ53_z2zlRr9mP0vGLMihtnS1_nZN2EVCAFb2T6B0z_i9kxxWbskUCVN=w281-h459-no)

The Brute-Men live in a wild and untamed region, but are themselves a gentle, even timorous people.

The Brute-Men appear somewhat like humanity, but with heavy hair (almost like fur), sloping foreheads that give them an appearance of stupidity that belies their craftiness, and large jaws and mouths like an ape's. They dress in animal skin vests and loincloths, and speak a rough and barbarous language. They live as hunters and gatherers, simply and without any trace of civilization. But they do have arts and an awareness of the Immortals, painting the caves and rock walls with simple but expressive motifs depicting hunts and honoring the Immortals.

The Brute-Men are remarkably gentle and pacifistic, fighting only when threatened or attacked. They live in caves, moving occasionally if the hunting goes badly or the tribe grows too large. They follow the Immortal Ka-gar, but some are said to follow a darker Immortal known as Tha-to. The shamans who act as priests of these Immortals can be very powerful.

Kogolor Dwarves:

The Kogolor are a mountain folk, dwarves who live in the vales amid the peaks of the World Spine Mountains.

The Kogolor Dwarves who inhabit this land are a stout and robust folk, hearty and gregarious. They dress in tunics dyed in bright colors, wearing coats to protect against the brisk mountain air. They wear doeskin shorts held up with suspenders, which they call lederhosen, and top off the outfit with a short hat with a feather in it. Both men and women wear this outfit.

These are an outgoing, cheerful people, given to feasts and brewing and drinking beers, ales, and mead. They embrace travelers as if they were long lost cousins, feting them, inviting them on hunts, and encouraging them to regale the dwarves with tales of their journeys and exploits. The Kogolor Dwarves are good fighters, but unlike the Azcans or the Antalians, they are not obsessed with fighting. They live as loggers, craftsmen, trappers, herdsmen, and brewmeisters. The males govern, but they allow their women to fight and own property.

Krugel Orcs:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/2fbHMv9r0ClaPXEnNkrJ-xrGp4SeMpvyIVaZGuaLsL0YhyT_xOtATQIcT3nKdfCZSJ2cqwI1JyvBPjiRFahzxr4lWeWc-KMRJh-7kz9Ax1PXnrP7kbkIiMHUbNnenDASvA1R6iRcLMRVKNjbDEm5PRhELpelu9zKAN2FUZ9qvQEMLRnY81hxPeWHkHbx3at3znqfBpoNo-Qt54pcF-Wln3k9pApU_FzVBsLuDFAhBWGmo1gg10oydq8eajv0lNdREaZLSQ7je08bLDFFcEW0881PfMrGGU42iHzvnnFXik3cKMKg_dVhBJrDHhlS95kLjbdTAKIg08OKbUgy3HnsRQ1zy9WanXTZH39hK7GUkwNZP3YgV5OT3NiwDuKRhRCrkF1qYqJqfz96xSabCtflZ2W_yEjg4_MGeIiL83x-13ZhFURuNMw88lRbnFhidNA_b9j1I1t0c7QBuN4QaMIWhoGxNPZfbuC3OyLw2yAih-G-8_PVmWjII04wabiKtZRaNklXXT3q3bUvzjgXeWf6LqWVny1ZE9dMNvIFFBrkMGGvlCmeWI7SUY-6VIRyefjXzBeye5BYz02vpy1tHOyI-V3jb_0X8bmgzhf1ahyAEe7UL-WSsOSK=w445-h453-no)

The Krugel Horde lives similar to the way of the Jennites, though they do build some towns along the muddy riverbanks in their blighted lands. They are a bestial, but disciplined people, thriving in their rugged environment.

The lands of these orcs are a scarred and blasted wasteland, more desolate than most of Nithia, fed by long and meandering rivers (the Great Mud and its tributaries), but these rivers are not as fertile as the single River Nithia. None the less, they do provide the lands with enough moisture to sustain life as the inhabitants live it; as pastoralists and in towns, rather than as farmers and in large cities.

Within these lands live the orcs of the Krugel Horde. They have sickly, yellowish-brown skin and heads shaped somewhat like those of the Brute-Men. The Krugel orcs, both male and female, wear their dark hair long. They dress in leather garments over which they wear a rough cloth cloak that they call a tabarko. Topping off this somewhat ridiculous outfit is an equally outlandish hat, with a broad brim. This does have the advantage of keeping the sun out of one's eyes, however.

Like the Jennites to the far south, the Krugel orcs seem almost born in the saddle. They use a bow much like that of the Men of Jen, but their national weapon is a long spear or lance, used from horseback in a mass charge which can be quite fearsome. For the Krugel Horde is a militaristic kingdom, its people organized like a cavalry army. They maintain permanent towns, rather than being nomads like the Jennites, and these towns are ordered like military encampments.

Lands of the Beastmen:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Nolm1KQejg3x9NL56lTMn9E-kGWpJ8FB4WxJ9FIAv49W5ivbZmOPQw66P0AkH7Rv85hb5h6w0rhDvnwMWdUEfzxVXcLW-aN3fP45l6NFV2qBGPSMer3Zk6eIYjfHTie22IhXjeI_DljGFdHxEV274Xgk1-i5Sseaw02fmsWkW7j-x2R_1jWt0CTF362lFz11Ij7eB8mGa6LP1nJBc054gg00eiK4QdsvxbkLMH3msLvFKEXPdPkSduH517NBjy8nT_8CgXcbS3hg1ohOAPxvKYr-j3-0uEBlmwHqxnd1z-JMo7XywiEkxcgUlshbgNA8CpKYs1JOJrDfTwIsUJ-_pcHCVQwH3rZwLumdJ2GPV0x2SWl-pmlTXD7GVFOE_kFLYMxSfIto6RwNXHo9001k83VqBU-2fnKyfvoNDvG8T6nKLLE9R4TcZHB8VniJexGPF0vje_1uNMdbho3K2HPvp1bowsGf8resxpGBPOMexadtQUhzPLtvJaXGPHp08JXumKy7iEqwAy0tVdgng8CvaZKF273oEOkhxFmkQVle55mV7gA_SS1spwmS0B8asjRGpJ5sgV8y1eH_YQW4k9SZitmbUbWG5GoStIHDpAiourfaNLm6VbMY=w437-h554-no)

These are a brutal and barbarous race of twisted monsters living in an ice-bound land. The lands of the Beastmen are, if anything, even more harsh and forbidding than those of the Azcans. They reside among the mountains and in lands of tundra and snow near the northern edge of Iciria. This is an icy land, often made even colder by strong winds and blizzards that blow out of the north.

These are not people as such, they are beasts who resemble the form of men in some ways. Their features vary widely, however, with no two looking alike and none resembling even their parents. The Beastmen are true savages, being cruel and brutal in their ways and unsophisticated in their crafts. They have only three interests: surviving the severe environment they live in (and their still more severe fellows), demonstrating their physical might over others, and breeding more Beastmen. They do not seem to think about wider questions, and I doubt they have ever produced a philosopher or scholar among them. Some Beastmen wander into the southern lands to prove their mettle over others, but most are content to stay in their own lands.

The Beastmen live in dome-shaped dwellings made out of ice, which there is plenty of in their lands. They hunt and they fish, and live simply. Though a cruel people, if approached in peace they do not attack first. Instead, they often invite a traveler to dine with them and stay for a sleep, in exchange for telling them stories. These often end up leading to challenges, however. Still, this is the most civilized custom the Beastmen have.

Icevale Elves:

The Icevale elves live in sub-arctic mountain and hill country, always covered in snow. Pine trees and other evergreens cover the hills and the slopes of the mountains up to the tree line.

These elves, like the Schattenalfen, are a vigorous race of warriors, but unlike the dark and malevolent Schattenalfen they are bright and fun-loving. These elves are tall for their race, hardy and strong. Most are light in complexion and blond of hair, with eyes of blue or green. The men cut their hair short and go beardless, while the women wear their hair long. Among the Icevale elves, the sexes are considered equal, with no distinctions among them. The elves wear firs and deerskin garments, with boots lined with down to protect against the cold.

Though they are capable warriors, the Icevale elves do not devote their lives to combat and warfare. They live as hunters and trappers, subsisting mostly on meat, though they also fiercely protect their forests and mountains against despoliation. They travel by dogsled, snowshoes, or by ski. They also use these as forms of entertainment and sport, holding skiing and dogsled races, as well as archery contests.

They like to perform mischievous pranks on unwary travelers, hiding from view while doing so. Some of these pranks can be quite dangerous, as when they destroy provisions, but they seem to mean no harm by them, and if the wanderers take it in stride and do not become enraged, the elves may invite them to guest with them.

Blacklore Elves:

The Blacklore Elf Valley, near the southern polar opening to the Hollow World, is a deep, sheltered crevasse between huge clifflike walls of black rock. A wreath of fog hangs over the length of the valley, obscuring it from view. Tales are told of elves who dress is bizarre fashions and live in metal box-like buildings, and surround themselves with constructs so intricate it would make a gnome perplexed. Obviously, such tales are hard to believe.

Hutaaka Valley:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/PIF6GxYeHyCTsO8TRlLS3QiHO--n_Oin75Op7YBCqISzfBi5f3W_1TdZoUtSBSXwjT-fZWj4siB3UZxHQE2YFgTphHwYTBAR56hRODca3-dDWPPUtPyWn3SwGWFL3-qpWjAWt-V3HgcPzC8prWkIeFiZgrLtndmAuYmVORQlh4Cbgj78fAeJy9WGUhiS9Y4LrScFqEz6QRslDYRyHF0KgHOsOLxZ4N1z0zLOrKTSJm0f4jePX_aPETZLQto_7ZZ5xRoFuNHp33uAxIqjRyW2q5O_YXdbpADYf9amfTSIWitnjG1PrSFKBUUgCqtTo1UygRW9alT93BM_88_fGMhv3IF096TT6ZPtAsBx9u7X6l0WXwtsBGi6irEnj89tqBhTTm0ejmyPF11uN7_2qh6-F2WfIjlUOdtJZBj8Q2tfuywL3ypBBH4KI9Q4llBcLgruco1p7wZLgyg_LtQhcp5XjOiE_uN340pYorScqUbypLq8qgmViJxpYiqF0pBg7Km3i7m44cqkAKrPYwBbGFGIxZ4I724AZveFRemenAv1eIYfmWem3Rs8kVwqfm41T2j4ODimP4bm2Qo95Vhtrrc4K6qnBkcBmDq6L2QgOruFilJ2vcrE8fAP=w484-h437-no)

Nestled between the World Spine Mountains and the Jaws of Ranivorus, the Valley of the Hutaaka is largely isolated from the rest of the Hollow World. Aside from the treacherous mountain passes, the only easy access to the region (sometimes known as the Valley of Dogs to outsiders) is via Lake Menkor. As the lake's only sailors are the occasional Nithian fishermen, visitors to the valley are rare. This, of course, is exactly how the inhabitants of the valley like it.

The Hutaakans are tall, slender, furred humanoids. They look very manlike except for their jackal-like heads and their narrow, clawed hands and feet. Socially, they are divided into three classes: Priests, functionaries, and workers. The priests are the rulers of the Hutaaka; the functionaries are the middle class; the workers do all of the hard labor.

The Hutaakans are pacifists and only fight in self-defense. The only real relations are with the Nithians, who are viewed as inferiors, though at least well-meaning, unlike other humans and non-humans, whose motives may be impugned. At the same time, the Nithians greatly respect the Hutaakans, which further encourages the arrogance and ethnocentrism that they display in their relations with others.

Makai Islands:
Inspiration: Hawaii before contact with Europeans

The Makai are a chain of volcanic islands, which are a virtual paradise. The main island is quite large, with a variety of terrains. From pristine beaches, to rainforest and hills, the island rises to become more mountainous, and is crowned by Mt. Kilethani, an active volcano over 10,000' high. There are plenty of lesser islands, too, all with their own unique charm. It rains here on a daily basis (and in fact, this is how the natives keep track of time), but it is a comfortable rain, and usually not a torrential downpour.

The Makai are a primitive tribe, considered to be Neathar, although they are not anywhere nearly as warlike as those tribes. They are very peaceful, but will fight if threatened. They are amorous and affectionate, displaying their feelings openly, and without shame. Both men (or kane), and women (wahine), wear only breechclouts or skirts, without shirts, or even shoes. Flowers are used to decorate their persons, in their hair, or as necklaces, called leis. The people make their living off of the land, and especially, the sea. They are skilled pearl divers and fishermen, using unusual canoes, called outriggers, to travel the waters. They also gather fruits and nuts from the forests and grow sweet potatoes and taro in small gardens. The root of the taro plant is use to make poi, one of their staples. Personal possessions amongst the Makai are few, and those that they do have seem to be considered tribal property. Items are freely taken (borrowed or stolen) back and forth as needed or desired between tribesmen. And none of them mind at all. This free exchange of property is their natural way of things.
Title: Re: Mystara - Hollow World Timeline
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 23, 2012, 11:04:13 PM
Hollow World Timeline

BC 10,000: The Brute-Men race is on the decline in the outer world. They are gradually being replaced by hardier, more adaptable races- the Neathar men, dwarves, elves, and halflings. (PWA1012)

BC 6000: The Hollow World is very sparsely populated. Many regions are inhabited by giant reptiles which are now extinct in the Outer World; the only sentient race in the Hollow World is a species of Neanderthal-like near-human. (HW)

BC 5500: Powerful burrowing monsters created by Thanatos infiltrate the Hollow World and begin to corrupt the Brute-Men culture there. (HW)

BC 5300: The Brute-Men tribes begin to fall upon one another in savage, irrational wars. These wars rage, off and on, for three centuries. (HW)

BC 5000: The Immortals destroy the corrupt elements of the Brute-Men culture, and then cast their Spell of Preservation on the Hollow World; now, sentient races placed within the Hollow World will always retain their distinctive characteristics. (HW)

BC 4000: With the situation on the outer world relatively stable, the Immortals confine themselves to placing a few human tribes and a few animal species within the Hollow World; this is a time of comparative peace there. (HW)

BC 3500: A large number of Neathar tribes are placed in the Hollow World so that the original Neathar culture will be preserved. They are placed to the north of the great equatorial mountain range, away from the Brute-Men. They swiftly grow in numbers and spread in all directions through the northern hemisphere. (HW)

BC 3300: Ka now implements Korotiku's ideas for a massive centre of mortal knowledge in the Hollow World. He instructs certain very wise beings of all sentient races to travel to a very secluded mountain valley; there, they are to interact, to build a great library, to accumulate and exchange knowledge. This secret library, protected by Ka all through its history, is to become the Lighthouse. (HW)

BC 3000: The Blackmoor explosion catches the Immortals off-guard; they cannot summon enough power to prevent its most harmful effects. The Blackmoor civilisation is eradicated before they can preserve any part of it. The Oltec and Azcan races are threatened with imminent extinction by the changing climate brought about by the Rain of Fire, so large numbers of both tribes are magically whisked to the Hollow World. They are placed in the land to the north of the great equatorial mountain range; the Azcans are located in the forests next to the sea, which they name the Aztlan Ocean. The Oltecs are placed to their southeast, with a great swamp separating them and the Azcans. Both races encounter the numerous Neathar tribes; the Oltecs leave them alone, while the Azcans wage war on the Neathar, always trying to expand their borders. (HW)

BC 3000-2500: Ka and his ally-Immortals must spend hundreds of years and incalculable magical energy to prevent the sudden change in the planet's axis from destroying whole regions of the Hollow World. The Immortals create new, gigantic, fog-clad openings to the outside world at the location of the new poles, and seal up the former (smaller) polar openings. They also work madly to preserve numerous Known World human tribes from extinction; these include some of the Tanagoro tribes. The Tanagoro are placed in the plains south of the great equatorial mountain range, south and west of the Brute-Men; the Tanagoro think of those races as monsters and keep well away from their hills and mountains. (HW)

BC 2410: It is obvious to the Immortals that the southern elves are doomed, but this leaves them with a quandary. They want to preserve that elvish culture, but not the technologies which nearly destroyed the world. They settle on a compromise: They will magically alter the devices upon which the elves have grown so dependent, so that these devices will operate in only one certain valley in the Hollow World. That way, the dangerous sciences of Blackmoor cannot infect any other part of the Hollow World. Many of the elves of the southern continent are transplanted to the Hollow World. They are placed in a warm, volcanically-heated series of valleys near the southern polar opening, far away from any of the other Hollow World cultures. (HW)

BC 2400: The Immortals are intrigued by the Beastmen. Since they are now beginning to breed in recognisable strains, the original "chaotic" race is threatened with extinction. The Immortals take a few Beastmen tribes, magically restore them to their original chaotic state, and lead them to the Hollow World. They don't magically transport the Beastmen into the Hollow World; they inspire one leader/coloniser to lead followers northward, and those Beastmen eventually wander their way into the Hollow World. They settle in the icy lands near the northern polar opening. (HW)

BC 1800: The dwarves transplanted to the Hollow World, who mostly belong to the Kogolor clans, thrive in their new lands. They have been placed in eastern mountains just north of the great equatorial mountain range, fairly distant from other sentient races; they have occasional contact with the Neathar tribes to the north and west, but are largely left to their own devices. (HW)

BC 1722: The Immortals Odin and Thor have sent whole Antalian tribes into the Hollow World, placing them in icy lands south and east of the Beastmen territories. The Antalians thrive in their new home, happily fighting among themselves, with the Beastmen to the north and with the Neathar tribes to the southwest. (HW)

BC 1650: A surviving clan of Glantrian elves from the outer world finds its way to the Hollow World through thousands of miles of subterranean passages. The tribe emerges in lands thickly occupied by hostile Neathar tribes and dinosaurs; they migrate northward, to lands similar to frozen Glantri, and settle in the mountains south of the Beastmen and west of the Antalians. They call their new land Icevale. (HW)

Atziann, elf-king and sole survivor of his clan, emerges in the Hollow World near the Azcan capital; fascinated by them, and using his magic to move unseen among them, he stays with the Azcans for several years before embarking on his own path to Immortality. (HW)

BC 1600: The Immortal Tarastia preserves several clans of the self-destructing Jennite culture, choosing to save only the more traditional horde. She transfers them to the Hollow World, placing them in the southern hemisphere, south of the forests and plains occupied by the Tanagoro tribesmen. The Jennites begin a fierce rivalry and occasional warfare with the Tanagoro men. (HW)

BC 1500: The elf-king Atziann, now calling himself Atzanteotl, achieves Immortality in the Sphere of Entropy and begins his plans to corrupt the Shadow Elves and the Azcan race. He begins whispering to selected Shadow Elves and Azcan rulers of the power and glory he can bring them, and lures them away from their faiths. Increasing numbers of Shadow Elves (especially those of the Schattenalfen clan) turn from the worship of Rafiel to that of Atzanteotl; likewise, many Azcans turn away from Otzitiotl and Kalaktatla. (HW- note that Shadow Elves didn't begin to worship Rafiel until finding the Refuge of Stone in 1104 BC- see GAZ13)

BC 1494: A terrible plague strikes Chitlacan, killing almost two-thirds of its population. Atruatzin, himself a survivor of the disease, is driven from Chitlacan by his rivals, who are secretly supported by the Immortal Atzanteotl. Atruatzin and his loyal followers retire to the mountain fortress of Quauhnahuac. (HWR1)

BC 1484: Driven by the whispers of Atzanteotl, and his own fears that Atruatzin may reclaim the throne, the treacherous new Azcan emperor leads a massive assault on Quauhnahuac. Everyone found in the fortress is slain or sacrificed, but of Atruatzin there is no trace. The priests curse the land on which Quauhnahuac is built, and sow salt among the ruins. (HWR1)

BC 1470: The Chochomecs (an Azcan tribe) desert Atacalpa, migrating to Oltec lands of the east. (HWR1)

BC 1468: Atruatzin and his followers find a resting place, where they build a temple to the old Immortals. They name it Mictlan, after the legendary land of the dead. (HWR1)

BC 1420: The underground elven wanderers stumble upon Mictlan, and overthrow the humans. Those elves who have been seduced by Atzanteotl declare that the temple is sacred to him, and he has given them victory over their enemies and a place to call home. These elves become the Schattenalfen. Most of the elves are uneasy about this alien Immortal, but they are weary, and so they settle and build the city of Aengmor. Atruatzin escapes alone. (HWR1)

BC 1400: A colonising party of Shadow Elves, mostly Schattenalf followers of Atzanteotl, retraces the path of that earlier, lost expedition, and finds the Hollow World. They emerge just north of the great equatorial mountain range, right in the middle of the Kogolor dwarf territory. They immediately begin a war against the dwarves, whose lands they want. The Immortal Kagyar causes Denwarf, the former leader of the Outer World's dwarves, to help the Kogolors against the Shadow Elves. (HW)

BC 1395: The Schattenalfen are badly beaten by the Kogolor dwarves and must break off the war. They continue travelling west, to an area not infested with dwarves, and settle there. But due north of their new lands are the Azcans, whose culture and architecture are disturbingly and insultingly like theirs (a result of Atzanteotl's guidance of the Schattenalf culture, though they don't know this); the Schattenalfen hate these people, whom they see as a mockery of their culture, and begin an ages-long war with the Azcans. (HW)

Kagyar places Denwarf in a state of suspended animation, transferring him to a cavern deep beneath the Dengar caverns of Rockhome. (HW)

BC 1290: Atzanteotl surrounds Aengmor with lava, slaying many underground elves. The survivors flee into the deepest tunnels and recesses below the Broken Lands. (GAZ13)

BC 1000: In the wake of the humanoid invasions, the Immortals are quite busy selecting endangered cultures for preservation in the Hollow World. The Traldar and many other cultures are preserved in this fashion. The Traldar are placed on the coast of the Aztlan Ocean right where the great equatorial mountains reach the ocean; they call that body of water the Atlass Ocean. They're south of the Schattenalfen and north of virgin territories. They quickly spread out to inhabit all their mountainous seacoast lands. Not co-operative enough among themselves to form an empire, they occupy themselves with pirate raids into Azcan territories. (HW)

Many Makai are transplanted to the Hollow World to preserve their culture in the face of Nithian assimilation. Placed in an archipelago south of the equator, they resume their carefree, peaceful existence. (HW)

Meanwhile, an expedition of Shadow Elves leaves the City of Stars in an effort to find the path to the surface world. Instead, they find their way to the Hollow World, where they are fatally poisoned by the rays of the eternal sun. Some of them make it back to the City of Stars with news of their voyage, but all soon perish. (HW)

BC 900: Atruatzin visits Quauhnahuac. (HWR1)

BC 896: First Shadow Elf exploration to the surface world ends in disaster with few survivors. They find only a fiery, deadly, red sun. (GAZ13- note similarity to BC 1000 entry above)

BC 795: Atruatzin completes the Path of the Polymath and achieves Immortality; he joins the Sphere of Matter. (HWR1)

BC 500: The Immortals gather up great numbers of Nithians, those untouched by the evil of Thanatos and Ranivorus, and transplant them to the banks of a great river similar to the River Nithia in the Hollow World. They swiftly rebuild their civilisation. They are near only to the Tanagoro warriors and Jennite riders to the west; they begin on-again, off-again wars against the Tanagoro and Jennites to seize their fertile plains and acquire slaves. (HW)

With the destruction of the Nithians, the Immortal Pflarr, insulted by the Nithians' betrayal, turns his back on the outer world. He turns his attention to the Hollow World Nithians, and sets up a colony of Hutaaka in a sheltered valley of the Hollow World- west of the Brute-Men, north of the Nithians. (HW)

The Immortals also cure and transport remnants of the Malpheggi lizard men race to the Hollow World, placing them in the great swamp between the Azcans and the Oltecs. Both the Azcans and the Schattenalfen find mercenary allies among the Malpheggi. (HW)

Kepher becomes the first Pharaoh of Nithia in the Hollow World. (HWR2)

BC 492: The Immortal Karaash takes pity on a band of particularly valiant orc-warriors led by their chieftain, Krugel. Trapped by dwarves during their assault on Rockhome, surrounded in the Sardal Pass, and in imminent danger of being wiped out, they demonstrate ferocity and gallantry unusual in orc-warriors. Karaash transports them to the Hollow World, to the arid plains north of the Kogolor dwarves. (HW)

BC 450: Krugel, leader of the Hollow World orcs, dies. In his lifetime, he has transformed a couple of hundred followers into a well-trained, well-motivated, well-supplied horde of conquest minded plains riders, who now take his name to honour him. They will be called the Krugel Horde. They continue to attack and sack communities of the Neathar to the west and the Kogolor dwarves to the south. They do not want to conquer lands; they want loot. (HW)

BC 322: A Schattenalfen attack annihilates the southern Azcan city of Axateotl for the seventh, and last, time. (HWR1)

BC 250: The Immortal Korotiku, charmed by the cleverness and ruthlessness of the pirates of Thyatis, transplants several communities of them to the Hollow World, establishing them in equatorial islands not far from the territories settled by the Traldar. He has conceived an interesting experiment for the Hollow World. He's decided that it would be interesting to populate one area of the Hollow World seas with pirates, creating a new culture which is exclusively piratical. (HW)

BC 100: The newly-transplanted Milenians begin to reforge their civilisation along its original lines. Placed on the virgin seacoast far south of the Traldar lands, they have the warlike Tanagoro and Jennite races to their east. They build their empire on the coast and in lands seized from the Tanagoro and Jennites, who become their recurring enemies. (HW)

AC 50: An Alphatian wizard, by magical experimentation with wood-imps and pixies, creates a small humanoid race he calls the Kubitts. They average a foot and a half tall; he gives them their name from an old Milenian word for the measurement a foot and a half. He makes them independent and strong, but when he tries to force them to perform deeds against their wishes, they rise up against him and kill him. The Immortal Vanya, smitten by these diminutive warriors, transplants the entire race to a hidden jungle valley in the Hollow World. (HW)

AC 319: The Battle of Antistis is fought. (HWR3)

AC 322: The Battle of Thessamera is fought. (HWR3)

c. 400-500 AC: The Flamaeker gnomes of Serraine, while test-firing a new steering device for the flying city, accidentally tear off the section of the city housing their clan, and rocket into outer space. They are rescued by the Immortal Garal Glitterlode, who transports them to the Hollow World. There, removed of their memories of the event, they are placed on one of the small floating islands that orbit the Hollow World sun. Eventually, they create a device that will allow them to steer the flight path of their new home. (PWA1010)

AC 422: The Battle of Corisa is fought. (HWR3)

AC 425: Minrothad traders unwittingly introduce lycanthropy to the outer world nation of Sind. Shapeshifters already present in Sindhi society seize the opportunity to ally with the lycanthropes, and begin to take over the nation. Fearing this would irrevocably alter the Sindhi culture, the Immortal Ka transports nearly half of the population to the Hollow World, on an island in the Anathy Archipelago. They name their new nation Shahjapur. (PWA 1011, CoM)

AC 431: The Battle of Philipponia is fought. (HWR3)

AC 442: The Battle of Hierophrastes is fought. (HWR3)

AC 490: Kobolds invade gnomish holdings in the Falun Caverns, in the outer world nation of Soderfjord. In danger of being utterly destroyed, the Immortals transport several of the gnomish clans to the Hollow World. One such clan, the Valoin, is placed upon a tiny island orbiting the Hollow World sun. There, they are free to experiment with their flying gas bags, eventually inventing a device that allows them to steer the course of their flying island. (PWA1010)

c.500 AC: Phaistos is born in the town of Pharos. (HWQ1) Hutaatep, last of the southern Pharaohs of Nithia, rules in Ranak. Upon his assassination, the palace of Turak is sealed. (HWR2)

AC 500: Korotiku now transfers whole pirate villages of Ostlanders to the Hollow World, placing them among the other pirates. Within a few generations, the Ostlanders merge with the other pirates. (HW)

c.527 AC: Phaistos receives a vision from Halav, and makes a pilgrimage to a magical fountain. Upon drinking from the fountain, he becomes the oracle of Halav. (HWQ1)

AC 515: The Battle of Epithon is fought. (HWR3)

AC 535: A fleet of Merry Pirate vessels pillages the town of Pharos. The Imperial Navy of Milenia manages to intercept the pirate fleet, and traps them in narrow waters where they lose the advantage of their speed. The Merry Pirates are destroyed in the Battle of Pharos by the Milenian Navy. (HWR3)

AC 612: The province of Pelai attempts to secede from the Milenian Empire. Outraged, the Emperor and Senate agree to send the full might of the Imperial legions upon the rebels. The secession is quelled at the Battle of Pelai, though anti-imperialist sentiment remains to this day. (HWR3)

c.650 AC: The female king of the Northern Delta in Nithia passes on. There will not be another female king of the region for nearly 350 years. (HWR2)

AC 657: The Battle of Platea is fought. (HWR3)

AC 658: The Battle of Palleas is fought. (HWR3)

AC 659: The Battle of Cythera is fought. (HWR3)

AC 672: Bergeya is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 687: Rollodir is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 700: The Immortal Korotiku adds Hin (halfling) and human pirates from the Ierendi islands to the area he calls the Merry Pirate Seas. (HW)

c. 768 AC: The Blood Brothers, Koresh Teyd and Simm of the Grasping Dark, are created by the dark magicks of a Nithian sorcerer. (HWA3)

AC 772: Catriata is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 778: The steering mechanism that allows the Flamaeker gnomes to control the flight path of their flying island jams, sending it on a collision course through the Hollow World skies. It smashes into the flying island of the Valoin gnomes, inextricably linking the two islands, and destroying the flying mechanisms of both. The new flying continent of Valoin-Flamaeker is forever stuck in its new orbit. (PWA1010)

c.795 AC: The Blood Brethren have managed to bring the Nithian Empire under their control, through the use of powerful magicks. The Nithian Pharaoh himself bows to their will. (HWA3)e

c. 800 AC: The Blood Brethren are forced to flee the Nithian Empire while being pursued by a Nithian mob. They manage to escape to the outer world in the belly of one of Thanatos' annelid burrowers. (HWA3)

AC 800: Caryldian is born. (HWAdv)

AC 814: A massive Schattenalfen invasion is turned back at the Battle of Huixtla. (HWR1)

AC 815: The attempt to carry the war onto the Schattenalfen lands ends in ambush and disaster at the Battle of Wondyviel. (HWR1)

AC 867: Olynthos is born in the town of Demtor. (HWQ1)

AC 883: Olynthos becomes a professional wrestler in the Milenian Empire. Though a talented athlete, he is eventually expelled from the Games for cheating. Disgruntled, he joins the Imperial Army. (HWQ1)

AC 899: Olynthos, now a gifted politician, manages to be elected Senator. He serves several terms before finally being elected Emperor of Milenia. (HWQ1)

AC 900: The Immortal Thanatos begins to spread his influence among the Shahjapurans, through support of such sects as the Kirtanta, a group of assassins. (PWA1010)

AC 902: Bifric is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 920: Eriadna is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 935: Manpac Sun Watcher is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 940: A boatload of refugees from the Stonecarver culture, driven ashore by a titanic hurricane, found the town of Colima. (HWR1)

AC 942: The Azcans defeat the Schattenalfen at the Battle of Ploiec, and are consequently able to maintain the Tepetitlan gold mines. (HWR1)

Chupicuaro is born. (HWR1)

AC 944: Kiuss is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 946: Irila Kaze is born. (HWA3)

AC 947: Amnethon is born. (HWR3)

Strabos is born. (HWR3)

AC 948: Xanthipon is born. (HWQ1)

AC 949: Birth of Moctitlapac, future Tlatoani of the Azcan Empire. (HWR1)

AC 950: Adronius is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 952: Necco the Black is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 954: Kjodar Triudar's Son is born. (PWA 1012)

Al Fatmah Nikita-Ahmed is born. (HWR2)

AC 957: Pythion is born in the city of Dophius. (HWR3)

Caracanomnos is born in the Valley of Night, in the Milenian Empire. (HWQ1)

AC 959: Amnethon becomes the youngest student ever accepted into the Imperial Academy of the Arcane. (HWR3)

c. 960 AC: Permon, future Vizier to Ramose IV, is born. (HWR2)

AC 960: A group of Heldannic Knights, exploring outside of Mystara's Skyshield, discover the northern polar entrance into the Hollow World. After crash-landing in the anti-magical zone around the entrance, they manage to drag their ship through the opening until it is able to fly once more. After exploring the new world, they find and settle a small island in the Anathy Archipelago which they name Stonehaven. (PWA1010)

Strabos' father is killed and his family sold into slavery for the harbouring of a fugitive. (HWR3)

Al Fatmah Nikita-Ahmed is drafted into the army of Nithia. (HWR2)

Djemun, future nomarch of Menkara, is born. (HWR2)

AC 961: Zorok is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 963: The Azcans discover the Stonecarvers at Colima, and send a small troop to wipe them out. The Colimans prevail, however, and maintain their way of life. (HWR1)

Moctitlapac's eldest brother falls down the length of the Pyramid of Atzanteotl, breaking his neck and dying. None suspect it was no accident. (HWR1)

Dogrel is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 965: Haldemar of Haaken, captain of the Princess Ark, enters the Hollow World through the southern polar opening. He and his crew embark on many adventures therein before exiting once more through the southern opening. (Dragon Magazine #161)

AC 966: Jan Hembeek is born. (PWA 1012)

Al-Belak, future king of the Southern Delta of Nithia, is born. (HWR2)

AC 967: After the last of his brothers dies in an "accident", Moctitlapac becomes the single claimant to his father's throne. (HWR1)

Tythus is born in Corisa. (HWR3)

AC 968: Krameos is born into one of the wealthiest families of Milenia. (HWR3)

Malinalxoch, daughter of Moctitlapac, is born. (HWR1)

AC 970: Ramose IV is born. (PWA 1012)

Tibernos is born, in Tyrnus. (HWQ1)

Senkha is born. (HWR2)

AC 971: Ug-Rum is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 972: Moctitlapac is installed as Tlatoani- Emperor of the Azcans. (HWR1)

Anna von Hendriks is born. (PWA 1012)

Dagos is born. (HWR3)

AC 973: Myrina is born to a wealthy family of Corisa. (HWR3)

AC 974: Helentia if born, the daughter of a wealthy Citizen of Corisa. (HWR3)

Hestios is born. (HWQ1)

AC 975: Korolo Togoro is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 977: Raya is born. (PWA 1012)

Amnethon is elevated to the status of High Magus of the Imperial Academy of the Arcane. (HWR3)

AC 978: Heldannic explorers in the Hollow World become aware of the existence of the gnomish nation of Oostdock, on the floating island of Valoin-Flamaeker. They covet the hot-air powered dirigibles of the gnomes, and make efforts to conquer the island. (PWA1010)

Geredek is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 979: Karl Hundkopf is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 980: Adronius is elected Senator. (HWQ1)

The Battle of Tihuantepec is fought, in the Azcan Empire. The Azcan general, Otziltipac distinguishes himself in his defeat of Neathar invaders. (HWR1)

Al Fatmah Nikita-Ahmed joins the medjay (secret police) of Nithia. (HWR2)

AC 98: Zorena, daughter of Zorok, is born. (HWAdv)

AC 982: Azcotica is born. (PWA 1012)

Na-Do is born. (PWA 1012)

Tiradon is born. (PWA 1012)

AC 984: Dagos is initiated into the priesthood of Halav in Corisa. (HWR3)

Tythus' father is assassinated by a political rival. Disgusted, Tythus joins the Imperial Army. (HWR3)

985 AC: Adronius is elected Emperor of Milen. (HWQ1)

Trudar is born. (PWA 1012)

Kano Arrow's-Whisper, son of Queen Doth of High Gobliny, is born. (HWA1)

987 AC: Emperor Adronius and Myrina are married. (HWR3)

Chupicuaro is appointed Huitlaktima Teohuatzin- Atzanteotl's High Priest of Huitlaktima. (HWR1)

Tassia Red-Hair is born. (HWQ1)

Udan Axe-Thrower, son of Queen Doth of High Gobliny, is born. (HWA1)

989 AC: Rathkya is born. (PWA 1012)

990 AC: Krogada the Itchy is born. (PWA 1012)

992 AC: Tythus, now an officer in the Imperial Army, leads a garrison of troops against an invading Jennite army. Despite being outnumbered 2 to 1, Tythus leads his men to victory. (HWR3)

993 AC: Following a series of victories against invading Jennite hordes, Tythus is promoted to the rank of Lord High General of the Imperial Army of Milenia. (HWR3)

994 AC: Kleom is born into slavery in the town of Portos. (HWQ1)

995 AC: Dagos becomes the youngest high priest of Halav in the history of the Milenian Empire. (HWR3)

996 AC: Krameos of Tyrnus is elected Senator. (HWR3)

997 AC: Helentia becomes the youngest high priestess of Milenia in the history of the Milenian Empire. Shortly thereafter, Helentia and Dagos are wedded. (HWR3)

Myrina becomes the leader of the Cult of Matera. She is given the secret nickname of "Matera's Handmaiden." (HWR3)

1000 AC: Haldemar of Haaken returns to the Alphatian Empire with his ship and crew. He meets with Empress Eriadna and informs her of his journey to the Hollow World. Shortly thereafter, she begins to make plans to dig a tunnel down to this new world; the island of Aegos is chosen as the site for the tunnel. (Dragon Magazine #164; WotI)

Tassia Red-Hair is inducted into the order of Halav. (HWQ1)

1,001 AC: Tibernos is elected Senator. (HWQ1)

1,004 AC: A Heldannic skyship arrives at Corisa. Trade negotiations are begun in the Senate, but personalities soon collide. The Milenian leaders realise the Heldanns are bent upon conquering all nations of the Hollow World. Talks end with the skyship impounded and its crew imprisoned. (HWR3)

1,005 AC: The Heldanns brought an invisible menace with them- plague. Thousands of Milenians perish before the disease runs its course. Heldannic spies arrive to investigate the disappearance of the skyship. They find allies among the "Kings of Milenia" and agree to support a revolt. Long sympathetic to the Kings, the people of the city of Pelai revolt, declaring independence from the Empire. Weakened by the plague, imperial forces are driven from the city. (HWR3)

The Immortal Thanatos, working together with his minions the Blood Brothers, attempts to corrupt the Spell of Preservation in the Hollow World. His plans are thwarted by a group of adventurers, aided by the Immortal Asterius, and Thanatos himself loses much of his power and influence among the Immortal hierarchy. (HWA series)*

1,006 AC: Kleom is granted his freedom. He moves to the town of Corisa in search of his mother. (HWQ1)

Backed by a flotilla of Heldannic skyships, the rebel army grows, sacking the city of Laroun and taking the Island of Amora. The Empire nears collapse as minor revolts spring up in other border provinces. However, Emperor Adronius fully recovers from the plague, as does the rest of his massive army. To regain the confidence of his people, Adronius takes to the field of battle himself. Zealous Milenian phalanxes storm the cities of Pelai and Laroun, reclaiming them. The Heldannic flotilla retreats in defeat. (HWR3)

1,007 AC: A year of relative quiet and restoration follows. Though tension remains high among the formerly rebellious provinces, the Milenian Empire is whole once again. (HWR3)

1,009 AC: As a side effect of the doomsday machine of the Brotherhood of the Radiance, the Hollow World's sun is extinguished for one sleep. The people of the Empire panic. Riots, murder, and madness grip Milenia. (HWR3)

During the Sleep of Darkness (as the Milenians term it), Emperor Adronius is slain by a mob while en route to an emergency session of the Senate. (HWQ1)

A Zargosian sorcerer named Caracnomnos appears before the Senate and forces them to elect him Emperor of Milenia or else the Zargosians will not return the sun to the sky. (HWQ1)

Sometime after the Sleep of Darkness, a mysterious new continent appears in the skies of the Hollow World. All attempts to visit this new land are met with failure. (PWA1010)

Hestios travels to the Shrine of Glory and becomes scribe to Phaistos the Oracle. (HWQ1)

1,010 AC: Senator Tibernos of Milenia arranges for a party of adventurers to recover the Milenian Sceptre so that Emperor Adronius can be restored to life. Caracomnos is overthrown, and Adronius is proclaimed Emperor of Milenia once more. (HWQ1)

Abbreviations: CoM = Champions of Mystara boxed set; Dragon = Dragon Magazine (Voyage of the Princess Ark); HW = Hollow World boxed set, HWAdv = Hollow World boxed set (adventure book); HWA1-3= Hollow World Modules (Nightwail, Nightrage, Nightstorm); HWR1= Sons of Azca Gazetteer; HWR2= Kingdom of Nithia Gazetteer; HWR3= Milenian Empire Gazetteer; HWQ1= Milenian Sceptre Module; PWA = Poor Wizard's Almanac.

* Date for this series of modules (the HWA series) is based on the age given for Koriktodeva Raya in HWA3 (28 years old) and the birthdate given for him in the Poor Wizard's Almanacs (977 AC). As the module series probably takes place over several months' time (given the travelling to and from across the Hollow World), a suggested timeframe is to set HWA1: Nightwail and HWA2: Nightrage in 1004 AC, and HWA3: Nightstorm in early 1005 AC. This way, the modules take place around the same time as the beginnings of the Wrath of the Immortals stuff (when things are sufficiently chaotic for Thanatos to make his move), but not too far into things, when Immortal action is really high.

Source: http://pandius.com/hllwtime.html
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 30, 2012, 02:42:18 AM
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Before there was Karameikos -- before there was Thyatis -- before there was the land of Norwold -- before the cruel Nentsun built their longships or the Four Kingdoms fought their deadly wars -- before the dread Alphatians fell from the sky -- before all this, there was Thonia.

Not the Thonia of present day Mystara (1019 AC). No. That barren, frozen Thonia is but a pale shadow of the Thonia that was, and the mind can but weep at the sightless vision of its past glory. Full 4,000 years ago, and 3,000 years before the crowning of the first Emperor of Thyatis, whose coronation marks the beginning of the current age, that elder Thonia was torn apart and half drowned in the vastest cataclysm Mystara has ever known.

Fearful was that time -- a waking horror when the earth shook and the skies burned. And when it was done, Thonia was no more. The land existed, yes, but its cities were tumbled, its pride humbled, its culture a poor tattered thing lacking the will even to continue. A few survivors sailed to a new land, which they called Thonia in memory of all that they had lost. But it does not bear and never bore the least resemblance to the waking dream of elder Thonia -- The Golden Empire.

In the far north of what was elder Thonia, where for half a millennium a vigorous border province called Blackmoor had dominated the affairs of the empire, the gray seas lapped unbroken save for a few islands that were once uninhabited peaks. Of the towns and castles of the Northlands, there was -- nothing. All were swallowed up by the sea. And when the land again rose up from that vast deep, it had been scraped clean. What was not destroyed by the waters -- the mountains and riverbeds, the cliffs and lakes -- were soon buried under a half a mile of ice, as climatic changes wrought by the catastrophe made the Northlands into a howling glacial wilderness. When the climate again shifted to more or less its original pattern, the very face of the land had changed. It was as if, said men, a curse from an angry and vengeful Immortal had utterly and purposefully obliterated Blackmoor and all her works. And the name of Blackmoor, itself, became a curse.

It was in Blackmoor, you see, where the cataclysm originated. Not a cataclysm of nature, but a cataclysm wrought solely by the hand of man. For a thousand years, first as a half-forgotten province, then as an independent kingdom, then as a keystone of a faltering empire, Blackmoor had followed its curious destiny. There, far from the ken of the great wizards of the Thonian capital, men discovered wild magic, stronger than any at the empire's center. By blending this magic with the arts of science, they forged tools of awesome power, devices to tame seas and raise mountains. It was these that gave them a place of pride in the empire. It was these that were their undoing.

None in the present day know which of the devices of the Blackmoor philosophers set off the chain of disasters that destroyed the land. Even the names of such machines have been lost. All that is known is that some accident occurred, and Blackmoor sank beneath the seas, its shattered shores becoming a broken wasteland.

But of the sinking of this fabled land -- another time! Now we speak of other things. Of a time a thousand years before the cataclysm. Of a time when Thonia was still master of the world, and Blackmoor but its least and newest province. Of a time when men were just learning to use the wild magic, and the new science was but a glimmer in the mind of a petty baron in the wilds of the North.

Four thousand years before the Emperor of Thyatis donned his crystal crown and built his petty dominion upon the body of Mystara, the Great Empire of Thonia was already in decline, not for the first, but for the third and final time. For a millennium, the degenerate, perfumed Emperors of All had sat upon their silk-lined thrones and dribbled precious stones and provinces through their fingers with equal alacrity. Like squalling peasant brats who play at princelings and smear their gruel amid infant locks, these poor excuses for rulers had squandered with no thought for the morrow the strength their forebears built with sweat and blood. Yet so great was Thonia in its time, that it had taken a full 1,000 years of such rulers to bring it to pass where men could see the ghostly outline of the ending of its days.

It was in the third month of the fifth year of reign of the Emperor Iyx that a message came to Mohacs, the capital and greatest city of the empire. There was movement in the west -- a great migration of wild hillmen pouring from the high, cold lands of the Goblin Kush across the Plains of Hak and toward the empire. At news of this event, the Emperor of All yawned and ordered slaves to bring him a cooling ice to cut the pall of the summer heat. The movement of some raggard tribe of skin-clad beggars across a trackless plain not even part of the empire was of no importance to he who ruled Thonia.

Thus, offhandedly, was the empire doomed and the spark of rebellion struck in the tinder of the Northlands.

It seems that the Immortals did not intend for Blackmoor and the North to long remain free of conflict and carnage. And so, the western Afridhi barbarian tribes began their eastward march under their religious prophet Toska Rusa.

The Afridhi, the Children of Fire. For, in their legends, fire is the gift that allowed them to live in their high, cold land. Without fire, there would have been no Afridhi. And fire was the gift of their great Immortal, Zugzul the One. Consequently, the Afridhi worshipped Zugzul with a fervor foreign to most lowland cultures, where the life was easier and such simple gifts less appreciated. So great was the Afridhi awe of their Immortal that they made his high priestess (called the Mistress of God) the head of their state and accepted her word as law.

Thus it was that when the new high priestess who took the bride name Toska Rusa (Rosy Dawn) pronounced that it was Zugzul's will that the Afridhi leave the mountains and pursue their further destiny in the lands to the east, the wild hillmen began to move. No undisciplined savages, these; they had for long years been subject to the iron law of Zugzul and his high priestess. Thus, while they had the individual warrior traits of great courage, stamina and weapon skill found only among wild peoples, they also had the sense of order and discipline common to more civilized troops. This marriage of strengths made an unbeatable combination.

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The Northern Barons took note of this movement, informed by mundane spies, but did not yet consider it a true threat. The Afridhi had hundreds of leagues, and several other nations, to cross before they could make to threaten the North. The barons shrugged, put a few more sentries on the western border, and returned to more immediate troubles.

By 1005 TC (Thonian Calender), the Afridhi had conquered the Vale, crossed the plain of Hak, and threatened the western borders of the Duchy of Ten. Their clan soldiers covered the land like a tide; Toska Rusa and her disciples wielded divine magics like none the North had ever seen. They hunkered down for the winter, but everyone in Ten, and beyond, knew that the siege would come with the first spring thaw.

Indeed it did, and the Afridhi struck hard. It would be unfair to the valiant efforts of the Tenian forces to say that the barbarians’ victory was easy, but with each assault, each push into the duchy, they retained just a bit more land, the defenders a bit less. Blackmoor watched these events unfold through spy and spell, and grew concerned indeed.

As the barbarian advance continued, Baron Uther of Blackmoor and the other Northern lords petitioned the Empire for permission to aid Ten in their struggle. When their reply arrived 1008 TC, they found they had been rebuffed. Even as the Afridhi advanced, showing no willingness to coexist with others, Thonia insisted the North hold back while the Empire attempted to negotiate.

In what is now known as the “Terror in Ten,” the Afridhi completed their conquest in 1013 TC. Entire villages were sacrificed to the dark Afridhi Immortal Zugzul. All temples to the Thonian Immortals were destroyed or defaced, and most of Ten’s population — with the exception of a few scattered resistance fighters — pressed into service of Toska Rusa. Suddenly, Blackmoor had a vicious enemy sitting right on its border, something Uther and the others had desperately tried to prevent.

When the Afridhi made their first incursion into Blackmoor territory, it took the form of a lightning raid against the Barony of the Lakes. The baron was able to repulse the attack, as it seemed intended more to judge fighting strength than to actually acquire land or resources, but he determined that warding off the Afridhi was not sufficient. Against the wishes of the Empire, but with the support of nearly every northern baron, he launched a counterstrike that destroyed an Afridhi border community.

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The Empire responded by sending a force to arrest him for treason, a force that was met at Booh by the armies of Uther and other barons. The Imperial troops were forced to withdraw, only to return months later in greater numbers and drive Uther and his loyalists completely out of Blackmoor city.

When the Thonian military grew distracted with other matters — such as the siege on Bramwald by orcs led by Funk II — Uther returned to Blackmoor at the head of an army of loyal supporters. Working from within, the Cabal used spell and sabotage to cripple the Imperial forces’ ability to fight. Uther had reclaimed Blackmoor without a drop of blood being shed.

Standing once more at the forefront of the Northern Barons, and by this time completely unconcerned with the desires of the Empire, Uther led the combined forces of the North against the next Afridhi advance, meeting them in the infamous Battle of the Neck, by Lake Temperance. Cabal wizards and arcane warriors marched as part of that army. While Uther technically lost the Battle of the Neck, being forced into full retreat, it was a pyrrhic victory for the Afridhi at best. They lost over 10,000 soldiers in their “victory,” far more than Uther lost in defeat, and proved unable to advance any further. Fuming, the Afridhi retreated back into Ten.

Uther and the Northern Barons had gone too far for the Empire ever to forgive them, and they knew it. Taking the bull by the horns, Uther declared himself King of the newly founded Kingdom of Blackmoor, a region fully independent from the Thonian Empire. In a ringing declaration, he called for "all men of conscience, who would fain see their loved ones in the chains of tyranny and injustice stalk the land" to join him. The Baron of Glendower and the Baron of the Lakes immediately rallied to his call. They were soon joined by a handful of other men, some noble, some mere adventurers, who swore to defend the new crown to the death.

The commanders of the new army were called the King's Companions. They included some of the greatest warriors in the entire history of Thonia -- and together, they wrought a miracle. It took five years of steady campaigning to end the threats to the new kingdom. Twice, the empire was beaten back from its borders, the second time losing most of an army in the Crystal Peaks. Twice, the Egg of Coot's minions ravaged the northern coast only to be beaten off by one of the King's Companions. The Skandaharians and the Afridhi each fought the kingdom once, the Afridhi getting all the way to Blackmoor before being sent reeling back into the Duchy of Ten.

In the end, Blackmoor prevailed. Toska Rusa decided to bypass the Northlands for the present and resume her march south of the Dragon Hills. Blackmoor's other enemies licked their wounds, and peace returned to the North.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/k-ovBzqmWrZuyx_U8aAEj1B8QfgDX6IYSE1f3IsTY0pY2j_mpSOCtez9DUwso-CftM4E-IrtdUDvx5TSUdm8vBe25XdC98xh8v505EAA1DzLz5t8B18PmkpJr4LKAUNGAIE-eacqUl7wO_hatKIGWe6tmjXAi_ojDsDk6ZBHgJq6-yFxd2GHKHbNnbf3IN3MisSzD60c65DppAZD00I0Go5hl-TNo3hlfcmIq0ay0MOzZu38yNZz2zBbpra1OI8VUL_3RqyVP2KQh1LPTKzukfNVbZOm8blfqRWovnfxV--j53ogapbqFD4X4kE4S0_Ys6PHp-qutMSukJ6TxDOezsSPomjJaAGTqsRb85iDVxHFHPzCLfTJu8sWNSKYk1CT-3yWek02ejH16cYUz4FleiDmYGfIN7YHhs0JXoAfm2NQNnjlRcA7IQnN2E6dd_Z_UXnuFp4euAKyP-JQDuNWd54aTtv1OjPyQFpUbjtWMFhLgWtXWJfLj24Kq-HP2uzXWxazJtQnQ97MSzLUT_JDTqoh7dTl7x5j97leuaWC5OlbdIOs3TExb5oRooCRIMiyWVsOAXJNpdL_qj9VWfuOi5zHHB8bAlhJP13aAemWWg8Los395b1Q=w815-h548-no)

With peace, came the real fruits of rebellion. New lands opened up. Settlements were planted between the Crystal Peaks and the Wurm River. Commerce again began to yield profits. Most important, the new king was able to realize a dream first nurtured by his father. He started a new university at Blackmoor to be a center of learning in the North. Here, he invited not only humankind, but elves and dwarves and halflings, all of whom had allied themselves with Blackmoor during the rebellion. The first tentative steps were taken toward a union of the four races that now shared the North in peace.

Yet the kingdom still had enemies. In the capital of the Thonian empire, they called the new king Black Uther, and he was hated by the emperor with a special hatred reserved only for members of his own twisted family. In his Great Nest north of Blackmoor, the evil Egg of Coot counted his losses at the hands of Blackmoor's army, and he too decided that he hated the new king with a special hate. In Blackmoor itself, wizards who for generations had held secret their arcane knowledge saw that the new university must make knowledge available to all and, thus inevitably, lower their position -- and they, too, hated Uther and formed the Wizard's Cabal to utterly throw him down.

It is in this time period, when the kingdom was new and had not yet embraced the science and wild magics that would cause the cataclysm, that characters may come from Blackmoor.
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor - Maps
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 30, 2012, 02:48:22 AM
The Blackmoor region
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/orojHFrBcEk48dyOSDsXg-OpuZVIE0Xf2yv2imvnDRDnk5I3vge9NKSfp5BWTTiLgOApkEEkM3otDf7WYt9ZJ_8E75yQ0FhWG6EIH7EMGsrfp5q5iLgivGIp7cAi2v5e5KaH6rUhQVk4NGrKAAdWl_IHvjKfZL_FqIVmtELOXAMkzUtArFv4ZxJh7k_E9SBjGeBlkPn0i4ntnFGukXC8er-A0tzVVYF9B-e2qdtE-Ir3o_Zil41NoJiTZR4wnQMXKI_J3pxTxAjzYornNB3idP_BewJB2GPqoDfGyLcosa1Wz2qiuGEU-GkGO57yTMHgHwDkplmBYxzoMVEVa9S9-3ptYF7H-vn1dSaXk_6zvZ_OsxmiI-mCw_JkXGCKjiag35MFADXf7P4nce0c2HIBCf83rVZVAHm0DXyh3tCQyIclgX6zDN2vlZX-A7rTDD_dMQTCewTz-1Bqc8z63k2YVqcF-_lX5B6xOZ8Dr65VInKsAJXL99axTfI2dWXBG76ksOtaMW2HeV4nQvTptp5kYYYBAq-A9JJ4oTn1q4QaR4yoIEqBdCszVqYzXcokFuUj_ttPQVYuJBHfkuQgQUoqHkTQhnw9fGzBnUb1KIkJz6-nosNg40Z8=w1365-h950-no)

Mystara at the time of Blackmoor (4000 BC)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/DjOP2AMeh0Xp9D2cN9pFwpidgL3WFccte-d7_Z5-1Aii-SllQwmeDXG2DG7xjx4yy7-hKaEycnQHDN4L0pReMMnm-sAm24x-73zqTtESDHFMp5JGF5HEqxZ8m57Zpf2uUqMezOateX60NYARSo3-AocUMNdc1JmY8unqUga-uRqTYJoGs-eBbIz4TMDpsUhTde1ot8ozZ3BOcNGqSHYNi-Bqt3Cz5qXbv0gNBl9me9eOhkWn1GRNBs0vP7sWft1cMlcSyKIOMrytwRX-EbxC5-RgaTyb6GkZLUf-p63nTQ6f2_8QU9mOBoto1UcVIqS-CCtBX6PRpdTKZfMgJq-kFd1Gk3NfgkfyrYZMzRO9LDkQeJ5F7DNvjdmYljoP-VdTc7VVhqArO3E6D2NHiSNzibaRRUgBdIF8oRQEAWUd8FrSQQZYiZ79u00wRwD5dXeTPymbQ5vqycGXIXfCZitNBGt5p-tG5L-CXeM-F9PjL5kJCUH6-chWYzjrjOcHfsjnuvN6VNaKFLnRnDoc4RMOVrozSsevR9XTUfa-myyk4RcA_IeJ1OSWonnxXXMT8y58eqjNS8MRpLmXpqGFNnn7UarsbQ9DsDr8vIM2aro7PZ_l5K31icFU=w1856-h950-no)
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor - the Kingdom of Blackmoor
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 30, 2012, 11:14:26 PM
The Kingdom of Blackmoor

The Kingdom of Blackmoor stretches across a large portion of the North. With its capital in the city of Blackmoor, the realm stretches west all the way to Lake Gloomy, home of the Baroness of the Lakes. To the east, Blackmoor stretches to the North Sea’s shores. The southern side of Rat Lake, bordering the Dragon hills, marks the kingdom’s southernmost. This broad expanse of land encompasses most of the Westryn realms as well. However, the kingdom of Blackmoor has only limited ties with the Westryn, and Blackmoor does not lay claim to their lands. The Westryn ignore borders and rarely venture beyond their forests.

Blackmoor’s reigning government is a monarchy. Blackmoor is a hard land and requires a sturdy and capable leader. Leadership in Blackmoor comes in the form of its king, Uther Andahar. The baron of Blackmoor when it was a part of the Thonian Empire, Uther rejected the Thonian Emperor’s mandates to pursue peace with the Afridhi even as they pressed closer to Blackmoor’s borders. As the Afridhi forces crossed the Misauga River, Uther rallied his forces and repelled the Afridhi invasion force. The Afridhi suffered heavy losses, forcing them to retreat back across the river —where they remain to this day. In light of Uther’s impressive leadership, the region’s other barons supported his claim to Blackmoor’s throne. They swore fealty to him and his promise to defend Blackmoor from invasion.

Currently King Uther controls his lands through a system of baronies.

To avoid continued bloodshed after repulsing the Afridhi, Uther secured peace with Blackmoor’s major races. The kingdom of Blackmoor recognizes the sovereignty of the Cumasti, dwarven, halfling, and Docrae nations and landholdings (even those that lay in areas
claimed by the kingdom) in exchange for a tight alliance that emphasizes mutual defense and open trade routes. The only major races missing from this alliance are the Peshwah and the Westryn elves. The Peshwah continue to search for their own solution to the Afridhi advances. This search is costly, and rumors say that a Peshwah alliance with Blackmoor is inevitable. The Westryn maintain no animosity or belligerent intentions toward the North’s other races, but they prefer to stay neutral as they are mired in their own conflicts.

The Regency Council

The Blackmoor Regency Council manages the North’s intricate alliance. One representative from each allied race sits on the council, along with some luminaries from Blackmoor’s academic circles. Each major culture sends a group of potential council members to the king so that he may handpick his advisors. Many appointees adventured and fought alongside the king and have earned these esteemed positions because of their abilities and proven loyalty. Uther trusts the council completely. In fact, he has ordained that the Regency Council shall take control of his kingdom should something untoward befall him.

While the council is meant to provide an open forum for all participants to air grievances and create or rescind legislation, the king has the final say on the council’s actions because of his strong bond of trust with the membership. The other races place high value on his leadership and his wisdom and have come to view him as their honorary leader.

Baronies in Blackmoor

Blackmoor’s powerful barons are responsible for maintaining peace as well as expanding Blackmoor’s borders by further settling the frontiers. The Thonian emperor originally established the baronies to encourage nobles to leave their established lands and settle the northern wilderness of Blackmoor. Settling such a wild area proved a considerable — and often deadly — task. After many decades, the seeds of infrastructure planted by those first barons have begun to mature. While Blackmoor is still considered a frontier, some areas show considerable growth and robust economies.

The barons are charged with collecting taxes, encouraging trade, and expanding their lands through the growth of settlements along the frontier. In exchange for this service, the barons are awarded large pieces of land and the right to rule in their regions. The barons raise and maintain armies to assist in this effort. The baronies and their leaders are listed below.

Blackmoor’s Current Baronies
Newgate - Great Svenny
Glendower - Bascom Ungulian
The Lakes (South Pim) -  Rissa Aleford
Dragonia  - Peshwan na Shepro
Archlis  - Wolper Gannet
Maus  - Piter Rall
Bramwald  - Bram Tagus

Uther's Decree

When Uther Andahar became Blackmoor’s king, he issued a decree to the region’s nobles. Because of the dangers of living on a frontier, Uther and the Regency Council mandated that all nobles of all races loyal to Blackmoor are required, upon reaching maturity, to spend five years traveling throughout the land in service to their people. Only after a noble completes this test, called “validation,” can she assume power.

The decree was designed to encourage communication between traveling nobles of different races, and it serves as a rite of passage into nobility’s upper echelons. This decree has an interesting effect — it is responsible for keeping the nobility’s growth to a negligible amount, as many have proven unable to survive for even five short years in Blackmoor’s wilds. Those who do survive are much wiser for it and become well known as strong and reputable leaders. Uther is praised for this decree and for providing the common folk with such ready access to their future leaders of Blackmoor. The Peshwah and Westryn mock and ignore this order, as they have their own rites of passage. They see the test as weak and pathetic since no real danger comes to those who travel carefully out of harm’s way.

Life in Blackmoor

City Life

A typical Blackmoorian city resident is a hard-working laborer. With the frontier’s land-owning opportunities, many Thonians left their homes to settle Blackmoor and increase their wealth through the land’s rich lumber and natural resources. Blackmoor’s harsh winter sent many of these immigrants into the cities where they now serve nobles or assist in the local economy as merchants, barkeeps, or entertainers.

Many skilled craftsman also inhabit Blackmoor’s towns and cities. In the largest cities, craft guilds require such craftsmen to obtain membership in order to practice their trade. These guilds charge administrative fees to the craftsmen; in exchange, they prevent non-guild craftsmen from taking work in the area and thus competing with the members. Some cities employ local craftsmen to expand the settlement’s defenses as well as build homes and shops.

Wooden houses are common in Blackmoor. These dwellings are often roofed with slate shingles, but may be crafted of lesser materials depending on the proximity to the frontier and the fl ow of trade through the region. Homes are built in very proximity to each other, with just a few feet of space separating them. A typical Thonian’s home is populated by his immediate, and sometimes extended, family. An entire family often serves a single noble. Such a family may be housed within servants’ quarters on the noble’s estate.

One of the challenges facing city-dwellers in Blackmoor, and one which they can unfortunately do little to alleviate, is the frequent shortage of goods. Supply and trade routes are long and dangerous in the North, and orc and beastman raiders destroy or steal goods bound for cities. In Blackmoor’s most remote regions, these raiders also attack outlying farms; these raids have caused extreme food shortages on more than one occasion. Entire cities depend on the success of a single crop in order to feed the populace. Most cities have a network of rural farms that provide their produce and livestock. Should these resources fail, the community’s survival is jeopardized.

For protection, most cities keep a small complement of warriors under the local baron’s command. Larger forces garrison some border settlements. The taxes a city raises are used to better fortify and protect the settlement with new walls or small keeps, as well as to maintain the warriors and guards. By royal decree, each baron must improve the city’s defenses in any year in which the community shows a profit.

Education

Extended formal education on a frontier like the North is uncommon. Education’s particulars are left to cultural demands. Elves, dwarves, and halflings all provide formal education for their children as they mature as part of their social contracts. Humans, the most recent inhabitants of Blackmoor, put little emphasis on education. Many villagers rely on travelers and wandering clerics to teach them the most basic skills of reading and writing. Some barons provide minimal education to the children in their lands. A barony’s warriors often trade portions of their pay for formal education. Those who live in cities can send their children to the local temple of Odir for edification. While not complete in any sense, this jumbled schooling leads to a reasonably educated, literate populace.

Education for the nobility is much more extensive. Nobles are taught geographical and political subjects, as well as foreign languages and the customs of the land’s various cultures. Nobles also receive basic combat training so they can participate in their holdings’ defense. This education is designed to prepare them to occupy their positions in a dignified and effective manner.

University of Blackmoor

The University of Blackmoor provides a home for scientists and researchers to continue their studies alongside the more traditional history and humanities. The University’s libraries are expansive, but pale in comparison to their counterparts in the Thonian Empire. The majority of the University’s students are of noble background or are the children of prosperous merchants. The rest are from various allied races and lower class individuals. Most hail from the immediate region, but others travel from far away to learn the fine skills of clockwork engineering or the sciences of alchemy, biology, and physics. Fletcher William oversees the University of Blackmoor and prevents the students from causing trouble in the city. He also informs the king of new discoveries made at the University.

Life on the Frontier

By far the most dangerous place to live in Blackmoor is the rural frontier. Those who seek to become landowners risk their own lives, and the lives of their families, in the wilds. The frontier is saturated with monsters and undead horrors that frighten away all but the most stubborn or bravest settlers. Some frontiersmen are able to establish quick settlements with other like-minded individuals. Barons and local temples subsidize these settlements with horses, tools, and materials. Nobles seeking appointment often sponsor settlers in an effort to expand their own lands and to garner favor with the king.

The typical frontier inhabitant lives in a log cabin or thatched hut, homes that can be built swiftly so that the inhabitants may focus on other matters. Settlers sponsored by a temple quickly build shrines for protection before they build permanent shelters.

Life on the frontier is a daily struggle for survival. Constant raids reduce the numbers of settlers, as does the search for food. Hunters find plenty of food for their families, but are likely to encounter trouble with the beasts and monsters that share the land’s resources.

If a rural settlement grows to a population of thirty and shows promise, a baron may grant the settlement an official name and appoint the founder as the settlement’s sheriff. The baron provides the new sheriff with a small complement of warriors to help protect it’s the village’s continued growth. Though still a dangerous task, frontier settlement can be a tempting mechanism change in a common Thonian’s life. Each year many such settlements are founded, but most are destroyed before they can establish a foothold.

Magic in Blackmoor

While magic is a common element of life in Blackmoor, the ability to manipulate it is not. Commoners do not fully comprehend the use of magic and are afraid of it. In an effort to avoid trouble, where common folk may witness them, wizards are very careful to avoid spellcasting, beyond minor tricks and harmless chicanery, unless absolutely necessary. Some spellcasters are not so reserved and must deal with the area’s magical authorities if they are caught.

In recent days, the presence of magic-users has led communities to form “sorcerer gangs:” vigilante squads that openly seek and attempt to capture sorcerers and renegade spellcasters. Many magic-users have been carried away during their daily spell preparation and stoned to death on the mere suspicion that they might cause trouble or bring horrid monsters to the area. Magic-users learn that drawing attention often draws trouble as well.

The Wizards’ Cabal

With the formation of the Wizards’ Cabal, Skelfer Ard determined that one of the organization’s responsibilities would be the protecting the populace from harmful or dominating magic. Over the years, its influence has waxed and waned, but today the Cabal dispatches arcane warriors to police various regions and cities in the North. These warriors have the authority of the Cabal and King Uther to regulate and control magic in populated regions. While many still fear magic-users, they respect and welcome arcane warriors and view them as the chief defenders against renegade sorcerers.

The Cabal also requires all of their graduates to spend one year serving one of Blackmoor’s nobles. This service allows the people to see the mages’ work firsthand and makes quite a difference in the populace’s perceptions. The people have begun to trust the Cabal’s representatives, though they still hold strong fear and prejudice toward those who do not openly belong to that organization. This unfortunate reality causes a number of sorcerers to hide their magical abilities from their families and friends. Many sorcerers deny their abilities completely in an attempt to maintain a normal life. Those who refuse to do so find themselves facing the Cabal’s arcane warriors or, worse, inquisitors.

Sorcerer Gangs

In towns where anti-magical sentiment runs high, groups of local townspeople fear magic and hate renegade spellcasters. Calling themselves “sorcerer gangs,” these groups search the local areas to find and identify renegades in their midst. These gangs often become ruthless mobs that stone suspected spellcasters to death rather than await the presence of the Cabal’s arcane warriors or inquisitors for true identification. Sorcerer gangs are responsible for the deaths of many people, most of whom were not magically inclined at all. The local authorities have different approaches to these mobs differently. Some ignore such activities or even take part, while others oppose them and jail the offenders for breaking laws and acting without authority.

Engineering and Technology
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/G7d1vCYiZpc-SNk1eo1_PBDe2h6dqI6PUQS4c6BE4IOeSwuHuOpNrc5YdA9tJ2iBB4KwG8UHPBInjqgVvosA96ebwjHJwlW34WCkXgo06pzsbb7V195pDzGg0nqYqUaFPAu3AJGiX6l-kGT-Ui-OyuKhSOWyDEnMmLc3BTkLOhz31FuSh88GHcjrP4o12tsXg0AYdxd1XwbHvHhELydG2rR1urJLd2zdbMtTTZmA_4OIfFervWctQVeCUkfUJx3PbMFr8fNF5uf0vQzqN-yoIjo42ftJKcW3p9DxlnW-ZIV_JGWDnxLdfbwWblzf5oCHVURq1wXa-pBMCGtfdLK7ifgb4fxrrWAtp1Vow89sFg44Q65FE1DKXsljnyNhy33LyeBP8nA2MPJ0yPDfZBr1YTqUS30mSQlbdVLi44R47Qo8DWMTec81vytFcAKx5G4bdXQkKB7Hr3QYggobCja2lP28GwNcp99MlGJ4dyrrSi0gwnhIXGZqbENvpWxzo6OKDhTtcta6uqjjRm-5i4tD-XsZGD4aQchCelRInjG_5Dm--4Khez9-CQD_XkXZKTXAcmmJhDMml7M-YzeE79Rg2VdtiZoojOs0e65TFxNv5En0X0fXaHSk=w345-h417-no)

The rise of academic magic in Blackmoor has recently been overshadowed by rapid developments in technology. Mechanical men are employed as guards in some freeholds, and occasional nobles keep mechanical animals as guards and even pets. Most recently, dwarves fielded a steam-powered war machine to repel a large orc army near the Dragon Hills. This extraordinary machine shook the ground and sent the orcs fleeing in panic. Such technological wonders astonish all, particularly the common folk who fail to comprehend steam technology and clockworks.

Magic has incredible power in the land, but the rise of science and the scientific method’s implementation allow for these remarkable creations to move from concept to reality. While some of these inventions are truly impressive, others are dismal failures. Many inventors give their lives to their creations in the pursuit of knowledge.

The two main divisions of current technology are steam and clockworks. Though other technologies, such as wind power, are in development, none have yet proven their worth. Most technological developments stem from dwarven or High Thonian scientists. While most believe that gnomes made the earliest and most direct advances in understanding the precise nature of clockworks, the raw wealth at the disposal of the High Thonians and dwarves allows them to create or purchase the components required to complete their inventions.

Every major city in Blackmoor has a shop that caters to inventors. These shops sell expensive components and complete inventions. While some of these contraptions work flawlessly, merchants make no guarantees on their products since a single misplaced component can cause the entire mechanism to break or jam. They offer to attempt repair on anything that someone has purchased from them — for a fee, of course.

Steam power

Some decades ago, dwarven scientists harnessed the power of steam to help in their mining efforts. While they have long been masters of the forge and learned to manipulate steam quickly, the dwarves needed assistance to manipulate the intricate clockwork control mechanisms used in greater steam inventions. This skill is a seemingly innate ability for gnomes. A symbiotic relationship formed and grew into a great friendship. Today gnomes and dwarves work hand-in-hand in all major dwarven settlements.

The first major steam-powered machine was called the “ steam bore” (De. “Komo Burm”), which drills through mountains, exposing rich veins of mithral, silver, and gold. When the steam bore’s construction began, the more traditional dwarven leaders voiced opposition, claiming the project was a waste of time, money, and labor that could be used for mining. The traditionalists were unconvinced that a machine could ever prove superior to strong dwarven backs.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/WNHp9dLR239bV6jGImvdADhTXiy36GmYzlU9FB2qjf6GH3R1_ABuJBQRom88oTbjPjrIgE6L9tBCsuRqFoJmWLHgEOx5G3mZSE6FcMaorhe9fhujpqc9Fj_1VBV4Z8oA0F7LQLgvmwdc8icoNMTA4BHi-rXC9Bj3cGFq2ZZm3kecKRuuwOsPkxo0vl9flHZmEn_S-xd6_NsfXnOnNJ-YfS6mLY9V6SDED3qN006h5tqn5sgspX2lGsN1DTXfFZU8SHIN0LE1zOO_p6iyZai0xdSJySd-1DJLJcfebYgqCKpc-dsSDfiVQOedjbUn_1GBQ9tPPD6mkDw0k-xMbh91DYheBAWMnhtlR1vdrVoiFvGD52FIrdOLFpblEd36-2oxXNBeSBMO0ozvwYDjHlacc81JS5a7NA4ox9on2KqsMY_KqEUIxOjwWgbhhVwyM3xmOq2W5VzzUweYa2J7GmoclNvam9mfeqvzW7gDgeV3NH3WZghRxuLvYEjdoJXLHR04mUWO2VzWwLBzpbNu0kFwYk7dC2K8LY_QqZFktcINdy9n108mN26kEiDjB9IcDYQ1Isgw05VAIc8D1ihsZvQscVuHWAK9ucXJIPZ8WoD1lO41zHE2HFJy=w578-h291-no)

Construction continued on the bore despite this opposition. When it was finished, the first public demonstration was astounding. The steam bore cut through 30 feet of solid rock in its first hour, a feat that would have taken 72 hard dwarf-hours with conventional tools. Even the staunchest opposition fell silent at this incredible productivity. Dwarves now use steam bores to open large tunnels in mountains, granting access to the minerals within; these mines often grow into intricate networks of crosshatching tunnels. While steam bores continue to expose valuable ore, they are also prone to breaking down. The general expectation for a steam bore engine is five to seven hours of consistent use before some component fails. While these breakdowns cause delays, the bores are consistently able to outwork common dwarf miners by a hundredfold.

After the steam bore, the next advances in technology took much longer to manifest. Content with the functionality of the steam bore, the dwarves attempted to employ their newfound power for their other major love: war. Dwarven leaders designed a steam-powered machine that could rid them of the orcs near their mines. On a regular basis, orc hordes rained down upon mines in the Stormkiller Mountains and the Dragon Hills. While the dwarves were always able to repel the orcs, they could never soundly eliminate them.

After a couple of years, the first dwarven war machine made its debut. In anticipation of the demonstration, the dwarves sent out advance parties to skirmish and roust the orcs to battle. While pretending to retreat from the orcs, they lured them in for the kill. Soon a swarm of orcs surrounded a major mine in the Dragon Hills. When the orcs moved halfway up the mine’s road, the dwarven engineers let loose their war machine. The mechanical monstrosity rolled down upon the orc horde like a landslide. Its massive
wheels crushed so many orcs that a streak of green blood and bone splinters stretched behind it for hundreds of feet. The machine’s colossal sound was so great and terrifying that most of the orcs fled instantly. Those who foolishly chose to fight or could not escape were ground into lumpy paste. The massacre was so resounding that the dwarves renamed the road “Oorku Waumuk,” which means “Orc Road.” Many say that this decision was made as a joke — since so many orcs put their lives into the road, they should
be acknowledged for their contribution. Since that great battle, the orcs have not returned to the Dragon Hills.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/6YIlyL6OHpretOW6hqgbXihhGba2xViUOKCekk0jiNSHSsgHi-m0nuce2gQAb6yXo9ixmethyH7tEe4PfKmmywcq1u49VjBRF33n8Mc5mHx6z0ZIG5JYSxVG_s_iIP_wYjrb_RRUfYQv7fXl4aEDq7-HKLLNpKyXyc57KwlMP4Ia7ZBBKTCdjRX4T2fIC2MpdFHu95EaHK2Hu1Pu0JqmUoWE0148-iPwm4INV6_jbMM13K4ifgZXSsO2jK9pLNcXXmm8ad4807pbNkC8T7NKwoD8ibDNx7Juvgp15lfzzfUw1Z_LMFeUmLfRIwxK07ifLIq3nnqCFAtwTDbFUMv1mQVnhkcEHDtbsuwk8mEs4nE-bXV7ALMkn7wX4CaDNJ6gGm1jIrWW7SX4yUWZxsZaQxMOo_T43KhiPrDaheLFiZEUNiWnnL6S42juTELI35VV1kuVUtPabj7zSFOcy6pdut845Mu1aSVCe6JjTk4lLHOcnX8a6vZu2qyMMfq4OA9Kg9rp6yvR4VB0gtct-WNhiPzOduXcUsDNUpzUqckzpd6bRkuQzfNCwuBCk5ChBZUfNISRZtRP0FvTkyN6GNSdJNtAEL6s1tbsTpHtoTz8QmagGK3Tbys8=w602-h337-no)

Clockwork
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Npj9PLOicDDqCs_NVHh7ZSPxFOiCUocaQ4toH0FhqQkIzlzpOm9B6CvJeyuO_lkLWZ11tSdleh_O7M61N8po9fInEyKSqioAh3mm-5emhly8nc5QEPOmlhRs7UxdSudwBHnNbQNBqjMsgra_qG5Af5aKjkpFek6mHBzFJCSe_Jgi02yHM8CmfXYX1c_U--Y0p5BcrmP1KCBt-EIhNlQUNlEE897ytbD1GIDa0KYZC7QW7swANEnC1B26MYmieg_B4gBo9tPugJTQYTUaeYD8fYAkEiT62PPaVuBOHSCjU7nl6stpicWeCT1TdM_YouwTbO5AomXI2LT_1w18DYdE5PgK2RgLG4ZsoPq71arNreTmZA9T0iCRHw1tco1Zt3l-0Vlmzz2SdNSECNH6t4-wIYI2qvGAhTSfvXd80cWuX_PMCvSZnj7lD4zF0H10PRAXf1yDWhbt_fi2xN0-8ffwNHc2M7P4AVLShM1H9f7eShYMlDWzEzaCFRtCMSHS6VzKJ8P7OXVWe2isKrVkKHnWMs2JsUzFRNcIHOwdbsACXX8Zj1JWcVUH41eElIEyRqlhxE-75jazl1nQo7BJTvTFutXaDumZV8vv9oQFcEpjYGfM1UnZ5NvK=w358-h361-no)

Complex clockwork inventions comprise Blackmoor’s other major technological field of study. Scholars at the University of Blackmoor construct expansive laboratories filled with precise gears and springs that can be used to construct a great many machines. While the dwarves have utilized clockwork within their machinery, the High Thonians have proven to be the masters of clockwork. The main research in this complex technology continues at the University of Blackmoor. While most inventions fall under the University’s control, a number of affluent nobles employ engineers and inventors to construct impressive machinery for their own amusement and, in some cases, protection.

Initial research into clockwork produced the discovery of the pendulum and its use in precise timekeeping. This innovation proved an important advance in the field but was limited by the amount of time that a pendulum can continue swinging. Further advancements led to the discovery and creation of an escapement mechanism that maintains a pendulum’s swing for much greater periods.

The pendulum is still used in clockwork inventions but is considered an old technology compared to the modern oscillating wheel and springs that move and control shifts in gears. Wheels and springs provide a more efficient way to run clockwork inventions. Tiny pendulums allow inventions containing fragile clockwork to be more easily protected and operated for prolonged periods. Currently, the limitation of most self-contained clockwork inventions is that they are dependent upon the amount of energy supplied through winding a spring. When the spring depletes its energy, the mechanism stops functioning. To overcome this limitation, inventors use multiple springs to increase the amount a device’s power.

Some of the more interesting clockwork inventions include prosthetic limbs, designed at the University of Blackmoor. These limbs are expensive but provide maneuverability to those who have lost legs or arms. Other impressive clockwork inventions include mechanical men and animals. Though unable to act independently, these constructs prove useful for completing simple tasks and impressing the guests of wealthy nobles.
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor - People of Blackmoor
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 31, 2012, 12:14:21 AM
Races of Blackmoor

Many races and empires have risen to glory and fallen into dust throughout Blackmoor’s long history, many. The legacies of these peoples continue in present-day Blackmoor. Many races are found in the charted and uncharted areas of this enormous world, and each of these races is rich in history and lore.

The primary races that can be selected as character races are Cumasti and Westryn elves, halflings and Docrae, High Thonians and Thonians, dwarves, gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs, and Peshwah. Each race hails from a different region and their members have special abilities to aid them in their adventures.

Dwarves

The dwarves of Blackmoor are an industrious and proud people. For generations they have created beautiful and awe-inspiring crafts, as well as immense cities of stone. Dwarven cities are wondrous to behold, yet outsiders seldom see them. Rumors say that the entire City of Blackmoor could fit within the Regent of the Mines’ mighty stronghold. As the chief miners in Blackmoor, the dwarves play an important role in procuring the precious metals gold, platinum, and mithral. While these metals are valuable, the dwarves also control the major locations of the raw gems needed to create spell foci. This makes the dwarves an important ally for the Wizards’ Cabal, which often stations arcane warriors near dwarven settlements to keep an eye on the mines.

Dwarves in Blackmoor have also applied science to their industrious efforts. They have mastered great steam engines that assist in mining, helping them delve deep into the hearts of Blackmoor’s mountains.

Personality: Dwarves are proud of their heritage as well as their handiwork. They are quick to boast about themselves and their people. Fond of good drink and fine food, dwarves are often drawn to the art of cooking. They are fiercely loyal to their kin and slow to befriend outsiders. At times, a dwarf may dub a foreign companion “Dwarf-Friend” — creating a lifelong bond between the dwarf and his ally. This bond transcends simple mortality and often passes on to such a friend’s family and heirs. It is not uncommon for dwarves to adopt the immediate members of a Dwarf-Friend’s family.

Relations: Dwarves are leery of other races, seeing them as possible threats until proven otherwise. However, dwarves get along well with gnomes, who share their love of earthly living as well as a fascination with treasures. Dwarves and gnomes are also both interested in machinery. They often live symbiotically in this regard, as gnomes have the fine dexterity to craft and manipulate small mechanical parts for the dwarves’ large iron machines. On the other hand, dwarves have a strong distrust of Cumasti and Westryn elves. Dwarves believe that elves take advantage of other races and try to exert their power over others. Dwarves also have a fiery hatred of orcs and goblins and attack them out of hand. Orcs and goblins are ancient dwarven enemies that continue to threaten dwarven settlements to this day. A dwarf must summon great control to restrain himself from attacking such enemies.

Dwarven Lands: Wherever mountains stand in Blackmoor, dwarves are found. Some barren mountains may not currently be inhabited, but proof of prior dwarf residency is certain to be evident. Dwarves seek out riches below the mountains and construct giant cities in their depths.

The dwarves’ main settlement is the Halls of the Regent of the Mines near Mount Uberstar in Eastern Blackmoor. The Regent united and controls the dwarf clans. Within the dwarven strongholds, all clans are sworn to the service of the Regent. The dwarves have a nominal king, but that title holds no value among them. In fact, dwarven kingship is actually a mark of insult thrust upon a particularly lethargic or unproductive dwarf. Many times this so-called “King of the Dwarves” is sent out to negotiate with those with whom the dwarves have no real interest in dealing.

Elves

The Cumasti elves and the Westryn Elves comprise Blackmoor’s elven population. Once a single elven culture, an alliance with humans resulted in a betrayal and curse that caused an irreparable divide between the elves of eastern and western Blackmoor. Numerous efforts have been made to restore the culture to a single elven race, but to no avail.

Blackmoor’s elves are as diverse and changing as the many tribes of man. Due to their low birth rates and the loss of much of their ancestral lands to humans, orcs, and other humanoids, elves are beginning to die out. They have begun looking into magical avenues to extend their race’s longevity and to help slow their attrition rate.

Cumasti Elves
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Fj5FDTsJH7G7ovoPOjplCNTTuwN0z0d42ew_NPj2Agptr8JIf9fn1ij0G7cGFIqnL0AXwZ4wysDiJRGAFGPhMsFA_ktyvhZgmA2hhce7VY3TsxNSlvDY5qgE69O3ZbSf8LMWa4Iv0gyyUuX9k39Rs3D1un9SFv1fk5fg6hgLvNa5stvawH3gDBKgSoXADlEIZ_0wo4LDB1HO4kR_GXH8uTv1tPhPocBsNMi5XvlZi1M8-Xpq_tgOT4bdSUJMUB2IcWLBf7ftOgJUwO3JeK2ARnNyliPvuJeA_PBRNjnmM-DO-e4XuENVybK8AxvpIdsVpoEPxzAn4MFcfIQdOHc9P_mPtNWecsPq2qLfiLqAmKlD14BSb445bjKj4cnFFK6pGw1R5j2CuGiUTIlpT2DTAjH_4OmjEWyEXrFrICXeZH6KJb7msTvuT9Ysja-TIoNZ1EBUWuVU4XmMYNCpcMG8748DSpcZOznApRjxPle_ySy1TZZKkKNUIVio9m1QKnkccSoNU-6LJZLcI8opj6-mHzczAZUQ7R3ceuIRvsEqHLXLBGIjSWVv3MzGCNgnw8YXXniAhA9bQR97ljwZv23ZG5kpN5DLe6Paiw-GBIrWiB_TvsXW8VDE=w271-h443-no)

The Cumasti elves have a long and rich history. Their race dates back to prehistory as one of the first good races to walk the world. They possess an inspirational ability to perform great works of magic, art, and music. Until modern humans came to the world, elves ruled the lush forests and plains. The elves aided men in establishing themselves as a good race but the humans ultimately betrayed them.

The betrayal of the Cumasti split their society into two opposing factions. Cumasti loyalists sought to mend the wounds left by the human betrayal, believing that humans choose their paths as individuals, not as a collective race. The other elves, later to be called the Westryn elves, retreated from the world, scarred by the human betrayal and vowing never to trust any other race again.

Personality: Cumasti are intelligent and willing to experience life in all its facets. They follow the traditions laid down for them so many centuries ago by the first elves to walk the world. They love nature and all that it offers. Cumasti are trusting and friendly, living to experience the diversity of the peoples with whom they share. They hold no hatred for any good race, though they find dwarves too dirty and crass for their refined sensibilities. They view each person as an individual whose deeds are weighed on a scale
larger than the elf’s ability to judge.

Physical Description: Cumasti elves are short and slender. They stand between 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 feet tall and weigh between 80 and 130 pounds. Cumasti men are typically heavier and taller than Cumasti women. Cumasti have light-colored hair, ranging from honey to ash blonde, and have eyes of rich green, deep blue, or soft brown. Other races view Cumasti as nearly ethereal — hauntingly beautiful and graceful. Cumasti skin tones are light, even after hours in the sun. Cumasti reach maturity at 100 years old and live for over 800 years. All other physical attributes of the Cumasti mirror the elf racial entry (see the PHB, Chapter 2: Races, “Elves”).

Elven Lands of the East: Most Cumasti live in the Forest Kingdoms of the East. These lands are made up of the Elven Forest and three smaller forests. The four Forest Kingdoms of the East are Redwood Court (located in the Red Woods, with its capital city of Ringlo Hall), Potter’s Down (found in Potter’s Forest, south of Dirk’s Cove), the Noris Kingdom (located in the Noris Wood, south of the Root River and north of the Crystal Peaks), and the Wurmthrone (found in the Wurmwood, west of the Black Hills and south of the Regent of the Mines).

Half-Elves

Blackmoorian half-elves are rare since they come only from the union of a Cumasti elf and a human. Half-elves often feel lost, not knowing where they fit in. They wander the world, looking for a home where they can live in peace. Humans use the term “half-elf” to describe this race. Cumasti call them Ni’ssillin (“Lost Ones”) and Westryn call them Do’rioa (“Cursed Blood”).

Personality: Half-elves are a very accepting people. They do not judge individuals, even half-orcs, by their race. They realize that circumstances can sometimes create strange outcomes. Because of this, they tend to take their time when making decisions and are outwardly slow to warm up to others.

Westryn Elves
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/b3t4CA5kmi4WMfZWUdpn1AEicT-4Pkzk4nPN3udUxQnnTwHFrmyeZo82LTiZF7wemAophDDHctE9FddWbGiZ8gMfNvuTWXnbwcFPfQPrPa3SKZpcwbQhTXCSJhsj9rWSmOh0niiwbxUvnQvs1IBE8fD4D2wPtZH8jpOgWFVLCQ_Ctw5bEOGN837oqedNNvAbLuHTll-gYafDYl3DFXOf-tBoZlfwG5n7Ctop4qgiSN0nY7xIB8ZlH2E4K_uHkvhwTt2bfGIQHifyszp_JVG1CBJVPMmoYr7R9oirxE5N1CqAGhLHFSlfkBTtc7-97Es6Z8VjbToqH0yHaCAIEGPxHzteyu8-dpkrVbL2tKW3M5et-CyKMEH3sO_paxb6R7kbTBDmOxVnaWsuKFMKtMvR-i2mhCY5fwHzZoVlCbHaIrwaLv3CTCAUBrNynQnvmNKq5752GaI9TGEq2buwM9H3hX-NNnKb_IataZ5_O5_ybEQ0nBjl5Lhr1ER3spWzVZr-DLB5xq2oLcdutnE0FJI59k6MQB5Z2GGy_RMBNIdUZ8o3IZ-IBJb4qCHfNxMFsmGAKaIAsSd2MLF27rsmEoMTxUIefqGyzEUnilDbkIZA-pczv8QR0l76=w249-h423-no)

Once part of the greater elven race, the Westryn elves have branched away from their Cumasti cousins since the Black Queen’s fall and her father’s curse on the Forest Realms of the West.

The “Black Curse,” as the Westryn call it, has made it impossible for the Westryn to produce viable offspring with any other race. This fact coupled with a policy of isolation has alienated them from other races and cultures.

Personality: The serious and rarely smiling Westryn elves are the sourest bunch of grapes on the good races’ vine. Westryn elves have large chips on their shoulders and are extremely xenophobic. They rarely trust any race outside of other elves, and those few individuals that they do trust have won that prize only after a hard-fought struggle. Westryn are quiet but quick to anger, are blunt and brusque with other races.

Physical Description: Westryn are slightly taller than their Cumasti cousins. They stand between 5 and 6 feet tall, with no difference in height based on gender. They are powerfully built and swarthy — are not slight or of pale complexion like the Cumasti. Westryn eyes range in color from dark green to deep blue, and their hair varies from greenish-blonde to shimmering raven black. All other physical attributes of the Westryn mirror the PHB elf racial entry (see the PHB, Chapter 2: Races, “Elves”).

Elven Lands of the West: The Westryn rule over the six Forest Realms of the West. This dominion is actually the origin of their racial name; human explorers could not understand the thick Elven accent of these people when they called themselves the “Peoples of the Western Woods.”

The Forest Realms of the West include the Western Realm, the Wild Realm, the Greenwood, and several minor regions. The Westryn capital is in the Western Realm, located within the Westwood’s confi nes. Most Westryn live within the Westwood, keeping close to family, clan, and king. The Wild Realm, within the Wilds of Ten, borders the Duchy of Ten. The Wild Realms’ king laid the Black Curse, and the Black Queen is said to hail from this dark land. The Green Realm is found in the Greenwood north of the Tower of Booh; sadly, the wood’s southern portion was lost to undead long ago.

The final three realms are minor realms, which Westryn consider backward and rustic. These realms are located in the Westwood, Pelham Wood, and Unicorn Wood. Ruins of a small Westryn realm are found in the Bloodwood, on the western shore of Blood Lake, north of Boggy Bottom. The Blood Realm, as it is now called, is fi lled with elven undead — cursed by a powerful wizard for some unknown crime.

Gnomes

Establishing themselves as learned engineers and skilled craftsman, Blackmoor’s gnomes earn their living working cooperatively with High Thonians and dwarven engineers. Gnomes love to solve puzzles and their mental and manual agility make them welcome company.

Personality: Gnomes are an open and trusting people whose lives revolve around their work. While kind to each other and their patrons, gnomes are easily annoyed by individuals who needlessly distract them from their precious work. The definition of need is of course up to the gnome in question. As such, gnomes are often chided for their blunt behavior. Nobles who need their skills tolerate them, but revel when they are free of them. Left to themselves and their work, gnomes are pleasant. They work hours at a time on their precious gadgets and are driven to complete every project they start.

Relations: Due to their abilities and knowledge, gnomes have good relations with most races. They are found in most human settlements and dwarven strongholds. Gnomes carry the disdain of many people, though, as they have poor manners in public. They are nonetheless tolerated because of their valuable skills.

Gnome Lands: Originally Blackmoor’s gnomes hailed from Southern lands, but in the last 200 years gnomes have embedded themselves into the cultures of Blackmoor’s residents. They are frequently found in affluent areas populated by learned people. The
largest gnome populations are in the City of Blackmoor and in the halls of the Regent of the Mines.

Halflings of Blackmoor

Blackmoor’s halfling races have a long and storied past. They are kind friends and stalwart allies of all good beings. When Uther Andahar revolted against the Thonian Emperor, the halflings of Booh fought alongside him against the Emperor’s forces. Many halflings aided in the fight against the Thonian Emperor’s forces at the Battle of Root, contributing to the Thonians’ defeat and the subsequent declaration of Andahar as King of Blackmoor.

Halflings are generally liked, though orcs and men subjugate some halflings in southern Blackmoor. A sizeable group of halfling-like beings escaped during the Afridhi invasion and refused to allow themselves to be dominated ever again. They named themselves “Docrae,” which means “fighter” in their language. Unlike other halflings, the Docrae are a defensive and untrusting people who mostly keep to themselves.

Halflings

Halflings are the most welcome of visitors throughout Blackmoor. They bring stories and goods to trade and are free from other races’ mistrust. Halflings are uniquely able to obtain secret information, a trait which has made them important friends in dangerous lands.

Personality: Halflings are kind and friendly folk who love to tell stories and eat. They are known throughout the land for their ability to entertain. While they are friendly, they are also skilled traders and drive hard bargains, using their natural charisma to influence their dealings with others. Halflings are industrious and quickly adapt to the customs of the lands in which they settle.

Relations: Halflings are welcome in all of Blackmoor’s lands, and their shops can be found in every major town. Halflings are known for their ability to obtain items and information. Docrae, while friendly to halflings, think that they are naive and too trusting.

Halfling Lands: Halflings call no single place their home; instead they find themselves guests in the lands of others. The largest halfling settlements are found in Booh and Ramshead. Halflings have opened shops and inns on the War Road and welcome guests of all types. Halflings also make their homes in human cities.

Docrae
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/AYAvl9W3UMc8a_orI5aITVvR7W3AUVwWz7gJX_gisXzGTnoDQvn7d9GNzGOiluvnBhu9a-bGNpdGmppch3u1AvjEfTABGsX9-TBqzv7SyJaU0nxYmYTfW46VbrYSibyciFjCzaVR7x0LjcVvwdK630aGBb6GZes4BQbk1BmviCXi8FICof7l41FMFl0iKpUcAVJ_IlVbzGp0KG1gP3mtmXR7B-TqIwO1-wAHZd5ab6pIDxsPIX4SxrH6mQLIlL27TiByXVItMrNC9ejDbwZDQlFhMnXY6YEfxuH9yYyvWAeN2gFjOZ60hY9cf5p2l1s0fHQIgL20gqIxw0KLJCShvY8AVM04jBhQ5LPy1OFHQN4mzu1vyMFLgm0LeOvnWpGrQ_YMl8ma2JjgxvJO32T5pPmnczq-V-EKudJssj1DWd4x9ONweh_GoEW8VrA7FAXq9MZfZKXwbbrb2U9C9gYaRz-fgL5nE7y_infzKytrbcTwFExOn5dZi9ptRt6RctBasaUgnI7oYRSizEAwTW4Ca6vSpl8tUo0gJ1uxqUAoaWXS0n9NcO_QxFOpt-kl3m_Cd3nCTAT_Z2Km9TeiJOfuWMLtahVZT9TjX3WAUMi4jws5fEV7RuLE=w269-h332-no)

The Docrae are a race of small humanoid beings with a long and troubled past. Old legends mark them as a race of fun-loving and curious folk, each with the appetite of two men. Some say that they are curious and enjoy comfortable homes near their large and long-lived families. Yet these legends are mostly relics of the past. Even before the Afridhi invasion, other races preyed upon the Docrae, enslaving them and manipulating their trusting nature to their own ends. Many Docrae escaped from the main Afridhi invasion force and headed north in search of an area where they could live peacefully and separately from those who would do them harm.

Personality: Today the Docrae are a hardy and wise folk who have cultivated their warrior nature from the need to protect themselves and their families from exploitation or violence. Despite their small physical stature, Docrae are formidable opponents and are masters of ranged and melee weaponry. While not as strong as their human counterparts, Docrae use their dexterity and cunning to deliver critical strikes capable of besting much larger opponents.

Physical Description: Docrae stand about 3 1/2 feet tall and weigh between 35 and 40 pounds. Their skin is very similar to that of humans, and their hair is normally black and straight. Docrae usually have black or brown eyes, though green eyes are not unknown. Docrae men braid their hair into intricate patterns, often attaching small jewels or similar decorations to their braids as signs of their strength and status in Docrae society. Docrae women wear their hair straight and reasonably short. Docrae society prohibits women from braiding their hair unless they have earned the right to do so through a brave or heroic act. Docrae wear comfortable and practical clothes. Docrae warriors are always ready for battle and wear strong armor while on patrol.

Relations: While Docrae are wary of outsiders, they have begun to open their settlements to other races again. A sense of relative safety has come to the Docrae, and some of them have fearlessly rekindled the traditional celebrations of their heritage. The Docrae have found a kindred relationship with the men of Blackmoor, who have proved themselves trustworthy. These humans are welcomed in Booh and given better treatment than members of other races. The Docrae have learned to make a living selling their wares, and also offer lodging for travelers on the War Road.

While they are willing to do business with other races, Docrae are slow to befriend them. If a member of another race saves a Docrae’s life, he becomes a member of the Docrae clan and remains so until death.

Docrae Lands: Docrae have settled the lands near the main halfling settlement at Booh, moving as far east as the base of the Peaks of Booh. These mountains are located to Blackmoor’s southwest and were named by the Halflings who use them as a backdrop for their main settlement. Stories tell of deep natural cave dwellings that Docrae inhabit within the Peaks of Booh. Rumors maintain that wards created by Docrae shamans protect these caves and that the stonework rivals some of the lesser dwarven
settlements. Most dwarves scoff at this. No reliable outside reports of these caves, or the manner in which they might be protected or hidden, yet exist.

Half-Orcs

On the Blackmoor frontier’s far reaches, orcs raid human settlements in search of wealth and food. These raids have in turn generated offspring in the form of half-orcs. Half-orcs who do not exhibit clear and distinct human traits are often allowed to remain within the orc culture. Orcs slaughter those who are obviously part human or who fall out of favor. Some half-orcs manage to escape and spend the remainder of their lives hunted by both men and orcs, which forces many half-orcs to live away from civilization, in small bands or on their own. Often they seek some sort of belonging with others and adventure for the respect and acceptance that can come from the skilled use of a battle axe.

Personality: Half-orcs have little patience with others, a trait that may be the result of years of abuse and rejection. They love to fight and greatly value what friendship they can find. They enjoy good food and drink and are always open to reveling. They tend to overcompensate for the lack of positive attention they received over the course of their segregated, hunted lives.

Relations: Every day is a fi ght for acceptance for a half-orc. Many races, including dwarves and their own orc kin, seek to slay them outright. This prejudice makes the struggle for acceptance a constant concern in the half-orc’s mind. Some spend time as servants in human households in order to prove that they are not dangerous. Others use their size and power to intimidate others into leaving them alone.

Half-Orc Lands: Half-orcs are a nomadic people at best. They travel together for mutual protection and make no claim to a land of their own. They wander throughout Blackmoor, looking for some sense of safety.

Humans

Blackmoor’s human races occupy a wide range of areas. The Peshwah have long lived on the Plains of Hak. The Thonian peoples of the north have spread throughout Blackmoor by ship and horse. In the past, the Thonian emperor claimed rightful control of Blackmoor, though most other races simply ignored this unjustifi ed claim to their lands. Today, the High Thonian barons serve the king of Blackmoor.

High Thonians
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/x-D5FmReju0TBKoY4AAAiX62ueXs1gS__PVw_BBk1ViYad9EQlw-i_TDup-1vXxix97kq5bxL8Yje1HfMAislTKysPX7yf-ULerxyzV8wrzDuGjNa4Y_9vllh_JRSkZ-anDUc18Q-PfE71bACPnKzrniaNLSPPftVUthlK-6Q09J51NwfhpWtmGuTmUqzinaNXcwGKhw97UV15Ri5G_la5bTo6LFEVI1k9rTJNhpJErQFaU9wJkhAu7ePuxqrRxAvO7Fwqjn1d4Nw2Mh4jr7XEjHXEHZjyEs3VoyTerAurUzrOJwtG4Hq8rNWvoxAE9VTXWV8jvEUTMG7kwluIyM4liF4A7tdcCQ7s7YmumvRkOmegjCymHDfipg2O1d8qNxcx-5Ir_FjvCqM44GIPqRviuh6vHDiNajfHn7Ap1Tqnxh-0kVhtPi0TYU2Q-slH8zh86I-DSEuK1qw6ZLdLd1LiNPAkZcaCFPIuPfmmYlNbCD9_tkP2rKQoVSHi7c3WZGkLS4ziAH-qrw2T2MilCyFa0m2HsR_dGXGklqGt64KerEkjgcZb6hFK_XYz8fdayiAUmCdMxtC4dOSNSjV7LkPbmyrP3SirUvLzO5W7mglkvoE_vCGdtD=w172-h424-no)

The High Thonians are members of the highest, most powerful human social caste within Blackmoor’s borders. While High Thonians tend to come from advantaged backgrounds, not all of them have the stomach for politics or fighting. Many use their family names and backgrounds to pursue science and other academic matters. Several teachers at the University of Blackmoor are High Thonians from important families.

Personality: High Thonians are studious people and excellent entertainers. They spend their time learning and finding new and interesting ways to entertain themselves and their wealthy friends. Noble Thonians spend their money freely to impress others or to purchase necessary parts for their inventions. They are kind and gentle to others but are venomously possessive of their expansive libraries and eccentric inventions.

Physical Description: High Thonians stand 5 to 6 feet tall and weigh from 135 to 265 pounds, with men noticeable taller and heavier than women. Their skin is fair; their hair tends to be blond or brown. To demonstrate their excellent grooming, most High Thonian men do not wear beards. High Thonians are long-lived by human standards, with life spans reaching well over 100 years. Some attribute this longevity to breeding, but others suspect a magical source.

Relations: High Thonians are receptive to doing business with other races. They barter and trade for books and needed supplies for their inventions.

High Thonian Lands: When the Valley of the Kings stood strong, the High Thonian nobles ruled much of present-day Blackmoor. The bloodline’s fall, as well as invasion and civil war, eroded much of what was once the unified kingdom of Blackmoor. Many High Thonians are preparing to use their technology to reclaim some of the lands they believe have been stolen from them. Most High Thonians live in Blackmoor’s immediate vicinity.

Thonians
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/w3aZiF6cGtxQT9QeYk7_LwUnX88yD2k3MfJMEYKUOiovcVDjoAxbI-Yb-2CXwsBaU-9erWPYNH31eexSpsfnMuXB9uJbFBvNLkdW6rISBd0nrtYc9dBqEKkmiKV2nRWrxeMdUQ48-C5tGhLUj4JSSh-coAuiQsVKtMrTvY_nF82yvASJ3dIO681I-QI7nvLnX3xjDEuH7AMd3uAEAvAebT-O34do6K4w-Rd9HQXLWNmcPj8_DB9idt07FEi_yH548B6D1r7HGgfgFAYZhNAY9FOqMuLoJVAihGc7Un0U8-EDAVukOnQUHDR1JqPNQLAWKgdTQxWhOn9-prBKI3CBRMeL_8e3eaJ5TMCtAbG1enh5BPkIkR6ogRxkuZte1nlv20aDNb8SDpKvGglDf8qYzIYv8XaryH8Ui7ddYTxgph7ErtkbbnGcS7YZct3VDvLDmTkWSsSHcLkZK9XH9ILvh-ZF144531uboLrcoavc0oC-CzIFYfz9tC0iSw3m7woIQhCY5AkTBOulR1XW5irFkFlCQDUYrw6EH04Ear1BslvRToD8WDc16GfbNtJp0V-JLg5a-eWUZFM0i4BAMT6SM9gQtesm0P9_bYQkgaVV-Axl4_Qh0Ow6=w214-h444-no)

Thonians are the everyday citizens in Blackmoor and its surrounding vicinity. The noble caste rules them, and many take jobs as servants in High Thonian houses. Many long for better lives and strive to find wealth and power.

Personality: Thonians are very much normal humans. They are well-tempered but sometimes show disdain for their lot in life. Thonians do not share in the privilege or money that they see all around them. Thonians also are angered that they cannot join the nobility, regardless of their financial status, without a direct appointment from the king. The are family-loving people who try to better themselves.

Physical Description: Thonians stand 5 to 6 feet tall and weigh 125 to 250 pounds, with men noticeably taller and heavier than women. Their skin is dark, and their hair is black or brown. Thonians do not share the longevity of their High Thonian rulers. They achieve adulthood at age 16 and typically live into their 70s.

Relations: Thonians stay at home and only have exposure to other cultures in their town centers. They stay away from strangers but are happy to peddle wares and offer lodging to travelers who do not appear dangerous.

Peshwah
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/ZeQ2M2ZuDQiJcdgZNSkutFJfoK7v2wv79CDNoKVhEsKQEx7zsXVW5SQFX6ujGGqvkXXpWBRXTg2VtIKqTjU5iJTyT8c5FqPUZR3eYLjL3y_d29iKN_1hGGFpCqpgM9Np6J4L_3ktEOw8STYMqvmUAtajC9sKpGTq5ZP4JZ7ki9OWBtl5Lgi0rvNvnnKW78inxmPIQFDVbrANIXxm6z9SS8Hp89vWozAepVIDu4oqJpaoFpo_2STzEoSEV3qqiOuoGtCfIYDVkJHE73qxskAgGn6YiZ-237U2mc6ggR2kJfvItpgAv_vG-7zdtnNbxFGjX-WftNAMk9biaegTeKFUk2i7G-3r5KUnkQ36fmi7F6a68KXa1Uzj4d3MTeWV7w1dMhlUhxi9zXeWT7cQLkWPtf774biSn7vbEnjN1Fkjk0TNiV8zKdjJXYOSqhZYfek7KgU6zXS6QPjANW1AL2TY5fYApAGhSseN84pOp0dt_4erneEG-qxGIPljkvS9XEn3Sdn_jk0IJWkP-__md1sPX9TNE9U_sixMbFhyM1osDFUZyWVJUvda7HDZahf_Q0x9BfHPJRZNecvM-Ei6a2iU47lAk5g96CwiPtTzoHkpyeTozXmfN-P3=w246-h466-no)

Not so long ago, a tribe of humans settled the Plains of Hak, bringing their horses with them. This tribe is known as the Peshwah. The Peshwah are gentle and nomadic souls who enjoy the feel of life from the back of their horses. Until they met the Afridhi, they knew no war or serious conflict.

As the Afridhi drove these peaceful people in front of them across the plains, spilling their blood and killing their fathers and sons, the Peshwah grew hard and fierce — proving that even a horse will turn to face the lion. After the combined forces of the northern barons and the other good races halted the Afridhi’s advance, the Peshwah once again settled into their windswept homeland. This time though, they have a purpose: the vengeance pounding in their collective heart.

Personality: Peshwah are a well-meaning people. They have pleasant natures and are willing to help their own kind without asking for anything in return. Peshwah mistrust outsiders, including the other human races, but they are rarely hostile toward them. The burning racial anger they hold in their hearts is for the Afridhi alone.

Physical Description: After riding across the wind-swept Plains of Hak for generations, the Peshwah have become a dark-skinned people. Though of human stock, Peshwah are shorter and stockier than their northern Blackmoor brethren. Their features are hard, and culminate in large, straight noses. Their hair is dark brown or deep red; curly hair is uncommon.

Peshwah Lands: The Peshwah claim the Plains of Hak as their own. Large and windswept flatlands are key to their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Some Peshwah have begun settling in fixed communities, and cities and towns are beginning to sprout up on the plains.

Afridhi
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Mr406qJgWF8G695-x0tkz6xoamFrMMVc5sLmU3M2eiMot6m6hJs2KIzSs70sI178aJfUr4Q2qyporzAKoyjncWKsDyRAtwNHxNM94g5baKZfqL2NrSP1MnsWLYM1srqRqgJV25FyOKYqeY92LxViDfR7Yp2imZ8CWNPnFRD10LiVxfr9s91ZH5KBL514ckM1WtbaGgl2wI5Dn9_uv7fXRma_9pz0tMfl3n9qf6hnDY3ljbUwgTYOW7MJvtIdhueOWq9dsjIs60c6T_oP2nP-L31NYyiidP7Duk4K3aEVihAwpzY-bfHI5BQN5Q3CVjNqB3GkDhQSjqXL-EJG75NI4gAQ1s6OIFqLS0IhSOI-koapDyO0IQXk5dMp3x5e59NtT3kNI5A4sZ87UwUtMP96jk-mc3KYgPVpKEHD1CboFoNw3Cd13KER8x3urJXtHkIXvqEohLV03QoY-LiF2w6gHiS2YDuQb_j8_dPuYTYOeXU0HJFsuwjsnbKgv-yfWdswaPGMdmBSpnUrfNUpkgGFtHMYM_tvoAXQFE8Urf4XT89EYEEL3VYoaMdYmiTCzEPEHNErHQp8EHSDNKDsycfxHLtm4YHyRBfdMkFQx3hEbgh2GgbnMZrI=w282-h400-no)

The Afridhi are a frightening race of humans who hail from the most inhospitable parts of the Goblin Kush Mountains. Powerful warriors, the Afridhi have survived for centuries in these cold mountains by force of will and discipline.

The Afridhi are a dark-skinned people with fl aming red hair. They are slightly shorter than other humans, only 5 feet on average, but make up for their vertical shortcomings with great physical power. They wear strange clothing marked with symbols of their Immortal, Zugzul.

While campaigning over the last seventeen years, the Afridhi picked up new skills and abilities as they amalgamated different cultures and military tactics. In their eastern conquests, they learned of heavy infantry from the valley dwellers at the foot of the Goblin Kush, light cavalry from the Peshwah, and heavy cavalry from the Duchy of Ten. Under the leadership of their high priestess, Toska Rusa, the Afridhi have recently begun to delve into the creation a great artifact to destroy the Kingdom of Blackmoor.

Afridhi are fierce in combat, never showing cowardice and rarely leaving the field of battle. They use all manner of weapons, but since leaving the Goblin Kush, they favor longswords and longbows more than their traditional axes, slings, and spears.

Skandaharians
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/XzfMH2yk1wT31AiK4UsBjFKX8fkg97JSFmbuncm2teQ_K82TPEHYnR1vIfBCulTf5ERsLQaLdH3lknrchA0SK-z-E_aNIAZMAN9sAAIdQmAMJYRxm84p5h5GVONQ3VGaOHrSeDIVGFRJBzFUA3syp3eY2jBXVxsBvwJlqQdEPDmZzIIymGhJTLSZvydTA7Mbi_9blxvawUgAJgKAqDEy4iw_3V8mbaSCRK6c7iJ02hSLke524YGQ4yi8mEqtgHkvh_XzUROC_1wiHNMuR1EHy3rLIb4cSUaiQwzk8Y7o-o82iXmYyOO3aCob_X14TDVLYgdx7pjpKILiqjvP2qTsBe2PppmcvJxKP2ouiDpLYK2GLDf_c_1DPtN1Wjx_7Oe1ZUX5-qCwCmy78hXpPetzKBO017rvnlKm98NRSbvWUsS9dISo_ZsbQ9gLXHWgnX9FTBdTScfXuKxCEeN6U8O5JHo_liZ6B0Tu5wxVxTx5XHUbFS1C3bHHt6MP4SMU4X3Ww7BxWgeo732RyrM8hh4Vt45JTj-9hF1Z3-M-vx1738hpVy5oLbffwTSifT9P7hX7lzKe8O9PzT_RuvptM6H7uMRRJMMn4FEbSSd37wmG_eve6wesKdOk=w369-h415-no)

Skandaharians are a race of tall, pale-skinned, blue-eyed, blond-haired sea rovers. From their secret homes in the frozen north, they sail in long ships to raid the coasts of the Thonian Empire. In recent years, they have concentrated on Blackmoor instead, which they unsuccessfully tried to invade during Blackmoor’s rebellion against the empire. Many Skandaharian warriors died in that fiasco, and the barbarian raiders carry a burning hatred of Blackmoor because of their humiliating defeat. For this reason, they make common cause with the Afridhi and the Thonian Empire against Blackmoor. This has not totally prevented them from raiding either of those countries, but it has made them much more discreet when doing so.

Skandaharians are noted for their greed, destructiveness, and cruelty. In this regard, they are often compared unfavorably with orcs. All Skandaharians speak their native Skandaharian. Drummers, captains, expert raiders, and clan leaders all speak Common, as well.

Skandaharians are ruthless combatants. They sometimes raze entire towns, murdering every man, woman, and child. However, few clan leaders allow such gross orgies of destruction, except against towns and villages that put up a strong resistance. Skandaharians use many techniques to inspire fear and terrorize their enemies. Many towns evacuate upon hearing the drums and horns of the Skandaharian long ships, and return to fi nd their homes and shops pillaged or destroyed.

Few men can equal a Skandaharian in single combat. Their strength and maniacal assaults make them difficult opponents. Wielding vicious battleaxes, they wade through the mayhem of night battles by firelight. A Skandaharian rarely uses ranged weapons; only when closing amidships do they pepper an enemy vessel with arrows before boarding her with axes waving.
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor - Lands Beyond Blackmoor
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 31, 2012, 02:21:39 AM
The Lands Beyond

The Duchy of Ten

The Duchy of Ten (formerly known as the “Duchy of the Ten Heroes”) was founded when outcasts and rogues from the northern edges of the Thonian empire fled across the Misauga river to form an independent state on the northwestern edge of the fl edgling barony of Blackmoor. Initially, the empire completely ignored these people, which earned them the nickname “the Unwanted.”

Eventually, the struggling people mastered the harsh lands drew attention as their power grew. In time, the imperial government decided to reign in the northern wild lands. Their attempts to crush the growing power of the Unwanted did not merely fail, they failed spectacularly. The empire’s efforts succeeded only in offering the region’s formerly disparate pirates and a common foe, inspiring them to unite in a powerful independent state. In the wake of the “war for independence” (or the “pirates insurrection,” as the Thonian scribes call it), the people of Ten came to be ruled by a governing council led by ten of the war’s greatest heroes.

Proclaiming their independence from the Thonian Empire, The Duchy of Ten became the first free republic in the land, recognizing the authority of no king or emperor. Unfortunately, that which was born of this union was lost with the coming of the Afridhi’s murderous hordes.

Today Ten’s entire political fabric is sundered, its brilliant political system lost to history, as the land now lies under the cruel Afridhi’s iron-shod boots. Still, to understand the lands of Ten, one must know something of its unique history. While the Afridhi have tried their best to destroy the duchy and enslave its people, the Tenians still strive for their freedom. Even in the midst of the Afridhi occupation, the Tenians’ desire for independence grows and swells. One day, they are sure, the Afridhi yoke will be raised from their necks and they will live free in the North once more.

While the nation is known as the Duchy of Ten, “duchy” is somewhat misleading as the governing system of Ten was not beholden to any ruler. No single duke has ever ruled the land, for no one person has ever won the hearts of the entire population. As the land of Ten was formed by a hasty union of rebellious rabble, the duchy’s leadership was forged in a similar manner. Nine men (some of whom had held offi cial titles as noblemen in the Thonian Empire) and one woman rose from the Unwanted to become great heroes of the rebellion. In the wake of the violence, they formed a ruling council, each taking the title of duke or duchess to show that none would sit higher than any other. They maintained control of Ten’s wild lands until the Afridhi invasion.

The loss of Ten to the Afridhi is a long and painful story, full of suffering and tragedy. The Afridhi incursion reaches from the southwest (well beyond the far-flung trading outpost of White Horse and the lands of the Peshwah) to the banks of the Misauga River in the east, and as far as the mouth of the Firefrost Channel in the north. They now control of the cities and towns in Ten. All that remains of the free peoples of Ten are a few small groups of bandits and outlaws trapped in the region’s hills, forests, and swamps. Only the swampy border with the kingdom of Blackmoor held back the Afridhi, and some say the horde is even now massing along the eastern frontier, ready to push through the Great Dismal Swamp into Blackmoor and complete their conquest of the North.

At present, the (former) Duchy of Ten represents the largest portion of occupied Afridhi land. With the complete defeat of the duchy’s forces, all travel and commerce along roadways in the region is under Afridhi control. However, as they come from a landlocked homeland, the Afridhi are not as yet a skilled seafaring people. Ten’s many small rivers and cove-pocked coastlines are the nation’s last remaining portions that still provide a limited degree of free travel and trade within Afridhi-occupied territory.

The Afridhi have chosen to make their new eastern capital in the castle of Starmorgan, the duchy’s former capital. Very little is known of the Afridhi’s ruling structure. The most reliable reports identify their leader as a powerful female cleric named Toska Rusa, alleged to be the bride of the “one god,” Zugzul. He has supposedly chosen to make the entire North a wedding gift for his new bride, and thus her people storm across the land to make their great god’s word into truth. (None have yet discovered how Toska Rusa and her zealots managed to gain such control over the Afridhi warleaders.)

The present Afridhi theocracy is composed primarily of women who belong to a religious caste known as the Handmaidens of Zugzul, deadly warriors and powerful sorceresses who place enchantments on their soldiers to assist them in combat. The Handmaidens enter deep trance-like states, induced by obscene ceremonies conducted before the sacred fi res of Zugzul. Much of their decision-making relies on visions and dreams they experience while in these states, visions they believe are sent by Zugzul himself. These savage ceremonies involve several distinct forms of human sacrifice, each designed to please the evil Immortal Zugzul and to petition for his infinite insight.

Within the Afridhi-controlled lands, brave men and women still oppose the Afridhi’s savage rule. Some of Ten’s more prudent residents escaped before the invasion’s full force fell upon them. One rebel group makes its home to the northwest of the great Barrier Swamp, in an area known as the Empty Lands. Led by the former Duke of Oktagern, an army of two thousand stands ready to retake their lands. Afridhi forces constantly comb this area, seeking to find and eliminate these rebels.

The Brothers of the Greenwood is another group that opposes Afridhi control. Serving as spies and saboteurs, this group claims to have a membership of over eight thousand. The Brothers are composed of a substantial Tenian militia who fi ght to retake their lands. Rumors persist that the kingdom of Blackmoor supplies this group with weapons, and on this basis the Afridhi claim that they must subjugate Blackmoor’s Barony of the Lakes in order to protect their “rightful god-given lands.” The Brothers of the Greenwood use guerilla tactics of infiltration and subversion to hinder the internal workings of the Afridhi state. They have developed into a dangerous force and now pose a substantial threat to the stability of the Afridhi occupation.

The Kingdom of the Westryn

The Kingdom of the Westryn is composed of five forest realms distributed in Blackmoor’s western reaches. Though they are technically within the borders of the Kingdom of Blackmoor, Blackmoor presses no claims on these lands — and the Westryn would ignore such claims in any case. The Westryn’s forest realms are found in the Westwood, the Wilds of Ten, Unicorn Wood, Pelham Wood, and the Greenwood

Though little is known of the Westryn and their culture, most know that individual kings historically ruled each of these forest realms. In current times, a single King of the Westryn makes his home deep in the secluded forests of the Westwood. Princes loyal to the crown rule the remaining forest realms, valuing secrecy as the highest priority in protecting their people. The Westryn borders are heavily guarded, and sentries often eliminate unwanted visitors without warning.

Since the split between the Cumasti and Westryn elves, the Westryn west of the Peaks of Booh have managed to maintain at least some contact with one another, leading to the formation of a single interconnected network of land and culture. However, since the massive influx of humans from Thonia to the North, the Westryn lands have been divided. The forest has been cut to make way for cropland, and the timber from the edges of the wood has been turned into ships, charcoal, and palisade walls. What was once an enormous deciduous forest, stretching from the Misauga to the Root River, is now dissected by roads and human-controlled areas. At present, while Pelham Wood, Unicorn Wood, and the Greenwood all contain populations of Westryn elves, only in the Westwood — the former capital of the unified Westryn lands — does a Westryn kingdom truly remain. Woe to any man, dwarf, or orc who sets foot within, for if the wood’s many hostile creatures do not turn him into a snack, rumors say that the Westryn themselves will fill his body with so many arrows he will be full more of wood than blood.

No non-elven ambassador has ever returned from diplomatic missions to the Westryn. Knowledge of their government comes from Cumasti travelers who do not openly speak of their distant brethren. Visitors reveal limited details about a fierce “spirit war,” waged by the Westryn against abnormally powerful undead residing in the North. This private crusade draws their attention away from the petty land disputes of humans and dwarves. The Cumasti believe that this conflict with the undead is of prime importance, but the Westryn refuse all offers of aid. As a sign of support for the Westryn, the Cumasti nevertheless send monthly wagon trains of supplies and leave them just within the borders of each of the Westryn realms.

The Lands of the Cumasti

Elves have lived in the forests northeast of Thonia for as long as any living scribe can recall. Records of their habitation long predate the North’s fi rst human settlements; folk-tales and legends place them in the region for as long as the even the most ancient of the trees among which they have chosen to live. Once, a mighty elven nation (its name now long lost to the tongues of men) ruled all the North, and a single grand elven culture spread from sea to sea. Over many centuries the elves’ power waned, and none are more cognizant of this fact than the Cumasti, the last heirs of a great and proud tradition that existed before the dawn of human history. The tale of the elves’ downfall and their eventual displacement by the “lesser races” (as some Cumasti refer to men, orcs, dwarves and other short-lived people) is a long and difficult one. Even the Cumasti no longer know the story in its entirety, as it contains many points about which debate still rages, and perhaps always will. What is clear is that modern Cumasti make concerted
efforts to rejuvenate their failing culture in the hope that they can prevent their noble society from degenerating into the unrefined and base ways of the Westryn. While the Cumasti honor the Westryn as their kindred, they do not respect the simple, harsh life of hunting and gathering to which most of the Westryn elves have become accustomed. Culture, family and history are the three most prized possessions of any Cumasti. Without these “Three Pillars of Eternity,” an elf is naught but a hollow shell, like a dry log through which sap no longer runs.

The days at the Cumasti high court are filled with beauty, but it is an empty beauty, evoking only memories of what was. Religious leaders conduct endless ritual performances dedicated to heroes whose names can no longer be pronounced. They hold such ceremonies on holy days for distant gods who have devolved into little more than elemental spirits, barely remembered by those who once revered them. These rituals are impressive, but not even the performers themselves — who often seem almost entranced, lost in the magic of their art —remember what they mean. While the high court settles matters of law and is the seat of government, the court is first and foremost a center of Cumasti art and performance. Even those Redwood elves who dwell in the small manors spread through the great forest return to the court at least once a year to watch the beautiful dances, listen to the entrancing music, and participate in the awesome rituals.

Every Cumasti’s bloodline is recorded in great detail, and each Redwood elf knows her family history back at least eleven generations. Given that a Cumasti generation lasts almost four hundred years, many living Cumasti trace their bloodline to the most ancient progenitors of their race and sometimes even back as far as the oldest of the elven gods. While Cumasti know the names of their ancestors, they no longer understand the traditions that made them a great people.

No human can truly understand the Cumasti’s ways. They live their lives so fi rmly lodged in the past that those without vast historical knowledge are constantly at a loss to interpret their actions. Some few Cumasti recognize that no matter their efforts to preserve their lineage, they will not last forever in this world. They are ready now to tell the story of the rise and fall of the elven nation to those with the wisdom to ask the right questions and the patience to hear the answers.

Cumasti lands are sparsely populated, with over two-thirds of the Cumasti living within and around the citadel of Ringlo Hall. While most of the Westryn prefer to live in small settlements spread thinly throughout their forestlands, the Cumasti have become a centralized, urban people. Of course, “urban” has quite a different meaning among the Cumasti than it might in Thonia or Maus, as the city in which the Cumasti dwell is a living part of the great Red Wood.

The Hak

The horsemen of the Peshwah lay claim to the plains of the High Hak and the Eastern Hak southeast of the Valley of the Ancients. The Afridhi incursion forced the Peshwah to settle the Eastern Hak where the cold winters have taken a toll on their people.

Because of the Peshwah’s nomadic nature, their government is centered on the ancestral clan structure that has shaped their culture since their ancestors Horghast and Herutu were born onto the windswept plains of the Hak. The strongest clan’s leader is appointed the Peshwah’s ruling chief. This chief is called the Sirk am Peshwah, meaning “Center of the People.” The ruling Sirk is Sirk na Jota, who currently faces open challenges from other clan lords. The title itself is only of moderate value, as even in war each of the chiefs may decide on his people’s actions, and the Sirk am Peshwah has only influence, never authority, over the other chiefs.

Following the Sirk are the Peshwan na Leado. These lesser chieftains rule the individual clans and report directly to the Sirk. Each Leado is responsible for clan’s wealth and well-being. When a clan is in need, its Leado is held responsible for the lack and often assigns duties to the clan’s men in order to find the needed resources. The Leado hold onto their positions much more tenuously than Blackmoor’s barons and lords. In order to continue to function as a Leado, each clan chief must constantly display his wealth and power to the other members of his horseclan. For this reason, most of the Leado wear elaborate headdresses created from the rarest materials they can find (feathers, gold and gems are particularly favored). Battles for the position of Leado are not infrequent, but
as a chief has invariably demonstrated his ability to fight successfully for his position, it is mostly the young and foolish who challenge the Leado. This custom is the reason that Peshwah society claims fewer foolish young men than other human settlements.

The Hommett are the final rung in the ladder of leadership among the Peshwah. These men and women are their people’s religious leaders and spiritual centers. They champion their people’s causes to their Leados and cast inscribed horse bones to interpret the portents they reveal.

The Peshwah have rebuilt their numbers and are eager to charge back across the plains against the Afridhi. To maintain an appearance of strength in their period of exile, they raid supply caravans and rob travelers in Blackmoor’s southern baronies. King Uther has appointed Peshwan na Shepro as the Baron of Dragonia in the hopes that this appointment will help curb the raids. He also hopes that when the Peshwah see a kinsman acting as a powerful member of the Blackmoor government, they see it as a gesture of peace between the nations. While this situation is possible many Peshwah and Blackmoorians regard one another with great suspicion.

The Peshwah are divided up into a dozen traditional divisions that outsiders know as horseclans. The clans evolved from a totemic system that the Peshwah have long forgotten. These clans structure most aspects of Peshwah society and are of great importance when parents choose their sons’ marriage partners. No Peshwah may marry within his or her own clan, and in most cases brides are selected from only one particular clan. This makes meetings between all twelve of the horseclans necessary in the springtime, when the Peshwah frequently celebrate marriages. While the Peshwah as a whole share a culture, each of the horseclans has its own particular characteristics. Coming of age rituals, horse breeds, and arrow fletchings are the most distinct aspects of the horseclans. The nomadic nature of some horseclans makes locating them difficult without a Peshwah guide. With a good knowledge of the stars and information about the Hak’s weather, a good Peshwah trailblazer can fi nd any of the twelve horseclans in only a few days. Some young Peshwah men wander far beyond their traditional ranges and pride themselves on the ability to journey to some of the least accessible and most inhospitable locations known to man.

Lands of the Regent of the Mines

The history of the lands of the Regent of the Mines is written in stone — literally. More than half a millennium ago, the great Uberstar Khazakhum laid out an ambitious plan to conquer the mountains of the North. He and his stout company faced the wilderness’ perils and fi nally came to settle in the range now known as the Crystal Peaks. There he established a great city named Obramdu, buried in the belly of the mountain his people named in honor of their great leader. And so it was that mount Uberstar became the seat of the Regent of the Mines.

Centuries passed as the dwarves toiled without regard for the concerns of the neighboring Cumasti or humans. Dwarves live to work and fight, and for some time their work was their greatest undertaking. The mines’ undreamed-of mineral wealth is renowned throughout Thonia and beyond.

After nearly 600 years of mining, the mines’ wealth and power is formidable. The dwarves understand the need that people have for their precious resources — and the power they wield by controlling those resources. They have spent years fortifying themselves and pursuing technological advances that promise to improve the outputs of their efforts. The dwarves assisted in the Great Rebellion that saw Uther Andahar become King. While a noble cause unto itself, the dwarves also saw an opportunity to increase the sales of their mined goods. This trend of relative openness between the North’s main cultures continued for some time. In an attempt to better his relations with his neighbors and potential customers, Khazakhum learned to speak Cumasti and made frequent visits to the Redwood.

Recently, Khazakhum has gone missing while out on a hunting mission and is believed dead at the hands of the Orcs of the Black Hand. In his stead, Lortz Kharnundrum was appointed Regent of the Mines. Lortz maintains his loyalty to the Regency Council and King Uther, but the Congress of Clans hinders him. This Congress is composed of old and decaying remnants of the older, xenophobic dwarven culture that prefers isolation. This development delays the plans that have been underway for decades to create a new confederacy between Blackmoor’s elves, dwarves, and men.

The Realm of the Egg
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/7F9booJ9I9dK8brELz40W9n_Kd253ElQGj0YTAW6FcwWAnXfTWJr2gAJ2buUNb9HKQr8HY7lbZ_LdhcFwhriAlXoX1XtkDK-mNzi5e0OnwhYV_NASKsoCh0k-MJYaQPycsdQaxolUnRJiGMAiB86TrzduRLUdzH36D6vpcN7EocCufGGCD0V5pJZiU7ZikKbyDUwMtHoKklBBOJeal3Agppwp9LO8sAZ1fzkN7fxSd9YEQGYz4VWQJ2wYdbfCyf6dsZBuYHQANWaHNS-qqvXkVabJGEyz3E0OzOfUbY5eD2QI94wFlHTVH94IC2uw8GGdGRAuiiflT4mYKIwQPodSho-F66E2LSodUpUE1iCJMxVlriW75VboNXHBfQV-ZcQn4_dtmfyZq_wQXwhtYbNVc_Z7Uf9cT4t6TTjKpMHNeZ5-Jzo8oY2XsGM1-g27KL5z2R3LlM6sFJcZYO8wjDPzEQkYS8ZTanKn6T_PvKlhkVjoCk6f_o4xY9lY_AswEbPD6YerZYRsex1_--gzcXV7GrVNfr4TwnQeUf01xcskKxeONUvWzG2dwG2nikkFPuhZKzWV_QNe3mkn3WiTe9W8FCx0WYEW8NXqaWnKABW5V5yPHagEJZg=w284-h411-no)

Another constant threat to region resides in a magically constructed spur of land to Blackmoor’s northwest — an area known as the Realm of the Egg. Ruled by the Egg of Coot, little is known beyond the physical borders of these inhospitable lands.

No kingdom has open dealings with the Egg. Most rulers desire to defeat the mysterious Egg and remove it from power, though none have yet risked a direct assault on the Realm of the Egg. At least, none remember doing so — but since most people who enter the Realm of the Egg and manage to return have no knowledge of the place or of having been there, perhaps such an assault was attempted and forgotten. In fact, many members of the Wizards’ Cabal believe that multiple failed assaults have been mounted against the Egg. This would lead them to wonder why, with such great power, the Egg has not yet invaded the remainder of the North. To date, these questions remain unanswered.

Valley of the Ancients

Blackmoor is partially protected from a direct Thonian invasion by a deadly natural barrier known as the Valley of the Ancients. Surrounded by tall cliffs and sharp escarpments, this wide expanse of salt-flat desert is the remnant of an ancient inland sea, long since dried up to produce one of the least hospitable regions on the continent. The last of the waters from the long-gone sea are found near the western edge of the great salt flat in the form of a large, stinking puddle known as the Sink. No natural creatures are able to live within its viscous waters, although it is known as a gathering site for salt mephits.

While the valley floor is flat, punctuated only by a few dangerous sinkholes, a twenty-mile chain of volcanic hills lies across the region’s center. Among the various bits and pieces spewed forth from these semi-active volcanoes are deposits of high-quality obsidian and a beautiful, blue volcanic glass. At this range’s southern edge stands a tall tower carved out of large blocks of the blue glass. Rumors say that a cabal of mad wizards, belonging to a vanished race, constructed this shining tower. Legends of these extinct wizards and the evil schemes they set in motion make popular tavern stories throughout the North. The wizards in these tales lend the Valley of the Ancients its name.

Other than the tower, only one other permanent structure is found in the valley: the Shrine of Axmouth. Large piles of smooth, blue-gray rock transform this place into a natural amphitheater. Within this rock-lined bowl, a curious nomadic group of humans known as the sand-folk hold infrequent tribal gatherings. No sane person would attempt to cross the valley without the help of the sand-folk, although in times of need Peshwah are known to pass along the southern edge. The journey across 160 miles of scorching desert takes a toll upon their herds, and they only make the journey under the direst circumstances.

While few living things enter the valley itself, several groups of heat-loving creatures make their homes in the surrounding hills. Salt-encrusted, dusty trolls and naked, black-skinned hill giants live in the hills to the northeast and prey on any who seek to enter the valley. Further south, along the east side, one finds rugged ridges known to the Peshwah as the Persa na Shilotan (“Spine of the Dragon”). Red and blue dragons make their homes throughout this region. To the south stands the great Mount Kurrkatoa, an active volcano inhabited by a vicious fire giant tribe who keep both pyrohydras and hell hounds as pets. This area is the center of the Shokai religion, a poorly-known fire cult that may be related to Zugzul. Only one man, the powerful wizard known as Robert the Bald, has conquered one of the hills surrounding the valley. All feat his fortress, Cloudtop, at Mount Kergwailin’s summit; even dragons avoid it.

The City of the Gods
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/cnmxRV4PeXI-YeBwN6Ttm6ltW9sdHEXoqDvM22KT6NcXawbvx-IQGo3JGDnEfPl6dbJbYRggned4oFK8Ybgqs7jrYbgNEa7ydSK4ydPjmoILHYgMyxRaEH04FFg50iOK0aJ525s1QgN9kIXDw5X2xPQpy1ODuao62AYvQWwViKPSpGKhTGMc690i0lUYQABvZKzurowfb2KdTKyHlUwzvkjIez038AFptLm76ttPeqc8kJfFBLqR-laxSBaB1z6LgpHTdCyak6znrWgB0U6WeQsXrGs9W-AemfgA5yMoXTZwinZkiGuGQ71ZY8_2ky1gPydvIt8CRS17tZKlF-gmTnrip6A6zSp9RwFgqgUzXt0IU4PXDvI8IRNtvvnd3-tsDnXyp10GlIx_6gzDVkmJr1-YG8D-ORJlLFCvzQxmdiFp67M_gWSCJdyks5wGsG6XkirK_cUtNa8H-I8xeAixCFy-KZ1gW72IfBcgwxBJy0tLnkDNxI83cViPIBdeliFWmeT2afRlJATBOq3bXgpJGiDKFXpw9tIZ0OIm8UbGEmc9vrmq60je7ZLLy9krN4ZR9gwx8OpSKcjm0eaqzmH0AWG6HBhnyfSVPKraUf6Smeur0nm6iJ6r=w1035-h603-no)

Five winters ago a great comet burned in the night sky. The elder sages and royal magicians predicted doom, and declared that the comet portended the return of the army of the Coot, or a defeat of the dwarf-friends in the spreading Orc-Dwarf war. Instead, this bizarre alien structure appeared in the Valley of the Ancients.

The local sand-folk refer to it as "the City of the Gods," though no one has any reliable reports of who or what dwells there. Alarmed, King Uther has sent several expeditions to investigate the City of the Gods, but all of them have vanished without a trace.

The Great Dismal Swamp and the Cult of the Frog
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Between Blackmoor and the Duchy of Ten lies a region almost universally recognized as one of the more dangerous areas in the entire northwest. Warm, still puddles of muck and thick, tangled vegetation conceal all manner of vicious and venomous creatures that lust for nothing more than the sweet taste of soft, civilized flesh. The swamp’s edges are innocuous, and that is part of their danger — those new to the region can unsuspectingly walk into the swamp, fi rst plagued by nothing more than a few mosquito bites and wet boots. The first few minutes of travel into the mists may turn out to be the last few minutes of life for those unprepared for the swamp’s dangers.

Upon entering the swamp’s depths, one is immediately surrounded by a constant barrage of buzzing insects, oozes, slimes, and other foul vermin. Dangerous as these are, they often prove even more hazardous as distractions, for patches of deadly quicksand lie concealed beneath layers of leaves and mud. Exiting the swamp is often far more difficult than entering, as mists close in around the unwary, cutting visibility to 30 feet even on the brightest of days. After an hour within the swamp, a living creature takes a –2 morale penalty on all Fortitude saves due to the constant nips and bites subject. Many adventuring parties have tried to take shortcuts through the swamp — only to find their numbers, not their travels, cut short.

Home to all manner of abominations, the Great Dismal Swamp almost throbs with an evil life force. Sometimes desperate bandits lurk on the outskirts, as they know no sane person would follow them into the swamp. As often as not, they end up the prey of the more sinister creatures that dwell beneath the waters. As the whole dank mass of terrain is positively teeming with life (mostly of an amphibious nature), the chance for random encounters is double standard. Creatures with soft, bloated, wet bodies thrive within the swamp’s stale waters. Aboleths, curious froglike humanoids, and giant leeches all dwell here in great numbers. However, the swamp is not only the home of the living, but also an abode for the dead. Rot-infested zombies and wailing banshees are found within
the swamp, most often among the ancient ruins that lie beneath the waters. Rumors tell that under the swamp’s waters lie the remains of a great civilization that collapsed long before mankind knew Blackmoor. Some say that feverish madmen now work tirelessly within the depths of the swamp in the hopes of resuscitating an ancient evil, lying trapped beneath the mud.

These madmen belong to a bizarre religious sect. The sect’s theology is peculiar, at best, and it had never attracted many adherents. Basically, it preached that the existing sentient species were all too weak and unadaptable for long-term survival and must be supplanted by a new intelligent species bred from — frogs. The sect’s "great work" was to ceaselessly labor to create this new species. Once success was attained, the church hierarchy would govern the new race of amphibian "superbeings."

Since the sect had, until recently, been discreet in its activities, none could gauge its size. In fact, little was known about it save that it was militant, mysterious and ruled by a clerical brotherhood that resided in a frog-shaped temple somewhere deep in the Great Dismal Swamp. The name of the sect was the Order of the Frog. Its leaders called themselves the Monks of the Swamp.
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor - Organizations
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 31, 2012, 03:45:41 AM
Organizations & Power Groups

Blackmoor's Regency Council:

The Regency Council of Blackmoor was established by Uther to ensure stability throughout the region, and manages the routine business of the North. More than just an assembly of scheming barons or a council of sycophant advisors, the Regency Council holds great power and the absolute trust of the king. So important is the council that in the event of Uther’s demise, he has decreed that its members should assume a joint stewardship over the kingdom.

One of the most important policies to be affirmed by the Regency Council is Uther’s Decree requiring all nobles within the borders of Blackmoor to spend five years adventuring upon reaching maturity. In addition to ensuring that all nobles have a first-hand understanding of the lives of their people and that the weak and uncourageous might be weeded from the ranks of leadership, this policy was put in place to encourage cultural interaction between nobles of different races.

Though King Uther makes the final decision on larger matters, many smaller issues and potential conflicts are resolved solely by the Regency Council’s decision, with Uther signing off only as a formality. Major legislation passed by the council includes the establishment of dueling academies throughout Blackmoor and the unofficial Barony of Dragonia, the Svenson Assessment that allows the council to send adventurers to negotiate and dispatch smaller conflicts within a region, and the formation of a uniform trading tax for foreign merchants. The idea of the Regency Council has caused some in the land to hope that the council will one day supplant the need for a king. Those who still fear that Thonia might attempt to retake Blackmoor have begun to state publicly that a republican government would be the best means of defense against Thonia’s archaic oppression. One of the biggest proponents of a council-ruled society is Ustran Worraps, a powerful and wise wizard rising quickly through the ranks of the Cabal. However, his public show of support conceals darker ambitions.

Organization

The Regency Council’s primary function is to make sure that every barony, culture, and faction calling Blackmoor home receives a fair voice in the political process. Each of the major races of the region gets one seat on the Regency Council. Seats are also allotted to the Wizard’s Cabal, the University of Blackmoor, and some of the larger baronies. Though they have been invited, the Westryn elves and the Peshwah have no seat on the council as yet. Of the two, the Peshwah are close to joining, and many believe it is only a matter of time before Peshwan na Shepro elevates his role from council consultant to full member.

Within the council, several established subcommittees take responsibility for some of the most important aspects of life in the North. The council created its first subcommittee on arcane studies in 1020 after the Vestfold revolt, during which a band of underground rebel wizards attacked the city. The Cabal’s Vestfold headquarters was nearly destroyed in the assault, and many of its members were killed. Though the attackers were eventually put down, an investigation by Spellwise Sildonis, Fletcher William, and Svenson suggested that the revolt was heavily influenced (and perhaps funded) by the Eldritch Underground. Adventurers managed to arrest several of the Underground’s leaders, including Quentin Garos, one of the founders of the group and a noted fugitive responsible for several terrorist attacks on the Cabal.

Along with the arcane subcommittee, there is also a subcommittee of trade consisting of Svale, Svenson, and Menander Ithamis, and a subcommittee studying natural resources consisting of Svale Highfellow, Timothy Curlytop, and Uberstar Khazakhum. Lortz Kharnundrhum has taken his father Uberstar’s place on both the council and subcommittees since his disappearance, and has also assembled an informal subcommittee with Svenson and Menander to locate and retrieve his father. At present, the council has three bands of adventurers searching for the Lord Regent, in addition to freelancers looking for fame and the warriors sent by the dwarves.

Given the enormous amount of work that comes before the council, each member has no fewer than three assistants to deal with referendums, petitions, proposals, and meeting requests. Most of the subcommittees’ research is done by assistants, who are also in charge of keeping track of the exploits of adventurers throughout the North and maintaining records of those who might prove useful to the kingdom.

The King's Companions:

No single decisive battle won Blackmoor its sovereignty from Thonia. Rather, legions of brave men and women fought the drawn-out war of freedom, with countless warriors giving their lives in the name of Uther Andahar. In every part of Blackmoor, one can hear tales of those who used their last breath to curse the Thonian Empire and acknowledge Uther as their true king.

Despite the many hearts that have pledged an oath to Uther, eleven individuals are closer to the king’s cause than any others—those who have been given the title of King’s Companions. They are not a formal order per se; in fact, some have never even met each other. Rather, they are a group of brave men and women who have gone above and beyond their dedicated oaths, in some cases losing friends, family, and loved ones in the process.

Unlike other organizations, there is no way to join the King’s Companions. Their legend has already been cemented. However, those of great bravery or fortune might be able to gain enough favor to be taken in as an apprentice of one of these legendary warriors. Those who successfully complete such service are informally and collectively called Fellows of the King’s Companions.

Organization

The King’s Companions are the eleven individuals who aided Uther in his quest to free Blackmoor from the control of Thonia. An informal order, the companions have no levels of advancement or degrees of achievement.

As the King’s Companions have reached the end of their adventuring days, they have begun training apprentices to become the future heroes of Blackmoor. In time, several of these young champions came together and realized how much of an asset they could be to one another, organizing under the name of the Fellows of the King’s Companions. Many of those who have long since passed their apprenticeship now serve Uther’s court directly, and help to vet and train new apprentices to the King’s Companions.

The Brothers of the Greenwood:

The Brothers of the Greenwood oppose Afridhi control of the Duchy of Ten. Serving as spies and saboteurs, this fellowship claims over eight thousand members fighting to retake their lands. Rumors persist that the Kingdom of Blackmoor supplies the group with weapons, and the Afridhi have used this claim to threaten subjugation of Blackmoor’s Barony of the Lakes in order to protect their "rightful god-given lands."

A dangerous force that has grown to pose a substantial threat to the occupation of Ten, the Brothers of the Greenwood use guerilla tactics of infiltration and subversion to hinder the internal workings of the Afridhi state. The group is based in Croc’s Nest, a small trading community halfway between Lake Gloomy and the Tower of Midges on the War Road, and maintains temporary campsites and equipment caches throughout Ten.

Organization

The Brothers of the Greenwood consists of two groups: the intelligence corps (or spirits) led by Baron Oric van Rijin and the guerilla soldiers (or trees) led by Baron Finneas Hubal. Their respective missions are summed up in the maxim, "Spirits watch; trees march." Each branch has different requirements, and characters who join both branches are referred to as spirit trees.

Intelligence Corps (‘Spirits’)

Members of the intelligence corps are charged with infiltrating Ten to gain information on Afridhi activities, most commonly troop movements. Many spirits pose as Tenian slaves within the Afridhi camps, although particularly skilled individuals are given short-term assignments involving impersonation of higher-level Tenian slave-officials or even Afridhi troops. Members of the intelligence corps are also used for counterintelligence assignments within the guerrilla soldiers.

Most spirits are rogues or bards, although members of other classes (notably sorcerers and clerics of the Trickery or Obscuration domains) are not uncommon. Members of the intelligence corps base their ranks on incorporeal creatures, partly to strike fear into the Afridhi. “Ghosts are haunting you” is a message commonly left behind when spirit spies have finished their work. Many of the older members of this corps are former thieves and cutthroats who have turned their talents to more useful ends in these trying times.

Guerilla Soldiers (‘Trees’)

The trees are led by Baron Hubal of Rusagern (the Old Oak), and are focused on taking the fight to the Afridhi in the hope of reclaiming their homeland. Most of their operations are built around information obtained by the intelligence corps, and consist of fast hit-and-run tactics against supply lines and other critical targets. The guerilla soldiers are run in a much more organized fashion than the intelligence corps, and their membership is far less secretive. The soldiers’ ranks are named after the trees of their occupied homeland.

The Court of the Rapier:

When a citizen of Blackmoor has a legal complaint against a fellow citizen, he takes it to the local magistrate to be heard and ruled upon. When nobles want to air their grievances, they do so at the Court of the Rapier— the only recognized dueling society in the Kingdom of Blackmoor.

Organization

The Church of Sacwhynne (Immortal patron of duels, whose worshipers include nobles, fencers, duelists, and warriors) acts as the dueling society’s official sponsor. For the court’s public face, its members profess to share a love of fencing and dueling. The Court of the Rapier’s true purpose, however, is much more than it appears. True to its name, the court is a place where disputes, accusations, complaints, and vengeance are settled with steel according to the arts of the duel. Rival noble and merchant houses send their progeny to the court to train in swordplay, and to eventually represent them when the time comes.

Unlike informal dueling societies and their often-fraternal camaraderie, the atmosphere in the Court of the Rapier is as cold as Sacwhynne’s breath. Its members respect each other, but all who hold a rapier know that relationships can end quickly depending on the rules of the duel. The noble houses of Blackmoor hold the court in high esteem, remembering how noble houses at odds used to fight openly, damaging their reputations and resources.

The Temple of Sacwhynne serves as the Court of the Rapier’s main headquarters. Each noble house of repute must have three representatives in the Court of the Rapier in order to take part in the organization. Conflict between nobles is brought to the attention of the judge-maestro, the head of the court.

By random drawing, the judge-maestro chooses twelve duelists from outside the disputing houses to serve as his jury. Upon hearing the terms of the dispute, the jury chooses which two duelists will settle the matter. Ostensibly setting aside personal feelings, jurors are charged with choosing duelists based on how their skill with a blade relates to the strength or weakness of the case. The judge-maestro then determines the rules of the duel, which depend on the severity of the noble challenge.

Challenges run the range from first blood to a fight to the death. Whenever death occurs, the losing noble house brings in another hopeful to go through the training process, though it could take as long as five years under the DeMarke sisters for even a talented warrior to develop the potential for greatness.

As nobles duel within the hierarchy of the court, they increase their stature and rank. Five duels won translates to an increase in rank within the court, at which time Judge-Maestro Artaban Von Enstrin rewards the winning duelist with knowledge parted from the Codex of Blade and Ice. This holy work of Sacwhynne is said to describe the goddess’s own fighting style, or at least a version which mere mortals are able to emulate.

Ranks within the court are named after the components of a rapier: white pommels, purple quillions, black hilts, silver ricassos, and golden blades.

The Gen’ri:

The elves have long been the chroniclers of history and lore. The records of the Cumasti nation predate the settlements of humans in the North, and tell of a single grand elven nation. With the encroachment of other races into the Redwoods and the dwindling of the elven people, the need for Cumasti agents with connections to the politics and temperament of their non-elven neighbors has never been stronger.

Organization

The internal security and intelligence force of the Cumasti elves is called the Gen’ri. The organization has several levels of membership, beginning with entry-level agents tasked with basic record keeping and courier work. By increasing their ability for gathering information and their knowledge of the local area, members of the order become seasoned master- and elder-level agents. The gen’ri are provided stipends and tools relative to their standing in the organization, including disguise kits, elven cloaks and boots, and other items of stealth and subterfuge.

Gen’ri agents meld into their surroundings, easily gaining information and trust through the local inhabitants living near their assigned post. Often these agents take on the role of local shopkeepers, tavern owners, or any other vocation popular with the common folk and likely to overhear local rumors. It is believed that every city, hamlet, and thorp in and around the Redwood has a member of the Gen’ri in residence.

The House of the Five-Thorned Roses:

Of the many informal dueling societies scattered across the north, the House of the Five-Thorned Roses is the most untraditional. Its members are the defenders of love, seeking revenge for those who have been wounded in its name.

Organization

The Five-Thorned Roses is a revenge society whose duelists are hired to exact retribution for those who have been spurned by those they loved. Members take no payment for their services, as they believe that the common folk are always in need of champions. Unlike assassins, members of the Five-Thorned Roses always challenge according to the proper protocols of dueling.

Members of the order are typically hired by those who have had their spouses or lovers stolen, issuing a challenge to the offending suitor. If the challenger declines (which is likely), the members of the House of the Five-Thorned Roses endeavor to make the transgressor’s "cowardice" public knowledge by spreading the word in taverns and distributing embarrassing handbills. The purpose of such tactics is to goad the challenged party into the duel when the humiliation grows too great. As a constant reminder, the assigned duelist leaves a red rose with five thorns tacked to the target’s door each night until the challenge has been accepted. All duels are to the death, and any duelist slain in such a manner is buried in a casket filled with roses.

The members of the House of the Five-Thorned Roses typically wear dueling attire in black (to symbolize mourning) and red (to symbolize love and revenge). Many become devotees of Phellia, the Immortal patron of lovers. The house’s membership roster of duelists is on the rise, and all have a tragic story of their own to tell.

The Howling Lords of the Midnight Hunt:

Among the many druidic circles of the North, the Howling Lords of the Midnight Hunt have a legendary— and sometimes dangerous—reputation. While many druidic orders dedicate themselves to protecting nature, the Howling Lords pay homage to darker, more
primal forces.

Organization

The Howling Lords of the Midnight Hunt believe in the primal order of nature—that the strong shall lead while the weak follow. The overall order is composed of small circles known as packs. Each pack consists mainly of druids, but barbarians, rangers, and shamans who have proven their worth in strength are sometimes allowed to take part in the Midnight Hunt’s traditions.

The hunt is a sacred ceremony—a display of dominance by one beast over another, with members of the pack embracing their animal instincts. The Howling Lords base their sacred hunts and select their pray according to the cycle of the moon. Druids within the pack take on their wild shape forms when on the hunt, fighting with tooth and claw. Others wear beast masks and the hides of animals they have slain, hunting with wooden spears they have crafted themselves or specially designed clawed gauntlets. Members of the hunt also venerate Elgath’s aspect as the Archer. Many within the packs take up the bow, constructing their own weapons from wood and bone.

Members of the Midnight Hunt venerate the beasts, both natural and magical, that Elgath created and brought onto the world. They painstakingly train beasts to accompany them on their hunts, making them a part of the pack. Some of the druids and rangers within the Howling Lords are able to take on more than one animal companion, becoming a pack in their own right.

The Howling Lords of the Midnight Hunt can be found in any of the forests of the North. Each pack adopts a totem animal represented in their dress, their animal companions, and their preferred wild shape. Their survival skills make each pack thoroughly self-sufficient, and only rarely will members of a pack choose to interact with traders and other emissaries of civilization. Though territorial, however, the Howling Lords will usually assist travelers lost within their woods. The world is meant for the strong to lead, but leaders have a responsibility for protecting those destined to follow them.

The Knights of Ten:

The Knights of Ten are a most unorthodox order— bandits and brigands who have elevated a rogues’ code of honor to that of a knightly calling. In the aftermath of invasion, they are the true spirit of the Duchy of Ten.

Organization

The current Knights of Ten are a second-generation version of the earlier order of that name, composed of both high- and low-born brigands emulating warriors of legend. These new knights have retained some of the titles and ranks of the knights of old, but such traditions are more surface than substance. They dress well (though they keep their faces hidden), are well mannered, and prefer the use of threats to violence. “Stand and deliver” and “Your money or your life” are their standard greetings, but the tactics of these robber-knights are focused solely on Toska Rusa’s minions rather than innocent travelers.

Slowly, the Knights of Ten are taking back the roads of that land by ambushing Afridhi caravans, cutting off the invaders’ communications, provisions, and weapons. Stolen goods are dispersed among the duchy’s downtrodden, and the cunning and generosity of these devout patriots give the order a central role in the struggle to win freedom for their land.

The Knights of Ten have no great hall where they meet to tell tales of their exploits or plan strategy. Rather, the order is organized as a collection of what are essentially local gangs. With their intimate familiarity with the roads of the duchy (well-traveled and otherwise), these skilled riders have established a sophisticated system for delivering missives and messages. They are spread throughout the land, able to conceal themselves in the general populace when not doing their duty on the Tenian roads. Their brigands’ code of honor very much reflects the oaths sworn before them by the knights of old.

The Code of the Knights of Ten

A Knight of Ten will not steal from the people of Ten and the orphans that have been left in the Afridhi’s wake. However, any Tenians that have conspired with the Afridhi to save their own hides will not be spared.

No harm is to come to a woman, unless that woman worships Zugzul.

All copper, silver, and gold gets taken as tithing on the road, and will be distributed equally among the poor in the nearby villages. Jewels are given to the local women among those poor, at a knight’s discretion. Knights may keep wealth for themselves only for personal upkeep of their equipment.

If the code is knowingly broken, the Knight of Ten must atone for his misdeeds [see the atonement spell in the PHB]. Until the penance is completed, he can no longer call himself a knight nor perform any of his duties under the banner of the Knights of Ten

The Thieves’ Guilds:

At every port, settlement, village, and city throughout Blackmoor, eyes are watching. The agents of the thieves’ guilds lurk in the shadows wherever honest merchants sell their wares or more illicit transactions take place. They move unseen, disguised as workers, vagrants, and shopkeepers. Some are even prominent merchants and politicians in their own right. Everyone within the guild works toward the same goal—to ensure that the thieves’ guild receives its share of any commerce, and that rogue agents do not mess up big scores and ongoing plots.

Thieves’ guilds have existed in the lands of Blackmoor since the founding of Thonia, and the need to control the criminal element has always been an important aspect of maintaining the rule of law. A thieves’ guild manages all criminal activities where profit is to be made, from petty crimes like burglaries and break-ins to major operations such as smuggling and assassination. One of the major commodities members barter is information. Guild members always have their ears to the ground for details of the goings-on within a community.

Members of a thieves’ guild must be crafty and honorable at the same time. The guilds have stayed in business for centuries because of the cunning of their higher-ranking members and the loyalty of those beneath them. If not for its members’ allegiance to the creed of "honor among thieves," the guilds would have long ago devolved into the chaos of infighting and financial ruin.

Membership in a thieves’ guild has a number of perks. Guild members receive discounts off purchases of items and equipment related to the activities of the professional rogue. This includes thieves’ tools and other specialist equipment, but also includes magic items such as potions of invisibility and wands of knock.

Organization

Beyond wealth, a thieves’ guild is primarily motivated by its dedication to hierarchy and organization. Thieves’ guilds are unified throughout Blackmoor, sharing the same hierarchy, dues structure, and ranks via the United Thieves’ Guilds of the North. Members begin with the designation “lower tier” and move up in the ranks as they bring in more profits.

The United Thieves’ Guilds of the North only allows its members to earn coin through specific types of crimes. Crimes of vengeance or extreme violence are strictly prohibited by the guild, as are unauthorized crimes against guild members or particular merchants. Lower-tier thieves are told that their status prevents them from marking certain businesses as targets, but the truth is that the owners of most such businesses are members of the higher-ranking concerned citizens.

Members only gain benefits within cities with an active thieves’ guild. Most thieves’ guild members are not interested in rank, and so do not seek membership beyond the lower tier where the benefits are high, the responsibilities are low, and the profit is reasonable.

Bardic Organizations:

Bardic organizations in the North come in all sizes, and can be as well organized as a priesthood or as informal as a handful of good friends. Some of the more well known bardic circles of Blackmoor are detailed here, but this list should not be considered complete. In order to avoid scrutiny by the Wizard’s Cabal, most members of these circles use their nonmagical skills exclusively when performing in public. However, adventuring bards are well known for using any and all power at their disposal.

Brothers of the Dark Vision

The Brothers of the Dark Vision is more of an honorary organization than a formal bardic circle. Membership is reserved for those who can tell a ghost story well enough to raise the hair on the back of the neck and keep an audience jumping at shadows for the rest of the evening. Although one may apply for membership, a recommendation from a current member is the quickest route into the organization. Most members of the brothers belong to other bardic circles as well. Members of the Brothers of the Dark Vision wear a pin in the shape of an eye with a smoky moonstone at its center.

Dwarven Songmasters

The Dwarven Songmasters have perhaps the most stringent requirements of all the bardic circles of the North. In order to become a member, one must memorize more than a hundred dwarven poems and songs. Many of these are long epics covering dwarven history and mythology. The entry examination is harsh and stringent, and even minor errors can kill an aspirant’s chances of success. For this reason, the dwarven oral histories are considered some of the most accurate in the known world. Dwarven songmasters wear an intricately fashioned gold pin in the shape of the Dwarven rune meaning "music."

Jocular Jongleurs

The Jocular Jongleurs are professional entertainers specializing in humorous and stunt-filled performances. They juggle, take pratfalls, and tell jokes and ribald stories for a fee. “Anything for a laugh,” is their motto. Although primarily made up of gnomes and halflings at its inception, the order welcomes bards of any stripe as long as they are willing to take a pie in the face. The jongleurs are perhaps the most organized of the bardic circles, with a headquarters in Blackmoor that auditions new members and organizes traveling companies for tours of the larger towns of the North. The current president is Boramy Barristan, a Halfling with a sharp eye for humor and a keen head for business. Members of the Jocular Jongleurs wear a gold ring with the outline of a smiling mouth as its signet.

Northern Collegium Musicum

The Northern Collegium Musicum is dedicated to identifying and disseminating the very best of new Northern poetry and music throughout the realm. They are closely modeled after the venerable Collegium Musicum of the Thonian Empire, but the Northern version champions new compositions rather than promoting classical works as the Thonians do.

Being a young nation, the North has little artistic tradition except that of the Thonian empire they so recently rejected. Members of the Northern Collegium work to give the North its own cultural identity distinct from the empire’s. They come from all races and backgrounds, but High Thonians make up the single largest group within the circle’s membership. To become a member, one must first find a sponsor within the organization. New members must undertake a one-year probation before attaining full membership. During this time, they are judged on their willingness to promote and perform the new music of the North.

Northern Heralds

The Northern Heralds are dedicated to the propagation of information and lore, stopping in the tiniest villages and the largest towns to pass along royal proclamations and news of national and regional importance. Northern Heralds are highly recognizable in their white tabards with a black herald’s trumpet embroidered across the front. They travel far and wide from the Plains of Hak to the city of Maus, and even into the northernmost reaches of the Thonian Empire.

King Uther has called the heralds the glue that holds the North’s alliances together. However, though they maintain a professional demeanor, it is well known that many Northern Heralds will share spicy gossip and rumors for the price of a drink or a hot meal.

Order of the Sun and Harp

The Order of the Sun and Harp is dedicated to spreading the gifts of Baldin, the Immortal patron of light, music, and poetry. One does not have to worship Baldin to join, but members always begin their performances with a succinct prayer to the Immortal as a reminder that he is the source of their artistic gifts. Members of the Order of the Sun and Harp are generally less interested in solo performances than in leading groups in song. They enjoy teaching unfamiliar songs to new audiences, and are always on the lookout
for suitable pieces alive with the cheery light of Baldin. Members wear a small metal clasp in the shape of a holy symbol of Baldin on their collar or cloak.

The Royal Society of the Lyre and Lute

The Royal Society of the Lyre and Lute is open only to bards of Cumasti elven descent. Menander Ithamis founded the society in part to address concerns that increased contact with other races was causing the dilution and erosion of the unique Cumasti cultural heritage.

The society was founded to preserve and spread Cumasti poetry, drama, and music. Members are encouraged to support the continued strength of their culture by performing ballads and epics in the language in which they were written, rather than translating them into lesser tongues. Members also support and perform the works of current Cumasti composers who are true to the traditional Cumasti style. Members of the Royal Society wear a bronze medallion on a sky-blue ribbon. The medallion is stamped with the image of a lyre and lute, with the elven name of the society engraved around the edges.

Silver Circle, Blue Circle

Silver Circle, Blue Circle is primarily made up of alumni of the student auxiliary program of the University of Blackmoor’s Keepers of the Peace. Fiercely loyal to the Fetch (as Fletcher William, dean of Blackmoor, is called), these students continue to work as the eyes and ears of the Keepers of the Peace long after their formal association with the university has ended.

From all across the North, members of the silver and blue send back news of unusual occurrences or suspicious activities. Entrance to the organization is most easily gained through Ruda Malefor, assistant to Fletcher William. Silver Circle, Blue Circle is named for the official colors of the University of Blackmoor. Members of the group are given a pin consisting of two side-by-side circles, one painted white and one painted blue. However, because of the somewhat clandestine nature of the organization, the pin is usually not worn openly.

Society for the Preservation of theNorthern Record

Members of the society are dedicated to promoting accurate spoken and musical histories of the North. They identify and vilify those bards who engage in exaggeration or hyperbole, and champion those who compose epics and ballads whose facts have been researched and verified. They believe that the truly heroic deeds of the North need no embellishment, and that they can stand on their own as art and entertainment without resorting to the irresponsible act of distorting the truth. The society was originally founded at the University of Blackmoor, and though its members are few, they wield enough influence to make life uneasy for a bard who spices things up a bit too much. Members of the Society wear a scarlet sash while performing.

Voice of the People

Although not an exclusively Peshwah circle, the Voice of the People is based on ancient Peshwah traditions. Among the Peshwah, public criticism and questioning of leadership is considered in poor taste and disrespectful unless one does so through poetry or song. The philosophy behind this tradition is that when one takes the time to write in verse, thought and effort must inevitably be put into the process. This prevents hotheaded rhetoric and promotes thoughtful reflection before words are spoken in council.

The Voice of the People brought this tradition to the larger North, using rhymes to both report and comment upon their leaders’ actions. Members of the circle traditionally wear an iron medallion on a leather thong. The medallion is in the shape of the iedro, the Peshwah symbol for peace and tranquility.

The Monasteries of Blackmoor:

Almost a century ago, the Order of Mystics came from civilized lands to found a monastery dedicated to discipline and knowledge. They built a simple keep on the edge of the Valley of Ancients, living as ascetics in order to train their bodies for challenges both natural and unnatural. The only luxury they allowed themselves was a library of books and scrolls. Members of the order claimed (with perhaps a little too much pride) that the combined knowledge held in their library and in their minds exceeded that of all but the gods.

Then a star fell from the sky into the valley below them, and the order fell into dissent. Some took the star as a sign that their knowledge had been exhausted, and that they must journey out into the world again to gain more. Some felt that the order’s knowledge should be shared with all, while others felt that knowledge was a secret and powerful thing to be given only to those who had earned it. In the end, all but a few of the order made their way into the wider world. Influenced and changed by their travels, many eventually stopped to establish monasteries of their own, founded upon their new knowledge and beliefs.

The Order of Mystics

The successors to the original order still reside in their monastery overlooking the forbidding Valley of Ancients. Those who come here for training are required to test themselves against the valley. Aspirants who fail these tests do not return. Though rare, travelers sometimes come seeking knowledge, but even these seekers must be tested in their beliefs and discipline before knowledge is shared. Outcasts from the Peshwah journey here, as do half-elves and half-orcs, the black sheep of noble families, and those whose personal beliefs have forced them to break from their land and people.

The High Llama who leads the Order of Mystics is known as Snake Eater. He is a Westryn elf who came to the monastery before the star fell, remaining there after the exodus. He is disdainful of monks trained by other monasteries, and when they arrive seeking aid or knowledge, they are given tougher tests than other visitors. Snake Eater is frequently gone from the monastery on spiritual journeys, leaving his deputy, a human woman named Hawk, in charge. Though in her seventies, Hawk appears to be merely middle-aged.

Training at the monastery grants levels in the standard monk class of the PHB. Most who seek such training become worshipers of Yoosef, though other faiths are tolerated.

Clan of the Great Stone

One group of wanderers that left the mountain citadel was principally made up of dwarves and others who saw the earth as the source of all significant knowledge. To them, the star from the heavens was an assault upon the earth, and they dedicated themselves to strengthening and protecting it. Their monastery is a large natural cavern in the dwarven realms. The order consists primarily of dwarves, but they welcome others who seek them out and pass their tests of belief and strength.

The followers of the Great Stone specialize in grappling combat, and train for maximum strength and toughness. Individual combat is the test of their ability and discipline. The current leader, known as Nogare the Immovable, recently defeated his father Taroo the Tough. Though he leads the clan, Nogare continues his training, as he has the hubris to hope one day to wrestle the dwarven Immortal Hemgrid.

Followers of the Cloud

This monastery was established by another splinter group that left the original order. Primarily elves, they have been given permission to abide on the border of the Northern Downs and the Elven Forest. In a small wood a short distance from the elven frontier, the Followers of the Cloud have built a series of treetop structures linked by vine bridges, hoping to get as close to the clouds as possible.

When a fragment of the falling star struck the Sink, the original founders of this group saw the steam that rose up as a sign—a message to change their ways and journey out to spread the word that all significant knowledge comes from the air. Most of the members of this order worship Aeros. The current leader (known as the first wing) of the group is a Cumasti elf named Lumines. She is often away exploring planar connections to the Elemental Plane of Air, leaving the day-to-day running of the order to her second wing, a male Cumasti known as Phantacee.

Order of Redemption

The existence of this monastery is known only to Docrae, halflings, and a few gnomes. The small folk who founded it saw the destruction caused by the falling star as another reminder of how those with strength often seek to destroy the weak. The skills honed at the monastery center around avoidance. Its members strive to be impossible to hit, or to flow with successful blows as if they were water.

Members of the order attempt to avoid conflict when possible, and to outlast their opponents when they cannot. They excel at teamwork, and often act as the trusted bodyguards of physically weaker spellcasters. The current head of the Order of Redemption is a male Docrae named Gradius. He dedicates his time to training others, sending his more proficient followers throughout Blackmoor to act as protectors for the small folk.

Society of the Dark Heart

The original Order of Mystics considered themselves above the politics and capriciousness of the world around them. When the star fell into the Valley of Ancients, some saw this as a sign that they should use their knowledge and discipline to seek worldly power. Many of these monks were Afridhi, and they journeyed back to their homelands to establish themselves as a secret society dedicated to the worship of Zugzul and personal power. Their members operate in the background among the Afridhi leadership, acting as advisors and sometimes protectors. Though almost all members of the society are Afridhi, the order will sometimes kidnap children of other races to be raised and trained in their ways and beliefs. These monks are then sent to be spies among their own people.

Members of the order will often mix their monastic training with levels of fire elementalist or cleric of Zugzul. This is an exception to the normal restrictions on monks as multiclass characters. All members of the Society of the Dark Heart must be lawful evil, although more than a few former members have been so repulsed by the deeds of their fellows that they have abandoned the order and adopted a more lawful neutral outlook. The current leader of the Society is a male Afridhi known as Rakhul. He is a cousin to Toska Rusa, and the two often work together.

The Lawgivers

The final group to splinter from the original Order of Mystics were the descendants of nobles who took the falling star as a sign that they should return to the cities of the land. To them, the destruction wrought by the star was a reminder of how close the monastery itself had come to destruction, its lore and history lost for all time. In the cities, they would establish places of training for any who wished to learn discipline and truth. Though the Lawgivers still consider themselves members of the Order of Mystics, they feel that enlightenment is worthless unless it is shared by all.

There are small monasteries dedicated to the Lawgivers in most cities in Blackmoor and Thonia, and they will train anyone who is able to maintain the discipline. In Blackmoor City, the monastery is located next to the university and is run by Campbell, a descendent of the long dead King Robert of Geneva. Many noble scions are sent to the order to learn the basics of self-discipline, knowledge, and justice. Many adventurers who do not have the drive or desire to seek out one of the more far-flung monasteries also train here.

The Eldritch Underground:

A loose alliance of outlaw sorcerers and rogue wizards, the Eldritch Underground seeks to accomplish what few arcane societies or barons dare dream: thwarting the draconian rule of the Wizards’ Cabal.

Opinions of the Underground and their work vary by community and social class. Peasants living in the outlands of Blackmoor tell stories of the mysterious Eldritch Underground to frighten misbehaving children. According to these tales, agents of the Underground can transform themselves into mere shadows and are capable of casting deadly spells forbidden by the Cabal. Superstitious peasants and common folk looking to contact members of the Underground bury offerings at the point where two country roads cross. Whether or not the Underground answers the request is said to depend on the virtue and intent of the petitioner, reinforcing the belief that its agents can see into mortal hearts.

For their part, the nobility and landed gentry of Blackmoor dismiss the Eldritch Underground as a product of old legends and pranksters. After all, how could a band of unschooled sorcerers succeed in standing against the might of the Wizards’ Cabal? When questioned about the recent string of sorcerer disappearances in Jackport, the barons are quick to point out that a sorcerer committed to living in defiance of the Cabal receives only what she deserves.

Organization

The Eldritch Underground is not as powerful as the superstitious are led to believe, but neither is it as quickly dismissed as Blackmoor’s barons would like. The truth, known by few outside the Underground and the Wizards’ Cabal, is that the Underground survives by concentrating on just one goal: protecting and defending the sorcerers of Blackmoor. The Cabal works tirelessly to ferret out agents of the Underground, but for every agent captured and tortured in the Cabal’s dungeons, two more will rally to the Underground’s call for justice.

Key to the Underground’s success is its establishment of scores (if not hundreds) of cells scattered across the land. Each cell is independent and self-reliant, and has contacts to only a handful of other cells. In this way, a captured agent can reveal little or no information regarding the extents and operation of the organization as a whole. There have been recorded instances of single-minded Cabal inquisitors succeeding in infiltrating cells, but even aided by magic, such tactics can only go so far before the tenuous relationship between connecting cells collapses. Meanwhile, the friends and families of captured sorcerers seek out agents in the hopes of joining Underground resistance, fueled by their vendetta against the Cabal’s iron fist.

Despite the myths and legends surrounding it, much of the Underground’s work is surprisingly mundane. Agents of the resistance typically construct boltholes and safehouses to conceal wanted sorcerers, and arrange routes for smuggling outlaws in and out of cities. One cell’s work might be to simply keep a fresh horse always at the ready so that a fleeing sorcerer can trade out mounts on a moment’s notice. Other cells specialize in preparing travel packs, replete with rations, potions, and scrolls.

More ambitious cells might actively seek out sorcerers before they manifest their talents, saving them from the attentions of the Cabal. In cities, cells are rumored to run orphanages and workhouses where all the children are secretly sorcerers in training. Very few cells promote rescuing captured sorcerers, since this risks drawing the immediate wrath of the Cabal. However, certain heroes of the Eldritch Underground are renowned for their courage in the face of danger.

The agents known as the Sworn of Angvile are the exception to the Underground’s rule of steering clear of the Wizards’ Cabal. Driven by the tales of their legendary founder, the sworn actively work to thwart the Cabal, and many Underground cells have been wiped out when a charismatic leader convinces his fellows to take up the fight with sword and spell. Those cells that do survive a brush with the Cabal most often do so only by luck, or because they have been infiltrated by Cabal agents.

The Sworn of Angvile refuse to stand by and watch fellow sorcerers suffer at the hands of the Cabal. However, more than one sworn agent has died beneath a hail of magic missiles when an attempted rescue turns out to be a Cabal ambush instead. It is believed that the sworn were responsible for organizing the ambush that led to Skelfer Ard’s disappearance. For this reason alone, every inquisitor and arcane warrior of the Cabal has orders to kill sworn agents on sight.

The Sworn of Angvile are rumored to be active in many cities of the North, especially Maus and Blackmoor City. They can be identified by the brand of a dagger hidden somewhere on their body. Once branded, agents are never permitted to leave the ranks of the sworn, and very few agents live to die of old age.

The strength of the Underground’s secrecy is also its greatest weakness. With only a handful of allies to turn to in emergencies, each cell is expected to handle any trouble that comes its way.

Any agent with knowledge of the Underground above the level of a single cell is known as an initiate. The order is believed to be composed of seven circles of initiates, ranging from lowly operatives to those at the upper levels responsible for orchestrating meetings between agents. The most trusted initiates are those charged with eliminating traitors to the cause.

Most initiates are sorcerers, but all have taken up other professions to aid in maintaining their public personas. Many play the role of the skald, the mercenary, or the common rogue. Initiates all swear to embrace death before betraying the Underground, with some scarred by magic runes designed to reduce an agent to a feebleminded simpleton in case of capture. This effect is mimicked by the sworn, though their version is far more macabre, transforming the agent into a raging killer who is automatically slain when the effect ends. Such magic is one of the reasons inquisitors and arcane warriors alike tread carefully when on the hunt for agents of the Underground.

Those seeking to parlay with agents of the Eldritch Underground are often stymied by the order’s secrecy. A search for contacts in the Underground commonly consists of asking obtuse questions of disreputable sages, leaving messages in smoke-filled gambling dens, or bribing backalley dealers in forbidden magic and wicked idols. If a seeker is persistent (and passes the Underground’s obligatory checks into his identity and motives), he might be invited to a late-night meeting on a lonely beach, or in the back of a musty library.

For those needing to find the Underground in a hurry, nothing works better than drawing the wrath of the Wizards’ Cabal. Many a character has found herself suddenly aided by a member of the Underground while being chased down by a pack of stone-faced inquisitors. However, such characters are always thoroughly vetted and investigated before being allowed any contact with even the lowliest Underground cell.
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor - Religions
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 31, 2012, 04:03:53 AM
Immortals of Blackmoor

Format is [Blackmoor name] - [True/Current name]

Thonian Pantheon
Baldin - Baldin (vanished Immortal)
Fornaus - Pax
Hersh - Korotiku
Henrin - Henrin
Kadis - Ouranos
Khoronus - Khoronus
Mwajin - Sinbad
Odir - Odin
Pacuun - Ixion
Phellia - Valerias
Sacwyhne - Sacwyhne (vanished immortal)
Sollus - Sollus

Peshwa Pantheon
Calelrin (evil) - Demogorgon or Arik
Hadeen (dead) - Hadeen (dead)
Hak - Odin
Raelralataen - Raelralataen (vanished)
Yoosef - Ka

Dwarves/Gnomes
Charis - Ka
Koorzun - Kagyar
Dhummon - Dhummon (one of the original dwarven immortals, now extinct)
Gorrim (evil) - Thanatos
Hemgrid - Ouranos
Kela - Kela (later vanished trying to map the Vortex)
Mieroc - Garal
Pathmeer - Ssu-Ma
Shau - Shau (vanished)

Elven Pantheon
Aeros - Elemaster of Air
Dealth - Dealth (perished in the GRoF)
Faunus - Faunus
Ferros - Kagyar
Fiumarra - Elemaster of Fire
Hydros - Elemaster of Water
Ordana - Ordana
Sylvian - Ninfangle
Terra - Terra
Title: Re: Mystara - Blackmoor - The ComeBack Inn
Post by: Bluebomber4evr on March 31, 2012, 04:32:27 AM
The ComeBack Inn
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/uRpgdW_v1LbA4g_9yHoV9l9zpdugXjifWAahJvwcrax7UY25xuOhnmJ34XahISVyh8BHISdTy_l12kqN-k8SKwTaaf5_wEuEYAtuJl7ofb4Iw06wPaU9YAJ5JogGhSAq9MWkwQ5avAbAG9EOzlbNOXuurNAh9eXFQJ6E_fMiCxQ73sKQsanYs0LpWH_bcKZAgRNUnDeYtbJZgcJP6otvjfgqyh_FtqAnSzPBrKrRU1eTXY8ZXtCXVvmRR2yJLcjloAW6OQ9MTnvSrxeYFVzFxMmOMEJREH2ioZ27c11ofO-sh4-E7iMxtVB8AwpLXRTZ9IXfuixZ1W03-_5Pgx-kBIdjZiutLpKt6Qynru7PZ4KEfOhLnC5yOuZjHPeCXbnOQoLr-JoxRfAYgNbOGdxu6qayiggOP5yZBoY9GS_0PGf5Q2uAd1D2NjIicfNFvvERcTgdLn_GGh6wnPC2Twj_YV1HVv8iVd1jteUFG5q3yqAnZbWyD8WM0LA0t_x1f_wnRbLz1ce0mZBTL-reWs84S4TcQNdHmzd-2dZnDZto5GR0vt4x0uzoQ6F57ZFM8GxO94-Q9PL58f1-M6vQCfhHsB_N9wuokk9oAOZ-ayt6GGsNNFb0nBEf=w931-h762-no)

One of the most famous locations in Blackmoor is the ComeBack Inn. The proprietors and patrons of this incredible place regale its visitors with tales of legend and magic that cannot be found elsewhere. Many adventurers frequent the Comeback Inn when in Blackmoor City, and participate in the tale-telling and negotiation of typical adventurer business.

The ComeBack Inn is a solidly constructed, L-shaped building. A sturdy stone foundation supports four stories of stout oaken timber for the public house and lodgings. The west wing is a two-story wooden structure, which contains the stables and hayloft. From the outside, the inn, although of fi ne workmanship and impeccable upkeep, appears normal; in fact, to some who have traveled widely it appears suspiciously average. Once characters enter the inn, passing the pair of well-groomed guardsmen stationed on either side of the front door, evidence of the potent enchantments that are woven into the place’s structure slowly becomes apparent.

Within the inn is a large public hall, containing numerous tables, booths, and a long oaken bar. Hanging about the place, as decoration above the booths, are tokens left by past guests of the inn. While many of the objects (primarily helms, shields, brooches, and tabards — never weapons) appear familiar, among them are several objects that, while ordinary in general form (i.e., an object that is obviously a helm), are completely out of the ordinary in terms of style and fashion.

When pressed about such objects the barkeep or any of the barmaids reply that they are from “visitors” and that the inn has always attracted “people from all over.” Local rumors (DC 14 Gather Information) attest to the fact that the inn is often the source of new fashions. From time to time, oddly dressed and equipped persons stop at the inn, and sometimes the local folk fi nd that the newcomers carry superior equipment and clothing.

Food and drink are plentiful, high quality, and inexpensive. For this reason the inn is almost always filled near capacity, especially around mealtimes and in the early evening (providing a +2 circumstance bonus on Gather Information checks). Those who return at different times of the year find that the food stays remarkably consistent in quality from season to season. This stability is due to the enchanted cellar, which, at the stroke of midnight, magically regenerates all foodstuffs (animal or vegetable) within it. The bones and scraps of leftover meat become fresh hams and whole, plucked geese, while the few vegetables left in each of the produce bins duplicate themselves until each bin in full of fresh carrots, cabbages, and potatoes. Similarly, the kegs refill themselves with fresh, crisp ale and rich, creamy stout (depending upon the keg, of course).

In addition to the magically-enhanced mealtimes, the inn is under several potent protective enchantments that help make it a safe place in a wild land. Of primary importance is the fact that no one (other then the owner and his direct employees) can leave the inn of his own accord. Attempts to walk out through either the front or rear door fail, causing the character to be instantly teleported back into the place (as greater teleport), turned completely around. Similarly, a character leaping off the roof or out the windows lands in the middle of the main hall. Magical means of transportation, such as teleport and dimension door, only move characters about within the inn (and sometimes into others’ rooms).

The only known way to leave the place is for someone from outside the inn lend a hand and pull the individual out. In general, the innkeeper only instruct the guards at the front door to let you out if you paid your bill and he is happy with your behavior while inside the inn. The innkeeper and his direct employees are immune to this enchantment and may leave freely.

Some believe that the ComeBack Inn exist in many worlds simultaneously. It is rumored that deep within the inn’s basement stands a shimmering, rippling, black, vertical surface that serves as the opening to a magic gate. Peering into the surface provides little information. The gate leads both to nowhere and to almost everywhere (although each and every “everywhere” to which it leads is within the basement of a comfortable inn). It is said that scholars have discerned several features about this gate. First, it is not always open, and under certain circumstances attempts to enter the gate prove fruitless. Second, the gate’s opening cycles are associated strongly with the moon and planets. Certain celestial alignments portend more substantial voyages. Third, a character can influence control over the outcome of a journey through the gate with powerful talismans, constructed specifically for the manipulation of gate travel. These talismans must be constructed from rare combinations of metals, such as a bronzelike alloy made from copper and platinum. While this portal can be used to leave Blackmoor, it is also a likely place from which adventurers from afar might emerge, arriving in the cellar of the ComeBack Inn or from another plane simply by coming right through the front door.

The ComeBack Inn in Modern Mystara

Whatever magics used to construct the ComeBack Inn allowed it to survive Blackmoor's utter annihilation and survive the ravages of time into the present day. It also somehow inexplicably moved from the continent of Skothar to the continent of Brun.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/or22S1XUc8oypUi-31IO2FKdylSXG6xGGAVw5hZ9mXelho_rrgTdWFeJlyfeNeXDjShF4uigMi6K_rZrc3sUUsh3CwbGH47W6j0CD1hexY8kWpYT88ynrNmmG2NIcwMbQLbHlVM9rtqpwB6l_VoJzuLWAzY4xhAQL04aTBK6BqZr_3gNYVTYbRve2amD3RBsgXlHBhMkOVvp-Xujcf3dMbFKGP0O31-9lsWUtR7oDLYcTlcnLyzkZJVgr04EXbAYCXy8aHDxYEo8U5YGruzXwi1juKt5V1UQ8uoyts6YzRoaE77Uftj9IczPvflxjLsZ1v5096kEJaRIhQGjXLMDrgj9lkDWdlO7lBpAzxXrjHloEIoacg7uB1C9lL3ZbY6su8XTZm7CpT8qh_Up0f5iTSrF77Qez_JMvwgoIJUlx7QW0SPLWC_1nN40AuZJoKJTBjFzFD6-xiopPv7PVXBvckoKAgvNPL74Ja10ZoIpV-XWjIJy-LPdqDkoih2kV1jdHmiFipIShbVNyw7hYrp7a8naOEsBbBbNcXPwkes6RfQxAL6aY_9rbKYLasuODQYecNNIeX-4h4NO65iov7YchpZWzVNyG01phfvObJV8XRuN7qqbR1rC=w535-h529-no)

The ComeBack Inn now lies atop a tower of rock in the Broken Lands. Local legends in Darokin refer to it as "the Inn Between Worlds," and all sorts of fanciful legends have been made about the place, from tales of treasure to stories of it being an interdimensional prision to it being the home of heroes destined to save an empire. There is some truth to these tales, of course. The portal in the Inn's basement still functions, and it is possible to travel from the present day to the era of Blackmoor through this portal (and back again) under certain conditions, as mentioned above.
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/m94c4_yYvgFP7z_X0hQBmxrGoL8TJl-gAgCz1-BNa7cDtQaVfIyQzBPaLRetQGjQ_K1i2ty4DkdPyBMRTITS8B8GrMgT6YqKrdTttVWLVp_YDyjFKilSb5xtnoff0IK5a1B2Z1_KdLG3b3uVRqHADmMW0e11wYgm9eN5-Lo-nmzgZVYvQbKILyyNI3nPH-GZsndK1BUmelO7cR8vxfP5IhdW1X_HSdZWmrr-7AT50nMFYk_OKZcfl031g6gqE4wflujpdNUdOVa1dTp3a0lt2D8k4mHOGn-di_enP2izErhcH5Ydijyw7JVKr6rAaacBm_9ukUwzc8juxgYu6jsye7M4pvFkG6I-kJZrIBGWCpULFbvI1DnbFIHJCn5PSdzR70JIIQ270RubOJaw6-eyVkYGL4vbs1R7oT_pmpAhNVngijpt68Xlvqj2kfaPcrGLU373nSX5_m3VCFcpIUTpwCBWskW2As-rtQA9xd2be9bPsad-giE6BIRRxaYzfwxP4ZaGjP5ORKOPaTRDwaXJHL9a_vwk-7l3TdSJ58JLJk0acmTEJyu9Wadh16aiNeCzEjZnew9_ZcJHIegqPQvvTwjYmMEij3RpsWXBxgjUzNIePAuGPgb9=w819-h518-no)